Saturday, January 21, 2017

Exective by Leslie Wolfe

This is the second book by Leslie Wolfe that I read, although the first, Dawn Girl, is unrelated to  Executive. This is the first Alex Hoffman book.


About the book:
"A friendly fire incident in Afghanistan takes a serious toll.
A drone, out of control, brings death and wreaks havoc on a Florida highway.
An apparently successful corporation comes under scrutiny.

A memorable incursion behind corporate closed doors, led by an up-and-coming executive on a mission to find the truth about the lives lost to the very technology that was mandated to protect them.

Our skies aren't safe anymore.

A thought-provoking page turner, Executive sizzles with plausible scenarios, conveyed in technical and business terminology at an unrelenting pace.

Exploring the controversial territory of toxic leadership and its long term consequences, Executive delivers an insightful analysis spiced with cutting-edge technology and science, in an exciting, masterful political technothriller.

Fans of Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, James Bond, and Jack Reacher will be intrigued by Alex Hoffmann."

This book hooked me in the first couple of pages. A sneak peek was at the end of Dawn Girl and I couldn't put it down. But the sneak peek ended so I quickly downloaded the book.

Alex Hoffman is recruited by The Agency. Their clients are, as in this case, companies that have concerning issues they cannot get to the bottom of. Alex's assignment is to be hired as an Executive for NanoLance. NanoLance manufactures drones that the military has purchased. A few of the drones have gone rogue and killed people.  Alex is to insert herself into NanoLance and basically spy.

It is fast paced. Lots of surprises and near misses for Alex as she tries to find out who is behind all the corruption in the company. And there are plenty of candidates.

I look forward to more books about Alex and The Agency.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Breaking Point by C.T. Mitchell

I have a love/hate relationship with technology. I curse it at least once a day.

On the other hand, you can find some great authors and books on the internet. I think I found C.T. Mitchell by entering a "win 35 books" deals on FB. I can't say I won the grand prize but did get on several email lists and subsequently emails offering free or almost free books. As a bookaholic, I can't resist.  He resides in Australia and has books on Goodreads and Amazon. Another great author from "down under".

In the first email I got from C.T., I was sent a free novella; Rejection - A Jack Creed Novella.

From the website:

"In this mystery thriller short story, UK born Nicholas Weatherby is about to ‘wake up’ the sleepy, country village of Lismore, NSW, Australia with a very sick, bitter and twisted plan of revenge. Communicating only through YouTube, this recluse has attracted a friend; a sympathizer who together wants to deliver Australia’s first University mass shooting.

But they never planned on Australian detective Jack Creed to be on the case. Always seeking criminal justice Jack is up to his armpits with a myriad of suspects including Nicholas’s dumbfounded parents, a taunting ex-girlfriend and a sympathizer with deep childhood scars – all with secrets to hide – making this crime fiction more mysterious."

O.K. I am not a fan of mass shooting stories since we hear about that a lot lately here. But the Jack Creed character was intriguing. So when I saw the first full Jack Creed novel - Breaking Point I grabbed it.


From the website:

"The criminal investigation is over budget. It’s in danger of being closed down. Creed’s ‘new’ murder squad team have exhausted all leads. Cabarita Beach residents are petrified; they want answers.

Then ex UK resident Sam Thompson’s charred remains are discovered. This victim is different. A small crack appears giving this police procedural case hope. The serial killer has slipped up.

From the bestselling Australian author of the Detective Jack Creed Box Set, C T Mitchell serves up his best fast paced, maximum action, psychological pulp thriller novel with a tsunami of twists and turns that will keep you guessing right to the last page in this latest mystery, thriller and suspense series. You won’t pick the ending."

I loved the book. Couldn't stop reading it. The story was good with a strong build up of suspense and sense of urgency to catch the killer. All clues pointed to Talbot yet enough things didn't add up to keep us looking and thinking - did he or didn't he. Jack Creed is a likeable character with lots of gut experience. Jo is a young, smart police officer with a fair amount of common sense although we had to holler at her a few times. She shows lots of promise and I look forward to reading more cases in their partnership.

There are actually 6 other Jack Creed short stories before this novel.  C.T. also writes a cozy series that I have acquired but have not had a chance to read yet. I love the covers of the books in the series with Lady Margaret Turnbull. Here is the first one.


Here is C. T.'s website if you want to check it out. He also writes some interesting short articles on his site. For example " Four Things James Patterson Told Me About Writing Over Lunch" and most recently, "Naming a Murder Victim-You Choose". He will also send you two of his bestsellers, free.

Check it out!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Hallmark Mysteries and....Lemony Snicket?

Wanted to let you know there are two new mysteries on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.

Garage Sale Mystery: Art of Murder with Lori Laughlin started Sunday 1/8/17 BUT it is showing again Friday 1/13/17 at 8 p.m. CST.

Garage Sale Mystery: The Deadly Room (2015)

A brand new series starts Sunday, 1/15/17 at 8 p.m. CST.

Framed for Murder: A Fixer Upper Mystery starring Jewel (the singer? yes)  and Colin Ferguson.


This new series is based on the Fixer Upper book series by Kate Carlisle. Here is what I found out about it:

"The “Fixer Upper Mysteries” movies are based upon New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle’s novels. In the small resort town of Lighthouse Cove, everyone knows that the best man for the job is a woman. And that woman is Shannon Hughes (Jewel), owner of Hughes Restoration and an expert in Victorian home restoration. Through her work, she stumbles across clues hidden in the old homes, uncovering past secrets and becoming an unlikely sleuth to crack unsolved mysteries.
In “Framed for Murder: A Fixer-Upper Mystery,” the premiere movie in the franchise, Shannon Hughes, gets a partner in crime-solving when her new client offers to help hammer out the details of her friend and neighbor’s untimely death. "

I have watched all the Hallmark mysteries on Movies and Mysteries and liked all of them.

Lemony Snicket. A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Did you read the book series several years ago? Looks like a children's series but may not want your children to read it? Not young children anyway. There was a movie with Jim Carey playing Count Olaf. I found the books to have quite a wry sense of humor and loved them. And I saw the movie.

Netflix has produced an 8 episode series which will be available January 13th.

This is from MSN and will give you an idea of what the stories are like. I find it hysterical.

"With a lugubrious whimsy that becomes characteristic, Netflix’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” starts by going to great, ironic lengths to convince the viewer to not watch the show. Narrator Lemony Snicket (Patrick Warburton), who wanders in and out of scenes like a melancholy Rod Serling, begins the series with a long, odd disclaimer that is part comedy, part tragedy. The theme song’s chorus is simply “Look away!” repeated over scenes of the perils the main characters have encountered. Lead Neil Patrick Harris, who plays the villainous Count Olaf, brazenly breaks the fourth wall to comment on the poor quality of streaming television drama. And periodically, just to remind the viewer what they’re in for, Warburton’s Snicket returns to re-up his warning: “Hello, my name is Lemony Snicket, and I am sorry to say that the alleged entertainment you are watching is extremely unpleasant.”


Friday, January 6, 2017

Gun by Lee Hayton

I recently read and ARC of Gun by Lee Hayton. This is a pen name for Katherine Hayton who writes the Ngaire Blakes series I have talked about. She is writing books of a different genre as Lee Hayton, specifically thriller/horror set in the United States. The Ngaire Blakes series, and I believe Katherine's other books, are set in New Zealand. Interesting.


"Gun" is the first book in the Gun Apocalypse series. Here is the summary:

"Seven customers shot dead in a coffee shop. Thirty shoppers cut down by an assault rifle at the mall. One hundred and eight pupils killed by high-school students on a rampage.

It’s just reached 10:00 a.m. on a beautiful spring day.

When a neurological virus triggers an epidemic of gun violence, a modern US city fractures into chaos. Annie’s husband shoots at commuters while his son is buckled in a carseat. Frankie and Becca desperately try to hide from a deranged shooter at their school; Robert runs headlong into the midst of a lopsided gun battle; and Blain…? None of them know Blain’s true story.

Thrown together—their families dead or missing—these survivors struggle to escape the newly-dangerous city. Hoping to find a place of safety. Somewhere they can bide their time until the violence subsides, the authorities seize control, and good once again triumphs over evil.

They’re in for a long wait."

What would you do? Random shootings apparently all over the world. People with a virus that has driven them to shooting anyone they see. All communications have gone out; cell phones, land lines, television. Annie, Becca, Frankie and Robert try to get to safety and locate their families, if they are still alive, meeting up with other victims such as Blaine, and other people taken hostage by gangs of people gone mad. But who are victims and who aren't? The characters find out pretty quickly what they are made of and have to push their limits in order to survive. 

Many years ago, I read quite a few books by Robin Cook who wrote books about various viruses that created chaos and trying to save mankind. Those seemed like it probably wouldn't happen. Although, now I would probably think differently. Gun bothered me a bit living in the US and we have several crazed gunmen shoot many, many people. That made it kind of hard for me to read. But what is different in that it is a virus that has caused people to do these things. Book 2 does sound interesting to me because it looks like it is going to show the other side of it, what is happening with the people infected and the medical aspect of it.

Here is the summary for Gun 2.

"One o’clock in the morning, a full ER. Two o’clock in the morning, a full hospital. Three o’clock in the morning, police barricade the street outside to prevent patients from overrunning the facilities.

Welcome to the day before the apocalypse.

When Dr. Rachel Harraday is called upon by the CDC to catalog and treat a fast-developing epidemic, she thinks her worst problem will be overcoming her agoraphobic panic long enough to travel to the assigned hospital.

On arrival, she’s subsumed by an avalanche of patients displaying signs of infection from the uncharted disease. As time passes, each new symptom triggers with clockwork precision—counting down toward an unthinkable final-stage.

As the disease catapults its sufferers into a spree of gun violence, Rachel struggles to navigate to safety through the unfamiliar hospital. Every life-or-death decision she makes, weighed down by her responsibility for each hand-picked patient and their relatives.

The one thing she can count on — help isn’t on its way."

If you like fast paced stories about survival and people thinking on their feet, you will like this book.
Book 1 comes out January 31, 2017. You can preorder on Amazon for .99 cents.

Here is Katherine/Lee Hayton's website. There are tabs which shows books written under both names.

I received a free copy.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lake House by Kate Morton

2017 has begun!
Our Mystery Book Club selection for this month is The Lake House by Kate Morton.


Here's what it is about:

"Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…

One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.

Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone...yet more present than ever.

A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read."

The story goes back and forth between 1933 with the Edevane family and 2003 with Sadie Sparrow. I always like stories set in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Even as a child, I liked to read about "the pioneers" and how people lived in " the old days".

Kate Morton is very good at keeping the stories from the past and present separate enough to not confuse but gradually intertwine them. 

Alice and Sadie are both living with secrets. Sadie is haunted by her last case, a little girl left alone in her apartment for a week. It appears her mother just ran off. The case is closed, but Sadie can't accept it. Something keeps niggling at her. She won't drop it, talks to the press and gets an extended vacation. Sadie goes to Cornwall to stay with her grandfather and when exploring the countryside, stumbles upon an empty house. It appears the people who lived there just walked out the door and never came back. As she starts asking about the house, she finds out a tragedy occurred in 1933, the family left, the case was closed. Again the niggling.

This book definitely plays with you. There are lots of parts where I said "oh that's what happened", only to have that theory dashed, all the way up to the end. Lot's of "oh no why did that have to happen" only to take a new turn. Then there is a "thing" Sadie is trying to push back in the past.

There were a couple of things that it didn't seem were going to go the way I wanted them to. That is the playing with you part. Almost at the end, with the book due back to the library the next day,  I thought "Oh my gosh. I am just going to jump to the end and drop it in the return bin. Good grief." But I didn't. I read it and was glad I did. I would say I really liked the book, and it is very well written.

Everyone in the MBC liked it too.

I read The House at Riverton may years ago, also by Kate Morton, and really liked it. If you like historical fiction, with mystery, intrigue and a dash of serendipity, I recommend The Lake House.