Cold Fire by Dean R. Koontz

From Library Journal

Teacher Jim Ironheart, aptly named, is sent by forces unknown to save chosen people in life-threatening situations. By chance, a young but jaded reporter stumbles onto his missions, and joins him to investigate who is controlling him and why. Shared nightmares begin to point to an extraterrestrial influence, and the pair are forced to confront Ironheart’s forgotten past for answers. Koontz ( The Bad Place , LJ 12/89), a master at maintaining mystery and suspense, weaves themes from earlier novels into this latest thriller. Even if the ending calls to mind DuMaurier and Hitchcock, Cold Fire contains all the ingredients–likable characters, nail-biting suspense, and above all, unlimited imagination–that will please Koontz’s fans. For all popular collections. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection; Mystery Guild featured alternate; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/90.
-Eric W. Johnson, Teikyo Post Univ. Lib., Waterbury, Ct.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
 
Review –
 
This is my second reading of this book and I loved it just as much as I did the first time.
 
Dean Koontz is great!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Santa Fe Edge by Stuart Woods

From Booklist

Woods’ fourth Ed Eagle adventure, following Santa Fe Dead (2008), is less about superstar lawyer Ed than it is about his nefarious ex-wife, Barbara, who manages to escape from a Mexican prison and head back to the States with murder on her mind. Her targets are Ed and his new wife, Susannah, a beautiful actress. Barbara isn’t the only fugitive on the lam. Teddy Fay, the notorious ex-CIA operative last seen in Hothouse Orchid (2009), has arrived in Santa Fe, hoping to start a new life with his girlfriend, Lauren. But eager young CIA recruit Todd Bacon is hot on his trail. New to the mix is Ed’s latest client, golf pro Tip Hanks, who is under suspicion for the murder of his wife. Readers familiar with Woods’ multiple long-running series (including the Stone Barrington and Holly Barker books) will find themselves at home amid frequent murders and sexual escapades. And while some plotlines are a bit repetitive, particularly regarding Teddy, who has been on the run for many novels, and Barbara, who is also always one step ahead of her pursuers, there’s plenty of fun here for those who enjoy losing themselves in Woods’ entertaining escapist fare. –Kristine Huntley –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
 
Review –
I’m a big fan of Stuart Woods and loved this book.   There are a lot of characters introduced and you almost need a paper and pencil to keep track of who is who.  If you have never any his books prior to this one, you will probably be lost because these characters all have a past with one another.
 
If you haven’t read Stuart Woods be sure to pick up one of his earlier works and fill in the blanks until you get to this one-you won’t be disappointed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts

From Publishers Weekly

After three boys accidentally awaken an ancient evil near their small Maryland town, the tight-knit community finds itself lost to a Stephen King–style plague of madness and destruction for a week every seven years. Twenty-one years later, those three boys, now grown, are hoping to find a way to stop the evil before its third return, which may mean the end of the town; they don’t know much about the anomalies, but they do know that [e]very time it gets stronger. This time, the town is graced by author Quinn Black, eager to document the paranormal mystery. When two more women arrive—one an associate of Quinn’s, the other led to town by strange visions—the circle of six decide to face the oncoming apocalypse together. Hyperprolific bestseller Roberts frontloads her story with drama and endearing characters (especially in Quinn and bowling alley owner Caleb Hawkins), but an abundance of exposition and domestic concerns (protagonists decorate a house, trade banter and pair off predictably) slow the plot significantly. Though future volumes are sure to pick up, this trilogy kickoff suffers from a dearth of twists and little payoff; fans of the brisk, colorful Roberts style will enjoy the ride, though probably not as much as they’d expect. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
 
Review –
 
This is Book One of the Sign of Seven Triology and I loved it.
It’s  not your normal Nora Roberts romance but an engaging story of three boyhood friends who stumble into a mystery centuries old and is filled with supernatual elements. 
I’m looking forward to reading (listening to) the next two books in this series.
 
You just can’t go wrong with a NORA ROBERTS book.
 
 
 

The White Devil by Jason Evans

 

Product Description

Set in a four-hundred-year-old boys’ boarding school in London, a chilling gothic thriller by the author of the critically acclaimed A Good and Happy Child . . .

A fierce and jealous ghost . . .

A young man’s fight for his life . . .

The Harrow School is home to privileged adolescents known as much for their distinctive dress and traditions as for their arrogance and schoolboy cruelty. Seventeen-year-old American Andrew Taylor is enrolled in the esteemed British institution by his father, who hopes that the school’s discipline will put some distance between his son and his troubled past in the States.

But trouble—and danger—seem to follow Andrew. When one of his schoolmates and friends dies mysteriously of a severe pulmonary illness, Andrew is blamed and is soon an outcast, spurned by nearly all his peers. And there is the pale, strange boy who begins to visit him at night. Either Andrew is losing his mind, or the house legend about his dormitory being haunted is true.

When the school’s poet-in-residence, Piers Fawkes, is commissioned to write a play about Byron, one of Harrow’s most famous alumni, he casts Andrew in the title role. Andrew begins to discover uncanny links between himself and the renowned poet. In his loneliness and isolation, Andrew becomes obsessed with Lord Byron’s story and the poet’s status not only as a literary genius and infamous seducer but as a student at the very different Harrow of two centuries prior—a place rife with violence, squalor, incurable diseases, and tormented love affairs.

When frightening and tragic events from that long-ago past start to recur in Harrow’s present, and when the dark and deadly specter by whom Andrew’s been haunted seems to be all too real, Andrew is forced to solve a two-hundred-year-old literary mystery that threatens the lives of his friends and his teachers—and, most terrifyingly, his own.

Review –

This story reminds me of a good old fashioned ghost story, only this one has many many sexual undertones. It was a fast read and I enjoyed it very much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

From Booklist

Oliver’s follow-up to her smash debut, Before I Fall (2010), is another deft blend of realism and fantasy. The hook is irresistible: it’s the near future, a time when love has long since been identified as a disease called amor deliria nervosa, and 17-year-old Lena is 95 days away from the operation that everyone gets to cure themselves. Can you feel the swoon coming? Enter Alex, a rakish daredevil who, as it turns out, is one of the Invalids—a tribe of uncured who live on the lam in the surrounding wilderness. With the clock ticking down to her surgery, Lena is drawn into Alex’s world, one of passion and freedom, while her emotionally castrated family members hope to turn her into yet another complacent zombie. Oliver’s masterstroke is making a strong case for love as disease: the anxiety, depression, insomnia, and impulsive behavior of the smitten do smack of infirmity. The story bogs down as it revels in romance—Alex is standard-issue perfection—but the book never loses its A Clockwork Orange–style bite regarding safety versus choice. Grades 9-12. –Daniel Kraus
 
 
 
 
Review –
 
Amor Deliria Nervosa,  when love drives a person to madness. 
 
 Okay, now I know what I had all those years ago when I saw my husband to be  for the first time and was tongue around him and felt feverish. 
 
LOVE
 
This author has  such a great imagination to turn LOVE into a disease and make a book about it and a sequel to come next year.  I can’t wait!   I was so impressed with the story  that I told me husband about it and now he’s reading it. I can’t believe it.  I’m anxious to see if  he likes it as much as I did.
 
 
 
 
 
 04/21/2011
My husband finished the book and liked it.  Wait until I tell my daughter ( she’s an asst professor and young adult literature is her specialty).
 

Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs

When bodies in Montreal are too decayed or in too many pieces, or the cause of death too complex for the coroner’s office, forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan is called. A seemingly routine examination of a gunshot victim leads Tempe to a case that will take her from Canada to Israel in search of the bones the victim may have been killed for. Soon, the ancient and mysterious bones take center stage as Tempe, along with Detective Andrew Ryan and archeologist Jake Drum, try to learn who this ancient skeleton really was so that no one else will have to die trying to steal or hide it.

At the center of the story are several theories about the life of Jesus as well as the details about the Jewish freedom fighters at Masada: Did Jesus survive the crucifixion and live many years afterward? Did he have a family with many siblings or perhaps children of his own? Did he actually end up at Masada? Reichs’s story is not really like THE DA VINCI CODE although it skirts around some of the same theories. In fact, it actually refers to Dan Brown’s novel a few times. Reichs is instead interested in ancient history as known through anthropology and archaeology, and the murders are a way to get us all to Israel and give urgency to the quest to understand the skeleton.

Fans of murder mysteries, detective fiction and forensic drama, as well as those interested in religious fiction, all will find something to enjoy in CROSS BONES. The forensic anthropology aspect is detailed without being very gruesome or overly scientific. It is a fun and interesting whodunit with religious implications but without being preachy or even very religious in nature itself. The writing is solid and the pace is just right, perhaps a bit slower and less dramatic than similar novels or even Reichs’s previous Tempe Brennan books. Tempe Brennan is a likeable and, for the most part, realistic character.

Reichs bases some of her story on actual archaeological finds (and frauds) in Israel, giving just enough truth to make it quite interesting and unique. She references the work of archaeologist James Tabor as well as the controversial James Ossuary, supposedly discovered by Oded Golan in Israel several years ago. Indeed, you can find a plethora of information about many of the artifacts, archeology and theories she refers to online or in the library.

Review-

This is the first book by Kathy Reichs that I have read (or listened to) and I love it from start to finish. The characters seem very real and the interaction of the main ones made for a wonderful and pleasant reading (and listening)experience.

  I think I will have to find more Tempe Brennan books to add to my collection.

 If you like a good murder mystery with some historical fiction thrown in-give this a try.

 

 

Sweet Masterpiece by Connie Shelton

Product Description

Amazon.com bestselling author Connie Shelton has wowed readers with her down-to-earth female sleuth in her Charlie Parker mystery series. Now she introduces a new set of characters in a mystery series that contains a little romance, a little magic and a lot of chocolate!

Samantha Sweet is a lady who breaks into houses for a living, and the things she discovers often lead to trouble. When she finds an unmarked grave on a property in a remote spot in Taos County, New Mexico, Sam calls in the authorities. A small mural painted inside a closet in the abandoned house provides clues and Sam is caught up in an investigation. A fortune in artwork, a bogus will, and a wooden box that seems to give Sam powers she never dreamed she possessed–all lead to a genuine mystery for Sam to solve.

Then there is all that chocolate! Sam’s real goal in life is to use her elegant baking skills to open her own pastry shop, Sweet’s Sweets. She’s gaining quite the reputation as a baker with a magical touch, but a few obstacles stand in her way. Her grown daughter shows up on her doorstep–jobless and homeless; her bank account is at an all-time low; and trying to work from the tiny cramped kitchen in her home is becoming impossible.

Somehow, Sam copes and she finds that her dreams might just have a chance of coming true.

Review –

This was my first time reading this author and this series(which so far only consists of two books).  It combined, murder, mystery, humor and romance  to form a story that was a pleasure to read.  I intend to hunt down and find the next book and  I hope that the author plans to continue this series.  It’s a winner.

  

 

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

Product Description

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister’s face when she and Elias left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the horde as they found their way to the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.

Annah’s world stopped that day and she’s been waiting for him to come home ever since. Without him, her life doesn’t feel much different from that of the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Then she meets Catcher and everything feels alive again.

Except, Catcher has his own secrets — dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah’s longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it’s up to Annah — can she continue to live in a world drenched in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return’s destruction?

Review –
  
This is my favorite book of the trilogy because the action starts at the beginning and doesn’t stop. 
I must say that Annah’s character was a bit exaggerated, but if you’re an author you can do that.  She is a cross between SuperGirl, Nancy Drew, Bionic Woman, Mc Giver and the Energizer Bunny.  Nothing could hold her back and most ordinary characters would have died off in the first few chapters but not Annah, she kept going and going and going.
To me the end was left open to another book and we’ll have to wait and see if I’m right.  Some trilogies are meant to be more.
  
Although this is a YOUNG ADULT series, anyone with a love of zombies will love it.
 

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

From Booklist

Pearce mixes werewolves and classic fairy tales to create a lushly romantic story of two sisters who hunt the Fenris, werewolves who roam in search of adolescent girls to eat. Along with her younger sister, Rosie, Scarlett March was orphaned and nearly killed at age 11 by a Fenris who destroyed her grandmother and left her missing an eye. Eight years later, the sisters have become fierce hunters, avenging their grandmother and protecting unknowing young women with the help of their neighbor, a young woodsman named Silas, who wields a mean axe. Silas loves Rosie, but hesitates to come between the sisters’ strong bond. Scarlett and Rosie alternate narrating chapters, giving the reader a clear view of their inner conflicts. Despite plenty of gore and werewolf transformations, it’s the compelling love stories that drive the tale—the sisters’ affection for each other, the first breathless flush of infatuation between Rosie and Silas, and Scarlett’s love of the hunt. Readers of Stephenie Meyer, Donna Jo Napoli, and Shannon Hale will enjoy the excitement, romance, supernatural elements, and fairy tale references. Grades 8-12. –Debbie Carton –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
 
  
Review –
 
 
I must say that I didn’t care for this book in the beginning but the more I got into it the better it became and by the end it had me in tears.
This is another book based very loosley on the fairytale Little Red Riding Hood  and if I haven’t lost count I think it’s the third one I’ve read.  It’s amazing the imagination of author to come up with some many versions of one little children’s story.  My hat is off to them.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Devils Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Product Description

These days, everyone in Lake Eden, Minnesota, is buzzing with activity, and Hannah Swensen is no exception. But no matter how busy she may be, Hannah can always find time to help a friend in need – especially when there’s a murder to investigate. A new minister is in town to cover for Reverend Bob Knudson, who’s honeymooning with Hannah’s good friend Claire. But when the replacement is found face down in a plate of devil’s food cake with a bullet in his head, Hannah starts asking questions. She soon discovers that the good Reverend wasn’t quite the saintly fellow he appeared to be. It will take some more digging to find the culprit, but Hannah is sure of one thing: even the most half-baked murder plot can be oh so deadly…
Review –
 
I love this series of books because along with a great and humorous murder mystery, the author provides  20-25 yummy recipes for cakes, cookies and any other food that’s mentioned in the story.
 
I’ve made several of these recipes and wish she (the author) would put together a cook book  so all of the recipes would be in one place. Now, to find a recipe you have to go to the book that mentions that particular item and sometimes  I bring home the wrong book.  But, that’s no great loss, I just make a recipe in that book then go back to the library and check out the correct book.
 
I recommend this series to anyone that like mysteries, humor and baking.  You can’t go wrong.