French Pastry Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery #21 ) by Leslie Meier

Book Description

September 30, 2014
“Reading a new Leslie Meier mystery is like catching up with a dear old friend.” –Kate Carlisle, New York Times bestselling author Lucy Stone is saying “Au revoir!” to Tinker’s Cove, Maine, and “Bonjour!” to Paris to take in the sights, learn how to bake authentic French pastries, and experience some joie de vivre. But her dreams of la vie en rose are put on hold when the City of Lights turns deadly. . .Tinker’s Cove is abuzz with excitement when Norah, the queen of daytime TV, comes to town and selects Lucy and her pals to be featured in her “Women Who Make a Difference” episode. In recognition for their charitable work, the ladies and their husbands are awarded a dream vacation in Paris, complete with classes at Le Cooking School with renowned pastry chef Larry Bruneau. But their bon voyage is cut short when Lucy discovers the chef in a pool of blood on the second day of class. . .

Lucy always dreamed of visiting Paris, but with Chef Larry on death’s doorstep and Lucy and her friends detained for questioning, she’s worried she’ll be trading in her luxury accommodations for a sojourn in the Bastille. If she’s going to enjoy her vacation, she’ll have to unpack her sleuthing skills and clear her name.

Lucy’s search for the truth takes her from the towers of Notre Dame to the gardens of Versailles and a dozen charming bistros in between. But will she be able to track down a killer more elusive than the perfect macaron?

Review –

I’ve always been a big fan of the Lucy Stone Mysteries  but this one fell flat.  The plot over overly complex and took place in France instead of  Tinkers Cove plus there was a lot of French without good translations and it made for an unpleasant read. It is my least favorite of the series.

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The Last Dead Girl (David Loogan #3) by Harry Dolan

Book Description

January 9, 2014
David Loogan’s dark past is revealed in this prequel to Bad Things Happen—the critically acclaimed mystery that Stephen King called a “great fucking book.”On a rainy night in April, a chance encounter on a lonely road draws David into a romance with Jana Fletcher, a beautiful young law student. Jana is an enigma: living in a run-down apartment and sporting a bruise on her cheek that she refuses to explain. David would like to know her secrets, but he lets them lie—until it’s too late.
When Jana is brutally murdered, the police consider David a prime suspect. But as he sets out to uncover the truth about Jana, he begins to realize he’s treading a very dangerous path—and that her killer is watching every move he makes.
Review –
This is the first book that I have read by this author and is a “prequel” to his other books but since I had no knowledge of his other works this was a total surprise for me.
It is a murder mystery written with a Noir feel to it. There are  many flashbacks but they are not in any order and were confusing at times but because the plot was so mesmerizing I  didn’t let that hinder my five-star rating of the book. There are twists and turns that you don’t see coming and that is always a plus in a good mystery.  If you are fond of Noir and great murder mysteries – put this one on the top of your “to be read” list. I had the audio version and had to make myself take breaks or I would have listened to it straight through and it was almost thirteen hours long!
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What Zombies Fear: A Father’s Quest (What Zombies Fear #1) by Kirk Allmond

Book Description

January 16, 2014
When VictorTookes went to work that beautiful spring day, he never expected to see a man eaten alive in the street in front of his office. After convincing himself that they really were zombies, he makes a trip from his house in Pennsylvania to his family home in Virginia, battling zombies all the way. His three and ahalf year old son was bitten on the leg, but doesn’t turn into a zombie. Instead, he turns into something more than human.Victor quickly discovers that everything he knew about zombies was wrong. Not all of them were mindless, uncoordinated, rotting ghouls; some of them were bigger, faster, stronger or smarter than when they were human.

A small percentage of humans are genetically immune to the parasite. Instead of turning these humans into mindless shamblers, they gain enhanced abilities. These new abilities will be pushed to their limits in their quest to carve out a safe haven to call home.

How will he keep his son safe when the world crumbles around him?

Review –
Maybe it’s because I’ve read so many Zombie books but I found this one to be just okay, nothing really special jumped out at me. I don’t plan on reading the other books in the series.
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Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity #1) by Elizabeth Wein

Book Description:

Published: February 6, 2012

 

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

 

Review –

Rarely do you find Young Adult books that deal with subjects other than vampires, zombies, teen angst,young love, and paranormal activity and that’s why this book is so special.  It’s takes place in Europe during World War II and revolves around the lives of two very brave teenage girls. Friendship, loyalty and love of country draws them together in a way that not even they could understand,  It is truly profound reading.

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We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Book Description:

Published: May 13, 2014

 

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

 

Review –

I really didn’t know how to feel about this book when I first started listening to it, but it was only five discs long so what did I have to lose?

It involves a private island, three sisters of a demanding, dominating father and three cousins, all rich and one boy who is not but is allowed to come to the island also during the summer months. They have good time and bad times and times that Cadence, the protagonist,  can’t remember because of the severe migraine headaches she suffers as the result of an accident the summer of her 15th year. After the accident she isn’t allowed to go back to the island because of her fragile condition and headaches. She sends emails to her two cousins which are never answered and wonders why Gat, the boy she loves from New York hasn’t been to see her.  Finally she is there on the island  again at the age of seventeen enjoying  their company and having her aunts, Grandfather and other cousins tip toeing around her. Why, she wonders?

The story deals with teen angst, issues of class and race and mostly on the dysfunctional family that she is a part of and has such a profound effect on her and her missing memories.

The ending was one that I did not see coming and made me cry. I had to pull over (I was listening to this in my car while running errands) until I could get a grip. This is another book that will haunt me for a very long time.

I rated this book 5 stars *****

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14 by Peter Clines

Book Description

June 5, 2012
Chosen by Audible.com as the best sci-fi novel of 2012!

Padlocked doors. Strange light fixtures. Mutant cockroaches.

There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment.

Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much.

At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

Because every room in this old Los Angeles brownstone has a mystery or two. Mysteries that stretch back over a hundred years. Some of them are in plain sight. Some are behind locked doors. And all together these mysteries could mean the end of Nate and his friends.

Or the end of everything…

Review –
I just finished listening to the audio version of 14 by Peter Clines and I have to say I was blown away. Thank heavens I ran across this one while browsing for something new and exciting to listen to.
From the very beginning it held me spellbound. I even put off doing some things around the house just so I could listen to what happened next to the brave band of tenants of a very strange building in Los Angles. It was creepy and mysterious,  and Ray Porter, the narrator did a superb job with all the voices of the different characters. He  really made them come alive.  The plot was right up there with Twilight Zone and I found myself talking back to the characters or yelling at them to pedal faster. I’m not going to give anything away so you’ll have to read or listen to the book to find out where they were pedaling to or from.  Fantastic book and I rated it 5 stars *****. I can truthfully say that this book will NEVER leave my memory.
I rated this book 5 stars *****
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Everblue (Mer Tales) by Brenda Pandos

Book Description

February 15, 2014
She wanted her life to change… he wanted his to stay the same.Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana’s twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.

Ashlyn is about to discover what she’d thought to be true her whole life, wasn’t, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn’s life forever.

Review –
Mermaid books are not books I ever read but in the last couple of weeks this is the second one I’ve finished.(See Monstrous Beauty in a previous post)
This is a very fast read and a bit or should I say a lot far-fetched (but what books about Mermaids aren’t?)  and it deals with teenage feelings of love, the strong bond of family and has plenty of action. It was good enough for me to read the next in the Mer Tales series, which I will report on at a   later date.
Though strange it is a very good read.
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The Gods of Guilt (Mickey Haller #5) by Michael Connelly

Book Description

December 2, 2013
Mickey Haller gets the text, “Call me ASAP – 187,” and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game.When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life. Far from saving her, Mickey may have been the one who put her in danger.

Haunted by the ghosts of his past, Mickey must work tirelessly and bring all his skill to bear on a case that could mean his ultimate redemption or proof of his ultimate guilt. The Gods of Guilt shows once again why “Michael Connelly excels, easily surpassing John Grisham in the building of courtroom suspense” (Los Angeles Times).

Review –
I normally don’t read a lot of courtroom drama but in the case of the  Mickey Haller series I make an exception. Courtroom proceedings can sometimes come across as boring and dry but author, Michael Connelly does it without causing the reader to lose interest or to skip pages.  This is another great book in the Mickey Haller  series and I’m looking forward to the next one.
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Taboo by Casey Hill

Book Description

January 27, 2011
Introducing CSI Reilly Steel…
The first forensic thriller in a police procedural crime fiction mystery series for fans of Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs and Karin Slaughter, or TV shows CSI and Criminal Minds.

Forensic investigator Reilly Steel, Quantico-trained and California-born and bred, imagined Dublin to be a far cry from bustling San Francisco, a sleepy backwater where she can lay past ghosts to rest and start anew.
She’s arrived in Ireland to drag the Garda forensics team into the 21st-century plus keep tabs on her Irish-born father who’s increasingly seeking solace in the bottle after a past tragedy.
But a brutal serial killer soon puts paid to that. A young man and woman are found dead in a hotel room, the gunshot wounds on their naked bodies suggesting a suicide pact. But as Reilly and the team dig deeper and more bodies are discovered, they soon realize that a twisted murderer is at work, one who seeks to upset society’s norms in the most sickening way imaginable…

Review –
This is a great ” who done it” for any murder mystery fan. I’m looking forward to reading more of this series.
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Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Book Description

September 4, 2012
Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean – but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
Review –
This is a wonderful story that is really two stories in one. One about mermaids and the other about ghosts and combines them flawlessly.  The story is also told in flashbacks so we learn the back story of some of the ghosts and the main mermaid. It also tells of a curse and of folklore of sea creatures. The mermaid depicted in Monstrous Beauty are not the “little mermaid” type but instead dark, driven, fierce and deadly.
Saying all that, it was a beautiful story of love and loss and I recommend  it to those who enjoy books about mermaids and those who never thought of reading a book about mermaids.

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