Category Archives: Crime Fiction

Amazing: It’s almost September already!

Here’s my multi-genre list of September reviews.  As usual I post it early so you can pre-order or reserve them at your library in time to get the first copy available.  I hope you find some amazing reads for the coming month.

Nora-Adrienne

 

September 2016

Week of September 1st. – 9th.

Paint the Town Dead – A Silver Six Crafting Mystery #2 – Nancy Haddock *

By Familiar Means – A Witch’s Cat Mystery #2 – Delia James *

Deja Who – MaryJanice Davidson *

Letters from Paris – Paris Key novel #2 – Juliet Blackwell *

Cancelled by Murder – A Postmistress Mystery #2 – Jean Flowers *

Murder of a Cranky Cat Catnapper – A Scumble River Mystery #19 – Denise Swanson *

No Farm, No Foul – A Farmer’s Daughter Mystery #1 – Peg Cochran *

Digging up Dirt – A Southern Ladies Mystery #3 – Miranda James *

Cheddar Off Dead – An Undercover Dish Mystery #2 – Julia Buckley *

Apprentice in Death – In Death #43 – J.D. Robb *

My Wild Irish Dragon – Boston Dragons #2 – Ashlyn Chase *

Once Broken Faith – An October Daye Novel #10 – Seanan McGuire *

The Question of the Felonious Friend – Asperger’ #3 – E.J. Copperman/Jeff Cohen *

Guardian’s Mate – A Shifter Unbound Novel – Jennifer Ashley *

Closed Casket – The New Hercule Poirot Mysteries – Sophie Hannah/Agatha Christie *

Black and Blueberry Die – A Fresh Baked Mystery – Livia J. Washburn *

Two Tall Tails – A Magical Cats Mystery #9 – Sofie Kelly *

Apprentice in Death – In Death #43 – J.D. Robb *

Santorini Caesars – Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis #8 – Jeffrey Siger *

 

Week of September 12th.

Driving Heat – Nikki Heat #7 – Richard Castle *

Death of an Avid Reader – Kate Shackleton #6 – Frances Brody *

 

Week of September 19th.

The Magician – Dark Arcana #1 – E.J. Stevens *

By Familiar Means – A Witch’s Cat Mystery #2 – Delia James *

Immortal Nights – An Argeneau Novel #24 – Lynsay Sands *

Magic Binds – A Kate Daniels Novel – Ilona Andrews *

Pushing up Daisies – An Agatha Raisin Mystery #27– M.C. Beaton *

Crushing on Love – Love in Bloom (The Bradens) – Melissa Foster *

Not Quite Perfect – Not Quite Perfect series book 6 – Catherine Bybee *

 

Week of September 26th.

Death by Pumpkin Spice – A Bookstore Café Mystery – Alex Erickson *

It’s Your Party, Die if You Want To – A Liv and Di Mystery – Vickie Fee *

The Semi-Sweet Hereafter – A Chocolate Whisperer Mystery #3– Colette London *

High Kicks, Hot Chocolate, and Homicides – A Happy-Hoofers Mystery #5– Mary McHugh *

British Manor Murder – A Lucy Stone Mystery – Leslie Meier *

Christmas Caramel Murder – A Hannah Swenson Mystery – Joanne Fluke *

Shadow Silence – Whisper Hollow #2 – Yasmine Galenorn *

Magic Binds – A Kate Daniels Novel – Ilona Andrews *

A Cherry Cola Christmas – A Cherry Cola Book Club Novel – Ashton Lee *

A March to Remember – A Hattie Davis Mystery – Anna Loan – Wilsey *

Before She Dies – Suspense Mystery – Mary Burton *

Bite Me – The Pride Series #9 – Shelly Laurenston *

Nick of Time – Suspense/Thriller/Action – John Gilstrap *

Shoot ‘em Up – A Maisie McGrane Mystery #3 – Janey Mack *

The Babe Ruth Deception – A Fraser and Cook Mystery #3 – David O. Stewart *

The Bark  Before Christmas – A Melanie Travis Canine Mystery – Laurien Berenson *

The Coldwater Warm Hearts Club – A Contemporary Novel – Lexi Eddings *

The House on Honeysuckle Lane – An Oliver’s Well Novel #2 – Mary McDonough *

The Murder of a Queen Bee – A Henny Penny Farmette Mystery #2 – Meera Lester *

Dangerous Protector – Aegis Group Book #5 – Sidney Bristol *

Dandelion Dead – A Natural Remedies Mystery #4 – Chrystle Fiedler *

 

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Filed under Advanced Sneak Peak, Comedy, Cozy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal Cozy, Paranormal Mystery, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Sci-Fi, Steampunk, Supernatural Cozy, Urban Fantasy, Women Mystery Authors, YA Fiction/Fantasy, YA Paranormal

The Fixer is a Must Read Book

The FixerThe Fixer

Author: Joseph Finder

Copyright:  June 2015

Publisher: Dutton

When former investigative reporter Rick Hoffman loses his job, fiancée, and apartment, his only option is to move back into — and renovate — the home of his miserable youth, now empty and in decay since the stroke that put his father in a nursing home.

As Rick starts to pull apart the old house, he makes an electrifying discovery — millions of dollars hidden in the walls. It’s enough money to completely transform Rick’s life — and everything he thought he knew about his father.  Yet the more of his father’s hidden past that Rick brings to light, the more dangerous his present becomes. Soon, he finds himself on the run from deadly enemies desperate to keep the past buried, and only solving the mystery of his father — a man who has been unable to communicate, comprehend, or care for himself for almost 20 years — will save Rick… if he can survive long enough to do it.

This is probably the most interesting and mind boggling book I’ve read in many years. I’d seen the blurb somewhere on line and immediately put it on hold at my local library. I’ve been reading it for almost a week and had trouble putting it down when there were other things I needed to be doing.

This is a story, a murder mystery, and an adventure. It all happens because a young man (Rick Hoffman) is “downsized” from his second career choice job (lots of glitz and money but no substance. He lost everything that he thought mattered to him and finds himself living in his old family home. The house is decrepit and in need of major repairs before he can sell it and have money to move on with.

His next door neighbor approaches him with an offer to do the repairs for a share of the sale. The next day he and this neighbor do some basic work tearing out a wall and Rick sees something hidden between the walls and at that moment his whole life is changed. Rick now  wants to find out the truth about his father who has been in a nursing home for eighteen years after supposedly having a stroke.  His research into his father’s life will lead him down a path full of danger and possible death.

If you read any book this year you need to make it this one.

FTC Full Disclosure:  I took this book out of the Brooklyn Public Library

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“Mad” Mick Murphy will Blow You Away

Free Range Institution

By: Michaels Haskins

Copyright February 2011

Publisher Five Star

When journalist Liam “Mick” Murphy lies to the chief of police in order to get a story, he uncovers a conspiracy to smuggle a cheap, lethal cocaine-based drug through Key West. Before long, local authorities, federal agents and drug cartel hit men are looking for Murphy because of what they think he knows. With help from an eclectic group of friends, including an old black[ops acquaintance from Central America, Murphy sets out to prove who’s behind the smuggling plot and distance himself from the violence that has spawned havoc on the island.

Soon, Key West starts to look like the Wild West as bodies are scattered in the streets and businesses get shot up. Murphy and his ragtag army do their best to survive and strike back, but stopping the drug delivery becomes impossible when the smugglers outgun Murphy’s crew in a grisly battle on the water. Back in Key West, Murphy escapes more mayhem and confronts the conspirators, with devastating results.

Liam “Mick” Murphy had a career in journalism that took him all over the world.  After a devastating event cause him to quit full time reporting, he semi retired to the Florida Keys.  There he works as a free lance writer and journalist for hire.  A phone call from a friend causes him to be caught at the sight of that friend’s demise.  He knows he shouldn’t lie to the cops, he knows that it will only come back to bite him in the rear. But he does it anyway because he also knows that his friend’s death is not a suicide.

Within days of his friend Jay Bruels’ death he is caught up in what turns out to be a very nasty murder and conspiracy operation by elected local officials, bought Federal Agents and a South American Drug cartel. These people were using the Keys as their entry point to bring their drugs into the country, and now they also wanted to bring in an extremely cheap and extremely deadly new drug.

Mick and his on again off again girl friend Tita Toledo (a very sought after attorney) are going to have their lives and their relationship stretched well past the breaking point.  With the help of a rag tag group of friends, (who by some coincidence are all agents, former agents) plan and run their own investigation into the murders and drugs.  There will be shoot outs, high speed boat chases, and well… You’ll just have to read the book to find out who does what to whom, and who wins out at the end.

This was my first taste of  a Mad Mick Murphy book and I love it.  Mick reminds me a little of Travis McGee what with the way he gets involved in things and helping friends.  I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series for as long as the author offers stories to read.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received this book from the author who only asked for a fair and honest review.

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The Arranger is a Chilling Look at the Future

The Arranger

By L.J. Sellers

Copyright August 2011

Publisher Spellbinder Press

 

The year is 2023 and ex-detective Lara Evans is working as a freelance paramedic in a bleak new world. She responds to an emergency call and is nearly killed when a shooter flees the home. Inside she finds the federal employment commissioner wounded, but she’s able to save his life.

The next day Lara leaves for the Gauntlet—a national competition of intense physical and mental challenges with high stakes for her home state. She spots the assailant lurking at the arena and soon after, she lands in deep trouble. Who is the mysterious killer and what is motivating him? Can Lara stop him, stay alive, and win the Gauntlet?

 

Lara Evans has had a really bad couple of years.  She’s getting it together as a freelance paramedic and is a contestant in the Gauntlet. In this reality the country is in deeper shit then even we see in the daily papers or on the news.  By hopefully winning this contest, she will bring big money to her state and hometown, along with new jobs that will mean police and firemen can  be put back to work.

This story is shown through the eyes of two main characters who are introduced to us right from the start.   Paul Madden is an IT specialist working for the government and is given a new project to work on that will take up all his work time.  His normal routines will be covered by a co-worker.  At this point I wondered what these two people, in differing parts of the country, with two different jobs had in common, and therein sits the basis for this mystery based in a near and almost very real seeming America.

I’m not going to hand out any spoilers. The book blurb tells you a lot more then you need to know, and should entice you into buying, borrowing, or stealing this book for your reading enjoyment.

L. J. Sellers is the author of the Detective Jackson series, and two other freestanding stories.  I look forward to reading her next books, and will also be looking for the ones that are already on the shelves.

L.J. can be found at https://www.facebook.com/ljsellers and also at http://ljsellers.com/

FTC Full Disclosure: I was sent this book by the author who only hoped for a fair review of the story.

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A New Star in the Real Estate Mystery Genre

The Bad Always Die Twice

By Cheryl Crane

Copyright August 2011

Publisher Kensington

 

For Nikki Harper, realtor to the stars and daughter of 1950s screen goddess Victoria Bordeaux, Hollywood is home. A completely dysfunctional home populated by a cast of crazies, true, but home nonetheless. While Nikki’s no stranger to scandal, she’s shocked to receive a hysterical phone call from her business partner, Jessica Martin, saying that TV has-been Rex March has been found dead in Jessica’s bed.

More shocking than Rex’s death is the fact that, as far as anyone knew, Rex was already dead. Six months ago, the star of the seventies sitcom Shipwrecked Vacation was supposedly killed when his plane crashed in the Mojave Desert. Nikki and Jessica recently sold his mansion on behalf of his widow, Edith. It’s obvious to Nikki that Jessica is being framed, but by whom? And why? And how on earth can Rex be dead a second time?

In search of answers, Nikki turns to the one person she can always count on. From her pink boudoir in her Beverly Hills mansion, the ever-glamorous Victoria suggests Nikki focus her sleuthing on Rex’s not-so-grieving widow. And there’s a veritable casting couch full of other candidates, including Edith’s boy-toy lover, Rex’s scheming lawyer (like there’s any other kind), and the diner waitress with whom Rex was having one of his numerous affairs. But with the killer readying for a repeat performance, Nikki will have to act fast—before her own screen fades to black. . .

Nicolette Harper was raised in the middle of the Hollywood hype, her mother a world famous movie star.  Now, Nikki Harper, all grown up, and not needing to work for a living, spends her time selling high end homes in the Hollywood and Beverly Hills Real Estate business.  She partners with her best friend Jessica Martin and between them they enjoy their work and the people they meet.

Nikki and Jessica are at a party hosted by Edith March, the widow of TV has – been Rex March, whose house they had sold for her.  Nikki is not a party person and as soon as she’s talked to her hostess, and seen her mother make her famous entrance she’s off and heading home to take care of her two dogs.  Little knowing that she is going to be drawn into a murder that will dredge up her feelings about her own father’s murder years ago and her distrust of the police in finding the killer.  The biggest question of course is Rex died in a plane crash, how can his newly dead body turn up on Jessica’s bed.

This is the first book in Cheryl Crane’s new real estate murder mysteries.  I wouldn’t quite call them cozies. I would call them well written, reader involved, and a book you won’t want to put down till you finish it.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher with their hope that I would read it and write a review.

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Killer Listing is a great buy

Killer Listing

By: Vicki Doudera

Copyright April 2011

Publisher Midnight Ink

 

Synopses

Million-dollar listings and hefty commissions come easily for Kyle Cameron, south Florida’s star broker. But her career ends abruptly when she is fatally stabbed at an open house. Because of a family friend’s longstanding ties to the Cameron clan, realtor Darby Farr gets pulled into the investigation and learns that Kyle had a shocking secret—one that could’ve sealed her violent fate. Suspects abound, including Kyle’s estranged suicidal husband; her ex-lover, Foster McFarlin, a ruthless billionaire developer; and Foster’s resentful, politically ambitious wife. And Darby’s investigating puts her next on the killer’s hit list.

Review

Darby is visiting with her friend and partner (in her New England Office) Helen Near down in Serenidad Key, Florida.  She’s there to meet and hopefully sell off her shares in the Florida business that she inherited from her aunt Jane.  Not to be picky but this now makes 3 companies that Darby is involved in. But she is a very sharp young woman and a well respected Real Estate Broker in her own right.

When Kyle Cameron is found dead at the site of a house showing, Darby is asked by the Detective in charge of the case to see if she can find out anything that would help.  It appears that Darby’s skill as an amateur detective have followed her from New England to Florida.  So doing what she does best (snooping around and asking leading questions) she extends her visit (since she also needs to find a new buyer for her share of Near and Farr) and starts putting together the clues that will ultimately reveal the true killer and put another notch in her legend.

On a personal note, I grew up in my family’s real estate business. And never in all my years of working in the office, helping with appraisals and collecting rents did I ever have adventures like Darby.

Vicki Doudera is a full time writer and Real Estate agent. She can be found at: http://www.vickidoudera.com/  and https://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1242810940

FTC Full Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my local library with the full intent of reviewing it.

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The Cruel Ever After is a HIT

The Cruel Ever After

By: Ellen Hart

Copyright December 2010

Publisher Minotaur Books

Jane Lawless, Minneapolis restaurateur has been in a bit of a slump lately.  She is just a few degrees off of normal, what with her love life almost nonexistent, and staying on top of two restaurants while still planning her father’s birthday party.  It’s no wonder she’s ready to jump out of her skin when her ex husband Chester Garrity shows up at her restaurant looking for help.

Chester is someone who would qualify as a “hustler” and at the moment he is trying to work a deal to sell a “priceless artifact” which was stolen from the Baghdad Museum.  Unfortunately his buy ends up dead and he is fingered for the murder.  He needs Jane to help him out, and when the brown stuff hits the fan, she ends up in the middle of the investigation with her BFF Cordelia, she is off to save the day.

Ellen Hart is the Nationally Award winning author of the Jane Lawless Mysteries, and also the Sophie Greenway Mystery Series.

Ms. Hart can be found hanging out at www.ellenhart.com and http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=549913842&sk=info

FTC Full Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my local library with full intentions of reviewing it.

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A Sporting Murder – more then your average cozy

 

A Sporting Murder

By: Chester D. Campbell

Published by Night Shadow Press

Copyright October 2010

Goodwill towards men isn’t the Holiday Theme when Greg and Jill McKenzie are hired to investigate rumors that something isn’t kosher about a deal in the works to bring an NBA Basketball team to Nashville. When Greg goes off to meet an informant it is only to find the young man in question shot to death. This won’t be the only blow to his investigation because the whole case gets explosive including his Jeep.

Greg is a retired Air Force investigator who works now as a licensed Private Investigator along with Jill his wife.  Their tenacity and combined brain power are sure to win out over the crooks and wise guys trying to stop them. But between all the usual suspects, the unusual suspects, the unexpected suspects AND a felon who was released from Federal Prison without notifying Greg that this person was out?  It’s going to be a real roller coaster ride till he fingers the bad guy and solves the case.

This is book five in the Greg McKenzie Mystery series and I’m new to it.  I won’t be new anymore as I intend to read the backlist and all the new books to come.

FTC Full Disclosure:  This book was sent to me by the author in hopes I would review it.

 

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Filed under Crime Fiction, Police Procedural Mystery