Sunday, June 26, 2016

Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister

Kate hasn't had a good life.  Her parents were performers and drug her along from place to place.  She met a man she loved who died at a young age.  She found herself pregnant.  Her parents married her to a man who gave them some money for her and she lost the baby.  Then he dies and she becomes a widow.  She has to do something to make money.  She decides she knows what she wants to be and then she has to convince her future employer she can do it.

Sourcebooks Landmark and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can pickup a copy now.

This is a very good read.  It's historical fiction based on real people.  Kate aspires to be the first woman Pinkerton agent.  After all, someone has to be the first.  The problem is that the men don't want a woman agent and the boss thinks she might get hurt.  She's given a test case and finds that it's not quite as easy as she imagined.  Especially not when she discovers she's not the only Pinkerton agent there that night.

Her theater experience comes in handy as she changes from one person to another and acts the part.  She does what she needs to, solves cases and advances in the company by becoming head of the women's division.  The women she hires don't always make it.  They don't have her hard core.  What she never expected was to fall in love, but fall in love she did.  When he's killed on his next assignment, she's determined to avenge his death.  She manages that, not without some personal loss.  This lady is one tough cookie whose fortitude and inner strength give her the courage to do what she needs to do despite pain. She's someone to admire for what she accomplished in life even if with all the hardships.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Lo is trying to move up in the journalist's world and this is her big chance.  Her boss is pregnant and she gets to fill in on a luxury cruise.  If she gets those aboard to remember her, she has a better chance for advancement.  She also needs to write really good reports but she can handle that.  If only she hadn't looked out on the veranda when she did...

Gallery/Scout Press and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published July 19th.

Lo suffers from anxiety and depression.  She has panic attacks.  When she witnesses murder, she immediately calls it in.  There is no sign of the evidence she quoted and also no sign of anyone living in Cabin 10.  She knows there was someone there, she borrowed their mascara because she forgot hers.  She shows the security man the tube.  That means nothing to him.  He humors her and investigates as well as he can under the circumstances.  Nothing is found.  And then the mascara going missing.

Is she losing her mind or did it really happen?  Security suggests the fact since that she is taking those pills and drank heavily, it might be her imagination.  After all, she was burgled right before she left on the trip and she might have mixed the two up in her mind.

Being out on the ocean means there's no escape.  There's also too many people that could be a killer.  Even her old boyfriend is acting weird and telling her secrets.  Is there anyone she can trust?

She knows what she knows, but does she?  Not knowing if you're in your right mind is very scary.  She soon finds out she did see someone die but it doesn't do much good if she's the next one to go...

This will keep you glued to your seat while reading it.  It's not a set down and walk away book; it's a keep reading book that will still be bothering you a bit when you're done reading.  The psychological suspense is top notch.  Give it a read and see.

Random Acts: A Joanna Brady and Ali Reynolds Novella by J. A. Jance

Joanna is pregnant and worrying about her reelection as sheriff.  Her daughter and her husband are a bit worried about it, too, but they are being supportive.  She sure didn't need to get a phone call telling her that her mother and stepfather had been in accident.  George died, mom was in the hospital and it didn't look good.  She and her husband drop everything and head for the hospital her mother is in...

Witness Impulse and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you). It's being published today.

When Joanna and her husband arrive, they get bad news that her mother has passed on also.  Joanna is not going to take this laying down.  She gets on the phone with the local sheriff and gets permission to work with the local law to help solve this case.  Her family had no enemies.  Her mother's last words were "red dot".  She understands that is a laser sight from a rifle and tells the cop that.  He thinks it was just a traffic accident due to a medical condition until the finds the bullet holes...

Looking for a random killer isn't easy, and Joanna asks her friend Ali for help.  Top surveillance teams are hard to find, but Ali's got one.  She's also a friend and helps quickly.

I like both of these characters of Ms. Jance.  They are strong women who use their brains and their expertise to succeed at their goals.  If you haven't met them yet, check out the series on them.  There's some real good reading there.

In this case, Ali does help find the killer.  It was a silly sad thing and all the deaths involved were needless.  Joanna is going have to do some damage control in the next book.  She still has an election to get through and the will is going to cause a problem... 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia

Hattie is a high school student looking forward to graduation.  She intends to go to New York and come into her own there.  Any place is better than home and the bigger the better.  She's always excelled at everything and generally gets her own way all time.  But things are about to change...

Emily Bestler Books sent me a manuscript to read for review (thank you).  This book will be published on January 3rd.

Hattie is a bit of a mixed up kid.  She has goals and dreams and thinks everyone else should adhere to her wishes.  When she pushes the issues, she ends up ruining lives.  But when they find her dead in a deserted barn, no one realizes what a manipulator she was or how anyone could want her dead.  As they dig in the case and find DNA that matches a teacher, they think they have their killer.  

Everyone she's touched has been harmed in some way.  She was acting in her world, not being real.  She didn't understand the danger.  The murder was a moment of insanity but by whom?  The teacher denied hurting her, his wife talks to him, and he confesses.  What's that about?

The more the police dig, the uglier the truth gets.  At the end, justice is served.  But she's still impacted the small town and left her mark on many.  It will be years before wounds heal.  What's even more ironic is that Hattie left a recording behind that told the story in her own words.  This book will work on your head...

Magic Words From the Ancient Oral Tradition of the Inuit by Edward Field

The Inuits have ancient traditions passed down from their ancestors.  Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen kept a diary and Mr. Field worked on translating it and telling the Inuit's tales he found within.

Vanita Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

The illustrations in this book are vibrant and alive.  They have lots of colors, artwork of the animals in their traditional designs and the ideas that are expressed are wondrous.

Long ago, men could become animals and animals could become men.  They all got along and even simple requests or a single word could cause magic.

Looking at this world made me wish our world was more like that.  I'm content being me, but having peace and quiet would be nice.  Especially if we all got along.

This book is a joy to read.  See what you think...

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Memory of Lemon by Judith Fertig

The cake therapist is back but she's not having any luck figuring out the flavors for the monied wedding she's working on.  The daughter wants a hippie wedding, the mother is all pomp and circumstance and wants a very formal one.  How will she make them both happy?

Berkley sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can grab a copy now.

Claire is nicknamed Neely and she's an excellent pastry chef.  Her talent is being able to meet and talk to people and while they sample her goods, she picks up emotions that tell her what flavors will be their favorite.  But this mother/daughter combo send her no signals.  The only thing she picks up is some green when the mother tries to manipulate her daughter.

If that wasn't enough of a problem, her husband doesn't want to get divorced.  The fact that he ran around her and slept more with other women than with her doesn't matter.  She pushes, he pushes back.  She's got another male friend she'd like to date but she can't while she's still married because of a prenuptial agreement.  He could even take her store and her grandmother's house.  His lawyer is even taking pictures of her.

Grandma isn't doing well, her long-lost father is starting to write to her, and she still has to figure out how to do a wedding pie.  Life is complicated right now.

There's a lot of history thrown in here in between present day.  The past fascinates me and this story includes slaves as well as whites.  Some of the herbal talent goes way back.  As these memories start coming back to Neely, she learns more about her skill and about her father and family.

I like the mix of past and present and enjoyed this tale.  It also has a good ending, which very well could be a new beginning.  I'll be watching for another in this series.

Hogs of the Hedge by AC Michael

Horace's garden was infested by slugs.  He tried everything.  He even used a slingshot to send them far away but they were back every morning.  He tried salt.  They made a bridge of slugs to get across.  He only had one choice...

Publishing Push and the author allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can find a copy on Amazon.

The text rhymes, the illustrations look like they were done by a young one, and the story is a bit silly but fun to read.

Horace posts a big sign asking for help and that means the hogs will be coming shortly.  The slugs are terrified.  They've heard all these tales about how vicious they are and how they enjoy eating them.  But they still stay in the garden.  And the hogs arrive...

Turns out they are hedge hogs and they eat worms, not slugs.  But they do have an idea of how to help Horace and the slugs both.

His flowers grow well and so do his cabbages.  He might wish the slugs had gotten the cabbages...