Friday, September 4, 2015

The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan

Inspector Chopra is retired now.  But when he sees a man he thought was dead, he just can't stop investigating...

Redhook and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book (thank you).  It will be published September 15th.

I loved this story.  The human trafficking is awful but how can you not enjoy a policeman who's new assistant is a baby elephant?  His uncle left him the baby as part of his inheritance.  (Who gives away baby elephants?)  The elephant isn't eating so he's worried about his health.  He looks like he's grieving, will he live or die?  He names it Ganesh, talks to the zoo vet, and arranges for it to go a conservation site.  At the time, it sounded a good solution.

When he determines the bad man never died, he's going to take him down.  So he's not a cop anymore; it doesn't mean he lost his investigative skills!  It takes some doing to find a man in hiding.  He's also investigating the death of a young man who shouldn't have drowned; he's sure it's murder.  But the police are closing the case.  So now he has two cases to pursue.  It's OK, he doesn't have much else to do.

In the meantime, his wife thinks he has another woman because he's gone so much and she can't have a child.  His mother-in-law is just plain cranky.  When Ganesh gets flooded, he takes him in the apartment and creates quite an upset all around.  Poppy medicates the elephant so he doesn't catch cold, then he's returned to the yard below.

Chopra is just lucky the elephant has taken a liking to him.  Before the story is over, Ganesh saves his life twice.  Ganesh has also secured his home with them.  I can't wait to read more in this series.  Chopra is setting up a private investigator's business and Ganesh will be helping him with it.  I can see more fun in the future books about this family.

The Constable's Tale: A Novel of Colonial America by Donald Smith

The Constable is a young man, not long married, who has only dealt with simple cases, like drunks.  Now he's faced with a dead family:  mother, father and son.  The baby is still alive, which is a wonder.  The only clue is a Freemason badge and a map under the crib.  The town believes it was an attack by Indians.  There is only one old Indian in the area.  So they nab him and jail him and would lynch him if they could.  Harry doesn't think he's done it, so he heads off to follow the Freemason badge and try to find out who owned it.

Pegasus Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 15th.

This is not just a murder mystery.  It's the story of a country at war, spies, double-crossers, liars and Harry's old girlfriend.  He even encounters a beautiful woman who manages to seduce him even though he's married.  He'll be even more scandalized later in the story when he finds she's not what seems either.

Harry learns the moneyed people he was jealous of in town aren't; most have squandered all their wealth and only have debt now.  He learns how easy it is to break your vows.  He also discovers that knowing the truth doesn't mean you have to use it for your benefit.

Harry lives in desperate times with desperate people and as his journey keeps taking him further from home, it makes him more susceptible to trouble.  His father went to war and never returned.  He raised by that old Indian and an Uncle.  He's different from most people because of that.  He struggles to do the right thing but as things get grayer and grayer, it's hard to tell just what the right thing is.

Harry's moral road is bumpy and full of ruts.  He has to make decisions he hope he won't live to regret.  But he has a wife and a home and a new baby on the way.  Harry'll survive.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Every Word by Ellie Marney

Mycroft has taken off.  He's with his boss but he didn't talk to her before he left.  Probably because he knew what she would say...

Tundra Books and the author sent me an ARC of this to review (thank you).  It killed me, but I waited until closer to the publication date.  It will be coming out September 8th.

I was totally captured by the first book in this series and couldn't believe this one would exceed in wonder.  But it did.  I was captivated from the first page and I got extremely worried about the characters in the course of the story.  It won't bore you.

Rachel has an opportunity to follow Mycroft and she goes to support him.  He's in London and he's investigating a car crash that was just like his parents.  He thinks they are related.  He hasn't even told Rachel the whole story; he doesn't want to talk about it.  She's worried he'll go off the deep end if he doesn't deal with his old hurt.  She's also worried that he doesn't trust enough to love but she loves him.

They are working together on the case when Rachel makes a big mistake.  She decides to go examine the dead professor's office and gains entry by saying she's his niece.  That backfires when she gets kidnapped because she might know where the missing folio is.  It's worth a lot of money and the professor was a gambler.  He owed money; they want the folio.  That was what Rachel was looking for, but she has no idea where it is.  Try telling them that.

Soon, Mycroft is with her.  And things get worse...

I loved this book.  The bad guys are really bad, they are tied to Mycroft's parents murder, and there's action on almost every page.  There is romance involved, too, but it's a back story.   This is a story about life, determination, and commitment.  We all know life isn't easy but these two have a way of having more adventures than most.  I also know the story isn't over.  They have the name of the man behind all this but they have no idea who he is.  I bet they go searching in the next book.  You can also bet I'll be reading that one, too!

Creature Keepers and the Swindled Soil-Soles by Peter Nelson, Rohitash Rao (Illustrated by)

They are just honorary Creature Keepers but they find themselves sent out on assignment anyway.  And who are they protecting?  Funny you should ask.  It happens to be Bigfoot!

Balzer + Bray and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It's the second book in this series written for middle graders.  It will be published September 15th.

This is a wild and outrageous adventure story with monsters of all kinds and men who want to make money off them.  Bigfoot is being pestered by a guy with a television show.  He also prefers to be called Syd.  He's pretty easy to care for until Jordan wears Syd's shoes and gets in trouble.  He falls in the lake and the current in the lake steals the shoes.  Syd's not happy.  How's he going to keep the mountain safe without them?  The worst part is that an old enemy now has the shoes...

This is a busy adventure with lots of gadgets, odd characters, fantastic monsters and one evil maniac in the middle.  The pages turn quickly, it's a fun read, and the two honorary Creature Keepers get rewarded at the end.  Of course, I don't think the story is ended yet.  Somehow the bad guy keeps coming back...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

SECOND TO NUN: A Giulia Driscoll Mystery by Alice Loweecey

Giulia doesn't believe in ghosts.  Of course, she doesn't believe in mediums either.  But when a medium tells a lady that she must hire Giulia to lay a ghost to rest, she listens.  Then she says no.  However, the size of the retainer check makes her change her mind.  After all, she and Frank haven't been on vacation since their honeymoon.  Why not spend a week at the Stone's Throw Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast?

Henery Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 22nd, so check with your bookstore then.

I'm always fascinated to read fictional stories about nuns.  I remember the sisters from grade school and some of them were very good detectives.  They could also be very sneaky.  So I have no problem seeing them as a private investigator.  After all, they understand discretion.

Giulia is an ex-nun.  The psychic people in this story describe her as the Veiled Woman.  She doesn't wear one anymore so she wonders how they know.  She'll be wondering a lot more before the story is through.

There's a rumor of hidden gold and there are folks who would like own the lighthouse themselves.  Are the ghost sightings from imagination or are they a trick from one of the mercenary guests?  There's a fire, a message left in blood, and more than one accident before the wicked ones become apparent.  Even then, they are determined to murder the old woman once they get the information they need.

This is a well told story with psychic elements, lots of theatrics, and evil in more than one place.  It kept me reading.  I especially liked the romance between Frank and Giulia.  He's an Irish cop, she's an ex-nun, they're both older and they are truly in love.  That makes a sweet addition to this tale.

Libby of High Hopes, Project Blue Ribbon by Elise Primavera

Libby loves Princess.  There couldn't be a better horse in the world.  She doesn't even really have to guide her and she's very gentle.  So when Sal tells her that Princess is too old to be in the competition and she'll have to ride Saddleshoes, a very difficult pony, she's very disappointed.  How's she going to tame him enough to ride him the show?

Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 15th. This is a companion book to Libby of High Hopes, so you might want to get them both.

Not only does she have a hard horse to ride, there's a new student in school who is very good rider and she's getting trained by Sal, too.  Sal is worried about losing his business due to lack of horses boarding so Libby knows she needs to get a blue ribbon to bring attention to his business.  Her best girlfriends are irritated with her because she's only doing the horse thing and hanging around with the new girl.  Libby's life is tough right now...

Libby doesn't get everything she wants but she gets enough.  She learns why Saddleshoes acts the way he does, she learns you don't achieve all your dreams, and she also learns why it's good to hold onto to friends.  The ending is even better.  Sometimes you get surprises, too.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

Her father treats her like a servant.  He's never loved her because he thinks her birth weakened his wife and resulted in her early death.  Joan gets no solace from her brothers.  If they offer it, they get corrected.  So she works away in the house, on meals, and attempts to replace her mother.  In her free time, she reads.  When her father pulls her out of school at age 14, she attempts to keep learning by reading.  When she asks for the egg money, he burns her books.  That's the last straw...

Candlewick Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 8th, so you can grab a copy then.

She's seen ads for hired girls in the city in scraps of paper and decides that's what she'll try to do.  She uses the cheap fabric her father allowed to buy for dresses and creates one longer, like a woman would wear.  Then she puts her hair up.  With that and a hat, she's pretty sure she can pass for eighteen because she's a big built girl.  She'll just have to be sure to act as if she's eighteen and not fourteen.

She takes money out of her doll that her mother made her.  She had hidden money in the doll's petticoat and told her to use only when it was necessary.  Once Joan gets on the train, everything is new and different.  The man sitting next to her tries to get friendly but she ignores him.  When he offers to take to a rooming house, she's thankful for his help.   When he shows his true intentions, she fights with him and runs away.  Despairing and thinking she'll have to sleep in the park she finally lays down.  When she's laid down and shivering, she hears another man's voice.  She's prepared for the worst, but he's safe.  He says he will take to his home and his mother will let her stay for the night.

This story is woven like the pages of a diary, telling you her side of the story.  I liked that touch.  Joan is an innocent.  She's also a Catholic who is being hired by Jews.  Jewish beliefs are shared in the story and I found them interesting as I was also raised Catholic.  Joan has lots of conflicts within herself about religion and about the older brother of the household.  The best part is that the Jewish family doesn't give up on her.  Everyone has to adjust in this story and that's how it is in the real world.