Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dead Loudmouth by Victoria Houston

Lew is the police chief and she's surprised to get a call about a dreadful accident at a private local gentleman's club.  She sure didn't expect to find two naked people on top of a piano that were dead because the ceiling crushed them.  How many lounges have pianos that raise like that?

Tyrus Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read the ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It will be published June 1st.

What Lew finds is that no one is very enamored by either of the victims.  It also appears that this was no accident.  Who killed them and why?  The more she learns, the less she knows.

This is a small town mystery with lots of odd characters, especially the coroner.  When he hits a deer on the way to the scene of the crime, Lew asks her friend to declare them dead so they can be moved.  He's a doctor also but of dentistry.

They check out the members of the club, the local help, and more in attempting to find the murderer.  By pure chance Doc's granddaughter comes across the evidence needed.  She caught a big fish while in a kayak and it took her for a ride.  She barely got out alive and then had to walk out because there was no cellphone service.  She stopped in a cabin for some rest and saw some pictures she'll never forget for the rest of her life...

This is a good cozy type mystery with some romance and a lot of family ties involved.  There is a motive for the death but you don't learn it until the end of the book.  This is an on going series and I'd read another.  Why don't you read it and see what you think?

The Last Dragon by Jane Yolen, Rebecca Guay (Illustrated by)

She's the youngest of her sisters and she is training to be an herbalist like her father.  When she finds an usual plant and shows it to him, he tells her it's Dragon's Bane.  It shouldn't exist unless there is a dragon near but he tells her not to worry.  After all, the dragons have all been killed...

Dark Horse Books and Edelweiss gave the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 10th.

When her father goes back to get some of the herbs they had passed by, he never comes back.  Other people or animals start going missing.  Then someone actually sees the dragon.  There's still one left...

They attempt to make the town dragon proof by putting up barriers and keeping people inside but they can't do for that long.  There are jobs to be done, animals to be fed and crops to bring in.  So they ask the young men of the village to go find a hero who will kill their dragon.

Heroes are hard to come up since they haven't been needed for so long.  Most who would accept the gold are drunks or totally run down.  When they find a young man who looks to be in the prime of his life, he says he's a hero.  He shows them his muscles and talks about his conquests while he drinks their gold up in beer.  Then he heads out, without them and without going to the town.  They run him down.

What the youngest daughter finds is that he is not a hero; he just knows good tales.  She decides to help him stop the dragon.

This is an exciting tale with beautiful graphics by Ms. Guay.  I found myself admiring some of the frames before I kept reading.  I loved this one enough I've ordered me a copy for my own library.  Some books are keepers.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

See Also Deception: A Majorie Trumaine Mystery by Larry D. Sweazy

Marjorie is worried.  She's been calling the library and nobody answers the phone.  She has a quick question for the librarian, who she uses as a resource in her indexing work.  She has to be there.  Could she be in a meeting?  When she finally reaches someone, it's the police.  The librarian won't be answering any more phone calls...

Seventh Street Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  The book will be published May 10th.

Marjorie wants to go in and find out what happened.  They're saying it's suicide but she knows it can't be.  Calla was happy with her life and loved her job.  The only way she can go is if she can find someone who will watch over her husband.  He's blind and paralyzed and can't be left alone.  She goes to the neighbors hoping the young man there will help out.  He will and he has his girlfriend to help, too.  She's a candy striper, so she's had some experience with patients.

When she looks at the body, she sees the gunshot was in the left temple.  Calla was right-handed.  She points that out to the acting police chief but he ignores her.  She refuses to give her theory up.

The clues in this story are subtle.  A lot of what Marjorie finds is information she shouldn't have access to or in places she shouldn't be snooping.  I admire her because she uses her sense of "right" to follow up on her suspicions.

The murderer wasn't on my suspect list and there's another twist in Marjorie's happy ever after marriage but the story was well written and kept my attention.  I want to see what happens in Marjorie's life in the future.  I'm hoping things get better and not worse. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Nebula Awards Showcase 2016 Edited by Mercedes Lackey

When you're talking about science fiction and fantasy, the annual collection of stories and excerpts from the Nebula Awards has to be at the forefront of what to read.  It introduces you to new authors, the type of story they write and you can be astounded by some of the tales.  No matter what you like, you should find some here.

Pyr Science Fiction and Fantasy sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published May 3rd.

There are twenty stories here.  Some were so so, some really grabbed me.  One story I had read in another collection and I really liked it then, so I'll mention it again.  Jackalope Wives by Ursula Vernon is well worth a read.  I also found some others worthy of mention in this edition.

The excerpt from The Regular by Ken Liu was intriguing enough I want to read the book.  It was a simple transaction that turned fatal.  Why???

A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai'i was a story about vampires.  It won a Nebula Award.  I don't usually read about vampires but this one got my attention and was very well written.

Another Nebula winner was my favorite story of the future.  Yesterday's Kin by Nancy Kress was an excellent read.  Aliens come to earth and there's a batch of spores coming that will wipe out the population.  The humans work with the aliens trying to find an antidote.  When you read the end of the story it rings very true.  Humans can be very selfish...

If you want an interesting read with stories that will make you think, this book will do it for you.  Give it a try.

Phage by Mark Tamplin

Scientists are a bit strange normally.  They don't think like a normal person, they can be reticent and unemotional, and they seem totally focused on their work.   Add in insanity and you have a the proverbial "mad scientist".  Now picture him ready to get even with a pharmaceutical company and the world.  Scary, isn't it?

Mr. Tamplin sent me a copy of his self-published book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy on Amazon.

I was pleasantly surprised by this read.  I was afraid it would be too dry, too technical and there wouldn't be much action.  Wrong!  The author lets you know why the madman wants to get even. He talks to "Mother" in his head and he's angry another company beat him to a patent with a formula he knows was unique.  It was his and he's going to make them pay. In the meantime, another scientist he knows has kaboshed his application for a grant and he already hated the man because he was doing well in the world and he didn't even know anything. He might as well take care of him too.

Owen is the madman and he keeps everything in his unit to himself.  He decides to make a phage that will react with the new drug that will soon be offered to the public.  When everyone begins dying their sales will plummet and it might even put them out of business.  He thinks he's smarter than he is, so he gets Sam's DNA from a water bottle and sends some white powder to a State Senator with the DNA on the envelope, as if he licked it shut.

When the Feds get involved, they question Sam, search his house and office and eventually let him go.  He's supposed to stay close but he wants to recover from the experience so he takes the house offered him on an island that just happens to be in another country.  When he finds out what Owen is doing, the Feds want him back but he doesn't trust the Feds.

With Owen and the Feds after Sam and his friends, they don't have much time to prep an antidote.  They have an idea, though.

This is a good read but I hated it when one of the good guys died.  That makes it more real but I like happy ever after.  Give it a read.  You might look at your food differently from now on.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Body and Bone by L S Hawker

Nessa is married, has a son, and also does a successful blog and radio show.  When her husband relapses on drugs again, she kicks him out of the house and out of her life.  It hurts, but she won't let her past revisit again and she won't have drugs around her son.  Then she finds out he's missing and presumed dead.  The cops think she's killed him...

Witness Impulse and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 3rd.

This book is chilling.  Some is stalking her, sending posts from her that are not hers but a false email address, even posts nude pictures and about her problems from the past.  She doesn't know who is after her but she finds drugs in a package mailed to her, in her house, and even photos of her son.  When she finds out her husband is dead, she believes this stalker killed him.  There's one cop that doesn't.  He intends to nail her for murder.

Her life falls apart.  The radio talk show and the blog are affected by all this information that is being decimated about her.  Her husband is dead and she is grieving him.  She's getting a reputation of crying wolf.  She finally makes up her mind to find out who killed John and clear herself.  When she finds a microchip under her coffee table that shows her how they could hear her, she knows this is a very serious thing.  The cops still view her with suspicion, so it's up to her to fix it.

The finale on this story is terrifying.  The stalker was the last person I would have suspected or even thought of.  Nessa is facing death and she's still fighting.   I'm glad this book was fiction.  It hit a little close to reality to please me. 

Dexter the Very Good Goat by Jean Malone, Jia Min Lin

Have you ever been around a goat?  Did you ever find a good one?  They're unique individual characters with their own odd personalities!

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

Dexter has very long horns and is a bigger build than the other goats.  He's very proud of his looks.  He's also well behaved.  If someone grabs his horns and shakes his head, he might happen to butt them but that's in self-defense.  He has no bad behaviors but he has a fear.  He doesn't like having his hooves clipped!

When they arrive with the tools, he escapes and runs away.  They patiently go after him and eventually back him into corner.  They do his hooves (and it doesn't hurt at all) and then he's free to go.  Until next time he has to have it done again...

Ms. Jia Min Lin's illustrations are very sweet and Ms. Malone's tale matches that.  Why not have a visit with Dexter yourself?