Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Zagreb Noir edited by Ivan Sršen

This is a collection of short stories about Croatia.  These aren't pleasant stories but they do have the flavor of what the country and its people are like.

Akashic Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published.

My grandparents immigrated to the US from either Czechoslovakia or Yugoslavia depending on which relative you asked.  Their birth certificates were kept at Zagreb.  When I tried to get a copy of them, I was told that the courthouse that held the records was burnt down during the wars there and those records no longer existed.  It doesn't appear things have gotten much better.

Featuring brand-new stories translated from Croatian by: Ivan Vidic, Josip Novakovich, Andrea Žigic-Dolenec, Robert Perišic, Mima Simic, Pero Kavesic, Nada Gašic, Zoran Pilic, Ružica Gašperov, Darko Milošic, Nora Verde, Ivan Sršen, Neven Ušumovic, and Darko Macan.

There's a lot of sex, death and despair in these stories.   My grandparents came to the states to get away from tyranny.  These modern stories give me no reason to go visit the area.  They do, however, keep your attention and keep you reading as you wonder just how true they are.  Is it really that bad over there or are these just stories?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Tomorrow Heist by Jack Soren

Jonathan and Lew have retired.  Or so they think...

Witness Impulse sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can get a copy now.  Check out my earlier post about The Monarch.  You may want to get them both.

This author has a very interesting mind.  He creates situations that almost sci-fi in nature and makes them sound like normal every day events in the world he's creating.  I'd be real surprised if anyone has thought about using his plots.

Everyone is pretty laid back as the story starts.  They barely got out alive and they are just keeping a low profile.  When the evil man from the past shows up in Emily's apartment, she knows she's going to die.  Amazingly enough, another group of men show up and save her.  They take her with them and use her as a bartering chip to get Jonathan and Lew on board with them.

Most of the action takes place on board a ship.  They are having a big convention on it, but there are other plans that will make it a catastrophe.  Jonathan and Lew are sent to steal, but it can be hard work just staying alive.  Jonathan is also surprised to see a woman he thought was dead appear on the ship.  

This is another taut story with lots of action and almost impossible odds.  The author has made this book a bit shorter, not so much detail, and that makes it a much better read.  I'd read another in this series.  I want to see what happens with Jonathan next and how long it takes Lew to get healthy again.

The Monarch by Jack Soren

Jonathan has left his old life behind.  No more thieving.  He's a father now and his daughter is his world.  He has to do something when someone starts killing people and using his signature as a symbol on the bodies.  He's not the murderer.  He's also not really being framed; he's being sent a message...

Witness Impulse sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can grab a copy now.

This book reminds of the TV series, 24, or of a James Bond film.  It's a high paced thriller with lots of action, explosions and even medical experiments to keep your attention.  I think if it was a bit shorter it would read better.  I found myself setting it down and coming back to it.  I would have read it straight through if it hadn't had so much detail.

Jonathan knows someone is trying to find him.  When a picture he stole to present the rightful museum owner ends up in a body marked with the monarch, he finds out the museum director sold it to a collector.  Then it went on the black market.  Someone knows of his past and wants something from him.  He calls his old partner and tells him what's going on.  They decide to investigate.

What surprised me was that the author gave them love interests in this story.  They're running around the countryside, Lew's killing anybody that gets in their way, and they aren't getting anything to eat or an opportunity to sleep, but they find love?  It's not impossible but I thought it was odd.

When the madman kidnaps his daughter, Jonathan has no choice.  He agrees to meet with the man who has her.  He wants one last thing to make his transformation complete and he sends Jonathan after it.  

It's an exciting read.  I like the team of Jonathan and Lew.  They complement each other well.  The plot was unusual, the ending was a blow out, and I'm glad I have the next book in the series to read, too.  Jonathan might be retired, but the monarch is still alive.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Space Cadets by Laurence Moroney

Her father died in the last conflict in Korea.  He got too much radiation and didn't survive.  But he wrote her a letter.  In that letter, he told her of his dream to visit the stars and find new worlds.  She's determined to do that for him.

The author and Goddess Fish Blog Tours gave me the opportunity to read this book (thank you).  It has been published, so you can grab a copy now.

This is a new series that is written for young adults.  It's an adventure, science fiction/fantasy type story that sounds almost believable in this day and age.  Aisha is an African American, female and the first of her color and her sex to go to the Space Academy.  There are other girls there but she and her roommate are both different.  Her roommate is Asian and very intelligent.  They're not well liked by the upper classmates.

A lot happens in this first book.  Aisha's new boyfriend almost gets killed by another classmate.  They get to explore a new world.  And the world they left in is in danger.

It will keep you reading and wondering how it will turn out.  It will take more than this book to tell the whole story.

There is also an opportunity to win:

Laurence will be awarding a signed copy of Space Cadets to a randomly drawn winner (US ONLY) via RAFFLECOPTER during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Blood Will Tell: A Dorothy Martin investigation by Jeanne M. Dams

Dorothy Martin can get in trouble no matter where she goes.  She and her husband are at Cambridge.  Alan is at a police conference and she's free to wander around.  She finds a door open and goes into a lab.  She can smell the taint of fresh blood and sees some spilled on the floor.  She also saw a small piece of white lab jacket.  She scoots back out the way she entered so she won't be the next victim.

Severn House and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 1st.

I enjoy Ms. Dams books and this one was good, too.  If you haven't read any of her others, try them while you wait for this one to be published.

She runs to Alan and shares what she saw.  By the time they return, there's no blood.  The locals think she might have misunderstood what she saw, but Alan knows better.

The mystery moves a bit slowly as Dorothy and Alan piece together what happened.  They have to think about it from the right angle. They talk to a lot of people and get snippets of truth.  The story is intertwined with the students, the adults, and a bad decision years ago.  One student doesn't want to tell the whole truth.  Another disappears.  You'll keep turning pages to see what happens next.

The solution wasn't something I saw coming which pleases me as a big mystery reader.  Dorothy has made some new friends along the way, too.  I'm sure they may have cameo appearances in future books.  It's like visiting old friends again and that's a lot about how I feel about Dorothy and her husband when I read these books.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Death by Tea by Alex Erickson

Krissy has a bookstore/cafe and a famous father.  She loves her father but finds him embarrassing because he loves being in the limelight.  She's more of an introvert and enjoys her small store and most of her customers.  It's the book clubs that give her a bit of a problem.

Kensington Books and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 24th.

When one of the book club presidents brings in a cardboard cut out of her father, she hates it.  So she decides to sneak down and remove it.  She'll return it to the lady after the event so she doesn't have to look at it all day.  Sounds innocent enough, but it turns into trouble for her.

Her next door neighbor tells the cops she saw her go out when she reads about the murder the next day.  A new book club member has been killed in the shop.  She never saw him or the killer but she has one cop that really hates her and he harasses her.  When she loses her temper and hits on his shoulders, she finds herself in jail for assault on police officer.  If all that isn't bad enough, her former date won't even talk to her.  He's the chief's son and he's distancing himself from her.

Krissy is one of those inept people who speaks before they should.  When she does it during the competition, it almost lands her in jail again.  She had the crime all wrong.  About the time she gets it right, it's almost too late...

This was an interesting cozy mystery filled with lots of odd characters and secrets all around.  I'd like to see Krissy get a bit stronger.  I'll have to read the next one to see if she can get her new love interest back.  She snarled when she should have made peace.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Yarned & Dangerous by Sadie Hartwell

Josie is only back in town because Uncle Eb needs help.  His leg has been broken in a car accident and his wife died in the accident.  She remembered him as old and crotchety.  He still was.

Kensington Books and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published November 24th.

Josie's Mom has gone for a cruise, so she's sent to help Eb and close down the yarn shop.  She knows nothing about yarn, can't cook much, and would rather not go.  Too bad!

Her uncle is still crabby.  He also has a war going with his neighbor, who is as old he is.  They snipe at each other, play tricks on each other and pretend they hate each other.  The best news is that the other family has a young man around her age and he can help her get things done.

When she walks in the yarn shop, she's overwhelmed.  She's never seen this much yarn or the varieties of yarn before in her life.  How's she going to liquidate stock?  Since she didn't lock the door behind her, here come the yarn ladies.  They want to buy the shop, buy the stock discounted, or ???

The worst part is when she is beginning her inventory and finds a woman strangled in the back of the shop.  How did she get in the locked building?  Who killed her?

This was a good mystery with a touch of romance and a tale of a young woman becoming quite fond of her old Uncle Eb.  I really enjoyed this read and hope there will be more of this series.