February books on my radar . . .


Each month I write about the books I’ve noticed and think might be good. Sometimes they’re from favorite authors and other times I get excited by some new author I might try.

I don’t buy all these books–since I already have way too many books to read and sometimes these new books have high prices :-(   However, these days if the book is expensive or it’s a new authors I’m more likely to try to get it from the library!

The list I make each month helps me not forget books. The Goodreads links help me keep track of these books and I hope people reading my post may find some books they’d like to try, too!

Feb 3

Sounds like a good fantasy.

karen-memoryKaren Memory

by Elizabeth Bear

Series: None

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Historical Fantasy (steampunk)

352 pages

Synopsis: “You ain’t gonna like what I have to tell you, but I’m gonna tell you anyway. See, my name is Karen Memery, like memory only spelt with an e, and I’m one of the girls what works in the Hôtel Mon Cherie on Amity Street. Hôtel has a little hat over the o like that. It’s French, so Beatrice tells me.”

Set in the late 19th century—when the city we now call Seattle Underground was the whole town (and still on the surface), when airships plied the trade routes, would-be gold miners were heading to the gold fields of Alaska, and steam-powered mechanicals stalked the waterfront, Karen is a young woman on her own, is making the best of her orphaned state by working in Madame Damnable’s high-quality bordello. Through Karen’s eyes we get to know the other girls in the house—a resourceful group—and the poor and the powerful of the town. Trouble erupts one night when a badly injured girl arrives at their door, beggin sanctuary, followed by the man who holds her indenture, and who has a machine that can take over anyone’s mind and control their actions.  And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the next night brings a body dumped in their rubbish heap—a streetwalker who has been brutally murdered.

Bear brings alive this Jack-the-Ripper yarn of the old west with a light touch in Karen’s own memorable voice, and a mesmerizing evocation of classic steam-powered science.

Originally published over 20 years ago. I’m glad Mary Balogh’s older books are gradually getting reprinted especially since I haven’t read this one.

beyond-the-sunriseBeyond the Sunrise

by Mary Balogh

Series: None

Published by NAL (reprint; originally published 1992)

Genre: Historical Romance

420 pages

Synopsis: “I will love you all my life and even beyond that.”

Even at fifteen, Jeanne, the privileged daughter of a royalist émigré, knew what she liked: Englishman Robert Blake, bastard son of a marquess. Yet his questionable birth rendered him forbidden. Forced to part, they were still young enough to believe in tomorrow. But as time passed, that brief ephemeral flirtation at Haddington Hall faded into memory.

Eleven years later in Portugal, during the Peninsular Wars, they meet again, both of them spies, and destined to be working on opposing sides. He is now a captain with the British army. She is the widowed Marquesa das Minas–sometimes going by the name Joana da Fonte. However for only one of them does the flicker of recognition still burn.

Amid the fury of war and in the shadow of secrets, passion flares once again. But for Joana and Robert, each entrusted to a dangerous mission that demands deception, falling in love could be the most dangerous risk of all.

I haven’t read anything by Fisher yet.

echo-8Echo 8

by Sharon Lynn Fisher

Series: None

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Science Fiction

288 pages

Synopsis: Three lives. Two worlds. One chance to save them all.

As a parapsychologist working for Seattle Psi, Tess has devoted her life to studying psychic phenomena. But when doppelgangers begin appearing from a parallel world that’s been struck by an asteroid, nothing in her training will help her survive what’s to come.

After dislocating to Seattle Psi from the other Earth, Jake is confined by a special task force for study. But when he drains life energy from Tess, almost killing her, it causes a ripple effect across two worlds — and creates a bond neither of them expected.

Ross is an FBI agent ordered to protect Tess while she studies Jake. His assignment is not random — he and Tess have a history, and a connection the Bureau hopes to use to its own advantage. By the time Ross realizes his mission could be compromised, it’s already too late — he’ll have to choose between his love for Tess and his duty to protect the people of his own Earth.

I have the first book in this series and hope to read it soon. Sounds like a good series.

master-of-plaguesMaster of Plagues

by E. L. Tettensor

Series: Nicolas Lenoir #2

Published by Roc

Genre: Fantasy

368 pages

Synopsis: Unraveling a deadly mystery takes time—and his is running out…

Having barely escaped the clutches of the Darkwalker, Inspector Nicolas Lenoir throws himself into his work with a determination he hasn’t known in years. But his legendary skills are about to be put to the test. A horrific disease is ravaging the city—and all signs point to it having been deliberately unleashed.

With a mass murderer on the loose, a rising body count, and every hound in the city on quarantine duty, the streets of Kennian are descending into mayhem, while Lenoir and his partner, Sergeant Bran Kody, are running out of time to catch a killer and find a cure.

Only one ray of hope exists: the nomadic Adali, famed for their arcane healing skills, claim to have a cure. But dark magic comes at a price, one even the dying may be unwilling to pay. All that’s left to Lenoir is a desperate gamble. And when the ashes settle, the city of Kennian will be changed forever…

Feb 8

I don’t know anything about this except the synopsis, but I’ve been looking for more mysteries!

drawing-conclusionsDrawing Conclusions

by Deirdre Verne

Series: Unknown

Published by Midnight Ink

Genre: Mystery

312 pages

Synopsis: Cece dumpster dives her way through this suspense-filled murder mystery

Cece Prentice is a most unusual young woman. Heiress to a large fortune thanks to her doctor father, who is the head of a genome company on Long Island, Cece is also a freegan–ecologically-minded and socially conscious. If that happens to include dumpster diving for half an old hamburger, previously started by someone she has never met, then so be it.

Cece would still be going about her ordinary, albeit weird, life had her beloved twin brother Teddy not been murdered. Drawn into the police investigation, CeCe uses her sketching abilities and knowledge of her father’s company to provide Detective DeRosa with the clues he needs to ferret out what happened to Teddy. But she soon realizes that this mystery is much more complicated than she ever imagined.

Feb 10

This book is getting lots of buzz.

red-queenRed Queen

by Victoria Aveyard

Series: Red Queen Trilogy #1

Published by Orion

Genre: YA Fantasy

320 pages

Synopsis: The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

I read the first book in this series in January and really liked it. I have the second book and plan to read it soon so I can read this.

deadly-spellsDeadly Spells

by Jaye Wells

Series: Prospero’s War #3

Published by Orbit

Genre: Urban Fantasy

336 pages

Synopsis: After the grisly murder of a dirty magic coven leader, Kate Prospero and The Magical Enforcement Agency team up with the local police to find the killer. But as the infighting between covens turns ugly, an all-out war brews in the slums of Babylon.

When a tenacious reporter sticks her nose in both the investigation and Prospero’s past in the covens, old ghosts resurface. The team will have to use all the weapons in their arsenal to stop the coven war and find the killer before the case brings down all their careers – and their lives.

Feb 17

I received this book from NetGalley last fall. This is such a good series.

dreaming-spiesDreaming Spies

by Laurie R. King

Series: Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes #13

Published by Bantam

Genre: Historical Mystery

352 pages

Synopsis: For years now, readers of the Russell Memoirs have wondered about the tantalizing mentions of Japan. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes had spent three weeks there, between India (The Game) and San Francisco (Locked Rooms). The time has finally come, to tell that story.
It is 1925, and Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes arrive home to find…a stone. A stone with a name, which they last saw in the Tokyo garden of the future emperor of Japan. It is the first indication that the investigation they did for him in 1924 might not be as…complete as they had thought. In Japan there were spies, in Oxford there are dreams. In both places, there is a small, dark-haired woman, and danger.

Feb 24

 Sounds like a good mystery and set in the world of publishing!

a-murder-of-magpiesA Murder of Magpies

by Judith Flanders

Series: Unknown

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery

288 pages

Synopsis: It’s just another day at the office for London book editor Samantha “Sam” Clair. Checking jacket copy for howlers, wondering how to break it to her star novelist that her latest effort is utterly unpublishable, lunch scheduled with gossipy author Kit Lowell, whose new book will dish the juicy dirt on a recent fashion industry scandal. Little does she know the trouble Kit’s book will cause—before it even goes to print. When police Inspector Field turns up at the venerable offices of Timmins & Ross, asking questions about a package addressed to Sam, she knows something is wrong. Now Sam’s nine-to-five life is turned upside down as she finds herself propelled into a criminal investigation. Someone doesn’t want Kit’s manuscript published and unless Sam can put the pieces together in time, they’ll do anything to stop it.

With this deliciously funny debut novel, acclaimed author Judith Flanders introduces readers to an enormously enjoyable, too-clever-for-her-own-good new amateur sleuth, as well Sam’s Goth assistant, her effortlessly glamorous mother, and the handsome Inspector Field. A tremendously entertaining read, this page-turning novel from a bright new crime fiction talent is impossible to put down.

Sounds interesting.


by Claire North

Series: Unknown

Published by Orbit Books

Genre: Science Fiction

432 pages

Synopsis: Kepler had never meant to die this way — viciously beaten to death by a stinking vagrant in a dark back alley. But when reaching out to the murderer for salvation in those last dying moments, a sudden switch takes place.

Now Kepler is looking out through the eyes of the killer himself, staring down at a broken and ruined body lying in the dirt of the alley.

Instead of dying, Kepler has gained the ability to roam from one body to another, to jump into another person’s skin and see through their eyes, live their life — be it for a few minutes, a few months or a lifetime.

Kepler means these host bodies no harm — and even comes to cherish them intimately like lovers. But when one host, Josephine Cebula, is brutally assassinated, Kepler embarks on a mission to seek the truth — and avenge Josephine’s death.

This sounds good!

A Darker Shade final for IreneA Darker Shade of Magic

by V. E. Schwab

Series: A Darker Shade of Magic #1

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Fantasy

400 pages

Synopsis: Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.


 The books I’ll try to read soon:

  • Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King
  • Dark Magic by Jaye Wells
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
  • Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

What books excite you this month?

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

10 thoughts on “February books on my radar . . .”

  1. So many great books on your list! I’m so behind on Balogh’s books but I have Dreaming Spies on my list along with Red Queen and A Murder of Magpies. Drawing Conclusions looks interesting. There’s a cozy series by Sharon Pape that has a sketch artist turned PI main character plus a ghost that I really enjoyed. I’ll have to look for this one.


    1. There are so many good sounding books out each month and I can’t get those read let alone all my books I’ve got I haven’t read. Just too many books.


  2. I’m very curious about The Red Queen as well. And as soon as Audible lists Darker Shade of Magic (and I hope they will have it for audio!) I’m so preordering/buying!


  3. I definitely need A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC! I just read Karen Memory and really enjoyed it. I also red Echo 8, it was good but I liked her other two books better. DARKWALKER was really good. Looks like our tastes are right in sync. 🙂

    I don’t know what other February books I’m hot for other then that VE Schwab one…


    1. I’m glad to hear your comment about Echo 8. I’ll move it a little farther down my list. LOL…It’s always good to move things farther down on my mountain of a list!


  4. I’ve been seeing KAREN MEMORY all over the place!

    I’m with Tabitha – A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC sounds really intriguing…


    1. I agree about both those books, Li. I think they’re at the top of my list this month–other than Dreaming Spies which I want to read, too.


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