May 2018 books on my list

I keep a list of all the books I might want to read and add to it as the year goes on. As each month comes along I create a list on my blog for others and for me to keep track of asbooks-on-my-list the months go by.

I don’t buy all these books–since I already have way too many books to read and some of the new books are expensive. I’m trying to stick to a budget.

I hope people reading my post may find some new books to read. I also hope these people will point me toward books I missed.

May 1

Dressed for Death in Burgundy

by Susan C. Shea

Series: French Village Mysteries #2

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery

288 pages

Synopsis: After finding herself mixed up in a murder investigation the previous Summer, Katherine Goff’s life simply has not been the same. Her husband has been in the US recording a new album, the Burgundy region locals are finally starting to see her as a real neighbor, and Katherine has even started helping out with “tourist” excursions. It seems she’s finally found her place in the small community of Reigny-sur-Canne.

But when Katherine stumbles across a body in the local museum during a tour, she finds herself caught up once again in a whirlwind of gossip and speculation. When the police zero in on her friend Pippa as a suspect, Pippa and Katherine team up to find the real killer and clear her name.

However, the more clues they discover, the more the real killer wants them off the trail. When Katherine and Pippa start receiving threats, they must decide what they are more afraid of—the police

May 8

Blood Orbit

by K.R. Richardson

Series: Unknown

Published by Pyr

Genre: Science Fiction, Police Procedural, Mystery

496 pages

Synopsis: Eric Matheson, an idealistic rookie cop trying to break from his powerful family, is plunged into the investigation of a brutal crime in his first weeks on the job in Angra Dastrelas, the corrupt capital city of the corporate-owned planet Gattis. A newcomer to the planet, Matheson is unaware of the danger he’s courting when he’s promoted in the field to assist the controversial Chief Investigating Forensic Officer, Inspector J. P. Dillal, the planet’s first cybernetically enhanced investigator. Coming from a despised ethnic underclass, the brilliant and secretive Dillal seems determined to unravel the crime regardless of the consequences. The deeper they dig, the more dangerous the investigation becomes. But in a system where the cops enforce corporate will, instead of the law, the solution could expose Gattis’s most shocking secrets and cost thousands of lives–including Matheson’s and Dillal’s.

Artificial Condition

by Martha Wells

Series: The Murderbot Diaries #2

Published by Tor.com

Genre: Science Fiction, Novella

159 pages

Synopsis: It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”.

But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.

Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…

May 15

Fall of Angels

by Barbara Cleverly

Series: Inspector Redfyre Mystery #1

Published by Soho Crime

Genre: Historical Mystery, Police Procedural

368 pages

Synopsis: Great Britain, 1923: Detective Inspector John Redfyre is a godsend to the Cambridge CID. A handsome young veteran bred among the city’s educated elite, he is no stranger to the set running its esteemed colleges and universities—a society that previously seemed impenetrable to even those at the top of local law enforcement, especially with the force plagued by its own history of corruption.

When Redfyre is invited to attend the annual St. Barnabas College Christmas concert in his Aunt Henrietta’s stead, he is expecting a quiet evening, though perhaps a bit of matchmaking mischief on his aunt’s part. But he arrives to witness a minor scandal: Juno Proudfoot, the trumpeter of the headlining musical duo, is a woman, and a young one at that—practically unheard of in conservative academic circles. When she suffers a near-fatal fall after the close of the show, Redfyre must consider whether someone was trying to kill her. Has her musical talent, her beauty, or perhaps most importantly, her gender, provoked a dangerous criminal to act? Redfyre must both seek advice from and keep an eye on old friends to catch his man before more innocents fall victim. 

The Dark Angel

by Elly Griffiths

Series: Ruth Galloway #10

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Genre: Mystery

352 pages

Synopsis: It’s not every day that you’re summoned to the Italian countryside on business, so when archaeologist Angelo Morelli asks for Ruth Galloway’s help identifying bones found in the tiny hilltop town of Fontana Liri, she jumps at the chance to go, bringing her daughter along with her for a working vacation. Upon arriving, she begins to hear murmurs of Fontana Liri’s strong resistance movement during World War II and senses the townspeople are dancing around a deeply buried secret. But how could that be connected to the ancient remains she’s been studying?
 
Ruth is just beginning to get her footing in the dig when she’s thrown off-guard by the appearance of DCI Nelson. And when Ruth’s findings lead them to a modern-day murder, their holidays are both turned upside down, and they race to find out what darkness is lurking in this seemingly picturesque town.

May 31

Between Jobs

by W.R. Gingell

Series: The City Between #1

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis: When you get up in the morning, the last thing you expect is to see a murdered guy hanging outside your window. Things like that tend to draw the attention of the local police, and when you’re squatting in your parents’ old house until you can afford to buy it, another thing you can’t afford is the attention of the cops. 

Oh yeah. Hi. My name is Pet. 

It’s not my real name, but it’s the only one you’re getting. Things like names are important these days. 

And it’s not so much that I’m Pet. 

I’m a pet. 

A human pet: I belong to the two Behindkind fae and the pouty vampire who just moved into my house. It’s not weird, I promise—well, it’s weird, yeah. But it’s not weird weird, you know?

What new books are you interested in reading this month?

Can’t Wait Wednesday: A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White

Series: The Salvagers #1

Published by Orbit

Publishing date: June 26, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

480 pages

Synopsis: Boots Elsworth was a famous treasure hunter in another life, but now she’s washed up. She makes her meager living faking salvage legends and selling them to the highest bidder, but this time she got something real–the story of the Harrow, a famous warship, capable of untold destruction. 

Nilah Brio is the top driver in the Pan Galactic Racing Federation and the darling of the racing world–until she witnesses Mother murder a fellow racer. Framed for the murder and on the hunt to clear her name, Nilah has only one lead: the killer also hunts Boots.

On the wrong side of the law, the two women board a smuggler’s ship that will take them on a quest for fame, for riches, and for justice. 

…………………………..

I love science fiction adventure stories and that’s what this sounds like.

Mini reviews: from Ben Arronovitch’s Peter Grant series

I read several stories in Ben Arronovitch’s Peter Grant series since the first of the year. I’ve grouped them together since they are all short works. One is a novella, one a graphic novel and the other a short audiobook. I’ve also only written mini reviews for each work.

The Furthest Station by Ben Arronovitch

Series: Peter Grant #5.5

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Police Procedural, Novella

Setting: England

129 pages

Synopsis: There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there’s a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something.

My thoughts

This is short, but the author tells a complete story. I enjoyed reading about ghosts on the London Underground. Mostly the ghosts on the Underground are harmless, but now there are more ghosts appearing and they’re very aggressive. They’re scaring passengers so PC Peter Grant is sent to investigate. This is a quick read and a good one for Peter Grant fans.

My Rating: B+

Rivers of London: Body Work by Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel

Series: Peter Grant/Rivers of London Graphic Novels #1

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Graphic Novel

Setting: England

Synopsis: Peter Grant having become the first English Apprentice wizard in fifty years must immediately deal with two different but ultimately inter-related cases.In one he must find what is possessing ordinary people and turning them into vicious killers and in the second he must broker a peace between the two warring gods of the River Thames.

My thoughts

This is the first graphic novel I’ve read in a while and I enjoyed it. I think the fact that I read the Peter Grant print series helped me understand the characters better in the graphic novel–especially since I don’t read graphic novels very often. This graphic novel is a new story, not just a retelling of a story in the print series. I like that a lot. It’s always fun to read a new Peter Grant story and the illustrations gave the story a different dimension. I still like print stories better than a graphic novel since I like to picture the events in my head as I’m reading. However, it’s always nice to broaden my horizons a bit.

My Rating: B

A Rare Book of Cunning Device by Ben Aaronovitch

Series: Peter Grant #6.5

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Audiobook

Narrator: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Length: 29 minutes

Setting: The British Library

Synopsis: Somewhere amongst the shadowy stacks and the many basements of the British library, something is very much amiss – and we’re not talking late returns here. Is it a ghost, or something much worse? PC Peter Grant really isn’t looking forward to finding out….

My thoughts

This is very short–only 29 minutes–but it’s fun and I enjoyed listening to the audio. I haven’t listened to any of the other books in this series. The narrator is excellent and makes me want to listen to the next book in the series rather than read it.

Within a minute or two of the start of the story something larger than Peter’s dog Toby and with lots of legs runs past and the librarian asks “Tell me that wasn’t a spider?” When Peter reassures her it wasn’t, the librarian comments, “Thank God for that. I can’t stand spiders.” This is funny and a bit of a creepy story!

My Rating: B

Have you read any of the Peter Grant series? How do you like it?

Reading Challenges

Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! — The Furthest Station

Swords and Stars Reading Challenge hosted by MsNoseinaBook — Read an SFF graphic novel 

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Depth of Winter by Craig Johnson

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months.

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

Depth of Winter by Craig Johnson

Depth of Winter by Craig Johnson

Series: Walt Longmire #14

Published by Viking

Publishing date: September 4, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

304 pages

Synopsis: Welcome to Walt Longmire’s worst nightmare. In Craig Johnson’s latest mystery, Depth of Winter, an international hit man and the head of one of the most vicious drug cartels in Mexico has kidnapped Walt’s beloved daughter, Cady, to auction her off to his worst enemies, of which there are many. The American government is of limited help and the Mexican one even less. Walt heads into the one-hundred-and-ten degree heat of the Northern Mexican desert alone, one man against an army. 

 

……………………………….

This is one of my favorite mystery series. Walt Longmire is such a great character to read about. I’m very much looking forward to this book!

Mini Review: Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff

Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff

Series: Keeper Chronicles #1

Genre: Fantasy

Setting: Canada

Published by DAW, 1998

Source: Ebook, purchased

366 pages

Synopsis: Claire Hansen, the Keeper, is summoned to the Elysian Fields Guest House to reseal a hole in the basement, which is literally an opening to Hell. The owner and monitor of the site disappears, leaving Claire stuck managing the place until the problem is solved. Her new employee, Dean McIssac, is a gorgeous Newfie who cooks, cleans, and lives the Boy Scout oath. Then there’s Jacques Labaet: very French Canadian, very sexy, very dead. Jacques is a ghost who wants to be the man in Claire’s life. Oh yeah, and there’s Austin, a talking cat with attitude: “I barely know you, but I’m assuming you’re human. I’m not saying this is a good thing, it’s just the way it is.” 

My thoughts

This is a quick, fun read. I enjoy Tanya Huff’s books and appreciate the different types of books she writes. The book has a lot of humor and I enjoyed much of that. This isn’t my favorite of the many books of hers I’ve read, but it’s still enjoyable.

The book reminded me a little of The Gale Women series by Ms. Huff. The first book in that series is The Magic Emporium. There is some of the same dynamic between characters in the books. However, I like The Magic Emporium better than this book. I probably will read the second book in the Keeper Chronicles series to see if I like it better than Summon the Keeper.

What I like

I like Claire Hansen and the idea that Keepers clean up messes made by holes torn in the fabric of the universe that leak evil. She comes from a magical family so she has known about keepers all her life. But most people outside their small community don’t know about them.

The evil trying to seep through the hole in the basement furnace room of the guest house is amusing, but determined. It tries to tempt anyone it comes in contact with, but because Claire has magic available it really wants to cause her to slip up and allow more evil through the hole.

Down in the furnace room, having spent the last few hours testing the binding, the intelligence in the pit rested. It would have been panting had it been breathing.

NOTHING HAS CHANGED, it observed sulkily.

. . . SHUT UP!

It also talked to itself.

Dean McIssac is from Newfoundland and has worked at the guest house for a while. He’s the cook and handyman and he loves to clean. A funny reversal of stereotype. Claire also notices he’s quite a hunk–even if he is younger than she is.

The ghost, Jacques Labaet, is very funny, but also a little sad.

And not so much

My main quibble with the book is that although I like cats, I don’t like cats that talk very much–especially when they try to be funny. Austin is Claire’s sidekick and helper and he has an attitude. I just didn’t like it very much.

My Rating: B-

Have you read this book or any others by Tanya Huff? What are your thoughts about her books?

April 2018 books on my list

I keep a list of all the books I might want to read and add to it as the year goes on. As each month comes along I create a list on my blog for others and for me to keep track of asbooks-on-my-list the months go by.

I don’t buy all these books–since I already have way too many books to read and some of the new books are expensive. I’m trying to stick to a budget.

I hope people reading my post may find some new books to read. I also hope these people will point me toward books I missed.

April 1

Mind of a Killer

by Simon Beaufort

Series: Unknown

Published by Severn House Publishers

Genre: Historical Mystery

278 pages

Synopsis: Newspaper reporter Alec Londale discovers that a series of seemingly random murders may be connected in this absorbing historical mystery. 

London, 1882. Alec Londale, a young reporter on the Pall Mall Gazette, is working on a story about a fatal house fire. But the post-mortem on the victim produces shocking results: Patrick Donovan’s death was no accident. But why would someone murder a humble shop assistant and steal part of his brain?

When a second body is discovered, its throat cut, and then a third, Lonsdale and his spirited female colleague, Hulda Friederichs, begin to uncover evidence of a conspiracy that reaches to the highest echelons of Victorian society.

Whisper the Dead

by Stella Cameron

Series: Ales Duggins Mystery #5

Published by Severn House Publishers

Genre: Mystery, Cozy

256 pages

Synopsis: When Alex Duggins comes across a terrifying scene at the site of a new housing development, once again she is drawn into a case of brutal murder. 

A new year arrives and winter holds Britain’s Cotswold Hills in its icy grip once more. But it’s the construction of a new housing development that’s causing the residents of Folly-on-Weir most concern. As she passes the site late one afternoon, pub owner Alex Duggins is confronted by the terrifying scene of a construction trailer on fire and a man desperately trying to break the door down.

Her efforts to help – and the subsequent findings of the police forensic pathologist – draw Alex and her friend Tony Harrison into a major murder investigation whose tentacles will reach right to the heart of the tight-knit Folly community – and into Alex’s own past …

The Triumphant Tale of the House of Sparrow

by Jan Thornhill

Series: None

Published by Greenwood Books

Genre: Children’s Picture books, Travel, Science

44 pages

Synopsis: Behold the most despised bird in human history!

Jan Thornhill traces the history of this perky little bird, one of the most adaptable creatures on Earth, from its beginnings in the Middle East to its spread with the growth of agriculture into India, North Africa and Europe. Everywhere the House Sparrow went, it competed with humans for grain, becoming such a pest that in some places “sparrow catcher” became an actual job and bounties were paid to those who got rid of it.

But not everyone hated the House Sparrow, and in 1852, fifty pairs were released in New York City. In no time at all, the bird had spread from coast to coast. Then suddenly, at the turn of the century, as cars took over from horses and there was less grain to be found, its numbers began to decline. As our homes, gardens, cities and farmland have changed, providing fewer nesting and feeding opportunities, the House Sparrow’s numbers have begun to decline again — though in England and Holland this decline appears to be slowing.

April 3

The Wolf

by Leo Carew

Series: Under the Northern Sky #1

Published by Orbit

Genre: Science Fiction

512 pages

Synopsis: The Anakim dwell in the desolate forests and mountains beyond the black river, the land under the Northern Sky.

Their ancient ways are forged in Unthank silver and carved in the grey stone of their heartland, their lives measured out in the turning of centuries, not years.

By contrast, the Sutherners live in the moment, their vitality much more immediate and ephemeral than their Anakim neighbors.

Fragile is the peace that has existed between these very different races – and that peace is shattered when the Suthern armies flood the lands to the north.

These two races revive their age-old hatred and fear of each other. Within the maelstrom of war, two leaders will rise to lead their people to victory.

Only one will succeed. 

Cave of Bones

by Anne Hillerman

Series: Leaphorn & Chee #22

Published by Barton

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

320 pages

Synopsis: When Tribal Police Officer Bernadette Manuelito arrives to speak at an outdoor character-building program for at-risk teens, she discovers chaos. Annie, a young participant on a solo experience due back hours before, has just returned and is traumatized. Gently questioning the girl, Bernie learns that Annie stumbled upon a human skeleton on her trek. While everyone is relieved that Annie is back, they’re concerned about a beloved instructor who went out into the wilds of the rugged lava wilderness bordering Ramah Navajo Reservation to find the missing girl. The instructor vanished somewhere in the volcanic landscape known as El Malpais. In Navajo lore, the lava caves and tubes are believed to be the solidified blood of a terrible monster killed by superhuman twin warriors.

Solving the twin mysteries will expose Bernie to the chilling face of human evil. The instructor’s disappearance mirrors a long-ago search that may be connected to a case in which the legendary Joe Leaphorn played a crucial role. But before Bernie can find the truth, an unexpected blizzard, a suspicious accidental drowning, and the arrival of a new FBI agent complicate the investigation.

While Bernie searches for answers in her case, her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee juggles trouble closer to home. A vengeful man he sent to prison for domestic violence is back—and involved with Bernie’s sister Darleen. Their relationship creates a dilemma that puts Chee in uncomfortable emotional territory that challenges him as family man, a police officer, and as a one-time medicine man in training.

Anne Hillerman takes us deep into the heart of the deserts, mountains, and forests of New Mexico and once again explores the lore and rituals of Navajo culture in this gripping entry in her atmospheric crime series.

Too Close to Breathe

by Olivia Kiernan

Series: Frankie Sheehan #1

Published by Dutton

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

320 pages

Synopsis: Perfect for fans of Tana French, Jane Casey and Gillian Flynn

TOO SOON TO SEE

Polished. Professional. Perfect. Dead. Respected scientist Dr Eleanor Costello is found hanging in her immaculate home: the scene the very picture of a suicide.

TOO LATE TO HIDE

DCS Frankie Sheehan is handed the case, and almost immediately spots foul play. Sheehan, a trained profiler, is seeking a murderer with a talent for death.

TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE

As Frankie strives to paint a picture of the killer, and their victim, she starts to sense they are part of a larger, darker canvas, on which the lines between the two blur.

Olivia Kiernan’s debut is a bold, brilliant thriller that will keep you guessing and leave you breathless. 

American By Day

by Derek B. Miller

Series: Sigrid Ødegård #2

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

352 pages

Synopsis: SHE KNEW IT WAS A WEIRD PLACE. She’d heard the stories, seen the movies, read the books. But now police Chief Inspector Sigrid Ødegård has to leave her native Norway and actually go there; to that land across the Atlantic where her missing brother is implicated in the mysterious death of a prominent African-American academic. AMERICA.
 
Sigrid is plunged into a United States where race and identity, politics and promise, reverberate in every aspect of daily life. Working with—or, if necessary, against—the police, she must negotiate the local political minefields and navigate the backwoods of the Adirondacks to uncover the truth before events escalate further.

A Necessary Evil

by Abir Mukherjee

Series: Sam Wyndham #2

Published by Pegasus Crime

Genre: Historical Mystery

384 pages

Synopsis: The fabulously wealthy kingdom of Sambalpore is home to tigers, elephants, diamond mines, and the beautiful Palace of the Sun. But when the heir to the throne is assassinated in the presence of Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant ‘Surrender-Not’ Banerjee, they discover a kingdom riven with suppressed conflict. Prince Adhir was a modernizer whose attitudes—and romantic relationships—may have upset the more religious elements of his country, while his brother—now in line to the throne—appears to be a feckless playboy.

As Wyndham and Banerjee desperately try to unravel the mystery behind the assassination, they become entangled in a dangerous world where those in power live by their own rules—and those who cross their paths pay with their lives. They must find a murderer, before the murderer finds them . . . 

April 8

Turning the Tide

by Edith Maxwell

Series: Quaker Midwife Mystery #3

Published by Midnight Ink

Genre: Historical Mystery

288 pages

Synopsis: A suffragist is murdered in Quaker midwife Rose Carroll’s Massachusetts town

Excitement runs high during Presidential election week in 1888. The Woman Suffrage Association plans a demonstration and movement leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton comes to town to rally the troops. When Quaker midwife Rose Carroll finds the body of the group’s local organizer the next morning, she can’t help but wonder who could have committed the murder.

Rose quickly discovers several people who have motives. The victim had planned to leave her controlling husband, and a recent promotion had cost a male colleague his job. She had also recently spurned a fellow suffragist’s affections. After Rose’s own life is threatened, identifying the killer takes on a personal sense of urgency.

April 10

The Burial Family

by Larry Enmon

Series: A Rob Soliz & Frank Pierce Mystery

Published by Crooked Lane Books

Genre: Mystery

288 pages

Synopsis: When the mayor’s daughter goes missing in Dallas, maverick police detectives Rob Soliz and Frank Pierce must race to find her alive in this thrilling procedural debut from a seasoned law enforcement officer.

When the 19-year-old daughter of the mayor of Dallas suddenly goes missing at the height of election season, the Chief of Police has a potential political firestorm on his hands. He assigns senior detectives Rob Soliz and Frank Pierce―partners known for their unorthodox approach to investigations―to investigate quickly and quietly. The girl’s family thinks she’s out on an irresponsible lark, but things start to escalate quickly when Rob and Frank find a mysterious Bible in her car with the word Wormwood highlighted beneath Revelation.

A DPD computer search turns up only one hit: a transient arrested years earlier had a full back tattoo with the word inked in bold letters at the bottom. As the detectives follow a trail that leads them deep into the woods of rural East Texas, they discover other girls have been kidnapped, all young blond women, and find evidence that suggests some of them may still be alive.

With political pressure mounting, the clock is ticking and Rob and Frank must crack the case and save Katrina before it’s too late in The Burial Place, Larry Enmon’s debut novel perfect for fans of Brian Freeman and Steve Hamilton. 

Ace of Shades

by Amanda Foody

Series: The Shadow Game #1

Published by Harlequin Teen

Genre: YA Fantasy

416 pages

Synopsis: Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…
and secrets hide in every shadow.

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play. 

Isle of Blood and Stone

by Makiia Lucier

Series: Isle of Blood and Stone #1

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Genre: YA Fantasy

400 pages

Synopsis: Nineteen-year-old Elias is a royal explorer, a skilled mapmaker, and the new king of del Mar’s oldest friend. Soon he will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an expedition past the Strait of Cain and into uncharted waters. Nothing stands in his way…until a long-ago tragedy creeps back into the light, threatening all he holds dear.

The people of St. John del Mar have never recovered from the loss of their boy princes, kidnapped eighteen years ago, both presumed dead. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young heirs? And why do the maps appear to be drawn by Lord Antoni, Elias’s father, who vanished on that same fateful day? With the king’s beautiful cousin by his side—whether he wants her there or not—Elias will race to solve the riddle of the princes. He will have to use his wits and guard his back. Because some truths are better left buried…and an unknown enemy stalks his every turn. 

Twenty-One Days 

by Anne Perry

Series: Daniel Pitt #1

Published by Ballantine Books

Genre: Historical Mystery

320 pages

Synopsis: It’s 1910, and Daniel Pitt is a reluctant lawyer who would prefer to follow in the footsteps of his detective father. When the biographer Russell Graves, who Daniel is helping defend, is sentenced to execution for the murder of his wife, Daniel’s Pitt-family investigative instincts kick in, and he sets out to find the real killer. With only twenty-one days before Graves is to be executed, Daniel learns that Graves is writing a biography of Victor Narraway, the former head of Special Branch and a close friend of the Pitts. And the stories don’t shed a positive light. Is it possible someone is framing Graves to keep him from writing the biography–maybe even someone Daniel knows in Special Branch?

The only answer, it seems, lies in the dead woman’s corpse. And so, with the help of some eccentric new acquaintances who don’t mind bending the rules, Daniel delves into an underground world of dead bodies and double lives, unearthing scores of lies and conspiracies. As he struggles to balance his duty to the law with his duty to his family, the equal forces of justice and loyalty pull this lawyer-turned-detective in more directions than he imagined possible. And amidst it all, his client’s twenty-one days are ticking away. 

Space Opera

by Catherynee M. Vallente

Series: Unknown

Published by Saga Press

Genre: Historical Fantasy

304 pages

Synopsis: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Eurovision in an over-the-top science fiction spectacle from bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente, in which sentient species compete for glory in a galactic musical contest—where the stakes are as high as the fate of planet Earth.

A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented—something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.

Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix—part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Instead of competing in orbital combat, the powerful species that survived face off in a competition of song, dance, or whatever can be physically performed in an intergalactic talent show. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete.

This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick, and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny—they must sing.

A band of human musicians, dancers, and roadies have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock. 

April 17

The City of Lost Fortunes

by Bryan Camp

Series: Unknown

Published by John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin

Genre: Fantasy

384 pages

Synopsis: The fate of New Orleans rests in the hands of a wayward grifter in this novel of gods, games, and monsters.

The post–Katrina New Orleans of The City of Lost Fortunes is a place haunted by its history and by the hurricane’s destruction, a place that is hoping to survive the rebuilding of its present long enough to ensure that it has a future. Street magician Jude Dubuisson is likewise burdened by his past and by the consequences of the storm, because he has a secret: the magical ability to find lost things, a gift passed down to him by the father he has never known—a father who just happens to be more than human.

Jude has been lying low since the storm, which caused so many things to be lost that it played havoc with his magic, and he is hiding from his own power, his divine former employer, and a debt owed to the Fortune god of New Orleans. But his six-year retirement ends abruptly when the Fortune god is murdered and Jude is drawn back into the world he tried so desperately to leave behind. A world full of magic, monsters, and miracles. A world where he must find out who is responsible for the Fortune god’s death, uncover the plot that threatens the city’s soul, and discover what his talent for lost things has always been trying to show him: what it means to be his father’s son. 

Before Mars

by Emma Newman

Series: Planetfall #3

Published by Ace

Genre: Science Fiction

320 pages

Synopsis: After months of travel, Anna Kubrick finally arrives on Mars for her new job as a geologist and de facto artist-in-residence. Already she feels like she is losing the connection with her husband and baby at home on Earth–and she’ll be on Mars for over a year. Throwing herself into her work, she tries her best to fit in with the team.

But in her new room on the base, Anna finds a mysterious note written in her own handwriting, warning her not to trust the colony psychologist. A note she can’t remember writing. She unpacks her wedding ring, only to find it has been replaced by a fake. 

Finding a footprint in a place the colony AI claims has never been visited by humans, Anna begins to suspect that her assignment isn’t as simple as she was led to believe. Is she caught up in an elaborate corporate conspiracy, or is she actually losing her mind? Regardless of what horrors she might discover, or what they might do to her sanity, Anna has find the truth before her own mind destroys her.

Head On

by John Scalzi

Series: Lock In #2

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Science Fiction

330 pages

Synopsis: John Scalzi returns with Head On, the standalone follow-up to the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed Lock In. Chilling near-future SF with the thrills of a gritty cop procedural, Head On brings Scalzi’s trademark snappy dialogue and technological speculation to the future world of sports.

Hilketa is a frenetic and violent pastime where players attack each other with swords and hammers. The main goal of the game: obtain your opponent’s head and carry it through the goalposts. With flesh and bone bodies, a sport like this would be impossible. But all the players are “threeps,” robot-like bodies controlled by people with Haden’s Syndrome, so anything goes. No one gets hurt, but the brutality is real and the crowds love it.

Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.

Is it an accident or murder? FBI Agents and Haden-related crime investigators, Chris Shane and Leslie Vann, are called in to uncover the truth―and in doing so travel to the darker side of the fast-growing sport of Hilketa, where fortunes are made or lost, and where players and owners do whatever it takes to win, on and off the field. 

April 24

The Fleur De Sel Murders

by Jean-Luc Bannalec

Translated by Sorcha McDonagh

Series: Kommisar Dupre #3

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery

320 pages

Synopsis: Commissaire Dupin is back i n The Fleur de Sel Murders, this Brittany mystery from international bestselling author Jean-Luc Bannalec.

The old salt farmers have always said that the violet scent of the Fleur de Sel at harvest time on the salt marshes of the Guérande Peninsula has been known to cause hallucinations. Commissaire Dupin also starts to believe this when he’s attacked out of the blue in the salt works.

He had actually been looking forward to escaping his endless paperwork and taking a trip to the “white country” between the raging Atlantic Ocean and idyllic rivers. But when he starts snooping around mysterious barrels on behalf of Lilou Breval, a journalist friend, he finds himself unexpectedly under attack. The offender remains a mystery, and a short time later, Breval disappears without a trace. It is thanks to his secretary Nolwenn and the ambition of the prefect that Dupin is assigned to the case. But he won’t be working alone because Sylvaine Rose is the investigator responsible for the department—and she lives up to her name…

What’s going on in the salt works? Dupin and Rose search feverishly for clues and stumble upon false alibis, massive conflicts of interest, personal feuds—and ancient Breton legends.

What books are you excited about this month?

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months.

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

trail of lightning by rebecca roanhorseTrail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Series: The Sixth World #1

Published by Saga Press

Publishing date: June 26, 2018

Genre: Fantasy

304 pages

Synopsis: While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last—and best—hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much larger and more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel to the rez to unravel clues from ancient legends, trade favors with tricksters, and battle dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the disappearances, she will have to confront her past—if she wants to survive.

Welcome to the Sixth World.

……………………………..

This sounds like the start of a good series!

Do you have a book you can’t wait for?

March Wrap-Up

Elf "reading" my Kindle for March in review
Elf “reading” my Kindle for March in review

 

I’ve decided to do a review of my month to see how I’m doing each month. I plan to link-up to a couple of blogs that host wrap-ups and reviews. the Month in Review is hosted at The Book Date, and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up is hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

 

Blog

Books read in March

I had a great reading month! I liked most of the books I read a lot. And I read 11 books which helped me catch up with my reading goal and now I’m a bit ahead. Yay!

I took part in Take Control of Your TBR Challenge and all the books I read were TBR books. I have so many TBR books so it was great to focus on them for at least one month!

A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny (ebook) — B+

Fire in the Blood by W.R. Gingell (ebook) — B+

Too Late to Die by Bill Crider (ebook) — B (new author)

The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths (audiobook) — B+

Shotgun Saturday by Bill Crider (ebook) — C

Artemis by Andy Weir (audiobook) — B+

The First Chill in Autumn by W.R. Gingell (ebook) — B+

Hive Mind: Telepath by Janet Edwards (ebook) — B+

A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee (audiobook) — B+ (new author)

A Trail Through Time by Jodi Taylor (ebook) — B+

The Time Traders by Andre Norton (ebook) — B

Books reviewed

Three books reviewed in March may not seem like a lot, but for me it is. I’ve had trouble writing reviews for quite awhile and am slowly trying to change that. I’m very happy to have three books done this last month. Writing reviews is definitely a work in progress for me.

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (ebook) — A

Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz (library ebook) — B

Starman Jones by Robert A. Heinlein (audiobook) — A-

March blog events

Take Control of Your TBR Challenge

I participated in this challenge hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer.

All 11 books I read during March were for this TBR Challenge so I feel I accomplished what I wanted to. Some of these books have been on my TBR list for quite a while and in some cases I had forgotten about them, but when I looked for TBR books I found some like The Time Traders by Andre Norton which I had purchased in 2013! I didn’t get to participate in the Twitter party. I also didn’t get all my books linked at Caffeinated Reviewer, but that’s alright with me since I mostly wanted to read books I’ve been meaning to read or have forgotten about. And I did get a lot read.

Spring Bloggiesta

I love the idea of Bloggiesta, but this wasn’t a very good Bloggiesta for me. I got a little done during Bloggiesta, but didn’t take part in any of the challenges or the twitter parties. I also didn’t comment on other Bloggiesta participant blogs. I ended up being much busier in my personal life than I had thought I would be.

However, I did work on a review plan which will hopefully help me write at least mini reviews for the books I read.

Personal life

Month of dogs!

I took care of one of my daughter’s dogs during much of March. Bailey was really sick during part of the month and needed meds every few hours. She has completely recovered now, but then my daughter’s other dog–Juneau–was spayed and bled a lot more than expected so had lots more sutures. She had to spend at least ten “quiet” days which was very difficult for Juneau since she’s a very active dog. I took care of Bailey during that time since when there was any noise Juneau wanted to investigate. Juneau got her stitches out at the end of the month. Both dogs are fine now and Bailey is very happy to be back home!

Cold weather, but the robins have returned so I know spring is coming!

We have lots of birds still coming to our feeders including a pair of cardinals. We’ve had a pair of cardinals here since we moved here a couple of years ago. I wish there were more cardinals, but I’m thankful for that pair. The goldfinches are also back and eating our thistle seed like mad! Lots of birds looking for places to build nests.

We had snow several times during March and lots of cold weather and wind. We did have a couple of days that the temps got to 60 degrees, but mostly they were in the 40’s or lower. However, the bulbs my husband and I planted last fall are starting to come up! (Only a couple of inches so far, but I’m excited anyway!)

Library sale

My local library had a book sale of books they’ve withdrawn from their collection. I don’t buy many physical books anymore, but I did find four children’s books and two gardening books–all for $1.75! It was fun to look through the books and I’m happy I resisted buying more books!

Lots of Miss Marple

Joan Hickson as Miss Marple
Joan Hickson as Miss Marple

We watched Miss Marple episodes (based on the books written by Agatha Christie) on Acorn TV this month. This is the newest Miss Marple series with Geraldine McEwan (2004-2008) and then Julia McKenzie (2009-2013) as Miss Marple. Some of the stories were changed quite a bit and nine of the books they used didn’t even have Miss Marple in them! My husband who hasn’t read the Miss Marple books didn’t have as many problems as I had with these dramatizations. However, some of these episodes have been very strange.

My favorite Miss Marple is Joan Hickson. The twelve Miss Marple books were dramatized, starred Joan Hickson and originally aired between 1984 to 1992. Joan Hickson “looks” like Miss Marple to me!

Easter Trip

My husband, younger daughter and I went to visit our older daughter for Easter weekend. She lives in central Illinois–about a five-hour car trip from us. It was a wonderful, fun trip. Lots of talking and laughing and food.

We went to see Ready Player One. I was the only one who had read the book, but we all liked the movie. The basic idea of the book was there. When I read the book I thought the Oasis was much more immersive than it showed in the movie. I have to admit that even though I’m not a gamer I did love the idea of the Oasis though our real life has to be more important. In a dystopian future it’s easy to see how living in the Oasis would become an escape from life.

What was March like for you?