Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Irontown Blues by John Varley

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 . . .

Irontown Blues by John VarleyIrontown Blues by John Varley

Series: Eight Worlds series

Published by Ace

Publishing date: August 28

Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: A new noir science fiction novel from a master of science fiction set in the Eight Worlds series about a detective on the hunt for biohackers who have created a dangerous new disease.

Christopher Bach was a policeman in one of the largest Lunar cities when the A.I. Lunar Central Computer had a breakdown, known as the Big Glitch, but it turned out to be a larger war than anyone expected. When order was restored, Chris’s life could never be the same. Now he functions as a private detective assisted by his genetically altered dog Sherlock as he does his best to emulate the tough guys in the noir books and movies that he loves.

When he takes the case of a woman involuntarily afflicted with an engineered virus, he is on the hunt to track the bio hackers down to the infamous district of Irontown. 

………………………….

This combines science fiction and a mystery! I also like that there’s a dog in the book. I haven’t read any of John Varley’s Eight World books, but this sounds like I might be able to jump in with this book.

Review: A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny

A Trick of the Light by Louise PennyA Trick of the Light by Louise Penny

Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #7

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Setting: Quebec, Canada

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 2011

352 pages

Synopsis: “Hearts are broken,” Lillian Dyson carefully underlined in a book. “Sweet relationships are dead.”

But now Lillian herself is dead. Found among the bleeding hearts and lilacs of Clara Morrow’s garden in Three Pines, shattering the celebrations of Clara’s solo show at the famed Musée in Montreal. Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide at the Sûreté du Québec, is called to the tiny Quebec village and there he finds the art world gathered, and with it a world of shading and nuance, a world of shadow and light. Where nothing is as it seems. Behind every smile there lurks a sneer. Inside every sweet relationship there hides a broken heart. And even when facts are slowly exposed, it is no longer clear to Gamache and his team if what they’ve found is the truth, or simply a trick of the light.

My thoughts

This series is as much a study of humanity as it is a mystery series. A Trick of the Light takes place mostly in Three Pines–the little Quebec village near the Vermont border where most of these books take place. In this book Clara Morrow finally has her solo art show at the museum in Montreal. Afterward, the Morrows have a party at their home in Three Pines and the next morning a body is found in the garden. Gamache and his team search for the killer among the villagers and guests of the party. There are plenty of suspects available for Gamache and his team. The problem is sorting through them and trying to see the truth.

This series keeps getting better and better. I’ve read two books in the series so far in 2018–Bury Your Dead and A Trick of the Light. These two books are among my favorite books of the year so far. I recommend reading the books in order. Some things won’t make sense otherwise and the books build on each other depending on what has happened in earlier books. I’ve been slowly reading the series for the past two or three years and am so glad–and that I still have more books to read before I catch up.

Chiaroscuro

He trotted out a word, he’d heard someone use that evening, a word he’d never heard before and had no idea what it meant. He’d turned to the painting of the Three Graces, the elderly and joyous old women, and said–

“The only word that comes to mind is, of course, ‘chiaroscuro.'”

Not surprisingly, the artists looked at him as though he was mad.

Because of Clara’s art show and the party in Three Pines after the show for friends as well as the art crowd there is lots of art talk in this book. The word “chiaroscuro” is used several times in the book–sometimes humorously. I had to look up the word. It means “the treatment of light and shade in drawing and painting.”

Clara’s paintings seem very straightforward and simple at first, but a discerning eye can see so much more in her paintings. Her treatment of light and shade captivate some people, but leave others wondering what all the fuss is about. Is it all just “a trick of the light?” Ms. Penny does such a great job in this book slowly showing the secrets and motivations people hide and how hard it is to sift through secrets and motivations to figure out what is “a trick of the light” and what is really true.

Relationships

There are many undercurrents from events that happened in earlier books. The relationship between Gamache and his second in command Jean-Guy Beauvoir was damaged during a previous book and that damage shows up in this book. Beauvoir must work through issues toward a better, more realistic relationship. We also discover more about Beauvoir in this book. I have a feeling that’s going to cause problems in some future books!

Characters in this series are neither all good nor all bad. Reading about the villagers in Three Pines is always so interesting. They’re all unique and they all have flaws. Some of those flaws are huge. For example, Peter Morrow is jealous of Clara’s success. Clara has struggled for years to find success as an artist whereas Peter found his artistic success early. Now it appears Clara will be a bigger success than Peter.  He does try to fight his jealousy, but is sometimes unsuccessful. Sometimes he subtly tries to undermine her confidence as an artist and Clara doesn’t have much self-confidence in her abilities to begin with. She has always seemed oblivious to Peter’s jealousy though Gamache has certainly seen and understood Peter’s feelings. Peter and Clara have to figure out what their relationship is really all about in this book. And does their relationship have something to do with the murder?

I compulsively read this book and got to the end and thought–“Wow!”

My Rating: A

Awards

  • Anthony Award for Best Novel (2012)
  • Macavity Award Nominee for Best Mystery Novel (2012)
  • Dilys Award Nominee (2012)
  • Agatha Award Nominee for Best Novel (2011)

Have you read any books by this author?

Reading Challenges

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

Review: The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

The Star Beast by Robert A. HeinleinThe Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein

Series: None

Genre: Science Fiction (one of Heinlein’s Juveniles)

Setting: Earth

Source: Audiobook, Library (8 hours, 50 minutes)

Narrator: Paul Michael Garcia

Publishing Date: 1954

253 pages

Synopsis:A compelling coming-of-age adventure from legendary SF master and multiple New York Times bestseller Robert A. Heinlein

Lummox has been the pet of the Stuart family for generations. With eight legs, a thick hide, and increasingly large size, Lummox is nobody’s idea of man’s best friend. Nevertheless, John Stuart XI, descendant of the starman who originally brought Lummox back to Earth, loves him. But when Lummox eats a neighbor’s car and begins to grow again, the feds decide that enough is enough. John isn’t about to let the authorities take his pet away, and with his best friend, Betty, he determines to save Lummox–even if he must forever leave the life he’s always known. 

My thoughts

I think I read this book years ago when I was a teenager, but don’t remember too much about it since that was a few years ago! I’m slowly rereading some of the early science fiction and fantasy that I read and Heinlein’s books are some of my favorites.

Heinlein’s juvenile series books are just so much fun to read. The young protagonists are heroic and adventurous. They usually have to learn to think for themselves and do what they know is right even when adults don’t always do that–a classic coming-of-age story. His young people may have to deal with a lot of problems, but they have a strong moral compass and know right from wrong. That makes these young adult books different from many written today that sometimes have more moral ambiguity in them. I also think theseThe Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein books work for adults because there are nuances that kids might not notice, but adults will.

I like this retro version of the cover which I think accurately shows the flavor of the story. Lummox is a friendly beast who sometimes finds loopholes in John’s directions and orders!

This story takes place on Earth, but with a creature brought back by an ancestor of John Stuart XI (the main character–along with the Lummox–of this story). I like that it’s his friend Betty who is the shrewd character in the story. She understands the political ramifications and the public relations value of Lummox as well as the value of powerful friends. There are stereotypes in the story–the dumb government officials who overreact and are overzealous, John’s mother who has decided what John should do with his life and doesn’t listen to anyone else’s opinions.

Anyway, I enjoyed this a lot. Lots of adventure, a good story and interesting characters. I listened to the audiobook and thought Paul Michael Garcia did a great job narrating. It definitely increased my enjoyment of the book. I especially liked his voice for Lummox.

My Rating: B+

Narrator Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Stars Uncharted by S.K. Dunstall

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 . . .

stars uncharted by S.K. DunstallStars Uncharted by S.K. Dunstall

Series: Unknown

Published by Ace

Publishing date: August 14

Genre: Science Fiction

416 pages

Synopsis: A ragtag band of explorers are looking to make the biggest score in the galaxy in the brand-new science fiction adventure novel from the national bestselling author of Linesman.

Three people who are not who they claim to be:

Nika Rik Terri, body modder extraordinaire, has devoted her life to redesigning people’s bodies right down to the molecular level. Give her a living body and a genemod machine, and she will turn out a work of art.

Josune Arriola is crew on the famous explorer ship the Hassim, whose memory banks contain records of unexplored worlds worth a fortune. But Josune and the rest of the crew are united in their single-minded pursuit of the most famous lost planet of all.

Hammond Roystan, the captain of the rival explorer ship, The Road, has many secrets. Some believe one of them is the key to finding the lost world.

Josune’s captain sends her to infiltrate Roystan’s ship, promising to follow. But when the Hassim exits nullspace close to Roystan’s ship, it’s out of control, the crew are dead, and unknown Company operatives are trying to take over. Narrowly escaping and wounded, Roystan and Josune come to Nika for treatment–and with problems of her own, she flees with them after the next Company attack.

Now they’re in a race to find the lost world…and stay alive long enough to claim the biggest prize in the galaxy. 

…………………………….

I’ve read several books by S.K. Dunstall and am so excited to have another book coming out soon! And I really like the cover!

What’s your “can’t-wait” book this week?

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Burning Ridge by Margaret Mizushima

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 . . .

burning ridge by margaret mizushima

Burning Ridge by Margaret Mizushima

Series: Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries #4

Published by Crooked Lane Books

Publishing date: September 11, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

279 pages

Synopsis: Colorado’s Redstone Ridge is a place of extraordinary beauty, but this rugged mountain wilderness harbors a horrifying secret. When a charred body is discovered in a shallow grave on the ridge, officer Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo are called in to spearhead the investigation. But this is no ordinary crime—and it soon becomes clear that Mattie has a close personal connection to the dead man.

 

…………………………….

This is one of my favorite series. I’ve read all the books as they come out and really like Mattie and her K-9 partner Robo. They’ve both grown and changed throughout these books. And I really like that cover!

What about you? What book can’t you wait for this week?

Review: The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths

The Woman in Blue by Elly GriffithsThe Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths

Series: Ruth Galloway #8

Genre: Mystery

Setting: Norfolk, England

Source: Audiobook, purchased (9 hours, 44 minutes)

Narrator: Jane McDowell

Publishing Date: 2016

358 pages

Synopsis: Known as England’s Nazareth, the medieval town of Little Walsingham is famous for religious apparitions. So when Ruth Galloway’s druid friend Cathbad sees a woman in a white dress and a dark blue cloak standing alone in the local cemetery one night, he takes her as a vision of the Virgin Mary. But then a woman wrapped in blue cloth is found dead the next day, and Ruth’s old friend Hilary, an Anglican priest, receives a series of hateful, threatening letters. Could these crimes be connected? When one of Hilary’s fellow female priests is murdered just before Little Walsingham’s annual Good Friday Passion Play, Ruth, Cathbad, and DCI Harry Nelson must team up to find the killer before he strikes again. 

My thoughts

One of my favorite mystery series. Ruth Galloway is such a good character in these books. She’s a forensic archaeologist, a college professor, a single mom and helps the police on occasion. It sounds like she would be obnoxiously organized and efficient. However, she’s like most of us–she feels constantly busy with never enough time! She does love her life though–being a mom and teaching with occasional archaeology digging and police consultations. The book takes place in Little Walsingham in the county of Norfolk in England. It is known as a village with many shrines to the Virgin Mary and that features strongly in this mystery.

I listened to the audio version of this book and like the narrator a lot. She did a good job with the different voices and was easy to hear and understand. Made the story even more interesting.

Throughout these books one of the best things are all the friends Ruth has. In this book Cathbad, a long-time friend of Ruth’s, appears in the beginning of the book since he’s in Walsingham taking care of a cat and house sitting for a friend. When the cat escapes from the house Cathbad rushes in pursuit and sees a woman in blue in the graveyard near the house. He wonders if he has seen a vision of the Virgin Mary, but the woman later is found strangled.

It’s great to see DCI Harry Nelson and Sergeant Clough again. There are many pieces to the mystery. Ruth gets involved when a friend from her university days comes to Walsingham for a conference and gets in touch with Ruth. Hilary says she has a problem and wants to talk about it with Ruth. Hilary has received a number of threatening letters from someone who doesn’t like the fact she’s a woman priest. A good mystery which kept me guessing. And if you haven’t read the books before this be sure to read the earlier books first as each builds on the one before

My Rating: A-

Narrator Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?

Reading Challenges

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

Mini-Reviews: Shards of a Broken Sword trilogy by W.R. Gingell

I read the Shards of a Broken Sword trilogy in February and March and am doing mini reviews for each book. I’m also excited because this is the first time I’ve read a book by an author from Tasmania (as far as I know). I’ve always thought Tasmania sounds like such an intriguing place to visit.

twelve days of faery by w.r. gingellTwelve Days of Faery by W.R. Gingell

Series: Shards of a Broken Sword #1

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Ebook, purchased

150 pages

My thoughts

This is the first book I’ve read by W.R. Gingell, but it isn’t the last book by Ms. Gingell I will read. So far this year I’ve read six of her books! I really enjoy her writing.

I liked that this book turned some of the fairy tale tropes on their head. For example, a prince is cursed instead of a princess. A woman comes to save him, but maybe after the curse is gone she’s not interested in the prince, but in his father the king. This is a short book (a novella), but it’s lots of fun and filled with intrigue, magic, some romance and trips into Faery. A good start for a trilogy.

My Rating: B+

fire-in-the-blood-by-w-r-gingellFire in the Blood by W.R. Gingell

Series: Shards of a Broken Sword #2

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Ebook, purchased

123 pages

My thoughts

This is the second novella in this fantasy trilogy called Shards of a Broken Sword. The first two books are about different characters. They are set in the same world and both about shards from a broken sword that hold a great deal of magic. The books are short (from about 120 to 220 pages), but the stories are satisfying and complete.

This story about a prince, a dragon, a maid and a sleeping princess in a tower is humorous and exciting as the prince along with his dragon try to complete challenges in seven circles to find the princess. And there is even some romance!

My Rating: B

the first chill of autumn by w.r. gingellThe First Chill of Autumn by W.R. Gingell

Series: Shards of a Broken Sword #3

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Ebook, purchased

220 pages

My thoughts

I like how this ties up the loose ends in the trilogy. Each book is about different characters, but in this book all the characters are brought together by the end. I like that. There is magic galore in the book as well as dragons, royalty, enchanters and enchantresses, romances, lots of Fae! And we finally find out what the shards of the broken sword are for.

I recommend this trilogy to anyone who likes fairy tale retellings, a little romance in their stories (that doesn’t take over the story), magic, dragons, fantasy.

My Rating: B+

Trilogy Rating: B+

About the Author

W.R. Gingell is a Tasmanian author who lives in a house with a green door. She loves to rewrite fairy tales with a twist or two–and a murder or three–and original fantasy where dragons, enchantresses, and other magical creatures abound. Occasionally she will also dip her toes into the waters of SciFi.

W.R. spends her time reading, drinking an inordinate amount of tea, and slouching in front of the fire to write. Like Peter Pan, she never really grew up, and is still occasionally to be found climbing trees.

Reading Challenges

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge hosted by the POPSUGAR website — A book with a weather element in the title (The First Chill of Autumn)

Swords and Stars Reading Challenge hosted by MsNoseinaBook — Read a sequel (Fire in the Blood)

April & May Wrap-Up

I’ve decided to do a monthly wrap-up post each month to see how I’m doing on my blog and what’s going on in my personal life. I plan to link-up to a couple of blogs that host wrap-ups and reviews of their months. The Month in Review is hosted at The Book Date, and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up is hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

Personal life

The first part of May we  got a call that my father-in-law had had a massive stroke. My husband and I quickly got ready and left to drive the 3+ hours to the hospital. My FIL didn’t want extreme measures taken to keep him alive and the doctors said he wouldn’t regain consciousness due to bleeding in his brain. He died the next day. It’s hard when a loved one dies, but he was nearly 90 and had lived a good life. We tried to celebrate his life and remember the good times we had with him. He loved his family including his extended family and many were able to come to his funeral. He was a veteran and we had a military ceremony at the graveside. It was all very moving and right for him. My husband is the executor of his estate so we stayed longer to sort out the papers he needs and so he could visit local people and businesses. We’ve made more trips as things move along. It’s a big job, but many people are helping.

My daughter who lives in the same city as I do interviewed for another job in her company. She got the job and moves to Indianapolis at the end of June. I will miss her so much, but it’s a great job and a promotion so I’m also very happy for her. She got the job offer at the end of May so she’s very busy getting her house ready to sell and getting ready to move. That means we’re busy, too, helping her when we can.

TV & Movies

We saw a couple of movies in the theater–Ready Player One and Solo–and enjoyed them both. We’re happy Elementary is back with another season and we’ve watched some of that. We watched the short season of Dancing With the Stars, but I was disappointed the season was so short. I hope they don’t have another four-week season. I feel like I didn’t get to know the people at all.

Yard & Garden

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After a very cold spring–we even had a little snow in April–we have gone straight to summer. In May we had a number of 90+ degree days. We’ve planted new plants this spring and the bulbs I planted last fall came up. Yay!  The daffodils bloomed and now Allium is blooming and my lilies will bloom later in the summer. We also planted a few new plants during May.

I love our yard and the crabapple trees are especially beautiful when they bloom in spring. Daffodils are my favorite spring bulb since deer, squirrels and bunnies leave them alone. Plus they are such cheerful plants.

Blog life

I read quite a few books in April and May and am ahead of my Goodreads goal which makes me happy. However, I didn’t get many books reviewed or other posts done and during May about the only things done were posts that I’d scheduled. I had the April wrap-up mostly written when we received the call about my father-in-law.

Thanks to all the people who comment on blog posts. I owe many people comments and hope to visit many blogs during June to see what you all are doing and then leave comments.

I still have to finish a privacy policy for my blog, but it may take a few more days since my husband and I are taking care of more estate business at the end of this week.

Books read in April

The Green Man’s Heir by Juliet E. McKenna (ebook)

Red Bones by Ann Cleeves (audiobook)

Hive Mind: Perilous by Janet Edwards (ebook)

This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong (library ebook)

Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves (library audiobook)

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (library ebook) — (new author)

Catseye by Andre Norton (ebook)

Hive Mind: Defender by Janet Edwards (ebook)

Dry Bones by Peter May (audiobook) — (new author)

Wolfskin by W.R. Gingell (ebook)

The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein (library audiobook)

Books read in May

Weave a Circle Round by Kari Maaren (ebook) — (new author)

The Darkest Thread by Jen Blood (ebook) — (new author)

Dog With a Bone by Hailey Edwards (ebook)

Inside the Echo by Jen Blood (ebook)

Spindle by W.R. Gingell (ebook)

Song of the Lion by Anne Hillerman (library audiobook) — (new author)

The Pride of Chanur by C.J. Cherryh (ebook) — (new author)

Under a Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes (library ebook) — (new author)

Books reviewed

Review

White Nights by Ann Cleeves (ebook) — B+

Mini Reviews

Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff (ebook) — B-

The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch — (ebook) B+

Rivers of London: Body Work by Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel (graphic novel/library) — B

A Rare Book of Cunning Device by Ben Aaronovitch (audiobook) — B-

My Challenges update

Goodreads Challenge

Goal–90 books read

By the end of May I’ve read 46 books toward my goal. I am 10 books ahead of schedule! Yay!

Cloak & Dagger Reading Challenge

Goal–read 26-35 mysteries 

I’ve read 22 mysteries so far, but have only reviewed six of those mysteries so far.

Discussion Challenge

Goal — 1 -10 discussion posts

I haven’t written any discussion posts yet. I have a couple started so I hope to get one done in June.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

Goal — 40 prompts to the challenge

I’ve read seven books which match prompts

Swords & Stars Reading Challenge

Goal — 20 prompts for the challenge

I’ve read and reviewed three books which match this challenge

What were April and May like for you?

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Alternate Routes by Tim Powers

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 . . .

Alternate Routes by Tim PowersAlternate Routes by Tim Powers

Series: Unknown

Published by Baen Books

Publishing date: August 7, 2018

Genre: Fantasy

288 pages

Synopsis: Something weird is happening to the Los Angeles freeways—phantom cars, lanes from nowhere, and sometimes unmarked offramps that give glimpses of a desolate desert highway—and Sebastian Vickery, disgraced ex-Secret Service agent, is a driver for a covert supernatural-evasion car service. But another government agency is using and perhaps causing the freeway anomalies, and their chief is determined to have Vickery killed because of something he learned years ago at a halted Presidential motorcade.

Reluctantly aided by Ingrid Castine, a member of that agency, and a homeless Mexican boy, and a woman who makes her living costumed as Supergirl on the sidewalk in front of the Chinese Theater, Vickery learns what legendary hell it is that the desert highway leads to—and when Castine deliberately drives into it to save him from capture, he must enter it himself to get her out. 

………………………………………………………..

I haven’t read anything by Tim Powers even though he’s been writing for a while. This looks like a good first book since it sounds quite different from the usual fantasy I read. And I really like the cover!

June 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.

Note: I’ve added a book published on May 31 that I missed last month!

May 31

Bone Driven

by Hailey Edwards

Series: Foundling #2

Published by Piatkus

Genre: Fantasy

352 pages

Synopsis: Life as a cop in Canton Town, Mississippi, is never dull – particularly when hiding deep within you is a demon bent on the apocalypse. Luce is doing her best to pretend her two worlds aren’t crashing into each other, but what should be a routine arson investigation takes a shocking turn when Luce discovers a link between the suspects and her own dark secrets. There’s no turning back, even though her search for the truth threatens to burn her old life down around her.

Lines are being drawn in a war Luce barely understands, and she just might be on the wrong side of them. Now she must embrace her powerful destiny, or the ones she loves most will pay the ultimate price.

June 5

 

Brief Cases

by Jim Butcher

Series: Dresden Files #15.1

Published by Ace

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Anthology, Short Stories

448 pages

Synopsis: Brief Cases is the sequel anthology of Side Jobs, and will be released before Peace Talks.

June 12

Yosemite Fall

by Scott Graham

Series: National Park Mystery Series

Published by Torrey House Press

Genre: Mystery

220 pages

Synopsis: Archaeologist Chuck Bender arrives with his family in Yosemite Valley to study the 150-year-old murders of a pair of gold prospectors in the midst of preparations for the annual Yosemite Slam rock-climbing competition and a reunion with his old climbing buddies. The trip quickly turns threatening when one climber never shows up, climbing equipment fails, and Chuck and his wife, Janelle Ortega, are suspected in the shocking, present-day death of one of Chuck’s former rock-climbing partners. Together, Chuck and Janelle race against time to solve the dual mysteries and prove their innocence—all while facing down a ruthless killer on the loose.

The Sleeping Lady

by Bonnie C. Monte

Series: Unknown

Published by She Writes Press

Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: Thirty-five-year-old Rae Sullivan owns a thriving home décor shop in the San Francisco Bay area, near majestic Mt. Tamalpais (to locals, The Sleeping Lady). But when her business partner, Thalia, confides that she has a lover in France, Rae’s comfortable life starts to unravel. Soon, an anonymous note-writer threatens to reveal the affair, and Thalia—who, unswayed by Rae’s warnings, insists on confronting the blackmailer—turns up dead in Golden Gate Park.

June 19

The Privilege of Peace

by Tanya Huff

Series: Peacekeeper #3

Published by DAW

Genre: Science Fiction, Military

352 pages

Synopsis: Former space marine Torin Kerr returns for one final adventure to save the Confederation in the last book in the military science fiction Peacekeeper trilogy.

Warden Torin Kerr has put her past behind her and built a life away from the war and everything that meant. From the good, from the bad. From the heroics, from the betrayal. She’s created a place and purpose for others like her, a way to use their training for the good of the Confederation. She has friends, family, purpose.

Unfortunately, her past refuses to grant her the same absolution. Big Yellow, the ship form of the plastic aliens responsible for the war, returns. The Silsviss test the strength of the Confederation. Torin has to be Gunnery Sergeant Kerr once again and find a way to keep the peace. 

Shadow Dancing

by Julie Mulhern

Series: Country Club Mystery #7

Published by Henery Press

Genre: Historical Mystery

210 pages

Synopsis: Visiting a psychic is outside the norm for Ellison Russell. Finding bodies is not. Unfortunately, the psychic’s crystal ball says she’ll soon be surrounded by death. Again. 

Drat. 

Now there’s a corpse in the front drive, a witchy neighbor ready to turn Ellison and her (not so) little dog into toadstools, and a stripper named Starry Knight occupying the guest room. 

How did 1975 go so wrong so quickly? 

Ellison must handle Mother (who’s found a body of her own), make up with a certain handsome detective, and catch a killer, or the death surrounding her might be her own. 

Witchmark

by C.L. Polk

Series: Witchmark #1

Published by Tor.com

Genre: Fantasy

272 pages

Synopsis: In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.

Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family’s interest or to be committed to a witches’ asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans’ hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is.

When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.

June 26

A Steep Price

by Robert Dugoni

Series: Tracy Crosswhite #6

Published by Thomas & Mercer

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

380 pages

Synopsis: Called in to consult after a young woman disappears, Tracy Crosswhite has the uneasy feeling that this is no ordinary missing-persons case. When the body turns up in an abandoned well, Tracy’s suspicions are confirmed. Estranged from her family, the victim had balked at an arranged marriage and had planned to attend graduate school. But someone cut her dreams short.

Solving the mystery behind the murder isn’t Tracy’s only challenge. The detective is keeping a secret of her own: she’s pregnant. And now her biggest fear seems to be coming true when a new detective arrives to replace her. Meanwhile, Tracy’s colleague Vic Fazzio is about to take a fall after his investigation into the murder of a local community activist turns violent and leaves an invaluable witness dead.

Two careers are on the line. And when more deadly secrets emerge, jobs might not be the only things at risk.

Kappy King and the Pickle Kaper

by Amy Lillard

Series: An Amish Mystery #2

Published by Zebra

Genre: Mystery

352 pages

Synopsis: Kathryn “Kappy” King is happy being a plain-spoken unmarried odd-woman-out in her Pennsylvania Amish hometown. Her talent is making the special kapps local women use to cover their hair. But her skill at uncovering trouble in this quiet valley is about to be truly tested . . .

At first, young Sally June Esh’s tragic death doesn’t look like murder. Even in peaceful Blue Sky, collisions between buggies and Englisch cars aren’t unheard of. Still, the Eshes are skilled drivers used to delivering their popular pickles for miles around. And after Kappy notices Sally’s buggy was deliberately run off the road, her ex-Amish friend Edie gets strange texts saying the crash was no accident . . .

Kappy won’t let her community’s silence keep justice from being done. And even though a still-shunned Edie thinks of moving back to the city, she and Kappy start rooting out secrets about the Eshes’ long-time neighbors–and new pickle-producing rivals. But when they learn that Sally’s brother is secretly courting an Englisch girl, their investigation takes a disturbing turn . . . 

Trail of Lightning

by Rebecca Roanhorse

Series: The Sixth World #1

Published by Saga Press

Genre: YA 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. 

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe

by Alex White

Series: The Salvagers #1

Published by Orbit

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 might have stumbled on 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 the murder of a fellow racer. Framed for the murder and on the hunt to clear her name, Nilah only has one lead: the killer also hunts a woman named 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.

June 30

Rough Justice

by Kelley Armstrong

Series: Cainsville #5.5

Published by Subterranean

Genre: Urban Fantasy

192 pages

Synopsis: Mallt-y-Nos. Matilda of the Hunt. The lone woman who rides with the Wild Hunt, tasked with finding killers who’ve escaped justice and letting the hounds reap their souls. For Olivia Taylor-Jones, Matilda isn’t just a legendary figure from Welsh lore. She is Olivia’s past, and her future, one she’s finally embraced.

Having accepted her role as Matilda, Olivia must now lead her first Hunt. Seems simple enough. But when she questions their target’s guilt, the Hunt is halted, her mission failed. Still, it’s just a matter of getting Gabriel’s help and investigating the man’s past to reassure herself that he’s guilty. He must be. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be a target. But the deeper she digs, the more problems she finds, until she must question everything she knows about the Hunt and the choice she’s made. 

What books are you excited about this month?