May 2021 books on my list

So many books with mystery elements this month

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 as 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 might not know about! The links to the following books will take you to the book on Goodreads.

May 4

The Newcomer

by Mary Kay Andrews

Published by St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Mystery

448 pages

Synopsis: In trouble and on the run…

After she discovers her sister Tanya dead on the floor of her fashionable New York City townhouse, Letty Carnahan is certain she knows who did it: Tanya’s ex; sleazy real estate entrepreneur Evan Wingfield. Even in the grip of grief and panic Letty heeds her late sister’s warnings: “If anything bad happens to me—it’s Evan. Promise me you’ll take Maya and run. Promise me.”

With a trunkful of emotional baggage…

So Letty grabs her sister’s Mercedes and hits the road with her wailing four-year-old niece Maya. Letty is determined to out-run Evan and the law, but run to where? Tanya, a woman with a past shrouded in secrets, left behind a “go-bag” of cash and a big honking diamond ring—but only one clue: a faded magazine story about a sleepy mom-and-pop motel in a Florida beach town with the improbable name of Treasure Island. She sheds her old life and checks into an uncertain future at The Murmuring Surf Motel.

The No Vacancy sign is flashing & the sharks are circling…

And that’s the good news. Because The Surf, as the regulars call it, is the winter home of a close-knit flock of retirees and snowbirds who regard this odd-duck newcomer with suspicion and down-right hostility. As Letty settles into the motel’s former storage room, she tries to heal Maya’s heartache and unravel the key to her sister’s shady past, all while dodging the attention of the owner’s dangerously attractive son Joe, who just happens to be a local police detective. Can Letty find romance as well as a room at the inn—or will Joe betray her secrets and put her behind bars? With danger closing in, it’s a race to find the truth and right the wrongs of the past.

Cursed Luck

by Kelley Armstrong

Series: Cursed Luck #1

Published by KLA Fricke Inc

Genre: Urban Fantasy

364 pages

Synopsis: Kennedy Bennett comes from a long line of curse weavers. For centuries, her family has plied their trade in Unstable, Massachusetts, a quirky small town that’s welcomed paranormal practitioners since the dawn of spiritualism. Kennedy has recently struck out on her own, opening an antiques shop in Boston, where her speciality is uncursing and reselling hexed objects.

Then Aiden Connolly walks into her life with an offer she really should refuse. The scion of a wealthy family of luck workers, Aiden has a scheme to get his hands on the most famous cursed object of all: the mythical Necklace of Harmonia. He’s not the only one after the necklace, though. And he’s not the only one looking for a curse weaver to fix it. Kennedy’s sisters are kidnapped, she finds herself plunged into the underbelly of the magical world where even Aidan soon finds himself in over his head.

The Ones We’re Meant to Find

by Joan He

Published by Royal Brook Press

Genre: YA Science Fiction

384 pages

Synopsis: Cee has been trapped on an abandoned island for three years without any recollection of how she arrived, or memories from her life prior. All she knows is that somewhere out there, beyond the horizon, she has a sister named Kay. Determined to find her, Cee devotes her days to building a boat from junk parts scavenged inland, doing everything in her power to survive until the day she gets off the island and reunites with her sister.

In a world apart, 16-year-old STEM prodigy Kasey Mizuhara is also living a life of isolation. The eco-city she calls home is one of eight levitating around the world, built for people who protected the planet―and now need protecting from it. With natural disasters on the rise due to climate change, eco-cities provide clean air, water, and shelter. Their residents, in exchange, must spend at least a third of their time in stasis pods, conducting business virtually whenever possible to reduce their environmental footprint. While Kasey, an introvert and loner, doesn’t mind the lifestyle, her sister Celia hated it. Popular and lovable, Celia much preferred the outside world. But no one could have predicted that Celia would take a boat out to sea, never to return.

Now it’s been three months since Celia’s disappearance, and Kasey has given up hope. Logic says that her sister must be dead. But as the public decries her stance, she starts to second guess herself and decides to retrace Celia’s last steps. Where they’ll lead her, she does not know. Her sister was full of secrets. But Kasey has a secret of her own.

Arsenic and Adobo

by Mia P. Manansala

Series: Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery #1

Published by Berkley

Genre: Cozy Mystery

336 pages

Synopsis: When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.

With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…

Project Hail Mary

by Andy Weir

Published by Ballantine Books

Genre: Science Fiction

496 pages

Synopsis: Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission–and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.

May 11

A Master of Djinn

by P. Djèlí Clark

Series: Fatma el-Sha’arawi #1

Published by Tordotcom

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Steampunk, Mystery

400 pages

Synopsis: Cairo, 1912: Though Fatma el-Sha’arawi is the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, she’s certainly not a rookie, especially after preventing the destruction of the universe last summer.

So when someone murders a secret brotherhood dedicated to one of the most famous men in history, al-Jahiz, Agent Fatma is called onto the case. Al-Jahiz transformed the world 50 years ago when he opened up the veil between the magical and mundane realms, before vanishing into the unknown. This murderer claims to be al-Jahiz, returned to condemn the modern age for its social oppressions. His dangerous magical abilities instigate unrest in the streets of Cairo that threaten to spill over onto the global stage.

Alongside her Ministry colleagues and her clever girlfriend Siti, Agent Fatma must unravel the mystery behind this imposter to restore peace to the city – or face the possibility he could be exactly who he seems….

A Trail of Lies

by Kylie Logan

Series: Jazz Ramsey #3

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery

320 pages

Synopsis: Jazz Ramsey is just getting used to the idea that her on-again-off-again beau, Nick, might actually be a permanent fixture, when she gets an alarming call in the middle of the night from his mother, Kim: there’s a dead man in her backyard. Kim has a long history of drinking and a vivid imagination, so when Jazz’s human remains detection dog, Wally, finds no evidence of a body, Jazz thinks she can breathe easy.

But when the body of a middle-aged man, Dan Mansfield, is discovered in a nearby park, and a photo of Nick and his mom is found in his pocket, Jazz has to admit that something isn’t adding up. Kim claims not to know who Dan is, but the cops find out soon enough: he’s a recently paroled convict who served thirty years for murder. And when Jazz traces his crime back to a bar fight with an antiques dealer, she ends up with more questions than answers.

Meanwhile, no one wants her poking around–not Nick’s mom, nor the Motorcycle-riding ex-con she connects to Dan, nor Nick himself, who seems worried about Jazz’s safety, but also about what she might find. But Jazz has never been one to take no for an answer, and she won’t give up now–even if it means risking her own life.

We Are Satellites

by Sarah Pinsker

Published by Berkley Books

Genre: Science Fiction

368 pages

Synopsis: Everybody’s getting one.

Val and Julie just want what’s best for their kids, David and Sophie. So when teenage son David comes home one day asking for a Pilot, a new brain implant to help with school, they reluctantly agree. This is the future, after all.

Soon, Julie feels mounting pressure at work to get a Pilot to keep pace with her colleagues, leaving Val and Sophie part of the shrinking minority of people without the device.

Before long, the implications are clear, for the family and society: get a Pilot or get left behind. With government subsidies and no downside, why would anyone refuse? And how do you stop a technology once it’s everywhere? Those are the questions Sophie and her anti-Pilot movement rise up to answer, even if it puts them up against the Pilot’s powerful manufacturer and pits Sophie against the people she loves most.

Erebus Dawning

By A.J. Super

Series: Seven Stars Saga #1

Published by Aethon Books

Genre: Science Fiction

494 pages

Synopsis: Everyone wants the Star of Erebus. Space-pirate Nyx Marcus is no exception. With it, she can prove to her father that she is worthy of his legacy. But she’s come up empty-handed aboard the space-ship Thanatos and now Malcam, her father’s First Officer, is mutinying. As Nyx flees with a loyal skeleton crew, she discovers that the planet-killing weapon, named after one of the seven gods, is more than what it seems. Erebus isn’t a simple weapon, but an ancient AI and a technological god.

With the oppressive Queen of the Protectorate and new pirate captain Malcam searching for the Thanatos and Erebus, the AI god has more surprises for Nyx. Waking dormant AI code in Nyx’s blood, Erebus reveals they are family and Nyx is the head of the Seven Stars pantheon. But while Nyx’s only choice is to protect Erebus, she wants no part of her AI responsibilities. Now Nyx must learn to control her power without sacrificing her own humanity or give her enemies a new way to oppress the known universe and lose the family she holds dear.

May 16

Between Decisions

by W.R. Gingell

Series: The City Between #8

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: Life is complicated.

I mean, life has always been complicated, but there’s a difference between monsters-are-trying-to-kill-you complications and monsters-are-in-love-with-you complications. I’m still not sure which is more dangerous.

G’day. I’m Pet. Two-thirds of a pet, anyway: the vampire isn’t claiming ownership these days, but he’s definitely encroaching. On the list of other encroaching complications is the threat of heirling trials, a certain fae lord, and a mysterious librarian—not to mention the thing that’s killing people on Hobart’s waterfront…

One day, I’ll have a normal life. Today is not that day.

May 18

The Album of Dr. Moreau

by Daryl Gregory

Published by Tordotcom

Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery

176 pages

Synopsis: It’s 2001, and the WyldBoyZ are the world’s hottest boy band, and definitely the world’s only genetically engineered human-animal hybrid vocal group. When their producer, Dr. M, is found murdered in his hotel room, the “boyz” become the prime suspects. Was it Bobby the ocelot (“the cute one”), Matt the megabat (“the funny one”), Tim the Pangolin (“the shy one”), Devin the bonobo (“the romantic one”), or Tusk the elephant (“the smart one”)?

Las Vegas Detective Luce Delgado has only twenty-four hours to solve a case that goes all the way back to the secret science barge where the WyldBoyZ’ journey first began—a place they used to call home.

May 25

How to Mars

by David Ebenach

Published by Tachyon Publications

Genre: Science Fiction

256 pages

Synopsis: What happens when your dream mission to Mars is a reality television nightmare? This debut science-fiction romp with heart follows the tradition of Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, with a dash of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and a hint of The Real World.

For the six lucky scientists selected by the Destination Mars! corporation, a one-way ticket to Mars—in exchange for a lifetime of research—was an absolute no-brainer. The incredible opportunity was clearly worth even the most absurdly tedious screening process. Perhaps worth following the strange protocols in a nonsensical handbook written by an eccentric billionaire. Possibly even worth their constant surveillance, the video of which is carefully edited into a ratings-bonanza back on Earth.

But it turns out that after a while even scientists can get bored of science. Tempers begin to fray; unsanctioned affairs blossom. When perfectly good equipment begins to fail, the Marsonauts are faced with a possibility that their training just cannot explain.

A Peculiar Combination

by Ashley Weaver

Series: Electra McDonnell #1

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Historical Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: Electra McDonnell has always known that the way she and her family earn their living is slightly outside of the law. Breaking into the homes of the rich and picking the locks on their safes may not be condoned by British law enforcement, but World War II is in full swing, Ellie’s cousins Colm and Toby are off fighting against Hitler, and Uncle Mick’s more honorable business as a locksmith can’t pay the bills any more.

So when Uncle Mick receives a tip about a safe full of jewels in the empty house of a wealthy family, he and Ellie can’t resist. All goes as planned–until the pair are caught redhanded. Ellie expects them to be taken straight to prison, but instead they are delivered to a large townhouse, where government official Major Ramsey is waiting with an offer: either Ellie agrees to help him break into a safe and retrieve blueprints that will be critical to the British war effort, before they can be delivered to a German spy, or he turns her over to the police.

Ellie doesn’t care for the Major’s imperious manner, but she has no choice, and besides, she’s eager to do her bit for king and country. She may be a thief, but she’s no coward. When she and the Major break into the house in question, they find instead the purported German spy dead on the floor, the safe already open and empty. Soon, Ellie and Major Ramsey are forced to put aside their differences to unmask the double-agent, as they try to stop allied plans falling into German hands.

May 31

Murder at Wedgefield Manor

by Erica Ruth Neubauer

Series: Jane Wunderly Mystery #2

Published by Kensington

Genre: Historical Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: In the wake of World War I, Jane Wunderly–a thoroughly modern young American widow–is traveling abroad, enjoying the hospitality of an English lord and a perfectly proper manor house, until murder makes an unwelcome appearance…

England, 1926: Wedgefield Manor, deep in the tranquil Essex countryside, provides a welcome rest stop for Jane and her matchmaking Aunt Millie before their return to America. While Millie spends time with her long-lost daughter, Lillian, and their host, Lord Hughes, Jane fills the hours devouring mystery novels and taking flying lessons–much to Millie’s disapproval. But any danger in the air is eclipsed by tragedy on the ground when one of the estate’s mechanics, Air Force veteran Simon Marshall, is killed in a motorcar collision.

The sliced brake cables prove this was no accident, yet was the intended victim someone other than Simon? The house is full of suspects–visiting relations, secretive servants, strangers prowling the grounds at night–and also full of targets. The enigmatic Mr. Redvers, who helped Jane solve a murder in Egypt, arrives on the scene to once more offer his assistance. It seems that everyone at Wedgefield wants Jane to help protect the Hughes family. But while she searches for answers, is she overlooking a killer hiding in plain sight?

What May 2021 books are you looking forward to?

Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

A romance with unexpected characters

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 set to 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 . . .

The Heart Principle

by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient #3

Published by Berkley

Publishing date: August 31

Genre: Contemporary Romance

320 pages

Synopsis: To most people, Quan Diep is nothing but a surly-looking, underachieving playboy. The problem is he’s not any of those things. And now that he’s the CEO of an up-and-coming retail business, he’s suddenly a “catch,” and the rich girls who never used to pay any attention to him are looking at him in a new way—especially Camilla, the girl who brushed him off many years ago.

Anna Sun dislikes Quan Diep almost as much as germy bathroom door handles. Or so she tells herself. She will never admit that she has a secret crush on him, especially because he only has eyes for her charismatic and newly engaged younger sister Camilla. Over the years, Anna has worked hard to overcome her OCD, but she’ll still need to find a way to bury her anxieties and seduce Quan so he doesn’t ruin her sister’s engagement, and with it, a crucial real estate development deal.

Slowly, Anna breaks down Quan’s dangerous and careless exterior while peeling off her own tough, protective shell. But when Quan discovers Anna’s true intentions, he’s forced to confront his own hurtful past and learn to forgive, while Anna must face her greatest challenge: truly opening herself up to love.

…………………………

I don’t read very many romance books anymore, but I read The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) last year and loved it. It was one of my favorite books of 2020. The author did a good job in that book writing about autism.

The Heart Principle sounds like another book with individuals who don’t always fit our expectations for characters in romance books. I really like her honest, insightful writing.

February 2021 books on my list

Books I’m excited about this month

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 as 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 might not know about! The links to the following books will take you to the book on Goodreads.

February 2

A Stranger in Town

by Kelley Armstrong

Series: Rockton #6

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery, police procedural

368 pages

Synopsis: Detective Casey Duncan has noticed fewer and fewer residents coming in to the hidden town of Rockton, and no extensions being granted. Her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, presumes it’s the natural flux of things, but Casey’s not so sure. Something bigger is happening in the small town they call home.

When an injured hiker stumbles from the woods, the sole survivor of a hostile attack, it’s all hands on deck. Even a member of the elusive Rockton council comes in to help. This council member also comes bearing news: Rockton is being shut down due to the hostile situation.

The Night Parade of 100 Demons

by Marie Brennan

A Legend of the Five Rings Novel

Published by Aconyte

Genre: Fantasy

336 pages

Synopsis: Chaos has broken out in the isolated Dragon Clan settlement of Seibo Mura. During the full moon, horrifying creatures rampage through the village, unleashing havoc and death. When the Dragon samurai Agasha no Isao Ryotora is sent to investigate, he faces even greater danger than expected. To save the village, he must confront his buried past – not to mention an unexpected Phoenix Clan visitor, Asako Sekken, who has his own secrets to hide. The quest to save Sebo Mura will take the two samurai into the depths of forgotten history and the shifting terrain of the Spirit Realms… and bring them face to face with an ancient, terrifying evil.

Finlay Donovan is Killing It

by Elle Cosimano

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery

336 pages

Synopsis: Edgar-Award nominee Elle Cosimano’s adult debut, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is the first in a witty, fast-paced mystery series, following struggling suspense novelist and single mom Finlay Donovan, whose fiction treads dangerously close to the truth as she becomes tangled in real-life murder investigations…

Winter’s Orbit

by Everina Maxwell

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Science Fiction

432 pages

Synopsis: While the Iskat Empire has long dominated the system through treaties and political alliances, several planets, including Thea, have begun to chafe under Iskat’s rule. When tragedy befalls Imperial Prince Taam, his Thean widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with Taam’s cousin, the disreputable Kiem, in a bid to keep the rising hostilities between the two worlds under control.

But when it comes to light that Prince Taam’s death may not have been an accident, and that Jainan himself may be a suspect, the unlikely pair must overcome their misgivings and learn to trust one another as they navigate the perils of the Iskat court, try to solve a murder, and prevent an interplanetary war… all while dealing with their growing feelings for each other.

Much Ado About You

by Samantha Young

Published by Berkley

Genre: Contemporary Romance

308 pages

Synopsis: At thirty-three-years old Evangeline Starling’s life in Chicago is missing that special something. And when she’s passed over for promotion at work, Evie realizes she needs to make a change. Some time away to regain perspective might be just the thing. In a burst of impulsivity, she plans a holiday in a quaint English village. The holiday package comes with a temporary position at Much Ado About Books, the bookstore located beneath her rental apartment. There’s no better dream vacation for the bookish Evie, a life-long Shakespeare lover.

February 9

The Electric Kingdom

by David Arnold

Published by Viking Books for Young Readers

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia

432 page

Synopsis: When a deadly Fly Flu sweeps the globe, it leaves a shell of the world that once was. Among the survivors are eighteen-year-old Nico and her dog, on a voyage devised by Nico’s father to find a mythical portal; a young artist named Kit, raised in an old abandoned cinema; and the enigmatic Deliverer, who lives Life after Life in an attempt to put the world back together. As swarms of infected Flies roam the earth, these few survivors navigate the woods of post-apocalyptic New England, meeting others along the way, each on their own quest to find life and light in a world gone dark. The Electric Kingdom is a sweeping exploration of love, art, storytelling, eternal life, and above all, a testament to the notion that even in an exterminated world, one person might find beauty in another.

A Lady’s Formula for Love

by Elizabeth Everett

Series: The Secret Scientists of London #1

Published by Berkley

Genre: Historical Romance

336 pages

Synopsis: Lady Violet Hughes is keeping secrets. First, she founded a clandestine sanctuary for England’s most brilliant female scientists. Second, she is using her genius on a confidential mission for the Crown. But the biggest secret of all? Her feelings for protection officer Arthur Kneland.

Solitary and reserved, Arthur learned the hard way to put duty first. But the more time he spends in the company of Violet and the eccentric club members, the more his best intentions go up in flames. Literally.

The Gilded Ones

by Namina Forna

Series: Deathless #1

Published by Delacorte

Genre: YA Fantasy

432 pages

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

February 16

The Echo Wife

by Sarah Gailey

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery

256 pages

Synopsis: Martine is a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn Caldwell’s award-winning research. She’s patient and gentle and obedient. She’s everything Evelyn swore she’d never be. And she’s having an affair with Evelyn’s husband.

Now, the cheating bastard is dead, and the Caldwell wives have a mess to clean up. Good thing Evelyn Caldwell is used to getting her hands dirty.

February 23

The Russian Cage

by Charlaine Harris

Series: Gunnie Rose #3

Published by Gallery/Saga Press

Genre: Fantasy, Western, Alternate History

304 pages

Synopsis: Picking up right where A Longer Fall left off, this thrilling third installment follows Lizbeth Rose as she takes on one of her most dangerous missions yet: rescuing her estranged partner, Prince Eli, from the Holy Russian Empire. Once in San Diego, Lizbeth is going to have to rely upon her sister Felicia, and her growing Grigori powers to navigate her way through this strange new world of royalty and deception in order to get Eli freed from jail where he’s being held for murder.

Night Wind

by Julie Mulhern

Series: Country Club Murder #12

Published by J & M Press

Genre: Historical Mystery

Synopsis: Spring is in the air, and Ellison Russell has places to go, people to see, bodies to find. Strike that. For once, Ellison doesn’t discover the body.

When Detective Anarchy Jones investigates a friend’s husband’s murder, Ellison can’t help but get involved.

What books are you excited to get your hands on this month?

March 2020 books on my list

Books published in March 2020 I might read — What books have I missed?

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 as 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 might not know about! The links to the following books will take you to the book on Goodreads.

March 3

I haven’t read any in this series, but I love most police procedurals so I want to keep this on my list so I can remember to look for earlier books in the series. Has anyone else read any in this series? How did you like them?

The Lady of the Lake

by Peter Guttridge

Series: Brighton Mysteries #7

Published by Severn House Publishers

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

208 pages

Synopsis: When Major Richard Rabbitt, owner of a large estate in Sussex, is found floating in a lake belonging to Nimue Grace, a charismatic former Hollywood actress, DI Sarah Gilchrist and DS Bellamy Heap are called in to investigate – and quickly discover Rabbitt was a notoriously difficult man to deal with.

Rabbitt was hated by his estranged wife, had several rivalries with residents of the area, and was involved in a number of deals with other shady businessmen . . . such as Said Farzi, a ‘criminal’ according to many, and the corrupt politician William Simpson – the father of Heap’s girlfriend.

With numerous suspects and many refusing to cooperate, Gilchrist and Heap must stay on their toes to unravel all the connections. Who stood to gain the most from Rabbitt’s demise, and who can be trusted?

I read one or two of the young adult books Sarah Maas writes and I think she’s a very talented author so I’m excited to read her first adult fantasy.

House of Earth and Blood

by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Crescent City #1

Published by Bloomsbury Publishing

Genre: Adult fantasy

816 pages

Synopsis: Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love.

A science fiction murder mystery!

Re-Coil

by J.T. Nicholas

Series: Unknown

Published by Titan Books

Genre: Science Fiction, Mystery

384 pages

Synopsis: Out on a salvage mission with a skeleton crew, Carter Langston is murdered by animated corpses left behind on this ship. Yet in this future, everyone’s consciousness backup can be safely downloaded into a brand-new body, and all you’d lose are the memories of what happened between your last backup and your death. But when Langston wakes up in his new body, he is immediately attacked in the medbay and has to fight once again for his life—and his immortality. Because this assassin aims to destroy his core forever.

Determined to find his shipmates and solve this evolving mystery, Langston locates their tech whiz Shay Chan, but two members are missing and perhaps permanently killed. Langston and Chan are soon running for their lives with the assassin and the corporation behind him in hot pursuit.

What Langston and Chan ultimately find would signal the end of humanity. What started as a salvage mission just might end up saving the world.

Another science fiction adventure and the beginning of a new series.

A Pale Light in the Black

by K.B. Wagers

Series: NeoG #1

Published by Harper Voyager

Genre: Science Fiction

432 pages

Synopsis: For the past year, their close loss in the annual Boarding Games has haunted Interceptor Team: Zuma’s Ghost. With this year’s competition looming, they’re looking forward to some payback—until an unexpected personnel change leaves them reeling. Their best swordsman has been transferred, and a new lieutenant has been assigned in his place.

Maxine Carmichael is trying to carve a place in the world on her own—away from the pressure and influence of her powerful family. The last thing she wants is to cause trouble at her command on Jupiter Station. With her new team in turmoil, Max must overcome her self-doubt and win their trust if she’s going to succeed. Failing is not an option—and would only prove her parents right.

But Max and the team must learn to work together quickly. A routine mission to retrieve a missing ship has suddenly turned dangerous, and now their lives are on the line. Someone is targeting members of Zuma’s Ghost, a mysterious opponent willing to kill to safeguard a secret that could shake society to its core . . . a secret that could lead to their deaths and kill thousands more unless Max and her new team stop them.

Rescue those in danger, find the bad guys, win the Games. It’s all in a day’s work at the NeoG. 

March 10

Anne Bishop is a favorite author of mine–I especially like The Others series. I read one or two of the Black Jewels books years ago so this is a book I might try.

The Queen’s Bargain

by Anne Bishop

Series: Black Jewels #10

Published by Ace

Genre: Fantasy

448 pages

Synopsis: After a youthful mistake, Lord Dillon’s reputation is in tatters, leaving him vulnerable to aristo girls looking for a bit of fun. To restore his reputation and honor, he needs a handfast—a one-year contract of marriage. He sets his sights on Jillian, a young Eyrien witch from Ebon Rih, who he believes has only a flimsy connection to the noble society that spurned him. Unfortunately for Dillon, he is unaware of Jillian’s true connections until he finds himself facing Lucivar Yaslana, the volatile Warlord Prince of Ebon Rih.

Meanwhile, Surreal SaDiablo’s marriage is crumbling. Daemon Sadi, the Warlord Prince of Dhemlan, recognizes there is something wrong between him and Surreal, but he doesn’t realize that his attempt to suppress his own nature in order to spare his wife is causing his mind to splinter. To save Daemon, and the Realm of Kaeleer if he breaks, help must be sought from someone who no longer exists in any of the Realms—the only Queen powerful enough to control Daemon Sadi. The Queen known as Witch.

As Jillian rides the winds of first love with Dillon, Daemon and Surreal struggle to survive the wounds of a marriage turned stormy—and Lucivar has to find a way to keep everyone in his family safe…even from each other.

I love this series so this is my most anticipated book for March!

Smoke Bitten

by Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #12

Published by Ace

Genre: Urban Fantasy

352 pages

Synopsis: I am Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman.
My only “superpowers” are that I turn into a thirty-five pound coyote and fix Volkswagens. But I have friends in odd places and a pack of werewolves at my back. It looks like I’m going to need them.

Centuries ago, the fae dwelt in Underhill–until she locked her doors against them. They left behind their great castles and troves of magical artifacts. They abandoned their prisoners and their pets. Without the fae to mind them, those creatures who remained behind roamed freely through Underhill wreaking havoc. Only the deadliest survived.

Now one of those prisoners has escaped. It can look like anyone, any creature it chooses. But if it bites you, it controls you. It lives for chaos and destruction. It can make you do anything–even kill the person you love the most. Now it is here, in the Tri-Cities. In my territory.

It won’t, can’t, remain.

Not if I have anything to say about it. 

A historical mystery that takes place during WWI.

A Death in Chelsea

by Lynn Brittney

Series: Mayfair 100 Murder Mystery #2

Published by Crooked Lane Books

Genre: Historical Mystery

326 pages

Synopsis: In the dark days of World War I, an aristocrat’s suspicious suicide propels a one-of-a-kind crime-fighting team into a sordid world of blackmail, betrayal, and tragic secrets.

When the phone rings at the Mayfair 100 exchange, the news is rarely good, and this time is no exception. The Duchess of Penhere’s daughter, notorious society gossip queen Lady Adeline Treborne, has been found dead in her room in what appears to be a suicide–but her family suspects foul play.

The secret Mayfair team of amateur female detectives has been restlessly awaiting their next case, and this will prove one of their thorniest. When Dr. Caroline Allardyce performs an autopsy, she is able to conclusively prove that the woman was murdered. Lady Treborne had made many enemies through her vicious gossip column, so there’s no shortage of suspects.

Supported by a cadre of professional police officers, the Mayfair women launch their investigation, but there’s much more to this case than meets the eye. As they venture into a world that lays bare London high life at its lowest, the team soon begins to comprehend the danger at hand–and how this tangled web of treachery could ensnare anyone who gets too close. 

Short stories that “…explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction and magic.”

A Phoenix First must Burn

Edited by Patrice Caldwell

Series: None

Published by Vikings Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA Fantasy & Science Fiction Short Stories

368 pages

Synopsis: Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic.

Evoking Beyoncé’s Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler’s heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. A Phoenix First Must Burn will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between. Filled with stories of love and betrayal, strength and resistance, this collection contains an array of complex and true-to-life characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected. Witches and scientists, sisters and lovers, priestesses and rebels: the heroines of A Phoenix First Must Burn shine brightly. You will never forget them.

Authors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, Dhonielle Clayton, Jalissa Corrie, Somaiya Daud, Charlotte Davis, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Justina Ireland, Danny Lore, L.L. McKinney, Danielle Paige, Rebecca Roanhorse, Karen Strong, Ashley Woodfolk, and Ibi Zoboi.

Another science fiction–the Coast Guard is trying to prevent the first lunar war.

Sixteenth Watch

by Myke Cole

Series: Unknown

Published by Angry Robot

Genre: Science Fiction

317 pages

Synopsis: The Coast Guard must prevent the first lunar war in history. A lifelong Search-and-Rescue woman, Coast Guard Captain Jane Oliver is ready for a peaceful retirement. But when tragedy strikes, Oliver loses her husband and her plans for the future, and finds herself thrust into a role she’s not prepared for. Suddenly at the helm of the Coast Guard’s elite SAR-1 lunar unit, Oliver is the only woman who can prevent the first lunar war in history, a conflict that will surely consume not only the moon, but earth as well. 

I just discovered this series and haven’t read any of the previous books yet, but the setting in Arkansas found in the first three books is one I don’t find very often.

Below the Surface

by Cynthia A. Graham

Series: Hick Blackburn #4

Published by Blank Slate Press

Genre: Mystery

250 pages

Synopsis: Hick Blackburn is falling apart. Last year, the world had been full of hope and promise after solving a murder and corruption case in nearby Broken Creek. Attorney Carol Quinn’s uncle, the head of the Civil Rights Section of the Justice Department, had offered both Hick and Carol jobs in DC. Hick had a wife, two boys, and a baby on the way. Now, everything is different. It’s as if hope and promise no longer exist. And then Quinn shows up again. This time, it’s with a new case to solve and when Hick finds out his friend Father Grant is in the hospital and his church has been torched, he can’t say no. But this time, corruption is the least of his problems.

March 12

I love the cover and the name of this series–Mercenary Librarians! I have to try this.

Deal with the Devil

by Kit Rocha

Series: Mercenary Librarians #1

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Fantasy Romance

416 pages

Synopsis: The United States went belly up 45 years ago when our power grid was wiped out. Too few live in well-protected isolation while the rest of us scrape by on the margins. The only thing that matters is survival. By any means. At any cost.

Nina is an information broker with a mission: to bring hope to the darkest corners of Atlanta. She and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to help those in need. But altruism doesn’t pay the bills—raiding vaults and collecting sensitive data is where the real money is.

Knox is a bitter, battle-weary supersoldier who leads the Silver Devils, an elite strike squad that chose to go AWOL rather than slaughter innocents. Before the Devils leave town for good, they need a biochem hacker to stabilize the experimental implants that grant their superhuman abilities.

The problem? Their hacker’s been kidnapped. And the ransom for her return is Nina. Knox has the perfect bait for a perfect trap: a lost Library of Congress server. The data could set Nina and her team up for years…

If they live that long.

March 17

Another great cover and it sounds like a fun book.

The House in the Cerulean Sea

by T.J. Klune

Series: Unknown

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Fantasy

352 pages

Synopsis: A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

Historical mystery set in Cracow, Poland in 1893. It sounds fascinating.

Mrs. Mohr Goes Missing

by Maryla Szymiczkowa

Series: Zofia Turbotyńska Mystery #1

Published by Houghton Mifflin

Genre: Historical Mystery, Poland

368 pages

Cracow, 1893. Zofia Turbotyńska–professor’s wife and socialite–is bored at home, with little to do but plan a charity auction sponsored by the wealthy residents of a local nursing home and the nuns who work there.

But when one of those residents is found dead, Zofia finds a calling: solving crimes. Ridiculed by the police, who have declared the deaths of natural cause, she starts her own murder investigation, unbeknownst to anyone but her loyal cook Franciszka and one reluctant nun. With her husband blissfully unaware of her secret, Zofia remakes herself into Cracow’s greatest–or at the very least, most surprising–amateur detective.

Full of period character and charm, Mrs. Mohr Goes Missing proves that everyone is capable of finding their passion in life, however unlikely it may seem.

March 24

As many of you know by now I’m a sucker for books with dogs on the cover–especially K-9 dogs or other working dogs.

The K Team

by David Rosenfelt

Series: The K Team #1

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: In David Rosenfelt’s newest series – a spinoff of the much beloved Andy Carpenter mysteries – Andy’s wife forms an investigative team with a former detective and his German shepard partner.

Andy Carpenter’s wife, Laurie, was a cop, a good one. Now she helps out on Andy’s cases while also raising Ricky, their son. But she’s been chafing to jump back into investigating on her own, and when her former partner and his German shepard K-9 partner come to her with a proposal, she’s in.

And another dog book with a puppy on the cover this time! I want to find out more about that puppy.

Who Rescued Who

by Victoria Schade

Series: Unknown

Published by Berkley

Genre: Contemporary Romance

336 pages

Synopsis: A few rough breaks lead a woman at the end of her leash to journey across the pond to fetch a suprise inheritance–but the dogs she rescues along the way have other ideas.

The plan was simple: Elizabeth would suffer through a quick trip to her late father’s family homestead in the English countryside, try not to think about how she was unjustly fired from her dream job, claim her inheritance, and hop on the next flight back to Silicon Valley where she can get her life back on track.

The plan does not include rescuing an abandoned black and white puppy. Or bonding with her long-lost aunt and uncle, their Border Collie, and their two very opinionated sheep. Or falling for the handsome local who runs the town’s craft brewery. As Elizabeth’s brief visit to Fargrove turns into an extended stay, she discovers that she has more in common with the new puppy than she realized. 

I’m ashamed to admit that I own several books by N.K. Jemisin, but I haven’t read any books by her yet. I really need to read some this spring.

The City We Became

by N.K. Jemisin

Series: Great Cities #1

Published by Orbit

Genre: Fantasy

437 pages

Synopsis: Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got five.

But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five protectors unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.

A very interesting cover and it sounds so good!

The Empress of Salt and Fortune

by Nghi Vo

Series: Unknown

Published by Tor.com

Genre: Fantasy Novella

112 pages

Synopsis: With the heart of an Atwood tale and the visuals of a classic Asian period drama The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a tightly and lushly written narrative about empire, storytelling, and the anger of women.

A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage. Alone and sometimes reviled, she has only her servants on her side. This evocative debut chronicles her rise to power through the eyes of her handmaiden, at once feminist high fantasy and a thrilling indictment of monarchy. 

What books are you excited about this month?

January 2020 books on my list

Books published in January 2020 I might read — What books have I missed?

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 as 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 might not know about!

January 1

The beginning of a new series and it’s an author I haven’t read before as well as a police procedural!

Lost Hills

by Lee Goldberg

Series: Eve Ronin #1

Published by Thomas Mercer

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

237 pages

Synopsis: A video of Deputy Eve Ronin’s off-duty arrest of an abusive movie star goes viral, turning her into a popular hero at a time when the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is plagued by scandal. The sheriff, desperate for more positive press, makes Eve the youngest female homicide detective in the department’s history.

Now Eve, with a lot to learn and resented by her colleagues, has to justify her new badge. Her chance comes when she and her burned-out, soon-to-retire partner are called to the blood-splattered home of a missing single mother and her two kids. The horrific carnage screams multiple murder—but there are no corpses.

January 7

I’ve read a number of books by Jenny Colgan and I really like her writing. Plus the cover is very cute!

Where Have All the Boys Gone?

by Jenny Colgan

Series: None

Published by William Morrow

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

368 pages

Synopsis: Faced with the harsh reality that there are 25,000 more women than men in London, Katie’s dating prospects are at an all-time low. While she’s glad it’s not a man’s world anymore, it wouldn’t hurt if there were more eligible bachelors.  

More likely to get murdered than married, according to gleeful media reports, Katie resigns herself to the fact that there’s no sex in the city for her and decides to head for the hills—or the Scottish Highlands to be exact. Despite the fact she’s never been one for muddy rain boats—and Fairlish is in the middle of nowhere—the tiny town does have one major draw: men. LOTS of them!

But while Katie relishes the chance to do battle with armies of admirers, she’s not excited about going head to head with her shady new boss, Harry. At least there’s the local eye-candy to distract her, including gorgeous newshound Iain. But he is at loggerheads with Harry, and she can’t afford to get on Harry’s bad side any more than she already has.

January 14

I liked the first book in this series a lot. Gunnie Rose is a very memorable character.

A Longer Fall

by Charlaine Harris

Series: Gunnie Rose #2

Published by Gallery / Saga Press

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Alternate History

304 pages

Synopsis: In this second thrilling installment of the Gunnie Rose series, Lizbeth Rose is hired onto a new crew for a seemingly easy protection job, transporting a crate into Dixie, just about the last part of the former United States of America she wants to visit. But what seemed like a straight-forward job turns into a massacre as the crate is stolen. Up against a wall in Dixie, where social norms have stepped back into the last century, Lizbeth has to go undercover with an old friend to retrieve the crate as what’s inside can spark a rebellion, if she can get it back in time.

This is a new author to me, but it has a beautiful cover and this historical mystery series sounds really good.

The Hollows

by Jess Montgomery

Series: Kinship #2

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Historical Mystery (Ohio, 1926)

352 pages

Synopsis: Ohio, 1926: For many years, the underground railroad track in Moonvale Tunnel has been used as a short cut through the Appalachian hills. When an elderly woman is killed walking along the tracks, the brakeman tells tales of seeing a ghostly female figure dressed all in white.

Newly elected Sheriff Lily Ross is called on to the case to dispel the myths, but Lily does not believe that an old woman would wander out of the hills onto the tracks. In a county where everyone knows everyone, how can someone have disappeared, when nobody knew they were missing? As ghost stories and rumors settle into the consciousness of Moonvale Hollow, Lily tries to search for any real clues to the woman’s identity.

With the help of her friend Marvena Whitcomb, Lily follows the woman’s trail to The Hollows—an asylum is northern Antioch County—and they begin to expose secrets long-hidden by time and the mountains. 

A great title and dogs and cats are in the story so this sounds like fun! But the dog mentioned in this synopsis is a bulldog and I think this is a Boston terrier? Why is he on the cover?

St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets

by Annie England Noblin

Series: None

Published by William Morrow

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Animals

382 pages

Synopsis: Laid off, cheated on, mugged: what else can go wrong in Maeve Stephens’ life? So when she learns her birth mother has left her a house, a vintage VW Beetle, and a marauding cat, in the small town of Timber Creek, Washington, she packs up to discover the truth about her past.

She arrives to the sight of a cheerful bulldog abandoned on her front porch, a reclusive but tempting author living next door, and a set of ready-made friends at the St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets, where women knit colorful sweaters for the dogs and cats in their care. But there’s also an undercurrent of something that doesn’t sit right with Maeve. What’s the secret (besides her!) that her mother had hidden?

January 21

I like reading books set in Montana plus this is a mystery and about a military veteran who sustained a traumatic brain injury.

The Blaze

by Chad Dundas

Series: Unknown

Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

384 pages

Synopsis: One man knows the connection between two extraordinary acts of arson, fifteen years apart, in his Montana hometown–if only he could remember it.

Having lost much of his memory from a traumatic brain injury sustained in Iraq, army veteran Matthew Rose is called back to Montana after his father’s death to settle his affairs, and hopefully to settle the past as well. It’s not only a blank to him, but a mystery. Why as a teen did he suddenly become sullen and vacant, abandoning the activities and people that had meant most to him? How did he, the son of hippy activists, wind up enlisting in the first place?

Then on his first night back, Matthew sees a house go up in flames, and it turns out a local college student has died inside. And this event sparks a memory of a different fire, an unsolved crime from long ago, a part of Matthew’s past that might lead to all the answers he’s been searching for. What he finds will connect the old fire and the new, a series of long-unsolved mysteries, and a ruthless act of murder. 

I read the first book in this series and liked it a lot plus I’ve read the Linesman series also by Dunstall which was excellent.

Stars Beyond

by S.K. Dunstall

Series: Stars Uncharted #2

Published by Ace

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

400 pages

Synopsis: An engineer with a fondness for weapons. A captain with no memory. An obsessive genemodder who loves to tinker. Meet the crew of Another Road.

Josune, Roystan, and Nika have escaped the company thugs trying to kill them. They’ve gotten a new spaceship to replace The Road (after it was blown up underneath them). And their new ship is armed to the teeth with dangerous weapons, courtesy of Josune. All that’s left to do before they head out to find the legendary lode of transurides is to restore Roystan’s memory. To do that, they need to collect the genemod machine Nika has ordered.

But first, they have to shake off the Justice Department agent and the Companies tracking them.

It should be easy. They’ve done it before. What could possibly go wrong?

January 28

My husband has read several of Eoin Colfer’s books, but I haven’t. I like that this is an adult fantasy about dragons and that it takes place in the modern world!

Highfire

by Eoin Colfer

Series: Unknown

Published by HarperCollins

Genre: Fantasy, Dragons

384 pages

Synopsis: In the days of yore, he flew the skies and scorched angry mobs—now he hides from swamp tour boats and rises only with the greatest reluctance from his Laz-Z-Boy recliner. Laying low in the bayou, this once-magnificent fire breather has been reduced to lighting Marlboros with nose sparks, swilling Absolut in a Flashdance T-shirt, and binging Netflix in a fishing shack. For centuries, he struck fear in hearts far and wide as Wyvern, Lord Highfire of the Highfire Eyrie—now he goes by Vern. However…he has survived, unlike the rest. He is the last of his kind, the last dragon. Still, no amount of vodka can drown the loneliness in his molten core. Vern’s glory days are long gone. Or are they?

A canny Cajun swamp rat, young Everett “Squib” Moreau does what he can to survive, trying not to break the heart of his saintly single mother. He’s finally decided to work for a shady smuggler—but on his first night, he witnesses his boss murdered by a crooked constable.

Another new author to me plus a mystery and a police procedural. Yes!

A Dredging in Swann

by Tim Garvin

Series: Seb Creek Mysteries #1

Published by Blackstone

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

304 pages

Synopsis: Two investigations start at the same time in Swann County, North Carolina, one by the FBI, the other by the sheriff. The feds want to know who stole three Stinger missiles during a helicopter crash. The sheriff wants to know who hung a black ex-con in a well.

Seb Creek, a sheriff’s detective, gets involved in both investigations and fights through lies, secrets, and murder to find the killer. The trail involves a long-ago ax murder, the ravages of combat, an outdoor gas chamber, a mystery at the bottom of a well, and finally a last killing and an ancient testament.

The dog on the cover of this book is so cute plus it’s nonfiction and it sounds heart-wrenching (Gabby is 8 years old and has never been outside??) I think I need to read this. (I am glad to see the dog on this cover seems to match Gabby as described here.)

Gabby: The Little Dog that Had to Learn to Bark

by Barby Keel

Series: None

Published by Citadel Press

Genre: Nonfiction, Animals

256 pages

Synopsis: Baby seagulls, mischievous ferrets, strutting peacocks…in the decades that Barby Keel has run her animal sanctuary in the English countryside, she has seen all manner of creatures. Thousands of cats and dogs have come through her doors and, with the aid of Barby and her dedicated staff, found loving forever homes. But Gabby, a small terrier with solemn, terrified eyes, is like no case Barby has ever encountered before.

Gabby has spent all eight years of her life indoors. She has no idea how to play with a toy or chew a treat. She has never dug in the dirt or rolled happily in the grass. Strangest of all, Gabby does not know how to bark. Barby can tell that the little golden-haired dog is bright and curious beneath her paralyzing fear, but coaxing out Gabby’s true spirit will be a daunting task.

Yet sometimes, a dog and a human fit together like two puzzle pieces, and so it is with Gabby and Barby. And Barby, who believes passionately in animals’ ability to help and heal those they love, will find her faith in Gabby repaid just when she, and her sanctuary, need it most . . .

I’m several books behind in this series, but I really like the ones I’ve read so I’d like to catch up so I can read this one!

Death Comes to the Nursery

by Catherine Lloyd

Series: Kurland St. Mary’s Mystery #7

Published by Kensington

Genre: Historical Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: Delighted by the quiet uproar of raising their newborn, Lady Lucy and Major Sir Robert Kurland could not be more pleased at the prospect of welcoming another into their home. But their preparations are soon overshadowed by a baffling case of murder . . .

Once known to all in her village as the rector’s daughter, Lucy is now a mother herself—to a wonderful eighteen-month-old son, Ned. Upon discovering that she is expecting a second child, Lucy and Robert are delighted. In anticipation of the new arrival, Lucy is set on expanding her nursery staff. When Agnes, her current nurse, recommends her cousin, it seems like the perfect solution.

But trouble arrives along with the new nursery maid from London. Polly’s flirtations provoke fisticuffs in the servants’ hall and tumult in the village tavern, and on her afternoon off, she fails to return to the Kurland Estate. When a farmer finds her lifeless body in a drainage ditch, Lucy and Robert fear foul play.

This dog looks a lot like my daughter’s black lab so I had to include this book! However, the only dog mentioned in the synopsis is a poodle so who is the black lab??

Cold Nose, Warm Heart

by Mara Wells

Series: Fur Haven Dog Park #1

Published by Sourcebook Casablanca

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Dogs

384 pages

Synopsis: All Caleb Donovan has to do to redeem his family name is take a rundown Miami Beach apartment building and turn it into luxury condos. Easy, right?

Unfortunately, that would also turn the local dog park into a parking lot and the neighbors aren’t having it. Caleb is faced with outright revolt, led by smart, beautiful building manager Riley Carson and her poodle, LouLou.

For Caleb, this project should have been a slam dunk. But even more challenging than the neighborhood resistance is the mutual attraction between him and Riley. It would be so much easier just to stay enemies.

What books are you excited about this month?

Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie

toy-story-by jennifer-crusieHot Toyby Jennifer Crusie
Series: None–part of an anthology
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Setting: United States
Published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 2006
Paperback, purchased
104 pages
Grade: C+
Synopsis: Get ready for a holiday season you’ll never forget with three of today’s most sensational writers who know what every woman wants for the holidays. You’ll believe in Santa all over again with these seductive stories from:
 
JENNIFER CRUSIE
Mayhem ensues under the mistletoe as a determined shopper grabs the very last hot toy action figure off the shelf, only to find herself plunged into the middle of a real-life spy game–in the arms of a sexy secret agent. . .

Above her, Madonna cooed “Santa Baby,” the ancient store speakers making the carol to sex and greed sound a little tinny. Whatever had happened to “The Little Drummer Boy”? That had been annoying, too, but in a traditional way, like fruitcake. She’d be happy to hear a “rum-pa-pum-pum” again, anything that didn’t make Christmas sound like it was about getting stuff.

Initial impressions

  • Not my favorite story by Jennifer Crusie. Too short for both a romance and a suspense plot.

Cheers

  • This has the trademark Jennifer Crusie humor. I always like her humor.
  • The romance in the story isn’t my favorite, but I still like it.
  • Trudy meets Nolan a college professor she dated, in a toy store, on Christmas Eve where she’s looking for the popular toy of the year for her nephew. Of course, the toy sold out months ago.
  • Trudy is irritated Nolan never called again after their last date. However, it turns out Nolan is looking for the same toy as he’s a collector. Then a former research assistant of her professor father shows up and they all go on a wild goose chase to try to find the toy.

Jeers

  • The suspense part of the story seems very unrealistic and just didn’t work for me. I wish there had just been a sweet romance especially with such a short story.
  • Trudy’s sister doesn’t have the right toy for her son so Trudy has to go out and fight the crowds on Christmas Eve to try to find the “it” toy of the year?? And when she can’t find it the sister insists she keep looking??? I don’t think so.

hot-toyAnd a few thoughts . . .

  • I bought the paperback when it came out, but hadn’t read it. Now I’ve read Jennifer Crusie’s short story, but not the other two.
  • A new edition of just Ms. Crusie’s short story was published in October.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Jenny Crusie is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of twenty novels, one book of literary criticism, miscellaneous articles, essays, and short stories, and the editor of two anthologies for BenBella Press. She lives in a small cottage on a small lake in New Jersey, surrounded by deer, bears, and dachshunds, where she often stares at the ceiling and counts her blessings.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • TBR Pile Challenge–hosted by the Bookish blog

“You Again” by JoAnn Ross

you-again-by-JoAnn-Ross“You Again” by JoAnn Ross
Series: Shelter Bay #6.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Setting: NYC & Shelter Bay, Oregon
Published by Catlelough Publishing LLC, 2014
E-book, purchased
172 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: A book nerd, a brainiac science guy, and a misplaced killer whale…

Meghann Quinn wasn’t always a hugely successful author. Adam Wayne wasn’t always a marine biologist studying whales. Back in high school in Shelter Bay, Oregon, she was the shy book nerd helping the brainiac science guy pass English. Meghann had no idea Adam would turn into such a hottie. Adam has no idea their once-upon-a-time sweet summer romance inspired Meghann’s popular teen novels.

Two shy geeks didn’t have the courage to share their true feelings back then. But now that Meghann’s back in town, they’re pondering life’s important questions. Such as, will Adam ask her to the Snow Ball? And what are they going to do about the lost Orca who shows up on Christmas Eve? And can two nerds get past their initial insecurity to take a second chance on a once-in-a-lifetime love?

You Again also will appear in a Home for Christmas Duet with Jessica Scott.

Initial impressions

  • A fun, fast read about two people who meet again after 10 years.

Cheers

  • Adam and Meaghann are characters I would enjoy knowing.
  • Meaghann tutored Adam in English during high school and they liked each other, but lost track of each other when they went off to college.
  • Meaghann is now a successful young adult author. Adam is a marine biologist living in their home town of Shelter Bay, Oregon.
  • When she’s invited to Shelter Bay for a fund-raising event, Meaghann arrives a couple of days before Christmas. And she and Adam both want another chance at love.
  • I loved reading about the Christmas parade of boats. And all about the orca (killer whales). I thought the author did a good job making them part of the story.
  • Even though I haven’t read any other books in this series I didn’t have any trouble picking up this book and knowing what was going on.

Jeers

  • The story is quite short and Adam and Meaghann decide they love each other very quickly. But it is home-for-christmasChristmas!

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I bought “You Again” last year as part of the Home for Christmas e-book along with Jessica Scott’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.”
  • I read this novella as my December review for Wendy’s TBR Challenge (see below).

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • When New York Times bestselling author JoAnn Ross was seven-years-old, she had no doubt whatsoever that she’d grow up to play center field for the New York Yankees. Writing would be her backup occupation, something she planned to do after retiring from baseball. Those were, in her mind, her only options. While waiting for the Yankees management to call, she wrote her first novella — a tragic romance about two star-crossed mallard ducks — for a second grade writing assignment.
  • The paper earned a gold star. And JoAnn kept writing.She’s now written around one hundred novels (she quit keeping track long ago) and has been published in twenty-six countries.
  • Although the Yankees have yet to call her to New York to platoon center field, JoAnn figures making one out of two life goals isn’t bad.
  • Currently writing her Shelter Bay series (set on the Oregon Coast, where her high school sweetheart husband bought her a bag of saltwater taffy, then proposed), along with a River’s Bend Murphy Brothers trilogy spin-off (set in Southern Oregon ranching country, where she grew up), and her award winning Irish Castlelough series, JoAnn lives with her husband and three rescued dogs, who pretty much rule the house, in the Pacific Northwest.

Reading Challenges

Review: The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak

the-heart-of-christmas

The Heart of Christmas
by Brenda Novak
Series: Whiskey River Creek #7
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by Harlequin MIRA, 2014
E-book, purchased
384 pages
Grade: C+
Synopsis: Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn’t have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that’s what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B and B she manages, and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem…confining. 

Eve’s worried that her future will simply be a reflection of her past. There’s no one in the area she could even imagine as a husband until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve’s definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve’s happily ever after just when it finally seems within reach. And just when she’s counting on the best Christmas of her life!

“Was there anyone in San Francisco to support you?”

“Support me how?” He acted as though the concept itself was foreign to him. She’d already guessed that he’d been alone for too long but this confirmed it.

“Come to visit you. Encouraged you during your recovery.”

A wry smile twisted his lips. “What a girlie thing to say.”

Cheers

  • I like the friends portrayed in this book. It’s great to have a group of friends who watch out for each other.
  • The characters we find out more about in this book aren’t perfect. I like that even though they’ve found happiness with a significant other they still don’t “live perfectly ever after” which is sometimes the way people in romances are portrayed.
  • I could feel the chemistry between the two characters. I could understand the melancholy Eve might feel on her 35th birthday–unmarried and childless when most all of her friends have found love. However, for Eve to go to a bar and become so drunk she takes a stranger home with her seems reckless, dangerous and totally out-of-character.
  • I can understand how Brent acted the way he did in most circumstances.

Jeers

  • I have some issues with the book. I’m surprised Brent aka Rex owns a security company. I don’t know if security companies have to be licensed in California, but he’s changed his identity several times. His fingerprints would show he’s an ex-con. He owns a gun and has used it before. Plus he doesn’t seem very smart about keeping his true identity a secret.
  • I don’t know that I believe the ending of the book would work.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I haven’t read the other books in this series, but didn’t have any problem understanding this book even though it’s the seventh in the series. It’s obvious that Eve’s friends are the focus of other books in the series, but that didn’t bother me or confuse me.
  • This book has some suspense, but I can’t really call it romantic suspense. To me it’s straight romance.
  • It’s the suspense portion of the book I had a problem with. I enjoyed the romance.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

  • 2014 Goodreads Challenge (Hoping to read 100 books this year–As of  the beginning of November I’ve read 84 books!)

November books on my radar…

RadarEach 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 the books (not during the month they’re released at least)–since I already have way too many books to read and sometimes these new books have high prices 😦

I’m not reading just e-books anymore so I’m also getting books from the library which helps with the high priced books.

But 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 new books, too!

November 1

I’ve read the first two books in this series and liked them. I like the two main characters in this book.

maybe-this-christmasMaybe This Christmas

by Sarah Morgan

Series: O’Neil Brothers #3

Published by Harlequin HQN

Genre: Contemporary Romance

384 pages

Synopsis: This winter, ex-skiing champion, reformed heartbreaker and single dad Tyler O’Neil has only one mission—making sure his daughter, Jess, has the best Christmas ever. The fact that his best friend, Brenna, is also temporarily moving into his chalet at the overbooked Snow Crystal resort is a delicious distraction he’s simply going to have to ignore. Theirs is the one relationship he’s never ruined, and he’s not about to start now.

Ski pro Brenna Daniels knows all about the perils of unrequited love—she’s been in love with Tyler for years. But living with him is absolute torture…how can she concentrate on being his friend when he’s sleeping in the room next door? Then when Tyler kisses Brenna, suddenly the relationship she’s always dreamed of feels so close she could almost touch it. Could this be the Christmas her dreams of a happy-ever-after finally come true?

November 4

This is the book I’m most excited about this month!

tainted-bloodTainted Blood

by M. L. Brennan

Series: Generation V #3

Published by Roc

Genre: Urban Fantasy (vampires)

318 pages

Synopsis: Former film student Fortitude Scott is finally  gainfully employed. Unfortunately, said employment happens to be with a group of sociopathic vampires—his family. And as much as Fort is loath to get too deep into the family business, when his brother, Chivalry, is temporarily unable to run the territory, it’s up to Fort to keep things under control.

So when the leader of a powerful faction of shifters turns up murdered, Fort finds himself tracking down a killer while navigating dangerous rivalries, longtime grudges, and hidden agendas. Even with the help of his foxy kitsune sidekick, Suzume, he’ll need to pull out all the stops to hunt for the paranormal assassin.

But as he calls on fairies, witches, and ghouls for help, he discovers that the problem is much bigger than a single dead werebear. The supernatural community is preparing for a massive shift in power within the Scott family leadership—and Fort has landed right in the middle of the gathering storm.…

This is an interesting sounding mystery. It takes place in Belfast and is a new series.

down-on-cyprus-avenueDown on Cyprus Avenue

by Paul Charles

New series: book 1

Published by Dufour Editions (Hardcover)

Genre: Mystery

256 pages

Synopsis: In this new series from Paul Charles, formerly retired policeman Brendy McCusker is forced to return to work following his wife’s flight to America with their nest-egg. On his first major case in Belfast he partners with DI Lily O’Carroll to locate the two missing sons of a wealthy businessman. But before that case is resolved, an American banker working in Belfast is brutally murdered down on leafy Cyprus Avenue and McCusker and O’Carroll are put on the case. While the list of suspects grows ever longer, McCusker find himself juggling his move to Belfast, O’Carroll’s frequent blind dates, his status as a hired-back rent-a-cop, and being a single man while trying hard not to have his head turned by Belfast’s beautiful women – one mysterious one in particular. There is no relief when McCusker and O’Carroll eventually find a suspect with an air-tight alibi, which only one of the detectives believes is genuine…

I’ve read the first two books in this series and look forward to this book. Tanya Huff is one of my favorite authors.

the-future-fallsThe Future Falls

by Tanya Huff

Series: Gale Women #3

Published by DAW HC

Genre: Fantasy

336 pages

Synopsis: When Auntie Catherine warns the family of an approaching asteroid, the Gales scramble to keep humans from going the way of the dinosaurs. Fortunately for the world, they’re wielding a guitar and a dragon.

The Gale family can change the world with the charms they cast, which has caused some supernaturally complicated family shenanigans in the past. So when NASA and Doomsday Dan confirm Auntie Catherine’s dire prediction, Charlotte “Charlie” Gale turns to the family for help.

But Allie is unavailable because the universe seems determined to have her produce the seventh son of a seventh son of a seventh son of a Gale.  And the Aunties can’t help because they’re tied to the earth – although they are happy to provide their delicious, trademark pies.  And in the end, all Charlie has is a guitar…

…and Jack. The Dragon Prince, and a Sorcerer.

But Charlie might like Jack just a little too much, and Jack might like Charlie a little too much in return. Actually, between Allie’s hormones, the Aunties trying to force her and Jack into ritual, the Courts having way too much fun at the end of days, and Jack’s sudden desire to sacrifice himself for the good of the many, Charlie’s fairly certain that the asteroid is the least of her problems.

The Gales are going to need more than pie to save the world from an incoming asteroid. But together there isn’t anything they can’t deal with – except possibly each other.

I still need to read a book by Juliet Marillier. This sounds very good and it’s the first book in a new series. A good place to start!

dreamers-poolDreamer’s Pool

by Juliet Marillier

Series: Blackthorn and Grim #1

Published by Roc HC

Genre: Fantasy

448 pages

Synopsis: In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she’ll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help.

Oran, crown prince of Dalriada, has waited anxiously for the arrival of his future bride, Lady Flidais. He knows her only from a portrait and sweetly poetic correspondence that have convinced him Flidais is his destined true love. But Oran discovers letters can lie. For although his intended exactly resembles her portrait, her brutality upon arrival proves she is nothing like the sensitive woman of the letters.

With the strategic marriage imminent, Oran sees no way out of his dilemma. Word has spread that Blackthorn possesses a remarkable gift for solving knotty problems, so the prince asks her for help. To save Oran from his treacherous nuptials, Blackthorn and Grim will need all their resources: courage, ingenuity, leaps of deduction, and more than a little magic.

This is a debut mystery and winner of the Tony Hillerman Prize. The book takes place in the U.S. Southwest. Need I say more. . .

bad-countryBad Country

by CD McKenzie

Series:

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: The newest winner of the Tony Hillerman Prize, a debut mystery set in the Southwest starring a former rodeo cowboy turned private investigator, told in a transfixingly original style.

Rodeo Grace Garnet lives with his old dog in a remote corner of Arizona known to locals as El Hoyo. He doesn’t get many visitors in The Hole, but a body found near his home has drawn police attention to his front door. The victim is not one of the many undocumented immigrants who risk their lives to cross the border in Rodeo’s harsh and deadly “backyard,” but a member of a major Southwestern Indian tribe, whose death is part of a mysterious rompecabeza—a classic crime puzzler—that includes multiple murders, cold-blooded betrayals, and low-down scheming, with Rodeo caught in the middle.

Retired from the rodeo circuit and scraping by on piecework as a bounty hunter, warrant server, and divorce snoop, Rodeo doesn’t have much choice but to say yes when offered an unusual case. An elderly Indian woman from his own Reservation has hired him to help discover who murdered her grandson, but she seems strangely uninterested in the results. Her attitude seems heartless, but as Rodeo pursues interrelated cases, he learns that the old woman’s indifference is nothing compared to true hatred, and aligned against a variety of creative and cruel foes, the hard-pressed PI is about to discover just how far hate can go.

CB McKenzie’s Bad Country is a noir novel that is as deep and twisty as a desert arroyo. With confident, accomplished prose, McKenzie captures the rough-and-tumble outer reaches of the Southwest in a transfixingly original style that transcends the traditional crime novel.

I haven’t read the first two books in this series, but Sharon Shinn is one of my favorite authors.

the-turning-seasonThe Turning Season

by Sharon Shinn

Series: Shifting Circle #3

Published by Ace

Genre: Fantasy

352 pages

Synopsis: For Karadel, being a shape-shifter has always been a reality she couldn’t escape. Even though she’s built a safe life as a rural veterinarian, with a close-knit network of shifter and human friends who would do anything for her—and for each other—she can’t help but wish for a chance at being normal.

When she’s not dealing with her shifts or caring for her animal patients, she attempts to develop a drug that will help shifters control their changes—a drug that might even allow them to remain human forever.

But her comfortable life is threatened by two events: She meets an ordinary man who touches her heart, and her best friend is forced to shift publicly with deadly consequences.

Now Karadel must decide whom to trust: her old friends or her new love.

……………………….

The new books I hope to read this month:

  • Tainted Blood by M. L. Brennan
  • Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan
  • The Future Falls by Tanya Huff
  • Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier
  • Bad Country by CB McKenzie

What books are you excited about this month?

TBR Review: The Witness by Nora Roberts

witness

The Witness
by Nora Roberts
Series: None
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by Penguin, 2012
492 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: Daughter of a controlling mother, Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever.

Twelve years later, the woman known as Abigail Lowery lives on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she designs sophisticated security systems — and supplements her own security with a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. But Abigail’s reserve only intrigues police chief Brooks Gleason. Her logical mind, her secretive nature, and her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something — and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed.

With a quirky, unforgettable heroine and a pulse-pounding plotline, Nora Roberts presents a riveting new read that cements her place as today’s most reliably entertaining thriller — and will leave people hungering for more.

“After weighing the pros and cons, I’ve decided sex with you would be mutually satisfying. You’re attractive and pleasant. And clean. You kiss very well, and while I’ve found that’s not always a reliable gauge for skill in bed, it often follows. If you’re agreeable, we can finish dinner, I’ll show you the greenhouse, then we can go in and have sex. I’m on birth control, but I would require you wear a condom.”
and
The minute her feet hit the ground, the puppy who’d begun to yip and dance at her voice leaped so high he executed a midair flip before he tumbled into a sprawl.
The woman laughed, scooped him up as unsnapped his lead.
“Come on!” she called again. “Come on and introduce Abigail to your little brother.”
“Her favorite son right now, too,” Brooks told Abigail. “Let’s say hey.”

Cheers

  • I haven’t read any Nora Roberts books for quite a while. I do like a number of her stand-alone romantic suspense books and this is excellent.
  • I love Bert. He’s a wonderful character and wonderful dog.
  • Abigail and Brooks are such great characters. She has been through so much and she’s survived and found happiness and courage. Brooks is a law enforcement officer in the best sense of the word. He’s all about “Serve and Protect.” I like them so much.
  • I love how direct Abigail is. She says exactly what she thinks and it’s often hilarious. (Check out the first quote!)
  • There is a lot of suspense in this book. I was never sure when something scary might happen.
  • Sometimes with a romantic suspense I feel the suspense suffers because of the romance or the romance feels shoehorned in and unrealistic. That isn’t the case for me with this book. I feel Nora Roberts got the mix nearly perfect.

Jeers

  • The ending is good, but I thought it was a little too easy.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’ve had this book for about a year and I’m so glad I finally read it. I read it quickly considering I was with my SIL and BIL much of the time and though I wanted to read felt I’d be a little rude if I did so…LOL.
  • It was the perfect book for me at this time. I wouldn’t want to read the first part of the book if I’d been by myself as I will be next week since my husband is traveling for work. I found the first part of the book especially suspenseful.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?