February 2020 books on my list

Books published in February 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.

February 4

Great title plus a mystery–shows slums in India and the often ignored disappearance of children.

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

by Deepa Anappara

Series: Unknown

Published by Random House

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, India

368 pages

Synopsis: Down market lanes crammed with too many people, dogs, and rickshaws, past stalls that smell of cardamom and sizzling oil, below a smoggy sky that doesn’t let through a single blade of sunlight, and all the way at the end of the Purple metro line lies a jumble of tin-roofed homes where nine-year-old Jai lives with his family. From his doorway, he can spot the glittering lights of the city’s fancy high-rises, and though his mother works as a maid in one, to him they seem a thousand miles away. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line plunges readers deep into this neighborhood to trace the unfolding of a tragedy through the eyes of a child as he has his first perilous collisions with an unjust and complicated wider world.

Jai drools outside sweet shops, watches too many reality police shows, and considers himself to be smarter than his friends Pari (though she gets the best grades) and Faiz (though Faiz has an actual job). When a classmate goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from TV to find him. He asks Pari and Faiz to be his assistants, and together they draw up lists of people to interview and places to visit.

But what begins as a game turns sinister as other children start disappearing from their neighborhood. Jai, Pari, and Faiz have to confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force, and rumors of soul-snatching djinns. As the disappearances edge ever closer to home, the lives of Jai and his friends will never be the same again.

Drawing on real incidents and a spate of disappearances in metropolitan India, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is extraordinarily moving, flawlessly imagined, and a triumph of suspense. It captures the fierce warmth, resilience, and bravery that can emerge in times of trouble and carries the reader headlong into a community that, once encountered, is impossible to forget.

One of my favorite mystery series. Ms. Armstrong always finds new problems to throw at the characters.

Alone in the Wild

by Kelley Armstrong

Series: Rockton #5

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery

368 pages

Synopsis: Every season in Rockton seems to bring a new challenge. At least that’s what Detective Casey Duncan has felt since she decided to call this place home. Between all the secretive residents, the sometimes-hostile settlers outside, and the surrounding wilderness, there’s always something to worry about.

While on a much needed camping vacation with her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, Casey hears a baby crying in the woods. The sound leads them to a tragic scene: a woman buried under the snow, murdered, a baby still alive in her arms.

A town that doesn’t let anyone in under the age of eighteen, Rockton must take care of its youngest resident yet while solving another murder and finding out where the baby came from – and whether she’s better off where she is.

A library book wagon in a future American Southwest and an LGBT character.

Upright Women Wanted

by Sarah Gailey

Series: Unknown

Published by Tor.com

Genre: Fantasy, LGBT

176 pages

Synopsis: “That girl’s got more wrong notions than a barn owl’s got mean looks.”

Esther is a stowaway. She’s hidden herself away in the Librarian’s book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her–a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.

The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.

A new mystery series and police procedural from an author I haven’t read before.

One Day You’ll Burn

by Joseph Schneider

Series: LAPD Detective Tully Jarsdel Mysteries #1

Published by Poisoned Pen Press

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

336 pages

Synopsis: A body so badly burned that it could be mistaken for a movie prop… except for the smell. That’s not something the LAPD finds lying on the street every day. And when Detective Tully Jarsdel is called to the scene, it’s clear to him that something about the placement of the corpse is intentional, even ritualistic. Jarsdel’s former career in academia seems to finally be coming in handy, rather than serving merely as material for jokes from his partner, Morales.

But nothing Jarsdel learned in school can prepare him for the deep evil behind this case, which appears to be as hopeless as it is violent. As Jarsdel and Morales attempt to settle their differences and uncover the motive behind the horrendous crime, they find themselves dragged into the underbelly of a city notorious for chewing up and spitting out anyone dumb enough to turn their back on survival.

February 11

This historical mystery set in Queen Victoria’s time sounds good and I like Rhys Bowen’s writing. I hope this is the beginning of a new series.

Above the Bay of Angels

by Rhys Bowen

Series: Unknown

Published by Lake Union Published

Genre: Historical Mystery

348 pages

Synopsis: Isabella Waverly only means to comfort the woman felled on a London street. In her final dying moments, she thrusts a letter into Bella’s hand. It’s an offer of employment in the kitchens of Buckingham Palace, and everything the budding young chef desperately wants: an escape from the constrictions of her life as a lowly servant. In the stranger’s stead, Bella can spread her wings.

Arriving as Helen Barton from Yorkshire, she pursues her passion for creating culinary delights, served to the delighted Queen Victoria herself. Best of all, she’s been chosen to accompany the queen to Nice. What fortune! Until the threat of blackmail shadows Bella to the Riviera, and a member of the queen’s retinue falls ill and dies.

Having prepared the royal guest’s last meal, Bella is suspected of the poisonous crime. An investigation is sure to follow. Her charade will be over. And her new life will come crashing down—if it doesn’t send her to the gallows. 

I want to find out more about this book since I love space opera.

The Light Years

by R.W.W. Greene

Series: Unknown

Published by Angry Robot

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

400 pages

Synopsis: Before Hisako Saski is even born, her parents make a deal on her behalf. In exchange for a first-class education and a boost out of poverty, Hisako will marry Adem Sadiq, a maintenance engineer and self-styled musician who works the trade lanes aboard his family’s sub-light starship, the Hajj.

Hisako is not happy when she finds out about the plan. She has little interest in the broken branch of physics the deal requires her to study, and is not keen on the idea of giving up her home and everything she knows to marry a stranger.

Sparks fly when Adem and Hisako meet, but their personal issues are overshadowed by the discovery of long-held secrets and a chance at faster-than-light travel.

February 25

I really like this urban fantasy series and hope it finally gets published this month since the publication date has been postponed several times.

False Value

by Ben Aaronovitch

Series: Rivers of London #8

Published by DAW

Genre: Urban Fantasy

304 pages

Synopsis: Peter Grant is facing fatherhood, and an uncertain future, with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. Rather than sit around, he takes a job with émigré Silicon Valley tech genius Terrence Skinner’s brand new London start up—the Serious Cybernetics Company.

Drawn into the orbit of Old Street’s famous ‘silicon roundabout’, Peter must learn how to blend in with people who are both civilians and geekier than he is. Compared to his last job, Peter thinks it should be a doddle. But magic is not finished with Mama Grant’s favourite son.

Because Terrence Skinner has a secret hidden in the bowels of the SCC. A technology that stretches back to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, and forward to the future of artificial intelligence. A secret that is just as magical as it technological—and just as dangerous.

Beautiful cover and a series I need to read more of so I can get to this book.

Murder in an Irish Cottage

by Carlene O’Connor

Series: Irish Village Mystery #5

Published by Kensington

Genre: Mystery, Cozy

304 pages

Synopsis: In a remote—and superstitious—village in County Cork, Ireland, Garda Siobhán O’Sullivan must solve a murder where the prime suspects are fairies . . .
 
Family is everything to Siobhán: her five siblings; her dear departed mother for whom the family business, Naomi’s Bistro, is named; and now her fiancé, Macdara Flannery. So precious is her engagement that Siobhán wants to keep it just between the two of them for a little longer.
 
But Macdara is her family, which is why when his cousin Susan frantically calls for his help, Siobhán is at his side as the two garda rush from Kilbane to the rural village where Susan and her mother have recently moved. Unfortunately, tragedy awaits them. They find Susan, who is blind, outside the cottage, in a state. Inside, Aunt Ellen lies on her bed in a fancy red dress, no longer breathing. A pillow on the floor and a nearby teacup suggest the mode of death to their trained eyes: the woman has been poisoned and smothered. Someone wanted to make sure she was dead. But who?
 
Devout believers in Irish folklore, the villagers insist the cottage is cursed—built on a fairy path. It turns out Ellen Delaney was not the first to die mysteriously in this cottage. Although the townsfolk blame malevolent fairies, Siobhán and Macdara must follow the path of a murderer all too human—but just as evil . . .

I have a soft spot for books taking place in schools, but young adult books don’t always work for me if there’s too much angst. I do love the cover and the sound of the book though so I want to give it a try.

Rebelwing

by Andrea Tang

Series: Rebelwing #1

Published by Razorbill

Genre: YA Fantasy, Dragons

368 pages

Synopsis: Business is booming for Prudence Wu.

A black-market-media smuggler and scholarship student at the prestigious New Columbia Preparatory Academy, Pru is lucky to live in the Barricade Coalition where she is free to study, read, watch, and listen to whatever she wants. But between essays and exams, she chooses to spend her breaks sweet-talking border patrol with her best friend, Anabel, in order to sell banned media to the less fortunate citizens of the United Continental Confederacy, Inc.

When a drop-off goes awry, Pru narrowly escapes UCC enforcers to find that her rescuer is, of all things, a sentient cybernetic dragon. On the one hand, Pru is lucky not to be in prison, or worse. On the other, the dragon seems to have imprinted on her permanently, which means she has no choice but to be its pilot.

Drawn into a revolution she has no real interest in leading, Pru, Anabel, and friends Alex and Cat become key players in a brewing conflict with the UCC as the corporate government develops advanced weaponry more terrifying and grotesque than Pru could have ever imagined.

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

Firewatching

by Russ Thomas

Series: Unknown

Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

320 pages

Synopsis: A taut and ambitious police procedural debut introducing Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler, a cold case reviewer who lands a high-profile murder investigation, only to find the main suspect is his recent one-night stand . . .

When financier Gerald Cartwright disappeared from his home six years ago, it was assumed he’d gone on the run from his creditors. But then a skeleton is found bricked up in the cellar of Cartwright’s burned-out mansion, and it becomes clear Gerald never left alive.

As the sole representative of South Yorkshire’s Cold Case Review Unit, Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler is not expected to get results, but he knows this is the case that might finally kick start his floundering career. Luckily, he already has a suspect. Unluckily, that suspect is Cartwright’s son, the man Tyler slept with the night before.

Keeping his possible conflict-of-interest under wraps, Tyler digs into the case alongside Amina Rabbani, an ambitious young Muslim constable and a fellow outsider seeking to prove herself on the force. Soon their investigation will come up against close-lipped townsfolk, an elderly woman with dementia who’s receiving mysterious threats referencing a past she can’t remember, and an escalating series of conflagrations set by a troubled soul intent on watching the world burn . . . 

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?

December 2019 books on my list

Books published in December 2019 I might read — What 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!

I have a few November books I missed on my November list so I’ve added them at the top of this list.

November 26

I only read a couple of cozy mystery series and this is one of them. I enjoy the Maine setting and the characters!

Thread and Buried

by Lea Wait

Series: Mainely Needlepoint #9

Published by Kensington

Genre: Mystery, Cozy

272 pages

Synopsis: Needlepointers Angie and Sarah are helping with set design for the movie being shot in their little New England hometown–but as the lighthouse and the wharves bustle with activity, a real-life drama is about to unfold. The producer, Hank Stoddard, has been harassing the pretty young female lead, and the two exchanged heated words at a lobster bake. Now someone’s lowered the boom on him . . .

After a wayward piece of sound equipment sends him to his death, theories fly about who went off-script. Meanwhile, a local woman’s tragic story about a true love lost at sea, which originally inspired the film, may lead to murderous revelations from long ago. Angie’s got to unravel these mysteries, and may need to give more than one killer the hook . . . 

November 30

I’m looking forward to Christmas short stories from one of my favorite authors.

A Very Scalzi Christmas

by John Scalzi

Illustrated by Natalie Metzger

Series: None Known

Published by Subterranean Press

Genre: Science Fiction, Short Stories, Christmas

144 pages

Synopsis: New York Times bestselling and Hugo Award-winning author John Scalzi gift-wraps fifteen short takes on the holiday season—interviews with holiday notables, “informational” articles about TV specials and Christmas carols, short stories and poems, and even a couple of nods to Thanksgiving and New Year’s—and puts them all into a stocking stuffer-sized package that makes the perfect gift for friends, family, or yourself.

December 3

The first book in a new police procedural mystery series about a rookie cop.

Trace of Evil

by Alice Blanchard

Series: Natalie Lockhart#1

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

384 pages

Synopsis: Natalie Lockhart always knew she was going to be a cop. A rookie detective on the Burning Lake police force, she was raised on the wisdom of her chief-of-police father. These cases will haunt you if you let them. Grief doesn’t come with instructions.

But the one thing her father couldn’t teach her was how to handle loss. Natalie’s beloved sister was viciously murdered as a teenager, and she carries the scars deep in her heart. Although the killer was locked up, the trace evidence never added up, and Natalie can’t help wondering―is the past really behind her?

As the newest member on the force, Natalie is tasked with finding nine missing persons who’ve vanished off the face of the earth, dubbed “the Missing Nine.” One night, while following up on a new lead, she comes across a savage crime that will change everything.

Daisy Buckner―a popular schoolteacher, wife to a cop, and newly pregnant―lies dead on her kitchen floor. As Natalie hunts for Daisy’s killer in the wake of the town’s shock, her search leads to a string of strange clues―about the Missing Nine, about Daisy’s secret life, and reviving fresh doubts about her sister’s murder.

As the investigation deepens, Natalie’s every move risks far-reaching consequences―for the victims, for the town of Burning Lake, and for herself.

December 10

I’ve read one book in this series so I don’t want to forget to continue reading these police procedural mysteries.

Shatter the Night

by Emily Littlejohn

Series: Detective Gemma Monroe #4

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

320 pages

Synopsis: It’s Halloween night in Cedar Valley. During the town’s annual festival, Detective Gemma Monroe takes a break from trick or treating with her family to visit an old family friend, retired Judge Caleb Montgomery, at his law office. To Gemma’s surprise, Caleb seems worried—haunted, even—and confides in her that he’s been receiving anonymous threats. Shortly after, as Gemma strolls back to her car, an explosion at Caleb’s office shatters the night.

Reeling from the shock, Gemma and her team begin eliminating suspects and motives, but more keep appearing in their place, and soon another man is killed. Her investigation takes her from a chilling encounter with a convicted murderer at the Belle Vista Penitentiary, to the gilded rooms of the renovated Shotgun Playhouse, where Shakespeare’s cursed play Macbeth is set to open in a few weeks.

Yet most disturbing of all is when Gemma realizes that similar murders have happened before. There is a copycat killer at play, and if Gemma can’t stop him, he’ll carry out his final, deadly act. 

December 17

The first book in a new series about a veteran police officer in Washington, D.C.

Relentless

by Shawn Wilson

Series: Brick Kavanagh #1

Published by Oceanview Publishing

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

368 pages

Synopsis: Cherry blossom season is Washington, D.C.’s most beautiful time of the year. But as tourists flock to the city, this year’s festivities are marred by the discovery of the naked body of a young woman floating in the Tidal Basin. Veteran homicide detective Brian (Brick) Kavanagh is assigned to the case. He’s shocked when he learns the victim is connected to another homicide which makes the investigation very personal for him. Brick’s efforts to solve the case are thwarted by departmental politics and a rush to judgment. Convinced that justice has not been served and the wrong person is in jail, Kavanagh risks all to relentlessly pursue the truth. Overlooked evidence ultimately leads to a devastating conclusion in a heartbreaking case.

December 31

I’ve read the first two books in this series and am very ready to read the third book!

Shattered Justice

by Susan Furlong

Series: Bone Gap Travellers #3

Published by Kensington

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

288 pages

Synopsis: In the Appalachian town of Bone Gap, Tennessee, backwoods justice is more than just blind. It’s swift, silent, and shockingly personal. In Susan Furlong’s third series installment, Irish Traveller – turned deputy sheriff Brynn Callahan must investigate disturbing clues meticulously staged by a twisted killer while navigating tensions between the Irish Travellers and the settled folk in her Appalachian community.

The first message is found in a playground. A few feet away, a pair of human ears hang from the monkey bars. Deputy sheriff Brynn Callahan isn’t sure what to make of this grisly scene. Do the ears belong to a murder victim? And if so, where is the body? One thing Brynn is sure of: the earring on one of the earlobes belong to a man she met at a party the previous night. . .

The second message is discovered next to a human tongue on a park pavilion. Once again, no body is found. Brynn can’t help but wonder if the crimes are rooted in the town’s long-simmering tensions between Bone Gap locals and the barely tolerated Travellers who’ve settled there.

For Brynn, the investigation hits too close to home–forcing her to confront the demons of her own past. But time is running out. Brynn has to track down the culprit before a third message is delivered–and a third victim is claimed. 

I read the first book in the series a couple of years ago and enjoyed it so want to remember to pick up books 2 and 3.

And Dangerous to Know

by Darcie Wilde

Series: Rosalind Thorne Mysteries #3

Published by Kensington

Genre: Historical Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: Trust is a delicate thing, and no one knows that better than Rosalind Thorne. Lady Melbourne has entrusted her with recovering a packet of highly sensitive private letters stolen from her desk. The contents of these letters hold great interest for the famous poet Lord Byron, who had carried on a notorious public affair with Lady Melbourne’s daughter-in-law, the inconveniently unstable Lady Caroline Lamb. Rosalind is to take up residence in Melbourne House, posing as Lady Melbourne’s confidential secretary. There, she must discover the thief and regain possession of the letters before any further scandal erupts.
 
However, Lady Melbourne omits a crucial detail. Rosalind learns from the Bow Street runner, Adam Harkness, that an unidentified woman was found dead in the courtyard of Melbourne House. The coroner has determined she was poisoned. Adam urges Rosalind to use her new position in the household to help solve the murder. As she begins to untangle a web of secrets and blackmail, Rosalind finds she must risk her own life to bring the desperate business to an end . . . 

What books are you excited about this month?

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Series I started this year I will continue reading in 2020

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings where a range of topics from books to blogging are discussed.

This week we talk about the series we started this year that we plan to continue in 2020.

New Series, New Authors (at least to me)

Sparks & Bainbridge series by Allison Montclair–I read the first book in this series–The Right Sort of Man–and really liked it. This is a historical mystery series taking place in Great Britain after WWII ended.

Jazz Ramsey series by Kylie Logan–The Scent of Murder–in this contemporary mystery series was published this year. I enjoyed that book though I had hoped there would be more about dogs since the main character trains dogs. I’ll read the next book in the series and hope to read more about dogs!

The Vardeshi Saga by Meg Pechenick–I’ve read both books last summer–Ascending and Bright Shards–published so far in this series and loved them. This is a science fiction adventure series about aliens making contact with Earth.

Oxford Dogwalkers Mystery series by Annie Dalton–A cozy mystery series. In the first book, The White Shepherd, a dog walker teams up with other dog walkers to discover who killed the dead woman found by her dog.

Crow Investigations series by Sarah Painter–I read The Night Raven in September. It’s an urban fantasy and is intriguing because it’s got a few different things about it. I liked the idea of magical families in London–the Crows, the Silvers, the Pearls and the Foxes–which have had a truce for quite a long time, but now that truce may be breaking down.

DCI Dani Bevan series by Katherine Pathak–Against a Dark Sky is the first book in a police procedural mystery series. I’ve read the first two books and there are 10 more to read! Yay!

New Series from Authors I’ve Read Before

DFZ series by Rachel Aaron–This is urban fantasy series that’s a spin-off from the Heartstriker series. It has different characters, but it’s set in the same world in the Detroit Free Zone (DFZ) and some of the dragons are peripheral characters. Minimum Wage Magic is the first book. Rachel Aaron writes such good characters! So far I’ve read two books in the series.

The Time Police series by Jodi Taylor–Doing Time is the first book in this spinoff series of the Chronicles of St. Mary’s series (and both series are excellent). They are science fiction time travel books.

Two Rivers series by Ann–The Long Call is the first book in a new series by Ann Cleeves which came out in September of this year. It’s a police procedural British mystery series. Ann Cleeves writes such good mysteries and her characters are great, too.

……………………

What new series did you start reading this year? Will you continue reading them in 2020?

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Thread and Buried by Lea Wait

A cozy mystery series with needlepoint and likable characters set on the Maine coast

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 . . .

Thread and Buried

by Lea Wait

Series: Mainely Needlepoint #9

Published by Kensington

Publishing date: November 26, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Cozy

272 pages

Synopsis: Needlepointers Angie and Sarah are helping with set design for the movie being shot in their little New England hometown–but as the lighthouse and the wharves bustle with activity, a real-life drama is about to unfold. The producer, Hank Stoddard, has been harassing the pretty young female lead, and the two exchanged heated words at a lobster bake. Now someone’s lowered the boom on him . . .

After a wayward piece of sound equipment sends him to his death, theories fly about who went off-script. Meanwhile, a local woman’s tragic story about a true love lost at sea, which originally inspired the film, may lead to murderous revelations from long ago. Angie’s got to unravel these mysteries, and may need to give more than one killer the hook . . . 

………………………….

I usually choose books published several months in the future, but today I’m choosing a book which comes out at the end of this month since I missed it when I put up my November 2019 books on my list last week.

I’ve read the first six books in this series and own the next two so I want to read at least one of those before this new book is published!

I really like the way the author weaves in the mystery with needlepoint elements set on the Maine coast.

October 2019 books on my list

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!

October 1

I love the cover and I have a soft spot for cozy mysteries set at Christmas!

The Candy Cane Caper

by Josi S. Kilpack

Series: Culinary Mystery #13

Published by Shadow Mountain

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Christmas

320 pages

Synopsis: This Christmas, Sadie Hoffmiller Cunningham is making a list and checking it twice. For the first time since she and Pete married five years ago, their combined families are gathering for the holidays in Fort Collins, Colorado, for a party that would make Santa and Mrs. Claus proud.

She just has to bake the famous Cunningham Candy Cane Cake, make sure the looming snowstorm doesn’t derail everyone’s travel plans, and oh, yes, solve one teensy-tiny mystery before the big day.

Garth Nix is one of my husband’s favorite authors so I’ve added Nix’s newest book.

Angel Mage

by Garth Nix

Series: Unknown

Published by Katherine Tegen Books

Genre: YA Fantasy

560 pages

Synopsis: More than a century has passed since Liliath crept into the empty sarcophagus of Saint Marguerite, fleeing the Fall of Ystara. But she emerges from her magical sleep still beautiful, looking no more than nineteen, and once again renews her single-minded quest to be united with her lover, Palleniel, the archangel of Ystara.

A seemingly impossible quest, but Liliath is one of the greatest practitioners of angelic magic to have ever lived, summoning angels and forcing them to do her bidding.

Liliath knew that most of the inhabitants of Ystara died from the Ash Blood plague or were transformed into beastlings, and she herself led the survivors who fled into neighboring Sarance. Now she learns that angels shun the Ystaran’s descendants. If they are touched by angelic magic, their blood will turn to ash. They are known as Refusers, and can only live the most lowly lives.

But Liliath cares nothing for the descendants of her people, save how they can serve her. It is four young Sarancians who hold her interest: Simeon, a studious doctor-in-training; Henri, a dedicated fortune hunter; Agnez, an adventurous musketeer cadet; and Dorotea, an icon-maker and scholar of angelic magic. They are the key to her quest.

October 8

One of my favorite authors and series! I can’t wait to catch up with Duncan and Gemma’s lives!

A Bitter Feast

by Deborah Crombie

Series: Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #18

Published by William Morrow

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

384 pages

Synopsis: Scotland Yard Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his wife, Detective Inspector Gemma James, have been invited for a relaxing weekend in the tranquil Cotswolds, one of Britain’s most beautiful and historic regions, famous for its rolling hills, sheep-strewn green meadows, golden cottages, and timeless villages that retain the spirit of old England.

Duncan, Gemma, and their children are guests at Beck House, the country estate belonging to the family of Melody Talbot, Gemma’s trusted detective sergeant. No ordinary farmers, the Talbots are wealthy and prominent with ties to Britain’s most powerful and influential. A centerpiece of this glorious fall getaway is a posh charity luncheon catered by up-and-coming chef Viv Holland. After more than a decade in London, Viv has returned to her native Glouscestershire, making a name for herself with her innovative, mouthwatering use of the local bounty. Attended by several dozen of the area’s well-to-do, as well as national food bloggers and restaurant critics, the event could make Viv a star.

I like the title of this and it sounds like a fun adventure story.

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse

by K. Eason

Series: The Thorne Cronicles #1

Published by DAW

Genre: Science Fiction, fantasy

416 pages

Synopsis: Rory Thorne is a princess with thirteen fairy blessings, the most important of which is to see through flattery and platitudes. As the eldest daughter, she always imagined she’d inherit her father’s throne and govern the interplanetary Thorne Consortium.
 
Then her father is assassinated, her mother gives birth to a son, and Rory is betrothed to the prince of a distant world.
 
When Rory arrives in her new home, she uncovers a treacherous plot to unseat her newly betrothed and usurp his throne.

October 15

I love the cover and really like that this is science fiction set in a future we might see.

War Girls

by Tochi Onyebuchi

Series: War Girls #1

Published by Razorbill

Genre: YA Science Fiction

464 pages

Synopsis: The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky.

In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life.

Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together.

I own several of the books in this series, but still need to read them. I like the covers of all the books in this series, too.

The Art of Theft

by Sherry Thomas

Series: Lady Sherlock #4

Published by Berkley

Genre: Historical Mystery

336 pages

Synopsis: As “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” Charlotte Holmes has solved murders and found missing individuals. But she has never stolen a priceless artwork—or rather, made away with the secrets hidden behind a much-coveted canvas.
 
But Mrs. Watson is desperate to help her old friend recover those secrets and Charlotte finds herself involved in a fever-paced scheme to infiltrate a glamorous Yuletide ball where the painting is one handshake away from being sold and the secrets a bare breath from exposure
.

October 17

I’ve preordered this and am so looking forward to this spinoff of the author’s St. Mary’s series.

Doing Time

by Jodi Taylor

Series: The Time Police #1

Published by Headline

Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel

480 pages

Synopsis: At some time in the future, the secret of time-travel became available to all. Chaos ensued as people sought to take advantage. Because there will always be nutters who want to change history…

And so the Time Police were formed. Internationally sanctioned thugs whose task it was to keep the timeline straight by any and all means possible. And they succeeded. The Time Wars are over. The Time Police won. But who will win the peace?

Doing Time follows three hapless new Time Police recruits – Jane, Luke and Matthew – as they try to navigate their first year on the beat. It’s all going to be fine. Obviously.

October 29

Most mysteries set near Christmas are cozys, but this does not sound very cozy!

White Elephant

by Trish Harnetiaux

Series: Unknown

Published by Simon & Schuster

Genre: Mystery, Christmas

240 pages

Synopsis: There are only a few rules in a White Elephant gift exchange: 1) Everyone brings a wrapped, unmarked gift. 2) Numbers are drawn to decide who picks first. 3) Gifts don’t need to be pricey—and often they’re downright tacky.

But things are a little different in Aspen, Colorado, at the office holiday party for the real estate firm owned by Henry Calhoun and his wife Claudine. Each Christmas sparks a contest among the already competitive staff to see who can buy the most coveted gift: the one that will get stolen the most times, the one that will prove just how many more commissions they earned that year than their colleagues. Designer sunglasses, deluxe spa treatments, front row concert tickets—nothing is off the table. And the staff is even more competitive this year as Zara, the hottest young pop star out of Hollywood, is in town and Claudine is determined to sell her the getaway home of her dreams.

Everyone is puzzled when a strange gift shows up in the mix: an antique cowboy statue. At least the sales agents are guessing it’s an antique—otherwise it’d be a terrible present. It’s certainly not very pretty or expensive-looking. In fact, the gift makes sense only to Henry and Claudine. The statue is the weapon Henry used to commit a murder years ago, a murder that helped start his company and a murder that Claudine helped cover up. She swore that no one would ever be able to find the statue or trace it to their crime. So which of their employees did? And why did they place it in the White Elephant? What could possibly be their endgame?

I don’t read very many young adult books, but the premise of this one sounds really interesting and the cover is so eye-catching.

The Light at the Bottom of the World

by London Shah

Series: The Light at the Bottom of the World #1

Published by Disney-Hyperion

Genre: YA Science Fiction

320 pages

Synopsis: At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean’s surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that humanity will soon discover a way to reclaim the Earth.

Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen has her own problems to deal with. Her father’s been arrested, accused of taking advantage of victims of the Seasickness-a debilitating malaise that consumes people,often claiming their lives. But Leyla knows he’s innocent, and all she’s interested in is getting him back so that their lives can return to normal.

When she’s picked to race in the action-packed London Submersible Marathon, Leyla gets the chance to secure his freedom; the Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. The race takes an unexpected turn, though, and presents her with an opportunity she never wanted.

What books are you excited about this month?

Books I hope to read during Fall 2019

Mysteries, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Time Travel–all for this fall!

That Artsy Reader Girl has hosted Top Ten Tuesday since January of 2018. This is a fun meme with specific topics each week. If you like to make lists and talk about books be sure to check it out.

These are books I hope to read during the fall of 2019. I have more than ten books because some of these books are books coming out this fall and some of the books are ones I already own or that I’m getting from the library.

Most of my choices are from favorite series or authors whom I’ve already read at least one book.

Books coming out during Fall 2019

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves, Two Rivers #1 (Mystery, Police Procedural)

Christmas Cow Bells by Mollie Cox Bryan, Buttermilk Creek #1 (Cozy Mystery, Christmas)

A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie, Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #18 (Mystery, Police Procedural)

Blind Search by Paula Munier, Mercy & Elvis Mysteries #2 (Mystery)

Dead Blow by Lisa Preston, Horseshoer Mystery #2 (Mystery)

False Value by Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London #8 (Urban Fantasy)

TBR Books

Poor Man’s Flight by Elliott Kay, Poor Man’s Flight #1 (Science Fiction, Military Science Fiction)

Last Boat to Camden Town by Paul Charles, Detective Inspector Christy Kennedy #1 (Mystery)

Please Don’t Feed the Mayor by Sue Pethick (Mystery)

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths, Ruth Galloway #9 (Mystery)

No Time Like the Past by Jodi Taylor, The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #5 (Science Fiction, Time Travel)

Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London #7 (Urban Fantasy)

What books are you hoping to read this fall?

September 2019 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 might not know about!

Even though it’s almost the middle of the month I’m going to publish this post about the books I think look interesting for the month of September. If you’ve read any of these let me know or if you have some you’re excited to read this month be sure to let me know.

September 3

To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

Series: Unknown

Published by Harper Voyager

Genre: Science Fiction, Novella

138 pages

Synopsis: In her new novella, Sunday Times best-selling author Becky Chambers imagines a future in which, instead of terraforming planets to sustain human life, explorers of the solar system instead transform themselves.

Ariadne is one such explorer. As an astronaut on an extrasolar research vessel, she and her fellow crewmates sleep between worlds and wake up each time with different features. Her experience is one of fluid body and stable mind and of a unique perspective on the passage of time. Back on Earth, society changes dramatically from decade to decade, as it always does.

Ariadne may awaken to find that support for space exploration back home has waned, or that her country of birth no longer exists, or that a cult has arisen around their cosmic findings, only to dissolve once more by the next waking. But the moods of Earth have little bearing on their mission: to explore, to study, and to send their learnings home.

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

Series: Two Rivers #1

Published by Minotaur

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

384 pages

Synopsis: In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. Once loved and cherished, the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too.

Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt

Series: Unknown

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Fantasy

480 pages

Synopsis: The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt is a stunning contemporary fantasy debut about another London, a magical world hidden behind the bustling modern city we know.

Alice Wyndham has been plagued by visions of birds her whole life…until the mysterious Crowley reveals that Alice is an ‘aviarist’ capable of seeing nightjars, magical birds that guard human souls. When her best friend is hit by a car, only Alice can find and save her nightjar.

The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire

Series: October Daye #13

Published by DAW Books

Genre: Urban Fantasy

368 pages

Synopsis: Hundreds of years ago, the Selkies made a deal with the sea witch: they would have the sea for as long as she allowed it, and when the time came, she would call in all their debts at once. Many people assumed that day would never come. Those people were wrong.

When the Luidaeg—October “Toby” Daye’s oldest and most dangerous ally—tells her the time has come for the Selkies to fulfill their side of the bargain, and that Toby must be a part of the process, Toby can’t refuse. Literally. The Selkies aren’t the only ones in debt to the Luidaeg, and Toby has to pay what she owes like anyone else. They will travel to the fabled Duchy of Ships and call a convocation of the Selkies, telling them to come and meet the Luidaeg’s price…or face the consequences.

The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier

Series: Warrior Bards #1

Published by Ace

Genre: Fantasy

464 pages

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Liobhan is a powerful singer and an expert whistle player. Her brother has a voice to melt the hardest heart, and a rare talent on the harp. But Liobhan’s burning ambition is to join the elite warrior band on Swan Island. She and her brother train there to compete for places, and find themselves joining a mission while still candidates. Their unusual blend of skills makes them ideal for this particular job, which requires going undercover as traveling minstrels. For Swan Island trains both warriors and spies.

Their mission: to find and retrieve a precious harp, an ancient symbol of kingship, which has gone mysteriously missing. If the instrument is not played at the upcoming coronation, the candidate will not be accepted and the people could revolt. Faced with plotting courtiers and tight-lipped druids, an insightful storyteller, and a boorish Crown Prince, Liobhan soon realizes an Otherworld power may be meddling in the affairs of the kingdom. When ambition clashes with conscience, Liobhan must make a bold decision and is faced with a heartbreaking choice. . . . 

September 10

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Series: Handmaid’s Tale #2

Published by Nan A. Talese

Genre: Science Fiction, Post Appocalyptic

347 pages

Synopsis: Did I know it would come to this? That I was playing Russian Roulette? I would give anything to turn back time and to be with my girls. There is no shot at redemption. I am going to die. The gun is in my eye-line as the second bullet is fired. That’s the one that kills me.

Late at night, two powerful men meet in a secret location to discuss a long nurtured plan about to come to fruition. One is desperate to know there is nothing standing in their way – the other assures him everything is taken care of. Hours later, a high-ranking government official called Ryan Finnegan is brutally slain in the most secure building in Ireland – Leinster House, the seat of parliament. Inspector Tom Reynolds and his team are called in to uncover the truth behind the murder.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Series: Unknown

Published by Orbit

Genre: Historical Fantasy

384 pages

Synopsis: EVERY STORY OPENS A DOOR

In a sprawling mansion filled with exotic treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

But her quiet existence is shattered when she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. As each page reveals more impossible truths about the world, January discovers a story that might just be the key to unlocking the secrets of her past.

September 17

Suggested Reading by David Connis

Series: Unknown

Published by Katherine Tegen Books

Genre: YA Contemporary

304 pages

Synopsis: Clara Evans is horrified when she discovers her principal’s “prohibited media” hit list. The iconic books on the list have been pulled from the library and aren’t allowed anywhere on the school’s premises. Students caught with the contraband will be sternly punished.

Many of these stories have changed Clara’s life, so she’s not going to sit back and watch while her draconian principal abuses his power. She’s going to strike back.

So Clara starts an underground library in her locker, doing a shady trade in titles like Speak and The Chocolate War. But when one of the books she loves most is connected to a tragedy she never saw coming, Clara’s forced to face her role in it.

Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson

Series: Walt Longmire #15

Published by Viking

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

336 pages

Synopsis: Attempting to recover from his harrowing experiences in Mexico, in Land of Wolves Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire is neck deep in the investigation of what could or could not be the suicidal hanging of a shepherd. With unsettling connections to a Basque family with a reputation for removing the legs of Absaroka County sheriffs, matters become even more complicated with the appearance of an oversize wolf in the Big Horn Mountains to which Walt finds himself feeling more and more empathetic. 

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes

Series: Untitled Space Opera #1

Published by Harper Voyager

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

448 pages

Synopsis: A hilarious, offbeat debut space opera that skewers everything from pop culture to video games and features an irresistible foul-mouthed captain and her motley crew, strange life forms, exciting twists, and a galaxy full of fun and adventure.

Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sister Mari is kidnapped by The Fridge, a shadowy syndicate that holds people hostage in cryostasis, Eva must undergo a series of unpleasant, dangerous missions to pay the ransom.

But Eva may lose her mind before she can raise the money. The ship’s hold is full of psychic cats, an amorous fish-faced emperor wants her dead after she rejects his advances, and her sweet engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings. The worse things get, the more she lies, raising suspicions and testing her loyalty to her found family.

September 24

Christmas Cow Bells by Mollie Cox Bryan

Series: Buttermilk Creek Mystery #1

Published by Kensington

Genre: Mystery, Cozy, Christmas

320 pages

Synopsis: Christmas is a time for new beginnings, so after her big breakup, Brynn MacAlister takes the gouda with the bad. With her three Red Devon cows, she settles in bucolic Shenandoah Springs, eager for a new life as an organic micro-dairy farmer and cheese-maker. Then her dear cow Petunia’s bellows set the whole town on edge. But it isn’t until Brynn’s neighbor, Nancy, dies in a mysterious fire that her feelings about small town life begin to curdle . . .
 
The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz

Series: Unknown

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel

272 pages

Synopsis: From Annalee Newitz, founding editor of io9, comes a story of time travel, murder, and the lengths we’ll go to protect the ones we love.

1992: After a confrontation at a riot grrl concert, seventeen-year-old Beth finds herself in a car with her friend’s abusive boyfriend dead in the backseat, agreeing to help her friends hide the body. This murder sets Beth and her friends on a path of escalating violence and vengeance as they realize many other young women in the world need protecting too.

2022: Determined to use time travel to create a safer future, Tess has dedicated her life to visiting key moments in history and fighting for change. But rewriting the timeline isn’t as simple as editing one person or event. And just when Tess believes she’s found a way to make an edit that actually sticks, she encounters a group of dangerous travelers bent on stopping her at any cost.

Tess and Beth’s lives intertwine as war breaks out across the timeline–a war that threatens to destroy time travel and leave only a small group of elites with the power to shape the past, present, and future. Against the vast and intricate forces of history and humanity, is it possible for a single person’s actions to echo throughout the timeline? 

Alaskan Catch by Sue Pethick

Series: Unknown

Published by Kensington

Genre: Mystery, Cozy

256 pages

Synopsis: A dream job it’s not. But for Emily Prentice, working as a seafood inspector in Ketchikan, Alaska, takes her one step closer to becoming a marine biologist. And it’ll give her a first taste of independence from her overprotective mom and the doctor boyfriend she’s pushing into Emily’s arms.

Emily’s certainly not looking for romance . . . until a huge dog knocks her down and sends her flying into fish goo. It’s love at first sight for Emily and Bear, whose handsome owner, Sam, becomes flummoxed when the fallen worker in the hard hat turns out to be a pretty young woman.

What books are you excited about this month?

Review: Thread the Halls by Lea Wait

thread the halls by lea waitThread the Halls by Lea Wait

Series: Mainely Needlepoint #6

Genre: Mystery, Cozy

Setting: Coastal Maine

Source: Ebook, purchased

Publishing Date: 2017

320 pages

Synopsis: This Yuletide season, there’s no time for Angie Curtis and Patrick West to linger under the mistletoe. Patrick’s being needled by his mother–movie star Skye West–to set the stage for a perfect white Christmas as she brings her costar, screenwriters, and director home for the holidays. With his mother’s long list of wishes, Patrick’s becoming unraveled. To help, the Mainely Needlepointers offer to decorate Skye’s Victorian mansion and create needlepoint pillows as gifts for the guests.

But not long after the celebrity celebrants invade Haven Harbor, an unscripted tragedy occurs. Then some questionable Christmas cookies make Patrick sick. Before Santa arrives at the town pier on a lobster boat, Angie and the Needlepointers need to trim down the naughty list, catch a cold-hearted killer, and wrap up the case . . .

My thoughts

Note: This is a review I wrote at the end of 2018 for a book I read in December. I’m finally getting it posted! And I’m saying that I’m giving people an idea of a book to read for this Christmas…lol.

I wanted to read this book before Christmas 2018 so I’m glad I’ve done that. I enjoy reading holiday or winter mysteries. And I’m liking this series. I read three of the books during the last six months of 2018 and they’re very good.

Samplers and Maine

I love the sampler information and quotes at the beginning of each chapter in all the books. They’re so interesting and often poignant. Most of the samplers were stitched by young women who lived in New England and many in Maine. The Maine coastal setting is also fun to read about. I have relatives in Maine and we have often spent time along the beautiful Maine coast. From what I’ve seen through the years Haven Harbor certainly rings true as a Maine coastal town.

The Mystery

The mystery in this book was interesting. I had some ideas about it, but didn’t quite figure things out which is a good sign. I like when the author is able to keep me guessing. The characters in the books are engaging and interesting–both the returning characters and the new characters who show up in this book.

Hollywood Characters

I did find the actions of some of the Hollywood people off-putting. The lack of feeling for a murdered colleague is probably true-to-life for some of these people so not a bad thing, but sometimes put me in a bad mood! I certainly understood Angie’s feelings about having to set aside her Christmas plans to help out Patrick and his mother Skye. This isn’t my favorite of the three books, but I think I was channeling my own frustrations about not getting some things done for Christmas and could totally feel Angie’s frustration…lol.

My Rating: B+

Have you read any books by this author?

April 2019 books on my list

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 missed.

March 26

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

Series: Teixcalaan #1

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Mystery

464 pages

Synopsis: Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn’t an accident–or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.

Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan’s unceasing expansion–all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret–one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life–or rescue it from annihilation.

March 28 (April 4 for Kindle edition)

Fluffy’s Revolution by Ted Myers

Series: Unknown

Published by Black Rose Writing

Genre: Science Fiction

142 pages

Synopsis: It’s 2135. Fluffy is a super-intelligent GAB (Genetically Altered Brain) cat. Like many dogs, cats, mice, and the occasional pig, her brain is the product of genetic tinkering by humans that started more than a century ago. With their powers of telekinesis, the animals can manipulate physical objects without being able to grasp them. They can speak to each other telepathically without audible voices. Now, people have begun to fear them and to systematically capture and exterminate them. Fluffy leaves the safety of her home to look for her lost brother and joins a band of animal revolutionaries. After a series of brushes with death, Fluffy and her friends find a secret university for GAB animals. There, they work with enlightened humans to save Earth from certain destruction. 

April 2

We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett

Series: Unknown

Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA Fantasy

400 pages

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Revna is a factory worker, manufacturing war machines for the Union of the North. When she’s caught using illegal magic, she fears being branded a traitor and imprisoned. Meanwhile, on the front lines, Linné defied her father, a Union general, and disguised herself as a boy to join the army. They’re both offered a reprieve from punishment if they use their magic in a special women’s military flight unit and undertake terrifying, deadly missions under cover of darkness. Revna and Linné can hardly stand to be in the same cockpit, but if they can’t fly together, and if they can’t find a way to fly well, the enemy’s superior firepower will destroy them–if they don’t destroy each other first.

Finder by Suzanne Palmer

Series: Unknown

Published by DAW

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

400 pages

Synopsis: Fergus Ferguson has been called a lot of names: thief, con artist, repo man. He prefers the term finder.

His latest job should be simple. Find the spacecraft Venetia’s Sword and steal it back from Arum Gilger, ex-nobleman turned power-hungry trade boss. He’ll slip in, decode the ship’s compromised AI security, and get out of town, Sword in hand.

Fergus locates both Gilger and the ship in the farthest corner of human-inhabited space, a gas-giant-harvesting colony called Cernee. But Fergus’ arrival at the colony is anything but simple. A cable car explosion launches Cernee into civil war, and Fergus must ally with Gilger’s enemies to navigate a field of space mines and a small army of hostile mercenaries. What was supposed to be a routine job evolves into negotiating a power struggle between factions. Even worse, Fergus has become increasingly–and inconveniently–invested in the lives of the locals.

April 8

Scot & Soda by Catriona McPherson

Series: Last Ditch Mystery #2

Published by Midnight Ink

Genre: Mystery

312 pages

Synopsis: Now settled in her little houseboat, moored in the slough at the back of the Last Ditch Motel, Lexy Campbell wants nothing more than to build her counseling business, avoid her mother’s phone calls and–who knows?–meet a nice guy. But when she throws a Halloween party for her motley crew of motel pals, the only single man is too old for her, too wrapped up in the case of beer chilling in the slough, and–oh, yes–too dead.

The sensible choice is to leave it up to the cops to identify the body and catch the killer. So faster than you can say “Tam O’Shanter,” Lexy and her friends jump into the case themselves, delving deep into their town’s past for the roots of a mystifying crime.

April 9

One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan

Series: Unknown

Published by HQN

Genre: Women’s Fiction

400 pages

Synopsis: To celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Grace has planned the surprise of a lifetime for her husband—a romantic getaway to Paris. But she never expected he’d have a surprise of his own: he wants a divorce. Reeling from the shock but refusing to be broken, a devastated Grace makes the bold decision to go to Paris alone.

Audrey, a young woman from London, has left behind a heartache of her own when she arrives in Paris. A job in a bookshop is her ticket to freedom, but with no money and no knowledge of the French language, suddenly a summer spent wandering the cobbled streets alone seems much more likely…until she meets Grace, and everything changes.

April 16

The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey

Series: Unknown

Published by Swoon Books

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult

352 pages

Synopsis: 1833. After young Lord James Ellerby witnesses a near-fatal carriage accident on the outskirts of his estate, he doesn’t think twice about bringing the young woman injured in the wreck to his family’s manor to recuperate. But then she finally regains consciousness only to find that she has no memory of who she is or where she belongs.

Beth, as she takes to calling herself, is an enigma even to herself. She has the rough hands of a servant, but the bearing and apparent education of a lady. Her only clue to her identity is a gruesome recurring nightmare about a hummingbird dripping blood from its steel beak.

Winds of Marque by Bennett R. Coles

Series: Blackwood Virtue #1

Published by Harper Voyager

Genre: Science Fiction

368 pages

Synopsis: The first novel in an exciting science fiction series—Master and Commander in space—a swashbuckling space adventure in which a crew of misfit individuals in the king’s navy are sent to dismantle a dangerous ring of pirate raiders.

In a dense star cluster, the solar winds blow fiercely. The star sailing ship HMSS Daring is running at full sheet with a letter of marque allowing them to capture enemy vessels involved in illegal trading. Sailing under a false flag to protect the ship and its mission, Daring’s crew must gather intelligence that will lead them to the pirates’ base.

Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf

Series: None

Published by HQ

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

384 pages

Synopsis: For twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover – movies and talking about boys. But when they decide to sneak out to go to the abandoned rail yard on the outskirts of town, little do they know that their innocent games will have dangerous consequences…

Later that night, Cora Landry is discovered on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends nowhere to be found. In an investigation that leaves no stone unturned, everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted – not even those closest to her. But who would want to hurt a young girl like Cora – and why?

April 23

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher

Series: Unknown

Published by Orbit

Genre: Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic

384 pages

Synopsis: My name’s Griz. My childhood wasn’t like yours. I’ve never had friends, and in my whole life I’ve not met enough people to play a game of football.

My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs.

Then the thief came. There may be no law left except what you make of it. But if you steal my dog, you can at least expect me to come after you.

Because if we aren’t loyal to the things we love, what’s the point? 

 Ragged Alice by Gareth L. Powell

Series: Unknown

Published by Tor.com

Genre: Fantasy, Horror

208 pages

Synopsis: Orphaned at an early age, DCI Holly Craig grew up in the small Welsh coastal town of Pontyrhudd. As soon as she was old enough, she ran away to London and joined the police. Now, fifteen years later, she’s back in her old hometown to investigate what seems at first to be a simple hit-and-run, but which soon escalates into something far deadlier and unexpectedly personal—something that will take all of her peculiar talents to solve.

Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse

Series: The Sixth World #2

Published by Saga Press

Genre: Urban Fantasy

384 pages

Synopsis: It’s been four weeks since the bloody showdown at Black Mesa, and Maggie Hoskie, Diné monster hunter, is trying to make the best of things. Only her latest bounty hunt has gone sideways, she’s lost her only friend, Kai Arviso, and she’s somehow found herself responsible for a girl with a strange clan power.

Then the Goodacre twins show up at Maggie’s door with the news that Kai and the youngest Goodacre, Caleb, have fallen in with a mysterious cult, led by a figure out of Navajo legend called the White Locust. The Goodacres are convinced that Kai’s a true believer, but Maggie suspects there’s more to Kai’s new faith than meets the eye. She vows to track down the White Locust, then rescue Kai and make things right between them.

April 25

Hope for the Best by Jodi Taylor

Series: The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #10

Published by Headline

Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel

480 pages

Synopsis: You can’t change History. History doesn’t like it. There are always consequences.

Max is no stranger to taking matters into her own hands. Especially when she’s had A Brilliant Idea. Yes, it will mean breaking a few rules, but – as Max always says – they’re not her rules.

Seconded to the Time Police to join in the hunt for the renegade Clive Ronan, Max is a long way from St Mary’s. But life in the future does have its plus points – although not for long.

April 30

Staging is Murder by Grace Topping

Series: Laura Bishop Mystery #1

Published by Henery Press

Genre: Cozy Mystery

262 pages

Synopsis: Laura Bishop just nabbed her first decorating commission—staging for sale a 19th century mansion that hasn’t been updated for decades. But when a body falls from a laundry chute and lands at Laura’s feet, removing flowered wallpaper becomes the least of her duties.

To clear her young assistant of the murder and save her fledgling business, Laura’s determined to find the killer. Turns out it’s not as easy as renovating a manor home, especially with two handsome men complicating her mission: the police detective assigned to the case and the real estate agent trying to save the manse from foreclosure.

Thread on Arrival by Lea Wait

Series: Mainely Needlepoint #8

Published by Kensington

Genre: Cozy Mystery

320 pages

Synopsis: Ike Hamilton is a part of the Haven Harbor community just like anyone else, though he’s fallen on hard times and has to make do on disability checks and deposit bottles. Most of the locals do what they can to help him out, and needlepointing partners Angie and Sarah are happy to see him at the annual Blessing of the Fleet, honoring all those lost at sea over the centuries.

But when harmless Ike is stabbed, suspicion quickly falls on a troubled teenage boy who’s new in town. Angie’s convinced that young Leo is innocent–but if he didn’t do it, who did? 

 

What books are you excited about this month?