Can’t Wait Wednesday: Dustborn by Erin Bowman

What a cover! Definitely looks dystopian!

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 . . .

Dustborn

by Erin Bowman

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers

Publishing date: April 20

Genre: YA Dystopian, Science Fiction

432 pages

Series: Delta of Dead River has always been told to hide her back, where a map is branded on her skin to a rumored paradise called the Verdant. In a wasteland plagued by dust squalls, geomagnetic storms, and solar flares, many would kill for it—even if no one can read it. So when raiders sent by a man known as the General attack her village, Delta suspects he is searching for her. 

Delta sets out to rescue her family but quickly learns that in the Wastes no one can be trusted—perhaps not even her childhood friend, Asher, who has been missing for nearly a decade. If Delta can trust Asher, she just might decode the map and trade evidence of the Verdant to the General for her family. What Delta doesn’t count on is what waits at the Verdant: a long-forgotten secret that will shake the foundation of her entire world.

………………………

I like books that take place in a wasteland, desert type environment and it makes sense for a dystopian book. The cover is really eye-catching.

January 2021 books on my list

A new year of books begins!

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.

January 5

Persephone Station

by Stina Leicht

Published by Gallery / Saga Press

Genre: Science Fiction

512 pages

Synopsis: Persephone Station, a seemingly backwater planet that has largely been ignored by the United Republic of Worlds becomes the focus for the Serrao-Orlov Corporation as the planet has a few secrets the corporation tenaciously wants to exploit.

Rosie—owner of Monk’s Bar, in the corporate town of West Brynner—caters to wannabe criminals and rich Earther tourists, of a sort, at the front bar. However, exactly two types of people drank at Monk’s back bar: members of a rather exclusive criminal class and those who sought to employ them.

Angel—ex-marine and head of a semi-organized band of beneficent criminals, wayward assassins, and washed up mercenaries with a penchant for doing the honorable thing—is asked to perform a job for Rosie.

January 12

The Effort

by Claire Holoroyde

Published by Grand Central Publishing

Genre: Science Fiction

368 pages

Synopsis: When dark comet UD3 was spotted near Jupiter’s orbit, its existence was largely ignored. But to individuals who knew better — scientists like Benjamin Schwartz, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies — the threat this eight-kilometer comet posed to the survival of the human race was unthinkable. The 150-million-year reign of the dinosaurs ended when an asteroid impact generated more than a billion times the energy of an atomic bomb.

What would happen to Earth’s seven billion inhabitants if a similar event were allowed to occur?

Ben and his indomitable girlfriend Amy Kowalski fly to South America to assemble an international counteraction team, whose notable recruits include Love Mwangi, a UN interpreter and nomad scholar, and Zhen Liu, an extraordinary engineer from China’s national space agency. At the same time, on board a polar icebreaker life continues under the looming shadow of comet UD3. Jack Campbell, a photographer for National Geographic, works to capture the beauty of the Arctic before it is gone forever. Gustavo Wayãpi, a Nobel Laureate poet from Brazil, struggles to accept the recent murder of his beloved twin brother. And Maya Gutiérrez, an impassioned marine biologist is — quite unexpectedly — falling in love for the first time.

The Last Exit

by Michael Kaufman

Series: Jen Lu Mystery #1

Published by Crooked Lane Books

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Mystery

Synopsis: Set in Washington D.C. 20 years from now, climate change has hit hard, fires are burning, unemployment is high, and controversial longevity treatments are only available to the very rich. Enter resourceful young police detective, Jen B. Lu, and her ‘partner’, Chandler, a SIM implant in her brain and her instant link to the Internet and police records, and a constant voice inside her head. He’s an inquisitive tough guy, with a helluva sense of humor and his own ideas about solving crimes. As a detective in the Elder Abuse unit, Jen is supposed to be investigating kids pushing their aging parents to “exit” so they are eligible to get the longevity drug. But what really has her attention are the persistent rumors about Eden, a black market version of the longevity drug, and the bizarre outbreak of people aging almost overnight, then suddenly dying–is this all connected? Is Big Pharma involved? When Jen’s investigations of Eden take her too close to the truth, she is suspended, Chandler is deactivated, and her boyfriend is freaked out by “the thing inside her brain.” This leaves Jen to pursue a very dangerous investigation all by herself.

People Like Her

by Ellery Lloyd

Published by Harper

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

288 pages

Synopsis: Followed by Millions, Watched by One

To her adoring fans, Emmy Jackson, aka @the_mamabare, is the honest “Instamum” who always tells it like it is. 

To her skeptical husband, a washed-up novelist who knows just how creative Emmy can be with the truth, she is a breadwinning powerhouse chillingly brilliant at monetizing the intimate details of their family life.

To one of Emmy’s dangerously obsessive followers, she’s the woman that has everything—but deserves none of it.  

As Emmy’s marriage begins to crack under the strain of her growing success and her moral compass veers wildly off course, the more vulnerable she becomes to a very real danger circling ever closer to her family.

Across the Green Grass Fields

by Seanan McGuire

Series: Wayward Children #6

Published by Tordotcom

Genre: YA Fantasy Novella

176 pages

Synopsis: “Welcome to the Hooflands. We’re happy to have you, even if you being here means something’s coming.”

Regan loves, and is loved, though her school-friend situation has become complicated, of late.

When she suddenly finds herself thrust through a doorway that asks her to “Be Sure” before swallowing her whole, Regan must learn to live in a world filled with centaurs, kelpies, and other magical equines―a world that expects its human visitors to step up and be heroes.

But after embracing her time with the herd, Regan discovers that not all forms of heroism are equal, and not all quests are as they seem…

Into the Heartless Wood

by Joanna Ruth Meyer

Published by Page Street Kids

Genre: YA Fantasy, Retelling

368 pages

Synopsis: The forest is a dangerous place, where siren song lures men and women to their deaths. For centuries, a witch has harvested souls to feed the heartless tree, using its power to grow her domain.

When Owen Merrick is lured into the witch’s wood, one of her tree-siren daughters, Seren, saves his life instead of ending it. Every night, he climbs over the garden wall to see her, and every night her longing to become human deepens. But a shift in the stars foretells a dangerous curse, and Seren’s quest to become human will lead them into an ancient war raging between the witch and the king who is trying to stop her.

The House on Vesper Sands

by Paraic O’Donnell

Published by Tin House Books

Genre: Historical Mystery

Setting: Victorian England

408 pages

Synopsis: London, 1893: high up in a house on a dark, snowy night, a lone seamstress stands by a window. So begins the swirling, serpentine world of Paraic O’Donnell’s Victorian-inspired mystery, the story of a city cloaked in shadow, but burning with questions: why does the seamstress jump from the window? Why is a cryptic message stitched into her skin? And how is she connected to a rash of missing girls, all of whom seem to have disappeared under similar circumstances?

On the case is Inspector Cutter, a detective as sharp and committed to his work as he is wryly hilarious. Gideon Bliss, a Cambridge dropout in love with one of the missing girls, stumbles into a role as Cutter’s sidekick. And clever young journalist Octavia Hillingdon sees the case as a chance to tell a story that matters—despite her employer’s preference that she stick to a women’s society column. As Inspector Cutter peels back the mystery layer by layer, he leads them all, at last, to the secrets that lie hidden at the house on Vesper Sands.

January 19

Winterkeep

by Kristin Cashore

Series: Graceling Realm #4

Published by Dial Books

Genre: YA Fantasy

528 pages

Synopsis: Four years after Bitterblue left off, a new land has been discovered to the east: Torla; and the closest nation to Monsea is Winterkeep. Winterkeep is a land of miracles, a democratic republic run by people who like each other, where people speak to telepathic sea creatures, adopt telepathic foxes as pets, and fly across the sky in ships attached to balloons.

But when Bitterblue’s envoys to Winterkeep drown under suspicious circumstances, she and Giddon and her half sister, Hava, set off to discover the truth–putting both Bitterblue’s life and Giddon’s heart to the test when Bitterbue is kidnapped. Giddon believes she has drowned, leaving him and Hava to solve the mystery of what’s wrong in Winterkeep.

Lovisa Cavenda is the teenage daughter of a powerful Scholar and Industrialist (the opposing governing parties) with a fire inside her that is always hungry, always just nearly about to make something happen. She is the key to everything, but only if she can figure out what’s going on before anyone else, and only if she’s willing to transcend the person she’s been all her life.

Remote Control

by Nnedi Okorafor

Published by Tor.com

Genre: Fantasy Novella

160 pages

Synopsis: The day Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. From hereon in she would be known as Sankofa­­–a name that meant nothing to anyone but her, the only tie to her family and her past.

Her touch is death, and with a glance a town can fall. And she walks–alone, except for her fox companion–searching for the object that came from the sky and gave itself to her when the meteors fell and when she was yet unchanged; searching for answers.

But is there a greater purpose for Sankofa, now that Death is her constant companion?

What books are you looking forward to this month?

Review: An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris

Distopian urban fantasy set in the SW United States with lots of action, great characters and a good story

An Easy Death
by Charlaine Harris

Series: Gunnie Rose #1

Genre: Urban Fantasy, dystopian, alternate history

Setting: Texoma (combination of Texas and Oklahoma), Western United States, Mexico

Source: Ebook, Library

Publishing Date: 2018

336 pages

Synopsis: Set in a fractured United States, in the southwestern country now known as Texoma. A world where magic is acknowledged but mistrusted, especially by a young gunslinger named Lizbeth Rose. Battered by a run across the border to Mexico Lizbeth Rose takes a job offer from a pair of Russian wizards to be their local guide and gunnie. For the wizards, Gunnie Rose has already acquired a fearsome reputation and they’re at a desperate crossroad, even if they won’t admit it. They’re searching through the small border towns near Mexico, trying to locate a low-level magic practitioner, Oleg Karkarov. The wizards believe Oleg is a direct descendant of Grigori Rasputin, and that Oleg’s blood can save the young tsar’s life.

As the trio journey through an altered America, shattered into several countries by the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Depression, they’re set on by enemies. It’s clear that a powerful force does not want them to succeed in their mission. Lizbeth Rose is a gunnie who has never failed a client, but her oath will test all of her skills and resolve to get them all out alive. 

My thoughts

I’ve read quite a few Charlaine Harris books–the Aurora Teagarden series, Lily Bard series, Sookie Stackhouse series as well as other books she’s written. This is one of my favorites that she’s written. The book has an interesting story, engaging characters and really good world building.

Gunnie Rose

Gunnie Rose is so much fun to read about. The book is written in first person and Ms. Harris really does a great job making Gunnie Rose unique. Part of doing that is the language and also the way she talks and thinks:

“I don’t want to have nothing to do with you,” I said. My mother would have given me the evil eye for bad grammar, but she wasn’t there and I was out of civil.

Lizbeth Rose aka “Gunnie Rose” is a gunnie who makes her living using her guns to protect other people and/or caravans of goods–basically anyone who will pay for her for protection.

It was going to be that kind of day. Brushed my teeth, didn’t die. Stepped outside, didn’t get shot. Ate breakfast, didn’t get poisoned. Got in our hotel, nobody waiting.

Alternate history

I like the way Charlaine Harris weaves in history we’re familiar with into this world. For example, the Russian Revolution occurs, but much of the west coast of the United States is now the Holy Russian Empire where what was left of the royal family escaped. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was President of the United States, but was assassinated in the 1930’s.

Bottom Line

This book has lots of action, magic, great characters and a twisty story. And an important aspect for me–I really want to read the next book!

I’m very happy that the second book in this series–A Longer Fall–is slotted to come out in January 2020.

My Rating: B+

Have you read this book or any other books by this author? Did you like them?

Skeleton Blues by Paul Johnston

skeleton-bluesSkeleton Blues by Paul Johnston
Series: Quint Dalrymple #7
Genre: Near-future dystopian thriller, science fiction, mystery
Setting: Edinburgh, Scotland–2034
Published by Severn House Publishers, 2016
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: Apr 1)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
256 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: Ex-cop Quint Dalrymple discovers there is something very rotten in the independent city-state of Edinburgh in this near-future dystopian thriller.”

Edinburgh, spring 2034. The weather s balmy, there s a referendum on whether to join a reconstituted Scotland coming up and a tourist is found strangled. As usual, maverick detective Quint Dalrymple is called in to do the Council of City Guardians dirty work.

For the first time in his career, Quint is stumped by the complexity of the case. An explosion at the City Zoo is followed by the discovery of another body and the prime suspect is nowhere to be found. Can Quint and his sidekick, Guard commander Davie, put a stop to the killings before the city erupts into open violence? Are the leaders of other Scottish states planning to take over Edinburgh, or is the source of unrest much closer to home? Quint must race to pull the threads together before he becomes one of the numerous skeletons on display

Initial impressions

  • An interesting dystopian mystery set in Edinburgh. Quint is an irreverent character who tries not to care.

The story

  • Qunt Dalrymple is called in to assist the police when a tourist is found murdered. Tourists are big business in Edinburgh.
  • The tourist is found in the apartment of a prostitute working for the Prostitution Services Department. She is the main suspect, but appearances aren’t what they seem in this book.
  • He keeps following leads and it is kind of like peeling an onion–more and more rings of onion are found.

Pluses

  • The future is gritty and grim. Scotland seems to have broken into city-states and Edinburgh is about to vote on whether it should join a reconstructed Scotland.
  • Edinburgh is supposed to be a utopia and even though some of the restrictions on people’s lives have lifted it is still a joyless society. And though everyone is supposed to be equal there’s a hierarchy and corruption.
  • Tourism is the main industry in Edinburgh, but tourists and most citizens are kept apart so the tourists don’t realize how bad things really are in Edinburgh.
  • There is a lot of politics in the book. Quint reports directly to the Council of City Guardians who run the city.
  • Quint is a sarcastic, complex and cynical character. He’s a former policeman who still works for the police.
  • Hector Dalrymple, Quint’s father–a former Guardian–is a Roman scholar and named him Quintilian. In this book his father is dying, but still manages to play an important part in the story. His dying is difficult for Quint to accept.
  • Guard Commander Davie works with Quint. I don’t know if Davie has been a character in other books, but I suspect he has. They make a good team and their sarcastic and cynical comments are very funny at times.
  • Even though this book is the seventh book about Quint the book read quite well as a stand-alone. The first books are set in the 2020’s so some time has passed since then. I want to go back and read some of the books before this, because the author has created an interesting world.

Minuses

  • I think this works okay as a stand-alone book, but it might be more understandable if I had read the ones before it. I felt like I understood most things, but maybe not!

And concluding thoughts . . .

  • When I began this book I didn’t realize this was the seventh book written in this world. The first book was written in 1997. It would be interesting to read some of the earlier books.

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

Author info

  • Paul Johnston was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1957. His father Ronald was a successful thriller writer. Paul attended state primary school in Berwickshire and private schools in Edinburgh. He subsequently studied ancient and modern Greek at the University of Oxford, then added an M.Phil in comparative literature to his M.A.. After leaving Oxford in 1982, Paul worked for shipping companies in London and Belgium. He moved to Greece in 1987, working on a newspaper, in shipping and then teaching English. He started writing seriously in 1989 when he went to live on the small Aegean island of Antiparos. Paul returned to Edinburgh to do another master’s degree in 1995 and then started studying for a doctorate. He still divides his time between Scotland and Greece – having left Athens, he and his family now live in the beautiful seaside town of Nafplio in the Peloponnese.

Reading Challenges

April books on my list

books-on-my-listEach month I write about the books I’ve noticed and think might be good. Sometimes they’re from favorite authors and sometimes a new author strikes my fancy.

I don’t get all the books (not during the month they’re released at least)–since I already have way too many books to read. And I’m trying to limit the new books I get each month to the ones I’m going to read soon. Right…that doesn’t always work…lol.

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! I also hope you will point me toward books I missed.

Apr 1

skeleton-bluesSkeleton Blues

by Paul Johnston

Series: Quint Dalrymple #7

Published by Severn House Publishers

Genre: Science Fiction Dystopian, Mystery

256 pages

Synopsis: Ex-cop Quint Dalrymple discovers there is something very rotten in the independent city-state of Edinburgh in this near-future dystopian thriller.”

Edinburgh, spring 2034. The weather s balmy, there s a referendum on whether to join a reconstituted Scotland coming up and a tourist is found strangled. As usual, maverick detective Quint Dalrymple is called in to do the Council of City Guardians dirty work.

For the first time in his career, Quint is stumped by the complexity of the case. An explosion at the City Zoo is followed by the discovery of another body and the prime suspect is nowhere to be found. Can Quint and his sidekick, Guard commander Davie, put a stop to the killings before the city erupts into open violence? Are the leaders of other Scottish states planning to take over Edinburgh, or is the source of unrest much closer to home? Quint must race to pull the threads together before he becomes one of the numerous skeletons on display.

Apr 4

the-butcher-birdThe Butcher Bird

by S.D. Sykes

Series: Somershill Manor Series #2

Published by Pegasus

Genre: Historical Mystery

336 pages

Synopsis: Oswald de Lacy is growing up fast in his new position as Lord of Somershill Manor. However, there is still the same amount of work to be done in the farms and fields, and the few people left to do it think they should be paid more—something the King himself has forbidden.

Just as anger begins to spread, the story of the Butcher Bird takes flight. People claim to have witnessed a huge creature in the skies. A new-born baby is found impaled on a thorn bush. And then more children disappear. Convinced the bird is just a superstitious rumor, Oswald must discover what is really happening. He can expect no help from his snobbish mother and his scheming sister Clemence, who is determined to protect her own child, but happy to neglect her step-daughters.

From the plague-ruined villages of Kent to the thief-infested streets of London and the luxurious bedchamber of a bewitching lady, Oswald’s journey is full of danger, dark intrigue, and shocking revelations.

Apr 5

braking-for-bodiesBraking for Bodies

by Duffy Brown

Series: Cycle Path Mysteries #2

Published by Berkley

Genre: Cozy Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: Moving from Los Angeles to small, picturesque Mackinac Island to work in a bike shop might seem crazy, but Evie knows it’s the best decision she’s ever made. That’s not to say she’s gotten rid of all her stress; after all, the upcoming Lilac Festival has everyone in town riding in circles.

But things really go downhill when a ferry full of tourists—including Evie’s friend Fiona’s former boss, the editor of a sleazy rag in LA—arrives on the island. No one knows why Peephole Perry came all the way to Mackinac, but things aren’t looking good for Fiona when Peep is found dead. Now Evie has to gear up and get a grip on the truth if she wants to clear her friend’s name…

reading-up-a-stormReading Up a Storm

by Eva Gates

Series: Lighthouse Library Mystery #3

Published by NAL

Genre: Cozy Mystery

336 pages

Synopsis: Misfortune blows into North Carolina’s Outer Banks when a dead body in a boat on the shore leaves local librarian Lucy Richardson racing to solve a strange new mystery….

After a successful party at Bodie Island’s Lighthouse Library, librarian Lucy Richardson is ready to curl up with her cat, Charles, and a good book. But her R and R is cut short when she notices some mysterious lights leading a small boat to crash into the coast.

The two shipwrecked seafarers survive the ordeal—but one of them shows up dead ashore a few days later. Lucy finds herself again roped into a murder investigation and navigating a sea of suspects, all of whom had motives to deep-six the deceased. And this time, she has a sinking feeling that finding the real killer won’t be so easy…

 arenaArena

by Holly Jennings

Series: None

Published by Ace

Genre: Science Fiction

336 pages

Synopsis: A fast-paced and gripping near-future science fiction debut about the gritty world of competitive gaming…
 
Every week, Kali Ling fights to the death on national TV.
She’s died hundreds of times. And it never gets easier…
 
The RAGE tournaments—the Virtual Gaming League’s elite competition where the best gamers in the world compete in a no-holds-barred fight to the digital death. Every bloody kill is broadcast to millions. Every player is a modern gladiator—leading a life of ultimate fame, responsible only for entertaining the masses.

And though their weapons and armor are digital, the pain is real.

Chosen to be the first female captain in RAGE tournament history, Kali Ling is at the top of the world—until one of her teammates overdoses. Now, she must confront the truth about the tournament. Because it is much more than a game—and even in the real world, not everything is as it seems.

The VGL hides dark secrets. And the only way to change the rules is to fight from the inside…

the-murder-of-mary-russell

 

 

The Murder of Mary Russell

by Laurie R. King

Series: Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes #14

Published by Bantam

Genre: Historical Mystery

384 pages

Synopsis: Laurie R. King’s Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell novels—the New York Times bestselling series that Lee Child calls “the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today”—will never be the same after this bombshell: The Murder of Mary Russell.

 

every-heart-a doorwayEvery Heart a Doorway

by Seanan McGuire

Series: Every Heart a Doorway #1

Published by Tor.com

Genre: Fantasy

160 pages

Synopsis: Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

the-edge-of-worldsThe Edge of Worlds

by Martha Wells

Series: The Books of the Raksura #4

Published by Night Shade Books

Genre: Fantasy

400 pages

Synopsis: An expedition of groundlings from the Empire of Kish have traveled through the Three Worlds to the Indigo Cloud court of the Raksura, shape-shifting creatures of flight that live in large family groups. The groundlings have found a sealed ancient city at the edge of the shallow seas, near the deeps of the impassable Ocean. They believe it to be the last home of their ancestors and ask for help getting inside. But the Raksura fear it was built by their own distant ancestors, the Forerunners, and the last sealed Forerunner city they encountered was a prison for an unstoppable evil.

Prior to the groundlings’ arrival, the Indigo Cloud court had been plagued by visions of a disaster that could destroy all the courts in the Reaches. Now, the court’s mentors believe the ancient city is connected to the foretold danger. A small group of warriors, including consort Moon, an orphan new to the colony and the Raksura’s idea of family, and sister queen Jade, agree to go with the groundling expedition to investigate. But the predatory Fell have found the city too, and in the race to keep the danger contained, the Raksura may be the ones who inadvertently release it.

The Edge of Worlds, from celebrated fantasy author Martha Wells, returns to the fascinating world of The Cloud Roads for the first book in a new series of strange lands, uncanny beings, dead cities, and ancient danger.

Apr 8

delivering-the-truthDelivering the Truth

by Edith Maxwell

Series: Quaker Midwife Series #1

Published by Midnight Ink

Genre: Historical Mystery

312 pages

Synopsis: Quaker midwife Rose Carroll hears secrets and keeps con­fi­dences as she attends births of the rich and poor alike in an 1888 Massachusetts mill town. When the town’s world-famed car­riage indus­try is threat­ened by the work of an arson­ist, and a car­riage fac­tory owner’s adult son is stabbed to death with Rose’s own knitting needle, she is drawn into solv­ing the mys­tery. Things get dicey after the same owner’s mis­tress is also mur­dered, leav­ing her one-week-old baby with­out a mother. The Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier helps Rose by lending words of advice and support. While strug­gling with being less than the per­fect Friend, Rose draws on her strengths as a counselor and prob­lem solver to bring two mur­der­ers to justice before they destroy the town’s carriage industry and the people who run it.

quiet-neighborsQuiet Neighbors

by Catriona McPherson

Series: None

Published by Midnight Ink

Genre: Mystery

336 pages

Synopsis: It’s the oldest bookshop in a town full of bookshops; rambling and disordered, full of treasures if you look hard. Jude found one of the treasures when she visited last summer, the high point of a miserable vacation. Now, in the depths of winter, when she has to run away, Lowell’s chaotic bookshop in that backwater of a town is the safe place she runs to.

Jude needs a bolt-hole; Lowell needs an assistant and, when an affordable rental is thrown in too, life begins to look up. The gravedigger’s cottage isn’t perfect for a woman alone but at least she has quiet neighbors.

Quiet, but not silent. The long dead and the books they left behind both have tales to tell and the dusty rooms of the bookshop are not the haven they seem to be. Lowell’s past and Jude’s present are a dangerous cocktail of secrets and lies and someone is coming to light the taper that could destroy everything.

Apr 11

a-murder-in-timeA Murder in Time

by Julie McElwain

Series: Unknown

Published by Pegasus

Genre: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Mystery

320 pages

Synopsis: Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates.

While fleeing from an unexpected assassin herself, Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place – Aldrich Castle – but in a different time: 1815, to be exact.

Mistaken for a lady’s maid hired to help with weekend guests, Kendra is forced to quickly adapt to the time period until she can figure out how she got there; and, more importantly, how to get back home. However, after the body of a young girl is found on the extensive grounds of the county estate, she starts to feel there’s some purpose to her bizarre circumstances. Stripped of her twenty-first century tools, Kendra must use her wits alone in order to unmask a cunning madman.

Apr 12

masks-and-shadowsMasks and Shadows

by Stephanie Burgis

Series: Unknown

Published by Pyr

Genre: Historical Fantasy

300 pages

Synopsis: The year is 1779, and Carlo Morelli, the most renowned castrato singer in Europe, has been invited as an honored guest to Eszterháza Palace. With Carlo in Prince Nikolaus Esterházy’s carriage, ride a Prussian spy and one of the most notorious alchemists in the Habsburg Empire. Already at Eszterháza is Charlotte von Steinbeck, the very proper sister of Prince Nikolaus’s mistress. Charlotte has retreated to the countryside to mourn her husband’s death. Now, she must overcome the ingrained rules of her society in order to uncover the dangerous secrets lurking within the palace’s golden walls. Music, magic, and blackmail mingle in a plot to assassinate the Habsburg Emperor and Empress–a plot that can only be stopped if Carlo and Charlotte can see through the masks worn by everyone they meet.

dying-for-a-tasteDying for a Taste

by Leslie Karst

Series: Sally Solari Mystery #1

Published by Crooked Lane Publishing

Genre: Cozy Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: After losing her mother to cancer, Sally Solari quits her job as an attorney to help her dad run his old-style Italian eatery in Santa Cruz, California. But managing the front of the house is far from her dream job.

Then in a sudden twist her Aunt Letta is found murdered in her own restaurant, and Sally is the only one who can keep the place running. But when her sous chef is accused of the crime, and she finds herself suddenly short-staffed, Sally must delve into the world of sustainable farming—not to mention a few family secrets–to help him clear his name and catch the true culprit before her timer runs out.

Leslie Karst serves a platter of intrigue in her stirring and satisfying debut Dying for a Taste, which is sure to become a new favorite of food mystery fans.

Apr 19

the-emperors-railroadThe Emperor’s Railroad

by Guy Haley

Series: Dreaming Cities #1

Published by Tor.com

Genre: Fantasy

192 pages

Synopsis: Global war devastated the environment, a zombie-like plague wiped out much of humanity, and civilization as we once understood it came to a standstill. But that was a thousand years ago, and the world is now a very different place.

Conflict between city states is constant, superstition is rife, and machine relics, mutant creatures and resurrected prehistoric beasts trouble the land. Watching over all are the silent Dreaming Cities. Homes of the angels, bastion outposts of heaven on Earth. Or so the church claims. Very few go in, and nobody ever comes out.

Until now…

the-everything-boxThe Everything Box

by Richard Kadrey

Series: Unknown

Published by Harper Voyager

Genre: Fantasy

368 pages

Synopsis: Reminiscent of the edgy, offbeat humor of Chris Moore and Matt Ruff, the first entry in a whimsical, fast-paced supernatural series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Sandman Slim novels-a dark and humorous story involving a doomsday gizmo, a horde of baddies determined to possess its power, and a clever thief who must steal it back . . . again and again

2000 B.C.
A beautiful, ambitious angel stands on a mountaintop, surveying the world and its little inhabitants below. He smiles because soon, the last of humanity who survived the great flood will meet its end, too. And he should know. He’s going to play a big part in it. Our angel usually doesn’t get to do field work, and if he does well, he’s certain he’ll be get a big promotion.
And now it’s time . . .
The angel reaches into his pocket for the instrument of humanity’s doom. Must be in the other pocket. Then he frantically begins to pat himself down. Dejected, he realizes he has lost the object. Looking over the Earth at all that could have been, the majestic angel utters a single word.
“Crap.”

2015
A thief named Coop-a specialist in purloining magic objects-steals and delivers a small box to the mysterious client who engaged his services. Coop doesn’t know that his latest job could be the end of him-and the rest of the world. Suddenly he finds himself in the company of the Department of Peculiar Science, a fearsome enforcement agency that polices the odd and strange. The box isn’t just a supernatural heirloom with quaint powers, they tell him.

It’s a doomsday device. They think. . .
And suddenly, everyone is out to get it.

til-death-do-us-part‘Til Death Do Us Part

by Amanda Quick

Series: Unknown

Published by Berkley

Genre: Historical Romance, Mystery

352 pages

Synopsis: Calista Langley operates an exclusive “introduction” agency in Victorian London, catering to respectable ladies and gentlemen who find themselves alone in the world. But now, a dangerously obsessed individual has begun sending her trinkets and gifts suitable only for those in deepest mourning—a black mirror, a funeral wreath, a ring set with black jet stone. Each is engraved with her initials.

Desperate for help and fearing that the police will be of no assistance, Calista turns to Trent Hastings, a reclusive author of popular crime novels. Believing that Calista may be taking advantage of his lonely sister, who has become one of her clients, Trent doesn’t trust her. Scarred by his past, he’s learned to keep his emotions at bay, even as an instant attraction threatens his resolve.

But as Trent and Calista comb through files of rejected clients in hopes of identifying her tormentor, it becomes clear that the danger may be coming from Calista’s own secret past—and that only her death will satisfy the stalker…

Apr 21

the-body-on-the-doorstepThe Body on the Doorstep

by A.J. MacKenzie

Series: Romney Marsh Mystery #1

Published by Bonnier Publishing

Genre: Historical Mystery

272 pages

Synopsis: Kent, 1796.

Shocked to discover a dying man on his doorstep – and lucky to avoid a bullet himself – Reverend Hardcastle finds himself entrusted with the victim’s cryptic last words.

With smuggling rife on England’s south-east coast, the obvious conclusion is that this was a falling out among thieves. But why is the leader of the local Customs service so reluctant to investigate?

Ably assisted by the ingenious Mrs Chaytor, Hardcastle sets out to solve the mystery for himself. But smugglers are not the only ones to lurk off the Kent coast, and the more he discovers, the more he realises he might have bitten off more than he can chew.

Apr 26

sleeping-giantsSleeping Giants

by Sylvain Neuvel

Series: Themis Files #1

Published by Del Rey

Genre: Science Fiction

320 pages

Synopsis: 17 years ago: A girl in South Dakota falls through the earth, then wakes up dozens of feet below ground on the palm of what seems to be a giant metal hand. Today: She is a top-level physicist leading a team of people to understand exactly what that hand is, where it came from, and what it portends for humanity. A swift and spellbinding tale told almost exclusively through transcriptions of interviews conducted by a mysterious and unnamed character, this is a unique debut that describes a hunt for truth, power, and giant body parts.

………………..

This month I have a number of NetGalley books I’ve already read (and liked):

  • Skeleton Blues by Paul Johnson
  • Reading Up a Storm by Eva Gates
  • Arena by Holly Jennings
  • ‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick
  • Dying for a Taste by Leslie Karst

What books are you excited about this month?