Can't Wait Wednesday: Hanging Falls by Margaret Mizushima

Officer Mattie Cobb & her K-9 partner Robo along with the Colorado setting makes this one of my most anticipated books of the year

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 . . .

Hanging Falls

by Margaret Mizushima

Series: Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #6

Published by Crooked Lane Press

Publication date: September 8

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

288 pages

Synopsis: A deluge has flooded the high ground near Hanging Falls–but heavy rains aren’t the only menace descending on Timber Creek. While on a scouting mission to pinpoint trail damage, officer Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo stumble upon a body floating at the edge of a lake. Robo catches human scent, which leads to an enigmatic forest-dweller who quickly becomes suspect number one.

With help from veterinarian Cole Walker, Mattie identifies the victim, and discovers an odd religious cult whose dress and manners harken back to the 19th century. As the list of suspects grows, an unexpected visit from members of Mattie’s long-lost family sheds new light on her childhood as they help Mattie piece together details of the fateful night when she was abducted at age two.

The tangled threads of the investigation and family dynamics begin to intertwine–but darkness threatens to claim a new victim before Mattie and Robo can track down the killers.

………………………….

I’ve read all the books in this series and really look forward to this one. Mattie and Robo are great characters.

My favorite books of 2019

In 2019 I read lots of books that made me happy I can read!

I’m finally getting my favorite books of the year completed. 2019 was a good reading year since I read many books I liked and many that filled me with joy. So I have lots of favorites this year!

I had set a goal for myself to read 95 books and only read 90, but that’s okay. I love to read. I think I’m reading a little slower these days. However, the important thing for me is that I’m still reading and that I enjoy most of the books I read.

I’ve added links to the books I reviewed (only three books). 😦

Mystery

Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger, Cork O’Connor #5

This series takes place in northern Minnesota’s lake country. I love the series which features wonderful descriptions of northern Minnesota and well-written mysteries. However, I need to read them a little quicker since there are already 17 books in the series!

Burning Ridge by Margaret Mizushima, Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries #4

This is another series I love. I’m up-to-date with this series and have read these books since started being published a few years ago. I love reading about working dogs and Robo is a great example of a K-9 dog in a police department. He and Mattie are a wonderful team.

Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong, Rockton #4

This police procedural is set in one of the oddest towns I’ve read about in a mystery and there’s lots of suspense. Each book ratchets up the suspense a little more.

Fractured Truth by Susan Furlong, Bone Gap Travellers #2

Former Marines Brynn and her K-9 partner Wilco suffer from PTSD and both carry the scars from an IED explosion. Brynn tries to control the flashbacks with alcohol and pain pills–not a good combination especially since she’s now working for the McCreary County Sherrif’s Department. She’s also trying to straddle two worlds–that of the Irish Travellers (a nomadic group from Ireland who came to the U.S. during the Great Famine) and the settled townspeople (most of whom distrust the Travellers.) The mysteries are good in this series and the world of the Travellers is fascinating.

The First Eagle by Tony Hillerman, Leaphorn & Chee #13

I’ve read these mysteries since I was a teenager. My mom and I would talk about the books through the years since we both loved them. One of the best things about this series is that it’s set in the United States Southwest. For a while I stopped reading mysteries so now I’m catching up with this series. And I’m so happy that Tony Hillerman’s daughter Anne Hillerman has continued writing the series after he died.

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #8

The books in this series are so well written. Sometimes they’re difficult to read since heartbreaking things happen to characters I like. Things that happen in one book may have far-reaching impact several books later and then we see how skillfully Louise Penny has intertwined so much into her books.

A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie, Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #18

I was so happy to read this book since it has been several years since Deborah Crombie had written a book in the series. When I read about Duncan and Gemma and their family it’s like having a chat with old friends. And the mysteries are good, too!

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths, Ruth Galloway #9

I’m always happy to return to Ruth’s world. She’s such an interesting character and I love the mysteries which always have something to do with her forensic archaeology work.

Science Fiction

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells, The Murderbot Diaries #4

I’ve loved every single one of the Murderbot books. They are original, an adventure story and also thought-provoking.

Borderline by Janet Edwards, Hive Mind #4

I like everything I’ve read by Janet Edwards. This series is one I especially love. Ms. Edwards has a great way of writing exciting stories about characters I care about. And her world building is so good. It takes place in Earth’s future.

Mantivore Dreams by S.G. Higbee, Arcadian Chronicles #1

I like the way this book slowly unfolds so that it gives readers time to try to figure things out themselves. I also like that by the end of the book there are threads for future books, but that this book is a complete story. I need to get that next book read! The world building is especially good and I like the way Kyrillia grows and changes throughout the book.

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

I chose to read this book because it was about a dog! I love the bond between Griz and the dogs. However, the book is a post apocalyptic science fiction so the book is good, but also has an overall feeling of sadness.

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

I feel like a lot of science fiction really makes you think in a different way and that’s kind of what this book did for me. It’s also post apocalyptic, military science fiction and during parts of the book I wasn’t really sure what was happening! It went different directions than I thought it would.

Ascending by Meg Pechenick, The Vardeshi Saga #1

Margaret (Meg) Pechenick is a new author to me. (S.G. Higbee @ Brainfluff reviewed this book. I find out about so many good books from her.) I loved this science fiction about aliens visiting Earth and inviting a group of Earthlings to visit their part of space.

Doing Time by Jodi Taylor, The Time Police #1

This was book one of a new series–The Time Police–that came out in fall 2019. It’s a spin-off of The Chronicles of St. Mary’s series. These are both time travel series and so much fun. I’m doing a happy dance that Jodi Taylor decided to start another series which comes at the time travel idea from a slightly different angle. Can’t wait for the next book!

Urban Fantasy

These are my favorite urban fantasies (which are about the only fantasies I read these days) and I’ve read every book as they’ve been published!

Wild Country by Anne Bishop, The World of the Others #2 (The Others #7)

The world building in these books is one of the most appealing parts of this series. It very different from other urban fantasy series I read.

Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs, Mercy Thompson #11

Mercy Thompson is such a great character. She doesn’t always do the smart thing, but she’s such a loyal friend and she tries to do what’s right for the people she’s responsible for. And I love the world Patricia Briggs has created.

Between Homes by W.R. Gingell, The City Between #5

This series is so unique and the last book has really ratcheted up the suspense. I hope another book comes soon in this world where Fae often come and go in the human world, but very few humans manage to survive a trip either Between or Behind. And most humans don’t even know they exist.

Fiction

Doggirl by Robin Brande

I loved this book! It’s young adult which I seldom like or read, but this book about a high school girl who wants to be an animal trainer for movies is just lovely. And the dogs are wonderful!

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

An out-of-work librarian, a bookstore on wheels and remote towns without libraries all come together in this wonderful book. There’s even some romance in it! And it’s set in Scotland!

Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts by Lucy Dillon

I loved all the dogs in this book plus the human characters are great fun to read about.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

At the end of the book I felt so happy I’d read this which is one of the reasons I love reading. It’s set in Maine which is one of my favorite places and Evvie Drake is a great character. She’s certainly not perfect, but she’s someone I’d love to talk to. Linda Holmes is also one of the hosts of the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast which I love to listen to.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

One of my most favorite books of 2019! So glad I read it. The language flows and the characters are so vivid–especially Kya (aka “Marsh Girl”). The book is heartbreaking at times, but ultimately a wonderful read. It’s historical fiction, almost a natural history of the North Carolina swamps and marshland and a mystery all set in swamps along the North Carolina Coast. It switches back and forth between Kya’s childhood in the 1950’s and a murder that happens in 1969. Cassandra Campbell narrated the audiobook and made my enjoyment of the book so vivid and immersive.

Memoir

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I don’t usually read memoirs or biographies, but I enjoyed this one a lot–especially since I listened to the audiobook narrated by Michelle Obama. By the end I felt like we had met! So interesting to hear about her childhood, her meeting and marriage to Barack Obama, and then her life as the First Lady in the White House. She’s such an inspirational person.

Have you read any of these books? What were some of your favorite books of the year?

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

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

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

I’m excited to read . . .

burning ridge by margaret mizushima

Burning Ridge by Margaret Mizushima

Series: Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries #4

Published by Crooked Lane Books

Publishing date: September 11, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

279 pages

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

 

…………………………….

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

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

Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima

Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima

Timber Creek K-9  Mystery #3

Publication Date: August 8

e-ARC (from NetGalley and the publisher)

–All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Mystery, Police Procedural

Deputy Mattie Cobb is working through issues from her past and has withdrawn from Cole Walker and his family to focus on herself, when she and her K-9 partner Robo get called to track a missing junior high student. Until they find the girl on Smoker’s Hill behind the high school, dead. But that’s only the start of trouble in Timber Creek, because soon another girl goes missing–and this time it’s Sophie Walker. Hard as they search, Cole, Mattie, and Robo can’t find her anywhere. Mattie’s primary suspect, a strange man who lives near the wilderness area, calls to report he hears deer “screaming” in the woods. Suspecting the man might have lost touch with reality and be referring to something he’s done to Sophie, Mattie takes Robo into the dense pine forest, hoping to pick up a trace of her scent. But when Robo does catch Sophie’s trail, it leads them to another clue that challenges everything they thought they knew about the case. Now Mattie and Robo must rush to hunt down Sophie’s kidnapper before they’re too late in Hunting Hour, the third installment in critically acclaimed author Margaret Mizushima’s exhilarating mystery series. 

………………………..

My thoughts

This is the third book in this series and I like it as much as I do the other two. I like the setting in the Colorado Rockies and I like so many of the characters–especially Mattie Cobb and her partner Robo. Mattie and Robo continue to bond as partners and Robo continues to show how smart he is as he learns new skills. I love reading about K-9 dogs and the amazing things they can do.

Mattie has pulled away from colleagues and friends in this book as she tries to come to terms with problems from her past. Cole Walker and his children became important to Mattie, but she feels she can’t continue to see them since she feels so uncertain about herself. Cole likes Mattie and isn’t sure what’s going on since Mattie has shut down. Her problems are beginning to affect her work and professional life as well. Even Robo is affected by Mattie’s distraction and worries. I like the way the author shows Mattie’s problems and the ways she’s trying to understand and come to terms with her past.

Mattie and Robo do come together to do their job during this book. Robo is a great companion and friend to Mattie. He helps her heal. I also really like the friendships Mattie has made with her colleagues–especially Stella and Rainbow. And I like the way her working relationship has changed with Brody. In the first book there’s a lot of animosity between them. Both have grown and changed which is a really good part of these books. I like how Mizushima has handled the working relationships Mattie has. We have a number of well-rounded characters to read about.

Margaret Mizushima has become a favorite author as I’ve read these books. I look forward to reading many more in this series.

My recommendation

Have you read books in this series? I encourage you to do so if you enjoy mysteries, police procedurals and/or working dogs. I would start with the first book because all three are very good. I like that this is not a gritty series. Yes, there are murders and heartbreak (that isn’t sugar-coated), but the gory parts of the murder aren’t dwelled upon. I don’t want to get into the mind of a murderer. I don’t want to read pages and pages about the murder victim’s last moments or their horrific injuries. I’m not a lover of a psychological thriller. I enjoy reading about the friendships and professional relationships within a police department. I like the search for clues as they try to discover what happened and why. I like the books where justice is done. I don’t like to read about crooked cops–though I know they exist.

My rating: B+

WWW Wednesday: May 3

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Taking on a World of Words. The idea is to answer the three questions below. For more information check out the Taking on a World of Words blog.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi (Science Fiction, Space Opera) — I’m listening to the audiobook narrated by Wil Wheaton. I’ve just started it and I’m loving it!

Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier (Fantasy) — Another book I’ve barely started, but I loved the first two books in this series. Blackthorn and Grim are such good characters.

Recently finished

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #1) Science Fiction, Time Travel — Lots of action. So fun to read.

Watching the Detectives by Julie Mulhern (Country Club Mysteries #5) Historical Mystery, Cozy [NetGalley–publishing date, May 23] — This is one of my favorite mystery series and the series just gets better and better.

Reading next (perhaps–I’m very much a mood reader!)

Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima (Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #3) Mystery, Police Procedural

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #2) Science Fiction, Time Travel

What books are you reading, want to read or have read?

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Waiting on Wednesday: March 22

I’m participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m looking forward to in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

 

Hunting-Hour-by-Margaret-MizushimaHunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima

Series: Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #3

Publication Date: August 8

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Deputy Mattie Cobb is working through issues from her past and has withdrawn from Cole Walker and his family to focus on herself, when she and her K-9 partner Robo get called to track a missing junior high student. Until they find the girl on Smoker’s Hill behind the high school, dead. But that’s only the start of trouble in Timber Creek, because soon another girl goes missing–and this time it’s Sophie Walker. Hard as they search, Cole, Mattie, and Robo can’t find her anywhere. Mattie’s primary suspect, a strange man who lives near the wilderness area, calls to report he hears deer “screaming” in the woods. Suspecting the man might have lost touch with reality and be referring to something he’s done to Sophie, Mattie takes Robo into the dense pine forest, hoping to pick up a trace of her scent. But when Robo does catch Sophie’s trail, it leads them to another clue that challenges everything they thought they knew about the case. Now Mattie and Robo must rush to hunt down Sophie’s kidnapper before they’re too late in Hunting Hour, the third installment in critically acclaimed author Margaret Mizushima’s exhilarating mystery series.

………………………………………

Why I want this book
  • I really like this series. Mattie and her K-9 partner Robo are great characters. I really like reading about K-9 dogs. They are truly great partners for police and military work. And Colorado is a great setting.
  • This is a police procedural–one of my favorite sub-genres.
  • Great cover!

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Stalking Ground by Margaret Mizushima

stalking-groundStalking Ground by Margaret Mizushima
Series: Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #2
Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural
Setting: Timber Creek, Colorado–the high country in Colorado
Published by Crooked Lane Books
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: September 13, 2016)
–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.
320 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: When Deputy Ken Brody’s sweetheart goes missing in the mountains outside Timber Creek, Mattie Cobb and Robo are called to search. But it’s mid-October and a dark snow storm is brewing over the high country–and they’re already too late. By the time they find her body, the storm has broken and the snow is coming down hard.

While Brody hikes down to bring back the forensics team and veterinarian Cole Walker gathers supplies to protect them from the storm, Mattie and Robo find themselves alone, guarding the gravesite overnight in the dead of the early winter. And that’s only the first long, dark night in a series of them, because as their investigation develops, Mattie, Robo, Brody, and Cole find themselves in the middle of the killer’s stalking ground–with no way out unless they can catch a predator more deadly than any natural threat.

Initial impressions

  • A very good addition to the series.

Pluses

  • Mattie and Robo make a great team. I like that they’re coming to trust each other more.
  • Mattie has trouble trusting and relating to people sometimes, but I think because of Robo she’s growing more confident and making more friends.
  • When Mattie hears that Deputy Ken Brody’s girlfriend is missing she wonders if Adrienne didn’t just leave. Mattie finds Deputy Brody difficult to get along with and can’t imagine that being his girlfriend is easy.
  • However, the evidence mounts that Adrienne didn’t disappear on her own. And when her body is found Mattie finds herself beginning to understand Brody better and realize he loved Adrienne.
  • There’s a scary scene where Mattie and Robo are alone in the Colorado wilderness overnight guarding Adrienne’s body while Brody goes back to guide the forensic teams and others to the site.
  • I like that Mattie is beginning to make more friends and learning that friends will help–that she doesn’t have to do everything herself.
  • This isn’t a very gritty, dark mystery–and for me that’s a plus as I don’t like dark mysteries too much.
  • I like many of the characters in these books. And there are hints of romance to come in future books. But that doesn’t take over the story.

Minuses

  • I did have ideas of who the murderer is, but wasn’t sure of the motive. I still enjoyed the mystery and story.

And concluding thoughts . . .

  • I’m hoping for a third book in this series. I hope it comes soon!

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

Author info

  • Margaret Mizushima has a background in speech pathology and practiced in an acute care hospital before establishing her own rehabilitation agency. Currently, she balances writing with assisting her husband with their veterinary clinic and Angus cattle herd. Her short story “Hay Hook” was published in the 2014 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers anthology Crossing Colfax. She enjoys reading and hiking, and she lives on a small ranch in Colorado where she and her husband raised two daughters and a multitude of animals. She can be found on Facebook/Author Margaret Mizushima, on Twitter @margmizu and on her website.

Reading Challenges

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Waiting on Wednesday: April 6

I’m participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m looking forward to in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

stalking-groundStalking Ground by Margaret Mizushima

Series: Timber Creek K-9 Mystery #2

Publication Date: September 13

Synopsis (from Goodreads): When Deputy Ken Brody’s sweetheart goes missing in the mountains outside Timber Creek, Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo are called to search. But it’s mid-October and a dark snow storm is brewing over the high country. And they’re already too late. By the time they find her body, the storm has broken and the snow is coming down hard.

While Brody hikes down to bring back the forensics team and veterinarian Cole Walker gathers supplies to protect them from the storm, Mattie and Robo find themselves alone, guarding the gravesite overnight in the dead of the early winter. And that’s only the first long, dark night in a series of them, because as their investigation develops, Mattie, Robo, Brody, and Cole find themselves in the middle of the killer’s stalking ground–where the hunters have just become the hunted.

An effortlessly engrossing read filled with tension, excitement, and heart, Stalking Ground, the second in Margaret Mizushima’s lauded debut series, will send a chill down every reader’s spine.

………………………………………

Why I want this book

  • I read the first book earlier this year and loved it.
  • Police procedurals–one of my favorite genres. And I love to read about K-9 dogs.
  • Great cover.

What about you? Is there some book you are waiting impatiently for?