Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Review: The Body on the T

The Body on the T The Body on the T by Mike Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Following up The Walker on the Cape, The Body on the T is the second in Mike Martin's Sgt. Windflower Mystery series. This time the titular body is unidentified, leaving Windflower and Tizzard that much more behind in that case from the get-go. A blast from the series' past comes in the form of another body, identity known this time, linked to Harvey Brenton. Add in Sheila's near-fatal car accident and one of his own Constables' involvement in the distribution of drugs and you've got the bones for another adventure in Newfoundland with Sgt. Winston Windflower.

The tone of this installment is the same overall as the last, cozy, but there is a lot more going on here and murder is just the tip of the iceberg. Windflower's relationship with Sheila has strengthened over time so he is understandably rocked when her car is hit head-on, leaving her in a coma. He has had to suspend one of his own, Claude LaPierre, and struggles with that decision in the face of the knowledge that LaPierre is involved in the drug trade. That very narcotic activity has led to a temporary transfer for Windflower to Marystown to aid the task force hoping to bring down the illegal enterprise. On a positive note, Marystown is where Sheila convalesces so at least he can visit her regularly. There is no shortage of the homey feeling that comes from the setting, Newfoundland, nor the quirkiness of the characters. As a sophomore release, The Body on the T does its job keeping readers interested in the heart of the series, leading to devoted fans who will wait with bated breath for each new book.

View all my reviews

Review: The Palace of the Stars

The Palace of the Stars The Palace of the Stars by Karina McRoberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Set in Australia, The Palace of the Stars is a time travel slash magic slash romance slash mystery novel by Karina Roberts. This is book one of her The Harker Investigates Mysteries series. The premise is that, through a few convenient circumstances, former police officer Michael Harker is boarding with bookshop owner Mari Linden when an earthquake somehow opens a time portal, sending Michael 100 years into the past and leaving Mari in the present. Mike meets Mae Bell and becomes embroiled in a series of murders, both of which keep him busy there. Having been left in the present, Mari frets with keeping her business afloat and trying to get Mike back to his own time period.

The Palace of the Stars is uniquely enticing to readers of numerous fiction categories, the murder mystery aspect being my favorite. Romance lovers will no doubt treasure the tale of star crossed lovers, Mike and Mae, and fans of the fantasy genre have plenty of that facet to nosh on as well. Historical fiction buffs and adventure junkies can get their literary fixes in The Palace, too.

View all my reviews

Review: THE DUBAI GIRL: How My Life-Changing Journey Will Unlock Your Destiny

THE DUBAI GIRL: How My Life-Changing Journey Will Unlock Your Destiny THE DUBAI GIRL: How My Life-Changing Journey Will Unlock Your Destiny by Dr. Sandra Weppler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

THE DUBAI GIRL: How My Life-Changing Journey Will Unlock Your Destiny is a short (only 116 pages) memoir written by Dr. Sandra Weppler. The book quickly outlined is a simple story about the circumstances throughout her life, notably the death of her father, that led to her personal relationship with spirituality, religion, God and Jesus.

I am the first to admit to getting my hackles up where religion (specifically organized religion) is concerned, but if you've chosen this book, you're most likely at least open to the concept of spirituality. Readers in that camp will not be disappointed with The Dubai Girl. Weppler has penned a mental and metaphysical inspirational novel with a Christian influence that is motivational without being preachy, something hard to come by in this genre. The book felt heartfelt and honest, almost conversational. Though the numerous Bible passages added nothing to the experience for me, readers lacking my religious/Bible abrasiveness might get that much more from this.

View all my reviews

Friday, July 19, 2019

Review: Thirteen Across

Thirteen Across Thirteen Across by Dan Grant
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If I had stumbled upon the summary of "Thirteen Across" by Dan Grant before I read it, well, I wouldn't have, for fear the entire novel would be as badly written. Of course, having done so, now I can decipher the synopsis, but it leads me to wonder how many potential readers might have passed it up out of sincere confusion.

"Thirteen Across" has been classified genre-wise as a suspense and medical thriller. I think the downright horrifying, unethical experimentation on human beings should be noted, perhaps veiled with a more diplomatic designation such as medical terrorism. It would also sit squarely under action, medical science fiction, and domestic terrorism labels.

Regarding the story, the 411 pages are surely responsible for many chewed fingernails. The plot is intricate, woven just the right way to carry the weight of the content. Characters are developed nicely and dialogue between them is well written. I won't go into more specifics to prevent giving too much away, but my final word on Thirteen Across is - I suggest you read the book.

View all my reviews

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Review: Above The Grave: The Complete Series

Above The Grave: The Complete Series Above The Grave: The Complete Series by Andrew De Zilva
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Above the Grave is a graphic novel written by Andrew De Silva and Mitchell Hall. Yes, you read that correctly, this one is a graphic novel. A comic book. I am aware that the two terms indicate that there are differences between them, though the distinction remains a mystery to this novice. Anyway, I prefer the term graphic novel now, having finally read one. If you're missing it, I am rather proud of the accomplishment, especially considering the abstract horror I felt when I realized the genre I was diving into. As a graphic novel new recruit, it took me a good bit to acclimate my reading style to authentically experience Above the Grave. The nuts and bolts boil down simply enough; a clandestine lockup where super-naughtiest of villains are confined for the safety of the outside world and the evil hijinks some of its wicked detainees orchestrate.

As it turns out, I dig comics. Who knew? Despite more glaring editing issues than any novel should go to publishing with, I found the story engaging, characters well developed, and pacing of the action appropriately done.

View all my reviews

Review: The Beckoning of Beguiling Things

The Beckoning of Beguiling Things The Beckoning of Beguiling Things by Calinda B.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Beckoning Series by author Calinda B. begins with The Beckoning of Beguiling Things. Though I have never read any of her work before, I truly did not expect to be enamored by her writing so quickly. I mean, page two and there she is describing Las Vegas heat as "Satan's ball sack." I'm a fan, okay? Then, I realize that Marissa's pregnant sister is responsible for dragging her to Sin City, which already makes zero sense already based on my personal experiences and impressions these characters made on me so early in the book - #1 Pregnant women probably won't find much that is healthy for them on the Strip so why in the name of all that is holy would she choose there? and #2 Marissa strikes me as pretty much the opposite of a Vegas-weekend-trip-to-cut-loose kind of girl and shouldn't her sister be aware of that? Tidbits of reality such as those poking their uptight noses into my fiction aside, Beguiling Things runs the gambit in terms of adjectives to accurately describe the plot, but I'm going to list the ones bouncing around in my head anyway; modern, magic, funny, tragic, exciting and a healthy dose of fantasy. I'm looking forward to the follow-up.

View all my reviews

Review: The Admiral of Bolivia

The Admiral of Bolivia The Admiral of Bolivia by Chief John J. Mandeville
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Admiral of Bolivia
by Chief John J. Mandeville

Sometimes you're in the mood for a humorous tale full of slightly off-key characters making one questionable choice after another, leading to wild adventures that go beyond expectation. Stepping outside of your own day to day monotony and falling into a novel like this one is a pleasure every human being should enjoy from time to time. Chief John J. Mandeville offers just that sort of break with his comedic fiction novel, The Admiral of Bolivia.

New Yorkers are a special breed on their own, but the men and women of the FDNY are in a league apart even from those. Talk about characters, the real-life counterparts on which Mandeville must have based Mike, Mary and the rest have probably provided the author with more subject matter than he can fit into 30+ books. Take my often cynical word for it, Admiral will have you laughing within the first few pages and the merriment doesn't let up throughout the entire thing.

View all my reviews