Sunday, December 31, 2023

Tuesday Book Review on Sunday

Last day of the year, but not the end of my reviews

Five-star review of The Palace of Lost Memories (After the Rift Book 1) by C. J. Archer

Josie, the doctor’s daughter, isn’t allowed to become a doctor herself, but is the midwife for their small town. Soon after a palace is built mysteriously near the town and instantly inhabited, her father is called to treat a poisoned young noblewoman, the king’s favorite among those wanting to marry him. Throw in the handsome and mysterious captain of the guard, Hammer, and a palace full of scheming nobles and amnesiac palace staff and the mysteries increase. This is the first of a long series. I hope to read the rest. This has jumped to the top of my favorite Archer books. 

Friday, December 29, 2023

Tuesday Book Review on Thursday

Here's the next review to make up for the time I was away:

Four-star Review of Earth Alone (Earthrise Book 1) by Daniel Arenson

 This could have been another space opera about how humankind overcomes deadly aliens, but instead it’s about the training of reluctant recruits, all just out of high school, including Marco Emery. He dreams of writing a novel and becoming a librarian like his father and is called Poet by Addy, his best friend from home (Canada). I can’t put my finger on what kept me reading but now that I’m finished, I’ve already bought the sequel. This is a long series, so I expect the fight will last a long time against the aliens, called Scum for short since the name given them is so long. Going through basic training exercises with Marco and the other recruits and watching them become a cohesive group was more interesting than Marco pining of the girlfriend who dumped him to become an officer, or his budding romance with Leilani. There’s a long battle with the Scum for diehard fans of those things, but it’s the human aspects of this story that made it for me.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Tuesday Book Review

I've been away for several weeks, and have missed posting here. So over the last week of the year I'll post a few times. Here's the first:

Four-star Review of A Thousand Recipes for Revenge (Chefs of the Five Gods book 1) by Beth Cato

Chefs in this world are blessed with gifts; each of the five gods are connected in some way with food such as Selland with salt and Melissa with everything sweet. Adamantine Garland, called Ada, is a forty-something chef. She’s a former military leader, blessed with the ability to heal with herbs but trying to pass herself off as an ordinary cook until she learns that members of her former division were being killed off. Teenaged Princess Solenn of Braiz is in Verdania to marry the prince when her tongue awakens to the ability to sense poisons. Their paths are destined to intertwine. The plot, involving the procurement and use of substances with addictive mind and body-altering properties, is filled with characters who are introduced and made real and then all but forgotten. Still, I’m looking forward to reading the sequel when it becomes available. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Tuesday Book Reviews

Five-star Review of The Cruelest Month (An Inspector Gamache Mystery) by Louise Penny

Three Pines is a special place. The atmospheric small town in Quebec is again the scene of a murder and Gamache and his team are assigned to the case, except there’s a snake ready to betray him. Penny populates the story with the usual Three Pines inhabitants with a few additions, each one with his or her secrets. Secrets are at the heart of the story. The murder occurred at an abandoned (and some said haunted) house on the hill during a séance. The writing is inspired, literate and full of philosophical musings. Gamache is unlike other detectives, public or private, on many levels. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Tuesday Book Review


Five-star Review of The Night Raven (Moonwind Mysteries #1) by Johan Rundberg

 Mika, a twelve-year-old living at a public orphanage in 1880’s Stockholm and working as a bartender at night to earn money, is the least likely detective. But then rumors of the Night Raven returning to the streets of the city after a body is found and besides that a baby is left at the door of the orphanage by a lad who refers to a dark angel. Mika teams up with a police inspector, who seems to be on probation following a previous case. Mika and Valdemar don’t always confide in each other, but they make a good team. Throughout the story we see Mika’s resourcefulness and observational skills. This is the first in a series, translated very well from the original Swedish, and I’m looking forward to more from this unlikely team.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Tuesday Book Review on Thursday

Five-star review of Spy Coast: A Thriller (The Martini Club Book 1) by Tess Gerritsen 

This is a great start for a series. Gerritsen’s descriptions let you join the action in all of her books. In this one, told from the perspective of two former spies and a young police officer they drew me right in. Although it starts from the viewpoint of the least followed woman, it’s mainly about another spy, Maggie Bird, who’s retired to Maine to raise chickens. A few former colleagues from her CIA days also live in the small town. The bucolic calm is disturbed by the arrival of another agent looking for someone from Maggie's past. Gradually, the story of Maggie’s last mission and the death of her husband is revealed. Her neighborhood retired spies join her in determining who’s behind the death of the agent and attempts on Maggie’s life as they form the Martini Club. Action and surprises keep the story moving forward. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Tuesday Book Review


Four-star review of Off the Grid: a Joe Pickett Novel Book 16  by C. J. Box

In this novel, 16th in the series, most of the action involves Nate Romanowski, Joe’s sometimes friend and unofficial partner.  Nate’s been asked by men in a shadow government agency to look into the activity of Mohammed Ibraaheem in the red dessert area of Wyoming, since Ibby is a falconer like Nate. Meanwhile, Joe’s asked by the governor to find Nate.  Adding to the tension is the involvement of Joe’s oldest daughter, Sheridan. The technology, falconry, and landscape add another layer to the story. It’s the kind of thing that could happen.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Tuesday Book Review on Wednesday


Five-star review of Hanging City by Charlie N. Holmberg

This novel is somewhat of a departure from Holmberg’s other books, although it’s still a fantasy. Lark escaped her father who used her power to create fear in others to control the people of the town he ruled. Over the next seven years she wandered the land. Each settlement she thought could be her new home expelled her when they learned of her ability. She finally found a place with the huge trollis in their city under a bridge, much better organized than other places she’d been although there was a very distinct caste system and humans were at the bottom of it. The story built, sometimes in predictable ways and other times with surprises. The fast-moving action and great visuals added to my enjoyment of this beauty and the beast-like story.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Tuesday Book Review on Wednesday


Four-star review of Deadlands by Victoria Miluch

 This is an uneven story about a girl who grew to a woman in a mostly underground settlement in the desert with her father and brother. At times, the lyrical writing is terrific. The story is riveting to me and anyone who enjoys postapocalyptic stories, but many events seem inevitable with the arrival of a couple from Phoenix. The biggest issue I had was that it ended abruptly, without any clear indication that there’ll be a sequence. The short bit of sex also disturbed me but led inevitably to a major event late in the book. The few characters were well-defined and the setting too,  especially the terrain and environmental aspects.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Tuesday Book Review on Wednesday

Five-star review of The Ministry of Unladylike Activity by Robin Stevens

Hazel’s little sister May has snuck out of Deapdean school for girls with the intent of joining Big Sister Hazel at the ministry, but when Daisy turns her away from the headquarters in London, she teams up with Eric, a boy with his own backstory, and sets out to prove she’s as good a spy as Daisy and Hazel. It’s 1940 and children are being evacuated from London and they take that as an opportunity to get close to one of the addresses May found of the homes of potential spies for Germany. At a country home near Canterbury, their early dislike of Nuala, a girl their age, gradually wears away as they investigate the murder of her uncle during an evening game with the extended family. The book was at least as much fun as the Murder Unladylike books about the teenage exploits of Daisy and Hazel. Hope this series is at least as long as the first one. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Tuesday Book Review


Four-star review of Red Mesa by Aimee and David Thurlo

 This early Ella Clah novel gives a superb look at the struggles of juggling traditional and modern ways by a police officer/mother on the Navajo reservation. I was reading this at the time I traveled to the Four Corners through Farmington and Shiprock and noticed how well the book maintained a sense of place. Ella’s friend, partner and cousin Justine goes missing and clues indicate she’s dead. The only way Ella can prove her own innocence is to find out what happened but factions are working to convict her of a crime. Some of her choices were questionable to me, but her life is so different from mine that I accepted them. All of the characters are believable, but especially Ella, her mother who’s trying to take care of Ella’s toddler daughter as she ages, and the little girl herself.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Tuesday Book Review


After a short hiatus, I've returned with another review:

Four-star review of Cosega Source (The Cosega Sequence book 5) by Brandt Legg

This fifth book in the series introduces the literal source of the Eysen spheres, the Cosegans from eleven million years ago. Supposedly a peaceful civilization, the individuals were involved in several conflicts in their ideas about how to save the future of mankind. The implications in the first four books was that the Cosegans died out, becoming extinct like the dinosaurs, and there are several obvious reasons why. The readers of the earlier books are, of course, more inclined to side with Trynn, the scientist that Rip and Gail call The Crying Man, the one who appeared to them in the first Eysen they found. His goal is to insert more and more Eysen spheres in times in his future (and our past) to warn of the impending doom to all mankind. Much of this book was interesting, some even exciting like the Imazes’ voyage to a time and space barrier, but I missed having more Rip, Gale and especially their daughter. There was even an Easter egg related to the first Legg series I read, the Last Librarian series.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Tuesday Review on Thursday


Four-star review of Murder at Markham by Patricia Houck Sprinkle


Picked this one up at a used book store when I realized I hadn’t read this Shiela Travis story before.  Recently widowed Shiela is hired at a college that trains future diplomats. I never did figure out whether it was part of The University of Chicago or not. Sprinkle obviously doesn’t know that area of Chicago as well as she knows the south, where the other Shiela Travis books are set. With Aunt Mary visiting, Shiela investigates the death of a young woman found wrapped in an oriental rug in the basement of Markham Institute as well as ensuing crimes including another death. A quick and enjoyable read. 

Monday, July 31, 2023

Tuesday Book Reviews on Monday


Five-star review of Murder in the Sunshine (The Retired Detectives Club Book 1) by Steph Broadribb

In this first of a series, we’re introduced to four retired law enforcement people, three from England and the other from the US. They’ve all now live in a huge retirement community in Florida. When Moira finds a young woman floating in a pool in their section, she and the others (Rick the American former DEA staffer and married couple Philip and Lizzie, he a former DCI like Moira and she a CSI specialist). They’re quickly ahead of the bumbling police officer assigned to the case, but what makes this more interesting is that both Moira and Philip have secrets about why they retired. I don’t doubt Lizzie and Rick do too, but their revelations will have to wait for the rest of the series. I also hope the retired detectives can help make The Homestead the safe place it was billed to be.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Tuesday Book Review


Five-star review of Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages

I read this for the first time several years ago, but now that I’ve seen the historic places mentioned in the books, even sold books at Fuller Lodge, it’s easier for me to follow the actions of Dewey and Suze. Their stories stayed with me, so when I saw a copy of the first one at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, I had to buy it. Rereading it struck me with how Klages created the voices of the two eleven-year-old girls. The story of once secret Los Alamos is told through the eyes of two pre-teens including all the ethical questions of whether, just because the scientists could invent the bomb, they should. The growth of the girls’ friendship against that backdrop makes an interesting, sometimes exciting and other times even humorous read.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Tuesday Book Review on Wednesday


Five-star review of Tides of Acerba: Paradisi Chronicles (Caelestis Series Book 4)

 by M. Louisa Locke

 I’ve enjoyed Locke’s Victorian San Francisco books but this series is my favorite of hers. I haven’t read any of the other Paradisi novels by other authors, but the world-building aspects of these stories is inspiring for me as a science fantasy writer. In this one, Mei Lin Yu must contend with her great grandmother’s illness, the resistance to her as heir to Hen Nain as a member of the MynyEnergy Board and world-wide acceptance by the Ddaerans to her as the future Promise Keeper, her mother’s continued sniping and the machinations of other high-ranking Yus and Quinns. Along the way, she makes new allies and new enemies. Her agreement to find out why Ddaerens don’t wish to leave their seaside village in Vida, the territory controlled by the Quinns, leads to her uncovering a conspiracy. Added to what she must deal with is her relationship with Jaxon, who’s been keeping things from her. Enough loose ends promise an additional book in the series.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Tuesday Book Review


Five-star review of Once Upon a Crime by Robin Stevens

 This collection of short stories tells the tales of a few of the murders and mysteries solved by Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong intermixed chronologically with novels in the Murder Most Unladylike series. The two founders of the Detective Society now in their teens in 1930’s England. There are also one story featuring their friends George and Alexander, the Junior Pinkertons, and another long one starring Hazel’s 10-year-old sister May and taking place at the start of WWII. May has helped Daisy and Hazel before but this one was solved through her own reasoning and actions. I’m now looking forward to reading the first full-length novel about May and her exploits. Each of the stories in this collection is good, written from the POV of one of the protagonists with the proper word choices for someone their age. They were each unpredictable and satisfying.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Tuesday Book Review


Four-star Review of Pilfered Promises (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery Book 5) by M. Louisa Locke

 Annie Fuller, now married to lawyer Nate Dawson, is asked to investigate thefts at the new store The Silver Strike, a Victorian-era department store. When the women’s clothing designer and head seamstress is killed, she suddenly has more than one crime to solve. All my favorites from Annie’s boarding house, Nate’s sister Laura and new characters from the store help in their new adventure. The meticulously researched historic details of 1880 San Francisco and early department stores add to the enjoyment of the book. This historical mystery series never disappoints.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Tuesday Book Review

Five-star review of NoFixed Line (A Kate Shugak Investigation) by Dana Stabenow

 I always enjoy the stories about Kate in the wilds of Alaska. In this one, a plane goes down in a violent snowstorm and is buried in the side of a mountain. Kate’s friends, staying in her cabin for New Year’s Eve, see in happen and investigate, finding two small children in the rear of the plane who speak only Spanish. With the help of Jim, the half-wolf mutt, the aunties and all the parkrats we’ve met throughout this series, Kate gets to the bottom of what the plane was doing out in the storm. After many years, I’m still loving this series.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Tuesday Book Review on Thursday

Five-Star Review of Heir of Uncertain Magic (Whimbrel House Book 2) by Charlie N. Holmberg

Holmberg rarely disappoints and hasn’t in this sequel to Keeper of Enchanted Rooms. Hulda and Merritt must deal with her missing director at BIKER, the investigation by LIKER, the London equivalent of the Boston agency, into missing funds, and another magic-user putting obstacles in their path. Owein, the ghost who used to inhabit the walls of Whimbrel House and now living in the body of a dog, is as always delightful as they try to teach him letters so he can spell out messages to them. Others from the first Whimbrel House story are also on hand, including Baptiste. Meanwhile, Merritt must grapple with his family, who he hasn’t seen in many years. The developing romance between Hulda and Merritt enriches the historical fantasy. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Tuesday Book Review


Five-Star Review for Vendetta in Death an Eve Dallas novel by J. D. Robb

 We’re back once again with Eve, Rourke, Peabody and the rest of the gang, although a few made only a brief appearance and others were only mentioned. Someone is killing and castrating men who were womanizers, who strayed and/or who abused women. We learn the identity of the killer, who calls herself Lady Justice, pretty quickly, but then Eve has to prove it. At least she knows there are quite a few good men out there. Eve understands human psychology and motivations and use those with determination to build a case as she gets ready to confront the killer. All the regulars are consistent with what we’ve seen in the past of their characters. Smooth, quick read despite the amount of brutality described.



Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Tuesday Book Review on Wednesday


Five-star Review of Across the Sand by Hugh Howey

 I read Sand years ago when it was first published and it’s stuck in my mind ever since. A world that’s been so inundated with sand that people have to dive deep to scavenge the cities of the past required the kind of world-building I admire. In this story, Palmer, one of those divers who brought back relics from Danver (what’s left of current-day Denver) in the first book, is still diving. His siblings are too, except for Rob who develops new devices to improve those dives. Vic, the oldest sibling and a major character in the previous novel, appears only briefly at the beginning of this sequel. In another locale, a girl witnesses the destruction of her city and then stows away on a train containing her father. Interesting characters and relationships make the story even better.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Tuesday Book Review on Wednesday


Three-star review of Quicksilver by Dean Koontz

 As much as I usually enjoy Koontz’s thrillers from start to finish, this wasn’t the best. It started well but somewhere past the middle the narrative went from action-packed adventure to telling, as if he was in a hurry to get to the end and couldn’t patiently take us along. Yes, there were still tense moments and a few scenes showing what happened to Quinn Quicksilver and company, but I lost some of the moments of discovery and overcoming the odds. Perhaps he didn’t want to get into the disgusting behavior of The Light’s flock, but there were enough descriptive words to convey that. Still, Koontz’s command of the English language is superb and the characters were fun, especially the dog.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Tuesday Book Review on Wednesday


Five-star Review of Death Sets Sail: A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery

 In the last novel about Daisy, Hazel and the Detective Society, the girls are on a cruise down the Nile in Egypt along with Hazel’s father and sisters, Amina, George and Alexander and a few others. The other side of the ship is occupied by the Breath of Life Society comprising women and men who believe they’re reincarnations of ancient Egyptian pharaohs. Early during the voyage, the head of them, Theodora Miller, is stabbed to death in her cabin during the night. The girls, excuse me, young women are on the case. Told as always from Hazel’s point of view, the last chapter is especially full of feels.  I’m sad to see the end of the Detective Society but we’re promised a new series headed by Hazel’s little sister, May.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Tuesday Book Review


Four-star Review of Event Horizon
: A Post-Apocalyptic Survival Thriller (Alex Fletcher Book 3)  by Stephen Konkoly

 There are way too many gun descriptions and military designations in this series for my taste. That said, this was an action-packed entry in the series detailing Alex Fletcher’s actions in and journey out of Boston with his son, his neighbor and the neighbor’s daughter, followed by their marine-assisted trip back to his family in Maine, and then by defense of the place where his family and his neighbors have congregated. I have mixed feelings about being cognizant of the plans of the militia leader. Luckily, the marines are on the Fletchers’ side. Still, their not safe even at the end of this novel.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Tuesday Book Review


Five-Star Review of Pegasus in Space by Anne McCaffrey

 I haven’t read McCaffrey’s books for some time but picked this one up recently. The Talent series is much more than a space opera series. It’s about the people, not only their psychic talents, but also how they react to challenges. Peter Reidinger has already mastered so much after he became a paraplegic, using his psychokinetic talent to compensate, but now he’s reaching for the stars. Although there are threats to Peter, Johnnie and the others, including new characters, action and tension are less important than Peter’s journey and the ending is very satisfying.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Tuesday Book Review


Four-star review of Cosega Sphere (The Cosega Sequence Book 4) by Brandt Legg

Seven years after the end of the previous book in this series, Rip Gaines and Gale Asher are hiding out in Fiji with their six-year-old daughter, and still trying to answer their questions about the Eysen, the sphere found in a Virginia dig. It seemed like every agency of the US government was looking for them but so was the Foundation, which had their own sphere and a team working on it. The Foundation had their own initiative they wanted to use to prevent the future the spheres predicted. Rip was actually working on Hawaii, until Hooker decided he should go someplace more secure, an island invisible to radar and the naked eye using Cosegan tech. Before Gale could leave Fiji to join him, their daughter was hurt in a playground incident that sent her to the hospital with damaged eyes. As usual, the story has a lot of action, but the glimpses into the FBI, CIA and other agency’s actions detracts rather than adds to the tension.  

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Tuesday Book Review

Four-star review of Rogue Touch by Christine Woodward

 One part fanfiction about a backstory for a DC superhero, one part sci-fi adventure and one part romance, this story about how Rogue got her name and her on-the-run experiences with the otherworldly James/Touch was a fun read. Anna Marie already knew how lethal her touch could before she was called Rogue and dressed to prevent accidentally harming anyone, but still she did and took off from Jackson, Mississippi with a recent acquaintance James, who was running from those who would take him back to the world he’d come from. Some of the supposed surprises were obvious ahead of time, but that didn’t keep me from rooting for them.  

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Tuesday Book Review


Five star review of The House at the End of the World by Dean Koontz

 I didn’t enjoy this as much as By the Light of the Moon, but it did have a great beginning and end. I guess there was too much horror for my taste. After the traumatic loss of her family, Katie secludes herself on a small island. Unfortunately, it’s too close to another island where government scientists are doing genetic experiments. Eventually Katie teams up with a teen who lives on still another island where she’s neglected by her parents, scientists involved in the genetic testing. They are joined by a somewhat sentient fox. To say more would give away the main plot. Parts were quite gripping, other parts weren't as plausible, especially some aspects of the end, but it was satisfying enough. 


Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Tuesday Book Review on Wednesday

 Four-star review for Nothing Gold Can Stay by Dana Stabenow


I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed Stabenow’s books with huge doses of life in Alaska. This was a well-written story about Liam Campbell’s hunt for a serial killer with many subplots, including one about Wyanet’s adopted son Tim. Perhaps because of the unnecessary side issues, such as Wy’s visitors and her air transport rival Finn, which don’t go far, the story lagged at times, but others, e.g., about Bill and Moses, were entertaining. At others, the tension was high, especially the flights in a storm. A bit less head hopping would have tightened the book.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Tuesday Book Review


Four-star review of The Crossing (Detective Louise Blackwell Book 1) by Matt Brolly

 Although the reader knows rather early on who the murderer is, learning his motivation and the complications in Louise’s life that interfere with her investigation kept the tension high throughout. It starts with the discovery of a body on the beach of Weston-super-Mare on the southwestern coast of England. Louise was reassigned to the area from a position with the CID due to a previous case where she and her partner disagreed about what happened. This is the first in a series. I’m sure Louise will get over her resentment over her reassignment. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Tuesday Book Review


Five-star review of Cosega Storm (The Cosega Sequence Book 2) by Brandt Legg

 Another page-turner in this series. Rip, Gale and their many pursuers are still in the southwest part of the country I know so it was easy to follow their travels. Rip isn’t sure who he can trust. Government agencies, private individuals and even the Catholic Church want the Eysen, his archeological find, but he still hasn’t had time to find all of its secrets. Like the first book, this is told from a number of characters’ points of view, so we know what each group plans, but that doesn’t keep the novel from being exciting, full of twists and surprises. Like the first book in the series, this one ends with a cliffhanger of sorts and so I will soon start the third book in the series.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Tuesday Book Review


Five-star review of By the Light of the Moon by Dean Koontz

 Have I said before I love the literary way Koontz writes paranormal thrillers? I’m not even sure he’d say that’s what they are but to me they’re perfect. I loved this older one about an artist, Dylan, who’s guardian to his much younger autistic brother Shep and a female stand-up comedian, Jilly. On the same summer night they’re each grabbed at a motel in Arizona by a man who ties them up and then injects them with ‘stuff’ that will either kill them or do something to rewire their brains. With her Cadillac torched by men after the mad scientist, Jilly joins Dylan and his brother in a race to escape the folks in the black suburbans who are after what’s been injected into them. None of them know how the injections will affect them, each differently. These strangers grow closer as the action intensifies and they learn new ways to use their new abilities to do what has to be done. And that’s as it should be.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Tuesday Book Review

Five-star review for Cosega Search by Brandt Legg

 This is my kind of story, despite the otherworldly, spiritualist aspect. Rip Gaines, a well-known and respected archeologist finds an artefact on a dig that seems to be what he’s spent his life looking for. Suddenly, an assortment of groups ranging from the FBI to the Vatican come after him to either possess the find or hide it because of it’s significance. Caught up with him is National Geographic reporter Gale Asher. I wasn’t too pleased that a number of people are killed along the way but that makes the remaining people loyal to Rip more important. Rip and Gale are pursued all the way from Virginia to Taos, New Mexico. It might be because I know the area fairly well, but the scenes at this part of the story were the clearest to me. This is the first in a long series and I’ve already begun to read the second one. I’ve read books by Legg before and always found them fast paced and engaging.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Tuesday Book Review on Wednesday

Four-star review of The Tale Teller by Anne Hillerman

 As Anne Hillerman continues to build on her father’s stories about Joe Leaphorn, Jim Chee and Bernie Manuelito, her ability to intertwine investigations into crimes in the Navajo territory of Arizona and New Mexico continues to improve. Coming out of retirement to investigate the possible theft of part of an anonymous donation to a museum, Joe struggles with his lost command of English after an earlier incident. Meanwhile, Bernie discovers a body near her running trail and Chee must investigate a series of robberies in another part of the nation. The connection of Joe’s case to the Long Walk, a sad episode for Navajos brings in a piece of history that shouldn’t be forgotten. A satisfying mystery read set in an area I know well. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Tuesday Book Review

 Four-star review of Something Found: A Coin by Troy Aaron Ratliff

 I would have given this one five stars but it ended at a critical point. As far as I can tell, the sequel hasn’t been published yet. Also, a short way in, there’s a large section of info dump about the protagonist’s backstory and what brought him to Key West. Todd Freeman is an artist, dubbed the Selfless Scavenger because he returns many of the items his metal detector uncovers on the Key West beaches to their rightful owners. One day, he finds a strange penny in the sand and thus begins an even stranger journey which really starts late in the story and, presumably, will be continued in the other two books of the series. This was an enjoyable and quick book to read, leaving me wanting more. The writing put me right there with Todd on his drive to Miami, fraught with more adventure than he bargained for.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023


Four-star review for Last Song of the Swans by Jennifer Bohnhoff

 The parallel tales of a girl in Beowulf’s time, Hrunting, and a contemporary high school senior, Helen, was handled so well that I was never confused. The similarities between the tales were surprising, and yet believable. Both girls were outcasts and befriended boys who were considered enemies. Another main theme of the stories was, especially in the Beowulf one, that the facts can be embellished to prove what someone wants to prove. And one final thing that tied the two stories together was that Helen was reading the Beowulf saga for English and working on a paper about it. Her theory in it was similar to what actually happened in Hrunting’s time.