3.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, K, RATING, Read in 2018, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

Review: A Risk Worth Taking by Brynn Kelly

A Risk Worth Taking
by Brynn Kelly

A Risk Worth Taking

Copyright: 2018

Pages: 400

Read: May 22-28, 2018

Rating: 3.5/5

Source: TLC Book Tours

 

 

BlurbHe can’t outrun himself…

Legionnaire Jamie Armstrong lives in the shadows. A medic haunted by his mistakes, he knows better than to hope for redemption. But his latest mission brings a threat he doesn’t see coming—an attraction as irresistible as it is dangerous. Hacker Samira Desta is a woman he swore to forget, but as a key witness to a deadly conspiracy, Samira is his to protect.

But the woman he rescues might be the one who saves him

After a year in hiding, Samira’s worst fears come true when her cover is blown and the unlikeliest of allies comes to her aid—the secretive Scot with whom she shared one unforgettable night. Hunted by lethal forces and losing the battle against their desire, Jamie and Samira make a desperate play to take the fight to their enemy—but those at greatest risk of ruin may be themselves…


Review: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

When I first accepted this book I knew it was part of a series, but was assured that it read well as a standalone. I’m not sure I can entirely agree with that. For a good chunk of the early part of the book I had trouble understanding what was going on. Why was Samira is hiding? What was she hiding from? Who was coming after her? There were a lot of references to something that had previously happened that I had no idea about. A little more background would have been helpful in my opinion.

I don’t read a lot of romantic suspense. So I was pleasantly surprised that there was a little more suspense than romance. I found it to be a really good balance for my personal tastes. But I fear that people who prefer more romance in their romantic suspense will not be as pleased.

Overall the book was an exciting and thrilling ride! The pacing was really good, it kept my attention throughout. My one and only complaint is that I felt I needed a little more background at the beginning of the book. It did finally come together, but a little more info would have been better. This was a good book and I look forward to reading more of Ms. Kelly’s books in the future!

Recommended.


 

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

 

Connect with Brynn

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

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3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, Jack Daniels, K, RATING, Read in 2017, SERIES

Review: Fuzzy Navel by J.A. Konrath

Fuzzy Navel
by J.A. Konrath

Fuzzy Navel

Copyright: 2008

Pages: 310

Read: June 10 – 11, 2017

Rating: 3/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: Things are going well for Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels of the Chicago Police Department. She has solved some of the city’s toughest homicides, and Alex Kork, one of the most dangerous criminals she ever arrested, is finally out of the picture. But things turn sour quickly when a group of vigilantes on a murderous spree decide to take down a cop and the people she cares about, and they get downright awful when Jack discovers Kork may not be dead after all…


Review: Ok, I’m not going to lie here … this book was not up to par in comparison to the others in the series.

This particular installment is set over the course of maybe 8 or 9 hours and it’s definitely action packed … but that’s about all that was positive about it…. It started out interesting with the Alex Kork aspect and I even enjoyed the beginning of the vigilante part of the book. But then the two storylines converged and it just didn’t work as well for me.

The only reason I read this book as quickly as I did was because it was the only book I had with me on my train ride home from Chicago. I just had a lot higher expectations for this book. I think a part of me was a little disappointed that there was no real case to solve with Jack and her partner Herb. The humor that is prevalent in all of these books was just plain stupid at times because it was so inappropriate.

This one just didn’t work much for me. It’s definitely a weak link in the rest of this series. So if you’ve never read from this series before, do not start with this one. I’m still looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Cherry Bomb, but that’s really just because there’s a cliffhanger (another pet peeve!) at the end of this one…

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, K, RATING, Read in 2015, Read-a-Long

2015.18 REVIEW – Misery by Stephen King

Misery
by Stephen King

Copyright: 1987
Pages: 356
Rating: 4/5
Read: June 1 – June 17, 2015
Challenge: #MiseryRAL
Yearly count: 18
Format: E-Book
Source: Purchased
Series: N/A

MiseryBlurb:
 Misery Chastain was dead. Paul Sheldon had just killed her – with relief, with joy. Misery had made him rich; she was the heroine of a string of bestsellers. And now he wanted to get on to some real writing.

That’s when the car accident happens, and he wakes up in pain in a strange bed. But it isn’t hospital. Annie Wilkes has pulled him from the wreck, brought him to her remote mountain home, splinted and set his mangled legs.

The good news is that Annie was a nurse and has pain-killing drugs. The bad news is that she has long been Paul’s Number One Fan. And when she finds out what Paul has done to Misery, she doesn’t like it. She doesn’t like it at all.

And now he has to bring Misery back to life. Or else…


Review: When I first saw a read-along mentioned on Twitter for Misery I was intrigued. I had skipped over the few King read-alongs there have been in the past. Mainly because I’m not very social on Twitter. However, I’m trying to change that and I had been kicking around the idea of re-reading some of the old Stephen King books that I fell in love with. So I figured now was as good a time as any to join in on the read-along fun.

As I said at one point on Twitter … Annie is bat-shit crazy! Sometimes all I can do is just shake my head at what Mr. King has come up with for his books. I mean, you pretty much get the idea that Annie has to be crazy just by the book blurb, but you really don’t have any idea just how psycho she is until you get into this book. She’s really creepy psycho. And it makes for some great reading!

For the first time, clearly, the thought surfaced in Paul Sheldon’s mind: I am in trouble here. This woman is not right. (p. 14)

Oh, Paul … you really had no idea just how “not right” Annie truly was. You were her number one fan, you know. Creepy, right? I shudder just at the thought of everything that Paul went through with Annie.

I felt sorry for Paul. Annie really does a number on him psychologically and physically. She breaks him down. She makes him completely dependent on her and the drugs she has. But little by little he brings himself up out of the fog he’s in and it really begins to become a game of wits between the two. That’s when the book starts to get really good!

If he meant to get out of this, he would have to kill her.

Yes. That’s the answer – the only one there is, I think. So it’s that same old game again, isn’t it? Paulie … Can You? 

He answered with no hesitation at all. Yes, I can. (p. 201)

There’s not much I can say in this review that hasn’t been said a million times before. Personally, I enjoyed this book. However, I don’t think it would be at the very top of my list of favorite Stephen King books. It wasn’t scary to me … it was just downright creepy. And kind of gross in some places (okay … very gross!)

My copy had 356 pages. That’s relatively short for a Stephen King book. And it reads quickly (I would have finished it a lot sooner had I not spent a week dealing with Katelyn’s surgery and recovery). So I would definitely recommend picking it up if you’ve never read Mr. King and you’re intimidated by the size of most of his books.

Highly recommended.

2/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, K, RATING, Read in 2015

2015.16 REVIEW – Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

Mr. Mercedes
by Stephen King

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 436
Rating: 2/5
Read: April 29 – May 21, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 16
Format: Print
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Series: Bill Hodges #1

Mr. MercedesBlurb: The stolen Mercedes emerges from the pre-dawn fog and plows through a crowd of men and women in line for a job fair in a distressed American city. Then the lone driver backs up, charges again, and speeds off, leaving eight dead and more wounded. The case goes unsolved and ex-cop Bill Hodges is out of hope when he gets a letter from the man who loved the feel of death under the Mercedes’s wheels…Brady Hartsfield wants that rush again, but this time he’s going big, with an attack that would take down thousands – unless Hodges and two new, unusual allies he picks up along the way can throw a wrench in Hartsfield’s diabolical plans.


Review: I borrowed this book from a co-worker. I remember when it came out it sounded interesting, but I’ll be completely honest here … it’s been a really long time since I have enjoyed a Stephen King book.

Unfortunately, this book really didn’t prove to be an exception in my recent dislike for Mr. King’s latest works. For me, it was just an “okay” and “eh” read.

It probably didn’t help that I started this book in the very last of my pregnancy (when pregnancy brain was in full force) and then finally finished it with a newborn in the house (and sleep deprivation in full force).

I think my issue is that this felt like such a departure from the Stephen King works I have liked in the past. I mean, how can you beat Carrie or It? The short answer is … you can’t. But this book really felt like he was dipping his feet into a completely different genre. And it simply didn’t work for me.

You want my complete honest opinion … had he cut about 100 pages out of this book, it probably would have been a lot better. There just seemed a lot of unnecessary things going on. Obviously Mr. King has routinely produced very long works, but this storyline didn’t need 436 pages to tell the full story. It could have been done in 336 pages. Very easily.

Overall, just an okay book. I can’t say that I would necessarily recommend it. But I finished it, so it obviously wasn’t horrible either.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, K, Pump Up Your Book, RATING, Read in 2015, Review Book

2015.13 REVIEW – A Dream Called Marilyn by Mercedes King

A Dream Called Marilyn
by Mercedes King

Copyright: 2015
Pages: 167
Rating: 4/5
Read: March 28 – April 3, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 13
Format: Print
Source: Pump Up Your Book Blog Tour
Series: N/A

A Dream Called Marilyn banner 2

A Dream Called MarilynBlurb: In the summer of 1962, nothing could prepare Dr. Charles Campbell for his first meeting with new client, Marilyn Monroe. A reputable L.A. psychiatrist, he’s been hired by a studio executive to treat and subdue the star, no matter what it takes. Although he’s been warned about Ms. Monroe’s unpredictability, she’s not what he expected. Gaining Marilyn’s trust means crossing doctor-patient boundaries, and trying to separate fact from Hollywood-fed-rumors proves destructive to both Charles’ career and his personal life. As Marilyn shares her secrets and threatens to go public with information that could destroy President Kennedy’s administration, Charles’ world turns upside-down. He sinks deeper into her troubles than he should, but Charles becomes determined to help her, even though it means endangering Marilyn’s life and risking his own.


Review: If you have followed my blog for any time, you know that I am obsessed with JFK. Well, along with that obsession comes a side obsession with Marilyn Monroe, too. I’m just fascinated by what happened all those years ago and all the conspiracies that are out there. So when I was pitched this short novella, I immediately picked up on it.

Novellas are not something that I am used to reading, so I didn’t quite know what to expect going into it. I figured some 170 odd pages would be easy to take on (pregnancy brain is at its finest in my life right now) and it was Marilyn, so….. But at the same time, I didn’t know how something could be packed into 170 short pages.

But Ms. King makes it work. She takes a few characters and a few pages and just creates this really fun short novel. It really worked for me. I enjoyed it. I was totally entranced by Charles’ life. There’s so much going on with his personal life, and Marilyn definitely throws a wrench in the picture. And Marilyn is, well, Marilyn.

Honestly, I enjoyed my first foray into the novella world. This was a really fun read and I would highly recommend it to anyone!!


 

Mercedes KingAbout the Author: A founding member of Sisters in Crime Columbus, Ohio (affectionately dubbed SiCCO), Mercedes King can be found elbow-deep in research, reading, or enjoying the local bike path. Combining her love of pop culture with history, she created A Dream Called Marilyn, a fictional take on the last weeks of Marilyn’s life. With an unquenchable thirst for a bygone era, she’s also written O! Jackie, a fictional take on Jackie Kennedy’s private life–and how she dealt with JFK’s affairs. Short story fans would enjoy The Kennedy Chronicles, a series featuring Jackie and Jack before the White House and before they were married. Visit Mercedes’ website at http://www.mercedesking.com to find out more.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blog | Contact

As always, I hope you take the time to visit the other stops on the tour:

Monday, April 6 First Chapter Reveal at Pump Up Your Book

Tuesday, April 7 Book Review at Books Reviews ETC.

Wednesday, April 8 Guest Blogging at The Story Behind the Book

Thursday, April 9 Interview at Examiner

Friday, April 10 Book Featured at The Literary Nook

Monday April 13 Interview at The Writer’s Life

Tuesday, April 14 Book Review at My Book Addiction and More

Wednesday, April 15 Interview at As the Page Turns

Thursday, April 16 First Chapter Reveal at Read My First Chapter

Monday, April 20 Interview at PUYB Virtual Book Club

Tuesday, April 21 Interview at Beyond the Books

Wednesday, April 22 Book Review at Tales of a Book Addict

Thursday, April 23 Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

Friday, April 24 Interview at Pimp That Character

Monday April 27 Book Review at Quirky Book Reviews

Tuesday, April 28 Book Review at Deal Sharing Aunt

Wednesday, April 29 Book Review at Must Read Faster

Thursday, April 30 Book Review at My Life Loves and Passion

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, K, RATING, Read in 2015, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

2015.3 REVIEW – City of Liars and Thieves by Eve Karlin

City of Liar and Thieves
by Eve Karlin

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 266
Rating: 3/5
Read: Jan. 14 – Jan. 20, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 3
Format: E-Book
Source: TLC Book Tours
Series: N/A

City of Liar and ThievesBlurb: A crime that rocked a city. A case that stunned a nation. Based on the United States’ first recorded murder trial, Eve Karlin’s spellbinding debut novel re-creates early nineteenth-century New York City, where a love affair ends in a brutal murder and a conspiracy involving Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr erupts in shattering violence.

It is high time to tell the truth. Time for justice. . . . How she was murdered and why she haunts me. It is not only Elma’s story, it’s mine.

On the bustling docks of the Hudson River, Catherine Ring waits with her husband and children for the ship carrying her cousin, Elma Sands. Their Greenwich Street boardinghouse becomes a haven for Elma, who has at last escaped the stifling confines of her small hometown and the shameful circumstances of her birth. But in the summer of 1799, Manhattan remains a teeming cesspool of stagnant swamps and polluted rivers. The city is desperate for clean water as fires wreak devastation and the death toll from yellow fever surges.

Political tensions are rising, too. It’s an election year, and Alexander Hamilton is hungry for power. So is his rival, Aaron Burr, who has announced the formation of the Manhattan Water Company. But their private struggle becomes very public when the body of Elma Sands is found at the bottom of a city well built by Burr’s company.

Resolved to see justice done, Catherine becomes both witness and avenger. She soon finds, however, that the shocking truth behind this trial has nothing to do with guilt or innocence.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free in conjunction with a TLC Book tour, all opinions expressed below are my own.

When I was first pitched this book I was immediately intrigued. I love a good historical fiction novel based on a true crime story from the past. It takes two of my favorite things – true crime/mysteries and history – and blends them together in a way that I love to read about! So I was really excited to read this book!

Overall, it wasn’t necessarily a bad book. But I felt like the blurb might have been a little bit misleading. I expected more Hamilton/Burr than I got out of this book. I also wasn’t quite prepared for the sheer amount of political references.

But I will say this, I loved the scene that was portrayed by Ms. Karlin. She really brought nineteenth-century New York City to life for me. And definitely made me appreciate the modern conveniences we have and take for granted!

So while this story was a little more politically involved than I had been prepared for, I still enjoyed it quite a lot. I learned about a murder trial I had never heard about before. I felt like I was walking the streets of New York City in 1799. And it was just an overall entertaining read.

Recommended!


About the Author: Eve Karlin was born and raised in New York City. She is a graduate of Colgate University, where she studied literature and creative writing with Frederick Busch. Karlin worked in publishing for more than a decade in marketing, at Random House, Newsweek, and, later, as a foreign book scout with clients in the United Kingdom, Italy, Holland, Brazil, and Japan. She has had several short stories published in The East Hampton Star and has been a contributing writer for Patch.com. She lives in East Hampton, New York, with her husband and their sixteen-year-old triplets. City of Liars and Thieves is her first book.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

GIVEAWAY! There is also a giveaway available in conjunction with this tour. The winner will receive a $25.00 gift card to the e-book retailer of their choice and one copy of City of Liars and ThievesPLEASE CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE GIVEAWAY PAGE. 

As always, I hope you take the time to visit the other stops on the tour:

Tuesday, January 6th: Mystery Playground
Wednesday, January 7th: Bibliophilia, Please
Friday, January 9th: Fiction Zeal
Monday, January 12th: Omnimystery News – author guest post
Tuesday, January 13th: Dwell in Possibility
Tuesday, January 13th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, January 14th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, January 16th: Reading Reality
Monday, January 19th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, January 20th: Sarah’s Book Shelves
Wednesday, January 21st: A Fantastical Librarian
Thursday, January 22nd: Chew & Digest Books
Monday, January 26th: History from a Woman’s Perspective
Tuesday, January 27th: Tales of a Book Addict
Wednesday, January 28th: Staircase Wit
Thursday, January 29th: 100 Pages a Day… Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Friday, January 30th: Books in the Burbs
TBD: Back Porchervations

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Edelweiss, Fiction, K, Maggie O'Dell, RATING, Read in 2013, Review Book, SERIES

2013.27 REVIEW – Stranded by Alex Kava

Stranded
by Alex Kava

Copyright: 2013
Pages: 336
Rating: 4/5
Read: June 23-26, 2013
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 27
Format: E-Book
Source: Edelweiss

Blurb: Tired travelers and weary truckers have stopped at rest areas on the nation’s highways for decades to refuel, grab a bite, and maybe get some shut-eye, but one man’s rest stop is another’s hunting ground. For decades the defenseless, the weary, and the stranded have disappeared along the highways and byways, vanishing without a trace, but these seemingly unconnected incidents are no coincidence, and a madman stalks the freeways.

When FBI special agent Maggie O’Dell and her partner, Tully, discover the remains of a young woman in a highway ditch, the one clue left behind is a map that will send Maggie and Tully on a frantic hunt crisscrossing the country to stop a madman before he kills again.

As the body count rises and Maggie races against the clock to unmask the monster who’s terrorizing the nation’s highways, she turns to a former foe for help since he seems to know just what the killer’s next move will be. As she gets closer to finding the killer, it becomes eerily clear that Maggie is the ultimate target.


Review: I was over the moon excited when I found out that Alex Kava’s newest book was available to request on Edelweiss. I try not to request too much on Edelweiss or NetGalley. I’m not a huge fan of e-books in general, so I typically shy away from them altogether. However, Alex Kava’s Maggie O’Dell series is one of my absolute favorites and I couldn’t resist. You can imagine how excited I was when I was approved for it.

And let me tell you, dear readers, this was really a book I needed to read. I had been in a little bit of a slow slump, but I devoured this book in 3 days and loved every single word of it.

I don’t even know what to say about this book. The writing was good. The storyline was good. The character interaction and development was good. The killer was a surprise to me. I feel like Maggie O’Dell is back on top of the game with this book, and I was really excited about it!

I am really a fan of Maggie O’Dell’s character. She just seems so real to me. She’s likeable, she’s tough, she’s determined, she’s successful. And yet she’s flawed in some ways too, she has commitment issues. A few books back there was a big change-up with the characters, and at first I was not impressed. However, I must say that I really liked the direction Maggie’s boss is headed back in. There was very little mention of another character, highlighting Maggie’s commitment problem, so I’m kind of confused as to how Creed plays into the storyline in future books.

I’m excited to see what happens in future books. Between the introduction of Creed’s character and Gwen’s diagnosis, I am very interested in seeing where the series goes in the next book.

This is a series that I recommend to a lot of people, since for whatever reason, it doesn’t seem to be as well-known as some other series out there. There are a couple of duds in the series, in my opinion, but overall the series itself is extremely good.

Overall a great and exciting book for summer reading! Highly recommended.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, Jack Daniels, K, RATING, Read in 2013, READING CHALLENGES 2013, SERIES

2013.3 REVIEW – Bloody Mary by J.A. Konrath

Bloody Mary
by J.A. Konrath

Copyright: 2005
Pages: 338
Read: Jan. 5 – 11, 2013
Rating: 4/5
Challenge: Off the Shelf 2013, 2013 Sequel Challenge, What’s in a Name 6 Challenge
Yearly count: 3Bloody Mary
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy

Blurb:  When Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels receives a report of an excess of body parts appearing at the Cook County Morgue, she hopes it’s only a miscount. It’s not. Even worse, these extra limbs seem to be accessorized with Jack’s handcuffs. Jack must put her train wreck of a personal life on hold to catch a terrifying and brilliant maniac – a maniac for whom getting caught is only the beginning…

 


Review: This is the second in the Jack Daniels series. I read the first (Whiskey Sour) back in 2011 and am wondering why I waited so long to get to this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

I have to just start by saying that Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels is one of the funniest characters I’ve enjoyed in a long time. And the trouble she always seems to find herself in – you can’t help but laugh about it.

While this book was primarily set in Chicago, IL, Jack has to make a flying trip down the state to Carbondale after a connection is made to Southern Illinois University. I still smile when I think about it – I graduated from SIU in 2007, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where SIU was mentioned! I thought that Konrath really gave SIU a great shout-out when the school and Mortuary Science program was included in the book (and, FYI, the mortuary science program at SIU is actually a very good program).

I thought that the characters really got some good development. Jack’s partner, Herb, is going through a mid-life crisis, Jack is dealing with her stubborn mother, an ex-husband that makes an unexpected (unwanted?) appearance in her life and a boyfriend who wants her to move in with him. All this is going on while she is trying to hunt down a killer in her district. It definitely makes for some interesting dialogue at times.

If you want a good laugh, a good mystery and just an overall fun time, I highly recommend this book (and series).

3.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, E-Book, Fiction, First Rule PR, K, RATING, Read in 2012, READING CHALLENGES 2012, Review Book

2012.29 REVIEW – Death by Bourbon by Abigail Keam

Death by Bourbon
by Abigail Keam

Copyright: 2012
Pages: 128
Read: Nov. 6-9, 2012
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense Challenge
Yearly count: 29
Format: E-Book
Source: Review copy from First Rule PR

 

Blurb: Life takes a dramatic turn for Josiah when she witnesses a death at an engagement party for guess who . . . Matt.  Matt?  Yes Matt.

Charming socialite Addison DeWitt falls into a fit after taking a sip of bourbon.  That would be upsetting enough but Josiah is sure it is murder. However, no one will believe her except for Lady Elsmere and Meriah Caldwell, the famous mystery writer.  The three of them conspire to bring the
murderer to justice.  It turns out that the suspect is always three steps ahead of them.

To make matters worse, Josiah’s daughter, Asa, decides to move to London, Franklin leaves town and Jake starts singing a different tune.  Josiah doubts her ability to meet the future alone.  Maybe it’s time to sell the Butterfly and move to Florida with the rest of the old folks.


Review: I don’t normally read cozy mysteries, I tend to prefer the grittier books. However, when I was pitched this book and did a little bit of research on it, I was intrigued and decided to get it a go. Part of me really wanted to read this book when I realized that Ms. Keam resided in Kentucky (I live in Paducah).

Going into this book, I knew it was in the middle of a series. Something that I’m not a huge fan of doing, but I was willing to take the risk on it. But I must forewarn you – I highly recommend reading the first books in this series before reading this book. In my opinion, it does not stand well by itself. You really need the background to have a full understanding of what is going on. It took me almost 20 pages in the beginning to really have a decent grasp on what was going on. Had this been a personal read, I would have stopped right then and there and read the books before it.

Some of the language used sounded a bit more traditional English than what us Americans are used to now. It doesn’t make it too confusing, but it did make me have to pay a little bit more attention to what was going on in the book.

Overall this was a quick and fun read. If you’re a cozy reader I would highly recommend this book. If you’re just dipping your feet into the cozies, I would definitely recommend starting from the beginning. But in general, this is a book that I would recommend to my readers.


 AUTHOR BIO:

Abigail Keam is an award-winning author who writes the Josiah Reynolds mystery series about a beekeeper turned sleuth.

Death By A HoneyBee won the 2010 Gold Medal Award for Women’s Lit from Reader’s Favorite and was a Finalist of the USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books of 2011. Death By Drowning won the 2011 Gold Medal Award for Best Mystery Sleuth and also was placed on the USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books of 2011.

Ms. Keam is also an award-winning beekeeper who lives on the Kentucky River in a metal house with her husband and various critters.

AUTHOR SITES:
  Website  
  Facebook                              

Praise for previous books by Ms. Keam:
Ms. Keam’s writing is more like lyrical prose, leaving the readers wanting to know more of Josiah’s life and clamoring for the next book. This can be read as a stand-alone book, but I highly recommend reading the first book – DEATH OF A HONEYBEE.
Bobbi’s Book Nook, July 30th, 2011
Abigail Keam writes with vision and understanding. Her tale is fresh and original … after all … what could beekeeping and murder have in common? Readers will have no trouble being drawn into this charming mystery. Keam leaves the reader yearning for more. DEATH BY DROWNING is an excellent second effort by Ms. Keam. Characters and action are well wrought, and the plot sizzles.
Midwest Book Review, Shelley Glodowski, Senior Reviewer, July 8th, 2011

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from First Rule Publicity from the author as part of a virtual book tour. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, K, Maggie O'Dell, RATING, Read in 2012, READING CHALLENGES 2012, Review Book, SERIES

2012.21 REVIEW – Fireproof by Alex Kava

 

Fireproof
by Alex Kava

Copyright: 2012
Pages: 307
Rating: 5/5
Read: Aug. 13-21, 2012
Challenge: Mystery & Suspense 2012
Yearly Count: 21
Format: Print
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewer

Blurb: When an abandoned warehouse in Washington, D.C., bursts into flames on a cold winter night, the first investigators on the scene instantly spot similarities to a string of recent fires in the area. There is one difference, however: This one has a human casualty. The local team insists the murder is an isolated incident, concluding that the culprit must be a bored young man suffering from an uncontrollable impulse to act out anger and sexual aggression. But when Special Agent Maggie O’Dell is called in, everything she sees indicates that this is the work if a far more dangerous and calculating criminal.

Jeffery Cole, a reporter looking for his big break, is also at the scene of the crime and decides to make Maggie part of his news piece, putting the spotlight on her and digging up aspects of her past she would rather forget. Maggie’s half brother, Patrick, is back in D.C. too, working for a private fire-fighting company, and he is frequently called in as these fires continue to light up around the city.

As the acts of arson become more brazen and bodies keep turning up, Maggie’s professional and personal worlds begin to collide dangerously. She starts to fear for Patrick’s safety as he is sent into the flames set by this madman again and again, and Jeffery is becoming a very unwelcome distraction. Meanwhile, the arsonist-murderer may be much closer than Maggie imagines.


Review: I received this book through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program.

This is the 10th book in the Maggie O’Dell series. After being a little disappointed in the previous two installments, I was a little unsure about this book. I still wanted to read it, but I went into it not knowing if it would live up to the expectations I so badly wanted out of it.

Luckily this book was as good as I wanted it to be. Maggie is back and better than ever, in my opinion.

The  identity of the arsonist is not really all that shocking, and easily detected quite early. But that didn’t really bother me. I was a lot more interested in seeing a possible love interest for Patrick and the possibility of a serial killer. I am assuming that this will be the direction that the next book goes in.

But what I really appreciated about this book was that Maggie was back front and center. My complaint about the two previous books was that Maggie felt more like a supporting character rather than the main character. That was not the case in this book. And that was definitely a much needed move for this series.

While this book is the 10th in the series, I felt as if it had enough background to stand somewhat on its own. However, I think it would most definitely make you want to read the previous books.

Overall, I’m glad I got the opportunity to read this book and I would highly recommend it to others.