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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Never Forget (Victor Lessard #3) by Martin Michaud


Never Forget: A Victor Lessard Thriller

ebook, 560 pages
Expected publication: January 18th 2020 by Dundurn (first published August 1st 2012)



Goodreads synopsis:
From the acclaimed “master of the Quebec thriller” comes an action-packed, breakneck mystery featuring Montreal police detectives Victor Lessard and Jacinthe Taillon, who race to track down a ruthless killer.

When an eccentric homeless man jumps to his death in Old Montreal, the police discover two wallets in his possession: those of a retired psychiatrist who was recently murdered in a bizarre ritual and a powerful corporate lawyer who has vanished. As police detective Victor Lessard and his partner, Jacinthe Taillon, work to solve the separate mysteries, a dark history begins to emerge.

While the pressure builds and the bodies accumulate, dark and disturbing secrets come to light about a pivotal moment in Quebec’s history. But will Lessard and Taillon crack the case in time to prevent the killer from striking again?

***

4.5 Stars

This is the third book in the Victor Lessard series by Martin Michaud.

This author and series has never been on my radar before but I was hooked from the very beginning. This is one of those books that you can’t skim. You need to pay attention to all the details and all the alleyways the plot leads you down.

In the beginning you don’t think the Kennedy assassin has anything to do with the case at all. It seems like just a bit of fluff and you scoff to yourself, “yeah, right.” Then as they investigate and as they keep digging deeper the case takes them to places they never thought they’d go.

I like how messy the lives of the detectives are. It makes it all so read and edgy. Definitely a book series I want to dig into more. I just enjoyed the heck out of it. One of my new favorite series of the year.

If you love a good suspense mystery thriller police procedural,  check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Dream Interpretation for Beginners: Understand the Wisdom of Your Sleeping Mind by Diane Brandon


Dream Interpretation for Beginners: Understand the Wisdom of Your Sleeping Mind

Paperback, 312 pages
Published March 8th 2015 by Llewellyn Publications (first published March 1st 2015)



Goodreads synopsis:
Decode the wisdom of your dreams to enrich your life and achieve your personal goals. This fantastic book shows you how to use dreams for improved problem-solving, better relationships, creative inspiration, and spiritual growth. Join dream expert Diane Brandon as she explores:

Types of dreams and common meanings Dream recall techniques Precognitive and clairvoyant dreams Step-by-step instructions for dream interpretation Dreams for health and healing Using dreams to communicate with a higher awareness Dream Interpretation for Beginners is the perfect guide to the unseen treasures that await you in your sleep.

***

4.5 Stars

I have always had epic dreams and wanted to interpret them from the moment I realized that they might mean something important to me and my journey through life. During my search for meanings to my dream symbols, I have discovered that the metaphysical meanings have resonated with me the most.

In this book you get a lot of great guidance all in one place. It is great for beginners and I think it is a wonderful reference to keep on your shelf if you want something to refer to when stuck deciding what something means.

A lot of the little things make this great. For example, when you wake up from a dream just lie there and let your memory grasp the dream. It is easier to remember that way. If you get up raring to start your day, your dream will disappear in a a puff of lost memory. I particularly liked the section where you get to interpret the dream and then see how you did when you read what the author thought the dreams meant.

This is not a dream dictionary. Although, I think it might have been great if there had been something close to that. Maybe there is another title in the “For Beginners” series that will address that particular concern. I have my own favorite but I don’t believe it is appropriate to mention it here.

Like the author says, keep a journal of the most significant dreams. Not every dream will elicit a great deal of meaning. Most of your every day dreams will just be you working through your daily problems and these might not even be dreams you will remember. One nugget of truth is that you remember your dreams most when your sleeping is somehow interrupted while you are in mid-dream. Loved that nugget of truth.

If you love to read books that are for beginners, check out this series by Llewellyn. This Dream Interpretation book is a keeper for sure!


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

Friday, December 27, 2019

The Third to Die (Mobile Response Team #1) by Allison Brennan


The Third to Die

ebook, 400 pages
Expected publication: February 4th 2020 by MIRA (first published January 4th 2020)



Goodreads synopsis:
“The first in Brennan’s amazing new thriller series. Dive in and enjoy this nail-biter.”—Catherine Coulter, NYT bestselling author of LABYRINTH

An edgy female police detective…An ambitious FBI special agent. Together they are at the heart of the ticking-clock investigation for a psychopathic serial killer. The bond they forge in this crucible sets the stage for high-stakes suspense.

Detective Kara Quinn, on leave from the LAPD, is on an early morning jog in her hometown of Liberty Lake when she comes upon the body of a young nurse. The manner of death shows a pattern of highly controlled rage. Meanwhile in DC, FBI special agent Mathias Costa is staffing his newly minted Mobile Response Team. Word reaches Matt that the Liberty Lake murder fits the profile of the compulsive Triple Killer. It will be the first case for the MRT. This time they have a chance to stop this zealous if elusive killer before he strikes again. But only if they can figure out who he is and where he is hiding before he disappears for another three years. The stakes are higher than ever before, because if they fail, one of their own will be next…

***

5 Stars

This is the first book in the Mobile Response Team series by Allison Brennan.

What a fantastic beginning to a series. This was an intense one! I really enjoyed the main characters Matt, Kara and the beginnings of the Mobile Response Team. Plus, they already have a great foil in the guise of a good guy, Thornton as the book moves into series mode.

As you read along you can almost tell who is going to be the red shirt in this novel. (Red Shirt is a Star Trek reference as to those people who end up dying at some point in the show. They would always wear a red shirt and thus condemning them to death.) I felt bad for that particular character because I could see it coming. I was disappointed a bit at who was and was not moving on into book two. I had grown quite fond of a few of them and their possibilities for further story growth.

Kara was quite an edgy steamroller. Loved her contribution to the storyline. And Mathias had similar qualities to Kara which made the time they had together so explosive and fun to watch.

Basic premise: A person of unknown origin is killing people in threes starting on March 3rd, then 6th, then 9th. The first is a nurse, then someone in a position of power at a school and then a police officer. This serial killer is killing in this way and has done so for many years. It is only now that the pattern is being noticed and understood. Mathias and his Mobile Response Team is called in to deal with the deaths, current ones and possible ones to come.

You get the perspective of the killer in this as well as a glimpse into the workings of the Mobile Response Team. The guy is crafty and hidden in plain sight which makes this all a pretty intense and scary read. Once you get to know all the characters, you really don’t want any of them to die at the killer’s hand. Brennan has a great way of endearing us to her book people and making us invested from the very beginning.

Loved this book. It’s a five star read from me!

If you love a good suspense mystery thriller, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Colton First Responder (Colton's of Mustang Valley #4) by Linda O. Johnston


Colton First Responder

Paperback, 288 pages
Expected publication: February 4th 2020 by Harlequin Romantic Suspense




Goodreads synopsis:
When disaster strikes

A Colton comes to the rescue

When an earthquake hits Mustang Valley, first responder Grayson Colton finds an abandoned truck—and a fugitive in need of help. Savannah Oliver claims she’s been falsely accused of her husband’s murder. Grayson’s protective instincts come out in full force as he helps Savannah prove her innocence. But as Savannah’s past comes back to haunt her, Grayson must use every survival tactic he knows to keep them both alive.

***

4.5 Stars

This is the fourth book in the Colton’s of Mustang Valley series by Linda O. Johnston.

I was holding my breath for the first half of this book just waiting to see if Grayson was going to get in trouble for aiding and abetting a known fugitive. That never came but it did keep me reading and on my toes for a good portion of the book.

Savannah Oliver didn’t seem like the normal Country Club type. I am not sure other women from her normal circle would have been able to survive a similar circumstance. She took it all in stride.

Grayson in turn was not a normal Colton. He seemed set apart from the family in many ways. So the two of them mirrored their own internal challenges and that made this read even better.

The suspense in this was top notch and I was unable to putdown the book. I practically read it in one day and in one sitting. I am in love with this Colton multi book series. So well done.

If you love a good romantic suspense mystery, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

When You See Me (Detective D.D. Warren #11) by Lisa Gardner


When You See Me

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by Dutton (first published 2020)



Goodreads synopsis:
Bestselling author Lisa Gardner unites three of her most loved characters -Detective D.D. Warren, Flora Dane, and Kimberly Quincy - in a twisty new thriller, as they investigate a mysterious murder from the past that points to a dangerous and chilling present-day crime.

FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and Sergeant Detective DD Warren have built a task force to follow the digital bread crumbs left behind by deceased serial kidnapper Jacob Ness. And when a disturbing piece of evidence comes to light, they decide to bring in Flora Dane who has personal experience of being imprisoned by Ness.

Their investigations take them to a small town deep in the hills of Georgia where something seems to be deeply wrong.

What at first seems like a Gothic eeriness soon hardens into something much more sinister as they discover that for all the evil Jacob committed while alive, his worst secret is still to be revealed.

Quincy and DD must summon their considerable skills and experience to crack the most disturbing case of their careers - and Flora must face her own past directly in the hope of saving others. 

***

5 Stars

This is the eleventh book in the Detective DD Warren series by Lisa Gardner.

This is the first book I have read in this series and it was easily read as a standalone. There is enough backstory to get you going into the story and not so much that you feel weighed down by the past.

I liked the dynamic of the three female main characters. It was easy to distinguish when you jumped from point of view to point of view. Their voices were unique and you didn’t confuse them when jumping from chapter to chapter. Then you add in the point of view of the silent girl and it made for a perfect read for me. I was trapped on the edge of my seat the entire time. It is a good hefty read at 400 pages and I think I got through it in two or three sittings.

This is definitely a series I want to continue with in 2020. I have ten previous books to dig into and I know Lisa Gardner has a plethora of other titles that I have in paperback form on my shelves. Time for a marathon, methinks.

If you love a good detective mystery thriller/police procedural, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

Monday, December 23, 2019

The Book of Candlelight (Secret, Book, & Scone Society #3) by Ellery Adams


The Book of Candlelight

Hardcover, 224 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by Kensington



Goodreads synopsis:
In the new Secret, Book, and Scone Society novel from New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams, the rain in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, has been relentless—and a flood of trouble is about to be unleashed . . .

As the owner of Miracle Books, Nora Pennington figures all the wet weather this spring is at least good for business. The local inns are packed with stranded travelers, and among them Nora finds both new customers and a new friend, the sixty-something Sheldon, who starts helping out at the store.

Since a little rain never hurt anyone, Nora rides her bike over to the flea market one sodden day and buys a bowl from Danny, a Cherokee potter. It’ll make a great present for Nora’s EMT boyfriend, but the next day, a little rain turns into a lot of rain, and the Miracle River overflows it banks. Amid the wreckage of a collapsed footbridge, a body lies within the churning water.

Nora and the sheriff both doubt the ruling of accidental drowning, and Nora decides it’s time for the Secret, Book, and Scone Society to spring into action. When another body turns up, it becomes clearer that Danny’s death can’t be blamed on a natural disaster. A crucial clue may lie within the stone walls of the Inn of Mist and Roses: a diary, over a century old and spattered with candle wax, that leads Nora and her friends through a maze of intrigue—and onto the trail of a murderer . . .

***

4.5 Stars

This is the third book in the Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams.

At first, this didn’t even seem like a murder. The body of a local artisan was found after a huge flood and relentless storm of days earlier. As they begin talking to everyone trying to figure out the circumstances it seems less and less like an accident and more like murder.

The entire whodunit is surrounded by a found diary from the Inn of Mist and Roses. The story of Rose becomes a critical stepping stone into finding out why Danny was killed and what the motive might be. I felt like a lot of this was just coincidental. Nora would stumble upon things that were important and then chapters later would understand its significance. I liked being able to see the clues unfold. A lot of books sort of try to do a bit of a magical trick and make you not notice one thing while noticing something else that isn’t truly important. I like to be part of the figuring out process and not just have it all revealed to me at the end. Here I got to try and figure things out on my own and test my theories.

I thought the entire concept was great and the fact that they uncovered this unusual plot almost accidentally made it even better. As she investigates, Nora’s and her boyfriend’s relationship is tested which puts even more angst into the storyline. I loved the addition of Sheldon to the staff. He is just a hoot and a half. a keeper for sure.

Overall it was a great read and I plan to read the previous two books in 2020.

If you love a good cozy mystery, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

Witness Protection Widow (Winchester, Tennessee #5) by Debra Webb


Witness Protection Widow

Paperback, 256 pages
Expected publication: January 21st 2020 by Harlequin Intrigue




Goodreads synopsis:
Can the witness protection program keep her identity secret?

After Allison James finally escapes her marriage to a monster, she becomes the star witness in the case against her deceased husband's powerful crime family. Now it's up to US Marshal Jaxson Stevens, Ali's ex-boyfriend, to keep the WITSEC widow safe. But as the danger escalates and sparks fly, will Jax be able to help Ali escape her ruthless in-laws? 

***

4.5 Stars

Debra Webb never disappoints! This was a truly excellent read!

This is the fifth book in the Winchester, Tennessee series in the Harlequin Intrigue line by Debra Webb.

I have mentioned this before but Harlequin Intrigue is my guilty pleasure series and Debra Webb is the author who sucked me back into Intrigues back in 2000-ish with “Safe By His Side”. I adore a good amnesia, stuck in a cabin story.

This book felt more like a standalone title. All the backstory from the previous four books that was relevant was sprinkled in throughout the text and melded perfectly with the storyline. It was not hard at all to get up to speed on what was happening. Plus, can you say: Awesome Cover! That is a cover buy if I ever saw one.

Allison is a star witness against her husband’s father who is part of a significant crime family in the area. She fell into this mess after her first love Jaxson Stevens decided to leave her to pursue his dream career as a US Marshall. Now she is in Witness Protection and her current police protection has had to go into the hospital. They call in Jaxson to assist for the next four days of protection before the trial.

The back and forth in this was great. I loved getting to see both sides of the story and see how easily somethings can be misinterpreted. I was glued to the page and read this in a day! Loving this new to me series from Intrigue!

If you love a good romantic suspense mystery thriller, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

The Look-Alike by Erica Spindler


The Look-Alike

Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by St. Martin's Press




Goodreads synopsis:
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Other Girl and Justice for Sara comes a thrilling psychological drama about a woman who believes she escaped a brutal murder years ago—but does anyone else believe her?

Sienna Scott grew up in the dark shadow of her mother’s paranoid delusions. Now, she's returned home to confront her past and the unsolved murder that altered the course of her life.

In her mother’s shuttered house, an old fear that has haunted Sienna for years rears its ugly head —that it was she who had been the killer’s target that night. And now, with it, a new fear—that the killer not only intended to remedy his past mistake—he’s already begun. But are these fears any different from the ones that torment her mother?

As the walls close in, the line between truth and lie, reality and delusion disintegrate. Has Sienna’s worst nightmare come true? Or will she unmask a killer and finally prove she may be her mother’s look-alike, but she’s not her clone?

***

5 Stars

From the title, this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I guess I figured it would be a crazy lookalike woman kills someone or stalks the main character kinda in a single white female fashion. That wasn’t what was offered up in the text. What I got was better. It was basically about a gal who is coming home after ten years to deal with the fallout of a decade old murder she witnessed and how it affected her then and now.

There is a lot of flash-backing going on in this book. When I finally realized it was jumping back and forth in time, I was able to easily see the transitions between then and now. 

Sienna stumbled across a dead body of a girl who was wearing the same exact coat as she. In the beginning she believes that maybe the murderer may have been after her since she always takes that cut through at midnight after her last class. The whodunit in this was excellent. I kept waffling back and forth like Sienna did wondering who could have been the guilty party and why.

Just an excellent read. I don’t want to give too much away since it is the discovery of all the clues that makes this so awesome. If you are looking for a mystery that is not run of the mill and one that you can really dig your teeth into, read this!

If you love a good mystery thriller, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Silenced in Sequins (Resale Boutique Mystery #2) by Debra Sennefelder


Silenced in Sequins

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: January 7th 2020 by Lyrical Underground



Goodreads synopsis:
Former Manhattan fashion buyer Kelly Quinn is turning her grandmother’s outdated consignment shop into her quaint hometown’s hot spot for upscale style—until her second-hand couture makes the scene of an ice-cold crime . . .

With her bottom line looking a little threadbare, Kelly is going all out to promote the Lucky Cove Resale Boutique. She’s counting on Black Friday to recover her start-up expenses—including a website and an advertising blitz. But the publicity is overkill when two warring divas, and one sparkly evening dress, thrust Kelly and her fledgling business into a scandal she can’t afford.

The gorgeous garment came to Kelly from the walk-in closets of Wendy Johnson, one of reality TV’s Long Island Ladies. When Wendy’s former co-star, Diana Delacourte, graces a Christmas gala in the dress that was once her rival’s, a very public catfight ensues. But is Wendy to blame when sequin-clad Diana turns up dead? Dodging the show’s ever-present cameras—and a detective’s stern warnings—Kelly hunts for a killer before the powerful celebrity-suspect makes good on her threats and rips her to shreds . . 

***

4.5 Stars

This is the second book in the Resale Boutique mystery series by Debra Sennefelder.

This was quite a fun ride. Realty TV meets consignment shopping at its best!

Kelly Quinn lost her job as a fashion buyer and is now making a go of the consignment shop her grandmother left to her in her will. During a Black Friday advertising blitz she comes onto the radar of some warring tv divas on a popular reality show about Long Island Ladies and their drama, squabbles and one-up-manship. One of the “ladies” consigns a few garments with her shop and another “lady” from the same show buys it and then ends up dead wearing said garment.

This book does give you a bit of stress when reading it. Having these tv divas verbally spewing forth toward Kelly was a bit disconcerting. That shows great character building when you want to punch out a character for getting into the protagonist’s face once too often. The setting was just as fascinating as the characters. I am definitely going to look into the previous book in this series and catch up on the complete backstory. I foresee more Resale Boutique books in my future TBR stack!

If you love a good cozy mystery, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.


I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.