#ThrowbackThursday ~ The American Policeman by John Privilege #PostApocalyptic Murder Mystery

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that have been waiting on the ‘to be read’ pile for however long, and are finally getting an airing.

Georgia Rose’s Throwback Thursday last week was Turning of the World by John Privilege, which reminded me how much I enjoyed it, so this week I’m showcasing the follow up, The American Policeman. Both books can be read as standalones and are post apocalyptic in genre.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ #BookReview of Cold Cold Heart by @TamiHoag #MurderMystery #Thriller

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that were published over a year ago. Not to mention those that are languishing on the to be read pile for whatever reason.

Another audiobook review this week ~ Cold Cold Heart by Tami Hoag was released in January 2015 by Brilliance Audio and narrated by Julia Whelan.

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Made Safe by Francis Sparks #Crime #Thriller reviewed for #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog @writingsparks

  • Author: Francis Sparks
  • Published: January 2017 by Pandamoon Publishing
  • Category: Crime, Thriller, Book Review, Books, Reading

For Private Investigator, Moses Winter, the job just got more complicated. His adultery case has taken a violent turn landing the subject of his investigation, Fred Dunsmore, in the hospital and Moses in jail. Moses is held for questioning along with his erratic client, Sharon Dunsmore, and Fred’s mistress, a Bosnian refugee who just happens to be related to the DCI agent investigating the case, Raif Rakić.

When Private Investigator Moses Winter was hired by Sharon Dunsmore to find out if her husband was having an affair, he got way more than he bargained for. What had seemed like a straightforward infidelity case turns into something much darker when Sharon and Moses confront Fred Dunsmore and his girlfriend, Šejla, a Bosnian refugee. Sharon has a gun, which happened to belong to Moses, Šejla has a knife and Fred ends up in hospital fighting for his life, while Moses winds up in jail. When Fred goes missing the case takes on a whole new slant. Continue reading

Dark Clouds Over Nuala by Harriet Steel #HistFic @harrietsteel1 #RBRT #FridayReads 1930s Ceylon

  • Author: Harriet Steel
  • Published: May 2017 by Stane Street Press
  • Category: Cozy Murder/Mystery, Historical Fiction, Book Review, Books, Reading

Set in Ceylon in the 1930s, this second book in the Inspector de Silva Mysteries offers another colourful, relaxing read as the arrival in the hill town of Nuala of the heir to an English earldom signals more trouble for the hapless Inspector de Silva and a new mystery to solve. Throw in a mega-rich Romanian count, his glamorous countess and an enigmatic British army officer and the scene is set for an entertaining mystery. 

Inspector Shanti de Silva and his English wife, Jane, were attending Nuala’s very fashionable horse racing event, the Empire Cup, along with the assistant government agent, Archie Clutterbuck and his wife, Florence. William and Lady Caroline Petrie, were also in attendance with visiting family. The Wynne-Talbots, Ralph and Helen, were on their way from Australia, via Ceylon, to England to visit Ralph’s grandfather. Ralph is in line for the title of the 14th Earl of Axford and as his grandfather is not in the best of health, it seems he may inherit the title sooner rather than later. Continue reading

State vs Lassiter (Jake Lassiter Series) by Paul Levine Legal #Thriller @Jake_Lassiter #BookReview

  • Author: Paul Levine
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Released: May 2017 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Crime, Thriller, Legal Drama, Murder/Mystery, Audiobook, Review, Books, Reading

Jake’s law practice is booming…

He’s crazy about the new woman in his life…

His one-time delinquent nephew Kip is getting A’s in school…

What can go wrong?

Oh…how about a charge of first degree murder?

Life is good for Jake Lassiter, ex Miami Dolphins linebacker turned lawyer,…..until he wakes up on the beach with the hangover from hell and no memory of how he got there. He and his lover, Pamela Baylins were spending a romantic weekend at the Fontainebleau Hotel, courtesy of a grateful client. Continue reading

Remember No More ~ A DS Kite Mystery #1 by Jan Newton @BrookCottageBks @janmaesygroes #Crime #FridayReads

  • Author: Jan Newton
  • Published: March 2017 by Honno Press
  • Category; Crime, Mystery

A DS Kite novel – a city detective joins the mid-Wales force
bringing new insights and ruffling country feathers

Newly promoted DS Julie Kite is at a crossroads.  Her husband’s desire for a different life takes her away from urban Manchester and its inner city problems to tranquil mid-Wales. It is to be a clean slate for them both. On her first day at Builth Wells police station, Julie is thrust unexpectedly into the centre of an investigation into a suspicious death in a remote farming community. 

Back in Manchester, Stephen Collins is set free from HMP Strangeways.  Bible in hand he makes his way to mid-Wales, the scene of the heinous crime for which he was imprisoned, in order to confront those who had a hand in his incarceration.

The twists and turns of the investigation into solicitor Gareth Watkin’s death force DS Kite to confront her own demons as well as those of her rural community and, ultimately, to uncover the lengths to which we’ll go to protect our families…

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Dead Water ~ #Shetland Book 5 by Ann Cleeves @AnnCleeves #FridayReads

  • 16009500Audiobook Review
  • Author: Ann Cleeves
  • Performed by Kenny Blyth
  • Released: March 2013 by Isis Publishing Ltd
  • Category: Police Procedural, Mystery
  • four-half-stars

Dead Water is the fifth book in Ann Cleeves’ Shetland series – now a major BBC1 drama starring Douglas Henshall, Shetland.

When the body of journalist Jerry Markham is found in a traditional Shetland boat, outside the house of the local public prosecutor, down at the Marina, young Detective Inspector Willow Reeves is drafted in to head up the investigation.

Despite my preference for starting a series from book one, I’m beginning with this one, which is actually book five. I’ve watched and enjoyed each season of the TV series, Shetland, and so I’m very familiar with the cast of characters. There are some differences between the two, mainly in Jimmy Perez’s looks and back story. Kenny Blyth, the narrator, is excellent and has a lovely Scottish lilt, which fits in well with the story and adds authenticity. Other accents are convincing too. The narrator of the four previous books has a middle to upper class English accent which I didn’t find engaging or appropriate for the setting.  Continue reading

Before He Finds Her by @michael_kardos #mystery #audiobook @justjuliawhelan #SundayBlogShare

  • BeforeHeFinds herAudiobook Review
  • Author: Michael Kardos
  • Performed by Julia Whelan
  • Released by Audible: November 2015 and Published by Jammer Audio
  • Category: Suspense, Mystery
  • four-half-stars

Everyone in the quiet Jersey Shore town of Silver Bay knows the story: on a Sunday evening in September 1991, Ramsey Miller threw a blowout block party, then murdered his beautiful wife and three-year-old daughter.

The story opens with a blog post from Arthur Goodale, an eighty-one year old blogger, writing from his hospital bed in the critical care unit after having bypass surgery. A retired newspaperman, one story which has never been solved is always present in Arthur’s thoughts. That is the case of murdered Alison Miller and the subsequent disappearance of her husband, Ramsey Miller and their daughter, Meg. No motive was ever uncovered and no sightings of Ramsey or Meg have ever been reported but their disappearance led the people of Silver Bay and the authorities to believe Ramsey was responsible. Why Ramsey did it and how he and Meg vanished, and where to, have plagued Arthur for the fifteen years since the murder. Continue reading

The Body On The T ~ Sergeant Windflower #2

  • BodyontheTAuthor: Mike Martin
  • Kindle Edition
  • Published: September 2013 by Baico Publishing
  • Category: Murder, Mystery
  • four-stars

The Body on the T is the second book in the Windflower mystery series and it follows up on the highly acclaimed premiere, The Walker on the Cape. The story begins when a body washes up on a beach near Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There is no identification on the body and few clues to identify who the person was or where they came from. The case becomes the responsibility of Sgt. Winston Windflower of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and his trusted side-kick, Corporal Eddie Tizzard.

Sergeant Winston Windflower’s peaceful days and straightforward police work ‘dodging moose and reckless teens’ comes to an end when an unidentified body is washed up on the shore of the interestingly named ’T’ near Grand Bank. As he and Corporal Eddie Tizzard begin their investigation it’s soon apparent the case is much more involved than first thought, especially when thousands of dollars are found sewn into the dead man’s jacket lining. And to make matters worse Windflower has to suspend one of his officers. On the plus side his relationship with Sheila from the Mug-Up café has progressed and they are a solid couple.

Windflower is recruited by Inspector Arsenault of Marystown for temporary special assignment to his drug task force team to stop a huge drug running operation. The situation is further complicated by the discovery of a second body which points to a continuation of the drug related crimes in the first book. Windflower leaves Tizzard in charge on Grand Bank while he works out of Marystown. If all that wasn’t enough Windflower has to divide his time in order to manage a critical situation in his personal life.

RCMP Sergeant Winston Windflower had lived in this small Newfoundland community on the east coast of Canada for a little over three years. He had grown to like the rugged coastline and its hardy and sometimes quirky people who were reluctant to embrace outsiders. But Windflower had managed to win most of them over through his friendly form of community policing but even more so because he got things done. People still remembered him as the one who ended the criminal empire of Harvey Brenton and even though he was a Cree from Northern Alberta they had almost adopted him as one of their own.

There are several short references to the first book that only add to the story and don’t confuse or detract, if you haven’t already read The Walker on the Cape.

I like Windflower as a protagonist very much and although there was a little more mention of his native Cree culture and traditions I felt these could have played a bigger part, perhaps more so than knowing what he ate for every meal. I did enjoy the setting very much, and the vivid scenic descriptions of the area. Also the fact that Windflower is enjoying his job running the RCMP division in Grand Bank and has become an integral part of the community.

The narrative itself is very straightforward making for an easy read. The police procedural develops at steady pace, along the lines of a cozy mystery. I love the cover image, it looks like a photograph and makes me want to visit.

Book links ~ Amazon US Amazon UK

The Magician’s Lie

AudiobookReview

The Amazing Arden is the most famous female illusionist of her day, renowned for her notorious trick of sawing a man in half on stage. One night in Waterloo, Iowa, with young policeman Virgil Holt watching from the audience, she swaps her trademark saw for a fire ax. Is it a new version of the illusion, or an all-too-real murder? When Arden’s husband is found lifeless beneath the stage later that night, the answer seems clear.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this audiobook. I’ve enjoyed the narrators’ work previously and the blurb sounded interesting. The story, about a female illusionist in the late 1800’s/early 1900 accused of her husband’s murder, starts quite slowly but I was soon drawn into Arden’s tale, beginning with her childhood on a farm and moving through the reasons she ran away. Her time at the Biltmore Estate, as a dancer in New York and her eventual introduction to her mentor, Adelaide, who trains her in the art of illusion.

In 1905 the Amazing Arden was established and admired, well-known for the ‘Halved Man’ illusion during which she appears to saw a man in half, except on this particular occasion she used an axe and a few hours later the bloody body of a man thought to be her husband is found at the theatre.

Then I will close the show, as I always do, with the Halved Man. I will cut a man in two, severing him through his trunk, and he will scream for mercy as the blood pours forth…….Then I will heal him. He will spring up whole again, wiping away the blood from an expanse of flawless skin, as if there had never been a wound. My healing powers are legendary, though no one really knows their true extent. They don’t know how I wish away my own injuries, the cuts and bruises, the burns, the broken bones.

Arden is arrested by local policeman, Virgil Holt, and taken to the police station where she’s handcuffed to a chair. The story alternates between Arden’s past, as narrated by her in an attempt to prove her innocence, and the present told from Virgil’s point of view. Arden tells her complicated story well, the part of the past that follows her, and the fascinating insights about life on the road, the illusions and how they worked.  And yet throughout I was left wondering how real her account is. Is she playing for time until she can make her escape or is she telling the truth about everything that happened? Virgil can’t decide whether he believes her or not, but he’s not in good place and his personal and work problems begin to outweigh his professionalism.

I had mixed feelings by the end of the book, more good than not though. I love Arden’s story and the fact some of the characters and events are real. The description of the fire at the Iroquois theatre is masterfully written and the reality of Adelaide Herrmann lends authenticity to the story. The things that didn’t work so well for me are the lack of noticeable character development, the fact the villain was able to recover from one kill stroke but not the other and the ending was a little disappointing. But it’s a fascinating approach to a very interesting subject. Both narrators were excellent.

Please click on the book cover for Amazon UK and click here for Amazon US.

Raised in the Midwest, Greer Macallister is a poet, short story writer, playwright and novelist whose work has appeared in publications such as The North American Review,  The Missouri Review, and The Messenger. Her plays have been performed at American University, where she earned her MFA in Creative Writing. She lives with her family on the East Coast. Her debut novel THE MAGICIAN’S LIE was a weekly or monthly pick by Indie Next, LibraryReads, People Magazine, SheReads, PopSugar, Publishers Weekly, the Boston Globe, and Audible.com.