Book Review: “16th Seduction” by James Patterson (Women’s Murder Club #16)

16th seducationTitle:  16th Seduction

Author:  James Patterson

Series:  Women’s Murder Club #16

Synopsis (from bn.com): 

Detective Lindsay Boxer faces a heart-stopping threat in the newest Women’s Murder Club thriller.

Fifteen months ago, Detective Lindsay Boxer’s life was perfect—she had a beautiful child and a doting husband, Joe, who helped her catch a criminal who’d brazenly detonated a bomb in downtown San Francisco, killing twenty-five people. But Joe wasn’t everything that Lindsay thought he was, and she’s still reeling from his betrayal as a wave of mysterious, and possibly unnatural, heart attacks claims seemingly unrelated victims across San Francisco. As if that weren’t enough, the bomber she and Joe captured is about to go on trial, and his defense raises damning questions about Lindsay and Joe’s investigation. Not knowing whom to trust, and struggling to accept the truth about the man she thought she knew, Lindsay must connect the dots of a deadly conspiracy before a brilliant criminal puts her on trial.

My thoughts:

I don’t care how much others make fun of James Patterson and his writing, I just love a couple of his series including of course the Alex Cross series, NYPD Red, and this series . . . the Women’s Murder Club.

I find all of his writing extremely fast paced, interesting, with great characters and interesting story lines.

In this novel he again weaves together at least 2 storylines that while seemingly wonderful separate, don’t always seem to fit together nicely into one cohesive story.

I felt as if in this book Patterson was really keeping the focus on one of the Women’s Murder Club – Lindsay Boxer and her struggling relationship with her husband.  Therefore, although the other 3 women were woven into the story – I could have used a bit more of their camaraderie in this one!

Overall, a great offering in a wonderful series!  Give it a try if you haven’t.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Detective/Police, Fiction, James Patterson, New Releases, Thriller

Book Review: “Reckless Creed” by Alex Kava (Ryder Creed series #3)

reckless creedTitle:  Reckless Creed

Author:  Alex Kava

Series:  Ryder Creed #3

Synopsis (From bn.com):   In the new edge-of-your-seat thriller from New York Times–bestselling author Alex Kava, Ryder Creed, his K-9 search-and-rescue dogs, and FBI agent Maggie O’Dell find themselves at the center of a dire and mysterious case.
 
In Chicago, a young man jumps from his thirtieth-story hotel room; along the Missouri river, a hunter and his son stumble upon a lake whose surface is littered with snow geese, all of them dead; and in southern Alabama, Ryder Creed and his search-and-rescue dog Grace find the body of a young woman who went missing in the Conecuh National Forest…and it appears she filled her pockets with rocks and walked into the river. Before long Ryder Creed and FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell will discover the ominous connection among these mysterious deaths. What they find may be the most prolific killer the United States has ever known.

 

My thoughts:  I love, love, love this series by Alex Kava and truly hope it goes on for awhile.  I am so glad I took the chance on this series as I was afraid nothing could match the quality of Kava’s Maggie O’Dell series, but this certainly does.

I absolutely love how Kava weaves together the new characters of Ryder Creed and his crew with the beloved Maggie O’Dell characters – brilliant.

The plot of the novel was fast-paced and well done in my opinion.

Overall, a great new series by a beloved author.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

heather

 

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Book Review: “A Fatal Fleece” by Sally Goldenbaum (Seaside Knitters #6)

fatalfleeceTitle:  A Fatal Fleece

Author:  Sally Goldenbaum

Series:  Seaside Knitters Mystery #6

Synopsis (from bn.com): 

This summer in Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, one of the Seaside Knitters gets tangled up with a precocious granddaughter, and another stands accused of sending a local resident on a permanent vacation…

As Izzy and the Seaside Knitters prepare her yarn studio for the tourist season, fellow knitter Birdie Favazza has her hands full with her granddaughter Gabby. The little girl soon becomes a fixture in the town and even strikes up a friendship with a reclusive local fisherman, Finnegan, who is the source of much local turbulence.

Then lobsterwoman Cass Halloran stumbles over the old fisherman—his body covered with leaves and sea grass and wearing the yellow fleece vest she once made for him. When Cass becomes a suspect in his murder the Knitters must rally to protect their friend.

Soon the Seaside Knitters will discover that caring for Gabby while casting their net for a killer is a tricky business, indeed. They’ll have to keep their wits about them as they piece together the clues…or one of their own will wind up knitting behind bars.

 

My thoughts:  Hmmmm, what can I say . . . I am having mixed feelings about this series over the last couple of books.  I don’t know whether it is I need a break from cozy mysteries for awhile or if the books are just getting increasingly slow and a bit boring.

I truly do enjoy the setting and the main characters in this series . . . it just feels as if the story lines regarding the actual murder mystery have been dragging quite a bit.  Ugh!

I will keep giving it a try since of course like any good reader . . . I already own the entire series 🙂

Overall, a fun cozy mystery series with great main characters and a charming, cozy location – but increasingly slow plot lines!!

And remember,

Books are Life,

Heather

 

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction

Book Review: “Hide Away” by Iris Johansen (Eve Duncan #20)

hideaway

Title:  Hide Away

Author:  Iris Johansen

Series:  Eve Duncan #20

Synopsis (from bn.com): 

DARK SECRETS

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan lies in a well-guarded hospital room in Carmel, California. But she and Joe Quinn have sworn to protect an innocent young girl, Cara Delaney, whose enemies are getting closer by the hour. Weighing her own health against Cara’s safety, Eve decides they must disappear—and so she turns to her daughter, Jane MacGuire, for an unexpected solution.

DESPERATE MEASURES

After years of resistance, Jane has finally succumbed to the inevitable: John MacDuff’s insistent plea to track down a treasure presumed buried in Scotland. The remote mountains should be a perfect hiding place for Eve and Cara, but they soon realize there is nowhere distant enough from the ruthless predators who are on their trail. Greed and power war with honor and justice in this thrill-ride from the incomparable Iris Johansen.

 

My thoughts:

Oh man, what can I say about this book.  Again a book in a series that I have loved in the past, but in my opinion is really slipping and changing in ways I at least am not enjoying.

This Eve Duncan series started with really intriguing storylines of Eve’s work as a forensic sculptor, focusing on her work and just really good mysteries.   Now that we have moved beyond the incessant Bonnie storyline, somehow the series has moved lately into not focusing on Eve’s work or cases at all but rather having Eve/Joe/Jane chasing around various places trying to save different people.  This storyline (which by the way takes place over 3 different books. . . hmmmmm) felt to me to be a bit disjointed and repetitive, didn’t make me want to turn the next page.

I am also personally not enjoying how the author is weaving in the seemingly odd supernatural aspects to some of her characters – such as the character who can change bloodflow in a human to the point of healing someone and saving someone’s life.  I know these supernatural characters and storylines are all the rage recently, but don’t interweave them in what is normally a great mystery and psychological thriller.

Overall, clearly this wasn’t my favorite book in the series which really disappoints me since this really was one of my favorite series.  Ugh, oh well . . .you win some and you lose some.

And remember,

Books Are life,

Heather

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Detective/Police, Fiction, Iris Johansen, Uncategorized

Book Review: “Dead Cold Brew” by Cleo Coyle (Coffeehouse Mystery #16)

deadcoldbrew

Title:  Dead Cold Brew

Author:  Cleo Coyle

Series:  Coffeehouse Mystery #16

Synopsis (from bn.com):  Coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi sheds tears of joy when her NYPD detective boyfriend surprises her with an engagement ring. But her bridal bliss is put on hold when a chilling mystery brings a wave of deadly danger to those she holds dear…
 
After everything Clare and Mike have been through, they deserve a little bit of happily ever after. So when Mike decides to put a ring on Clare’s finger, Clare’s eccentric octogenarian employer is there to help. She donates the perfect coffee-colored diamonds to include in the setting and the name of a world-famous jeweler who happens to be an old family friend. But while the engagement is steeped in perfection, the celebration is not long lived.

First, a grim-faced attorney interrupts their party with a mysterious letter bequeathing a strange, hidden treasure to Clare’s daughter. Next, the renowned jeweler who designed Clare’s ring is found poisoned in his shop. Both events appear to be connected to a cold case murder involving a sunken ship, an Italian curse, a suspiciously charming jewel thief, and a shocking family secret. With deadly trouble brewing, Clare must track down clues in some of New York’s most secret places before an old vendetta starts producing fresh corpses.

My thoughts:  I absolutely LOVE this series, in fact it is one of my favorite cozy mystery series – since I am an avid coffee drinker.  However, I can’t believe I’m typing this and admitting this, but this book in the series feel quite a bit short for me.  Not my favorite, by any means.

I felt like the whole storyline was just a bit disjointed for me.  It seemed to go all over the place for me.  Not to mention, I personally just didn’t enjoy the whole family history storyline so that didn’t help matters much.

And what bothered me most about this one is that Claire and the coffeehouse gang really never hung around the coffeehouse in this book, they were out and about in the city, etc.  I know this seems incredibly odd and petty perhaps, but one of my favorite parts about reading cozy mysteries is that they are set in their cozy places whether it be a bakery, a tea shop or in this case a coffeehouse.

Please take us back to the Coffeehouse!

All in all, just a so so book in this series for me! Not my favorite!

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Cleo Coyle, Cozy, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Uncategorized

Book Review: “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park

Title:  Eleanor & Park

Author:  Rainbow Rowell

Pages: 336

Synopsis (from bn.com):

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits-smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love-and just how hard it pulled you under.

 

My thoughts:

When I was working at Barnes & Noble, I remember seeing this book on the Young Adult Bestseller shelves directly to the right of the Customer Service desk.  I can’t tell you how often I moved that book as it changed spots/numbers on the list.  Now after reading it, I have to be brutally honest, I have absolutely no idea how it stayed as a Bestseller for so long.

Wow, this book fell completely flat for me.  I think this story of first love in all its odd, boring nuances was just completely lost on me as an adult, so perhaps this one just doesn’t cross over to us oldsters.

Frankly, I found the book just boring. . . page after page after page of the minute details of the lives of these teens.  I know that is apparently what it was supposed to be, it just wasn’t my thing.  I can’t imagine a teen in this fast paced day and age enjoying this book with no action – but what do I know.

I also found myself having no connection at all with either of the main characters – in fact I found myself disliking them a bit.  Instead of coming off as an outcast, outsider Eleanor came off to me as just plain mean and snotty.  Park was just well . . . boring.

Both main characters definitely had tough family situations in very different ways, which also should have left the reader feeling something – and I didn’t, I was just annoyed.

And for the ending . . . a little ridiculous in my opinion.  Yes I know it is fiction and a story, but it was quite unrealistic and for me at least didn’t give me the emotion I believe the author was going for.

Overall, a complete dud for me . . . slow pace, boring story, unlikeable main characters, unrealistic ending.  Not a combination for a winning read.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

Book Review: “Extraordinary Means” by Robyn Schneider

extraordinary means

Title:  Extraordinary Means

Author:  Robyn Schneider

Pages: 324

Synopsis (from bn.com): 

Up until his diagnosis, Lane lived a fairly predictable life. But when he finds himself at a tuberculosis sanatorium called Latham House, he discovers an insular world with paradoxical rules, med sensors, and an eccentric yet utterly compelling confidante named Sadie—and life as Lane knows it will never be the same.

Robyn Schneider’s Extraordinary Means is a heart-wrenching yet ultimately hopeful story about the miracles of first love and second chances.

My thoughts:

Well my obsession with Young Adult fiction continues with this book by Robyn Schneider.  This story follows a group of teens who are living at Latham House, a sanitorium for patients with incurable TB.

I picked up this book of course because of the teens in medical crisis story.   SPOILER ALERT – the author makes very clear in her notes that there is no resistant strain of TB of course so it left the whole premise of the book a little unreal and disappointing to me from the very beginning.

The overall plot of course included aspects of boy meets girl and falls for girl, but what I truly enjoyed about this book were the deeper, more meaningful themes of building friendships in unfortunate circumstances, looking at the meaning of your life in a different way, change, taking risk, facing death, and so many many more in this brief book.

I think many teens can identify with the main character, Lane, in this novel in terms of his strong drive to success and get in the best college with the best grades and the best everything, his perfectionism, his single goal in life . . . and hopefully can gain some adult life lessons throughout the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book . . . wish the premise of the story had been at least build on a real situation at least but could get passed it.  Strong characters, great themes beyond simple teen falling in love story.

And remember,

Books Are Life,

Heather

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Young Adult Fiction