Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Vanishing Man

Title: The Vanishing Man
Author: Charles Finch
Published: February 19th 2019 by Minotaur Books
Format: eBook, Hardcover, 304 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Series: Charles Lenox Mysteries Prequel 2

Why oh why does Charles Finch have to drag out his stories? I understand the occasional need for a history lesson, but the screeching halt that the reader is brought to when there is a sudden need to over-describe a person or a room is tedious. Just tell the story, keep the humor, and let the reader mentally draw a person or room.

In the second prequel to his ongoing Charles Lenox series, the main character has decided that since his brother has retained the family title, he is free to make his own choices, and with that, he will continue his hand at being a private investigator. His prior cases gained him a bit of notoriety and with that, the Duke of Dorset has called on him to investigate the theft of an incidental portrait that was taken from his study. What is curious is that the thief left behind a painting of greater value, that of the writer William Shakespeare. Turns out that the thief might have known what he was doing after all since it is the combination of the two painting that leads to clues of a missing manuscript.

As the reader wanders the meandering path with side stories and wayward humor, eventually the point of the matter is reached and Charles Lenox, with the help of a new character, discovers the whereabouts of the missing document and leave the Duke with an even greater decision to make.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Forbidden Door

Title: The Forbidden Door
Author: Dean Koontz
Published: October 9th 2018 by Bantam
Format: ebook, 480 pages
Genre: Suspense
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Series: Jane Hawk #4

Words. So. Many. Words. When you take on the Jane Hawk series, you have to be prepared for the commitment that it is. Dean Koontz is an author that likes his words, some are repetitive, others may involve a dictionary, or a search engine, and a rare few, even a translator. That being said, you are in for a breath catching adventure laid out by an Unknown Playwright that has a tendency to throw the unexpected in when a character might need to be dealt the unforeseen.

With a slow start that gains momentum, Jane is desperately trying to get to her 5-year-old son Travis who has been kept in hiding by close friends. When the protector’s cover is blown, in a graphic shoot out, a scared child calls his mother and Jane “with no emotion hotter than the terror that blazed in a mother when her child was in peril” will not stop until her son, and his new friend Cornell, and dog companions are safely tucked away.

Each book brings back previous introduced malevolent characters, but also reminds the readers of the good people that have helped Jane. The Forgotten Door reunites two of the best and with their help, Travis just might have a chance. That does not mean that there is not more treachery coming their way from the Techno Arcadians since this book ends on an interesting precipice and though Jane is granted a few quiet moments, that is no guarantee they will last especially when the ‘beautiful monster’ has more work to do.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Watcher in the Woods

Title: Watcher in the Woods
Author: Kelley Armstrongbr /> Published: February 5th 2019 by Minotaur Books
Format: eBook, Hardcover, 368 pages
Genre: Mystery
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Series: Casey Duncan #4

I am not one-hundred-percent sure what Kelley Armstrong was trying to get across in this book. Was she trying to get the reader more invested in a select group of ongoing characters, was she trying to clean house by removing a few others, or was she introducing Casey’s sister April in hopes that Casey could finally put to rest, and recognize, the misunderstands that was driving the sisters apart.

To a point, there are too many characters to keep straight and if you have not read this series from the beginning they can become background noise to the current goings on in Rockton, a remote hideaway in the Yukon full of criminals, and a few victims, that have been able to buy their way to a couple years of protection.

When a US Marshal suddenly appears, wanting to take custody of a resident, the town is thrown into turmoil, which only exacerbates the situation when said Marshal is killed before he can say who he is there for. Turns out there are quite a few residents with federal warrants and it is anyone guess who he was looking for. Add to that, Casey and Sheriff Eric Dalton have secreted in Casey’s sister April, a doctor, to help with the surgery and healing of a resident who may become paralyzed if the bullet that is currently residing in his body is not properly removed.

Parts of this story fall into the well planned locked-door-mystery, with residence of Rockton locked in until their stay is up, but with Casey and Eric able to fly out for supplies and intel, an extra level of intrigue is added when their cover is blown and others might start to get a bit too curious as to what is going on in this well hidden area of a wild, mountainous, and sparsely populated region.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Corned Beef and Casualties

Title: Corned Beef and Casualties
Author: Lynn Cahoon
Published: February 5th 2019 by Lyrical Press
Format: eBook
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Series: Tourist Trap Mysteries #6.25

Another quick novella from Lynn Cahoon this time working around a St. Patrick’s festival in South Cove. With the crowds getting out of hand and the shop owners having run-ins with the rabble-rousers, an evening call comes in when the body of a young woman is found propped up against the rocks in the cove. It is no surprise when Jill, owner of the Coffee, Books and More, puts the clues together before her detective boyfriend since this is the running theme throughout the series. Yet, from the beginning the who and the why seemed to be obvious. It would have been nice if the reader had to work a little harder to figure it all out.

This novella, actually all the novellas, within this series are placeholders until the author can come out with her next full-length book. Hopefully, that is the plan and since I am not sure when that will happen since she does have a few series going and finding the time to juggle them all must be daunting