Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sleep Like A Baby

Title: Sleep Like a Baby
Author: Charlaine Harris
Expected Publication: September 26th 2017 by Minotaur Books
Format: eBooks; Hardcover: 272 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Series: Aurora Teagarden Mysteries #10

I have to admit that I am not reading this series in order. Sometimes I read a book, sometimes I catch the Hallmark version so when I picked up “Sleep Like a Baby”, I was somewhat taken aback by where Aurora’s life is but at the same time, I was grateful that Charlaine Harris did a little bit of catching the reader up with what had been happening.

Just as Robin is getting ready to jump on a plane for his big night at the awards ceremony, Aurora comes down with a horrible case of the flu. With a new baby to care for, and a stepbrother that is helpful but has his own life, Aurora cannot be left alone. Robin decides to call Virginia, a local caregiver that can come in nights to help with both Aurora and two-month-old Sofie.

Turns out that there is a whole mess brewing when Aurora wakes to find her daughter crying and the caregiver nowhere in sight and a dead body in the backyard. Thankfully, it is not Virginia but a woman that had been stalking Robin. This case just got a whole lot stranger for the local Lawrenceton police department and now Robin is in panic mode since he was not there to protect his family.

With her head swimming in germs and a crying infant that needs nursing every two hours, Aurora does her best to find answers but at the same time, she needs to be there for her mother when adversity strikes Aida’s life.

This book did get a bit silly from time to time, for instance, Aurora’s sentimentality to a diaper bag because a dear friend gave it to her, made me shake my head at her. I know that this series is kinder and gentler than others out there are, but sometimes Aurora’s gosh-golly-gee outlook irritates me.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Last Resort

Title: Last Resort
Author: Jeff Shelby
Published: August 29th 2014 by Mission Bay Publishing
Format: eBook, 298 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Moose River Mystery #2

It had been so long since I had read the first book in the series, “The Murder Pit” that I am glad Jeff Shelby did a little rehashing to click my old brain cells into place. It is not necessary to have read that book first, but it was a nice reminder of where Daisy and Jake started out.

Windy Vista Resort on Lenzen Lake is north of Duluth, Minnesota and looks like an ideal vacation spot for Daisy and Jake Savage, or at least that is what the brochure said after they had won an all-expense paid vacation that they two of them greatly need. After finding a body in their coal chute and repairs to a house that are never-ending, they desperately needed to leave their four children in the hands of trusting grandparents and head out of town. The brochure was geared more to a the vision of the future then the rundown trailer park full of wacky people and a dead body with a much-coveted medallion around his neck that they found.

Delilah, the owner of Windy Vista does her best, but times are tough and now with her business partner dead and money missing from their accounts, the park is in peril of closing. While Jake cannot get away fast enough, Daisy has taken a liking to this group of misfits and is determined to solve yet another murder mystery.

This is a fun series, the Daisy and Jake relationship is funny and the situations that they find themselves in are over the top. They complement each other well and their banter is what holds the books together for me. Funny story – I had actually stumbled across this series by accident. I had been looking for another book in the “Stay at Home Dad” series by Jeffrey Allen and somehow my searches lead me to Jeff Shelby. Come to find out, they are the same person. Who Knew? Now if we could only convince him to write more Deuce Winter’s books.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Grave Peril

Title: Grave Peril
Author: Jim Butcher
Published: November 4th 2008 by Roc
Format: Hardcover, 348 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Series: Dresden Files #3

I do not know why it took me so long to find this series. Granted the spooky world is not my usual go to, yet I find myself transfixed each time I pick up these books. To be fair, I am not sure that it is the ghoul factor that keeps me coming back, but I do know that if Jim Butcher ever removed the humor, I would not enjoy them as much as I do.

Since Harry Dresden is the only Wizard in the phonebook, he receives call for the strange things happening in the Windy City, yet when Harry and his friend Michael are called to the hospital to battle a ghost that is terrorizing babies in the maternity ward, how can they say no. What they did not know at the time was that the veil between this world and the “nevernever” is thinning thus allowing all sorts of creepy things through.

Harry and Michael seem to be the targets of a gang of demons. Being what demons are, they do not play fair and when they go after those closest to Harry and Michael, all rules are thrown to the side and using whatever is at their disposal, this team of two, plus a couple of vampires are ready to take on those that are bent to destroy our world.

Hearts are broken, souls are shattered, yet Harry, Michael, and Bob will continue to protect those that they love and those that are completely unaware of what is going on around them. Jim Butcher packs this volume with many memorable characters and I, as the reader, hope to see a few of them again.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Love and Other Consolation Prizes

Title: Love and Other Consolation Prizes
Author: Jamie Ford
Published: September 12th 2017 by Ballantine Books
Format: eBook and Hardcove; 320 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.

I do not know where to begin with this book. Jaime Ford has such a way with his descriptions and heartbreaking characters that it is always a disservice to try to relay the depth and emotions that he puts into his writing and the lives of his characters.

Beginning in 1902 when five year Yung Kun-ai is placed on a freighter by a starving mother after he witnesses her smothering his infant sister, this sad young boy learn quickly that the world does not treat everyone fairly especially if you are an orphan and have mixed blood. Being the product of a Chinese mother and a white missionary father, he lives in two worlds and realizes that neither world wants him.

Arriving in Seattle, he becomes a ward of the state and with a wealthy benefactress, he is sent to a boarding school, but once again is treated like a second class citizen. Gathering courage, he informs his sponsor that he no longer wants what is offered and being the horrible person that she is, she has the brilliant idea of auctioning him at the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific World’s Fair.

Madam Flora and the Gibson Girls of the Tenderloin bordello take him in and create a home for him. To the outside world this is a disaster, but to Ernest, his prayers have been answered especially when he is reunited with Fahn, a young Japanese girl that was on the freighter with him and had, in his youthful way, told her on their first week at sea, that he was going to marry her.

Of course there are conflicts especially when Maisie, the daughter of Madam Flora, has staked her claim on Ernest, but the three come to terms with their arrangement. Life in a brothel is both exhilarating and terrifying. There are prices to be paid and lasting realties must be faced.

Now in 1962, Ernest is trying desperately to keep control over Gracie’s memories. She has slipped away from him and with moments of clarity, and an investigative journalist daughter that is asking questions about their past, Ernest is trying to keep the most scandalous parts hidden and his family together.

Every chapter has a breathless moment as their story is revealed. The reader is trying to keep a step ahead and when the realities are voiced, you are both relieved as to what has been exposed and terrified as to what will be laid bare next.