Two Quickie Reviews: Bloody Valentine & Bullseye

18709246 Will Robie is closing in on his next target when he finds himself in the middle of a bank heist–and he’s taken hostage alongside Oliver Stone. But is this just a simple bank job, or are the robbers after something even more valuable–and dangerous–than the cash in the vault?

I’ve been a fan of David Baldacci’s for some time now, however I’ve stuck mostly to his King & Maxwell series.  Until now, I’d not read any of his Will Robie series so, when I stumbled across this short story, I thought I might as well give it a shot.

I’m grateful I did.  While I don’t have any idea what the heck the Camel Club is (this was book 2.5 in the series), I’m now very interested to find out.  I want to know more about Will Robie and what got him to the point he was in this short story.  Color me intrigued if nothing else.

 

9593938 Mega rich restaurant owner Jack Barnes and his second wife Zee are very much in love. However, their plans for Valentine’s Day are about to be torn apart by the most violent murder.Who is the strange figure plotting this sick crime? Who hates Jack that much? There are plenty of suspects living in Jack’s fancy block of flats. Is it them, or could it be the work of an outsider with a twisted mind? One thing’s for sure, the police have got their work cut out solving this bloody mess.

James Patterson is one of my favorite authors.  He has this precise way of writing that makes the books very readable and quick to get through.  That doesn’t mean he skimps on the plot either.  I don’t know how to explain it, but I enjoy whatever it is.

This didn’t remind me of anything I’d read of his before, but it was still very enjoyable.  It was a little grittier and gruesome than his others, but the story was still engaging.  I have a couple other shorts by him, I do believe, and I need to read them soon.

Review: The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

40603587._SX318_ Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin. And a cold-blooded killer. His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world. But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good… and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

A collection of short stories introducing Geralt of Rivia, to be followed by the first novel in the actual series, The Blood of Elves. Note that, while The Last Wish was published after The Sword of Destiny, the stories contained in The Last Wish take place first chronologically, and many of the individual stories were published before The Sword of Destiny.

I knew very little about The Witcher series before I read this collection of short stories.  Basically, I knew my husband loved the video games and that Netflix was producing a series starring Henry Cavill.  Yeah, I’m shallow, but Henry’s the reason I picked up this book.  Have to say, I’m not sorry.  So much so that I bought all the rest.  Hahaha.

Fantasy is a favorite genre of mine but I haven’t read much over the last couple years for a variety of reasons.  So, I was really happy to get back into it with this novel.  I think it helped that it was broken up into seven shorter stories so I didn’t have to use all of my brain at one time lke I usually do with fantasy books.

“Don’t worry. There’s no shame in fear.”

Each story introduces you to new characters as well as new areas of the world that Geralt lives in.  In addition, you get to know the Witcher himself more and more as you go along.  You get to see what kind of a complicated character he is and how he’s neither good nor evil, but whatever he needs to be in the moment.  What suprised me the most was how much humor was laced throughout the stories.  In one, Geralt is discussing being killed during his mission as ‘having an accident at work’.

I’m anxious to get into the next in this series, one I believe is another set of short stories.  I’ll leave you with a bit of Geralt’s wisdom.

“People”—Geralt turned his head—“like to invent monsters and monstrosities. Then they seem less monstrous themselves. When they get blind-drunk, cheat, steal, beat their wives, starve an old woman, when they kill a trapped fox with an axe or riddle the last existing unicorn with arrows, they like to think that the Bane entering cottages at daybreak is more monstrous than they are. They feel better then. They find it easier to live.”

It’s always nice when fiction can slap you upside the head with the cold, hard facts of life.

Review: Just His Luck by B. J. Daniels

cover158589-mediumShade Sterling has carried a torch for Lizzy Conners since senior year of high school. But the timing never felt right for them, especially since his ex-girlfriend, Ariel, disappeared without a trace years ago. Now, with their ten-year class reunion approaching, Shade is tired of waiting. Determined to move on with his life and take a chance with Lizzy, he’s all in…until a car is dredged up from a local pond and Ariel’s remains are found inside.

As the newly appointed sheriff, Lizzy must investigate every single lead—including the ones that point right to Shade. She knows she can’t let her heart get in the way of an investigation, but she can’t accept that Shade is guilty. Now if she can only prove it—both to the town out for justice and to herself. Continue reading “Review: Just His Luck by B. J. Daniels”

Review: The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan

cover160404-mediumLaw student Rachel North will tell you, without hesitation, what she knows to be true. She’s smart, she’s a hard worker, she does the right thing, she’s successfully married to a faithful and devoted husband, a lion of Boston’s defense bar, and her internship with the Boston DA’s office is her ticket to a successful future.

Problem is–she’s wrong.

And in this cat and mouse game–the battle for justice becomes a battle for survival. Continue reading “Review: The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan”

Review: Man of the Year by Caroline Louise Walker

cover157052-medium Beware the Man of the Year. You may praise him, resent him, even want to be him: but beneath the elegant trappings that define him, danger looms. Caroline Louise Walker’s stunning debut novel, for fans of Herman Koch’s The Dinner and Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door, delves into the increasingly paranoid mind of a man whose life as the most upstanding of citizens hides a relentlessly dark heart.

Dr. Robert Hart, Sag Harbor’s just-named Man of the Year, is the envy of his friends and neighbors. His medical practice is thriving. He has a beautiful old house and a beautiful new wife and a beautiful boat docked in the village marina. Even his wayward son, Jonah, is back on track, doing well at school, finally worthy of his father’s attentions. So when Jonah’s troubled college roommate, Nick, needs a place to stay for the summer, Hart and his wife generously offer him their guest house. A win-win: Jonah will have someone to hang with, and his father can bask in the warm glow of his own generosity. Continue reading “Review: Man of the Year by Caroline Louise Walker”

Review: A Crafter Hooks a Killer by Holly Quinn

cover155619-mediumCommunity Craft proprietor Sammy Kane suspects that a tantalizing thread links the deaths of her best friend and a bestselling author. But can she weave together the clues?

Samantha “Sammy” Kane is settling into her new life in idyllic Heartsford, Wisconsin, running her late friend Kate Allen’s craft shop, Community Craft when one early June day, bestselling crochet author Jane Johnson visits Heartsford. Captivated by Community Craft, Jane devotes a chapter in her new book, Behind the Seams, to the store. Sammy is honored, though satisfaction quickly turns to shock when she finds Jane strangled to death―her cold hands clutching a copy of her most recently published book, with the words “THE END” raggedly scratched into the cover. Continue reading “Review: A Crafter Hooks a Killer by Holly Quinn”

Review: Sweet Tea and Secrets by Joy Avon

cover155623-mediumLast Christmas, Callie Aspen left her tour guide job and settled in Heart’s Harbor, Maine. Now, she helps out at Book Tea, her great aunt’s vintage tearoom, where each treat has a bookish clue. Though she’s excited to start her new life, Callie worries she may regret having burned her bridges behind her. Fortunately, she finds immediate distraction in the preparations for a spectacular Fourth of July tea party, which will recreate key moments from the town’s rich history.

Intrigued to learn that 1980s TV star Monica Walker was last seen in Heart’s Harbor before she vanished—allegedly to elope—Callie probes the townsfolk for information. She’s stunned when several locals share contradictory stories about the last day before Monica’s disappearance. Did she intend to leave her hit TV series? Was she being stalked by her ex? And why is the newspaper editor who investigated the story at the time so anxious about the cold case heating up?

When one of the talkative townspeople turns up dead, Callie aims to catch the killer. But it’s no picnic: Deputy Falk doesn’t want her meddling, and the locals suddenly know more about the past than they’d been at liberty to admit. If Callie and the Book Tea crew can’t crack the case, they’ll pay a very steep price in Joy Avon’s explosive second Book Tea Shop Mystery.

I was eagerly looking forward to this second installment in Joy Avon’s Book Tea Shop Mystery series as I thoroughly enjoyed the first, In Peppermint Peril.  I was not disappointed.  Sweet Tea and Secrets had everything that I had loved in the first, and more.

First, I really do like Callie Aspen.  She has her unlikable moments, but they don’t show themselves very often.  She’s smart, she’s fun, and she’s an animal lover, always bringing her Boston Terrier, Daisy, along with her.  Also, her Aunt Iphy is a hoot, even if she does tend to be a bit meddlesome.  But, considering her age and the fact she lives in a tiny town, I’ll give her a pass.

Second, I enjoyed the double mystery.  Cold cases fascinate me, likely because I’m a total science fanatic and seeing forensics and the like put into play is exciting for me.  That alone was enough to interest me, but when a murder happens while Callie’s investigating this cold case, I was definitely hooked.  Although I had pretty much figured out what had happened in the cold case early on, the resolution of it wasn’t anything like I had expected, so that was a wonderful surprise for me.

Sweet Tea and Secrets is an exciting and engaging cozy mystery.  It’s a quick read, but enjoyable all the way to the end.  I can’t wait to see what Callie, Iphy, Peggy and the rest get up to in the next installment.  A great cozy series for anyone who loves a good cup of tea and a murder or two.

4/5

*Thanks to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for a copy of this book.