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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison.

Paperback: 286 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (June 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 9781503934719



Amazon Review:

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.
 
In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.
 
When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.
 
As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…
 
Like ..wow!... I can't believe someone actually came up with the idea for this book!
It was fast reading because the whole thing was like someone talking to you and you listened to every word.  The book was "horrible".. but you couldn't put it down without knowing how it would end! .. and of course I can't tell you how it ends or you might not read it.
 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Murder in Park Lane by Karen Charlton.
Paperback: 316 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (March 26, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1503955621


 

Amazon Review:

London, 1812. At a fashionable address in leafy Mayfair, a far cry from Detective Stephen Lavender’s usual haunts, a man is found dead in his room. He has been brutally stabbed, but the door is locked from the inside and the weapon is missing.

The deceased is David MacAdam, an Essex businessman with expensive tastes. As Lavender and Constable Ned Woods travel between London and Chelmsford seeking to understand MacAdam’s final hours and unearth the grisly truth, they uncover a tangled web of deceit behind his stylish facade. The unusual circumstances of MacAdam’s death are nothing compared to the shady nature of his life and it seems the house on Park Lane is at the heart of a dark conspiracy.

But when a second body turns up, everything they think they’ve learned is thrown into doubt. Can Lavender and Woods find out who’s behind these shocking murders before more lives are ruined?

This was an enjoyable read.  Short chapters , which I like, and good characters.  In fact, almost to many characters!  But I did seem to keep them straight, so that would mean anyone can!

I've read a few others of Karen Charlton, so she's not a new author to me.  The book is a "2 fer".. two for one murder investigation. I figured it out about the time the book did ! lol.

So it's onward and upward to the next mystery..............

Thursday, September 12, 2019

There There

There There , a novel by Tommy Orange.

Print Length: 292 pages
Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (June 5, 2018)
ASIN: B075HY1NFB





An Amazon Best Book of June 2018: What does it really mean to be an Indian/Native American/American Indian/Native? Orange's vivid debut novel allows a unique cast—ranging from teenagers to elders—to pull this question apart even as they add a modern layer of complexity: They live in the urban landscape of Oakland, California. The thrust of Orange's cross-cut storytelling is not to force his characters onto a strict plot line but to explore the varied ways of being an Indian and, more important, of feeling like an Indian. Fractured families, Oakland itself, and detachment from tradition make an Indian identity seem even more elusive to the younger characters, but it's a feeling that they unknowingly share—and that Orange wants to expose. As an amateur filmmaker says to a teen he's interviewing, "When you hear stories from people like you, you feel less alone." Isolation and longing permeate the page, lifted briefly only as the characters intersect at the Big Oakland Powwow, with chaotic results. If I have any quibble about the book (and it could be a failure of mine, really), it's that there are a few too many characters for me to comfortably hold in my head. But then again, this isn't a comfortable novel, and therein lies its power and purpose. —Adrian Liang, Amazon Book Review

Tommy Orange’s “groundbreaking, extraordinary” (The New York Times) There There is the “brilliant, propulsive” (People Magazine) story of twelve unforgettable characters, Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day. It’s “the year’s most galvanizing debut novel” (Entertainment Weekly).

As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow—some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent—momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle’s memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and will to perform in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and loss.


There There is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen. It’s “masterful . . . white-hot . . . devastating” (The Washington Post) at the same time as it is fierce, funny, suspenseful, thoroughly modern, and impossible to put down. Here is a voice we have never heard—a voice full of poetry and rage, exploding onto the page with urgency and force. Tommy Orange has written a stunning novel that grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide. This is the book that everyone is talking about right now, and it’s destined to be a classic.

This book won't be for everyone.  But, it will be for people like me who have such strong feelings for Native Americans.   I read a book called, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee .  It was about much of the history of Western Native American's. How they were treated. How they were massacred. And how they tried to survive. I will forever keep that book.

Now, There There comes along.  If you can get thru the preface without crying , the book is probably not for you.  It is a book however of "stories" of some young Native American's of "today" .. how they survive.. or not.   It is the second book of Native American's that I will keep forever.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

The Wolf in Winter

The Wolf in Winter by John Connolly.

Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books(October 28, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1476703183



Amazon Review

The community of Prosperous, Maine has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children’s future secure. It shuns outsiders. It guards its own. And at the heart of Prosperous lie the ruins of an ancient church, transported stone by stone from England centuries earlier by the founders of the town…

But the death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to Prosperous. Parker is a dangerous man, driven by compassion, by rage, and by the desire for vengeance. In him the town and its protectors sense a threat graver than any they have faced in their long history, and in the comfortable, sheltered inhabitants of a small Maine town, Parker will encounter his most vicious opponents yet.

Charlie Parker has been marked to die so that Prosperous may survive.

Prosperous, and the secret that it hides beneath its ruins…

I'm not sure what to say about this book.  I did read the entire book. Nice short chapters. The Wolf in the title seemed to have little to do with the story. (at least to me)  The whole town seemed to be  a "religious cult" that also felt they needed to "feed'" their "god" with a human female now and then.

It wasn't my kind of book though I read it all wondering if I was missing something to make me more "into" the story.

There was one paragraph I found myself reading more than once.. it  dealt with a street person:

"Each day is the same, and each day you get a little older and a little more tired.  And sometimes you'd remember who you were.  You were a kid who played with other kids. You had a mother and a father.  You had a husband. You had a wife. You were loved.  You could never have imagined that you would end up this way."

It could actually mean many people, not just street people.

If you like John Connolly I think you will like this book.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Layover

Layover by David Bell.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Berkley (July 2, 2019)
ISBN-10: 0440000874




Amazon Review:

Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work, his life a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, he meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it’s time for their respective flights, Morgan kisses Joshua passionately, lamenting that they’ll never see each other again.

As soon as Morgan disappears in the crowd, Joshua is shocked to see her face on a nearby TV. The reason: Morgan is a missing person.

What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets as Joshua tries to discover why Morgan has vanished from her own life. Every time he thinks one mystery is solved, another rears its head—and his worst enemy might be his own assumptions about those around him.

David Bell is one of the authors that I've read all his books:  SOMEBODY'S DAUGHTER, BRING HER HOME, SINCE SHE WENT AWAY, SOMEBODY I USED TO KNOW, THE FORGOTTEN GIRL, NEVER COME BACK, THE HIDING PLACE, and CEMETERY GIRL.  And for me it all began with Cemetery Girl. Thanks to Carl Anderson!)

This was a good mystery but for whatever reasons I liked  all his other books better.  I did like this book.. but like the others better.. He's still a super writer!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Plague Pits and River Bones

Plague Pits & River Bones by Karen Charlton.

Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (January 11, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1542048397



Amazon Review:

London, 1812: Treacherous gangs roam the capital, and not even the Palace of Westminster is safe. When Detective Stephen Lavender is called in to investigate a highway robbery and a cold-blooded murder, both the cases take a dangerous and disturbing personal twist.
 
And when Lavender’s trusted deputy, Constable Ned Woods, finds a mysterious severed foot washed up on Greenwich Beach, they soon realise that these ancient bones are more sinister than they first appeared.
 
With Bow Street Police Office undermanned and in disarray, it will take all of Lavender and Woods’s wit and skill—and some help from Lavender’s spirited wife, Magdalena—to unmask the fiend behind the mayhem, restore peace and justice to the beleaguered city and solve the tragic mystery of the severed foot.
 
But will they do so in time to foil a plot that threatens to plunge the country into chaos?

This is not my first Detective Lavender book, but it is the first in a very long time.  I am surprised I went so long without reading another book by Karen Charlton.  She is very good at describing any area of "old London" .

It was a quick read and she had more than one thing going on without confusion.  I enjoyed this one and will keep and eye out for another Detective Lavender story.

Friday, August 23, 2019

The Woman in the Woods

The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly.

Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books (June 12, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1501171925




Amazon Review:

In the beautiful Maine woods, a partly preserved body is discovered. Investigators realize that the dead young woman gave birth shortly before her death. But there is no sign of a baby.

Private detective Charlie Parker is hired by a lawyer to shadow the police investigation and find the infant but Parker is not the only searcher. Someone else is following the trail left by the woman, someone with an interest in much more than a missing child…someone prepared to leave bodies in his wake.

And in a house by the woods, a toy telephone begins to ring and a young boy is about to receive a call from a dead woman.

I have to say.. when I saw this title (and I have read some John Connolly) it sounded good.. a body in the woods.. right up my alley... wrong!

The character looking for parts of an "atlas" and his partner who kills everyone involved did not hold my interest.  I did read the whole book but kept hoping there would be more "Charlie Parker" and less of all the other characters involved.   This is a first John Connolly book that make a "good read" for me.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Concrete Blonde

Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly.

Hardcover: 392 pages
Publisher: Little Brown;(June 1, 1994)
ISBN-10: 9780316153836



Amazon Review:

Detective Harry Bosch was sure he'd shot the serial killer responsible for a string of murders in LA . . . but now, a new crime makes him question his convictions.
The Dollmaker was the name of the serial killer who had stalked Los Angeles ruthlessly, leaving grisly calling cards on the faces of his female victims. Now with a single faultless shot, Detective Harry Bosch thinks he has ended the city's nightmare.

But the dead man's widow is suing Harry and the LAPD for killing the wrong man-- an accusation that rings terrifyingly true when a new victim is discovered with the Dollmaker's macabre signature.

So for the second time, Harry must hunt down a death-dealer who is very much alive, before he strikes again. It's a blood-tracked quest that will take Harry from the hard edges of the L.A. night to the last place he ever wanted to go-- the darkness of his own heart.

With The Concrete Blonde, Edgar Award-winning author Michael Connelly has hit a whole new level in his career, creating a breathtaking thriller that thrusts you into a blistering courtroom battle-- and a desperate search for a sadistic killer.

Wow.. this was a much earlier Detective Bosch book.  At first It read like only a trial.. about the time I thought that maybe I wasn't as happy with this as the rest of the Bosch books.. it took off!  Holy cow! Twist and turn and surprise after surprise!  I guess you'd say.. I liked it! lol.
...................................................................................

Native American Wisdom edited by Kent Nerburn and Louise Mengelkoch.

Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: New World Library; 1St Edition edition (January 1, 1993)
ISBN-10: 0931432782


 
 Amazon Review

We recognize the philosophy of the original Americans as coming from the earth we walk on, from those who preceded us. As we read the wisdom of these peoples, it is possible to feel a reconnection with our land and ourselves. This beautiful collection of the best of Native American wisdom features the thoughts of Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, Black Elk, Ohiyesa, and many others on Native American ways of living, learning, and dying. Taken from orations, recorded observations of life and social affairs, and other first-person testimonies, this book selects a wide range of Native American wisdom and distills it to its essence in short, digestible quotes that are meaningful and timeless -- perhaps even more timely now than when they were written.

Some of the quotes seem not very old but of course those of Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, Black Elk and Ohiyea are "a bit older"!  Nice little book . I would like to hear more quotes from the Native Americans gone by.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

The Black Box

The Black Box by Michael Connelly.

Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company(November 26, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0316069426



Amazon Review:

In this "superb" thriller, Detective Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to the unsolved killing of a young female photographer during the 1992 L.A. riots (Wall Street Journal).
 
In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photographer during the L.A. riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved.

Now Bosch's ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue. Like an investigator combing through the wreckage after a plane crash, Bosch searches for the "black box," the one piece of evidence that will pull the case together.

This makes 7 in a row of the Bosch books by Michael Connelly.   Good writer.. good mysteries... good detective. (But I still liked the Monk books  a bit better, because there was a trio of the same characters in all the books)

I have one more book here but it's a small paperback and I don't know if I can get through the small print.  I don't have to have large print , but the print in hardbacks is usually a good size for me. I will give it a shot, but might have to go to something else until I can get more of the Bosch books in hardback like at the Friends of the Library.

Monday, August 05, 2019

Angels Flight

Angels Flight by Michael Connelly.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing;(March 6, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1538762706 






In this "superbly paced" New York Times bestseller (Esquire), LAPD detective Harry Bosch is trying to solve a high-profile lawyer's murder. But first he must face the public's suspicion . . . and his darkest fears.
 
An activist attorney is killed in a cute little L.A. trolley called Angels Flight, far from Harry Bosch's Hollywood turf. But the case is so explosive -- and the dead man's enemies inside the L.A.P.D. are so numerous -- that it falls to Harry to solve it. Now the streets are superheating. Harry's year-old Vegas marriage is unraveling. And the hunt for a killer is leading Harry to another high-profile L.A. murder case, one where every cop had a motive. The question is, did any have the guts?

This is one of the earlier books Harry Bosch.  I have to admit Michael Connelly is really, 1: a good story teller, and 2: Knows the in's and out's of being a Detective.  He also like to throw in some surprises along the way!

I still have 2 more Bosch books to read and then I need to get back to a book that's taking me some time to read.  I hope other's out there like the Bosch series because they are enjoyable reading!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

9 Dragons

9 Dragons by Michael Connelly.

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company;(October 13, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0316166316




Amazon Review:

After what seems like a routine murder investigation, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch finds himself in Hong Kong facing the highest-stakes case of his life: bringing his kidnapped daughter home. 

Fortune Liquors is a small shop in a tough South L.A. neighborhood, a store Bosch has known for years. The murder of John Li, the store's owner, hits Bosch hard, and he promises Li's family that he'll find the killer. 

The world Bosch steps into next is unknown territory. He brings in a detective from the Asian Gang Unit for help with translation -- not just of languages but also of the cultural norms and expectations that guided Li's life. He uncovers a link to a Hong Kong triad, a lethal and far-reaching crime ring that follows many immigrants to their new lives in the U.S. 

And instantly his world explodes. The one good thing in Bosch's life, the person he holds most dear, is taken from him and Bosch travels to Hong Kong in an all-or-nothing bid to regain what he's lost. In a place known as Nine Dragons, as the city's Hungry Ghosts festival burns around him, Bosch puts aside everything he knows and risks everything he has in a desperate bid to outmatch the triad's ferocity.

Well it seems like this is a totally Michael Connelly/ Bosch book month!  I guess you could say I am enjoying Bosch... almost...as much as Monk!

This series on Detective Bosch always takes place in California/ LA area.. but for once half of the book took place in Hong Kong!  In Hong Kong he meets up with his x wife and a man named Sun Yee, a one time very bad guy turned very good guy. (I liked him! lol)

So far I haven't found a Bosch book that I haven't enjoyed.. so add it to your list if you haven't read it and are a Bosch fan!


Saturday, July 06, 2019

Dark Sacred Night

Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly.

Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company;(October 30, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0316484806




Amazon Review:

Harry Bosch teams up with LAPD Detective Renée Ballard to face the unsolved murder of a runaway, and the fight to bring a killer to justice.

Detective Renée Ballard is working the night beat -- known in LAPD slang as "the late show" -- and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. 

Ballard can't let him go through department records, but when he leaves, she looks into the case herself and feels a deep tug of empathy and anger. She has never been the kind of cop who leaves the job behind at the end of her shift -- and she wants in.
 
The murder, unsolved, was of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally killed, her body left in a dumpster like so much trash. Now Ballard joins forces with Bosch to find out what happened to Daisy, and to finally bring her killer to justice. Along the way, the two detectives forge a fragile trust, but this new partnership is put to the test when the case takes an unexpected and dangerous turn.

This time Bosh had a female "partner" to help solve his unsolved murder. The writing was set up a little differently but all went well.. no getting mixed up.  Again, short chapters, which I love, and of course 2 mysteries going at the same time.

I've been told by my friend Cath that there is a tv series on Bosch.  I think on Netflix.  While I do like this series, I don't think I'd like watching it as much.  I've already gotten a picture of him in my mind, and some of the sequences happen near where I lived when I was in California so I  have no problem picturing it all in my mind.

This was another good read. I would recommend this Bosh Series for anyone who liked murder mysteries.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Two Kinds of Truth

Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly.

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company(October 31, 2017)
ISBN-10: 031641



Amazon Review:

Exiled from the LAPD, Harry Bosch must clear his name, uncover a ring of prescription drug abuse, and outwit a clever killer before it's too late.
 
Harry Bosch, exiled from the LAPD, is working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department when all hands are called out to a local drugstore, where two pharmacists have been murdered in a robbery. Bosch and the tiny town's three-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big-business world of prescription drug abuse. To get to the people at the top, Bosch must risk everything and go undercover in the shadowy world of organized pill mills.
 
Meanwhile, an old case from Bosch's days with the LAPD comes back to haunt him when a long-imprisoned killer claims Harry framed him and seems to have new evidence to prove it. Bosch left the LAPD on bad terms, so his former colleagues are not keen on protecting his reputation. But if this conviction is overturned, every case Bosch ever worked will be called into question. As usual, he must fend for himself as he tries to clear his name and keep a clever killer in prison. 
 
The two cases wind around each other like strands of barbed wire. Along the way, Bosch discovers that there are two kinds of truth: the kind that sets you free and the kind that leaves you buried in darkness.

And yet.. another Bosch novel!   I have to say I do enjoy the fact that Michael Connelly seems to always give you two mysteries for the price of one.  And most importantly, they are easily kept apart so you are never wondering what's what.

I really like when he pairs Bosch up with Haller (the attorney) . And Haller is in this book.

The Bosch books are all fast reading, short chapters, and they keep you wanting to pick up the book as soon as you sit in your favorite chair.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

The Brass Verdict

The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly.

Hardcover: 422 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (October 14, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0316024627

 


Amazon Review:

Defense attorney Mickey Haller and Detective Harry Bosch must either work together or die as they investigate a Hollywood lawyer's murder in this "epic page-turner" (Library Journal).
 
Things are finally looking up for defense attorney Mickey Haller. After two years of wrong turns, Haller is back in the courtroom. When Hollywood lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Haller inherits his biggest case yet: the defense of Walter Elliott, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover. But as Haller prepares for the case that could launch him into the big time, he learns that Vincent's killer may be coming for him next. 

Enter Harry Bosch. Determined to find Vincent's killer, he is not opposed to using Haller as bait. But as danger mounts and the stakes rise, these two loners realize their only choice is to work together.

Bringing together Michael Connelly's two most popular characters, The Brass Verdict is sure to be his biggest book yet.

Yet another good book by Michael Connelly!  I guess when I picked it up at the thrift store I didn't notice that it wasn't a Bosch book.   Instead it was about Haller, an attorney , who I remembered from the last Bosch book I read.  And it turns out that Bosh is also in the book and it seems like this was the book where they first met.

The biggest part of the book was a trial that Haller had "inherited" about a movie mogul accused of murdering is wife and lover.  All I will say is there are a few surprises towards the end of the story!

This was a good read. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Wrong Side of Goodbye

The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly.

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company(November 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0316225940



Amazon Review:

California's newest private investigator, Detective Harry Bosch, must track down a missing heir while helping a police department connect the dots on a dangerous cold case.
Harry Bosch is California's newest private investigator. He doesn't advertise, he doesn't have an office, and he's picky about who he works for, but it doesn't matter. His chops from thirty years with the LAPD speak for themselves.

Soon one of Southern California's biggest moguls comes calling. The reclusive billionaire is nearing the end of his life and is haunted by one regret. When he was young, he had a relationship with a Mexican girl, his great love. But soon after becoming pregnant, she disappeared. Did she have the baby? And if so, what happened to it?

Desperate to know whether he has an heir, the dying magnate hires Bosch, the only person he can trust. With such a vast fortune at stake, Harry realizes that his mission could be risky not only for himself but for the one he's seeking. But as he begins to uncover the haunting story--and finds uncanny links to his own past--he knows he cannot rest until he finds the truth.

At the same time, unable to leave cop work behind completely, he volunteers as an investigator for a tiny cash-strapped police department and finds himself tracking a serial rapist who is one of the most baffling and dangerous foes he has ever faced.


The book started out a little slow and my thoughts were that I'd not finish this book.
Well, that didn't happen! It turned into a book I really got into and enjoyed.  The protagonist, Bosch winds up working two cases at once.  One for the Police department , and one a private case for an elderly billionaire trying to find out if he has any heirs to leave his fortune to when he dies.  

It turned into a real page turner !  If you like Michael Connelly this is one of the Bosch series you won't want to miss!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Inspector of the Dead

Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Mulholland Books(October 11, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0316323950



Amazon Review:
The year is 1855. The Crimean War is raging. The incompetence of British commanders causes the fall of the English government. The Empire teeters.

Amid this crisis comes opium-eater Thomas De Quincey, one of the most notorious and brilliant personalities of Victorian England. Along with his irrepressible daughter, Emily, and their Scotland Yard companions, Ryan and Becker, De Quincey finds himself confronted by an adversary who threatens the heart of the nation.

This killer targets members of the upper echelons of British society, leaving with each corpse the name of someone who previously attempted to kill Queen Victoria. The evidence indicates that the ultimate victim will be Victoria herself. As De Quincey and Emily race to protect the queen, they uncover long-buried secrets and the heartbreaking past of a man whose lust for revenge has destroyed his soul.

Based on actual attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria, Inspector of the Dead brilliantly merges historical fact with fiction, bringing a bloody chapter of Victorian England to vivid, pulse-pounding life.

The mention of Thomas De  Quincey reminded me of the books I read by David Morrell and totally enjoyed.  I looked at my saved books and found that I had,  Murder is a Fine Art and Ruler of the Night. But I didn't find Inspector of the Dead.  Not having the best memory I sent for a copy to read.  Once I was into the very first chapter, I let out a groan.  Dang it!  I did read this before!  But did I set it aside?  nada.  De Quincey grabbed me right into the book again!  What a character he makes for a murder mystery!!!   I found that I did forget a lot of the book so I enjoyed it all over again!

If you like really interesting characters in the books you read, the 3 Thomas De Quincey books are a must read!

If you don't recognize the author ...some of the books he wrote that became movies are: First Blood and the Rambo movies!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Find Her

Find Her by Lisa Gardner.

Hardcover: 402 pages
Publisher: Thorndike Press  (February 3, 2016)
ISBN-10: 9781410485342




Amazon Review:

Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora Dane was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure.

Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who’s never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she’s become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who’ve never made it home.

When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who’s determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.

This book took me by surprise.  Smh.  For a female this is one scary book!  Based on true stories of girls/ woman who are abducted and how they are treated..but when it's Flora Dane they take, in the long run, they find out they took the wrong woman.

Lisa Gardner, the author is a super writer. She makes you feel like you are right there and feeling the feelings Flora is feeling. Like, I said... scary!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Bone Key

The Bone Key by Sarah Monette.

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Prime Books (October 18, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1607012901




Amazon review...

  • Kyle Murchison Booth is the unlikeliest of characters to gain a cult following, yet he has. Eccentric, socially awkward Booth is an introverted museum archivist, descended from a most unusual family, who frequently finds himself in the midst of the most unsettling supernatural experiences and strange necromantic mysteries. A gentleman and a scholar, the unwilling hero persevered through The Bone Key, a series of interconnected short stories, to win readers' hearts (and possibly their souls).
  • This new edition, with a "puzzle" cover and a new introduction by one of Booth's "successors" at the Samuel Mather Parrington Museum, will delight current fans and allow even more to discover its dark charms.

I am not a lover of short stories.. so of course I bought this book because of the cover!!! (Not the first time I've done that!)

Having said that.. I enjoyed this book!  Each of the stories had the same main character and tied them, more or less, together.  I enjoyed most of the stories with maybe an exception of the last 2 stories.  However, I would still recommend this book if you like mysteries, ghost stories and such.

It's quick reading, but I've been sick nearly all month so the most I did was read one short story and put the book down for a day or two.. so , short as it is it took me a bit to read it.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Once Upon a River

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield.

Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books (December 4, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0743298071




Amazon Review:

On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.

Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless.

Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son’s secret liaison, stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson’s housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone’s. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl’s identity can be known.

Once Upon a River is a glorious tapestry of a book that combines folklore and science, magic and myth. Suspenseful, romantic, and richly atmospheric, the beginning of this novel will sweep you away on a powerful current of storytelling, transporting you through worlds both real and imagined, to the triumphant conclusion whose depths will continue to give up their treasures long after the last page is turned.

This book began a little slow for me.  I am guessing that after so many murder mystery books that this was harder for me to get into.  That... and as soon as I see Diane Setterfield's name I expect something comparable to The Thirteenth Tale.  Well, this is not that! lol  To me it was a bit more "fantasy" than a fiction novel.  

I did read it all so that means it wasn't awful!  And to many who are a bit more into .. I don't know what to call it!  But I am sure many will like this book very much.  So, if the review from Amazon sounds good to you... give it a try!

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Extraordinary People

Extraordinary People by Peter May.

Hardcover: 382 pages
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press;(November 30, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1590583353


 

Amazon Review:

What has happened to Jacques Gaillard? The brilliant teacher who trained some of France's best and brightest at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration as future Prime Ministers and Presidents vanished ten years ago, presumably from Paris. Talk about your cold case.

The mystery inspires a bet, one that Enzo Macleod, a biologist teaching in Toulouse instead of pursuing a brilliant career in forensics back home in Scotland can ill afford to lose. The wager is that Enzo can find out what happened to Jacques Gaillard by applying new science to an old case.

Enzo comes to Paris to meet journalist Roger Raffin, the author of a book on seven celebrated unsolved murders, the assumption being that Gaillard is dead. He needs Raffin's notes. And armed with these, he begins his quest. It quickly has him touring landmarks such as the Paris catacombs and a chateau in Champagne, digging up relics and bones. Yes, Enzo finds Jacques Gaillard's head. The artifacts buried with the skull set him to interpreting the clues they provide and to following in someone's footsteps--maybe more than one someone--after the rest of Gaillard. And to reviewing some ancient and recent history. As with a quest, it's as much discovery as detection. Enzo proves to be an ace investigator, scientific and intuitive, and, for all his missteps, one who hits his goals including a painful journey toward greater self-awareness.


Wow, if you like fast moving  detective work, this is the book for you!   

I liked that it was a cold case being solved.  There were "obvious clues" along the way.  They would  have taken me forever to figure out, but of course, Enzo and his growing group around him seem to figure them out in nothing flat! 

The book was different from what I am used to but since once I start one of these books, I "must" know "who done it"! lol
It's a good quick read and one you'd most likely enjoy.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Blood on the Water. A Sunless Sea

Blood on the Water by Anne Perry.

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (September 9, 2014)
ISBN-10: 9780345548436




As her New York Times bestselling novels always remind us, Anne Perry is a matchless guide to both the splendor and the shame of the British Empire at the height of its influence. In her twentieth William Monk mystery, she brings us to London’s grand Mayfair mansions, where the arrogant masters of the Western world hold sway—and to the teeming Thames waterfront, where one summer afternoon, Monk witnesses the horrifying explosion of the pleasure boat Princess Mary, which sends to their deaths nearly two hundred merrymakers.

The tragedy is no accident. As commander of the River Police, Monk should handle the case, but the investigation is turned over to the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. An Egyptian man is swiftly caught, tried, and sentenced to die. But almost as quickly, Monk presents evidence that Habib Beshara, though a nasty piece of work, was elsewhere at the time of the blast. The investigation, now in complete disarray, is hastily turned over to Monk.

Is the crime connected with the soon-to-be-opened Suez Canal, which will enormously benefit wealthy British shipping companies? Or did all of those innocent people drown to ensure the death of just one? How did the bomber board the ship, and how did he manage to escape? Is he an anarchist or a madman?

Backed up by his astute wife, Hester, and his old reliable friend Oliver Rathbone, Monk vows to find answers—but instead finds himself treading the dangerous waters of international intrigue, his questions politely turned aside by a formidable array of the powerful and privileged. Events twist and turn like the Thames itself, leading to the shattering moment when Monk realizes, perhaps too late, that he is the next target.

This one was one of her different ones.  The lack of Rathbone put a lot more pressure on the other main characters.. which, of course, .. they still managed to dig out the truth!
I have liked all the Monk series and have to say, other than ONE other author have I read such a long series.  The difference being with the other series  often I had to wait a year for the newest book to come out. That series would be the late, great Ann McCraffrey, with her Pern series.

But if you like mysteries and being in court waiting for what you didn't know to become apparent.. this is a series for you!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blind Justice by Anne Perry.

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books;(August 27, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0345536703



Amazon Review:

In Perry’s stunning new novel, Hester Monk, the wife of William Monk, commander of the Thames River Police, questions the finances of a London church whose members’ hard-earned charitable gifts appear to have ended up in the pocket of charismatic preacher Abel Taft, paying for his fine home and the stylish outfits of his wife and daughters.

Taft is accused of extortion, and brilliant barrister Oliver Rathbone, newly appointed a judge, is chosen to preside over his trial. It seems clear that Taft is indeed guilty. However, at the last second, the defense produces a witness who completely undermines the charges. Then Rathbone makes a well-meaning but reckless move that could ruin his career, his reputation, and his life.

Blind Justice presents a rich and lively panorama of London life, from the teeming Thames docks to the wealthy West End, while unfolding a magnificent courtroom drama. And while justice, law, and morality hang in the balance, Hester and Monk race to save their distinguished friend Rathbone from disgrace. The incomparable art of Anne Perry grips us fast until the final, unforgettable scene.


I really need to tank Kiyo Walsh for the wondrous gift of nearly every one of the Monk series.  What a gracious and wonderful gift.  Thank you again Kiyo!!

The end of the series!  I will miss Monk and Hester, Scruff and Rathbone.. They were true characters that always kept me hopping and always learning more of them privately, which I really enjoyed.

They are all easy reading but at the same time you are always in for twists, turns and surprises!!


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A Sunless Sea

A Sunless Sea by Anne Perry

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books;(August 28, 2012)
ISBN-10: 9780345510648


 

Amazon Review:

As commander of the River Police, Monk is accustomed to violent death, but the mutilated female body found on Limehouse Pier one chilly December morning moves him with horror and pity. The victim’s name is Zenia Gadney. Her waterfront neighbors can tell him little—only that the same unknown gentleman had visited her once a month for many years. She must be a prostitute, but—described as quiet and kempt—she doesn’t appear to be a fallen woman. 

What sinister secrets could have made poor Zenia worth killing? And why does the government keep interfering in Monk’s investigation? 


While the public cries out for blood, Monk, his spirited wife, Hester, and their brilliant barrister friend, Oliver Rathbone, search for answers. From dank waterfront alleys to London’s fabulously wealthy West End, the three trail an ice-blooded murderer toward the unbelievable, possibly unprovable truth—and ultimately engage their adversaries in an electric courtroom duel. But unless they can work a miracle, a monumental evil will go unpunished and an innocent person will hang. 


Anne Perry has never worn her literary colors with greater distinction than in A Sunless Sea, a heart-pounding novel of intrigue and suspense in which Monk is driven to make the hardest decision of his life.



Ok, so...  Anne Perry never lets up!  

This one started off a little slow.  But, as they say, not for long!  I think this book, so far, of the Monk series, has the longest trial of all her books.  I could be wrong, but I don't think so.  

As always there are twists and turns.. and occasionally even a wake up slap across the face!

Yet another good story, what can I say?  How she keeps coming up with these novels I will never know!!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Acceptable Loss

Acceptable Loss by Anne Perry.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books;(August 9, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0345510607



Amazon Review:

"Give her a good murder and a shameful social evil,"; The New York Times Book Review once declared, ";and Anne Perry can write a Victorian mystery that would make Dickens’s eyes pop."; And Perry’s new William and Hester Monk story, a mesmerizing masterpiece of innocence and evil on London’s docks, outshines all her previous novels in this successful and beloved series.When the body of a small-time crook named Mickey Parfitt washes up on the tide, no one grieves; far from it. But William Monk, commander of the River Police, is puzzled by the expensive silk cravat used to strangle Parfitt. How did this elegant scarf€”whose original owner was obviously a man of substance€”end up imbedded in the neck of a wharf rat who richly deserved his sordid end?Dockside informers lead Monk to what may be a partial answer€”a floating palace of corruption on the Thames managed by Parfitt, where a captive band of half-starved boys

Ok.. so I've pretty much really liked all the Monk series that I've read.  A few are outstanding.. this is one of them !

Children's lives in the balance if Monk fails.  Friendships are tested to the highest degree. Hester once again "invades" the land of the detectives to help Monk. And Scruff, the 9 yr old orphan who lives on the streets finds himself caring more  for Hester and Monk.
A lot of the story is in the courts, which I thought would be boring... but , by no means was it!

If you've read some of the Monk books I'd advise you find this one if you haven't read it yet.

Sunday, April 07, 2019

John Muir: Wilderness Essays

John Muir: Wilderness Essays. by John Muir.

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Gibbs Smith;(April 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1423607120


 

Part of John Muir's appeal to modern readers is that he not only explored the American West and wrote about its beauties but also fought for their preservation. His successes dot the landscape and are evident in all the natural features that bear his name: forests, lakes, trails, and glaciers. Here collected are some of Muir's finest wilderness essays, ranging in subject matter from Alaska to Yellowstone, from Oregon to the High Sierra.This book is part of a series that celebrates the tradition of literary naturalists―writers who embrace the natural world as the setting for some of our most euphoric and serious experiences. These books map the intimate connections between the human and the natural world. Literary naturalists transcend political boundaries, social concerns, and historical milieus; they speak for what Henry Beston called the “other nations” of the planet. Their message acquires more weight and urgency as wild places become increasingly scarce.

From the Publisher

john muir
John Muir, Father of the National Parks
Millions have read his books. Did he know the impact he would have with his ecological musings? Known as the 'Father of the National Parks,' his letters, books, and essays about nature are priceless. Read this wonderful edition, part of the Gibbs Smith Publisher series of literary naturalists.
  • Inspirational reading for those who love the outdoors
  • Convenient trim size for traveling and adventures
  • Beautiful cover illustrations
  • Read outside!
There's not much I can say about John Muir. He was a true lover of all nature and never could explore it enough.. 

Here is  a piece of his Wilderness Essays when talking about Yellowstone..:

"In these natural laboratories one needs stout faith to feel at ease. The ground sounds hollow underfoot, and the awful subterranean thunder shakes one's mine as the ground is shaken, especially at night in the pale moonlight , or when the sky is overcast with storm clouds. In the solemn gloom, the geysers, dimly visible, look like monstrous dancing ghosts, and their wild songs, and the earthquake thunder replying to the storms overhead seem doubly terrible, as if a divine government were at an end. But the trembling hills keep their places. The sky clears, the rosy dawn is reassuring, and up comes the sun like a God, pouring his faithful beams across the mountains and forest, lighting each peak and tree and ghastly geyser alike, and shining into the eyes of the reeking springs,  clothing them with rainbow light, and dissolving the seeming chaos of darkness into varied forms of harmony. The ordinary work of the world goes on. Gladly we see the flies dancing in the sunbeams, birds feeding their young, squirrels gathering nuts and hear the  blessed ouzel (a bird that resembles the blackbird) singing confidingly  in the shallows of the river,... most faithful  evangel, calming every fear, reducing everything to love." 



My special thanks to Cath (Sis) for sending me this book... It's a "keeper"!!!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Execution Dock

Execution Dock by Anne Perry.

Series: William Monk Novels
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 24, 2009)
ISBN-10: 9780345469335


 


Amazon Review:
Readers of Anne Perry’s bestselling William Monk novels feel as if they’ve experienced the many shades of Victorian London, from Belgravia to Limehouse, from drawing room to brothel. In Execution Dock, Perry’s first Monk novel in three years, we find ourselves on the bustling docks along the River Thames. Here the empire’s great merchant ships unload the treasures of the world. And here, in dank and sinister alleys, sex merchants ply their lucrative trade.

The dreaded kingpin of this dark realm is Jericho Phillips. On his floating brothel, sex slaves are forced to endure unspeakable acts. Now one such soul, thirteen-year-old Fig, is found with his throat cut, his tortured body tossed into the river.

Commander William Monk of the River Police swears that Phillips will hang for this abomination. But the miscreant is as wily as he is monstrous, and his wealthy clients seem far beyond the reach of the law. Monk’s attempt to bring about justice becomes the first electrifying episode in a nightmare that will test his courage and integrity.

However, reinforcements are on the way. Monk’s wife, Hester, who runs a free clinic for abused women, draws a highly unusual guerrilla force to her husband’s cause–a canny ratcatcher, a retired brothel keeper, a fearless street urchin, and a rebellious society lady. To one as criminally minded as Phillips, these folks are mere mosquitoes, to be sure. But as he will soon discover, some mosquitoes can have a deadly sting.

This gripping, terrifying story hurtles toward to a denouement that will leave the reader breathless but cheering. Execution Dock is Anne Perry at her incomparable, magnificent best.


Oh boy! This one was really a fast mover !  All of the Monk books have been good.. but this one was better than good! Hard book to put down!  I really can't say more... it's one I would recommend if you read any of Anne Perry, don't miss this one! (Thank you Kiyo!)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir

A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir by Donald Worster.

Hardcover: 544 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press(October 21, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0195166825



Amazon Review:

"I am hopelessly and forever a mountaineer," John Muir wrote. "Civilization and fever and all the morbidness that has been hooted at me has not dimmed my glacial eye, and I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature's loveliness. My own special self is nothing."

In Donald Worster's magisterial biography, John Muir's "special self" is fully explored as is his extraordinary ability, then and now, to get others to see the sacred beauty of the natural world. A Passion for Nature is the most complete account of the great conservationist and founder of the Sierra Club ever written. It is the first to be based on Muir's full private correspondence and to meet modern scholarly standards. Yet it is also full of rich detail and personal anecdote, uncovering the complex inner life behind the legend of the solitary mountain man. It traces Muir from his boyhood in Scotland and frontier Wisconsin to his adult life in California right after the Civil War up to his death on the eve of World War I. It explores his marriage and family life, his relationship with his abusive father, his many friendships with the humble and famous (including Theodore Roosevelt and Ralph Waldo Emerson), and his role in founding the modern American conservation movement. Inspired by Muir's passion for the wilderness, Americans created a long and stunning list of national parks and wilderness areas, Yosemite most prominent among them. Yet the book also describes a Muir who was a successful fruit-grower, a talented scientist and world-traveler, a doting father and husband, a self-made man of wealth and political influence. A man for whom mountaineering was "a pathway to revelation and worship."

For anyone wishing to more fully understand America's first great environmentalist, and the enormous influence he still exerts today, Donald Worster's biography offers a wealth of insight into the passionate nature of a man whose passion for nature remains unsurpassed.


Well this took me a while to finish! But finish it I did!  I love John Muir, his quotes, and his life.  I never knew he was born and raised in Scotland... the man who helped save most of our National Parks!  There was, most likely, no person ever who saw nature the was he did.  I know I feel it, ever so slightly compared to him, whenever I am in the mountains and under the trees.  The peace.  All other life just drifts away.  It really is a feeling you wish you could keep and never have to go back to "the other life".

Eventually, I hope to get at least two small books that are written by Muir about his walks into the wilderness.

There is however a bit of politics of the time in this book also.  There were some parts a bit long or not as interesting as others.. but I am glad I read the story of his life.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Silence for the Dead

Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James.

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Berkley (April 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0451419480



Amazon Review..

“Portis House emerged from the fog as we approached, showing itself slowly as a long, low shadow....” 

In 1919, Kitty Weekes, pretty, resourceful, and on the run, falsifies her background to obtain a nursing position at Portis House, a remote hospital for soldiers left shell-shocked by the horrors of the Great War. Hiding the shame of their mental instability in what was once a magnificent private estate, the patients suffer from nervous attacks and tormenting dreams. But something more is going on at Portis House—its plaster is crumbling, its plumbing makes eerie noises, and strange breaths of cold waft through the empty rooms. It’s known that the former occupants left abruptly, but where did they go? And why do the patients all seem to share the same nightmare, one so horrific that they dare not speak of it? 


Kitty finds a dangerous ally in Jack Yates, an inmate who may be a war hero, a madman… or maybe both. But even as Kitty and Jack create a secret, intimate alliance to uncover the truth, disturbing revelations suggest the presence of powerful spectral forces. And when a medical catastrophe leaves them even more isolated, they must battle the menace on their own, caught in the heart of a mystery that could destroy them both.


This is the 4th book that I've read by Simone St. James!  The Haunting of Maddy Clare, Lost Among the Living and The Broken Girls are the other 3.

The book moves right along so it's easy to keep picking it up. (I had company for a week so I didn't read during that time) It's written so you think you know some answers but they usually aren't as it seems. Although this wasn't a "detective" book,  I enjoyed it very much.

Recommended along with her other books! (Not a series with all the same characters).