#NetGalley #BookReview Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun, A Novel by Elle Cosimano #Mystery #Humour

Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun

(Finlay Donovan #3)

by Elle Cosimano

Release date: January 31st, 2023 

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun, A Novel, by Elle Cosimano from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press /Minotaur Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

This book has it all a thrilling twisted mystery, romance, and a lot of laughter that will keep the reader entertained to the very last page….

Lucy & Ethel meet Thelma & Louise in this third entry of Elle Cosimano’s Finlay Donovan series. Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun picks up where book two leaves off with Finlay and her nanny/accountant, Vero, up to their necks in trouble whilst trying to discover the identity of a person who has been blackmailing an incarcerated Russian mob boss awaiting trial. The blackmailer who goes by the online handle of EasyClean is threatening to produce evidence that will put the mob boss away for good.

Due to events from previous books this mobster has leverage on both Finlay and Vero and threatens to expose them if they do not uncover EasyClean’s real identity. EasyClean is already on Finlay’s radar after he/she attempted to kill Finlay’s ex-husband, but also injured Nick, the police detective in charge of the case and someone Finlay has grown quite fond of. Currently Finlay’s life is a mess, she’s split from her lawyer boyfriend, she has a brutal case of writer’s block despite a looming deadline, her ex-husband is keen to reconcile, and Vero owes money to some bad people who are looking to collect. When offered a chance to do some research for her book at a week-long Citizen’s Police Academy they both jump at the opportunity to have a safe haven until they get to the truth.

Both Finlay and Vero are convinced EasyClean is a current or former police officer so they are sure they can kill two birds with one stone attending the program. The pressure is on to uncover the identity of EasyClean before they are exposed or worse…. killed. When the detective in charge of the academy is none other than Nick the stakes rise even higher. Add in murder, mayhem, a sneaky ex-husband, plenty of suspects as well as a blossoming romance and Finlay’s week gets even more complicated. 

Another fast-paced, action packed, humorous and quirky mystery that we’ve come to enjoy in this series, like the previous two books, this one also ends with a cliffhanger suggesting more adventures in Finlay’s future.

This book has it all a thrilling twisted mystery, romance, and a lot of laughter that will keep the reader entertained to the very last page. My only complaint is sometimes there was too much happening at once that left it feeling somewhat overwhelming at times, but overall, I really enjoyed the book and I definitely recommend it.

#NetGalley #BookReview~The Twyford Code: A Novel by Janice Hallett #Mystery

Review

The Twyford Code

A Novel

by Janice Hallett

Release date: January 24th, 2023

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Twyford Code: A Novel by Janice Hallett from NetGalley and Atria Books in order to read and give an honest review.

… if you are interested in an incredibly unique and engaging, character-driven story I would definitely recommend The Twyford Code…

Remembering back, it all started when Steve found a mysterious children’s book on a bus one day by disgraced author Edith Twyford. Hoping to sell it to get some desperately needed food, he is disappointed when his teacher Miss Iles confiscates it and reads the banned book to the class. Obsessed with it herself, Miss Iles believes that Twyford’s series of six books held secret hidden codes which would lead to hidden treasure. So obsessed that Ms. Iles takes a small group of five students on a trip to Twyford’s residence to search for more clues. When Ms. Iles disappears and the students are mysteriously dropped off at school the next morning, whatever happened traumatized Steve and he cannot remember the events of that night.

In the present, to move on with his life, Steve is convinced he must learn what really happened to his teacher on that day. Talking with his old classmates and with the help of a young local librarian, Lucy, he sets out to solve Twyford’s mysterious code to learn why his beloved teacher disappeared and to finally be able to put the past behind him.

Although confusing at times because of the phonetic approach to the text i.e., “mustard” is “must have” etc. the story itself is incredibly compelling. Through the recordings we learn of the loss of Steve’s parents, the difficulty his older brother Colin had keeping them together and his descent into crime with an organized crime family with whom he found a sense of belonging. Steve, although a criminal, elicits sympathy as he has a sense of loyalty to those he loves even if it is often misplaced.

Through the recordings we learn more about Steve’s tragic past, the Twyford code, WWII espionage, hidden gold and the danger that can arise from those who wish to find it at all costs. When he and Lucy go missing Steve’s son takes over, trying to piece together the transcripts to learn what happened to his estranged father. The more he delves into the story, he learns more than he bargained for about his father.

Although at times frustrating to read it is incredibly engaging, if you are interested in an incredibly unique and engaging, character-driven story I would definitely recommend The Twyford Code!

NetGalley #BookReview of City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita #Crime #Mystery #Alaska

 

 

City Under One Roof

by Iris Yamashita

 

Release date: January 10th, 2023

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita from Net Galley & Berkley Publishing Group in order to read and give an honest review.

… Very atmospheric with a cast of quirky dynamic characters, and a twisty plot, this book, definitely unique …

Local teenager Amy Lin discovers a severed hand and foot washed up on the shore of the small isolated Alaskan town of Point Mettier When the description of the crime scene piques the interest of Anchorage detective Cara Kennedy, she makes the trip to the isolated Point Mettier to investigate. While investigating, along with local police Chief Shipley and his partner officer Joe Barkowski a.k.a. J. B, Cara uncovers the head of the deceased buried in the stall belonging to long-term townie Lonnie and her pet moose, Lonnie becomes a suspect in Cara’s eyes. Lonnie whose bizarre ramblings quickly suggest that she is innocent meaning the killer is still on the loose in Point Mettier.

Point Mettier becomes a character in itself. Eerily similar to the real town of Whittier, Alaska, a former military outpost where all the town residents and shopkeepers live and work under one roof, Port Mettier and the building called Dave-Co. amp up the atmosphere in this book. Dave-co an apartment complex that contains a network of underground tunnels, a B & B, grocery store, post office, Chinese restaurant, church, hospital, and police station (including cells) residents rarely get outside. The town so isolated is perfect for those residents who are hiding from something or someone and the only way in or out of the town is a one lane tunnel that is notorious for closing in inclement weather.

Cara, battling demons of her own after the death of her son and husband is already on shaky ground the best of days but when the tunnel is closed due to a storm, she finds herself stranded in the building, an outsider, along with the rest of the 200+ town residents including a murderer. When a gang from a neighboring town arrives with semi-automatics, another layer is uncovered, one that has residents barricading their doors and Cara on further on the edge.

A decent novel debut from author Iris Yamashita Academy Award nominated writer for the movie Letters from Iwo Jima. Very atmospheric with a cast of quirky dynamic characters, and a twisty plot, this book, definitely unique in itself, might attract fans of movies such as Fargo or Twin Peaks. Although slow to get into and I felt certain things were not really addressed or wrapped up, its ending suggests a sequel is in the works. City Under One Roof is a quirky and atmospheric read that I really enjoyed, and would definitely recommend. Look forward to reading more about Cara Kennedy and the Dave-Co residents’ stories.

#NetGalley #BookReview ~ Write for Life ~ Creative Tools for Every Writer (A 6-Week Artist’s Way Program) by Julia Cameron #Writing #Creativity #Inspiration 

Review

Write for Life

Creative Tools for Every Writer (A 6-Week Artist’s Way Program)

by Julia Cameron

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Write for Life ~Creative Tools for Every Writer (A 6-Week Artist’s Way Program) by Julia Cameron from Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press in order to read and give an honest review.

…Inspiring and optimistic to writers or creatives at any stage, Write for Life is a nudge to honor your creative self by flexing your creative muscles daily…

Over three decades ago Julia Cameron first published “The Artists Way,” and I must admit I still find her books a source of inspiration. I was introduced to the author’s work in my late twenties when on a mission to get back that creative passion I once had. Over the decades, my copy has been read and re-read leaving it with dog-eared pages and a rickety spine, but I still turn to it when I find myself drifting from my creative self. Like her many other books since, Write for Life is an updated and perhaps more writing focused book. The author Julia Cameron, now in her seventies, is still a productive, and prolific writer with over fifty years of writing under her belt and has had an incredibly successful career by using the tools she introduced us to in the Artist’s Way.

There is nothing earth shatteringly new in Write for Life but there is a little more wisdom and thought in this book. She has carved out a long-lasting and successful career and as many of us find, with age we learn to weed out what works and what does not, often tweaking our processes until they fit for us and whatever changes our lives bring. Her focus here is more inspirational, she has practiced what she preaches and her discipline in inspiring and it confirms that you need to show up for your creative self every day. This book, although it might feel repetitive to some, I think acts as a gentle reminder when sometimes we forget that like anything worth having in life our creativity needs our attention and dedication.

Inspiring and optimistic to writers or creatives at any stage, Write for Life is a nudge to honor your creative self by flexing your creative muscles daily. In a slump it came at a perfect time for me to re-establish this practice as it has worked for me in the past but this book acted as a reminder. If you are trying to reignite your spark this is the book I would highly recommend.

#NetGalley #BookReview The Game is a Footnote, (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #8) by Vicki Delany #Cozy #Mystery #CrookedLaneBooks 

The Game is a Footnote

A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #8

by Vicki Delany 

Release date: January 10th, 2023  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Game is a Footnote, (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #8) by Vicki Delany from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

… a well-written, cleverly plotted cozy mystery with a quirky cast of suspects, The Game is a Footnote is a fun fast paced read that I would highly recommend …  

In the eighth entry in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series, author Vicki Delaney does it again. In The Game is a Footnote we hear about the history of the local historical landmark “Scarlet House” in West London, Massachusetts. Gemma Doyle, Co-owner of The Sherlock Holmes Book store along with her Uncle Arthur is helping her best friend and co-owner of Hudson’s Tea Room Jayne Wilson, plan her wedding while enduring a dreary off-season winter in West London. When Jaynes mother Leslie Wilson a board member of The Historical Society who owns and operates the Scarlet House asks for Gemma’s help, she agrees to attend a special board meeting. At the board meeting, Gemma agrees and is once again dragged into mystery, murder, and intrigue. Asked to investigate and debunk odd happenings which others are convinced are supernatural in nature Gemma agrees to spend the night in the house with a few volunteers, board members and neighbors to track down the source of the disturbances. When an unexplained uproar in both the kitchen and barn wakes up the overnight crew and work the farm animals into a frenzy it is apparent something or someone is working behind the scenes. After the events of that night at an emergency board meeting Gemma tries to convince them that there must be human interference and a logical cause to the commotions, but the board is divided. After the meeting Jayne realizes that she has left her purse at the house and she and Gemma go to retrieve it. Unfortunately, they arrive to find the house is locked for the night but notice the barn door is open and the pigs are making a ruckus. When Gemma investigates, she stumbles across the dead body of board member Dave Chase. Gemma’s boyfriend, WLPD Detective, Ryan Ashburton and Gemma nemesis, his partner Detective Estrada, are on the case. When a former pop star has been suspiciously hanging around the shop along with the sudden unexplained disappearance of Ashleigh, Gemma’s number one employee, occurs all around the same time Gemma begins to wonder what is going on and feels compelled to get to the bottom of it despite warnings from Ryan and his partner Estrada. When Gemma’s spy sister, Pippa unexpectedly shows up on her doorstep on a business trip from England, she cannot help but wonder if there is more going on behind the scenes. Despite a strained relationship Gemma enlists Pippa’s help along with Gemma’s version of the irregulars to solve both the murder and the mysterious disappearance of Ashleigh.

Being a devoted fan of the series, this book did not disappoint me, a well-written, cleverly plotted cozy mystery with a quirky cast of suspects, The Game is a Footnote is a fun fast paced read that I would highly recommend. For fans of the author, I also appreciated her little nod to her other series, the Lighthouse Library Series she writes under the pen name of Eva Gates. Although not my favorite in the series it was still a solid entry filled with twists, turns and plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing to the very last chapter! 

#NetGalley #BookReview of River of Fallen Angels (#AVictorianMystery No.7) by Laura Joh Rowland #Historical #Mystery

River of Fallen Angels

A Victorian Mystery #7

by Laura Joh Rowland

 

 

Release date: January 10th, 2023

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of River of Fallen Angels A Victorian Mystery Book No.7 by Laura Joh Rowland from Net Galley & Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.

Rowland has written a cleverly crafted, compelling, gritty Victorian mystery with dynamic, vivid characters and a fast-paced intriguing plot

A fan of this series I have been lucky enough to read and review each book and it is definitely one of my favorites. The seventh entry in author Laura Joh Rowland’s Victorian Mystery series, River of Fallen Angels does not disappoint. When crime scene newspaper photographer Sarah Bain Bennett and her rag tag crew stumble across a gruesome find on the banks of the Thames they get more than they bargain for. The discovery of a female torso suggests that the serial killer dubbed “The Torso Killer” has returned. Sarah and her husband DS Thomas Bennett investigate with the help of Rowland’s usual cast of characters Mick, Hugh, and Sarah’s sister and reporter Sally. When conflicting theories emerge ranging from a barber and midwife to the leader of a religious cult, Sarah and Barrett butt heads putting their marriage and happiness on the line. Their nemesis Inspector Reid, as always, is out to ruin them for what he believes is them hiding evidence in his stalled Jack the Ripper case. Convinced that the Torso murderer and Jack the Ripper are one and the same, Reid pursues Sarah and her friends to finally solve the case and get the accolades he feels are long overdue. Only Sarah, Barrett, Hugh, and Mick know the truth about the Ripper (book one), and they have vowed to take it to their graves.  

As usual Rowland has written a cleverly crafted, compelling, gritty Victorian mystery with dynamic, vivid characters and a fast-paced intriguing plot.  Although not my favorite in the series it still had me turning pages and I look forward to reading more in this series. I highly recommend!  It would work as a stand-alone, however I really recommend reading the books in order. 

#NetGalley #BookReview Living in the Light: Yoga for Self-Realization by Deepak Chopra, MD and Sarah Platt-Finger #Yoga #Health #InnerPeace

Review

Living in the Light:

Yoga for Self-Realization

Deepak Chopra, MD and Sarah Platt-Finger

Release date: January 3rd, 2023

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Living in the Light Yoga for Self-Realization by Deepak Chopra, MD; Sarah Platt-Finger  from NetGalley and Rodale Inc. in order to read and give an honest review.

“….a wonderful life-changing and insightful book that brings light to your spiritual, emotional, and physical health, I highly recommend….

Living in the Light is a yoga book that offers a unique and comprehensive program based on Dr. Deepak Chopra and Sarah Platt-Finger’s teachings of Royal Yoga. Divided into two parts, the first part is an overview on living consciously or “living in the light” spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Featuring a six week program (M-F) focusing on the eight limbs (ashtanga) of yoga, each day focuses on explaining the lessons of each limb in detail. There are daily lessons, mantras, and exercises designed to help one embody the principle or theme of the day into their daily yoga practice. Dr. Chopra uses his wisdom and wonderful teaching skills to make even the most challenging concept easy to understand and incorporate into a daily practice.

The second part from Dr. Chopra’s Co-Author, Sarah Platt-Finger begins with overview of yoga fundamentals. The book then dives into detailed instruction of about fifty yoga poses each including photos depicting the proper form of each pose, the benefits and therapeutic applications associated with each pose as well as extremely helpful tips that are suitable for both beginners and experienced yoga practitioners alike.

Having had some experience with yoga I still was able to learn so much from this book. I honestly believe it will help me take my practice to the next level and launch a lifetime “in the light.” I have read the book from cover to cover, and this week began my weekly practice, following along with the book again. I look forward to following this practice and I am enjoying the journey so far. A wonderful life-changing and insightful book that brings light to your spiritual, emotional, and physical health, I highly recommend.



NetGalley #BookReview Death in the Margins (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #7) by Victoria Gilbert #Cozy #Mystery

Death in the Margins

Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #7

by Victoria Gilbert 

Release date: December 6th, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Death in the Margins (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #7) by Victoria Gilbert from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

… as always, the author penned a fast-paced mystery, with an abundance of twists and turns and a cast of unique and quirky characters. A fantastic and fun cozy mystery read which I definitely recommend. …  

Library director Amy Muir is back again this time supporting her famous dancer/choreographer, husband Richard with his new youth theatre production. Richard’s first step towards his dream of opening a program for youth. The Folklore Suite is due to open in a neighboring town and features in the lead role Richard’s struggling nasty ex-fiancée, Meredith Fox. Unfortunately, Meredith has managed to insult and alienate the rest of the cast and crew with her constant berating and horrible disposition.  
While preparing for opening night Amy volunteers to work behind the scenes to help Richard and his business partner Karla’s production runs smoothly. While going into the deep recesses of the theatre on break Amy does what she does best, she stumbles upon one of the young dancers, knife in hand, standing over Meredith’s dead body pleading he was trying to save her.  

While the neighboring town’s Sheriff’s Department who has authority, believes the young dancer is guilty Amy, Richard Karla and their hometown Sheriff Brad do not agree. Amy does what she always does and takes up the charge to prove his innocence. While investigating Amy puts herself in the crosshairs of the real killer and this time around, she has much more to lose. 
 
A fan of the series Death in the Margins is an excellent entry and as always, the author penned a fast-paced mystery, with an abundance of twists and turns and a cast of unique and quirky characters. A fantastic and fun cozy mystery read which I definitely recommend.

#NetGalley #BookReview Exit Interview an a.k.a. Jayne novel by Dana Cameron #Thriller #Adventure 

Exit Interview

(An a.k.a. Jayne novel)

by Dana Cameron

Release date: December 6th, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Exit Interview an a.k.a. Jayne novel by Dana Cameron from NetGalley , DCLE Publishing LLC in order to read and give an honest review.  

 A well-written, fast-paced, action-packed thriller that takes the reader on a journey like no other.

A huge fan of author, Dana Cameron’s Emma Fielding series her newest release does not disappoint. In this new series we get a feisty, fast paced thriller with three unique kickass women. 

The death of arms dealer Anton Kola in front of reporter Amy Lindstrom sets off a chain of events like no other. While attending a function hosted by the Kola’s Amy watches as Anton Kola drops dead at her feet after asking her to meet with him. When Amy is abducted after the event, her life is about to change for ever, especially when she learns that it is not her abductor she needs to worry about. Jayne Rogers, former agent of “the Department” was at the event and is set up to take the fall for Kola’s murder. On the run Jayne learns she is not only being sought after by the police but also being hunted by agents she once called colleagues. When Amy realizes she is also in the Department’s crosshairs it is safer to work with Jayne to ensure her safety and the safety of those she loved. When Jayne learns more about a deadly culling set to happen from her former colleague, tech wizard Nicole Bradley, they team up to stop the bloodshed in its tracks.  

 A well-written, fast-paced, action-packed thriller that takes the reader on a journey like no other. I loved the strong, smart, multifaceted, and diverse women all of whom drive the plot at a relentless pace. Although well-written I found the shifting POV’s took a while to get used to but then it worked with the overall plot. This is a bloody and violent novel so those who are expecting another Emma Fielding type novel, be warned. Despite the violence there are some touching and often funny moments in the story leading to an ending that really worked. I highly recommend giving it a read.

#NetGalley #BookReview of A Hard Day for a Hangover Sunshine Vicram #3 by Darynda Jones #Mystery #Romance #Humour

Book Review

A Hard Day for a Hangover

Sunshine Vicram #3

by Darynda Jones

 Release date: December 6th, 2022

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of A Hard Day for a Hangover, Sunshine Vicram #3, by Darynda Jones from Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press in order to read and give an honest review.

…This series has it all mystery, intrigue, family, drama, dark humour an incredibly quirky cast of characters, and a hot romance. It contained all “the feels” you look for in a good series, I laughed (a lot), cried, yelled, and even resorted to biting my fingernails lol….

The third and final book (sadly) in the Sunshine Vicram Series by Darynda Jones takes place just a few days after book two, A Good Day for Chardonnay. In my opinion, this book is not a stand-alone although the author does give a bit of backstory but not enough to really grasp the character’s history…and what a history it is.

Sheriff Sunshine Vicram’s life has been turned upside down since arriving at Del Sol New Mexico as has her teenage daughter Aurora aka Auri. In book two there were big revelations about Sunshine and Levi’s history but book three is where the questions about Sunshine’s past, the town’s secret society as well as the Ravinder family are all answered. Auri’s love interest Cruz is recovering from the events of Book Two and Deputy Quincy is trying to adjust to being a guardian.

Book three begins with Sunshine dealing with the aftermath of book two and trying to function with a huge hangover, desperately trying to catch her breath but that does not seem to be in the cards especially with a full day of cases and the sheriff’s office being commandeered by Randy the Racoon.

Sunshine has multiple cases to deal with, one being when Doug the harmless town flasher, is stabbed in the neck with a knitting needle, and he swears up and down a gang jumped him. The second call is a new case revolving around a young brutally assaulted Jane Doe is found discarded on the side of a cliff, clinging to life. When a pattern emerges, Sunshine realizes she might have a serial killer in Del Sol. When Auri, who has inherited her mother’s inquisitive and fiery disposition, remembers overhearing a conversation at school she believes she knows who the unresponsive victim might be. As usual Auri is determined to help her mom solve the case and does a bit of snooping herself ending up in the cross hairs of the killer.

Suffering from a hangover myself…a book hangover, I have to say I loved this series, and I am so sad that this is the end. I am hoping for Ms. Jones to take pity on her fans and shoot us a few more even in the form of a spin-off.

This series has it all mystery, intrigue, family, drama, dark humour, an incredibly quirky cast of characters, and a hot romance. It contained all “the feels” you look for in a good series, I laughed (a lot), cried, yelled, and even resorted to biting my fingernails lol. I read in almost every genre, but this series was just an incredibly fun read, it does however have dark humour, graphic sex and contains some triggers such as assault and in this book a mass shooting involving children. The only complaints I have are one, I wish there would have been an epilogue, just a bit more of Sunshine, Levi, Auri, and Cruz and two, I want MORE!!!!