Category: New Books

Run Away
March 19th, 2019 by diane92345

Simon is trying to find his heroin-addicted daughter, Paige. When he finds her, she is high and busking for change in Central Park. When he tries to talk to her, she runs away. Her boyfriend Aaron steps in to prevent Simon from catching her leading Simon to punch him in the face. The story goes viral and Simon is arrested. Thus begins Run Away, the convoluted latest thriller by Harlan Coben.

There is a lot of plot in here. I don’t want to describe it because the surprising twists are the best part of this thriller. Take my word for it, if you like twisty thrillers, you will enjoy Run Away. I took away one star because I figured out the climatic twist chapters before it appeared. 4 stars!

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

A Beautiful Corpse
March 19th, 2019 by diane92345

The victim, a 24-year-old law student and part-time bartender, is A Beautiful Corpse in the second entry in the Harper McClain series.

Harper is a newspaper crime reporter working the night shift. She is covering a murder in the tourist area of Savannah when she thinks the victim looks familiar. Harper had just seen the victim, Naomi, a couple of hours earlier working in The Library Bar.

The police have three suspects:

  • Naomi’s boyfriend, who has a criminal record and no alibi
  • Her stalker, the District Attorney’s son, with a solid alibi
  • Naomi’s boss, who had a run in with another young female employee two years ago and has no alibi.

Harper is investigating for her newspaper but she also disagrees with the person the police suspect. As she investigates, she is also battling a stalker who may or may not want to help her with the case.

Even though this is the second book in this series, it can be read as a stand-alone. When you begin A Beautiful Corpse make sure you have enough time to finish it in one sitting.  I literally couldn’t put it down. I was reading it on my Kindle and I bought the audiobook so I could listen to it on my drive to and from work. That’s how addicting this book was. I loved the innovative point-of-view of an investigative reporter doing basically police procedures because the police don’t or won’t. Harper is a great character and I was extremely invested in her success both with the case, her job and her love life. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. 5 stars!

Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Diane's Favorites, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

Perfect Alibi
March 16th, 2019 by diane92345

A college athlete is convicted of rape based on his DNA. However, he has the Perfect Alibi when a second victim is also linked to his DNA while he is in prison. With a new attorney, he is set for a new trial and let out on bail.

Robin Lockwood is the first victim’s civil lawyer. The victim is convinced that the rapist is stalking her. In a parallel case, Robin is defending a person accused of murder by pleading self-defense.

I always love a fast-paced, twisty legal thriller and the Perfect Alibi is no exception.  Be aware you have to pay attention to keep up with all the clues and plots within this intriguing book. If you like suspenseful legal thrillers, you will also enjoy this book. 3.5 stars!

Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

Between the Lies
March 15th, 2019 by diane92345

A romantic suspense tale wrapped in a psychological thriller, Between the Lies takes the domestic thriller in a new direction.

Chloe awakens after being in a coma for over a month. She had a severe head injury after surviving a car accident. Amnesia prevents her from remembering the accident and everything before it.

After leaving the hospital, she moves in with her family. Her father, an award-winning psychiatrist, tries to help her recover her memories. However, all it does is give her nightmares about a young boy, a rainy night, and a car crash into trees. Her family is evasive when questioned about the boy. Chloe vows to discover what really happened that night.

The twists are frequent in Between the Lies. All are fairly foreshadowed allowing amateur detectives to solve the mystery before Chloe. This book is recommended for fans of Nora Roberts and Alice Feeney. 4 stars!

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with:

And Then You Were Gone
March 15th, 2019 by diane92345

And Then You Were Gone is an innovative psychological thriller that includes an inside look at mental illness.

Emily is a child psychologist. Paolo is an epidemiologist. They decide to take a weekend vacation on a rental boat. Paolo is an experienced boat captain and swimmer. Emily cannot swim. She takes anti-anxiety medicine for her fear of water. She is also bipolar.

Emily and Paolo anchor the boat in a remote part of the lake and drink a couple bottles of wine. The next morning Emily is hungover and Paolo is nowhere to be found. Soon, Emily is the number one suspect.

I love the flawed character of Emily. Her anxiety and bipolar diagnosis are innovative and elevate the plot. Her drunken blackout the night of the disappearance makes her an unreliable narrator.

And Then You Were Gone is highly recommended for fans of psychological thrillers looking for something different. It is a twisty ride! 4 stars.

15Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with:

Death by Dog Show
March 14th, 2019 by diane92345

Death by Dog Show is a cozy mystery set in a dog show that, unfortunately, disappointed this reader.

Perri Morgan sells leather pet products and attends the Big E Dog Show with her friend Babette, who has a dog in the show, to further her business. The first night, Perri and her journalist boyfriend, Pruett, find a body.  Despite the local police telling her not to investigate, Perri can’t resist.

I found some serious issues with this book:

  • I love dog shows on television and have watched many over the years. Therefore, I know that Best in Show is the last event. The prior events are based on dog group (i.e.; sporting group) and then the winners of the groups go on to the Best in Show event.
  • The names of the characters are silly. Wing, Roar and Alf being the worst examples. These are people’s names—not dogs.
  • The character of Perri is not likeable at all. She is both arrogant and insecure plus she appears to be incredibly horny all the time despite having a boyfriend for the past year. Note that Death by Dog Show has more sexual content than most cozies so if you are not into that, I would recommend giving this a pass.
  • The worst part was that the murderer was obvious from the beginning but we still had to continue reading to confirm what we already knew. There are no surprise twists here.

I believe this is this author’s debut book but I wouldn’t read anything else by her. Overall, I would give Death by Dog Show 2 stars.

Thanks to Lyrical Underground and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

All the Wrong Places
March 14th, 2019 by diane92345

Four women look for love in All the Wrong Places and one ends up trapped by a serial killer.

Paige is having a bad few months. First, she loses her high-profile advertising job. Then she catches her cousin Heather, who has always copied her life choices, in bed with her boyfriend. To save money, Paige moves in with her seventy-year-old widowed mother, Joan. Paige’s best friend, Chloe, gets an anonymous tip and discovers her husband has recently set up profiles on several online dating sites.

All four woman decide to join Match Sticks to find new men. One is shown trapped by a serial killer in his apartment as the book opens. But which one?

All the Wrong Places balances a serial killer thriller plot with an excellent chick lit tale. It even has a bit of comic relief with hapless Heather. The mixture somehow works well making this a 4 star read!

Thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books, Romance Tagged with: ,

String City
March 13th, 2019 by diane92345

String City is where the universe’s different strings come together. Oh, mythological creatures like Zeus, monsters like cyclops and golems, and all manner of strangeness live there too. A world full of infinite possibilities makes some strange bedfellows.

An unnamed private investigator is asked by the Titans to look into an explosion in their casino. He is a stringwalker, one who can move directly along the strings. However, the strings seem unsettled. Could it be the end times?

I wanted to love this as much as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. However, the explanation of string theory and how the world worked seemed overlong and overly complicated. However, if you are okay with extensive world building, you will like String City. The plot and character interactions are clever. 4 stars!

Thanks to Rebellion Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books, Science Fiction Tagged with:

Something Read Something Dead
March 13th, 2019 by diane92345

Lighthouse? Check. Library? Check. Library cat? Check. Wedding? Check. Amateur sleuth? Check. Murder? Of course, check. There is a little bit of everything cozy in Something Read, Something Dead.

Lucy is the assistant librarian at the Lighthouse Library in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She is helping her cousin Josie plan her nuptials with the two other bridesmaids, Stephanie and Grace. While they may not agree on the wedding colors, they do agree on this mantra: “small, simple, and perfect in every way.”

The mantra only lasts until Josie’s cousin, Mirabelle, and her grandmother, Gloria, appear. As Josie is her only granddaughter, Gloria insists on a more formal, and expensive, celebration. During the bridal shower at the library, Mirabelle sickens. After an ambulance ride to the hospital, she dies. Believing Mirabelle was poisoned, the police investigate. As Josie is the number one suspect, Lucy vows to clear her cousin’s name.

Some cozy series just feel like you’re catching up with old friends. The Lighthouse Mystery series gives that feeling to me. Do I care I guessed the murderer early in the book? No, because that’s not the main reason I read this series. Lucy, Steph, Josie and Aunt Ellen are genuine characters that I like to visit. I was disappointed that there were no gluten-free recipes included but after reading the book, it is easy to understand why. Overall, Something Read, Something Dead is an excellent way to pass an afternoon. 4 stars!

Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

A Dangerous Collaboration
March 12th, 2019 by diane92345

A Dangerous Collaboration between Veronica and Stoker’s brother, the Viscount, result in a much more gothic entry in the series.

Veronica Speedwell is not your typical Victorian woman. She doesn’t believe in marriage but does believe in male companionship. Veronica has a career as a lepidopterist, or butterfly researcher. She has a flirtatious relationship with her work partner, Stoker.

In Victorian London, Veronica Speedwell is leaving her partner, Stoker, behind to search for exotic butterflies on Madeira, a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean. Lady Cordelia agreed to travel with Veronica as a vacation of sorts.

When they return, Stoker’s brother has a task for Veronica to complete. The Viscount Tiberius asks Veronica to go with him and retrieve a rare butterfly’s larvae on St. Maddern’s Isle. On the way to the island, the Viscount states that their host on the island, Malcolm, is religious and they must pose as an engaged couple.

Once they arrive, Malcolm’s true motive becomes apparent. He wants them to solve the mystery of his bride’s disappearance three years earlier. To do so, they call on Stoker for help.

I adore this series. In, I missed the usual banter between Veronica and Stoker. I wasn’t feeling the Viscount’s flirtation. What happened to the bro code? I did enjoy the atmosphere on the island especially the gothic castle and its poison garden. All fans of the series must read A Dangerous Collaboration as it advances the overarching story plus it is great fun. 5 stars!

Thanks to Berkley Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

House on Fire
March 12th, 2019 by diane92345

In House on Fire, Leigh and Pete are returning home early from their fifth wedding anniversary trip when they get a call from Leigh’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Chrissy. She is calling from the police station, where her stepbrother, Pete’s eighteen-year-old son Kip, is in custody.

Kip was planning on spending the weekend with friends beginning with a party celebrating Kip’s acceptance into Duke University. After drinking and smoking a bit, Kip is surprised by Chrissy’s appearance at the gathering. She bicycled there after learning that their parents are returning home early in just a few minutes. Kip hadn’t pre-approved his weekend plans or borrowing his dad’s truck to get to the party so he desperately needed to get home before his parents.

Kip puts her bicycle in Kip’s dad’s truck and they drive home together. During the drive, they swerve off the road into a ditch and a tree while trying to avoid hitting a dog.

When the police arrive, they arrest Kip for driving under the influence. When Chrissy later dies, the charge of manslaughter is added. Kip changes his story and states that Chrissy was driving the night of the accident.

House on Fire was fantastic until the wave of amazing coincidences at the conclusion. Describing them would be a major spoiler. However, I can’t rate this book higher than 3 stars.

Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

Daisy Jones & the Six
March 11th, 2019 by diane92345

Daisy Jones & The Six is the best non-thriller that I have read this year!

Set in the turbulent late 1970s Sunset Boulevard band scene, The Six is a five member middle-of-road rock band who are effectively forced by their label to add a sexy new lead singer, Daisy Jones.  Daisy is a free spirit who dresses and acts without worrying about what others think. She is also stunningly beautiful and a drug addict. The Six’ singer, Billy, has recently returned from rehab and is determined to not relapse for his wife and newborn daughter’s sake.

Daisy Jones & The Six is compulsively readable.  I was late to work two out of the three days that I read it.  I just had to read the next interview. While not a traditional thriller, the book has a mystery: why did the band break up. However, it was the convincing character interactions that heightened my enjoyment of the book. All the characters seemed so real with genuine and frequently conflicting emotions driving their actions. I can’t recommend this Reese’s Book Club pick highly enough. 5 stars!

Thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Literary Fiction, New Books, Romance Tagged with: , ,

Beautiful Bad
March 10th, 2019 by diane92345

Beautiful Bad tells the story of Maddie and Ian’s relationship that ended in murder.

The story starts with a bang: a female calls 911, a child screams in the background and the call is abruptly cut off.  When police arrive, they find a large bloodstain on the open concept kitchen’s floor. From that scene, we are shown the story of Maddie and Ian’s relationship from the beginning through the day of the killing and forward.

Within Beautiful Bad, the day of the killing sections were fantastic. Unfortunately, you had to slog through a lot of details to get to them. While the end is twisty, it probably won’t be much of a surprise to experienced thriller readers. 3 stars.

Thanks to Park Row and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

Mastermind. Drugs. Empire. Murder. Betrayal.
March 9th, 2019 by diane92345

Mastermind. Drugs. Empire. Murder. Betrayal. The title really tells the entire story in a nutshell.

Paul Le Roux started out small with online prescription drug sales in the United States. Marijuana dispensaries still use his “doctors prescribe without seeing the patient” methods. Like most legitimate CEOs, Paul expanded his product line; in his case to weapons, cocaine, and meth. Who knew a nerdy programmer could be so business-oriented? His programming skills allowed him to develop an “unbreakable” encryption to keep his identity and location hidden.

Mastermind. Drugs. Empire. Murder. Betrayal. is true crime that reads like a thriller. Kudos to the author’s investigative journalism abilities for uncovering the entire complex story. However, the complexity made it a difficult read. There are so many characters that the author provides a list of the main ones in the beginning of the book. For true crime fans, this book is highly recommended. However, for thriller fans, be warned it is much more complicated than the typical thriller. 3.5 stars.

Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: ,

Chasing American Monsters
March 8th, 2019 by diane92345

Organized by state, Chasing American Monsters is a fine introduction to monsters found next door and across the United States.

With more than 250 monsters listed, this book is sure to have something to interest every monster fan. I didn’t know that the state I live in, California, has both evil gnomes and giant (six and a half feet long) cockroaches so expect some surprises.

While I liked the brief stories about the monsters, I didn’t see the value of the state overviews. Do I really need to know which state was the last to join the union or has the largest population? Also, I wish there were drawings of each monster rather than just one per state. Overall, Chasing American Monsters delivers on its promise to provide a brief overview of the most famous or unusual monsters in each state. However, fans of particular monsters will want to pick up more detailed books. 3 stars!

Thanks to Llewellyn Publications and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in New Books, Non-fiction, Paranormal Tagged with: ,

Drawn and Buttered
March 8th, 2019 by diane92345

The third Lobster Shack mystery, Drawn and Buttered, is another great cozy mystery. It’s Halloween in Mystic Bay Connecticut. A giant Lobzilla goes missing! Houses are broken into but nothing is taken! A witch is afoot! Someone is murdered (of course)!

Allie is out of her ankle cast but cannot yet resume her ballerina life. She continues to help her Aunt Gully at her business, the Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack, and solve murders in her spare time. This murder is no exception.

Though published in February, Drawn and Buttered is sure to get you in the mood for Halloween.  The setting, plots and sub-plots all revolve around a Halloween theme. The plot moves swiftly and the characters seem like family now. Plus who doesn’t enjoy picturing a three-foot long lobster in their heads! This book is highly recommended for all cozy fans. However, if you plan on reading the entire series, you should read them in order to avoid spoilers to earlier books. 4 stars!

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,