Nothing to Hide
May 5th, 2019 by diane92345

FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid is working with County Investigator Jerry Walker on a serial killer case in Nothing to Hide. Unfortunately, Jerry has a distrust of FBI psychological profiles due to an earlier case.

The victims seem to have nothing in common besides being male, under 40 and married. The murder method is identical. Each victim stops while driving home at night, is tased, beaten including crushed hands, and finally shot in the head. The entire crime takes less than five minutes.

Concurrently, Lucy’s stepson, Jesse, is sucked into a situation while trying to help a friend. To resolve this issue, Lucy and her husband Sean must improve their communication and parenting skills.

I love police procedurals. I enjoyed the interactions between skeptical Jerry and thinker Lucy while they were investigating the serial killer case. However, my interest was not held by the family drama portion of the book. This issue was probably caused by my lack of reading any earlier entry in this now fifteen book series.

For series readers, Nothing to Hide probably will rate 4.5 stars. For others, who like me are jumping in here, this book rates 3.5 stars. It is definitely worth reading for the twisty mystery of the killer’s identity and motive. The writing style is fluid. The characters are well-written. Overall, the book rates 4 stars.

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

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

Me, Myself & Ideas
May 3rd, 2019 by diane92345

Whether you are trying to think up the perfect plot for your great American novel, create a new business, or energize an existing business with a new product or marketing plan, Me, Myself & Ideas can help.

Brainstorming is usually done in a group. But what if there is only you in the room? The authors have modified traditional brainstorming ideas so they can be performed by one person. They begin with breakouts and icebreakers to warm up your brain. But the meat of the book is in the brainstorming exercises themselves. Divided into methods using art, English, drama, and science as their muse, it is likely that at least one or two types will work for each reader.

There is nothing really new presented here. However, the style and humor in the book are a welcome addition to the surprisingly dry academic books on creativity. Years ago, I took a Master’s level Creativity Class that was my favorite MBA course. It presented these same ideas (i.e., mind maps and new ways of seeing old ideas). These methods work!

If you want to up your creativity with some pizazz, Me, Myself & Ideas is a good way to do it. Just a head’s up, I wouldn’t read this book from front to back. Stop and do some of the ideas as you read. 4 stars!

Thanks to Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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

The Invited
May 2nd, 2019 by diane92345

The Invited is a ghost story of multigenerational family drama rather the mystery I expected.

Helen and Nate decide to quit their teaching jobs and move to rural Vermont. They buy a large parcel of land and begin building their house. The land includes a bog where a suspected witch, Hattie, was hanged ninety-one years earlier. Hattie had told her twelve year old daughter, Jane, to hide in their house’s root cellar until she came back, which now she would never do.

Fourteen year old Olive lives next to Nate and Helen. Ostracized by the town, she wants the new neighbors to go back to the city. Olive is also haunted by her mother’s disappearance one year earlier.

The Invited has many plot threads that are conveniently, maybe too conveniently, wrapped up by the end of the book. While there are mysteries here, the book is really a ghost story that includes many characters that have precognition. If you are in the mood for an atmospheric ghost story, this book is a good choice. However, the mystery’s solution is easily guessed. 3 stars.

Thanks to Doubleday Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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

Little Darlings
April 30th, 2019 by diane92345

Little Darlings is an unusual mix of dark fairy tale and thriller. It is a enthralling ride down a rabbit hole where anything is possible.

In olden days, people believed that witches took newborn babies. Sometimes they exchanged them for demons who looked exactly the same as the newborns, but behaved differently. The witches particularly liked twins.

Lauren has twin boys that only she can tell apart. While still recovering from the birth, Lauren gets a visit from an old woman. The crone wants to trade for one of the newborn. If Lauren doesn’t agree, she threatens to take them both. When Lauren calls the police, they don’t believe her. Only one Sergeant, who has her own issues with babies, believes her enough to investigate. When Lauren sees the witch hiding across the street from her house, but no one else sees her, even Lauren begins to question her sanity.

Little Darlings is an atmospheric read. Multiple times I changed my mind from believing to disbelieving Lauren and vice versa. If you want a bit of paranormal horror mixed into your thriller, this book is a great choice. 4 stars!

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

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

Antiques Ravin
April 29th, 2019 by diane92345

Antiques Ravin’ is a humorous cozy mystery with unique characters.

Meet Brandy and her mother, Vivian. Vivian was elected County Sheriff in the preceding series entry when everyone else running was disqualified. Vivian has a revoked driver’s license for driving while not under the influence—of her bipolar medicine—so Brandy is her unpaid chauffeur.

Sheriff Vivian is called to the nearby town of Antiqua to investigate a series of burglaries. The surprising part is that nothing was stolen from the five antique stores. Was the burglar looking for the Poe prize? Part of an annual hunt for one valuable item tagged for a ridiculously low amount among all the town’s antique stores. The hunt begins tomorrow during the town’s Edgar Allen Poe Days celebration. When someone is murdered in the style of a famous Poe story, the story moves forward quickly.

Antiques Ravin’ is the thirteenth book in this series but my first. It is fine read as a standalone. I like the humor and the eccentric characters. However, my favorite part was that this book seems violent enough to almost be a thriller. Most cozy mysteries avoid violence but I think a bit is a welcome change. If you agree, this series will be a great addition to your cozy collection. 4 stars!

Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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