Theme Music
July 29th, 2019 by diane92345

Twenty-five years ago Dixie’s entire family was murdered by her father with an axe. Her father then proceeded to cut his own throat leaving eighteen-month-old Dixie alive in her high chair. The Theme Music playing was Baby Blue by Badfinger, which is a break-up song about the singer’s girlfriend also called Dixie.

When the house where the tragedy occurs goes up for sale, Dixie buys it over her boyfriend’s objections. She then starts going crazy.

The prologue is fantastic. The rest of the book was bloody, violent, and grim. If you enjoy shock scares in a horror film (the killer jumps out from behind the shower curtain with an axe), this may appeal to you. It didn’t do much for me and seemed surprisingly boring in a “just get to the plot” type of way. I’ll give Theme Music 3 stars from me but your enjoyment may vary.

Thanks to Dutton Books and Edelweiss+ for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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

Gods of Jade and Shadow
July 28th, 2019 by diane92345

A mighty quest awaits young Casiopea when she links up with the Mayan god of death in Gods of Jade and Shadow.

Casiopea is an eighteen-year-old girl in rural Mexico in the 1920s. After bleeding on a bunch of bones in a chest, she awakens Hun-Kame, the Mayan god of death. They embark on a quest to retrieve the god’s missing bones and defeat his evil brother so he can take his rightful place as king of the underworld.

I adored this historical fiction fairy tale of quests, fate, and magical realism. If any of those themes resonate with you, pick up a copy of Gods of Jade and Shadow. You won’t be sorry. 4.5 stars!

Thanks to Del Rey and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Fantasy, New Books Tagged with: , ,

Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep
July 27th, 2019 by diane92345

Who wouldn’t want to help their favorite fictional characters escape from the books that entrap them? Even with the occasional blunder like the Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep, a villain from Dicken’s David Copperfield, being a summoner still sounds fun.

However, when Charley realizes he is not the only summoner in the world, he and his quite normal brother must fight the other to protect the world from its most famous literary villains.

While I don’t have a PhD in English Literature like the author, I enjoyed this romp through British classics. I recognized most of the literary characters—even if some were met in graphic novels based on famous books. The book only references older works so no need to worry about wishing Hannibal Lector upon the world. My favorite part of the Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep was the dynamics of the sibling rivalry and loyalty between the brothers. Overall, an excellent choice for Victorian book nerds and readers everywhere who would like to hang out with their favorite characters if only for an evening. 4 stars!

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

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

The Seekers
July 26th, 2019 by diane92345

“Miller Tavern has always had a reputation for being haunted. Very bad things happened here, homicidal crazy people…Serial killers before that was a thing.”—from The Seekers

Keri is a true crime writer hired to lend gravitas to a ghost hunter show called Truth Seekers. Carl, a young Hollywood A-lister, buys Miller Inn and Tavern. The tavern was the site of a brutal mass murder in 1926. Carl hopes the Truth Seekers will find evidence of ghosts to drive business to his inn. Instead, they find a brutally murdered FBI agent on a replica of the “torture table” in the inn’s basement.

The paranormal elements of the tale are used well to propel the plot forward. The romance between two of the characters along with their shared shock at their ability to see ghosts seems genuine. The history of Satanism and hexes was interesting too. My only complaint was my own fault. This is the 28th Krewe of Hunters novel but my first. I spent the first fifth of the book trying to keep the characters straight. The author appears to know this might become an issue by including a Cast of Characters at the beginning. However, many people were cast as walk-ons whose role didn’t warrant my memorizing their name and function. If I had read at least some of the previous entries in the series, this may not have been a problem.

If you like an atmospheric ghost story with some history, a small romance, and a slug of mystery, you will enjoy The Seekers. 4 stars!

Thanks to Harlequin, Mira, and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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

The Helpline
July 25th, 2019 by diane92345

Germaine is let go from her longtime job at an insurance company. Finding herself without many prospects at her age, she takes a job at The Helpline for local senior citizens.

Germaine loves numbers and is befuddled by people. While seeing herself as providing helpful input, others see her as blunt and tactless. She decides to assist the mayor in closing the local senior center to allow an expansion of his golf club. But Germaine soon changes her mind once she meets the senior rebels.

Unfortunately, despite being The Helpline’s core demographic of an older female, I never liked Germaine or the somewhat derivative plot. I did occasionally feel sorry for her being bullied without even catching on. The humor was missing for me too. Overall, not a good tale. Read the much better Eleanor Oliphant or any of the Rosie Project books. 2 stars.

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

Posted in New Books, Women's Fiction Tagged with: ,

Good Girl, Bad Girl
July 24th, 2019 by diane92345

Good Girl, Bad Girl? Which one is Evie?

Evie is known in the press as Angel Face. As a young girl, she is found in a hidden room with a man long dead after being tortured. Evie claims to not remember anything from her former life—not even her name or age.

Cyrus is a police psychologist. He is also the survivor of the brutal murder of his family by his older brother. He volunteers to help Evie get out of her group home. In the meantime, Cyrus is working the case of a young ice skater, assaulted and killed on a dark public path on Guy Fawkes Night.

A slow simmer of a novel, Good Girl, Bad Girl has a multitude of plot threads. All are expertly wound up by the conclusion. Both Cyrus and Evie are unusual characters that you want the best for but fear the worst. The thrilling ending is the best of 2019 so far. 4 stars!

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

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with:

A Stranger on the Beach
July 23rd, 2019 by diane92345

Caroline Stark’s storybook life began to fall apart the night after she met a Stranger on the Beach.

Caroline’s daughter, Hannah, is off to college leaving her alone at their swanky beach house. Jason, her husband of twenty years, is cheating on her and asks for a divorce. To get even, Caroline goes to bed with local bartender Aidan, who is sixteen years her junior.

Aidan is gorgeous but has been in trouble earlier in his life. His family once owned a bungalow on the land where Caroline’s house now stands. He is obsessed with getting it back in his family. Can he achieve his dream by wooing Caroline?

Personal relationships and family drama drive Stranger on the Beach down its twisty path to a surprising conclusion. This book is a good domestic thriller with a few sexy moments thrown in. Most thriller readers will enjoy it. 3.5 stars!

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

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with:

Stiletto Vol 1
July 22nd, 2019 by diane92345

Enzo and Pascal had an easy night planned. Protecting a witness in a secret hotel room is the safest job for a cop, right? True, until both cops are killed and the witness is taken in Stiletto Vol 1.

Who knew where the witness was hidden? Only other cops.

Detectives Maynard and Alphonse are enlisted to find the cop killers, and the witness, within twenty-four hours or Internal Affairs will take over the case. They also pursue the crime syndicate’s mole in the police force called Stiletto.

I enjoyed the plot. As the author states in his note at the end, it is clearly based on American movies from the 60s and 70s like the French Connection and Bullitt. The story is twisty and full of surprises! The art is very dim and has a noir feel, which is perfect for a crime thriller. There is a brief section at the end describing the writer/artist’s process to create Stiletto Vol 1. The setting feels like any Eastern American city but the author is actually Danish who based some of characters on people seen during his Paris vacation.

Readers who like crime thrillers or graphic novels will enjoy Stiletto Vol 1. 3.5 stars!

Thanks to Lion Forge and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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