The Sentence is Death
June 4th, 2019 by diane92345

Richard Pryce is killed with an expensive wine bottle. The killer writes 182 in green paint on the wall. Those are not the most extraordinary points in The Sentence is Death.

Anthony Horowitz, the fictional writer, written by the real Anthony Horowitz, the author of this book, is working with freelance Detective Daniel Hawthorne again. Horowitz does have a contractual obligation for two more books of 80,000 words each. His attitude is to get the book done so he can go back to working on (the real British television show) Foyle’s War.

Back to the murder. Pryce is a celebrity divorce lawyer working on a 10 million pound settlement. His client’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Akira Anno, threatens to kill Pryce with a wine bottle loudly in a restaurant. Awkward for her when he is found dead by the same method less than 24 hours later.

The Sentence is Murder is another riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma from bestselling author Anthony Horowitz. All I can say is don’t piss the real Mr. Horowitz off. He can obviously plot a murder that no one will solve.

I went into this book looking for the most unlikely suspect who had opportunity. However, I failed to identify the murderer before either Hawthorne or fictional Horowitz. There are really three mysteries here. I feel slightly better because I was able to solve the two smaller ones. For anyone who enjoys mysteries especially golden age or older stories, you can’t go wrong picking this book up. It has no spoilers for the first in the series so they can be read in any order. Highly recommended with a rating of 5 stars! I can’t wait for the third in the planned trilogy.

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

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

Grow Your Own Herbs
June 2nd, 2019 by diane92345

For less than the price of one packet of fresh herbs or small jar of dried, you can have an entire year of them if you Grow Your Own Herbs.

A one-stop shop for all aspects of growing, storing, and using herbs. The book includes basic gardening skills, preserving methods, basic recipes such as butters and pastes, and herb-specific information. Some of the herbs described here can be grown on a sunny window while others grow into fifty foot trees.

The forty plus herbs included will be plenty for most households. All the common herbs like basil, oregano and cilantro are included. Here is the complete list.

Anise hyssop Mexican oregano
Basil Mexican tarragon
Bay laurel Mint
Black cumin Monarda
Calendula Nasturtium
Chervil Oregano
Chives Parsley
Cilantro Roman chamomile
Dill Rosemary
Fennel Saffron
French tarragon Sage
Garlic Salad burnet
German chamomile Scented geranium
Horseradish Sorrel
Lavender Stevia
Leaf celery Summer savory
Lemon balm Sweet marjoram
Lemongrass Thyme
Lemon verbena Viola
Lovage Winter savory

Each herb’s section includes at least one photo; growth zones; fully grown size; soil and watering requirements; planting, cultivation, harvesting and preserving methods; differences between variants; and tasting and cooking tips.

If you like herbs and want the freshest possible or to save money off store bought herbs, Grow Your Own Herbs is a great choice. 4 stars!

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

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

Limited Wish
June 1st, 2019 by diane92345

In Limited Wish, Mark is a busy sixteen-year-old. He is still playing Dungeons & Dragons with his high school buddies. However, now he is a freshman at Cambridge University. He is getting over a breakup and finding a new love. He is battling cancer. All while dealing with time travel, paradoxes, and, of course, saving the universe.

This book is set six months following its predecessor in the Impossible Times trilogy, One Word Kill (reviewed here). The author provides an in depth spoiler-filled synopsis of the prior book in this book’s prologue but the series is best read in order, if possible. If you read the prologue in this book, you will ruin all the surprises in the first book.

Admittedly, math is not my favorite subject despite having taken it through calculus in college. I also never took a physics class anywhere due to my previously mentioned aversion to math. I do like string theory, in theory at least, so the time traveling multiple universe plot was fine. However, the parallel universes did get a bit confusing as the plot was much more complex than One Word Kill. However, there is still some human emotion and humor on hand here too. Overall, Limited Wish is highly recommended for science, math and science fiction fans. For all of us just regular thriller readers, I give it 4 stars and again recommend reading One Word Kill first. Still, I can’t wait for the final book in this series, Dispel Illusion, out in November 2019!

Thanks to 47North and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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

Last Thing She Remembers
June 1st, 2019 by diane92345

The Last Thing She Remembers is being at the airport. She can’t remember how she got there or even her name. She has her suitcase but there is no indication in it of her name or destination. Luckily, she finds a train ticket home in her pocket.

When she arrives at the train’s destination, she recognizes her home. However, when she knocks on the door, a stranger answers. The house’s residents, married couple Tony and Laura, insist they have owned the house for a month. But the traveler knows the layout of the house so the couple call their doctor thinking she has amnesia. The doctor tells her to rest. As the hospital is full, she stays with Tony and Laura. To ensure the best experience, it is best if the rest of the plot is unknown.

The Last Thing She Remembers is extremely plot driven.  Character development is sacrificed a bit for the many twists and turns. Determining the final plot resolution is unlikely so this book would not be good for armchair detectives. However, the rollicking ride through one person’s life is great fun. As soon as I finished the shocking conclusion, I returned to the beginning to see if it was fair to the ending. And it was! I just didn’t see it during my initial reading. One off-topic comment, this book could only take place in England as no one will open a door to a stranger in California or most areas of the US. They certainly wouldn’t invite a stranger to spend a few days in their house. Overall, it’s a good thriller read especially for readers that enjoy a twisty plot and aren’t overly concerned with character motivation. 3.5 stars!

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

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

Crepe Expectations
May 31st, 2019 by diane92345

Darn Crepe Expectations! The good news is that I have found another great cozy mystery series where the characters feel like real friends. The bad news is that I will have to buy and read the four prior books in the series even though my To Be Read pile is already overflowing.

Marley owns the Flip Side pancake house in Wildwood Cove, a small seaside town in the Pacific Northwest. She is a volunteer for the local annual amateur cooking contest, where her chef Ivan is one of the judges. As the contest progresses over three weekends, questions abound about sabotage when several of the judges get sick.

When Marley brings a snack to the work site of her boyfriend Brett, a kitten causes them to chase it into the woods. When Marley catches the kitten, she also finds a human skull. The skull belongs to Demetra, who vanished twenty years ago after a high school graduation party nearby. When the sheriff suspects the attendees at the party, suspicion falls on Brett’s sister, Chloe. arley decides she must clear Chloe’s name and solve the murder.

The characters are enchanting in Crepe Expectations. The plot moves quickly and has many red herrings that were totally believable. The use of one major plot and at least three subplots kept the story interesting. The killer of Demetra was a challenge to discover before Marley. The clues are fair and that makes this a fun read for amateur detective readers like myself. I enjoyed spending a relaxing evening reading Marley’s story especially the chemistry between her and Brett. 4.5 stars!

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

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

Keep You Close
May 29th, 2019 by diane92345

Steph is Chief of Internal Affairs in the FBI’s Washington D.C. field office. But at nineteen, she was a summer intern for Senator Halliday when she was raped by him. Finding herself pregnant, she decides to keep her baby in Keep You Close.

Her now seventeen year old son, Zachary, is distant and uncommunicative. Steph blames her long hours and his age. However, when a colleague warns her that Zackary has been emailing a domestic terrorist group, she decides to investigate.

After speaking to Zachary, Steph is convinced of his innocence. She decides that someone from her past is getting to her through Zachary. Could it be Senator Halliday? A mob boss she took down years ago? Another disgruntled FBI agent who lost his job because of her?

For a FBI agent, Steph seems to be searching for phantoms for most of the book. Names and motives are thrown around but no real research or investigating is done. She doesn’t even do a background search on the gun she found that started it all. How could a trained agent not remember that she failed to set her alarm and/or not be concerned when the alarm is off when she returns home after work.

Keep You Close requires a suspension of disbelief that I just can’t get past. Worse, despite starting well it is boring throughout the middle. Steph needs a real psychiatrist—not just the one in her head that sounds like the most annoying parent ever.

I enjoyed the author’s last book, Need to Know, but this one is a disappointment. Hopefully, her next book will be better. 2 stars.

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

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

Some Choose Darkness
May 28th, 2019 by diane92345

Thirty years apart, two women with obsessive-compulsive disorder track a serial killer in Some Choose Darkness.

In 1979, Angela is newly married to Thomas in suburban Chicago. She also has a photographic memory and ocd. When frightened by a stranger in the alley behind her house, she begins to suspect he is the notorious serial killer, the Thief. The Thief gets off by alternately choking his victims and himself in an elaborate rope and pulley contraption. He has been blamed for five deaths. Angela sees a pattern among the deaths.

In 2019, Rory works as a freelance forensic reconstructionist for the Chicago police. She also has ocd. The 2017 cold case she is working on has the same cause of death as those done by the Thief. But he is in prison. Is it a copycat twenty-eight years later?

The Thief tells his story from a prison cell. Finally granted parole in 2019, he is looking forward to giving payback to the woman who emprisoned him.

What a fantastic thrill ride! Some Choose Darkness has a complicated plot that pulls the reader first one way and then the other like a twisty rollercoaster. Any readers looking to play armchair detective, beware! There are several false trails within the storyline. However, despite being totally fooled myself, I highly recommend this thriller. 4.5 stars!

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

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

Mahoney's Camaro
May 28th, 2019 by diane92345

Mahoney’s Camaro was a great auction deal. Only a grand for a cherry 1967 that had only been in the river for a few hours. As with every good deal, this one had a few strings. First, Heather had been handcuffed to the steering wheel and drowned after being shoved into the drink. Now, she was haunting the car. Second, the murderer was desperate to get the car back to destroy any evidence linking him to Heather’s murder.

It’s 1985 in Canada. Mahoney works for a scuzzy towing firm but his passion is cars. After losing his mechanic job under the shadow of theft, he can’t find reputable work. He is forced to work in an ethically questionable tow yard driving a tow truck during the midnight shift. Despite his bosses entreaties, he doesn’t deal drugs, pimp woman, or steal cars.

Mahoney looks into Heather’s death just to get her out of his ride. What he finds is the 1980s drug of choice, Crack, and a widespread criminal enterprise.

As a car fan, the descriptions of cherry rides and engine parts was a fun throwback to my youth of car clubs and cruise nights. I’m not sure everyone will be as entranced by pages of description of how to move the shell of one car onto another. The mystery was told from both the criminals and the detective Mahoney’s point of view—like Columbo the killer is known from the beginning—so this is not a good choice for armchair detectives. But if you like muscle cars, this is the perfect crime thriller. For everyone else, 3 stars.

Thanks to the author, ECW Press, and LibraryThing for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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