Before the Devil Fell
October 14th, 2019 by diane92345

When Professor Will’s mother, Abigail, falls down her back steps and into a coma, he is forced to travel back to his small hometown in Before the Devil Fell.

The village that Will grew up in is full of secrets. Were Abigail’s friends from his childhood doing something more sinister than having a new-age’y “spirit circle”? What happened when he was five to destroy the family feeling of the town? Is there still something supernatural lurking there?

I have mixed feelings about Before the Devil Fell. On one hand, the mystery was good and I was surprised by the perpetrator. But on the other hand, I wanted more from the supernatural element. For horror, I want it to be balls-to-the-wall scary. This was just “creepy” in an atmospheric sort of way. Perhaps I read the book synopsis incorrectly but I was expecting more New England shenanigans. You know like witches or demons or something. Possibly that is because it is Halloween month. I think as long as you are not expecting that aspect of the book to shine, this would be a 4 star read for the mystery. However, for myself, I would rate it as 3.5 stars.

Thanks to Hanover Square Press, Harlequin Books, and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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

Books of the Dead
October 12th, 2019 by diane92345

“You’re developing quite a tendency to stumble across murder in your middle age.” Said to our heroine, Rachel, after she finds a corpse in the men’s room on the first page of the Books of the Dead.

Rachel lives in Paris with her husband, Alan, and her best friend Magda. After solving one murder in the previous book in the series, the Capitaine asks for her to “observe and report” who among the murdered man’s co-workers would like to see him dead. The quick answer is everyone. Guy Laurent was universally hated by all who knew him. So how will Rachel, Magda, and the Capitaine solve the crime?

The reader definitely has to suspend disbelief to read Books of the Dead. I can’t picture any country’s police force asking a rank amateur to go undercover. However, if you can get past that plot point, this book has a lot to recommend it to cozy readers. Middle-aged characters, a library, and last but not least, Paris are all here to entertain any cozy reader tired of one more restaurant owner. The characters are great too. The three main characters are realistic and feel like friends to the reader by the end of the book. For those reasons, I recommend this book highly. 4 stars!

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

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

Commute
October 10th, 2019 by diane92345

“There was no greater violence than affection.” If you like that quote, I believe you will enjoy Commute, a graphic novel for the #metoo movement.

Unfortunately, I just thought the book was sad. Erin had some difficulties early in life. To “overcome them”, she drinks. Heavily. Every night. Before finding some guy in a bar to sleep with. Even though she doesn’t enjoy it. As one character in the story states, “don’t look for oranges in a gas station.” I wanted to hear her story rather than the sad-sack protagonist. The fact is that while complaining about men either desiring her or making her invisible, she is objectifying herself and all women by constantly worrying about being or becoming fat. Fat to her includes pregnancy, which is just terrible.

As you can probably tell, Commute wasn’t the book for me. I’m sympathetic with the issues portrayed. I hope that all female millennials and younger are not living the protagonist’s life portrayed here. If some of them are, then I hope they get a chance to read this empowering graphic novel. However, if you are not already on that road, I wouldn’t recommend picking this book up. 2 stars.

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

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

A Legacy of Murder
October 10th, 2019 by diane92345

“Finding one body could be considered bad luck. Finding two within the space of thirty days was beginning to look like destiny.”—most honest words ever spoken by a cozy mystery’s heroine from A Legacy of Murder.

Widow Kate is back in England collecting antiques for her shop in Ohio. While there, she stops at stately Finchley Hall to visit her daughter, Christine, who is interning there. Of course, she also agrees to have dinner with new beau, Detective Inspector Tom. Unfortunately, her first call to Tom is to report finding another intern, Tabitha, dead, an apparent victim of suicide. When the coroner rules it murder, Tom asks for Kate’s outsider viewpoint to assist him with solving the case.

A Legacy of Murder is a sweet cozy mystery with a perfect balance of mystery and romance. With a forty-six-year-old widow as the heroine, it should appeal to older readers as well as antique lovers. The characters are well-defined and the mystery is just difficult enough for a light read on a windy fall night. 4 stars!

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

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

Bury the Lede
October 9th, 2019 by diane92345

What is hiding shallowly beneath the surface of Boston’s school system? Nascent reporter, Madison, investigates government corruption in the twisty crime comic, Bury the Lede.

Madison is an intern at the Boston Lede, the New York Times of Boston. She is fetching coffee and dreaming of her first byline when suspected socialite murderer, Dahlia, agrees to talk with her in prison. Instead of talking about the death of her husband or the disappearance of her young son, Dahlia gives Madison a hint about widespread city corruption. As Madison pursues the lead, she follows a twisty and torturous path that will impact both her love life and her family.

Bury the Lede is a superior crime comic. The mystery is compelling and a challenge to solve. The relationships, both straight and LGBTQ, feel realistic. The artwork has the feel of a 1950s noir film. Overall, it’s a pleasant way for armchair detectives to spend an hour or two. 4 stars!

Thanks to Boom! Studios and NetGalley for granting my wish for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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

The Twilight Man
October 8th, 2019 by diane92345

Rod Serling, famous host of the fifties sci-fi anthology series The Twilight Zone, is The Twilight Man.

Beginning his biography with his service in the Pacific theater of World War II, this graphic novel uses pictures to show us Rod’s life. He was diagnosed with shellshock after the war (now called PTSD), which left him with horrific nightmares for the rest of his life. Rod moved from college to Midwest radio to NYC television before landing The Twilight Zone.

The Twilight Man is an interesting step back into a more innocent time. World War II, its aftermath, the end of radio dramas, the beginning of television, McCarthy’s red scare, and conspicuous consumption are all addressed here. Rod definitely lived in interesting times. If you would like to read a bit of entertainment history or like biographies, this is a great choice. 4 stars!

Thanks to Life Drawn, Humanoids, and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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