Spotlight on Guest Reviewers

 

 GUEST REVIEWS!

 

As you know, our staff delights in reading and sharing what we are enjoying with our customers. Much of the time it's a two way street, and our customers share their finds and faves with us. Here's a place to share customer reviews with everyone... Want to share your $.02? Just ask a staff member!

Former MG bookseller Patrick Heffernan has his own dedicated page!

And watch for Guest Reviews for some of our author event spotlight titles as well.

   

 

 

 

Staff Pick Logo
An Old-Fashioned Murder: A Moonshine Mystery Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250077257
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - May 3rd, 2016

Aunt Emily’s inn is about to host a weekend house party for a few friends and neighbors to celebrate remodeled rooms and new furniture. Unstable antique furniture, unwanted guests, a raging blizzard, and a body turn the pleasant weekend into a locked room mystery with moonshine and southern hospitality to lighten the tragedy. Daisy McGovern, one of the inn’s longtime residents, has too many suspects, too many questions, and very few allies in the search for a possible killer. Rick and Beulah are stranded at a local bar. The recently hired maid is in hiding. The obnoxious husband and wife that are paying guests would love to buy the inn. In the midst of the blizzard, a stranger shows up. Both Daisy and Aunt Emily classify the new man as a fake. Unfortunately, they can’t classify him as a murderer as he found the body seconds after he arrived. As the storm rages and the lights go out, another body presents itself. Join familiar characters as this traditional, stranded with no help, mystery plays out. The tension ratchets up along with the stakes. No one will see the ending coming. This delightful book staggered and leaped in directions I never expected. And I desperately want the next installment as the last page left me stunned. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


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The Outliers Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062359094
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - May 3rd, 2016

Wylie, agoraphobic since her mother’s death, is desperate to find her best friend Cassie. Estranged because of Cassie’s alcoholism and choice of friends, the two girls haven’t been hanging out. Of course, Wylie’s anxiety issues don’t help. Now, much to her father’s horror, Wylie is on a road trip in response to Cassie’s cryptic text messages. Accompanied by Cassie’s boyfriend Jasper, a teenager Wylie does not trust, she is on her way into the wilds of Maine The two teens experience car trouble which leads to the hitchhiking experience from Hell.

With her father threatening to commit her and bad feelings about both the trip and Jasper, Wylie wonders if finding Cassie will be a good or bad thing. The teenagers find out you can’t trust anyone, including the police, or Wylie’s father. What does the study he is conducting have to do with Cassie’s disappearance? This fast-paced book has questionable characters, ambiguous motivations, a likeable hero and heroine, as well as lots of action.  The first book in a trilogy, the final paragraphs don’t bring closure but questions.  Book two should be riveting. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


A Study in Charlotte Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062398901
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - March 2016

This is the story of an attractive, uncomplicated teenage boy with anger issues, attracted to a complicated, drug-ridden, but brilliant teenage girl. Complicating the friendship further is family involvement dating back at least a century. James Watson, attending an American school on a scholarship, is the descendent of a very famous Dr. John Watson who was associated with an equally famous detective. Charlotte Holmes descends from Sherlock Holmes’ family tree. When a boy bullying Charlotte ends up dead after an altercation with Jamie, and the method has direct ties to one of Watson’s mysteries, Charlotte and Jamie begin to investigate. When a girl interested in Jamie is injured and the incident mirrors another story, the danger escalates. While this mystery pays homage to the original stories, it has been updated. The two teenage protagonists are engaging and likeable. The relationship between the two pulls the reader into the story. With plenty of twists and turns plus over the top action, this mystery will draw readers into the story and keep them reading. This is the first book in a trilogy and I cannot wait for the next installment. Highly recommended. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Staff Pick Logo
Kill the Boy Band Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780545867474
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Point - February 23rd, 2016

Four Strepurs, extreme fangirls of the boy band The Ruperts, find themselves entertaining one of the band members in their hotel room. Actually, they have tied him to a chair using tights. The fangirls really did not mean to kidnap a member of their favorite band. Had they planned it, they would not have picked the least talented member – and the least likeable one. But now Rupert P is dead, still tied to the chair. He has been strangled by the tights that bind him. Kidnapping is bad. Murder is worse. The antics of these four girls, breaking and entering, stealing underwear belonging to band members, and tweeting, kept this reader shaking her head and laughing. None of the girls have witnesses to prove their innocence. The friendships will falter. The antics keep escalating. Readers will be stunned, laughing, and disbelieving. Remorseless and cold blooded, the four extreme fan girls will keep pages turning. This book gives new meaning to escaping into a story.  – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


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The Man on the Washing Machine: A Mystery Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250065803
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - December 15th, 2015

The first thing readers learn about Theophania Bogart is her present life, 5000 miles from home, is a lie.  When she witnesses Tim Callahan take a dive from a third story window, Theo’s already complicated new life comes under intense scrutiny.   Surrounded by neighbors and friends, Theo is the owner of a small bath and body shop as well as the building housing it.  And she is constantly afraid her sordid past will be unearthed.  What will a police investigation do to her carefully crafted identity?  Inspector Lichlyter isn’t helping.  The police woman suspects murder not suicide and she lists the entire neighborhood as suspects.  When another body with direct ties to Theo turns up, Theo fears she is suspect number one.  She is afraid for herself as well as Davie, the teenager who helps around her shop as his home life is shady.  Theo finds a strange man in her house, strange boxes in her garage which are stolen, and gets a new renter at the worst possible time.  This fast paced book is filled with humor, action, and colorful characters.  If you like a good mystery, a feisty heroine, and laughter pick up this wacky mystery and savor it. A Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award-winning novel. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Zeroes Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781481443364
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - September 29th, 2015

What if the little voice in our heads, the one that could tell a lie to get you out of any situation or go off on a rampage destroying all your friends, could speak for itself? That’d be kind of a terrible superpower. It’s also the set-up for Zeroes, the new YA book about a loose team of superpowered teens who have powers based on interpersonal relationships. Mixing superhero genre tropes with classic teen struggles with change, romance, and wanting to both stand out and fit in with the crowd, Westerfeld, Lanagan, and Biancotti develop a rich world. The alternating points of view between the six main characters keeps the prose engaging, though some characters are easier to identify with than others. Ultimately, a thrilling new take on the superhero genre.  -- Guest Reviewer David Mariotte


A Study in Death Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780425277522
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - July 7th, 2015

When Lady Drummond dies of apoplexy during a portrait painting session with Lady Kiera Darby, the artist immediately suspects Lady Drummond’s husband of murdering her. After enduring three years of abuse, Kiera recognized her subject’s body language and knows she was an abused woman. In spite of the doctor’s listed cause of death, it is not difficult for Kiera to convince inquiry agent Sebastian Gage, her fiancé, to help her investigate. Society’s rules and regulations, other crimes, and complications in the pregnancy of Kiera’s sister combine to increase the strain placed on the engaged couple’s relationship. Because this well-written book – fourth in the series -- is set in 1831 Scotland, it is a history lesson as well as a mystery. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Staff Pick Logo
Truffled to Death Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780425267240
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - June 2nd, 2015

Truffled To Death: A Chocolate Covered Mystery by Kathy Aarons

Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell, best friends, roommates, and business partners, are hosting a special exhibit of Mayan antiquities for the town museum. Professor Addison Moody, former mentor to Erica, has requested their business, Chocolates and Chapters, host the event. In spite of a couple of incidents and Erica’s increased stress level, the evening seems to go well. Until the antiquities go missing and Erica, because of her degree and background, becomes the prime suspect in the theft. When Dr. Moody is found dead, his assistant Lavender Rawlings accuses Erica of murder. Once again the business partners and friends find themselves racing the police for a solution. With the help of Michelle’s brother, Leo, and Erica’s brother, Bean, the ladies hunt both a murderer and international art thief. Throw in kittens and match-making and readers will enjoy the company of the two best friends. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


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Seeker Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780385744089
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ember - December 1st, 2015

Y - Factor ... Young Adult Novels

This may be the first book I have ever read with universal appeal for everyone.  It has elements that will attract any age group, both genders, and readers of all genres.  Like romance? Two boys and a girl in a classic triangle.  Like Steampunk?  Ancient weaponry such as swords or daggers mixed with guns and disrupters.  Horses versus flying fortresses.  Like action?  Battles?  Epic fantasy?  Time and space disruption?  Quin, Shinobu, and John are teenagers trained in the art of combat.  Trained to be Seekers, a legacy passed from generation to generation, they are scheduled to take their oaths.  Then comes betrayal.  Lies.  Murder. The teens realize nothing they learned about their families and legacy is true.  The real battle begins.  Father against child.  Family against family.  Boyfriend against girlfriend.  This book, the first in a trilogy, introduces readers to flawed characters who are frustrating, sympathetic, and likeable.  I couldn’t put the novel down, can’t wait for the second volume, and recommend it to everyone.

– Sandra Hale, guest reviewer


Lock in: A Novel of the Near Future Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780765381323
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - August 4th, 2015

Our Speculative Fiction Fantastic First for September.

Many great writers have themes (obsessions may be a better word) they return to in their work again and again. The late, great Roger Zelazny often considered immortality in his novels; the wonderful Czech novelist, Milan Kundera, deals regularly with the ideas of memory and forgetting; and John Scalzi’s novels often address the concepts of identity and free will. On the surface, Scalzi’s new novel, Lock In, is a murder mystery set in the near future. After a global pandemic leaves a significant minority of the population “locked in,” physically paralyzed but mentally functional, they use “threeps,” artificial, mechanical bodies (some would call them robots), controlled by embedded neural nets in their brains, to function more-or-less normally. A few Hadens, as the survivors are called, retain the use of their bodies and become “Integrators,” permitting their bodies to be used by other, locked in, Hadens. Several murders (or perhaps suicides) involving the locked-in are assigned to Chris Sane, a new FBI agent who also happens to be a Haden. The more he investigates, however, the more complex and convoluted the cases become. Isaac Asimov often dealt with these themes, incorporating corporate greed, politics, virtual realities, and what it means to be human. I think Scalzi may do it even better. This is a terrific, compelling novel by one of our most exciting young science fiction writers. 

– Guest Reviewer Terry Hertzler


Staff Pick Logo
Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780425267233
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley Books - September 2nd, 2014

Mystery & Suspense

As if Michele Serrano and Erica Russell, roommates, best friends, and business partners, didn’t have enough to do running their shop Chocolates and Chapters, they may have to add sleuthing to their resumes. When Denise Coburn, photographer and fellow shop owner, is found dead in their shop with chocolate froth around her mouth, Chocolates and Chapters is closed due to the crime scene, and the health department threatens. This fast-paced, entertaining read demonstrates all sides of small town life, and introduces a cast of characters with complicated, messy, interwoven lives. I found every page compulsively readable and couldn’t put it down until the final stunning conclusion. Like Michele’s chocolates – try it, you’ll like it.

– Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Staff Pick Logo
Grunt Life: A Task Force Ombra Novel Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781781082010
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Solaris - April 29th, 2014

In the acknowledgements at the end of the book (and I give nothing away here), I would like to quote:  “ Special thanks to Jon Oliver for giving me the opportunity to sit in the middle of the intergalactic science fiction sandbox and toss sand gleefully into the air.”  Boy, I tell you what – he built the most fabulous sand castle (or more appropriately, alien spaceship) I’ve ever seen!

Weston Ochse (author of the popular Seal Team 666 series) has written another knockout.  His knowledge of the military and his love of science fiction and writing give us a book that is sure to hit best seller lists. Let me just say that this is much more than aliens running amok here.  It is the story of men and women and their friends, strengths, sorrows, love of Planet Earth and the never ending desire to protect it. And last but not least their fierce fight to free all humans from extinction. Benjamin Carter Mason is standing on the Vincent Thomas Bridge with a bad case of PTSD and a desire to finally get away from all of it – by jumping.  An unknown man comes to stand by him and proceeds to tell Benjamin that he knows his name and the fact that Benjamin died in a house fire that night. The hell? He looks at the stranger and rolls his eyes and jumps off that bridge - falling into a net set up below him to catch him.  And from there comes an amazing story. The world is being attacked by creatures not of this earth and they seem to be winning until a hodgepodge of US military and ex-military – all mentally screwed up; all with serious designs on committing suicide – come together and are trained to be the best they can be and more.  Weston takes you through the process that makes all of them part of the team who must save our planet and our race. We are thrown into a world that could be right around the corner for all of us. A world that is so astonishingly realistic that we could imagine it - maybe not too far into the future.  This book is incredible.  Don’t miss it.

- Guest Reviewer Diane Bader


Staff Pick Logo
Code Zero Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781250033437
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - March 25th, 2014

Speculative Fiction ... grrrr arrrgh ...

Jonathan Maberry continues to produce amazing stories and Code Zero is again, amazing. This is the sequel to Patient Zero in which he introduced DMS (Department of Military Sciences) and its major characters, Joe Ledger and Echo Team. Reading one of Jonathan’s novels is like being right there with all the excitement and action flowing around you. Ledger and his team are back and they are still mired in one situation or another where if they don’t fix it – all hell will be out of control and unstoppable. DMS has made it their business to stop terrorists from using world-ending weapons of the biological kind (see zombies in Patient Zero for one). And…. OMG, a secure facility – cannot enter if your life depended on it – has been breached. All of the bioweapons that DMS has confiscated were in that facility and are now gone. One person is claiming she’s doing it - Mother Night. She seems to know everything from everywhere and is threatening to take the entire world down. Put your running shoes on and get ready to zoom off with DMS!

- Guest Reviewer Diane Bader


Staff Pick Logo
Extinction Machine Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780312552213
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - March 26th, 2013

I’m tellin’ you, this man can write. You want to be carried along to places you’ve never been before with incredible people you’ve never met before, this is your man. The Department of Military Sciences (DMS) is back with Joe Ledger leading the team – all of course working for the enigmatic Mr. Church, who seems to have anything and everybody when problems arise. During a test flight of a new stealth fighter, it is shot down – by something surely not seen before except maybe the tabloids. When the shooting is done, the unknown craft simply disappears in front of their eyes. Waitaminute – what’s going on? No, it can’t be aliens, can it? Before you know it the US government, including the president himself, the Chinese and some ruthless enemies are mixed up like a Molotov cocktail – ready to explode. The team is gathered and the first person Joe goes to see is Junie Flynn, a top expert on conspiracy theories in the world, which includes alien existence. Oh, and Joe doesn’t buy it for one little minute -  until he gets his first glimpse of Miss Flynn and his world is turned upside down. Great book, exceptional adventure – excitement, danger, earth shattering discoveries – another jewel of a story. The DMS team is asked to help and they do more than that – they uncover something you’ll never forget. It may just change how you think about the world.

- Guest Reviewer Diane Bader