Bunny Hand is our Store Manager and an avid reader. She is comfortable with mystery, especially with a little romance thrown in. Dabbling a little into s-f, she has found a niche in time travel, again, with a romantic twist. Add a historical twist to either category, and she is in.
I loved In the Shadow of Blackbirds, so I was excited to dive into The Uninvited, a psychological thriller set in the panic of the influenza pandemic of 1918. The world has been turned upside down by the war and the deadly flu and Americans are paranoid to the point of violence against German blooded citizens. Ivy Rowan, who has a lifelong gift for seeing ghosts, rises from her sick bed seemingly a survivor of the flu, only to discover her angry drunken father and brother have murdered a German furniture maker from town. In disgust, she leaves the farm and heads to town where she is horrified by the breakdown of governing society that the panic has caused. She is drawn to the jazz music played at the Masonic Lodge and to Daniel Schendel, the now sole owner of Liberty Furniture and has no inkling of the otherworldly revelations that are about to unfold. A hauntingly great ghost story.
Leonora – known as Lee in a life that she is straining to forget, and as Nora in her new life as a successful crime writer – is safe in her quiet apartment when she receives an invitation to a long past friend’s hen party (as they call them in England.) Curiosity wins over better judgement and 48 hours later she finds herself waking in a hospital bed with a police guard at the door. “What have I done?” her mind is demanding; however, memory is non-existent. What happened in that glass house in the dark woods of Northumberland with old friends and strangers? It begins to come back to her slowly and it involves her beloved James and the life she had hoped to stifle forever. She must get back to the wood before she is arrested. The story offers non-stop action, pushing at the edges until the very end. Ware is a new author from a new literary imprint
This noir page- turner is alive with history, the intrigue of Vegas, the pain of lost love, and much more. The story brings the Vietnam War era to life, and wraps it with such beautiful prose that you ache for the characters and their convoluted existence. Suzy, originally Hong, is missing; and her cop ex-husband is blackmailed into searching for her by her current husband, a violent Vietnamese gambler and smuggler who has a curious past with Hong. Tran flashes back to the saga of Hong’s and her tiny daughter Mia’s migration from Vietnam to LA in beautiful heartbreaking letters Suzy is now writing to her abandoned daughter. The contrast of violent, crazy, and tender emotions is wonderfully woven together by this debut author.
This is fiction, however, it reveals a real and tragic time in American and Canadian history. Set during the height of the Cold War, the CIA – with the ultra- classified help of the Canadian government – was trying to develop a truth serum and other drugs by performing lobotomies, and administering electroshock therapy and psychotropic medication. Human specimens were needed to experiment on. Who better than the unwanted and defenseless orphans of Cite de St. Jean de Dieu? Fast forward to modern day Montreal where four women are found brutally murdered and shockingly posed on park benches throughout the city over several months. Martine LeDuc is the director of PR for the mayor’s office and is tasked with acting as liaison between the mayor and the police department. Martine pairs with young detective, Julian Fletcher, to investigate the horrific experiments that went on in the 1950’s and determine how they are related to these four murders. Knowing it is based on true occurrences is terrifying.
Although outside our usual our genres, this debut novel almost fits because it is a compelling blend of mystery and quasi-time travel. Most of us have had that “what if?” moment in our lives: gone to a different university, married that other person, said yes to that re-location package. Life would have been so different. It is 1962 and Kitty Miller is experiencing dreams that place her in an alternate world where she is a wife and mother rather than a spinster bookseller who owns a small shop with her best friend Frieda. The name Lars seems so familiar and why does he insist on calling her Katharyn? The dream world is idyllic but reality is comforting; however, the two are beginning to morph into confusion and frustration. Where does she belong? Cynthia’s first noel is intriguing and immensely entertaining.
This is an Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery that will satisfy all who love a historical British whodunnit. On Sunday, June twenty-eighth of 1914, three events occur: Ian Rutledge asks Jean Gordon to marry him; Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, are assassinated in Sarajevo; and Henry Dobson buries his mother, deciding that revenge is the only answer to his sadness. These three events unwind and entwine to present a marvelous murder mystery. With the first episodes of World War I rumbling in the background, Rutledge is struggling to convince Scotland Yard that the deaths of three older gentlemen are related and a serial killer might be on the loose; however, his engagement is hampering him and his superiors at the Yard are not listening. Meanwhile, a killer, bent on finishing what he started, is roaming about systematically accomplishing his goal. The clock is ticking on all fronts of this interesting story.
Mystery & Suspense
A little bit of history, a tad of Downtown Abbey, and a smattering of the childhood game “Clue” combine to make this debut novel an entertaining adventure for the traditional mystery lover. Arlen’s “it’s the butler, in the library, with the candlestick” style is just plain fun. Set in England in 1912, the tale is of the privileged Montfort family, who at their annual summer costume ball find that their degenerate nephew has been murdered. Inspector Valentine has ordered all of the guests to remain at the estate as he interrogates them all. Lady Montfort, a bit ahead of her time in social etiquette, employs the help of her pragmatic housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, to solve the murder when she feels the police inquiry is being driven off track and could point toward her cherished son. Arlen provides a lesson in the class struggles of the Edwardian era, an insight into the struggle for women’s suffrage, and a deliciously gruesome murder with unlikely suspects.
Normal 0 India and Pakistan are on the brink of nuclear war; child psychologist Caitlin O’Hara is treating the daughter of India’s ambassador to the United Nations for her violent visions and speaking in tongues, while a thief steals a strange silvery stone relic from a lab aboard a survey ship in the South Atlantic. How do these occurrences relate to one another? These are the clues to an ancient lost world of human beings who lived on Antarctica before it became a frozen wasteland and before our species developed. Is there a connection between these souls of the past and possessed teenagers in our present? And what about those rats overrunning New York City? This fast-paced mystical thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last ”wow!”
Bunny and Linda
Can you imagine tracing Cain and Abel of the Old Testament to present day Hollywood? The Kellerman duo has done so with riveting flashbacks that fascinate from start to finish. Be prepared to be lost in the past, the present and the mythical in between as Jacob Lev, who has been demoted to the traffic division of the LA police department, unexpectedly gets a promotion to Special Projects and it seems it is because he is Jewish. He reports to 446 Castle Court at the remote northern most reaches of Hollywood to discover and then investigate a decapitated head and a Jewish symbol burned in the kitchen counter, that of “justice.” He discovers not only twisted and psychopathical murderers, but also a link to his identity dating back to the beginning of time. It is a very different and remarkable read.
If you are intrigued by the Kennedy assassination and love a bold thriller, this book is for you. Gil Malloy, once the best journalist at The New York Daily News, has been disgraced by botched-up coverage of a big story. With his integrity questioned by everyone he knows, he now fights to prove that three recent murders are connected by the appearance of a Kennedy half-dollar at each crime scene. At the same time, a man claiming to be the secret son of Lee Harvey Oswald breaks his silence on the fiftieth anniversary of Kennedy assassination. Gil is on the fast track to redeem himself when it all threatens to fall apart again. Can he find the real executioner and find the truth about the events that occurred in Dallas fifty years ago? The edge-of-your-seat suspense continues to the unexpected climax. Very entertaining.
Mystery & Suspense
This first installment in a new crime series by a talented debut author is uniquely textured with complex characters, hard-edged suspense, and a riveting plot. Hard-nosed former war reporter, Sully Carter, does not believe the three black thugs who are charged with the murder of the daughter of a powerful Washington judge are responsible for the hideous crime. Carter fights against pressure from government officials, police, suspicious locals, and his newspaper bosses as he pulls up some cold cases that reveal the murder as the work of a serial killer. An unlikely ally helps him along, with information that only a criminal would know. In the end he gets his man – or does he? Tucker delivers a shocking finale.
When Los Angeles detective “Lou” Norton is assigned the case of teenage suicide Monique Dowler, she immediately senses that something is not right. The similarities between this case and that of her missing sister some thirty years ago are eerily haunting. Lou does not buy the suicide angle and the scene of the crime is on property owned by Napoleon Crase, the person she has always thought had some link to her sister’s unsolved disappearance. It seems possible that solving this case will also finally bring the answers to so many questions she has harbored and wrestled with for so long. Is it the same violent killer? Hall, in her first stab at mystery fiction, keeps the pages flipping with hard-hitting intensity. I do not want to say good-bye to Lou Norton and am pleased this is the start of a series.
Normal 0 The third in the Lunar Chronicles is as enjoyable and riveting as the first two, Cinder and Scarlet. This next take on fairy tales gone bad has Cress, a Rapunzel counterpart, in a satellite tower monitoring the security and activity of the Lunar operations. A prisoner since birth of Sybil and Queen Levana, she has been ordered to track down Cinder and her accomplice Captain Thorne, who have added Scarlet and Wolf to their team. Prince Kai is about to marry the queen in order to save Earth from war. Nothing will go as planned and readers will be captivated by the action and unpredictable plot. If you have not read the series start right now and you will be waiting, as I already am for the final chapter, Winter, due on shelves early in 2015.
You could read this first in a series tale as a paradox between total respect and protection of human life and complete disregard of another human being or you could just enjoy it as a darn good suspense-filled thriller. Kay Hamilton is a bold, brazen and beautiful DEA agent who will do absolutely anything to get her mark. She is in San Diego and is intent on bringing down Tito Olivera, the younger brother of drug czar Caesar Olivera. Tito runs operations in the US while Caesar owns Mexico and both achieve success by brutality and murder. Kay thinks she is tough enough to take them on; however, she develops an Achilles heal when her, born out of wedlock and given up for adoption, daughter shows up on her doorstep. This is just the weakness these monsters love to toy with. The action that follows is incredibly dangerous and explosive to the epic conclusion.
A laugh out loud (really!) look into Asperger’s syndrome. Don is a socially challenged genius who decides it is time to marry. In his typical fashion, he titles this endeavor “The Wife Project” and sets about his business in an orderly well-planned manner. What he discovers is that love does not work that way. Absolutely hysterical and entertaining.
This is a brilliant mystery debut from an author who has lived in Japan for more than 25 years. Art dealer Jim Brodie lives in San Francisco’s Japantown, but still has a share in his deceased father’s Tokyo P.I. firm. When an entire Japanese family is senselessly gunned down on their vacation to Japantown, Brodie is asked to help with the investigation by his friend at the SFPD. The investigation leads him back to Japan as he unravels a web of intrigue that stretches back for centuries. The deadly secret he finally discovers threatens his life and that of his family and friends. Thrilling to the very end, with an insider’s view of Japanese culture and business.
Mystery & Suspense
Did you know that DNA for monozygotic twins, identical twins from the same embryo, is the same and that their fingerprints are usually almost exact? So if you are not sure which twin committed a murder, you are a little handicapped. Cass, who confessed to Dita’s murder 25 years ago, is being released from minimum-security prison as his twin, Paul, is running for mayor. Hal, Dita’s brother, has never been convinced of the verdict and hires Evon to re-investigate the case in hope of finally implicating Paul before he becomes mayor. Evon enlists the help of retired homicide detective Tim Brodie, who investigated the case twenty-five years ago. Seems he missed a few things and the past is re-opened with a vengeance. A thought-provoking and entertaining read.
Mystery & Suspense
If you are in the mood for a slow-building, beautifully orchestrated character study intertwined with gritty mystery, sit down with Visitation Street. Two young girls, looking for excitement in their run-down Red Hook section of Brooklyn, take a raft out on the bay of the Hudson River and seem to simply vanish from sight. Val is found washed ashore, unconscious but still alive; however, June disappears without a trace. The rest of the story unfolds revealing the souls and ghosts of Red Hook, searching, broken, hopeful and healing. Everyone in the town is trolling for information on June’s disappearance while revealing their own mystery, pain and sometimes, magic. Ivy Pochoda has a way of telling stories within a story that is masterful and moving.
What do the Catholic Church, the US Military, Organized Crime and the Italian Police Force have in common? This amazing book, the first of the Carnivia Trilogy. A women dressed in ordained Catholic priest garments is found washed up on the shores of an icy Venetian canal with two bullets in the back of her head. Detective-Colonel Aldo Piola and newly promoted Captain Kat Tapo, working her first murder investigation, are assigned to the case. The case leads them from an old abandoned asylum for retired priests on a deserted island to impenetrable American military bases to a virtual cyberspace of Venice. They learn of mass rapes inflicted on women during the Bosnia uprising, one of which resulted in the birth of the link to many secrets of that war. Others are looking for that link as well. Italian organized crime will kill for it, the Catholic Church will lie for it and the military will destroy evidence of it. Who will get there first? The Abomination is a superb beginning of this trilogy.
Our April 3013 Fantastic First Young Adult Pick
This is a young adult miracle of a novel that will definitely also appeal to adults who love a hauntingly historical story.
The setting is our own San Diego in the grips of the First World War, a bleak and paranoid time in history when young men were terrorized and injured by the latest in war technology, such as machine guns, high explosive shells and mustard gas. Simultaneously, the “Spanish Flu” epidemic of 1918 claimed the lives of at least 20 million people worldwide. The average life expectancy dropped to thirty-nine, and prompted a craving for séances and spirit photography.
Enter Mary Shelley, a precocious sixteen year old whose mom is dead and dad has just been imprisoned for anti-war propaganda. She travels to San Diego to stay with an aunt and is reunited with her long time childhood friend, Stephen, whom she now realizes she is in love with. Tragically, he has just enlisted in the Army and leaves her behind to deal with the horrifying bleakness and craziness of the time. The rest of this tale involves shady spirit photography, desperate measures to fight the deadly flu, glimpses at the atrocious casualties of the war, ghosts, blackbirds, insanity, a few attempted murders and more. As if it needed more appeal, the book is illustrated with haunting early twentieth-century photographs.
Laukkanen’s first book, The Professionals, reads like a stand-alone; however, Criminal Enterprise continues the partnership of FBI agent Carla Windermere and BCA agent Kirk Stevens in searing epic fashion. Once again, Laukkanen takes an ordinary but desperate individual and weaves a path of greed and dark desires, transforming the character into a violent beast. Carter Tomlin has it all: beautiful wife, kids, home and all of the adult toys; when he loses his job unexpectedly, the bills and his angry pride begin to mount. Instead of meeting with a loan officer at the Bank of America, he purchases a clumsy disguise across the street and robs the bank. His taste for the devious deed escalates quickly to illegal weapons and murder, his new-found passion. He has the authorities fooled except for Carla. She will have to break a few rules and convince a reluctant Kirk to pursue a break-neck course to stop Tomlin. Non-stop action, a blow to the ideal American family, and a little romantic tension explode at the hands of Laukkanen. I happily expect more installments in this series.
Steph Cha’s fine debut novel, much like S.J.Rozan’s Lydia Chen series, is a mystery thriller that incorporates the Asian community and its customs, including corruption and murder. Starting out as a seemingly frivolous endeavor on the part of good friends to dispel a nagging suspicion, the story develops into a trail of deceit that reveals a complex story line. Song, an Asian-American recent college graduate, has not yet landed a job, but has a fixation on noir fiction and Chandler’s Philip Marlowe. When her best friend Luke asks her to investigate a suspected affair between his wealthy dad and his young Asian paralegal, Song has nothing to lose and an itch to scratch. Her first attempt in the investigation lands her unconscious in the trunk of a car and the story continues to advance to murder and a hint of pornography that inflames Song’s memories of her younger sister.
For those of you who read Cinder and said, “I can’t wait…” oh, it is so worth the wait! The Lunar Chronicles continue at breakneck speed with the introduction of Scarlet, the granddaughter of Wing Commander Michelle Benoit, who has some interesting history with Linh Garan, Cinder’s dead stepfather. When Scarlet searches for her mysteriously missing grandmother, she meets Wolfe, member #962, and loyal soldier of the Order of the Pack. Yes, now we have Little Red Riding Hood and the big, bad Wolf, and Cinder, who is busy escaping from prison by using her new found Lunar powers on unsuspecting Captain Caswell Thorne. Fortunately, he is imprisoned for stealing a government owned spaceship, which really comes in handy. IIko makes a comeback in a most unusual way that is linked with this ship as Prince Kai and Queen Levana work, unsuccessfully, to avoid war. Scarlet is the perfect companion to Cinder, and the promise of the third book, and the re-appearance of Dr. Erland make it very difficult to wait yet another year for the final answers.
If you are a fan of the Whaley house or haunted places in general, you will really enjoy this little book. The ghosts and the history of the Whaley House come alive and entertain throughout this very short novel. If you are a cat lover, you will be entertained by Styx, a feline detective akin to canine counterpart Chet, created by Spencer Quinn. Shannon Macintyre, a former investigative reporter sidelined by a severe heart attack, begins having visions of Nana Mac, her long since dead grandmother. Nana explains that Shannon has a special gift that allows her to communicate with spirits. Reluctantly, Shannon discovers that this is true and teams up with Styx to visit the most haunted place in America, the Whaley House. She discovers that the residing ghosts have a problem and she is the person to fix it. A few production errors are a bit distracting; however, not enough to ruin a quick fun read.
Mystery / Suspense
Ghost Hero is a mystery that will entertain you, a lesson in art that will educate you and an insight into Chinese-American lifestyles in New York that will make you chuckle. The real Ghost Hero,Chau, was a renowned contemporary Chinese artist who was killed at Tiananmen Square in 1989. Lydia Chin is a Chinese-American private investigator who has just been hired to investigate the sudden appearance of some new works – worth a half a million each– by this long since dead painter. Are they fakes, old works that have re-surfaced, or could Chau possibly still be alive? As Lydia attempts to get to the bottom of it all, she discovers another investigator is on the same trail; her client is not who he says he is; and some unsavory characters try to convince her to terminate her investigation. When the Consulate of the People’s Republic of China get involved as well, the investigation explodes into a complex and dangerous situation.S.J. Rozan’sGhost Hero is the 2012 Dilys crime fiction award winner, and rightly so.
This sequel to Blood Red Road is everything I had hoped for. Saba has found and saved her soul-mate twin, Lugh, but has been separated from her beloved Jack. Just as she realizes that he is in trouble and needs her help, Saba finds that she has a price on her head as the "Angel of Death" who brought down Vicar Pinch. However, Pinch'ssecond in command, DeMalo, has slowly risen to power and is creating a new Tonton tribe that is establishing a new Eden. In this new regime one is either undoubtedly loyal or dead. How then could Jack be riding with them? Is he a traitor and has he betrayed their promise? What does DeMalo have in store for the Angel of Death? Saba has warrior strength and cunning resourcefulness, but she has an enemy and a friend and does not know which is which. You will love the book but might have to wait for the answers. The Dust Land series has been compared to the Hunger Games and it is an adventure that should be on your "to experience" list.
The word that comes to mind to describe this story is “charming”. Not only is it filled with suspense, crime and Hollywood glamour, but also because Chet, the dog, is so darn cute. Bernie, Chet’s partner, would not be as entertaining without Chet’s wit and enthusiasm. The dog narrates the story of their investigating firm being hired to keep an eye on Thad Perry, a badly-behaved movie star filming a production in their town. They get more than they bargained for when they find that Thad has a rather sordid past linked to crimes in the Valley. The people who remember the facts end up dead before they can talk. The fact that Thad has a nasty cat named Brando – who, you might guess, is not a favorite of Chet’s – adds to the fun. This is a rollicking and suspenseful “whodunit” that you will be able to enjoy with your children or grandchildren.
Mystery & Suspense
An incredible balance of fact and fiction packed with action and espionage for history lovers. Hitler and his Nazi Party have just occupied Czechoslovakia and are eyeing Poland while secretly infiltrating America to ensure that FDR, with his non-isolationist policies, does not get elected to a third term. Most Americans want to stay out of the mess that Europe is becoming; however, Roosevelt is clear that Hitler will not settle for less than all of Europe. FDR engages a young Jack Kennedy as his personal spy. The Joe Kennedys and Neville Chamberlains of that time still insist on gentleman’s etiquette and fair play while the Roosevelts, Jack Kennedys and Winston Churchills recognize the need for a new age of spy techniques, secret codes and the latest model of short-wave radios. Similar to Connie Willis’ Blackout and All Clear, Jack 1939 places you in the very core of history with details and characters that amazingly transport you to a past that might have been. Definitely a must-read for the WWII fanatic.
Mystery & Suspense
Leotta is described on the cover as a female John Grisham; hence, I was immediately intrigued. I was not disappointed with this thriller set in Washington DC and brimming with legal twists, powerful and secretive Congressmen and “Discretion,” a high end escort service that caters to D.C.’s elite. A beautiful young woman enters the U.S. Capitol one evening claiming to have an appointment with Congressman Lionel, and ends up plummeting to her death from the balcony of his private office. Of course, it is a very difficult situation for the chief homicide detective, the senior prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI. When they discover the victim is one of the highest paid escorts in the city and the suspect is the District’s most powerful elected official, the heat turns up to full blown flames. The twists and turns are sometimes shocking but always entertaining. It is an inside view of politics at its most corrupt and interesting level.
This is a very different novel for the young adult reader, one that takes them away from the popular tales of fallen angels and dystopian societies and lands them in the midst of the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob). Sara Jane Rispolli has just turned sixteen when she discovers that the family business, “Rispoli and Sons Fancy Pastries,” her grandfather, “Enzo the Baker,” her father and her uncle are not what she grew up thinking they were. In fact, they are so embroiled in the Chicago mob scene that now her grandpa is dead, her immediate family has disappeared and her uncle is out to kill her. Before her dad vanished he gave her enough information for her to discover the location of a .45, a briefcase full of cash, and an old tattered notebook – three things that could save her life and help her find her family. Her deadliest weapon though is an inherited “cold fury” deep within her soul that not only helps to protect her while on the run but also establishes her as the newest head of Chicago organized crime. The “Capone Doors” are totally cool… This is T.M. Goeglein’s first YA novel. Cold Fury is just the beginning and I cannot wait for the rest of the story.
I am pleased that I took the time to read this recommended novel. I predict this will be a motion picture, and if it is produced, will rival “Memoirs of a Geisha.”
Three North Korean orphans are deceived into crossing the DMZ into South Korea and immediately sold into prostitution. Their attempt at escape lands them across the ocean and into a Seattle brothel run by the “Blue Talon” which is attacked by their Japanese counterparts, allowing some of the girls to escape to the streets of the cold city. Homelessness becomes an alternative to forced prostitution.
Although fictional, the story is a political eye opener, as well as, a lesson in friendship and human endurance. Most of all, it is a tale of hope, compassion and healing in a brutally harsh world.
Tayari Jones said “this book will open your eyes, break your heart, and mend it again” — it does.
Detective D.D. Warren is just back from maternity leave and her first case is the murder of a pedophile that seems to be related to a similar crime that took place in her absence. At the crime scene she discovers a note on her vehicle and notices a figure running away. She gives chase and runs down Charlaine Rosalind Carter Grant (aka Charlie) who denies writing the letter but informs D.D. that she visited the crime scene to see the detective in action. It seems that Charlie knows that she will be murdered in four days, on January 23rd, and wants D.D. to promise to handle the investigation. Charlie’s two best childhood friends have been murdered on that exact same day over the last two years and she is certain that she is next. She has been preparing for this day for a year, learning to shoot and box to prepare herself for this ultimate showdown. But the well-laid plan is interrupted with disturbing recollections of an abusive mother, vague memories of dead infant siblings and her apparent connection with the third slain pedophile in two days. Will she be murdered or is she in fact a murderer? The many secrets of the past unfold as the action never stops.
Debut author Kate Ellison has woven an interesting combination of grief, murder, runaways and obsessive-compulsive disorder that results in an action-packed young adult novel. Penelope “Lo” Marin misses her brother Oren, who died of a drug overdose and estranged from their family. The grief has stimulated her obsessive compulsive disorder to the point of danger as she gets the “urge” to steal things more and more while wandering further and further into “Neverland,”the seedy side of town where the homeless, mentally unstable, and runaways live and where Oren died. While in Neverland and stealing a marble angel that she cannot live without, she is almost hit by a random bullet coming from a yellow house on Lourraine Street. Lo later learns online that a girl was killed that night: Sapphire, a stripper with no family, last name or friends. Lo becomes obsessed with the idea that she was so close to the murderer and cannot forget this poor lonely dead girl. When she sees a butterfly pendant – listed online as one of Sapphire’s few possessions – at a flea market, she purchases it and becomes even more compelled by a feeling of closeness to her dead brother and this dead girl. Her OCD will not allow her to stop feeling that she needs to make things right. With the help of Flynt, a runaway boy who she befriends in Neverland, Lo pursues the murderer no matter how dangerous it becomes. Besides telling a great story, Ellison does a remarkable job of revealing the frustrating characteristics of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
This is the story of young adults who share something terrible in common, cancer. Hazel, seventeen, is living on borrowed time due to an experimental drug that has temporarily shrunken tumors in her lungs. Her life is not easy since she has to wheel her oxygen around with her during the day and hook up to a machine at night. She is no longer able to attend a regular school but is taking college courses already and is extremely well read and intelligent. She is the only child of two doting parents who insist on her attending a “Cancer Kids Support Group” where she meets Augustus Walters, who will change what is left of her life. Handsome and charming and with only a 20% chance of a recurrence of his osteosarcoma, a cancer which has claimed one of his legs, Augustus falls in love with a resistant Hazel. Their search for Peter Van Houten, Hazel’s favorite author, and their mutual love of Issac, another friend blinded by his own cancer, draw them even closer day by day. Unfortunately, when you live with cancer, every day is a combination of joy and pain, and Green conveys this vividly on every page. As Augustus points out “That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.” The Fault in our Stars is a testament to this saying, so try not to read the ending in public place.
Four recent college graduates are very frustrated when they find themselves with plenty of education but no job. They joke about robbing banks or perhaps kidnapping. The second option becomes a reality when they find how easy it is to find a “mark” via the internet and demand a small enough ransom that the family will pay it quickly and not call the police. Although they swear it is just a temporary situation, the easy money and greed keep them in the racket for two years. Things suddenly get much more complicated when they kidnap Terry Harper whose wife pays the ransom but his ego will not let him be victimized so easily and he reports the crime to the police. Next, the foursome fail to do enough research on a victim and kidnaps, and in a moment of panic, kills Donald Beneteau, a huge figure in organized crime. The result is they have law enforcement on their tail, as well as some ruthless organized crime thugs hired by Beneteau’s family.
The amateurs are forced to become professionals with the action never stopping and becoming increasingly explosive until the ultimate brutal and final confrontation.
The Professionals will be released on March 29, 2012 and we have signed copies on order. Owen is working on a second novel. He is definitely worth waiting for!
This is a Cinderella story, complete with the adoption thing, dead father, stepsisters and mean step-mom; however, factor in cyborgs, lunars, deadly plagues and threatening war and then you have a real story. Cinder is a cyborg and the best mechanic in New Beijing and has just met Prince Kai in disguise in the marketplace, asking her to repair a broken android that he joking calls “a matter of national security.” Cinder is distracted from fixing it immediately when her stepsister contracts the deadly letumosis disease that is plaguing the earth. Her step-mom blames Cinder for the disaster and volunteers her to the royal research clinic that is experimenting with cyborgs to find a cure. Dr. Erland not only finds that Cinder is immune to the disease but also much more. What he knows about her could end the plague and stop impending war with the Lunars and wicked Queen Levina. When Cinder finally repairs the prince’s android and learns that only she can stop him from marrying Queen Levina, the tale propels into sheer brilliance.
This is Marissa Meyers’ debut novel and she promises three more, all of which I will be reading as soon as the ink dries.
Give the gift of God versus Lucifer. Once more the two come to the bargaining table for a new bet. The Book of Joby. Tor.
Give the gift of John Grisham. The Litigators will give you your lawyer fix for the season. Doubleday.
Give the gift of historical intrigue with the Time in Between by Sira Quiroga. From Spain in 1911 to World War II, the story will transport you. Atria Books.
Give the gift of Fallen Angels in love. Becca Fitzpatrick satisfies the young adult on your list with Hush, Hush, Crescendo, and Silence. Simon&Schuster.
Give the gift of revenge with Elizabeth Miles' Fury. Spiritual forces insist that "sorry" just isn't enough. Simon Pulse.
Troy Chance’s life is quite non-committal as a single, though recently dating someone, freelance writer living in Vermont on Lake Placid. It is on a ferry ride to visit her new beau that, through the fog on the lake, she spots two small eyes looking out of a bundle being tossed off the passing ferry. Without a thought, she leaps into the icy waters and does indeed eventually swim to shore with a tiny six -year old boy who speaks only French, mumbling one word, “Merci”.
After expecting to find a frantic family at the ferry landing but finding no one waiting, Troy takes him back to her cottage to feed and warm him. By the next morning she has still not contacted authorities and has heard no news on the disappearance of a small boy. By brushing up on some college French classes and gaining enough trust from the boy, Troy finds out his name, his parents’ name and the fact that he had been kidnapped along with his mother who he thinks is dead. She tracks down the dad in Canada and the story unwinds into a mesmerizing combination of suspense, mystery, intrigue and a dash of romance with an ending that will shock and astonish you. This is a terrific and most recommended debut from Sara J. Henry. -- bkh
This novel is part mystery and part ghost story as it explores the capabilities of a disturbed mind dwelling in a dark past and wreaking havoc and possibly death in the present.
Attractive Samantha Moore has a charmed life, is engaged to a wonderful man and in line to take over her father’s lucrative advertising agency when a random act of violence reduces her to a frightened invalid with a withering leg and violent nightmares. Her fiancé and over-protective father combine to make her feel even more the victim, forcing more medication and pity than she can stand. Her dad decides it would be in everyone’s best interest to send Samantha to a quiet, secluded lake town in Minnesota. There she meets Anne, an unemployed physical therapist who, after a fashion, becomes a good companion and influence on her. However, strange things begin to happen and Sam wonders how she will juggle her imagined fears and the truly frightening events that begin to unfold. The town’s eccentric residents are hiding some disturbing secrets, ghosts and stories of the past that put Samantha in danger of losing not only her mind but her life as well. With her father and boyfriend threatening an insane asylum, Samantha must team with Anne and her new friend, Greg, to uncover the evil force that could be anyone of them, even her fiancé. This is an interesting, entertaining and quick read. -- bkh
Becca’s debut young adult novel is a great success, in my opinion!
Nora is just recovering from her father’s murder and adjusting to her mom working full time and traveling when her high school lab teacher partners her with Patch. He infuriates her with his teasing ability to read her mind and not only know where she is but he shows up every time. She is repulsed in some ways and strangely attracted in others. When she begins to get randomly attacked and stalked, she cannot decide if Patch is out to harm her or save her. And what is up with those V-shaped scars on his back? He is definitely different but just where has he fallen from… you will find out and beg for more… which you will get in Crescendo, the sequel. Also, look for Becca’s latest, Silence, which will be released on October 4th, and she will be in the San Diego store to sign that evening! -- bkh
Marilyn Monroe and her fairy tale yet sad and lonely rise to fame have always intrigued me. When you throw in her connection to the Kennedy administration, this novel was one I could not pass up. I was not disappointed at all! Nathan Heller is a private detective and a friend of Marilyn when she is at the peak of her career, but rumors have always twirled around the famously insecure and temperamental silver screen goddess. In fact, she is about to be sued by Twentieth Century Fox for delay of her latest movie “Something’s Got to Give.” She is also very much romantically involved with both John F. and Robert Kennedy, which puts her in harm’s way because of their connections to organized crime. Heller knows that Marilyn is stronger than ever at this point when she hires him to tap her phone for her own protection. The star turns up dead within three months and Heller is convinced it was not a suicide so he begins to investigate on his own. His efforts to uncover the startling truth behind these famous, powerful and deadly people makes for a real page turner that you will not forget any time soon… Signed copies available while supplies last. -- bkh
I have already handsold this book on to two of my neighbors with the guarantee that they will love it and have a hard time putting it down. Lisa had them hooked on the first chapter.
State police officer Tessa Leoni appears to have shot her husband with her service issue Sig Sauer after an apparent domestic violence incident resulted in her suffering a concussion and bruised ribs. The complication of her six-year-old daughter being missing from her bed and nowhere to be found adds to the troubling crime scene. Homicide detective D.D.Warren is covering the case and is at first convinced that it is a typical domestic violence case in which one of the parents has harmed the child.When the autopsy reveals that the dead husband has evidence of frostbite on his fingers and toes, D.D. and her partner, Bobby Dodge, begin to view Tessa as more of a cold-blooded killer than she first appeared. But Tessa seems to have really loved her little girl and no one who knew Brian, her dead husband, can believe that he would ever harm his wife or daughter. The contradictions mount up as Tessa reveals herself to be a conniving and ruthless person. Or is she? Maybe she just loves her daughter more than anything and anyone. You will find out at the stunning ending. — bkh
Connie continues her tale of Blackout, a story of time travel from 2060 Oxford to World War II battle-torn London, in this incredible novel.
The story continues with Mike, Eileen and Polly still “stuck” in London during the Blitz. They do not know why their drops will not open to get them back to Oxford, but it is becoming very clear that the long held belief that time travelers cannot affect historical outcomes is probably not true. With every incident that occurs, the three realize that they are in a position to actually change the outcome of Word War II.
The action is fast-paced and the descriptions of a city besieged by German bombs every night are remarkably real. If you are a history buff you must read this book and live in World War II for 641 pages. The end is a rush of adrenaline connecting all the dots, causing you to say to yourself, “ah, now I get it!” Willis throws in a bit of a love story at the end, which, for me, was the crowning glory of this magnificent novel. -- bkh
This exciting tale had me hooked from the very first page. The futuristic setting and the fast paced action are addictive.
It is the story of twins, Lugh, the boy and the oldest by two hours and Saba the sister who idolizes her brother. When a sudden storm comes up on the desert-like parched plain and the dust clears, four riders appear to kidnap Lugh and kill their father. Saba is left with the younger sister Emmi, who Saba blames for their mother’s death during childbirth, and her pet crow Nero. The unlikely group set out to find their brother.
The rest of the story is laced with cage fighting, chaal addiction, a Louie XIV look alike king, an all girl revolution, hellwurms and a touch of romance. Saba finds an inner and outward strength that she never knew she possessed, as well as, a love for her sister and her new friend, Jack. Do I want the rest of the story? Yes, yes , yes… bring it on. -- Bunny Hand
As usual, I chose this novel after listening to Connie at an author signing. She had me sold when she spoke so knowledgeably about World War II and the time travel involved in the story that transports the reader to the exact moment of incredible events.
Wow, I was not disappointed! It is a history book, a science fiction book and a suspense novel thrown into one. It is set in Oxford in 2060, with time travelers going back to events from the Crusades to the Civil War to the attack on the World trade Center, but focusing on London during the Blitz.
In the midst of this action something goes terribly wrong and Michael, Merope and Polly find themselves without a “drop” to get back to Oxford. Besides being left behind in the midst of air raids, blackouts, rationing and such, the time travelers begin to get a sense and intense fear that they might be able to alter history. There is no real ending which is why I am in the middle of All Clear, the second half of the two book series.
I highly recommend Blackout to anyone who cannot get enough of World War II details, especially London from 1940 to 1945. -- bkh