chez_jae: (Books)
Between yesterday and today, I read An Ice Cold Grave, which is the third installment in Charlaine Harris' "Harper Connelly" series.

Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver are summoned to the small NC town of Doraville to search for the bodies of several missing teen boys. Initially, it was thought they were runaways, but there have been too many, and the residents, along with newly-elected sheriff Sandra Rockwell, are beginning to suspect there's a serial killer in their midst.

Harper manages to discover the six missing boys, along with two others who were unknown. She is profoundly disturbed by the manner of their death, and she wants nothing more than to leave Doraville behind. However, as per usual, local police and state investigators want Harper to stay so they can question her further. When she is attacked, it becomes clear that the killer has no intention of going down without a fight.

Harper is called to another site that may be a dumping ground, but all she finds there are the bodies of tortured animals, and one very disturbed young boy. The cases seem unrelated, but Harper can't shake the feeling that she, and everyone else, have missed something important.

The story was so gripping that I stayed up until 2am reading, and I was tempted to finish it. I refrained, however, and finished it today. This book was darker than any of the others, and there is a surprising shift in the relationship between Harper and Tolliver. Some things I figured out early, and some still caught me flat-footed. I like that in a book!

Favorite lines:
♦ I felt like a rabbit one jump ahead of the greyhounds.
♦ I wasn't in the habit of feeling so sure about that, since I spent a lot of time with surprised dead people.

That line amused me far more than it should have!

Excellent! Five stars!

*****
chez_jae: (Books)
Earlier, I finished reading The Ghost and Mrs Mewer by Krista Davis. It's the second book in her "Paws & Claws" mystery series.

Holly has decided to return to Wagtail and help her Oma run the Sugar Maple Inn, and she couldn't be happier. The Inn is filled to capacity for the town's Howloween celebrations, and most of the guests are part of the television crew the Apparition Apprehenders. Everything is going well until Holly's dog Trixie discovers a woman floating facedown in shallow water. Although the death is initially ruled an accident, both Holly and police officer Dave feel that there was foul play involved.

It seems there is no shortage of suspects, either. The victim, Mallory, had managed to get on the wrong side of almost everyone on the television crew, as well as Wagtail resident (and Holly's friend) Clementine. The question is, who had motive, method, AND opportunity?

As if a potential murder isn't enough to deal with, Holly's ex-boyfriend Ben comes to Wagtail, thinking they can just pick up where they left off. And, the man whom Holly secretly adores, childhood friend Holmes, has a fiancee awaiting him back in Chicago.

I enjoyed the story, but I wasn't completely engrossed by it, which is why it took a week to read. I blame part of that on the NHL playoffs, however. Ha ha!

Favorite line: "We can't blame everything we don't understand on the paranormal. I get that, which is why I find it all so fascinating."

Very good, but perhaps not as enjoyable as the first book in the series. Four stars:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
After reading one Mercy Thompson novel, I was compelled to dive into another. Last night, I read Fire Touched cover-to-cover. Good thing I have Good Friday off! This is the ninth book in Patricia Briggs' series about skinwalker Mercedes Thompson and her husband, Adam Hauptman.

Local police call on the werewolves for assistance when a troll takes up residence on a bridge over the Columbia River. Mercy and Adam are among the first responders, and they manage to take the troll down. However, they also find themselves giving sanctuary to a boy who is seeking shelter from the fae. By taking him in, the Columbia River Basin pack has made enemies of the fae, causing the leader of all North American wolves to repudiate them. On their own now, it's up to Mercy, Adam, and the rest of their pack to negotiate where they can and fight where they must.

Very compelling read. Not as action-packed as others, but there was more of pack dynamics, which I always enjoy. New, interesting characters were introduced, and former, secondary characters were fleshed out more, which I also appreciate. Through it all, the bickering and bantering between Mercy and Adam added a lighter note and provided some comic relief.

Favorite line: "Take happiness where you can," he said. "It seldom lasts--'course, neither does sorrow, right?"

Excellent book! Five stars!

*****
chez_jae: (Books)
I began reading Night Broken Friday night, then spent most of Saturday reading the rest of it. The book is part of author Patricia Briggs' "Mercy Thompson" series. And yes, I'm woefully behind in the series.

When the ex-wife of Mercy's husband, Alpha werewolf Adam, calls seeking sanctuary from a dangerous stalker, Adam grants it. She's the mother of his teenage daughter, and he still feels responsible for her. Mercy has her misgivings, especially when Adam deems that the safest place for Christy to stay is in their home...which used to be Christy's home. Mercy isn't happy, but to show it would be to display petty jealousy, and she wants to prove she is above that.

In the meantime, a powerful fae has sought Mercy out, wanting to claim an equally powerful fae artifact that has attached itself to Mercy. The problem is, Mercy gifted the walking stick to her father, the Coyote of legend, and now she has no way to contact him to request it back. Inquiries lead her to another of Coyote's children, a man who's in prison for petty crime. Mercy is surprised to encounter another coyote shifter, and even more surprised when the man has a Vision that relates to Christy's stalker.

As Christy's stalker goes on a killing spree to reach her, he finds Mercy alone in her auto repair shop. It soon becomes apparent that he's not human, nor fae, nor werewolf, but something else entirely...something dark and dangerous and deranged. Mercy fights for her life, knowing her only hope is that help will arrive in time.

What a fantastic story! I love all of the books in this series, and this one continued in the same hard-hitting, fast vein as the others. Learning more about Mercy's "family" was fascinating, it was a sheer delight to connect with other, beloved characters, and I enjoyed meeting new ones. Even the villain/stalker was portrayed well, to the point that the reader could almost feel sympathy for him. Almost. This story was so engrossing that I picked the book up this morning and skim-read it again.

:D

Favorite lines:
♦ "Withholding cookies is world-class mean."
♦ "And as long as everyone is above the age of consent and has enough sense to be able to give informed consent, I could care less what anyone does in their own space."

Huzzah! Well-said!
♦ "Don't juggle porcupines."
♦ I was not going to say anything about the stupid lamb if only because I was certain he wanted me to say something about the stupid lamb.
♦ "Man with cat is one of my fantasies."


Excellent story, characterizations, dialogue, and I loved how the various subplots all wove together. Five stars!

*****
chez_jae: (Books)
Last night, I finished reading Haunted is Always in Fashion by Rose Pressey. It's part of her "Haunted Vintage" mystery series.

Vintage clothing shop owner Cookie Chanel is on her way to meet a woman who wants to interview her for a book she is writing on vintage fashions. Cookie is thwarted on the way by an accident, and she learns that Julianna, the woman she was to meet, was shot and killed in her car. When Julianna's ghost appears to Cookie, her "resident" ghost, Charlotte, insists that Cookie help solve the mystery of who murdered Julianna.

There is no shortage of suspects, from the odd man who comes into Cookie's shop in search of a vintage hat, to Julianna's eccentric aunt, to her sketchy boyfriend. In addition to speaking to various people who knew Julianna, Cookie also pumps her boyfriend, police officer Dylan, for information. She also gets clues from her cat, Wind Song, who uses a Ouija board to communicate. When Cookie starts getting too close to the truth, her shop is burglarized, and her own life is endangered.

For the second time, I was disappointed by a book in this series. Pressey is a prolific writer, so I don't know if her train of thought jumps the tracks, or if someone else is doing a poor job of editing, or a combination of both. Once again, it seemed as if the author forgot what she wrote earlier in the story. For instance, Julianna is amazed by Wind Song's ability to communicate...twice. As I was reading the second such surprise, I was thinking, 'Wait a minute; didn't Julianna already see the cat doing this?' I flipped back a few chapters, and yes, there was Julianna, being astounded by the cat's prowess with a Ouija board. Also, Cookie had a lunch "date" scheduled with attorney Ken, but we, the readers, never heard anything more about it. Derp. Did you forget to write about it, Ms Pressey, or did it get edited out? Baffling and frustrating. To top it off, I found Charlotte's interference annoying again. She continues to harass Cookie into going here, following that person, talking to this person, etc. She doesn't appear to realize or care that Cookie has a life to live and a business to run, never mind the danger Cookie finds herself in. And, I found it completely confounding that Cookie neither thought to tell the ghosts to follow someone or check up on them, nor that either of them thought of it themselves. It's not as if the ghosts are bound to Cookie; they can go wherever they want, yet they never do anything useful. At all.

Favorite line:"Y'all are busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger."

Not happy with this one...two stars:

**
chez_jae: (Books)
Sunday was a lazy, relaxing day, and I read A Fright to the Death from cover to cover. It's part of author Dawn Eastman's "Family Fortune" mystery series, featuring cop-on-sabbatical and reluctant psychic Clyde Fortune.

Clyde and her boyfriend Mac are on their way to the airport to catch a flight to Mexico. It's a great chance for some fun, sun, and time to relax away from their families. Unfortunately, a blizzard cancels their flight and strands them at the same small hotel where most of their families are gathered for a knitting conference. Now they're stranded in the last place they'd rather be. As if that isn't bad enough, one of the owners of the hotel is killed. The local police have no way of reaching the scene of the crime, which means it's up to Mac and Clyde to take charge and try to solve a murder.

The story was good (obviously, since I read it in one day!), but it was probably my least favorite of this series. I don't think I care much for "closed scene" mysteries, wherein the characters are forced into close proximity and no one can leave. Clyde's Aunt Violet came across as a completely annoying, interfering busy body. I'm sure it was meant to be funny, but I found it irritating. Other than that, things moved along at a good pace, and the characters were well-rounded. It was difficult to figure out who killed Clarissa, because so many people seemed to have a good motive.

Favorite lines:
♦ "Lots of terrible bosses live through their employee's anger."
♦ "Oh, like those sweaters Mrs Weasley made in the Harry Potter books?"
♦ "Everyone likes to blame the cat, but they aren't always as mischievous as they seem."


Very good, overall. Four stars:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
It took me several weeks, but today I finished reading the book I'd taken to work. It was My Loving Familiar by C J Card. The book was part of Jove's Magical Love line.

Isabel Gomez has sold her family's old trading post building to Cooper Adair, because she needs the money. Had she known ahead of time that Cooper planned to open a pharmacy, she never would have agreed to sell to him. Isabel has her own business of creating herbal remedies and beauty aids, and a pharmacy next door could ruin her. Deciding that the only way to get rid of the competition is to break up Cooper's engagement to wealthy, spoiled socialite Marcella Kent, Isabel puts her scheme into motion. She is aided in her endeavors by her old fairy cat, Grimalkin. What Isabel doesn't realize, however, is that Grim has his own agenda.

This was a sweet, fun story. I enjoyed the paranormal aspect of old Grim, who was more magical than his owner realized. It was fun to see how flustered Cooper became any time he encountered the brash and beautiful Isabel. Characters were three-dimensional, even the snooty Marcella, and I adored Isabel's friend, Dora. My only complaints are the vacillating points of view. Had it simply switched between Isabel and Cooper, that wouldn't have bothered me, but there were times the reader was getting Marcella's pov, too. I also thought the ending was rather rushed.

Favorite line: "Being cruel is a lot more difficult than being kind."

Very good, even though I seldom read the paranormal romance genre any more. Four stars:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
Last night, I read the rest of File M for Murder by Miranda James. It's part of the "Cat in the Stacks" mystery series.

Assistant librarian Charlie is pleasantly surprised when his daughter Laura returns home. She's going to be teaching a semester at the local college,and Charlie is looking forward to spending time with her. The theater department has another returnee for the term--famous playwright Connor Lawton. Charlie soon learns that Lawton is an obnoxious ass, and even worse, Laura used to date him.

When Lawton is murdered and it's Laura who discovers the body, she at first is under suspicion for the crime, and later, her life is endangered after she removed a flash drive from Lawton's apartment. All of this leaves Charlie, as well as his cat Diesel, feeling extra protective of Laura. The flash drive reveals some interesting clues, and it's up to a reference librarian to figure them out.

The story involved more action than previous ones in the series, what with another murder taking place, and repeated attempts to harm Laura. I was a bit disappointed in the "prodigal child comes home" trope, but only because the author used it in one of the first books in the series, when Charlie's son Sean came home. Fortunately, I believe he only has the two children, so we shouldn't see any more of that in subsequent books.

Favorite line: "As long as it's over who needs a tense confrontation with a murderer?...They always seem a bit contrived in some of the books I read."
I agree! Bonus points to the author for a non-dramatic wrapping up of the case.

The book was likable enough, although not extraordinary. Four stars:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
I finished reading Look Both Ways before bedtime last night. It's the third book in author Carol J Perry's "Witch City" mystery series.

Lee Barrett finds herself at loose ends. She no longer has a TV show, nor does she have any classes to teach over the summer. To keep busy, she volunteers to act as property manager for the three plays being put on by the local college. In addition, Lee has a new apartment to furnish. While scrounging for props, she can do a bit of both. When Lee purchases a beautiful old bureau, she learns it belonged to a woman who was murdered several years ago. The bureau has hidden compartments, which yield some fascinating ephemera from its previous owner. However, the woman's missing pink diamond is not one of the objects secreted away in the bureau. Someone seems to think it's there, though, as shortly after Lee buys the piece, the woman who sold it to her is murdered, and Lee's name and address have been stolen from the company that delivered the bureau. When Lee begins to see visions of both murdered women, she must decide whether or not to share her gift with her boyfriend, police officer Pete.

Very good story. I enjoyed how the past and the present paralleled one another. It was fun to read about Lee's adventures in antiquing, and I was happy to see her relationship with Pete progressing.

Favorite line: And why am I holding a conversation with a cat?

Charming! Five stars!

*****
chez_jae: (Books)
Came home, finished reading The Witch's Grave, went out to feed the livestock cats, and now I'm doing my "book report"! It is part of author Shirley Damsgaard's "Ophelia and Abby" mystery series.

The story was rather bland, compared to others in the series. At a fundraising event, Ophelia meets a man she feels an instant connection to, only to see him get shot right in front of her. Although she only just met Steven, Ophelia feels compelled to investigate the incident, since local police aren't sure it wasn't simply a hunting accident. When someone takes a shot at Ophelia later, the police take notice.

In the meantime, Ophelia keeps having dreams hearkening to the era of WWII, about a young French woman named Madeleine. Abby believes Ophelia is dreaming of a past life, which may explain why she felt drawn to Steven.

Cue a bunch of following up on leads, more scares, more dreams, a few rituals to tap into her abilities, and voila! Personally, the dreams threw me out of the current story, and I hope it's not something the author explores further in future books.

Favorite line: I found it hard to imagine living in a place with no stars.

Not very impressed with this one--three stars:

***
chez_jae: (Books)
Was up until almost midnight last night, finishing Copycat Killing by Sofie Kelly. It's the third installment in the "Magical Cats" mystery series, featuring librarian Kathleen and her talented cats, Owen and Hercules.

After days of torrential rain, everyone in the town of Mayville Heights are sick of the weather. The library's parking lot is flooded, which means Kathleen can't work. She keeps busy helping her friend Maggie move items from the art studio's ground floor to the second level. On one such excursion, they find a body in the flooded basement. Jaeger Merrill was making a nuisance of himself, and someone may have silenced him for good. When another artist recognizes him as a former forger who was arrested and did his time, Kathleen can't help but think Merrill's past caught up with him. Fortunately, police officer Marcus is on the case.

When Kathleen and Marcus go out to feed feral cats at the rundown Wisteria Hill manor, Kathleen is drawn to the creek bank. The wet ground gives way beneath her feet, unearthing skeletal remains. Now, it seems that the local police have two crimes to solve, and Kathleen is right in the middle of both of them. With a little help from her cats, she starts working to unearth the clues that can lead to not one, but two killers.

I'm not sure I've read a mystery with two such different cases before. I couldn't help but think they must be connected. I like this verse and the town and its characters, so it was fun to revisit. Kathleen's attraction to Marcus moves along at a snail's pace, but I find that refreshing for a change.

Favorite lines:
♣ Not only do cats not get sarcasm, they don't get shameless bids for sympathy either.
♣ Even cats know stupid when they hear it.


Very good, four stars:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
Finally finished reading Demons Not Included by Cheyenne McCray. It's the first book in her urban fantasy series, featuring half-Drow, half-human Tracker, Nyx.

Nyx is one of several paranormal Trackers that help protect New York from the more unsavory paranormal elements. When some of her fellow Trackers are killed by demons, while human liaisons are being abducted, it's up to Nyx and her partners to put an end to the chaos. She worries that her human coworker, Olivia, may not be able to hold her own against demons, and Nyx is also concerned for Adam, the human liaison in her territory, whom she would like to get to know better. To complicate matters, the Proctor of New York, Nyx's friend and sometime-lover, Rodan, saddles her with an unknown helper, a man named Torin. Nyx dislikes him, but she can't quite get a handle on why.

By putting together clues found at the various crime scenes, Nyx and the others discover that a master Demon is intent on opening a portal to unleash hell on earth. Now it's up to Nyx to put her life on the line to save not just New York, but all of humanity.

The story was interesting. Nyx's character was a bit baffling. At times, she was a bad-ass warrior, and other times, she came across as a whiny chit. I guess I can forgive that, based on her relative young age. At least she didn't fall into bed with sexy, infuriating Torin. That would have made me gag. I didn't like that Nyx's "working gear" consisted of leather pants and a leather corset. Seriously?! The author is a woman, and she still had her female character togged up like any straight man's wet dream, because, of course, we women are only concerned with showcasing our assets, rather than going for comfort and practicality. Good gravy.

Favorite line: I swear, if I had been drinking my Starbucks today, it would have gone up my nose.

Kind of on the fence with this one. Hm. I'll give it a three for now:

***
chez_jae: (Books)
I've been so busy that I haven't had time to post about the book I finished on Thursday. Sheesh.

The book was Catch as Cat Can, which is part of author Claire Donally's "Sunny and Shadow" mystery series.

A shop selling fresh fish has opened next door to the small tourist/travel office where Sunny works. Her cat Shadow is sufficiently intrigued that he hitchhikes to town with Sunny a few times to mooch fresh fish from the owner, Neil Garret. When someone is murdered in Neil's store, Sunny learns that he's been in a witness protection program, and now the Feds are in town, and Sunny's boyfriend, Chief Investigator Will Price, is also on the case. Neil's alibi is shaky, and he becomes a suspect, but Sunny doesn't believe he'd harm anyone. Her old, investigative journalist instincts kick in, and she soon becomes embroiled in the mystery.

Good story, although the author didn't provide any information to allow me to connect the dots until quite late in the story. Boo on that!

Favorite line: Sooner or later, you'll have to go to sleep. And then, when you least expect it, I'll jump on you.
That was the "thoughts" of Shadow, the cat!

Four stars:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
Just now finished reading Last Wool and Testament by Molly McRae. It is the first book in her "Haunted Yarn Shop" mystery series.

Kath Rutledge is rushing home to Blue Plum TN for the funeral of her beloved grandmother, Ivy. She barely makes it to the service in time, because she was stopped for speeding by local cop Cole Dunbar. She is set to inherit the yarn shop her grandmother owned, along with Ivy's house. Still flummoxed by her grandmother's death, Kath is dealt one traumatic blow after another. First, she learns that Ivy may not have owned her small cottage, she can't get inside to go through her grandmother's belongings, but someone else has, as it's been broken into at least twice. With nowhere to stay, Kath is offered the use of the caretaker's cottage at Homestead, only to learn the previous tenant was murdered there, and that Officer Dunbar thinks her grandmother killed old Emmett Cobb. On top of that, Kath reads a letter from Ivy telling her that she's a witch. No one knows what became of Ivy's cat, Kath can't find the birthday gift her grandmother had made for her, Officer Dunbar continues to anger her at every turn, her lawyer is cautioning her to lay low and stay quiet, her grandmother's meddling twin cousins, the Spiveys, seem to pop up at the most inopportune times, the cottage where she's staying at is haunted, and someone tries to break in while she's there, and oh yeah, two more people end up dead.

*stops for breath*

Needless to say, there was a lot going on, almost too much. Most cozies involve a murder, of course, but this one seemed to keep piling them on. Kath doesn't know whom to trust, and she suspects she's losing her mind, since no one else can see the wailing woman haunting Emmett's cottage. I enjoyed the story, but some of the characters needed a brick to the face. That's good writing for you, though! The author created some truly loathsome characters. I had it all figured out early, only to find that I didn't. Ha ha! I will say this, though--if Kath had ended up falling for Officer Dunbar after the way he treated her, I would have burned the book and refused to read anything else by this author. Fortunately, Kath harbors only an intense dislike the man she begins referring to as "Clod Dunbar".

Favorite line: "You're haunting my car? You can't do that. This is a rental!"

Likable heroine, intricate plot, excellent characterizations, ghosts, and cats. Five stars!

*****
chez_jae: (Books)
This working girl stayed up too late last night to finish Midsummer Night's Mischief by Jennifer David Hesse. It's the first in the author's "Wiccan Wheel" mystery series.

In addition to law, attorney Keli Milanni also practices Wiccan. She's in the closet about that to friends and family both. However, when a client of hers passes away, and a valuable antique book is stolen from the woman's home just days later, the family blames Keli for not exercising due diligence. With her job on the line, Keli may need to tap into her magical abilities to find the culprit.

There are no shortage of suspects, most of whom are related to Keli's client. When Keli finds herself falling for Wes, her client's grandson, her investigation begins to clash with her personal life. As Keli gets closer to uncovering the truth, she receives threatening messages, warning her to mind her own business. Keli has no intention of backing off. With her faithful sidekick, Farrah, several contacts in the area of rare books, and her faith to guide her, Keli is determined to locate the stolen book and save her job.

This story was light-hearted and fun, for the most part. I thought Keli took some risks in her quest to uncover the truth. Characters were well-done, and the plot moved along. I got a little tired of reading about her vegan diet, however. I did appreciate that the mystery involved a stolen item, rather than a murder. We need more mysteries like that!

Favorite line:
♥ "Coworkers," I replied. "Muggles."
♥ "Well done, Scooby Gang. And then what? Do we rig up a giant fishnet?"

Gotta love a book that includes both Harry Potter and Scooby Doo references!

I'm waffling between a three and a four here. I'll go with four, because the mystery was a unique premise.

♥♥♥♥
chez_jae: (Books)
Earlier this evening, I finished reading Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris. It's the second installment in her "Harper Connelly" series, featuring a main character who can sense/locate dead bodies and tell how they died.

Harper and her stepbrother, Tolliver, have traveled to Tennessee so that Harper can demonstrate her strange ability to a group of college students who are studying an anthropology course on "experiences outside the box". Both the skeptical professor and his students are stunned when Harper is able to stand on graves in an old cemetery and say how each person died. However, it's Harper who is stunned when one grave contains two bodies, and the most recent is of a young girl, whom Harper had tried (and failed) to locate eighteen months earlier.

Once word gets out that the missing girl's remains have been found, Harper and Tolliver find themselves at the epicenter of a media storm and a police investigation. Everyone considers it too great of a coincidence for the girl to have turned up where Harper was going to give a demonstration, even Harper and Tolliver agree on that. They are contacted by the girl's family, and they soon find themselves caught up in family dynamics and drama, all of which may lead to the killer.

An interesting, gripping story. Harper and Tolliver had their own secrets from one another, one of which was revealed, and the other, concealed. In a way, it was disheartening to see them lose some of their blind faith in one another. I was able to suss out the killer fairly early, but learning the how and the why was still fascinating.

Favorite lines:
♥ Death is a fundamental human necessity; a solitary passage into the unknown.
♥ You can't be said to have any worries if your fingernails are the center of your universe...


Very good read, five hearts!

♥♥♥♥♥
chez_jae: (Books)
Friday, I finished reading Rest in Pieces, which is the second book in the "Mrs Murphy" mystery series by authors Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown.

When handsome, single Blair Bainbridge moves to Crozet, VA, the local busybodies want to match him up with newly divorced Mary "Harry" Haristeen. However, when fresh body parts are located in an old graveyard on Blair's new property, excitement shifts to the crime and the possible identity of the victim. Later, the torso and then the head are found, each discovery more gruesome than the last. Harry's pets, Mrs Murphy and her sidekick, Tee Tucker, are anxious to protect Harry and to sniff out more clues. Once another murder victim is found and a third man from Crozet goes missing, the race is on to find a killer before anyone else is harmed.

Very entertaining story. I liked Blair, and it was fun to renew acquaintances with characters from the first book. Even the pets are amusing! I figured out who dunnit and why early on, but I still enjoyed reading along to the conclusion.

Favorite lines:
♥ "Give me that back, you striped asshole!"

I may have yelled something similar to Dweezil a time or two!
♥ Nothing sadder on this earth than a human being without a cat.

Superb! Five hearts!

♥♥♥♥♥
chez_jae: (Books)
Since I was off-line yesterday (for the most part!), I took the opportunity to rock through Hellhound by Nancy Holzner. It's part of her "Deadtown" urban fantasy series.

When Deadtown's zombies begin attacking humans, it results in an escalation of tensions between paranormals and humans. Vicky believes the attacks are demon-fueled, and she suspects her nemesis, Pryce, is behind it. When she contacts her Aunt Mab regarding her suspicions, Mab immediately flies to Boston to lend a hand in what promises to be a supernatural battle.

In the meantime, Vicky is worried about her werewolf boyfriend, Kane, who made a fool's bargain with the Night Hag. The full moon is fast approaching, and this time, Kane will be turned into a Hellhound. As if that wasn't bad enough, the Night Hag has pledged to send her hounds after Vicky.

When Vicky and Mab learn that the white falcon of Hellsmoor, which is the current host to the soul of Vicky's father, can kill the demonic Morfran, they realize he is the falcon of prophecy. Too bad that the Night Hag wants the falcon for her own.

As with all of the books in this series, there was quite a lot going on. Various subplots weaved together to form the story. Again, Vicky had family issues to deal with on top of trying to stay alive and keep both Kane and her father out of the Night Hag's clutches. It was also a testament to the strength of love, both the love Vicky and Kane have for one another, and the love between Vicky's parents. I was thoroughly engrossed, and it was difficult to set the book aside.

Favorite lines:
♦ If you've never gotten a disapproving look from a holier-than-thou zombie you haven't really lived.
♦ "I couldn't let a little thing like death keep us apart."


Fabulous, five stars!

*****
chez_jae: (Books)
In spite of having an interview today, I still managed to read Murder, She Barked, by Krista Davis. It's the first book in the "Paws & Claws" mystery series. Yet again, another series I have several books in and hadn't read any. Yikes.

Holly Miller has just lost her job, her boyfriend's ex is trying to re-enter the picture, and now she's received a call from her grandmother's best friend that Oma needs her. Holly drops everything to rush to Wagtail, VA, and the pet-friendly inn that her Oma owns there. Along the way, she picks up a dog, and witnesses a fiery explosion. Holly arrives to find out that her Oma was injured in a hit-and-run that killed the person she was with. It doesn't take Holly long to realize that Oma may have been the killer's intended target. When another person in town is murdered, Holly struggles to find a connection. In the meantime, her boyfriend proposes to her via text, then has the nerve to show up with his ex in tow, someone tries to steal Holly's new dog, she reconnects with an old crush, and her Oma seems to be keeping secrets.

I enjoyed the story. Lots of twists and turns to the plot. Characterizations were wonderful, although there was one smarmy person who gave me the willies, and one woman who needed a beat-down. I even enjoyed reading about the many pets in the story.

Favorite line: ...it was a well-known rule that all diets were off during road trips.

Good book, and I'm glad I have more to read. Four stars:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
Stayed up too late last night finishing Blood Bath & Beyond by Michelle Rowen. It's the first book in her "Immortality Bites" mystery series, but it features a main character who was first introduced in an earlier, paranormal romance: Bitten and Smitten.

Sarah Dearly is still getting the hang of being a vampire. Fortunately, her fiance Thierry is a master vampire, and she can learn from him. When Thierry takes a job from the Ring, whose purpose is to keep vampires on the straight and narrow to avoid outing themselves, Sarah accompanies him to Las Vegas. Thierry's first job is to confront a child vampire/beauty pageant contestant. It seems simple enough, but once they arrive, they learn that a serial killer has been draining victims of blood, a la a vampire. Thierry encounters someone from his past and they have words. When the other vampire is later murdered, it's Thierry who is the main suspect. He sends Sarah home to keep her safe, but Sarah refuses to go. She ditches at the airport and heads back to help her man.

The story was lite and fun, with just enough danger tossed in to keep it from being nothing but fluff. I had to admire Sarah's determination to help Thierry, even though the poor girl seemed to careen from one dangerous situation to another, full-tilt. In a sense, there were two mysteries to solve: that of the serial killer, and that of Bernard's murder. One was resolved in a satisfactory fashion, the other, not so much.

Favorite line: Right now, I was so far down in the dumps that the raccoons had arrived and were starting to sniff around.

Fun story. Four stars:

****

Profile

chez_jae: (Default)
chez_jae

September 2017

S M T W T F S
     1 2
34 5678 9
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 06:11 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios