Friday, February 12, 2016

Pride & Regicide by Cathy Bryant

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Pride & Regicide
by Cathy Bryant


ISBN-13: 9781910510612
ebook: 90 pages
Publisher: Crooked Cat Publishing
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Miss King is dead, and it looks like murder. Three years after the events of Pride and Prejudice, Mary Bennet puts her formidable mind to work to solve the case along with the help of her best friend, Cassandra Lucas, and a nifty suspicion chart involving embroidery. Mary discovers secrets and scandals that may make her the murderer's next victim...


My Review:
Pride & Regicide is a Regency romance/mystery novella. It's set three years after Pride and Prejudice and contained many of the characters from that story, though not Lizzy and Darcy. Mary is still serious, but she's trying to give up moralizing. She puts herself down a lot as being foolish, and she now likes gossiping.

The mystery was pretty straight forward: Mary witnessed the murder, thought over who might benefit from the death, and read through Miss King's diary (at a relative's request) to discover why she was killed. She then set up a meeting with her suspect at the site of the murder without telling anyone what she found or was doing. So, okay, maybe Mary is foolish.

Whodunit and the motive for whodunit didn't mesh at all with my understanding of the characters from Pride and Prejudice. However, I did enjoy the story up until then as it was humorous. Mary had two men paying special attention to her, though she didn't quite believe either was truly interested in her romantically. There was no sex or bad language.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Murder of a Lady by Anthony Wynne

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Murder of a Lady
by Anthony Wynne


ISBN-13: 9781464205712
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Released: 1931; Feb. 2, 2016

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Duchlan Castle is a gloomy, forbidding place in the Scottish Highlands. Mary Gregor, sister of the laird of Duchlan, is found stabbed to death in her bedroom. The room is locked from within and the windows are barred. A silver fish scale is left on the terrible wound.

The Gregor family and their servants are quick to explain that Mary was a kind and charitable woman. Superstitious locals believe that fish creatures from the nearby waters are responsible. Amateur sleuth Eustace Hailey uncovers a more complex truth, and the cruel character of the dead woman continues to pervade the house after her death. Soon further deaths, equally impossible, occur, and the atmosphere grows ever darker.


My Review:
Murder of a Lady is a mystery novel set in Scotland and originally published in 1931. It's the amateur sleuth, Hailey, that's the main character and who solved the case. It's a "locked room" mystery that could potentially be solved in several ways. There were clues, and you could guess whodunit from the clues, but some critical clues weren't discovered until nearly the end.

I originally guessed something similar to what the second inspector concluded, and my solution still seems more plausible to me than the actual solution. Having worked with the murder weapon before, I think whodunit was extremely lucky that everything happened exactly right to get the desired end and that no one noticed that certain things went missing at the time of the crime.

The characters were more "types" of people or pieces of a puzzle than people to sympathize with or hate. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I still enjoyed reading the story and would recommend this mystery.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Veiled at Midnight

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Veiled at Midnight
by Christine Lindsay


ISBN-13: 9781939023261
Trade Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: WhiteFire Publishing
Released: October 2014

Source: Review copy from the author.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
The 1947 Indian Independence and desire for Partition is causing riots across India. As the British Empire comes to an end, millions flee to the roads. Caught up in the turbulent wake is Captain Cam Fraser, his sister Miriam, and the beautiful Indian Dassah.

Cam has never been able to put Dassah from his mind, ever since the days when he played with the orphans at the mission as a boy. But a British officer and the aide to the last viceroy cannot marry a poor Indian woman, can he? Dassah may love Cam, but his actions break her heart and she runs away from him.

Miriam rails against the separation of the land of her birth, but is Lieutenant Colonel Jack Sunderland her soulmate or a distraction from what God has called her to do?


My Review:
Veiled at Midnight is a historical suspense novel set in 1946 to 1947 in India. It's the third in a series. You don't have to read the previous books to follow this one, but this book revealed major events from book one and how the romance turned out in book two.

The historical details about the 1947 Partition of India were interesting and added suspense as the characters repeatedly found themselves caught up in the violence and rioting. The characters were interesting, and several changed and grew throughout the book. Cam started out a mess and not very likable. He's obsessed with Dassah and is willing to marry her, but he's also an alcoholic and unwilling to stand up to the pressures that they'll face as a "mixed" marriage.

Tikah is convinced that Cam hasn't legally married Dassah and convinces Dassah to run away from Cam. Unable to find his wife and feeling guilt for letting her down, Cam hits rock bottom. His family is there to help, and God gives him strength to face his alcoholism and become a man worthy of Dassah. It's just a matter of finding her in the midst of upheaval while his rival is trying to win her heart.

I liked that God was an active part of the story by giving people strength and comfort. There were no sex scenes or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this historical novel.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Ashes to Ashes by Mel Starr

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Ashes to Ashes
by Mel Starr


ISBN-13: 9781782641339
Trade Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Released: November 27, 2015

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Master Hugh, Kate, and their children attend the Midsummer’s Eve fire. The next morning, tenants collecting the ashes to spread upon their fields find burned human bones. Hugh learns of several men of Bampton and nearby villages who have gone missing recently. Most are soon found, some alive, some dead. But one remains missing, and he was a very unpopular man...


My Review:
Ashes to Ashes is a historical novel set in 1369 in England. It's the 8th book in a series, but you don't need to read the previous novels to understand this one. This novel referred to events from previous novels.

The story contained many details about life during this time period, and these details were worked into the flow of the story. The story was told from a distant viewpoint. We're told what Hugh thought and did like he's telling us the story after the events. The characters were interesting and varied.

Hugh's not clever, but he's determined. He steadily followed up each lead and stuck to his investigation even when it got dangerous. There were plenty of clues, but the difficulty lay in proving things. Some suspense came from physical danger to Hugh and to those who could tell him the information he needed to prove whodunit and why.

The Christian element was mainly in Hugh's internal debate about if it was worth pushing for truth and justice when it's so dangerous to his health. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting historical novel.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Captured by Moonlight by Christine Lindsay

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Captured by Moonlight
by Christine Lindsay


ISBN-13: 9781939023001
Trade Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: WhiteFire Publishing
Released: May 15, 2013

Source: Review copy from the author.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
After a daring rescue goes awry, Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana flee to the tropical south of India…and headlong into their respective pasts.

Laine takes a nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancé is the owner. Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts freedom will ever be hers again, much less the forbidden love that had begun to flower.

Amid cyclones, epidemics, and clashing faiths, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?


My Review:
Captured by Moonlight is a historical romance novel set in 1921 in India. It's the second in a series. You don't have to read the previous book to follow this one, but this book revealed how the romance of the previous one turned out.

This story had two romantic pairs, but each character had their own issues to work through before the romance could truly happen. They also encountered physical danger from the weather, animals, disease, and other humans. The historical and setting details helped to bring the story alive in my imagination. I'd recommend this novel foremost to fans of suspenseful historical novels as the author did a good job with this.

The characters were varied and interesting. Laine felt she had every right to know things and go places that Adam clearly wanted to be kept private. She'd go off in a huff when he wouldn't give in to her. While she was generally nice, there were times I didn't like how Laine treated people.

I occasionally wondered at the motive behind an action, like when Eshana was determined to return to the mission even though doing so would put her life in danger. A dead person can't help the mission, but she wasn't willing to wait for things to die down.

The Christian element was how various characters surrendered their life or plans to God. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this book to fans of historical novels.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Thin Ice by Irene Hannon

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Thin Ice
by Irene Hannon


ISBN-13: 9780800724535
Trade Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Revell
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
After losing her parents in a car accident and her sister to a house fire, Christy Reed has been mired in grief. Life is finally starting to feel normal again when an envelope arrives in the mail--addressed in her sister's handwriting. And the note inside claims she is still alive.

FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor, a former Delta Force operator, is assigned to reopen the case, but he's coming up with more questions than answers. If Ginny Reed is still alive, who is the woman buried in her grave? Where is Ginny? And is Christy a pawn in a twisted cat-and-mouse game or the target of a sinister plot?


My Review:
Thin Ice is a Christian romantic suspense novel. It's the second book in a series, but you don't need to read the first novel to understand this one. This novel didn't spoil the storyline of the previous novel.

The focus seemed more on the romantic attraction than the case, and very little progress was made on the case until near the end. The suspense came from physical danger to those involved.

The heroine started out very careful when talking about the case, but she got sloppy as time went on despite the danger. She was also reluctant to provide names of who might be doing this and stops trying (rather than grasp at tenuous connections) when those don't generate leads. While she's a sweet gal who thinks the best of everyone, it came across to me as if she cared more about the FBI not bothering her acquaintances than her sister's rescue.

The Christian element was shown more in how the characters treated people and acted than through discussions about God. There was no sex or bad language. Though not my favorite novel by Hannon, I'd still recommend this enjoyable and interesting novel.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

To Helvetica and Back by Paige Shelton

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To Helvetica and Back
by Paige Shelton


ISBN-13: 9780425277256
Mass Market Paperback:
304 pages
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Star City, Utah, is known for its slopes and its powder. But nestled in the valley of this ski resort town is a side street full of shops that specialize in the simple charms of earlier eras. One of those shops is the Rescued Word, where Chester Henry and his adult granddaughter Clare lovingly repair old typewriters and restore old books. Who ever thought their quaint store would hold the key to some modern-day trouble?

When a stranger to town demands they turn over an antique Underwood typewriter they’re repairing for a customer, Clare fears she may need to be rescued. A call to the police scares the man off, but later Clare finds his dead body in the back alley. What about a dusty old typewriter could possibly be worth killing for?


My Review:
To Helvetica and Back is a cozy mystery. The mystery was mostly "why does someone want the typewriter" since the police were having trouble identifying the murdered man. Clare tracked down the history of the typewriter and any clues relating to it. Her best friend, a police detective, focused on the murder. Both had new romances going on at the same time.

The main characters were engaging, interesting, and generally nice. Their interactions brought out the humor found in life and solid friendships. The mystery was clue-based, and Clare solved the typewriter mystery by using those clues. The story ended as a suspense with a confession from whodunit solving the murder. The suspense scene came about from accidentally crossed paths and purposes, and I liked that it was "heroines to the rescue."

There was a very minor amount of bad language. There was no sex. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable story.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.