Our Christmas books special is over, so back to our regularly scheduled blurbed. Hope you find lots of great reads!
The Masque of the Black Tulip by Lauren Willlig
Listened to by joysann
Remember the Scarlet Pimpernel? He wasn’t the only English spy operating in the wars against Napoleon. In fact, in her PhD dissertation, modern day Eloise Kelly is determined to produce evidence that the most effective and elusive spy was a woman. In doing so, she studies the journals of Henrietta Selwick, telling how she and Miles Dorrington unmask France’s blood-thirsty killer spy, the Black Tulip.
It was great fun spending time with Eloise, and then to step back to the 19th century to watch the growing romance between Hen and Miles. Narrator Kate Reading, as usual, gives a delightful and captivating performance. Charming, funny, intriguing and exciting, this 2nd book in Lauren Willig’s series was the first I picked up, but I’m definitely going backward and forward from here.
Pros & Cons by Paul C. and Michael DeFazio
Read by Darren
Joe Milano is a police detective who’s up against a Dominican drug enforcer Alex Ortiz (known as AO). Ortiz is trying to make a name for himself within his drug-trafficking organization, a gang called the Dominicans Don’t Play. The DDP is a prominent street gang in America. While chasing this gang, Joe and his partner Rachael Feliz arrest Ortiz during a drug sting and murder. Joe’s cousin Frank is a corrections officer in the prison where he crosses AO’s path.
A must read with realistic mind-blowing action and a racy look into the social underbelly of gangs and prostitution. The dialogue is authentic, raw and edgy and the firsthand knowledge and experience in what they write about gives the story realism and credibility. I have never been to the DR or have seen the inside of a prison, but I felt transported there. I was intrigued, educated, and horrified reading about our judicial, immigration, and penal systems, not to mention the secretive life of “mongers,” those who indulge in erotic vacations. This debut thriller gave me the suspense I had hoped for and an ending that took me by complete surprise and blew me away!
Night of the Loving Dead by Casey Daniels
Read by Joan
After having developed the ability to see and talk with ghosts, historic cemetery tour guide Pepper Martin has reluctantly become a private detective for them, investigating mysteries left unsolved in their lives, or surrounding their deaths. While attending a convention in Chicago, a murdered medical assistant draws Pepper into a puzzle involving disappearing homeless people and a research clinic. The suspect in this mystery is the appealing Dr Dan Callahan Pepper knows from home in Cleveland, and she and her new ghostly friend work to prove him innocent.
Pepper Martin is as feisty as her red hair. She is currently balancing two men in her life, both of whom appeared in the previous stories. Handsome, macho detective Quinn Harrison seems to keep saving Pepper from being killed, and Dan Callahan, a cute, but sort of a geeky scientist who wants to study Pepper’s brain, and, more importantly, is a good kisser. Pepper’s life is full of interesting exploits that are fun to read and keep me wanting more.
Big Sky Dynasty by B.J. Daniels
Read by Denise Dalton Corbett’s secret past had finally caught up with him. Georgia Michaels owns the knit shop in Whitehorse and has unsuspectingly rented the apartment above the store to a woman from Dalton’s secret past. Dalton tries to ensure that Georgia doesn’t get hurt, because he knows how dangerous the woman from his past can be. He realizes that the more time he spends with Georgia the more he wants her to be his.
I was intrigued with the twists and turns, imagining if I were in Georgia’s place could I handle the extreme hatred from the woman from Dalton’s secret past. I was able to have compassion, but also feel the dislike for someone trying to be something that she isn’t. I wanted to go to Whitehorse and beat the s*** out of Dalton’s secret past!!
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
Read by Bev
Connie is a grad student preparing to write her Doctoral Dissertation in American History. Connie’s mother, Grace, who is a new age kind of woman, asks Connie to clean up and sell her grandmother’s place in Marblehead, MA. The place is a mess and Connie slowly but surely begins to go through her grandmother’s jars and bottles full of dried plants of one kind or another and the garden which is overgrown with herbs. As she is going through things she finds a key and the name Deliverance Dane on a piece of paper. Connie begins her quest to find out who this person is and what the key belongs to. This quest takes her back in history to the Salem witch trials. Along the way she thinks that this Deliverance Dane has written a book – where to find it and foremost what the name of this book are part of the remainder of the story. An evil professor-Dr Chilton and a love interest – Sam play important roles in finding out about Deliverance Dane and Connie’s family history.
This book has it all – a love story, magic, history etc… I honestly could not put it down ! The other interesting thing is the author, Katherine Howe is a descendant of Elizabeth Proctor and Elizabeth Howe. Proctor survived the Salem witch trials Howe did not.
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange
Read by Michelle
After Elizabeth’s and Darcy’s long awaited wedding they embark on their wedding tour which takes them to France, Venice and Rome. This should be the time of their lives but it is
plagued with animosity and threat of death. Darcy keeps Elizabeth in the dark about his family secret and in turn drives them further apart. Elizabeth wanting the man she fell in love with but instead gets a man who withholds his desire and true identity.
I really enjoyed this sequel to the original Pride and Prejudice. With a modern day flair and love of the supernatural, Amanda Grange brings new life to a classic. I could imagine the pain and passion that comes from loving Darcy unconditionally.
Persona non Grata by Ruth Downie
Read by joysann While recovering from an injury, Ruso, a medic with the Roman army in Britannia, takes a leave from duty to return to his home in southern Gaul. He finds domestic chaos at his estate, where his sisters dramatize his failure to provide their dowries, his widowed stepmother continues to spend the family fortune as she perceives it should be, and his brother is avoiding creditors in hopes of delaying bankruptcy charges. Ruso also learns that his brother-in-law is missing, probably drowned at sea, and that it might have been murder. But it’s when a creditor drops dead right in front of him that Ruso again becomes a reluctant detective. Persona non Grata, a Novel of the Roman Empire, is the third in a series that can appeal to readers who love historical novels, mysteries, or both. Written with humor and wit, the historical details are interesting, but more entertaining is the idea that, whatever their circumstances, people are ordinary, and humans have not changed in nearly 2000 years. I was charmed by Ruso, and will look to see what other adventures he’s gotten himself into.
Bottom Line: Today is Mickey Mouse Day and the only thing that could make me happier is actually being at DisneyWorld.