07. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Paula, Teen Books

Paper Towns by Green, John, 305 pages, read by Paula, on 02/03/2015

When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night;dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge;he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q . . . until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.

Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.

 

05. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Fiction, Mystery

Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas, 330 pages, read by Brian, on 02/05/2015

veronicaIn the newest Veronica Mars novel, Veronica is investigating the brutal beating of a call girl.  Very good novel.

 

04. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Courtney, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Mystery

Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer, 150 pages, read by Courtney, on 01/06/2015

This is actually a difficult one to write a review of. I enjoyed reading it, but I’m not 100% certain I caught all the nuances. We’ve got multiple time periods, a trio of femme fatales the all kind of look alike, perpetually drunk private investigators, old Hollywood, a whip-smart heroine and her angry-crazy daughter. It begins in the ’30’s and ends up a decade later during WWII. It’s a very involved story and any synopsis I could provide would do a disservice. In fact, there were many points where I wasn’t sure what was even happening. The vibe is distinctly noir and the tale is plenty engaging. I have never read anything by Feiffer before, so I was unfamiliar with his extremely sketchy style of drawing. For me, it was difficult to discern which character was which and what exactly was happening in many of the scenes. Thus, I can’t say that this graphic novel worked all that well for me, though I still enjoyed reading it.

04. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Lisa, Mystery

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley, 392 pages, read by Lisa, on 01/31/2015

Hard on the heels of the return of her mother’s body from the frozen reaches of the Himalayas, Flavia, for her indiscretions, is banished from her home at Buckshaw and shipped across the ocean to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Toronto, her mother’s alma mater, there to be inducted into a mysterious organization known as the Nide.

No sooner does she arrive, however, than a body comes crashing down out of the chimney and into her room, setting off a series of investigations into mysterious disappearances of girls from the school.

Description from Goodreads.com.

02. February 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Christian, Fiction, Mystery, Sarah

Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl, 316 pages, read by Sarah, on 02/01/2015

  What happens when you discover a picture of what you believe to be your brother 9 years after he disappeared?  You go to find him, of course.  Wynter Evans is a young reporter for a tv station in St. Louis and gets a chance to explore a town called Sanctuary for a story she is covering.  Once there, mysterious things start happening, and she realizes she may be on the track to finding her long lost brother.  Many family secrets are uncovered and Wynter starts to understand more of her history, getting her closer to the truth.  This was a christian mystery that was hard to put down.  I highly recommend it.

30. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Mystery

Die Again by Tess Gerritsen, 352 pages, read by Jane, on 01/22/2015

Boston Detective Jane Rizzoli is on the case of a big game hunter found dead in his apartment, alone with a the body of a beautiful white snow leopard he had recently been commissioned to procure and stuff for a high-profile museum in the area. Medical examiner Maura Isles connects the case to a number of seemingly unrelated deaths where the victims have all been found hanging upside down, the hallmark of a leopard’s kill. Rizzoli follows the puzzling trail of clues all the way to Botswana, where she uncovers the unsolved mystery of a deadly camping safari four years prior. When she realizes the two cases are connected, Rizzoli must track down the sole survivor of the tragic trip to discover who – or what – is behind these gruesome deaths.

Description from Goodreads.com.

30. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Mystery

Hope to Die by James Patterson, 400 pages, read by Jane, on 01/15/2015

Detective Alex Cross is being stalked by a psychotic genius, forced to play the deadliest game of his career. Cross’s family – his loving wife Bree, the wise and lively Nana Mama, and his precious children–have been ripped away. Terrified and desperate, Cross must give this mad man what he wants if he has any chance of saving the most important people in his life. The stakes have never been higher: What will Cross sacrifice to save the ones he loves?

Description from Goodreads.com.

30. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Mystery

Private India: City on Fire by James Patterson, Ashwin Sanghi, 474 pages, read by Jane, on 01/08/2015

In Mumbai, seemingly unconnected people are dying, strangled in a chilling ritual and with strange objects carefully arranged with the corpses.

For Santosh Wagh, head of Private India, the Mumbai branch of the world’s finest investigation agency, it’s a race against time to stop the killer striking again.

In a city of over thirteen million, he’d have his work cut out at the best of times, but this case has him battling Mumbai’s biggest gang lord and a godman who isn’t all he seems.

And then he discovers there may be an even greater danger facing Private India. Hidden in the shadows is someone who could destroy the whole organisation – along with thousands of innocent Mumbai citizens…

Description from Goodreads.com.

30. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Jane, Mystery, Romance

Smoke Screen by Sandra Brown, 398 pages, read by Jane, on 01/01/2015

When newswoman Britt Shelley wakes up to find herself in bed with Jay Burgess, a rising star detective in the Charleston PD, she remembers nothing of how she got there…or of how Jay wound up dead.

Handsome and hard-partying, Jay was a hero of the disastrous fire that five years earlier had destroyed Charleston’s police headquarters. The blaze left seven people dead, but the death toll would have been much higher if not for the bravery of Jay and three other city officials who risked their lives to lead others to safety.

Firefighter Raley Gannon, Jay’s lifelong friend, was off-duty that day. Though he might not have been a front-line hero, he was assigned to lead the investigation into the cause of the fire. It was an investigation he never got to complete. Because on one calamitous night, Raley’s world was shattered.

Scandalized, wronged by the people he trusted most, Raley was forced to surrender the woman he loved and the work to which he’d dedicated his life. For five years his resentment against the men who exploited their hero status to further their careers — and ruin his — had festered, but he was helpless to set things right.

That changes when he learns of Jay Burgess’s shocking death and Britt Shelley’s claim that she has no memory of her night with him. As the investigation into Jay’s death intensifies, and suspicion against Britt Shelley mounts, Raley realizes that the newswoman, Jay’s last sexual conquest, might be his only chance to get personal vindication — and justice for the seven victims of the police station fire.

But there are powerful men who don’t want to address unanswered questions about the fire and who will go to any lengths to protect their reputations. As Raley and Britt discover more about what happened that fateful day, the more perilous their situation becomes, until they’re not only chasing after the truth but running for their lives.

Friends are exposed as foes, heroes take on the taint of criminals, and no one can be trusted completely. A tale about audacious corruption — and those with the courage to expose it — Smoke Screen is Sandra Brown’s most searing and intense novel yet.

Description from Goodreads.com

28. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kira, Mystery, Paranormal

Cast-Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell, 336 pages, read by Kira, on 01/27/2015

WM2The second in the Witchcraft Mystery series.  I’m Not sure how the titles relates to the story.  Lily is helping to investigate a haunting at the Art College her employee Maya attends.  A big donor gets murdered the night they go to investigate.  Did the ghost kill the rich man? or was it the ghost?  This was a good tale, I was unable to guess the killer.  I enjoyed the story and getting to know a bit more of the main characters backstory (how Max’s wife
died).

26. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Mystery, Teen Books · Tags:

There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake, 464 pages, read by Angie, on 01/24/2015

Shelby Cooper tells us from the beginning what is going to happen to her. We know she will get hit by a car. What we don’t know is why or what will happen as a result. She gets hit by a car because she is deaf and did not hear it coming. What happens is that she and her mom go on the run and are chased by the FBI across Arizona. There is also a whole thing where Shelby has waking dreams where she is in “The Dreaming”, a Native American type spirit walk where she has to kill the crone and save the child. She has a spirit guide in Coyote, who also happens to be the cute boy Mark she meets at the library. The dreaming helps her come to terms with her life in the real world.

I am not sure what I think about this book. Part of me was really frustrated with the whole dreaming bits and how they kept pulling me out of the story. The other part of me really kind of enjoyed the real bits of the story. While I might not have liked Shelby as a character, she is sarcastic and rude and has definite body image problems. I did like the path her story took. I never knew what was coming next in this crazy ride Nick Lake created. I know his big thing is dual storylines (In Darkness), but I don’t think it was really necessary in this case. I didn’t believe the dreaming like I thought I was intended to and I just wanted those parts to end so we could get back to the real story. It was a compelling read however and I really couldn’t put it down.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.

26. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Katy, Mystery · Tags: ,

The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro, 355 pages, read by Katy, on 01/25/2015

28f66df71805c678fc6eb7a13446aecdOn March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art today worth over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, and Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there’s more to this crime than meets the eye.

Making a living reproducing famous artworks for a popular online retailer and desperate to improve her situation, Claire is lured into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge a painting—a Degas masterpiece stolen from the Gardner Museum—in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But when that very same long-missing Degas painting is delivered to Claire’s studio, she begins to suspect that it may itself be a forgery.

Her desperate search for the truth leads Claire into a labyrinth of deceit where secrets hidden since the late nineteenth century may be the only evidence that can now save her life.

From www.goodreads.com.

17. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal

Secret of the Mountain Dog by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, 208 pages, read by Angie, on 01/16/2015

Jax lives at the bottom of a mountain in the Catskills. She loves exploring the mountains, but ever since her younger sister Kizzy almost drowned her mother hasn’t let her have the freedom she once enjoyed. Then one day a giant dog appears and adopts Jax. That same night she sees lights in the old building up the mountain. When she goes to explore she discovers Yeshi and Rinpoche, two Buddhist monks who are going to reopen the monastery. First they have to find a missing statue. The statue is a protector demon that was stolen from a monastery in Tibet. A mysterious man is also looking for the statue, but he doesn’t want to return it to Tibet. Jax ends up defying her mother and heading up the mountain in a storm to warn the monks about the mysterious man. Jax and Yeshi have to decipher the prophecy about the statue and find it before the man does and before he unleashes the demon.

This was a nice, quick read. The story is fast-paced with a lot of action and intrigue. I really enjoyed the fact that Yeshi and Rinpoche were Buddhist monks, that is not something you see a lot in middle grade fiction. It gave a nice introduction to the Buddhist faith and philosophy without being too much. There is a bit of a supernatural element with the demon that added a spooky element to the story as well. I liked how the friendship between Jax and Yeshi seemed to develop naturally even though it turned out Yeshi had a higher calling.

14. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Kira, Mystery, Paranormal · Tags:

Hexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell, 336 pages, read by Kira, on 01/13/2015

B1050_HexesHemlines-137x137 imagesAnother enjoyable mystery by Juliet Blackwell.  Minor peeve, I wish that the main character, the witch Lily would NOT have so easily dismissed the danger happening to  various characters.  Sometimes there’s a fine line between courageous and foolhardy.  The mystery was Not crafted as well as the first book.  I did like the continuing background information on Lily’s childhood though.  Not as good as the first title in the series.  I hope to see more of Beowulf, the cat.

14. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Kim B, Mystery

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, 560 pages, read by Kim B, on 01/05/2015

gone-girl-book-cover-med2-23664_186x186Gone Girl was a cleverly written book and very hard to put down once I began reading it. Flynn made you believe in the husband’s guilt almost from the start until she did an about-face with both her characters. I have to say that I wish the ending were slightly different. I did not like either one of the main characters after I finished reading and felt they deserved one another. I sympathized with the poor baby yet to be born having two such parents. Yet, perhaps our dislike of the characters at the end of their story is what the author intended.

 

13. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Lisa, Mystery, Paranormal

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein , 416 pages, read by Lisa, on 01/12/2015

In the summer of 1990, fourteen-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant, whole trees, and is set on a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch Grandpa Samuel—who is flickering in and out of dementia—to a graduated living facility, sell off the house and property for development into “tract housing for millionaires,” divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.

But Trevor soon discovers there’s someone else living in Riddell House: a ghost with an agenda of his own. For while the land holds tremendous value, it is also burdened by the final wishes of the family patriarch, Elijah, who mandated it be allowed to return to untamed forestland as a penance for the millions of trees harvested over the decades by the Riddell Timber company. The ghost will not rest until Elijah’s wish is fulfilled, and Trevor’s willingness to face the past holds the key to his family’s future.

A Sudden Light is a rich, atmospheric work that is at once a multigenerational family saga, a historical novel, a ghost story, and the story of a contemporary family’s struggle to connect with each other. A tribute to the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, it reflects Garth Stein’s outsized capacity for empathy and keen understanding of human motivation, and his rare ability to see the unseen: the universal threads that connect us all.

Description from Goodreads.com.

12. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction, Mystery

Eddie Red Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells, 256 pages, read by Angie, on 01/09/2015

Edmund Lonnrot is a middle school student at a prestigious school in New York. He is in danger of going to public school after his dad loses his job. Edmund definitely doesn’t want that to happen. One afternoon while he and his dad are getting ice cream they become witnesses to an assault. Edmund’s photographic memory allows him to accurately draw a picture of the assailant. Turns out the guy is part of an art thief gang that the police are trying to catch. Suddenly, Edmund’s skills are in demand to help identify the gang members and catch them before they pull off their heist. Edmund becomes Eddie Red and starts spending a lot of time in museums. Eddie feels like the police are keeping information from him so he enlists the help of his friend Jonah to solve the case. Turns out the police are way off base so it is up to Eddie and Jonah to stop the thieves.

There was something a bit old-school about this caper that I really enjoyed. I liked that Eddie and Jonah had to be as smart as the thieves to figure out what was going on. I thought it was interesting how misguided and resistant the police were to Eddie’s help, but I guess I wouldn’t want a kid telling me how to do my job either. I appreciated the fact that Eddie’s parents were in the picture and actually interested in what he was doing. That was a nice change from so many middle grade books where the parents always seem to be either dead or absent. This book sets up the Eddie Red series nicely and I am sure fans will be eagerly awaiting the next installment.

06. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal, Paula, Thriller/Suspense

Revival by Stephen King, 403 pages, read by Paula, on 01/03/2015

hw7.pl“In a small New England town over half a century ago, a boy is playing with his new toy soldiers in the dirt in front of his house when a shadow falls over him. He looks up to see a striking man, the new minister, Jamie learns later, who with his beautiful wife, will transform the church and the town. The men and boys are a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls, with the Reverend Jacobs–including Jamie’s sisters and mother. Then tragedy strikes, and this charismatic preacher curses God, and is banished from the shocked town. Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from age 13, he plays in bands across the country, running from his own family tragedies, losing one job after another when his addictions get the better of him. Decades later, sober and living a decent life, he and Reverend Charles Jacobs meet again in a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and the many terrifying meanings of Revival are revealed. King imbues this spectacularly rich and dark novel with everything he knows about music, addiction, and religious fanaticism, and every nightmare we ever had about death. This is a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe”

King is still a master story teller.  This got my imagination going and I was scared half to death.  The suspense built like crazy towards the end.  Loved it!!

06. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Madeline, Mystery

Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline, 352 pages, read by Madeline, on 12/01/2014

The women of Rosato & Associates return, after the relaunch of the series that started with Accused. This second entry, Betrayed, stars Judy Carrier, who has had the starring role in only one previous Rosato book. When Betrayed opens, Judy Carrier finds herself at a crossroads in her life. Her best friend, Mary DiNunzio, has just become partner and is about to become a bride, leaving Judy vaguely out of sorts. She’s not jealous, but she’s not happy either and she’s wondering where her own career and love life are going. To make matters worse, she is rocked to her emotional foundations when she learns that her beloved Aunt Barb has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She races to her aunt’s side, and so does Judy’s mother, only to find that her aunt is dealing with the sudden death of a friend who had been helping her through chemo. The friend, Iris Juarez, was an undocumented worker at a local farm, but her death doesn’t look natural at all, to Judy. Judy begins to investigate, following a path that leads her into an underground world far more dangerous than she ever imagined. Judy has to dig to uncover what happened to Iris, and at the same time unearth the secrets in her own family.

description from Goodreads.com

06. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Brian, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, 272 pages, read by Brian, on 01/02/2015

sharpSick. Twisted. Disturbing. I liked this book very much. You have to wonder what kind of sick puppy thinks of these things. Talking about it ruins it. Just read it. Not for the faint of heart.