A MURDER TOO SOON: A Jack Blackjack Tudor Mystery by Michael Jecks

A Murder Too Soon: A Tudor Mystery

Jack Blackjack is ordered to eliminate a spy in Princess Elizabeth’s household in this engaging Tudor mystery. 

June, 1554. Former cutpurse and now professional assassin Jack Blackjack has deep misgivings about his latest assignment. He has been despatched to the Palace of Woodstock, where Queen Mary’s half-sister Princess Elizabeth is being kept under close guard. Jack’s employer has reason to believe that a spy has been installed within the princess’s household, and Jack has been ordered to kill her.

Jack has no choice but to agree. But he arrives at Woodstock to discover that a murder has already been committed.

As he sets out to prove his innocence by uncovering the real killer, Jack finds the palace to be a place steeped in misery and deceit; a hotbed of illicit love affairs, seething resentments, clashing egos and bitter jealousies. But who among Woodstock’s residents is hiding a deadly secret – and will Jack survive long enough to find out?

Jack is one of my favorite characters. No longer a common street thief, he is living well due to the fortune of his benefactor. Only now his benefactor is demanding payment in the form of killing a Lady who is believed to be a spy planted in Princess Elizabeth’s court.
Jack balks at this assignment and tries his best to get out of it, but he must pay the piper.
When he arrives, he must be sharp and stay focused as he tries to figure out who killed who and why. At the same time, he’s trying to keep himself from ending up a corpse.
This is such an entertaining character and series. I enjoy the Templar series as well but Jack is just a great character.
Give it a try and you will soon see why!
Netgalley/Severn House  Release Date is September 1, 2017
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Rubies in the Roses by Vivan Conroy

Rubies in the Roses (Cornish Castle Mystery, Book 2) by [Conroy, Vivian]

Welcome to Cornisea island and spend your summer holidays in a Cornish Castle.

Guinevere Evans has a dream summer job: cataloguing books at a castle on a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall. With her perky dachshund Dolly by her side she explores the island’s colourful history, tries fabulous local food and sees the gorgeous sunsets.

But when an old friend of her employer drops in, claiming a rare bejewelled wedding goblet is hidden in the castle gardens, strange events start to take place: several people turn up claiming they have a right to the elusive goblet, and a dead body is found on the beach.

An unfortunate accident, or does this death relate to the struggle for ownership of the goblet? Is there even a goblet?

Guinevere and Dolly dig in and discover plenty of motives to lie, steal and yes, maybe even kill. Can they prove what really happened to the victim and what became of the precious rubies that are at the heart of the mystery?

I love a good cosy mystery. This one however did not capture my attention and I found myself just wanting it to be over.

I didn’t feel as if I knew any of the characters well and the characters just weren’t relatable. There just wasn’t enough substance here to form an opinion one way or the other.

Netgalley/HQ   August 30, 2017

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller (YA) Congratulations Linsey!!!

Mask of Shadows (Untitled, #1)

When Sal Leon steals a poster announcing open auditions for the Left Hand, a powerful collection of the Queen’s personal assassins named for the rings she wears — Ruby, Emerald, Amethyst, and Opal — their world changes. They know it’s a chance for a new life.

Except the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. But Sal must survive to put their real reason for auditioning into play: revenge.

Sal is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home.

This was an interesting cast of characters. YA is not my normal genre, but the cover looked interesting. I see the reviews are all over the map on this one, with some people getting a bit snitty.

Personally I enjoyed the characters and the ingenious ways they thought up to eliminate each other from the competition. I am guessing there will be a second book out continuing on with Sal’s adventures. And I’m very interested to see where this author takes us!

Thanks Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire!

MACRAME’ MURDER: A Cora Crafts Mystery by Mollie Cox Bryan *Congratulations Mollie*

Macramé Murder (Cora Crafts Mystery #3)

As the head of a bustling crafting retreat, Cora Chevalier could use a break of her own. So she and her creative cohorts temporarily swap small-town Indigo Gap for the Sea Glass Island Craft Retreat, where they teach classes and create beachy crafts like shell mosaics and sea glass chimes. Cora and her boyfriend Adrian are enchanted by their surroundings—especially the stunning wedding and blissful newlyweds they encounter on the beach. But awe becomes shock when the bride turns up dead the next day . . .

The woman’s death appears to be the result of a severe jellyfish sting. But when it’s revealed that she was murdered and Adrian becomes a suspect, Cora must hitch the real culprit to the crime—and fast. Because it just might take everything she has to crack a case more twisted than her most complex macramé knot!

This is the third in the Cora Crafts Series and I think the best one of all! The setting is gorgeous, an island retreat set among beaches of sea glass and possible mermaids.

But when Adrian is hauled in for questioning, Cora realizes she really doesn’t know that much about his past. But she does know he is not a murderer! And when she starts asking questions it turns out that not every one is who or what they say they are!

When Adrian disappears leaving his wrist monitor behind, Cora and Jane shift into high gear to find out who is behind the murders and who has her boyfriend! And hopefully she won’t be next on the hit list!

Mermaids, Psychics, Drug Dealers and More! All tied up into a very satisfying ending!

Cora is such a relatable character. She suffers from anxiety and panic attacks like so many of us here do and it makes her that much more loveable.

Netgalley/Kensington   August 29, 2017

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September is giving us some seriously good books! Here are just a few!

Sing, Unburied, Sing  A searing and profound Southern odyssey by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward.

Lie to Me  They built a life on lies 

 

A Murder Too Soon: A Tudor Mystery  Jack Blackjack is ordered to eliminate a spy in Princess Elizabeth’s household in this engaging Tudor mystery. 

Odd & True   Hunting Monsters!

Protocol (A Maggie O'Malley Mystery #1) “A page-turner! Smart, fast-paced and surprising.” – Hank Phillippi Ryan, Mary Higgins Clark Award-Winner, Author of Say No More

These are just a few of the many books coming out in September! I think I have a total of 20 reviewed. The first one Sing, Unburied, Sing was a difficult book for me to read. The truth often is. It is set in a place in Mississippi that I am very familiar with and know these things to be true. Ms. Ward is an amazing writer!

Have a good Saturday. Luckily, we only had leaks and line back ups to deal with up  here yesterday. But our hearts were with everyone in Texas and we will continue to keep you right there, close to us.

A CATERED COSTUME PARTY BY ISIS CRAWFORD *Release Date 8/29*

A Catered Costume Party

When sisters Bernie and Libby Simmons agree to cater an extravagant Halloween party in their little upstate New York town of Longely, they figured a ghost or two and a blood curdling scream might be part of the menu, but they never expected to be haunted by the deadly specter of murder . . . 

Halloween is coming, and Darius Witherspoon isn ‘t giving up on his plan for a catered costume party despite the recent disappearance of his wife, Penelope. He may be heartbroken, but perhaps throwing a big shindig in her honor will boost his spirits. He s going to hold it at his stylish new co-op apartment at the Berkshire Arms, where the couple had dreamed of moving in.
Darius hires Bernie and Libby to provide the treats. They d prefer to avoid the festivities altogether. As far as they are concerned, the Berkshire Arms is a haunted house or at least haunted by the memory of the murder that happened on the site, when it used to be The Peabody School. But as always, there are bills to be paid, so they accept the job. And in the midst of the celebration, Darius is discovered hanging from a noose outside one of the ballroom s French doors . . .
Was it suicide, induced by despair over his missing spouse? Bernie and Libby think not, once they read the note he left which includes a sum of money and a request for them to do something if anything should happen to him. Now, once the serving trays have been cleared and the decorations taken down, it s time for the sisters to unmask a killer . . .

I do love a good cosy mystery that is centered on food, this one was rather disappointing.

The sisters spend most of the book bickering about everything and it just did not come off as believable. In the beginning they are worried about business but instead of getting down to business, they don’t seem to care that much about it.

A few really good desserts were mentioned in the book, but the recipes had nothing to do with any of those dishes.

For me this was a no.

Netgalley/Kensington      August 29th Release

PLANT BASED COOKBOOK BY TRISH SEBBEN-KRUPKA

Plant-Based Cookbook: Good for Your Heart, Your Health, and Your Life; 200 Whole-food Recipes by [Sebben-Krupka, Trish]

The other day I had an appointment on the other side of the city so I dropped in on the new library they recently completed in that neighborhood.  It was very well planned out and easy to find everything you wanted. And that is where I found this cookbook. Usually I will find Vegan, Paleo,Keto,Dash,Atkins and on and on but rarely do I find a strictly plant-based one.

I was pretty excited and then I got pretty unexcited. Whenever I get to the section on Tofu, Tempeh and Seitan my eyes glaze over and I’m like…Meh. Soy and I do not get along well. At all. The reason I don’t eat meat is because of the texture, plus I could never kill anything, well except for that coyote who was stealing my chickens that one time. But back to the soy. I don’t want to make pretend meat. I don’t like Tofu. And soy milk makes my boobs grow a cup size overnight, and it tastes like a petroleum product to me.

Needless to say the book wasn’t a winner with me. I like my food in the simplest form possible. If a recipe has more than 9 ingredients, I’m not cooking it. I did find one good risotto recipe in there, now I just need the 3 different types of mushrooms to make it.

My philosophy now is that plant eaters don’t really need a cookbook. You know what you want to eat or in my case, because of my Celiac and Crohn’s, it’s what I can eat that doesn’t cause me pain and bloating for days.

Try it out and you may just like it. It just didn’t make the cut for me.