THE Spook IN THE Stacks by EVA GATES

The Spook in the Stacks (Lighthouse Library Mystery #4)

The fourth in the Lighthouse Library Mystery Series

Halloween in North Carolina’s Outer Banks becomes seriously tricky when librarian Lucy Richardson stumbles across something extra unusual in the rare books section: a dead body.

Set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with a Lighthouse Library, this is one really well done mystery.

Local boy Jay Ruddle made a killing and more than a few enemies when he sold out to the big box store and headed for New York. Now he is ready to slow down and is trying to choose between two libraries to take his extensive collection of North Carolina history.

While the library hosts its Halloween event Jay has asked to use the rare book room. When Lucy checks on him, she finds him strangled to death. But who? And why?

There are a lot of people still around who harbor grudges and this could be about the collection or maybe just good old greed.

These characters have matured over the books and they are smart, funny and really interesting. I especially loved the history and local lore. But is there more to those tales? When Lucy starts seeing ghostly lights and a horse in the mist, she may change her mind about the supernatural!

I am really glad Crooked Lane picked this series up! A really good cozy. Eva Gates is actually Vicki Delaney!

With The Legend of Sleepy Hollow on everyone’s minds and ghoulish gossip on everyone’s lips, Lucy will need to separate the clues from the boos if she wants to crack this case without losing her head in The Spook in the Stacks, the delightful fourth in national bestseller Eva Gates’ Lighthouse Library mysteries.

NetGalley/Crooked Lane Books  Release Date June 12, 2018

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SIGN of the CROSS by GLENN COOPER

Sign of the Cross (Cal Donovan #1)

Introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan in the first of an intriguing new series of religious conspiracy thrillers. 

Responding to an urgent summons from the Vatican, Harvard professor of religion and archaeology, Cal Donovan, flies to Italy to interview a young priest who has developed the stigmata of the crucifixion. Stunned to discover that the priest’s condition may be genuine, Cal determines to uncover the cause of the mysterious wounds.

But Cal is not the only one. When Giovanni is kidnapped from his church at dead of night, Cal comes to realize that the priest holds the key to an earth-shattering secret: a secret which a shadowy nationalist organization is desperate to control. Teaming up with Giovanni’s sister Irene, Cal must unravel the mystery and track down Giovanni in a perilous race against the clock … before an apocalyptic catastrophe is unleashed.

I do love a good religious conspiracy book! Especially one so well researched.

As a Catholic and a History teacher the subject matter was very interesting. We all know the Nazi’s made off with a lot of holy relics and artifacts. Remember the movie The Monument Men? And it’s quite easy in this day and age to imagine those bad guys are still out there trying to take things that don’t belong to them and they have no problem killing anyone in their way.

Full of suspense, rich in history and fast paced action will draw you in and keep you biting your lip!

Cal is a good character. Funny, a bit of a drinker and yet can still hold his own with the Pope. He is like a Catholic Indiana Jones! And I loved every minute of this book.

Netgalley/Severn House May 01, 2018

 

Seashells,Spells and Caramels: Book 1 of the Spells and Caramels Cozy Witch Mystery Series by Erin Johnson

Seashells, Spells & Caramels (Spells & Caramels #1)

Imogen’s spent her twenties in Seattle, saving every penny and missing every party, to follow her dream of opening her own bakery.

When that dream goes up in flames, she accepts a spot in a mysterious baking contest—one she doesn’t remember entering. She travels to a bustling, medieval village off the coast of France and discovers an enchanting world of magic and mystery, and learns that she, too, possesses powers.

Unable to so much as cast a spell, Imogen struggles to keep up with the other witches and wizards who have come from all over the magical world to the Water Kingdom’s big competition. She juggles relationships with a sweet new friend, a snarky baking fire, and a brooding, handsome baker. As Imogen falls for this bewitching world, she fears she won’t master her magic in time to win the job of Royal Head Baker, and will be forced to return to the shambles of her non magical life.

It only gets worse, when a competitor drops dead in the middle of the big white baking tent, and Imogen’s the prime suspect. Now, she’ll not only have to survive the vampire and psychic judges, but also clear her name by finding the real murderer, before they strike again.
With a killer on the loose, a missing prince, and the Summer Solstice Festival fast approaching, Imogen will have to bake like her life depends on it- because it just might.

 

I don’t usually accept author requests. But when the author contacted me about this one, I thought well, the cover is cute and Imogene sounds like an interesting character so I gave it a read. And I really enjoyed it!

Full of quirky characters with different magical powers that they have had a long time to hone, Imogene is just discovering she has some pretty special abilities as well. She just has no idea how to use them!

With a little help and advice, she finally makes friends with her fire and gets to baking. When one of the contestants is murdered, Imogene needs to make sure her name is clear and that the contest continues. Imogene has no back up plan, its win the contest or back to her boring and unfulfilling life.

Magic and Baked Goods? Yes, sign me up. This was a fun read. When you read hard-core fiction and non-fiction regularly, a story such as this sweeps all the drama away and just leaves you smiling and laughing.

Well Done Ms. Johnson!  This book will be available on the 29th of this month.

 

 

 

 

 

Strange Practice: A Greta Helsing Novel by Vivian Shaw

Strange Practice (Dr. Greta Helsing, #1)

Meet Greta Helsing, fast-talking doctor to the undead. Keeping the supernatural community not-alive and well in London has been her family’s specialty for generations.

Greta Helsing inherited the family’s highly specialized, and highly peculiar, medical practice. In her consulting rooms, Dr. Helsing treats the undead for a host of ills – vocal strain in banshees, arthritis in barrow-wights, and entropy in mummies. Although barely making ends meet, this is just the quiet, supernatural-adjacent life Greta’s been groomed for since childhood.

Until a sect of murderous monks emerges, killing human and undead Londoners alike. As terror takes hold of the city, Greta must use her unusual skills to stop the cult if she hopes to save her practice, and her life.

As the first in this new urban fantasy genre featuring Dr. Greta Helsing, this was quite unlike any I had read before. Yes, the Helsing is from the Van Helsing, but instead of hunting down vampires and sending them to the great beyond, Greta is a physician to the undead. Vampires, Vampyres ( yes there is a difference), ghouls, banshees, demons, mummies,werewolves, you name it and she probably treats it.

The core group of  undead in the book are a colorful and mostly likeable group. When one of their own is attacked and is unable to heal himself, Greta is called in. He has been stabbed with an odd cross-shaped blade containing some type of poison.

There are  a few things going on here at the same time. A killer is loose in London, leaving bodies with cheap rosaries in their mouths. What do these murders have to do with the rogue group of monks murdering undead and human? And what kind of power do these so-called monks have with their weird glowing eyes and murderous ways?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and all of the characters. Greta was a bit of a hard one to read in the beginning but by the middle I was enjoying each and every one of them. I mean who knew there were little ghoulettes? Baby ghouls! And making functioning limbs for mummies. There was a lot of fun reading going on with this one and having read the tease for the next one, I will be reading it too!

Well done Ms. Shaw!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WICKED DEEDS (Krewe of Hunters #23) BY HEATHER GRAHAM

Wicked Deeds (Krewe of Hunters, #23)

Eager to start their life together, historian Vickie Preston and Special Agent Griffin Pryce take a detour en route to their new home in Virginia and stop for a visit in Baltimore. But their romantic weekend is interrupted when a popular author is found dead in the basement of an Edgar Allan Poe-themed restaurant. Because of the mysterious circumstances surrounding the corpse, the FBI’s Krewe of Hunters paranormal team is invited to investigate. As more bizarre deaths occur, Vickie and Griffin are drawn into a case that has disturbing echoes of Poe’s great works, bringing the horrors of his fiction to life.

The restaurant is headquarters to scholars and fans, and any of them could be a merciless killer. Except there’s also something reaching out from beyond the grave. The late, great Edgar Allan Poe himself is appearing to Vickie in dreams and visions with cryptic information about the murders. Unless they can uncover whose twisted mind is orchestrating the dramatic re-creations, Vickie and Griffin’s future as a couple might never begin…

All Vickie and Griffin wanted was a little stop on the way to what would now be both of their homes, before Vickie enters the FBI Academy as part of the Krewe of Hunters, a paranormal group inside the FBI.

But that isn’t going to happen. When Mr. Poe himself puts in an appearance in Vickie’s dreams and in public, she is drawn in to helping him figure out how he died and who did it! But with bodies turning up badly staged like Poe’s works of fiction, they have more current crimes to figure out. Or are they all tied together in some bizarre way?

Always a fan of Graham and especially this paranormal series of characters, this one did not disappoint. Fans of history and fans of Poe will be thrilled with the outcome!

Netgalley/Mira Books   September 19, 2017

Watch Me Disappear A Novel by Janelle Brown

Watch Me Disappear by [Brown, Janelle]

A mother with a troubled past vanishes while hiking, leaving her family to piece together her secrets, in this keenly observed novel from the bestselling author of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.

Billie Flannigan has been missing for almost a year after she left to go hiking. No body has ever been found and as the one year anniversary is coming up, Jonathan and Olive are doing the best they can do get through their pain.

Olive begins having visions of her mother begging her to come and find her. Jonathan is stuck trying to begin a book about their life together, but the bottle and memories get in the way.

I liked the premise of the book. A woman disappears, assumed dead and normally that would be that. But Olive isn’t going to let it go. As she and her father dig into Billie’s past they find more questions than answers.

Did anyone really know who Billie was/is? The pace was a little slow for me in spots. I didn’t feel like I had a handle on any of the characters. Everyone was just giving their version of who this woman was in their eyes.

Unfortunately I thought the characters needed a lot more authenticity. I would give her writing another read however because she is a good writer.

Thank you Netgalley and Penguin Random House!

  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (July 11, 2017)
  • Publication Date: July 11, 2017
  • Sold by: Random House LLC

Biography

Janelle Brown is the bestselling author of ALL WE EVER WANTED WAS EVERYTHING and THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE, as well as the upcoming WATCH ME DISAPPEAR (summer 2017). An essayist and journalist, her writing appears regularly in Vogue, The New York Times, Elle, Wired, Self, The Los Angeles Times, and numerous other publications. Previously, she spent five years as a senior writer at Salon, covering a diverse range of subjects — from Internet culture to the war on drugs, pop culture to style, public policy issues and the digital music movement– and began her career as a staff writer at Wired, working on seminal Web sites like HotWired and Wired News during the heydey of the dotcom boom. In the 1990’s, she was also the editor and co-founder of Maxi, an irreverent (and now, long-gone) women’s pop culture magazine. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, filmmaker Greg Harrison, and two children.
Release Date is July 2017.

LEAVES OF FIRE (THE NEWIRTH MYTHOLOGY #2) BY MICHAEL B. KOEP

Leaves of Fire (The Newirth Mythology #2)

Imagine paintings that hold the secrets to the meaning of life and death—or scribbled words that can alter the past and reshape the present. We know art imitates life but in Michael B. Koep’s thriller fiction trilogy, the author brings the arts to life in an action-packed tale spanning seven centuries.
In the spring of 1338, young William of Leaves knows only of remedies, herbs and his mother’s kindness. When he is forced to watch as she is dragged to a witch’s pyre by a mob led by the Bishop of London, the mysterious immortal apothecary, Albion Ravistelle, promises the boy a chance at vengeance.

In present day, psychologist Loche Newith and Julia Iris must come to terms with Loche’s prophetic writings that have changed the course of history and shaped the lives of William, Helen, and countless others. As a war breaks out between the immortals on earth and Albion Ravistelle, Loche must accept the realities he has authored and cross over into death—he must enter again into Basil Fenn’s paintings to find a way to end the conflict.

In Part Two of The Newirth Mythology, Leaves of Fire, Koep entwines these lives and lifetimes as he explores myth, memory, revenge and the hope of forgiveness.

The Invasion of Heaven, the first in this series told the story of the Painter and the Poet. This second book is about the Healer.

An author whose writings are prophetic and change the course of history. The first one was a bit of a slide into madness, which isn’t always bad as we see in this book.

A battle between Gods and the ones who are tasked with keeping them where they are.

I’m really torn with writing a lot about this book because I loved the way I fell into it and got sucked down the rabbit hole along with the Poet and the Painter.

Almost like Stephen King meets Dan Brown!  But fresh, original and just when I was getting a little tired of the same old reads Mr. Koep comes along and blows me away.

You don’t have to read book one first, but I would anyway.

Great job!