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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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!

April Reads. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

Who Is Rich?   Coming out July 4th of this year. Just a hint, but at the end I didn’t care who Rich was.

 

Leaves of Fire (The Newirth Mythology #2) The second in the series and I am in love with this book! Release date is June 4th

 

Watching the Detectives (The Country Club Murders #5)  Meh…  May 23rd Release

Grief Cottage  Very interesting read!  Release Date is June 6th

The Simplicity of Cider   Ah….   Release Date is May 16th

The Godmothers: Spirited Away   Release Date is May 9th

 

The Woodpecker Always Pecks Twice (A Bird Lover's Mystery, #3)  Coming out on May 16th

Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth   Release Date is May 9th

These are some of what I’ve read in April. You will have to wait for release day to read what I thought of them. Out of the 24 books I read in April I really only had 2 or 3 that were just Meh…

Now back to our regularly scheduled reading. Other Countries by Jo Bannister.

xx Patricia  vangiegolf

HIMSELF A NOVEL BY JESS KIDD

Himself: A Novel by [Kidd, Jess]

“A highly unusual tale set in a highly unusual Irish village full of dark secrets…Lushly imagined, delightfully original, and very, very funny, it hurtles along from the very first page” (M.L. Stedman, author of The Light Between Oceans).

Having been abandoned on the steps of an orphanage as an infant, lovable car thief and Dublin charmer Mahony assumed all his life that his mother had simply given him up. But when he receives an anonymous note suggesting that foul play may have led to his mother’s disappearance, he sees only one option: to return to the rural Irish village where he was born and find out what really happened twenty-six years ago.

From the moment he sets foot in Mulderrig, Mahony’s presence turns the village upside down. His uncannily familiar face and outsider ways cause a stir among the locals, who receive him with a mixture of excitement (the women), curiosity (the men), and suspicion (the pious).

Determined to uncover the truth about what happened to his mother, Mahony solicits the help of brash anarchist and retired theater actress Mrs. Cauley. This improbable duo concocts an ingenious plan to get the town talking about the day Mahony’s mother disappeared and are aided and abetted by a cast of eccentric characters, both living and dead.

Himself is a simmering mixture—a blend of the natural everyday and the supernatural, folklore and mystery, and a healthy dose of quintessentially Irish humor. The result is a darkly comic crime story in the tradition of a classic Irish trickster tale, complete with a twisting and turning plot, a small-town rife with secrets, and an infectious love of language and storytelling that is a hallmark of the finest Irish writers.

What an absolutely wonderful story!  A tale of Ireland, magic, secrets and murder!

Mahony and Mrs. Cauley are a delight as they join forces to dig into the past and expose some pretty juicy secrets as well as what happened to Mahony’s mother and just who is his father.

In this tale the dead are as active as the living and as the dead tend to be, they aren’t always dependable, but they can stir things up or point one in the right direction.

I laughed, I cried and I loved this story! The lush descriptions of the land and the characters was perfect. A real joy to read!

Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for this book. It will out in March of 2017.

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis

Anne Rice is back with our favorite vampire Lestat as well as a lot of the characters we have loved since the beginning of the Vampire Chronicles.

Lestat, is as usual, in conflict with most of the vampire tribe and the court. He is still his lovable self. Still struggling with himself, only now he also embodies “the core”.

This book explores the mythos of Atlantis, how it was created and Amel and what part he played in the creation of Atlantis. What is “the core”? Full of ghosts, vampires, aliens and other supernatural beings, I was a bit confused by the middle.

Here is where I almost feel as if I am committing treason! While the first half of the book kept me engaged and I loved seeing more of the characters who I cared about, the second half of the book was disappointing.

For me the going back and changing some of the vampire theories and sticking in Atlantis, and alien beings was just too much. By the end I was more than ready for it to be over!

I will always be a lover of all things Anne Rice and I wish we would have more on the Mayfair Witches one day, I just can’t help feeling let down by this one.