Review: Look both Ways by Carol Perry

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Publisher: Kensington

Publishing Date: October 2015

ISBN: 9781617733734

Genre: Fantasy/Mystery

Rating: 2.4/5

Publisher Description: When Lee Barrett spots the same style oak bureau she once had as a child on the WICH-TV show, Shopping Salem, she rushes to the antiques shop and buys the piece. Just like the beloved bureau she lost in a fire, this one has secret compartments.

Review: Not being a sexist pig when I say: “This is a book for chicks”. It edges upon the Nora Roberts school of writing where every daily detail of life is iterated. I am sure I care, somewhere in an alternate universe, about how my bedroom is decorated and that my frumpy Aunt is making me an English muffin with homemade jam. If I ever need to properly discern the value of flatware and a choice between Franciscan dinnerware or Majolica, I might open this novel as a reference guide. Should I entertain a lady, I will be sure to have Egyptian cotton sheets and soft subtle lighting at the ready. One day, God forbid, I will have a stupid cat that has human mannerisms. Should my sense of anthropomorphic behavior override common sense, I will continue to talk to all of my friends about the need for a cat door with such gravity that anyone within shitting distance will fall over themselves to install it for me. 

“So how does this get two stars?”, you ask. The author chose some restraint in Lee’s infatuation with hunky cop guy. She’s fairly independent yet not very bright when it comes to obvious clues. She wants a simple life but just happens to be well off. Which means she can afford to be simplistic. She has a fiery temperament that matches her hair yet allows people around her to manipulate. 

I guess the only mystery here is how dumbass can find her butt in a dark room. The clues as well as the plot are obvious as are the sinister people and their designs. The infusion of a cat familiar is supposed to lend some validity to Lee’s gifts by making her more speshul. Only she comes off vague, spoiled, temperamental and skittish. 

 

 

Review: The Red Mohawk by Anonymous

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Publisher: Black Shadow

Publishing Date: May 2015

ISBN: 9780993257704

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Rating: 4.7/5

Publisher Description: Everything seems peaceful in the small town of B Movie Hell until a mysterious serial killer in a skull mask topped with a red mohawk shows up and starts butchering the locals. Government agents Jack Munson and Milena Fonseca are sent to track down and eliminate the masked psychopath. But as they soon discover, the residents of B Movie Hell don’t want their help. This is a town like no other, and the locals have many dark secrets…. 

Review: Jack Munson aint drunk, he’s just drinkin’. (Chorus) “But you’re so high!!”. Amongst this dysfunctional denial lies the cunning and skill of a CIA type spook who makes problems vanish and boy do they have a problem in the form of a maniacal serial killing machine. I really can’t say too much about the story line as it is fairly entrenched from start to finish. The characters are memorable and are built along with the fast pace. The world building is superb.

Wow, what a fun ride. That town had it comin’…….

 

 

Review: The Morgenstern Project by David Khara

cover60655-medium Publisher: Le French Publishing Date: April 2015 ISBN: 9781939474353  Genre: Mystery/Thriller Rating: 3.1/5 Publisher Description: When you kill a legend, it becomes inspiration, and you can’t kill inspiration. Jeremy Corbin and Jacqueline Walls lead a calm life in a New Jersey suburb, when one day everything changes. Eytan Morgenstern returns to save them, and this improbably team must take on the Consortium, leading them on an epic journey from London to Tel-Aviv, from the Polish forests to Manhattan high-rises, from the shameful past to the threatening future. 

Review: This was a pretty good read. Eytan Morgenstern was a good character. An experimental tool of the Nazis, he eventually escapes and exacts revenge upon those that tortured him.  Jackie and Jeremy are major fails within the story line. Jackie is of course hot (and can take out special forces cyborgs with her martial skills) while Jeremy is the model father with no faults other than being jealous of all the men that want to bang his wife. They drag the movement down while towing around a baby. I can’t seem to recall James Bond burping a baby or jumping from a rooftop with a baby in a sling. They dragged the story down from 4 stars to 3. The novel could use some intense editing due to the plethora of spelling and grammatical errors, but that may be due to the translation from French to English. Still, and entertaining read.    

Review: Old Earth by Gary Grossman

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Publisher: Diversion

Publishing Date: March 2015

ISBN: 9781626816336 

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Rating: 2.5/5

Publisher Description:In the summer of 1601, Galileo Galilei made a startling discovery in the mountains of Eastern Italy that, if made public, could shatter faith in religion, bring down governments and lead to worldwide turmoil.

Review: For some reason the characters were rendered a little flat for me. Not sure if it was all the hot Phd.’s running around or Dr. Smugly Douchebag aka Quinn McCauley , breaker of hearts, womanizer, throwing arm of a God, Yale professor (not tenured) by way of Harvard, Boston Red Sox draftee, that put me off. Usually the movement is a great vehicle to develop characters, and to be honest, Quinn did develop out of his juvenile narcissistic tendencies. The characters were rendered a little flat due to the uninteresting story line and constant halt in the movement.

So the Mighty Quinn and his hot and filthy rich GF Dr. Katrina Alpert, by way of Cambridge, dig around and find a wall that isn’t a wall and this secret society that wants to protect this “secret” by destroying the entrances to these places all around the world since the 1600’s. Turns out that all the killing to keep these places secret is based on a principle idea that society is not ready for THE TRUTH and if known, would rip it to shreds with billions of lives lost in the process. Um kay.

This reads like a Dan Brown novel went to the methadone clinic and while puking in the gutter had a revelatory recipe that included; Dr. Paleo Super Pants, Dr. Girl Friend, Galileo (Leonardo was busy that day) and the Catholic church (because genuflecting is not exclusive).  While the writing is pretty good, there is nothing that is new. It follows a standard Dan Brown recipe with a kind of twist at the end, that while faintly interesting, does not summon the latent conspiracy theorist that resides within. The premise that some super secret would rip society asunder is, well, weak.  

Read it if you’re riding in coach to Hawaii with a fussy lady in the seat next to you that smells of perfumed talcum powder and baked beans.

 

 

 

Review: Rhode Island Red by Charlotte Carter

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Publisher: Open Road Media

Publishing Date: January 2015

ISBN: 9781497691827

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Rating: 2.1/5

Publisher Description: Saxophonist Nanette Hayes, a majestic five-foot-ten-inch Grace Jones lookalike with hot style, lives for the music of her jazz forebears. Self-taught Nan is no Charlie Parker, but she dreams big. She performs regularly—on the sidewalks of New York City. Not exactly the Village Vanguard, but it pays the bills in ways that her master’s degree in French does not. Mostly, Nanette just tries to stay cool in the face of the worst kinds of hardship. Recently, this has taken the form of getting dumped—hard—by her live-in boyfriend, Walter.

Review: Meh…..A little too inner-dialogue heavy for me.

 

 

Review: Dead Drop by Jesse Miles

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Publisher: Jesse Miles

Publishing Date: September 2014

ISBN: 9780990474005 

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Rating: 4.2/5

Publisher Description: Jack Salvo teaches philosophy one night a week at a community college, but he pays his bills working as a private detective in Los Angeles. An aerospace company hires him to investigate a small-time embezzlement. It’s a piece of cake – a direct route to the embezzler and client with deep pockets. The company assigns a pretty, quick-witted security expert named Lilith Lin to work with him.

Review: Pretty entertaining read. The pace is great and keeps you moving through situational conflicts and contorted plots. Great character development too. Just a pretty standard private investigator thriller novel where the main character is a glib philosopher wiseass. Really good writing as well.

 

 

 

Review: Whats a Girl Gotta Do? by Sparkle Hayter

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Publisher: Open Road

Publishing Date: November 2014 (1994)

ISBN: 9781497678316 

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Rating: 4.2/5

 

Publisher Description: Meet Robin Hudson. Dumped by her husband, she’s been demoted to third-string reporter at New York’s All News Network. Her downstairs neighbor thinks she’s a hooker. Louise Bryant, her finicky cat, refuses to chow down on anything but stir-fry. Now Robin’s being blackmailed by a late-night caller who knows her childhood nickname and other personal stuff, like whom she gave her virginity to. What could be worse?
Being the prime suspect in the bludgeoning death of her mystery caller—that’s what. In life, he was a PI who had the skinny on everyone. Now, while Robin is undercover investigating a suspicious sperm bank, she must also find the killer and clear her name. In her downtime, she’s amusing herself with her hot new boy toy, who may not be Mr. Right but could be Mr. Close Enough. When someone else is murdered, Robin races to break the story before she makes headlines again—as the next victim.

 Review:  This made for an entertaining and fast paced read. Robin is a hoot and is quite a bit of fun to follow through the story line. She is at once endearing, acerbic, witty, trampled, sexy, intelligent and scathing. Reading about Robin is second place to wanting to meet her. She is written that well. All the characters in her world are built with a poignant veneer or just enough to know you either loathe or like them.

The mystery was easily figured out by the 35% mark but that shouldn’t be why you’re into the novel. It is like a finely woven tapestry where your eyes never focus on just one strand. Not sure that I would read the series, as even though Robin is fun to follow, maybe more might be too much.