Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dead on the Delta - Review

Title:  Dead on the Delta
Author: Stacey Jay

Synopsis:  “Once upon a time, fairies were the stuff of bedtime stories and sweet dreams.  Then came the mutations, and the dre-ams became nightmares.  Mosquito-size fairies now indulge their taste for human blood – and for most humans, a fairy bite means insanity or death.  Luckily, Annabelle Lee isn’t most humans.  The hard-drinking, smart-mouthed, bicycle-riding redhead is immune to fairy venom, and able to do the dirty work most humans can’t.  Including helping law enforcement – and Cane Cooper, the bayou’s sexiest detective – collect evidence when a body is discovered outside the fairy-proof barricades of her Louisiana town.
          “But Annabelle isn’t equipped to deal with the murder of a six-year-old girl or a former lover-turned-FBI snob taking an interest in the case.  Suddenly her already bumpy relationship with Cane turns even rockier, and even the most trust-worthy friends become suspects.  Annabelle’s life is imploding: between relationship drama, a heartbreaking murder investigation, Breeze-crazed drug runners, and a few too many rum and Cokes, Annabelle is a woman on the run – from her past, toward her future, and into the arms of a darkness waiting just for her…”

Review:  You know how I’m always looking for a book that’s original?  I’m always complaining about how all the books I read are starting to blend together and they’re all the same… blah blah blah.  Here is that original novel we’ve all been looking for.  Dead on the Delta is definitely different.  This is the first time I’ve ever read a novel and severely disliked the heroine but still loved the book. 
        Yah, that’s right.  I didn’t like Annabelle.  I thought she was a whiney alcoholic who just needed to suck it up and get on with her life.  But, I couldn’t put the book down!  I loved the post-apocalyptic feel of the world and the dangerous venomous fairies. Add to that the mystery of who killed Grace the six-year old whose body was found in the bayou, Gimpy, the unlovable cat, and Cane and Hitch the two sexy men in Annabelle’s life and Dead on the Delta is a winner!

Publisher:  Pocket Books
ISBN: 978-1439189863

If you like this book you may want to read:

Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch (ISBN: 978-0756406004) See my review here.

Hounded by Kevin Hearne (ISBN: 978-0345522474) The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book One.  See my review here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wicked Witch Murder - Review

TitleWicked Witch Murder
Author:  Leslie Meier
Series:  Lucy Stone Mystery Series

Synopsis: “When the bewitching Diana Ravenscroft comes to quiet Tinker’s Cove and opens Solstice, a quaint little shop offering everything from jewelry to psychic readings, Lucy Stone writes her off as eccentric but harmless.  Even after Diana gives her a disturbingly accurate reading, Lucy can’t help but befriend the newcomer.  But not everyone in town is so enchanted.  And when Lucy stumbles upon a dead body near her home, she can’t shake the feeling that something sinister is lurking in the crisp October air…
          “Convinced Diana is an evil witch, prominent businessman Ike Stoughton blames her for a series of recent misfortunes, including Lucy’s gruesome discovery and his own wife’s death, and rallies the townsfolk against her.  But after Lucy learns the murder victim was a magician and close friend of Diana’s, she starts to wonder who’s really stirring up a cauldron of trouble.  By Halloween, her suspicions lead her to a deadly web of secrets – and a spine-chilling brush with the things that go bump in the night…”

Review:  Cozy mysteries are one of my dirty little secrets.  I call them fluff books, and I love them.  These cute little novels don’t play with my emotions and I don’t get so involved that I can’t put them down, but I still look forward to picking them back up.  For those who are confused and wondering, what is a cozy mystery?  Don’t be embarrassed, it took me awhile to figure it out too.  Click here to go to a page that explains cozy mysteries.
          I love how the Lucy Stone Mystery novels are all based on holidays.  I picked up Wicked Witch Murder right before Halloween and had planned to read it during the holiday.  However life had other plans, as that’s when I started getting sick.  I also bought another of these cozies, Turkey Day Murder and had planned to read that one during Thanksgiving, but I was still too sick to feel like reading.  So I am now catching back up on all of this reading I had planned to do.
          I love everything about this novel.  Diana Ravenscroft is delightfully eccentric and naïve, and Ike Stoughton is a bad guy that I found it easy to dislike. I love the change in the heroine that this novel shows.  When Lucy first meets Diana she doesn’t believe in witchcraft or witches at all, but by the end of the novel she has changed her mind.  Rebecca Wardell reminded me of my mother and my nana and I wish that she was real so I could be her friend.  I couldn’t figure out the who-done-it until it was revealed at the very end of the novel.  I had many theories, but they all ended up being wrong.  This novel was amazing, as are Leslie Meier’s other Lucy Stone Mysteries. 

Publisher:  Kensington Publishing Corp
ISBN: 978-0758229304

If you like this book you may want to read:

Mistletoe Murder by Leslie Meier  (ISBN: 978-0758228895)  First book in the Lucy Stone Mystery Series

On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle (ISBN: 978-0425192139First book of the Coffeehouse Mysteries

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First Grave on the Right - Review

Title:  First Grave on the Right
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #1

Synopsis:  “Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper.  Meaning, she sees dead people.  Really.  And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light”.  But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice.  Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an entity who has been following her all her life… and it turns out he might not be dead after all.  In fact, he might be something else entirely.  But what does he want with Charley?  And why can’t she seem to resist him?  And what does she have to lose by giving in?”

Review:  First Grave on the Right is a seductive read.  I love paranormal romance novels, but sometimes I get sick of thinking a novel is going to be something new and different only to find out it’s the same old vampire/werewolf story.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love my vampire and shape shifter stories.  But sometimes I crave something different.  First Grave on the Right fulfilled that craving. 
          I also love a good ghost story.  Charley’s attitude toward the ghosts in her life cracked me up!  There’s Aunt Lillian who makes nonexistent coffee which Charley pretends to drink, and Mr. Habersham whose sole ambition in the afterlife seems to be to see Charley naked.  I like Ms. Jones’ writing style.  It only took me three hours to read First Grave on the Right because I simply could not put it down!  The scenes with Reyes were hot.  Hell, as a bad boy/protector figure Reyes himself is super hot!  I found Charley Davidson to be a highly sarcastic and fun character, and I highly recommend reading First Grave on the Right ASAP.

For an excerpt and some fun facts about First Grave on the Right see the authors website here.

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
ISBN:  978-0312360801

If you like this book you may want to read:

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price  (ISBN: 978-0451463807)

The Restorer by Amanda Stevens (ISBN: 978-0778329817)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Gateway - Review

Title:  Gateway
Author: Sharon Shinn

Synopsis: “Adopted from China and raised in St. Louis, Daiyu is used to feeling a little out of place, a little restless.  But what kind of adventure is there in the Midwest?  One day, while she’s at a city fair near the Gateway Arch, Daiyu spots a gorgeous black jade ring, and when the elderly vendor tells her that “black jade” translates to “Daiyu”, she impulsively buys the ring and wears it as a token of her heritage.
          “It is much more.
          “Daiyu walks through the Arch on her way home.  She never gets there.  Instead, she passes into another world, another version of St. Louis – where almost everyone is Chinese.
          “Now she has more adventure than she could ever have imagined.  Taken to a safe house, she is trained as a spy in order to help topple the existing government.  Daiyu spends hours learning  refined manners and niceties and flirtations to pass among the elite – and steals moments to be with handsome Kalen, the only person in the alternate world whom she truly trusts, or truly loves.
          “There is only one problem.  Once her task is done, she must return to her own St. Louis, and leave Kalen behind… forever.”

Review:  I should start out by saying that I love Sharon Shinn’s novels.  Her Samaria Novels and The Twelve Houses Novels are my favorites.  When I picked up Gateway I somehow failed to miss the fact that it’s a young adult novel.  Not that there’s anything wrong with young adult novels.  I read plenty of them.  It’s just not what I was expecting when I picked up Gateway. 
          That said, even though it’s not what I was expecting, this is an amazing story.  I love Daiyu, and her quirky family reminded me of my own family.  The descriptions of the worlds and the people were fascinated and rich with a new culture.  Kalen and Daiyu stole my heart with their young love and innocence.  As a bonus surprise Gateway didn’t end the way that I thought it was going to.  Usually I can have the ending of a novel figured out about halfway through reading it, and with Gateway I thought that I had.  Nope, surprise!  This was a delightful, quick read that I highly recommend. 

Publisher: Viking
ISBN: 978-0670011780

If you like this book you may want to read:

Archangel by Sharon Shinn (ISBN: 978-0441004324)

Abarat by Clive Barker (ISBN: 978-0062094100)