Saturday, January 26, 2008

January Reads Part Dos

Book four for the month was ORGANIZE YOUR CORPSES by Mary Jane Maffini (Penguin Group, c2007, ISBN 978-0-425-21580-7), a cozy mystery set in Woodbridge, NY. Charlotte Adams is a professional organizer with two adorable dachshunds, Truffle and Sweet Marie. She agrees to take a job organizing for her old teacher, Helen "Hellfire" Henley. Miss Henley has some important documents to find but the next day she is found murdered and Charlotte is moved to the top of the list of suspects. Something is not right with the Henley family, however, and enlisting the help of her friends, Charlotte aims to find out what it is, while saving lives all around her and trying not to get killed herself.

This book was sent to me by Miss Maffini because she had read that I too, like her, have a doxie that is the light of my life. I'm really glad she sent it too, because although I am not a big fan of either cozies or books written in first person, I enjoyed this book alot and will look for the other Charlotte Adams books.

The book begins:

"Is this some kind of death wish?"

Next up was a non-mystery, GOOD DOG. STAY. by Anna Quindlen (Random House, c2007, ISBN 978-1-4000-6713-8). It is the author's account of living with her Black Lab, Beau and then Bea, a yellow Lab puppy as Beau gets older and more infirm. My favorite part of the book was the fantastic photographs of wonderfully expressive dogs. A very short read, with only 83 pages, I read it in one sitting while the wind and snow howled outside. If you read MARLEY AND ME and liked it, I think you would enjoy this quick little read as well.

The book starts:

For several years I was that most pathetic of creatures, a human who walks into the veterinarian's office without an animal.

And 6th on my list was A KILLING RAIN by PJ Parrish (Kensington Publishing Co., c2005, ISBN 0-7860-1606-X), the sixth of the Louis Kincaid novels. In this book, someone is after Austin Outlaw, the ex-husband of Louis' girlfriend, Susan. Then, Susan's son Benjamin is kidnapped and all bets are off. Louis is on the case. While tracking the baddies from Captiva to Miami, Louis is paired up with Miami detective Joette, commonly called Joe, Frye. She turns up in a later book as well which I am looking very forward to reading, because the relationship that develops between Louis and Joe is HOT! PJ Parrish never disappoints and this book is no exception!

The book's first sentence is:

Sunday, January 10, 1988

The road in front of him was empty.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

January 2008 reads Part One

Book One of 2008 was COUNT TO TEN by Karen Rose (Warner, c2006, ISBN 978-0-446-61690-4). Mia Mitchell is a detective with the Chicago, IL Police Department and her partner is in the hospital so when a case comes up, arson with a homicide, she is paired with Reed Solliday, a fire investigator, to find this firebug. And he's a nasty one, raping and murdering women, setting them on fire along with their houses. Is it random or revenge? Good, solid story with a creepy bad guy and sparks galore between the two protags.

It starts:

Springdale, Indiana

Thursday, November 23, 11:45 P.M.

He stared at the flames with grim satisfaction.

My second read of the year was Michelle Bardsley's I'M THE VAMPIRE, THAT'S WHY (Signet Eclipse, c2006, ISBN 0-451-21937-6) a smokin' hot book! I'm not one who blushes over many things, but the sexual content and description in this book had me blushing red from ear to ear and to my toes!!! I would give it a strong R rating for sexual content.

Written in first person, Jessica Matthews is living in Broken Heart, OK and is single mom to Bryan and Jenny when she attacked and turned into a vampire. Now she has to figure out how to be both, while at the same time fighting her increasing attraction to Patrick O'Halloran, the super-hot vampire who turned her and turns her on.

It begins:

The night I died, I was wrestling a garbage can to the curb.

Third up, was IDENTITY by Steven Piziks (Pocket Books, c2003, ISBN 0-7434-7653-0). Set just outside of Las Vegas, NV there is a cast of characters too numerous to mention. One part of the story has eleven strangers stranded at a motel during a freak rain storm in the desert. They start dying off, one by one - the killer leaving room keys at the scenes as a countdown. The second part of th story has to do with an evidence hearing for Malcolm Rivers, a man who's to be put to death the very next day.
With the number of characters in the book I was pretty sure I'd hate it and then ended up reading it in one afternoon. The end made me go, "Whoa!" and as it's based on a movie that I've now added to my queue at Netflix.

The book begins:

Greg Kerrick closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and says, "Gary Home" into his cell phone.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

December Reads Part Deux

LAST BREATH by George Shuman (Simon & Schuster, c2007, ISBN 978-1-4165-3490-7) is the second book featuring Sherry Moore, a blind psychic who can see the last 18 seconds of the deceased's life. This book jumps all around the country and it begins with the bodies of two women who had disappeared years earlier, found in a storage container. Sherry Moore is called in to help with the investigation. Autoerotic asphyxiation plays a key part in this story and gets quite graphic at times. The only real problem I had with the book was it had a lot of characters to keep track of and the people were here, and here, and here, and here and here, and here...I remember the first book sucked me in right off the bat. This one took a little bit.

It starts:
She didn't feel quite right about the red dress; it wasn't a red dress kind of day.

SACRED COWS by Karen Olson (Warner Books, c2005, ISBN 0-446-61685-0" is a book that has been sitting on my TBR pile for several months. Set in New Haven, CT the book is first in a series and is written in first person POV. Annie Seymour works as a crime reporter and when she is summoned to the scene of a murder - a young Yale student by day, escort by night. Digging in, Annie finds the murder linked to some high-end city official muckety-mucks and it appears her own mother may be involved! Working with Vinny and fighting with Tom, she struggles to get the up on a killer story, without getting killed in the process. Annie is a fun character but WARNING -- she likes to cuss. But then so do I, so that could have been a part of the draw for me.

The book starts out:

My hand closed over the cold steel in that second between hearing the phone ring and before my eyes opened.

BLIZZARD: THE STORM THAT CHANGED AMERICA by Jim Murphy (Scholastic Press, c2000, ISBN 0-590-67309-2) was a book I read over the Christmas break from work because they were predicting a major storm. I am not a big fan of winter and I know I live in the wrong state for that mentality, but I thought that this would put my hatred for ice and snow in its place, if only for a little while.
And it did. The massive snowstorm that hit the Northeast in 1888 was a chiller.

The book starts out:

On Saturday, March 10, 1888, the weather from Maine on down to Maryland was clear and unusually warm.

My final read for the year 2007 was a book I read much praise about: CITY OF FIRE by Robert Ellis (St. Martin's Minotaur, c2007, ISBN 978-0-312-36613-1).
This book was fantastic -- I am glad this was the last book of the year for me. Detective Lena Gamble of the LAPD is working on the Romeo case, where women are being raped and butchered and left to be found by a loved one. When Lena's dead brother's band member is found at a scene in what appears to be a murder/suicide, Lena buckles down to find the killer because now it's become personal.
Lena was a fabulous character -- very gritty, very real. I like that in a woman. And I look forward to reading more of Ellis' books.

This book began:

She rolled over in bed, nudging the corner of the pillow with her cheek and burrowing in.

Thanks for reading with me in 2007. I hope to be quicker with my posts (and more regular) in 2008 but until I no longer have to work for "the man" I make no guarantees.

Happy New Year!


December Reads Part 1

First up, was BLOOD BROTHERS by Nora Roberts (Penguin Group, c2007, ISBN 978-0-7394-9088-4)and was very slow starting out for me, but it picked up speed, had that woo-woo element that I really enjoy and I ended up flying through the last half. This book begins a new trilogy by Nora Roberts. In 1652, evil was unleased and then put down. And on July 7, 1987 when Cal, Fox and Gage turned ten, they made a pact at the Pagan Stone that rereleased the buried evil. And every seven years since, on July 7th, the townfolk go mad for seven days -- some survive, some don't. Quinn is an author who shows up to Hawkins Hollow, MD (as far as I can tell, this IS a fictional town) to write the story and there is an immediate connection for her. Will they stop the evil that is happening in this sleepy little town? Tune in for books 2 and 3.

The story begins:
It crawled along the air that hung heavy as wet wool over the glade.

MIDNIGHT ALLEY by Rachael Caine (NAL Jam, c2007, ISBN 978-0-451-222388-1) is the third book in the Morganville, TX vampire series. In this book, Claire has received protection from Amelie, queen of the vampires, after the events from the previous book. Now she has been ordered to take advanced placement classes at college as well as do some understudy work with Myrnin, a vampire with control issues. Meanwhile, Eve's brother Jason is causing problems, Captain Obvious and his crusade of anti-vamp followers are attacking the undead, Shane is attacked and Claire almost kills her arch nemesis. The book ends with a bang and is left wide open for the next installement. Good entry in the series.

The first sentence is:
The instant the phone rang at the Glass House, Claire knew with a psychic flash that it had to be her mother.

Third in line was THE SURVIVORS by Dinah McCall (Mira, c2007, ISBN 0-7783-2435-4).

This romantic suspense novel set in Carlisle, KY has Johnny O'Ryan coming home to his father for Christmas when his plane crashes going down over Kentucky. Johnny is only five years old. He witnesses a brutal murder and another surviving passenger, Molly scoops him up and they run for their lives. Deborah is psychic and "sees" Molly and Johnny in danger and offers her help to the O'Ryan men when they show up to search for their youngest. This book was a quick and easy read with a typical boy meets girl plot.

The book begins:
Destry Poindexter was beating the hell out of his wife, Lucy.

November End Reads

If only I could be a full-time blogger...but, alas, real life seems to get in the way and then I have to do a mad rush job to get caught up. Well, here were my latest reads rounding out November:

LAST KNOWN VICTIM by Erica Spindler (Mira, c2007, ISBN 978-0-7783-2461-4).
Set in New Orleans, LA and apparently a continuation of characters from a previous book that I didn't read, though this book worked just fine as a stand-alone. Captain Patti O'Shay's husband is found dead during Hurricane Katrina. Fast forward two years and his badge and gun are retrieved from under a female victim unearthed. Yvette Borger is receiving threatening notes from The Artist and those she turns to for help wind up dead. Unfortunately, she cried wolf one too many times and no one is believing her. But there is a bad person lurking around and they are all up to their necks in trouble in the Big Easy. Good story, quick paced and I liked the characters. I will eventually read the previous story/stories they are in.

First sentence:

The gods were watching over New Orleans.

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER by Shari Shattuck (Signet, c2007, ISBN 978-0-451-22199-5)is set in Shadow Hills, California -- a suburb of Los Angeles (I thought it was a fictional place. It's not. Google it.)
Greer and Joshua Sands, mother and son, have recently moved to Shadow Hills to put the past behind them and to open Greer's second beauty salon, when they both have visions of a dangerous element in town. Then a teenage girl goes missing - to be found, battered, abused, branded and left for dead. And then again, the girl across the street goes missing. But is it the same bad guy or something else?
This was a great, quick read although I found it to be overwritten at times -- too much description. I do, though, love a good psychic story.

It begins:
The Eye of the Beholder Beauty Salon and Day Spa opened for business on an ominous Thursday in January.