Tag Archives: Book review

Shamus Dust: #bookreview

https://www.amazon.com/Shamus-Dust-Hard-Winter-Murder-ebook/dp/B07VV4SLHP

Shamus Dust by Janet Rogers is set in London during Christmas of 1947. The people of London were still rebuilding after World War II.

The main character’s name is not Shamus Dust. Shamus is a term for a private investigator. Mr. Newman has been hired by Councilor Drake to look into the murder of Raymond Jarrett. It’s not too long before the body count starts to rise. Trust me when I say, it’s all connected. I think that there is even a line in the book about everything in life being connected.

There was a possible witness to the first murder. Nurse Greer was the one who found the first body and called the police. Newman seems to find her intriguing. Maybe that’s why I thought she was interesting. She was hiding at least one secret. Mystery is very often alluring.

Newman has quite a journey to discover the truth. If I had been smarter, I would have written a chart so I could keep track of who was responsible for what crime.

I did enjoy the book but sometimes it was difficult to keep track of the characters. Don’t hold it against the author or the book – it’s probably a personal problem of my own. The problem is probably that I need a nap. Newman hardly ever sleeps so I want to sleep on his behalf.

If you are a fan of mysteries or crime noir, then you will more than likely enjoy Shamus Dust.

If you don’t need more mystery in your life, then shelve this book until you do.

The Body Double: #bookreview

The Body Double

The Body Double by Emily Beyda begins in an unnamed small town movie theater but mostly takes place in Hollywood, California.

The narrator doesn’t have a name. She’s been brought to Hollywood in order to be a body double for a famous movie star – both on and off-screen. She spends her time learning everything about Rosanna Feld so that she can become Rosanna. Her only job is to be Rosanna. She’s paid a lot of money to forget her former life.

Max is the man who hires her to be the body double. He’s a sleazeball but the narrator seems to like him. She’s suspicious of him but she overlooks quite a bit to keep him happy.

She does spend some time trying to figure out what happened to the real Rosanna. In the end, her questions are answered. I won’t give away the ending but it was not what I expected.

If you’re interested in stories about Hollywood and movie stars – the glamour and also the seedy parts- then you will probably enjoy “The Body Double.” The book has been compared to the movie “Vertigo.” I cannot believe that I haven’t seen the movie.

If you aren’t a fan of Hollywood or crime fiction, then this book might be too fancy for you.

  • I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

The Antique: #bookreview

The Antique

The book starts out in China approximately two thousand years ago. A tiger has killed a young boy, the son of a warlord. A witch, Zi-Ling, was wrongfully accused of killing the boy. She vowed revenge upon those responsible for her impending death. Her ashes were separated by a monk and sent to different areas of the world in order to keep her from reconstructing herself and avenging her death.

Zi-Lin needs her descendants and the ashes to become powerful again. She uses people and insects to gather her power and find the descendants, also known as the Blood Children. Zi-Ling’s sister, Maylan, turns the monk into a worm and then called Lao Chong. From then on the worm does the bidding of Maylan. They use the worm and spells to control people.

There is also a golden box called Gu, which contain part of Zin-Lin’s ashes. Apparently, Gu has her own power and calls herself The Queen.

At this point, I’m confused. Why does Gu have her own personality? Why isn’t the witch the focus instead of the queen? There are so many characters and it’s still the beginning of the book.

Most of the book takes place during the present time in San Francisco. The Queen and her minions have tracked two of the Blood Children.

There’s at least one chapter devoted to understanding why and how the insects and other creatures run things for the Queen. I could have done without knowing understanding the insects point of view. Maybe it’s just my personal distaste for bugs.

Part of me wants the witch to avenge her death but I think that sympathy for her gets lost in the story. The book needs a bit of streamlining to make it easier to follow. Sometimes I’m not sure if the witch and the Queen are the same entity.

There are some good parts of the book. I like the section about the witch and the tiger. The parts with the current blood children are good. The premise of the book is good but it gets a bit off track in some places.

If you are seeking to avenge your ancestor’s death, then you might appreciate this book.

If you are an exterminator, then you won’t appreciate this book or the treatment of exterminators. Plus, there are so many bugs and spiders with an incredible amount of intelligence.

Will the witch be able to reconstruct herself or will the Blood Children destroy the boxes? Will the Orkin Man or Woman ever be successful against the power of the insects and spiders?

  • I received the ebook from Reedsy in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

Kingshold: #bookreview

Kingshold

Kingshold by D.P. Woolliscroft is set in the city of Kingshold, which is on the island of Edland. There’s not a specified year but I would say it probably takes place during medieval times. In this book, magic is a real thing that people accept.

There’s not one main character. It’s told from the point of view of a bard, a sorcerer, the sorcerer’s adopted daughter and a servant at the palace.

The last king and queen have been dispatched by the sorcerer due to their greed and ineptitude at running the kingdom. The sorcerer, Jyuth, has proclaimed that there will not be any other kings and the people must choose a different way of doing things. The privy council decides that there will be an election. Whoever pays the price can have a vote.

Mareth, the bard, has taken a job from a wealthy candidate. His main job is to write songs about what’s happening with the election. The sorcerer’s daughter, Neenahwi, is a powerful sorceress in her own right. When her father retires, she will be taking his place and she isn’t looking forward to it. Alana, the servant girl, is responsible for taking care of Jyuth. He sees that she’s smart and includes her in his plans.

It took until I was at about the 20 % point before things started to click for me. So I would recommend sticking it out because the story really gets pretty good by the 45% mark.

If you are a fan of stories with magic and intrigue, then you will probably enjoy Kingshold.

If you are a troll, orc or a greedy politician, then this book is too complicated for you anyway.

  • I received this book for participating in The Write Reads Blog Tour. All opinions are my own. Obviously.
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The Skin of Water: #bookreview

The Skin of Water

The Skin of Water by Cristina Salat is mostly set in San Francisco. Sixteen- year- old Lisel has run away from her home in New Mexico. She spends a few days squatting with a new homeless friend.

Her uncle has moved into her home in a Pueblo community in New Mexico. The house was left to her by her father, who passed away.

He is an abusive creep, which is why Lisel has left. Her aunt and grandmother do not come to her aid like they should.

After a few days, Lisel moves into a homeless shelter for at-risk youth. As part of the program, she has to take a self-defense class. The class really helps to empower Lisel and the other women in the class. Many of the class members believed that they had to accept being assaulted. The class helps the women to become empowered. It’s a beautiful thing to read about those who are weak becoming strong.

The shelter only allows people to stay for a few months before they have to leave. Lisel isn’t sure if she is going to stay in San Francisco with her new friends.

She has to decide if she’s going to confront her uncle and take the house back or build a life somewhere else. Will Lisel realize that she is powerful?

If you enjoy stories of women trying to overcome adversity, then you will like “The Skin of Water.”

Creepy uncles will not like this book. The book is too good for them anyway.

  • I received the book from the author in exchange for doing a review. We were brought together by the Indie Helper Database. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

Malice: #bookreview

Malice

Malice by Pintip Dunn is set mostly in Maryland. There’s some time traveling but it occurs in the mind rather than a physical setting.

Alice Sherman is a teenager who is trying to hold her family together as well as becoming a famous Instagram food photographer. She is a good photographer but a lousy cook. Her family includes a distant father and a socially awkward but brilliant brother.

One day Alice begins to hear a voice in her head who threatens her with an exceptional amount of pain if she doesn’t comply with orders. The first order is to tell Bandit, one of the popular kids, that she loves him.

The voice turns out to be her own voice from ten years in the future. The future Alice warns her that someone at her high school is going to make a virus that decimates the population. Future Alice wants her to do everything possible to stop the virus from being made – even if she has to murder the virus maker. The voice is the first one to call Alice by the name “Malice.”

You would think that Bandit would be a jerk. He basically rules the school. He is kind to Alice even though her profession of love has confused and embarrassed him a little bit.

Alice is on a quest to find the identity of the virus maker. She even finds a portal in her mind to go to the future. Alice has a feeling that future Alice is not telling her the truth. She finds out a few things before future Alice sends her back.

If you like books about time travel with a hint of a dystopian novel, then you should read “Malice.” There are plenty of twists and turns. I promise that you will not be bored.

If you are an evil genius who wants to destroy the planet, this is not the book for you.

  • I received this ebook from InkSlinger PR as part of a book blog tour. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

Toward the Midnight Sun: #bookreview

Toward the Midnight Sun by Eoin Dempsey takes place in Alaska during the Klondike gold rush in 1897.

Anna Denton is supposed to marry the wealthy Henry Bradwell. Bradwell has agreed to pay for her sister’s medical treatment if Anna marries him. Anna doesn’t know this man at all but she’s willing to marry him to save her sister.

Anna is traveling from Seattle to Dawson City, Alaska. Her original escorts sold her tickets so she has to take the most difficult route to her destination. One of her chaperones kills the other one so she tags along with Will and Silas instead of traveling with a less than savory character. No one is sure if she will be tough enough to hike on the Chilkoot Trail but she doesn’t have any other options.

The trail is not an easy hike. The Chilkoot Trail is about 33 miles long. Many people did not have the stamina to make it to the end. To this day the trail is still recommended for advanced hikers.

https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/yt/chilkoot/activ/hiking-randonee

Of course, Anna falls in love with Will. Can she get out of the marriage to Bradwell without someone suffering the consequences? Bradwell seems like a decent person but he’s been hiding his true nature from Anna.

If you like historical fiction set primarily in the wilderness, then give this book a chance.

If you cannot even stand to read about the cold, maybe wait until the summer to read it.