Tag Archives: mystery

Book Review & Giveaway: The Antelope Play by Boyd Taylor

14 Feb

 

Book #2 in the Donnie Ray Cuinn series

Category: Adult Fiction, 260 pages
Genre: Political Suspense
Publisher: Katherine Brown Press
Release date: July 25, 2015
Tour dates: Jan 3 to Feb 28, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (Some minor cursing)

 

Book Description

When Austin native Donnie Cuinn accepts a job as an associate in a Texas Panhandle law firm, his boredom and disdain for Velda, a sleepy Texas town, is forgotten when he gets caught up in a struggle over water rights, possible radioactive contamination of the nation’s largest underground fresh water supply, and the violence of an invading Mexican drug cartel. Along the way, Donnie learns to respect the local rancher, whose brother is at the center of the troubles, and to come to terms with the violent death of his young Mexican wife.

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My Review

 I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. This is the second book I’ve read in the Donnie Cuinn series. I read Hero, the first book in the series, about a week ago. The first book was pretty good but I liked The Antelope Play a lot more. 

 

Donnie got a law degree and is now living in the small town of Velda in the panhandle of Texas. He’s grieving after losing his wife, Cecilia, and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. In some ways he’s easy to like but he can be a jerk sometimes. I’m hoping that his character will be a little nicer in the next book now that he might possibly be starting to get over losing Cecilia.

 

There is corruption and questionable things going on in the small town of Velda. Donnie ends up in the middle of companies vying to gain water rights in the area. He thinks something fishy is going on and is determined to find out why the water rights are suddenly so important.

 

There’s a lot going on in Velda and Donnie ends up with a lot on his plate but with the help of his new assistant Maye and some of his clients and new friends. It was difficult to put this book down once I started it. I’m looking forward to reading the next one in the series!

 

To read other reviews, please visit Boyd Taylor’s page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Books:
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Watch the book trailer for Necessities (Book #4 in the Donnie Ray Cuinn Series):
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Meet the Author

BOYD TAYLOR lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and their Havanese dog Toby. Necessities is the fourth novel in the Donnie Ray Cuinn series. In a former life, Boyd was a lawyer and a corporate officer. A native of Temple, Texas, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in government and an LL.B. from the law school.

Boyd’s first novel “Hero” was prescient in its story about fake news. His second novel, “The Antelope Play,” dealt with drug trafficking in the Texas Panhandle, an unfortunately accurate forecast. The third, “The Monkey House”, involved commercial development of a large green space in the center of Austin, all too familiar to Austin residents. Whether his upcoming novel “Necessities” predicts future events with the accuracy of the earlier books remains to be seen.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook

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Enter the Giveaway!

Ends March 7, 2018

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

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We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

 

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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Twofer Murder by Lauren Carr

13 Feb
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Book Title: Twofer Murder by Lauren Carr
Narrated by: Anita Alger / Mike Alger
Length: 13 hours 20 mins
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: Jan 2018
Tour dates: Feb 12 to 23, 2018
Content Rating: PG + M (Please be aware that TWOFER MURDER is a murder mystery. There are depictions of murder and some violence–though easy on the gore contents. No f-words but there may be some mild profanity, and mild religious expletives such as “damn”, “hell” and “Oh God!”. Some depictions of brief sexual content (kissing).

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Book Description

Twofer murder? What’s a twofer murder?

Twofer Murder is a treat for fans of best-selling author Lauren Carr’s fast-paced mysteries! Lauren’s latest novel contains the main characters from her three successful series: Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose mysteries. The guys go away for a fishing weekend only to get caught up in the murder of a journalist investigating fraud at a timber company. Meanwhile, the ladies are spending the weekend in the presidential suite at a posh resort where Jessica Faraday is to accept a lifetime achievement award for her late grandmother at a murder mystery writers conference. But before they have time to get their facials, they get wrapped up in their own real mystery when an up and coming author ends up dead!

Lauren Carr’s Twofer Murder is a 2-for-1—making it a must-read for any mystery fan!

To read more reviews, please visit Lauren Carr’s page on iRead Book Tours.

 

Buy the Book:

 

 

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My Review

 I chose to listen to this audiobook after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have read quite a few of Lauren Carr’s books and this one brings together a lot of the characters from different series. They’re all related in one way or another and the men decide to go on a fishing trip while the women go to a mystery writers’ conference to accept an award for Mac Faraday’s deceased mother. It seems that a murder occurs wherever these characters go so it just seems natural that there would be a murder but in both places? That’s crazy (but fun for us readers).

As usual, there are murders to solve and the main characters are up to the task. They get along well and there are some interesting conversations that include humor and wit. I love the dogs! They have such great personalities and although they’re well behaved for the most part, Gnarly is a bit of a thief.

I like how Twofer is narrated. A man narrates during the fishing trip and a woman narrates during the mystery writers’ conference. Both do a great job with timing and pronunciation.

I definitely recommend Twofer and it does stand on its own. If you listen to the audiobook, I would recommend making a list of the characters. The books usually contain a cast of characters because there are so many. The list isn’t needed after reading several of Lauren Carr’s books, but someone listening or reading for the first time would probably need one to keep everyone straight.
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About the Author

 
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

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Enter the Giveaway!

Ends March 3, 2018

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

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Book Review: Engaged in Danger by Barbara Venkataraman

16 Jan

Finally, life is good for reluctant family law attorney, Jamie Quinn–her father may get his visa soon, her boyfriend is the bomb, and her law practice is growing like crazy–but when she agrees to take on a high-profile divorce case, everything falls apart. What looked like an opportunity to work with her friend Grace and make some serious bucks has turned into a deadly game, one that could destroy their friendship and tear their town apart. Why couldn’t Jamie just leave well enough alone?

Available on Amazon.

 

My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have listened to several of Barbara Venkataraman’s books including the Jamie Quinn mysteries. I like her sense of humor and enjoy listening to her books. Engaged in Danger was no exception although the narrator seemed to be really concentrating to get the different voices right, so she ended up just reading the story. The voices were easy to differentiate though.

The story flows well and there is more than one mystery to be solved. Jamie is working on two different mysteries at the same time and the way they twisted and were solved was interesting and unique.

Jamie’s boyfriend Kip isn’t in this book much. They’re still very much in love but he has to go out of the country for work. Duke is Jamie’s go to PI and is a good friend. I didn’t think I’d like him when he was introduced in the first book but he’s a good guy and a good friend.

I definitely recommend this book but I would have enjoyed it more if I’d read it rather than listened to it. It’s one of those books that leaves you with a good feeling. It is part of a series but does stand on its own.

 

About the Author

Award-winning author Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law. Her works include: “The Fight for Magicallus”, a children’s fantasy; “If you’d Just Listened to Me in the First Place”, a humorous short story; and two books of humorous essays: “I’m Not Talking about You, Of Course,” and “A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities,” which are part of an ongoing series entitled “Quirky Essays for Quirky People.” 

Her Jamie Quinn cozy mystery series includes: “Death by Didgeridoo”, “The Case of the Killer Divorce”, “Peril in the Park”, “Engaged in Danger” and, just released, “Jeopardy in July.”  All of her books are available on Amazon Kindle.

 

 

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

 

Book Review & Giveaway: Ambushed in Paradise by Deborah Brown

11 Jan

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The Keys is a great place to hide a seashell bucket full of secrets.
Creole…shot…dead. Three words Madison Westin never thought she’d hear in the same sentence. Creole promised. He pinky swore on it.
But even through a blur of tears fed by prescription-strength margaritas, Madison can tell when things are shady. Sure, Creole was undercover, but she deserves more than sketchy non-answers, an urn of ashes, and a secret life crawling out of the woodwork.
Nothing’s adding up, nothing that remotely sounds like the Creole she knew and loved. Calling in every one of her IOU’s—only to find some of her most reliable information sources drying up—Madison sets out to dig up what really happened to Creole. She never thought the truth would wrap its arms around her and make her wonder if she’s chasing a ghost… or taking a vacation from sanity.
Ambushed in Paradise is book #12 in the action-packed Paradise series. Come along with Madison and Fab as they dig up the truth and share more than one hair raising adventure.

The Paradise series, are Florida Keys mysteries, “great as stand-alone reads, but they’re like chips…you won’t be able to devour just one!”

Available to buy from…..
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Paperback 

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Since I’ve read most of the Paradise books and feel like these characters are friends, I didn’t bother to read the book description before I read Ambushed in Paradise. Talk about ambushed! What a way to start a book! I felt Madison’s heartbreak right along with her when she was told that Creole was dead. I kept saying, “He can’t be dead. He can’t be dead.” But then there was a funeral and his ashes were buried…

It amazes me how Deborah Brown can keep these stories so alive and refreshing. You would think that at some point they would get repetitive or boring but she keeps coming up with surprises (even if it is a death) to keep things interesting. Madison’s best friend, Fab, and Fab’s boyfriend are great friends and try to help her through her grief. Fab is still pretty crazy. And Madison’s family is always interesting.

I read this book in one sitting (“He can’t be dead. He can’t be dead.”). It’s just January and I’m sure this will be one of my favorite books of 2018. Ambushed in Paradise can be read as a stand alone but I wouldn’t recommend it. I would read at least book #11 before this one in order to understand the love that Madison loses at the beginning of the story.

 

“I love the characters, Brown does an amazing job of creating complex and interesting characters!”

“This was one of the author’s strongest books yet”

“I have enjoyed this entire series, but this book is a standout.”

Above reviews from Amazon

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Book Excerpt

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Also available in the Paradise Series

    

    

    

    

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About the Author

I’ve been writing, in one way or another for as long as I can remember; poetry, sappy short stories (my best friend made me swear that I’d never show anyone until I changed the names), and a romance novel shoved under my bed.
I wanted to create books with a wide-range of unforgettable characters, with heat and romance, and lots of guns. It wouldn’t be complete without a slice of humor and charm.
I live with my family and demon children aka rescue cats in South Florida.

Find the author on the following sites…
Website  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  Google+Goodreads  Amazon Author page

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Continue reading

Book Review: The Mop & Bucket Murders by Pat Herbert

28 Dec

The year is 1961. Barney Carmichael is about to take on his toughest case yet when a mysterious and glamorous woman walks into his office unannounced. Her request is simple: find her son. It is soon clear that the task is far from simple, however. In fact, the more Barney and brother Jim delve into the mystery, the more confusing it becomes. Meanwhile, Barney’s friend, Inspector Tony Halliday of Scotland Yard, seeks his help in solving a series of baffling murders. Charwomen at a big London office block are being picked off, seemingly at random, by an unknown assailant. The Carmichael Private Investigation agency has also taken on a bright new secretary, but when she is determined to do some investigating of her own, she makes a devastating discovery that changes her life forever. This is the third in the Barney Carmichael Private Investigator series.

  

“The Mop & Bucket Murders” by Pat Herbert is available in paperback and e-book from Amazon UK. It is also available from Amazon US.

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Barney Carmichael and his brother Jim have become private investigators and are beginning to realize that most of their cases are going to involve missing pets and spouses wanting information on cheating spouses.

Barney keeps waiting for that one mysterious woman to come looking for help like the woman in The Maltese Falcon. Unfortunately, she’s not what he was hoping for but he’s glad to take on the case of looking for her son, especially with the retainer she gives him. I liked the comparison to The Maltese Falcon and the let down because it is something that we all do at some point: fantasize about a moment to come that is less than what we’d hoped for.

Everyone in this book is so miserable! I know part of it’s the heat but this isn’t a “feel good” book until the very end when everything comes together.

I think the way the cases intertwined was creative and I enjoyed it. At first, I thought it was going to be two separate cases they would be working on and it was interesting to read how they came together. 

I haven’t read the first two books in this series but I’m going to have to read them when I have time. This book does stand on its own and I definitely recommend it if you enjoy a good murder mystery with some twists.

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About the Author

Pat Herbert lives in London, England and works as an administrator and receptionist at a private health clinic. She worked previously as PA to the Managing Director of Thomson Books before they were taken over by Penguin.  Pat has written fourteen murder-mysteries to date, including:

 

Reverend Paltoquet Supernatural Mystery Series:

The Bockhampton Road Murders
Haunted Christmas
The Possession of November Jones
The Witches of Wandsworth
So Long at the Fair
The Man Who Was Death
The Dark Side of the Mirror
Sleeping with the Dead
The Corpse Wore Red
Seeing Double

Barney Carmichael Murder-Mystery Series:

Getting Away With Murder
The Murder in Weeping Lane

In her novels, Pat likes to include all the hallmarks of a traditionally British murder-mystery series including quirky characters, dark deeds, humorous misunderstandings, and at times, a touch of the supernatural, and cosy cups of tea.

 

 Press/Media Contact Details:

 Darin Jewell (Pat Herbert’s Literary Agent)
Managing Director
The Inspira Group Literary Agency

E-mail: darin@theinspiragroup.com

 

 

The Amazon US purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

Book Review & Giveaway: Secrets? by Christer Tholin

22 Dec
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Secrets?
Stockholm Sleuth Series Book 2
by Christer Tholin
Genre: Mystery Crime Thriller
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“Dammit!
She’d made a huge mistake. She’d never make it out of here – they
were going to kill her.”

In the crime novella SECRETS?, fledgling private investigator Elin
Bohlander takes on what looks like an easy assignment — at first:
to determine if her client’s boyfriend is having an affair with
another woman. To do this, Elin follows him to a secluded cabin in
the woods, where she soon discovers that what’s actually
transpiring is stranger than anyone thought. Having ventured too far,
she’s stumbled upon a hornet’s nest and put her life at risk. But
it’s too late. Can Elin win the unequal fight against a gang of
brutal child molesters?
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SECRETS? is the second, standalone book from Christer Tholin’s
Stockholm Sleuth Series.
In the previous novel VANISHED?, Elin and her colleague Lars solve
their first case together.
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If you like fast-paced action and
surprising twists and turns, then you will love Christer Tholin’s
sleuth series.
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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Secrets? is a fast read full of action. Elin gets her first independent job as a PI and as would be expected, it’s a woman who suspects her boyfriend is having an affair. She determines that he isn’t and the client is satisfied but Elin’s curiosity gets the best of her. She returns to the cabin that she’d followed him to a couple times and what transpires is much worse than an affair. Not only that but she risks her life.

Although this is a short book, if you like suspense and action, this is a must read! Warning: graphic violence.

 

Vanished?
Stockholm Sleuth Series Book 1
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He could only hope he’d get out of here in one piece.”
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To come to terms with his recent divorce, Martin, an attorney in Berlin, plans a peaceful vacation – two weeks in a Swedish summer house seem to be the solution. It won’t be peaceful, however, and those two weeks will change his life forever. He takes a liking to Liv, a Swedish woman whom he meets in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, they don’t get to have their first date – Liv disappears under mysterious circumstances. Martin begins his search but soon realizes he can’t find Liv in a foreign country by himself. He hires two private investigators, and their discoveries make  everything seem even stranger.
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The complexities in this suspenseful criminal case lead to a hunt across Sweden. Martin comes close to finding answers, but his search lands him in very real danger, eventually leading to the first deaths. Soon he‘s wondering if he can get Liv and himself out of this situation alive.
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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Martin decides to take a vacation at a summer home in Sweden just to get away for a couple of weeks after his divorce is final. He runs into Liv a couple of times and she invites him over for coffee. When he arrives, she’s not home and things look a little suspicious. He’s afraid that something has happened to her but no one will listen to him so he takes it upon himself to find her. 

That’s when he hires Lars and Elin. Their investigation turns up some interesting information. But will they find Liv?

There are many twists in Vanished? as well as action and romance. I don’t usually care much for in depth descriptions of places but in this case I did because my grandma was Swedish. Martin is visiting Sweden and the author’s descriptions are good enough that it was almost like I was there. 

If you like a suspenseful crime mystery, you can’t go wrong with Vanished?

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The author grew up in the North of Germany, Schleswig-Holstein. Today, he
lives together with his family in Stockholm, Sweden, where he works
as management consultant.


Already for ages he has been a great fan of crime stories and therefore, had
the desire to write his own crime story with the characters acting in
Sweden. This crime-fiction is now available under the title
“Vanished?”.
 
The crime novel starts at a slower pace – like Martin’s holidays, but the
tension goes up more and more. It comes to a number of surprising
turns giving new impulses to the story. Apart from that, the lovely
country Sweden is described with the view of a foreigner.
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Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
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Audiobook Review: The Case of the Cursed Dodo by Jake G. Panda

13 Dec

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Author: Jake G. Panda

Narrators: Full Cast

Length: 2 hours 34 minutes

Publisher: Woolly Family Studios

Released: Oct. 3, 2016

Genre: Family Audio Drama

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Listen up. If you’re looking for trouble, you’ve found it. His name’s Jake G. Panda and he’s a wildlife investigator. This hard-boiled bear works at a flophouse for endangered critters called the Last Resort. He’s the hotel snoop. The resident fuzz. It’s his job to keep these unusual guests safe and outta harm’s way.

This hilarious first installment of The Endangered Files is a wild and woolly mystery involving a missing guest, a green bird, and a bunch of double-crossing critters all hot on the trail of The Cursed Dodo. It’s designed to introduce young listeners to the subject of endangered species in a fun and informative way.

So join this tough talking panda detective and a cast of endangered creatures on a globe-trotting audio adventure that will appeal to young and old alike.

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Amazon *  PulpRadio.net * Audiobooks.com

 

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Jake G. Panda is a wildlife investigator. A hardboiled Winnie-the-Pooh. He likes bamboo and saving endangered animals. He is the author of The Endangered Files, a mystery series about his misadventures in the protection business.

His partner in crime, the fella who helps write these books because, let’s be honest, it’s not easy typing with big, clunky bear paws, resides somewhere in New England. He has written his fair share of stuff, mostly for the big screen. And some of it has actually been projected. He likes to keep a low profile and lets Jake do all the talking.

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I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jake G. Panda. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

What a fun book to listen to! Jake Panda is a detective in the business of protecting endangered species. He may look like a cuddly panda, but he’s more of a hardboiled detective,  the animal version of Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, or Mike Hammer. 

This is a fun way to introduce young readers/listeners to endangered species as well a popular genre of fiction. Even though it’s written more for children, adults may enjoy listening to it as well. The author is creative and has a unique sense of humor.

Listening to The Case of the Cursed Dodo is almost like listening to a movie. The one thing that wasn’t necessary, though, was the recap of the previous chapter at the beginning of each chapter. The different voices and the sound effects make it fun to listen to and more exciting than many audiobooks.

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Dec. 10th:
Lomeraniel

Dec. 11th:
AudioSpy
Hall Ways Blog

Dec. 12th:
Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm

Dec. 13th:
Bound 4 Escape

Dec. 14th:
Desert Rose Reviews

Dec. 15th:
The Book Addict’s Reviews

Dec. 16th:
Life as Freya
Notes from ‘Round the Bend

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Book Review: Dangerous Ends by Alex Segura

6 Dec

Pete Fernandez has settled into an easy, if somewhat boring life as a P.I.. He takes pictures of cheating husbands. He tracks criminals who’ve skipped bail and he attends weekly AA meetings The days of chasing murderous killers are behind him. Or are they?

When his sometimes partner Kathy Bentley approaches him with a potential new client, Pete balks. Not because he doesn’t need the money, but because the case involves Gaspar Varela, a former Miami police officer serving a life sentence for the murder of his wife – one of the most infamous crimes in Miami history. The client? None other than Varela’s daughter, Maya, who’s doggedly supported her father’s claims of innocence.

As Pete and Kathy wade into a case that no one wants, they also find themselves in the crosshairs of Los Enfermos, a bloodthirsty gang of pro-Castro killers and drug dealers looking to wipe Pete off the Miami map. As if trying to exonerate Varela wasn’t enough, they find themselves entangled in something even older and more surprising—a bloody, political hit ordered by Fidel Castro himself, that left a still-healing scar on Pete—and his dead father’s—past.

Fast-paced, hardboiled and surprising, Dangerous Ends pushes Pete Fernandez into a battle with a deadlier, more complex threat, as he tries to shake off the demons haunting Miami’s own, sordid past. 

Available on Amazon.

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This is the third Pete Fernandez Mystery but it’s the first one I’ve read and it definitely stands on its own. Dangerous Ends is about PI Pete Fernandez who is starting to realize just how boring being a PI can be…until Kathy asks for his help. The daughter of a convicted killer wants Kathy to write a book and possibly find evidence to prove her father’s innocence. This starts a chain of events that put Pete and Kathy in danger and things quickly get out of control. How many cases can they work on at once? Or are they all connected somehow?

The characters are well developed and complex. Pete struggles to stay sober and to do the right thing. He’s a good man but has a lot on his plate.

I like Alex Segura’s writing style. It flows well and even though he goes back in time occasionally, it’s done well and I never got confused (which is easy to do). I definitely recommend Dangerous Ends and look forward to reading the other books in the series.

 

About the Author

Alex Segura is a novelist and comic book writer. He is the author of the Pete Fernandez Miami Mystery series, which includes SILENT CITY, DOWN THE DARKEST STREET, DANGEROUS ENDS, and BLACKOUT, all via Polis Books. He has also written a number of comic books, including the best-selling and critically acclaimed ARCHIE MEETS KISS storyline, the “Occupy Riverdale” story, ARCHIE MEETS RAMONES and THE ARCHIES one-shot and monthly series. He lives in New York with his wife and son. He is a Miami native.

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The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

 

Book Review & Giveaway: Christmas in Paradise by Deborah Brown

30 Nov

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My name is Madison Westin. Unless it’s Christmas, in which case my official title is “Holiday Cheermistress.” Nothing stops me from getting my ho-ho-ho on, not even my friends’ Grinch-worthy attitude toward sparkling tinsel, twinkling lights, and tinkling bells.

Hey, if Creole, Fab, and Didier wind up with coal in their stockings, it won’t be my fault.

When some bah-humbug bandit makes the rounds of Tarpon Cove, Fab and I are on the case. It’s the least we can do for our loyal friends. Seasonal crime-victim disorder seems to be on the rise.

Some guy in a Santa suit—well, the top half of one anyway—is robbing local banks. The cops are fingering the wrong guy. And you can bet your light-up Rudolph boxers that if we can’t track the real thief down, one of my merry band of miscreants could be spending the holidays behind bars.

The Paradise series, are Florida Keys mysteries, “great as stand-alone reads, but they’re like chips…you won’t be able to devour just one!”

Available to buy  from….
Amazon   

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have read several of the Paradise books and I’ve enjoyed them all. Madison and Fab and their boyfriends Creole and Didier make a great foursome. Madison and Fab seem to get themselves into trouble and they’re often able to get out of it. If they can’t do it, Creole and Didier will show up to save the day.

Christmas in Paradise isn’t quite the same as the other books in this series. It’s mostly about the Christmas season celebration by the Westin family with a little humor and crime thrown in for good measure. And there’s a surprise ending!

The Paradise books stand on their own but I wouldn’t recommend reading this one first since it’s more about spending Christmas with your favorite characters rather than a mystery and there’s not the usual character and relationship development.

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“South Florida author Deborah Brown books are infectious.”

“My love for these quirky characters grows with every book! Hope they never end!”

“This fabulous duo exudes so much sassiness and strong willed characteristics that I absolutely cannot get enough of.”

Above reviews from Amazon

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Book Excerpt

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Also available in the Paradise Series

    

    

    

    

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About the Author

I’ve been writing, in one way or another for as long as I can remember; poetry, sappy short stories (my best friend made me swear that I’d never show anyone until I changed the names), and a romance novel shoved under my bed.

I wanted to create books with a wide-range of unforgettable characters, with heat and romance, and lots of guns. It wouldn’t be complete without a slice of humor and charm.

I live with my family and demon children aka rescue cats in South Florida.

Find the author on the following sites…
Website  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  Google+  Goodreads  Amazon Author page Continue reading

Book Review & Giveaway: Dangerous Changes by Joyce T. Strand

22 Nov

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A series of events rattle Emily Lazzaro: a near-death encounter with a pickup on a narrow mountain road, the murder of a would-be client, and an ex-fiancé who won’t let go. Can she survive a police investigation, pressure from her ex’s company, and the suspicions of a possible new love-interest—so that she can make the changes to create a meaningful new life in a special town in southern California?

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About Emily Lazzaro

Emily Lazzaro is the daughter of Wayne Lazzaro, the winemaker for the Hilltop Sunset winery in the previously published three Brynn Bancroft mysteries. She moved with her fiancé to Ramona, Calif., a rural community near San Diego, following graduation from college with a degree in hospitality. Her fiancé was eager to purchase a vineyard and develop a winery in the up and coming Ramona wine region, which suited Emily’s goals.

However, after moving to Ramona, it becomes apparent to Emily that she is not a good match for her fiancé. She discovers that he does not respect her opinions and insists on making decisions without her input. So she breaks off the engagement.

She decides to remain in Ramona despite her fiancé living there with his new vineyard. She appreciates the unique rocky terrain and proximity to the ocean and San Diego, along with the mixture of fine wineries, artists, and equestrian activities.  She makes her living doing people’s taxes, and when Dangerous Changes opens, we discover she is looking to make a career change.

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I have read several books by Joyce T. Strand so I was happy to read this one about Emily Lazzaro who was introduced in the Brynn Bancroft mysteries.

Emily wants to start a new life in Ramona even though her ex-fiancé also lives there. She prepares tax returns for people but she wants a job in the hospitality field which is what she has a degree in. When she is offered a job, it seems too good to be true and when a possible client is murdered she becomes even more concerned when she finds out his relationship to her new bosses. 

It seemed that every new chapter brought a new concern or even potential danger to Emily. In addition, she had no idea who she could trust. I didn’t like how Emily dealt with her ex, Ed. It made her seem weak which is ironic since he thought she was weak and that was one reason she broke up with him.

There was a twist or two but no big surprises. I still enjoyed the read. Emily Lazzaro is another character of Joyce T. Strand’s that I am looking forward to reading more about.  I can’t wait to see how her new life turns out.

 

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About the Author

Joyce T. Strand is the author of who-done-it contemporary and historical mysteries set in San Francisco, Napa-Sonoma wine regions of California, or Ventura, California.

Her most recent novels, Hilltop Sunset and Landscape for Murder, feature protagonist Brynn Bancroft, a financial guru in transition to winemaker from corporate executive. Brynn Bancroft is a minor character in Strand’s first three novels On Message, Open Meetings, and Fair Disclosure—three mysteries solved by Jillian Hillcrest, a publicist in Silicon Valley whose boss was Chief Financial Officer Brynn Bancroft.

Her first historical mystery, The Judge’s Story, tells the story of a Superior Court Judge with a passion for social justice as well as the law who strives to discover the truth behind the mystery of a robbery-murder in a small California town in 1939.

All of her novels are inspired by actual events and/or real people, although they are definitely fictionalized.

Much like her protagonist Jillian Hillcrest, Strand headed corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in California’s Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder in her career. She focused on writing by-lined articles, press releases, white papers, and brochures to publicize her companies and their products.

She lives with her two cats and collection of cow statuary in Southern California, and enjoys exploring and writing about the growing wine region in the Ramona Valley near San Diego.

She received her Ph.D. from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA

Find the author on the following sites….
Website   Blog   Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Google+   Goodreads   Amazon Author Page

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Follow the Book Tour

1. Wednesday, 8th November – Nicki’s Nook

2. Wednesday 8th November – eBook Addicts

3. Thursday, 9th November – Sanity is for those without children

4. Thursday, 9th November – The Faerie Review

 5. Friday, 10th November – Mammanatty’s

6. Monday, 13th November – Miki’s Hope

 7. Monday, 13th November – Book Babble

8. Tuesday, 14th November – Lynchburg Mama

9. Wednesday, 15th November – Leels Loves Books

10. Thursday, 16th November – Between the Coverz

11. Friday, 17th November – jessicacassidy.com

12. Monday, 20th November – My Reading Journeys

13. Tuesday, 21st November – Joyful Antidotes

14. Wednesday, 22nd November – Bound 4 Escape

15. Friday, 24th November – I Create Purty Thangs

16. Monday 27th November – Beck Valley Books

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I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

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 AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY !!

 

1st Prize: All-New Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa, 7″ Display, 8 GB, Black (value $49.99)
2nd and 3rd Prizes: (1 each) $25.00 Amazon Gift Certificate

Ending on Wednesday 29th November at 11.59pm EST
Open Worldwide

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