Book Review: The Ouija Board Mystery (Penny Lane, Paranormal Investigator Book 1) by David J. Cooper

When a group of teenage schoolgirls fool around in the school break, they accidentally injure one of their friends. She dies as a result. They try to contact her by using a Ouija board. They believe that they have contacted her, but release an evil entity instead which threatens their lives. They contact Penny Lane – a paranormal investigator, for help. She tells them what they have to do to destroy it. They follow her instructions but four of them die mysteriously. The two terrified remaining survivors return to see Penny, but is it too late for her to save them? A story that will make you think twice before dabbling with the occult. 

My Review

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

I expected this book to be about a paranormal investigator but she only plays a small part in the story. All of the characters, including Penny, are poorly developed. There are several books in this series so hopefully Penny and her aunt have been more developed as the series continues.

The basic idea of evil being released by a Ouija board is not a new concept, but it can be compelling. The warning about Ouija boards at the beginning was unexpected. My mom and I used to play with a Ouija board when I was young and we had a lot of fun with it and we came to no harm. On the other hand, I had some friends who had one that started to spell words on its own! They got rid of that one pretty quickly.

Although I read the entire book, I don’t think I would have stuck with it if it were longer mainly because it needs to be edited. I did see that there’s a newer edition than the one I have, but noted in a review or two that it still has issues.

I really wanted to like this book because I’ve always enjoyed reading about the paranormal. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.

About the Author

David J Cooper is a British author. He was born in Darlaston, West Midlands, to a working class family. After leaving school he had jobs ranging from engineering to teaching. He got involved in local politics and became a local councillor in 1980.

His novels incorporate elements of the paranormal, horror, suspense, and mystery.

He is featured in the Best Poems and Poets of 2012 with his first and only poem God’s Garden.

He currently lives in a small town in Mexico with his three dogs, Chula, Sooty, and Benji.

https://www.amazon.com/David-J-Cooper/e/B007N5EEKW

Website http://davidjcooperauthorblog.wordpress.com
Twitter @davidcomx

Book Review: Sparks & Landmarks by Trixie Silvertale

A suspicious fire. A Valentine’s Day discovery. Will this psychic sleuth gamble—and lose?

Mitzy Moon’s clairvoyant abilities are growing, but she never predicted arson. After waking to a towering inferno and loading her mentor into an ambulance, she thought things couldn’t get worse. But when the sheriff links her father to the blaze, she’s forced to take the case.

Coming up empty on love and leads pushes Mitzy to unnecessary risks. Now her otherworldly helpers, a nosy Ghost-ma and a fiendish feline, are the only ones who can save her bacon. But with break-ins, Bingo, and big storms stalling out her investigation, she may not be able to keep her dad out of jail.

Can Mitzy dig up the right clues, or will she fall for a sinister plot that puts her six feet under?

Sparks and Landmarks is the fourth book in the hilarious paranormal cozy mystery series, Mitzy Moon Mysteries.

Release date January 28, 2020

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I read Fries & Alibis, Tattoos & Clues, and Wings & Broken Things, the first three books in this series, and I really enjoyed them, so I was happy to read this book when it was available.

Mitzy Moon seems to attract trouble. With her psychic gifts, she’s good at figuring out mysteries and is usually one step ahead of the sheriff. Unfortunately, being one step ahead often puts her in danger.

Mitzy finally has a family since she inherited her grandmother’s bookstore. She’s getting to know Grams in her ghostly form and is finally getting to know her father. The more Mitzy Moon books I read, the more I enjoy the characters. Mitzy is clumsy, smart, and hilarious. Grams is a force of nature and continues to learn more about being a ghost. The two truly love each other already. Mitzy’s dad, Jacob, has made mistakes in the past but Mitzy is thrilled to have him in her life, and they’re getting to know each other.

When the building next to the bookstore goes up in fire, Gram’s friend and Mitzy’s lawyer and mentor, Silas, ends up in the hospital. Then a body is found in the rubble, and Jacob is the number one suspect. Of course, Mitzy is determined to clear her father to the exasperation of the sexy sheriff. Luckily, he is beginning to get used to Mitzy interfering and even helping with cases. He does have to be on his toes, though, because she’s always getting herself into dangerous situations.

These books are quick and fun reads. Each book builds on the last ones and they’ve become must-reads for me. I definitely recommend Sparks & Landmarks, as well as the other books in the series. I can’t wait for the next Mitzy Moon mystery!

Trailer for the first book

About the Author

Trixie Silvertale grew up reading an endless supply of Lillian Jackson Braun, Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew novels. She loves the amateur sleuths in cozy mysteries and is obsessed with all things paranormal. Those two passions unite in her Mitzy Moon Mysteries, and she’s thrilled to write them and share them with you.

When she’s not consumed by writing, she bakes to fuel her creative engine and tends to her herb garden.

Website: http://www.trixiesilvertale.com

Book Review: Wings & Broken Things by Trixie Silvertale

A crime with no eyewitnesses. A determined psychic sleuth. Will her search for clues take her where angels fear to tread?

Mitzy Moon is eager to test her expanding abilities. Although she’d love to look into the hit-and-run that struck down her favorite veterinarian, leads are slim to none. And before she can suss out a single tip, the advances of a charming green-eyed stranger provide a dangerous distraction.

Desperate for any hint, she goes undercover at the high school and lands on the wrong side of the law by lunch. And her “get out of jail free card” comes with the help of her meddling Grams, an interfering feline, and her alchemically inclined attorney. But when a gypsy curse puts her powers on the fritz, she may not be able to save everyone…

Can Mitzy juggle dating and sleuthing, or will a hex knock off more than her halo?

Wings and Broken Things is the third book in the hilarious paranormal cozy mystery series, Mitzy Moon Mysteries. If you like snarky heroines, supernatural misfits, and a dash of romance, then you’ll love Trixie Silvertale’s twisty whodunits

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I read Fries & Alibis and Tattoos & Clues, the first two books in this series, and I really enjoyed them, so I was happy to read this book when it was available.

Mitzy Moon’s vet is a victim of a hit-and-run and, as usual, she’s determined to find out what happened. She has no leads to start with, but with a little help from her growing abilities and her amazing cat Pyewacket, she is able to begin her investigation.

Mitzy hasn’t been in town long since she inherited her grandmother’s bookstore, but she’s viewed as a local rather than an outsider. She’s finally found a home. It’s too bad her grandmother had to die before she finds a place to call home, but at least she’s getting to know Grams in her ghostly form.

The characters in this book are great. Mitzy is independent yet she appreciates it when her Grams sets boundaries. Grams in the ghost form is funny and must have been a force of nature when she was alive. The two men in Mitzy’s life are completely different. Rory makes it known that he wants Mitzy, but there’s something about him…I can’t believe she likes him as much as she does! The sheriff, on the other hand, hasn’t even asked her out, but she flirts with him endlessly, and he seems like a good guy. Much better than the sketchy Rory!

These books are quick and fun reads. I enjoyed Wings & Broken Things and definitely recommend it, as well as the other books in the series. I can’t wait for the next Mitzy Moon mystery!

Trailer for the first book

About the Author

Trixie Silvertale grew up reading an endless supply of Lillian Jackson Braun, Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew novels. She loves the amateur sleuths in cozy mysteries and is obsessed with all things paranormal. Those two passions unite in her Mitzy Moon Mysteries, and she’s thrilled to write them and share them with you.

When she’s not consumed by writing, she bakes to fuel her creative engine and tends to her herb garden.

Website: http://www.trixiesilvertale.com

Book Review: Tattoos & Clues by Trixie Silvertale

A beachside stroll. A deadly discovery. Will this psychic sleuth swim or sink?
Mitzy wishes she could turn a blind third-eye to her hit-or-miss powers. Instead, while taking her fiendish feline for a walk, they make a stomach-churning find on shore. Despite her loss of appetite, she can’t help but get a closer look at the unique ink etched into the corpse…

Before she can track down the killer, Mitzy must sweet-talk her way off the sexy sheriff’s suspect list. And once again her meddling Ghost-ma is dying to interfere with the case. But when the trail leads to dangerous smugglers who shoot first and don’t ask questions, she could end up in over her head…

Can Mitzy uncover the truth, or will hers be the next body to float to the surface?

Tattoos and Clues is the second book in the hilarious paranormal cozy mystery series, Mitzy Moon Mysteries. If you like snarky heroines, supernatural intrigue, and a dash of romance, then you’ll love Trixie Silvertale’s twisty whodunits.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I read Fries & Alibis, the first book in this series, and I really enjoyed it so I was happy to read this book when it was available.

Mitzy Moon had a rough life until her grandmother leaves her an inheritance. Funny thing is, she didn’t even know about her grandmother. Now, she’s getting to know her Grams in ghost form and has started a relationship with the father she never knew. Life couldn’t be any better.

Mitzy finds a body on the beach and immediately calls the sheriff. Even though she’s told to let the police handle the murder investigation, she can’t help herself, especially when she finds out who the victim is. Even after Mitzy’s life is in danger she continues to search for the killer.

These books are quick and fun reads. Mitzy is unique, funny, and determined. Her Grams and her inherited cat are strange but loveable. The people she meets in Pin Cherry Harbor are also quite interesting. Especially the sheriff (in Mitzy’s opinion, anyway).

I enjoyed Tattoos & Clues and definitely recommend it, especially if you like lighthearted murder mysteries. I can’t wait for the next Mitzy Moon mystery!

Trailer for the first book

About the Author

Trixie Silvertale grew up reading an endless supply of Lillian Jackson Braun, Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew novels. She loves the amateur sleuths in cozy mysteries and is obsessed with all things paranormal. Those two passions unite in her Mitzy Moon Mysteries, and she’s thrilled to write them and share them with you.

When she’s not consumed by writing, she bakes to fuel her creative engine and tends to her herb garden.

Website: http://www.trixiesilvertale.com

Book Review: Fries & Alibis by Trixie Silvertale

A gift that’s too good to be true. A murder she didn’t commit. A barista in a latte trouble…

Mitzy Moon believes she’s an orphan, so she’s dumbstruck when a special delivery to her low-rent apartment reveals a family. But her shock turns to awe when she discovers her grandmother left her a fortune and a bookshop of rare tomes brimming with magic.

No sooner does she set foot in the quirky village of Pin Cherry Harbor to claim her inheritance, than the handsome sheriff catches her standing over a corpse. Desperate to prove her innocence, she’s forced to accept help from her granny’s entitled cat and a spirit from beyond the grave.

Can Mitzy and her otherworldly helpers uncover the real killer before the long, sexy arm of the law hauls her to jail?

Fries and Alibis is the first book in the hilarious paranormal cozy mystery series, Mitzy Moon Mysteries. If you like amateur sleuths, small town intrigue, and a dash of the supernatural, then you’ll love Trixie Silvertale’s twisty whodunit.

Amazon

My Review

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

Trixie Silvertale has a great sense of humor that shines through in this first Mitzy Moon book. Mitzy’s antics and independence make Fries & Alibis a delight to read.

Poor Mitzy Moon has had a rough life. She’s an orphan after her mom died and after getting out of foster care, she goes from one job to another and one party to another…until the day she receives an inheritance from the grandmother she never knew she had!

Soon after Mitzy arrives in Pin Cherry Harbor, she realizes that she’s “home.” Not only does she own her own bookshop but she’s getting to know her Grams. So what if she’s a ghost? There are a few glitches: her grandfather was just murdered and her father was convicted of murder years ago. But Mitzy takes it upon herself to investigate these murders.

It seems odd to include humor and murder in the same sentence, but those two words definitely fit in this instance. Mitzy is unique, funny, and determined. The people she meets in Pin Cherry Harbor are also quite interesting. Especially the sheriff (in Mitzy’s opinion, anyway).

I enjoyed Fries & Alibis and definitely recommend it, especially if you like lighthearted murder mysteries. I can’t wait for the next Mitzy Moon mystery!

About the Author

Trixie Silvertale grew up reading an endless supply of Lillian Jackson Braun, Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew novels. She loves the amateur sleuths in cozy mysteries and is obsessed with all things paranormal. Those two passions unite in her Mitzy Moon Mysteries, and she’s thrilled to write them and share them with you.

When she’s not consumed by writing, she bakes to fuel her creative engine and tends to her herb garden.

Website: http://www.trixiesilvertale.com

Book Review: The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen

A woman trying to outrun her past is drawn to a quiet coastal town in Maine–and to a string of unsolved murders–in this haunting tale of romantic suspense from New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen.

Ava Collette is punishing herself for an unspeakable tragedy. So she flees Boston and rents an old home named Brodie’s Watch on a remote coastal peninsula of Maine, hoping to work on a cookbook inspired by New England cuisine that she’s been trying to finish for months. She immediately feels at peace in the isolated house–until she starts to hear strange noises.

Rumor has it that a sea captain named Brodie has haunted the house for decades. Then, one night, Ava is awakened to find herself face to face with an apparition who looks–and feels–all too real. Meanwhile, there’s been a series of accidental deaths nearby that don’t add up. And as Ava starts to check into the previous renter’s mysterious disappearance, she starts to realize that there’s a disturbing secret some in town are desperate to keep hidden.

Soon all of Ava’s waking hours are consumed by her investigation, and her nights are ignited by Captain Brodie’s ghostly visits. But even as she questions her own sanity, she knows she must uncover the truth before a killer strikes again.

Pre-order on Amazon

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 sold a lot of Tess Gerritsen books when I owned a bookstore, and I enjoyed Rizzoli & Isles on TV, so I was looking forward to reading this book.

Shape of Night is a paranormal psychological thriller. It’s not what I expected, but after a few pages I was hooked.

Ava is full of guilt because of something that happened in Boston, so she moves into Brodie’s Watch for a few months to get away. It’s a big old house that was once owned by Captain Brody who died at sea many years ago. Because they’re doing some construction on it, the rent is affordable and she relishes the time alone to write her newest cookbook.

Ava drinks a lot to help ease the pain of her guilt, so when she sees the ghost of Captain Brody, she’s not sure if he’s real or a figment of her imagination. As she learns more about the house’s past, she realizes that Captain Brody isn’t only real, but that she may be in danger.

The characters in Shape of Night are realistic and flawed just like real people. Ava has a drinking problem, hasn’t had a decent relationship with a man, and is holding a big secret that is tearing her apart. Even though she’s a mess, I liked he. Just like in any small town, the townsfolk are gossips and there are secrets that are kept from outsiders. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.

I enjoyed this book more than I expected to when I started it. It kept my interest throughout, I like Tess Gerritsen’s writing style, and there was more than one twist which is always great. It also has a good ending.

About the Author

Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, “Adrift”, which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.

Tess’s first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her suspense novels since then have been: Life Support (1997), Bloodstream (1998), Gravity (1999), The Surgeon (2001), The Apprentice (2002), The Sinner (2003), Body Double (2004), Vanish (2005), The Mephisto Club (2006), and The Bone Garden (2007). Her books have been translated into 31 languages, and more than 15 million copies have been sold around the world.

As well as being a New York Times bestselling author, she has also been a #1 bestseller in both Germany and the UK. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon.) Critics around the world have praised her novels as “Pulse-pounding fun” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “Scary and brilliant” (Toronto Globe and Mail), and “Polished, riveting prose” (Chicago Tribune). Publisher Weekly has dubbed her the “medical suspense queen”.

Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine. 

Website http://www.tessgerritsen.com/

Book Review: The Long Shadow by Pat Herbert

The evil presence of Jack the Ripper crosses generations and casts its malevolent shadow over the lives of others

 

 

About the Book:

 

When Fiona and James Brett move into their fashionable London home, they discover the attic room harbours a dark and deadly secret. James locks himself away inside, ostensibly to take up oil painting, but he soon becomes moody, even violent. Local prostitutes are being attacked, and then the Bretts’ Polish cleaner is murdered. Another murder soon follows and this time it is even more close to home. James’s former lover is found mutilated, mirroring the Whitechapel killings of over a century ago. Could James be responsible, or is the evil of Jack the Ripper’s crimes casting its shadow over him?

 

 “The Long Shadow” by Pat Herbert is available in paperback from Amazon at:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Long-Shadow-Pat-Herbert/dp/1944156712

 

This suspenseful thriller can also be downloaded in e-book format from:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Long-Shadow-Pat-Herbert-ebook/dp/B07JVW796Q

 

 

My Review

 I’m always happy to read books by Pat Herbert. I have read quite a few and the mixture of mystery with a touch of paranormal intrigues me. 

The Long Shadow is about a haunted room in a big old house. People often see a shadow in the corner of the room and wonder if someone or something is there. I think we’ve all thought we saw something move in the shadows at some point and that made this story quite scary.

James and Fiona Brett feel lucky when they’re able to buy their house for well under market value. Ronnie was James’s father’s significant other and since his father was convicted of murdering a prostitute, Ronnie wants nothing to do with the house. In fact, she didn’t really want to sell it to James and Fiona because of the evil in one of the rooms that she believes changed her husband into a killer. She tells them never to enter the room and even takes the key so they can’t get in.

James finds another key and decides to make the room his study. He spends all of his spare time in it and becomes an angry and evil man. Fiona believes that he’s been possessed by evil because his personality has completely changed. He’s even changed in bed. He used to be a gentle and caring lover but now he’s rough and has even raped her. Could the same thing that happened to his father happening to him?

The characters are well developed for the most part. I felt like I got to know Fiona and James quite well. She puts up with a lot after they move into the house and some people might wonder why she stayed with James so long but many of us still believe in the sanctity of marriage, for better or for worse.

 

 

About the Author

 

Pat Herbert lives in London, England and works as an administrator and receptionist at a private health clinic. She worked as PA to the Managing Director of Thomson Books before they were taken over by Penguin. 

 

Pat has published fourteen murder-mysteries novels previously 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
The Mop & Bucket Murders

 

Also by Pat Herbert

Death Comes Gift Wrapped

 

In her novels, Pat likes to include the hallmarks of a traditionally British murder-mystery series with 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