My Rating: 5 Stars
This book was awesome. No other way to put it. I don’t even know how I only heard about these series now and I will definitely get my hands on a paperback version of both instalments.
The story starts with the main character Evelyn and her search for gifted people who are struggling with their powers or simply hiding them out of fear. At the same time, she needs to make sure that she gets to them before the Society of Aberrations does. It’s not a group one should trust… right? With her parents back, Evelyn has to protect herself in two fronts, from the Society and her parent’s intent to marry her off.
I fell in love with this book even though I didn’t have the fortune of reading the first volume These Vicious Masks. It is fast-paced, pack with action, not a dull moment in sight. Intrigue at every corner, I was sitting at the edge of my seat in anticipation. I really couldn’t guess who to trust or to be suspensions of, even though most of the characters are simply amazing. Twists and unexpected events would make anyone hold their breaths.
The time-period is simply perfect and definitely one of my all-time favourites. The colours, the dash of steampunk, the language and the manners are so beautifully described I got goosebumps. The style of writing is perfect, words feel like silk when I read them in my mind, it’s breathtaking and hypnotic. Oh, and did I mention highly-addictive?
Evelyn is an amazing character and she definitely became one of my all-time favourites. She is one badass lady, with a strong character, spirit and smart mind. She is the picture of independence, the complete opposite of what society requires of a woman in that period. She is the proof that we can break free of society’s rules and how we can break them in style and with grace. Despite everything though, she still feels the need to make her parents proud, and does her best to please them even if she doesn’t agree with their traditional views and beliefs. That’s another thing this character is great: even coming from a family with high social status, Evelyn is kind and treats everybody equally and she truly wants to make a difference in the world, no matter the cost. Her powers are incredible, so, another reason I like her, of course.
Utterly brilliant is the only way to describe this amazing novel. I will be ordering the first volume and the second one for good measure because this is definitely a series worth following and having in the bookshelf!
I want to thank Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to participate in this book tours in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
My God, there aren’t enough words to describe this book. Written by Stephen King, this little gem made my emotions run high, and my heart slam against my ribcage from so much suspense. The unique way this book is written really pulled me into the story.
This is the story of Dolores Claiborne , a tough island lady that is both a murderer and an innocent. Read her testimonial as she tells the story of how she killed her husband and how her employer died in her care. No, she didn’t do it. And because she has nothing to hide, she tells the story in the first person and will take you on a ride though the dark side of an island village life and how despair can ride people to commit the most inconceivable acts.
Stephen King did it again, Another brilliant novel. I will be completely honest: I didn’t know at all about this book until I ran into it in the local library (and yes, I mean that quite literally). But it definitely made its way to my heart and it’s one of my favourite novels by King.
First of all, I absolutely loved Dolores! She’s a bitch and knows how to ride that high-horse of hers but she is one badass old lady! When she’s accused of murdering her mistress, she just walks into the police station and tells the story of how and who did it, while coming clean about killing her husband. She’s a mother of three and that never slowed her down! Her wit, perception, charm and boldness make her a great narrator and a memorable character.
The first-person narrative is absolutely brilliant! I could almost hear Dolores’ accent and her own unique way of expressing herself. It’s an unique style of writing that makes the whole difference with this story-line. For me, it invoked a feeling of suspense, the type that creates a ball of nerves in the bottom of the stomach and squeezes the heart.
I highly recommend this novel to all the fans of Stephen King and suspense-genre lovers!
My Rating: 5 Stars
Lyndsay Faye is absolutely perfect in capturing the essence of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This novel is perfect and it fills the gaps between the original stories very well. I’m very happy that I got to read an advanced copy!
The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of short stories written by Dr Watson about his dear friend and world-famous detective Sherlock Holmes. The novel is divided into three parts: “Before Baker Street”, “The Early Years” and “The Return and Years Later”, giving a glimpse of the past of this extraordinary mind and the years until his death at the Reichenbach Falls.
I loved every minute of this reading, couldn’t put it down, couldn’t stop feeling astonished of the depth and pure brilliance of the author. I could hear the voice of Jeremy Brett, the great Sherlock of 1984 to 1994. Faye captures all that defines Doyle and Sherlock, from the immaculate Victorian style of writing, the characters, the complexity of the plots and the perfect power of deduction that are so known in the stories of Sherlock Holmes. I couldn’t possibly pick one or two favourite stories, every single one of them in particular, unique and addictive. Other famous characters also join the plots, like Mycroft Holmes and Inspector Lestrade.
I really enjoyed reading the growth of Dr Watson in the stories, from the newbie side-kick to an essential part of the mystery-solving business. I always enjoyed reading his perspective of Sherlock and how he tries to define him, ending up being surprised by the others actions or words that remind him of his friend’s humanity.
I can say with all heart that Lyndsay Faye did a spectacular job in continuing the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, filling in the gaps with information that all Sherlock fans will appreciate. I highly recommend this novel to all the fans of Mr Holmes!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Mysterious Press. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Complex, thrilling, brilliant novel! I’ve had a few issues with putting thoughts and opinions on paper in a way that makes sense, so much to say!
Welcome to Glendaig, a little town in the Scottish Highlands. A peaceful place until the remains of a person wearing a German watch are discovered in a beach nearby. Young Neil Strachan, a career cop with a background in History is given the task to solve the mystery. When the young policeman gets in touch with a German novel historian specialist called Matthias Fuchs, they soon discover that, not only they have a murder case that dates back seventy years on their hands, but also the revelation of something that could have changed history.
It was a long and intense read, one that I will remember for a long time. Allan’s style of writing is absolutely incredible and along with his great descriptions, the deep knowledge in historical events, police procedures and the way everything comes together is breathtaking. The clues are analysed in a great way and the psychological details make this novel unique and for me one of the best mysteries I’ve read so far. I actually had my heart on my throat from trepidation in wanting to know what came next. A real page-turner, filled with twists and turns, just how I like them.
The author organised the story in a hasty manner, connecting the present and the past in flashbacks of the life and activities inside a submarine in 1941, so it gives the perfect balance between the historical events with the present modern investigation and interpretation of what happened back then. The different sets of characters are very well thought and very well represented in my opinion and their depth made them more than just simple characters. I managed not to lose track of who is who in the novel, the idea of a genealogical tree in the beginning was a great idea, I definitely consulted it a few times. Neil is a great protagonist and the details of his personal life make him more than a mere policeman.
I really enjoyed the setting of the story. Like I mentioned before, the descriptions in general are great, but those of Scotland are memorable and I definitely got the urge to visit.
A great read that I highly recommend to the fans of the mystery, thriller, suspense, historical genres.
I want to thank the author Clive Allan for reaching out and sending me the digital version of The Drumbeater.
My Rating: 3 Stars
A fun cosy-mystery, good for a quick read. This was the first volume I’ve read from “An Auction Block Mystery” and I want to take a look at the previous novels of the collection to see what I’ve missed. I must say that having a character named Death is peculiar and actually compliments the story very nicely.
The mystery starts with the beginning of an investigation. Apparently, a drunken old man stole a horse and dressed in a cavalry uniform got into a fatal accident in the forest when he hit his head against a branch. When the results of the lab come in, it’s revealed that the uniform in saturated with decomposing body fluid, meaning the uniform belonged to someone that has been dead for quite a while. Meanwhile, Death is asked to look into a homicide. The son of Tyler Jones, head of a radical church group, is found dead in the back of the car of Anthony Dozier, an army vet recovering from the horrors of the war in Afghanistan. The motive? Earlier that day, Jones and his group invaded the funeral of Dozier’s Muslim wife. Death’s job is to prove that Dozier committed the murder while suffering from PTSD. At the same time, Wren is helping out on preparing a house for auction when strange noises and events start happening all around her.
The style of writing is great, very engaging and witty. The descriptions are brief but they hold enough detail to be able to picture the settings and the environment.
It’s the type of story I couldn’t guess what would happen next. Information and details are revealed in a steady pace and at the beginning I couldn’t see the relation between them. It all worked out perfectly in the end though. Since I didn’t read the previous books, I felt like I was missing something, more in the relationships between the characters than anything else. The characters are good, but I was a bit disappointed not to have some more depth to them, to know more about them, especially Randy. Death is a great character and I loved to see the interactions with his brother Randy. I think they’re really different from each other but even so I could see they had each other’s backs.
A cosy-mystery perfect for an after-work evening!
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Midnight Ink. and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
My Rating: 4 Stars
One word for this novel: Intense! I absolutely love the type of story where the main character gets involved with something, falling into it blindly. It just adds spice to the story!
A novel starts out with private investigator Moses Winter is working on a cheating-husband case. Things start to get complicated when the cheated wife discovers that her husband has been with a Bosnian immigrant. When a fight breaks out, the husband ends up being stabbed, and when the police finally arrive on the scene, Rakic, the agent from the homicide department, recognises the mistress as his cousin. While trying to protect his cousin, Rakic realises that finding the truth will more come complicated than he was expecting. When Moses feels there’s something amiss with the story, he investigates and ends up finding out the shocking truth, something that runs a lot deeper than a mere cheating investigation.
It gives me great satisfaction to see all the storylines come together perfectly in the end with no strings left hanging. The storyline is great and the style of writing made it very easy to follow the different perspectives and the development of the case. The description of the global problem of human trafficking served as a reminder of the level of desperation people have to reach to undergo such conditions, just to have a chance at life. I think Sparks addresses the problem in a very good way and it definitely puts this novel in a whole other level.
The characters are well developed, especially Moses, a likeable character with a great level of determination and curiosity.
Unfortunately, the romantic part didn’t do much for me. His connection with Majka, a suspect, and the fact that he uses her didn’t sit well with me. I so admire the determination of Rakic and his family loyalty. The references to smoking came too often, in my opinion. I’m not a smoker but I think it was too much detail for an addiction.
Overall, it’s a fast-paced detective story that I enjoyed immensely.
I want to thank the author Francis Sparks for reaching out and sending me his book in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Perfection! And now I'm depressing since I read it in one sitting and have to wait for the next volume! A brilliant sequel to Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower in a novel that is more compelling than the first!
Prose and Cons is the second book of the Magical Bookshop Mystery series. The main character, Violet Waverly is now the new Caretaker of Charming Books in Cascade Springs, while working at the local university as a professor of Literature and writing her PhD dissertation at the same time. Life is good as Violet and Grandma Daisy prepare for the event of the year, the Cascade Springs Food and Wine Festival. The plan is for the Red Inkers, the writers club, to do a Poe-try reading (reading of works of Edgar Allen Poe) with the historical setting and clothing. When Violet discovers the dead body of Anastasia Faber, one of the writers, in the bookshop all hell breaks loose. When her friend Sadie is accused and all the evidences point to her, Violet takes charge of the case together with the handsome chief of police David Rainwater in order to find the real killer. With the help of the magical bookstore, Emerson the tuxedo cat and Faulkner, the crow, our main character will uncover a big secret and an unexpected visitor will turn Violet's world upside down.
A magical novel that I read in a few hours! Impossible to put down, the plot may look simple but it's nothing as such. The characters are so enchanting, so colourful and described in depth that I feel like they are my friends too. I love Violet, her loyalty and her complete faith in her friend Sadie's innocence is a grand part of her strong and stubborn character. I must admit that I was expecting a bit more action with the handsome chief of police, inside I truly believe that David and Violet make the dream couple. It was a delight to read their interactions and I think, reading in between the lines, that David knows more about the secret of the Charming Bookstore than he leads on.
The setting is still as bright and colourful as the first time and it gives me the desire to visit Cascade Springs myself. Of course, that visiting the magical bookstore where the perfect book finds you would be a plus!
My favourite series of cosy-mystery that I highly recommend!
My Rating: 4 Stars
Old-fashion horror at its best ! Haunted houses, prison torture, monsters and creatures that brought fears I had as a child to light! The cover is amazing, beautiful, daring and creepy all in one!
“Doorways to the Unseen: 6 Tales of Terror and Suspense” by James Dermond is a collection of horror tales that gave me goosebumps! The tales are very well written and the style is very good, I really got into the stories and their characters. I must admit that the endings were a bit disappointing but still fun to read.
My favourite tales were:
- The Drowned Man, a lake house with a haunting story and a deadly ending;
- Grandfather’s Cane, a tale of warning and caution for the living;
- The Plague, a sudden wave of madness that consumes the people of a small town, turning people into monsters;
- Returned to Dust, a tale of punishment over the punishers inside a prison.
These short stories are great and each one proves to be unique and engaging. It’s a very easy novel read, the stories flow quite nicely and it’s very entertaining. I definitely want to the read more from James Dermond in the future, hopefully sooner rather than later!
My Rating: 3 Stars
I’ve always been a big fan of Agatha Christie, but I must say I didn’t feel this novel as much as I would with Poirot or Miss Marple. The plot is very nice and the murder is complex and has some turns that left me without certainties of anything.
The book starts with the introduction of the main character, Luke Fitzgerald, a retired policeman travelling by train to London. Sitting in his cabinet is an elderly woman, Lavinia Pinkerton that confides in him about several murders that have been happening and how the murderer would kill again. Dismissing the worries of lady, imagine the surprise of Mr Fitzgerald when he reads about the ladies's death in the newspaper the following day. What follows is the introduction of the suspects, including Miss Bridget Conway, the lady that captures Luke’s heart. But who is the murder? Why does he kill? And more importantly, who will be the next victim?
Like I wrote before, the murder plot is complex and with some twists, something that I enjoy greatly. The murderer is truly the last person one would expect and it took me by surprise. The evidences are all there, but I was unable to connect the dots until the very end. The vintage setting, a small village where nothing ever happens and suddenly a murder occurs, is something that I’m still able to enjoy no matter how many books I read with the same setting.
My only problem was connecting with the characters. I’m not a fan of romance and I think that Luke and Bridget’s story was cute but rushed with all the “love at first sight” thing. Still, I liked reading their interactions and conversations since Miss Conway is the smartest woman in the story.
Overall, a nice read, but not one of my favourites from Agatha Christie!
My Rating: 4 Stars
I find it a bit difficult to put to words what I think about this book. I got mixed feelings but not in a bad way, not by far. I was amazed by the detail related to security, the military and the operations, definitely saw the background of the author in the novel and definitely got the feeling that he saw some of the things he wrote about.
The novel tells the story of a group of men known as the Black Bastards with unique backgrounds that act together in a war against crime waves in the city of Johannesburg in South Africa. In vivid crime scenes and war settings, Casey Christie takes us on a journey with Sergeant Michael Night, an army veteran, his best-friend Constable Daniel Shaka, a giant also known as Zulu and Constable Nickolai Stanislov, former Russian Spetznaz operator and expert shooter against a crime lord known for his Satanic rituals, murderers and rapes.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that provided so much detail on the police/military procedures! It made me feel like I was there, sitting next to this trio planning, observing and executing high-risk operations. The novel is fast-paced and the vivid descriptions of the streets of South Africa and the cruel events that take place there are both amazing and terrifying.
The plot is amazing and very well designed; no details are left to chance. The writing style is great, it makes the story easy to follow and the unique terminology of field gives depth to the story. The characters are also great, I enjoyed discovering more about them as the story moves along and their depth really gave the feeling they are real people. Sergeant Night is definitely my favourite character, he is a very complex character that shuts down his emotions to deal with painful moments in his life. His special bond with his two mates and Lisa, his on/off girlfriend reveal the more human side of a man that spent years in military settings. Another character that surprised me was the bad guy, also known has uSathane or “The Devil”. He is simply terrifying, probably because there are still a lot of people like him in the world. The character may be fictional but what he does, the crimes he commits and the methods he uses are still very much real. Furthermore, Christie joins the spiritual part of the African culture when he introduces the witch-doctor. The “Devil” is the ultimate villain: a human-being (if you can call him that) believed to be immortal that uses fear to control the people and possesses the means to keep that control.
A great read that kept me on my toes. I definitely want to read more of Casey Christie’s works in the future!
I want to thank Casey Christie for sending me a digital copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.