The Reading Room at the British Museum – geograph.org.uk – 433966 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I’ve fallen behind in my reading and yammering about my reading. I’ve been distracted and, let’s face it, more than a little nuts. But I did read in July and kept some notes, so here we go.
Hunted (The Iron Druid Chronicles) by Kevin Hearne #6 in an urban fantasy series that really needs to be read in order. The novella “Two Ravens and One Crow” appears at the end of this book, but it really needs to be read before #5 in the series, Trapped. Don’t know why it’s published so oddly out of order. The author claims it’s not critical to #5, but I found it would’ve explained a lot.
There are some pivotal events in this installment, although I almost threw the book across the room on page 90. Mr. Hearne is a sly one and brought up something from one of the first books that I had completely forgotten about. Sheesh. The action this time around involves figures and deities from Norse, Roman, Greek, Russian, Irish, and Finnish traditions although it’s mainly the Norse and Olympians. A pivotal character dies (dude, I was shocked) and a new/old character is brought into the fold.
The vampires are still mucking up the world.
Oberon the hound is still awesome.
There were so many calamities that befell our druids, it was almost overkill. I’m still not entirely sure who committed the murder (which was a weird subplot) and found it was left dangling. I’ve got a bad feeling that’s going to be a crucial detail in the next book. (And by the time it’s published, I’ll have forgotten all about it.)
This series remains, to me, very similar to Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden books. The non-stop action and bad guys leave me with that wrung-out, did-I-just-get-beat-up-by-fairies? feeling. If you enjoy Harry, you’ll love Atticus.
Some Like It Lethal (#3 Blackbird Sisters Mystery) by Nancy Martin I love this cozy mystery series about down-on-her-luck Philly Main Line blueblood, Nora Blackbird. She’s had to take a job as a second string society columnist to keep body and soul together. And of course she’s forever stumbling onto murders. And she faints at the drop of a hat. I could do without her sisters, but they’re a package deal.
This installment finds sister Emma in a horse stall with a dead guy and we’re off to the races from there. A blackmailing scheme is uncovered along with the foibles of the rich and pretentious.
Nora’s romance with her mobbed up boyfriend moves forward, but she still can’t drive. I find the whole thing charming and I never guess whodunnit.
Fair warning to animal lovers: there’s a grisly scene involving Nora’s puppy toward the end. (***SPOILER: the puppy’s ok.)
Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die (#4 Blackbird Sisters Mystery) by Nancy Martin Another charming cozy mystery — another crime I couldn’t solve. This book also has the most ass-backward, romantic proposal I’ve seen in years. Recommend.
Trail of the Dead (#2 Scarlett Bernard series) by Melissa F. Olson (kindle edition) Second in an urban fantasy series about a supernatural null amongst vampires, werewolves, and witches in Los Angeles. Scarlett works as a crime scene cleaner for the head vampire which means she sometimes ends up involved in crime-solving. The mystery isn’t a whodunnit, we know that pretty much right away. It’s more who else is involved and how. The how is tied up with magic, so good luck puzzling it out.
I don’t remember Scarlett being so whiny in the first book, but she kicks ass in the end, so good for her. An entertaining read, but not as good as the first book.
Gone for Good by Harlan Coben Wow. There are enough twists and turns in this to send you to the chiropractor. The story begins with a family funeral, eleven years after the older brother is accused of murder and becomes a fugitive. That old murder ends up being the catalyst for all sorts of intrigue. Characters who seem good, aren’t and those who seem evil have sparks of good. Every time I thought I had a handle on what the real story was, it twisted on me again…all the way to the end. Totally recommend.
Murder Melts in Your Mouth (#7 Blackbird Sisters Mystery) by Nancy Martin Final installment in the series. And it’s a whopper. The dangling plotlines are all tied up satisfactorily. The identity of the murderer is shocking. There’s a subplot involving a trans*man that’s not quite germane or sensitively handled and is ultimately used as a device to explain an unbelievable twist. I wish the author had made that character less of a caricature.
Have Your Cake and Kill Him Too (#5 Blackbird Sisters Mystery) by Nancy Martin Flat and less charming than the previous books. A whole lot of personal problems and angst which circled around like a snake eating its tail. The mystery was okay, but the whole story felt a bit slapped together. Meh.
Dark Moonlighting by Scott Haworth (kindle freebie) A 677-year old vampire in the 21st century, holding down jobs as a cop, lawyer, and doctor. Vampirism is a result of a virus and he’s trying to find a cure. Why? No clue. He doesn’t seem to be particularly upset about being a vampire.
Written in the first person as a memoir from death row, it’s unrelentingly snide and snarky. Every other line has a pop culture reference. Fellow cops are all from television shows (Cagney and Lacey, etc.). It got old fast. I didn’t like the lead character or really care what happened to him. He was totally unsympathetic.
Concrete Savior (A Dark Redemption novel) by Yvonne Navarro The second in an urban fantasy series featuring angels, demons, and nephilim. This one was bland. Don’t think I’ll read #3.
A Crazy Little Thing Called Death (#6 Blackbird Sisters Mystery) by Nancy Martin Fair warning right up front: this one’s got animal abuse, which is a trigger for me and greatly diminished my enjoyment of the mystery story. If I’d known about that subplot, I’d have skipped this one. Libby’s still crazy, Emma’s still sleeping around, and Nora and Michael’s romance is still rocky. So nothing new here.
I’m trying to read through most of the physical books on my shelves in anticipation of moving in the next few months and I’ve declared a moratorium on adding any more books to my Kindle for awhile. Of course, now that I’ve made these statements, I’ll end up acquiring a hundred new books and have to eat my words! Got any books to tempt me with?