Tag Archives: mystery

One Must Tell the Bees: Abraham Lincoln and the Final Education of Sherlock Holmes by J. Lawrence Matthews Audiobook Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The secret history of the infamous detective of Baker Street comes to center stage as his first case centers around the assassination of a US President, the protection of his son, and the hunt for a ruthless assassin in author J. Lawrence Matthew’s audiobook, “One Must Tell the Bees: Abraham Lincoln and the Finale Education of Sherlock Holmes”. 

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The Synopsis

“What do you get when you cross Abraham Lincoln with Sherlock Holmes? The alchemy of creative genius. Matthews brings us to the intersection of history and fiction in this beautifully written epic full of unfathomable twists and turns. It’s elementary: this book is sensational.” (Jim Campbell, syndicated radio host and author of Madoff Talks: Uncovering the Untold Story Behind the Most Notorious Ponzi Scheme in History)

“President Lincoln is assassinated in his private box at Ford’s!”

When those harrowing words ring out during a children’s entertainment in Washington on the evening of April 14, 1865, a quick-thinking young chemist from England named Johnnie Holmes grabs the 12-year-old son of the dying president, races the boy to safety, and soon finds himself enlisted in the most infamous manhunt in history.

One Must Tell the Bees is the untold story of Sherlock Holmes’ journey from the streets of London to the White House of Abraham Lincoln and, in company with a freed slave named after the dead president, their breathtaking pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. It is the very first case of the man who would become known to the world as Sherlock Holmes, and as listeners will discover, it will haunt him until his very last.

At a time when Western history is being reexamined and retold, old heroes cast aside and statues torn down, and even the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, “the Great Emancipator”, is questioned, One Must Tell the Bees is a timely reminder that our history deserves to be understood before it is entirely undone.

©2021 J. Lawrence Matthews (P)2021 J. Lawrence Matthews

The Review

Such an incredible story! The combination of the author’s ability to capture the tone and writing style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the narrator’s fluid and thematic speaking voice helped to draw the reader into the narrative. It was incredible how the author was able to bring to life the style of the original Sherlock Holmes novels that made him such an iconic literary figure. The amount of detail and precision that the author put not only in the narrative but into the dialogue of Sherlock Holmes himself was fascinating to read and watch unfold. The narrator was superb, really bringing that nineteenth-century English accent into the story and capturing the emotions and nostalgia that these characters and stories held for so many over the years.

The narrative itself was such a great story. The author found the perfect way to pay tribute to the original Sherlock Holmes stories through tone and atmosphere while shaking things up by exploring a young Sherlock Holmes and giving an alternate history that shows the famed London Detective taking to the streets of Washington DC and more. The addition of the detective’s hero being revealed as a Pinkerton agent was fascinating as well and allowed readers to get a glimpse into the formation of who Holmes would become known as in his future career. 

The Verdict

Nostalgic, entertaining, and thought-provoking, author J. Lawrence Matthews’s “One Must Tell the Bees” is a must-read historical fiction mystery novel! The audiobook version really created the theatrical nature of the setting and the narrative harnessed that classic literature style that really made this feel like an authentic Sherlock Holmes read. The captivating addition of this time period and the era of American History being so influential on the foundation of Holmes and his career in the future was brilliantly told, and if you haven’t yet, you need to grab your copy of this incredible audiobook today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: J. Lawrence Matthews

Narrator: Thomas Judd

Length: 19 hours 13 minutes

Publisher: East Dean Press

Released: Oct. 1, 2021

Genre: Mystery

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The Voyage of the Stingray by Richard Steinitz Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

An urgent mission off of the Iranian coast sends a new stealth nuclear submarine out into action suddenly, with a civilian left aboard the vessel, along with a group of Navy Seals, a mysterious agent, and the newly appointed Commander in charge of them all in author Richard Steinitz’s “The Voyage of the Stingray”. 

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The Synopsis

A new type of stealthy nuclear submarine – the USS Stingray – is under development, and Commander Jeff Woodbridge has been assigned to command her. Shortly after its sea trials have been successfully concluded, Stingray is sent on an urgent mission. After leaving port, it is discovered that a young civilian is still on the ship, and cannot be sent home due to the mission’s urgency and secrecy.

A team of SEALs is picked up along the way, and when Stingray reaches the Iranian coast, they pick up a mysterious agent in the midst of a fire-fight. The Voyage of the Stingray is part “Hunt for Red October” and part “Midshipman Hornblower”, a book where mystery, suspense, and adventure all come together, in a tale that you will not want to put down.

The Review

This was such an intriguing and gripping thriller! The author did an amazing job of balancing the descriptive military workings of the novel’s setting aboard the submarine with the personal character developments and thoughtful approach to suspense and mystery that this narrative held. The way the author utilized the multiple perspective approach to the storytelling was so great to see, as a setting such as a submarine and anything involving the military often involves so many different working parts that to approach it any other way may have taken away from the growing mystery of this narrative. 

The very distinctive way the author was able to work into the story how the ship came to be made and the intricacies of constructing a submarine of this new type of capabilities were so well researched and developed within the confines of the narrative. It added to the intense imagery that the author deployed in this narrative, as did the amazing atmosphere that made this novel capture some of the intrigue and mystery that great 80’s military films surrounding the Cold War were known for.

The Verdict

A memorable, fast-paced, and character-driven narrative, author Richard Steinitz’s “The Voyage of the Stingray” is a must-read submarine and military suspense thriller! The action and suspense blended well with the character growth in this narrative, and the way the cast of characters became a great mixture of soldiers serving aboard a ship together to more of a family-unit style of storytelling was both heartwarming and engaging to read, and the exploration of morality versus military engagement from the ship’s new commander was so fascinating to read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Richard Steinitz (b.1947) was born in New York to German Jewish immigrant parents, After four years at S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo, he moved to Israel where he has lived since then with his wife, Naomi. They have two children and two grandchildren.

As a 40+ year resident of Israel and veteran of more than 20 years service as a Medic in the Israeli Army Reserves, he was disappointed by the scarcity of books that paint a true picture of the Israel-Arab conflict. Many works of fiction presume to give an accurate description of the area and events, yet contain glaring errors of fact and even simple translation.

His first novel, Murder Over the Border, builds upon his intimate knowledge of the country, the people that live in and around it, and on the hopes and dreams of all the peoples of the region. It is a classic detective story, set in the turmoil of the Middle East Peace Process, and is available both in print [ISBN: 978-0692261828], and as a Kindle E-book.

Kaplan’s Quest, his second novel, is a journey of discovery – both personal and historical. It is an exciting tale with unexpected twists and revelations, "that will keep you enthralled ’till the very last page." It is available in print [ISBN: 978-0692250372] and as a Kindle E-book, and has been given a Five-Star review at the Readers’ Favorite website: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/35436

His third novel – The Voyage of the Stingray – has just been published.

Website: http://richard0999.wix.com/richard-steinitz

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RichardSteinitzBooks

A Death in Bloomsbury (The Simon Sampson Mysteries #1) by David C. Dawson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A renowned BBC Radio host and investigator must put his loyalty to the King of England to the test in 1930’s London as a plot to assassinate the King forces Simon Sampson to investigate, but at the risk of exposing his secret life as a gay man in a time when being gay meant facing prison time in the country in author David C. Dawson’s “A Death in Bloomsbury”, the first in the Simon Sampson Mysteries series. 

The Synopsis

Everyone has secrets… but some are fatal.

1932, London. Late one December night Simon Sampson stumbles across the body of a woman in an alleyway. Her death is linked to a plot by right-wing extremists to assassinate the King on Christmas Day. Simon resolves to do his patriotic duty and unmask the traitors.

But Simon Sampson lives a double life. Not only is he a highly respected BBC radio announcer, but he’s also a man who loves men, and as such must live a secret life. His investigation risks revealing his other life and with that imprisonment under Britain’s draconian homophobic laws of the time. He faces a stark choice: his loyalty to the King or his freedom.

This is the first in a new series from award-winning author David C. Dawson. A richly atmospheric novel set in the shadowy world of 1930s London, where secrets are commonplace, and no one is quite who they seem. 

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The Review

This was such a captivating and thought-provoking read. The author’s utilization of mystery and historical fiction was superb, showcasing a clear understanding and attention to detail historically that showed the amount of research that went into this narrative. The balance the author found with the history behind this intriguing mystery and the LGBTQ cast of characters that made up the novel’s main cast was so refreshing and fantastic to read.

What stood out to me was definitely the emphasis on the LGBTQ narratives, not only the characters as a whole but their experiences and the amount of secrecy that went into leading what was considered back then to be a “double life”. The way this mirrored so much of the novel’s noir and espionage elements within the mystery unfolding around the characters was perfect, and the emotional ups and downs the protagonist, in particular, went through all the way to the book’s final pages was so emotional to read.

The Verdict

A thoughtful, gripping, and entertaining read, author David C. Dawson’s “A Death in Bloomsbury” is a must-read mystery and historical fiction thriller this fall! The representation within the cast of characters and the struggles the LGBTQ community faced nearly a century ago was perfectly balanced the twists and turns in the book’s mystery, and the cliffhanger ending will leave readers eager to read more of this exciting new series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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A Death in Bloomsbury - David C. Dawson

David C. Dawson has a new gay historical crime thriller out: A Death in Bloomsbury. And there’s a giveaway!

Everyone has secrets… but some are fatal.

1932, London. Late one December night Simon Sampson stumbles across the body of a woman in an alleyway. Her death is linked to a plot by right-wing extremists to assassinate the King on Christmas Day. Simon resolves to do his patriotic duty and unmask the traitors.

But Simon Sampson lives a double life. Not only is he a highly respected BBC radio announcer, but he’s also a man who loves men, and as such must live a secret life. His investigation risks revealing his other life and with that imprisonment under Britain’s draconian homophobic laws of the time. He faces a stark choice: his loyalty to the King or his freedom.

This is the first in a new series from award-winning author David C. Dawson. A richly atmospheric novel set in the shadowy world of 1930s London, where secrets are commonplace, and no one is quite who they seem.

About the Series

The Simon Sampson Mysteries start in London 1932 and continue through the 1930s across Europe. Set against the rise of fascism in the continent, the series features a man who does his patriotic duty to fight the enemy, even though as a gay man he’s an outlaw.

Amazon | Goodreads


Giveaway

David is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47212/?


Excerpt

Simon arrived at Piccadilly Circus at ten minutes to eight that evening and waited to cross the road to the statue of Eros on its traffic island. This part of London always gave Simon a thrill of excitement. It buzzed with activity, like a giant beehive. There were swarms of people hurrying from work, or strolling towards a restaurant, theatre or bar. The metaphor was apt, because within fifty yards of where Simon stood there were so many queens.

Across the road was The Trocadero. Its Long Bar was always guaranteed to provide a gay evening for gentlemen in search of pleasure. A little farther on was the Empire Theatre in Leicester Square. Its Upper Gallery was popular with painted boys and men dressed in smart suits who spent an evening either exchanging acid-tongued witticisms or seeking a friend for the night.

Even at that time of the evening the traffic on Piccadilly Circus was almost stationary. Simon stepped off the pavement and wove his way between taxis and omnibuses queuing to drive up Shaftesbury Avenue or down the Haymarket. Cameron was waiting for him, and Simon was pleased to see he was once again soberly dressed in his immaculate black coat. This time with a grey scarf and black leather gloves. Young men of a similar age to Cameron were also standing on the steps of Eros, and they wore far more flamboyant clothing. Simon preferred to be inconspicuous when out with a gentleman friend. There was less chance that they might draw the attention of the police, or busys as his friends in the Fitzroy Tavern would call them.

“I do hope you’ve not been waiting long.” Simon took Cameron’s outstretched hand and squeezed it firmly. “It’s getting awfully cold. I think it might snow this Christmas.”

Cameron reached out his other hand and rested it on Simon’s hip. Simon pushed it away. “Best not here, old chap,” he whispered. “Awfully public you know.”

He released Cameron’s hand and pointed across the road. “We need to head towards Leicester Square. The Lily Pond is two roads up. And we can walk past the Trocadero on the way and see who’s out gadding tonight.”

“I’m glad I’m wi’ ye,” Cameron replied. “I’m still finding ma bearin’s in London. I’ve nae come down to this part of town since I moved to York House.”

“Oh, you should.” Simon led the way through the still stationary traffic to Coventry Street. “It’s frightfully exciting. And you can always be sure of meeting someone interesting.” He pointed to the corner of Glasshouse Street. “That’s the Regent Palace Hotel. Awfully good bar. Perfect place to meet gentlemen from overseas, and they can hire a room for you by the hour if that interests you.” He grabbed Cameron’s arm and pulled him to safety as a motor car attempted to circumvent the traffic jam and drove up onto the pavement.

“Try not to get yourself killed, my dear.”


Author Bio

David C. Dawson

David C. Dawson is an award-winning author, journalist and documentary maker. He writes gay romance and contemporary thrillers featuring gay heroes in love.

His latest book The Foreign Affair was published in 2020. It’s the third in the Delingpole Mysteries series.

The first in the series: The Necessary Deaths, won an FAPA award in the best suspense/thriller category.

David’s also written two gay romances: For the Love of Luke and Heroes in Love.

He lives near Oxford, with his boyfriend and two cats. In his spare time, he tours Europe and sings with the London Gay Men’s Chorus.

Author Website: https://www.davidcdawson.co.uk

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/david.c.dawson.5

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/pg/davidcdawsonAUTHOR/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/david_c_dawson

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davidcdawsonwriter/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7244384.David_C_Dawson

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/david-c-dawson/

Author Amazon: https://geni.us/DCDawsonAmazonAuthor

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White Lightning: Prohibition and Predators: A Mystery Across the Centuries with a White Knuckle Finish You Won’t Believe (Hope Sze medical mystery Book 9) by Melissa Yi Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Doctor and mystery investigator extraordinaire Hope Sze finds herself investigating a century-old mystery as a weekend trip to an old prohibition era inn hosting a fictional villain convention leads to the discovery of bones, and a threat to those staying in the inn in author Melissa Yi’s “White Lightning: Prohibition and Predators: A Mystery Across the Centuries with a White Knuckle Finish You Won’t Believe (Hope Sze medical mystery Book 9)”.

The Synopsis

FROM HOOCH HIGHWAY TO HOMICIDE

Hope Sze escapes for a romantic weekend away at the Rumrunner’s Rest, a Roaring Twenties inn once celebrated both for Prohibition’s best alcohol and the smoothest jazz bands north of the Detroit River.

Then a convention of fictional villains overrun the tavern, her friend glimpses a ghost, and Hope uncovers a grisly surprise in the fireplace that may be related to Al Capone, the infamous gangster.

At least two people disappeared from this very inn, and one soul will not rest in peace.

Tonight, unless Hope unravels a century’s worth of clues, death will collect several more lives. Including the one, she holds most dear.

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The Review

This was a perfect mystery read! The author continues to enthrall and entertain readers with the perfect balance of mystery, history, and engaging character-driven narrative to really entice and bring readers to the edge of their seats. The inclusion of prohibition-era history, from the prohibition bars that were so popular a century ago, to Al Capone and a character’s possible relation to him, really elevated the actual mystery that this story held. 

What stood out to me though was the character development. It was incredible to see these characters evolve and grow as the story progressed, especially going into the 9th story in this growing mystery series. From the medical aspect of the character’s perspective on the mystery of these grisly findings inside of the inn’s chimney to the sudden appearance of an old flame who turned Hope’s world upside down years ago to the question of whether or not history and our ancestry can have any sort of impact on our world today, each character really exhibited chemistry and balance with one another, as did the growing shroud of shocks and thrills to the novel. 

The Verdict

A masterful, heart-pounding, and brilliant medical thriller and mystery read, author Melissa Yi’s “White Lightning” is a must-read novel of 2021 and the perfect next installment in Hope’s growing mystery series. The historical nature of the character’s in the flashbacks and how they relate to the modern-day mystery really add extra depth to the novel, making this a thrilling fall and winter read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Melissa Yi is an emergency physician and award-winning writer. In her newest crime novel, SCORPION SCHEME, Dr. Hope Sze lands in Cairo and discovers a man with a nail through his skull who might hold the key to millions in buried gold. Previous Hope Sze thrillers were recommended by The Globe and Mail, CBC Books, and The Next Chapter as one of the best Canadian suspense novels. Yi was shortlisted for the Derringer Award for the world’s best short mystery fiction. Under the name Melissa Yuan-Innes, she also writes medical humor and has won speculative fiction awards. http://www.melissayuaninnes.com/

Shooting Star: A Nikki Latrelle Mystery Book 5 (The Nikki Latrelle Mystery-Thriller Series) by Sasscer Hill Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A job to protect the horses and people involved in a Hollywood shoot forces heroine Nikki Latrelle to face off against a mysterious sniper in author Sasscer Hill’s “Shoot Star”, the fifth book in the Nikki Latrelle Mystery-Thriller series!

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The Synopsis

When Nikki’s ex-lover Will hires her to protect the horses used to film a movie at Santa Anita Racetrack, she learns evil is alive and well in Hollywood.

Keeping Thoroughbreds safe from a director who doesn’t know a horse from a hamster is tricky. More difficult are the unresolved feelings between Nikki and Will, especially when sexy, young movie star, Jamie Jackson, sets his sights on Nikki.

But when a sniper’s bullet shatters the brain of a cameraman close enough that she can smell his blood, Nikki’s need to protect overrides everything. Her sleuthing unearths a trail of corruption and when she must lie to Will to protect his life, she’s on her own. Can she identify the evil behind the scenes before she and Will become the next victims?

Shooting Star is the fifth rocket-paced story in the award-winning Nikki Latrelle mystery series. If you like protagonists with heart and courage, unexpected twists, and a thrill ride to the finish, you’ll love Shooting Star.

Find out why this series has so many fans. Buy Shooting Star today! 

The Review

This book starts off quite literally with a bang. The shocking murder of a cameraman shocks readers with a quick introduction to the setting followed by the harrowing events that spark this mystery. Now although I am a newcomer to the Nikki Latrelle series, the author did an amazing job of crafting a narrative that felt self-contained enough to stand on its own while still touching upon scenes and experiences the character had in previous entries in the series. 

The balance the author found between the pacing of the mystery and the character arcs of not only the protagonist but of the supporting cast as well as brilliantly written. Each clue and twist in the narrative was delivered naturally and kept the reader invested, while the characters kept you on the edge of your seat as readers tried to solve the mystery themselves. Add some unique and original storytelling elements involving horse racing and the treatment of animals in Hollywood productions overall, and you have the recipe for a highly engaging thriller.

The Verdict

A high octane, adrenaline-fueled, thought-provoking mystery thriller, author Sasscer Hill’s “Shooting Star” is a must-read thriller of 2021. A brilliantly original and heartfelt look into the world of horse racing and the treatment of animals in general blended with a heart-pounding murder mystery and complex character development, readers will not be able to put down this amazing story. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

I’ve never wanted to write the “Great American novel.” I believe my job is to entertain with stories about chasing a dream, fighting the odds, and helping the helpless. I want to create a world that’s a bit scary, sometimes funny, always informative, and a reliable destination for escape.

Sasscer Hill’s books have won the $10,000 Dr. Tony Ryan Award for Best Book in Racing Literature (FLAMINGO ROAD.) They have also garnered a Carrie McCray Award and been nominated for Agatha, Macavity, and Claymore awards. Her second book in her two-book “Fia McKee” series, THE DARK SIDE OF TOWN, received a Booklist Starred Review and was an Editor’s Pick in the Toronto Star.

Her newest title, TRAVEL’S OF QUINN” (out March 2010) is a mystery-thriller based on the con artists known as the Irish American Travellers. A novel of deceit, murder, greed and hope,

Currently, Sasscer is writing SHOOTING STAR, her fifth novel in the “Nikki Latrelle” mystery series.

Sasscer was a breeder, owner, and rider of race horses for over 30 years. She lives in Aiken, SC, with her husband, a dog named Rosco and a cat named Lola.

https://www.sasscerhill.com/

Serpent Loop by Lynn Lipinski Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A brother is pushed to the limits when a murder at the carnival he is working at opens up a twisted mystery his younger sister is caught in, and as the investigation ramps up and she disappears, he must decide how far he is willing to go to protect the family he has left in author Lynn Lipinski’s “Serpent Loop”.

The Synopsis

Sometimes new beginnings come from destruction.

A man is murdered at a carnival. For Zane Clearwater, witnessing the crime is a dark reminder of a violent past he had hoped to put behind him and his teenage sister Lettie. But the fear on her face tells him one thing: she’s somehow involved and as her guardian, he must protect her at all costs. Even if it jeopardizes his future as a police officer.

Zane has a lot of questions, but so do the police…and the FBI. Zane had seen his sister’s genius computer skills as an asset to get her into college and out of the hand-to-mouth life he was living as security guard and janitor. But Lettie had decided to use those skills in some questionable schemes on the dark web. And now trouble had come looking for them in real life.

When Lettie takes off for California, Zane embarks on a journey of discovery that even unbreakable bonds may have their limits. Can he stay one step ahead of trouble and protect Lettie? Or has trouble finally caught up with them for good? 

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The Review

The author did a fantastic job of grabbing the reader’s attention with a gripping opening scene. While this book seems to be a continuation of the author’s first book, Bloodlines, this narrative does an amazing job of connecting the two books while still allowing new readers to jump into the story headfirst without having read the first book. The suspense and atmosphere are adrenaline-fueled as the reader is treated to twists and turns galore and the original crime spirals into something the protagonist could not have seen coming.

What was captivating the most was the balance the author found with this twisted narrative with the emotional and realistic journey the protagonist went on. Between trying to solve the mystery of what caused this violent altercation to turn into murder, to trying to bond and figure out the complicated issues his little sister has gotten into in her teenage years, and the struggle to find his life’s purpose all at the same time is something many readers are going to be able to identify with and makes for truly engaging reading overall.

The Verdict

A marvelous, entertaining, edge-of-your-seat thriller, author Lynn Lipinski’s “Serpent Loop” is the must-read crime thriller you have to be reading this fall. Beautifully written and highly creative, the author has delivered a narrative that feels real and magical all at once and brings a true depth of emotional development for these characters that readers won’t be able to help themselves from feeling a bond with them. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Lynn Lipinski is a writer who channels an overactive imagination into fictional worlds where justice rules, karma is real and the good person comes out on top. Her second book, “God of the Internet,” was named to Kirkus Reviews Best Indie Books of 2016 list.

Her first book, “Bloodlines,” is set in her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, which also happens to be her favorite place to write about even though decades of living in L.A. have worn away the Okie accent. She earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from Mount St. Mary’s University in 2018.

http://lynnlipinski.me/

Ascot and the Stolen Shrubs: Book One of the Fern Valley Fur Family Mysteries by J. Traveler Pelton

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

After a series of robberies in which flower bushes were stolen, the race is on as a group of pets must see if they can catch the thieves before their owners in author J. Traveler Pelton’s “Ascot and the Stolen Shrubs”, the first book in the Fern Valley Fur Family Mysteries series.

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The Synopsis

Fern Valley, a few miles down the road from Lyonsville, is a quiet little town, the kind of place you’d like to visit or retire to someday. Every yard had flower gardens along Main Street and the annual Gardening Festival competition and Home Tour drew crowds from miles away. Ascot and his pack at the Sinclair Dog Rescue live a serene life next door to Lillian’s Cattery, and they’d formed a truce. When someone starts stealing flower bushes, Ascot and his friends stage nighttime forays while their masters search for clues in the daytime. Who will find what was hidden under all those bushes first, the professional detectives or a pack of lonely pets?

The Review

This was such a fun and entertaining mystery read. The author instantly transports readers into this cozy and tight-knit small-town setting, bringing a real sense of community and the emotional bond of a pet parent and their fur babies. As a pet parent myself, I can attest not only to the intellect of these incredible animals, but the love and bond we share with one another, and the author captures this perfectly in this novel.

The tone and atmosphere that the author created really reminded me of the old Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy books of another era. The mystery and seriousness of the building crimes and the thirst for the truth mesh well with the adorable cast of characters and the cozy mystery genre that the author has found in this book. 

The Verdict

A shocking, fun, and engaging mystery read, author J. Traveler Pelton’s “Ascot and the Stolen Shrubs” is the perfect start to this brand new mystery series. A shocking series of twists and turns that elevates the mystery to heights that will take readers by surprise, the thought-provoking story and balance of characters between the humans of the small town and the pets that shadow them make this such an entertaining read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

J. Traveler Pelton was born in West Virginia in the last century. She is active in her home church; enjoys having theological disputes with her friends, loves to cook a big meal and then takes a walk, discussing the ideas of what her friends/family are studying. She was the Nation’s Mother for her tribe for several years: she is still wife to Dan after 45 years, mother of six adults, a grandmother of eight, a Clinically Licensed Independent Social worker, a retired adjunct professor of social work at her local university and an avid reader. She is a cancer survivor. She studies science, technology, Biblical studies and human behavior. She is quick to draw parallels between different fields of thought and weave the ideas into a cohesive ideology that is at once practical, usable and thoughtful. Her books are the result of blending her life experiences with bureaucracy, studying science and nature, counseling and faith. She greatly enjoys the intersection of fantasy and possibility and hopes you enjoy it as well. We will see you on the other side of the imagination tree.

Her co-author of the fantasy series is her grandson T-bear. T Bear Pelton is a self-proclaimed gamer, a student of Kenpo, a Christian active in his home church, a Native American, a storyteller and a novice blacksmith. He lives with his grandparents, his Amazon parrot, and four Siamese on a small alpaca farm while working full time and dreaming of times when magic still existed and wishes sometimes actually came true. Enjoy this fantasy with him and for just a little while, suspend daily life for a dream of dragons and wizards, beautiful ladies and knights, magic and faith. Travel then with us to another time, another place and another dimension. Come to the future, after the War, when tech and magic combine with faith and fear.

Their farm, Springhaven Croft, is home to alpacas, dogs, Siamese cats, canaries, an eclectic group of chickens and an irascible Amazon Parrot named Gizmo. Traveler’s webpage is travelerpelton.com; she also has a FB page called Traveler Pelton. Come visit real soon!

The Fire Starters (Nicholas Foxe Adventures #3) by Jackson Coppley Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Adventurer and history-searching hero Nicholas Foxe returns, this time racing against the clock to stop a guild of fire starters who trace their origins back to the days of Ancient Rome as a plot to target places in the United States in author Jackson Coppley’s “The Fire Starters”, the third book in the Nicholas Foxe Adventures series.

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The Synopsis

In The Fire Starters, Nicholas Foxe uncovers a guild of pyromaniacs that traces its roots to ancient Rome. Were these modern-day fire starters responsible for the fire at Notre Dame? Were they responsible for a firebombing at The London Eye? Do they now have targets in the United States?

Nick finds an important clue deep in the ruins of Nero’s buried palace and realizes the fire starters work has just begun. The lives of thousands are at stake. Can Nick and his team stop the fire starters before it’s too late?

The Review

Jackson Coppley has done it again! The perfect blend of deep dives into history and mythology from around the world and incredibly rich and complex character development, the third book in the Nicholas Foxe Adventures series was an instant hit. As a fan of history, I loved the author’s research and the highlight of Ancient Rome and the surrounding cultures of the age of Emperor Nero showing off during the early chapters of the book, while also adding very human and personal character connections to highlight the danger and mystery that our world houses.

The thing that always makes a Nicholas Foxe adventure stand out for me is that the protagonist, Nicholas, remains vital to the narrative, and yet allows the story to develop fascinating characters with backstories that feel solid and well-developed, whereas some thrillers tend to have rushed character development instead. Having Nicholas’s connection to newcomer Ray Woodward was an amazing way of introducing this mystery of the fire starters, and gave the narrative a much more rich connection between the history and the characters overall.

The Verdict

Indiana Jones meets The Da Vinci Code, author Jackson Coppley’s “The Fire Starters” is the perfect next chapter in the Nicholas Foxe series. The novels feel so cinematic and engaging, that one can only hope these stories make their way to the silver screen someday. The way the author makes history feel more alive and pronounced than it has in a long time in the literary world is great to see unfold, and I do hope that fans and I alike will be treated to more Nicholas Foxe Adventures in the future! If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jackson Coppley weaves stories from a sophisticated knowledge of technology and a keen sense of adventure. Coppley travels the world with his vivid imagination at work to create exciting stories with characters readers feel they know.

https://www.jacksoncoppley.com/

Gaslight Paradise by Walrus Review

Three people discover how far they would go to live forever as they discover the sinister motivations behind an innocent seeming party in author Walrus’s “Gaslight Paradise”.

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The Synopsis

What would you do to live forever? Three very different people contemplate this question after it is posed to them at a lavish party where everything is more sinister than it seems.

The Review

This was the perfect fusion of otherworldly fantasy, historically-driven sci-fi, and old-time mystery thriller horror stories all in one delicious literary bite. The authors known as Walrus have perfectly captured both a humorous tone amongst the cast of characters and their interactions with one another and a haunting note of terror in the spine-chilling behavior of the “party hosts”. 

The mystery of the doors that take the trio of protagonists to this “party” is inviting and entertaining, to say the least. The author’s ability to translate fantasy, horror, and sci-fi in a mature and adult way was great to see, as so many stories delve into the YA world for these genres that getting a more adult turn in this genre was a breath of fresh air. 

The Verdict

A heart-pounding, chilling, and engaging sci-fi and fantasy read, authors Walrus and their book, “Gaslight Paradise” is a must-read novel. The story is invigorating and does a great job of adding a new twist on the class thriller-mystery genre. The shocking revelation of this party’s origin will stay with readers long after the book’s end, and the cliffhanger of an ending is open-ended enough for fans to want more but mysterious enough to be a brilliant conclusion as well. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Walrus was once believed to be an urban legend. Very little is known other than Walrus is said to sleep very little, eat very much, and write far more than is healthy for the normal mind.

To bestow a great story on the world is Walrus’ only wish.

https://mindofwalrus.weebly.com/