I had never read anything by Mike Nappa when I picked up The Raven, the second in the Coffey & Hill series. The concept of classic literature and crime drama piqued my interest, for I both love literature and enjoy a good whodunnit. I was diving in on the second in a series, which always poses problems, but I was hoping that it wouldn’t impede my enjoyment of the novel.
As part of his street performance, a deception specialist who goes by the name The Raven picks his audience’s pockets while they watch. It’s harmless fun–until he decides to keep the wallet of a prominent politician, hoping for a few extra bucks. When he finds compromising photos of the councilman and his “personal assistants,” The Raven hatches a plan to blackmail the man. However, he quickly finds himself in over his head with the Ukrainian Mafia and mired in a life-threatening plot code-named “Nevermore.”
Private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill must scramble to sort out the clues to rescue The Raven from a wild card bent on revenge.
I was glad that while some readers may be familiar with the main characters, namely Trudi Coffey and her ex-husband Samuel Hill, Nappa did a good enough job of introducing the characters and their intricate back story that it wasn’t necessary to have read the first novel in order to understand the second.
Coffey and Hill proved to be interesting characters, Read more →
When I saw a new contemporary novel by author Susan May Warren would be released this fall, I got very excited. I am a huge fan of In Sheep’s Clothing (and the subsequent Mission: Russia books: Sands of Time and Wiser Than Serpents), plus I lived in Montana, the setting of this new book, for 4 years while attending college, so I was ready for something great withWild Montana Skies.
Injured in more ways than one by a war overseas, helicopter pilot Kacey Fairing returns home to Montana to start a new life — coming to terms with her emotional scars and learning to be the mom that her daughter needs. One thing at least she knows, she will be helping people by piloting search and rescue missions over the gorgeous and deadly Glacier National Park wilderness. But then she learns who her new partner will be, it becomes apparent that leaving the past behind won’t be so easy. The man who broke her heart will now be her constant companion. Read more →
Catching Heat by Janice Cantore is the third installation of the Cold Case Justice series.
The deaths of her parents appears to be settled — or as settled as it was going to be — so detective Abby Hart is prepared to move on. But when a key confession witholds information, Abby can’t stand the injustice. Now a part of the newly formed task force to address cold cases, she learns that it’s harder to let go than she thought.
Meanwhile, private investigator Luke Murphy is ready to blaze ahead with the first lead assigned to his new cold case team. Struggling to keep Abby’s focus on the case, he worries her seeming obsession might become deadly. Read more →
Missing by Lisa Harris is another new romantic suspense novelbeing released this July. I already admitted that romantic suspense is an escape read for me, so I picked this one up when the opportunity arose.
Special Agent Nikki Boyd is tasked with finding the missing Lucy Hudson, but as her search takes her closer to home, she doesn’t know who to trust and who is telling lies:
Nikki Boyd isn’t usually called in on homicides; her forte is missing persons. But when a case with two murdered and two missing pops up on a quiet suburban street, she’s ready to start the investigation and find missing homeowners Mac and Lucy Hudson. When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend Tyler Grant–and another dead body–Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons. The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business–including Nikki.
My “guilty pleasure” reading is probably romantic suspense. I love getting sucked into a story involving crime, mystery, relatable characters, intelligent law enforcement and a bad guy who will inevitably be found out — and if there’s a touch of romance in there it’s all the sweeter.
So when I saw Lynette Eason’sWithout Warning, book two of the Elite Guardian series, I instantly wanted to give it a try, especially when it became apparent that the usual roles are flipped!
Daniel Matthews, retired special forces, lives a relatively sleepy life running his restaurants and raising his orphaned niece. But when he crosses paths with danger, not once, but twice in a single night with a dead body found hanging in one restaurant basement and an arson attack on another, he realizes that someone may be out for blood.
Katie Singleton, a former arson investigator, is working as a bodyguard with a handful of other exceptionally talented women know as Elite Guardians. When she gets pulled into Daniel’s life, she is forced to confront her own reasons for leaving arson investigating while also working to keep Daniel alive.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel. The characters were friendly and likable, though not perfect. Read more →
The Inheritance by Michael Phillips promised to be an interesting tale about so many delightful things: a Scottish island, clan family history, an inheritance up for grabs, cross-cultural interpersonal relationships. It could have been a winner based on the blurb:
The death of clan patriarch Macgregor Tulloch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whales Reef into turmoil. Everyone assumed Tulloch’s heir to be his much-loved grandnephew David. But when no will is discovered, David’s calculating cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island’s land. And Hardy knows a North Sea oil investor who will pay dearly for that control.
While the competing claims are investigated, the courts have frozen the estate’s assets, leaving many of the locals in dire financial straits. The future of the island — and its traditional way of life–hangs in the balance.
Meanwhile, Loni Ford enjoys a rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, D.C. Yet, in spite of outward success, she is privately plagued by questions of identity. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is, until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. . . . Read more →
When Chloe’s brother dies suddenly, he leaves behind a mystery that follows her all the way to the Caribbean. There, she meets charming and resourceful Jack — a man who may be more than he seems. Unaware of who her enemy might be or what it is they want, Chloe ends up framed for murder and hunted down by dangerous men. She is left with no choice but to trust Jack with her very life. As she is faced with yet another tragedy, Chloe must decide if God exists and if He does, if she is willing to trust Him.
The tagline “What you don’t know CAN hurt you” sums up this novel quite well. Along with the main characters, the reader is left without all of the facts, trying to learn what is going on. As each chapter answers and asks even more questions, the reader is enticed to continue digging. Unfortunately, I found the novel a little too easy to put down, and not engaging enough to make me want to pick it up at the first opportunity. Read more →
Henderson’s O’Malley series is one of those iconic, career defining, genre quintessential series that is beloved and held dear by readers. The O’Malleys are more like friends than characters. I’m starting off this review by mentioning this because Cold Shot sparked a similar type of interest and investment. Cold Shot is by no means a replication of Henderson’s work, but it echoes so many of the same elements that make the O’Malley series shine.
When park ranger and former-sniper Griffin McCray comes across a 21st century skeleton among the Civil War battlefields of Gettysburg, charming and frustrating forensic anthropologist Finley Scott finds evidence linking the murder to an expert sniper — sending Griffin on a quest to learn the truth behind the murder. When Griffin and two of his childhood friends — an FBI special agent and a crime scene analyst — are thrown together again, old grudges and two unsolved mysteries churn to the surface. Read more →
The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith is an engaging and delightful read. (Ironically, the first book I selected after my Fiona was born was authored by a Fiona.)
Shortly after arriving in London in 1920, Poppy Denby takes a position as an assistant at a newspaper — hoping to start her own career as a journalist. But when the political editor drops dead, Poppy begins a journey unlike anything she imagined to learn the truth about the article he had been working on, one with very personal ties to her own family. But her determination to dig up the past puts her and those she loves in danger…
I enjoyed reading this well-written mystery and getting to know the characters of this new series by a new-to-me author. The heroine, Poppy, is easy to like and relatable — she isn’t an expert at much of anything, but she has spunk and determination. Her friends are a smattering of personalities and generations, each unique and likeable in their own way. Read more →