Dead Calm review


Goodreads: Detective Dylan Scott thinks cruising well above the Arctic Circle in November is nothing short of madness. He has zero interest in seeing the elusive aurora borealis, but agrees to the Norwegian holiday to keep his wife and mother happy. At least the biggest problem he’ll have to deal with is boredom. But that boredom quickly dissipates when the unpleasant elderly woman in the neighboring cabin is found dead.

Everyone thinks Hanna Larsen had a heart attack. Everyone except Dylan. Dylan is convinced there’s a killer aboard the Midnight Sun–a killer who may strike again…

This was my first Shirley Wells book even though it is the fourth in the series. Her opening was provocative which made me want to dive right in.  I have to admit, I kind of had it figured out before the ending because I thought the one person was too obvious but why not the other?

Descriptions of the various ports-of-call the cruise made and the Norwegian coastline had enough detail that I could picture it but not so much that I got bored.  Dylan Scott seemed like a typical man to me – skipping out when there is dancing and socializing to be done and rather single-minded in his pursuit for answers.  I liked the passenger Ruby – love spirited older women.

I started it at work and found myself returning to it every chance I could get until I finished it five minutes before I got off work.  It is a quick read – Goodreads says only 35,000 words – my edition is 270 pages so I would expect it to be longer but whatever.

Have to say I was impressed by this easy, engaging read which means I shall be reading more in the series in the future.  I give the book an A.  Give it a glance if you get the chance.

In the Electric Mist with the Confederate Dead review


Goodreads: The image of the dead girl’s body lingered in detective Dave Robicheaux’s mind as he drove home. After seeing the young victim’s corpse, the last thing he needed to come across was a drunk driver. But when he saw the Cadillac fishtail across the road, Robicheaux knew the driver was in trouble. What Dave didn’t realize, was that by pulling the car over, he was opening his murder case wider than he could ever imagine.

 The driver, Elrod Sykes, in New Iberia to star in a movie, leads Dave to the skeletal remains of a black man that had washed up in the Atchafalaya swamp. So begins a mystery that takes Dave back to an unsolved murder — a murder that he witnessed in 1957. Haunted by the past as he confronts the gruesome present – day rape and murder of young prostitutes, Robicheaux must also contend with a new partner from the F.B.I., and the local criminal gentry. But for Dave, the answers he seeks lie somewhere in the bayou mist with the ghosts of soldiers long since forgotten…

Wow, what a great book! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it – as always, it was even better than the movie.  I must commend the movie though – it followed the books backbone pretty decently and Tommy Lee Jones was the perfect actor for it.

Again the language in the book is so thick with southern charm that I could see the moss dripping from the trees.  It has the feel of times gone by yet was modern day. I loved his descriptions as well:  “outside the sky was filling with afternoon rainclouds that had the bright sheen of steam” – that is a poor example but you need to read it to appreciate the wonderful writing.

I liked the ghosts as well – the General appeared enough to get Dave’s attention but not enough for the reader to get tired of the apparitions.  You know, I’m sure the rest of the series is good but this is the one I wanted to read after seeing the movie.  Hope they make more into movies but I don’t suppose they will.

The book is amazing – if I could write like this, I would never do anything else.  Just awesome.  I give the book an A+.

Get Fluffy review


Goodreads: Disgraced Texas beauty queen, Melinda (Mel) Langston, owns Laguna Beach’s Bow Wow Boutique. Mona Michaels, Mel’s most despised client, owns a star dog, Fluffy, who’s worth millions. When Mona is found whacked in the head with Fluffy’s Daytime Emmy, everyone wants Fluffy, but someone won’t stop at murder to get the pooch.

Secrets. Blackmail. Mel tackles the case like a dog with a bone. But can she dig up the truth before the killer buries her?

Another fun read from Sparkle Abbey.  I have to say, when I started it I was skeptical because the main character was different but it turned out alright after I got used to that.

Have to say, the pooch, Fluffy, was a riot – you could feel the high-fluten society attitude oozing from the canine.  Worth millions and knows it.

Maybe it is because this is a second book so not as much of a novelty or because I read the Desperate Housedogs first that makes me like it better.  However, this one moves at a good clip making it easy to get through.  The mystery wasn’t too hard to figure out but it didn’t really matter in the end because the joy, for me, was the interactions with the pets.  What fun!

I give the book an A and recommend it if you’d like a light summer read while sitting on a nice sandy beach listening to the waves roll in.  If you don’t have a beach & waves, guess you’ll have to read it poolside or – in the worst case scenario, on the side of your bathtub.  :-)

The Neon Rain review


Goodreads: Introducing the New Orleans detective Dave Robicheaux Dave Robicheaux that he’s on somebody’s hit list, and now the homicide detective is trying to discover just who that is before he ends up dead. found dead in the Bayou swamp – a case no one seems keen for him to investigate. But Robicheaux persists and uncovers a web of corruption that some would kill to protect, leading him to a terrifying confrontation with the one horror he fears most of all.

This is an old book from 1987 – set in the very much pre-Katrina days when New Orleans was in its hay day.  I know that by book 6 in the series, it is post-Katrina so I imagine I have that to look forward to as I move through this series.

Written in such lovely language like “the mist still clung like torn cotton” and “the streets were lined with oaks, and the yards themselves seemed to explode with every type of Southern elephant ears, hibiscus, tangles or red and yell roses.”  It made New Orleans and the South come alive for me.  I’ve never had the urge to visit that area but it makes me rethink that.

I have to mention that the only reason I started reading this book was due to watching the movie “In The Electric Mist” which was book six.  As much as I want to read that one, I figured I couldn’t in good conscience start a series in the middle when the first books were available.  I didn’t expect to like the book – I’m not big on crime dramas these days and this series is never-ending but I have to read the first five to get to number six.

Steeped in history, the story progresses quickly and while the main character does some rather stupid things – which he admits to himself – I ended up liking him quite a bit.  Tommy Lee Jones plays him in the movie so that is who I had in my head when reading the book.

So anyway, I do plan on reading the entire first six books of the series – I know it has over 20 in all but I’ll commit to the first six anyway.  :-)  I give the book an A+.  If you’d like an old crime drama story that comes together quite well in the end, I recommend it.  :-)

Joni and Ken review


This book is about an amazing love story that most of society would have deemed improbable.  Who would marry a quadriplegic? If someone did marry her, surely it was for the fame and money associated with Joni Eareckson.  Well, anyone who had such thoughts would be wrong.

This story is about a love that goes beyond anything I have ever read.  It was amazing and is an amazing love they have not only for each other but for God as well.  Their marriage has been through the fires of hell itself, yet they have come out as great role models for the rest of us.

No, I’m not married but I have benefited from this story anyway.  Who could read a Harlequin romance and think that life would be more wonderful with a man or woman like that after reading this?

I give the book an A.  They are an amazing couple who have been married over 30 years.  I hope they have many more together.

Last Seen Alive review


Goodreads: Chyna Greer was sixteen when her best friend, Zoey, disappeared. Though very different in looks and temperament, the two girls shared a bond that was stronger than blood. But even Chyna’s urgent warnings couldn’t prevent a love-struck Zoey from sneaking out to the lake to meet her secret crush–and being swallowed up into the warm summer night forever….

Now Chyna has come back to her West Virginia hometown of Black Willow to lay her mother to rest. But memories of Zoey are everywhere…and then, out of nowhere, Chyna hears a voice–Zoey’s voice–begging for her help. As Chyna delves into Black Willow’s past, she learns that two other teenagers also went missing. Soon Chyna’s search for answers becomes a desperate race to uncover a chilling secret that strikes at the heart of everything she holds dear–and reveal the remorseless evil that has been hiding in plain sight….

This book I read today while at work.  Yes, sometimes it is quite nice to have a job that pays me to do whatever I want as long as I stay in my booth.  I was hoping I’d be busy enough at work to not get the whole book read today – I don’t know what I will do for 7 hours tomorrow now but suppose I will pick another book.

This one has been on my list for quite a while and it finally came up on top when I sorted my books on my Nook.  I was afraid the book would be too easy to figure out and that I’d be disappointed in it.  OK, I was a little disappointed because the killer was, to me, obvious from the get go.  However, the book is interesting with action that keeps moving along at a decent clip.

Someone said in a review about the parents were young (52) but yet seemed ancient and I would have to agree with that.  I was surprised how young they were in age – I will be 52 on Sunday – yet in the story I pictured them more my grandmother’s age at her death – 85.

The author does try to throw in some red herrings to confuse the reader on who the killer might be so I could see how it left some people guessing – I’ve read so many like this and just finished one last month with the same sort of plot so this one didn’t surprise me.  I was hoping it wasn’t going to be like the other but oh well, the story was still entertaining and I do recommend the author.  I am sure I will be reading more of hers – I don’t remember why I bought this one, it was so long ago – but I’m not disappointed in the purchase.

I give the book an A. :-)

My Soul to Lose review


Goodreads: It was supposed to be a fun day, shopping at the mall with her best friend. Then the panic attack started and Kaylee Cavanaugh finds herself screaming, unable to stop. Her secret fears are exposed and it’s the worst day of her life.

Until she wakes up in the psychiatric unit.

She tries to convince everyone she’s fine–despite the shadows she sees forming around another patient and the urge to scream which comes burbling up again and again. Everyone thinks she’s crazy. Everyone except Lydia, that is. Another patient with some special abilities….

I read this book yesterday while at work.  Yes, it is a prequel and very short.  I enjoyed the book and was contemplating buying more in the series when I mistakenly read some of the reviews.  It kind of ruined the desire to read more, at least for now.

I liked Kaylee and the whole screaming thing because she sees shadows around people that she knows are going to die soon – kind of like in Dean Koontz’s book Odd Thomas.  I thought the psychiatric unit was well done and Lydia seemed interesting though she wasn’t really explained or developed as much as I would have liked.

Eventually I will probably get around to this series – The Soul Screamers – but it won’t be soon and I will probably get them from the library rather than blindly buy them based on the reviews I read.  I give this short story prequel a B+ – I think it could have been a little bit longer with just a smidgen more character development.