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Lady Sam (100 Mile House / BC)

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The Betrayed
The Betrayed
by Heather Graham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.54
58 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Sleepy Hollow as it lives and dies, July 29 2015
This is the first book in yet another trilogy of the Krewe of Hunters - this time it's a new group being formed in and around New York. Yet again, we have a newly assigned FBI Special Agent who is reluctant to accept his extraordinary abilities, however, this time he is being convinced by a civilian that there has been no mistake at his transfer to the 'ghosthunter' unit. After all, it's not ghosts, ghoulies or spirits they are trying to apprehend but real life 'badies'. And whatever help they can gather is most welcome.
As before, the resolution of the crimes committed are based on past history. And since this story is based in Sleepy Hollow, that promises to be an interesting tale in itself and also include information on the famous local scribe - Washington Irving, the author of the legendary Headless Horseman. And Heather Graham never disappoints - neither in her masterful construction of suspense writing nor in her thorough research in local history. It is always a pleasure not only to dive into the mysteries, red herrings and plots that she presents, but also to learn about events from long ago which make the reading of her books such a pleasure.

Shadow Bound
Shadow Bound
by Erin Kellison
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
38 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Paranormal with a Twist, July 21 2015
Judging by the Epilogue, this novel is meant to have at least a sequel with at least one or two of the characters of this book involved. Essentially, there is something of an open ending that could 'sprout' a series, whether this happens or not remains to be seen.
As for this tale - introducing wraiths as the badies, the human mortals as the 'feed' as well as warriors fighting back and other fae that are involved on the fringe - it is an interesting, even intriguing story, allowing for both human strength and skill as well as psychics valuable efforts to fight a common enemy. Erin Kellison has a straight-forward and easily understood writing style as well as a good grasp as to how to describe paranormal events as if they were common place in every day life. The plots blend in nicely and draw the reader into the storyline from beginning to end, even though there are the usual 'half-way mark' and '20 pages before the end finale' which can be a little annoying and very predictable at times - it is nonetheless an entertaining and intricate mystery that will have you guessing right to the end as to what exactly is going on and how the outcome will present itself.

Wife For Hire
Wife For Hire
by Janet Evanovich
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.54
95 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Hillarious!, July 8 2015
A quick, fun read which is just what the doctor orders every once in a while. Yes, it is one of those 'dreaded' romance novels, but with an exceptional quirk as the title suggests. After all, who in their right mind would go out and 'hire' a wife?
Essentially, there are two 'squares' not really fitting into a 'round hole' but still trying to find their way in life. This is the basic premise and there are plenty more strange happenings coming along the way - such as a bank director father, a book to be written about a 'madam' and hilarious misunderstandings that can only happen in a close-knit community.
Janet Evanovich outdoes herself again in this easy-read short novel and I think simply everyone should read this book.

Tough Customer: A Novel
Tough Customer: A Novel
by Sandra Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 29.99
12 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Expect the Unexpected, July 7 2015
Sandra Brown has an easy writing style. Her stories generally involve her characters to work through issues that are often rooted deeply in the past - some as far back as (early) childhood. Tough Customer is one of those where 'the one' got away but there is an offer of redemption some thirty years later, coupled with enlightenments, discoveries and generally realising what went wrong and why.
What I did not care too much about with this tale is that the author has a tendency to tap into a subject, offer some information ... only to then by-pass it completely to maybe being brought back and disclosed later. It felt like she was trying to 'stretch the mystery' but instead annoyed at least this reader into thinking - where are the necessary details and why aren't you spilling the beans?
What did make up for it in the end was that there was a twist that I definitely did not see coming! There are plenty of insinuations of what may or may not have happened - the reveal was something so unexpected that it once again drew me fully into the story, wanting to know what was and would be happening, and how everything was resolved in the end.

The Magic Cottage
The Magic Cottage
by James Herbert
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
19 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars White vs Black Magic, July 7 2015
At first, it was the title that intrigued me, then the synopsis and finally the story itself drew me in fully. Two artistic people moving into a magical cottage. What more could you ever ask for? It is told from the musician's point of view, the reluctant one, who ended up captivated not only by the atmosphere of the house and surroundings, but a little squirrel named Rumbo visiting every day.
As they explore their new surroundings, they also come across a mansion, inhabited by people from all over the world - seemingly misunderstood as they are open, friendly and eager to help wherever needed. That turned out to be the 'conflict' that every story is required to have as they clash with the local community who would much rather have them move elsewhere than 'indoctrinate' their children.
All in all, James Herbert spins a wonderfully entertaining tale from beginning to end ... bar the climax which went somewhat overboard. The plots as set out make perfect sense and could be happening in your own backyard - then the 'real magic' kicks in which makes for somewhat strange and unexpected, even unbelievable reading, which I thought was a great shame. I really, thoroughly enjoyed the book right up to the 'final fight' when it became an 'out of this world' tale - literally!
So, by all means, read the book, enjoy the story and make up your own mind where it takes you.

Royal Duty, A
Royal Duty, A
19 used & new from CDN$ 3.41

5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!, June 19 2015
This review is from: Royal Duty, A (Paperback)
If you ever wanted to have a sneak peek behind the ‘iron doors’ of royalty – this is the book to read. No, it does not divulge major secrets, but does show that even the Queen and family are human beings in their own right, and quite approachable at that by the sound of things.
Essentially, Butler Paul Burrell started working for the Queen herself at a very young age before moving to Prince Charles’ household and finally join Diana, Princess of Wales, back in London after her separation from the Queen’s oldest son. With other words, he received an ‘all-round education’ where royal households are concerned and got to know the Royal Family pretty well in over twenty years of service, which sadly ended with Diana’s accident in 1997.
His account is frank and down to earth – with that, I can see why he and ‘the Boss’ became close friends, even confidents … something that did not seem to sit well with the ‘grey suits’. Personally, I very much enjoyed the very human story told – in part about the butler’s life, but mainly about the Royal Family and, in particular, Diana and her boys. His insistence on dwelling on a conspiracy where the car crash is concerned, I was not too happy about – it has always been my view that this was caused by the paparazzi, orchestrated courtesy of a very insecure man who ended up paying the highest price possible – on the other hand, he did state it as factual of something that was said … can’t really grumble about that.
What I can say is that Paul Burrell definitely has a way with words, is a very good author with an easy going style and does appear to be wanting Diana, Princess of Wales, to be remembered as the woman who came into her own right in the end and would have gone far, had she not died so young. And he does that without attacking the Royal Family, in fact, he is very fond of the Queen and her husband in particular and that comes through distinctly.
This is an honest account of 21 years of loyal Royal service in three different households by a man who got to know those ménages as well as everybody involved inside and out. Intriguing – fascinating – a must read!

Judgment in Death
Judgment in Death
by J. D. Robb
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.54
84 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Another Grave Mystery, June 15 2015
Yet another great adventure in J D Robb’s In Death series and this one is very close to our heroine’s heart – it involves a number of cop murders. However, Dallas, Lieutenant Eve, not only has to find a serial killer, she also has to fight other cops who want to take over the case, having lost their own.
As always, the author describes each and every aspect in great detail, and portrays each and every component of her investigation from where our homicide cop is first called right to the bitter end. Naturally, there are plenty of red herrings accompanying her search for the killer with some very intriguing twists and turns along the way. Essentially, the reader never quite knows where it will lead, who is involved and who is on the right or wrong side of the law. However, Dallas never wavers in standing for the dead, no matter what, and following through until all questions are answered and the culprit discovered and caught.
And, of course, there is the social aspect of Eve’s life that she is still struggling with and which is delectable to follow up on. This time, she’s having a major fight with her new hubby that needs resolving and this happens in a rather unusual manner. She’s also still upset that her ‘sidekick’ is involved with a colleague in a rather passionate way and while she does ask questions and makes statements, she then loathes the resulting answers … almost as much as she hates asking for advice.
Essentially, this series not only provides the readers with the suspense of finding criminals and murderers, but also covers social issues of one woman recovering from a nightmare childhood and finding her place in the world. And J D Robb is a master when it comes to both.

The Guy Most Likely To...: Underneath It All\Can't Get You Out of My Head\A Moment Like This
The Guy Most Likely To...: Underneath It All\Can't Get You Out of My Head\A Moment Like This
by Leslie Kelly
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 6.25
25 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Three In One, May 30 2015
This Blaze issue contains three short stories all about the subject of those dreaded class reunions. Heroines one and two are only attending very reluctantly, the third one is the organiser and loving it, but all of them had beaus in high school that are attending also. So, a reunion of hearts in the making?
To be quite honest, only story number three really pulls it off, the others seem to be lacking. The first tale is concentrating too hard on the prom queen and king getting back together, essentially leaving out his explanation as to why he suddenly and inexplicably disappearing by the wayside which is a great shame. The premise is very promising, even intriguing and needs to be explored in greater detail to make the storyline tally properly and not making it, essentially, a ‘bed hopping tale’ with not much substance.
The second narrative is actually quite good and easy to follow … and then we have the ‘bedding scene’ that feels like it has been put there because it is expected rather than forming part of the story. I fear, this is the downfall for many a good idea and setup, and possibly not enough time to interweave the ‘necessary’ into the tale to be told properly which is a great shame. Again, the idea is interesting and makes sense up to a point, and could have been so much more.
Story number three starts off with sexual innuendo right away, setting the scene for later interaction, and thus works well with Harlequin expectations, yet the storyline in itself is stimulating in its own right. Here, a tale told in about 70 pages works and leaves the reader satisfied, without wanting more details and explanations or simply feeling ‘cheap’ for having something added that does not fit, at least not the way it has been presented.
Overall, I do enjoy an easy and quick read every now and then, and thus the book does its bidding. However, maybe the stories ought to have been extended some with relevant information incorporated or pertinent details more focused upon, alternatively rewritten in a manner not to make it all sound cheap or even contrived and giving the ‘anti-romance-brigade’ more fodder. Harlequin does have its well-deserved niche in the book stores, even literature, be that for simple enjoyment or to actually learn a thing or two.

Naming Jack The Ripper: The Biggest Forensic Breakthrough Since 1888: Written by Russell Edwards, 2014 Edition, Publisher: PAN Macmillan Adult [Hardcover]
Naming Jack The Ripper: The Biggest Forensic Breakthrough Since 1888: Written by Russell Edwards, 2014 Edition, Publisher: PAN Macmillan Adult [Hardcover]
by Russell Edwards
Edition: Hardcover
7 used & new from CDN$ 25.19

4.0 out of 5 stars More Than Just Another Story, May 25 2015
Having read a number of books on the never unveiled serial killer in 1888, I simply could not resist delving into this account to find out what it was all about. As it turns out, Russell Edwards has done extensive research and scientific studies that included a number of helpers along the way, and he documented every step from beginning to end. And since he is an entrepreneur and writer rather than a scientist himself, it is all laid out in layman’s terms for everybody to understand but still holding up as proven fact.
His obsession – as confessed by the author himself – started with the acquisition of a certain shawl that was alleged to have belonged to one of the victims, Catherine Eddowes, the fourth woman murdered and mutilated. From there, the story recounts all the steps into dating the item and discovering whether a timeline could be revealed to prove ownership … with a rather surprising twist. Top scientists then became involved to deal with the relevant forensic work, to prove once and for all who Jack the Ripper actually was.
The writing is straight-forward, interesting and intriguing, from the story about finding and acquiring the shawl to the history of the actual murders right down to research about what the police then believed to be true, as relevant documents show and attest to. A mystery revealed, not just by mere conjecture and opinion of the author, but by scientifically proven facts.

Naked Heat
Naked Heat
by Richard Castle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 24.99
68 used & new from CDN$ 2.15

4.0 out of 5 stars Castle's character is improving, May 16 2015
This review is from: Naked Heat (Hardcover)
At least in the beginning and throughout the middle, this second installment in the Richard Castle series was again very annoyingly written, especially where the writer is concerned. However, while I had already pretty much decided at not reading any of the other books, suddenly, the writing changed and the male character also seemed to grow and becoming more acceptable and easier to read – meaning, he appeared to lose some of his ‘obnoxiousness’ which was more than welcome. In fact, just like his tv counterpart, he started acting more like an investigator, using his brain rather than depending on his ‘charm’. Of course, that got him into trouble – but ‘conflict’ is what writing, films and tv shows is all about. I’m just glad, it now appears to be redirected at the cases they investigate, rather than ‘an annoying little boy vying for attention’.
As for the investigation itself – there are various murders happening in the same night, however, the celebrity one stands out … naturally, particularly for the politicians. However, a gossip columnist is likely to have accumulated her fair share of enemies, making this case a lot more difficult to solve, while bodies keep on piling up.
Interestingly enough, in both ‘Heat Wave’ and ‘Naked Heat’, the ‘main’ casualties are rich people – or at least those in the public eye – and thus very ‘interesting’ to the media. That, of course, translates into politics and thus reflects, and in a way augments, the sad state of the world in real life. This makes me wonder whether ‘Richard Castle’ intended to focus on this situation or whether it was, yet again, a way of catching the eye of the public onto himself. And that, in itself, might just intrigue me enough to read yet another adventure at some point – after all, his counterpart and her friends and helpers definitely come across as seasoned detectives in search of the truth. Hmmm …

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