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Authors and Favorite Books

Book Review – Cry Wolf and Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

This review first ran over at ebookworm.

Patricia Briggs has been one of my favorite authors ever since I discovered “When Demon’s Walk” years ago. It remains an all-time favorite book, one that I’ve read twice and plan to read again. Well, Briggs wasn’t content with being “one of my favorites” because with the Alpha and Omega series, she has firmly planted herself in the number one spot. The first in the series, Cry Wolf, was…astoundingly excellent: Good characters from the main ones to the secondary ones, great world-building and a plot that takes hold and doesn’t let go until the very last page.

I admit, I hesitated to buy book two, Hunting Grounds. It’s such a letdown when a series can’t live up to the world building and characterization that was in a first book. Too many times, the story is shadow of the first book, or it meanders and fails to stand on its own. I’m happy to report that Hunting Ground managed to grow the characters, move the setting to one that had its own unique style and introduce some new characters that made the whole book as much of a page-turner as the first book in the series.

I’m a very character-driven reader; I have to like the main characters and believe their motivations. Charles was introduced in Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, but only peripherally. He’s a hard character, basically an enforcer for one of the largest werewolf packs in North America. Not much to like until he begins to interact with Anna, an Omega wolf. An Omega wolf is one that is essentially a spirit healer. Too bad Anna was so brutally abused for a few years after becoming a wolf. I won’t go into a lot of details, but not only is there a mystery to be solved in Hunting Grounds, Anna has some growing to do as a person and a wolf. So does her husband Charles. Briggs is very good at making sure that any romantic elements don’t get in the way of the mystery plot. She moves the plot forward with every chapter; characters grow as a result of their experiences, not from standing around discussing life’s difficulties.

The mystery is woven very skillfully; I did not guess the whodunit until Briggs was ready for the twisted reveal. If there was a misstep at all, it was probably an early chapter where the POV from a few vampires was included. Keep in mind I don’t like too many POVs in my novels; this isn’t even a minor complaint really, but the book could have done without that chapter and not lost a thing in my picky opinion.

If you like urban fantasy, I highly recommend the Alpha and Omega series. It’s got it all: action, mystery, a large cast of interesting and unique characters, great and fully developed settings and there’s magic not just in some of the characters, but in the story itself.

Posted: June 8, 2012
Filed in Authors and Favorite Books, Book Reviews

Books of the Year – 2008

Not all of these were published in 2008, they are just the best reads (for me) of 2008.  This year, most of those on the list were new authors.  I’m still reading the tried and true, but not every book in every series is a standout.

Without further rambling, here are the best reads of 2008:

Science Fiction

One Jump Ahead (Jon & Lobo Series) – Mark Van Name A great little read–space opera mystery meets tough guy.  This story includes a space ship with AI and a lot of personality.  The characterization is particularly strong–not only for the two main characters, but side characters as well.


 

The Automatic Detective– A. Lee Martinez Just a wild, wacky tale of a futuristic robot with a heart–a hard-boiled detective on a mission, only he has the power to destroy more than mend. A funny mystery that uses sci/fi as a setting.

Fantasy

New Tricks (A Dog Days Novel) – John Levitt (his Dog Days, first in the series, quals for the top reads of 2007!) This was my favorite read of the year. A jazz player with a knack for improv–both magically and musically. This series is made quite special by Mason’s sidekick and trusty partner, a dog name Lou.  He’s no ordinary dog though.  Be prepared for tricks and twists!


 

Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, Book 1) – Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampire Series–YA) A good read–emotional teenage angst with vampires and other worries thrown in.  The progtag is a young teenager quite out of her element. I think what I liked best was that while there were vampires and other paranormal elements, the protag is dealing mostly with normal insecurities, trying to fit in and worried about doing well in school.  Some of the early college scenes sure brought back memories–and not necessarily good ones!

 

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1) – Illona Andrews – An enjoyable urban fantasy with some very interesting characters–not just your standard werewolf here!  Definitely one of the better urban fantasy series out there.


 

Jim Hines – Goblin War (Goblin Series) — Jig the Goblin is still an underdog, but he’s learning a few new tricks to survive.  He’s going to need every one of them because he has to go…earthside in this adventure.  Goblin War is the third and last book in the trilogy–and a very satisfying ending it was.   I truly appreciate series that end with a reasonable number of books.   I’m not much of a series reader to begin with, so it’s really great to come across a “complete” series that starts and ends so well.


I almost forgot to list Shadowmagic by John Lenahan. This book is probably only out in the UK, but most books can be bought via Bookdepository. ShadowMagic is a fast YA read with good characterization, great action scenes and my favorite element–humor! From the back of the book:

Conor thought he was an average 21st century teenager. OK, so his father only had one hand and was a bit on the eccentric side but, other than that, life was fairly normal. Until, that is, two Celtic warriors on horseback and wearing full armour appear at his front door and try to kill him.


Mystery

Cozy:

Late addition! Dead Woman’s Shoes by Kaye C. Hill. This wonderful cozy/mystery has a lot of suspense and great characters including Kinky the chihuahua, a missing cat, a vet, a policeman, an entire drama club, and of course, an amateur sleuth, Lexy, who must sort it all out even though she is on the run herself! There are twists and turns, capers–many threads woven into a completely captivating tale.


 

State of the Onion (White House Chef Mysteries, No. 1) – Julie Hyzy. I enjoyed this “chef at the White House” story. It was a nice, breezy read with some unusual, very light history thrown in (such as the fact that the tableware is changed out for each president).


Short Story

This year the pick was very, very easy:

Todd McAulty’s The Soldiers of Serenity in BlackGate, Issue 12.  As I said in my review on my website at the time:  The Soldiers of Serenity by McAulty read like a novel. In so many short stories, the payoff is quick, sometimes dirty. Just as you “get” the characters, the story is over. Not So Here. McAulty took his time. He introduced characters. He ran down corridors. He twisted a bit…he teased. It’s all ordinary, right? But you knew every character held a key, every detail mattered. I kept wanting to check to see how much story was left because I just KNEW the pay-off was a few pages away! I couldn’t read fast enough! WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN, DAMMIT?????

Two late entries that deserve honorable mention:

Dead Men Don’t Cry by Nancy Fulda (I read via www.anthologybuilder.com)
and
A Buffalito of Mars by Lawrence M. Schoen (Also via www.anthologybuilder.com)

Posted: December 14, 2008
Filed in Authors and Favorite Books, Favorite Reads

Favorite Authors

I have individual posts for each category: Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Tough Guy, Cookbooks, Non-Fiction or Books on CD if you’re looking for recommendations in a particular genre. Otherwise, the whole kit and kaboodle are in this very long post!

Fantasy

John Levitt
John Levitt – Dog Days (A Dog Days Novel) Urban fantasy/mystery. Mason, the hero, has a dog as a familiar and this caper is just a lot of fun! 

 

The second one is even better than the first New Tricks (A Dog Days Novel)–I loved them both!  VERY Highly recommended.

 

Ilona Andrews
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1) – I loved this whole series! An enjoyable urban fantasy with some very interesting characters–not just your standard werewolf here! Definitely one of the better urban fantasy series out there.

 

 


Jim C. Hines
Goblin Quest is a series with a Goblin who doesn’t want to go on a quest, the true underdog that just might have a bit of hero in him. Very suitable for YA also.

Frank Tuttle
Wistril Compleat

Short stories only hold real appeal for me if they are all set in the same world using the same characters. Wistril comes through nicely by giving me separate stories all about the same wizard and his accomplice apprentice. It reads a bit like a novel with a terrific story at the end that really tops off the characterization and wraps things up very nicely.

Lisa Shearin
Magic Lost, Trouble Found This is her debut novel.

Katherine Kurtz She has more than one series; they are all good.
Elizabeth H. Boyer – excellent fantasy out-of-print. Hopefully they will be on Kindle someday soon. The Troll’s Grindstone

Mercedes Lackey
Mercedes Lackey –Urban Fantasy before anyone called it that–female investigator with paranormal elements; just an excellent series. These are available for Kindle/Nook/Sony/etc via Baen directly. One of her fantasy series that I dearly loved was: Arrows of the Queen ( The Heralds of Valdemar, Book 1)

Ellen Guon
Fabulous urban elves series: Knight of Ghosts & Shadows (Bedlam’s Bard, Bk. 1)

Patricia Briggs
All of her books, but especially When Demons Walk (Sianim), and Steal the Dragon (Sianim, No. 2))

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson) is her more current series and is contemporary urban fantasy–also a superb series.

 

Holly Lisle
Just about every kind of fantasy from romantic to adventure to touches of urban fantasy. One of my favorites: Minerva Wakes

Charlaine Harris

Mysteries too!– Her Lily Bard series: Shakespeare’s Landlord (Lily Bard Mysteries, Book 1)are probably her most exceptional work.

The early books Sookie Stackhouse 8-copy Boxed Set in the Sookie Stackhouse (vampire, urban fantasy type are very good.) I did not care for her “Grave” series at all.

Laura Underwood –
The Hounds of Ardagh (Five Star Science Fiction and Fantasy Series) is my favorite. Some of her others haven’t won me over, but this is a very good one!!

Stephen R. Donaldson (The Wounded Land, Lord Foul’s Bane, White Gold Wielder)
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings; The Hobbit)

Science Fiction

For a long time I didn’t even include this category because I don’t read a lot of science fiction. Mostly I don’t like the intricate details, the overly analytical suppositions about other life forms and just the too-obvious “what ifs.” I have finally found an author or two who write wonderful characters and tell wonderful stories.

Mark Van Name
One Jump Ahead (Jon & Lobo Series) A great little read–space opera mystery meets tough guy. This story includes a space ship with AI and a lot of personality. The characterization is particularly strong–not only for the two main characters, but side characters as well.


 

A. Lee Martinez
The Automatic Detective Just a wild, wacky tale of a futuristic robot with a heart–a hard-boiled detective on a mission, only he has the power to destroy more than mend. A funny mystery that uses sci/fi as a setting.

John Scalzi – Old Man’s War
A very good space story. There are, of course, discussions of jumping through space, but it is, after all, science fiction.

Mystery

Funny

Janet Evanovich
Hysterically funny (One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, No. 1) is the first in the series)

J.A. Konrath– writes a lot of horror–very avoidable especially “Rusty Nail” which was too…well, it had too many torture scenes for me. However, I read The List and it was funny, fast-paced and fun. (The List on Kindle is much more reasonably priced.)

Police Procedural

Carol O’Connell — (Mallory’s Oracle is the first in her more hard boiled series.)
New York police procedural. Main character was a street orphan and there’s some fascinating pieces of her past that get explored in a number of the novels. Most excellent! Her stand alone, The Judas Child, is a MUST READ.  

Linda Fairstein
New York prosecutor police procedural. Final Jeopardy is the first in the series.

Kay Mitchell — UK setting; police procedural; great characterization; these can be hard to find because they are out of print.

Detective/Sleuth

Jan Burke
I like that her character solves mysteries–along the thriller line–no cozies here! and does so without constantly re-introducing conflict between the main character and her husband. In the books I’ve read the characters seem to have a realistic flow to their relationship without forced conflict.

Kaye C. Hill – Dead Woman’s Shoes.
Just a lot of fun and an excellent read.  It’s got everything–a chihuahua, a woman on the run who must solve a crime to make enough money to eat, a cat, a vet, criminals everywhere…

Karen Cantwell: Take the Monkeys and Run (A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery) – cozy; mystery; romance

I love a good cozy mystery and this caper has laughs, fun, romance and a pace that had me finishing it it one session. Barbara Marr starts off as your ordinary soccer mom with a mid-life crisis. When she gets involved with monkeys and murder, it’s going to take old romances, new romances and all the help she can find to keep herself out of trouble!

Anne George
Murder on a Girls’ Night Out is the first in the series about two sisters–in their sixties! The family fun in these books is what makes the story. You can see yourself, your relatives–the characters reach out and draw you in.

Evelyn Coleman
Maybe this will come out in Kindle someday…Jouralistic sleuth, but no amateur stuff; thriller; suspense

 

Off the Beaten Path

Virginia Lanier
Bloodhound tracking; Excellent, better than 10 stars!  (Death in Bloodhound Red
is the first in the series.) These have remained all-time favorites over the years; thriller, suspense–mystery; the series has it all.

Elizabeth Cosin
Zen and The Art of Murder: A Zen Moses Mystery
I loved, loved, loved this character. These were out of print for a long time, but are now available in Kindle. Zen and the City of Angels: A Zen Moses Mystery

Elizabeth Peters —
(Also writes the Egyptian historical setting Amelia Peabody series, all excellent.) I LOVE the contemporary setting, Vicky Bliss mysteries. She also writes darker, noir suspense as Barbara Michaels.  (Vicky Bliss first in the series is: Borrower of the Night. Available in Kindle and paperback) The series in order:
Borrower of the Night
Street of the Five Moons
Silhouette in Scarlet
Trojan Gold
Night Train to Memphis
The Laughter of Dead Kings.

I’ve had this series on my TBR for a while (a looong while). Well, I finally got around to reading the first The Unexpected Mrs. PollifaxMystery Books) and I LOVED it!!!

This is sort of the American version of Amelia Peabody or the American version of Miss Marple. I’d categorize it as a cozy thriller. Yes, a cozy thriller. Perhaps a new category, but it’s very fast-paced and more dangerous than your average cozy. The international intrigue and tough guys make it a thriller. Most of the violence happens offstage but it does color outside the strict cozy lines.

Historical Mysteries

Elizabeth Peters —
Egyptian historical setting and other works, all excellent. I LOVE her Vicky Bliss series and she finally finished the series in August 2008. Awesome! (Vicky Bliss first in the series is: Borrower of the Night. Available in Kindle and paperback)

Indian and Gypsy Lore

Sandra West Prowell
Montana setting; light Indian lore; Absolutely superb stories. I’m hoping these come out in Kindle. One of the few books I have reread; they are just that good.

Kirk Mitchell
Excellent American Indian lore without being overdone or stuck on a reservation/reservation concepts. Both a male and female protagonist that play important parts and through the series develop individually and as partners.

 

Meredith Blevins– amateur sleuth; touches of gypsy lore. Out of print.

Romance

I don’t read a lot of romance, so I’m sure there are a lot more good authors out there.

Hollly Lisle
Midnight Rain-excellent romantic suspense with a paranormal element. She avoids the tendency to have characters with long misunderstandings. Focuses more on the plot of solving whatever mystery/paranormal element exists.

J.D. Robb
Fun series! — futuristic romantic mysteries. Also on Kindle: Naked in Death

Amanda Quick (aka Jane Ann Krentz)
I haven’t read Quick/Krentz in years, so the recommendation actually applies to her early works, but there was always a decent mystery to be solved; fun reads.

Tough Guy Authors

The Heretic (A Templar Chronicles supernatural thriller) by Joe Nassise – Tough guy; fantasy; thriller

Fasten your seat belts, this one moves so fast the pages in a print book probably start on fire as you turn them! I loved this book; the characters are flawed, real, hurting and giving it their all. This one stayed with me for days after; I downloaded and read the second in the series within a week. It’s an adventure of good against evil; no preaching here, just action.

Steve Hamilton
Good series.

Robert Crais
especially:
Watchman – a Joe Pike Novel. Enjoyed the stand alone: Two Minute Rule, The. His series is good too: The Monkey’s Raincoat is the first.

Frederick Forsyth

Young Adult

Yes, I still read young adult, and not just Harry Potter! Everything listed, while YA, is very adult-readable. I left out wonderful JF (things like Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon, etc) and YA that I read when I was younger–things like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis) and countless others simply because I don’t know if I would enjoy them as an adult. I truly enjoyed them when I was younger and wouldn’t hesistate to recommend them, it’s just a different list!

Fantasy

Rachel Caine
Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, Book 1) – Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampire Series–YA) A good read–emotional teenage angst with vampires and other worries thrown in. The progtag is a young teenager quite out of her element. I think what I liked best was that while there were vampires and other paranormal elements, the protag is dealing mostly with normal insecurities, trying to fit in and worried about doing well in school. Some of the early college scenes sure brought back memories–and not necessarily good ones!

 

John Lenahan
I almost forgot to list Shadowmagic ShadowMagic is a fast YA read with good characterization, great action scenes and my favorite element–humor! From the back of the book:

Conor thought he was an average 21st century teenager. OK, so his father only had one hand and was a bit on the eccentric side but, other than that, life was fairly normal. Until, that is, two Celtic warriors on horseback and wearing full armour appear at his front door and try to kill him.

 

Lion Boy: Zizou Corder
Fun series, especially the first two books.

Andre Norton’s Witch World Series Tales of the Witch World 1

Vivian Vande Velde
-fantasy–I do not read her horror stuff. Or anyone else’s, at least not on purpose. She has several fantasy books that are a lot of fun: Dragon’s Bait and Never Trust a Dead Man

Megan Whalen Turner
“The Thief” is a little slow first half, but it’s well worth reading! Stick with it!

Sci/Fi

Scott Westerfeld
Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)
is the first of a series–make sure you have at least the first two because Uglies ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and you’ll be mad if you can’t get started on the next adventure Right Away. The set isn’t a bad way to go for this one: Uglies, The Collector’s Set: Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras

Favorite Books on CD

Who’s Your Caddy?
Rick Reilly (Grover Gardner narrator). Warning: Some adult content.

Put a Lid on It: Donald Westlake
(William Dufris–excellent narrator.) This book is AWESOME. One of Westlake’s best; maybe his best!

Christopher Graybill is another excellent narrator–I’d try an audio book just based on this narrator’s talent with voice and pacing. He did a great job with Two Minute Rule, The by Robert Crais.

Non-Fiction

Kirsch’s Guide to the Book Contract: For Authors, Publishers, Editors and Agents by Jonathan Kirsch. This should be required reading for any author. Even if you have an agent, this book will really help you understand how contracts work, how much you can expect to be paid and how “rights” work. A must read, although these days with e-books contracts are changing. It’s still a very good primer.

The Man Who Listens to Horses: Monty Roberts
A really great read. Helpful for any animal-lover; you learn about listening to animals and some hints on how they “speak.”

Adventure Capitalist: Jim Rogers
A really interesting an educational read. Note: See the BMB website for more recommended reading of non-fiction investment books.

Albert Einstein: Arthur Beckhard (out of print)

All Creatures Great and Small: James Herriot
Wonderful book.

Easy Money: Donald Goddard (out of print)

Recollections: Jim Chambers
Fun, quirky.

Cookbooks

Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate An excellent guide to making chocolate–it’s chocolate! Need I say more???

Italian:
Ciao Y’All by Damian Mandola and Johnny Carrabba

Jamaican:
Traveling Jamaica with Knife, Fork and Spoon by Robb Walsh and Jay McCarthy

Posted: July 22, 2006
Filed in Authors and Favorite Books

Favorite Science Fiction Authors

Science Fiction

For a long time I didn’t even include this category because I don’t read a lot of science fiction. Mostly I don’t like the intricate details, the overly analytical suppositions about other life forms and just the too-obvious “what ifs.” I have finally found an author or two who write wonderful characters and tell wonderful stories.

Mark Van Name
One Jump Ahead (Jon & Lobo Series) A great little read–space opera mystery meets tough guy. This story includes a space ship with AI and a lot of personality. The characterization is particularly strong–not only for the two main characters, but side characters as well.


 

A. Lee Martinez
The Automatic Detective Just a wild, wacky tale of a futuristic robot with a heart–a hard-boiled detective on a mission, only he has the power to destroy more than mend. A funny mystery that uses sci/fi as a setting.

John Scalzi – Old Man’s War
A very good space story. There are, of course, discussions of jumping through space, but it is, after all, science fiction.

Posted: September 15, 2008
Filed in Authors and Favorite Books

Favorite Tough Guy Authors

Tough Guy Authors

The Heretic (A Templar Chronicles supernatural thriller) by Joe Nassise – Tough guy; fantasy; thriller

Fasten your seat belts, this one moves so fast the pages in a print book probably start on fire as you turn them! I loved this book; the characters are flawed, real, hurting and giving it their all. This one stayed with me for days after; I downloaded and read the second in the series within a week. It’s an adventure of good against evil; no preaching here, just action.

Steve Hamilton- Good series.

Robert Crais
especially:
–a Joe Pike Novel. Enjoyed the stand alone: Two Minute Rule, The. His series is good too: The Monkey’s Raincoat is the first.

Frederick Forsyth

Posted: September 17, 2008
Filed in Authors and Favorite Books

Favorite YA Authors

Young Adult

Yes, I still read young adult, and not just Harry Potter! Everything listed, while YA, is very adult-readable. I left out wonderful JF (things like Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon, etc) and YA that I read when I was younger–things like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis) and countless others simply because I don’t know if I would enjoy them as an adult. I truly enjoyed them when I was younger and wouldn’t hesistate to recommend them, it’s just a different list!

Fantasy

Rachel Caine
Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, Book 1) – Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampire Series–YA) A good read–emotional teenage angst with vampires and other worries thrown in. The progtag is a young teenager quite out of her element. I think what I liked best was that while there were vampires and other paranormal elements, the protag is dealing mostly with normal insecurities, trying to fit in and worried about doing well in school. Some of the early college scenes sure brought back memories–and not necessarily good ones!

 

John Lenahan
I almost forgot to list Shadowmagic ShadowMagic is a fast YA read with good characterization, great action scenes and my favorite element–humor! From the back of the book:

Conor thought he was an average 21st century teenager. OK, so his father only had one hand and was a bit on the eccentric side but, other than that, life was fairly normal. Until, that is, two Celtic warriors on horseback and wearing full armour appear at his front door and try to kill him.

 

Lion Boy: Zizou Corder
Fun series, especially the first two books.

Andre Norton’s Witch World Series Tales of the Witch World 1

Vivian Vande Velde
-fantasy–I do not read her horror stuff. Or anyone else’s, at least not on purpose. She has several fantasy books that are a lot of fun: Dragon’s Bait and Never Trust a Dead Man

Megan Whalen Turner
“The Thief” is a little slow first half, but it’s well worth reading! Stick with it!

Sci/Fi

Scott Westerfeld
Uglies (Uglies Trilogy, Book 1)
is the first of a series–make sure you have at least the first two because Uglies ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and you’ll be mad if you can’t get started on the next adventure Right Away. The set isn’t a bad way to go for this one: Uglies, The Collector’s Set: Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras

Gems

I was recently fortunate enough to receive a review copy of The Heretic by Joseph Nassasi. I don’t accept many review copies these days; my reading time is almost nil and it has to be something special to catch my attention. Even after I get a copy, I never know if it will work out to be something I like. Well, let’s just say just say this was a real winner, and I’m thrilled to have had the chance to read it. Five stars, highly recommended–it makes my top book reads for 2010 EASILY.

The Heretic is a fast-paced supernatural thriller with wonderfully drawn characters. The book starts a bit like a report and I worried it might not grab me, but it quickly drew me into the world of the Knights Templar. These are not your ancient Knights either; it’s a contemporary set of heroes hoping to protect the world from evils seen and unseen.

It has more than one Point Of View (POV) but it all works extremely well. I don’t normally warm to multiple POV, but the characterization is so strong, I had no complaints.

The Heretic is a mix of “tough guy” literature with epic fantasy story. The only other series that I think I’ve read that is similar is The Adept by Katherine Kurtz.

The Heretic is Awesome Stuff; a total page-turner. My only possible complaint is that while the story wraps up nicely, it has many an open-end. I’m feeling pretty happy that the other books in the series are available already.

There’s a love story here, a lot of action, more danger than a body can reasonably live through and huge imagination. For my cozy blog readers–this one does have more battle and violence than a cozy, but nothing that put me off. It’s not all off-stage though so be warned if you are a strict cozy reader.

An excellent read. I’m greatly looking forward to the next one.

Posted: December 11, 2010
Filed in Authors and Favorite Books, Book Reviews

Out-of-Print Books Now on Kindle

For a full list of authors I’ve found who now have backlist on Kindle see here.

There are a lot of authors bringing their out-of-print books back to Kindle. A series I love has shown up:

Elisabeth Cosin —Zen and The Art of Murder: A Zen Moses Mystery What a writer! I loved this book. I think she only wrote two books, but they are both very good and worth getting your hands on. They were out of print…but! They are now out for Kindle:
If you liked Sue Grafton, Marcia Mullner, Jan Burke–any of the top female sleuth writers, give these a look. Zen and the City of Angels: A Zen Moses Mystery

I know a third was in the works that never came to be. I hope that these showing up on Kindle means the author will put the third one up on her own!

Posted: January 14, 2011
Filed in Authors and Favorite Books
Tags:,

Pre-Order Goodness

John Levitt’s latest Dog Days book, Play Dead, is alllllmost here–Jan 25th is the magic date. The pre-order price for the Kindle is a dollar less than for the paperback. Sometimes when the book actually comes out, the price goes up. (Sometimes it doesn’t.) At any rate, the best news of all is that the book is almost out, which means I have some excellent reading ahead. Of course the book is also available for pre-order paperback: Play Dead (A Dog Days Novel).

More good news: I think the first three in the series is in the 4 for 3 deal on Amazon–you can get those three and throw in one more book for free. The latest isn’t in the four for three, but if you get all four, plus a freebie, you end up around the 25 dollar mark and qualify for free shipping. Such a deal.

Dog Days is the first in the series and is FINALLY available for e-readers. It’s about time! So if you haven’t read this series because the first wasn’t in e-book, you can finally get started!!! You’ve got some great reading ahead! Here is the link to the Paperback.

New Tricks is the second in the series. Here is the paperback.

Unleashed is the third. In paperback.

Posted: January 15, 2011
Filed in Authors and Favorite Books, Favorite Reads

Review: The Cadaver Client by Frank Tuttle

Frank Tuttle is one of those authors I turn to when I need a book I can count on. The twists and turns of his plots always delight and The Cadaver Client was no exception. Even the title intrigued me. With a title like that, you know this is not going to be an ordinary walk down pulp fiction lane.

Even though The Cadaver Client is labeled book four, Frank Tuttle’s author page advises starting with it. I’d already read “Dead Man’s Rain” (a novella) and enjoyed it, so even though I was reading out of order, I happily forged ahead.

Good stuff, five star all the way. Tuttle builds atmosphere, plot and characters in layers–you don’t know what will be in the middle: a gotcha, humor or a twist. Markhat, the detective, needs work like any PI, but he tends to get his cases from Mama Hog; a witch down the way. This isn’t always the healthiest place to pick up jobs.

The Markhat books are pulp fiction with a lot of humor, a touch of noir and a lot of adventure. The pacing is quick. The setting is somewhere between medieval and urban fantasy; it’s a world not that far from our own with magic and not a lot of modern. The Cadaver Client starts out as a sad tale; a ghost wanting to leave his wife some money, money he never bothered to give her while alive. So why not when he was alive? Well, Markhat has a devil of a time figuring it out–he gets beaten up, chased and even ends up in a casket over this one. He has the ever-strange Mama-Hog to help get him into trouble and a woman who speaks to the dead to make matters even more complicated.

It’s a fun ride; a great afternoon read. Highly recommended for fantasy or urban fantasy readers. If you like ghost stories, spooks and odd characters, you’ll love Markhat and his friends.

Posted: June 8, 2012
Filed in Authors and Favorite Books, Book Reviews
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