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Friday, January 23, 2015

House Immortal By Devon Monk

by Mary Anne Barker

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

A comet once crashed on the world where Matilda lives on an isolated farm, sometime in the undefined future in Devon Monk’s new dystopian urban fantasy novel. This comet changed this world in many ways. Like the creatures she cares for, Matilda has been “stitched” together from pieces and lives off the grid to stay unaffiliated with the ruling “Houses,” large corporate entities that rule the world and are served by the 12 “galvanized” immortal beings.

Matilda’s stitching appears to be different from that of the galvanized, and it’s putting her at risk. Meanwhile, her brother, Quinten, has been missing for three years and she’s concerned about him.


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A stranger called Abraham comes to her door with a warning for Matilda’s father … except that it comes years too late. When she was 12, Matilda saw two of the Houses come, kill her parents, and remove both their bodies. Now Abraham and Matilda are in danger and must fight for her future even as they begin the search for her missing brother.



Image source: Ace

The world-building is complex and consistent, and the characters original; it’s unclear who will become friend or foe to Matilda.

The book starts off a little slowly (though it has a really great opening line: “The way I saw it, a girl needed three things to start a day right: a hot cup of tea, a sturdy pair of boots, and for the feral beast to die the first time she stabbed it in the brain.”), but it’s worth sticking with it, as the pace soon picks up to a great rollercoaster ride. So sit down and strap in for the journey!

To enter to win a copy of House Immortal, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Immortal,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 31, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

Use this link to purchase this book and a portion goes to help support KRL & it supports an indie bookstore:

Mary Anne Barker works at the Reedley Library. She loves books, TV and movies.




Friday, January 16, 2015

Killer By Jonathan Kellerman

by Ted Feit

After many years of training and working in hospitals, followed by establishing his private practice, Dr. Alex Delaware was contacted by a family court judge with a new approach: He was asked to undertake work ascertaining the facts surrounding divorce proceedings, evaluating the effects on children. Specifically a particularly complicated case. Alex was hesitant and struck a hard bargain, agreeing only to be employed by the courts, rather than serving on a panel of experts, employed b the attorneys for the parties to the cases, some of whom were mediocre and not up to his standards.


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Thus was the beginning of a new line of work for the psychologist, and one that led to a case in probate court, in which a childless sister was suing for custody of the 16-month daughter of her younger, flaky sister. When Alex wrote his report favoring the mother, the elder sister threatened Alex. And subsequently attempted to take out a contract on his life. As a result, the events stemming from the case had many ramifications including several murders.



Image source: Ballantine

An Alex Delaware novel usually combines a crime mystery with psychological overtones. And, includes, of course, Lt. Milo Sturgis, the gay LAPD detective, with whom Alex consults as well. Killer is no exception. The popular series is, as always, well-plotted and smoothly written.

Recommended.

Use this link to purchase this book and a portion goes to help support KRL & it supports an indie bookstore:

Ted & Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, New York, a few miles outside of New York City. For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney & former stock analyst, publicist & writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications. Having always been avid mystery readers & since they're now retired, they're able to indulge their passion. Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK & US.




Friday, January 9, 2015

Counterfeit Lottery By S. A. Stolinsky

by Sandra Murphy

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

Lily (that’s with one L, not two at the end) Handy is an actor. Unfortunately, her big break into a television series went down the tubes when the show was cancelled. And she had a speaking part! Grunting counts as speaking, right? What would you expect from a show about cavemen?

Well, nothing to do but make yourself feel better after a blow like that so Lily is off to the big department store to buy a bit of makeup. After all, you get a bonus gift when you do.

The store is running a promotion for the fine jewelry department. They’ve got a huge diamond on loan from the Smithsonian to display. There’s purple smoke, then a panic as people rush from the store and in the crush, someone hands Lily a cookbook of all things. Believe me; Lily can’t cook, even with the help of a good book.


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In spite of extra security, the stone disappears and when found, is in Lily’s pocket. She manages to return the stone (with a little help), get caught about the cook book, be a suspect in the diamond heist, get involved in murder and still keep her husband, George, happy.

The investigation moves from Los Angeles to Vegas and back before the case is solved. Be careful to pay attention to names as there are a lot of characters to keep track of—Lily’s acting class, the suspects, the staff at the store and the people (and mobsters) she meets in Vegas. Some use their correct names but some don’t. Some use both.



Image source: S. A. Stolinsky

Lily is as ADD as you can imagine. While investigating, she thinks she might give up acting and become a police officer, provided you can skip the academy and patrol parts and just start as a detective. She also gives some thought to becoming an FBI agent, or being in a movie. Usually, I read a book straight through but Lily wore me out. I had to take several breaks, just to keep up with her.

I hope Lily and the gang are back in more episodes but want the next book to have been edited more. There were places where it was hard to follow who was talking because of the page layout. There were also wrong words which implies a reliance on Spell-check. It’s a shame to be distracted from a good story because of such things.

To enter to win a copy of Counterfeit Lottery, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Lottery,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 17, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

Use this link to purchase this book and a portion goes to help support KRL & it supports an indie bookstore:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra's short stories on UnTreed Reads including Bananas Foster.