Welcome to Modest Musings!
This is were we tell you about the books we have acquired this week. Whether it is through purchases, NetGalley or one of our many book list emails. Please feel free to tell us what you think and if there is a particular book you are interested in seeing us review. We hope you enjoy what we found this week!
Craft by Lynnie Purcell – 15-year-old Ellie Bumbalow had only ever known three things: magic, chores, and bullying from her sisters. Crafting magic came as easy to her as breathing. She could not imagine a world where it did not exist. She also could not imagine a world outside of her house and her chores. That is until she saves the life of a Cooper. Ellie knew better than to help a Cooper. It was not only because the Coopers and Bumbalows were in a blood feud. It was because Ellie’s sister would kill her for ignoring the one rule that kept Bumbalows safe: never help a Cooper – they’ll just stab you in the back. With a single act of kindness, Ellie embarks on an adventure that will change her life forever.
Kissing Santa by Aithne Jarretta – Lily Johnson comes home for the Christmas holidays. There’s also the potential reunion with an old flame. The storm of the century hits the little community where Lily grew up.
Christopher Crin is well known for his holiday gift giving. He even bears the nickname Cringle. This year he has a special gift to give.
Will Lily accept?
In the title story, “Waiter, There’s a Clue in My Soup!” two police detectives sort out a poisoning case over lunch at the deli, with a little help from a foodie in the corner. (This story was nominated for a Derringer award in 2003.)
“The Hoosegow Strangler” was the first story featuring Mick and Casey, a pair of young gunslingers turned detective. In this locked room story, a witness they were guarding is murdered, and they have to solve the crime to preserve their reputation.
“Trail of the Lonesome Stickpin” finds Mick drugged by a pair of pretty femmes fatales, and he has to figure out what happened before Casey shoots him. (This story was put forward for an Edgar by its publisher.)
In the fourth story, a killer believes that all he needs is a strong “Alibi” to pull off the perfect crime, but he finds that works against him.
In the final story, “The Promise,” a teenaged girl has to keep her brutal father from turning her brother into a killer. (This story was also nominated for a Derringer in 2007.)
(This collection is 16,000 words long, or equivalent to about 60 pages of a mass market paperback.)
Lynn’s Modest Musings
Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.
Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel.
Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?
Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.
The Rubber Band/ The Red Box by Rex Stout – A grand master of the form, Rex Stout is one of America’s greatest mystery writers, and his literary creation Nero Wolfe is one of fiction’s greatest detectives. Here, in Stout’s third and fourth complete Wolfe mysteries, the arrogant, gourmandizing, sedentary sleuth and his trusty man-about-town, Archie Goodwin, solve two of their most baffling cases.
The Rubber Band
What do a Wild West lynching and a respected English nobleman have in common? On the surface, absolutely nothing. But when a young woman hires his services, it becomes Nero Wolfe’s job to look deeper and find the connection. A forty-year-old pact, a five-thousand-mile search, and a million-dollar murder are all linked to an international scandal that could rebound on the great detective and his partner, Archie, with fatal abruptness.
The Red Box
Murder by chocolate? That’s the premise Nero Wolfe must operate from when a beautiful woman is poisoned after indulging in a box of candy. It’s a case that the great detective—no stranger himself to overindulgence—is loath to take for a variety of reasons, including that it may require that he leave his comfortable brownstone. But he and Archie are compelled by a mystery that mixes high fashion and low motives…and a killer who may have made the deadliest mistake.
A Crime Collection – Five first-in-a-series mystery novels by up-and-coming authors Betta Ferrendelli, R.S. Guthrie, Simon Jenner, Emily Kimelman and Renée Pawlish. These spellbinding stories, filled with twists and turns, murder, intrigue and suspense with captivating and unforgettable characters, have been reviewed more than 1,600 times and have earned more than 750 five-star reviews.
*** MORE THAN 750 COMBINED FIVE-STAR REVIEWS ***
THE FRIDAY EDITION – Betta Ferrendelli
A beautiful Assistant District Attorney falls from her balcony to her demise on Christmas Eve. Police suspect suicide, but the DA’s sister, newspaper reporter Samantha Church, doesn’t buy it. Can she find the killer and write the biggest story of her career before it’s too late and she becomes the killer’s next target?
BLOOD LAND – R.S. Guthrie
Crime is an ugly constant in the big city. L.A. Chicago. New York. But when a savage murder brutalizes a small town and neighbor turns on neighbor, a tough-as-nails cop is essential to restoring order. Dark Prairies is a gritty, emotional saga set in the Wyoming badlands with both greed and vengeance at its core.
When billions of dollars in natural gas rights hang in the balance and the town’s top law officer’s wife is slain by her own blood, a reluctant hero is forced to battle his own demons and ultimately choose between justice, revenge, and duty.
ETHAN JUSTICE: ORIGINS – Simon Jenner
John and Savannah are plunged into a dangerous world where wits and adrenaline are their only weapons and trust in each other their only certainty. Danger lurks around every corner as the race to recover a terrifying invention pits the unlikely pairing against a psychotic soldier who will stop at nothing to wreak his revenge. Ethan Justice: Origins is a fast-paced, action-packed, character-driven thriller guaranteed to make you laugh, cringe, cry and cheer.
NOTE: contains a few violent scenes, a dash of sex and the odd bit of bad language, so please don’t buy it if you are easily offended.
UNLEASHED – Emily Kimelman
When the series begins Sydney Rye is named Joy Humbolt. She does not like people telling her what to do, so it comes as no surprise that she was just fired from her last job. When she buys Charlene Miller’s dog-walking business on Manhattan’s exclusive upper east side, it seems like the perfect fit: Quiet environment, minimal contact with people.
But then one of her clients turns up dead, and Charlene disappears. Rumors say Charlene was having an affair with the victim–and of course, everyone assumes Joy must know where she is. Joy begins to look into the crime, first out of curiosity then out of anger when there is another murder and threats start to come her way.
When police detective Mulberry is assigned to the case, Joy finds a kindred spirit–cynical and none-too-fond of the human race. As they dig deep into the secrets of Manhattan’s elite, they not only get closer to the killer but also to a point of no return. One last murder sends Joy Humbolt hurtling over the edge. Her only chance of survival is to become Sydney Rye.
NOTE: recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don’t mind dirty language and are up for a dash of sex.
THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN IN THE MOVIES – Renée Pawlish
A wannabe private eye with a love of film noir and detective fiction.
A rich, attractive femme fatale.
A missing husband.
A rollicking ride to a dark and daring ending.
Reed Ferguson’s first case is a daring adventure, complete with a dose of film noir, and a lot of humor. With a great supporting cast of the Goofball Brothers, Reed’s not too bright neighbors, and Cal, Reed’s computer geek friend, This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies is detective noir at its best. Follow Reed as he solves crime akin to his cinematic hero, Humphrey Bogart.