August 31, 2017

Madam Tulip: An Irish Cozy Mystery by David Ahern

MadamTulip: An Irish Cozy Mystery is the first in the Madam Tulip Book Series created by David Ahern.

Derry O’Donnell is a good looking, smart, and talented American actress in Ireland. She is a little bit psychic, being the daughter of the seventh son of the seventh son, and out of work in the meantime, and most of the time.

When her highly successful art-gallery owner mother gives her an ultimatum regarding her accommodation, Derry has to think of some ways to earn money to cover the rent, fast. With the help of her best friend Bella, another out of work actress, Derry creates Madam Tulip, fortune teller to the rich and famous. On her first fortune telling event, The Celebrity Bash, however, a famous rap artist dies.

In just a couple of days, Derry’s world turns upside down. Her best friend might end up in jail, a supermodel might be murdered and she and some people close to her, including her father and her ex-lover, might suffer grave consequences.

This is a very enjoyable and highly entertaining book of crime and mystery. With casual tone for both the narration and dialogue, it is an easy read, totally intriguing and deliciously funny. The characters range from charming to annoying to contemptible. My favorite among the set of interesting characters is Jacko, Derry’s father. He is not the most responsible or most honorable, not even a good example to his daughter, but I find Jacko very realistic making him one endearing character for me.

Besides a few, probably typographical, errors, this book is generally well-written and I enjoyed it a lot.

Congratulations to David Ahern (@DaveAhernWriter) on such a wonderful book. For more books by the author, click HERE.  

August 26, 2017

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the first book in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series written by Iain Reading.

Young and spirited pilot Kitty Hawk is excited about the summer. She just receives sponsorship from Tilley Clothing Company to spend the summer in Alaska and study the social interactions and feeding habits of humpback whales. Not only does she get to live with a warm and generous couple in Juneau, but she also meets new friends whom she learns a lot from. After identifying a particular whale by the marks of its tail, Kitty witnesses a spectacular phenomenon that she, so luckily, gets to record on her laptop. Things are going way even better than she expected, until her attention is caught by a suspicious looking fishing boat and her summer adventures turn from fun and exciting to ultimately dangerous.   

This is an exciting, enjoyable, informative and a totally entertaining book. It has a very promising beginning that turns into an all-out suspenseful story with surprising twists and unpredictable turn of events. Descriptions of the settings, Canada and Alaska, are rich and vivid while the dialogues are realistic and fitting for each character. The author creates an endearing protagonist in Kitty Hawk. She is smart albeit impulsive and kind yet tough. She is completely clueless about how special she is which makes her all the more charming.

However, though I appreciate the history lesson, I find it too long. I also find some scenes, especially the captivity, a little dragging. Still, I enjoyed this book immensely and I recommend it to readers who love adventures.

Congratulations to Iain Reading (@IainReading) on such a great book. For more books in this series, click HERE.  

August 17, 2017

_SHIFT by Brian Q. Webb

_SHIFT : A Thriller of Multiple Dimension is Book 1 of the Shiftspace series written by Brian Q. Webb.

When the editor of Wired magazine receives a USB drive with a cryptic message and an attached code, he sends his smart albeit inexperienced science reporter, Dr. Pei Xiao.  He also sends his down-on-his-luck former brother-in-arms freelance photographer Roy Bryant to accompany Pei, primarily, to keep her safe. Though her editor’s decision annoys Pei initially, it is proven wise and sound as Pei and Roy are thrown into a series of unexpected twists and turns of events.

This is a fast-paced and exciting science fiction thriller that will keep the readers hooked. It has a solid plot and just enough backstories to help readers relate with the characters. Descriptions are lavish but not superfluous and dialogues shift from academic/scientific to casual. The numerous references to familiar science fiction movies give the book a light touch while introduction of otherworldly creatures signifies the author’s creativeness and imaginativeness.

However, some readers may find the science part of the book too technical and difficult to follow. But besides a few noticeable errors (like it’s instead of its and we’re instead of were) the book is very interesting and thoroughly enjoyable. Finally, though I’m not, generally, a fan of cliffhangers, I find the ending of this book satisfying and just perfect to entice readers to the next book in the series.

Congratulations to Brian Q. Webb (@BrianQWebb) on such a great book! For more information about the author, click HERE

August 9, 2017

Dear Maude by Denise Liebig

Dear Maude is Book 1 of The Dear Maude Trilogy written by Denise Liebig.

Emily Stanton manages to graduate from college under a scholarship from Evergreen Research Corporation with the strict condition that she will work for the company after graduation. Smart and tough albeit a little bit naïve and with high moral standards, Emily proves to be much more than another former scholarship student but a great asset to the company. However, as Emily learns eventually, Evergreen Research is not an ordinary nor a traditional employer. The type of research they are engaged in is something Emily never thought possible, going back in time and changing the past to benefit a few. 

When Emily realizes that the people around her are not what she thinks they are, she finds out how vulnerable she is in a place and a time where and when she has no one and she has nothing except a journal she writes on as she pretends to communicate with her deceased aunt Maude and takes comfort in one familiar object, an old suitcase that belonged to her dead great aunt.  

This is a very interesting, intriguing, absorbing and thought-provoking book that will keep the reader glued to every page. To borrow a line from Alice in Wonderland, it keeps getting ‘curiouser and curiouser.’ Moreover, though time travel is not at all a very original concept, the events that take place in the story make up for the banality of the subject matter. The corsets, the gowns, the balls, the trip to the opera and the horseback riding and other lessons give the story glamor and substance that make this book very enjoyable to read.  The author creates admirable and endearing protagonists as well as shameless and contemptible villain.     

Though the book is part of a trilogy, it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone and the ending, though a little cliffhanger, is not only satisfactory but also satisfying.

Congratulations to Denise Liebig (@DeniseWithWords ) on such a great book! For more books by the author, click HERE.