A Tale of Two Kitties by Sofie Kelly – a Review

A Tale of Two Kitties by Sofie Kelly – a Review

 

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Description:
With a well-placed paw on a keyboard or a pointed stare, Kathleen’s two cats, Hercules and Owen, have helped her to solve cases in the past—so she has learned to trust their instincts. But she will need to rely on them more than ever when a twenty-year-old scandal leads to murder…

The arrival of the Janes brothers has the little town of Mayville Heights buzzing. Everyone of a certain age remembers when Victor had an affair with Leo’s wife, who then died in a car accident.

Now it seems the brothers are trying to reconcile, until Kathleen finds Leo dead. The police set their sights on Leo’s son and Kathleen’s good friend Simon, who doesn’t have much of an alibi. To prove her friend innocent, Kathleen will have to dig deep into the town’s history—and into her sardine cracker supply, because Owen and Hercules don’t work for free…

 

 

Review
:
A Tale of Two Kitties by Sofia Kelly is the 9th book in her Magical Cats Mystery series.   I have not read the previous books in this series, but it read very well as a standalone.  With that being said, reading the early books would be fun and enjoyable. 

Our heroine in this series is Kathleen Paulson, the librarian of Mayville Heights, as well as her adorable two cats, Hercules and Owen.  No..the cats do not talk (as in another series I read), but they do have some strange magical abilities like walking through a door, or just disappearing.  What make Hercules and Owen fun, is the little simple hints they give Kathleen in helping her solve crimes, and the cute humor is enjoyable throughout the book.

A Tale of Two Kitties is a murder mystery, as Kathleen is the one who finds her friend, Simon’s father dead and the mystery begins.  A 20 year old scandal will be the catalyst that sets the stage of this mystery.  Victor Janes has just returned to visit his brother Leo, to make amends  after he had run away with Leo’s wife twenty years hence.  When Leo is found dead, there are a number of suspects, including Victor, Simon and a few other suspects.

Kathleen gets involved in trying to solve the murder, and find a way to prove that Simon is innocent.  She will talk to the local people in trying to find clues, and as we get closer to the end, the danger and excitement escalates.  Though this is murder, the entire story flowed so well, and except for a short period, it was a calm fun read, with no tension.  As we held our breaths at the end, I loved how Kathleen got out of her predicament.   The characters that are part of this series were great, and I also enjoyed the sweet romance between Kathleen and her detective boyfriend, Marcus. 

A Tale of Two Kitties was a lighthearted mystery that was a fun and fast read.  Hercules and Owen were delightful, as they always managed to get Kathleen’s attention ‘pawing’ out the clues. If you want a fast cute fun mystery , I wholly suggest you read this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld – a Review

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld – a Review

 

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Description:
Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight years old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as The Child Finder, Naomi is their last hope.

Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl too.

As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?

 

 

Review:

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld is an exciting chilling thriller.  This is my first book by Denfeld and I was very impressed with her writing, and I will not hesitate to read any books by her.   Naomi Cottle, our heroine, is an investigator who specializes in finding missing children.  She has over time been able to find 30 missing children (either dead or alive), giving her the nickname of ‘the Child Finder’.  Naomi herself was kidnapped as a child, managing to escape and had no memory of who she was, and continues to have nightmares giving her little hints, but still no memory of her past.  Naomi ended up in a home of a woman who was fostering another child, Jerome, and brought them up to be upstanding young citizens.  Naomi devotes herself to finding the missing children, using her uncanny ability to know where to look for clues, and asking the right questions.  We meet Naomi when she takes on the cold case of 5 year old Madison Culver, who is still missing after three years.  The Culver family refuses to believe their daughter is dead, and begs Naomi to investigate, even if she feels the girl is probably dead.

The second POV is indeed Madison, and we follow her when she is found unconscious in the snow by a mountain man named Mr. B.  He will help bring her back to health, but at the same time keep her locked in the cellar of a cabin.  Madison doesn’t remember much, and soon will call herself Snow Girl, as she uses her imagination to create the world she is in and tries to learn how to live with this mountain man who cannot talk. Mr. B also has a sad past that makes him what he is today (using two extreme personalities (angry or nice) with Madison; she will be the one who brings some little bit of happiness to his life.  As much as this is a heartbreaking story, Denfeld handles this so well.

Though this is the main focus of the story, there is also a side story where Naomi also becomes involved in about a missing baby and the mother who is in jail. 

What follows is an amazing story as we watch Naomi interviewing not only the parents, the police, park ranger and all the townsfolk who live in the area where Madison disappeared.  Naomi in the beginning expects to find clues in the snowy mountains to the child’s death; then begins to look for those local people who may know more.  As she continues to take chances in dangerous situations, Naomi will also learn a little more of her past during her dreams.  The last ¼ of the book was so exciting and intense; I could not put the book down. 

Rene Denfeld has done a fantastic job writing this moving and heart wrenching story, and has created such a wonderful character in Naomi, who will do anything to either save those missing children or give the families closures that they so desperately need.  This is a standalone, but I can see this becoming a series.  The Child Finder is a must read.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Her Dark Half by Paige Tyler – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Her Dark Half by Paige Tyler – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

 

Her Dark Half
X-Ops series – Book #7
by Paige Tyler
Release Date: September 5, 2017

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Her Dark Half spotlight graphic

 

Description:
Trevor Maxwell
Coyote shifter with an attitude
Covert operator
Trusts no one, especially his devastatingly beautiful new partner

Alina Bosch
Former CIA, newest operative on the covert team
Hired to spy on her partner
Motto: “Never be deceived again.”

Coyote shifter Trevor Maxwell is teamed up with CIA agent Alina Bosch to catch a killer. But when the mission becomes much more dangerous than they expected, they’re going to have to ignore the attraction between them and learn how to trust one another to come out on the other side…

 

Review:

Her Dark Half by Paige Tyler is the 7th book in her wonderful X-Ops series.  When we last left off in the last book, our heroes throughout this series were all on the run. The man they trusted who ran DCO (Department of Covert Operations) was killed, and the two major villains were out to arrest and kill them all. It was a huge game changer.

In Her Dark Half, Trevor Maxwell, our hero, was still working with DCO, but he was acting undercover helping his former teammates in hiding.   The goal was to find evidence to prove that Thomas Thorne, who was now in charge, was behind all hybrids being created to build his own army.  Trevor is forced to accept a new partner, who was new to DCO.

The story starts off a few years prior, where we meet our heroine, Alina Bosch, who is  a CIA agent leading a mission that goes bad.  Alina lost her whole team because her partner betrayed them and had set up a trap.  Alina has spent this few years wanting revenge, but has not been able to find her ex partner.  Alina leaves her job with the CIA and accepts a job with DCO, having been tempted by DCO that they will help her find her ex partner.  Alina is told by Dick (one of the two villains) that she needs to spy on her new partner…Trevor. She finds it hard to trust anyone, but she sees something about Trevor that makes her suspect that there is more than she has been told.  Trevor, at first also doesn’t trust Alina, but pretty quickly they are in the middle of some attacks, and Alina begins to realize that Dick is using her information to kill those that they have interviewed.

Trevor and Alina will also become very attracted to each other, and in a short time a romance will begin.  Alina will realize that Trevor is a good guy, and also learn about him being a shifter; they will join hands to fight off hybrid attacks. What follows is an intense, fast paced, exciting and dangerous attempt to reveal the truth about Thomas Thorne and those now in charge at DCO.  It was great and fun to see all our former heroes, such as Landon, Ivy, Tanner, Declan, Kendra, Danica, Adam, Braden, Dreya, just to name a few.  It will take the entire team to band together to fight these ultra powerful hybrids, who are impossible to kill. Of course, one of those powerful hybrids, is the man Alina has been trying to find all these years.

The last half of the book was very suspenseful, with a few twists, and a thrilling ride to the finish.  Paige Tyler, as always, gives us another terrific story, with another wonderful couple. I do not know what she has in store of us next, but the game has changed and I can’t wait to see how this will affect our team.  Her Dark Half should not be read out of order; this is not a standalone.  You need to start from the beginning, in order to enjoy all the wonderful characters and the continuing story line.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

excerpt

“What’s the plan here?” she asked Trevor quietly as the restaurant’s patrons eyed them curiously. “Because I don’t see anyone warming up to us enough to invite us into the back room.”
“We’re Trevor and Alina Hoffman, a filthy rich, newly married couple from Silicon Valley,” Trevor said, glancing around as if taking in the ambience. “We’ve been on an extended honeymoon for the past few months and are currently heading for a trans-Atlantic cruise out of New York City. We decided to do some gambling and got tired of dealing with all the crap at the local casino.”
“You think they’ll buy that?” she asked as he led her across the room toward the door with the guards.
“You sell the fact that we’re a newly married couple, and I’ll make them believe I’m a rich guy with a gambling addiction.”
She could do that. Then she realized one big flaw in their cover story. “If we’re a newly married couple, shouldn’t I be wearing a ring?”
Trevor gave her a sidelong glance. “What makes you think you aren’t?”
She looked down at her hand in confusion and almost fell off her stacked heels as she saw the monstrously large diamond he’d somehow slipped onto her ring finger when she wasn’t looking. Oh crud, it was huge! And as beautiful as any she’d ever seen.
“When did you put this on? More importantly, is this thing real?” she whispered.
Thank goodness she had his arm to keep her steady. She was feeling faint at the idea of wearing a diamond that was probably worth more than her entire apartment.
“I put it on you when we were married on the first of June in Monaco,” he whispered back. “And of course it’s real. I would never put something fake on the love of my life.”
“Trevor, I’m serious,” she said.
He made a face. “Okay. I slipped it on your finger when I was helping you out of the SUV. And yes, it’s real, so don’t lose it. I had to sign my life away to get it out of the DCO safes.”
She gulped. “How much is it worth?”
“Nothing compared to you, sweetheart,” he said in a romantic tone as they stopped in front of the two guards.
The bouncers working this door were a little bit more professional than the ones outside.
“Can I help you?” one of the men asked in a deep, rough voice that made Alina wonder if he chewed gravel for fun.
“Someone told me a man might be able to find a friendly game of poker somewhere near here,” Trevor said casually. “I don’t suppose you two might be able to point my wife and me in the right direction for a game like that?”
The two men regarded him suspiciously.
“I think you’re talking about the Horseshoe Casino,” Gravel said. “It’s nearby, very clean and friendly.” Trevor chuckled. “The Horseshoe is very friendly. But the place doesn’t have the quite the atmosphere we’re looking for. It’s a little too…what’s the word?… sanitized for our liking.”
Gravel studied Trevor for a moment, then glanced at the bar, giving someone there a nod. Ten seconds later, a slim man in an expensive suit appeared at their side.
“My name is Teddy,” he said in a cautious yet friendly tone. “What can I do for you?”
“I’m Trevor Hoffman. This is my wife, Alina. We’re getting ready to head out on a cruise in a few days and decided to do some gambling while we’re in town. Someone told us this place runs a clean game, so I thought I’d spend some money here.”
Teddy surveyed them with a practiced eye, taking in the cut of Trevor’s suit and her expensive gown, not to mention the big honking ring she wore. He must have liked what he saw, because he nodded.
“If I could get some identification and a credit card from you, Mr. Hoffman, I can quickly check your credentials and set you up with a line of credit.”
Alina tensed as Trevor handed over the requested ID and credit card. They could be in trouble. The fake ID and credit card by themselves would have taken quite a bit of time and money to pull off. Coming up with an Internet background to support that would take even longer.
“What are they going to find when they run your name and that credit card number?” she whispered as he slipped his arm around her and casually urged her away from the two men guarding the door.
“Relax.” He flashed her a grin. “They’ll find us with all the relevant financial and societal tidbits one would expect to see when looking at the rich and bored.”
She glanced at Teddy. He typed something into a computer just out of sight behind the bar. A moment later, he lifted his head and frowned in their direction.
“Something’s wrong,” she whispered.
Even the two guards were eyeing them funny now. She was starting to wish she had a weapon. If things went bad, they were in trouble.
“Alina,” Trevor said softly as he tightened his arm around her waist and tugged her closer. “Now’s the time for you to sell the newlywed thing.”
She opened her mouth to ask him exactly how he suggested she do that when he pulled her even closer.
She wished she could have said it was years of CIA training that took over and made her kiss him. But that wouldn’t have been true. Instead, it was a totally different kind of instinct. The kind that made a woman want to kiss a hot guy.


 

About The author

Paige Tyler

Paige Tyler is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. Paige writes books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines they fall in love with. She lives with her very own military hero (a.k.a. her husband) and their adorable dog on the beautiful Florida coast. Visit www.paigetylertheauthor.com.


Find Paige Online:

Website: http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaigeTylerAuthor/
Twitter: @PaigeTyler
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2300692.Paige_Tyler

 

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Monster in the Closet by Karen Rose – Review & Giveaway

Monster in the Closet by Karen Rose – Review & Giveaway

 

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Description:
A mother is dead, and now her killer hunts the child that witnessed the brutal crime…

Private Investigator Clay Maynard locates missing children for clients, but has nearly given up hope of finding his own daughter, cruelly stolen from him by his ex-wife twenty-three years ago.

Equine therapist Taylor Dawson has chosen to intern at Daphne Montgomery-Carter’s stables so that she can observe the program’s security director – her father, Clay Maynard. Trying to reconcile the wonderful man she’s getting to know with the monster her mother always described, Taylor never expects to become the target of a real monster, the man who murdered the mother of the little girls she works with at the stable. Neither does she expect to fall for Ford Elkhart, Daphne’s handsome son, who is dealing with his own demons. As family and friends gather for a wedding, Taylor starts to imagine a permanent life in Baltimore.

But not if the real monster gets to her first…

 

 

Review:

Monster in the Closet by Karen Rose is a fantastic romance suspense story line.  I was not sure what to expect, as I have read only one of her romance suspense books, and none in her Baltimore arc within this series.  Monster in the Closet read very well as a standalone, as the author deftly gave us enough information on the other characters, who made appearances and had their own stories. 

Taylor Dawson, our heroine, has just started working at Daphne Montgomery-Carter stables, for the Healing Hearts with Horses program, where she works as a therapist for problem children.  Taylor has another reason for coming from California to take this job.  She wants to meet the man who is the security director, Clay Maynard, and learn about him.  Before Taylor’s mother passed away, she told her daughter the truth about the father she never knew.  Taylor had spent all of her life fearing her father, who was supposed to be an abusive man, only to find out it was all a lie. Now she travels from her home in California to take this job in Maryland to discover for herself, what her real father was like and what she has missed not knowing him. 

Clay Maynard has been searching for his long lost daughter unsuccessfully for 23 years.  Clay has a great life in Maryland, wonderful and loyal friends, a wife he loves and a daughter.  When Taylor’s new boss, and Ford, calls him to the ranch, Clay will come face to face with the daughter he has been searching for most of his life.  This is an amazing story of family, secrets, friends and a slow build romance, which plays a major part of this story.  But the real story that drives Monster in the Closet, is a murder mystery, where an 11 year old child, Jazzie comes home from school to find her mother dead, and while she hides, she sees that her estranged father is the murderer.  We see this from the beginning, and know who the evil murderer is.  But Jazzie doesn’t talk, and no one knows she was at the scene at the time of the murder.  Detective Fitzpatrick suspects that Gage Jarvis killed his wife, but he cannot prove it, as Jarvis has an alibi.  When a few people are murdered, Fitzpatrick knows Jarvis murdered those people to keep his secret, but he cannot prove it. 

When Taylor is working at the ranch, she has the ability to reach out to the young children, and one morning Janie Jarvis, the younger sister of Jazzie, is riding a horse with Taylor’s help.  When they get ready to leave, Jazzie hugs Taylor and thanks her for taking care of her younger sister.  Everyone was thrilled that this was a breath through.  But the police know they need to protect Jazzie, in case her father finds out she was there and can identify him.

What follows is an intense exciting adventure; with Gage Jarvis willing to do anything to make sure no one can identify him.  Taylor is put in the middle, as when Jarvis does find out that Jazzie recognizes him, he thinks she told Taylor.   All hell will break loose, with Clay, Ford, and Taylor becoming injured.  All the people that are part of the ranch, police members who know the Maynards and Montgomeries come forward to help find the murderer before he kills the young girls and Taylor. 

A sweet romance builds between Taylor and Ford, who is the owners son.  I really liked them together.  The family atmosphere and this romance were just enough to release some of the tension of the case.  Karen Rose has written a wonderful suspenseful thriller, with a nice blend of family and second chances.  Monster in a Closet is one of the best suspense thrillers I have read this year.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

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9.. Giveaway runs from August 30  to September 5, 2017

 

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The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter – a Review

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter – a Review

 

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Description:
Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

 

 

Review:

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter is the first book in her new series, which is a suspenseful psychological thriller. This was my first time reading Karin Slaughter and after finishing this book, it will not be my last. I loved The Good Daughter, which turned out to be one of the best thrillers I have read this year, and I have read quite a few.

The Good Daughter revolves around two sisters, Sam (Samantha) and Charlie (Charlotte) Quinn, who both survived a horrible tragedy 28 years ago.  The story starts in the past, in their hometown of Pikeville, North Carolina; Sam & Charlie were practicing relay running with their mom testing them; they have just moved to a small cabin, after their house was burned down.  Their father Rusty, was a defense attorney who made enemies, especially after he always managed to get the criminals off.  When they return to the house, someone enters threatening them all, causing a terrorizing event that results in a death, two brutal attacks and a family that is devastated.

We now are in the present, 28 years later, with Charlie stopping at the school to return something, and all hell breaks loose, as the shots can be heard throughout.   Charlie and one of the teachers (Mason) race the halls to try to help, only to find two people dead, and the shooter pointing the gun on them self.   The police come with guns threatening to kill the shooter, and Mason is determined to convince the police to allow her to surrender.  So much of what happens in the school, brings forth terrible emotional memories for Charlie, who continues to live in Pikesville with her husband, and her father.  Sam has not returned for many years, having left when she was a teenager.  Sam was the most physically  damaged in the attack when she was a teen, but she managed to have a very successful career as a lawyer, though she does suffer; when Rusty has a heart attack, Sam will be called home.  It has been 20 years since Sam and Charlie have seen each other, as they had become a little estranged, but they still loved each other.  While Sam has suffered physically, Charlie is the one who still suffers emotionally,  which includes secrets that she has not told her sister or husband.  Sam will work on Kelly’s (the young shooter) case while her father is recovering, and Charlie will help.  As the present mystery unfolds, we will return occasionally to the past with the point of view of either Charlie or Sam, as we learn more of what happened then.

What follows is an intense, exciting, mind boggling story line that has us holding our breath throughout.   Sam will uncover some clues that make her second guess what really happened at the school.  One of the things Slaughter has done so well, is show us a small town that has not forgotten the event from the past, which they show with their terrible treatment of the victims; we get the see the narrow minded attitudes of the police, district attorney, and the families involved in that tragedy.  We also get to see how much Sam and Charlie’s lives changed, and how it has affected them all these years. 

The last third of the book was simply amazing, with excitement, revelations and multiple twists that blew our minds, especially since we needed to keep up with them.  Sam and Charlie were great characters that had us also emotionally tied to them.  I do not want to tell too much more, as it would be spoilers, and this book is too good to ruin.  The Good Daughter was a fantastic read, so very well written by Karin Slaughter.   I suggest you read The Good Daughter, as it is a must read.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Cat Shining Bright by Shirley Rousseau Murphy – a Review

Cat Shining Bright by Shirley Rousseau Murphy – a Review

 

Cat Shining Bright
Joe Grey Mystery series – Book #20
by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Release Date: August 15, 2017
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Description:
The stakes are higher and more personal than ever for feline investigator Joe Grey when death comes to his beloved coastal California town in this twentieth installment of the enchanting cat mystery series.

While new father Joe Grey is overjoyed to teach his three young kittens about the world, he misses his cop work — secretly helping solve crimes alongside his human friends at Molena Point P. D. But when beautician Barbara Conley and one of her customers are found dead in the salon, Joe makes an exception, he heads for the crime scene. He has no idea that the kittens are following him, or how they will complicate the investigation.

But this is not the only danger to the kittens. A stranger is lurking around the home of Joe’s tabby lady, Dulcie, where the kittens were born. Both parents’ backs are up and their claws out, ready to protect their babies and to protect Wilma Getz, Dulcie’s human housemate.

As the death of the beautician becomes entangled with a gang of thieves working the village, Joe, Dulcie, Kit and Pan are all into the investigation; and they are led to unexpected connections, to the building of the new cat shelter and to a neighbor who becomes suddenly an unexpected part of the tangle.

 

 

Review:

Cat Shining Bright by Shirley Rousseau Murphy is the 20th book in her fabulous & fun Joe Grey series.  I have read every book in this series, and it is one of my favorite go to books when I want a sweet lighthearted mystery with a group of wonderful talking cats, and their humans.  These are magical sentient cats that live in Molena Point, California, but only their humans close to them know, and the cats are the real ones who solve the crimes.   I am amazed that into the 20th book, Murphy can still win us over each and every time.  I adore our cats, Joe, Dulcie and Kit.  They are awesome, sweet, daring, and clever.  The humans who are a major part of this series, are Clyde and Ryan; Wilma, Charlie (who is married to the police chief, and he does not know about the cats).  They are all an awesome group that makes this series so much fun and exciting.

In Cat Shining Bright, Dulcie has given birth to three kittens, two boys and a girl, and Joe, the proud father, is finally able to get past the stress of Dulcie giving birth.  Joe and Dulcie have always been a team from the start of this series, and we have enjoyed the love they have for each other.  A few books later, we met the wonderful sweet and daring Kit, who found her own love, Pan recently. It will take a few months, with everyone waiting with anticipation, for the kittens to begin to talk.  It was very well written and fun when they did. 

It is Kit and Pan who will discover a car theft ring stealing cars during a storm; this after the death of a beautician found in her salon with a customer.  Though Joe has been spending most of his time with his kittens and Dulcie, he becomes intrigued by the car thefts, and will join Pan and Kit in their investigations.  The Molena Police department has gotten used to Joe entering the station and falling asleep in the Chief’s office’ of course they do not know he listens and learns all the information there.   One day, the kittens became interested in what their father was doing and secretly followed him; Joe will catch them before they are discovered, but their curiosity is now peaked. 

What follows is an exciting mystery, trying to find out who murdered the two people, and who was behind all the car thefts.  There are trying times when Joe, Kit, Pan and even the kittens find themselves in danger.  When Wilma (Dulcie’s human), senses an intruder in her house, she will take Dulcie and the kittens to stay at Clyde & Ryan’s (joe’s humans) house for protection.  Someone knows about the secret book about the magical sentient cats, and their ability to talk; and they want the book.  Besides the cats finding clues, and making secret calls to the police, the humans will also play a big part in solving the crimes.  As I have noted before, I love the characters that have accepted our cats; Charlie, Ryan, Wilma, Clyde, Kate, etc.  We also spend time with the police department characters, such as Max, Dallas, etc, who have no idea about the cats.

This is a fun series, exciting mysteries, and fantastic characters, including cats and humans.  Do not let that fact that these cats can talk deter you into reading this series. It is a fun and awesome series, and so well written my Shirley Rousseau Murphy. Give yourself a chance to read this enjoyable series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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A Penny for Her Heart by Alretha Thomas – a Review

A Penny for Her Heart by Alretha Thomas – a Review

 

A Penny for her HeartAmazon

Description:
Vanessa Johnson Rossi’s dream is to work in the White House. Not as the leader of the free world, but as chief of staff, overseeing the executive office of the president. As an assistant working at Buderwood Hills City Hall, she finds herself getting closer to realizing her dream when a plum position becomes available that would put her a step closer working directly for the mayor who has personal connections to the White House. But Vanessa’s hopes are dashed when her best friend, Penelope Newhouse, lands the coveted job. However, when Vanessa discovers Penelope murdered less than a hundred feet from the office she dreamed of occupying, her disappointment turns into devastation. Detective Rachel Storme and her team are put on the case and she soon finds herself delving into the underbelly of politics in search of the killer. The clues point to a litany of suspects, including the mayor. As usual, Detective Storme is determined to solve this case—a case so chock-full of dark and sinister twists and turns, it has her questioning her own competence.

 

Review:

A Penny for Her Heart begins with Vanessa heading into work at the mayor’s office on what should have been her day off, but duty calls.  She arrives and heads to her best friend’s office.  She and Penelope (Penny) met in college and have been best friends ever since.  Once Vanessa enters Penny’s office, she notices almost immediately that things seem a bit off.  Penny is nowhere around, which leads Vanessa to check the bathroom.  Little did she know that once she set foot in that bathroom, her world would be changed forever.  She sees blood everywhere and someone in a stall, but is so distraught all she can do is run out screaming for the security guard on duty to summon the police. 

Rachel Storme is attending a cookout at Herb’s, who also happens to be her long-time partner at the police department.  When Herb gets the call that there’s been a murder at the mayor’s office, he and Rachel, along with co-workers Vincent and Carlos, who were also attending the get together, head out to the scene of the murder.  It doesn’t take Rachel long for that methodical mind of hers to start processing the scene and the people there.  She interviews Vanessa, who is understandably upset and ready to just go home.  Once finished, Vanessa heads out with the promise to call Rachel if anything of use comes to mind. 

As the investigation progresses, Vanessa soon realizes that Penny had a whole other side that she never knew about.  Lies are uncovered, hearts are broken and Vanessa finds herself questioning everything she thought she ever knew about her friendship with Penny.  While Rachel and her team dig up clues and try to tie together a motive, she knows that the longer it takes them, the chances of finding the killer get smaller.  Add to that the family issues Rachel has with her scattered and irresponsible aunt, along with her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease……….some days she just can’t catch a break.  The one thing that she excels doing?  Pulling together the pieces of evidence and listening to her gut.

A Penny for Her Heart is another wonderfully written book by Alretha Thomas.  As I’ve said before, all of the characters in Mrs. Thomas’s books are relatable, as well as believable.  While reading this particular one, more than any of the others, I found myself wrong so many times when I thought I’d figured out who the killer was.  The twists and turns kept me turning the pages, but Rachel Storme keeps me coming back to this series.  Her determination and drive, along with a big ol’ heart, is very endearing.  I’m starting to feel repetitive in my reviews of this series, but Rachel is truly one of the most believable and realistic characters I’ve read in a long time.  Anyone would feel lucky to have such a person in their lives.  If you’re a mystery fan, this one will not disappoint.  And, as always, I look forward to the next installment.  Well done, Alretha Thomas!  Very, very well done!

Reviewed by Vickie

Copy supplied for review

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The Child by Fiona Barton – Review & Tour

The Child by Fiona Barton – Review & Tour

 

The ChildAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell…

 

 

Review:

The Child by Fiona Barton is a psychological thriller.   I have read quite of few psychological thrillers this year, with many of them simply ok reads, with the authors using the same multi character POV’s, which can get confusing.  The Child started off a bit slow and somewhat confusing with multiple POV’s and I thought “here we go again”.  But things changed about a ¼ into the story, when it caught hold of me, and I could not let go; that being said, I loved The Child.

The story revolves around the discovery of a baby’s skeleton on a construction site of a torn down building.  Kate Waters, an investigative reporter, sees the notice about the finding of the “Building Site Baby” and decides to do some investigating.  The POV’s of this story are Kate; Emma and Angela, with a 4th, Jude, having an occasional narration. 

As Kate does her investigation, she will indirectly become involved with the other two ladies.  Angela gave birth to a girl over 20 years ago, only to have her child stolen out of the hospital room.  Angela and her husband Nick, have been living a nightmare all these years, especially in the beginning when Angela was an initial suspect. Emma is young lady who is emotionally disturbed, which was caused by nightmares from her harsh childhood.  Emma used to live with her mother, Jude, near the site where the baby was found.    

Kate is in the center of this novel, as she makes discoveries along the way that will bring her into contact with various people, including those who lived near the site all those years before.  When the body has been identified as having been buried for decades, Kate will find herself researching missing children from that time period.  This will bring her to Angela and her missing baby, Alice.  When DNA confirms the child is Alice, both Angela and Nick feel they finally have closure.  Then a strange turn of events will open the door for further investigation, as the lab informs the authorities that the things wrapped around the burial of the body was only 10 years old.  Was the baby’s body moved? Will Angela get closure?

The story becomes exciting & intense as Kate’s in depth investigation will come across more secrets along the way.  Emma’s emotional stability plays a major part of the ongoing story, which will introduce us to many of the other characters we get to meet, all whom were living near the site a decade earlier.  I loved the character of Kate, who was an awesome and caring reporter.  Her persistence and determination will help bring out the truths.

Once we get past the first quarter, which leads the way into meeting the main characters, it was such a captivating story.  I could not put the book down, as I needed to know what happened. What a tangled web it weaves.  To tell too much more would be spoilers.

The Child was an awesome thriller, with some great characters, and many amazing twists.  Fiona Barton has written a fantastic story, and I loved how things came to a very good and satisfactory conclusion.  Certainly not like most the psychological thrillers we have read that leave things to the imagination.  If you enjoy thrillers, The Child is a must read.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

THE CHILD by Fiona Barton

*One of Publishers Weekly and Bustle’s Most Anticipated Books of 2017*

*A TIME “Top 10” Summer Thriller*

*Pre-publication exclusives featured by Entertainment Weekly and theSkimm*

*Praise from Lee Child, Shari Lapena, and Clare Mackintosh *

*Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal*

*A June 2017 Library Reads Selection*

 

Fiona Barton credit Jenny LewisThis summer FIONA BARTON is back with a second novel that proves lightning can strike twice.

Barton’s 2016 debut, The Widow, was an instant global bestseller, captivating readers around the world and setting the publishing industry abuzz.

The highly-anticipated release of THE CHILD (Berkley Hardcover; June 27, 2017) reaffirms Barton’s growing reputation as a writer of rich, character-driven suspense novels. Like Tana French, Louise Penny, and Megan Abbott, Barton’s stories do more than thrill: they explore the complexities of a changing world.

The Widow delved into the secrets that exist within a marriage and the reporter’s role as voyeur. Here Barton continues to mine those themes. THE CHILD tackles the 24/7 news cycle, and lays bare the intricacies of a different but equally fascinating relationship—mother and child.

Says Barton: “The emotions, responsibilities—and the pain—of motherhood are unique to each of us with children. Ask any woman and she will have her own story to tell.”

In a working class neighborhood of London, construction workers make a grisly discovery: the long-buried remains of a baby. When a newspaper mention reveals the find, most readers barely give it a glance. But for two women, its threat to unearth hidden stories is impossible to ignore. For veteran reporter, Kate Waters (introduced in The Widow), it sparks the question “Who would bury a baby?” and starts a hunt for the truth about the nameless child. The story unfolds via the women’s alternating perspectives to eventually reveal: Who is Building Site Baby?

In fact, it was the allure of a hidden story that propelled Barton to her long-time career in news. A journalist and British Press Awards “Reporter of the Year,” she has worked at the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph, and brings that experience to bear in her novels.

In THE CHILD she details how Kate’s lengthy investigation into Building Site Baby’s death represents a perilous breach of the newsroom’s new culture of 24/7 online news. Says Barton: “The danger for Kate is that she risks becoming one of the dinosaurs—sidelined because she is unable and unwilling to be part of the revolution. And I feel for her.”

Though THE CHILD delivers an evocative look at the changing face of journalism, and a delicious plot twist, it is the characters’ haunting and rich emotional lives that set Barton apart and confirm her stature as a crime novelist of the first order.

Visit Fiona Barton online at fionabartonauthor.com and on Twitter @figbarton. Join the conversation using #TheChild.

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