The Further Adventures of Mac McClellan!

May 14, 2015 at 11:01 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

5129Niw-m5L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Deadly Ruse
Author: E. Michael Helms
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Genre: Mystery/ Suspense
Length: 237 pages

Retired marine, private eye, sexy girls, whiskey, drugs, diamonds, casinos, the good ol’ South… what more could you ask for in a genre crime novel?

I enjoyed my second adventure with Mac McClennan. Despite the self-depricating B-movie references to its own plot points, closing a Mac McClennan book always leaves me wanting more Mac.

Of course, Mac has women fawning over him and his older gentleman charm. His girlfriend can take care of herself, but still finds it in herself to swoon into a faint in the opening chapters. Our heroes tote guns, our villains are scum. It’s all around good, fast-paced fun set in the sun, with just the right amount of danger.

I look forward to Mac’s next adventure, since he’s on the verge of being an official P.I. now…

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E. Michael Helms Does It Again

November 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , )

deadly catchTitle:Deadly Catch

Author: E. Michael Helms

Genre: Mystery

Length: 207 pages

I always have fun reading an E. Michael Helms novel – but this latest one was by far the most fast paced.  MacArthur McClellan is clever, well-trained, and his personality is as snugly as a bear.  I enjoyed tromping through crime scenes and fishing sites with him and his side kick Just Kate Bell.

Although I’m pro-legalization of marijuana and found myself rolling my eyes at some of the locals when they discovered someone “they thought they knew” smoke marijuana or ate a marijuana brownie, the story was filled with all sorts of memorable characters and crazies.

The bookstore I work out of most often is near an international airport.  I find myself selling flight reads more often than not.  I highly recommend this for a quick domestic flight.  I also think it would behoove the airport bookstores to carry it in stacks.

I also really liked the character of Bocephus Pickron, especially his first name.  I can’t discuss my thoughts on him further without giving away too many spoilers.  I’m looking forward to seeing what investigations Mac will stumble into next and wonder how many of these weekend mysteries Helms has in his back pocket.  I think he could write Mac mysteries for years… I’d read them.

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Like Calligraphy

January 30, 2014 at 2:36 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

Voltaire's CalligrapherTitle: Voltaire’s Calligrapher

Author: Pablo De Santis

Publisher: Harper

Genre: Fiction

Length: 149 pages

You know it’s been a rough week when you’ve managed to 1. worry your best friends 2. drive your husband batty 3. inadvertently offend your readers 4. write not one, but two overly pouty blog posts and 5. manage to take a whole week to read 149 pages.

Especially when those 149 pages are so delicious.

Not just delicious, witty and divine.

De Santis doesn’t just write about calligraphy and a master calligrapher.  He manages to make his words sound like calligraphy.   And his story is woven with the same sly craftiness as runaway ink.

Normally, I would recommend someone read this in one sitting over a cup of the best dark coffee blend they have.  I didn’t do that.  I spent a week sucking down a chapter at a time – and his chapters are only a page to three at best.

There are castles and print shops, automatons, and poisonous fish… dark corners and forbidden candlelight… Oh my! What terrifying fun!  You won’t regret diving into the adventure.

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My Favorite White Whale

December 5, 2013 at 3:05 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Harbinger of EvilTitle: Harbinger of Evil

Author: Meb Bryant

Genre: Crime Fiction/ Mystery

Length: 248 pages

I met Meb Bryant at her book signing at Half Price Books Humble in October.  She’s a lovely lady, sweet, professional, wonderful conversationalist.  She left with me a signed copy of her book to review for my blog.

I feel terrible that somehow the book ended up in my manager’s stash cube in the warehouse at the store (how completely unprofessional of me).  Yes,  a little bit terrible because I feel like I should have gotten a review ready for the author sooner – but mostly selfishly terrible because I denied myself this reading experience for two whole months! Words of wisdom, don’t do that… read Meb Bryant’s work NOW.

Between Dutton sending me Elizabeth George’s latest work, a very full Halloween month of book signings, and the general mood of my year – I’ve read a lot of crime fiction this year.  A lot more than usual, anyway, I think.  Bryant’s crime work is the best of 2013 – no exaggeration – and I’ve read some really good ones.  John Oehler is excellent, Elizabeth George always nails character development, Pamela Triolo has a grip on a genre all her own (healthcare mysteries with a registered nurse solving the mysteries), but Meb Bryant blew me away.

I adore Richard Mobey, aka Mobey Dick, he’s my favorite white whale.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him, watching him build relationships with the other characters in the novel, witnessing his snotty banter, and finally experiencing him unravel the mystery and put all the puzzle pieces together.

I love the back drop of the novel, there’s no exaggeration with the tagline: New York Crime Meets New Orleans Voodoo.  In all my reading history, this is my favorite ‘voodoo’ piece.   I can’t think of a better novel set in the French Quarter.

If I had my way Detective Richard Mobey would have a series longer than Inspector Lynley’s, but I have a feeling I won’t be getting my way.

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