Friday, July 29, 2016

The Black Dove by Steve Hockensmith

This is the third book in the Holmes on the Range series. I've written about the first one here and the second one here.

So far I have been utterly in love with these books. This one though, I didn't love quite as much. Don't get me wrong: its great. I am more than happy that I've read it, and I will continue on with the series. My mixed feelings haven't swayed me that far. It's just... this book left me wanting.

The Black Dove is set in Chinatown and it involves a lot of the same characters from the previous novel. The Amlingmeyer brothers are still on the hunt for a job with some private detectives when they come across an old friend who ends up dead and they need to solve the murder.

This book runs over the course of about a day and a half. There's a whole new cast of characters (and a couple of old ones) that find the brothers heading into trouble without a whole lot of planning or direction. Old Red sniffs out clues and gets to detecting in the way of Sherlock Holmes as he's done since book one, and Big Red stands by to render aide whenever necessary.

It was fun and exciting like the other ones, but it wasn't the same. I think it was possibly because the situations they found themselves in were so crazy and slapped together that it lost plausibility for me. The ending was quite unexpected though, and that redeemed it a bit for me.

Recommendation: Overall, not a bad book, but if you were interested in this series, then I would recommend that you don't start with this one. Read the first two before this one for sure. Then you will know what I really love this series.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Thanks to the wonders of Instagram and Twitter I have discovered some pretty cool authors before I've even had the pleasure of reading their work. Victoria Schwab was one of them. I had heard of her before I found her online, but I didn't really look into her books.

A couple months ago I picked up another one of her books, but recently, I had been keeping an eye on the upcoming release of this book. When it came out, I made a trip shortly after it's release to pick it up and I didn't put it down till I had finished.

I loved this book. It didn't feel at all like a teen novel to me. Yes, it's about a girl and a boy who are still of high school age. It's about good, evil, monsters, and the troubles of the world. It's dark and exciting, and it draws you into a whole other reality. It's great.

It was a little more violent then I thought it would be, but it didn't bother me. I wasn't really sure what I was expecting but I will say I wasn't disappointed. The characters felt wise and more mature then their age. I had no problems getting into the story.

As for the monsters, they were pretty darn interesting. I love an interesting monster. Perfect amount of cause and effect in this book, that's for sure.

At the time I read it I thought it could make a really cool movie and I am super happy to hear that I'm not the only one as it's now being made into a movie! I couldn't be more excited!

Since finishing this book I have found myself needing to collect her other works. I have two others on my shelf and two others coming in the mail. I just think she is a great person and a great author and one I am happy to support! (pretty darn inspirational too!)

Recommendation: This is for the strange, the dark, the lover of monsters. This is a story about a boy and a girl and how their lives will change everything. This is a book that needs to be read.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

This is the third in the Cormoran Strike mysteries by Robert Galbraith (otherwise known as J.K. Rowling).

I enjoy these books. The mysteries are great, they are always so different then the last, and I can never figure them out before the end, which I love. This one all about Cormoran's past when someone sends his partner Robin Ellacott a severed leg to the office. He must delve in deep to catch someone from his past before they can do any more damage to anyone, including Robin.

The one thing that does bug me about these books is that it takes me what feels like forever to finish them! I don't know what it is, but I can't read these quickly. I've tried too. Doesn't happen. It's something about her writing that takes me so much longer to get through. That's a good thing in a way, but when the TBR is a mile long and you wish you could simultaneously read 4 books at once, it is kind of a pain.

There better be a new one and it better be soon because the ending has left me with so many questions and I seriously need answered. Not about the mystery, but about the main characters and their lives. J.K. Rowling creates such an awesome story with such complex and interesting characters that you just can't get enough of.

Recommendation: If you read the first two, read this. If you haven't read any of these books yet, please please please do. They are made for the lovers of stories and the lovers of a good mystery.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

On the Wrong Track by Steve Hockensmith

This is the second book in the Holmes on the Range mysteries by Steve Hockensmith. This series follows two brothers nicknamed Old Red and Big Red who are living out in the wild west in 1893.

This book finds the brothers in search of work, preferably of the detecting variety. They stumble into work protecting the Pacific Express train from robbers. Sounds easy, but when a dead body pops up, they find themselves stuck on a train with a murderer. There are more twists and turns on the rails that anyone could have foreseen. Old Red really gets his time to shine "detectifying".

These books are full of slang, old time style talk, and old west ways. This book in particular made me laugh out loud quite a few times. It was just great. Perfect combo of humor, mystery, and story that kept me riveted to my seat. I had such a hard time putting it down, and I devoured it pretty quickly. I've already taken the next one out of the library and it's up next after I finish my current read.

I love these books. On my favorites list for sure!

Recommendation: For the lovers of funny, old time, western style, Holmes type mysteries. You seriously need these in your life!

For your viewing pleasure, here are some outtakes! My dog Indy was just dying to model apparently, so I gave in and let him do his thing!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Murder on a Midsummer Night by Kerry Greenwood

I cannot explain how excited I was to find this book at the library. Well, that I was able to find any books in this series at the library.

Let me explain: If you enjoy watching murder mystery type t.v. shows on Netflix (or on actual t.v.) you may have come across a show called Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. The show (and books) follow the activities and cases of a female detective by the name of the Honorable Phryne Fisher living in Australia in the late 1920's.

She may be an aristocrat but that doesn't mean she doesn't have a heart of gold. She's got style, panache, and killer smarts. She dresses like a diva but has been known to wear pants, and even carry a little gun when needed. She's progressive for her time, seeing no need in getting married, and she has a lover or two on the side.

There's a whole side cast of characters that help her out in all her cases, mostly people she's rescued in some way or another. There's Dot her companion, Bert and Cec who do odd jobs and run a taxi, and Detective Jack Robinson who is always there for her when she needs him.

As a lover of the t.v. show I was absolutely delighted to find out that reading one of the books feels exactly like I was watching a show. Every time I had to put the book down, it felt like I was pushing pause on an episode of the show. Can I just say I am totally in love!?

This book was actually book #17 in the series. This book finds Phryne investigating both an apparent suicide of a man on the beach and a missing child. There's lost treasure, strange people, a seance, and a heatwave kicking up its heels. Somehow she manages it all with the flair that I've come to love from the show.

I'm not going to lie, I will be writing about each and every one of these books that I can get my hands on at the library, or in general! They are just fabulous!

Recommendation: If you love murder mysteries with a 1920's Australian/English vibe following a fantastic aristocrat, then do not walk, run to your local library and grab these. You will not be disappointed. Also: watch the show on Netflix. Please. Just do it. You will love it!!