Tour’s Books Blog

September 24, 2016

ON SALE To Be Released EBOOK – Belle Chasse -UPDATE!

Filed under: Sale,To be released — toursbooks @ 5:44 pm
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Belle Chasse, the latest installment of the Sentinels of New Orleans by Suzanne Johnson is right now on sale on Amazon in ebook for only $2.99 Regular price, $16.99. You’ll never get it cheaper, so grab while you can. Release date 11/6

Apparently, this price is only good for those who bought the HC book, which I did some while ago.  Why it is back (HC and ebook) at full price is now explained – well, the ebook part.  I have no clue why the print book price is not discounted.

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May 31, 2016

More Books – Playing Catchup with Short Reviews

SAD NEWS:  Jim Laverne, widower of Joyce Laverne, died suddenly on May, just a few months after his wife of 44 years passed away.  Jim and Joyce were prolific authors of cozy mysteries under a variety of names, paranormal mysteries,  and other books.  Alas, many of their series will never wrap up now, but we have a large collection of books to enjoy in their memory.

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Yes, I read too much.  SIGH.  Here are some short reviews for MORE BOOKS.  Gad.  I’ll need a part time job just to support my habit soon.

The latest in the Novel Ideas series by Lucy Arlington, Off the Books, was a ho-hum effort that was too formula and predictable.   I won the book on a PBS game because I’ve stopped buying the series.  I hate being able to write a plot in my head within pages of starting a book.

Writing quality is good and characters and some depth, but nothing special.  No ‘oomph’ factor.  Off the Books gets a dull C (3*).  Not good, not awful, just blah.

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Melissa F Olsen is one of those decent, yet not exceptional, UF writers that live in the area where their books are good, but never reach rave review territory.  Boundary Born, the third and possibly last or the Boundry WItch series, wraps up the primary story arc of ‘Lex’ Luther, one of the adopted twin daughters of the Luther shoe fortune.  Her twin, Sam, died in an accident and Lex should have died in the deserts of the Mideast, but survived, much to the puzzlement of the military doctors.  Back in Boulder trying to get over PTSD and spend time with her niece, she learns she’s a witch.  Not just any witch, a boundary witch that deals in death.  In book 1, Boundary Crossed, she learns what she and her niece are and the plot to kidnap the child ends up in an unexpected place.  In book 2, Boundary Lines, she battles an ancient magical creature eating random hikers and other poor souls and uncovers a plot to break a compact that ended a war between vamps, witches, and shifters.  In book 3, Boundary Born, she battles yet another problem – someone killing vamps with an ancient form of belladonna.  And it all turns back to Lex’s undiscovered parents – until dear old dad shows up on her porch.  What happens from there is part personal discovery and part action thriller.

Basically, the whole series is about Lex’s finding of who and what she is as well as the evolution of her powers.  I read Boundary Born as a free ARC in ebook and it’s a good read, wraps up a whole bunch of questions, but the series felt unfinished.  Judging by the afterword, Olsen is leaving room to revisit these characters in the future despite saying the series is wrapped.

Boundry Born gets B- (3.6*) from me and read only if you’ve been following the series.

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Book 1 and 2 in the Geek Girl mysteries (not to be confused with the Lexi Carmichael books) and feature’s Mia Conner’s Falls, her hippy parents, mini-mogul grannie she helped make rich and her sex-obsessed sister and brother-in-law who basically get grants to do studies on things sex related.  A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder starts with some kind of hacking issue that has mysterious emails going to residents in an exclusive gated community of mostly retired folks – including her grandmother.  Despite being well to do thanks to her computer skills setting and running an online store for grandma’s homeopathic beauty aids, she lives in kind of a dumpy place in town and drives to work – to find a huge pick-up taking her space and then some.  The truck and obnoxious owner turn out to be the strangely over-qualified new head of security.

The mystery that unfolds ends up centered around Mia herself.  All the emails setting up fake appointments and such are just a prelude to other events involving her off-beat family and grannie’s all natural skin treatment business.  The ending is a mix of obvious and odd – with more obvious than anything.

In A Geek Girl’s Guide to Arsenic, Grannie’s very business is threatened when police and Ren Faire goers all think the death of a arist is linked to their products.  The ex-security head, real FBI agent, now US Marshall (Yeah, I don’t get that either), so once again, with her family involved, Mia gets nosey and does her own investigation – easy to so when you’re Queen Guinevere and someone burned Grannie’s business set-up at the Faire.  With an endless supply of costumes for various community events where she works, and running the online store for grannie and the IT department for the community, you wouldn’t think mia had enough time meddle in an investigation – but you know you’re wrong.  The resolution is once again an odd mix of good and bad as the victim is revealed as a person in Witness Protection as well as a womanizer and a likable scoundrel (possibly cheat) who pretty much screwed everyone – ummmmm – physically and financially.

A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder and A Geek Girl’s Guide to Arsenic are both quick, decent reads that try to be too complex and too simple at the same time.  It’s like the author isn’t quite sure where she’s going with all this.  Parts are very well dome and then segues into a side road that has nothing to add to the story or characters.  Despite being fairly decent compared to the paint by numbers cozies out there, both get a C+ to B- rating (3.5*) and suggested reads for those tired of the trite cozy books.  I bought and read both as ebooks.

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The latest installment in the Neurotic Hitwoman series has a LOT going on.  The story of her sister Darlene.  The truth about Patrick, Maggie’s nutso mom once again breaking out of the home, thanks to her criminal father, and Katie having a major meltdown over not having a real mommy.  The Hitwoman and the Mother Load was more about family and friends than Maggie’s part time job as a hit woman.

JB Lynn writes a fast paced book that crams a lot of different stories into a fairly short novel and as usual has a neat hook at the end.  This one is kind of hard to discuss without giving the key plot elements away, but I can talk about Katie acting out at school over not having a ‘real’ mommy and the suggestion both maggie and Katie see a psychologist for counseling.  (Which end hysterically.)  Finding out the truth about Patrick was painful, but seemed inevitable for the last few books so not dramatic.  Angel is taking a bigger role, but that leaves Maggie in a quandary given the fact she does work for his gangster uncle.

The Hitwoman and the Mother Load is solidly plotted, has good characters, and breakneck pace.  It gets B (4*) from me and highly suggested for readers of this series or the Housewife Assassin books.  Purchased as a Kindle ebook.

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I have been waiting FOREVER for the latest Addison Holmes book to be released and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot was a little disappointing given the wait.  Like many ebook series, this suffers from what movie makers would call ‘continuity gaps’, that is mixed up details about people, events, and other things, that tend to be distracting.  The last Steph Plum book was riddled with them, so somewhere editors are not doing their jobs.

The story itself isn’t bad, basically, it’s a very clever con game that Addison isn’t aware of.  She and her Great Aunt Scarlett – who is a hoot and the best part of the book – and Rosemarie try balancing a real case and special assignment as half payment for a tricked out van for surveillance.  I like the surprise ending for the bad guy.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot gets a C+ to B- (3.5*) because it was sloppy in continuity and plot, but entertaining enough that I could forgive most of it.  Purchased as a kindle ebook.  Like the Neurotic Hitwoman series, this id for those who enjoy humorous mystery.

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The paid or mysteries by Kait Carson features a SCUBA diving paralegal who gets mixes up in murders.  In Death by Blue Water  protagonist Hayden Kent is recovering from a sudden break-up with her live-in boyfriend when she goes diving to clear her mind and instead finds a body caught in a wreck she’s dived dozens of times before.

It gets more complicated when the body turnout to the older brother of her ex and she becomes suspect #1.  Many of the supporting characters don’t get fleshed out much here, but the plot has good twists and turns and an unexpected outcome – rare for a near cozy style mystery A little heavy on the whole migraine thing and SCUBA diving, but very decent first book and a nice departure from the all too predictable cozies.

Book 2, Death by Sunken Treasure, the mother of a friend, and her kind of surrogate mother, Dana Kirby, a museum operator, finds her own son’s body floating in the reeds near the ferry dock as she heads to work on Pigeon Key.  She and her son had a recent falling out and becomes a suspect.  More importantly, her son made a major treasure find and was a very, very experienced diver, so she is convinced, despite the police claiming his pain-killer drug addiction and diving lead to an accidental death.

The sheer number of characters involved make following the plot a bit of a challenge at times as she keeps introducing more and more variables with people and lies that are hard to separate from truth, an ex-wife and ex-boss (who lost his fortune to Mike in a workplace accident lawsuit), now lovers, seeking a share of the treasure, partners telling different stories about what Mike owned and who had title to the treasure – and more deaths – including twice nearly dying herself.

Once again, despite the sometimes rambling plot and overuse of migraines, the culprit is a surprise.  The plot unspools in a choppy fashion and is only tied together at the end, but once again, it was better than the typical cozy and the mid-Keys setting is a big draw for me.

My grades are Death by Blue  Water is C+ (3.4*) and Death by Sunken Treasure is C+ to B- (3.6*).  Since she has to create a whole new base of characters, I will buy book 3 and see how she manages the transition.  Good reads, but not great.  Far better than the typical cozy and worth the ebook price.

April 12, 2009

Coming Soon!

Filed under: ebooks,Editorial,To be released — toursbooks @ 2:03 am
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I’m reading several books at once, as usual.  Here’s what’s coming soon to the blog:

Revenge of the Spellmans – Lisa Lutz’s third book in the humorous mystery series.  The mystery is just starting get a little traction about page 100, but who cares.  the Spellman family is worth the price of admission.  UPDATE: Review posted

Murder of a Royal Paine – on the top of the TBR pile and next in line.  Love Denise Swanson and her neat little cozies.  UPDATE:  I knew who did it and why by page 19 and stopped reading.  Went on the same pile as Dead Silence.

Beyond Heaving Bosoms – The Smart Bitches non-fiction analysis of their favorite form of fiction – the romance.  Over half way thru and I can say I’d recommend it to any romance reader in a heartbeat.  UPDATE:  Review posted

The Immortal Hunter – the book that follows The Rogue Hunter reviewed this week.  The opening picks up right where Rogue Hunter ended.  I’m only a few chapters in and it looks to remain darker than the lighter, breezier and charmingly funny Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands.  Have a feeling the fans may not be pleased and I’m not sure she’s mastered this style well enough to carry it off.  UPDATE: Review posted

Cyborg Revolution – a 5 book erotic futuristic series by Kaitlyn O’Connor.  I’ve finished all the books and all that’s left is the review.  Since it’s a full series, I will do it separate from the monthly erotic romance roundup.  UPDATE:  I’ll get to the review, I promise!

Shadow of Power is the newest by Steve Martini and was just released in paperback.  At the top of the pile after Denise Swanson.  UPDATE:  Still on the pile.

Maverick is the latest Elite Ops book by Lora Leigh.  I’ve had kind of mixed reactions to the books in this series from ‘this is so stupid’ to ‘this is really good’, so I have no idea what to expect.  Only one chapter in and hard to tell how I’ll feel, but someone has already died – murdered by an assassin.  UPDATE:  Still sitting there.  I am so not in the mood for one of her angsty heroes.

SPQR XI – Under Vesuvius is waiting none too patiently and I need to get it read and up to my brother, so it is now near the top of the TBR.  John Maddox Roberts writes a good Roman mystery and I know I’ll be buying and reading the new Lindsey Davis book when it’s released in May.  Like I need more books.  UPDATE: Review posted

Dead Silence – Yes, I’m still trying to work up some enthusiasm for this bestseller.   The reader reviews on Amazon are overall better than my reaction.  I notice a few who see what I do and feel the same way, but we seem to be in a distinct minority.  UPDATE: Still sitting there, mocking me.

My TBR pile is getting totally out of hand.  I blame Amazon and that 4-for-3 promotion and my book addiction.  And I am using the points at Paperback Swap for books.  I’ll put out an update of my experiences there as well.

March 18, 2009

Soon to be released titles of interest

Filed under: espionage/intrigue,General,To be released — toursbooks @ 11:55 pm
Tags: , , ,

It’s that time for a whole raft of new releases that I am anxiously awaiting.  It’s a mixed bag, but mostly mysteries and action thrillers, even an historical mystery is the mix.  Here we go:

One Hot Mess by Lois Greiman

This is the 5th book in Greiman’s series with amateur sleuth psychiatrist Christina McMullen along with boyfriend LAPD Lt. Jack Rivera.  This outing sees her working out the whys behind serial killings.  Looks good.

Release date: 3/24 paperback

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I Shot You Babe by Leslie Langtry

The fourth Bombay assassin novel.  Likely to be funny and interesting.  See my review of Langtry’s Stand By Your Hitman to get a feel for her kind of book.

Release date: None provided paperback

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The Defector by Daniel Silva

Gabriel Allon saves the world again.  It ties into the end of Moscow Rules, so read that one first.  It will be out in paperback in July shortly be for this book is released.   Takes place in London again – where Gabriel is persona non grata.  Action espionage spy thriller.  Allon is an assassin for the Mossad.

Release date: 7/21 hardcover

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Murder of a Royal Paine by Denise Swanson

Skye Dennison finds the body of the Wicked Witch – or at least she’s dressed like one.  It’s the pushy mom of the Halloween prom queen – who was also dressed as the Wicked Witch.  Is the right witch dead?  A cozy with a sense of humor.

Release date: 4/7  A TOP PICK AND MUST BUY paperback

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Breaking Loose by Tara Janzen

The last of this set of the Steele Street series?  It all started with her Crazy series and now her popular Loose series all centered around certain recurring characters with new ones being added.  Romantic suspense action thriller.

Release date: 7/28  A TOP PICK AND MUST BUY Paperback

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Alexandria by Lindsey Davis

Marcus Didius Falco, my favorite wise cracking Roman private inquiry agent, is taking his lovely wife Helene Justinius and family on vacation to Alexandria, Egypt.  Too bad even in the time of Vespasian, murders happen and Falco is left putting the pieces together.  A favorite series and favorite author.  Historical mystery.

Release date: 5/12 A MUST BUY Hardcover

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Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child

The last few Jack Reacher outings were big disappointments, but this one looks promising.  Takes place in NYC and has Reacher working with shadowy government agencies.  Action thriller.  I was so disappointed in his last 3 books,  I’ll wait and see what the first reviews are like before ordering.

Release date: 5/19   Sure bet bestseller Hardcover

NOTE:  Lee Child is the new President of The Mystery Writers of America – the folks who award the Edgars.  Click here for 2009 nominees.

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