Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

Books Read Recently (Novels Edition)

Classic Murder: Mr. Romance
by Mary Martinez
Published by Siren-BookStrand

Adam enjoys a lifestyle most men only dream of. Then one day he wakes up to find the morning headlines blaring, "Another victim falls prey to Mr. Romance. Who is next?" He suddenly realizes his way of life is not only frivolous, but deadly.

Dubbed Mr. Romance by New York society for his romantic adventures, Adam Fernando Russo loves women. But lately he realizes how lonely it is coming home to an empty house. Can he settle for only one woman? After he makes a list of qualities worthy enough to merit giving up his desirable existence, suddenly recipients of his coveted attention mysteriously fall prey to a murderer. The murders seem unrelated with one exception--all the victims have recently returned from a fabulous weekend rendezvous with Mr. Romance.

Adam’s assistant, Katie Sinclair, knows Adam is innocent with airtight alibis. The police are at a loss so Adam and Katie work together to discover the link between the murders. As luck would have it, their plan to prove the murderer is copying classic Cary Grant movies goes astray just as Adam realizes his perfect woman has been by his side all along.

I won this one before Christmas, although I then had a wait until it was released towards the end of January. I liked Katie a lot as a character, although I wanted to know more about the incident in her past that caused her to avoid relationships. It's hinted at when she's with her friends, but never fully explained. On that subject the fact that she had a varied group of friends, and also a characterful dog, sold her to me even more.

I found Adam harder to pin down, although he got points for noticing Katie even when she was trying hard not to be noticed. My real issue with the story was the chapters from the murderer's point of view, especially way we were sold the murderer as mad rather than simply bad. I'd have preferred a similar motive, shown in a rational, if wrong, train of thought.

Not my favourite of the author's novels, but not one that's put me off reading others either.

Pieces of Eight
by John Drake
Published by HarperCollins Publishers
Print book
ISBN 9780007268962

The second in the rip-roaring adventure series of 'Treasure Island' prequels for fans of 'Pirates of the Caribbean' Once comrades-in-arms, now sworn enemies, Joseph Flint and Long John Silver have a score to settle. Marooned on a remote Caribbean island with his loyal crew and a fortune in buried treasure, Silver awaits the return of the man who left him there. In order to defeat Silver and claim the island back as his, Flint will need to raise an army -- no easy feat for the man most wanted by the Royal Navy. But with disease running rampant on the Island and the net closing on Flint, time is running out for both men. But who will survive -- and who will get the gold?

I picked this up at the library pretty much the day I returned the previous book in the series. This time we see something of Flint's childhood, Selena comes into her own (and isn't the only female character with an important role to play), and there are multiple plot twists as one or other character temporarily gets the other hand. I'll be borrowing the next one as soon as I read a few of my other library books.

Lessons in Power
Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, Book 4
by Charlie Cochrane
Published by Samhain Publishing Ltd
Print book
ISBN 13 9781605048154

After settling in their new home, Cambridge dons Orlando Coppersmith and Jonty Stewart are looking forward to nothing more exciting than teaching their students and playing rugby. Their plans change when a friend asks their help to clear an old flame who stands accused of murder.

Doing the right thing means Jonty and Orlando must leave the sheltering walls of St. Bride’s to enter a labyrinth of suspects and suspicions, lies and anguish.

Their investigation raises ghosts from Jonty’s past when the murder victim turns out to be one of the men who sexually abused him at school. The trauma forces Jonty to withdraw behind a wall of painful memories. And Orlando fears he may forever lose the intimacy of his best friend and lover.

When another one of Jonty’s abusers is found dead, police suspicion falls on the Cambridge fellows themselves. Finding this murderer becomes a race to solve the crime... before it destroys Jonty’s fragile state of mind.

And so I continue to devour charliecochrane's wonderful series. Some thoroughly nasty pieces of work in this one, and I found myself keenly awaiting their comeupance. The plot had some lovely unexpected twists, and once again the supporting characters were obviously getting on with their busy lives when not on the page. I'm now halfway through the series, but maybe there'll be another one not too long after I finish those available so far...

The Winter Garden Mystery
by Carola Dunn
Published by Constable and Robinson
Print book
ISBN 9781845297466

So who put the body in with the spring bulbs? The merest hint of spring has arrived in Cheshire, and so has young reporter Daisy Dalrymple. The feisty flapper's visit is a breath of fresh air for gloomy Occles Hall. But while photographing the rather barren grounds, Daisy spots that someone's been digging among the first green shoots - and much to her horror unearths the corpse of missing parlour maid Grace Moss. So begins an extraordinary adventure, as first the dead woman's shocking secret is revealed and then Daisy swiftly realizes she needs to catch the killer before she herself is left pushing up the daisies.

Currently I'm consuming Daisy's adventures like a big bag of Haribo. Daisy continues to shock her peers by consorting with the lower orders, notably DI Alec Fletcher, and also by encouraging her friends and their siblings to rebel in no small manner themselves. This particular book wins on many levels, especially when it comes to the minor characters!
Tags: ebooks, print books, reviews
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