Saturday, February 23, 2013

Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels #4.5) by Ilona Andrews

Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels, #4.5)Magic Dreams by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Magic Dreams originally appeared in the anthology Hexed.

From New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews comes a tale of darkness, desire, and werecats.

Alpha Pack leader Jim Shrapshire has always been the strong, silent type. But something has come over him--a magic force currently residing in one of the Pack's headquarters. Were-tigress Dali Harimau has always wished she could get Jim's attention--but now he needs her help.

Stricken with a magic-sickness, Jim needs Dali's flair for magic. And to save him, she must challenge a powerful, dark being to a battle of wits.

Includes an excerpt of Ilona Andrews's upcoming novel in the world of Kate Daniels, Gunmetal Magic, available in August 2012.


I can not say enough about how much I love this series. These novellas just make it so much better. I love these little peeks into the lives of the characters that I have gotten to know and love from this series.

In this novella we read about Jim, second only to Curran in Alpha status, who has inadvertently been caught in a dark magic curse that is killing him. He goes to Dali, our vegetarian, half blind, were Tiger, who secretly loves Jim, for help.

The fact that the authors manage to fit so much into such a short novella is amazing, and one of the very reasons that I love this series so much. Love the relationship between Jim and Dali and can not wait to see more of them in upcoming books.

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Valentine Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery #5) by Leslie Meier

Valentine Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery #6)Valentine Murder by Leslie Meier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s Valentine’s Day in Tinker’s Cove. And while the cupcakes Lucy Stone is baking for her children will have pink frosting and candy hearts, Lucy’s thoughts aren’t centered on sugary sentiments. She’s barely arrived at her first board meeting of the newly-renovated library when Bitsy Howell, the new librarian, is found dead in the basement, shot only minutes before story hour was to start. The agitated board members assume that Bitsy was killed by an outsider, until Detective Lt. Horowitz arrives on the scene and announces that the killer is among them.

Lucy was already aware that Bitsy’s uppity big city ways rubbed some people in Tinker’s Cove the wrong way. But she has a hunch that motives for the librarian’s violent death run a lot deeper. From Hayden Norcross’s elegant antique shop to Corney Clark’s chic kitchen, Lucy relentlessly snoops into the curious lifestyles and shocking secrets of Tinker’s Cove’s most solid citizens—secrets that will plunge her into a terrifying confrontation with a conniving killer…


Another fun Lucy Stone mystery. I enjoy these books because Lucy lives in a small town very similar to mine. The mystery was okay, lots of possible suspects.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Back to School Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery #4) by Leslie Meier

Back to School Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #4)Back to School Murder by Leslie Meier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



It’s back to school time in the peaceful Maine town of Tinker’s Cove, and for mother-of-four Lucy Stone it isn’t a moment too soon. But trouble at the local elementary school soon has the sometime crime-solver juggling family, job, and night classes with another mystery to solve. And it starts with a bang.

A bomb goes off with the noon lunch bell, but not before all the kids are safely evacuated, and Carol Crane, the new assistant principal, is hailed as a hero. But days later, Carol is found murdered and everyone is stunned when the most popular teacher at the school is arrested for the crime. However, not everyone is buying the open-and-shut case, including Lucy Stone, who senses there’s more to things than meet the eye.

It soon becomes clear that Lucy is flirting with danger, as sizzling secrets and explosive surprises provide a primer for the most diabolical of motives. Hot on the trail of a clever killer, the dedicated mom and seasoned sleuth must harness the courage and cool aplomb to uncover a crime that just might give her an education in the fine art of murder.


Being from a small town similar to the one that Lucy Stones lives in and being employed in the education system, I found this book more interesting for that aspect, than for the actual mystery. I found it interesting how the author managed to portray the very real to life atmosphere of a small town. The prejudice and bigotry that you find in small towns. Suspicion of anyone different or from 'elsewhere'. I also found the whole negative attitude towards schools, teachers and the education system to be realistic as well. Especially from folks who never set foot in a school besides dropping their children off there in the mornings.

Overall I enjoyed the book. I figured out Carol Crane prior to getting half way through the book and the 'whodunit' was a bit rushed and lackluster. Lucy's husband is a neanderthal. But overall I do enjoy reading the Lucy Stone mysteries. I like the fact that Lucy is a real life mom and woman who faces all of the real challenges that women face today.

My favorite line was when Lucy stated that her family viewed her as 'just another kitchen appliance.' What mother can not relate to that feeling.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Blackout (Cal Leandros #6) by Rob Thurman

Blackout (Cal Leandros, #6)Blackout by Rob Thurman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When half-human Cal Leandros wakes up on a beach littered with the slaughtered remains if a variety of hideous creatures, he's not that concerned. In fact, he can't remember anything-including who he is.

And that's just the way his deadly enemies like it...

This is the second book in this series that I really did not care much for. The entire book was made up of philosophical waxing by Cal. "Is Cal good or bad?" How the author managed to keep that line going throughout the entire book baffles me. What little action (one of the things that I loved about the earlier books) in this book was dull and almost an afterthought. I really hope that the next book in this series takes me back to the Cal Leandros books that I loved about this series. Such a shame when an author turns such a good thing into a ho hum book.

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