Review of Mistaken Identity by Norah McClintock

Mistaken Identity
By Norah McClintock

Star Rating: 
Genre: YA Mystery

Number of Pages: 192

Date Started: June 12, 2017
Date Finished: June 13, 2017

Synopsis: (From Back of Book)
Sixteen year old Zanny Dugan isn’t sure anymore. Terrible things are happening in her life — things like murder and suicide — and she can’t figure out why. Now it turns out her father isn’t who she thought he was. And if your father is a stranger, then who are you? Zanny’s dead set on finding the answer — even if it seems the whole world doesn’t want her to know the truth.

Review:
My goodness. This book was like all of McClintock’s books I’ve read thus far: amazing. There was mystery and plenty of twists and turns. While I didn’t trust Nick AT ALL because he was fishy, I fell for the detective’s story. I loved Everett Lloyd, he was awesome. So was the neighbor lady, as well as Edward.

Though Zanny didn’t know anything about her dad’s past, and she regretted not knowing him better, it seems more common than one would think. When growing up, especially during the teenage years, parents aren’t going to tell children every little detail about their lives, their interests, and certainly not about mischievous things that children may be inspired to recreate.

I’d definitely recommend this book.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Norah McClintock has won an unprecedented five Arthur Ellis Awards for Crime Fiction for Mistaken Identity, The Body in the Basement, Sins of the Father, Scared to Death and Break and Enter. McClintock has also been nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award for her non-fiction title Body, Crime, Suspect; No Escape was nominated for the White Pine Award; and Hit and Run was nominated for the Red Maple Award in 2004.

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Review of No Escape by Norah McClintock

No Escape
Chloe and Levesque Mysteries
By Norah McClintock

Star Rating: 
Genre: YA Mystery

Number of Pages: 235

Date Started: April 30, 2017
Date Finished: April 30, 2017

Synopsis: (From Back of Book)
When Caleb Darke is released from prison, nobody in town wants him back. Nobody will even give him a chance–except Chloe. She’s sure he didn’t commit the crime he was convicted of.

The trouble is, how is she going to prove it? And if Caleb didn’t do it, who did? Because that person is going to do everything possible to keep Chloe from finding out…

Review:
I was completely hooked from the first line of this book. I loved that Chloe believed there was a mystery while everyone else thought the mystery was long past solved. The characters were well developed and had deep motivations. While I had figured out part of one of the mysteries involved, I was completely wrong and had no idea about the second, which I quite enjoyed.

I’d definitely recommend this book.

Author Biography: (From Amazon)
Norah McClintock has won an unprecedented five Arthur Ellis Awards for Crime Fiction for Mistaken Identity, The Body in the Basement, Sins of the Father, Scared to Death and Break and Enter. McClintock has also been nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award for her non-fiction title Body, Crime, Suspect; No Escape was nominated for the White Pine Award; and Hit and Run was nominated for the Red Maple Award in 2004.

Review of Miramont’s Ghost by Elizabeth Hall

Miramont’s Ghost
By Elizabeth Hall

Star Rating: 
Genre: Mystery, Gothic Mystery
Number of Pages: 334

Date Started: February 19, 2017
Date Finished: March 1, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)miramonts-ghost
Miramont Castle, built in 1897 and mysteriously abandoned three years later, is home to many secrets. Only one person knows the truth: Adrienne Beauvier, granddaughter of the Comte de Challembelles and cousin to the man who built the castle.

Clairvoyant from the time she could talk, Adrienne’s visions show her the secrets of those around her. When her visions begin to reveal dark mysteries of her own aristocratic French family, Adrienne is confronted by her formidable Aunt Marie, who is determined to keep the young woman silent at any cost. Marie wrenches Adrienne from her home in France and takes her to America, to Miramont Castle, where she keeps the girl isolated and imprisoned. Surrounded by eerie premonitions, Adrienne is locked in a life-or-death struggle to learn the truth and escape her torment.

Reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, this hauntingly atmospheric tale is inspired by historical research into the real-life Miramont Castle in Manitou Springs, Colorado.

Review:
The characterization in this novel could not have been any better. The depth of which the characters felt, and their motivations were astounding. While some characters seem completely “bad” and unsympathetic, it’s explained why that might be so.

However, once all the pieces have been set in play, about 35% of the novel is about the continual torrent of bad things that happen to our main protagonist. With a title like Miramont’s Ghost no one expects everything to be happy and cheerful, but the end offered no resolution for the heroine, instead letting the characters who dished up the torture get away with all they had done. This is a story where the bad guys win. Surprising enough, that isn’t where the story ends, and we’re left thinking that Adrienne deserved so much better.

elizabeth-hallAuthor Biography: (From Amazon)
Elizabeth Hall spent most of her life in the mountains of Colorado. She has worked as a teacher and communications consultant, including hosting, writing, and producing the radio show Heart of the West (KRZA, Alamosa) and producing an oral history compilation for the Great Sand Dunes National Park. She now lives in the Pacific NW.

Review of Of Fate and Phantoms by C. J. Archer

Of Fate and Phantoms
The Ministry of Curiosities Book 7
By C. J. Archer

Star Rating: 
Genre: Fantasy
Number of Pages: 128

Date Started: January 25, 2017
Date Finished: January 27, 2017

Synopsis: (From Amazon)of-fate-and-phantoms
As Charlie and Lincoln’s lives settle into a harmonious pattern, a new threat arises that could have far reaching effects for the royal family and Lincoln’s parents. When a seer warns the Prince of Wales that his life is in danger, only Charlie and Lincoln take her seriously. After all, what sensible person would believe a gypsy who claims the danger will come in the form of the prince’s dead father? A meeting at the palace sets them on a path that takes Charlie back to her old haunts in the London slums, on the hunt for a man who can change his appearance. The new threat is their most dangerous yet, but for Lincoln, the biggest concern isn’t confronting the shape-changer or meeting his parents for the first time, it’s whether Charlie will put his engagement ring on her finger.

Review:
Ah, my favourite literary couple, how I get to join your life once more. This book, like the others in the Ministry of Curiosities series, was wonderful. There were a few editorial errors but that in no way diminishes from the storyline.

I loved that we got to see more of Gilly’s wife and see how Lincoln and Charlie would try to help someone who is different, like them, yet in a horrible position. I absolutely loved getting to see Charlie in action again, doing the boyish things she once did, even though she’s put on some weight so she isn’t quite as slender as before, and that no matter what’s happened, Charlie still cares about her gang and wishes she could do more for them. There were a lot of secondary characters and side plots going on, but I felt that added to Lincoln and Charlie’s dynamic.

It is great to see Lincoln trust Charlie’s judgments and allow her to help him on cases. While it is nice to see Lincoln become more man and less mechanic, in some ways it seems he is becoming a completely different person altogether. It would have been nice for them to have a few more scenes of development, but I was quite pleased with the interactions between the two throughout the novel, and I quite love the ending.

cj
Author Biography: (From Amazon)
C.J. Archer has loved history and books for as long as she can remember and feels fortunate that she found a way to combine the two. She has at various times worked as a librarian, IT support person and technical writer but in her heart has always been a fiction writer. While she has written historical romance in the past, she now writes exclusively in the historical fantasy genre (with a large dose of romance). She has several series which occur in the same Victorian-era “world”, one after the other. Each series can be read alone, but it’s more fun to start at the beginning with THE EMILY CHAMBERS SPIRIT MEDIUM TRILOGY. Follow that up with all 9 FREAK HOUSE books, then the MINISTRY OF CURIOSITIES series. GLASS AND STEELE, her newest series, is set in an entirely different alternate Victorian London.

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Review of Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris

Dead Ever After
Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood 13
By Charlaine Harris

Star Rating: 
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy

Number of Pages: 368

Date Started: January 24, 2016dead-ever-after
Date Finished: January 25, 2016

Synopsis: (From Amazon)
When a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, Sookie will learn that what passes for the truth is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough…

Review:
Insert random series of events that rip Eric and Sookie apart. Oh, look, suddenly all the humans care about Sookie and she’s considered human again. While I did enjoy seeing Amelia and the household full of people, I would have liked it better if that was the main plot and shoving Eric on a bus wasn’t the second major decision of the novel.

How did the ending of the book make you feel? I’m glad you asked. I saw from the beginning that Sookie would end with the person she did, but I am more frustrated than anything that, after seeing her run from guy to guy, get swept up in the romance and such, that she decides that she doesn’t want to “go fast” and has to “take it slow” which, from the look of the epilogue, essentially kills all romance whatsoever, really. We heard way too much about “not that anyone asked me to marry them” and “I WANT BABIES” in subtext for the epilogue to be even a touch satisfying.

At least Pam got what she deserved. That’s something.

 

charlaineAuthor Biography: (From Amazon)
For information on Charlaine Harris, please view her Amazon author page here.

Review of Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Deadlocked
Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood 12
By Charlaine Harris

Star Rating: 
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy

Number of Pages: 352

Date Started: January 23, 2016
Date Finished: January 24, 2016

Synopsis: (From Amazon)deadlocked
Felipe de Castro, the vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town. It’s the worst possible time for a human body to show up in Eric Northman’s front yard—especially the body of a woman whose blood he just drank.

Now it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s set out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.

Review:
Eric’s becoming more and more engrossed in vampire politics while Sookie tries to hold on. As always, Sookie has more enemies than we are aware, and there is a definite friction between Eric and Sam like there is between Sookie and Jannalynn.

While Sookie is trying to figure out her future she’s also learning more about herself, that she can be devious and ruthless, and that she’s smarter than she’s usually given credit for.

Unfortunately, things are not well in Sookie relationship land, and Sookie refuses to do anything to try to solve it. I get that before Bill she had no relationships, but seriously, between having had a few in the past years of the book series, having female friends to chat with, and being able to buy a Cosmo magazine like any other girl (not to mention the supposed long list of romance novels Sookie has read) one would expect she would have some idea how things were done, and not act like a prepubescent girl.

charlaineAuthor Biography: (From Amazon)
For information on Charlaine Harris, please view her Amazon author page here.

Review of Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Dead Reckoning
Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood 11
By Charlaine Harris

Star Rating: 
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy

Number of Pages: 368

Date Started: January 23, 2016
Date Finished: January 23, 2016

Synopsis: (From Amazon)dead_reckoning_novel_cover
With her knack for being in trouble’s way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover, Eric Northman, and his “child” Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows…

Review:
This novel is starting to get the series back on track, and I love it for that. I love the continued work on relationships between Sookie and others, particularly the development of her friendships with Sam and Pam. I was glad to FINALLY see Bill again, since we heard about him in the last couple of novels but it was more a passing mention. I’m not certain Bill actually loves Sookie or is more infatuated with the idea of her, but we’ll see in the long run.

I love the fae connections in this novel, though I wish we had gotten to see more of them and learn whatever they are up to, which is likely the plot of the next novel.

I was quite disappointed that Sam’s brother’s wedding, which has been mentioned in I believe three books, was completely glossed over and nothing said about it except a few brief mentions that Sookie went with him.

While I think Sookie still has to do quite the bit of introspection to figure out who SHE is and what she feels/thinks/believes, it was nice for her to be there for Tara and to have a really human moment, and it was especially nice to see that some supernaturals can appreciate those basic life moments too.

charlaineAuthor Biography: (From Amazon)
For information on Charlaine Harris, please view her Amazon author page here.