31.7.15

SLAVE TO SENSATION, by Nalini Singh

1/psy-changeling series, paranormal romance. Futuristic, set one hundred years ahead, in a divided world where the somewhat-human, ruling Psy have obliterated emotion from their race through early-childhood conditioning. Sascha Duncan, daughter of a ruthless Psy Council member, is sent by her calculating mother to oversee a tradition-breaking Psy-Changeling building project. Lucas Hunter, part leopard, outwardly human, finds the supposed Psy a challenge he must meet. But Sascha believes she is breaking down, the walls she'd been trained to erect as a child cracking under internal pressure she doesn't understand but knows enough to fear. As the project moves forward, Sascha and Hunter must make choices nobody in their world has ever had to make. It's a 4.
Find the author at www.nalinisingh.com
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WINGS OF FIRE, by Charles Todd

2/series. 1919, post-war England. Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard, as eager to be gone from the building as his supervisor is to send him, goes to Cornwall to investigate the death of three members of a well-known family. As always, he encounters the local police in a surly mood. The small town where the family dominates is also unwelcoming. But Rutledge, a veteran of the endless brutality of the Somme, carries an even greater burden: Hamish, a sergeant he unwillingly killed, and who now travels as with him as his personal demon. The circumstance of the double suicide puzzles Rutledge, particularly when he learns the female victim is one of the poets who helped him live through the war. The surviving family, one of whom had petitioned Scotland Yard for review, intrigues the inspector, and he begins digging into the complicated family history. As the clues mount up, Rutledge is faced with an improbable choice that, if true, will endanger even more people. It's a 5, the relationship between Rutledge and his demon both chilling and fascinating.
Find the author at www.charlestodd.com\
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18.7.15

THE QUEEN'S DWARF, by Ella March Chase

Handsome Jeffrey Hudson, born in 1612, never grew past 18" due to a pituitary disorder. Sold by his brutish father to the ambitious, conniving Duke of Buckingham, Jeffrey was placed in the household of England's Queen Henrietta Maria., wife of King James. Despised by the populace for being French and Catholic, the teen-aged queen was surrounded by enemies, especially her husband's dearest friend, handsome George Villiers, the amoral Duke of Buckingham, and Jeffrey's spymaster.  Click below for more...

17.7.15

THE IMPOSSIBLE DEAD, by Ian Rankin

A Malcolm Fox novel. Introduced in a previous Inspector Rebus novel, Inspector Fox is a member of The Complaints, the hated and feared department based in Edinburgh that investigates bent coppers. Sent out of town to investigate a sexually abusive cop whose own uncle, a retired cop, blew the whistle on him, Fox find that the tale goes back decades, to 1985. As always, there is an earlier crime, and Fox must find survivors to find the truth. At the rate they keep dying – including the whistle-blowing retiree – he's got a serious problem to hand. As always, Ian Rankin has given us a tense, complex, multi-layered, atmospheric mystery starring a new, and eventually sympathetic, cop at the helm. It's a 4. Find the author at www.ianrankin.net
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14.7.15

HELL, by Robert Olen Butler

Thought-provoking, compelling, diabolical, surrealistic, nuanced, gritty, scary, hilarious. TV personality Hatcher McCord dies and wakes up in Hell, announcing the evening news, which is even more stupid and pointless than what he did in real life (announcing the evening news). He is married, or in love with, Anne Boleyn, who yearns only for – but can't find – Henry VIII. Their neighbors will spend all eternity in their tacky, slummy apartment, repeating the same stupid, pointless arguments they spent their live lives engaged in. Hatcher is compelled to greet them and listen to their idiocy. Day and night cycles unpredictably. People are torn apart and reconstituted on a regular basis. Hatcher's chauffeur is speed demon Dick Nixon, who mows down whole streets of pedestrians. Who of course suffer agonies until they are reconstituted. Nobody could have come up with a more...devilish...novel. It's a gripping, tortured 5.
Find the author at www.robertolenbutler.com
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LUCKY US, by Amy Bloom

1938. "My father's wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us." With typical Amy Bloom unsparing precision and unpredictability, Eva Logan tells us her life story, a melange of pleasure and pain, of surprise and inevitability, of love and disappointment, and always with stunning prose where every word is exactly what and where it ought to be. Eva has a half-sister Iris, beautiful and cynical and talented; she wants to go on the stage. Eva's father is the quintessential gentleman: he's so polite, so charming, nobody ever argues with him, even when he's being a complete shit, which is pretty much all the time. When all else fails, he can play a butler. All else does fail, and he does play a butler. This is a 5, a marvelous story sure to charm, horrify and outrage you. And, of course, it is very funny.
Find the author at www.amybloom.com
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6.7.15

WHEN MAIDENS MOURN, by C. S. Harris

7/series set in Regency England starring Sebastian St. Cyr. A promising archeological career - and Sebastian's honeymoon - is cut short when the body of a young Englishwoman, Gabrielle Tennyson, is found floating in the moat surrounding her work site. Gabrielle, good friend to Sebastian's new wife Hero, had been excavating a Roman ruin which might also have been Arthurian. Drawn into the investigation at Hero's insistence, Sebastian discovers clues leading him into direct conflict with his new father-in-law, a close and powerful advisor to the self-indulgent Prince Regent. Click below fore more...

5.7.15

DUSTY DEATH, by J. M. Gregson

9/series starring Chief Inspector Peach and his efficient sidekick, Detective Sergeant Lucy Blake. As always, humor abounds, making this a fun as well as absorbing read. Peach's conversations with his idiot boss are priceless. In this story, a wrecker's ball demolishing an area of abandoned houses reveals the dessicated corpse of a woman. As Peach and Blake investigate, they soon learn the victim;s identity and that she lived with five other people in the building after it was abandoned and turned into a squat. Tracking the five down offers Peach and Blake a myriad of possible murderers: click below for more, but no spoilers...