Category Archives: Mystery

Book Review: “Lost and found”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Orson Scott Card (http://www.hatrack.com/) published the novel “Lost and found” in 2019. Mr. Card has published more than 70 novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in the contemporary US. The primary character is 14-year-old Ezekiel Bliss.

Bliss has had a troubled past. He can sense lost objects and then knows who they belong to. Early on this got him labeled as a thief and is now somewhat ostracized by his classmates.

As he begins his Freshman year of High School, a girl starts following, then walking with him to school. That is how he meets Betty ‘Beth’ Sorenson. Sorenson annoys Bliss at first, but after a while, she grows on him. Bliss gets involved with a group looking at micro powers. He meets others who each have a useless power. A detective who is looking for a missing girl approaches Bliss hoping he can help him find her.

At first, Bliss turns him down, but he eventually decides to help, due much to Sorenson’s influence. Bliss’s abilities don’t work well with finding someone. He has to try various indirect approaches to the problem. Bliss learns what means the most to him when Sorenson goes missing.

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 288-page young adult mystery novel. I have read a few other of Card’s novels and enjoyed them as much as this one. While targeted at young adults, readers of any age will enjoy this novel. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “A Madness of Sunshine”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Nalini Singh (https://nalinisingh.com) published the novel “A Madness of Sunshine” in 2019. Ms. Singh has published nearly 60 novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in Golden Cove on the rugged West Coast of New Zealand. The primary characters are Will and Anahera. Will is the local cop banished to Golden Cove. Anahera the young widow returned to Golden Cove after the recent death of her husband.

Golden Cove attracts tourists during the summer. Tourist season has passed when Anahera returns. She has only arrived when a beautiful and talented local girl, Miriam, disappears. As Will begins to investigate the skeletal remains of another woman are discovered. Speculation is that it is one of the three women who disappeared in the area years before.

Many think Miriama has run off, but those who know her think there has been foul play. Will has so many possible suspects and they are mostly his new friends and neighbors. The more he digs the more secrets he uncovers. Before long Will and Anahera develop an unexpected relationship. The investigation proceeds, but not without danger to them both.

I enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 352-page mystery novel. I like this novel for its unusual setting. This isn’t the most exciting mystery, but it was enjoyable and engaging. I am not a fan of the selected cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “The Girl in the Water”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author AJ Grayson published the novel “The Girl in the Water” in 2019. This is his second novel.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in rural America. The primary character is young and married Amber. She works in a book shop in Santa Rosa, CA, and lives in nearby Windsor.

When she reads of a woman’s body is found the mystery begins to torment her. She has been dealing with terrible headaches. These seem to be getting worse. Her husband David is not being supportive of her.

The more she investigates the worse she feels. She also begins to have doubts about her husband. Is he lying to her? She discovers things about him and herself that would have been best staying hidden.

The 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 307-page mystery novel were interesting. I thought it had possibilities, but for me, the plot was very slow and dull. It did have an interesting twist to it. The story was full of Amber’s mental anguish and told a dark story. I did not reach the end of this novel nearly soon enough. I do not think much of the cover art. I give this novel a 3.3 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “A Murder on Jane Street”

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(See all my Book Reviews) – Author Cathy Cash Spellman (https://www.cathycashspellman.com) published the novel “A Murder on Jane Street” in 2019. Ms. Spellman has published nine books.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in contemporary New York, USA.

Mrs. Wallenberg, an elderly woman is tortured and murdered. Fitzhugh Donovan is a retired New York City Police Chief. He is also the elderly woman’s neighbor. It is he who finds the body. He had visited with the woman hours beforehand. He feels responsible for her death especially after she had shown him a threatening letter.

Donovan discovers that Mrs. Wallenberg had a very interesting past. Soon he has family and some close friends involved in the investigation. The woman’s first husband had been a business leader in Nazi Germany. She had run away from him and found a new life.

The Nazis though were still hunting her. The remnants of WWII Nazi leadership had escaped in 1945 and are now behind a Fourth Reich. An unseen cabal that is rising to world power.

Donovan is driven to solve the murder, but he is also compelled to find a way to protect his family. The Nazis are not happy at his involvement and make that clear to all involved.

I enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 410-page mystery novel. This plot ventures into several genres – mystery, WWII, conspiracy theories, and the occult. I liked the Donovan family and friends’ characters. This appears to be the first in a series and I look forward to reading the next installment. The selected cover art is OK, but a little plain. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “The Warehouse: A Novel”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Rob Hart (https://robwhart.com/) published the novel “The Warehouse” in 2019. This is Mr. Hart’s seventh novel.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains Violence, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in the near future. There are three primary characters. Paxton a new security guard. Zinnia a new picker. Gibson Wells owner of Cloud.

Cloud is the superstore of the future. Think of it as a combination of Wal-Mart and Amazon mega-company. Drones make the deliveries and the store carries everything. Employees live at the massive distribution centers. Each is a small city with entertainment, restaurants, and shops. The company over the years has taken over many government functions. It has also replaced most other businesses.

Wells has found out that he is dying and plans to make a road-trip across the US visiting company facilities. Paxton and Zinnia are new employees at Cloud. They meet during the on-boarding process. Paxton has been a prison guard. Then he briefly had his own business until competition from Cloud forced him to close down. Now he wants to earn enough to get back on his feet.

Zinnia isn’t Zinnia. She is a corporate spy sent into Cloud to find information. Zinnia and Paxton begin a relationship. She is not sure if she is using him or if she has real feelings for him. She has no idea who has hired her.

I thought that the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 348-page mystery novel were interesting. I thought that the plot was off to a good start. Sadly, the book had a disappointing ending. There is only a mediocre mystery. I am not a fan of the selected cover art. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols: Adapted from the Journals of John H. Watson, M.D.”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Nicholas Meyer (https://www.nicholas-meyer.com) published the novel “The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols: Adapted from the Journals of John H. Watson, M.D.” in 2019. This is his 8th novel.

 
I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in 1905. The primary character is Dr. John Watson.
 
Holmes brother, Mycroft, approaches Holmes and Watson. A body found in the Thames was a British Secret Service agent. Documents she was carrying implicate the Jews in a world domination conspiracy. Mycroft asks his brother and the Doctor to look into it.
 
The investigation leads Holmes and Watson on a long journey by rail over the Orient Express. They must tread the dangerous ground of Russia to find the answers. Their journey is not without risk.
 
I enjoyed the 5.5+ hours I spent reading this 244-page Sherlock Holmes mystery. Really, this is more of a low-level spy thriller than a mystery. I do like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Beautiful Liars”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – Author Isabel Ashdown published the novel “Beautiful Liars” in 2019. This is the 7th novel by Ms. Ashdown.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in the contemporary UK. The primary character is TV celebrity, Martha Benn.

When she was a teen her best friends were 17-year-old Juliet Sherman and Olivia ‘Liv’ Heathcote. One day Juliet disappears. Then the day after middle-aged David Crown, a man all three girls know, disappears as well. Police could find no trace of either one. They finally give up the search assuming that the two ran off together.

After nearly 20 years, Benn is going to reopen the investigation. She is part of a new TV program that will look at ‘Cold Cases’ and the first one will be the disappearance of Juliet. She interviews people and discovers new evidence. She hopes to find the truth about what happened to her friend.

Benn talks to old friends and discovers things about her friends she was not aware of. Her investigation does not go unnoticed. Some close, very close to the disappearances are watching her.

I enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 320-page mystery novel. There was the expected suspense, plot twists, and a touch of danger for Benn. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “The Devil and the Deep Blue Spy”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Devil and the Deep Blue Spy” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Tom Savage (http://tomsavagebooks.com). Mr. Savage has published 12 novels. This is the fourth in his “Nora Baron thriller” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. This continues the story of Nora Baron who has joined her husband at the CIA.

This story is about their first mission together. A person of interest, Frenchman Claude Lamont, is taking a Caribbean cruise with his second wife. Nora and her husband are asked to join the cruise and keep an eye on Lamont. Lamont is thought to be funneling large sums of money to terrorists. The CIA thinks he will be making contact with someone on the cruise and the Barons are there to find out who.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 203-page mystery/thriller. This is not an action-filled thriller, but more of a mystery. The plot takes a few twists and turns to end up in a different place than you first might expect. I have now read three of the four (“The Woman Who Knew Too Much” & “The Spy Who Never Was” earlier) Nora Baron novels and have enjoyed them all. If you like a good mystery/thriller without a lot of violence, then you will enjoy these novels. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “The Devil and the Deep Blue Spy”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Devil and the Deep Blue Spy” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Tom Savage (http://tomsavagebooks.com). Mr. Savage has published 12 novels. This is the fourth in his “Nora Baron thriller” series. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. This continues the story of Nora Baron who has joined her husband at the CIA. 

This story is about their first mission together. A person of interest, Frenchman Claude Lamont, is taking a Caribbean cruise with his second wife. Nora and her husband are asked to join the cruise and keep an eye on Lamont. Lamont is thought to be funneling large sums of money to terrorists. The CIA thinks he will be making contact with someone on the cruise and the Barons are there to find out who. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 203-page mystery/thriller. This is not an action-filled thriller, but more of a mystery. The plot takes a few twists and turns to end up in a different place than you first might expect. I have now read three of the four (“The Woman Who Knew Too Much” & “The Spy Who Never Was” earlier) Nora Baron novels and have enjoyed them all. If you like a good mystery/thriller without a lot of violence, then you will enjoy these novels. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “The White Feather Killer “

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The White Feather Killer ” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by R. N. Morris (http://rogernmorris.co.uk). Mr. Morris has published 11 novels with this being the 5th in his “Silas Quinn” mystery series. 

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language, and Mature Situations. The story is set in 1914 London. The primary character is DI Silas Quinn. 

Quinn has finished his recuperation after his last case and has returned to Scotland Yard. He finds that his old team has been reassigned as has he. His Special Crimes Department has been disbanded. Quinn’s new duties are a slap in the face. 

WWI has just begun. Pastor Cardew holds a rally to support the British. The young women of London are urged to hand men not yet enlisted a white feather to ‘urge’ their enlistment. The day after the body of a young woman is discovered with a white feather in her mouth. Initially, Quinn is excluded from the investigation. He sees more in the evidence than those in charge and it is not long before that stirs up more trouble for him. Fortunately, he is not entirely on his own. An arrest is made for the young woman’s killer, but Quinn believes that they have the wrong man. 

Will he be able to find the guilty party and survive at Scotland Yard?

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 288-page mystery. I did think that the book started off slowly. It was not until the 35% point that the murder of the young woman actually takes place. Things, fortunately, pick up from that point until the end of the novel. As you would hope to find in a mystery, there are several twists to the plot. I do like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).