Category Archives: Novella

Book Review: “Deep Cover”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Leo J. Maloney http://leojmaloney.com published the novella “Deep Cover” in 2020. Mr. Morgan has published more than a dozen novels. This is the eighth book in his Dan Morgan Thriller series.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review.I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence. The primary characters are Black Ops agents Dan Morgan and Peter Conley.

Morgan and Conley are in Turkey to free a scientist from being held in prison. They are posing undercover as arms dealers. They have a deadline for their mission. They need to extract him before his missile guidance system knowledge can be traded. North Korea wants it in exchange for nuclear weapon secrets.

After a shootout with police and a high-speed chase, they find themselves held in the same prison. The plan is for their other team members to compromise the prison computer system. That should facilitate their escape. Of course, nothing ever goes by the plan.

I enjoyed the 2+ hours I spent reading this 114-page thriller. This is one of those thrillers that is fun to read. Just don’t think too much about the plot or reality. This is the fourth book by Maloney that I have read (Rogue CommanderDark Territory, and War Shadows). The others were also in the Morgan series and have been consistently enjoyable. This one was a little shorter than previous books in the series. I like the chosen cover art. I rate this novella as 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).

Book Review: “Enola Holmes”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Nancy Springer https://www.nancyspringer.com published the book “Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche” in 2021. This is the seventh book in her Enola Holmes series. This book was released today, August 31, 2021. She has published more than 50 works.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this book as ‘G’. The primary character in the book is teen Enola Holmes. The much younger sister of the famous Sherlock and Mycroft.

As young as she is, Enola is a very independent woman and every bit as smart as her older brothers. She has also inherited her brothers’ intelligence and powers of deduction. A young woman, Letitia Glover, shows up asking for Holme’s help. Glover received a letter from her brother-in-law that her twin sister had died. She has been unable to learn anything from the widowed Earl of Dunhench. Glover wants to know what happened.

While Holmes does not seem overly interested, Enola jumps into the investigation. She is soon undercover in the Earl’s household. She discovers that the Earl’s first wife also died under unusual circumstances. Enola is sure that there is something amiss.

I enjoyed the 3.5+ hours I spent reading this 259-page period mystery. The book is short. The book is more of a novella than a novel. The book does read much like the original Sherlock Holmes stories. But this mystery is not too difficult. Ms. Springer mostly targets young adults so that can be somewhat expected. If you have access to Netflix you will find their production of an Enola Holmes mystery movie. I do like the chosen 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).

Book Review: “Keep Calm and Carry On, Children”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Sharon K. Mayhew (https://skmayhew.blogspot.com) published the novella “Keep Calm and Carry On, Children” in 2019. This is her first publication.


I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novella as ‘PG’ because it contains a few scenes of Violence. The story is set in the UK during late 1940. The primary character is eleven-year-old Joyce Munsey.


Munsey and her eight-year-old sister Gina survive a German raid on London during the Blitz. Their parents decide that the girls need to leave for a safer location. They become part of the Operation Pied Piper exodus in September of 1940. Their destination is Leek, Staffordshire in the West Midlands of England.


On the long train ride to their temporary home, the girls meet two other children, Sam Purdy and Molly Neal. They are both about Joyce’s age. The Mumsey girls and Molly end up with caring foster families. Sam ends up with a man that just wants him for farm labor.


The kids all end up in Leeks and are able to continue their friendship. The kids stumble upon men involved in the black market. This puts them in a dangerous situation.


I enjoyed the 2.5+ hours I spent reading this 157-page young adult mystery. The mystery is ‘lightweight’, but that seems appropriate for a young adult book. I like the view of WWII as seen through young adults’ eyes. Clearly, this seems to be the start of a series of books describing the kid’s adventures. I like the selected cover art. I give this novella a 4 out of 5.


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


If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

  • The “World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 490 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.
  • The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.
  • The About WWII page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Book Review: “Walking to Aldebaran”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Walking to Aldebaran” novella was published in 2019 and was written by Adrian Tchiakovsky. He has published nearly two dozen novels or novellas.

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 the near future. An object has been detected at the far reaches of our solar system and an international group of astronauts is sent out to investigate.

The primary character, Gary Rendell, is part of the group to land on the object and begin its exploration. When the team is attacked Rendell flees and is lost in the labyrinth tunnel system. He must find a means of survival as he wonders the tunnels. The tunnels hold what he thinks are other explorers trapped on the object. The object seems to have many entrances and exits at many different points in space.

The time wondering alone begins to affect Rendell, then he finds the heart of the object and goes through a transformation, or at least he thinks that he does. By the time he finds his fellow humans, he has changed.

I thought that the 3 hours I spent reading this 105-page science fiction novella were interesting. I found this to be a very strange read. Had it been longer, I would probably have called a Rule of 50 and just dropped it. It mostly deals with Rendell slowly going insane. This is not one that I would recommend. The cover art is OK. I give this novella a 3.4 (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: “Arctic Adagio”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Arctic Adagio” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by DJ Cockburn (https://cockburndj.wordpress.com). This is Mr. Cockburn’s second publication.

I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’.

Superintendent Rex Harme is providing security on a luxury cruise ship that is above the law. When one of the wealthy passengers goes overboard under suspicious conditions, he must begin thinking like a detective again. He has little time though as it is rumored that much of the crew, including him, will be let go as soon as the ship docks.

I found the 1.25 hours I spent reading this 55-page mystery/thriller interesting. I think better cover art could have been chosen. 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).

Book Review: “Aether’s Call”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Aether’s Call” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by John Farr. This is Mr. Farr’s first publication.

I received a copy of this novella through a promotion by the author. I categorize this book as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in the future with the primary character being Roy the cook on the new Earth spacecraft Starr.

Roy was conscripted onto the Starr. The only job he could perform was as the cook and even that he has trouble with. Everything he attempts ends in failure and Starr’s Captain is ready to dispose of Roy out an airlock. Back on Earth Roy’s ex-wife, Cynthia is conspiring with a scientist. Together with the science officer on the Starr, they are plotting to take down their government.

I spent 2+ hours reading this 158-page novella. It has all of the misconceptions of space travel one might associate with science fiction written in the ’40s or ’50s. The plot was confusing and I don’t think much of the major characters. It does have nice cover art, but the art has little to do with the story. I give this novel a 2 out of 5.

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

Book Review: “Victoria Marmot and the Shadow of Death”

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Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Shadow of Death” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). This is Ms. McClain’s sixth publication. This is the third in her “Victoria Marmot” 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 and quite a bit of Mature Language. The story is set in an alternate universe to our one. One with magic and creatures of fantasy. The primary character is 17-year-old Victoria Marmot.

This story picks up shortly after the second novella in the series (“Victoria Marmot and the Inconvenient Prophecy“) ends. When the story resumes, Marmot is being held captive on a deserted ‘Hell’ world with the ‘squirrel demon’ and is fighting to survive.

Marmot must escape. Then she must rescue her comrades again. There isn’t so much a plot for this novella as there is the overall plot for the series. This is mostly just a continuation.

I thought the 3+ hours I spent reading this 250-page young adult fantasy were interesting. I still think the characters are a little crazy. There are no details, but Marmot is still sexually attracted to the same pair she hooked up within the last novella. I do like the 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).

Book Review: “Victoria Marmot and the Inconvenient Prophecy”

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Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Inconvenient Prophecy” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). Ms. McClain has published six novels or novellas. This is the second of her “Victoria Marmot” series.

I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novella as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Situations, and considerable Mature Language. The story is set in our contemporary world, but in an Alternate Timeline where magic is possible. The primary character is seventeen-year-old Victoria Marmot.

The story picks up almost immediately from where the first novella “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess” left off. Victoria and her brother, along with their friends, continue to battle with the Ministry of Magical Entities (MOME). Victoria not only learns a great deal more about her magical abilities, but she also finds that she has some rather deep attractions to both a boy and a girl she has met. That attraction proves to be reciprocated and the three eventually have a very intimate moment together.

I thought that the 4+ hours I spent reading this 222-page young adult fantasy were interesting. Both of the novellas I have read so far in this series have been a bit crazy. The character of Victoria Marmot is not one that I am drawn to. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novella 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).

Book Review: “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess”

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Book Reviews – “Victoria Marmot and the Meddling Goddess” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Virginia McClain (http://virginiamcclain.blogspot.com). Ms. McClain has published six novels or novellas. This is the first of her “Victoria Marmot” 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 lots of Mature Language and some Mature Situations. The story is set in the contemporary US, but one that has magic. The primary character is seventeen-year-old Victoria Marmot.

Marmot has just begun her Senior Year at a new school in Flagstaff, AZ. She is living there alone in the house that her parents left her in their will. She is struggling to get through the first day in a new school when things start to go strange in a big way. While camping alone Gwen, a beautiful redheaded girl, pops up naked at Marmot’s campsite saying that she is Virginia’s “Narrator”. Then there is Edik, the young man in her class that turns out to be a vampire.

From that point, the story of Marmot’s life really begins to get crazy and she begins a quest. She finds she has magical abilities. She discovers that she has a sibling. She is attracted to both a boy and a girl that are helping her.

I thought that the 3.5+ hours I spent reading this 269-page young adult fantasy were interesting. The character of Victoria Marmot is colorful. She does make a good main character, though she is far from what I would call normal. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.5 (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).

Review of “Murder in Keswick”

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Book Reviews – “Murder in Keswick” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by William Todd. Mr. Todd has published seven novels and novellas.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novella as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the late 19th century in England. The primary characters are, of course, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.

Watson and Holmes are attempting to get away from London and their constant load of cases. Traveling to the Lake District is supposed to let them relax, but when they arrive they discover that a local has been found dead and his head is missing. They soon find themselves drawn into the strange case.

Was he murdered by the gypsies in the area? By a business competitor? By some other party set to reign terror on the local community? Only Holmes will be able to discover the who, and why of the murder.

I enjoyed the 3+ hours I spent reading this 178 page mystery. I read almost every novel with Holmes and Watson as the main characters I can find. This one is consistent with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s own stories.  The cover art is OK. 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).