Tag Archives: ebooks

Book Review – The Nidderdale Murders

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – J. R. Ellis https://www.jrellisyorkshirewriter.com is the author of nearly 10 novels. The Nidderdale Murders was published in 2020 and is the fifth book in his Yorkshire Murder series. It is the 29th book I completed reading in 2023.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is DCI Jim Oldroyd.

There has been a grouse hunt on the moors. Later, Sandy Fraser, a retired judge, is shot and killed outside the local inn. Fortunately, there is a witness to the murder. At least, that is what it first looks like. There does not appear to be any reason why the identified shooter should want Fraser dead.

As Oldroyd investigates, he finds more to Fraser than first thought. He had enemies, and the estate he had purchased was in financial distress. When a second man is shot a week later, Oldroyd knows there is more to the story.

I enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 303-page mystery The novel is part of a series, but it can be read stand-alone. I have already read and enjoyed a later novel in the series, Murder at St. Anne’s. This was a good British mystery. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 4.4 (rounded to 4) out of 5.

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

Book Review – Caspian’s Fortune

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Eric Warren is the author of two dozen novels. Caspian’s Fortune was published in 2019, and is the first book in his Infinity’s End series. It is the 28th book I completed reading in 2023.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is Caspian Robeaux.

Robeaux was once on track for a successful military career. He had been XO of the Sovereign Coalition of Aligned Systems starship Achlys. But then he was court-martialed as part of a government cover-up. Now he is barely able to sustain himself flying the odd mission for Veena.

Lt. Commander Evelyn Diazal of the Coalition approaches Robeaux. She has been ordered to take him back to Coalition Space. The Achlys has disappeared, and the Coalition wants Robeaux to help recover it.

Robeaux desperately wants to avoid returning to the Coalition. He is behind in repayments to Veena, and she will not easily let him off. He must decide which is the lesser evil.

I enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 287-page science fiction novel. This was a good space opera novel. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.

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

Book Review – Albanian Assignment

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – David Smiley https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Smiley is the author of three books. Albanian Assignment: The Memoir of an SOE Agent in World War Two was published in 2020 Originally published in 1984). It is the first volume in his Extraordinary Life of Colonel David Smiley series. It is the 27th book I completed reading in 2023.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this book as R.

In 1943 as a member of SOE, David Smiley was dropped by parachute into Greece and made his way to Albania. This book is his memoir from that assignment.

He spent much of his time in the field dealing with the mostly communist partisans and the rebels. They often fought each other as often as they fought the Germans. He was forced to deal extensively with the politics of the region.

I enjoyed the 6 hours I spent reading this 216-page WWII history. I find that memoirs from the war period are always interesting. They usually give a personal perspective on the period. I like the vintage photo used as the cover art. I give this novel a rating of 3,7 (rounded to 4) out of 5.

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

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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 610 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 frequently 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – The Girl in the Cabin

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Stacy Green https://stacygreenauthor.com is the author of more than 20 novels. The Girl in the Cabin was published in 2023 and is the third novel in her Lucy Kendall crime series. It is the 26th book I completed reading in 2023.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is Private Investigator Lucy Kendall.

The body of a 16-year-old girl has been found in a remote Maryland cabin. The evidence left implies that serial killer Mary Weston is behind the murder. Kendall has been after Weston for months. The bodies of three more girls are found as Weston taunts the authorities. Suddenly Chris disappears. He has been Kendall’s close friend and is Weston’s son. Now he is in the killer’s hands and his life is in danger.

Kendall is no stranger to danger and death. She has stalked and dispatched child molesters that have evaded the justice system. Law enforcement suspects her, but so far no officers have attempted to prove her connection with murder victims. With Chris’s kidnapping, she must subject herself not only to the scrutiny of local police but to the FBI as well.

While the search for Chris continues, much of his and Weston’s background comes to light. Kendall is contacted by Weston. She is to meet alone with Weston. There seems no other hope for recovering Chris. Will Kendall be able to free Chris? Will she survive the confrontation with Weston?

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 296-page mystery. This is the third novel by Stacy Green that I have read. The others were The Girl in the Pink Shoes and Little Lost Souls. Those are the first two novels in the Lucy Kendall series. All three have been good mysteries. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 4.4 (rounded to 4) out of 5.

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

Book Review – Lost Girl

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Holly Kammier http://hkammier.com is the author of three novels. Lost Girl was published in 2019. It is the 25th book I completed reading in 2023.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this novel as R.

Shelby Day is a 22-year-old small-town Oregon TV reporter. Two local young girls, Melissa Rossi and Daphne DeLuca, are the victims of fatal stabbings. Day is drawn to the case because the two women were about her own age. The lure of an unsolved double murder and the chance to help her career motivates Day to investigate.

Most of the time, Day is accompanied by her Native American cameraman Jack. They are close friends and slowly begin to grow into something more. He wants to protect her, but Day is headstrong and determined to proceed. As much as she likes Jack, she doesn’t want romance to get in the way of her career.

Day talks with the friends and family of the victims. Even though she is warned to drop the story, she continues to pursue it. Before long, she begins to fear that she might become the killer’s next victim.

I enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 292-page young adult romantic mystery. The Day character is a brave, headstrong, and career-focused young woman who often puts the story above her own safety. The chosen cover art is simple, but I like it for this novel. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.

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

Book Review – Stealing the Crown

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – TP Fielden (pen name for Christopher Wilson http://www.christopherwilson.info/) is the author of 7 novels and 8 biographies. Stealing the Crown was published in 2020, and it is the first in his Guy Harford Mystery series. It is the 24th book I completed reading in 2023.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to some violence, I categorize this novel as PG.

During the Blitz of 1941, Major Edgar Brampton is found shot dead in his office at Buckingham Palace. While the authorities say the death was suicide, Brampton’s co-worker Guy Hartford has doubts. He had only been working there for a few weeks before the tragedy. In the resulting environment of rumors and conspiracy theories circulating within the Palace staff Hartford begins his investigation.

He soon finds himself in unusual company for his inquiries. He meets the attractive East End burglar Rodie Carr. He also is supported by postman Rupert Hardacre. A man with a questionable past. Their investigation is hampered as there is no apparent motive for Brampton’s death.

I enjoyed the 9+ hours I spent reading this 316-page WWII period mystery. I enjoy mysteries set in this period. This one is full of political intrigue and suspense. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 4.4 (rounded to 4) out of 5.

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

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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 610 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 frequently 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – Midnight Strikes

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – This is the first publication by author Zeba Shahnaz https://zebashahnaz.comMidnight Strikes was published in 2023. It is the 23rd book I completed reading in 2023.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as R. The primary character is seventeen-year-old Anaïs.

She is reluctantly in the capital at the palace for the Anniversary Ball. Her mother is hopeful that she will find a husband. She just wants to go home. Her life takes a turn for the worst when, at the stroke of midnight, explosions, tear through the palace. Many are killed in the blast and ensuing fire. Armed troops swarm through the wreckage. Anaïs has but moments to take it all in before she dies.

The next thing Anaïs knows, she wakes up in her bedroom the afternoon before the ball. She dies again that night. And the night after. And for many more. She tries to warn others, but no one believes her. Anaïs begins to investigate during those short hours between waking up and the inevitable palace bombing.

Slowly she discovers many hidden facts. The royal court, the nobles, and commoners hide discontent and conspiracy. If Anaïs is ever to live beyond midnight, she must determine who is behind the bombing and stop the plot. She learns a little bit more each time she relives the day of the ball.

In the many repeated hours reliving the ball, she dances with and ultimately confides in Prince Leo. Over their repeated afternoons before the ball, the two collaborate to discover who is behind the attack. They also find themselves becoming entangled romantically.

I enjoyed the 13 hours I spent reading this 443-page young adult fantasy. The plot was enjoyable and had a few good twists. The chosen cover art is dark and dull, but it does imply the fantasy within. I give this novel a rating of 4.4 (rounded to 4) out of 5.

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

Book Review – Fleet Elements

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Walter Jon Williams http://www.walterjonwilliams.net/ is the author of nearly 40 novels. Fleet Elements was published in 2020 and is the second in his Praxis series. It is the 22nd book I completed reading in 2023.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to mature situations and mature language, I categorize this novel as R.

The Praxis, a mix of humans and aliens, is what remains of the Shaa empire. It has succumbed to civil war, and the humans are not doing well against the aliens. Captain Gareth Martinez and Lady Caroline Sula lead the hope for human survival. They were once lovers, but now Martinez is married to Lady Terza Chen. She is the daughter and heir of Terran Lord Chen.

Martinez and Sula have a chance to lead humanity through the crisis. They must overcome the politicians, the military, and the fanatics. They must also resist the renewed attraction that is pulling them back together. Sula is also threatened by her secret past.

I enjoyed the 12.5 hours I spent reading this 509-page science fiction novel. While this novel can be read standalone, you should read The Accidental War first. This novel did end abruptly. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5

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

Book Review – The Fire and the Darkness

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Sinclair McKay is the author of more than a dozen books. The Fire and the Darkness: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945 was published in 2020. It is the 21st book I completed reading in 2023.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to minor scenes of violence, I categorize this book as PG.

It was mid-February of 1945 when British and American bombers targeted Dresden. The first half of this book paints a vivid picture of life in Dresden in the years before the attack. The author touches on the artistic, musical, and scientific achievements of the city. Dresden was a sophisticated and international city. It was full of beautiful architecture and historical buildings. The stories of a variety of Germans are recorded. Old and young. Workers and artists. Civilian and Nazi officials.

One wave of bombers after another hit the city between 13 and 15 February. Nearly 1300 heavy bombers of the RAF and US Air Force participated in the attack. They dropped nearly 4000 tons of bombs and incendiary devices on the city. The author describes the attack and aftermath from the resident’s experiences. The aftermath of the raid and the rebuilding efforts while Dresden was part of East Germany is described.

The firebombing of both German and Japanese cities raised controversy at the time. The debate continues on the ethics of the raids. With the war rapidly approaching an end, was the raid justified?

I enjoyed the 12.5 hours I spent reading this 386-page WWII history. This book is very readable and gives a different perspective on the war. I like the chosen cover art. I give this book a rating of 4 out of 5.

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

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

  • The “World War II Resources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 600 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 frequently 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. Included are links to many fiction and non-fiction books on WWII that I have read and reviewed. There are also links to WWII oriented podcasts.

Book Review – Sirocco

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Dana Haynes https://www.danahaynesmystery.com is the author of seven novels. Sirocco was published earlier this month and is the second book in his St. Nicholas Salvage & Wrecking series. It is the 20th book I completed reading in 2023.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence and mature language, I categorize this novel as R. The primary characters are former New York City cop Michael Finnigan and former Spanish assassin Katalin Fiero. Together they are St. Nicholas Salvage & Wrecking.

The St. Nicholas team is based in Cyprus and specializes in quietly finding people. They have been engaged to find a terrorist bomber. He has already killed, and more attacks are feared. As they pursue their target, they encounter obstacles from unexpected sources.

The successful Sooner Slye and Rydell LLC, which has extensive diplomatic protection contracts, comes to the attention of the St. Nicholas team. Their interest does not go overlooked. Finnegan and Fiero soon find themselves a target of Sooner Slye and Rydell mercenaries.

Will the two be able to find the terrorist before more people die?

I enjoyed the 9.5+ hours I spent reading this 433-page thriller. This is an excellent novel. The plot is clever and will captivate the reader with unexpected twists. This novel is filled with action, suspense, and intrigue. While it is the second book of a series, it reads well on its own. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 5 out of 5.

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