Tag Archives: Mystery

Review of “Crossed Lines”

Book ReviewsShort Stories – The short story “Crossed Lines” was written by Jack Lockwood. This is a quick (10 minute) read of a Mystery short story.

A man phone’s his wife and gets a crossed phone connection. He listens to her talk with her current lover. Most upsetting though is her casual mention of hiring a neighbor to kill him, her husband. While still in shock over what he has heard, the killer shows up at his office.

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Review of “The Case of the Missing Stradivarius”

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Book Reviews – “The Case of the Missing Stradivarius” eBook was published in 2016 (the original paper edition was published in 2009) and was written by Emanuel E Garcia. This is Mr. Garcia’s first publication.

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 ‘G’. The story is set during the heyday of Sherlock Holmes. As you would expect, the primary characters are Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.

A noted violinist comes to London to give a performance, but his rare Stradivarius violin is stolen. He and his wife seek out help from Watson and Holmes to recover the rare instrument.

I was disappointed with this novella. I was really expecting more of a mystery with this 133 page Homes tale. The characters of Watson and Holmes were well represented, but I did not think much of the mystery they set about to solve. The cover are is OK, but I would have chosen something with a violin in it since that was the focus of the mystery. I give this novel a 2.7 (rounded up to a 3) out of 5.

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

Review of “Digging in the Stars”

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Book Reviews – “Digging in the Stars” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Katherine Blakeney (https://katherineblakeneyauthor.wordpress.com). This is Ms. Blakeney’s first publication.

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 is the far future. The primary character is 16 year old Carter Vanadian.

Vanadian, five of her fellow Archeology of Outer Space students and their professor are about to set off on a month long apprenticeship trip. Vanadian’s close friend, Conrad, has recently gone missing while on the planet Thror. Vanadian manipulates the travel reservations so that her group goes to Thror as well.

The planet is a chaotic place with the resident “Furry Giants” hosting visitors in spa hotels with much flirting with the female guests. As Vanadian begins to dig into the disappearance of Conrad, she inadvertently drags the rest of her small group into the mystery. She also finds that there is the real possibility that she may be on the trail of a truly significant archaeological discovery. This knowledge and the efforts to discover what has happened to Conrad do not go without risk to her and the others.

I thought that this was an interesting 10 hour read of a 344 page Young Adult Science Fiction Mystery Thriller. Beyond the fact that Vanadian and her companions travelled to a remote planet in just a day or two, this was a pretty hard to accept story. The basic concept was OK, but to me, the novel was contrived and weak. The cover art is OK, but could have been better. I give this novel 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).

Review of “Remember, Remember”

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Book Reviews – “Remember, Remember” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Anna Elliott (http://www.annaelliottbooks.com) and Charles Veley. Ms. Elliott has published 17 novels and Mr. Veley over a dozen. This is the fourth book in their “Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James 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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the Victorian are of the original Sherlock Holmes. The primary characters are Sherlock Holmes and the young American woman Lucy James.

James wakes up outside the British Museum without any memories of who she is, but with a sore bump on her head. She begins to search for her identity and she soon finds herself being pursued by people she doesn’t know. She does seem to have a feeling about the name Sherlock Holmes. The mystery quickly grows beyond her identity as she is drawn into an effort to identify German spies that have infiltrated the British government.

I really enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spend reading this Sherlock Holmes mystery. The story was well crafted and fits into the original story line of the Holmes mysteries. I liked the characters as well as the plot. It almost had the feel of two separate story lines in one book, one dealing with James’ amnesia and the other with the german spies. The novel cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

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

Review of “Lady in the Lake”

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Book Reviews – “Lady in the Lake” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by Jason Monaghan (https://monaghanfoss.com/). Mr. Monaghan has published five novels, with this being the 4th in his “Jeffrey Flint Archaeological Mysteries”.

I purchased a copy of this novel when on promotion by the publisher. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in contemporary England. The main characters are archaeologists Dr. Jeffrey Flint and Dr. Tyrone Drake.

The pair of Flint and Drake are hired to determine the authenticity of a sword. The claim is that the sword is the famous Excalibur. Both are doubtful, though the sword does look ancient.

When the woman who claims she found the sword dies, then they are nearly killed when their care is run off the road, they are sure there is more to the story of the sword. As they investigate there are thefts, lies and more lies.

This was an OK novel, though not one of the best mysteries I have read. The nearly 8 hours I spent reading this mystery were entertaining. I liked the overall plot, but not so much the flippant attitude of the two primary characters. It seemed like a watered down mystery to me. The cover art is OK. 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).

Review of “Executive Order”

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Book Reviews – “Executive Order” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Max Allan Collins (http://www.maxallancollins.com/) with Matthew V. Clemmens (http://matthewclemens.com). Mr. Collins has authored or co-authored well more than 150 novels as well as short stories and comics. Mr. Clemmens has published 25+ novels, and comics. This is the third novel in their “Reeder and Rogers” 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. The story is set mostly in the contemporary Washington D.C. area. The primary characters are former Secret Service agent Joe Reeder and FBI Special Situations Task Force leader Patti Rogers.

Four CIA agents are killed in Eastern Europe. The Secretary of the Interior dies from apparent allergic shock. Reeder, a close friend of the deceased Secretary, asks Rogers to look into the death. Reeded is asked by the President to investigate why the CIA agents were in the path of danger when the President had given specific orders to keep people out of the Russian hot zone.

Reeder, Rogers and their small team are soon in the cross hairs of a group of wealthy and powerful Americans who want to put America “back on track”. The group will stop at nothing to see their very conservative goals achieved. A few Americans being sacrificed to achieve their desired ends is worth the price.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7 hours I spent reading this 318 page Thriller. Even though there are two prior books in the series, this novel reads well on its own. I liked the characters and the plot. The fact that significant characters die in the novel is unusual. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

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

Review of “The Rest is Silence”

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Book Reviews – “The Rest is Silence” ebook was published in 2014 and was written by James R. Benn (http://www.jamesrbenn.com). Mr. Benn has published twelve novels, all in the “Billy Boyle WWII Mystery” series. This is the 9th novel in that series.

I purchased this novel from the Barnes & Noble (Nook) bookstore. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in World War II England, just weeks before the Allied invasion of France. US Army Captain Billy Boyle is the primary character.

An unidentified corpse washes ashore on a beach being used for secret rehearsals of the D-Day invasion. Boyle is sent to find out who the dead man is, more importantly to determine that he was not a German spy observing the secret activities.

Boyle and his friend and associate Lieutenant Piotr “Kaz” Kazimierz stay at the estate of an old friend of Kazimierz which is located near where the body was found. The family they are staying with seem to have their own secrets and intrigues going on.

On top of their investigation hundreds of US military are killed during a German attack white they are practicing for the invasion. “Operation Tiger” (depicted in the story) was a real life disaster for the Allies while preparing for D-Day.

I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly 10 hours I spent reading this 336 page World War II Mystery. I have read all nine of the novels up to this point and I have thoroughly enjoyed them all. I like the characters that author Benn has created in Boyle and Kazimierz. I also like how he weaves real history into his stories. The cover art is a good selection. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

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

Review of “Burntown”

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Book Reviews – “Burntown” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Jennifer McMahon (http://jennifer-mcmahon.com). Ms. McMahon has published eight 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 a New England college town. The primary character is young Eva “Necco” Sandeski.

Sandeski and her mother have been living on the streets hiding from “Snake Eyes”. At first Sandeski didn’t believe in Snake Eyes, but now she knows that he is real and after her. If he finds her she will die like the others.

Her father was a college professor and inventor. Today we would call him a “Maker”. He had plans for a novel device, supposedly designed by Thomas Edison, which would allow communication with the dead. Once he built the device, he found that it worked, but he heard from more than just the one he wanted to hear from.

That device led to his death. Sandeski and her mother ran away from their home. Sandeski lost memories of the tragic day due to a bump on the head or the anguish of the event. Now her mother is gone too. The police think Sandeski is responsible for a murder, and Snake Eyes is on her trail. She is running for her life.

Drawn in to this is 17 year old Theo Sweeny. She has the reputation as a squeaky clean young lady, but she has been convinced to sell drugs at her High School by the college age woman she has become romantically involved with. But then she looses the drug money she had collected and the dealer is after her. Sweeny and Sandeski become allies through unexpected circumstances.

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 304 page Mystery Thriller. I would also say that this is a Young Adult novel at least in part due to the age of the girls, but it deals with serious topics. While not quite as intense, this novel felt a bit like I was reading a Dean Koontz novel. I liked the characters involved with the story. They are a mix that you would not normally think of as being allied together. The cover art is OK as it depicts the shack where Sandeski lived for a time beneath the bridge while she hid out with her mother. A lot does happen there in the story. 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).

Review of “The Silent corner”

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Book Reviews – “The silent Corner” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Dean Koontz (http://www.deankoontz.com). Mr. Koontz has published over 100 novels as well as several 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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story take place in various places in the US, but mostly in California.

Jane Hawk, the primary character of the story, is an FBI agent who’s husband unexpectedly committed suicide. After she got over the shock, she took a leave from the FBI, liquidated everything, dropped off the grid and began to investigate.

Fearing for her son’s life, she leaves him with friends and sets off on her own. She finds that suicide is on the increase and many are as strange as her husband’s case. As she tracks down the trail of a ‘brothel’ with beautiful women willing for clients to do literally anything, she discovers that nono-scale technology may be what is creating these docile and cooperative young women. And it may well be at the root of the suicide of her husband and others. That information comes with a price. She soon finds herself a hunted fugitive. Will she find the truth and will she be able to stay alive?

I thoroughly enjoyed the just shy of 11 hours I spent reading this 466 page Science Fiction Mystery Thriller. I have read many Dean Koontz novels. This one strays from the earlier thrillers with more of a paranormal twist. This one reminds me more of a Michael Crichton novel. I liked the character of Jane Hawk and the way the novel ended I expect . . . I hope to be reading more with her at the core. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

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

Review of “The Woman Who Knew Too Much”

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Book Reviews – “The Woman Who Knew Too Much” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Tom Savage (http://tomsavagebooks.com). Mr. Savage has published nine novels, two under the pseudonym of T. J. Phillips. This is the second of his “Nora Baron” thrillers.

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 begins in the US, but most of it takes place in Venice, Italy. The primary character is actress and now college professor Nora Baron.

Baron’s husband is a CIA agent. Her husband’s boss approaches her with a special request. He wants her assistance to help a Russian actress defect from the touring troop she is with when it appears in Venice. The job is supposed to be easy and relatively harmless, but it proves to be much more complicated. Baron begins to have serious questions about the woman who has asked for help in defecting.

I enjoyed the 8+ hours I spent reading this 251 page Mystery Thriller. I found this book particularly interesting since my wife and I were in Venice in November of 2016. I liked the character of Nora Baron. While this is the second novel in the series, it does read well as a stand-alone novel. There is some action, but most of the story is about finding out what is behind the proposed defection and the intrigue between the major characters. The cover art is OK, with a hint of Venice. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

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