Tag Archives: Novella

Book Review – The Morgan Files

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Leo J. Maloney http://leojmaloney.com is the author of more than a dozen novels. The Morgan Files was published in 2020 and is the 12th novel in the Dan Morgan series. This was the 95th book I completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering 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. The primary characters are agent Dan Morgan and his daughter Alex Morgan.

So this book is unusual in that it contains two separate and stand-alone novellas. I’ll review each of these separately.

Twelve Hours

I enjoyed the 3 hours I spent reading this thrilling novella. Terrorist activities are running rampant across New York City. Under this distraction, the President of Iran is kidnapped. While Dan is desperately working to thwart the terrorists, his actions are complicated by his daughter Alex being among the hostages. I give this novella a rating of 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

For Duty and Honor

I enjoyed the 3+ hours I spent reading this thrilling novella. Dan is wasting away in a Russian Gulag. His agency seems to have given up on him. His daughter, Alex, will not give up. She leaves the training program to travel to Russia. The agency does not seem to be doing anything, so she will.

The outlook for those in the Gulag is bleak. Dan makes friends with two others, and together they plot to escape. Meanwhile, Alex is in Moscow trying to infiltrate the household of the General who imprisoned her father. Both father and daughter are putting their lives on the line once again. I give this novella a rating of 4 out of 5.

I enjoyed the time I spent reading this 239-page thriller. I have read five books by Leo J. Maloney. I think that this is among the best. The others were Rogue CommanderDark TerritoryWar of Shadows, and Deep Cover. They have consistently been very enjoyable. I like the chosen cover art.

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

Book Review – Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Nancy Springer https://www.nancyspringer.com is the author of more than 50 novels. Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade was published in 2022 and is the second book in this series. This was the 89th book I completed in 2022.

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

As the title implies, Sherlock’s younger teen sister, Enola Holmes, is the primary character. She is now living on her own in London and has established herself as a scientific perditorian. She is the one to engage if you want persons or things found.

When she finds her good friend Lady Cecily Alastair is again in trouble, Enola acts to assist her. The poor young woman is dominated by her father. Even her mother is strictly kept under his control. While Cecily’s rescue is successful, the young woman soon leaves the safety of Enola’s office and disappears.

Being a young and relatively naive aristocrat, London is dangerous. Enola realizes the situation is more dire when she discovers that Cecily suffers from a split personality. Sometimes Cecily is confident and independent. At other times she is timid and naive.

Can Enola find her friend before she falls prey to the darker side of London?

I enjoyed the 4 hours I spent reading this 155-page young adult mystery. The book is short. More of a novella than a novel. I have read the first novel in the series, Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche. I actually thought that book was a little better than this one. Both books have a weak plot, most likely because they are targeted at young adults. The cover art is well chosen for this novel. I give this novel a rating of 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 – Not on My Watch

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Jeff Bailey https://jeffbaileyauthor.blogspot.com has published two novels. Not On My Watch was published in 2019. This is the 74th book I have completed in 2022.

I received an ARC of this book from the author with the expectation of delivering 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. While the primary character is US Marine Lance Corporal Cassandra Sing, several supporting characters are important to the story.

Corporal Sing is an aviation fire recovery specialist – she runs into burning aircraft to rescue any surviving crew. She is in a training class at Ft. Sill in Oklahoma when she notices something suspicious. She had been separated from her fellow class members when they were deployed on base to fight a grass fire.

She must make a decision. Does she go for help? Or does she pursue the men who she thinks are ruthless terrorists? Armed only with her Marine training, she chooses to shadow the terrorists. From what she has seen, they will stop at nothing.

Will she be able to follow them without being seen? How will she be able to report them to the authorities? Will she survive?

I enjoyed the 3.5+ hours I spent reading this 178-page thriller. This is really more of a novella than a fun novel. It is full of edge-of-your-seat action. The chosen cover art is a bit plain, but it is OK. I give this novel a rating of 4.8 (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).

Book Review – Watson on the Orient Express: A Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Father and daughter team Charles Veley and Anna Elliott https://sherlockandlucy.com have published more than 30 novels. Watson on the Orient Express: A Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery was published in 2020. It is the 17th in their Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James series. It is the 65th book I completed in 2022.

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

Watson is kidnapped. While in captivity he overhears the plans for an assassination. When he is able to escape, he heads to Constantinople aboard the Orient Express to thwart the plot.

Holmes and James are involved in finding the missing Lord Harwell. Harwell has connections to important diplomatic discussions scheduled to take place in Constantinople. Watson is able to send Holmes a quick telegram. This leads Holmes and James to follow Watson to Turkey.

Will Holmes and James be able to find Watson? Will they be able to derail the plans for an incident that could lead to war?

I enjoyed the 3.5 hours I spent reading this 220-page period mystery. I read the Sherlock Holmes collection when I was very young and have been a Sherlock Holmes fan ever since. The books in this series are relatively short. More novellas than full novels. This is the third book in the series that I have read. The others were Remember, Remember and Die Again, Mr. Holmes. All three have been good reads. This book alternates chapters between James and Watson as each tells their story in the first person. The chosen cover art is simple but appropriate. I give this novella 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: “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: “Dark Nebula: Contact”

(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – Author Sean Wilson (https://www.seanwillson.com/) published the novella “Dark Nebula: Contact” in 2020. He has published five books, all in his ‘Dark Nebula’ series. This is a short prequel to the first novel. 

I received a copy of this novella for signing up for the author’s newsletter. I categorize this novella as ‘G’. The story is set in the far future of 2278. Humanity has spread throughout the Solar System and has ventured to a few stars. The novella has a few different characters. 

Without warning alien spacecraft appears in the solar system. That does not mean that they were not expected at some point. Abigail Olivaw President of the Confederation of Planetary Explorers (CoPE) knew they might show up one day. She just didn’t expect them to arrive in her lifetime. CoPE has been in an ongoing conflict with the Outer Ring. Old animosities are hard to forget. They are mostly set aside when the alien ships from the Galactic Alliance arrive. Humanity has enjoyed many significant scientific advancements. Most have come from the Olivaw family businesses. Few know that the basis for this technology is derived from a probe discovered by Olivaw’s ancestors. Stolen technology from the Galactic Alliance. 

The novella describes what the reactions are to the alien arrival. It sets the stage for the first full-length book in the series. 

I enjoyed the 2 hours I spent reading this 88-page science fiction novella. Fortunately, I had already read book 1 (Dark Nebula: Isolation). It helped me to understand what was going on in this book. I had hoped to learn more about the background of the Universe this series is set in. Unfortunately, I do not think that this book adds much. The story seems to jump around between the characters. My complaints would have likely been addressed if this had been a full-length novel. That said, it was a reasonably enjoyable read. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.7 (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).