Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: The Innocent by David Baldacci

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446572993
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446572996

Book Description

America has enemies - ruthless people that the police, the FBI, even the military can't stop. That's when the U.S. government calls on Will Robie, a stone-cold hitman who never questions orders and always nails his target.

But Will Robie may have just made the first - and last - mistake of his career . . .

It begins with a hit gone wrong. Robie is dispatched to eliminate a target unusually close to home in Washington, D.C. But something about this mission doesn't seem right to Robie, and he does the unthinkable. He refuses to kill. Now, Robie becomes a target himself and must escape from his own people.
Fleeing the scene, Robie crosses paths with a wayward teenage girl, a fourteen-year-old runaway from a foster home. But she isn't an ordinary runaway-her parents were murdered, and her own life is in danger. Against all of his professional habits, Robie rescues her and finds he can't walk away. He needs to help her.

Even worse, the more Robie learns about the girl, the more he's convinced she is at the center of a vast cover-up, one that may explain her parents' deaths and stretch to unimaginable levels of power.

Now, Robie may have to step out of the shadows in order to save this girl's life . . . and perhaps his own.

About the Author


David Baldacci lives with his family in Virginia. He and his wife have founded the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. He invites you to visit him at and his foundation at, and to look into its program to spread books across America at

My Review

I recently read Zero Day by David Baldacci and just loved it.  I was thrilled to be granted a review copy of his latest, The Innocent, through Net Galley.

The book starts out with Will Robie, a professional assassin for the American government doing what he does.  I was wondering if I would be able to become attached to the main character when he started acting out of character.  Then I was hooked...I couldn't put it heart was racing....I was dying to know what was going to happen next.

What did happen was an exhilarating read! The plot twists and turns kept me enthralled throughout the entire book.  There was plenty of suspense and adventure.  You could relate to Will and his young charge Julie.  The plot was believable and exciting to follow.

This David Baldacci thriller, which is released in April, will obviously do amazing on the best seller charts...and it should!  Pre-order a copy from library or your favorite bookstore today!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review: Sticks and Stones (A Cat DeLuca Mystery #2) by K.J. Larsen

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; Large type / large print edition (Feb 7 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159058922X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590589229

Book Description

What does a woman do when she discovers her husband is an incurable cheater? If she’s Cat DeLuca she launches the Pants On Fire Detective Agency. Now Cat does what two years of unholy matrimony taught her. She catches cheaters.When a client (Cleo Jones) shoots her cheating husband’s bum full of buckshot, he disappears, taking her money, dog, and sister with him. Private Investigator Cat DeLuca promises to return the dog and money if her client stops shooting at Walter. Cleo agrees. The detective finds the dog and a mysterious bag chuck-full of cash. And then she finds Walter. His very dead body is still warm.
The case is a slam dunk for the cops who arrest Cleo for the murder of her husband. She had motive and opportunity and a dozen witnesses heard her scream bloody murder. One made a video. 
Cat DeLuca is determined to prove her client’s innocence and it’s not an easy sell. Walter was an unsavory character with enemies. To find his killer, Cat will have to sift through the ones who didn’t pull the trigger. Her investigation leads to four players with secrets: a childhood friend, a gambler, a construction tycoon, and a legendary Chicago designer. When forensic evidence suggests the detective knows more about the murder than she’s telling, Cat faces the certain loss of her agency. 
Cat DeLuca is smart and charming. She’s an unlikely heroine and her partner, a beagle named Inga, is quite likely to eat the evidence. Sticks and Stones delivers steamy romance, intrigue and laugh out loud humor for a wickedly delicious read.
My Review

This is the second book in the Cat DeLuca Mystery series by K.J.Larsen. It is not necessary to have read the first to enjoy this one.  The book is rather a zany ride that has been compared to Janet Evanovich's series however in many ways this book is better.  The Stefanie Plum series has become nothing less than reworked babble whereas Cat DeLuca is fresh and interesting.

Cat DeLuca has a huge Italian family filled with police officers which comes in very handy.  She has two very fascinating and helpful men in her life.  The book is populated with interesting characters galore.  The Chicago setting is dead on.

A quick fun read!  Great story!  I'm looking forward to the next Cat DeLuca Mystery!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Review: An Appetite For Murder by Lucy Burdette

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (MM); Original edition (Jan 3 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451235517
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451235510

Product Description

Hayley Snow's life always revolved around food. But when she applies to be a food critic for a Key West style magazine, she discovers that her new boss would be Kristen Faulkner-the woman Hayley caught in bed with her boyfriend! Hayley thinks things are as bad as they can get-until the police pull her in as a suspect in Kristen's murder. Kristen was killed by a poisoned key lime pie. Now Hayley must find out who used meringue to murder before she takes all the blame.

My Review

An Appetite For Murder is the first in this new cozy series.  The setting of Key West is what first grabbed my attention.  I am planning on visiting there for the first time later this year when I attend a conference in Florida.  Lucy Burdette is obviously intimately familiar with Key West as she provides an excellent description of it.  I can feel the rhythm of the Keys in her words. 

Hayley Snow is a wonderful new sleuth in this cozy mystery.  She is a young woman whose life is without direction who follows a new boyfriend down to his home in Key West.  Within a few months he has dropped her but luckily she does have friends from her past in Key West to help her out.  She has applied for a job as a food critic at a new magazine, a storyline which continues throughout the book.

Hayley's ex-boyfriends's new girlfriend is murdered early on in the story.  Of course Hayley is the main suspect and works hard to clear her name.  It is a pleasant read with believable characters.

The end of the book which included a couple of recipes also had a preview of the next Hayley Snow mystery. Good new cozy series.  Give it a try.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Review: Darker Than Any Shadow by Tina Whittle

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590585461
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590585467

Book Description

The dog days of summer have arrived, and Tai Randolph is feeling the heat. Running her uncle’s gun shop is more demanding than she ever imagined. Her best friend Rico is competing for a national slam poetry title. And Atlanta is overrun with hundreds of fame-hungry performance poets clogging all the good bars.

She’s also got her brand-new relationship with corporate security agent Trey Seaver to deal with. SWAT-trained and rule-obsessed, Trey has a brain geared for statistics and flow charts, not romance. And while Tai finds him irresistibly fascinating, dating a human lie detector who can kill with his bare hands is a somewhat precarious endeavor.

And then just when she thinks she might get a handle on things, one of Rico’s fellow poets is murdered . . . and Rico becomes the prime suspect.

Tai pushes up her sleeves and comes to his defense with every trick in her book a little lying here, a little snooping there. Trey wants her off the case immediately. So does Rico. Every poet in Atlanta has a secret, it seems, and one of them is willing to kill to keep theirs quiet. But someone else wants her on the job, someone dropping anonymous clues and clandestine tip-offs her way. Someone with an agenda that’s looking either positively heroic . . . or downright deadly.

Will Tai’s relationship with Trey survive another foray into amateur sleuthing? And even more importantly, will she?

About the Author


Tina Whittle is a mystery writer living and working in Southeast Georgia. THE DANGEROUS EDGE OF THINGS, her first novel, debuts February 2011 from Poisoned Pen Press. Set in contemporary Atlanta, THE DANGEROUS EDGE OF THINGS is the first book in a series featuring gun-shop owner Tai Randolph and corporate security agent Trey Seaver.

Her short fiction has appeared in The Savannah Literary Journal, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, and Gulf Stream, which selected her story "Lost Causes and Other Reasons to Live" as the 2004 winner of their Mystery Fiction contest. She is also a columnist and feature writer for The 11th Hour, a local alternative newspaper, and a professional tarot reader. When not writing or reading, she enjoys golf, sushi, mini-pilgrimages, and spending time with her family (one husband, one daughter, one neurotic Maltese and three chickens).

You can find her online at

My Review

This is the second Tai Randolph mystery in Tina Whittle's series.  I enjoyed this book even more than the first one.  I don't think that I had ever heard of a poetry slam before reading this book.

A poetry slam is a competition for poets.   Darker Than Any Shadow revolves around poets and their competitions.  This unique setting sets apart this mystery from others that I have read before. I like the characters of Tai, Rico and Trey better in this outing.  They seem more human, more believable, more fleshed out.

I really enjoyed the mystery aspect of it.  I was surprised by who the murderer was and surprised by the motives of the murder.

So all in all a good read.  I'm looking forward to more in this series.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review: Raylan by Elmore Leonard

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (January 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006211946X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062119469

Book Description

With the closing of the Harlan County, Kentucky, coal mines, marijuana has become the biggest cash crop in the state. A hundred pounds of it can gross $300,000, but that’s chump change compared to the quarter million a human body can get you—especially when it’s sold off piece by piece.

So when Dickie and Coover Crowe, dope-dealing brothers known for sampling their own supply, decide to branch out into the body business, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens to stop them. But Raylan isn’t your average marshal; he’s the laconic, Stetson-wearing, fast-drawing lawman who juggles dozens of cases at a time and always shoots to kill. But by the time Raylan finds out who’s making the cuts, he’s lying naked in a bathtub, with Layla, the cool transplant nurse, about to go for his kidneys.

About The Author

Elmore Leonard has written more than 40 books during his highly successful writing career, including the bestsellers Road Dogs, Up in Honey’s Room, The Hot Kid, Mr. Paradise, Tishomingo Blues, and the critically acclaimed collection of short stories, When the Women Come Out to Dance. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Be Cool. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN USA and the Grand Master Award of the Mystery Writers of America. He lives in Bloomfield Village, Michigan.

My Review

I've heard so many good things about the tv series Justified that I wanted to read this book.  Raylan is a very interesting character and I can see why the tv series works.  I won't say that it is a brilliant novel or one of the best books that I've read lately but it was a good read.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Review: Taken by Robert Crais

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (January 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399158278
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399158278

Book Description

When Nita Morales hires Elvis Cole to find her missing adult daughter, she isn’t afraid, even though she’s gotten a phone call asking for ransom. She knows it’s a fake, that her daughter is off with the guy Nita will only call “that boy,” and that they need money: “Even smart girls do stupid things when they think a boy loves them.”

     But Nita is wrong. The girl and her boyfriend have been taken by bajadores – bandits who prey on other bandits, border professionals who prey not only on innocent victims, but on each other. They steal drugs, guns, and people – buying and selling victims like commodities, and killing the ones they can’t get a price for.

     Elvis Cole and Joe Pike find the spot where they were taken. There are tire tracks, bullet casings, and bloodstains. They know things look as bad as possible. But they are wrong, too. It is about to get worse. Going undercover to find the two young people and buy them back, Cole himself is taken, and now it is up to Joe Pike to retrace Cole’s steps, burning through the hard and murderous world of human traffickers to find his friend.

     But he may already be too late..

My Review

Robert Crais is a wonderful mystery thriller writer who proves himself again with Taken. This week it tops the New York Times Best Seller list as it should.

Elvis Cole, Joe Pike and Jon Stone are all featured in Crais's latest offering.  Elvis Cole is hired to find a missing daughter of Mexican American entrepreneur Nita Morales.  Ever since Nita had told her daughter that she was actually an illegal alien, her daughter has been fascinated by the plight of illegals crossing the Mexican American border into the US.  Krista along with her boyfriend are taken by kidnappers of illegals while investigating in the desert for a story Krista wants to write.  Krista quickly pretends she is one of the illegals.  

The plight of illegals and the perils they face to try to enter the US are well documented in this book. The Mexican gangs are featured in the book as well as the Korean gangs who have become a prominent force in the American underworld.

The reader recognizes that of course only good will come of having Joe Pike, Jon Stone and Elvis Cole on the case. However, you cannot put the book down as Joe and Jon race against the clock to rescue the taken Elvis Cole.

Highly recommend Taken as well as the rest of Robert Crais' books.  You can discover everything about him at