Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review: Cinnamon Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (Feb 28 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758234937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758234933
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 16 x 3.3 cm 

Book Description

 When Hannah Swensen hears that the Cinnamon Roll Six jazz band will be playing at a festival in Lake Eden, Minnesota, she bakes up a supply of their namesake confections to welcome them. But tragedy strikes when their tour bus overturns on its way into town. And keyboard player Buddy Neiman's minor injuries turn deadly serious when someone plunges surgical scissors into his chest...Turns out, Buddy Neiman isn't the victim's real name. In fact, no one is really sure who he is. Hannah's investigation digs up a few local suspects. There is Doctor Bev, who seems to know more about "Buddy" than she's willing to admit. And Devon, an aspiring keyboard player who may have had a fatal case of jealousy. Hannah isn't sure how she'll unravel the mystery, but one thing's for sure: there's nothing sweeter than bringing a killer to justice...

My Review

 I am still trying to figure out why I keep reading this series. Though we finally seem to have made some progress in the Hannah-Norman relationship in this outing I still find that the background story is very unrealistic. How often does an overweight, frizzy haired woman in her thirties have the two most eligible bachelors in town pursuing her.  Are her cooking and baking skills that amazing?  Is her company that fascinating?  Or is that she is such a doormat willing to make meals for people in the middle night her greatest charm?

As always the recipes that accompany the books in this series sound delicious.  Very readable if not somewhat ridiculously goody two shoesish in part. Horrible that a police detective's wife would sneak looks at his files to help solve cases.  In all, very very silly.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Review: Stay Close by Harlan Coben

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (March 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525952276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525952275

Book Description

Megan is a suburban soccer mom who once upon a time walked on the wild side. Now she’s got two kids, a perfect husband, a picket fence, and a growing sense of dissatisfaction. Ray used to be a talented documentary photographer, but at age forty he finds himself in a dead-end job posing as a paparazzo pandering to celebrity-obsessed rich kids. Jack is a detective who can’t let go of a cold case—a local husband and father disappeared seventeen years ago, and Jack spends the anniversary every year visiting a house frozen in time, the missing man’s family still waiting, his slippers left by the recliner as if he might show up any moment to step into them. Three people living lives they never wanted, hiding secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect, will find that the past doesn’t recede. Even as the terrible consequences of long-ago events crash together in the present and threaten to ruin lives, they will come to the startling realization that they may not want to forget the past at all. And as each confronts the dark side of the American Dream—the boredom of a nice suburban life, the excitement of temptation, the desperation and hunger that can lurk behind even the prettiest facades—they will discover the hard truth that the line between one kind of life and another can be as whisper-thin as a heartbeat. With his trademark combination of page-turning thrills and unrivaled insight into the dark shadows that creep into even the happiest communities, Harlan Coben delivers a thriller that cements his status as the master of domestic suspense.

About The Author

 Harlan Coben is an international number one bestselling thriller author. He is the winner of the Edgar, Shamus and Anthony Awards - the first to receive all three. His books are published in forty languages, with over forty-seven million copies in print worldwide. Both his standalone thrillers and series featuring the indomitable Myron Bolitar have been number one bestsellers in over a dozen countries, gracing the lists of the Sunday Times and New York Times. His novel Tell No One was turned into the smash hit French film of the same name, and received the highly coveted Lumiere (French Golden Globe) for best picture as well as four Cesars (French Oscar). Harlan lives in New Jersey with his family.

My Review

This is a stand alone novel by the writer Harlan Coben.  I have heard wonderful things about Mr. Coben for years and decided this newly released stand alone would be a good time to find out if the all the praise was well deserved.  Stay Close is a well written novel that really makes you think about what people want from life and the choices they make.  And do we really know people...or do we just know the person they want us to know...

Something terrible happened seventeen years ago that is going to bring our three main characters, Megan, Ray and Jack back together again in the present.  It is mostly due to Megan not being able to leave her past behind.  The story is filled with twists and turns and interesting characters.  I figured out who the murderer was at about the 75% mark but I think that it was because I am a woman and I figured out the motivation.

Excellent book, very well written and I am looking forward to reading more Harlan Coben.

Review: So Damn Lucky by Deborah Coonts

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (Feb 28 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765330067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765330062

Book Description

Lucky O’Toole—Head of Customer Relations at The Babylon, premier mega-resort on the Vegas Strip—thinks it’s just another night in Las Vegas. But then a magician pulls a disappearing act, right under Lucky’s nose. Is it a stunt? Or something worse?

While Lucky chases leads, someone is trying to put her off the scent. As if this wasn’t enough to ruin her day, Lucky’s relationship with The Big Boss is coming to a head—past hurts can no longer be denied. Of course, she is already on shaky emotional ground: Teddie, her live-in, has been touring with a young and lovely pop star. Paxton Dane, former coworker and would-be suitor, is still circling, hoping to find a chink in the armor of Lucky’s resolve. And then, there’s this French chef, who is proving to be too hot to handle….

Las Vegas expert Deborah Coonts thrills again with this third installment in her dazzling series focused on casino “fixer” Lucky O’Toole.
 About The Author

DEBORAH COONTS has built her own business, practiced law, flown airplanes, written a humor column for a national magazine, and survived a teenager. So Damn Lucky is her third novel.
My Review
So Damn Lucky is the third installment in the Lucky O'Toole series written by Deborah Coonts.  It is a highly entertaining and well written series.  The author who lives in Las Vegas knows the city well and once again has portrayed it perfectly.  This outing centers around magicians, science fiction and the lore of Area 51.  As always, Lucky's world is filled with interesting characters.

This novel is filled with life changes for our main character Lucky and all are very promising.  The little girl who grew up without a father now has a complete family.  And new responsibilities to go along with these changes.  And her love life goes up and down and finishes with new promises of happiness. Although I am routing for a Lucky-Dane partnership...why is she blind to what is right in front of her!?!

With each book in the series, the characters become more defined and closer to your heart.  This is a fun series that lets you feel like you are spending the weekend in Vegas but without the hangover and bursting waistline!  I highly recommend this entire series and I loved the latest, So Damn Lucky!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: The Skeleton Picnic: A J.D. Books Mystery (J. D. Books Mysteries) by Michael Norman

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590586115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590586112

Book Description

Third generation Kanab, Utah residents, Rolly and Abigail Rogers, come from a long line of dedicated pot hunters who scour the desert southwest in search of valuable antiquities. When the couple fails to return from a weekend skeleton picnic, (pot hunting trip)along the desolate Arizona Strip, local Sheriff Charley Sutter turns to BLM Law Enforcement Ranger J.D. Books for help. When Books searches the missing couple’s home for clues about their disappearance, he discovers the house has been burglarized and a valuable collection of ancient Anasazi and Fremont Indian antiquities stolen. Soon a search and rescue operation finds the Rogers’ truck and trailer at an abandoned campsite near an ancient Anasazi ruin that has been recently excavated. Footprints and other evidence lead Books to conclude that the couple may have been overpowered by a small group of unknown assailants. Sheriff Sutter assigns an attractive young deputy, Beth Tanner, to investigate the burglary of the Rogers’ home under the watchful eye of Books. Together they track some of the stolen property to a pawn shop in St. George, and ultimately to a young Navajo man with a criminal record and a serious drug problem. Keeping this man alive long enough to make him talk, however, proves difficult. Books and Tanner soon learn of a shadowy group of armed Indian police who patrol vast swaths of tribal and federal lands in search of anyone desecrating ancient Native American burial sites. They also discover several recent unsolved cases in the Four Corners region where individuals disappeared into the desert wilderness under suspicious circumstances, never to be heard from again. Could the disappearance of the Rogers, and others, be the responsibility of this group? As Books and Tanner close in on those responsible, Books’ own survival skills will be tested when he is unwittingly drawn into a remote part of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. There he is forced into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, where the hunter becomes the hunted, and only one person gets to go home alive.

About The Author

Michael Norman lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife Diane, and their two pit bulls, Eddie and Joyce (Michael is the two-legged one). On Deadly Ground Norman's third novel, begins the JD Books Series. The Skeleton Picnic is book two. Norman is the author of Silent Witness (2008) and The Commission, one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2007.

My Review

This is the first book I've read by Michael Norman.  It is a well written mystery set in one of my favorite locales...the Southwest.  It is mainly set in the town of Kanab, Utah which is very close to one of the most amazing places I've ever been: Zion National Park.

This is a story about pot hunting.  I never realized how prolific pot hunting has been.  I just assumed everyone would leave artifacts in place for the archaeologists to properly very naive of me!  The amazing Tony Hillerman wrote of pot hunters in a few of his mysteries but I never realized the extent that the desecration happens.  This novel is indeed an eye opener.

BLM Ranger J. D. Books is a native of Kanab who has returned their after spending over a decade on the Denver Police Force.  He has family in Kanab who play an important role in this story.  And once the investigation begins it quickly becomes apparent that other disappearances in the Four Corners region could be tied to the disappearance of a local couple.

Excellent story, great characters, and a wonderful setting all make for an excellent read.  It is out on April 3rd.  Be sure to pick up a copy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blog Tour and Review: Finding Katie by John J. Smith

  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (May 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461167892
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461167891

Book Description

The very wealthy and very sheltered Preston Meadows lives his life protected from even the hint of harm. His world is safe and secure until someone kidnaps his sister, Katie. Against his parents’ wishes, Preston sets out on his own to find her. Preston works hard to blend in with the “regular” people roaming the streets of Dallas – but the real world is zany, insane, full of danger and ruthless criminals. Preston soon begins to learn more about himself and finds he has a knack for foiling certain crimes. In his adventures, during his search for his sister, he makes friends with some of the strangest people he could ever imagine. Along the way, Preston falls in love, comes face-to-face with a self-described Drug Lord, and discovers a side of himself he never knew existed, especially after the Drug Lord kidnaps his girlfriend.

About The Author

John J. Smith is a prolific Fiction writer, who lives in Dallas, TX. He has won several awards for his novels and screenplays. He is currently working on his next novel, “Anopheles.”

Author John J. Smith’s website is

My Review

This is an interesting and well written mystery.  Preston Meadows sets out to find his kidnapped sister Katie.  Quite a task for someone who has led such a  sheltered life.  The humour in this book comes from Preston's adventures in the "real" world.

This is the first novel of John J. Smith's that I have read.  It is an amusing read that is a great way to while away a rainy weekend.  It is the fascinating characters that Preston encounters that gives this books it's soul.  It is also a story about growth.  We see Preston change and grow as he explores the real world in search of his sister initially and then of course himself.

You can pick up this book on Amazon for $2.99 for your Kindle.  Give it a shot.  You'll enjoy it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review: The Expats by Chris Cavone

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (Mar 6 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307956350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307956354

Book Description

Can We Ever Escape Our Secrets?

Kate Moore is a working mother, struggling to make ends meet, to raise children, to keep a spark in her marriage . . . and to maintain an increasingly unbearable life-defining secret. So when her husband is offered a lucrative job in Luxembourg, she jumps at the chance to leave behind her double-life, to start anew.

She begins to reinvent herself as an expat, finding her way in a language she doesn’t speak, doing the housewifely things she’s never before done—playdates and coffee mornings, daily cooking and never-ending laundry. Meanwhile, her husband works incessantly, at a job Kate has never understood, for a banking client she’s not allowed to know. He’s becoming distant and evasive; she’s getting lonely and bored.

Then another American couple arrives. Kate soon becomes suspicious that these people are not who they say they are, and she’s terrified that her own past is catching up to her. So Kate begins to dig, to peel back the layers of deception that surround her. She discovers fake offices and shell corporations and a hidden gun, a mysterious farmhouse and numbered accounts with bewildering sums of money, and finally unravels the mind-boggling long-play con that threatens her family, her marriage, and her life.

Stylish and sophisticated, fiercely intelligent and expertly crafted, The Expats proves Chris Pavone to be a writer of tremendous talent. 

About The Author From Everyday Ebook

“Everyday eBook.” If there’s one novel in the world that should appear on a website with this name, it’s my debut, The Expats. Ridiculous claim? Bear me out:

It’s four years ago. My wife comes home one night and asks, “What would you think of living in Luxembourg?” Like you, I never, ever considered living there; I wasn’t entirely sure where — or what — Luxembourg was. But this was a good time for me, and for our family, to pick up and move. So we did.

And so there I was, no longer a book editor and a ghostwriter in New York City, but a stay-at-home dad in a tiny city in Western Europe, tending to our four-year-old twins, keeping house, trying to get by in French. Cooking and cleaning, shopping and driving, tidying and washing, every day.

Meanwhile, every day my wife went to an office early in the morning, and came home late, late at night. Basically all her colleagues worked on the West Coast, nine hours behind Central European Time. Which meant that her meetings and conference calls started in the evening, and often lasted past midnight. Other days, she was in England or Germany, France or Italy.

Sometimes, so was I. We traveled a lot, because that’s what you do if you’re an expat; that’s one of the reasons to be an expat. We were in Rome when Barack Obama was elected. We spent a Thanksgiving in Amsterdam. One Christmas driving through Bavaria, another skiing in the French Alps. Weekends in London and Paris. I’d sometimes go to Paris by myself – it was an easy two-hour train ride – to get a break from the everyday grind, to walk around a big city, ride a subway, feel the energy of a world capital.

Then we’d come home to little old Luxembourg, and return to our routines, which for me included writing. After school drop-off, I’d go to a café with my laptop, chronicling the everyday life I was living, and the people who surrounded me. Eventually, to make it more exciting, I added a spy (or two). Then a chunk of stolen money. And before long my novel had turned into a full-blown espionage thriller.

But when I was halfway through working on this manuscript, our expat adventure suddenly ended. My wife had come to Europe in the first place with a very specific mandate, a mission that was nearly accomplished. Her job would soon get progressively less interesting, would become more about maintaining relationships than making deals, more about follow-up than innovation. Her everyday life would get less engaging. So she took a new job in New York, at the same outfit she’d quit a year and a half earlier. And we moved home.

So: back to my claim at the top, about the perfect marriage of The Expats and Everyday eBook. Because the thing that my wife spent a year and a half doing abroad was: working for Amazon. And her job at Amazon was to launch the Kindle in Europe. Which is to say that every day, eBooks were her life; eBooks were the reason we lived in Luxembourg, the reason I wrote a novel set there. The Expats would not exist without eBooks.

This story was originally published here: 

My Review

I read a small blurb about this book in Entertainment Weekly and decided that this is a book I wanted to read.  Then I read the blurb above and I wanted to read it even more.

I love the main character Kate Moore.  Ex-CIA now full time mother doing what she thought she wanted to do, be a full time mother only to discover that it is not as fulfilling as she thought it would be.  Or was it?  Since the author took this part of his novel from his real life you really feel that you know what it is like to live the life of an expat in Europe.  I love that it is set in interesting!

This book is an espionage thriller without the political overtones that can sometimes drag these books down.  I loved all the twists and turns that keep the reader constantly guessing. Another main theme in this novel is, how well do really know each other...even the person we are married to?  The amount of deception in this novel is incredible.  The surprises never stopped coming in this excellent exciting read.

So this is the debut novel of Mr. Pavone and I cannot wait to see what he writes next.  I highly recommend this incredibly enjoyable read.  Outstanding!

Review: 11th Hour (Women's Murder Club) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 244 KB
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (April 2, 2012)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006VFLJ4Y

Book Description

Your best friend
Lindsay Boxer is pregnant at last! But her work doesn't slow for a second. When millionaire Chaz Smith is mercilessly gunned down, she discovers that the murder weapon is linked to the deaths of four of San Francisco's most untouchable criminals. And it was taken from her own department's evidence locker. Anyone could be the killer--even her closest friends.

Or a vicious killer?

Lindsay is called next to the most bizarre crime scene she's ever seen: two bodiless heads elaborately displayed in the garden of a world-famous actor. Another head is unearthed in the garden, and Lindsay realizes that the ground could hide hundreds of victims.

You won't know until the 11th hour

A reporter launches a series of vicious articles about the cases and Lindsay's personal life is laid bare. But this time she has no one to turn to--especially not Joe. 11TH HOUR is the most shocking, most emotional, and most thrilling Women's Murder Club novel ever.

My  Review

Always well written and easy to read, the eleventh book in the Women's Murder Club series finds our four ladies facing down another dangerous killer.  The setting is San Francisco of course and our main character Lindsay Boxer is pregnant.  That doesn't stop her from working long hours in the quest to bring justice to light.  And she is having problems with her marriage.  Hormones raging she becomes unreasonable and unwilling to work through her marriage issues. 

All in all a typical good story from the James Patterson mystery/thriller factory.  If you have been following the Women's Murder Club series then of course this is a must read.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Review: Summer Days (Fool's Gold, Book 7) by Susan Mallery

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books (May 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373776837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373776832

Book Description

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery returns with a new Fool's Gold trilogy featuring three rugged cowboys who will find love in the unlikeliest of places.... 
Locked in an unexpected land dispute, Rafe Stryker is trapped in the one place he vowed never to return to-the Castle Ranch in Fool's Gold, California. He made millions facing ruthless adversaries in the boardroom, but nothing could've prepared him to go head-to-head against stubborn, beautiful Heidi Simpson. No one is more surprised than Rafe to discover that he's finding Heidi-and life as a cowboy-much more compelling than he wants to admit.

For Heidi, the Castle Ranch is the home she's always wanted. After a life on the road, the vivacious blonde has finally put down roots. She won't give that up without a fight, not even for a man whose late-night kisses make her yearn to be a little less...wholesome.

As the two turn from passionate adversaries to passionate, period, they'll discover that summer love can last a lifetime.

About the Author

Susan Mallery is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction novels with heart and humor. Her funny and sexy family stories have been named to Booklist's Top 10 Romance Novels lists of 2007, 2008, and 2009.

Mallery's gift for writing humor and tenderness make all her books true gems. -Romantic Times

Romance novels don’t get much better than Mallery's expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling. -Booklist

My Review

We've met Heidi before in the earlier Fool's Gold books, but in Summer Days we actually get to know her.  Susan Mallery knows how to tell a good story and Summer Days is no exception.  It was an excellent way to while away a Sunday afternoon.  The actual land dispute is a bit of a ridiculous premise however the characters relationships with one another and the familiar setting of Fool's Gold brings everything together.

Another enjoyable read from Susan Mallery.

Review: Murder at the Lanterne Rouge: An Aimee Leduc Investigation (Aimee Leduc Investigations) by Cara Black

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2160 KB
  • Publisher: Soho Crime (March 6, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0055PIPP2

Product Description

Aimée Leduc is happy her long-time business partner René has found a girlfriend. Really, she is. It’s not her fault if she can’t suppress her doubts about the relationship; René is moving way too fast, and Aimée’s instincts tell her Meizi, this supposed love of René’s life, isn’t trustworthy. And her misgivings may not be far off the mark: Meizi disappears during a Chinatown dinner to take a phone call and never comes back to the restaurant. Minutes later, the body of a young man, a science prodigy and volunteer at the nearby Musée, is found shrink-wrapped in an alleyway—with Meizi’s photo in his wallet.

Aimée does not like this scenario one bit, but she can’t figure out how the murder is connected to Meizi’s disappearance. The dead genius was sitting on a discovery that has France’s secret service keeping tabs on him. Now they’re keeping tabs on Aimée. A missing young woman, an illegal immigrant raid in progress, botched affairs of the heart, dirty policemen, the French secret service, cutting-edge science secrets and a murderer on the loose—what has she gotten herself into? And can she get herself—and her friends—back out of it all alive? 

About the Author

Cara Black is the author of eleven previous books in the bestselling Aimée Leduc series, all of which are available from Soho Crime. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and son and visits Paris frequently.

My Review

I love being transported to Paris in each Aimee Leduc Investigation novel by Cara Black.  Cara explores a different neighbourhood of Paris in each novel.  In Murder at the Lanterne Rouge we are transported to one of Paris's Chinatowns.   Very illuminating as I had no idea that illegal Chinese immigrants who were virtual slaves to those who brought them into the country.

I have read this entire series and this latest book is an excellent example of what makes this series by Cara Black exceptional.  The reader is transported to 1998 Paris. It is a special author who can make a novel's setting come alive to the reader.

We are given more hints in this novel about Aimee's mother.  I love how Cara has provided hints in each of her novels.  And I hope that Aimee is finally reunited with her mother one day.  This time out Rene has a new love who is at the center of this Chinatown based novel. Of course he still has feelings for Aimee which she is clueless about.  Loved the Google reference.

Excellent story that brings together fourteenth century discoveries with cutting edge modern technology.  Must read for mystery lovers.  I cannot wait for the next one.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Review: Trail of the Spellmans: Document #5 by Lisa Lutz

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Feb 28 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451608128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451608120

Product Description

FOR THE FIRST TIME in Spellman history, Isabel Spellman, PI, might be the most normal member of her family. Mom has taken on an outrageous assortment of extracurricular activities—with no apparent motive. Dad has a secret. Izzy’s brother and sister are at war—for no apparent reason. And her niece keeps saying “banana” even though she hates bananas.

That’s not to say that Izzy isn’t without her own troubles. Her boyfriend, Henry Stone, keeps wanting “to talk,” a prospect Isabel evades by going out with her new drinking buddy, none other than Gertrude Stone, Henry’s mother.

Things aren’t any simpler on the business side of Spellman Investigations. First, Rae is hired to follow a girl, only to fake the surveillance reports. Then a math professor hires Izzy to watch his immaculate apartment while he unravels like a bad formula. And as the questions pile up, Izzy won’t stop hunting for the answers—even when they threaten to shatter both the business and the family.

About The Author

Lisa Lutz is the New York Times bestselling author of The Spellman Files and Curse of the Spellmans, a nominee of the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Novel. She is most recently the coauthor of Heads You Lose, written with David Hayward. 

My Review

Lisa Lutz has created an amazing group of quirky characters in her series featuring the Spellman family.  The Trail of the Spellmans is the fifth book in the series.  Every single one of these books is a delight and this one is no exception.  Isabel (Izzy) Spellman, the main character, is a private detective in a family of private detectives.  They spend a lot of time following and surveilling people for their clients.  But what makes these books irresistible is the relationship between the characters along with Lutz's unique storytelling gift. 

There are many changes afoot in all of the Spellman's lives. It will be interesting to see where everyone is going to go next!

Another wonderful book from Lisa Lutz.  If you haven't been following this series, you should start with the first one and enjoy the journey.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Review: The Cat Manual by Michael Ray Taylor

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 128 KB
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English

Product Description

A book of humorous advice written for cats, by cats. The author "discovered" the feline world's best-kept secret in a file hidden on his mother's computer by her cat, Cleo, and now shares it with humanity for the first time. Topics covered range from avoiding visits to the vet, to the artful display of captured prey, to getting in the way of a human trying to read anything, including this paragraph. Upon publication, Cleo denied authorship and hired a team of lawyers, all of whom have their claws out, but despite her best efforts the word is spreading: The Cat Manual is hilarious for cat-lovers of all ages. From the author of Cave Passages and Dark Life

My Review

Do you love cats?  Do you have a cat?  If yes, then this 99 cents Kindle book is for you! It is so funny...and I say that as the designated sucker human who will do anything for my cat when he gives me the right look!  Whenever I want a good laugh a read a chapter of this hilarious book.  It is dead-on when describing the behaviour of cats as well as humans. 

Definitely a book for cat lovers!  You won't regret the well spent 99 cents!

Review: Left for Dead: A Novel (Ali Reynolds) by J.A. Jance

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First Edition first Printing edition (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451628587
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451628586

Product Description

Ali Reynolds investigates two shocking cases of victims brutally left for dead in New York Times bestselling J.A. Jance’s latest mystery-thriller. When Santa Cruz County deputy sheriff Jose Reyes, Ali’s classmate from the Arizona Police Academy, is gunned down and left to die, he is at first assumed to be an innocent victim of the drug wars escalating across the border. But the crime scene investigation shows there’s much more to it than that, and soon he and his pregnant wife, Teresa, both fall under suspicion of wrongdoing.Ali owes Reyes a debt of gratitude for the help he gave her years earlier when she was dealing with a troubled friend. When she’s summoned to his bedside at Physicians Medical Center in Tucson, it’s impossible for her to turn away. And knowing Reyes as well as she does, Ali finds it hard to believe that he’s become mixed up in the drug trade, despite evidence to the contrary. Upon arriving at the hospital, Ali finds that her good friend, Sister Anselm, is there, too—working as a patient advocate on behalf of another seriously injured victim, an unidentified young woman presumed to be an illegal border crosser, who was raped and savagely beaten.Ali becomes determined to seek justice in both cases and secure safety for both victims. Together with Sister Anselm and a conscientious officer who won’t let the case drop despite pressure from above, Ali digs for clues to find the true culprits. Fast-paced, tension-filled, and intriguingly complex, Left for Dead is J.A. Jance at her riveting best.

About The Author

J.A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the Ali Reynolds series, the J.P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, and four interrelated Southwestern thrillers featuring the Walker family. Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tuscon, Arizona. Visit her at 

My Review

I always enjoy reading J. A. Jance's novel.  She is a good writer and her stories flow.  She always does a great job of making her characters come alive on the pages.  In this novel, Ali Reynold's seventh adventure, Ali heads to Tucson to help a fellow student from the Arizona State Police Academy.  Jose has been attacked, left for dead and framed as a drug smuggler.  Jose's wife is ready to give birth at any moment and has two young girls to care for. Ali is a tremendous help to Jose and his family.

At the same  Tucson hospital, Sister Anselm, Ali's friend, is assisting a young woman who was left for dead n the desert.  As a patient advocate, the Sister will do whatever it takes to protect her charge and to figure out who the unidentified woman is.

Drama plays out at the hospital with both patients.  I didn't find the story suspenseful and I actually figured out who was framing Jose pretty much from the start but it was nevertheless an enjoyable read.

J.A. Jance is a great storyteller.  If you have not read any of her books yet, it is time you did.