Category Archives: All Reviews

Shadows in Death by J.D. Robb

Lt. Eve Dallas is about to walk into the shadows of her husband’s dangerous past.

Title: Shadows in Death
Author:  J.D. Robb
Series:  In Death #51
Publish Date:  September 8, 2020
Source:  Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description:  Lt. Eve Dallas is about to walk into the shadows of her husband’s dangerous past.

As it often did since he’d married a cop, murder interrupted more pleasant activities. Then again, Roarke supposed, the woman lying in a pool of her own blood a few steps inside the arch in Washington Square Park had a heftier complaint.

When a night out at the theatre is interrupted by the murder of a young woman in Washington Square Park, it seems like an ordinary case for Detective Eve Dallas and her team. But when Roarke spots a shadow from his past in the crowd, Eve realizes that this case is far from business as usual.

Eve has two complex cases on her hands – the shocking murder of this wealthy young mother and tracking down the shadow before he can strike again, this time much closer to home. Eve is well used to being the hunter, but how will she cope when the tables are turned? As Eve and the team follow leads to Roarke’s hometown in Ireland, the race is on to stop the shadow making his next move . . .

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

All I can say about Lorkin Cobb is “What an effing idiot.”  He thinks he’s gonna take Roarke down?  Kill Dallas?  Dude, you got some delusions of grandeur.  Obviously, he has no idea who he’s messing with.

This was a story that did have a bit more gooey stuff between Roarke and Dallas (before the ultimate end) and it felt a little over the top.    Other than that, it was golden.  The initial case was a quick solver and I was gratified at how Eve got the defendant to cry.  The arrogant nasty sociopathic jerk cried.  That case didn’t exactly end right with that arrest.  I got to go with the team on a fast paced, no holds barred manhunt of the bought and paid for assassin.  I got to learn more about Roarke’s background.  I got a good look at how Sommerset fathers Roarke (which was really awesome) and how cool it is to watch a team work together.  Everyone.  All of Eve’s people wanted in on catching this moron.  They, every last one of them, are frosty to the ult.  And the ending?!?  It was a spectacular chase.  I loved every minute of it.  I can tell you I always get satisfaction at the end of these books.  Eve and Delia do their “in the box” work and nail the sleazy, evil monster to the wall.  It’s such a feeling to see the good guys win.  This ending was no slouch either.  It may be the best dramatic endings so far.  No, no cliffhanger, just an awesome “nail that bastard” ending.  I also loved, to the point of “nanner, nanner” NYPSD’s success in locating Cobb when InterPol hadn’t been able to in 20 years.  It was marvelous.

My favorite alternate character in this book was the shopkeeper at the men’s store that Cobb shopped at.  He was an absolute treasure.  He was so excited to be a part of a police investigation that I just had to smile.  I loved him.  Watch for him when you read/listen to this book.

As always, these books get a 5 star.

Our reviews in this series in no particular order…

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Fantasy in Death by J.D. Robb

Killed inside a locked room.  How?  Who?  It’s impossible they said, until they met Eve Dallas.

Title: Fantasy in Death
Author:  J.D. Robb
Series:  In Death #30
Publish Date:  January 6, 2010
Source:  Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description: Bart Minnock, founder of the computer gaming giant U-Play, is found in his locked private playroom, in a pool of blood, his head separated from his body. Despite his violent end, Eve can’t find anyone—girlfriend and business partners included—who seemed to have a problem with the enthusiastic, high-spirited millionaire.

Of course gaming, like any business, has its fierce rivalries and dirty tricks—as Eve’s husband, Roarke, one of U-Play’s competitors, knows well. But Minnock was not naïve, and he knew how to fight back in the real world as well as the virtual one.

Eve and her team are about to enter the next level of police work, in a world where fantasy is the ultimate seduction—and the price of defeat is death…

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This was a difficult mystery to solve.  I don’t think anyone but Eve Dallas could have solved it.   Anyone else investigating this locked room death mystery would have put it on the cold case pile nearly right away.

These brainiac gamers built their little company with a lot of sweat and encouragement from Roarke.  They were all super smart and incredibly tuned in to the gamer world.  They were set to be on top.  They weren’t there yet, but they were getting there.  Then one is killed. It puts all the others in a tailspin.

The de facto leader, Bart Minnock, has got the world by the tail.  He is the driving force behind U-play and he was the one that approached Roarke and got him to help start the business.  He was liked and incredibly smart.  He was really the super brain behind the whole company.  Bart went home one day to test play U-play’s new game in development.  The next morning he was found dead.

Eve, of course, has a nose for murder and figures out not just who and why, but how.  How’d she figure it out?  By digging.  And pushing.  And researching.  Relentless, that’s her middle name.  I am so sure that no one else could have figured it out.  Even the E-geeks said it was impossible.

On the personal front, Nadine publishes The Icove Agenda.  The book that blows the publishing scene to smithereens.  Everyone is there.  Mavis, Trina, Leonardo, Nadine.  It was great to see how things were going with the fam.  Good times.

As always, these books get a 5 star.

Our reviews in this series in no particular order…

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Kindred in Death by J.D. Robb

She was just an instrument. A weapon. He wanted it to be in that house, inside the house where the cop believed his little girl would always be safe.

Title:  Kindred in Death
Author:  J.D. Robb
Series:  In Death #29
Publish Date:  January 6, 2010
Source:  Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description:  She was just an instrument. A weapon. He wanted it to be in that house, inside the house where the cop believed his little girl would always be safe.

A phone call from up high interrupts Eve’s plans to have a lazy day with her roguish husband Roarke: The teenage daughter of Captain Jonah McMasters, head of the NYPD drug squad, has been found raped and strangled.

A terrifying video of Deena, bloody and beaten beyond recognition, suggests a link to a criminal in her father’s past, but Eve is getting nowhere – until another murder, and another video, reveals the killer’s deadly intent: merciless retribution in the cruellest way possible.

Eve and her team must race against the clock to identify the next victim of a killer who will stop at nothing . . .

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

Wow.  I’ve met some sick villains in books before, but this guy is baaad!  Again the brilliance of Eve Dallas’ brain solves a case that for anyone else would be a cold case.

Eve lost two victims but saved five.  I was sad for the victims and their families.  As I read the book, the story and it’s trials became real feeling.  I felt for the McMasters family and the poor man that was Carlene’s groom to be.  I’m not sure I ever have put it into words, but I also love how supportive of his time and money Roarke is.  He cherishes his wife and creates an “Awwwww” moment.

Eve is brilliant in her thinking, but in this book she bounces from the wrong path to the right path just by hearing a comment from a friend and colleague.  Peabody does a lot of work on her end – the same as what Dallas would have to do if she were working alone.  Those two make great partners and offset each other remarkably.

Those insights are not new ones, but I don’t think I’ve actually wrote them in a review before.  The story is great, as always, but the cohesiveness of the team and the characters with each other make for an excellent read.  That goes for every Eve and Roarke book, but as I’m listening from beginning of the series to the end, it’s even more evident.

The narrator is one of the best you can get.  Susan Erickson rates right up there with Khristine Hvam who narrates the books for Faith Hunter.  Seriously, if you like audiobooks and police procedurals this series is a really good one.  There is some sex, but it’s not constant and there is frippery like friends having weddings and babies or just getting together that makes me feel like family when I read it.

As always, these books get a 5 star.

Our reviews in this series in no particular order…

 

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Enchant the Night by Amanda Ashley

In the arms of a centuries-old vampire, a woman awakens to newfound passion–and magical powers of her own.

Title: Enchant the Night
Author:  Amanda Ashley
Publish Date:  August 25, 2020
Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s Description: In the arms of a centuries-old vampire, a woman awakens to newfound passion–and magical powers of her own.

Hungarian vampires are born, not made–and can breed with mortal females. Being one of the oldest of his kind, Quill Falconer has honed his skills at hunting just the right kind of prey, which is why his latest victim confounds him. She shouldn’t remember his drinking her blood. And he shouldn’t still be craving more . . .

Callie Hathaway’s life is as normal as it can be after the death of the beloved grandmother who raised her. Until one night, feeling foggy and fatigued, she realizes that a strangely sensual encounter with a dark, handsome man didn’t occur only in her imagination.

As Callie and Quill’s unique connection draws them together, an ancient order of knights seeks Quill’s destruction. Being together puts Callie in mortal danger–until she uncovers a magical family legacy. Side by side they’ll fight for survival, and for each other, as the brotherhood of vampire hunters gather for one final showdown.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This story is fairly straight forward.  Vampire on the Hunt, catches girl, drinks, wipes her memory and leaves.  Except the wiping of the memory thing didn’t stick.

She saves him from hunters and falls in love with him while he lays in her guest bed recovering.  It’s exactly the type of book I go for when I need to escape.  It’s not deep.  It’s not mind bending.  Of course, there is more to the story.  That’s a given.  Gotta have adventure and a chase.

The heroine is young and the vampire is old.  Her experience is nil but yet she pulls all sorts of powers out of her hat.  He’s not high up in the vampire chain of command, but he takes charge to save everyone.

The ending was easy to see coming, but it still packed a punch.  All in all, I give it a 3.5 stars.

 

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Blood & Ash by Deborah Wilde

Ashira Cohen takes pride in being the only female private investigator in Vancouver. With her skills, her missing persons case should be a piece of cake.

Title:  Blood  & Ash
Author:  Deborah Wilde
Series:  The Jezebel Files #1
Publish Date: January 14, 2020
Source:  NetGalley audiobook

Publisher’s Description: Cold-blooded kidnappers. Long-lost magic. When things get serious, she goes full Sherlock.

Ashira Cohen takes pride in being the only female private investigator in Vancouver. With her skills, her missing persons case should be a piece of cake.

She wasn’t counting on getting bashed in the skull, revealing a hidden tattoo and supernatural powers she shouldn’t possess.

Or the bitter icing on top: a spree of abductions and terrifying ghostly creatures on a deadly bender.

And don’t even get her started on the golems.

Reluctantly partnered with her long-time nemesis Levi, the infuriating leader of the magic community, Ash resolves to keep her focus on the clue trail and off their sexual tension because WTF is up with that?

But with a mastermind organization pulling strings from the shadows and Levi’s arrogance driving her to pick out his body bag, can Ash rescue the captives and uncover the truth or will the next blood spilled be her own?

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words …SPOILERS. *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This was, as advertised, a snarky book. I did like it, but it had to grow on me. At first, Ashura kind of got on my nerves. She was just another Charley Davidson wannabe. I stuck with the book and by the time the kidnapping took place, I was firmly entrenched.

As the personality of the protagonist started becoming more dimensional, she started making me care for her. She hasn’t the best life has to offer, but she is making it. After getting hit on the head, she was stunned to discover she was a magic user (called Nefesh) and also that she was warded to keep her magic firmly stoppered. As the book proceeded, the story kept winding around and overlapping in other mysteries that Ashura found herself. There were weird “things” that Ashura could see slithering around victims that ended up dead. There were magic haters and fear mongers and politicians that wanted them gone.

The author made Ashura’s nemesis an egotistic, arrogant and Uber privileged jerk. They also grew up together, which I thought was an interesting thing to mention before the story actually did. It made the things Ash said and felt more understandable. Levi was the head of the “House” of Nefesh. There are other “Houses”, but that wasn’t important to know for story purposes.

I found that Ash’s obsession with Sherlock Holmes endearing and not annoying. She and her best friend had nicknames which was cute. Ashura was Jewish and covered some interesting things regarding Golems and also where the term “Jezabel” originated. Ash had good side characters- her sidekick and the neighbor next door. They didn’t have a lot of depth but enough, I suppose, for secondary characters. Her mother and father played a part and even the scary supervillian modeled after a mafia queen pin. The book had a good mystery, had a bit of a cliffhanger (not bad, though) and left the door open for another book.

There wasn’t a lot of graphic death, but there was some. There wasn’t a lot of sex, but there were two scenes and it wasn’t something that the book depended upon to make the story good. It was a nice little side note and a glimpse of a relationship builder.

The narrator was pretty good. She didn’t have a LOT of voice variation, but the characters did have their own voices. She didn’t seem to be reading the book, more like making it come alive. All in all, I’d give this book a 4.

 

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