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Cold Hard Steele by Alex P. Berg

Jake is at it again, however, Shay Steele is making progress on him!

Title: Cold Hard Steele
Author: Alex P. Berg
Series:  Daggers and Steele #2
Publish Date:  October 16, 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source:  purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description: Detective Jake Daggers hates three things–mornings, walking, and naked guys.

So when he and his sexy half-elf partner, Shay Steele, get called to a murder scene featuring a bare-bottomed doughy dude with an icy dagger sticking out of his chest, he’s not amused.

Even less happy? The Captain, when the lone murder turns into a cold-bladed epidemic.

In a case featuring frost mages, enchanted weaponry, and a jaded mystery writer, Daggers and Steele must race against the clock to discover who’s delivering deadly doses of COLD HARD STEELE.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

Jake is at it again, however, Shay Steele is making progress on him!  He’s trying to be available for his kid, which is a good start.  He’s calling Steele ‘detective’ like he actually means it as a profession and not a joke.  He’s making progress.

I enjoyed this book.  I read the book as well as listened to the audiobook.  The author is still the narrator.  I’m still not real keen on it because his change between characters leads to cracked voice syndrome which distracts from the story.  Further into the book, Jake becomes less annoying and more like a team player, so I will cut him some slack – but not much.  He didn’t know vampires existed in the last book.  In this book, he learns that werewolves are real.  Now, I find it hard to believe that in 10 years of detective work that the creatures Jake works with on a day to day basis didn’t mention werewolves.  There are goblins, ogres, elves, mages, magic users, and vampires.  Why wouldn’t there be werewolves?

Anyway, Shay Steele saved the day by figuring out a lot more than she should have since Jake has seniority as well as experience.  Steele is one smart cookie by figuring out the daggers being used, however, if you are good at figuring out who-dun-it, you will figure it out easily.  If I could figure it out, anyone can because I’m not that smart.

Shay is getting a little touchy feely in this story so I don’t know if a romance is in the air or not.  I kind of hope not because I think Shay deserves better, but we’ll see.  Yes, I will be reading book #3.

Other reviews of the series:

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Red Hot Steele by Alex P. Berg

Jake Daggers is the less humble version of “Columbo”.   He’s ditched his old partner, thinks he’s got it made until the captain pairs him with Steele.  Red Hot Steele.

Title: Red Hot Steele
Author: Alex P. Berg
Series:  Daggers and Steele #1
Publish Date:  October 16, 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source:  purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description:  Detective Jake Daggers likes his murder investigations the way he likes his women–straightforward, easy, and with a killer body.

So when his older-than-dust partner throws his back out on a goblin raid, his captain assigns him a new running mate–a sexy young half-elf by the name of Shay Steele.

It seems like a match made in Daggers’ imagination, but Steele’s no pushover. She’s a powerful forensic psychic, and she’s got sass oozing out of her boots.

In a debut case teeming with fire mages, foundries, and a dead guy who’s crispier than bacon, it’s pretty clear Daggers isn’t the only one getting a heaping helping of RED HOT STEELE.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

I listened to this story as well as read it with my own eyes.  I will say that I preferred the written word over the narrated one.  The author narrated his own book and while that may be fiscally responsible, it made the main protagonist less likable for me.  Jake Daggers is a chauvinistic jerk face.  He shouldn’t be because I would guess he’s not that old.  He’s got some good quips, I’ll give him that, but his attitude comes off as disrespectful more than funny.  Every woman is checked out for her bust and ass.  His coworkers, while being pretty descent guys, are disrespected.  I am very familiar with giving my coworkers a hard time and having fun with it, but go so far as hurting their feelings is too far.

I think I may be being too sensitive.  The male protagonist is probably being written as he is so that he can grow as a person in the later books.  I certainly hope that is the case.  Jake Daggers is the less humble version of “Columbo”.  He has worked 10 years as being a detective with the captain even complementing him on being his best closer, but he struggles to figure out who-dun-it.  Daggers was slow on the uptake for things a 10 year veteran should have known.  Either he just didn’t care to put in the effort or he’s burned out.  I don’t know which.

The next thing that I couldn’t get over was that everyone was hard of hearing.  It seemed like the dialogue had quite a few “Huh?” or “What?” questions that started a response.  And it was everyone.  Not just one character, they all seemed like they weren’t paying attention.  It was really obvious when listening to the narration.

I liked the story.  This does not qualify as a romance.  There is a degree of violence, but only really after the fact.  With all the complaints listed, I will say that I liked the secondary characters. This story really reminded me of noir detectives from the 1920’s who called all women “doll”.  The scenes were set in a universe where there are ogres, goblins, elves and magic users.

I give this book a 4 because it was good writing and the flow was good.  I wasn’t really bored.  There weren’t any spots that dragged where I felt I need to skip paragraphs.  The author did a good job and yes, I will read the next book.

 

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Blood Money by Chris Underwood

Reading and reviewing the stories in Eight in the Chamber anthology.  Reviewing book #2

Title: Blood Money
Author:  Chris Underwood
Series:  Lost Falls #1.5
Publish Date:  July 8, 2018
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source:  purchased by reviewer in Anthology, Eight in the Chamber

Publisher’s Description:

As Lost Falls’ resident folk wizard, I can track down anyone.

It should’ve been a simple job. Find the girl, bring her home.

Except she’s not just any girl. She’s the bloodslave of one of the most powerful vampires in town.

And I’m not sure she wants to be found.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

This is a review of the second story in the anthology.  I started reading Cunning Devil, so I sorta knew the premise but not the characters.  If you happen to pick up this anthology, don’t worry, there are no spoilers that will ruin anything.  It’s a good intro to the characters, what they do and what kind of trouble they find.

I liked this story plenty.  The writing is good and the protagonist is pretty good at what he does.  The world that the author has built has trolls, vampires and maybe more creatures that I haven’t met yet.  It appears that Lost Falls is a town that is home to quite a few supernatural creatures.  I don’t know the why of it yet.  I’ll probably learn a lot more when I finish book #1.

The author writes well.  I especially liked the risk Ozzy took to save the troll.  And I like the name Ozzy. All in all, the story was really good. I like what I read so I’ll proceed with book #1.  Oh, like I said, don’t worry about reading this story before the others.  It felt very stand alone-ish.  I figured out the character to a degree that I was not lost.

 

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Dagger to the Heart by Alex P. Berg

Reading and reviewing the stories in Eight in the Chamber anthology.  Reviewing book #1.

Title: Dagger to the Heart
Author: Alex P. Berg
Series:  Daggers and Steele #0
Publish Date:  December 10, 2017
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source:  purchased by reviewer in Anthology, Eight in the Chamber

Publisher’s Description:  Detective Jake Daggers prefers his barbecue blackened, but with a serial arsonist on the loose, it’s the city’s murder victims coming in crispy. With the body count rising and fires burning across town, will the case get too hot to handle? Find out in this heart-wrenching prequel novella to the Daggers & Steele series.

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


Nervous Nellie says…

I started this anthology because it had been on my TBR list for quite awhile and decided that now was the time.  I am in the middle of book #2, Cold Hard Steele after finishing Red Hot Steele a few days ago.

This series takes place in an alternate universe that sort of parallels ours except for there being fantasy creatures part of the general population.  Eleven folks, Ogres, Sprites…you get the idea.  The time feels less like now and more like decades ago, as transportation is by rickshaw as horses have been banned, weapons only exist as far as spears, a nightstick named Daisy, and magic.  Equal rights are not to be had as the female population is featured similarly as a 1950’s version.

I have read the books as well as listened to the audio books.  I prefer the written word more than the spoken.  Alex P. Berg narrates his own books which I’m not sure how a feel about.  The narrator makes Jake a lot more stupid than when I read the book, hence the preference. The protagonist, Jake Daggers, is a real chauvanist and has a seriously misplaced ego.  For a 10 year veteran of detective work, I’m not sure he can get out of bed without hurting himself!  That means he’s a dumbass.

In this prequel novella, I got a taste of how Griggs and Daggers worked together.  Steele isn’t in the picture yet.  It also spotlighted Daggers total lack of consideration for his wife and child.  He’s a drunk.  He’s blaming his bad fortune on others.  He has a mystery to solve (and I really think he lucked out with this mystery because he cannot function well without Steele) that involves arsons and murders.  The ending was suitable for a novella.  It had to end as it did because…well, novella.

With all that being said, I enjoy Daggers and Steele (as long as I read it as Daggers is too stupid for belief in the audio version) and I liked the prequel.  It gave me more of a world building look with a touch of how Jake Daggers became the Jake Daggers in book #1 and #2 (so far).

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