Category Archives: Mystery

I Recommend Murder on the Orient Express [Movie Tie-in] by Agatha Christie, narrated by Kenneth Branagh

Hi All,

I love a good mystery and Agatha Christie is a favorite author of mine.

I saw this audiobook on Amazon when I was looking for something new to listen too. I was not disappointed.

It seems like every generation of fine actors come together to adapt this book to a movie script and this time they have a another great cast to add their interpretation to this masterpiece of suspense and intrigue.

This cast is all star for the movie and Kenneth Branagh does an excellent narration for the audiobook as well as play the lead in the movie.

I rented the movie from Xfinity too and I’m enjoying it on a cold winter’s night in Minneapolis MN. That’s right snow fall and cold conditions in April here in Minnesota. I hope you enjoy the book and the movie and if you’re in the path of the Minnesota snow storm you’ll be able to relate to those souls on the train trapped by snow.

Here’s a link for the audiobook:

Murder on the Orient Express via Audible

Endorse “Neighing with Fire” by Kathryn O’Sullivan 3rd book in the Colleen McCabe Series Release Date May 5, 2015

neighing-with-fire-2-e1417204692201

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m thankful for the opportunity to review this book before the official release.  Kathryn O’Sullivan brings us mysteries with a new flair but true to the tradition of Agatha Christie – great plots with engaging dialog.

Firefighting Chief Collen McCabe shows how well a woman performs in positions of authority and leadership. Chief McCabe not only fights fire but crime as well and still finds time to nurture a budding romance.

The story begins with the author, Kathryn O’Sullivan, breathing life into a piece of plastic sheeting from a construction site. The plastic carries the reader into the story in a kind of ballet as the sheeting takes us to a long buried crime scene. The body found is just the start of the mystery that Colleen and her friend, Sheriff  Bill Dorman, work to solve as the story unfolds.

There’s  drama in the North Carolina’s Outer Banks community between those that support the Wild horse habitat and the piping plover shore birds as well as those that would see all habitat taken up with new construction.  Colleen has a fight with Denny Custis, a ruthless land developer about these subject not long before he turns up dead at one of Chief McCabe’s fire scenes.

There’s too many that have issues with Denny and the battle over land for wild habitat versus resorts to make solving the case easy but Colleen has a hunch that the long buried body and Denny’s death are connected now all she has to find out is how.

This excerpt from”Neighing with Fire” demonstrates the compassion Chief McCabe feels for her firefighters:

“….She [McCabe] was anxious to find out how her men were doing – particularly Chip and Kenny, who had been inside the burning structure. …”

Chief McCabe shows how capable a woman is when making life and death decisions without hesitation. I hope strong women both young and old read the Colleen McCabe Series as an inspiration to aspire to the jobs that are in their heart to pursue.

Another great part of the story is the beautifully written scene depicting the picturesque setting of the Outer Banks Village of Corolla, where wild horses still roam free and fire fighters enforce no feeding laws as well as putting out engine fires for cars unfamiliar with driving on Carova Beach.

The message I take from the Colleen McCabe Series is follow your dreams, listen to the message of inner truth and strive to be the best you can be.

I’m looking forward to reading more books from the Colleen McCabe Series. I enjoy mysteries that have a message similar to the one underlying Elizabeth Peters work, highlighting Amelia Peabody’s* books, women don’t need a man to succeed they just need to believe in themselves. These books are also very well written with emphasis on the mystery.

I’m hopeful the writing of Kathryn O’Sullivan continues with many more rewarding reading experiences.

Where to find out more about the books and the author on GoodReads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6539561.Kathryn_O_Sullivan

Author’s web page here:
www.kathrynosullivan.com

KathrynOSullivanFBPic

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Amelia Peabody

http://www.ameliapeabody.com/

Other books in the Colleen McCabe Series are:

“Murder on the Hoof” #2

http://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250049469

“Foal Play” #1

http://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250026590

 

Recommend JD Robb’s Survivor In Death

I’m traveling to Boonsboro, Maryland for the November 1st book signing event at Turn The Page Bookstore Cafe see this link for further details:   http://ttpbooks.com/category/VB.html

I’ve been listening to the In Death Series on digital audio and just completed book 20 in the series.
SURVIVOR IN DEATH AUDIO (select for prices)

This title is available via this link:  http://ttpbooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=TTPB&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=1AUDIOJDRa20

Summerset shines in this continuing story of the crime busting, Lieutenant Eve Dallas.  10 year old Nixie Swisher finds solace with Summerset when Lieutenant Dallas needs to keep her safe in the fortress Roarke built.
JD Robb writes several moving and vivid scenes in “Survivor In Death”.  The most memorable was the trip to the morgue to take Nixie to say goodbye to her murdered family.  Every time I read this section of the book I cry.  It reminds me so much of those I’ve said goodbye to as a child and adult.  The crowning scene though is when Nixie goes back to Lieutenant Eve and Roarke’s house and sits with Summerset.  Brings tears to my eyes just remembering the moment between them. Take some time today and experience these touching scenes.  This story is also a great Fall book – I love how Peabody describes the falling leaves and how bare the trees are after all the leaves have gone before the first snow falls.  So true to the mid-west and New York too. May you find comfort for any loses you’ve experienced as you read “Survivor In Death”. Peace.

Recommend JD Robb’s Festive In Death

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I recommend “Festive In Death”, by J.D. Robb.

Trina needs to tag Eve in this story when a friend finds herself in a situation that demands the services of a murder cop.

J.D. Robb delivers in this fresh In Death tale of double crossing lovers and a conniving personal trainer.

I didn’t figure out who did the murder until the very end.  The journey to finding the murderer is brilliantly interwoven with Christmas shopping, and preparing for the annual gala thrown at Lieutenant Dallas and Roarke palatial home.

J.D. Robb  is an artist painting a word picture with fantastic dialog and narration that is completely engrossing.  The world and characters that make up the In Death series is maintained and consistent with each new release.  Festive In Death develops Trina in a new way without taking away from the core players that all fans love so well.

Susan Ericksen, In Death narrator in the audiobooks, does an excellent job bringing each character to life with her voice inflection and flowing delivery of the script.  I purchased my copy with my iPhone at the iTunes store.  Listening to the reading is like attending a play.  Every move, feeling and expression is represented during the telling.

I appreciate both the hard copy and the audiobook each have their own gifts to bring to the story and reader.

Thank you J.D. Robb for writing another best seller that stays true to the beautiful characters you have created over the years.  I also appreciate the signed copy – you know how to treat your fans and I’m happy to be one.

Turn The Page Bookstore Cafe http://ttpbooks.com/ is also something I’m grateful for – offering book signings both on site and virtually.  I know it takes a lot of work to track all the orders and get them safely to their destinations.  Thanks to one and all.

Peace,

In Death Series Fan,

Melissa Blanchard

 

New Release from J.D. Robb Available Signed from Turn The Page Bookstore Cafe

This link takes you to the official author page:

http://www.jdrobb.com/books/newreleases.php

“Festive In Death” by J.D. Robb will be arriving signed from Turn the Page Bookstore Cafe at http://ttpbooks.com/category/VB.html soon.  The next in person book signing is scheduled for September 13, 2014

You can get the book signed in person at Boonsboro Maryland or virtually via the website (follow the rules on the website to indicate how you’d like the book signed).

I’ve been ordering signed books from http://ttpbooks.com/SFNT.html virtually since last year at this time.  I always receive the books signed correctly and in good shape here in Minneapolis MN.

Hope all will take advantage of this opportunity to connect with the author.  I’m thankful that the service is provided.  If you get the chance to travel to Boonsboro MD – http://ttpbooks.com/SFNT.html is a great brick and mortar business to visit and support.

 

“The Witness” by Nora Roberts

 

The Witness by Nora Roberts

Why read “The Witness” by Nora Roberts?

Consider a young girl, Elizabeth, finds out her Mother didn’t give birth to her for love but to make the best out of a sperm donor’s DNA.  Elizabeth finds herself at 16 a college student that has never been on a date nor has she ever been shopping with friends.  She has an opportunity to have a day shopping with a girl from her old high school and forging fake ID’s for them to go out to a popular club.

Elizabeth soon finds herself running for her life.  What comes next will change her life in ways she would have never dreamed possible.

Will this naive girl survive into womanhood?  If so, what sort of life will she have?

All this and more will be answered by Nora Roberts as the story unfolds.  You’ll discover what happened to Elizabeth, her Mother and the Federal Agents assigned to protect Elizabeth or is it to prosecute?

“The Witness,” kept me guessing.  It is a snapshot of a girl left on her own with no guidance and the trouble that finds her.  A Mother’s love is important and this story shows why on so many levels.

The adult Elizabeth finds she still has things to learn about finding and keeping love between a man and a woman too.  She has to find the courage and wisdom within herself to pursue the man of her dreams while staying safe from the men from her nightmares.

Nora brings all the characters in this book to life from the shy and bookish Elizabeth to the sterile, demanding and unfeeling Mother you’ll find those you love and those you will love to hate in this adventure of the heart.

There are very few writers that could bring a character like Elizabeth to life, but Nora Roberts does it beautifully.  From the style of Elizabeth’s hair to the experience of wearing her first pair of heals, you will not be disappointed.  This is a definite re-read for me.  So much detail needs to be savored.

I hope you pick up “The Witness” by Nora Roberts and see for yourself what makes this coming of age story a suspenseful drama full of mystery and hope.  You can get the book in the following formats at the links below:

http://www.audiobookstanddl.com/9B656443-488B-4EA1-813A-6E319CB89573/10/119/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=9C9FA007-8C8F-4C14-A40E-19C9E8FDCAE4

http://ttpbooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=TTPB&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=1WITNESS

If you buy with the second link you can ask to have it signed by the author and its on clearance for $10.00.

I also enjoyed the audiobook performance by Julia Whelan.  She brings out all the emotions of the characters in her voice tone and reading style. Lovely job, Julia, thank you.

“Mistress Angel,” by Lindsay Townsend

Mistress Angel

What about “Mistress Angel” is uniquely special?

The medieval period city life becomes reality as the story unfolds.  Isabella has been used first by her family then by her dead husband’s family – she is a commodity to them.

The writing brought me into the city with it’s dirty streets and how little value was placed on the life of a woman.  Her young son is taken from her, she’s pressed into servitude and she must choose between getting her son back and pleasing the local marriage prospects.

“Mistress Angel” is a journey through medieval London from the landscape to the characters Lindsay delivers.  Raw emotions and agonizing struggles are included in the telling.

I also enjoy finding new phrases and words from the period in Lindsay’s writing.  She defines them and uses them as keys to her plot.  I liken it to a treasure hunt, always something new in the next chapter.

Will Isabella get her son back?  Will she find true love?  All will be answered before the last word is read.

I hope you give “Mistress Angel” a look.  Great writing, well developed plot and interesting characters, what more could you want in a story?

I got my copy from Amazon Kindle for iPad at this link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F43NNKW/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

 

“Shadow Spell” by Nora Roberts

Shadow Spell Front CoverShadow Spell Inside Front CoverShadow Spell Signature PageShadow Spell Back Cover2Shadow Spell Back FlapShadow Spell Back Jacket

Why do I recommend, “Shadow Spell” by Nora Roberts?

First, “Shadow Spell” is a mystery that spans the centuries.  Nora does an excellent job connecting the Autumn of 1268 with the Autumn of 2013.  Eamon and Connor are kindred spirits finding common ground in the spiritual world.

Second, I find “Shadow Spell an intriguing study of old and new Ireland from the landscape to the customs.  Especially how each family unit made their income then and now.  Nora’s description of the tourism of modern Ireland makes me want to visit there and see for myself.

Finally, “Shadow Spell” speaks to the heart.  The importance of family in the good and bad times.  Learning how to work through disagreements within the family both those of the blood and those created through love and understanding.  Nora let me see how love grows through sharing and caring.

I hope you find the story of “Shadow Spell” as inspiring and enlightening as I have.  I’m looking forward to reading “Blood Magick” by Nora Roberts, hopefully to be released in October of 2014.  I’m hoping Cabhan gets what he deserves in this final installment.  I feel it will take spiritual strength and heart that extends back to the year 1268.

I purchased the novel “Shadow Spell” by Nora Roberts online via Turn The Page Bookstore Cafe at this link http://ttpbooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=TTPB&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=COD2

Requesting signed books is still possible. Please follow the instructions on the website carefully to be sure to get the book signed as you request, see this link for further information https://melissablanchard62.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/facebook-posting-from-turn-the-page-bookstore/

The site is safe and secure – I’ve been using it since August 2013 with great success. I visited Boonsboro, MD last July and am also able to say the staff and store are both friendly and helpful in customer service and layout.

Audio is also available via ttpbooks.com but I didn’t realize until after I purchased the audiobook on iTunes via Brilliance Audio see this link:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/shadow-spell-book-two-cousins/id824435002

The narrator, Allan Smyth, has a lovely accent which adds to the feel of traveling to Ireland.  Nora’s excellent descriptive writing does the rest.  I enjoyed listening as I did my daily walks and working on preparing my meals.  Allan’s ability to bring emotions to life with his tone of voice brought depth to the battle scenes.

Thank you Nora Roberts, for giving us this story of family that spans the centuries in the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy with Book 1, “The Dark Witch” reviewed at this link:  https://melissablanchard62.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/dark-witch-book-one-of-the-cousins-odwyer-trilogy-by-nora-roberts/ and Book 2, “The Shadow Spell” and Fall release of “Blood Magick”.

You deliver with every book and I appreciate all you share from the romance, to the family love that is of blood and spirit.  I appreciate the signature as well.  I did “Imagine” and found acceptance and love.  Peace.

 

 

 

“The Collector,” by Nora Roberts

Front Cover The CollectorInside Covers Art The CollectorSignature page The CollectorBack Flap Credits The CollectorBack Cover The CollectorBookSpine

 

“The Collector,” by Nora Roberts surprises, entertains and inspires. Lila is charming with how she makes the most out of all situations. She’s always willing to help out which, in one case, may get her into some trouble.

I don’t want to give away any of the treasures you must uncover for yourself, so not much about the details of the story here. This is a murder mystery romance. It’s also an adventure, comedy and drama.

Laughter, crying and anger are the emotions I experience as I read “The Collector”. Nora is very good at pulling the emotions out of me. She also writes page turners I’m unable to put down – home run with this book. Descriptions of the settings are out of site from downtown New York – street level and a bird’s eye view from the 14th floor window – to Italy. Beautiful scenes of the people, city and rural landscape. Nora took me there for an afternoon better than any movie.

The hard cover book is pictured above with cover and without. Note the back flap is hard to read so I’ll give the credits here:

Jacket design by Richard Hasselberger
Jacket photograph of city
Copyright Sandra Kreuzinger/Getty Images
Photograph of the author Copyright Bruce Wilder [Personal note from me – thank you Bruce Wilder for an excellent picture of Nora – love the scene you chose to frame your subject.]
penguin.com
G.P.PUTNAM’S SONS
a member of
Penguin Group (USA)

“The Collector” book is well crafted and very beautiful with burgundy shades and gold lettering on cover and spine. A great edition to any library shelf. Mine also has a signature from the author virtually via the link: http://ttpbooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=TTPB&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=COLLECTOR_HC

Getting a personalized copy of your own is still an option, just follow the link above and be sure to read my post at this link: https://melissablanchard62.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/facebook-posting-from-turn-the-page-bookstore/
Where you’ll learn all the best practices to get your signed copy anywhere in the world that mail is able to reach.

I also purchased the audiobook from iTunes at this link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/the-collector-unabridged/id852344791

Julia Whelan is an excellent narrator. Her accents and vocal artistry identified each character for me. Every inflection of Julia’s voice convey the emotions of the characters. I enjoy listening to Julia and will again I hope. Nora’s excellent dialog and seamless narratives did the rest.

I hope you all find “The Collector,” as entertaining and adventurous as I do. Now I’m off to read, “Shadow Spell” by Nora Roberts. I’m loving the Cousins O’Dwyer’s trilogy so far. Thank you Nora Roberts for delivering with “The Collector”.

 

 

 

“Ava”, by Ashley Barron (Book One in the Priya Series)

Ava by Ashley Barron

 

Ava is in Washington DC it’s warm and humid when she’s planning for a big event at a museum.  The museum her ex-lover owns which brings back the memories of the breakup. She’s also dealing with a call that says her main assistant who she relies on heavily, Adair MacLean, is missing.

From beginning to end this book is mysterious and Ashley Barron does a great job blending the old romance Ava’s character had with Kader and the mystery of Adair’s disappearance.

The story entitled “Ava” takes us on an adventure of intrigue and danger with many actors.  The Priya club (formed by college friends) adds depth to the tale.

I enjoyed Ashley Barron’s writing style and hope to soon be able to read Bonner’s story.

I bought my copy of the book from Amazon’s Kindle for iPad click on the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/Ava-Priya-Novel-Ashley-Barron-ebook/dp/B0086SLBK6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397931843&sr=8-1&keywords=Ava+book+one+in+the+Priya+series