Mystery

Book Review: Cemetery Road

Author
Iles, Greg
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Marshall McEwan, a successful Washington D.C. journalist, returns to his hometown of Bienville, Mississippi to take over his dying father's newspaper business. He encounters his childhood love, Jet Talal, who is married into a powerful family and whose husband rules the town through an exclusive poker club. The poker club has offered salvation to the town through the form of a billion-dollar Chinese paper mill. Along with that power, Marshall discovers, is corruption and how far reaching it is, going generations back. Ilse will keep you on the edge of your seat and you won't want to put this book down!!

Reviewer's Name
Susi W.

Book Reviews: What You Left Behind

Author
Hayes, Samantha
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

If you’re a fan of British detective novels, What You Left Behind is a great read. It follows Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher, who can’t catch a break from fighting crime even when she’s on vacation. While visiting her sister, Lorraine finds herself investigating a cluster of teenage suicides, wondering if there’s more to their deaths than meets the eye. At the same time, Lorraine’s nephew Freddie sinks into a deep depression, and despite her efforts to reach him, his mother worries he’ll be the next victim.

Although this novel has elements of mystery, it’s more of a thriller than a traditional “whodunit.” But there are plenty of surprising reveals to keep you turning the pages, including a twist ending that you won’t see coming.

While the subject matter might be too dark for some, What You Left Behind provides an unflinching look at the damaging effects of bullying and the lengths we’ll go to keep secrets.

Reviewer's Name
Lisa

Book Review: The Lost Man

Author
Harper, Jane
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Fans of Jane Harper’s Aaron Falk series may be surprised to find that her latest outing is a standalone novel. But make no mistake: The Lost Man is every bit as riveting as The Dry and Force of Nature. It follows the Bright family as they’re forced to come to terms with a very personal loss. Before his death, Cameron was a charismatic and successful rancher and father of two, leading his family to wonder what could have possibly compelled him to venture into the unrelenting Outback alone.

Cameron’s younger brother Nathan is the main character and quite a sympathetic one at that. Divorced, disgraced, and utterly alone, Nathan stands in stark contrast to his older brother Cameron. His story will resonate with anyone who’s ever felt like they’ve hit rock bottom.

Though Harper is known for her mystery novels, the mystery surrounding Cameron’s death in some ways takes a backseat to the family dynamics at work before--and after--Cameron’s death. In other words, the characters, not the plot take center stage here.

Readers who enjoy expert characterization, vivid sensory descriptions, and realistic depictions of family drama will feel right at home with The Lost Man.

Reviewer's Name
Lisa

Book Review: Gone by Midnight

Author
Fox, Candice
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

You may recognize Candice Fox as the coauthor of James Patterson’s Harriet Blue series, which includes titles like Never Never, Fifty Fifty, and Liar Liar. But with Gone by Midnight, the third book in her critically acclaimed Crimson Lake series, Fox has shown that her work deserves a place on every mystery lover’s shelf.

Like the previous two entries (Crimson Lake and Redemption Point), Gone by Midnight follows the wrongfully accused former policeman Ted Conkaffey and convicted killer Amanda Pharrell. In this latest outing, Ted and Amanda are
tasked with investigating the disappearance of 8-year-old Richie Farrow, who seemingly vanished without a trace from his hotel room. Ted and Amanda are two of crime fiction's most original private detectives with Ted’s love for his pet geese and Amanda’s penchant for rhyming and sponge cake. The banter between them peppers the prose with some genuinely hilarious moments.

In addition, the plot moves along at a brisk pace, with plenty of subplots to keep readers’ interest, including Ted’s relationship with his 2-year-old daughter and Amanda’s dealings with a local biker gang.

Anyone looking for a locked room mystery with a bit of Aussie flare should look no further than this thoroughly entertaining romp.

Reviewer's Name
Lisa

Book Review: A Trick of the Light

Author
Penny, Louise
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

After the last book took us outside of the town of Three Pines, I was happy to return to Three Pines with its characters that I've grown to love even if i do dislike some of there personality traits. If you look past all of the murders that have occurred in this charming town that isn't even on a map, it sounds like a quaint village that I could see myself living in.

Reviewer's Name
Amber
Genres

Book Review: Mr. Mercedes

Author
King, Stephen
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

This book was written by Stephen King who is easily one of the most critically acclaimed authors of our time. This book spun a deep mystery of murder and crimes with sudden plot twists and interwoven humor that make it impossible to put it down. As ex-cop Bill Hodges chases down a crazed killer, this novel captures your attention and thrills you to the bone. This book was filled with plot twists and surprises that were near impossible to predict. Stephen King does a fantastic job of weaving this story and making you feel as though you’ve been brought into the story. This is by far one of my favorite books and I recommend it to anyone interested in mystery, crimes, or even just a good read. Though I wouldn’t suggest this book to anyone who is not interested in reading more adult themes or murder and crime.

Reviewer's Name
Audrey B.
Genres

Book Review: A Study in Scarlet

Author
Doyle, Arthur Conan
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

This is the quintessential mystery novel. A Study in Scarlet introduces the famous sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, and his beloved partner, Dr. Watson. This novel makes you instantly fall in love with the famous duo and will keep you captivated for novels to come. Sherlock Holmes' deduction ability will leave you speechless and his wit will keep sucked into the
story. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it for any readers searching for a classic mystery thriller.

Reviewer's Name
John B.
Genres

Book Review: Murder Has Nine Lives

Author
Levine, Laura
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Jaine Austen has a trip to Hawaii with her parents on the horizon, and her new freelance writing assignment gets her a date with the company president's handsome nephew. Just when Jaine thinks her life couldn't get any better, her cat Prozac lands a starring role in a new cat food commercial. Visions of fortune and fame flitter in Jaine's eyes, but it becomes clear that the person who hired Prozac is in some shady dealings, and that the inventor of the cat food is an absolute a**hole (excuse my French). Just as the shoot is about to end, the inventor of the cat food drops dead on set, and it's clear that it wasn't accidental. With everything she was looking forward to now at stake, Jaine Austen must put on her detective gear to catch the culprit before they take a swipe at another victim.

This novel is Laura Levine at her best. At every point when I was reading this novel, I was unable to guess what would come next, and every step of the story had me full of anticipation and joy. It was pretty satisfying to watch Lance get his just desserts, as well as seeing the side plot with Jaine's parents not revolve around one embarrassing antic of Mr. Austen, but a human event that slides into chaos. The mystery, as I said, was handled incredibly well, keeping the readers guessing until the very last page, while still having a hearty helping of Laura Levine's hilarious humor. And let me tell you, while the climax was identical to all Jaine Austen mysteries I've read, I did not expect who the culprit was in the end. It was a plot twist I did not see coming! This is definitely a book I recommend you pick up as soon as you can lay your hands on it.

Reviewer's Name
Naomi S.
Genres

Book Review: The Axe Factor

Author
Cotterill, Colin
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Being cooped up with her eccentric family in a rural village on the Thai coast, Jimm Juree longs for something thrilling and interesting to happen in her life. And lo and behold, she gets it. She is assigned to interview a local European crime novelist named Conrad Coralbank (I legitimately almost wrote Colin Cotterill when typing this review up). At the same time, she finds herself in the middle of solving the disappearance of local doctor Dr. Somluk, who never returned from what was supposed to be a three-day conference, as well as the wife of Conrad Coralbank. All of this looks very suspicious to Jimm's family, who notice Conrad's disturbing attraction to Jimm quicker than a cheetah can run. With a monsoon headed their way, and a potential serial killer threatening Jimm's life, it seems like Jimm's entire world is in for some serious changes.

When I first read this book's description, I didn't have high hopes for it, given that the culprit seemed to be painfully obvious from the start. Half the fun of a mystery novel is figuring out who the culprit is, so having the culprit be handed over to you is a huge blow. With that taken into account, while I was intrigued by the book's premise, I felt like the book wouldn't have much to offer in terms of a thrilling mystery. But I was so, so wrong! The tension in this mystery novel is unlike any I've ever seen before, and the characters are written exceptionally well. Also, be prepared for a huge plot twist at the end, because Colin uses the obvious culprit facade to bring a plot twist you will not see coming. The climax was one of the best parts of this entire novel, not only because of the plot twist and how action packed it was, but because of how funny it was. I kind of want to see a climax similar to it in a Jaine Austen mystery. Just super saiyan. However, this book does have some major problems with dialogue. There weren't enough breaks to tell us who's talking, making the dialogue very confusing to read. The setting of the dialogue is also often made very unclear at first, and there are little interactions with the environment in the dialogue, making the dialogue seem like it's in a vacuum. But even with these dialogue hiccups, this is a book I highly recommend you check out. I'll be back again for books by Colin Cotterill soon, hungry for more.

Reviewer's Name
Naomi S.
Genres