SNIFTER OF DEATH
The summer of 1889 was proving to be a strange one for Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner.
They had a sexual pervert loose. The man didn’t actually harm women but threatened them at knife point, fondling them, and ultimately stealing their stockings.
Far more serious were the murders of influential men, which appeared random other than they were all killed by arsenic poison. Never had he and his partner had cases with so little workable evidence.
Also, the rivalry between him and his detective nemesis at London’s other police department was intensifying. That nemesis was the boxing champion of their department and looking to challenge Rudyard, who never trained as a boxer.
Besides Rudyard’s pride being at stake, and the pride of his station, his nemesis also had in his possession a photograph of the woman Rudyard cares very much for. The new lady in Rudyard’s life had captured his heart and he’d fight the devil himself to save her reputation.
“What address do you show for the Cross family?” the Vicar asked. Her mind went completely blank. Finally, she blurted the only one that came to her, which was no doubt wrong. “Park Lane.”
The Vicar smirked. Not smiled. Smirked. That meant it had to be wrong.
“I suggest you start there. In the meantime, I will have my housekeeper escort you out. I don’t know what you’re playing at but I don’t care for mischief. You’ll do your soul a good turn to drop a coin in the poor box on your way to the street.” He rang a small bell on his desk and the housekeeper came. “See this lady out.”
Graciela stood on the top stair of the chapel cursing her luck when a man’s disturbingly familiar laugh interrupted her thoughts. She took a quick step to the left and flattened herself against one of the portico pillars. The horrible laugh rippled over from close by. It sounded like Detective Bloodstone’s from the morning she’d bailed out Addy. He’d said something that sent the shine boy scampering away and had all the detectives snickering, including Bloodstone.
Taking a deep breath, she peered around the edge of the pillar expecting to see the detective. His presence would’ve been the perfect end to this entire St. Jude’s Chapel mission-turned-catastrophe. To her great relief, it came from a carriage driver. She hadn’t noticed a group of them gathered at the corner waiting to be hired. Graciela, you had no reason to be frightened. You’d done nothing wrong. Stop being such a ninny.
She left the church and headed home. Zachary would be getting up from her nap soon. The whole way home she questioned her luck. A dozen people are murdered every day in London.
How hard can it be to kill someone?
It is the time of Jack the Ripper, the widowed Queen Victoria sits on the throne of England. The whole of London is on edge wondering when or where Jack will kill next. The Palace, Parliament, and the press are demanding the police do more to find him.
In another part of London, rough-around-the-edges war hero, Metropolitan Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone has his own serial killer to find. Inter departmental rivalries, politics, and little evidence to go on hamper the investigation at every turn. In a battle of wills, Bloodstone presses forward following his instincts in spite of the obstacles.
Adding to those problems, away from the strains of the investigation, he is engaged in the ups and downs of a new relationship with a lovely hat maker.
Chris Karlsen is a retired police detective. She spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. The daughter of a history professor and a voracious reader, she grew up with a love of hisotry and books.
An internationally published author, Chris has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa satisfying her need to visit the places she read about. Having spent a great deal of time in England and Turkey, she has used her love of both places as settings for her books. “Heroes Live Forever,” which is her debut book, is set in England as is the sequel, “Journey in Time,” the third is “Knight Blindness.” They are part of her Knights in Time series. All three are available as a boxed set on Kindle. She is currently working on the fourth in the “Knights in Time,” series. “Golden Chariot,” is set in Turkey and the sequel, “Byzantine Gold” is set Turkey, Paris and Cyprus. They are part of her Dangerous Waters series.
Her most recent release is called, “Silk” and is book one of a new series, The Bloodstone Series. It is a suspense set in Victorian London.
Published by Books to Go Now, her novels are available in digital, ebook, and Android App. and in paperback. “Heroes Live Forever” is also in audio format.
A Chicago native, Chris has lived in Paris and Los Angeles and now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four rescue dogs. A city girl all her life, living in a small village on a bay was a interesting adjustment. She’d never lived anywhere so quiet at night and traffic wasn’t bumper to bumper 24/7.
Some of Chris’s favorite authors are: Michael Connolly, John Sandford, Joseph Wambaugh, Stephen Coonts, Bernard Cornwell, Julia Quinn, Julie Anne Long, Deanna Raybourne and Steve Berry.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.
This is a book that will stay with me for a long time, yet I didn’t love it.
I’d been meaning to read this book for a long time, but just never got round to it, then the show came on netflix.
The show broke me. As a parent, I am petrified of my kids (one of whom is 12 and in secondary school) not being open and honest with me about both the good and bad things in their lives. How can I help them if I don’t know what’s happening? In the show, Hannah’s parents (and Clay’s to a certain extent) are completely oblivious to what is going on with their kids beyond the small snippets they are fed, so Hannah’s suicide is a huge shock for all of them.
Watching Clay listen to the taps and slowly begin to lose his mind in guilt and uncertainty is heart breaking, almost as much as what Hannah suffered – in a weird way. This is a kid who never really did anything to anyone, got along with most people, and seemed to be a pretty likeable guy; yet here he is on a list of people Hannah blames.
In the book, Clay only takes a night to list to the tapes and the reader isn’t privvy to what is happening with parents or the others mentioned on the tapes. If I had read the book before the show, I don’t think that would have bothered me, but having seen how well the show rounded out these other characters mentioned in the book, reading felt a little 2 dimensional to me.
While Asher has dealt with such a touchy subject in a wonderfully sensitive way, he could have easily explored the repercussions more – the way the show did.
There are so many questions left to be answered it may leave the reader frustrated, but isn’t that the case when someone makes the choice of suicide? Aren’t those left behind plagued with questions, even if they know ‘why’?
by P.C. Zick
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Lisa Williams has discovered a way to achieve her life-long goal of becoming a famous actress by bringing a reality television show to her hometown. Tommy Jackson despises the idea of exploiting the town and hates it even more when his editor assigns him to cover the show for a Tampa newspaper. Lisa and Tommy have known each other all their lives. Tommy even dated her baby sister, Susie back in high school. But he’s not her type, and her values disturb him. Besides, when she returns to town, she comes with her boyfriend, Jet, who will also star in the television show. When Sally Jean makes an appearance on the show, the producer falls in lust with her, and Lisa worries that Sally Jean will be made the star of the show. Tommy is disgusted by Lisa who seems intent on dragging her family and friends through painful memories in her pursuit of stardom.
Bestselling author P.C. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. And she writes in a variety of genres, including romance, contemporary fiction, and nonfiction. She’s won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction.
A mysterious house. An old journal. A dusty chest holding more than secrets.
Each talisman found in the chest grants the chosen a gift, a unique ability.But with that power comes a burden–the duty of The Order.
Something is coming.
And it’s up to The Order to stop it.
The Talisman Chronicles – All Six Episodes Available for the First Time in a Single Volume
Six short stories, all centred around a house and a mysterious chest. This is T. M. Franklin at her YA Paranormal/romance best!
I originally read this when it was first released, and this is my review from back then (I will edit at the end)
The touch of paranormal to what is a seemingly normal house makes for an interesting story. Chloe has always been linked to the house and the picture window in the living room. It shows her things. Thinks of the past, the present, and what could be.
Chloe, apart from her gift, is your average teenage girl who isn’t part of the ‘in crowd’ at school, preferring to spend her time with her best friend Miranda. Ethan, the boy who lives across the road whom she has a crush on, used to be their friend, but became big man on campus and decided to hang with the popular crowd. Chloe and Miranda are fine about this, until the house shows Ethan in danger.
What follows is a very sweet story about friendship and caring for others and hilarious Twitter conversations. Without spoiling the story, I will say it took me about an hour to read it and I loved every minute. The characters are likeable and relateable, even with the gift Chloe has, and the reader cares about them just as much as the house does.
I want a house like that, that makes me feel warm and fuzzy
The way Franklin has extended and adapted this story to make it the beginning of a series is fantastic as she hasn’t lost the soul of the original story. It smoothly leads into the next without any hitches!
Following on from the first book, Wren is new into town. After Chloe and Miranda become friends with her, and she’s having weird dreams about Chloe’s house, she begins to embrace her destiny – afterall, that is what it is.
By the end of this book, it’s still not completely clear why these things are happening to the teens in their town, but Franklin’s effortless writing style makes you want to keep reading until the very end so you have all the answers.
I think Beck, the main in this episode of The Talisman Chronicles, is my favourite character. He’s focussed on doing well at school and with his swimming, but there’s something about him, a serious side that is so endearing. What we don’t know, until this episode, is about his sister, and the crap he and his dad are going through with her and Beck’s mother.
While all that is going on, Beck is brought into the fold with the others and the prophecy. His destiny is explained to him, and it takes him a while to get used to it and his relationship with Wren. He’s a strong character with flaws that make him all the more relateable.
I have to admit. This episode was my last favourite (which I still enjoyed), but I can’t work out why. It still had the action and a lot more resistance from Maia to everything happening. She was the first to not just blindly accept what was happening to them all. I liked that about her as it made it feel that little more realistic, but there was something a little… off about her episode.
While a lot of questions left open by the previous episodes are answered in this book, more are created by the end of it which is frustrating in such a good way!
Dylan has been a character readers have met a couple of times due to his knowing Chloe and Miranda at school, and then his dad becoming involved with the Order. When Dylan is given his gift, his dad wants nothing more to do with them, and orders Dylan not to either, but the draw is far too strong, for them both.
Dylan defies his dad and puts himself in danger, but eventually his dad realises he needs to do this, they ALL do.
Once again, Chloe is the main in this episode, but by the time this one comes around, we can see how much stress she’s under and how tired she is by everything. All she wants to do is protect Ethan and others not in The Order while The Order prepare for the big fight.
Sadly, it seems that not everyone will survive the battle and this is weighing on Chloe and her friends worry about her.
Are The Order strong enough to band together and do battle?
All in all, this series is fabulous, and I couldn’t put it down. Not one episode slowed the flow of the entire story, and there were a couple of moments that shocked me as I hadn’t seen them coming. I’ve miss T. M. Franklin’s writing, and as ever, I need more!
by T. Y. Carew & Jess Mountfield
Genre: Science Fiction
The mining shafts on Kudos have been producing increasingly smaller quantities of the mind-controllable Adamanta, but when you’re fighting an undefeatable enemy you have to use every advantage you can gain.
It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.
Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.
Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.
Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.
While this book is a solid 3* from me, I have to admit that the first third of the book were a bit slow moving. Penryn’s inner monologue was a little grating, but once she and raffe are on their own, it picked up.
Not having read many books/series about angels, but having gone through a spate of apocalyptic books; I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started Angelfall. Set two months or so after angels took over (I’m assuming Earth, but this book only really deals with America), life as we know it has pretty much gone to shit. Apparently, celestial beings are pretty shitty – but that wasn’t too much of a surprise. Penryn, her disabled sister, and her mum are trying to escape their tiny apartment and get to safety.
We didn’t really get much insight into Paige until after angels have plucked her and flown off with her. This give Penryn her drive to survive after being separated from her family, and thrust into the compay of Raffe, and angel that has had his wings hacked off by other angels.
The mystery surround him was the main thing that kept me reading when I was getting a bit fed up of Penryn’s admiration of him and her apparent fabulousness. She’s a martial arts expert (ish) and apparently pretty beautiful, but we aren’t given much evidence of this.
Once Raffe and Penryn go on the move, things got a little more interesting, particularly within the camp and their subsequent escape.
A few things irritated me with the story, but not enough to make me put it down for too long, and I do want to read the rest in the series. It’s a great idea, but not brilliantly executed, but I was able to overlook that and escape for a few hours.
by Marissa Dobson
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Fighting for love and family.
“Exciting action, well-developed characters, and a fast-paced lively writing style makes Forever’s Fight sure to please!”~ New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Lynn Red