Wednesday, 26 December 2018

#free book: "Sub-Sahara"

In this military thriller, a freak storm reveals a city hidden deep under the largest sand dunes of the Sahara.

A silver pyramid at the centre of the city is emitting a strange energy signal.

The race is on to secure the energy source and other treasures of the city.

James Cavill and his team of private Special Forces are charged to get there first and secure the treasure for the benefit of all humanity – little do they know what they’ve just walked into…

A #Free Kindle book in which the Sherlock Holmes story is reversed "Moriarty Meets His Match (The Professor & Mrs. Moriarty Mystery Series Book 1)"

Professor James Moriarty has one desire left in his shattered life... revenge.

All he wants is to shame the man who ruined him and stop the brute from harming anyone else. Then he meets amber-eyed Angelina Gould and his world turns upside down.

An exploding steam engine kills a man at the International Exhibition. While Moriarty examines the wreckage, Sherlock Holmes appears, sent to investigate by Moriarty’s enemy. Holmes finds evidence that points at Moriarty, who realizes he must either solve the crime or swing it for it himself. He soon uncovers evidence of fraud and an unscrupulous company promoter. As he pursues those leads, he bumps into the alluring Angelina at every turn. She’s playing some game, but what’s her goal? And whose side is she on?

Between them, Holmes and Angelina push Moriarty to his limits -- and beyond. He’ll have to lose himself to save his life and win the woman he loves.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Review of Book 1 of the Lady Fan-mysteries series "The gilded shroud" by Elizabeth Bailey

Earlier this week I read part 3 in the Lady Fan -mysteries series as an ARC. That novel was that good I decided to purchase the earlier instalments as well. This novel is the first one in the series. Because I read a later book I know who Ottilia is going to marry and that at least a few people are innocent but the mystery was not spoiled by reading a book later in the series. In this first novel Lord Francis and his mother are better described than in book three probably because the writer assumes we know by then how he looks like. In this first novel the sexual attraction he oozes is a lot more evident. I understand the writer wrote romance novels for ages. I would suggest to keep the tasty dish aspect of Lord Francis more like this first novel than the more background one is the later versions.

So what is this first novel all about?
A young widow has just become the companion of a dowager when the daughter in law of that dowager is murdered. Ottilia and the second son try to solve the mystery. There are many possible suspects and family secrets to unearth.

A good detective story with a nice romantic subplot. I also liked the moments of humour like when two old gossips are questioned.

There was however one thing that made me wonder: how can Ottilia and Francis know the countess had intercourse when she has been in her bed for hours afterwards? Now they have rapekits for that but with hours passing and wrapped in sheets the conclusion that the murdered could see while she was in that bed that she had just been f...ed and not just sleeping evaded me. Smell I could have comprehended but view? Covered by a duvet?

Talking about smell. The novel is nowhere explicit in either sexual things or violence but it is explained quite well that you can smell that someone died due to the loss of bowel control. The first one walking into the scene is oblivious to that due to a headcold that blocked her nose.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Three historical novels by Irina Shapiro

 The Folly

The story begins when the two bodies of the wife and son of a nobleman are dragged from a pond on the estate. Then the story continues in a flashback manner.

A young girl's reputation suffers from a scandal and her father forces her to marry a middle aged baronet. After the wedding she meets his son.

The story is set just after Waterloo and is a great read: mystery, romance, historical details. Very well done.

 Precious Bones

A writer with relationship problems feels a weird connection to a skeleton that is found in an old Tudor house. She decides to buy the house and retreats there to write her next novel. For her next book the characters seem to come to life while she is writing the novel.

Precious Bones is in fact two storylines in one cover: the love affair in the Tudor Era and the life of the writer in today's times.

A nice read that gives you a good idea about the Tudor days.

The Inheritance

An American woman inherits a Scottish castle and finds out about her heritage. She
also hopes to find out what happened to the lady of the castle in the 18th century.
When you know about the Scottish Uprising not much news.
Beautiful cover but the dress in mediaeval instead of 18th century.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

The world of Jane Eyre in a detective setting: "The Opium Purge" by Elizabeth Bailey

One morning Lady Ottilia Fanshawe and her husband Lord Francis wake up to a winter wonderland. The garden of his mother's dowerhouse is covered with a thick layer of snow and in the snow an angelic woman is dancing. She seems to be wearing a sparkling dress and a red cape flies around her thus creating the vision of a fairytale princess. When Lady Francis runs downstairs to see who it is she discovered the child inside the house after having broken into it. The young woman is very beautiful but seems a bit strange and childlike.

Not long after that,  the first dead person shows up and Lady Fan, as Ottilia is called by many, helps her husband and her brother with finding the cause of death. When that is clear she uses all her detective skills to find the killer.

The book is situated in the countryside in mostly either the Dower House of the estate of an earl, her brother-in-law, or a three story country house that is the direct neighbour. The era is the end of the 18th century but the only clue to that is a hint to the violence of the French Revolution.

Due to the links to Barbados and mad women in the attic it had a strong Jane Eyre-influence.

The use of laudanum and the effect of opium are a key element in the story. Slavery is discussed as well.

Although several deaths occur none is described in a very violent manner and there are no bedscenes to worry the prudish readers. It is a classic style detective novel.

What I noticed was the higher level of English used in the book. A lot or contemporary, now a bit archaic, words but also just words I had to look up in my Kindle Dictionary. My excuse is that English is not my native language but I can imagine some American readers complaining. I did find it making the story more believable and thought provoking.

I was very impressed and as this was book 3 I think in a series and I had not read the other ones I ordered the first one in the series immediately after. Ok I will know she will marry the lord but the who-done-it in the earlier novels is not spoiled by flashbacks in this one.


Review of "Her Desert Doctor" by Marie Tuhart

The heroine travels to a desert country because her best friend is about to marry the king there. She has been a nurse but went back to college to become a hospital administrator. Upon arriving in the country she is welcomed by the brother of the king who is himself a trained doctor and the country's Minister of Health. Sparks fly.

This romance novel was like a box of candy of all kind of different romance genres: A royal family, an exotic country, a nurse and doctor storyline and a kink titbit. I wonder why is contemporary romance writers feel the need to introduce floggers and clubs.

The story has no weird cultural mistakes and is not that bad. If you are into light reads and like to be able to finish a novel in a few hours this might be something for you.

As you guys know I like to review books for Netgalley a site that provides me with free copies to do just that.

This one is a 3 out of 5 stars. Not bad but also not memorable.