Somewhere over the Ozarks

You've Got Tail Book Cover You've Got Tail
Peculiar Mysteries
Renee George
paranormal, mythology, romance, humour
Barkside of the Moon Press
2015 -
Kindle

Sunny Haddock, an animal-loving vegetarian psychic, is stoked to leave California behind to start a new life in the Ozark town of Peculiar with her best friend Chavvah Trimmel. She ups the moving date when Chav goes missing and high tails it to the small town.

When the gorgeous Babel Trimmel, Chav's younger brother, (along with the sheriff, the mayor, and some other nice folk) suggests Sunny haul her U-haul and butt back out of town, she's undeterred. Her psychic abilities might be out-of-whack, and blood makes her faint, but she's not a quitter. Besides, she's not about to go anywhere until she finds out what happened to Chavvah.

But Sunny has more to deal with than unfriendly townsfolk...like disturbing killer visions and the dog-like animal no one else sees that seems to be stalking her every move. To make matters worse, she is finding Babel to be more irresistible than crack on a donut.

Kidnapping, murder, romance, and a town full of people hiding the truth will keep Sunny Haddock busy as she tries to unravel the strange happenings in Peculiar, Missouri.

Peculiar Mysteries series from USA Today bestselling author Renee George are laugh-out-loud, grip the edge of your seat, and swoon as you fall in love tales of mystery, humor, and romance that take place in the small Ozark shifter town of Peculiar, Missouri.

The town of Peculiar – somewhere in the Ozarks, is solely inhabited by shifters – every size and shape. From squirrel to wolf although the latter normally keep to their own packs. A population of 1000 with another 1000 living in the woods that surround it but very widely spread – some homesteads have 40 acres! The law says that no humans can live in the town as every full moon they go crazy and forget their human side.

Integrators – ie those who want to live with humans, go to other towns.

This a 6 books series of short novels but longer than novellas, with 2 female characters who are key to all the books even when not the main character.

There is a lot of romance in these books, and always some crime and often a grisly murder or 2 – take the Little Piggy serial killer who takes the small toe from each of his victims.

The general nosiness of small towns and the special ability of the only vegetarian in town, who also runs the only vegetarian cafe (think wolves – just how much fruit will they eat?), Sunny who is a human and psychic (and her friend Chavvah). Sunny has introduced the town to Jackfruit – which I had not heard of before, but is a large fruit that in its unripe state resembles meat to look at and in texture, but takes on any flavour you add.

Light but fun reading if you like your crime with a dash of paranormal, which makes an enjoyable change for me from the very serious psychological crime stories I frequently read.

Series books in order:

  1. You’ve Got Tail
  2. My Furry Valentine
  3. Thanks for not Shifting
  4. My Hairy Halloween
  5. In the Midnight Howl
  6. Furred Lines

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A Perfect Death – but for whom?

Perfect Death Book Cover Perfect Death
DI Luc Callanach
Helen Fields
Crime, Thriller & Mystery, female sleuths
Avon Books
January 22, 2018
448

'Without doubt, this is one of the best detective series I have read.' Woman's Way Magazine Your new addiction starts here: get hooked on the #1 bestselling series. Perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and M.J. Arlidge. There's no easy way to die... Unknown to DI Luc Callanach and the newly promoted DCI Ava Turner, a serial killer has Edinburgh firmly in his grip. The killer is taking his victims in the coldest, most calculating way possible - engineering slow and painful deaths by poison, with his victims entirely unaware of the drugs flooding their bloodstream until it's too late. But how do you catch a killer who hides in the shadows? A killer whose pleasure comes from watching pain from afar? Faced with their most difficult case yet, Callanach and Turner soon realise they face a seemingly impossible task...

A spooky and sinister tale about a murderer who is very individualistic. He is looking to provide the Perfect Death for his victims and each attempt brings him closer to his aim. And each victim is chosen for very specific reasons that make sense to him but not necessarily – at least in the beginning – to the police targetted with his capture.

The setting, Edinburgh, adds to the atmosphere as we start on Arthur’s Mount – which is credited with a lot of spooky happenings.

I  thought the portrayal of the police especially Callanach were good and having read Helen Fields before, I was not disappointed.

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Find your way out?

A Map of the Dark Book Cover A Map of the Dark
The Searchers #1
Karen Ellis
crime, detectives, mystery, thrillers, female sleuths
Mulholland Books
11 Jan. 2018)

A girl missing
A woman, searching
A killer, planning...


FBI Agent Elsa Myers finds missing people.
She knows how it feels to be lost...

Though her father lies dying in a hospital north of New York City, Elsa cannot refuse a call for help. A teenage girl has gone missing from Forest Hills, Queens, and during the critical first hours of the case, a series of false leads hides the fact that she did not go willingly.

With each passing hour, as the hunt for Ruby deepens into a search for a man who may have been killing for years, the case starts to get underneath Elsa's skin. Everything she has buried - her fraught relationship with her sister and niece, her self-destructive past, her mother's death - threatens to resurface, with devastating consequences.

In order to save the missing girl, she may have to lose herself...and return to the darkness she's been hiding from for years.

Whilst I did quite enjoy this book especially the characters of some of the teenagers – the girl with creative mind and tattoos of her little creatures that kept her sane and operative under very dire circumstances. However, I found the other teenagers a bit wooden.

What irritated me though, is the current fad for this genre of having the female detectives to be very angst driven and this story takes this to the extreme. Whilst use of the angst is made in the story I am sure this was not the only way it could be written. This downgrades this book to a 4 star.

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Why Lie? Lisa Hartley Tells the Truth

Tell No Lies Book Cover Tell No Lies
Lisa Hartley
crime, detectives, mystery, thrillers, female sleuths
Canelo
19th February 2018

Now they’re coming after Caelan’s team…

A tortured body is found in a basement. Drug dealing and people smuggling is on the rise. Then police start going missing.

There seems to be no connection between the crimes, but Detective Caelan Small senses something isn’t right.

Plunged into a new investigation, lives are on the line. And in the web of gangs, brothels and nerve-shattering undercover work, Caelan must get to the truth – or be killed trying.

And then there’s Nicky...

Utterly gripping, written with searing tension and remarkable dexterity, Tell No Lies is a blistering crime novel for fans of Angela Marsons, Rebecca Bradley and Faith Martin.

An Interview with Lisa Hartley

New Book: Tell No Lies

How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I usually have an idea at the back of my mind for a while – maybe a couple of weeks? It might be the main theme of the book, maybe part of a sub plot, or even a minor scene that will set up major events later on. I don’t really have a notebook or make a list to choose a theme from. I tend to start writing before I make any concrete decisions about topics and wait to see where the story goes.

 How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

Much of the research I do for this series is based on locations, or how a character can get from one part of London to another, and how long it might take them. For this book, I spoke to my partner who grew up in one of the areas mentioned. Because I don’t really plot before I start writing, I tend to do the research as I write, and as necessary.

 What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

Generally: newspaper articles, interviews. Google maps (and street view). I also use relevant books such as Blackstone’s Senior Investigating Officer’s Handbook for my series featuring CID officer. For this book: mainly Google maps, and the Transport for London website to plan Tube journeys. I also read articles about people trafficking, accounts of drug use and talktofrank.com.

 What do you read when you are ill in bed?

It would depend how ill I was feeling. Probably a book I’ve read before, so it’s familiar and a comfort. Maybe an Agatha Christie?

 What is your favourite genre?

It has to be crime, doesn’t it? But I love historical fiction too, and of course historical crime fiction…

 If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

There are loads, and more every month. Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, C.J. Sansom, Toby Clements, S.D. Sykes, Ann Cleeves, Abir Mukherjee, Jane Harper, Nicci French, David Jackson, Alex Barclay, Joseph Knox, Sara Paretsky, Rachel Howzell Hall, and so many more I can’t think of at the moment. Sue Grafton and Helen Cadbury are two writers whose work I’m really going to miss.

Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

It’s probably predictable for a crime writer to say Agatha Christie, but I’m going to. The first “grown up” book I read after the Famous Five and Secret Seven was an Agatha Christie, and I’ve been hooked on the genre ever since. Christie had the knack of conjuring up a character within a few short sentences or even less, and Poirot and Miss Marple are wonderful creations. Her books are short, but if you want an easy read and a clever plot, they deliver every time.

Author Bio:
Lisa Hartley lives with her partner, son, two dogs and several cats. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Studies, then had a variety of jobs but kept writing in her spare time. She is currently working on the next DS Catherine Bishop novel, as well as a new series with Canelo.

Twitter: @rainedonparade

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What lies under…

What Lies Beneath Book Cover What Lies Beneath
Cassie McGraw #1
David Archer
crime, detectives, mystery, thrillers, female sleuths
Lone Stone Publishing
(23 Nov. 2017)

Fresh out of high school and off to college, Cassie thought she had the world by its tail, and then she met Mike. Tall, handsome and a police detective to boot, he swept her off her feet and into a whirlwind relationship that led to an engagement ring. But things aren't always as they seem, and Cassie comes to discover that Mike has a dark side. When she learns just how dark it can be, she comes face-to-face with the greatest forward she could imagine, and it leaves her burned and scarred for the rest of her life. Cassie isn't one to wallow in misery. She takes her experiences and a degree in psychology and sets out to help other women avoid the kind of thing that happened to her, but then one of her clients comes to her in desperation. Her abusive husband has kidnapped her daughter, and it's up to Cassie to find the girl before it's too late. Of course, then the only trick is how to survive.

Here David archer tried a different format and a different type of hero – a heroine.

This is the story of Cassie who uses her dreadful injury for good.

Having been a burns victim myself, and also being female, I got Cassie but not her portrayal. for my mind, Archer cannot successfully write for a female character and certainly not her true reaction to such an injury.

Yes, she will have spent time in therapy – a year he says, physical and psychological, but I know myself, from a lesser injury that a year  is not long enough. The therapy, physical at any rate takes much longer.

I also found that he contradicts himself saying initially that they couldn’t graft and then he says that they did.

So my theory of this author stands. He can’t write a female character that I can believe in. (Nb I have read a complete series of his with a male hero).

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