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Dust up: A Book Review

Witch Dust: A Paranormal Comedy Book Cover Witch Dust: A Paranormal Comedy
Thriller Witch Series Book 1
Marilyn Messik
Mystery & Thrillers, Women's Fiction
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 12 Jan 2020

For Sandra, daughter of illusionists, Adam and Ophelia, life’s never been run of the mill! But when Adam’s wandering eye lights on yet another conquest, Sandra’s caught in the reverberations of her parents acrimonious parting. Coerced into restoring her depressed Mother to the bosom of a family Sandra never knew existed, she’s sucked into a situation that even for her is unnerving.

From being without a single relative, she suddenly acquires several she’d rather do without. Ophelia, it appears, has not been entirely honest about any number of things. There’s no doubt in Sandra’s mind, the sooner she puts as much distance as possible between herself, the newly discovered nearest and dearest with their peculiar tendencies and failing hotel business, the happier she’s going to b. 

There are just a few things to sort first including a possessed chef; a hanged housemaid; a fly-on-the-wall documentary and a doppelgänger. Things slide swiftly from bad to farce and then get a hell of a lot darker. One minute she’s saving the family business the next, battling to save their lives. Turns out, some darknesses, once buried, are best left undisturbed.

Complicated fun and bizarre plot elements give a nicely humorous storyline for this witch-based story. Starting with initial paragraph where her mother transports into her living room with her luggage, a cat, and a brown envelope, and announces that she has just killed her husband – our narrator’s father!

Of course, this turns out not be as literal as it could have been.

Ma and Pa were 2 halves of a Magic Act – which of course was more magical than they let on. They had been together for many years touring and bringing baby along too – both were beautiful, glamourise and natural show business actors. They had a manager named Murray who did most of the actual child rearing for Serenissima (AKA Sandra) our narrator. Who much preferred to be living outside of the chaotic life of her parents.

And then Pa has a mid-life crisis and decides that Ma is getting too old for the act and he would prefer a younger partner. Which is of course the start of the shenanigans that occur, especially around the knives! And the ghosts and….

Fun and light with a show business element.

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Please help the Librarian : night time only!

The Librarian’s Vampire Assistant Book Cover The Librarian’s Vampire Assistant
(The Librarian’s Vampire Assistant, #5)
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Romance
Independently Published
Publication date: October 31st 2020

From New York Times Bestseller Mimi Jean Pamfiloff comes a snarky Mystery with a side dish of Romance and two sprinkles of chaos, THE LIBRARIAN’S VAMPIRE ASSISTANT, Book Five. (Yep! These books are STANDALONES. But the more you read, the merrier!)

NEVER HIRE A HANDSOME VAMPIRE!

MIRIAM MURPHY loves being a librarian. It’s all she’s ever wanted—to eat, breathe, and sleep books. But when she hired Michael, a handsome college student, she had no idea he was a four-hundred-year-old vampire and that inviting him into her life would result in her becoming one too. But not before he knocked her up and broke her heart.

Now Miriam is a single mother, all alone in a new world with a new vampire body. And someone’s trying to kill her. Who? Why? She has no real enemies.

If only Michael would help. After all, he’s the vampire king now. And this is one mystery she can’t solve on her own.

NEVER FALL FOR A LIBRARIAN!

MICHAEL VANDERHORST knows he’s changed. He can no longer love or laugh or enjoy hot peppers like he used to. But being an unfeeling, ruthless vampire is what it takes to rule the deadliest bloodsuckers on the planet. It’s the only way to keep humankind safe.

Problem is, his enemies know the librarian and his daughter are special to him. They are his to protect, even if he’s incapable of feeling love.

But when danger comes knocking at Miriam’s library door, he must choose between solving the biggest mystery of his existence and the woman he swore to protect.

What’s a vampire king to do?

EXCERPT

My parents started this library and filled it with millions of dollars of books. Three floors. Open in the middle—same as our house—overlooking the main floor. When I wasn’t in school or training to be a Keeper, I was here, losing myself in books. I think I always knew I wanted to be a librarian, but it just took a while to work up the courage to tell my family. Of course, when I did, they acted like I’d told them I wanted to be a porn star or bank robber.

To this day, I don’t regret my choice, but I do regret how my parents were murdered before I could convince them that choosing another path in life didn’t mean I hated them. They died thinking the worst of me, and for that, I don’t think I’ll ever feel closure.

I pull into the parking lot to the side of my library and immediately go for my crossbow. The big one this time. Bertha.

There are four black SUVs in the lot and two parked out front on the busy street at the meters. I know it isn’t Nice, which is why I grab the chocolate-tipped arrow. I make them myself with pure cocoa powder and a flour paste so the tip hardens just enough to penetrate the skin. Vampire skin.

Chocolate is a narcotic for us. Give us enough, and it’ll kill, whereas a small dose has the same effect as alcohol. I’ve yet to sample any since being turned because I’ve been alone with Stella and must be on my guard. Mommy can’t get a chocolate chip cookie buzz until she finds a ninja sitter.

I take my crossbow and exit my Hummer. I might be a librarian, but when it comes to defending my child, I’m a one-woman army. Ready to kick fangs or asses. The ill-fitting, disheveled clothes I wear—below-the-knee skirts, moth-eaten sweaters, and granny glasses—are merely a disguise. Today I have on a wrinkled white blouse, plain tan pants, and a black cardigan that’s all stretched out. People see me and think I couldn’t harm a fly or fight my way out of a paper bag. All part of my Keeper upbringing. Unfortunately, my natural clumsiness is genuine, and so is my lack of love for violence. I can fight, and fight well. It’s just not something that comes naturally or that I enjoy. Even when I was Nice’s prisoner, fear always held me back. And he knew just how to use it to keep me tethered to his side, reading bad poetry, helping him shop online for ruffled shirts, telling him how much I admired his wiry body and long black locks.

The man is a monster.

At least I wasn’t mistreated sexually. Mr. Nice has a rule about not sleeping with humans (apparently they’re too fragile for his bedroom games), but he kept Stella from me. Those are years lost with my daughter, and I’ll never get them back. For that, he’ll pay.

How?

Purchase:

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/book/the-librarians-vampire-assistant-book-5/id1531938933

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-librarian-s-vampire-assistant-book-5

AUTHOR BIO:

MIMI JEAN PAMFILOFF is a New York Times bestselling author who’s sold over one million books around the world. Although she obtained her MBA and worked for more than fifteen years in the corporate world, she believes that it’s never too late to come out of the romance closet and follow your dreams.

Mimi lives with her Latin lover hubby, two pirates-in-training (their boys), and their three spunky dragons (really, just very tiny dogs with big attitudes) Snowy, Mini, and Mack, in the vampire-unfriendly state of Arizona.

She hopes to make you laugh when you need it most and continues to pray daily that leather pants will make a big comeback for men.


Author links:

https://www.instagram.com/mimijeanpamfiloff/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5618190.Mimi_Jean_Pamfiloff

https://www.facebook.com/MimiJeanPamfiloff/

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A Watery Tale

Once Upon a River Book Cover Once Upon a River
Diane Setterfield
Fairy Tales, Myths, Historical Thrillers, Literary fiction
Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, Doubleday
(29 Aug. 2019)

It was the longest night of the year when the strangest of things happened . . .

____________________

On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the Thames, the regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open and in steps an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a child.

Hours later, the dead girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life.

Is it a miracle?

Is it magic?

And who does the little girl belong to?

An exquisitely crafted multi-layered mystery brimming with folklore, suspense and romance, as well as with the urgent scientific curiosity of the Darwinian age, Once Upon a River is as richly atmospheric as Setterfield’s bestseller The Thirteenth Tale.

Once upon a time – we still see echoes of it today – people gave offerings to the water goddesses. And in this story we delve back into the myths surrounding these water goddesses and fairies and the birth caul, as well as the River Thames.

In the time when traffic on the river was heavy and barges came and went loaded up with goods that were easier to transport on water than road, we find ourselves stopping at ancient inns along the towpaths. And in the dark evenings, sitting around the fireplace, stories were told to keep the travellers entertained.

The Swan Inn was such an Inn situated in the watercress fields – fields nourished by the dead bodies of those that fell in a long ago battle. The Thames has been fought over for many centuries – from Alfred onwards. Later than the time of this story, a railway was built – called the WaterCress Line (!), just to bring this prized salad crop to London. Watercress is an aquatic plant species with the botanical name Nasturtium officinale.
In former times there was little choice of green vegetables in Winter and Watercress filled that gap with its ability to crop at least 4 times a Season. https://astonrowant.wordpress.com/ewelme-watercress-beds/

I really liked the way the story was told. The sentences and phrasing reminded me of nineteenths century novels. It is slow and detailed and the characters come to life and talk to you. There is a narrator too who tells a different story – the story of rivers, the Thames and links into the various lore of the different traditions.

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Icelandic Noir

The Darkness Book Cover The Darkness
Ragnar Jónasson
Women Sleuths, Norse and Icelandic Stories, Murder Mystery, Psychological Thriller
Michael Joseph
March 15, 2018
352

After being unceremoniously forced into early retirement at the age of 64, Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsd ttir of the Reykjavik Police is refusing to go quietly. Hulda is told to pick a cold case to investigate for two more weeks and she knows just the one. A young woman found dead on the seaweed-covered rocks of the Vatnsleysustrond. A woman who had come to Iceland in search of refuge and found only a watery grave. Her death was ruled a suicide after a slapdash investigation. But when Hulda starts to ask questions she soon realises that there was something far darker to this case. That this was not the only young woman to disappear from the hostel where the asylum seekers waited for their judgement and that no one is telling the whole story. And that if she uncovers something she shouldn't her own life might be in danger.

It was a dark and dreary time in Iceland – but then Iceland doesn’t get much sun and fun at the best of times – and if I was an asylum seeker, it is one of the last places I would chose to go to. Winter lasts a very long time indeed – and there aren’t a lot of people there (it is the most sparsely populated country in Europe) – and there isn’t much that is green and… bits of it are falling off – [Personal fact – I saw a glacier ‘calving’ once in Alaska – it was outstanding and so blue!]

But if needs must, then you go. But what you don’t want to find is a system where being female is something that puts you in yet more danger.

We have e new detective to me in this book – a Hulda Hermannsdóttir of Reykjavik, who doesn’t get on so well with her colleagues and thus is left investigating a cold case – the death of an asylium seeker. But what she gradually uncovers is rather more than she expected.

I am not a great Nordic Noir fan, whether in books or on TV, but this book fascinated me. It was well plotted and well translated and the style was polished. It was basically good storytelling for a murder and in the classic style.

I enjoyed it and the as for the ending – well a good plot with plenty of red herrings (and the Icelandic folks probably know quite a lot about them) – and unexpected ending.

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Wild witches

Wilde and Witchy
complete series
Ruby Raine
paranormal romance -- urban fantasy-- supernatural suspense & mystery
Independently published
(23 July 2019)

"Sassy. Steamy. Magical. -- A cold shower is needed after reading this series!" Dani doesn't know she's a powerful witch - her unknown protectors murdered before passing on their knowledge. Now, evil sets their murderous intent on Dani: wanted dead--not alive, before she discovers she's the only witch powerful enough to stop the ultimate evil from rising. Join thousands experiencing Wilde & Witchy Today! All Dani Harper wanted was a vacation in the one place she could still call home.After tragedy strikes and she loses her mother, Dani needs a dose of the next best thing--her Aunt Marni, her three never-seem-to-age Siamese cats, some much needed summer sun, and endless moonlight and mojitos under the bright starry island sky each night.What she got, was thrown into the middle of two murder investigations, an old flame--in the form of the sexy local police chief--telling her the supernatural not only exists, but that she's a witch with a price on her head. He offers protection from this supernatural hitman, but Dani soon finds out its her heart and soul that needs the protection most because she's falling--again--for Galen Wilde, and he's got a wicked supernatural secret of his own.**The Complete Series Bundle:Book 1: The Day the Witch Stood Still Book 2: Gone With the WolvesBook 3: A Mating Most FoulBook 4: When the Shift BlowsBook 5: Phantom of the Opera House B&BBook 6: Someone to Witch Over MeBook 7: It's a Witchy Life (Series Finale)

So we have the Wilde witches – a family of female witches from New England – Blueberry Island – who have inherited powers. Each witch inherits powers as her forebears die – until the last witch standing will inherit all of them – and also a mega million fortune and loads of land and a mansion.

Finally there are 3 sisters and one goes bad – embraces the dark and is cast out of the family. The 2 sisters are murdered leaving only the one daughter left – who initially hadn’t realised that she was a witch as her mother and aunt had kept her powers from her. But on their death she inherited them and the millions and the mansion and and.. Whilst including a great many different magical and paranormal creatures and ideas from curse, werewolves, shifters, intersexuality; homophobia and the general issues of living on a small island where things often go bump in the night; the storylines also deal with the different social issues that result from sexuality and ability to bear children and others in a very nuanced and sensitive manner following up the characters and their emotions and fears.

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