Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This Pearl is a Gem!

The Puerto Rico Pearl, by J.A. Jemay, is a new Ainsley Walker Gemstone Travel Mystery. This time Ainsley finds herself in Puerto Rico because her homebound flight is diverted due to a hurricane. With hotels full, she takes a chance and goes to stay with the family of the woman sitting next to her on the plane. That’s the first chance she takes and she takes many – most of which no one in his or her right mind would take. But this is a mystery, so on with the story. Ainsley is convinced to find the family heirloom of an elderly lady. Since she’s a gemstone detective and since she’s stuck on the island for about a week, she decided to give it a try. The search brought her all over Puerto Rico including the island of Vieques. The story itself was a bit farfetched but still very interesting. I love Puerto Rico and it was fun to read about different areas I’ve visited. But Jemay included a lot of history and culture of the island people, which really made the book for me. Meanwhile, the story itself was quite good and I love surprise endings. I recommend this book if you enjoy mysteries or Puerto Rico. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Sea Empress is Back!

Return of the Sea Empress, by Ken Rossignoll. is a book similar to his first, The Privateer Clause, but shorter with far fewer incidents. Thank goodness! Not that the incidents aren’t interesting but his previous book in the series had far too many happenings. I still think he needs to add a bit of meat to some of the events happening on his ship. He seems to tell the reader the incident and move on to the next – not filling in the drama. Rossignoll has a few surprises for the reader in this book including a visit by the President of the United States. Again, a bit unbelievable but fun anyway. I think my favorite part is when Leopold Bryan, the President’s brother who is an actor on the ship, is sent to meet with Cuba’s Fidel Castro when the ship makes a stop there because of a storm brewing. But even here Rossignoll tells the story but doesn’t add the drama of showing it. It would be more interesting if he did. However, I think Rossignoll has wonderful ideas and is improving his style. Just fleshing out these stories a bit would make these incidents so much more fun for the reader. Keep working at it, Rossignoll, you’ve got a good thing going here. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cat and Mouse - Historical Fiction

Tim Vicary’s Cat and Mouse is an excellent historical fiction novel. And I love historical fiction. Set in 1914 in London and Ulster where two sisters live. One’s an activist fighting for the right to vote. The other is trying to be the good wife and mother but with a husband who isn’t interested in her – just in his career and the image of having a good marriage. Their two lives intertwine when the older sister Sarah is thrown into jail and the other sister Deborah is pregnant (by another man). They both have issues to resolve but they’re set in a man’s world and that world could be cruel in those days. This novel deals with the differences between the rich and poor, male dominance, childhood prostitution, political and labor issues. It’s well written and full of good historical fact. Yet at the same time, is quite easy to read and hard to put down. I highly recommend Vicary’s Cat and Mouse.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Plenty of Terror in this One!

Trial and Terror, by Adam L. Penenberg, is an interesting but rather rough mystery. Penenberg is an excellent writer - I just had a hard time with the tough language. I'm sure many will enjoy it though. It centers around Summer Neuwith, a public defender who defends a rapist despite her own rape history. He gets off and then begins to stalk Summer, knowing everything about her. Add to this, the prosecutor is killed and Summer's mother is missing. All these little sub-stories come together in the end - a very interesting end indeed. If you like mysteries you'll like this book. But if you're a prude (and maybe I am), the language may be a little bit much for you. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.