Enjoy history? Like a mystery? Gold Digger is an absolutely delightful historical mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time back in 1898, the Yukon TEnjoy history? Like a mystery? Gold Digger is an absolutely delightful historical mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time back in 1898, the Yukon Territory, in the rip roaring mining town of Dawson. A native born Californian, I was raised on stories of the 1849 Gold Rush and the founding of San Francisco, so reading about the last great Gold Rush had a lot of familiarity but the great Canada wilderness was an unique setting. Vicki Delany has made the town of Dawson and its inhabitants come alive with a vivid realism of a great historical, without making one feel like they are reading a travelogue or passages quoted from a dry history tome.
The story’s heroine, Fiona MacGillivray, is a woman of great courage and strength of will in a time when most women were thought of as no more than chattel. She owns a saloon, the Savoy, named after the fashionable London hotel. She is a woman of class and breeding, in a place where even a saloon owner can be considered respectable, if she acts as such. She has a 12 year old son Agnus, a smart inquisitive lad who hero worships the local Mountie, Constable Sterling, and wants to become a Mountie himself.
After surviving the arduous journey to get to the Klondike and the near starvation of the first winter, summer is extraordinary beautiful, with fields of glorious wild flowers, warm days, sapphire blue sky. Life is good in Dawson, the Savoy’s business is booming, until Jack Ireland arrives. A newspaper reporter from San Francisco, he immediately makes enemies and within 3 days is found dead, throat cut, on the stage of the Savoy. Was it the rival newspaper man? Or Fiona’s lead singer, Irene, whom Jack physically abused? Or Fiona’s partner, jealously protective of Irene? Or the good woman that Jack called a prostitute in his first story sent back to San Francisco? Or Fiona herself, whom Jack threatened to destroy for standing up for Irene and defending herself? Or someone else?
Not a particularly complex mystery, it is still satisfying all the way around. It works because of the well drawn characters and setting handled with a careful attention to detail.
In my opinion, Gold Digger really strikes gold!
I understand it is the start of a new series, and I look forward to once again visiting Dawson and its interesting and colorful inhabitants. ...more
WARNING: Do Not Read This Book, until you can read #10. This book has a real cliff hanging ending, leaving you craving another servin**spoiler alert**
WARNING: Do Not Read This Book, until you can read #10. This book has a real cliff hanging ending, leaving you craving another serving, and unfortunately it will be some time before THE GREEN MAN appears. According to the Laurie R. King website http://www.laurierking.com/. Sometime in 2010.
But what about THE LANGUAGE OF BEES? It has been quite awhile since I read any Mary Russell. The last book LOCKED ROOMS was published in 2005. That is one thing that amazes me. How she can continue with such long breaks between stories, the problems of continuity are overwhelming. I am amazed that the story continues on so strongly, pulling you in, and wrapping you in the familiar.
Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes return home after almost a year away. They have traveled around the world solving crimes, some devastating to themselves personally and to their relationship. They come home rather wounded, to discover not the peace and haven they thought, but that Sherlock Holmes has a grown son, whose wife and daughter have gone missing. Their search for Yolanda and Estelle leaves them following a trail of bloody sacrifices and a religious madman. Can they decipher the clues and reach the trail’s end in time to save an innocent child from the sacrificial knife?
This book pulled me in. I couldn’t put it down, reading all day Sunday. Still not finished I did the unthinkable and skipped to the end. But it did allow me to go to bed and return to reading the next day. This time I read more slowly because I didn’t want to abandoned that world. I want to keep reading. Laurie R. King is such a great writer and her portrayals of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes brilliant. But LANGUAGE OF BEES was like Star War’s “Empire Strikes Back”. While it comes to a satisfactory end, there is so much is left unanswered that I’m impatient for the next in the series. Probably to satisfy my hunger, I will have to go back and read the whole series from the beginning. Now that’s a good idea, each book is well worth reading again, and maybe by then the next book will be out.
JUSTICE HALL is the sixth book in the series about Sherlock Holmes and his wife Mary Russell. Yes, a much older Sherlock Holmes, now in his fifties, hJUSTICE HALL is the sixth book in the series about Sherlock Holmes and his wife Mary Russell. Yes, a much older Sherlock Holmes, now in his fifties, has taken on an apprentice and a wife, in the much younger Mary Russell. The stories are told from Mary's viewpoint, as she and Sherlock work together to solve cases.
This one reunites Mary and Sherlock with two former friends, but times find them much changed. When Mary and Sherlock knew them, they knew them as Ali and Muhammad, two Beduins who helped them travel through Palestine on a secret mission for Mycroft. At the time Sherlock had his suspicions that the two brothers were not originally Arab as they appeared. And indeed they were not. Now, Ali turns up on the door begging help for Muhammad and looking and sounding like a very proper English gentleman. The problem that Ali needs help with so desperately is the fact that circumstances have demanded that Muhammad resume his old life as Marsh Hughenfort and the death of the heir to the title has made him the seventh Duke. Mary and Sherlock travel to Justice Hall and find a very unhappy man determined to do his duty, even though being away from his beloved desert is killing him. When it becomes clear that they will not be able to change his mind, Sherlock and Mary set out to help by providing Marsh with support during the difficult time and begin investigating the rather suspicious death of the young heir, executed for cowardice during World War I, and the set out to prove whether or not Marsh's heir, the son of his brother, is actually his son. More and more mysteries enter and then someone tries to kill Marsh. And the game is afoot.
Laurie E. King has written another great addition to her rather improbable mystery series that takes a very much different look at Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock is still the Sherlock we know and love and yet different. Mary is charming and a very unique modern woman, a true heroine. JUSTICE HALL is very worth reading.
Fans of Saint-Germain will be absolutely delighted at this addition to the saga of the legendary vampire. It is the year 535 AD and Saint-Germain, akaFans of Saint-Germain will be absolutely delighted at this addition to the saga of the legendary vampire. It is the year 535 AD and Saint-Germain, aka Zangi-Ragozh, is a successful merchant in China. Called to wait upon the Chinese Emperor, Zangi-Rogozh starts to cross China with a small caravan and his faithful servant, Rojeh, when distant Krakatoa erupts in a mighty volcanic explosion that is even heard in distant Peking. Following the eruption, tsunamis destroy coastal towns and much of the shipping. (Shades of what recently happened in that area.) Tons of ash and sulfur are thrown into the atmosphere, ringing the world and causing severe weather changes. The sun dims. Burning sulfur rain and yellow snow fall. There is no spring, no summer, crops fail, famine and fevers plague not just some of the world, but everywhere. Many people believe that the end of the world is coming. Zangi-Ragozh decides to return to his homeland, the book covers his long and perilous journey.
Those who know the series will find the glimpse afforded into Saint Germain’s beginnings fascinating and the trials and tribulations that the hero must overcome interesting reading. Those new to the series may be surprised, for this series certainly is not like any other. Be prepared for a rich historical novel where the hero just happens to be a vampire rather than a vampire novel. There are no bloody animalistic feeding frenzies. While Saint-Germain does enjoy sex with his food, the heightening of emotions increases the power of the blood to sustain him, the stories lack the elaborate sexual fantasies of the typical vampire romance. And while Saint-Germain has his past anguishes, he is no brooding hero living in the throws of despair. In fact, having lived 2500 years has made him rather cautious and conservative. He tends to plan for the worse and believes in taking extra precautions. Still, he is very much a hero for the kindness and generosity that he displays, especially towards women, making him much more human than the humans around him. Nor have his vampire powers made him something of a super hero battling evil. No extraordinary powers such as an ability to change form or control minds. He possess the usual strengths, imperviousness to cold, excellent night vision, and an amazing ability to heal himself. But he is not dead to the world during the day nor does he burst into flames when touched by sunlight. He is weakened by running water and sunlight, but that can be countered to some extent by his native soil, which he keeps in the heel of his boots, stuffed into his saddle, and in a crate to sleep on. But Saint-Germain is more than a mere vampire. He is an intellectual, an Alchemist capable of changing lead into gold and making precious jewels, and a healer, who makes what he calls the sovereign remedy out of moldy bread. While we care about Saint-Germain, the author tells more than just his story as she blends letters from various ship captains, merchants, and friends to tell the story of the people he comes in contact with and the world in general during this time of crisis. This is not a fast read, but it is an interesting read, giving the reader a feel for a time and place from long ago. It is a worthy addition to what may possibly be the longest vampire series.
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes is only 21 and has already published seven books. Her first book IN THE FOREST OF THE NIGHT was written when she was only 13. EvAmelia Atwater-Rhodes is only 21 and has already published seven books. Her first book IN THE FOREST OF THE NIGHT was written when she was only 13. Every one of her books is a treat. Though marketed as Young Adult, there is nothing childish about subject matter or the writing. The lyrical quality and maturity of her writing belies her age or lack of experience.
HAWKSONG is the start of a series about shapeshifters. Dancia is an avian shapeshifter, heir to the throne, whose people are at war with the serpiente, snake shapeshifters. The war has gone on so long that no one can remember what caused it. Dancia will do anything to stop any more of those she loves from dying, even if it means sacrificing herself in an attempt to bring peace by mating with Zane, the ruler of the serpiente. Zane is as committed to peace as she is, but by nature they are so different can they ever bridge the gap between them. Zane emotional and easy to anger, a deadly killer whose venom can kill her in an instant. Dancia trained from childhood to be reserved and cold, fragile, whose wings are her only protection.
HAWKSONG is a wonderful fantasy novel, rich in imagination, vivid in images, entrancing in its characterization. It certainly well worth reading, even if you are no longer a young adult....more
Texas has swamps and bayous? Who knew? Kind of goes against my image of dDEAD WRECKONING
By Sylvia Dickey Smith
Pirates, smugglers, and murder in Texas
Texas has swamps and bayous? Who knew? Kind of goes against my image of dusty, dry Texas, with the tumbling, tumbling weeds. But I suppose along the coast you would find swamps and bayous. Author Sylvia Dickey Smith has made the area come vividly alive for me, complete with mosquitos, crocodiles or is it alligators, and Spanish moss.
DEAD WRECKONING is an unusual mystery combining the paranormal, a dog, and an older female sleuth, but Sid Smart is no Miss Marple. She is plagued by doubts and insecurities. She left her abusive husband, and the confining world of being a minister’s wife, to build a new life as a private detective. Insecure in her new romantic relationship with Ben and unsure of her abilities as a newly licensed PI, she struggles to save her client from being convicted of murder. Boo, an old woman, claims to have found Jean Lafitte’s schooner, Hotspur, out in the bayou, but when she and her cousin, Sasha, return the next day the schooner is gone. Instead they find Sasha’s husband’s body. Since Boo shot at Zeke the day before, Sasha blames Boo and she is arrested. Sid is on the case, uncovering old pirates, modern smugglers, and ruthless treasure hunters. Visiting the scene of the crime she sees a ghost ship, with a beautiful and buxom lady pirate. Later a gentleman out of the 19th century visits her with a cryptic message. Are they ghosts? Real or just illusions? Sid isn’t sure and neither are we.
I really liked Sid Smart and all her baggage as she struggles to break free of the old confining church life where her husband demanded that she be the perfect minister’s wife. As a former minister’s wife myself, I could relate to her hang-ups and. And her relationship with her dog, almost supernatural. Then there are all the colorful, and I do mean colorful, characters. The writing is good, descriptions vivid. It is well edited, grammar and spelling, but I found myself having to re-read passages to comprehend them a few times.
The solution to why Sasha’s husband was killed was rather obvious, and surprisingly Sid nor the cops never seemed to consider it as a possibility. But the unraveling of the mystery moved along nicely, going in some interesting directions, and coming to a rousing conclusion. DEAD WRECKONING is a delightful mystery, well worth your time and attention, if you like mysteries with a touch of Southern charm. I certainly hope Sid Smart gets her detective agency rebuilt and there will be many more cases in the future.