Category: Crime

Dead Down East by Carl Schmidt

Posted May 2, 2017 by karenbaron in Crime, Murder, Mystery, Review, Series / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dead Down East by Carl SchmidtDead Down East by Carl Schmidt
Series: Jesse Thorpe Mysteries #1
Series Rating: four-stars
Published by Carl Schmidt on 5/25/2016
Genres: Crime, Humor, Mystery
Pages: 268
Format: ebook
four-stars

Dead Down East, a fictional murder mystery, is both detective noir and smart screwball comedy rolled into one. Jesse Thorpe, a young private investigator operating out of Augusta, Maine, receives a mysterious phone call from a former client, Cynthia Dumais. She begs to be rescued from an island south of Brunswick, within a mile of where William Lavoilette, the governor of Maine, was assassinated the night before. She insists that her life is in danger, but is unwilling to provide any further information. Reluctantly, Jesse goes to fetch her.

Within a week, Jesse has three separate clients, each with his, or her, own desperate need to have the murder solved. He assembles a motley team of compadres, including rock band members, a tie-dye psychic and his rousing girlfriend, Angele Boucher, to help him with the case. While the FBI and the Maine State Police investigate political motives, Jesse looks for the woman—Cherchez la Femme—as the trail draws him through the lives, and DNA, of the governor’s former mistresses.

Fresh, witty and loaded with eccentric characters, this first novel in the Jesse Thorpe Mystery Series is both clever and stylish. It’s an old-school private eye tale with inventive twists and local charm. If you enjoy a well-crafted and zesty narrative, lively banter, or take pleasure in the company of Mainers, you’ll love Dead Down East.

I really enjoyed this book, Dead Down East.

I thought in my mind that it was going to be like Jessica Fletcher meets Sam Spade. However, it was not and I was completely surprised. I love the story, the mystery, the characters and their witty banter.

Our main character is Jesse Thorpe. Jesse is many things. He is a carpenter, a bass player in a local band, a fly fisherman, and a private investigator. He seems to stay busy. Jesse has lots of friends and a likable personality. Jesse is someone I would be friends with.

Jesse’s fishing vacation is cut short by a plea for help from Cynthia Dumais. Cynthia needs Jesse to pick her up and locate who killed the Governor of Maine, William Lavoilette.  Jesse agrees to do this task, putting himself in physical and professional danger. Cynthia is nice enough. She is a real estate agent. However, Jesse ends up with three clients who all want the same thing, him to find who murdered the Governor. Jesse must go through the list of the Governor’s mistresses. There had to be a cliché, why not use the politician? I actually thought this was a great resource to use.

My favorite character though was Angele Boucher. I loved her wit, confidence, her ability to go with the punches. She is extremely verbal about her needs, wants and wishes. She works for a law firm and has a professional side, yet she still cracks jokes and shows her feminine side. She and Jesse have a fun, wonderful relationship.

I believe this will become one of my top mystery series. I loved the noir references and the old school sayings. The portrayal of Maine and its personalities. I loved the femme de fatale references and the way the truth came out. Jesse and his gang of friends are smart and brave. I loved the red herrings, especially the way his friends made bets on who the murderer was.

My rating for this book is 4 stars.

If you love good honest mysteries, check out this series: Jesse Thorpe Mysteries by Carl Schmidt. The second book is A Priestly Affair is now available.

**Where to find Dead Down East **

** Goodreads **

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

four-stars

About Carl Schmidt

Carl Schmidt graduated from Denver University with a degree in mathematics and physics. As a Woodrow Wilson Fellow he studied mathematics at Brown University.

Carl lived and traveled widely throughout Asia for seven years, including two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines and five years in Japan, where he taught English.

Carl has spent dozens of summers in Maine, on lakes and in the woods. He chose it as the setting for this novel because he loves its rugged natural beauty and the charming idiosyncrasies of Mainers. He has also written and recorded three musical albums. This, along with his formal education, proved invaluable when molding the persona and voice of Jesse Thorpe, the narrator of Dead Down East, and endowing him with both a creative eye for detail and a sense of humor.

Dead Down East is the first novel in the Jesse Thorpe Mystery Series, which includes A Priestly Affair and Redbone. In 2001, New Falcon Press published his non-fictional book, A Recipe for Bliss: Kriya Yoga for a New Millennium.

Currently, he is a freelance writer living in Sedona, Arizona with his lovely wife, Holly, and their faithful German shorthaired pointer, Alize.


Burning North Diamonds for Drugs

Posted October 13, 2016 by karenbaron in Adventure, Crime, Fiction, Review, Series / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Burning North Diamonds for DrugsBurning North: Diamonds for Drugs by Phil Cuda
on January 28th 2016
Genres: Crime, Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 494
Format: ebook
three-stars

In January 2000, the Australian federal government is alerted that smugglers are stealing flora and fauna in North Queensland. Two special undercover agents are sent to investigate. The agents uncover diamond and gold thefts, as well as huge quantities of drugs being trafficked into Northern Australia, North America and Europe as well as around the world by a huge Paris based crooked Global Corporation. The pair set out to destroy the drug cartel, which in turn sends out its own brand of killers to destroy the agents. A huge bounty is placed on the heads of the agents as they battle to thwart the corporation and stop its laundry list of crimes. From Cairns to the Gold Coast, to Paris and the jungles of Malaysia, to New York and Australia and back again to Paris, the battle rages on. With the agents finally on the cusp of closing down the corporation's illegal operations in Australia, they need to survive long enough to defeat the French connection. Phil Cuda was born in 1945 in Southern Italy. His parents moved to North Queensland when he was five. He says his parents "had four children and only the clothing on their backs after the war problems in Europe and more so in Italy. Australia was and is a land of opportunity for anyone who cares to work. I am a grandfather and love it." He still works in property development. Publisher's website: http: //sbprabooks.com/PhilCuda

My Thoughts:          The Australian version of James Bond

I had a hard time getting into this book. I would say that it took me at least 30% before I was ready to commit. I like a good crime story now and again. This one turned out fairly good.

I like Adams for the most part, and his partner Landers seemed like a nice enough guy. I kind of thought that Adams is a definite guy’s guy. I also thought his libido was fairly overactive. He seemed like a good agent, as he wasn’t just the team leader but completely part of the team. I truly backed up his partners and they did the same or him. Adams and Landers were very good at figuring things out.

Once the story got moving the action was superb. I enjoyed the different locations and getting to know a little bit about Australia. The other character were also believable. I feel that Mr. Cuda could have put a little more into his female characters. I liked his sister Ros Dante. She has spunk, I felt it made her seem realistic. I didn’t realize there was black market trade for Australian animals. I feel a little naive. I think that even though this book was fiction it opened my eyes to other parts of the world. I enjoyed reading about their adventures.

My rating is 3.5 stars. I really liked the book, slow start and all. I will recommend this to my male friends as I feel they would appreciate the story more.

**Where to find Burning North: Diamonds for Drugs**

** Goodreads **

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

Watch the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37NmecDlQWQ&feature=youtu.be

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three-stars

About Phil Cuda

Phil Cuda was born in 1945 in Southern Italy and moved to North Queensland when he was five. His parents had four children and very little else after the war in Italy. “Australia was and is a land of opportunity for anyone who cares to work. I am a grandfather and love it.” He works in property development.


The Death of Anyone by DJ Swykert

Posted September 8, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Crime, Death, Fiction, Murder, Mystery, Review, Urban / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Death of Anyone by DJ SwykertThe Death of Anyone by D.J. Swykert
on February 25th 2013
Genres: Crime, Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 221
Format: Kindle
four-stars

Detroit homicide Detective Bonnie Benham has been transferred from narcotics for using more than arresting and is working the case of the killer of adolescent girls. CSI collects DNA evidence from the scene of the latest victim, which has not been detected on the other victims. But no suspect turns up in the FBI database. Due to the notoriety of the crimes a task force is put together with Bonnie as the lead detective, and she implores the D.A. to authorize an as yet unapproved type of a DNA Search in an effort to identify the killer. Homicide Detective Neil Jensen, with his own history of drug and alcohol problems, understands Bonnie’s frailty and the two detectives become inseparable as they track this killer of children.

My take on the book:               Great. The Death of Anyone by DJ Swykert was different than with what I imagined it to be. I was reading it pretty faster than I did with most books. Mostly because I wanted to know who had killed the person at the beginning of the story.

The book was a good read but totally not what I imagined. By that I mean by the cussing and the whole thing that the characters’ kind of repeat themselves. They don’t do it often but when they do repeat themselves it makes me feel sad as it takes me out of the book. I had an idea about who the killer was and I was actually surprised that I was right about him.

The book is written in third-person point of view and it follows Bonnie. It also follows a few other people but mostly it’s Bonnie Benham. Mr. Swykert does follow the police procedure for the book and the lawyer stuff. Or at least I think so from what I’ve seen on TV shows. I know TV shows aren’t that reliable but that is what I only have for connections with the book.

Overall The Death of Anyone by DJ Swykert is a good book. Good enough to keep me guessing and thinking about the book. I am giving this book a four stars review.

Anyways until the next time enjoy this book review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove.

**Where to find The Death of Anyone**

** Goodreads **

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four-stars

About D.J. Swykert

DJ Swykert is a former 911 operator, and wolf expert, living in Northern Kentucky, USA. His short fiction and poetry has been published in: The Tampa Review, Monarch Review, Sand Canyon Review, Zodiac Review, Scissors and Spackle, spittoon, Barbaric Yawp and BULL.


The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich

Posted August 15, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Comedy, Contemporary Romance, Crime, Fiction, Mystery, Review, Romance, Series, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments

The Pursuit by Janet EvanovichThe Pursuit by Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg
Series: Fox and O’Hare #5
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Bantam on June 21st 2016
Genres: Chick Lit, Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Women's Fiction
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
five-stars

Janet Evanovich, author of the blockbuster Stephanie Plum novels, and Lee Goldberg, writer for the Monk television show, team up once again for the fifth book in their rollicking, New York Times bestselling Fox and O’Hare series!
Nicolas Fox, international con man, thief, and one of the top ten fugitives on the FBI’s most-wanted list, has been kidnapped from a beachfront retreat in Hawaii. What the kidnapper doesn’t know is that Nick Fox has been secretly working for the FBI. It isn’t long before Nick’s covert partner, Special Agent Kate O’Hare, is in hot pursuit of the crook who stole her con man.   The trail leads to Belgium, France, and Italy, and pits Nick and Kate against their deadliest adversary yet: Dragan Kovic, an ex–Serbian military officer. He’s plotting a crime that will net him billions . . . and cost thousands of American lives.   Nick and Kate have to mount the most daring, risky, and audacious con they’ve ever attempted to save a major U.S. city from a catastrophe of epic proportions. Luckily they have the help of an eccentric out-of-work actor, a bandit who does his best work in the sewers, and Kate’s dad, Jake. The pressure’s on for Nick and Kate to make this work—even if they have to lay their lives on the line.
From the Hardcover edition.

My take on this book:              Wow!! The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg was just amazing. As anyone who has read The Scam will know how that ended so horribly for poor Nick and Kate. Well don’t be afraid my fellow readers of the Fox and O’Hare series, Kate O’Hare is going to get her con man back to her safe and sound. Even if it means not letting her boss know what she is doing and comes across as a rogue FBI agent.

Kate does get Nick back, but her boss wants her to catch Dragan and figure out why he needs smallpox. It all started with a bank heist for diamonds that Nick was needed to get them into the vault. After that, they had to focus on Dragan and figure out his plan to be able to stop him from creating a national disaster.

They were able to do that, however, a little something happened with Nick and Kate throughout the story. I do feel bad for Kate and Cosmo somewhat since the boss did something completely out of character to poor Kate. This especially bad since she already has to be Nick’s covert partner in doing stuff that is totally illegal.

The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg was such a great book that I’m giving it a five stars rating. I can’t wait to see what else happens with Nick and Kate. I will also recommend this book to anyone that reads Janet or even Lee books or to those who haven’t read any of their books. This series is so awesome that I am happy that Janet and Lee started it.

Anyways until next time enjoy this book review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove.

**Where to find this book**

** Goodreads **

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five-stars

About Janet Evanovich

Janet’s Bio (quoted from her website)

When I was a kid I spent a lot of time in LaLa Land. La la Land is like an out-of-body experience –while your mouth is eating lunch your mind is conversing with Captain Kirk. Sometimes I’d pretend to sing opera. My mother would send me to the grocery store down the street, and off I’d go, caterwauling at the top of my lungs. Before the opera thing I went through a horse stage where I galloped everywhere and made holes in my Aunt Lena’s lawn with my hooves. Aunt Lena was a good egg. She understood that the realities of daily existence were lost in the shadows of my looney imagination.After graduation from South River High School, I spent four years in the Douglass College art department, honing my ability to wear torn Levis, learning to transfer cerebral excitement to primed canvas. Painting beat the heck out of digging holes in lawns, but it never felt exactly right. It was frustrating at best, excruciating at worst. My audience was too small. Communication was too obscure. I developed a rash from pigment.

Somewhere down the line I started writing stories. The first story was about the pornographic adventures of a fairy who lived in a second rate fairy forest in Pennsylvania. The second story was about …well never mind, you get the picture.

I sent my weird stories out to editors and agents and collected rejection letters in a big cardboard box. When the box was full I burned the whole damn thing, crammed myself into pantyhose and went to work for a temp agency.

Four months into my less than stellar secretarial career, I got a call from an editor offering to buy my last mailed (and heretofore forgotten) manuscript. It was a romance written for the now defunct Second Chance at Love line, and I was paid a staggering $2,000.

With my head reeling from all this money, I plunged into writing romance novels full time, saying good-by, good riddance to pantyhose and office politics. I wrote series romance for the next five years, mostly for Bantam Loveswept. It was a rewarding experience, but after twelve romance novels I ran out of sexual positions and decided to move into the mystery genre.

I spent two years retooling –drinking beer with law enforcement types, learning to shoot, practicing cussing. At the end of those years I created Stephanie Plum. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Stephanie is an autobiographical character, but I will admit to knowing where she lives.

It turns out I’m a really boring workaholic with no hobbies or special interests. My favorite exercise is shopping and my drug of choice is Cheeze Doodles.

I read comic books and I only watch happy movies. I motivate myself to write by spending my money before I make it. And when I grow up I want to be just like Grandma Mazur.

About Lee Goldberg

New York Times Bestselling author Lee Goldberg is a two-time Edgar Award and two-time Shamus Award nominee whose many TV writing and/or producing credits include “Martial Law,” “SeaQuest,” “Diagnosis Murder,””Hunter,” “Spenser: For Hire,” “Nero Wolfe,” “Missing.” “Monk” and “The Glades.” He’s also the author of the Fox & O’Hare series with Janet Evanovich (The Heist, The Chase, The Job), “The Walk,” “Watch Me Die,” “King City,” the “Dead Man” series, as well as the “Diagnosis Murder” and “Monk” series of original mystery novels.


The Scam by Janet Evanovich

Posted May 15, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Comedy, Contemporary Romance, Crime, Fiction, Mystery, Review, Romance, Series, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments

The Scam by Janet EvanovichThe Scam by Janet Evanovich, Lee Goldberg
Series: Fox and O’Hare #4
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Bantam on September 15th 2015
Genres: Crime, Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 286
Format: Hardcover
five-stars

Nicolas Fox is a charming con man and master thief on the run. Kate O’Hare is the FBI agent who is hot on his trail. At least that’s what everyone thinks. In reality, Fox and O’Hare are secretly working together to bring down super-criminals the law can’t touch. Criminals like brutal casino magnate Evan Trace.
Evan Trace is running a money-laundering operation through his casino in Macau. Some of his best customers are mobsters, dictators, and global terrorists. Nick and Kate will have to go deep undercover as high-stakes gamblers, wagering millions of dollars—and their lives—in an attempt to topple Trace’s empire.
It’s a scam that will take Fox and O’Hare from the Las Vegas strip, to the sun-soaked beaches of Oahu’s North Shore, and into the dark back alleys of Macau. Their only backup—a self-absorbed actor, a Somali pirate, and Kate’s father, and an ex-soldier who believes a rocket launcher is the best way to solve every problem. What could possibly go wrong?

My take on this book:                         The Scam by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg is the fourth Fox and O’Hare book and it was amazingly awesome. I give this book a five star rating because this book just like all of the others is fabulous. I love that in this one just like the first three, it starts with these little cons leading into the big one that they are going to end up doing. Their first con is in Hawaii mostly because that’s where Jake is when he needs Kate’s help and they figured might as well start conning the Oahu mobster first, then that leads them into going to Las Vegas where they see Evan Trace and that starts the big con that way.

That leads them into going to Macau with two other guys that they had help them before and eventually they get the Hawaiian mobster in there. They had to then turn things around when Evan Trace decided to ask their two friends, and the Hawaiian mobster into doing something for another casino he has going up in Macau which led them into doing a 180 turn with their own con.

That got them to get their big con going really well. Overall though they got two bad guys for the price of one in witness protection and they got everyone that Trace was laundering money for. It was an awesome book that was filled with a lot of awesome scenes, funny antics. I am quite happy with The Scam by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. I will highly recommend this series to my friends.

Anyways until next time enjoy this book review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove.

**Where to find this book**

** Goodreads **

Save

five-stars

About Janet Evanovich

Janet’s Bio (quoted from her website)

When I was a kid I spent a lot of time in LaLa Land. La la Land is like an out-of-body experience –while your mouth is eating lunch your mind is conversing with Captain Kirk. Sometimes I’d pretend to sing opera. My mother would send me to the grocery store down the street, and off I’d go, caterwauling at the top of my lungs. Before the opera thing I went through a horse stage where I galloped everywhere and made holes in my Aunt Lena’s lawn with my hooves. Aunt Lena was a good egg. She understood that the realities of daily existence were lost in the shadows of my looney imagination.After graduation from South River High School, I spent four years in the Douglass College art department, honing my ability to wear torn Levis, learning to transfer cerebral excitement to primed canvas. Painting beat the heck out of digging holes in lawns, but it never felt exactly right. It was frustrating at best, excruciating at worst. My audience was too small. Communication was too obscure. I developed a rash from pigment.

Somewhere down the line I started writing stories. The first story was about the pornographic adventures of a fairy who lived in a second rate fairy forest in Pennsylvania. The second story was about …well never mind, you get the picture.

I sent my weird stories out to editors and agents and collected rejection letters in a big cardboard box. When the box was full I burned the whole damn thing, crammed myself into pantyhose and went to work for a temp agency.

Four months into my less than stellar secretarial career, I got a call from an editor offering to buy my last mailed (and heretofore forgotten) manuscript. It was a romance written for the now defunct Second Chance at Love line, and I was paid a staggering $2,000.

With my head reeling from all this money, I plunged into writing romance novels full time, saying good-by, good riddance to pantyhose and office politics. I wrote series romance for the next five years, mostly for Bantam Loveswept. It was a rewarding experience, but after twelve romance novels I ran out of sexual positions and decided to move into the mystery genre.

I spent two years retooling –drinking beer with law enforcement types, learning to shoot, practicing cussing. At the end of those years I created Stephanie Plum. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Stephanie is an autobiographical character, but I will admit to knowing where she lives.

It turns out I’m a really boring workaholic with no hobbies or special interests. My favorite exercise is shopping and my drug of choice is Cheeze Doodles.

I read comic books and I only watch happy movies. I motivate myself to write by spending my money before I make it. And when I grow up I want to be just like Grandma Mazur.

About Lee Goldberg

New York Times Bestselling author Lee Goldberg is a two-time Edgar Award and two-time Shamus Award nominee whose many TV writing and/or producing credits include “Martial Law,” “SeaQuest,” “Diagnosis Murder,””Hunter,” “Spenser: For Hire,” “Nero Wolfe,” “Missing.” “Monk” and “The Glades.” He’s also the author of the Fox & O’Hare series with Janet Evanovich (The Heist, The Chase, The Job), “The Walk,” “Watch Me Die,” “King City,” the “Dead Man” series, as well as the “Diagnosis Murder” and “Monk” series of original mystery novels.