Genre: Mystery

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
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.


Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich

Posted March 1, 2017 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Comedy, Cozy, Fiction, Mystery, Review, Romance, Series, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments

Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet EvanovichTricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich
Series: Stephanie Plum #22
Published by Bantam on November 17th 2015
Genres: Chick Lit, Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Women's Fiction
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover
five-stars

Something big is brewing in Trenton, N.J., and it could blow at any minute.
Stephanie Plum might not be the world's greatest bounty hunter, but she knows when she's being played. Ken Globovic (aka Gobbles), hailed as the Supreme Exalted Zookeeper of the animal house known as Zeta fraternity, has been arrested for beating up the dean of students at Kiltman College. Gobbles has missed his court date and gone into hiding. People have seen him on campus, but no one will talk. Things just aren't adding up, and Stephanie can't shake the feeling that something funny is going on at the college - and it's not just Zeta fraternity pranks.
As much as people love Gobbles, they hate Doug Linken. When Linken is gunned down in his backyard it's good riddance, and the list of possible murder suspects is long. The only people who care about finding Linken's killer are Trenton cop Joe Morelli, who has been assigned the case, security expert Ranger, who was hired to protect Linken, and Stephanie, who has her eye on a cash prize and hopefully has some tricks up her sleeve.

My take on this book:

Wow! Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich is a great, no excellent book. Stephanie Plum is still going after her FTA’s but Ranger needs her help with a security job that doesn’t really go as planned. Then again it could just be that nothing seems to go right when either Ranger or Morelli have Stephanie as part of their plan. Like all the Stephanie Plum’s books, this one still has the mystery with it that will keep you guessing on who the killer is. This time I thought it was a different person than with who actually did it and it didn’t help that one of my suspects turns up dead.

Main Character

The main character, of course, is Stephanie Plum. No matter what I will forever love the way Janet Evanovich has written her. What I like about Stephanie is that she tries to be a good person especially in her mom’s eyes but she also likes to be different. I really like how she tries to act like this tough bond enforcement when she is with Ranger but it just doesn’t always work when she is by herself. Like it happened in this book when she needed Ranger’s help getting her FTA. What I dislike about Stephanie is that she can’t tell her mom that she doesn’t want to be a housewife. However, she really wants to be married. Yet, to who? Ranger or Morelli, I think it is Morelli that she really likes him. I also don’t like how when she has Grandma Mazur and Lula are in any of Stephanie’s cars that she doesn’t lock the doors (would so totally lock their doors).

Secondary Characters

The second character in this book that I like is Lula. What I like about this character is that even though she isn’t a supermodel, Lula doesn’t care and wears whatever she wants especially with her ‘ho clothes that she has kept. So technically this is all of them. I also like that she tries to assist Stephanie in catching the FTAs. What I dislike about Lula is that she has this problem about thinking that she has these special powers or something that gets kind of annoying. No matter what it is though she is, she will make you laugh. Also, Lula is a bit too graphic and she knows that Stephanie doesn’t want to hear it.

My favorite supporting character would have to be Grandma Mazur especially when she is with Lula. Grandma Mazur is a funny character that is a pain in the butt for her daughter, Stephanie’s mom, and for Stephanie as well. She is especially humorous when she is out with Stephanie on a job.

Things that make it worth reading

One of the things that I love about these books is Janet Evanovich’s ability to transport us to Trent, NJ. It is so real to me and I couldn’t think of another place for Stephanie to live. Another thing I love is that the story moves me but the mystery keeps me guessing throughout and it’s just also full of humor as well.

Here is my warning, though, when you read any Stephanie Plum book you need to eat beforehand, otherwise, you will find yourself stumbling to the kitchen looking for food with your book in your hand.

And my rating for Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich is: Five Stars

Tricky Twenty-Two is an excellent book. I am giving it five butterflies because I love this book. I was so entertained that I didn’t want to put it down at all. The mystery was awesome and one that kept me guessing and stumped at some points. I was stumped but not so much that I want to stop reading the book. Janet Evanovich is an awesome writer and I can’t wait to read more of her books.

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

Baroness’ Book Trove

**Where to find this book**

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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.


Madam Tulip by David Ahern

Posted December 4, 2016 by karenbaron in Cozy, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, New Adult Fiction, Paranormal, Review, Romance, 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.

Madam Tulip by David AhernMadam Tulip by David Ahern
Series: Madam Tulip #1
on April 3rd 2016
Genres: Cozy, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 308
Format: Kindle
five-stars

Suspense, mystery, action, a little romance and lots of laughs
Out-of-work actress Derry O'Donnell is talented, professional, just a little psychic... and broke. Spurred on by an ultimatum from her awesomely high-achieving mother, Derry embarks on a part-time career as Madame Tulip, fortune teller to the rich and famous. But at her first fortune-telling gig - a celebrity charity weekend in a luxurious castle - a famous rap artist mysteriously dies.
As Derry is drawn deeper into a seedy world of fashion, millionaires, horses and cocaine, she must race to save her best friend from jail and a supermodel from being murdered. Her efforts threaten to destroy her friends, her ex-lover, her father and herself.
Fans of humorous mystery writers Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen will love Madam Tulip.
Madame Tulip is the first in a series of thrilling and hilarious Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant amateur detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.

My take on this book:              Wow! Madam Tulip by David Ahern is such a great read. From the moment I started reading the plot summary of this book in an email sent to me by the author I was hooked. This book was most definitely an awesome read for anyone that is into books like this one. This is a book that is funny, has a touch of romance, paranormal/supernatural points, and mystery.

What I liked about this book was not only because it’s different from what I normally read and it’s also refreshing and delightful. Derry O’Donnell had to find a way to stay in Ireland to do her acting career while her mom wants her to be more of an adult. Apparently, Derry is more like her father than what her mom thinks most of the time. The book kept me entertained which is something that I always like about a book. That is to be entertained and feel like I’m experiencing everything that the writer is saying with the characters while it was being written.

There wasn’t much I didn’t like about this book. Some of the words didn’t make any sense to me but then again it is written by a Scottish/Ireland writer so that right there can happen. Thankfully though that didn’t put me off with this book and I was still able to stay connected within the book while I looked it up.

Madam Tulip by David Ahern is an awesome book and I believe the next two books will be just as wonderful as this first one is. I am giving this book a five stars rating. I am also going to be recommending this book to anyone that likes books in these genres.

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

Baroness’ Book Trove.

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five-stars

About David Ahern

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate and taught in major Universities but could never explain to his granny why he didn’t own a stethoscope.

Finding the challenge of pretending to know things exhausting, David Ahern shaved off his beard and absconded once more, this time to work in television. He became a writer, director, and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

For no particular reason, David Ahern took to writing fiction. Madame Tulip wasn’t his first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’d ever had with a computer. The second in the Madam Tulip series, Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts, was published in autumn 2016. He is now writing the third Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.


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.


Better Homes and Hauntings

Posted September 4, 2016 by karenbaron in Audiobook, Ghosts, Paranormal Mystery, Paranormal Romance, Review, Supernatural / 0 Comments

Better Homes and HauntingsBetter Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper
Published by Pocket Books on June 24th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 318
Format: Kindle
four-stars

Author of the beloved Half Moon Hollow series of vampire romances (Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs), Molly Harper has created a standalone paranormal romance in which a dilapidated haunted house could bring star-crossed lovers together—if it doesn’t kill them first!
When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate—he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in nineteenth-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.”
But Nina shows no signs of being scared away, even as she experiences some unnerving apparitions herself. And as the two of them work closely together to restore the mansion’s faded glory, Deacon realizes that he’s found someone who doesn’t seem to like his fortune more than himself—while Nina may have finally found the one man she can trust with her bruised and battered heart.
But something on the island doesn’t believe in true love…and if Nina and Deacon can’t figure out how to put these angry spirits to rest, their own love doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance.

My Thoughts:                    Spooky, funny, witty, supernatural mystery with a touch of love.

I really enjoyed this audio book. The story is wonderful. I loved the nerdy comments, the film references, and the witty conversations. The hauntings added just the right amount of spookiness.

Deacon is an unusual hero. He has the background of old money and yet the money he uses to rebuild the family home is from money that he has made himself in the tech world. I love that Deacon was extremely comfortable in his own skin, even though others didn’t agree with his decisions. He has an eclectic taste in movies and is a self-proclaimed Si-Fi nerd. Deacon has a way of making things fun even when it is serious. However, Deacon doesn’t believe in the hauntings at first but he goes along with the others.

Nina is a great character. She starts out meek and afraid of her own shadow, who unfolds much like her beloved flowers. It just took friendship, love, and acceptance for her to bloom. She is extremely talented in landscape design. The indoor room that she creates is so easy to picture. I loved the ideas that Nina has for the gardens and the interior. She loves to dig and design but she truly has a heart of gold. Nina is highly sensitive to the hauntings on the island, it made me think that she was the one related to the ghosts.

The supporting cast is great too. They all make a wonderful team. Jake and Cindy with their little romance of sorts, along with Dottie and the others all fit together wonderfully with a comedic attitude toward finding the cause of the haunting. The way they each deal with the supernatural haunting on the island adds a real belief to the story. They form this wonderful family unit. It is extremely nice the way that they protect, support and work together.

The narrator, Amanda Ronconi does a wonderful job. She has a way of playing off the suspense in the story and the voices that she uses to add a warmth to the story are lovely.

This was the first book that I have read (heard) by Molly Harper, I truly enjoyed it and will be looking up some of her other books. The pop culture references and snarkiness is the best. My rating is 5 stars.

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

**Where to find this book**

** Goodreads **

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four-stars

About Molly Harper

About the Author:

Her Tagline: Snarky Romance with Bite

“My mother remembers an 8-year-old me setting up my “writing office” in our living room by putting her old manual typewriter on the couch next to a toy phone. And I (very slowly) pecked out the story of my third-grade class taking a trip around the world and losing a kid in each city.

I had a dark sense of humor, even then.

In high school, when other girls my age were writing poems about dying unicorns and bleeding roses, I was writing essays about having political arguments with my dad at the dinner table. (Whoever made the other person laugh at their own political party won the argument.) I knew I wanted to write when I grew up, but I also knew there was very little chance I could make a living writing books, so I went for the next best thing – newspaper writing.

I majored in print journalism at Western Kentucky University and used my shiny new degree to get a job at my hometown newspaper. I married my high school sweetheart, David, a local police officer. And for six years, I wrote about school board meetings, quilt shows, a man “losing” the fully grown bear he kept as a pet in his basement, and a guy who faked his death by shark attack in Florida and ended up tossing pies at a local pizzeria.

I loved my job at the paper. I loved meeting new people every day and never knowing where I would end up. But somehow, the ever-shifting schedules of a police officer and a reporter did not equal “family friendly.” One of us needed to take a normal job for the sake of our young daughter. I took a secretarial position at a local church office, which left me with dependably free evenings for the first time in my adult life. David was working the night shift that summer and I was losing-my-mind. We were living in “The Apartment of Lost Souls” while building our new home. This was the place where appliances and small electronics went to die. Every night I would tuck our snoozing child into bed and wait for the washing machine to start smoking or the computer to suddenly flash the “blue screen of death.” Then there was the plague of frogs in the bathroom that put our daughter of potty-training for about six months. “ ~to see the rest visit her author page on Goodreads (just follow the link below).


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
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.

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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.


October 32 by Larry Rodness

Posted July 13, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, Ghosts, Mystery, Paranormal People, Review, Rural, Witches / 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.

October 32 by Larry RodnessOctober 32 by Larry Rodness
Published by Deer Hawk Publications on October 31st 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 230
Format: Kindle
five-stars

It's October 31, and insurance agent Alexander Malefant is sent to picturesque Elora during its annual Halloween festival. No sooner does Alexander arrive than he witnesses the near-drowning of a boy bobbing for apples. Shortly after that, a group of children are attacked by crows. Later that evening, all the children in the village suddenly disappear. Soon, every person becomes a suspect as residents frantically try to discover what happened to the children. Who or what is behind these disappearances, and can they get the children back before it's too late?

My take on this book:              Wow! October 32 by Larry Rodness was completely different than what I thought it would be. The whole book is written in the point of view of Alexander Malefant as he first enters the outskirts of this town to the very end of the book. Alex is only there to try to get the people there to buy insurance from his insurance agency but everything has gone wrong for him since he arrives there an hour early to the end.

Alex is seeing a little girl around the town that he has no clue who it is and no one really believes him about seeing her since all of the other towns kids are missing. To make it worse it’s really hot and foggy that everyone doesn’t know with why it’s like that. It seems like the towns past and Alex’s past are the ones that are coming forward to get justice.

Alex has heard about this fire that has happened fifty years ago in the town that had killed thirty-two kids and no one really knows the true story about what really happened that night except that it revolves around a trophy. A trophy which they have had for the past fifty years and one that has made it so that the town, Elora, can win.

The ending of this book is something that I completely didn’t think would happen. This book has kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole thing as I didn’t even know who killed those kids fifty years ago, or who took the kids, or even more with why all this happened when Alex got into town.

October 32 by Larry Rodness is a great book and one that I am giving five stars too. If anyone asks for a mystery recommendation, I would recommend this book. I will tell them that it is a great book to read especially as it is totally different from with what I imagined it to be from the synopsis.

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About Larry Rodness

Larry Rodness began his entertainment career as a professional singer at the age of 19 and has been performing in Toronto for over 35 years with his wife and singing partner, Jodi, at venues such as The Old Mill, Royal York Hotel, Skyline and Bristol Place Hotel as well as countless corporate and private functions.

In the 80’s Larry studied musical theatre writing with PRO under Broadway conductor Layman Engel, which led him to write for dinner theater. He then moved into the screenplay arena where he has written over a dozen screenplays and has had 3 scripts optioned to date. In the past 2 years he has also become a published novelist.


Gone With the Witch by Heather Blake

Posted June 15, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Cozy, Fantasy, Fiction, Magic, Mystery, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Paranormal Romance, Review, Romance, Rural, Series, Witches, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments

Gone With the Witch by Heather BlakeGone With the Witch by Heather Blake
Series: A Wishcraft Mystery #6
Published by NAL on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Cozy, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 336
Format: Kindle
five-stars

The national bestselling author of Some Like It Witchy returns as wish-granting witch Darcy Merriweather is put to the test after murder takes first prize at a pet show. . . .  Darcy and her dog Missy are determined to put their best foot forward at the Enchanted Village’s annual Pawsitively Enchanted pet contest. She’s happy to lend a hand when the show’s organizer hires Darcy to keep an eye on things among growing suspicions that someone is sabotaging the event. But Darcy’s quest for justice is thrown off the scent when her lead suspect is found dead at the competition.   As if a murder weren’t bad enough, someone begins snatching up prize-winning pets right from under their owners’ noses. Darcy is determined to protect the pampered participants at whatever cost. But she’ll have to work fast to sniff out the thief before she becomes the next victim of a killer determined to stop her dead in her tracks...

My take on this book:              Gone With the Witch by Heather Blake was such an awesome book. It had me thinking of who the Elder could be, who murdered Natasha, who was stealing the animals from the contest, and a bunch of other questions.

This book starts off with Darcy taking the job for “As You Wish,” her business now and right off the bat Darcy has a bad feeling about this assignment. From the beginning of this book Darcy has been on a whirlwind of emotions about the case and about everything else around her.

I don’t really want to reveal too much about what happens in this book but it’s really good. I am happy to say that in this book we finally find out who the Elder is. I’m not going to say as the author doesn’t want anything like that to be spoiled for anyone that has yet to read the book. Happy guessing, unless you find the clues like a member of the Mystery, Inc. team.

I love the enchanted village that this series is set in. The town square where most things happen is so picturesque, the small town heart if you know what I mean. The shops and the characters that live there are so great.

I am happy to say that my rating for this book is five stars as it was that glamorous. Ms. Blake also has set up what might happen in the next book, The Witch and the Dead, which will be released in October of this year.  If you can’t wait for the next Wishcraft Mystery, check out Ms. Blake’s other series the Magic Potions Mysteries.

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About Heather Blake

Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber) is the author of more than twenty novels and has been twice nominated for an Agatha Award. She’s a total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch reality TV (especially cooking competition shows), drink too much coffee, crochet, bake (mostly cookies), and occasionally leave the house to travel to the beautiful mountains in the northeast. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family and is hard at work on her next book.


Spies and Spells by Tonya Kappes

Posted June 12, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Cozy, Fantasy, Fiction, Magic, Mystery, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Review, Series, Supernatural, Witches, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments

Spies and Spells by Tonya KappesSpies and Spells by Tonya Kappes
Series: Spies and Spells #1
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on March 21st 2016
Genres: Cozy, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 248
Format: Kindle
five-stars

SPIES AND SPELLS, the first in this highly anticipated new series from USA TODAY Bestseller Tonya Kappes because we know she's a queen at writing paranormal mystery witch series, is here! Spies and Spells Spies and Spells Book 1 While Maggie waits for her Witchy Hour, she works at the family diner with her mom, aunt Meme and Lilith, her sister - all witches. Soon Maggie gets entangled with a mysterious handsome stranger, Mick Jasper, and his secret U.S. organization, SKUL. Has she found her calling?

My take on this book:              Spies and Spells by Tonya Kappes is another great book and series. All the characters are funny, great, and at times very nutty. The characters are all of those things plus more.

Maggie is the main character of the book and trying to figure out what she is supposed to do in this world, until her Witchy Hour, which she is wondering if it will ever happen to her. Her older sister, Lilith, hasn’t had her Witchy Hour yet and she doesn’t really mind waiting for it. While her mom and Aunt Meme have there’s. We follow Maggie as her Witchy Hour starts to happen and all the way through the mystery that she gets herself wrapped up in just from meeting Mick Jasper. My question is the life’s ambition SKUL or Mick Jasper? I am looking forward to finding out in the next book.

The spells that Tonya made up for the book were cute and silly but entertaining to read the mess or not so mess that it will cause. I loved the whole family of witches and their friends having a makeup party. Also Vinnie, her familiar, is super, funny and protective. He was entertaining as well.

Spies and Spells by Tonya Kappes is a great book and one that I recommend for everyone to read. I am also giving this book a five star rating. If you like quirky fun cozy mysteries check out some of her other series, like the Magical Cures Mysteries or the Ghostly Southern Mysteries.

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About Tonya Kappes

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been self-publishing her numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plotlines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.

She has a B.A. in Education from the University of Kentucky and a proud Kentucky Wildcat fan.

Married to an amazing man, Eddy, she has four son ranging in ages from twenty-two to sixteen years old, Charlie and Scooter (Schnauzers), and Kitty Kappes.

Now a full time writer, she spends her days creating the fun-loving, quirky southern characters that is full of charm that readers have come to love.