Genre: Mystery

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
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**

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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.


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.

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

Baroness’ Book Trove.

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five-stars

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.