Tag: mystery

The Secret Billionaire by Teymour Shahabi

Posted October 18, 2017 by karenbaron in Boarding School, Fiction, Mystery, Read-a-thon, Review, Teen, Thriller, Young Adult / 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 Secret Billionaire by Teymour ShahabiThe Secret Billionaire by Teymour Shahabi
on September 29, 2016
Pages: 370
Format: Kindle
five-stars

1960s — March 24. Billionaire Lyndon Surway takes off in his private plane and never returns.

His will leaves the entirety of his wealth—one of the largest fortunes in history—to his “dear friend Lucian Baker.” Only there is no trace of anyone by that name. And the fortune itself is nowhere to be found.

Andrew Day knows nothing of wealth and privilege, but he won a scholarship to study at the most exclusive school in the country, in the town where the mystery, decades later, remains unsolved. There he discovers friendship and danger with the aristocratic Cameron and the beautiful Olivia. But watchful eyes follow him everywhere... Until, one night, he comes across a secret that will change his life. As he begins to unravel what really happened to the Surway fortune, the question remains: who is Lucian Baker?

My take on this book:              Wow The Secret Billionaire by Teymour Shahabi was a really great book. I knew it would be when I read the plot of the book in the email by the author last year. This book by far is my favorite one of this year!

The book captivated me from that email and even more after I started the book. I have to say that this book was better than I thought it would be and it kept me trying to figure out who this Lucian Baker fellow was throughout the whole thing. The person who is Lucian Baker was definitely a big surprise. This book is definitely a great young adult mystery thriller book that I have ever read.

The main character is a fourteen-year-old boy named Andrew Day. Andrew had a tough life until he got a scholarship to Saint Clemens and started school there. He is a pretty smart young man who is trying to figure out why he is there and with why he was picked to be the Saint Clemens scholarship kid. He loves being at Spring Forge as if it has always been home to him and is also wanting to figure out who this Lucian Baker person is. Andrew grew from this shy kid at the beginning of the book to a friendly talkative kid at the end of the book.

To me there is three secondary characters in this book. The first one is named Elder who plays a very small role that is more in the background until the end and that’s all I can say of him without revealing too much. The other two are Olivia Glayds and Cameron Renfrowe.

We don’t meet the second two until Andrew is at the school and he sees them in the assembly hall. Olivia is the mayor’s daughter and has a nonsense attitude about her until you get to know her then she isn’t like any other spoiled rich kid there at the school. She is also always, well almost always, around Cameron who is her best friend. She also changed a lot from the beginning of the book to the end.

Cameron is different from Olivia. Whereas Olivia gives off a ‘you can’t talk to me’ type of attitude Cameron is the type of person that wants to socialize with people. These three characters Andrew, Olivia, and Cameron aren’t the usual three characters to be friends. Olivia and Cameron are super rick and have been friends for a while and Andrew is the new guy that no one really knows. Cameron really didn’t change all that much as he is still the kid that loves to socialize with people and is the one that is easy to talk to.

The main antagonist is a guy that has been the antagonist since he was introduced at the beginning of the book. He is definitely an evil guy and is immediately someone that anyone will not like at all. He is also rich on his own right but wants the Surway fortune for himself since he’s always wanted it since Lyndon Surway went missing. Throughout the book he just got eviler and wanting more power/money.

The Secret Billionaire by Teymour Shahabi is a great book and I’m rating it five-stars. Mr. Shahabi is a great author and can’t wait to read other books by him in the future. He has a way to transport you into his books and makes you feel like you are there with the characters.

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

Baroness’ Book Trove.

** The Secret Billionaire **

Goodreads

five-stars

About Teymour Shahabi

Teymour Shahabi was born in Paris of Persian parents in 1985. He moved to the United States to study Comparative Literature and Mathematics at Harvard University. He lives in New York City where he’s spent the last few years among serious professionals, many of whom probably prefer to read nonfiction. “The Secret Billionaire” is his first published book.


Follow the Dotted Line by Nancy Hersage

Posted October 2, 2017 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Drama, Fiction, Murder, Mystery, Read-a-thon, 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.

Follow the Dotted Line by Nancy HersageFollow the Dotted Line by Nancy Hersage
on January 26, 2016
Genres: Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 326
Format: Kindle
five-stars

Andrea Bravos is dazed and amazed when a Styrofoam burger box with her ex's ashes arrives in the mail. Her adventure to find out what happened will upset officials of several small countries, insult the founders of three major religions, give her four adult children acid reflux, and lead her to assault with a deadly golf club.

In the process, she will joyfully drag along her soft-spoken but fearsome accountant, while trying to fend off her mooch of a nephew. It’s a convoluted and quixotic caper, but it all comes together in the end—even the avocados, World War II spy, IRS agent, palm reader, and deadly spider.

Move over Marple and Plum, here comes Andy!

My take on this book:              Follow the Dotted Line by Nancy Hersage was a really great book to read. Some parts I didn’t expect at all but they were pretty funny.

The main character is Andrea Bravos who is a screenwriter in California that isn’t selling a lot of her scripts. The story starts with her oldest son receiving the ashes of his deceased father in a burger take-out box from his newest stepmom that could be his sister. Andy has decided that she wants to find out with what happened to her ex-husband. Andy, herself, is a very interesting person. She is one of the baby boomers, loves her job as a screenwriter and doesn’t want to have to retire yet, loves her kids, and is trying to help her sister with her nephew. Andy is almost always getting into trouble or doing something that she shouldn’t be doing while trying to figure out what happened to her ex-husband.

Harley Davidson is living with Andy and he has been helping her with trying to find Mark, Andy’s ex-husband, well trying to find out with what happened to him. Harley Davidson has gone through a lot of different transitions, in the book, since arriving in Southern California to live with his aunt Andy.  Though he didn’t stay to help her toward the end of the book because of his latest transition.

Lorna helped Andy by spying on Andy’s old cabin in Big Bear. She has helped Andy a lot with different things throughout the book that only she could help her with. Basically, Lorna is Andy’s accountant, friend, and therapist at some points in the book which is a good thing since Andy needs one.

The protagonist of the book is Tilda Trivette Kornacky. She was introduced in the beginning by a note that accompanied the ashes of Andy’s deceased ex-husband. Tilda is a pretty weird character who isn’t nice as some people thought she. I don’t really want to say too much about her without spoiling the story but wow was it interesting.

Follow the Dotted Line by Nancy Hersage is a good book that kept me guessing and I definitely didn’t see the ending coming at all. Mrs. Hersage is a wonderful writer even if there were some wording issues, it didn’t affect my reading. I’m giving this book a five-star review, especially since it was a bit crazy in some parts which made me like it more.

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

Baroness’ Book Trove.

** Follow the Dotted Line **

Goodreads

five-stars

About Nancy Hersage

Five-time national award-winning playwright and screenwriter Nancy Hersage lives in Los Angeles, traveling frequently to Edinburgh, Scotland and Boise, Idaho. She has written screenplays for NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS and treatments for Spelling and Cruise Wagner. Her plays have been produced on three continents and by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Her novel, Tribunal, about sex trafficking, is available from Online Originals in London at OnlineOrginals.com. Her new musical, Out!, written with Molly Hersage, is available from the Dramatic Publishing Company at Dramatic Publishing.com.

Her drama, Beloved Friend, about the struggle for independence in Zimbabwe, was the winner of the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Conference. Her satirical musicals have taken on a whole herd of sacred cows, ranging from heathcare and Big Oil to contemporary religion and venture capitalism.


Eye of Nefertiti by Maria Luisa Lang

Posted August 20, 2017 by karenbaron in Animals, Cats, Fantasy, Fiction, Review, Time Travel / 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.

Eye of Nefertiti by Maria Luisa LangThe Eye of Nefertiti by Maria Luisa Lang
Series: The Pharaoh's Cat #2
Series Rating: five-stars
on November 29, 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 208
Format: Kindle
five-stars

The cat must free Queen Nefertiti from a horrific curse

The Eye of Nefertiti is both a stand-alone novel and a sequel to The Pharaoh’s Cat. The time-traveling ancient Egyptian feline with human powers returns together with his beloved Pharaoh and his close friends, the High Priest of Amun-Ra and Elena, an Egyptologist’s daughter.

The cat is quick-witted, wise-cracking narrator as well as free-spirited, ever-curious protagonist, and the story he tells is an exotic, imaginative, spell-binding tragicomedy. The cat travels from present-day New York City to England, both ancient and modern, then to ancient Egypt, where he confronts a horrible demon and experiences a sublime emotion. Once back in England, he descends into a psychological abyss so deep only the Pharaoh can save him.

The Eye of Nefertiti interweaves feline and human, past and present, natural and supernatural. It contains numerous surprises, twists and turns, intriguing characters, both human and animal, fascinating revelations about ancient Egyptian history and culture, and an ingenious application of the Tarot and an Italian opera.

Time travel, mystery, love and a Cat.

Eye of Nefertiti by Maria Luisa Lang is a cat’s story. This is the first adult story that I have read where the protagonist is a cat, but he is way more than your average cat. Wrappa-Hamen is a magic cat, he talks, walks on two legs, reads, writes, and eats human food. He is also the Pharaoh’s cat, although he does go by many names in this book.

I first thought the concept was good, this will be a good story, I mean ancient Egypt and cats…but once I got into the story I found that its fabulous. Ms. Lang does an awesome job with the character Wrappa-Hamen, he is a cat but he has such personality (not that regular cats don’t). She really nails Wrappa-Hamen’s priorities, such as food first, sleep second. He is vain and has an attitude. Yet, can be so loving when he wants to be. See, very cat like. However, if my daughter’s cat Mia, could talk, I’m not sure I would want to hear what is on her mind. I think most of it would be about the dog.

The family that Wrappa-Hamen lives with, have such character. Elena is bossy, and definitely keeps them moving, she is the mother of the Pharaoh. Then there is the High Priest, who is a total book worm and at times clueless (father of the Pharaoh). And the young Pharaoh, who is now an adorable toddler, who loves Wrappa-Hamen.

The settings were stunning, I was able to see them all so vividly. I think that time travel would be wonderful. The mystery was good, I enjoyed the clues and the explanations. A completely wonderful book, which makes my rating 5 stars. As the Baroness says anything that keeps you up at night is worth the stars.

**Eye of Nefertiti**

** Goodreads **        

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

five-stars

About Maria Luisa Lang

Maria Luisa Lang has published two novels, The Pharaoh’s Cat and The Eye of Nefertiti, which is both a sequel to The Pharaoh’s Cat and a stand-alone novel. She was born in Rome, Italy, and lives in New York City. She often returns to Italy to visit her family and has stayed for extended periods in Bath and London. She has a degree in art from the City University of New York, and her artwork has been exhibited in New York galleries. She is an amateur Egyptologist. Her love of cats and ancient Egypt has inspired her to write two novels set there with a very special cat as her protagonist. Both The Pharaoh’s Cat and The Eye of Nefertiti are available on Amazon in paperback and in a Kindle edition.


A Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell

Posted August 19, 2017 by karenbaron in Cozy, Dogs, Ghosts, Guest Post, Mystery, Paranormal Mystery, Review, Series, Urban / 0 Comments

A Ghostly Light by Juliet BlackwellA Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell
Published by Berkley on June 4th 2017
Genres: Cozy, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 330
Format: Kindle
five-stars

In the latest mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Give Up the Ghost, it will take a beacon of ghostly intervention to guide contractor Mel Turner to the truth... Dangerous tides ahead...  When her friend Alicia hires Turner Construction to renovate a historic lighthouse in the San Francisco Bay, Mel Turner can’t wait to get her hands dirty. Alicia plans to transform the island property into a welcoming inn, and while Mel has never attempted a project so ambitious—or so tall—before, she’s definitely up for the challenge.   But trouble soon arises when Alicia’s abusive ex-husband shows up to threaten both her and Mel, and later turns up dead at the base of the lighthouse stairs. With no other suspects in sight, things start looking choppy for Alicia. Now, if Mel wants to clear her friend’s name, she’ll need the help of the lighthouse’s resident ghosts to shine a light on the real culprit...

This lighthouse holds more than just light.

A Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell this is one of my favorite series. I truly love the mix of history, home renovation, paranormal, mystery and the quirkiness of San Francisco and the bay area.

The world that Ms. Blackwell has created by mixing fact and fiction is so believable. Honestly, I would like to hire Turner Construction just to be a little part of this world.

I really think that Mel is shining in this addition. It’s nice to see her with her new man Landon. She is so happy. She still has things to work on (such as her recent fear of heights0 but don’t we all. She is finally working through all of her jobs: ghost, construction or murder. Landon is extremely supportive. It’s so sweet.

Mel has two mysteries to solve: the recent murder that her friend has been accused of and the mystery of the lighthouse ghost. Ms. Blackwell does such a great job keeping the whole thing moving through the past, present and glimpses of the future.

I adored the lighthouse history that was included with the story. The treasure maps were so thoughtful. What a wonderful way to teach and entertain your child, so much better than handing them a cellphone to play with.

I found this quote online and thought it was such a great fit for this story. “Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.” ~E.P. Whipple

My rating is 5 stars, of course. If you haven’t read the other books you should try the first book in the series, Home Renovation or you can just start with this one. I guarantee you will want more. Mel and her entourage are worth your time.

**A Ghostly Light**

** Goodreads **        

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

five-stars

About Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the youngest child of a jet pilot from New York and an editor from Texas. She graduated with a degree in Latin American Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz, and went on to earn Masters degrees in Anthropology and Social Work from the State University of New York, Albany.

While in graduate school she published several articles based on her research with immigrant families from Mexico and Viet Nam, as well as one full-length translation: Miguel León-Portilla’s seminal work, Endangered Cultures. Juliet taught Medical Anthropology at SUNY-Albany, was a producer for a BBC documentary about Vietnamese children left behind by US soldiers, and worked as an elementary school social worker in rural New York. Upon her return to California, she became a professional artist and ran her own decorative painting, historical renovation, and domestic design studio for more than a decade.

In addition to mainstream novels, Juliet pens the New York Times Bestselling Witchcraft Mysteries and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind, she wrote the Agatha Award-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series. She is past president of Northern California Sisters in Crime and former board member of Mystery Writers of America.

Juliet lives in a hundred-year-old house with extensive botanical gardens in Northern California but spends as much time as possible in Europe and Latin America. She believes in the magic of language, travel, and cultural exchange to open hearts, minds, and souls.


Beyond Death by Deb McEwan

Posted August 6, 2017 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Death, Drama, Fantasy, Fiction, Ghosts, Mystery, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Review, Series, Supernatural / 1 Comment

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.

Beyond Death by Deb McEwanBeyond Death (Afterlife, #1) by Deb McEwan
Published by Createspace on June 18th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 190
Format: ebook
four-stars

A DEAD WOMAN'S STORY
“With so many supernatural tales on the shelves it’s hard to find something genuinely original yet Beyond Death fits the description well, with author Deb McEwan bringing a distinctive new voice to this ever popular genre.” Book Viral
What really happens when we die? Twenty-something Claire Sylvester is about to find out. The morning after the best night of her life she is taken before her time.
Claire is suspended in her strange new world. She watches as the secret lives of those she loves unravels, and sadistic villains are punished on the road to their own personal hell.
All the while a higher authority ponders her ultimate fate.
More than Claire knows depends on her actions and those of the unlikely partner who accompanied her on her journey.
What will be her final destination?
Beyond Death - a supernatural thriller of love and loss, deceit and revenge, with a little romance and humour.

My take on this book:              Beyond Death by Deb McEwan is a pretty interesting read. What first caught my interest is the plot then the book cover. The plot was well-crafted and made me interested in reading the book. Since this book isn’t what I normally read and everyone who knows me and has read this blog knows that. I do know that this is bad to say but I also sometimes judge a book by its cover but not all the time. Anyways I’m giving this book a four-star rating because it did keep me entertained but it did have something keeping it from being five stars.

One of those things is how the first act seemed a bit choppy especially with introducing so many characters at first in the beginning and then not seeing them again until the middle act. She did have a lot of subplots going on and she did finish them all up which is a good thing. Ms. McEwan is a pretty good author and a bit of the book seemed like it still needed some work to truly be a good book. What I mean by that like she could have gone back to reread it and make sure that it flowed nicely with the rest of the book.

All the character in the book were very well developed and I liked them all. Even the ones that are evil because of how well developed they all are. I especially liked the transformations of Claire, Ken, and Ron. Claire because she did it the most. She died at a young age and has to go through with the fact that she isn’t alive anymore and that she needs to let go and forgive the people that she loves down on Earth. Ken also did the most as well. He was first introduced as a bad guy and then he died. He has been going through more of a tough time than Claire and Ron ever did since dying and he is hoping to redeem himself. Ron kind of did as well. The reason for that is because he is also trying to learn to let go and forgive the people that he loves down on Earth while trying to figure out if he should do a hard thing at the end of the book.

I do recommend this book to my more adult readers of this blog if they are interested in this book. Beyond Death is a good book and I am glad that the author contacted me to read it. I am also at this moment unsure if I will be reading the rest of this series.

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

Baroness’ Book Trove.

four-stars

About Deb McEwan

Following a career of over thirty years in the British Army, Deb and her husband moved to Cyprus to become weather refugees.

She’s written children’s books about Jason the penguin and Barry the reindeer and adult books about aliens, the afterlife, soldiers, and netball players.
The first book in the latest series ‘Unlikely Soldiers’ is set in nineteen seventies Britain. The second covers the early eighties and includes the Falklands War, service in Northern Ireland and (the former) West Germany. ‘Friends and Revenge’ is the third in the series, and takes a sinister turn of events.

‘Court Out (A Netball Girls’ Drama)’ is Deb’s latest book. Using netball as an escape from her miserable home life, Marsha Lawson is desperate to keep the past buried and to forge a brighter future. But she’s not the only one with secrets. When two players want revenge, a Tsunami of emotions is released at a tournament leaving destruction in its wake. As the wave starts spreading throughout the team, can Marsha and the others escape its deadly grasp, or will their emotional baggage pull them under, with devastating consequences for their families and team-mates? ‘Court Out’ will be published in August 2017.

Deb spends her time writing, avoiding housework and playing tour guide. She occasionally blogs about her books and (tongue in cheek) from Donut the dog’s point of view. She also tries – and mostly fails – to keep the pounds off.