Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

Publishing this week: POLITICAL JUSTICE by Dennis Carstens

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Political Justice
by Dennis Carstens

POWER, MONEY AND CORRUPTION COLLIDE IN TIMELY MUST-READ POLITICAL THRILLER
A politically-driven couple — he a charming governor and she the brains behind their meteoric rise — is poised to blow any preconceived notions you have about politics and power out of the water. Tom and Darla Carver certainly have revolutionary ideas on how to improve America. But improving their own political position and influence is always the underlying objective.
Forget the headlines, but have fun guessing who’s who while devouring this delectable thriller.
Political Justice: A Marc Kadella Legal Mystery by Dennis Carstens [October 3, 2017] is
the seventh outing for the charismatic defense lawyer burning up Amazon best-seller lists. When one of now-president Tom Carver’s dalliances gets more than a polite brush off (she gets a death certificate!) the spin machine grinds into action as Darla resorts to bribes and leaks to preserve her own political legacy. She will even go so far as to frame an innocent, honorable soldier for treason to get what she craves. Kadella defends the man and as a legal defense is crafted, the lawyer is pulled further and further into the trial’s twists and turns.

“I try to create a story that is entertaining, interesting and, most importantly, thought provoking,” Carstens says. “I want to create something that gives the reader a legal, moral or ethical dilemma to think about. In doing so, as in real life, every little detail may not be wrapped up in a nice, neat bow at the end. But the reading experience is well worth the ride.”
A compelling mystery that readers can’t help but compare to political controversies current and historical, Political Justice is poised to be the most celebrated Marc Kadella mystery yet.
Dennis Carstens was born in Worthington, MN, and has lived most of his life in the Twin
Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. He received a BA from the University of Minnesota and his J.D. from a highly respected private law school, William Mitchell, in St. Paul. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a retired trial lawyer, Carstens brings these life experiences to his fiction for a dose of realism and accuracy sadly missing from much of the legal thriller genre today.
Connect with Carstens at http://www.denniscarstensauthor.com and on http://www.facebook.com/
TheKeyToJustice.

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I haven’t read it, but it sounds intriguing. You can read the whole series or an individual one as a stand alone.

I’m always happy to shout out for a Pub Day and thank my friends at Smith Publicity for sending me this book info!

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WAIT FOR THE RAIN by Maria Murnane

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The very lovely Maria Murnane sent me an e-copy of her novel, WAIT FOR THE RAIN, along with her novel BRIDGES (reviewed here earlier). I chose to end my summer with it.

This is a realistic but feel-good story about a young woman getting herself back on her feet after going through a divorce:

From the author of the bestselling Waverly Bryson series.

Daphne White is staring down the barrel of forty—and is distraught at what she sees. Her ex-husband is getting remarried, her teenage daughter hardly needs her anymore, and the career she once dreamed about has somehow slipped from her grasp. She’s almost lost sight of the spirited and optimistic young woman she used to be.

As she heads off to a Caribbean island to mark the new decade with her best friends from college, Daphne’s in anything but the mood to celebrate. But when she meets Clay Hanson, a much younger man, she ignores her inner voice warning her that she’s too old for a fling. In fact, this tropical getaway might be the perfect opportunity to picture her future in a new sun-drenched light.

With the help of her friends, Daphne rediscovers her enthusiasm for life, as well as her love for herself—and realizes that her best years are still ahead.

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I think just about anyone can find something in common with one of these characters, who are quite believable. I couldn’t help but root for Daphne, and believe me – I know what she was going through.

Easy to read with a realistic but fun plot and likable characters, both WAIT FOR THE RAIN and BRIDGES are winners for me.

Thank you, Maria, for sharing your novels with me!

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THE CLUE IN THE TREES by Marji Preus

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THE GOOD WIDOW by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

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Oh, Summer! The days of the thrilling page-turner! I love to read crazy, fast-paced, suspenseful mysteries over the summer (while lying around). This book was no exception. I missed getting it to review so I got it for my kindle through Amazon for a deal. Here’s the description:

Amazon Charts bestselling authors Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke make their suspense debut in this twisty, emotional thriller.

Elementary school teacher Jacqueline “Jacks” Morales’s marriage was far from perfect, but even in its ups and downs it was predictable, familiar. Or at least she thought it was…until two police officers showed up at her door with devastating news. Her husband of eight years, the one who should have been on a business trip to Kansas, had suffered a fatal car accident in Hawaii. And he wasn’t alone.

For Jacks, laying her husband to rest was hard. But it was even harder to think that his final moments belonged to another woman—one who had left behind her own grieving and bewildered fiancé. Nick, just as blindsided by the affair, wants answers. So he suggests that he and Jacks search for the truth together, retracing the doomed lovers’ last days in paradise.

Now, following the twisting path of that fateful road, Jacks is learning that nothing is ever as it seems. Not her marriage. Not her husband. And most certainly not his death…

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There was definitely some craziness in this story. I mean who wants to ferret out the details of their husband’s death with the help of the fiance of the gal he was having an affair with? Not me! Even if it involved a trip to Hawaii! However, I liked these characters, especially Jacks, and I wanted to find out what happened.

Having two authors often leads to a choppy feel in books (especially when they take turns with chapters, or when it’s the dreaded “famous author sharing writing responsibilities with adult child who wants to be famous author, too”). However, this book did NOT have this feel. It was seamless!

Well-written and fast-paced right up the end, this was a great summer read!

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BENEATH A SCARLET SKY by Mark Sullivan

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A Note From the Publisher

So – now I think: “this reminds me of a Mark Sullivan novel!”
I think this novel would appeal to many, and I particularly liked the afterword where Sullivan follows up on Pino and the other characters in how they lived the rest of their lives.
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LIARS, INC. by Paula Stokes

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So – this one popped up in my sale of the day for Kindle a while ago. It’s one of those thrilling and suspenseful reads, aimed at YA but I think for older readers, too. I read it in one day just to see what would happen. Here’s the overview from Amazon:

A dark and twisted psychological tale, which Kirkus Reviews called “captivating to the very end” in a starred review—perfect for fans of I Hunt Killers and Gone Girl.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money. So with the help of his friend Preston and his girlfriend, Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something, and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about it. But then Preston never comes home. And the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead to Preston’s body.

Terrifying clues that point to Max as the killer….

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So – here’s the thing. This is the kind of book that you need to suspend disbelief to read, and that can work with YA books. However, due to the amount of sex in this novel, I would recommend it for older YA readers (I find that kids are choosing YA when they aren’t even in middle school yet, and that concerns me. But that is a story for another day!). I couldn’t stop reading as I wanted to see what happened, etc. I did not figure out the ending (kudos to the author!). I’d love to read another by her!

Recommended to those who enjoy a fast, thrilling read that involves older teens.

 

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FIVE WAYS TO KILL A MAN by Alex Gray

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My friends at Harper-Collins Publishing asked me if I’d like a kindle copy of Alex Gray’s FIVE WAYS TO KILL A MAN, her latest DCI Lorimer novel. I like this crime series, which is set in Scotland and has a “BBC” feel to it. I had read several, though not all, of the DCI Lorimer novels and enjoyed them all. They are fast-paced and well-plotted, but not overly graphic or gruesome.

Here’s the overview from Amazon:

DCI Lorimer must track down a malicious cutthroat inching closer to his own family in this atmospheric mystery from international bestselling author Alex Gray

An unpredictable killer is loose on the streets of Glasgow, experimenting with death. Beginning with brute force, the murderer moves on to poison and drowning, greedy for new and better ways to kill. Faced with a string of unconnected victims, DCI Lorimer turns to psychologist and friend Solomon Brightman for his insights. When Lorimer is also assigned to review the case of a fatal house fire, his suspicions are raised by shocking omissions in the original investigation. Some uncomfortable questions have been buried, but Lorimer is the man to find the answers.

As the serial killer gets closer to Lorimer’s family, can the DCI unmask the volatile murderer before the next victim is found too close to home?

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A lot of the same characters appear in this series, so they start to feel like old friends. Life goes on and people get married, babies are born, people die, all while Lorimer keeps solving crimes!

Highly recommended if you like crime novels!

Thank you for my review copy!

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Book Blast and Giveaway! Partners in Crime Tours…

Murder Unrenovated & Rehearsal For Murder

by P.M. Carlson

Book Blast on August 29, 2017

Murder Unrenovated by P.M. Carlson

Murder Unrenovated

Realtor Len Trager is anxious to sell the lovely old brownstone in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood, and Maggie and Nick think it looks like a dream house for a young couple expecting their first child. But problems show up. It needs renovation– okay. There’s a stubborn tenant who refuses to move out– not so okay.

And then there’s the nasty surprise on the top floor….

“Terrific characters, funny incidents, genuine suspense, and an absolutely right sense of period and place.”–– Tom and Enid Schantz, THE PURLOINED LETTER

Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: The Mystery Company / Crum Creek Press
Publication Date: June 2013
Number of Pages: 239
ISBN: 193232528X (ISBN13: 9781932325287)
Series: Maggie Ryan and Nick O’Connor #4
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Smashwords 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Book Trailer:

“Murder Unrenovated” by P.M. Carlson Maggie Ryan Series #4
https://www.youtube.com/embed/wp_yC3FMtDY

Rehearsal for Murder by P.M. Carlson

Rehearsal for Murder

As REHEARSAL FOR MURDER begins, Maggie is a partner in a statistical consulting business, and her actor husband Nick O’Connor has been cast in a wonderful new role. He’s rehearsing an off-Broadway musical, playing Gladstone to the famous Ramona Ricci’s Queen Victoria. But Nick is worried by Ramona’s diva-like behavior, which enrages the cast members. And the home front is even tougher. He and Maggie adore their five-month-old daughter Sarah, but she exhausts them and leaves them no time for each other.

Then they’re slammed with two more problems. Maggie, doing a favor for another frazzled parent, gets wind of a plot against that child. And someone guns down the bitchy Ramona.

“A tightly woven thriller, warm and beautifully paced with a bittersweet finale. This show must go on!”–– Dorothy Salisbury Davis, MWA Grand Master

Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: The Mystery Company / Crum Creek Press
Publication Date: July 2013
Number of Pages: 220
ISBN: 1932325336 (ISBN13: 9781932325331
Series: Maggie Ryan and Nick O’Connor #5
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Smashwords 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Book Trailer:

Rehearsal for Murder by P.M. Carlson Maggie Ryan Mystery Series #5
https://www.youtube.com/embed/16GauwMHeqc

P.M. Carlson

Author Bio:

P.M. Carlson taught psychology and statistics at Cornell University before deciding that mystery writing was more fun. She has published twelve mystery novels and over a dozen short stories. Her novels have been nominated for an Edgar Award, a Macavity Award, and twice for Anthony Awards. Two short stories were finalists for Agatha Awards. She edited the Mystery Writers Annual for Mystery Writers of America for several years, and served as president of Sisters in Crime.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website 🔗Goodreads 🔗Smashwords, & Twitter 🔗!

Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for P.M. Carlson. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on August 29 and runs through September 5, 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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GIRL IN SNOW by Danya Kukafka

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Yet another “I can’t stop reading!” book for me this summer! I love these suspenseful mysteries. I actually figure this one out, but it wasn’t obvious. If you like these type of mysteries, pick this one up today!
Thank you for my review copy!
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THE PARIS SPY by Susan Elia MacNeal

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If you know me, you know I LOVE the Maggie Hope books! I always thought of them as cozy mysteries, but really that does not do them justice. I always learn something from reading them and they are serious, but not gory. They remind me of something I’d watch on PBS or the BBC — thoughtful and historically accurate, but entertaining. This latest is no exception. The war (WWII) is progressing, and Maggie is still hard at work for the Allies. Planning for the D-Day Invasion is the storyline behind this novel, and Maggie is trying to get top secret information through to those who need it. As always Susan Elia MacNeal has done her research and presents loads of historically accurate details to make her story come alive. I do love the strong character of Maggie, and I never get tired of reading these books!
Thank you for my review e-copy!
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