This is a Good Book Thursday, May 9, 2024

I’m reading Bob’s revision of Arresting Anna (remember that one? the pick up in Vegas that led to the FBI art crimes unit?) and making notes. We’re thinking about doing a series on art crimes with a mixed community of agents, consultants, and general miscreants, but that’ll be next year. Tonight, I’ll be reading Bob’s revision and continued writing on Very Nice Funerals with the idea of finishing it, or at least coming close because I’ve been a real drag on this collaboration lately and I need to stop up.

I also kind of want to reread some Michael Gilbert and, if I can get my TV moved and hooked up again, watch some Leverage, which Bob was not impressed with but which I adore. I think art crimes novels with a Leverage vibe would be great, so I have to do my research.

What research/books did you read this week?

Argh Author: Anne Stuart’s Return to Mariposa

Never ask a good friend to blurb her own book because you get this: “Krissie’s got a new book out, a modern romantic suspense called RETURN TO MARPOSA. She made me read it and it wasn’t half-bad, so go out and buy it.” Okay, Krissie, aka Anne Stuart, does have a new book out, and it is a romantic suspense called Return to Mariposa with a gorgeous cover, but it was excellent (I got to beta) and you should go out and buy it. As Krissie says, “. . .it has all the Stuart requisites, a dark, brooding hero, hidden identities, a soupcon of violence and a happy ending. It’s available at all the usual suspects, including Amazon. Oh, you wanted more detail?

Kitty Whitehead has never gotten over her banishment from Mariposa, the family home in Spain. When her glamorous cousin Bella comes up with the daring suggestion that they take each other’s place, she reluctantly agrees for the chance to say goodbye to the house and her estranged family.

But turning mousy Kitty into the glorious Bella is harder than she thinks, even if everyone seems to be fooled. Everyone but her hateful almost-cousin Ian, who’s getting too close to the truth and too close to Kitty, as he invades her dreams and makes her question everything she’s ever known to be true.

Someone is out to kill Kitty…or Bella. Who wants her dead, and why? Could Bella’s old enemy turned lover be the greatest danger she’s ever faced?

A modern story of romantic suspense and masquerade, where no one is as they seem.

This is a Good Book Thursday, April 18, 2024

Last week was six kinds of awful, so I decided to put my mind on something completely different, a very old book I’ve been working on for a very long time called You Again. It’s my homage to the country house murder mystery, especially Agatha Christie’s versions of it, so I reread The Hollow and my fave, 4:50 to Paddington. Then I went on to Marsh and Overture to Death; next up: Death and the Dancing Footman. I’d already read all of these long ago so I know who the murderers are, which means I can watch while Christie and Marsh duck and swerve their ways through the plots, playing fair with all those fascinating characters. It’s a master class in mystery writing, or would be if I started taking notes. The biggest lesson so far, which was not a surprise: It’s the characters, stupid. You’d think it would be the plot, but it’s the characters that make it work.

So what did you read that was enjoyable this week?

Argh Author: Deb Blake’s Wickedly Magical and Wickedly Dangerous

Our own Deb Blake has two reissues coming out. As she explains, “This month I’m releasing the prequel novella to my Baba Yaga series, “Wickedly Magical” [for only $.99], and the first novel, Wickedly Dangerous . . . . The remaining books will be coming out one at a time, every other month. Ebooks everywhere, and print on Amazon.”

Wickedly Magical: Long ago, in Russia and its neighboring countries, legends told of a witch named Baba Yaga. Some of the stories portrayed her as a frightening old crone who lived in a log hut that stalked through the forest on chicken legs. Others said she was an elemental goddess who was guardian over the natural world and the doorway into the mystical Otherworld.

As with all stories, some parts were true and others … a little less true. The Baba Yagas were powerful witches; that much the tales got right. But there was never just one, and they were neither good nor evil. Just very, very powerful. And very dedicated to doing their jobs, no matter who got in the way.

These days, the United States is home to three Baba Yagas: Barbara, Beka, and Bella. Each of them powerful, beautiful, and magical, and each with her own story – for of such women and deeds are legends made …

WICKEDLY MAGICAL is the prequel novella that introduced the world Barbara Yager, the oldest and most powerful of the Baba Yagas. Along with her dragon-dog Chudo-Yudo, she travels the Eastern United States in an enchanted Airstream trailer, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding normal humans, until one comes to her with a request she can’t turn down. See how it all started, in this story of debts owed, promises kept, and justice administered the Baba Yaga way.

Wickedly Dangerous: Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…

Older than she looks and powerful beyond measure, Barbara Yager no longer has much in common with the mortal life she left behind long ago. Posing as an herbalist and researcher, she travels the country with her faithful (mostly) dragon-turned-dog in an enchanted Airstream, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding any possibility of human attachment.

But when she is summoned by a woman desperate to find her missing child, Barbara suddenly finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and an unexpected attraction to the charming but frustrating Sheriff Liam McClellan.

Now, as Barbara fights both human enemies and Otherworld creatures to save the lives of three innocent children, she discovers that her most difficult battle may be with her own heart.

Continue reading

This is a Good Book Thursday, March 28, 2024

I’ve reached the last in the Aaronovitch Rivers series, one I’ve only read once. I was a little confused the first time I read this one, so this is a fun reread. Well, he’s always fun. It’s been interesting from the PoV of somebody now writing series to see how he’s arced his protagonist. Peter Grant has matured from a wet-behind-the-ears new cop to a ranking officer, from a guy with no moves to the father of twins, so of course the stories have changed. But Peter is still the smart-mouthed smart guy he always was, so I’ll continue to read him no matter what. Especially to see how the twins turn out since the love of his life is not exactly . . . human. So much fun.

What did you read this week?