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Recent Reads

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 14, 2011

LOUISA AND THE MISSING HEIRESS by Anna Maclean (Historical Mystery)
Journey back to Boston circa 1887 for a historical mystery starring Louisa May Alcott before she became famous. As a budding writer, Louisa has an observant nature, so when her friend Dot is late for a tea party and arrives in a disheveled state, Louisa’s suspicions are raised. Everyone wonders why Dottie married Preston Wortham, especially so Dottie’s wealthy family. So when Dot is found dead by the wharf, it’s no surprise that Constable Cobban suspects the victim’s husband of being a fortune-hunter. Afraid the officer of the law might not look any further than the obvious, Louisa determines to unmask the killer. It appears all of Dottie’s relatives have something to hide, and a few near misses on her life tell our heroine that she’s getting closer to the truth.

This is a delightful debut for a new series. I look forward to reading more about Miss Alcott’s exploits in the sequel, Louisa and the Country Bachelor.

CHAINFIRE by Terry Goodkind (Epic Fantasy)
Lord Richard Rahl wakes up after being treated for a life-threatening wound. He asks for his wife, Kahlan, but his friends claim they’ve never heard of her. Desperate to find his beloved bride, he insists that she exists. No one believes him, and even those closest to him fear he’s gone mad. At the brink of a final battle in the war against Emperor Jagang’s forces, he is Kahlan’s only voice in the dark. He knows she must be in terrible danger by whoever took her. He’ll stop at nothing to find her, even if it means ignoring prophesy and bringing about the destruction of all he knows.

This installment in Terry Goodkind’s epic Sword of Truth series will have you turning pages to find out what has happened to Richard’s wife. You’ll sympathize with his horror and despair and his fear that his friends might be right. My only contention is that you have to follow the story into the next book because it’s not resolved by the end of this one.

STARQUEST by Hywela Lyn (Science Fiction Romance)
Jess is piloting her spacecraft on a vital mission when a disaster befalls her ship. She sends out a distress call and is picked up by a passing vessel. During the voyage home, she falls in love with the second in command. The crew helps her people when they’re attacked by a vicious race. They repel the invaders, but Jess takes enemy fire and is presumed dead.

Unknown to the crew who depart without her, she is taken to a healing center and kept alive. Desperate to find the man she loves once she’s well again, and puzzled as to why he’d leave without her, she hires another pilot and craft so she can search for him. Thus begin many adventures where Jess and her new partner draw closer together until Jess realizes which man it is that she truly loves.

The story has some unexpected twists and turns and a satisfying conclusion. If you’re a fan of futuristic romance, you might like this story that’s told in a unique journal format.

TO TEMPT A SAINT by Kate Moore (Historical Romance)
Cleo fears for the safety of her younger brother and marries Sir Alexander Jones in a hasty wedding. Being wed will protect her from her uncle’s unscrupulous claims on her trust fund. For Xander, marrying an heiress provides the means he needs to search for his missing brother among the dark alleys of London. Together they face danger from unknown enemies and a growing attraction that may seal their bargain forever.

This charming historical romance will hold your attention until its exciting finale.

KNIGHT OF DESIRE by Margaret Mallory (Historical Romance)
Lady Catherine Rayburn barely has time to celebrate the death of her abusive husband in battle when the king forces her to wed another man or go to prison for treason. His majesty doesn’t care if it was her intelligence that tipped him off to Rayburn’s treachery. He declares her lands and castle forfeit and grants them to Lord William FitzAlan, who agrees to marry the lady to save her from an unjust fate. Once he catches sight of the beautiful woman boldly meeting him at the castle gates, his passion ignites. As danger surrounds them, they must learn to trust each other in order to unmask the traitor in their midst.

ROYAL FLUSH by Rhys Bowen (Historical Mystery)
This third installment in Rhys Bowen’s historical A Royal Spyness series is as charming as the rest. Lady Georgiana, a relation of the royals, heads to her family estate and country home, Castle Rannoch, at the urging of Scotland Yard to search for an assassin bent on eliminating members of the royal family. Accidents abound as the mystery deepens and a house party of guests contribute to the confusion. One of these eccentric characters may be a murderer and responsible for the mishap in the woods that nearly cost Georgiana’s brother his foot. When one guest ends up shot to death during a hunt, it doesn’t appear to be an accident at all. Will Georgiana learn everyone’s secrets and unmask the killer before she’s next on his hit list? This historical cozy mystery is a delightful addition to Bowen’s entertaining series.

ATLANTIS REDEEMED by Alyssa Day (Paranormal Romance)
Cursed by Poseidon to experience no emotions until he meets his soul mate, only to forget her the moment his attention diverts, Atlantean Warrior Brennan still teams up with journalist Tiernan to rout a villain who’s discovered the secret of mind control. Not only does he have to fight the vamps and shapeshifters turned by the evil man but he also must battle the influx of feelings long suppressed when Tiernan awakens his passions. But the curse states that she must die before he can fully remember her. Can he defeat death along with his enemy in time to save the love of his life? This further installment in Alyssa Day’s Warriors of Poseidon series is as enthralling as the rest.

MURDER IS BINDING by Lorna Barrett (Mystery)
Tricia Miles operates a mystery bookstore in a small New Hampshire town where she doesn’t expect to find the cookbook store owner dead next door. Who might have wanted to harm the poor dear? Her sister, recently come to town? The local politician or the real estate agent? Or maybe the building’s owner looking for a higher rent tenant? When the sheriff suspects her, Tricia has to find the killer before someone else ends up stiff as a page in an old book.

This latest installment in the Booktown Mysteries is as delightful as the others. I kept guessing who might be guilty until the exciting end. It has a great puzzle, interesting characters, and a perfectly cozy bookstore setting. I’ll be looking for the next book in this charming series.

MURDER OF A BOOKSTORE BABE by Denise Swanson (Mystery)
School psychologist Skye Denison is hoping the new bookstore in town will do well, but when a young woman is found dead inside, she wonders who wants to sabotage the grand opening. And was the victim the intended target, or might it have been one of the bookstore owners? As Skye gets to know the people involved, she sees that more than one citizen is harboring a deadly secret. Murder of a Bookstore Babe is a delightful addition to the Scumble River mystery series.


4 Responses to “Recent Reads”

  1. Ann said

    Thanks for posting this – I’m always looking a new cozy read.

  2. Caroline Clemmons said

    Nancy, it’s so nice to see some names I’ve read and find some new authors to read. Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness series is one of my favorite.

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