Tag Archives: Murder

Fleeting Memory (an Enescu Fleet Mystery) by Sherban Young

Fleeting Memory by Sherban YoungI received a complimentary copy of Fleeting Memory from the author, in exchange for a review on this blog, but I have to say, I would gladly pay the author for this book – it was well worth it!

Product Description

The answer lies with Keats… With these cryptic last words, the man sprawled out on the floor of the rustic cabin expires – murdered.  What could he have meant?  Why Keats?  Which answer?  (For that matter, what was the question?)

All this and more passes through the mind of the young householder who discovers the body.  If only he knew the guy’s name.  Or anybody’s name.  Including his own…

From here, our hero is hurtled along a path of self-discovery. With the help of Enescu Fleet, retired private detective and (according to some) the world’s most fascinating man, he will delve into an exciting new game show called Deadly Allusions, where trivia and murder compete for top billing. Along the way, he will attempt to figure out the dead man’s clue – and quite possibly nab a murderer who is too smart for his own good.

I have had this little gem tucked away on my kindle for a very long time (sorry about that Mr. Young!). Truth be told, I have read some real stinkers in the not so distant past, which had been given to me in exchange for reviews, books which I have had to go back to the author & say, “look, I’m not going to be able to say anything nice about this book, so are you really sure you want me to review it?” Unexpectedly, the answer has always been “Thanks, but no thanks!” – so, I had been a little put off about reading review books for a while, which is such a shame, as this is such a fab book!

I recently read a review on amazon, where the reviewer said that it “was hard to go a page without finding something to snicker about.” I heartily agree. Many a morning & afternoon I was sat on the bus snickering to myself over some witty comment, or situation that the crazy cast of characters in Fleeting Memory found themselves embroiled in. There were points where I laughed out loud at something Enescu said or did – much to the amusement of my fellow passengers, I am sure!

Growing up, my father religiously watched Columbo & Perry Mason and Diagnosis: Murder, & my mother liked to torture us with Murder, She Wrote. Enescu Fleet reminds me of a modern Columbo – with the same smart mind, cutting wit & quick attention to detail, with a little bit of (shudder) Jessica Fletcher and Dr. Mark Sloan thrown in the mix. So, having grown up in a house where these kind of characters were a constant presence, I found myself drawn to Enescu Fleet and his methods.

Young has a real gift for making the reading of Fleeting Memory seem like you are a witness to a play, or television show, but at the same time, I could easily imagine Enescu Fleet and his merry cast of crazy followers being the cast & characters on an old Radio Serial – Fleeting Memory is an interesting & funny mix of the old world style story, with a modern twist.

I know that I have not told you anything about the book, but that is a very deliberate decision on my part – I think that the Product description above tells you all you need to know – anything else I might say would just serve to ruin the story for you. Just let me leave you with this: If you are looking for a lighthearted, funny, quick paced delightful read – well, I just found you your next book!

And Mr. Young? I can’t wait to read the follow up you tell me you are currently writing!

 

 

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Stilettos & Scoundrels by Laina Turner-Molaski

Stilettos & Scoundrels is available from Amazon.co.uk The Synopsis from Amazon.co.uk:

Presley Thurman, a sassy, thirty-something red-head, was looking to reinvent herself. She didn’t allow the fact she was recently fired to bother her – she was ready to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. Presley is a lover of shopping and Starbucks, and even though she sometimes had bad taste in men, she always had great taste in clothes. Not looking back on corporate America, Presley decided to follow her dream. With her feisty nature and a spirit to not “sweat the small stuff,” she was ready to tackle any challenge (even if she had no idea how she would pay the bills). When her friend Trevor offered her a job with his online magazine to interview public figures, she jumped at the chance. However, the new job turned into something unexpected when the U.S. Senator she was slated to write about was murdered – in her home town! Presley was excited – she hadn’t seen so much buzz since the spring sample sale at Saks. She was ready for this adventure, even if it didn’t seem to fit neatly into her life. She couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be in the middle of the buzz. Presley was determined (not to mention curious) to find the killer and write her story. After all, she couldn’t afford her shoe habit without a job and she was certainly not one to shy away from danger. The only thing standing in her way was an old high school fling, Cooper Sands, head of the Senator’s security. He was not actually standing in her way, but because of his good looks, he was the biggest distraction and one she was having the hardest time overcoming. Cooper felt it was too dangerous for Presley to look for a killer and tried to distract her with reliving the past; which Presley found more dangerous than any killer. While she attempted to resist Cooper’s good looks and charm, Presley was able to discover the Senator’s wife, Helen, had been having an affair… with her best friend’s boyfriend! Did Helen kill the Senator? Or was it the Senator’s love of gambling that got him killed? And what was Cooper’s secret tie to the mob boss Garrison Palazzo? Presley was betting her favorite pair of Manolo’s she will find the killer… but will time run out!

My Review

Stilettos & Scoundrels, by Laina Turner-Molaski, is an interesting twist on the romance novel – romance with a kick! Stilettos & Scoundrels follows Presley Thurman, the recently fired, shoe shopping, fashion lover knows this is the chance of a lifetime – to follow her dream & become a professional writer. She takes on a writing assignment for a friend’s magazine, interviewing  a US Senator. unfortunately for Presley, the senator ends up murdered & Presley somehow thinks it’s a good idea for her to investigate the killing. Enter Cooper Sands (ok, I have to say, the character’s names kinda drove me crazy), Presley’s one time high school fling, who is the head of security for the Senator. In an attempt to keep Presley occupied, and safe, Cooper tries to re-kindle their romance, but Presley doesn’t let that stop her.

Stilettos & Scoundrels is a pretty easy read, with some nice plot twists, that keep you hooked.  I think that for avid chic lit fans this is a nice departure from the norm, a little spice with your romance. But for avid murder mystery fans, I think the romance element would probably just annoy. I am more on the murder mystery side, but I do love a good bit of chic lit every once in a while (search my previous posts, there are lots of them about chic lit) & for me this was an enjoyable read.

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Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher, free of cost, for me to review. My review is of my own doing and is in no way influenced by the author, the publisher or by Nurture Virtual Book Tourz

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Death from Child abuse….and no one heard

***Warning – Some may find this post upsetting***

I read this book a long time ago (not long after it was originally published) & it haunts me to this day. It is the chronicling of the last 2 months in the life of a beautiful 5-year old girl named Ursula Sunshine Assaid. Ursula was abused to death by her mother’s live-in boyfriend. She was made to march up and down the trailer they lived in reciting the alphabet – if she got it wrong or hesitated at all she was beaten and made to start again. Her killer would tie her to a tree outside in the yard for almost an entire day & if Ursula soiled herself she was made to march around the trailer with the dirty clothes on her head. She was denied sleep, food, water – all the basics in life (although the bastard who killed her was kind enough to feed her soap sandwiches – slivers of a bar of soap between 2 pieces of bread).

After Ursula had finally died at the hands of her torturer he hid her tiny body in a sail bag which he weighted down and threw into a drainage pond. Ursula’s mother did nothing to prevent this abuse, and as a result went to prison (although she was only sentenced to 15 years, of which she served 5). Donald McDougal was sentenced to 34 years in prison, but was subsequently murdered himself. (I’m not normally one for retribution, but in this case I would say he got what he deserved!)

Anyway, as I have said, this book has haunted me over the years & for the past few weeks especially so. I don’t know why it’s haunting me so much at the moment, but it is. Maybe I just needed to do what I am doing now – write about it, about Ursula, so that maybe someone out there will read the book, see something of a similar situation & do something about it. Ursula never stood a chance, but there had been signs that she was being abused & no one did anything to save her. I pray that heaven treats Ursula better than earth did!

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61 Hours by Lee Child

Jack Reacher is one of those characters that while I cannot relate to him at all on a personal level, I do love him! I suppose it’s kind of like how people (me) love the character Dexter – the mass murdering blood spatter analyst. Reacher is a drifter who in his travels is righting the wrongs he comes across, and more often than not by very violent means. Reacher has killed more than his fair share (is there such a thing as a fair share in the murder game?) of men, making him as mass murderer…….but the thing is, he’s a good guy. He only kills people who deserve it, lol.

I don’t remember which was the first Reacher book I read (it definitely wasn’t the 1st book, though), but once I read that first book, that was it, I was hooked!

61 Hours sees Reacher travelling on a bus, with a Senior’s tour in the middle of winter, more by accident than by design, though. He’d bribed the driver to allow him to travel with the tour to the next stop on the tour where Reacher could then move on to where ever he was next drifting toward. unfortunately the bus becomes involved in an incident & crashes. The police from the nearest town come collect the injured seniors taking them to hospital & putting the rest with host families while they wait for their replacement bus to arrive.  Bolton, the town they are taken to is the location of a new super prison & home toa flourishing drug trade.

The Bolton police are locked into a service contract with the prison which requires every last officer to rush to the perimeter of the prison within ten minutes of a riot or escape alarm sounding & the town is in a kind of lock down while they are protecting one of the locals who is due to testify against the drug lords who are operating out of the old army base. Queue the drama!

***SPOILER ALERT***

This is the 1st Reacher book that isn’t a stand-alone. The book come to a pretty dramatic climax, as those of who have read Reacher books have come to expect, and ends with a “To be continued”, with Worth Dying For being the next in the Reacher installment.

If you haven’t read any of Lee Child’s books – DO! Start at the beginning & enjoy!

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Killer Heat by Linda Fairstein

I’m a big Linda Fairstein fan – I love her books! Ironically, I have never met anyone who has read any of her books & I really do not understand why. Linda is a fantastic writer & Alexandra Cooper is a brilliant character! I wait eagerly each year for the next installment & each time I am so disappointed because I devour the book in a day or two, then have to begin that bloody long wait all over again!

From Amazon:

“In District Attorney Alexandra Cooper’s line of work, the discovery of a corpse isn’t unusual. Not even the corpse of a young woman who was bound, bludgeoned and tortured to death. It’s the location which is unusual – an abandoned Ferry Terminal at the southern tip of Manhattan. The ferries from here only went to one destination, the now uninhabited Governors Island. Also known as Ghost Island. The corpse is identified as that of a part-time prostitute with a side-line in kink and a high-end client list. A list to kill for and, clearly, to die for .. but the list is missing, and so is another girl. Alex, along with Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, fear the killer will find more victims before they can identify him. And when another young woman disappears at an isolated site not far from Governor’s Island, Alex has no hesitation in joining the desperate hunt for a singularly depraved murderer. A chase which catapults her into one of the most chilling encounters of her life.”

I have read some reviews for Killer Heat where people have said that Fairstein took an unexpected departure from her usual brilliance, but I don’t agree with them. I thought Killer Heat was as strong as any of the other 9 Alexandra Cooper novels before them.  There was the usual chemistry & friendly antagonism between Alex & Mike Chapman, Mercer provides his usual support & the book is chock full of interesting facts about New York. I think that’s one of the best things about these books – you get your standard Murder Mystery, mayhem, but you also get a history lesson, but not one that is in your face.

I think that Linda has a winner in Alex’s character & the relationship she has with the other lead characters in the books. Mercer, her protector, Mike her…….well, what  exactly is the relationship between her & Mike? Mike loves to ridicule Alex & do his best to drive her crazy & she always does her best to not react, but deep down I think the two of them are so in love with each other, but they don’t dare explore where that might take their relationship. This adds to the complexity of all of the books in this series & I really hope that at some point Alex & Mike realise just how much they belong together! What a great crime fighting partnership they are & could be!

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