Book Review: The elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian

Book Review: The Elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian Review by Dawn Thomas 336 Pages Publisher: Midnight Ink Mystery & Thrillers, Sci Fi & Fantasy, Alchemy, Women Sleuths, Culinary Zoe Faust is an alchemist trained by Nicholas Flamel. Dorian, her gargoyle friend, is turning back to stone. In an effort to reverse the action, she travels to Paris, France in search of a backwards alchemist. The owner of a bookstore, Lucien, tells her about a book created by backwards alchemists. He promises to ship it to her as soon as he locates it. While visiting Notre Dame Cathedral to investigate a missing gargoyle, a woman from her past spots her. Madame LeBlanc accuses her of murder and has her police officer nephew interrogate her. Zoe flees Paris and returns to her home in Portland, Oregon. Upon her arrival, Zoe finds Dorian in worse shape and confides in him about the encounter. He agrees she was right in leaving France. Brixton, a teenage friend, tells her about a spy he found peeking in windows. Zoe is afraid the man is the French police officer looking for her. When the mummified remains of a man are found in an abandoned shed, Zoe fears…

Book Review: A Cold White Fear (A Meg Harris Mystery) by RJ Harlick

Book Review: A Cold White Fear (A Meg Harris Mystery) by RJ Harlick Review by Dawn Thomas 344 Pages Publisher: Dundurn Publishing Murder, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Canada, Native American This is the seventh book in the Meg Harris Mystery series and takes place in Canada. Meg Harris and Jid, a twelve-year-old Algonquin boy, are preparing for Christmas in her isolated home. A winter snowstorm is bearing down on them when there is a knock on the door. Two men are on the doorstep asking her to open the door. She is apprehensive but one of the men tells her he is from the Indian reservation and needs medical attention. She opens the door and lets them in. Viper, covered in snake tattoos, explains how his friend Larry was injured in a car accident when they slid off the road. Meg is suspicious of the man’s injury since it appears to be a gunshot wound. She tells Jid, who is out back gathering wood, to go to the reservation and get help. Meg escapes out the back door while the two men are resting. While hiking through the woods she hears voices. She recognizes Jid but not the man with him….

Book Review Blood Defense by Marcia Clark

Book Review Blood Defense by Marcia Clark Review by Dawn Thomas 398 Pages Publisher: Thomas & Mercer Mystery & Thriller, General Fiction (Adult), Legal, Courtroom Drama, Women Sleuths This is the first book in the Samantha Brinkman series. In this series, Samantha is a defense attorney as opposed to the Rachel Knight series where the main character is a prosecutor. The news is full of stories about a police detective accused of murdering two young women. Samantha needs a case like this to keep her office afloat. She knows taking his case would be good for her career and would give her publicity. On the other hand, everyone knows she is not fond of the police. She has mixed feelings when she receives a call from the detective that he would like to meet with her. Dale, a well-known police office without any blemishes in his career is accused of the double murder and asks Samantha to represent him. In the case, she knows she does not have to prove anything; she only has to provide reasonable doubt. When Dale reveals some surprising news to Samantha, she is shocked to her core. The case turns personal to Samantha when her…

Book Review: Empty Nest by Marty Wingate

Book Review: Empty Nest by Marty Wingate Review by Dawn Thomas 284 Pages Publisher: Alibi / Random House LLC Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Cozy, British Detectives, Women Sleuths Julia Lanchester is in charge of the community tourist office in the town of Smeaton-under-Lyme. When her cottage develops toxic black mold, she moves into Fotheringhill Hall, the manor house at the insistence of Sir Linus Fotheringhill. Walking to work one day, Julia discovers a bunch of dead sparrowhawks. When she looks at them closely, she believes they have been poisoned. This is an illegal bait trap and she begins investigating to see who may have poisoned the birds. Julia contacts her father, Rupert Lanchester, a well-known ornithologist with his own television show on the BBC. He comes to Fotheringhill, along with Julia’s love interest, Michael, to investigate the poisoning. Linus’s son, Cecil, returns home with a friend, Freddy Peacock. When Julia smells smoke and finds Freddy dead in his room, everyone is a suspect. Julia begins investigating but someone is not happy about that. She begins to fear for her life after several attempts on her life are made. This is the second book in the series and I really enjoy books…

Book Review Tainted Tokay by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen

Book Review Tainted Tokay by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen Review by Dawn Thomas 181 Pages Publisher: Le French Book Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, French Detective, Wines, Vineyards This is the eleventh book in the Wine Detective series. In this installment, Benjamin Cooker has promised his wife, Elisabeth, a vacation. His editor, Claude, has offered to pay for a trip to Hungary as his guests. Alexandrine, Cooker’s lab assistant is brutally attacked. She calls Virgile, Benjamin’s assistant and asks for his help. Virgile tells Cooker to go on the trip and he will take care of the business and the lab. Claude has a young companion, Consuela Chavez. She is exotic and Benjamin is intrigued by her. Elisabeth is not happy about the attention Benjamin is showing Consuela. Her past is murky and no one can pin point her nationality. A man, Zoltán, approaches them and offers his services as a tour guide. Elisabeth believes he looks trust worthy and agrees to hire him. On an excursion, someone steals Claude’s wallet and passport. They must go to the French Embassy to get new travel documents. Alexandrine continues to heal but is extremely cautious. The police do not believe her attack was…

Book Review Cold Girl by R.M. Greenaway

Book Review Cold Girl by R.M. Greenaway Review by Dawn Thomas 432 Pages Publisher: Dundurn Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction (Adult), Police Procedurals This is an A.B.C. Blues Crime Novel. The story takes place in Canada with several lead characters. Constable Dion is a young man attending a concert in Smithers with his girlfriend, Penny. He was a detective but an auto accident changed his life and took the life of his partner. He was in a coma from a brain injury and does not remember anything about the crash. He was reassigned to New Hazelton as an uniformed officer while still recovering from the accident. With memory problems, he keeps notes on how to operate things and what to do in different situations. It is as if he has to relearn everything in life. David Leith is a detective for the small Canadian town of Prince Rupert. He has been investigating a case involving missing girls. Detective Mike Bosko is visiting the town when the news comes in on a fourth victim. This time it is a celebrity, a singer named Kiera. She is the lead singer for the band Fling. The two men travel to the isolated area…

Book Review It Takes One by Kate Kessler

Book Review It Takes One by Kate Kessler Review by Dawn Thomas Publisher: Redhook Books Women’s Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers, Sexual Abuse This is the first book in a series based on Criminal psychologist Audrey Harte. When she was twelve, she and her friend, Maggie, killed Maggie’s father. Her father was sexually abusing Maggie from a young age. When Audrey found out about it, she wanted to do something about it. After the murder, Audrey was sent away to a girls’ detention center and Maggie to a hospital institution. When she is released, Audrey realizes she and Maggie have changed. They no longer are close and Maggie’s reckless actions cause hatred to grow in Audrey. When Audrey returns home for her mother’s birthday party, her first task is to get her drunken father from Gracie’s, a bar, and bring him home. As she walks into the bar, she spots an old boyfriend, Jake, behind the bar. She finds her father and Jake helps her carry him out to the car. Audrey hears her name called and turns to find Maggie standing there. She is drunk and wants Audrey to come back inside and have a drink with her. Audrey refuses…

Book Review The Skeleton Garden by Marty Wingate

Book Review The Skeleton Garden by Marty Wingate Review by Dawn Thomas 294 Pages Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Alibi Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Cozy, British Detective, Gardening, WWII During WWII, two men were talking when one pushed the other and he fell to his death. Flash to the present. Pru Parke and her brother Simon, estranged as children, are getting to know each other. While working on a garden, they uncover a Nazi airplane. Apparently, a previous owner buried the plane after it crashed into the property. News crews covering the story camped out while the plane is excavated. During the evacuation, a body is found. No one knows who this could be or how he got there. Pru and Simon have their sibling moments where they have disagreements and hurtful remarks. Their relationship is still tender and feelings get hurt easily. Pru’s husband, Christopher, is a police man. He is working on the investigation of the death of a local man found in the garden. He is trying to piece other criminal activities together to see how they fit. Can they all be related to each other along with the body found with the plane? Pru tries to…

Book Review A Covenant with Death by Stephen Becker

Book Review A Covenant with Death by Stephen Becker Review by Dawn Thomas 240 Pages Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media Literary Fiction, Mystery & Thriller, Legal, Courtroom Drama, Psychological The book is set in Soledad City, New Mexico in 1923. Louise Talbot is a beautiful young woman and spends her days sitting on a rail fence watching people pass by. One day she is found murdered in her home. All fingers point to her husband, Bryan Talbot. He swears he did not do it and his lawyer, Parmalee, believes him. Benjamin Lewis is a judge living in the same city. He is not hearing the murder case but sits in the gallery listening to testimony. There is a lot of coverage on the trial. During the case, we discover evidence of Bryan’s misdeeds and transgressions. Ben is a fair young man living with his mother. The governor appointed him a judge as a favor to his father. He has been dating Rosemary, a teacher in Albuquerque. She is friendly but Ben is not convinced she is the one for him. He dreams of Rafaela, a girl/woman he has known all his life. He must make a few hard decisions that…

Book Review White Leopard by Laurent Guillaume

Book Review White Leopard by Laurent Guillaume Review by Dawn Thomas 196 Pages Publisher: Le French Book Mystery, Thriller, General Fiction (Adult), Africa Souleymane Camara, known as Solo to his friends is the White Leopard. He was a police officer in France but now lives in Bamako, Mali as a private detective. He is approached by a woman who believes her husband is having an affair. Farah Tebessi, a Paris lawyer, hires him to get her sister, Bahia, out of jail. Bahia was hired to carry gold into the country. Unknown to her, it turns out to be drugs. She is arrested and thrown into jail. The lawyer gives Solo money to bribe the officials to get her released. He meets with the jail official and negotiates the woman’s release. After the police wake him up, they take him to an industrial area of the city. The police commissioner, Kansaye, is there waiting for him. There is a woman floating in the water. When he looks closer at her, he realizes she was Bahia. He is back on the infidelity case. He followed the husband to a hotel restaurant. Sitting at the table with him is a beautiful woman. When…