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 When I am Gone by Emily Bleeker

Book Review When I am Gone by Emily Bleeker Review by Dawn Thomas 366 Pages Publisher: Lake Union Publishing Women’s Fiction, General Fiction (Adult) Natalie died from cancer and her husband, Luke, has to pick up the pieces for his three children. She used the time she had left to write letters. These letters open some doors but also lead to heart ache. Natalie is giving him advice on how to move on. She even tells him he has waited long enough and should begin dating. At first, Luke looks forward to getting the blue envelopes in the mail. Soon things seem to spiral out of control and he does not even want to look at the letters. When their oldest son Will tells the guidance counselor at school he is adopted, she contacts Luke. Luke is shocked by the allegation and confronts Will. He shows Luke an envelope addressed to Natalie from an adoption agency. The postmark is around the same time as Will’s birth. Luke tries to convince Will he was not adopted and gives other reasons for the letter. Luke tells Will he will go to the adoption agency and try to get answers. Annie, Natalie’s best…

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 Witches of Cambridge by Menna van Praag

Book Review The Witches of Cambridge by Menna van Praag Review by Dawn Thomas 322 Pages Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books Women’s Fiction, Witches, Magic, Fantasy The book follows the lives of several women and a man who are witches. Amandine feels her husband has become distant and fears he is having an affair. Her mother, Heloise, is still grieving for her husband who passed away two years ago. Cosima is a baker whose husband just told her he was having an affair and his girlfriend is pregnant. Cosima is devastated because she wants to have a child but her blood condition makes that next to impossible. Her own mother died giving birth to her. Kat, Cosima’s older sister, has feelings for George but he does not seem to feel the same way. Noa is a student with a strange power – she can see a person’s secret. Unfortunately, she does not have the ability to keep the information to herself. She does not have any friends and tries to keep to herself so she cannot expose other’s secrets. One night, she stumbles upon the witches’ book club and blurts out each of their secrets. Amandine asks…

Book Review: The Witch of Napoli by Michael Schmicker

Book Review: The Witch of Napoli by Michael Schmicker Review by Dawn Thomas 350 Pages Publisher: Palladino Books General Fiction (Adult), Sci Fi & Fantasy, Historical Fiction The book takes place in 1899 and is narrated by Tomaso Labella, a sixteen-year-old photographer. During a séance, Tomaso takes a photo of Alessandra Poverelli levitating a table. When Camillo Lombardi, a wealthy skeptic, sees the photo, he travels to Naples to discredit her. After attending a séance, Lombardi becomes a believer and finances a European tour for Alessandra and Tomaso. During the tour, Nigel Huxley, the grand inquisitor for the London Society for the Investigation of Mediums, confronts Alessandra. He believes she is a con artist and tries to prove she is an impostor. The story was inspired by the true-life story of Eusapia Palladino (1854 – 1918). She was an illiterate woman from Naples. She was able to levitate tables, ring bells, and materialize body parts and full forms. The story was well written and the characters were well defined. I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more from this author.

Book Review: Love the Witch, Hate the Craft by Nora Lee

Book Review: Love the Witch, Hate the Craft by Nora Lee Review by Dawn Thomas Pages 250 Publisher: Masterful Books Publication Date: October 15, 2015 Women’s Fiction, Sci Fi & Fantasy This book is the first in a trilogy of the Witches of Secret Hallow. The town is full of witches and is in a perpetual autumn season. Rowan is a college student returning to her home after a six-year absence and the recent break up with her boyfriend Garrett. She is the strongest earth witch in Secret Hallow but does not have control over her power. She has not used magic since the accident with her grandmother. When she arrives home, she meets a stranger, Caedmon McFarland. He tries to convince Rowan to marry him so he can become the High Priest and take over the coven. Rowan does not trust him or his motives. Her friend Orianna has a five-year-old daughter named Fern, who has extraordinary powers. Rowan tries to teach Fern how to control her powers without hurting others. Rowan’s grandmother senses she needs help and sends for Garrett, who is unaware of the recent breakup. When things get out of hand, Rowan must reach deep within…

Book Review Herbs for Long-Lasting Health by Rosemary Gladstar

Book Review Herbs for Long-Lasting Health by Rosemary Gladstar Review by Dawn Thomas Publisher: Storey Basics 128 Pages Health, Mind & Body  Chapter one: Perspectives on Aging Rosemary tells stories about a couple of her mentors. She also tells the story of Master Li Ch’ing Yuen, a Chinese herbalist that lived to be 252 years old. I was pleased to read that her daughters had a different perspective on aging. They see aging for what it is – a part of life – and not something to fear or avoid. Although she believes genetics is important for longevity, she also believes herbs and a healthy lifestyle are also important. Ms. Gladstar discusses the claims from cosmetic companies on how to look younger. Chapter two: The herbal home medicine chest This chapter discusses different types of herbs and their qualities. Ms. Gladstar goes into the history of herbalism and its connection with witchcraft. She includes specific herbs with their beneficial properties and ways to use them. Chapter three: how to create long-lasting good health The author explains foods that support well-being and long life. Vitamins and supplements are included, along with their benefits. Chapter four: recipes for longevity and well-being Ms….