Book Review: All the Lovely Children by Andrew Nance

***I received a free copy to give an honest review***

Charly Bloom’s life took a wrong turn that has left her alone and frustrated. When she gets a call from an old flame, she returns to her hometown to investigate the disappearances of four children. The abductions are eerily similar to a set of previous crimes.

Two decades ago, Charly and her two friends decided to play amateur  detectives and help find a girl who was stolen from her home. Then, another girl went missing. Clues overlooked by the inept sheriff left only one child to survive: Charly. She managed to fight back and kill the Snatcher. Or so everyone thought…

Is the Snatcher back, or is there a copycat? Charly must face her past and her own personal demons in a race against time to save the latest victim.

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I really enjoyed this mystery. I loved that Charly, as a kid and as an adult, was badass. She wasn’t afraid to back down to bullies who were guys twice her size. She didn’t need a guy to protect her. She could protect herself.

The story kept going back and forth between the past and present. Since Charly helped catch the Snatcher when she was a kid, she was asked to figure out the killer now. Charly was a private investigator while her ex worked for the police department.

This book was written in Charly’s first person point of view. As a reader, you could see her excitement as she figured out clues, which made her endearing as a character. Her voice, in narration, sounded exactly the same to me whether she was a thirteen year old or a thirty-six year old. I wish the chapters which focused on her past would’ve made her sound more youthful.

The story was pretty intense. The villains were not playing around. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book. No one was safe. There were two scenes that gave me the chills (in a good way): when the kids, Charly and Micah Lee, were snooping on Altus May’s property, and when the kids, Charly, Micah Lee and Bobby, went through the tunnel at night. Poor Bobby.

I absolutely, positively loved the twist! I hadn’t seen it coming. The author did an awesome job with all the red herrings. I also loved Charly’s interactions with her two best friends as kids, and how she always outsmarted the bike gang as an adult.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Check Out Mystery Author John W. Howell’s Interview!

Welcome John W. Howell! I just finished this thought-provoking and very enjoyable read – a blend of mystery, friendship, and family, with a helping of supernatural. Get your copy now – the price is only 99 cents until November 1st! I am introducing a new book this month titled Circumstances of Childhood. It is a […]

via #BadMoonRising John W. Howell #supernatural #mystery #family — Books and Such

Book Review: Stay of Execution By Kellie Larsen Murphy

***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review***

Little Springs was just a small college town, the kind of town where everyone knew everyone and violent crime was nonexistent–until a series of rapes and murders at the college. After an outbreak of fear and hysteria, only the arrest and conviction of Leo Spradlin, the “Co-Ed Killer,” could end the terror.

Years later, Spradlin is suddenly cleared based on unshakable DNA evidence, and no one is more surprised than Detective Mike Cancini. As new questions surround the identity of the true “Co-Ed Killer,” Cancini struggles to accept his role in the conviction of an innocent man. Suspicions mount when Spradlin’s release coincides with a fresh waves of rapes and murders at the college, eerily reminiscent of the original crimes. Cancini is drawn back to Little Springs, caught in a race against time to uncover the identity of the latest “Co-Ed Killer” before the next girl dies…

A tension-filled psychological mystery, STAY OF EXECUTION is also a novel about loyalty, deceit, and the darker side of truth.

I loved this mystery novel. It was placed in Washington D.C. and Virginia. I love reading books that are near my area, especially if I can recognize the scenery and public places with the author’s description. 

Detective Cancini was one of the main characters. As a reader, I respected his problem-solving skills, stubborn yet efficient. He reminded me of Gibbs. Leo Spradlin, the townies, and the Mayor were other main characters.

Spradlin was an innocent man on death row. He had been convicted of raping and murdering female students of Blue Hill College. But was he the true “Co-Ed Killer”? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

There were some repetition areas in interior monologue, especially when Cancini found out Spradlin was released from prison. But, I guess it fit because Cancini was obsessed with finding out the truth, never once believing Spradlin was innocent.

Julia, an ambitious reporter determined to get out of the shadows of her husband’s career, was another character I enjoyed. My favorite scenes were of her investigating in the small town and any scene with her and Spradlin.

My favorite lines: 1) He understood his role. 2) “Mike, the evidence says Spradlin’s innocent. Let it go.” 3) Was it really that something didn’t feel right? Was it really about truth and closure, or was it his own bruised ego?

When Julia started reading Spradlin’s morher’s diary entries, I figured out the mystery. It was fun watching the story unfold to see if I was right. The ending was definitely keeping me on the edge of my seat.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Disconnected By Lisa M. Cronkhite

18669436***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review***

Seventeen-year-old Milly has a huge problem on her hands. She is being bullied by Amelia Norris. Day in and day out, Amelia torments Milly and even threatens to hurt her, but she can’t tell anyone–not a soul. Milly’s reasoning–she does not want anyone to know where her tormentor lives. They only share one thing in common. Both co-exist as one in the same body. Milly is so disconnected from her past that she feels compelled to find out what truly happened to her when her parents were still alive. After a mysterious fire, she and Grandpa George move into Aunt Rachel’s Victorian home where Milly then begins to unravel puzzling clues to her family history. Through dreams and scattered memories, Milly journals her breaking story, trying to cope by putting the shattered pieces back together, all the while resisting with her inner demon. Amelia is determined to cut Milly out of the real world–literally. Milly starts to wonder who her real family is after stumbling across Aunt Rachel’s notebook–having the intuitive sense that something terribly awful is missing. All she had thought to be true now seems like one big lie.

I loved this book. It was told through Milly’s first person point-of-view. She was the sane one while Amelia was crazy. Amelia was ruthless in her torture, so it made me feel bad for Milly. She was going through so much at a young age, that the bullying broke my heart. Beth was Milly’s best friend. As a reader, I wished she would have realized something was really wrong with Milly. It would have been cool for the friend to save the day.

My favorite lines: 1) “No one sees me. I’m invisible to everyone. Everyone but her.” 2) “Start over?” I say, standing up. “Nothing ever began.”

I really enjoyed the mystery aspect involving the family drama. Milly’s aunt and grandfather were hiding a tragic secret; Milly had to go as far as stealing her aunt’s journal to try and find answers. Throughout the book, I wondered if Milly kept seeing a ghost (the girl with dark hair) or if the girl was a stalker. The twists and turns were intriguing, especially the ending! I would have never guessed! I thought Milly would end up with her new crush, Blake. Maybe she does and maybe she doesn’t. You’ll have to read the book to find out.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

 

 

Book Review: Voodoo Ridge By David Freed

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

It’s 1956. A plane bearing a mysterious cargo takes off from a small airport outside Los Angeles and disappears into a raging storm. Nearly 60 years later, while flying over California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, retired military assassin-turned-civilian flight instructor and would-be Buddhist Cordell Logan catches a glint of sunlight on metal and spots what appears to be aircraft wreckage. His life will never be the same.

Logan and his beautiful ex-wife, Savannah, plan a reconciliation in posh Lake Tahoe. But upon landing in the Ruptured Duck, his beloved aging Cessna, Logan agrees to put those plans on hold when he’s asked to help guide a search and rescue team to the remote, mountainous crash site. The team finds not only a long-missing airplane, with the mummified remains of its pilot still at the controls, but something much more recent and far more sinister: the body of a young man, shot to death only hours earlier. Someone has beaten the rescuers to the site and will clearly stop at nothing to profit from what the plane was carrying-including kidnapping and threatening to kill Savannah if Logan refuses to help them carry out their getaway plans. With the clock ticking and the love of his life in peril, Logan is drawn into a vexing vortex as personal and potentially deadly as any he’s ever known.

Voodoo Ridge is a fast-paced adrenaline-fueled thrill ride filled with the kind of unexpected twists, full-throttle action and wry humor that won Freed’s Flat Spin and Fangs Out, the first two installments in the Cordell Logan mystery series, rave reviews and a legion of loyal fans.

18619351I loved this book. The author was great with voice and characterization. The story never left Cordell Logan’s sarcastic wit, and I loved every second of it. Even though the story was in first person point-of-view, I felt like I got to know everyone. The villains and good guys were all three-dimensional. I had three suspects of who was behind the sinister plan, and I was totally wrong. The author did a great job with red herrings!

My favorite lines: 1) “Yesterday. It seemed so long ago.” 2) “You get right to the point, don’t you?” “One of my many character flaws.” 3) “Patience, unfortunately has never been my strong suit.”

I’m a sucker for happy endings, so I was excited to see that Logan and Savannah were planning on getting married again. They went away on a honeymoon, never to be the same again. Logan spotted an airplane crash site and reported it. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be a good samaritan. His call led to criminals abducting Savannah to blackmail him into flying the dirty goods out of the state. I was very, very, very SHOCKED at what happened on page 235!!! I never expected that! It was cool that the author David Freed wasn’t afraid to go there. The ending gave me hope for Logan because let’s face it, he was my favorite character throughout the book.

I loved all the tension between Logan and his suspects of Savannah’s kidnapping. He wasn’t playing around! The end of the book made me sad (in a good way).

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Hanging By A Hair By Nancy J. Cohen

***I received this as an ARC gift for winning a Goodreads giveaway, making this book a first-read***

Marla’s joyous move to a new house with her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, is marred by their next-door neighbor who erects an illegal fence between their properties. When Dalton reminds the man of the local permitting laws, tempers flare—and worse, the neighbor is found dead the following day. Dismayed when Dalton is removed from the case due to a conflict of interest, Marla decides it’s up to her to find the killer. Can the intrepid hairstylist untangle the clues and pin down the culprit before he strikes again?

18351891I enjoyed this book. My favorite lines were: “That man has secrets to hide. Better not push him. You don’t know what he’ll do.” and “It’s a potential homicide, and I’m a person of interest.” The mystery had plenty of red herrings, keeping me guessing until the end. I didn’t pick the right killer LOL. Marla’s catchphrase was funny; I’ve never heard “Bless my bones” before. I liked that she was comfortable in her own skin.

Krabber. Krabber. Krabber. He was the Association’s President who enforced rules while not abiding by the rules himself. After hearing his backstory, I could understand why he was such a jerk. To be honest, I found the suspects more interesting than Marla and Dalton. The daughter was cool though. I liked that the married couple worked together, trying to solve the crimes in the neighborhood. I was impressed with Marla’s sleuthing skills (she could put Sherlock Holmes to shame). But towards the end, I was confused why Dalton hid crucial information when his police squad found a lead. It could have saved a lot of heartache. I sat on the edge of my seat when Marla got hit in the back of the head and almost died by being left in the garage with a car running. But, Marla still did the same ole same ole even when her husband warned her against connecting the dots, meeting people alone. So as a reader, I assumed I guess it wasn’t a big deal.

I was really curious of Krabber’s nephew. I wish he would’ve been introduced more. Overall, it was a really good story. I read the paperback in a day.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: The Natural Victim By Peter Reynard

The computer always keeps watch and it never lies.

So when the computer says that Eric Wanbois’ ID, and only Eric Wanbois’ ID, was used to enter a locked room one night, the same night and the same locked room in which a grad student is found brutally murdered, the police are sure they have their man.

Even Eric’s lawyer accepts his client’s guilt. But Eric insists he is innocent, and Dieter Fox – fellow grad student and voracious reader of detective fiction – believes him.

And as luck would have it, I’m Dieter’s roommate; his Dr. Watson and Capt. Hastings, all rolled into one.

To solve the case, Dieter (and I) must figure out how Eric’s ID was used three times that night though Eric claims he used it only once.

And who is the mysterious stranger seen inside the room hours before the murder?

As Dieter and I start to dig deeper we discover that there is no shortage of people who hated the victim, including the victim’s lab mates and his ex.

But who hated the victim enough to kill him? And why?

18078654I enjoyed this 14 chapter book. My favorite lines: 1) “A good detective keeps his mind open.” 2) “I’d never have thought of him as a killer, but you can never really know anyone, can you?” 3) “No one got along with him. He was sly, cunning, and lazy. A deadly combination,” he replied.

The story definitely focused on Dieter even though it was told through another character’s first person point of view. I don’t even think the guy’s name was ever mentioned. They were college roommates and both loved to read mysteries. As a reader, i had respect for Dieter’s detective skills. It reminded me of back in the day when I used to act like I was Harriet the Spy, solving local mysteries for my peers. Who am I kidding? I still do LOL.

I wish there were more dialogue and immediate scenes instead of narrative summary. If I read conversations and more interactions between characters instead of just hearing about it through one person’s account, then it would’ve felt like I was taking the journey with them instead of just being narrated to. The characters would’ve felt more real instead of just puzzle pieces.

However, I loved the fact that everything was laid out like clues. It gave me a chance to try and figure out the mystery alongside Dieter. It was a fun game to play.

Eric’s roommate, Jason, turned up dead in his science lab on campus. Right away, I thought someone had set up Eric. Then David, a student who also used the lab, became a main suspect. It seemed too good to be true, so I was happy that Dieter felt uneasy with how everything fit together too perfectly. I was happy that my gut was right. David ended up dead as well!

The story did a great job of listing the suspects and describing their motives for wanting those guys dead. The red herrings were so clever that I never guessed the right killer. I was fooled, so the ending was cool.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Killer Rumors By Antonello Fiore

***I received a free copy from the Making Connections group on Goodreads for a book review***

Father D’Angelo and Bakeman, two devoted priests were brutally murdered while going on one of their nightly walks. Detective Frank Rinelli is called to the case- not only due to his close friendship with the priests, but with his expertise of tracking psychotic killers. Rinelli suddenly discovers these murders were based on a scandal that occurred several years ago at the same Church where the two murdered priests preached. And it doesn’t stop there. The list of people being murdered in connection with the scandal continues to grow until the killer has his ultimate vengeance- and the truth released.

51grPI1tzoL._SY300_I enjoyed this 99 chapter book. Readers immediately knew that Tom hated Father D’ Angelo and Father Bakeman because he felt that they set him up. So there wasn’t any mystery of who killed them. However, the juicy mystery was: is Tom telling the truth? Did they set him up to take the fall (he was charged of sexually abusing kids)? I loved how suspenseful the novel was; it was fun getting inside Tom and The Solution’s heads. The Solution was a hit man hired by Tom. There’s a shocking twist of how they know each other.

I also liked the dynamic of the cop partners, Frank and Nick. They were emotionally invested with the case since they had grew up going to that church and thought of Father D’ Angelo and Father Bakeman as role models. The story was written in Frank’s (one of the police officers) first person point-of-view while the other characters shared their third person point-of-view accounts.

I wished that the author would have let the story speak for itself. He had some really cool scenes in the book, but at times, the constant explaining of everything before it happened slowed the action down.

My favorite lines: 1) “I know, Nick. The question is why would she be hiding something that could lead us to the murderer?” 2) “Thinking is a dangerous tool.” 3) “I’m not sure if spirits exist or if they can talk. But if they can, now would be the perfect time to experience it.” 4) “Whoever did this must have been covered from all over. I checked the victim’s bodies from head to toe and even in their mouths–nothing. It’s as if a ghost killed them.”

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Hot Laundry By TG Davis

Jackie Blue is a private investigator in LA who wants to move up in the PI world. Jackie investigates a Hollywood money manager and comes face to face with a Mexican drug cartel and its money laundering scheme. Jackie and ex-beau/bounty hunter Hugh Barclay end up protecting the head of the Hollywood firm but who’s protecting who here? Through  a bizarre circumstance at the outset of the story Jackie holds key customer account information that all sides of the splintering cartel are chasing.

18046568I enjoyed this 12 chapter book. It was told through Jackie’s first person point-of-view. I liked that she was in her mid-20’s but had seen a lot of crazy stuff due to her job. For this assignment, it was supposed to be simple: meet a client’s son. Things took a wild turn when he got shot in the  head, in plain daylight, out in a public location. It was a crazy rollercoaster ride till the very end of the book. I was scared for Jackie and Hugh’s safety.

I loved how the characters interacted with each other. Each sarcastic and witty in their own right. It was funny that throughout the night Jackie’s best friend, Rocky, and her mom kept nagging her about how she needed to find a man. Even though the story was suspenseful, it had it’s funny moments, especially involving Jackie’s granddad.

My favorite lines: 1) The funny thing about the police  presence for those four nights…Teresita never asked me about it. Not a phone call, tap on the door…nothing. Strange. 2) Hugh sprinted back to the truck. “There’s someone in the trunk of that sedan.” 3) There wasn’t a drag line of blood that we could follow to the victim, which was probably Mr. Monroe. Just an enormous stain. Like he was left to bleed out and then moved from the scene. Sadistic bastards.

Throughout the story, a question would be answered, then ten more questions would rise. I loved putting on my sleuth cap, trying to figure out everything. There was a cool twist at the end.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on the author or book:

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Fangs Out By David Freed

***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***

Moments before he is executed, the killer of famed Vietnam War hero-pilot Hub Walker’s daughter makes a startling allegation: the real murderer is Walker’s close friend, a prominent U.S. defense contractor. Walker wants to hire somebody willing to spend a few days hunting up information that will refute the convicted killer’s groundless but widely reported claims, and help restore his friends good name. That somebody, as fate would have it, is sardonic civilian flight instructor, would-be Buddhist and retired military assassin Cordell Logan. Thus begins one of the years most suspenseful mystery-thrillers.

A Medal of Honor recipient married to a former Playmate of the Year, Walker resides in the swanky San Diego enclave of La Jolla, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Logan is convinced that working for Walker will be little more than a paid vacation – a chance to rub shoulders with a living legend while rekindling Logan’s relationship with his own enticing ex-wife, Savannah. But after flying to San Diego in his beloved aging Cessna, the Ruptured Duck, Logan is quickly drawn into a vexing and deadly jigsaw puzzle. The deeper he digs, the murkier the truth appears, and the more in danger he finds himself. Who really killed the war hero’s daughter, and why? Somebody in “America’s Finest City,” wants to stop Logan from asking questions, and will stop at nothing to silence him.

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I loved this 27 chapter book. It was told through Cordell’s first person point of view. My favorite lines: 1) “Live long enough, you learn to pick your battles. 2) No one ever said being a smartass was without its drawbacks.” 3) “I’ve never turned down a free meal in my life. I wasn’t about to start now, not with the sad state of my bank account.” 4) “He would take his last breath one minute after midnight, on May 28–Amnesty International Day, it said on the wall calendar they’d allow him to keep in his cell. The irony of it, dying by the government’s hand on a day honoring human rights.” 5) “My plane was in pieces, my ex-wife wasn’t talking to me, my cat was AWOL, and somebody wanted me dead. But there’s never any excuses for bad manners.”

The opening scene was pretty intense. It showed Dorian’s experience of his last day. He was a man on death row, eating his final meal and having his last words. He had been accused of butchering his ex-girlfriend. It pulled at my heart strings once he still claimed innocence. Either readers will feel bad because they’re against the death penalty or they’ll feel bad for the victim Ruth. Either way, I guarantee readers will have  a strong emotion at the very beginning.

The author had a fantastic talent with plot. He had the right amount of pacing to keep my interest. Every scene had a purpose to move the mystery along. It was fun trying to solve the mystery. I liked gathering clues and being skeptical of everyone Cordell met. When he helped Hub Walker and his wife land their small aircraft safely, Hub asked him to do a private investigation. He wanted to clear Greg Castle’s name. Dorian had blamed him for Ruth’s death; Ruth was Hub’s daughter.

I loved all the suspense moments. Cordell’s life was in danger because someone didn’t appreciate him snooping. They wanted their secret safe. I’m afraid of flying, so my heart pounded when his plane crashed on the ground. I was right when I suspected someone had messed with it. He encountered a bunch of shady people, which made the story interesting. I had three suspects, and I”m proud to say I was partly right.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby