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The Powell's Playlist | August 6, 2014

Graham Joyce: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Graham Joyce

The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit is set on the English coast in the hot summer of 1976, so the music in this playlist is pretty much all from the... Continue »
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Sheila Deeth has commented on (227) products.

Burn in Hell: A Jake Carrington Mystery by Marian Lanouette

Sheila Deeth, August 27, 2014

Billed as a Jake Carrington mystery, there’s more romance and drama than mystery in this tale of a cop who find himself suspecting his current girlfriend of connections to the mob. The girlfriend’s casino addiction may have a lot to do with her strange choices. And her need to stay in touch with her son fuels bad decisions that can surely only drive her further to despair. But, just for a while, life looks good. She’s back on her feet. Her addictions are almost conquered. And the boyfriend’s great.

Of course, there’s still the estranged spouse and in-laws to deal with, and the fact that she really mustn’t let the cop know what’s going on, and the “other guy.” And the fact that Jake Carrington already has a girlfriend who doesn’t seem to want to stay estranged.

When casual relationships turns serious, and casual crime turns deadly, the mystery might be a missing person or an apparent suicide. But the relationships drive this tale, with agonies of indecision, cruel ironies, and pleasingly complex characters. Solutions are sometimes easier than I’d expect as the story twists and turns, but I’d certainly read more of Jake Carrington after enjoying this novel.

Disclosure: I won a copy from a blog tour and I offer my honest review.
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Mist on the Meadow by Karla Brandenburg
Mist on the Meadow

Sheila Deeth, August 27, 2014

Wolf has to find a kundigerin, but it might help if he knew what one was. Still, his grandmother seemed pretty sure he’d bump into one when wrote the idea into her will. And he doesn’t plan to let her down. But as one man grieves, one young woman, with a passion for baking, is facing her own grief’s coming. The uncle she loves, whose arrival is always heralded by magic, is suddenly showing his age. He’s also showing some remarkable match-making propensities, and Wolf is his target for Marissa.

They meet over a car, fall in love over food, and learn together about knowledge and heritage. Meanwhile they share the love of a cat, and solve the mystery of a failing company. More importantly, they strive to solve the mystery of each other while one can’t talk about what she is, and the other can’t understand. But love gives meaning to it all, releasing the claws of wrong relationships and the silence of secrecy, and binding two people who just might have more in common than they realize---but only time and more novels in the series will tell if breaking these rules is accident or intent.

Great dialog, fun characters, romance and a cat...

Disclosure: I found a free ecopy and I enjoyed it.
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War Party by J. Drew Brumbaugh
War Party

Sheila Deeth, August 27, 2014

In a world filled with alienated souls, a native-American teen strives to become the warrior his grandfather promised he should be; an Arab-American store-owner wonders where his true loyalties lie; and the powers that be wonder how to exercise authority, while failing to exercise care. As worlds collide, it’s a heady mix, and the life of a small Utah town might hang in the balance.

“Not all wars are fought with guns and bullets. Words can be powerful ammunition,” says the wise Indian grandfather. Not all skills are expected, and not all allies are predictable either. And hopeless teens can’t be written off after all.

The power-hungry journalist chases her story, powerful factions dictate its path, and the powerless change the ending of this tale. It’s surprisingly evocative, describing frantic flights and freeways just as surely as Utah’s gorgeous scenery. And it’s a beautiful tale of a young man’s coming of age, in a world that has forgotten the meaning of aging. I sincerely hope the author has more stories to tell of Tommy Galiwee.

Disclosure: I won a copy of this. I’m so lucky!
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Rubicon Ranch: Necropieces by Second Wind Publishing

Sheila Deeth, August 27, 2014

Masters of the collective novel, Second Wind Publishing have two mysteries set in Rubicon Ranch and another on the way. Each has a fascinating cast of characters, and authors take turns at telling their own hero or anti-hero’s side of the tale. The chapters blend well, tying nicely together, leaving readers to extrapolate in all the right places, and always keeping those vital details hidden.

Different actors take the stage, press the story forward, hide their secrets and ponder their lies, all the time with no one knowing whodunit until the final script is proffered. Readers too will follow red herrings (usually red with blood and body parts, or the eponymous necropieces), wonder who’s hiding what and why, and unsettlingly decide they’re not so sure if X or Y really did “it” or did something else entirely. It’s complicated, fun, entirely worthy of Agatha Christie, and I only wish there weren’t so many great characters threatening to leave by the end of the book. But who knows; perhaps they’ll stay. I’ll have to wait for book three to find out.

Meanwhile, what did happen to her husband in the car accident? An overarching mystery in a series of mystery novels, written by a fine blend of writers. What’s not to like?

Disclosure: I found a free copy and I loved it. More please!
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Two Degrees Closer to Hell by David Fingerman

Sheila Deeth, August 27, 2014

A janitor is offered a curious change of job in one short story, but people keep dying. In another, a child practices his godlike powers to evil effect. And then there are the cockroaches at the end of the universe; actually, they’re a bonus at the end of the book, and you really shouldn’t miss them if they’re in your copy. David Fingerman’s short stories are consistently unsettling and well-told, with stings in tail and claw, and lengths that vary from a novel’s intensity to a single scene’s poignant shock.

Hunt evil on a perfect day, keep away from Hell Mouth, and watch out for the Devil on Vacation. But take this collection on vacation with you and you’ll have plenty of reading to keep you awake at night.

Disclosure: I found a free ecopy and I enjoyed it.
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