Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

COPP FOR HIRE by Don Pendleton is 275pages in length in paperback form. This is #1 in Joe Copp series.




Joe Copp’s heard all the jokes about his name. He’s heard and seen a lot of things. Things you wouldn’t believe. Things they edit out of the late night news.

Joe walks the hard side. By choice. Joe’s a tough guy. Not mean…tough. Has to be in his line of work. Especially now.

A pretty young thing came to him too late to save her life. Then her roommate. A cruel, ugly death.

Now Joe’s got a case and no client, digging up answers and stepping over corpses–from night-time L.A. to the sex bars of Honolulu–in league with a Chinese vice lord, in love with a beautiful, dangerous woman, in dutch with some sadistic cops and a kinky politician, and in line for a morgue slab of his own.

The hard side. It’s murder.


I enjoyed getting to know Joe Copp.  He is gritty and seems to be in places where he shouldn’t be, but always comes out on top.  There is really no mystery to this, because you know what is going on from the start almost.  However, it is an interesting book and takes you from Los Angeles to Hawaii.

Definitely dated in that it appears to take place in the 60′s or 70′s.  There is some action, but not a lot, so if you are looking for the regular guns and blow-ups from the Executioner series, you would be disappointed.

I am giving this 3.5 out of 5.  I did not have to pick it right back up after I would stop for the day.  It was okay, but not great.  If I find the 2nd one in the series, I would give it another try as I did like Joe Copp, I just didn’t like the case he was on.

NO WIND OF BLAME by Georgette Heyer is 266 pages in paperback form. This is #5 in Inspectors Hannasyde and Hemingway Series.



Tragedy befalls the Carter family following an eventful visit from a Russian prince Alexis Varasashvil and a scandalous blackmail letter. When Wally Carter was killed, the superlatively analytical Inspector Hemingway is confronted by a murder that seems impossible — no one was near the murder weapon at the time the shot was fired. Everyone on the scene seems to have a motive, not to mention the wherewithal to commit murder, and alibis that simply don’t hold up.

No one cared that Wally Carter was dead. Pity. But someone had cared enough to shoot him through the chest. Who the devil could it be? The inspector is sorely tried by a wide variety of suspects, including the neglected widow, Ermyntrude Carter, the neighbor who’s in love with her, her resentful daughter, and a patently phony Russian prince preying on the widow’s emotional vulnerability and social aspirations. And then there’s the blackmail plot that may — or may not — be at the heart of the case… The inspector reveals his unnerving talent for solving a fiendish problem.


I enjoyed this book and it was very interesting.  The language was dated and I was amazed at some of the words that were used to describe someone talking.  But when looking them up in the dictionary, I found that it was in most cases the first definition.  I had never read anything like this one before.  I don’t normally read a book out of sequence, but I don’t think this would matter as the story could have been about anyone.  It was almost like a stand alone.

It is classed as romantic suspense, but I felt it was more like a cozy mystery along the lines of Agatha Christie.  There was definitely a lot of drama from the people that were involved.  I had figured out who had committed the crime, just now how it was done.  There were interesting names as well as very interesting and dramatic people.

I am giving this 4 out of 5 stars as it was a nice change of pace and would probably read more by Ms. Heyer if I can find them.


LIGHT OF THE WORLD by James Lee Burke is 548 pages in hardcover format. This is #20 in the Dave Robicheaux Series.

Brief Description:

Louisiana Sherriff’s Detective Dave Robicheaux and his longtime friend and partner Clete Purcel are vacationing in Montana’s spectacular Big Sky country when a series of suspicious events leads them to believe their lives–and the lives of their families–are in danger. In contrast to the tranquil beauty of Flathead Lake and the colorful summertime larch and fir unspooling across unblemished ranchland, a venomous presence lurks in the caves and hills, intent on destroying innocent lives. First, Alafair Robicheaux is nearly killed by an arrow while hiking alone on a trail. Then Clete’s daughter, Gretchen Horowitz, whom readers met in Burke’s previous bestseller Creole Belle, runs afoul of a local cop, with dire consequences. Next, Alafair thinks she sees a familiar face following her around town–but how could convicted sadist and serial killer Asa Surette be loose on the streets of Montana? Surrette committed a string of heinous murders while capital punishment was outlawed in his home state of Kansas. Years ago, Alafair, a lawyer and novelist, interviewed Surette in prison, aiming to prove him guilty of other crimes and eligible for the death penalty. Recently, a prison transport van carrying Surette crashed and he is believed dead, but Alafair isn’t so sure.

My Review:

I love these books about Dave Robicheaux,  Alafair, Clete and the new addition of Gretchen Horowitz.  I love the Rambo feel that Gretchen brings to the mix.  She seems to have no fear and if someone is in need of help she steps up to the plate regardless of the peril that might be involved.  She is definitely looking out for the little guy or the person who cannot defend themselves.

It appears Clete and Dave are becoming older and need the new blood to make the books more interesting.  I am not sure if Surrette was the most evil of characters, but he certainly wasn’t a pansy either.  To be able to write with such clarity about evil really makes me wonder about the author.  Even though these books are about good versus evil in some of the worst forms ever, there is always some levity to make you laugh.  Some of the things that Clete does just make you laugh out loud.  Even some of the things that come from his mouth are humorous.

I am just sad that I don’t have another one to read until the next one is written, because I do enjoy visiting the world of Dave and Clete.  I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars.  The evil is there, the characters are so well portrayed, it is humorous in spots and above all there is a message about what evil can do.  I believe that James Lee Burke is one of the best writers that I have ever read.  If you have not read him, I would give him a try.  Sometimes a dictionary is needed, but that is okay too because that just helps to expand your horizons.


CREOLE BELLE by James Lee Burke is 528 pages in hardcover format. This is #19 in a Dave Robicheaux Novel.

Brief Description:

Languishing in a recovery unit on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, Dave Robicheaux is fighting an enemy more insidious than the one who put a bullet in his back a month earlier in a shootout on Bayou Teche. The morphine meant to dull his pain is steadily gnawing away at his resolve, playing tricks on his mind, and luring him back into the addict mentality that once threatened to destroy his life and family.

With the soporific Indian summer air wafting through the louvered shutters of his hospital room, and the demons fighting for space in his head, Dave can’t be sure whether his latest visitor is flesh and blood or a spectral reminder of his Louisiana youth. Tee Jolie Melton, a young woman with a troubled past, glides to his bedside and leaves him with an iPod that plays the old country blues song “My Creole Belle.”

What Dave doesn’t know is that Tee Jolie disappeared weeks ago, and no one believes she reappeared to comfort an old man with a bullet wound. Dave becomes obsessed with the song and the vivid memory of Tee Jolie, and when he learns that her sister has turned up dead inside a block of ice floating in the Gulf, he believes that putting the evils of the past to rest is more urgent than ever before.

Meanwhile, an oil spill in the Gulf brings back intense feelings for Dave of losing his father to a rig explosion years ago. As the oil companies continue to risk human lives in pursuit of wealth and power, Dave begins to see links to the Melton sisters, even when no one else shares his suspicions. Dave’s expartner Clete Purcel helps him search for Tee Jolie, though Clete fears for his friend’s mental health and safety. But Clete has his own troubles, too; he’s discovered an illegitimate daughter who may be working as a contract killer — and may have set her sights on someone he loves.

Creole Belle is a resurrection story for the ages, with James Lee Burke at the peak of his masterful career and Dave Robicheaux facing his most intense and personal battle yet, against the known and unknown forces that corrupt and destroy even the best of men.

My Review:

James Lee Burke does not disappoint you with his books.  They are so dark in some aspects, but then humorous in others.  There are many characters in this book and the majority of them are evil people.  In fact they seem to be so evil you would like to harm them yourself, just so they can’t hurt another individual.

I certainly like Gretchen being introduced.  She is definitely a chip off the old block.  She may not be bright and shiny like Alafair, but she does have feelings that are deep and she would defend the good from bad, just like Clete.  She seems to have no fear and I don’t know if that is a good thing or not, we will have to wait and see how it plays out in the future books.

The last 2 chapters of the book were so intense it was hard to read.  I wanted to read with my eyes closed as the pictures were not good ones.  But I think this makes for an excellent story because you could feel the emotions of both Clete and Dave and what they had been through in their lives.

I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars because it was so good I didn’t want to stop reading.  I felt real emotion for the characters and hated the bad guys.



A STORM OF SWORDS by George R R Marin is #3 in A Song Of Fire and Ice Epic Fantasy Series. It is 1177 pages in length.

Brief Description:

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, victim of the sorceress who holds him in her thrall. Young Robb still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons left in the world. And as opposing forces maneuver for the final showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost limits of civilization, accompanied by a horde of mythical Others–a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords….

My Review:

I can’t say enough about this series.  I think I like this one the best of all so far.  It was a book that you just couldn’t put down and when it ended, you wanted to pick up the next one to see what happened next.  Things are not always what they seem and I think this is the part that intrigues me the most.  Just when you hate someone so much, you begin to see the good side even though they are probably evil.  Characters you hated in the beginning you suddenly seem to grow fond of or they do something so out of character, you don’t see it coming.  You really can’t predict what will happen, because just when you think you have it figured out, it changes yet again.  Another reason you can’t put the books down.

The character building in these books is fantastic.  With each chapter you find some new tidbit that you really didn’t know and you wouldn’t expect based on what you already know.  I can see how people speculate on what might happen after one book, but things are changing all the time so what you think might happen doesn’t.  This is the only series of late where I didn’t figure out what was happening at least part way through.

I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars and am going to start listening to the next one to see what happens.  I hope Mr. Martin is writing fast as I really don’t want to be hanging on a cliff for years to come.



THE GLASS RAINBOW by James Lee Burke is 560 pages in paperback form. This is #18 in The David Robicheaux Series.

Brief Description:

The brutal murders of seven young women in a neighboring parish pull Robicheaux from his New Iberia home into a case with all the telltale signs of a serial killer. Except that one of the victims, a high school honors student, doesn’t fit. Investigating with his friend Clete Purcel, Robicheaux confronts Herman Stanga, a notorious pimp and crack dealer — but shocking violence sends the already blood-soaked case spiraling out of control. And with his daughter, Alafair, in love with a man with dangerous ties to a once prominent Louisiana family, every dark fear Robicheaux harbors for himself and his daughter is on the precipice of becoming reality.

My Review:

I love the literary feel to these books.  You sometimes need a dictionary to see figure out the meaning of some of the words, but that doesn’t bother me at all.  Some of the writing is very poetic too.  This one had his daughter in it too throughout the book.  It gives you the sense of what a real family is about and how each family member deals with the other.  How sometimes a parent only want the best for their child and will do anything to keep them safe even though the child doesn’t think they need that.

These books are definitely about good and evil and how the evil is sometimes very hard to understand and why or how they have become so evil.  I like this aspect of the book and wish more authors would do this.

After finishing this one, I had to start the next one as James Lee Burke really left you hanging at the end.  I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars.  It was well written as always and I do so enjoy all the conversations Dave has with Helen and others.



A CLASH OF KINGS by George R R Martin is 969 pages in Paperback length. This is #2 in A Song Of Fire And Ice Series.

Brief Description:

A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel…and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.


My Review:

This series will not let you stop reading.  To me that means the writing is so good, you just have to read the next chapter and then the next one.  I was told in the beginning to not become attached to any of the characters as bad things happen.  This is so true.  It does not detract from the book though and in fact I think it make that much better.  Because you are always wondering what will happen next.

The only thing is all the different characters in the book, sometimes becomes a bit much.  They may have minor parts and that is why you don’t really have to remember them.  This book did not really talk much about Rob and what he was up to.  It was more about the other main characters.

This to me had a bit more of the fantasy aspect of it, because there are dragons and wildlings in this one.  It is still historical in nature to me and possibly that is why it holds your interest for the entire span of the book.  The kings and knights are fighting amongst themselves and you never know who will win.

Interesting surprises in this one and I can’t wait to see what happens to Jon Snow, Arrya and Tyrion.  I believe these to be my favorite characters.  Bran is becoming a much more interesting character too and I want to see how he develops into a young man.

I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars.  This is not a book you can put down for a couple of days and then pick back up, you need to keep reading as there are so many characters to keep track of.

PIVOT POINT by Kasie West is 343 pages in length in e-book format. This is classified as young adult.  It is currently $1.99 for your Kindle on Amazon.  You can’t beat the price and the book was very well written.

Brief Description:
Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier. . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with — her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school — but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.


My Review:

I loved this young adult book.  It had a little romance, a little fantasy, a little time travel, even though it was brief in scope, and a little mystery.  Addison was a very interesting girl with the power to see what would happen if a choice had to be made.  In the beginning I didn’t understand one chapter was one choice and the next chapter was the other scenario, but once I understood that, everything seemed to make more sense.

I read this book in a day, as I wanted to see which scenario after being viewed would be her choice when the decision was to be made.  I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.  It was not a predictable ending and I thank the author for that.

Even though this is classified as a young adult book, I think it is a quick and fun read for anyone.  This book had me from page 1 and didn’t let me go until the very end.  In fact I wonder if there will be a sequel to see what Addison does in the future as I did see an opening there.

I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars as I thought it was well written, with the right things to make you keep turning the pages.  It gave you the desire to see what is next and because it was an e-book, I couldn’t peak at the end.  Possibly that is why I read in one day.

DARK GOLD by Christine Feehan is 312 pages in length in paperback form. This is #3 in A Carpathian Novel.

Brief Description:

They were masters of the darkness, searching through eternity for a mistress of the light …


Alexandria Houton would sacrifice anything–even her life–to protect her orphaned little brother. But when both encountered unspeakable evil in the swirling San Francisco mists, Alex could only cry to heaven for their deliverance .. .

And out of the darkness swooped Aidan Savage, a golden being more powerful, more mysterious, than any other creature of the night. The ageless Carpathian male snatched them from a hideous fate. But was Aidan a miracle . . . or a monster? Alex’s salvation . . . or her sin? If she surrendered to Aidan’s savage, unearthly seduction–gave him the color, the light, the family he craved–would Alex truly save her brother? Or sacrifice more than her life?

My Review:

I loved this one about Aidan Savage.  In the beginning there was a lot of badness and I was worried this might be a real dark one, but Aidan was definitely a bright light.  Alexandria was also a very strong woman and I liked that she wanted to remain “normal”.  There was definitely good versus evil in this one and Ms. Feehan kept you wanting to read the next page.  To find out how the ending was going to be.

This one didn’t have a lot about the Carpathian Family, but only the ways of the Carpathians and how they are bound together as family.  Gregori only had a short appearance and that was at the very end.  I am sure we have not seen the end of Joshua though.  I am hoping as he turns into a young man we will see more of him.  I would hope the story doesn’t end here.

I am giving this 5 out of 5 stars because I love the strong female and how they can be strong, but also be smart enough to give in when needed.  This books was one you didn’t want to put down.  I enjoyed every page and look forward to the next one in the series.

OUT OF REACH by Patricia Lewin is #1 in Erin Baker Series and is 293 pages in hardback form.

Brief Description:
A rising star in the CIA, Erin Baker is driven by tragedy from her past. When she was a child, her eight-year-old sister, Claire, was kidnapped. Though Claire was miraculously found, she was changed forever. As was Erin, who now just might get what she’s always wanted: the chance to make a difference in someone’s life. But she must be willing to risk everything she holds dear.

When a child disappears near her home, Erin is certain there is a link to her sister’s cold kidnapping case. She meets Alex Donovan, an FBI agent on the hunt to find the missing boy, whose record for locating missing children is unquestioned. Suddenly Alex and Erin find themselves on a desperate pursuit – from the streets of America’s most peaceful neighborhoods to a horrifying underworld where children are stolen and trafficked. And as they get closer to the truth, they make their own lives, and the lives of everyone they love, into perfect targets for a killer.

My Review:

I thought this was a very good book with lots of action.  Some of the scenes were possibly a little over the top, but it is fiction and anything can happen.  Erin Baker is someone you would like to have as your friend as she is a very strong female, but still can be down to earth.

This was the first book that I have read by this author so was pleasantly surprised.  It seemed to be about the right length so you didn’t get tired of what was happening.  It is about kidnapping children though, so if that subject matter is not one that you like, then I would stay away from this one.

Even though Erin Baker is CIA, you don’t really have any spy stuff in this one.  There are some things that she does because of her training, but is mostly the hunt for the kidnappers.

I am giving this 4 out of 5 stars.  I liked it, but it wasn’t great!