Post Script: Turbo Twenty-Three – Janet Evanovich

turbo-twenty-three

Turbo-Twenty Three

Janet Evanovich

Hachette Australia

Headline

ISBN: 9781472201690

 

Description:

Do you need a good Evanovich?

 

The unputdownable new adventure for Stephanie Plum in the latest mystery from New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich.


My View:

As I read the Stephanie Plum sagas I am transported into a world of mad cap adventures, over the top situations, zany characters that I know and love and a heroine that is ditzy but always manages to come out on top. Part of the enjoyment facto when reading this series is you know to what to expect – a light, fun, entertaining, unpretentious read that is guaranteed to have laugh out loud moments, a fast paced plot, a few misadventures, a continuing love triangle situation and a bit of crime thrown in.

 

And that is what Janet Evanovich does best – she transports the reader to another place – where laughter and action go hand in hand, where the good guys always win. This is pure escapism. Enjoy.

 

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Best Crime Fiction/Mystery/Thrillers Reads of 2016

And what a task to try and narrow this field down – some exceptionally good reads in 2016.

And here they are in no particular order:

 

Like I Can Love

Like I Can Love  – Kim Lock

Ghost Girls

Ghost Girls – Cath Ferla

An Isolated Incident

An Isolated Incident – Emily Maguire

the-wrong-side-of-goodbye

The Wrong Side of Goodbye  – Michael Connelly

Find Her

Find Her – Lisa Gardner

The Kept Woman

The Kept Woman – Karin Slaughter

the-fallsThe Falls  – B Michael Radburn

the-crossing

The Crossing –  B Michael Radburn

face-value

Face Value – Ian Andrew

Saturday Requiem

Saturday Requiem – Nicci French

tell-the-truth-shame-the-devil

Tell The Truth Shame The Devil – Melina Marchetta

The Dry

The Dry – Jane Harper

Cover Angels Burning

Angels Burning – Tawni O’Dell

Girl Waits With Gun

Girl Waits With Gun – Amy Stewart

Darkest Place

Darkest Place – Jaye Ford

Death By Sugar

Death By Sugar  – Helen Goltz

Missing Presumed

Missing Presumed – Susie Steiner

under-the-harrow

Under the Harrow – Flynn Berry

a-great-reckoning

A Great Reckoning – Louise Penny

The Cleanskin

The Cleanskin – Laura Bloom

Brenda’s Top Ten Aussie Author Reads of 2016

It has been a great year for Aussie authors and readers alike. Here is guest reviewer  Brenda’s Top Ten picks of 2016. In no particularly order ( click on links to see Brenda’s reviews on Goodreads.)

fear-is-the-riderFear is the Rider

Kenneth Cook.

 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1506198294?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

scared-to-deathScared to Death

Rachel Amphlett

 https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1774526984?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

red-dirt-odysseyRed Dirt Odyssey

Kath Engebretson

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1819270982?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

the-last-crocodile-hunter

The Last Crocodile Hunter

Bob Irwin and Amanda French

  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1795309647?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

fearlessFearless

Fiona Higgins

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1696711298?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-chocolate-tin

The Chocolate Tin

Fiona McIntosh

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1654937999?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-art-of-keeping-secrets

The Art of Keeping Secrets

Rachael Johns

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1682401798?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-wifes-tale

The Wife’s Tale

Christine Wells

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1613736070?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

the-game-you-played

The Game You Played

Anni Taylor

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1622987075?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

Darkest Place

Darkest Place

Jaye Ford

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1476681496?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

Thanks Brenda, there have been some awesome books written by Australian authors this year, it must have been a real task to choose just ten. 

 

 

 

Post Script: Death By Sugar – Helen Goltz

Great Australian talent and a read that will leave you with a smile on your face.

Death By Sugar

Death By Sugar

Jesse Clarke #1

Helen Goltz

Atlas Productions

ISBN: 9780980753219

 

Description:

Private investigator, Jesse Clarke, thought sugar was such a friendly substance, until it appears in two of her cases for all the wrong reasons. Traces of sugar were connected to a bomb that blew up her client’s Mercedes. Was the bomb meant to kill or was it just a warning of what is to come? And could sugar have duped the immune system of a client’s mother over thirty years ago, resulting in death? Juggling the two cases-one in the present and one in the past-Jesse finds herself talking to the living and the dead to get results.

 

 

My View:

Looking for an enjoyable way to escape the everyday? Then this book is for you! Fun, entertaining with a sparking dialogue and great easy interaction between the protagonists – this book was a delight to read. There are a couple of mysteries to solve; one cold case that has some interesting science behind it, one current case full of larger than life characters, there is a business to run and boyfriend to placate and dog. (Every good read needs a happy, playful dog in the story). This little book (216 pages in all) has a lot to offer.

 

If you are a fan of Kathryn Ledson or Janet Evanovich (though Jesse Clarke is a lot more reliable, sensible and doesn’t over share her personal life as does Stephanie Plumb) you will love unravelling the mysteries in the Jesse Clarke series.

 

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2015

completed challenge

 

Congrats! You have read 200 books of a goal of 200!

Now that wasn’t so hard was it? It is the reviewing 200 books that is the hard work.

 

Post Scritpt: Limbo – Amy Andrews

Cover Limbo Amy Andrews

Limbo

Amy Andrews

Escape Publishing

ISBN: 9780857992505

 

Description:

Six Feet Under meets Stephanie Plum in Amy Andrews’ fresh, funny, sexy urban-family noir about a country singer who almost made it, a private investigator who’s seen too much and a mother who will cross all barriers to save her child.

When ex hillbilly-punk rocker turned cadaver make-up artist Joy Valentine is visited by the ghost of a high-profile murder victim begging for Joy’s help to find her kidnapped baby girl, Joy knows from experience the cops are going to think she’s crazy. So she takes it to the one guy she knows who won’t.

The last thing disgraced ex-cop turned private investigator Dash Dent expected is a woman from his past turning up to complicate his present with a nutty, woo-woo story. The problem is he knows Joy is telling the truth and he can’t ignore the compelling plight of baby Isabella whose disappearance six months prior transfixed the nation.

Discounted and discredited by the police, Dash and Joy work together to uncover the mystery and find Isabella, with a whacky supporting cast including Eve, a brothel madam; Stan, an excommunicated priest; Katie, Dash’s ten-year-old daughter; and two horny goldfish. It’s a race against time and against all odds – but the real battle for Dash and Joy might just be keeping their hands off each other.

 

My View:

In the words of the author this book is “urban-noir/paranormal-lite/mystery/romance mash up” and I would add PI in the mix, and a great mix it is too. This is a great contemporary feel good romp that had me smiling and laughing out loud. The characters are quirky, flawed and very very real. I had visions of Tom Selleck’s Magnum PI as the male protagonist, the female lead – hmm, maybe a young tough version of Rachel Griffiths works for me I think. (And when I am reading I don’t usually visualise the characters but I did with this book!)

.

This is a book you read for the pure pleasure, indulgence and enjoyment. The language is colloquial and so very Australian – so conversational and real. The settings – dark dingy bars, rural towns, urban decay, a mortuary, a brothel and the next door home office all work a treat; they seem so real I recognise all of these places from previous lives (yes I worked next door to a brothel once upon a time –outer city, next door to a welfare rights organisation, just looked like an ordinary house – though the limousines that stopped out the front weren’t too ordinary!)  The crimes – kidnapping and murder handled respectfully and lightly – there are no gruesome, blood soaked walls covered in brain splatter here, no psychopaths or serial killers lurking in the dark. Surprisingly you even end up feeling a little sorry for those involved in these crimes, the choices they made were terrible but you can understand, though not condone, their action. There is nothing black and white in this story – so many shades of grey.

At its core this is an urban romance so be prepared for a few hot and steamy sex scenes.

I think the strength of this book is the author’s ability to present characters that are so realistic and likeable, even the minor characters in this book are well drawn, quirky and with back stories that engage and leave you asking to know more about them. I particularly liked the power given to Eve to run a brothel that actually catered to the choices and lifestyles of the woman working there- the employees are treated with respect and have rights the same as those in any other job – the right to work in a safe environment and without harassment, fear or pressure. If only that was the case everywhere, in every occupation.

“Amy Andrews is a multi-published, award- winning author of 50+ romance novels across both traditional and digital platforms. She writes for Harlequin Mills and Boon, Entangled, Harper Collins Australia, Momentum Publishing, Escape Publishing and Tule. She’s sold in excess of a million books worldwide and has been translated into over a dozen languages”, (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1128457.Amy_Andrews)

If you are a fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series you will love this read!

 

Post Script: The Lost Swimmer – Ann Turner

The Lost Swimmer

The Lost Swimmer

Ann Turner

Simon & Schuster (Australia)

ISBN: 9781925030860

 

Description:

Rebecca Wilding, an archaeology professor, traces the past for a living.

But suddenly, truth and certainty are turning against her. Rebecca is accused of serious fraud, and worse, she suspects – she knows – that her husband, Stephen, is having an affair.

Desperate to find answers, Rebecca leaves with Stephen for Greece, Italy and Paris, where she can uncover the conspiracy against her, and hopefully win Stephen back to her side, where he belongs. There’s too much at stake – her love, her work, her family.

But on the idyllic Amalfi Coast, Stephen goes swimming and doesn’t come back.

In a swirling daze of panic and fear, Rebecca is dealt with fresh allegations. And with time against her, she must uncover the dark secrets that stand between her and Stephen, and the deceit that has chased her halfway around the world.

 

My View:

This is a another book that is a slow burn – it took me a very long time to get involved in this narrative and after I finished reading I was not sure what the book was trying to achieve, what genre this was trying to fit into- mystery, thriller, romance…there was a little bit of everything here. My biggest issue with the narrative was about the relationship between Rebecca and her husband Stephen – for a relationship that was largely rock solid, supportive and trusting (at least at the beginning of the book and at the point the investigation of fraud begins) I could not believe that Rebecca would withhold details of this major investigation from her husband, it just didn’t make sense to me and I could not suspend my disbelief to go along with this aspect of the narrative. I know she was sworn to secrecy but….I just could not accept this. Further there were too many red herrings, too many threads that were left hanging or just not followed up or explained for my enjoyment.

 

However moments of extremely beautiful prose and breathtaking scenery saved this book from being mundane. It is clear that the author writes with a cinematic view of the world, such is the vividness and realism of the description of the drive along the Amalfi coast that I never want to venture there – I hate cliff tops and narrow windy roads which hug the coastline – sheer drops inches away, tourist coaches honking with bravado as they bulldoze their way around hairpin bends, an accident just waiting to happen. Some extremely evocative writing, the author’s love of this countryside is very obvious.

 

 

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher.