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review 2017-07-22 02:59
A fun little mystery that's just this side of a must-read
One by One (A Daniel Hayes Mystery Book 2) - Robert Germaux

Daniel Hays and his Special Assignment Squad -- a Major Crimes squad set up to help smaller cities in the county around Pittsburgh -- haven't had a lot to do since being formed. That changes when the chief him Hampton Township has a strange homicide show up. He doesn't need the help necessarily, but is concerned that the strangeness of the murder indicates that there could be something "big" coming. Another few homicides (at least) with the same strange element.

 

There's a note left on the corpse, it reads "Blue is Better" and has a big, red check mark underneath. Daniel and his partner agree, they probably don't need to be involved, but should be familiar with the investigation, just in case.

 

Good thing, too -- because one week later in a very different part of the county, here's another murder. With another note. Now things are getting serious and the SAS has to jump into action.

 

There's no connection between the victims that they can find, no clues, no anything for them to go on. Just the notes, and repeated homicides on Fridays.

 

From there, we get an interesting twist or two there, some wrong turns, until after a lucky stroke, all the pieces fall together.

 

The characters are nice to spend time with, professionals who get along and work for the common good. They could possibly be a little more interesting if they were a little less professional, if there were a glitch or two in the teamwork. <b>One by One</b> falls into something like a "blue-sky" drama on TV -- like <b>NCIS</b>, <b>Burn Notice</b> or <b>White Collar</b>, not the grittier <b>Homicide</b>, <b>The Wire</b>, or <b>Bosch</b>. This is not a dig at <b>One by One</b> to compare it to those shows -- people love them, I've watched every episode of <b>NCIS</b> and enjoyed over 87% of them. But readers should go into this with eyes open -- just because it's a detective squad working multiple homicides, don't go in expecting Michael Connelly, Owen Laukkanen, or Ian Rankin -- expect Chris Grabenstein, David Rosenfelt, Aaron J. Elkins (check my archives, you'll see that I've really enjoyed all those authors -- again, this isn't a knock, this is me describing where this belongs on a spectrum).

 

That said, Germaux could've given us a little more sense of urgency, had the characters seem less casual in their approach to this work. They did a lot of run of the mill, interviews with people that didn't get them anywhere -- even just showing more of that, would've been something. Maybe all of the smaller departments weren't as cooperative with the task force. It wouldn't have to be much, the book could've used a little something to intensify the drama. This was a good read, a light and enjoyable mystery; it's <i>thiiis</i> close to me saying it's a must read, but instead, I'll leave it as a good read. You will enjoy it.This is a quick, easy story with a nice puzzle and some charming characters. I planned on reading the previous novel in the series, <b>Small Talk</b>, I just hadn't got around to it -- I'm going to work a little harder on that now.

 

If nothing else, read it for the recommendation on your new favorite version of "Over the Rainbow." Wow.

 

<i><b>Disclaimer</b>: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my participation in the Book Tour.</i>

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/07/20/one-by-one-by-robert-germaux
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review 2017-06-27 12:53
Cemetery Girl Book One: the Pretenders
Cemetery Girl: Book One: The Pretenders - Charlaine; Golden, Christopher Harris

The title of the novel is what caught my eye so I picked it up the other day at the library. I thought the bright colorful glossy illustrations were a plus but after reading this novel, there wasn’t anything special about this graphic novel that pulled me in. I was hoping for something different. I felt like everything was revealed in the end and there was no suspense, no mystery to carry me through the novel. It felt like one of those novels where this happened, then this happened and then this happened and then this all because of this (big reveal). Couldn’t the author give us readers a bit of the big reveal in the writing, I really needed something to drag me through this novel.

 

The novel began with a girl, bloody and bruised, inside a cemetery. Who she is and how she got there is a mystery. She decides to stay inside there since that is where someone put her and she’s afraid of what lies outside the cemetery walls. She takes the names of the dead as her own, finding names from the burial sites surrounding her, as her own name is lost to her. Celexa feels safe inside her new fortress yet she realizes that the spirits of the dead can see her as she makes her way around the graveyard. Celexa finds food from various individuals nearby and she ponders what her next steps will be. Graveyards are an attraction for individuals and this one is no acceptation. One evening, Celexa comes upon a group of teens out for a night of fun and she watches them from a distance. Their fun turns deadly and Celexa cannot believe what she is seeing. Memories flood her mind, but there is something off about these memories.


I really enjoyed the facial images in the illustrations. I liked the bright illustrations that were set against the black outline of this novel, as I thought they added to the peculiar setting of this novel. My final thoughts, as she is living in the graveyard what is she really doing every day? As she is looking for food every day, who allows someone to break into their house, eat their food and is not all concerned about who it is? I just couldn’t grasp this. I’m not sure if I will continue to read this series or not, I am wondering if it will be same concept as this first novel.

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review 2017-06-14 00:00
One Night (One & Only Book 3)
One Night (One & Only Book 3) - Christie Ridgway How is it that two people who have nothing in common fit together so perfectly? Perhaps, it's because they share a common bond. Betrayal by the person they held most dear. One Night relates the careful rebuilding of broken trust, shattered dreams and the merging of two souls. Angelica's plight is one of surprising strength. This seemingly pampered rich girl is left twisting in the wind when heartbreaking truths come to light. Now it's up to her to discover what she's capable of and whom to trust with her deepest secrets and her broken heart. Ms. Ridgway has an endearing way of spinning emotional tales into thoughtful lessons of courage and optimism.
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text 2017-06-03 14:43
Reading progress update: I've read 109 out of 256 pages.
Y The Last Man Book One - Brian K. Vaughan

okay. so it's Brian K. Vaughan doing a utopia where all the men have died--oops, did I say utopia, I meant to say dystopia where all the men died--except one. sooooo I was expecting more Edmund Cooper than Margaret Atwood, more Gender Genocide than The Handmaid's Tale. so far, it's kind of a mix of both, plus Designated Survivor, and a pinch of The Stand (the scary pinch). I like it, and it feels right to be reading it right now. bonus: the references to The Culper Ring, and what that was, make me want to get to the nonfiction book I have stashed called Our Man In Charleston.

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text 2017-06-01 09:25
RT Booklover's Convention 2017 - Day Four
Tiny Pretty Things - Dhonielle Clayton,Sona Charaipotra
The Midnight Breed Series Companion - Lara Adrian
Bring Me Back - Karen Booth
Barefoot Bay: Shoulder to Lean On (Kindle Worlds Novella) - Morgan Malone
Killer Countdown (Man on a Mission) - Amelia Autin
Midnight in Legend, TN: Small Town Romance in the Great Smoky Mountains (The McClains of Legend, Tennessee Book 1) - Magdalena Scott
Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs - Molly Harper
Ready to Were: Shift Happens Series Book One - Robyn Peterman
Hungry Like the Wolf - Paige Tyler
Delicate Freakn' Flower - Eve Langlais

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

 

Woke up on Friday morning thinking this convention is too long. I think if I go in the future I will just do the weekend pass and not the full convention because boy howdy was I tired. Not jet-lagged, just tired from being around so many people. I did breakfast but skipped the early morning author signing. First panel I went to was completely chosen at random - Path of Responsible Representation hosted by YA authors Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra (they write as a team the YA series Tiny Pretty Things). I liked this panel because the writers gave concrete examples of what to look for and what to avoid in works with diverse characters.

 

The next panel was The Worlds of Regency and Georgian Romance with authors Valerie Bowman, Anna Bradley, Eileen Dryer, Elizabeth Hoyt, and Julia Quinn. I was not impressed this panel or the questions. The panel kept going off on different tangents that had nothing to do with the topic. I left a little early to get in line for the next author signing event, but I don't think I missed anything worthwhile. A quote from Julia Quinn sums this panel up - "Who wouldn't want to marry a duke?" Real deep there (sarcasm font).

 

I then went to the 1001 Dark Nights Sparkler. I had one goal going into this event - meet Lara Adrian and get her to sign my personal copy of The Midnight Breeds Series Companion. She did and was lovely - and surprised to see someone having a companion book. I got a pic with her too. Day made 10x over. The organizers wanted the attendees to talk with each author there and ask them an "either/or" question, then fill out a card for a chance to win something. I didn't care about winning whatever prize because, once again, the room was too small for the amount of people inside. I left soon after meeting Lara and went for lunch.

 

Next author panel I went to was Seasoned Romance, Vintage Love with Karen Booth and Morgan Malone. Another diversity panel, but this one was about older characters and ageism. This trend of having older characters is making a small, but noticeable comeback thanks to self-publishing. The idea of older characters also work with other diverse characterizations such as race, sexuality, and religion (for example, a m/m featuring 40 year old men). There is a FB group called Seasoned Romance that connects authors with readers. Also, the FB group made a GR List of romances with older characters (heads up: there is a lot of Kristen Ashley's books on this list). They were giving away free books from authors in the FB group; I picked out Killer Countdown (Man on a Mission #6) by Amelia Autin and Midnight in Legend, TN (The McClains of Legend, Tennessee #1/ Ladies of Legend #1.2) by Magdalena Scott. I really enjoyed the conversation.

 

Last author panel for me was Shifters Between the Sheets with authors Molly Harper, Paige Tyler, Robyn Peterman, and Eve Langlais. I wanted to go to at least one paranormal panel, and this one was fun and funny; the ladies are not only fans of the subgenre but of each other's works. The questions were basic, but the answers were varied and experiences were talked about; each author came to writing books and paranormal genre from very different backgrounds. It was a great way to end the last day of panels.

 

I started to go to the Avon signing event, took one look at a line that was snaked five times around the door to the event, and said to myself "hell no" and went up to my room to relax. Soon I went out for dinner and when I came back, Twitter and the RT app were lit up with many unhappy attendees. Turns out the Avon event started 35-40 minutes late and some people were in line for a hour or more before the scheduled time. Again, there were also complaints of overcrowding and someone almost fainted. I'm so glad I skipped the event.

 

I went to the late night party, Magnolias and Moonshine, but didn't stay long. There was just nothing there to hold my interest. I did a quick turn about the room and then left. If you ever go to RT, feel free to skip the evening parties - they are more work than reward.

 

 

 

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