Thirteen-year-old sleuth Skylar Robbins is about to take on her most dangerous case yet. The challenge: braving a savage enemy while solving the mystery of a strangely frightening idol.
Skylar’s new high-tech detective gadgets give her intelligence an extra edge. A canister of Invisi-powder is vital when she and her assistant detective, Alexa, suddenly need to disappear. Earbuds and a small high-powered microphone make up a Soundtrap: perfect for eavesdropping on her crush while he plays My Secret Kiss, or on the boys in the next hut while they devise a terribly risky plan. Her Supalight, visible from half a mile away, enables Skylar’s crew to message her during a midnight attack. Night vision goggles might save her life when she’s chased through a dark jungle with her brilliant partner, Daniel Gannon.
Fierce island natives will stop at nothing to prevent the teens from discovering the true meaning of the idols. Will Skylar’s team survive to return to middle school? Or will this field trip be their last adventure?
Skylar Robbins mysteries have won multiple awards, and more than one have been Amazon #1 Bestsellers in Children’s Detective Books. Accolades include being voted Book-of-the-Month by LASR readers, three 5-star Reader’s Favorite awards, and one was a Top Ten Finalist for an Author Academy Award in the YA/Middle Grade category.
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Kawika has just lost his wife of many years to cancer. He looks to live through the gut-wrenching pain and move on with life. But little does he know that he’d soon be running to preserve his own life. It all begins with the murder of a financial expert on the Hawaiian island where he stays. The unfortunate victim appears to have died in the strangest of ways. Joe Adams, the lead detective investigating the case then opts to bring in a Hawaiian anthropology expert to make sense of the ritualistic elements littering the crime scene. Kawika – a professor of Hawaiian anthropology – takes up the task and begins to uncover shocking truths alongside the detective. They find evidence suggesting that the murderer would kill again and Kawika and his relations are among his potential victims. But who is the mysterious killer and why is he on a mission to take out the descendants of the members of an ancient Hawaiian cult?
Luigi N. Spring does something special with Sorcerer’s Prayer. It’s a gripping Hawaiian tale dripping with suspense. A real page-turner that had me channelling my inner Sherlock Holmes in an attempt to solve the story’s mysteries. Written in an immersive style, Luigi was able to pull me into the story. On more than one occasion, I found myself muttering warnings to characters who were about to meet their doom.
Luigi sets the stage of the story on the captivating Islands of Hawaii. This allows him to weave thrilling bits of the Hawaiian culture into his tale and this adds so much color to the story. From the society’s history to the people’s language and practices, Luigi gives us a good descriptions of Hawaiian culture without appearing to take me through a history lesson.
Apart from making the cultural details of his setting fun, Luigi also includes them smartly. He sprinkles these facts in a way that they wouldn’t distract you from the book’s plot and themes. He ensures that his thoughts on the human mind, retribution, inclusion and love aren’t drowned out by the noise of too many details. This also allows the personalities of his characters to shine through. Kawika was particularly fascinating – a typical example of a seemingly weak protagonist who ends up rising to the occasion.
The author is a fan of mystery thrillers and claims to have been inspired by the works of Dan Brown and James Rollins. There’s no doubt he chose good models and didn’t do too badly with this book. If you have enjoyed the works of Luigi’s mentors, his style isn’t a far cry from theirs.
Tags: author, book, book review, bookblogger, crime fiction, crime thriller, detective, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, Luigi Spring, murder mystery, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, Sorcerers Prayer: Precious Blood, story, suspense, thriller, whodunit, writer, writing
Celtic Knot: A Clara Swift Tale is a thrilling murder mystery story that combines true facts with fiction in a compelling historical fantasy novel. The book follows the story of a young housekeeper, Clara Swift, who is sought by Prime Minister John A Macdonald to help find out who assassinated his master, Mr. McGee. Clara’s tenacity and abilities get her embroiled in a plot with national consequences.
Ann Shortell has creatively used a well known historical moment to tell a riveting mystery. Clara is an intriguing character right from the start. She’s smart and quick-witted and was someone that I empathized with along the nail biting journey she’s thrust on. Her perseverance and determination to seek the truth was something that kept me flipping pages. The story takes places in Ottawa Canada during the 1800’s and the time period is captured in striking detail.
Alluring characters in a memorable setting pulled me into the story, but the one thing that I think elevated this story above genre fiction was the theatrical mystery driving this dramatic novel. Ann Shortell is able to give readers just enough to keep them guessing, just enough to root for characters, and contine to feed you those bread crumbs until the finale. I am not familiar with the historical events discussed in the book, but still found the book to be entertaining. I will say that a reader may need a good respect for history and willingness to absorb the history and time period to be able to truly enjoy this novel as Ann Shortell really dives into the era. Like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, it’s still entertaining, but you’ll be engrossed if you know about, or at least enjoy, the history discussed in the book.
Celtic Knot: A Clara Swift Tale is an enthralling historical fiction novel that places an unassuming but sharp girl at the heart of a spellbinding mystery.
Pages: 332 | ASIN: B07BN2TNQ3
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A notorious bullfighter demands a change in the world of Spain’s bullfighting. He realizes that the younger generation is more caring about animals and that the bloodshed of animals in the industry must stop if it is to survive. This controversial topic brings about a dark and twisted story. Meanwhile, a story about the dark web emerges. A Spanish detective is solving a difficult case that leaves many unanswered questions. The author ties the two stories together with friendship, love, and culture. It is a beautifully written and cultured book that makes you fall in love with the city of Rhonda in Spain and all it has to offer.
Darkness in Rhonda was incredibly eye opening and intriguing as it tells the story of a Spanish detective named Leon Prado and his lifelong friend Juan Romero. Paul S. Bradley begins the tale with a backstory of the gentlemen when they were young and how their families merged. The story then switches to present day in the beautiful, historical city of Rhonda, Spain. As the author tells the story of what is happening, he does a remarkable job of explaining in detail how to bullfight and I felt as if I was staring the bull in the eye myself. You can imagine the bull’s horns nearly colliding with your ribs and the way the bullfighter must dance about to avoid being mauled by the beast. At the same time, the author beautifully captures the essence of the culture, going into detail about the Spanish wine, crusty bread, Spanish cheese and most importantly, the meat industry in Spain.
The story brings in many characters and at first it is difficult to stay on track but as you read, you get to understand who each character is and the important role each of them play. Alongside Pedro and Juan are business partners and family friends named Phillip and Amanda and their story becomes truly captivating. Each character is narrated in detail and you can imagine them in their finest outfits perfectly described. The author does a great job creating characters that are complex, yet relatable. The story line was surprisingly easy to follow for having no background about Spanish culture or Spain as the reader. The author has created an enthralling plot including love, tragedy, mystery, and friendship. Darkness in Rhonda is the second book in the Andalusian Mystery Series and truly captures a gorgeously historical city and makes you feel as if you are there yourself, taking part in the beautiful Spanish history.
Pages: 261 | ASIN: B07PF8BJ5Y
Tags: author, book, book review, bookblogger, crime, crime fiction, Darkness in Ronda, detective, ebook, goodreads, international mystery, jesus, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, Paul S. Bradley, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writing
A crime has been committed at a theater in the middle of a Shakespeare themed play, embedded in secrets, lies, betrayal, friendship and work, every cast is on the suspect list. How far will they go to hide these secrets? Like a blockbuster crime thriller Samantha Goodwin leads us through a winding mystery of what happened to the lead actress Nicki. Her friends, the cast, all have a dark secret they are not willing to tell. The investigating officers will stop at nothing until they get justice for the victims.
This creative murder mystery that fuels this curiously compelling read is great in a way that every chapter answers one question and leaves you with the next one you have to get an answer for. I appreciated the slow build of the mystery throughout the story. It’s not dramatic, but in it’s down to earth quality it reels you in, and once the twists come their rarely expected and always surprising. Samantha Goodwin has a way of making the whole play inside a play work with ease. Murder At Macbeth is a creative detective mystery that is punctuated with provocative characters. Friends betraying friends, love, jealousy, betrayal and secrets. Each characters life unfolds in new chapters. Reality dawns on each of the cast members, they can no longer protect each other, a life has been lost. Despite going through challenges himself, Detective Inspector Finley Robson with his partner Detective Nadia Zahra are on a mission to crack this case open.
Having friends who have your back, is the best thing to ever happen to anyone, you trust your friends with secrets, you have a past that only your friends and you share but one day your very best friend is too jealous to the extent of plotting harm against you. Reading this is better than imagining how you’d feel, this book will take you right to the center of that drama, it makes you feel part of the cast which is a feeling you only get from a good book. Murder at Macbeth is an emotionally haunting and provocative thriller.
Pages: 375 | ASIN: B07QXGR13V
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When bodies start to pop up in Tokyo bay detective Hiroshi is one again called in to solve the horrible case and put together the pieces to a perplexing crime that involves the grim underworld of human trafficking and crypto-currency scamming.
Pronko’s characters are always something I look forward to. This being the third book in the Detective Hiroshi Tokyo series I found detective Hiroshi to be a well established character but Hiroshi Shimizu continues to hold an allure that is subtle yet ever present. While the investigation seems to go off in many directions I was always impressed with Hiroshi’s detective skills, which were always believable, which allowed me to follow an otherwise circuitous story easily.
Sukanya is the story of a girl lost in a big city. She’s being chased by thugs but luckily for her her cunning and intelligence keeps her one step ahead of the villains. It’s always nice to see strong female leads and with Sukanya and Chiho we’re treated to a nuanced view of women contending with a dense city that cares little for them by using their own wits.
The way in which these two genuinely intriguing characters riveting story lines come together is something that I rarely see and makes Tokyo Traffic the most thrilling book I’ve read this year. We’re treated to modern versions of Japanese culture that have evolved in the shadow of Tokyo. Michael Pronko creates the backdrop to this story as if it is a character all on its own and invites readers into this colorful world in an easy yet striking way.
If you’re looking for a thrilling crime fiction set in an exotic location then Tokyo Traffic is a prime choice. The enigmatic mystery at the heart of this intriguing novel was something I swiftly gave up in trying to solve as I realized that the chaotic and dramatic journey was the fun part. Tokyo Traffic is an exceptional ending to an extraordinary series from a mystery writer that knows how to entertain.
Pages: 341 | ASIN: B087QVRXZB
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Highwayman follows a highly intelligent serial killer with plans to take his rampage to the next level. What were some influences you felt guided your story?
I did an abundant amount of research on subjects with similar traits to the character I wanted to write. When I began developing the Highwayman character, I was constantly reminded of the myriad real-life criminals that inspired him. Serial murderers like Ted Bundy, Luka Magnotta, the Toolbox Killers, Roy Norris and Lawrence Bittaker, all influenced the creation of Highwayman’s character. So, when you ask, “what influences?” they weren’t the traditional works of authors I generally read. Much of my influences were police reports, documentaries, true crime literature, and that kept me grounded. Writing a story about a highly intelligent serial killer that even if they are smart, even if they have the advantage, at their core, there is still something wrong with them. Normal people don’t hunt other humans. That personality defect alone separates them from society and removes the illusion that they are somehow superhuman or impervious to mistakes.
Lance is a villain that I loved to hate. What were some ideals that guided his character development?
The preamble to your question pretty much nails the fundamental mission I had when I created Lance. I didn’t want readers to like him. I wanted them to be horrified by his lack of empathy, narcissism, and psychopathy. In other words, I wanted him to be as realistic to fiction readers as real-life serial killers are to those that read true crime.
The criminal process, as well as the details on FBI procedures, were all fascinating. What kind of research did you undertake to ensure things were accurate?
I did a lot of reading, including interviews with serial killers conducted by law enforcement, and watched 100’s of hours of documentaries on the subject and subjects. I also consulted with true crime writers about the characters they had studied like Ted Bundy. I contacted police agencies, asking questions that raised eyebrows. Nothing beats calling the police and asking strange questions. Examples: “What would happen if I found a body here?” or “Does a vehicle submerged in water still yield fingerprints?” I overdosed on research, but I don’t proclaim myself any type of an expert as I’m sure I can be taken to task on some issues.
This is book one in the Highwayman series. What can readers expect in book two?
Highwayman was a slow-burn, introducing us to Lance and his ambitions over roughly eight years. The follow-up book, FOUR, which is now available, focuses on Lance’s big project of mass murder realized. There’s a lot more action, and it moves faster because the timeline of the story is a much shorter eight weeks. Lance has elevated his status to number one on the FBI’s Most-Wanted list, but there is no more mystery. Law enforcement knows who the Highwayman is and they’re coming. Maxwell is moving with a posse of investigators to stop the Highwayman for good, and now it’s personal. Lance has left Maxwell an arrogant parting shot at one of the crime scenes. AGENT MAXWELL: COME AND FIND ME. Signed: HIGHWAYMAN.
The condescension of a fugitive, yes, but Lance is about to see his plans altered as he tries to escape a relentless force of law enforcement.
Readers can also expect visitations from characters from the first book, like Cole Abraham, Lonnie Perkins, and many others. While this book will conclude the Highwayman story, it is not the end of the series. In future books, there will be more tales of murder and mystery about the monsters who walk among us every day.
The Monk follows Detective Laskey and ex- detective Billy as they attempt to solve a murder while trying to overcome their past. What was the driving motivation behind this book?
The relationship between long time Police partners is unique. Only that between soldiers in combat is comparable. Investigation is far more interviewing, looking at crime scenes and bodies than it is portrayed on television. If you got in a shooting every week like on television, I can guarantee you a lot of Departmental therapy.
You never hear about all the men and women who put on the badge and hit the streets every night, often putting themselves in harms way for people they don’t even know and fulfilling the Oaths and Vows they made. These Officers never get any press and the “Bad Cops” get more press than they deserve.
I hope “The Monk Mysteries” will give more press to the “Good Cops” and provide the reader some insight as to the emotional battles that come with the job while trying to live a normal life.
I could really feel the old camaraderie between Laskey and Billy in this book. What served as sources of inspiration for you while creating their relationship?
Personal experience with longtime Partners. In particular, a guy named Jack, who passed away several years ago and far too soon. We were tight at work and off-duty for years. We worked Patrol, Narcotics and K-9 for years. However, there came a time when a similar situation as depicted in the book, as to a job change caused some friction. We went our separate ways but were able to re-connect before Jack passed away.
What has been the most surprising feedback you’ve gotten from your readers about the book?
Most often is how strong and independent the female characters are. This wasn’t a conscious act on my part rather, it is the type of women that are required to deal with the males in the book. They are also like so many of the women I have known and admired in my life.
This is book one in the Monk Series. Where will book two pick up and when will it be available?
“THE MONK Vol 1 Revised ed” is a revised version of The Monk I wrote ten years ago. After writing ‘The Gumdrop House Affair” Vol 2, of the Monk Mysteries, which has been on Kindle Best seller list for two years, I realized that I had become more confident in my writing and needed to revise the first version of the Monk. Same characters and on Capitol Hill but better and hopefully more entertaining for the Reader.
A Catholic Priest talking about Evil is not unusual. However, a Catholic Priest looking directly into the eyes of “Evil” who the Monk calls “The Ugly” is unusual even for the Capitol Hill area of Denver and St. Benedict the Moor’s Church. This is just one of the “Spiritual Tests” the Monk faces as he attempts to solve the murder of Julia Lopez with his ex-Partner Det. Sgt. Jack Laskey.
With political pressure applied by the Governor, the Archbishop of Denver and the Franciscan Provincial, The Monk becomes a “Special Consultant” and helps Laskey solve the “Murder of the Decade” and save his position which was in jeopardy due to his inability to adjust to any Partner other than the Monk. During the course of the investigation the Monk faces the “Ugly” in many forms in the present and confrontations from the past. Those confrontations led the Monk to become a Priest and a “Spiritual Warrior” as well as a “Physical Warrior.” Leaving the and security of “Our Lady of the Rockies” Orphanage run by his Order, the Monk must return to the streets of Denver and find the killers with Laskey.
William Yeats Butler known as “The Monk” on Capitol Hill gave up a promising career in the NFL to become a Policeman. He had been an All-American at Notre Dame and was a local Hero and role model in Denver. Through 10 years with Laskey as his Partner, they worked Patrol, Narcotics and Homicide. They were the “Toughest Cops” on the streets of Denver. In their quest they are assisted by Irish/Japanese Officer Mai Li McDuff. Some would say she got the worst of both cultures; “Peaches” the transvestite hooker; “Popcan Charley” a resident of Cheeseman Park; “Mikey” the restaurant owner with Mob connections and “Frank” the only “Irish English Bulldog” in Colorado – all this under the watchful eyes of Father Ian Timony, Father Augustus O’Shea and Aunt Rhoda Williams.