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Polish Dragon P. I. (The Lineage Sword)

Cindy’s brother was missing, along with the intricately forged sword that had been handed down through their family for generations. Carved into the hilt of this sword is a dragon with eyes that seem alive. So when she read about Tom Sipowicz, a P.I. nicknamed the Polish Dragon, it seemed only natural to hire him for the case. Tom soon finds out that there’s more adventure to be had here than he usually finds in his line of work. He ends up chasing leads to Taiwan and back while unearthing a wealth of knowledge about the culture, history, traditions, and superstitions of Cindy’s family and people.

Polish Dragon P.I. (The Lineage Sword) by Steve Zimcosky is a fast paced mystery filled with exotic locales that all seem infused with a sense of the supernatural. Zimcosky wastes no time getting to the meat of the story, introducing Cindy, the lineage sword, Tom, and a hint at his own background within the first few pages. From there the action is consistent, and Tom uses all his tricks to try and find the missing man. Paul is a law student reluctant to continue in the family’s martial arts business after the death of his and Cindy’s father. Tom calls in some favors from old friends in high places. Eventually, a letter from Paul himself helps guide the way, but not before a trip to Taiwan and visits to many of Cindy and Paul’s family friends. This provides readers with ample opportunity to meet intriguing characters as we wind through this short but well crafted mystery.

The Lineage Sword has a fascinating story that is layered and full of potential. I would have really loved this story to be a full novel so that we had time to explore different plot points, and give more breadth to events and interactions that feel only briefly explored here.

Polish Dragon P.I.- The Lineage Sword combines a curious mystery with an imaginative supernatural element that holds promise and will surely capture the attention of amateur sleuths looking for a quick but engaging read.

Pages: 85 | ASIN: B08VF7ZZ99

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Unring the Bell: The captivating new Verity Spencer thriller (A Verity Spencer crime thriller Book 3)

Unring the Bell: The captivating new Verity Spencer thriller (A Verity Spencer crime thriller Book 3) by [Trudey Martin]

Full of action and vivid detail, Unring The Bell is a thrilling crime novel that was hard to put down. Trudey Martin uses a uniquely engaging writing style throughout this story, slowly unraveling an enigmatic mystery that’s easy to follow but hard to crack. With short and engaging chapters, the story is plot-focused but builds an emotional connection to characters that seem grounded but alluring, especially our memorable protagonist Verity.

Verity Spencer as a character is quite intriguing and I find her to have a personality that is well defined, which I suppose should be as this is the third book in a series. There is more than what meets the eye with her character and she is definitely someone I would idolize in my teen years. What Verity dives into is a grisly murder mystery that, we come to find out, has many moving parts and a complexity that puts Verity to a nail biting challenge.

Unring The Bell by Trudey Martin is an emotionally charged story reminiscent of the Netflix show The Killing with a compelling investigate style and grim look at crime. This is a story that has a solid grasp of where it wants to go and its just taking readers along for the ride. With an almost dizzying complexity to the story, I relied on Verity’s skills to solve the crime.

Author Trudey Martin has written a thriller mystery novel that is perfect for fans of crime fiction looking for a story with a strong female lead solving a controversial crime with unconventional skills.

Pages: 309 | ASIN: B08JKTBSTK

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Love and Sabotage

Love and Sabotage by [Martha Tolles]

Love and Sabotage follows Marty Gregg, a new graduate beginning her first job. She is a female journalist in what is still a man’s world. To further complicate Marty’s life, her fiancé is away at war, stationed in the pacific during WWII.

This is a story that is easy follow, which is certainly a benefit in a mystery novel as riveting as this one. The novel is narrated by our captivating young protagonist Marty, and we follow the trials and tribulations she faces working in a male dominated industry whilst constantly awaiting word from her fiancé. As she follows a breaking story readers are treated to glimpses of the quaint town she lives in, and the complex relationships she has. There are delightful descriptions of the town, including many descriptions of the houses and buildings, as well as the gardens and trees. Author Martha Tolles cleverly integrates several community features such as the library that makes the setting feel realistic and like a character on its own. Set during World War Two, most of the references to technology, clothing and speech are consistent with this time period, which allows the reader to be immersed in the story.

I enjoyed the main characters in this story and felt that they were well developed. Marty, the young female journalist pinning for her fiancé Eddy who is away at war, feels like a trope but its given much more dimension with Marty’s unique personality. She is clearly dedicated to her job, this is shown by her thoughts, her conversations with others, and actions. However, it is clear that being a young female journalist during the war can be difficult in what is still essentially a man’s industry. We see her hesitation in dealing with her employer’s sexual overtones, as well as other men who are not accustomed to working with women. Understandably, her fiancé Eddy is never far from her mind, however we never really learn much about him. Another complex relationship is the relationship between Marty and her friend Grace. Their relationship encompasses both a personal friendship and a working relationship. We see Grace authentically try to support her friend from her employer’s advances, whilst still maintaining her own professional relationship with him. It’s a relationship that I thought was intriguing and wanted to see more of.

Love and Sabotage is a mystery novel that is easy to read and, because of that, is easy to get wrapped up in. The setting descriptions allow the reader to immerse themselves both in the town of Rye and the circumstances for civilians living in WWII. Fans of historical fiction will find plenty to enjoy in this compelling novel?

Pages: 182 | ASIN: B07MHQXKJT

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Bedeviled by Her Suspicions

Bedeviled by Her Suspicions (Zane Brothers Detective Series Book 2) by [Patricia Catacalos]

Bedeviled by Her Suspicions (Zane Brothers Detective Series Book Two) by Patricia Catacalos is a historical fiction mystery set in London in 1888. Isabel Haynes is a milliner who suspects that her cousin, Thomas Haynes Cutbush, might be the serial killer known as Leather Apron (Jack the Ripper), murdering women in Whitechapel. She enlists the help of the Zane Brothers Detective Agency to prove that her suspicions are wrong. Isabel feels drawn to Noah Zane from their first meeting. Noah pretends to be Isabel’s beau so that he can remain close to her. Can he protect her from harm as they search to find the truth?

I enjoyed reading this riveting historical thriller. I love mysteries that keep me guessing throughout the story. Part of this story is told from the point of view of the killer, and the few clues that are given match up with Thomas, but could also indicate several other characters. I was immediately suspicious of every man described with a handlebar mustache, since that was the only identifying physical feature that was mentioned about the killer. Although this is the second book in the series, it is not necessary to read book one to enjoy this story. This books can be read as a standalone mystery story. Book One, The Mystery of Her, features Noah’s older brother, Zachery. Book Three and Book Four both feature Noah’s younger brother, Evan.

While I enjoyed this story, I felt that the romance happened a bit too quickly for me, with Noah and Isabel declaring their love for each other within a week of their first meeting. I liked the historical Victorian setting of the story, which was vividly described, but I felt that some of the descriptions of actions were unnecessarily specific and distracted from the flow of the story.

With that said, Bedeviled by Her Suspicions is a compelling murder mystery that will appeal to anyone looking for an alluring mystery that will keep them guessing throughout this entertaining book.

Pages: 238 | ASIN: B01NCM4HJY

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Celtic Knot: A Clara Swift Tale

Celtic Knot: A Clara Swift Tale by [Ann Shortell]

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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Malachi, Ruse Master

Malachi, Ruse Master: A Detours in Time Character Spin-off (Book 3) by [Pamela Schloesser Canepa]

Malachi, Ruse Master is a spin-off to Pamela Schloesser Canepa’s Detours in Time science fiction series. It is a riving mystery novel following the adventures of an upstart assistant to a private investigator. This thrilling coming of age story follows a college dropout named (or renamed) Malachi as he tries to piece together a life using the unique verbal intellectual, and thespian skills he poses. Malachi is offered a job helping a private investigator with shadowy intentions, and the results are alluring.

Malachi, Ruse Master unfolds like a series of separate but dramatic anecdotes that cast a light on people, families, and their relationships. I liked how each chapter was its own nutshell mystery. It was easy to grasp and easy to follow, which I suppose places this book in the young adult genre, but unfairly as there is still some depth to the overarching themes present throughout the novel. I enjoyed the many different ways that Malachi was able to accomplish his tasks. They were always different and creative and something that I think makes this novel stand out from other sleuth novels.

Malachi is trying to eke out a living on the D.C. streets. While not as developed as the setting could have been, I enjoyed how the novel stayed focused on the captivating characters. This, in essence, is a character driven story that follows one young mans motivated rise out of the streets and into an intriguing job that allows his skills to flourish.

Malachi is a character that takes time to build and his journey is something that kept me picking this novel back up. Malachi, Ruse Master is an absorbing private investigator novel that fans of mystery books will surely enjoy. Pamela Schlosesser Canepa has written an engaging thriller that follows a young man with extraordinary talents who grapples with the consequences of life and his actions.

Pages: 160 | ASIN: B086VYJYZX

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Murder at Macbeth

Murder at Macbeth: A gripping British crime mystery packed with twists and turns (A D.I. Robson mystery Book 1) by [Samantha Goodwin]

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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Death and Disorder

Death and Disorder: A Vivian Wexler Galactic Mystery by [Patricia Crumpler]

Death and Disorder: A Vivian Wexler Galactic Mystery by Patricia Crumpler is an adventurous sci-fi story set in outer space. Vivian Wexler is hired to investigate a bunch of suicides on a foreign planet. The twist is that this involves a placid and non-violent species; they have never killed themselves or others. Compared to the Sores, life on Earth is considered a “cesspool.” Wexler’s investigation into the suicides leads to a fascinating and shocking conclusion.

However, she soon encounters more alien species on a mission. Slug-like creatures are used by a lot of these aliens, especially the creative types, to boost their intelligence and abilities. However, they are addictive. Vivian soon becomes involved in this weird and sticky situation, simultaneously aided and suffering from the substance. I enjoyed this duality and how it is portrayed.

Death and Disorder is both gripping and funny; there were a few places where I even laughed out loud; rare for me. Vivian Wexler is an engaging character with an alluring personality- she’s funny and smart without being too staid. I love a well-written heroine, especially in science fiction stories, that can not only hold their own but hit back as well. The pacing in combination with the weird worlds was an addictive combo, so I had trouble putting it down. The author’s imagination is on full display, with numerous species, behavioral tics, and amusing jokes that are rampant throughout the book.

The comparisons between Sarolole and Earth were really interesting. The contrast casts light on the fact that certain tragic and disastrous events on Earth are so often taken in stride. We, being human, often forget how odd we all must seem to an outsider, and Patricia Crumpler has a unique way of giving us this outsiders view of humanity. The romance between Dee and Vivian was also quite adorable. The intriguing dialogue along with well defined character relationships was something that kept me rapt .

Although the terminology of all the new creatures and characters takes a while to catch on, with a little bit of time it gets easier to understand all the Zetas and EBI agents and all. I thoroughly enjoyed this sci-fi space opera and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a funny and adventurous romp through the vastness of space. The ending left me with a smile on my face.

Pages: 273 | ASIN: B086HXFTC7

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