Title: The 19th Christmas
Author: James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 7 October 2019
Print Length: 368 pages
Genre: #Fiction #MurderThrillers #SuspenseThrillers #WomenSleuths
There is an old saying, never judge a book by its cover and this one rang true for us
As you can see the front cover is a wooded snow scene with a woman who is wearing a red coat and who is hurriedly walking through the woods. Is someone after her? Where is she going? Who is this woman? What does the title, The 19th Christmas mean? A note on the front of the book reads, “The New Women’s Murder Club Novel" so we suspected it was a murder mystery solved by women.
Note, we had not heard of nor read any other Women’s Murder Club novels. So had no idea what to expect.
One of the blurbs on the back cover is written by Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of the D. D. Warren series. We have not read any of the D. D. Warren series, but what Garden wrote caught our attention. “Everything you love about Patterson and the Women’s Murder Club – smart characters, shocking twists, and a villain so evil you count down to the very last page to discover what will happen next.”
Title: An Olde Christmas Carol: A Storm Ketchum Tale (Storm Ketchum Tales Book 1)
Author: Garrett Dennis
Published: TBD Press
Publication Date: 11 July 2015
It is December 1st and the holiday season is upon us. Everywhere we go there are bright red and green decorations mixed in with silver bells and gold trimmings.
The title of this book (which can be gotten if you join the mailing list of Garrett Dennis-here) echoes A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Storm Ketchum is described as “a walking country-song disaster.” He is recently retired and has moved to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
The story opens with Ketch, as he likes to be called, walking out onto the porch, wrapping himself in a crochet afghan and sitting in a rocking chair with a cup of coffee on a cold January morning. Not a December morning or a day close to Christmas, but after Christmas. His dog Jack is laying down nearby.
As Ketch sits in the rocking chair he decides that he and Jack would take a day trip to Olde Christmas.
As the story unfolds, Ketch finds himself face to face with characters of his past, present, and future. Along the way he is introduced to the legend of Old Buck and thrown into a scenario where he must help solve the case of the stolen cash box.
Is Ketch an old Scrooge? Maybe. Maybe not. This is an interesting take on an old tale with surprises and an unpredictable ending.
Title: The President is Missing
Author: Bill Clinton and James Patterson
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Publication Date: 4 June 2018
Print Length: 528 pages
Genre: #PoliticalThrillers #MurderThrillers #SuspenseThrillers
President Duncan, recently widowed and with health issues, is the main character. His daughter asks him about “Dark Ages,” a code word about cyber terrorism known only to his cabinet of eight. With this new found knowledge, the President realizes he has a traitor within his cabinet, but who? At the same time the Speaker of the House, Lester Rhodes, wants to impeach him for, supposedly, letting Suliman Cindoruk the leader of the Sons of Jihad and a cyber terrorist escape.
Nina, a cyber hacker contacts the president, but she doesn’t know who she can trusts. So, she gives the president instructions to follow. President Duncan follows Nina’s instructions and meets her partner, Augie who knows only how to locate the virus but does not have the password to delete or stop it. When the President and Augie are close to meeting up with Nina, she is killed by an assassin named Bach. But, who hired, Bach? During the shootout, Augie is hustled into the vehicle with the president by the Secret Service. Close to the White House, the President’s motorcade is attacked and the president decides to go into hiding at a cabin deep in the woods. Here the president is surrounded by only a few trusted secret service agents and a team of cyber experts from the United States, Germany, and Russia, who are trying to find the virus that has been planted into the United States infrastructure software. If the virus isn’t stopped, the country could be thrown into total chaos.
Title: Pistol Rose and the Wedding that Sparked a War
Author: Michael Ryan Hahn
Publisher: Swashbuckle Holdings
Publication Date: 30 July 2023
Print Length: 199 Pages
Genre: #Action #Adventure #Fantasy
Guest Review By Ellen
The Punimin and the Strelkie have been at odds for over a hundred years. Few even remember how the tension between the two races that inhabit this country even began, but everyone is forced to pick a side.
Actually, their side is picked for them at birth, when every laboring woman is brought to the border between the city, where the Strelkie live and the wilds, where the Punimin live, to give birth.
When the baby is born, the nurses decide whether it should live with the Strelkie or if it has an 'defects' that mean it should be relegated to the Punimin village. Of course, this decision is made entirely on the whim of the nurses, and is often abused so that many of the children are sent to the Punimin and the king, so Ward Harrol can keep a sense of exclusivity in the city.
Title: The Casual Vacancy
Author: J. K. Rowling
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication Date: July 23, 2013
Print Length: 512 pages
Genre: #Fiction #ContemporaryLiterature #RuralFiction #SmallTownFiction
This is J. K. Rowling’s first novel for adults. It is nothing like the Harry Potter series for children.
The book opens at the home of Barry Fairbrother in the small town of Pagford. It is his anniversary, and his wife wants to go out to celebrate. He is fixated on an article for the newspaper about one of his students on the rowing team, but not wanting to totally disappoint his wife, he agrees to go to the Country Club for a dinner. Once outside the Country Club, he drops dead.
Being a member of the local council, Fairbrother’s death leaves a Casual Vacancy.
The book doesn’t have one main character unless you consider dead Barry Fairbrother to be the main character. Instead, the book has several characters whose lives are all intertwined. At first, it is hard to see the connection, but as the story progresses the reader will see how each character touches the lives of the others.