Book Review: Shadows in Death – J.D. Robb

Copyright 2020

Published in the U.S. by St. Martin’s Paperbacks an imprint of St. Martin’s Publishing Group

This is the latest title in the series starring Lieutenant Eve Dallas, her partner, Detective Delia Peabody, and Civilian Consultant(aka Hubby) Roarke. Secondary characters who have helped round out the series and make it even more relatable include Peabody’s beau, Detective Ian McNabb, EDD lead Captain Ryan Feeney, Mavis Freestone, Nadine Furst, Dr. Charlotte Mira, Chief Medical Officer Morris, Lawrence Charles Summerset, and Galahad.

This novel is as action packed and suspenseful as all the rest in the series. Robb keeps death and sex scenes minimal yet impactful so those who are easily triggered may take care just in case. Keeping the blood and gore details just to what is needed to make the scenes believable is a nice change from a lot of books in this same genre. Romance is part and parcel with this series and allows the reader some breathing room while showing the softer side of the main characters, especially Eve. It makes them more relatable. Sex scenes are not graphic and are described with a romantic tinge rather than a carnal one.

J.D. Robb weaves her way through a plot from start to finish with flare, throwing in a twist here and there. She keeps the energy up where it’s needed and slows things down a bit where it makes sense so there’s no jarring. There’s no filler or fluff just to fill pages, every scene has a purpose – to further the story.

Eve Dallas open the story investigating a murder that happens as she’s out with her husband, Roarke. Roarke, a former criminal, sees someone from his past, a murderer nicknamed Blade, in the crowd surrounding the murder scene. Blade had been a bane of Roarke’s existence while Roarke had lived in Europe to the point of attempting to kill Roarke twice. Linked to hundreds of crimes in Europe but never caught, Blade has come to the States to try yet again to end the other man’s life while getting away with a murder for hire plot – or so he thinks.

He hasn’t taken into account Lieutenant Eve Dallas being assigned the case, as well as being the wife of Roarke. Both make her a more than formidable foe, and with her team fully behind her from the Police Chief on down, it’s only a matter of time before Blade is in a cage.

I really enjoyed this novel, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes murder mysteries.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Linen and Threads MSAL Update: March

For those of you who don’t know what a MSAL is, it means Mystery Sampler Stitch – A – Long. The one I’m involved with currently is hosted by Linen and Threads. It’s free to join up so please, do so. I found out about this one from Anna at My (mis?)adventures with yarn.

This works on a monthly basis with parts of a large sampler being published once a month. There are three currently available on the site, and I’ve done almost all three. I forgot to take a picture of what I’d done in January, but I did remember to take one of the block released in February. I’m nearly done with this month’s part, and I’ll post a picture of it next month when I do my update.

The designer is allowing us to choose our own colors and since it’s based on Talavera pottery, I chose these for the first block. There are at least six blocks in all by the way the outline was done – you’ll see what I mean next month. Each sampler will be one of a kind, and I’m planning on either auctioning off or raffling off mine for charity.

Please post if you decide to stitch along with myself and Anna, I think she’d enjoy having more people to stitch with!

I’ll see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Audiobook Review: Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

The audiobook version of this classic I listened to on Audible. I vaguely recall seeing it on a late night classic movie channel back when I was a kid. I think it was in black and white but don’t quote me; I’ve slept a lot since then.

The story was written by Dashiell Hammett in 1934, and William Dufris is the narrator in the audiobook version.

It was hard to get into the story. Nick, the main character, sounded bored most of the time while he was telling his side of the story and when responding to others. The wisecracks fell flat because there wasn’t much emotion in them.

The story itself was good,a well thought out murder mystery I would’ve enjoyed more if I’d read it myself.

I give the audiobook three stars mostly because I got bored because the narrator sounded bored a lot. This said, don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself here. You can purchase a print copy in a bunch of places cheaper than you can get the audiobook for, and you might enjoy it more – in my humble opinion.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Murdoch Mysteries – Television Show Review

This show is found on Hulu, and it’s quite popular considering all the seasons it’s been on so far. I’ve begun binge watching it, and I’m on Season Two already. It’s a police drama, but it’s not what you’d expect.

First, it’s set in Toronto, Canada. The people speak English. The police captain is from Scotland, and he has the accent and mustache to prove it. The time period is during the Industrial Revolution – the time of Thomas Edison, Marconi and Tesla – to name a few. In fact, in the episode I just finished, they were using the newly developed x-ray machine to prove a dinosaur fossil was fake.

Detective Murdoch is a straight shooting man who crosses himself whenever he first encounters a dead body. He believes in the Bible, but he’s also a man of science. He tinkers and makes things to help in his investigations. He doesn’t curse. In fact, the one time he came close to using the Lord’s name in vain, one of his men stopped him, and Murdoch thanked him for it.

Constable Crabtree is a young man prone to flights of fancy when trying to help his boss solve cases, but he does mean well. Not overly bright, he does come up with a good idea from time to time, and he’s quite willing to do anything Murdoch asks him.

Doctor Ogden is a female pathologist who tries to interject some humor into her rather gruesome job, and she fails most of the time. She’s quite charming and intelligent though a touch plain since she doesn’t wear makeup that much. Her sweetness more than makes up for it though. Murdoch doesn’t seem to mind her plainness as he’s more attracted to her mind. They make a good pair in solving mysteries. They’re also seeing each other by Season Two.

Inspector Breckenridge is a character. He doesn’t mind hitting people and yelling at them if it will help with solving cases. He’s not very bright, but he is a good policeman. He lets Murdoch do pretty much anything he wants, and there are times when he tries to help. He’s a good boss and a good man who tries to do the right thing even if his captain doesn’t want him to.

That’s the main cast of the show, and I enjoy them all. I don’t need blood and guts, swearing and gunfire, to enjoy a good murder mystery. I need a good mystery and a good cast of characters to move things along. So far, I’ve seen Harry Houdini, Thomas Edison, Nikolai Tesla, Buffalo Bill, and Arthur Conan Doyle on the show as guests who help Murdoch solve the mystery of the day. Putting these iconic characters in the show lends a bit of fun to them, imho.

Don’t take my word for it though. Check the show out for yourself!! I’ve found it on Hulu, but it could be elsewhere – you just have to look!

Till next time, see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

The Limehouse Golem – Movie Review

This movie is a Victorian era horror movie starring Bill Nighy and Olivia Cooke, among others.

It’s a fantastic movie. The creep factor is high, but it adds to it. The movie shows the reality of the society in that era. At one point, there was a little Irish girl who spoke only Gaelic. She was a witness to one of the murders, and she was being brought to speak to the police without understanding what was going on. The detective was using a nun to translate, and the little girl told her to tell him she wasn’t for sale. She said her mother had a gentleman coming for her on her next birthday. That was the reality of the lives of the poor of that era.

It’s this attention to detail that made this movie so good! The acting was superb as well. It has a fine cast. The story was well written, and the action was engrossing. Yes, I really liked the movie.

I give this movie five stars and strongly recommend it. I found it on Hulu.com, but it’s also on Amazon, VUDU and iTunes. Don’t take my word for it, of course, see it for yourself!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Lincoln Rhyme : Hunt for the Bone Collector – TV show

This show started in Januaryt of this year on NBC. It airs on Friday night, and I watch the rerun on Hulu since I work Friday nights. The show is based on Jeffrey Deaver’s famous book: The Bone Collector, and it uses a lot of the elements from the book. I especially liked they showed how Rhyme ended up paralyzed in the very first episode.

The show stars Russell Hornsby as Lincoln Rhyme. I first saw him on Grimm where he played Detective Hank Griffin, the partner to the main character. In this show, he gets to play a stronger character – the main lead in a cast of leading actors. He portrays Rhyme a lot like Denzel Washington did in the movie, but he also gives him some humanity.

Amelia Sachs, his “eyes and ears” on the scenes, is played by Arielle Kebbel. I’ve seen her in a couple of horror movies. She was also in a television show called Midnight Texas that didn’t last long. I saw a couple of episodes of it, and I think they could’ve done much better with it…. In this show, she also gets to play a strong character, one with compassion and strength as well as a bit of a reckless streak.

The Bone Collector, aka Peter, is played by Brian F O’Bryne. I think I saw him in Million Dollar Baby, but I’m not sure. In this show, the Bone Collector is known to the viewer, and he’s married which is why I know his name is Peter. In the first episode, you also see how the Bone Collector knows Lincoln Rhyme. I like seeing both sides of this particular conflict.

Due to its very name, I’m not sure how long this show is going to last – planned obsolescence comes to mind. A great many shows, here and in the UK, are being designed to only last a few seasons. Maybe the next season will be based on another Deaver book featuring Rhyme. That would be nice.

The show has episodes mainly about other cases to solve with the Bone Collector being worked in the back ground so, something is always going on. Lots of interesting scenes including one where Sachs builds a thermite bomb in a matter of minutes with Lincoln’s help. I like learning more about New York and its environs – its history features heavily in all the books featuring Rhyme. Makes me want to go visit just to see some of what they’ve talked about, including some of the subway stations.

One of the things I didn’t like was the casting of his wife, Danielle. They used Claire Coffee, another former cast member on Grimm. She doesn’t get much onscreen time as the Bone Collector’s wife, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t think she’s got that much talent. Her facial expressions are pretty limited. If she sticks to playing romance parts where she gets to smile and flirt and whatever, she’ll be okay. Playing a villian or anything else that requires strong emotion, I don’t see her pulling it off.

Don’t take my word for it though, check out the show yourself!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

The Steel Kiss – Jeffery Deaver

My copy of this book is a trade paperback printed in 2016 by Hachette Book Group.  The Copyright of 2016 is held by Gunner Publications LLC.  This story was originally published in hardback and ebook by Grand Central Publishing in 2016.

As usual, Mr. Deaver does not fail to put in some plot twists. One is very ingenuous as it’s in what he doesn’t say 🙂  I can’t say more without giving away the story so, I won’t.  The story is a real attention grabber as well because it makes you think: what if?

The story is about a man who is using remote access to cloud based “brains” to kill people from afar.  This same man also uses a ball peen hammer for close up work.  Lincoln Rhyme, our fearless quadraplegic detective, has retired from police work to teach and persue more “civilian” work.  Detective Amelia Sachs, his lover and partner, is not happy about that but is working out of police headquarters despite him.  Lincoln takes on an intern as he accepts a job helping a family whose father and sole provider is killed by what appears to be a faulty escalator at a local mall.  Detective Sachs is hunting for a killer who crushes people’s heads in and whose unusual physical attributes still don’t help her find him.  The action revs up almost from the get go and runs almost full throttle all the way to the end!!  I read this one in one sitting as well!!

Love Mr. Deaver’s work!!  Can’t you tell? 😀

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves crime books and whodunits!  Still, don’t take my word for it.  Get a copy from your local library and try it out for yourself!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!  Maybe you should get a tattoo to keep from being possessed. 😀

Dexter – the Television Show

That one’s a blast from the past isn’t it?  Stars Michael C Hall and ran from 2006 to 2013 .  According to the Wikipedia, Mr. Hall was undergoing treatment for cancer around the time he was in the middle of working on Dexter.  Kudos to him for that!

Dexter aired on Showtime as a show for adults with lots of violence, some nudity, lots of foul language and sexual content.  Quite risque for that time period in television in fact.

Dexter is a serial killer with a code of honor he adheres to no matter what, and he works for the Miami PD as a blood splatter expert in the Forensics lab.  His sister also works for the Miami PD – as a homicide cop.  I haven’t discovered if she knows the truth about him yet as I’m still on the first season.

What is Dexter’s code of honor and can a serial killer have one?  Well apparently a fictional one can.  Dexter was adopted by a police officer who found him at the scene of his mother’s death.  Dexter witnessed it, but he had repressed the memory.  Despite this, he had no feelings, no emotions whatsoever and his dad, Harry, had to teach him how to fit in so people wouldn’t realize he was different.  Harry also taught Dexter how to channel his killing urges and beat forensics.  His main lesson to Dexter, other than don’t get caught, is to only kill people who deserve to die – really bad criminals who have beaten the system.  These people include murderers, drug dealers, coyotes who kill the ones they are supposed to be saving, and such like.

I am enjoying this first season which has one main case – the Ice Truck Killer – he and his sister are trying to solve with the Miami PD – while Dexter is also taking care of his own killer needs.

Oh yeah, he is also dating a young woman with two kids….

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!  We might need to fix something! 😀

Cop Town – Karin Slaughter

Read a new book by an author I’d never heard of thanks to a friend of mine whose reading tastes are similar to my own. 🙂

My copy of this book is a trade paperback produced by Dell Books Copyright 2015.  The story itself is approximately 431 pages long.  There’s an Acknowledgments page which is needed for all the research that went into creating this fantastic story, and there’s a teaser for the next book in the series.

This book is a snapshot in time as a great deal of it is based on fact.  The murders, the cops, they’re figments of the writer’s imagination, but the rest of it is fact.  I like how the writer was able to weave these two things together into such a compelling tapestry.

I have to admit to not liking the story at first – it was slow, to me.  However, I kept reading, and the story got better.  Characters began to flesh out and become more like people than just descriptions and dialogue.  Scenes began to flash and take on color, to move faster.  It was a fabulous ride!

Our story begins with Kate Murphy’s first day on the job at Atlanta PD in 1974 – a time when women were just beginning to get into “men’s jobs”.  A cop has been killed, a cop who was the partner of the brother of Kate’s first partnet, Maggie Lawson.  The only thing the two women have in common is their gender – Maggie is from the poor side of town, and Kate is from a wealthier Jewish family.

Still, as the two women find a way to help track down the cop killer despite all the male testoterone trying to keep them from it, the two find ways to connect.

I can’t tell you much more than that without giving away the story so, I’ll stop here.  Read the book for yourself, don’t listen to me and my opinion.  Think for yourself and maybe, you’ll enjoy yourself.  I know I do!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver.  Keep an eye out for a black 67 Impala too!  There’s always an adventure waiting when you see it!

15TH Affair – James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

I’m a big James Patterson fan, and I’ve become a fan of his teaming up with Maxine Paetro for this series.  I must confess to only having read the first two books in The Women’s Murder Club series before reading this one, but I do plan to fix that by finding the rest of the series as soon as I can afford to.

My copy is a paperback – trade size – and the story is roughly 357 pages.  There’s the usual About The Authors in the back as well as some other things in there the reader will like.  This copy was published by Grand Central Publishing,a division of Hachette Book Group Inc., and has a copyright of 2016.  The hardcover version was originally published by Little, Brown and Company in May 2016.

Now, this story centers around Detective Lindsay Boxer of the San Francisco Police Department.  She’s married with a baby girl and a dog, as well as a wonderful neighbor/nanny and her murder club friends.

A murder and a disappearing woman threaten her marriage and, at one point, her life!  The book is full of twists and turns as well as some strong feels as Lindsay works the case and tries to deal with her life crumbling around her.  The action is fantastic and nothing is wasted as everything you learn leads to something else – sometimes unexpected things!

I really enjoyed the book, and I think you will too.  Just don’t take my word for it – read it for yourself! 🙂

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver.  If you can’t have a Tardis, get a black 1969 Impala or, my personal fave, a cherry red 1969 Firebird!