Thursday, April 26, 2018

Book Review ~ By Book or by Crook (Lighthouse Library Mystery, Book #1) by Eva Gates @evagatesauthor

Book Details:

Series: A Lighthouse Library Mystery (Book 1)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: February 3, 2015
ISBN-10: 0451470931
ISBN-13: 978-0451470935


About the Book:

Get bound up in murder in the first Lighthouse Library mystery!

For ten years Lucy has enjoyed her job poring over rare tomes of literature for the Harvard Library, but she has not enjoyed the demands of her family’s social whorl or her sort-of-engagement to the staid son of her father’s law partner. But when her ten-year relationship implodes, Lucy realizes that the plot of her life is in need of a serious rewrite.

Calling on her aunt Ellen, Lucy hopes that a little fun in the Outer Banks sun—and some confections from her cousin Josie’s bakery—will help clear her head. But her retreat quickly turns into an unexpected opportunity when Aunt Ellen gets her involved in the lighthouse library tucked away on Bodie Island.

Lucy is thrilled to land a librarian job in her favorite place in the world. But when a priceless first edition Jane Austen novel is stolen and the chair of the library board is murdered, Lucy suddenly finds herself ensnared in a real-life mystery—and she’s not so sure there’s going to be a happy ending.... 

Note: I was finally able to read the entire series in March 2018 (my TBR pile is pretty tall) and am just now able to write reviews for them. You'll see reviews for the rest of the series soon - including The Spook in the Stacks, book 4, releasing in June 2018. 

By Book or By Crook is a wonderful first book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series by Eva Gates. The premise of a library inside a historic lighthouse is what drew me to the series. I'm glad I found my way to North Carolina and into the Lighthouse Library Mysteries. The setting is wonderful and perfect for a cozy mystery series. The author does a great job with character development and world building throughout the series.

Lucy leaves her job at Harvard Library and her 10-year relationship with Ricky to spend some time in the Outer Banks with her Aunt Ellen and cousin Josie. Hoping to work through her relationship woes, Lucy instead finds that she fits in among most of the residents in the Outer Banks. Things being to look even brighter when she obtains a job in the local library - a library that just happens to be housed inside a historical lighthouse. Unfortunately, after clearly indicating at a library function that he plans to eliminate Lucy's position, the chair of the library is found dead on one of the upper floors of the lighthouse library. Lucy and her boss, Bertie, are now prime suspects in his death.

To make matters worse, there is a thief among them. The library has been authorized to house a genuine set of first edition Jane Austen novels. Someone is pilfering them one at a time, making not only the library look bad, but also the employees charged to care for the collection. Instead of just having to worry about a murderer, now Lucy, Bertie, the police, and library employees have to keep a look out for a thief. 

Lucy is a wonderful character. She may come from money but she doesn't act like it or flaunt her family's riches. She's pretty down-to-earth and likeable. I love Charlene's obsession of rap music and her passion for wanting to share. There is the potential for a love triangle but it doesn't overstep the mysterious death of Mr. Uppiton or the thefts of the Jane Austin books. All of the secondary characters are unique in their own way and believable. Oh, and how could I forget about Charles?! The library cat is a delightful addition to the cast.

The story is well paced, enjoyable, and full of suspense. The author did a wonderful job describing the characters and scenery within the book. I was able to visualize the story as it played out. An enjoyable start to the Lighthouse Library series, Book or by Crook is engaging, doesn't divulge the suspect right away, and keeps the reader guessing. I enjoyed the book a lot.

I purchased this book myself.

My Rating:

Promo Blitz ~ A Murder on Wall Street (A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book One) Owen Parr Crime Mystery

A Murder on Wall Street
Owen Parr

Crime Mystery

Date Published: January 2017

A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book One

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About the Book:

Can a priest, his brother, and the brother's girlfriend solve a murder case and see justice done—or will they be the murderer's latest victim?

A Murder on Wall Street takes us inside the world of Captain O'Brian's Irish Pub and Cigar Bar in Manhattan, a legendary hotspot in the Financial District. Investigating the death are pub owners Joey Mancuso, fired from the NYPD for his unorthodox methods, and his brother Father Dominic, who isn't your typical priest. Also investigating is Marcy Martinez, a Cuban bombshell and FBI agent who's Joey's girlfriend. When a customer kills himself after celebrating the night before, the three know something's wrong. Turns out, the customer's death coincides with people losing money, and lots of it—and some of those people are very, very dangerous.

The apparent suicide of a hedge fund executive and the hit and run accident of his assistant leads Mancuso, Father O'Brian, and FBI Special Agent Martinez into the underworld of Wall Street. Money laundering, insider trading, and a Ponzi scheme are but a few of the crimes they uncovered, as they try and piece together this crime-ridden puzzle.

Joey Mancuso spent sixteen years in the NYPD earning his First Grade Detective shield and becoming one of the most successful homicide detectives. His last case, the murder of a homeless person in an alley behind the famed 21 Club, went unsolved. Political pressure undermined the case, as Joey's efforts led him to a congressional candidate and a Wall Street major donor with political juice. His efforts to continue the investigation in spite of the pushback caused his forced retirement from the NYPD. The Internal Affairs Division has sealed his file warning him to cease or else.

Now a half-owner, with his half-brother, Catholic priest, Father Mancuso, of an Irish pub, he continues his quest to solve crimes. Both are private investigators and together with Joey's girlfriend, FBI agent Marcy, set out to bring to justice perpetrators of crimes, law enforcement is ignoring.

Fast-paced, suspenseful and thrilling, A Murder on Wall Street is one case you'll want to solve yourself. But the ending is unexpected, as the puzzle finally comes together in this page-turner you won't want to put down.


Other books in the Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery Series:

A Murder on Long Island
A Joey Mancuso Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book Two

The Manhattan Red Ribbon Killer
A Joey Mancuso - Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book 3

The Case of the Antiquities Collector
A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book Four

Meet the Author:

Award winning author Owen Parr was born in Havana, Cuba, and later growing up in Miami. He enjoys reading fiction to transport himself to another world. And in his writing, he does that for his readers in a very successful way. His readers are fully wrapped in the plots and have fallen in love with his amazing characters. Published author of articles in trade magazines. Hobby painter of acrylics on canvas and middle of the road golfer, Owen spends his day still employed in the financial advice industry. Married at the age of nineteen he pursued a career in electrical engineering until boredom set in. From there he went to own and operate his own multi-branch real estate firm and licensing school. Since 1986 he has been employed in the financial advice industry. During this time, he has written articles for the local paper, blogs and screenplays that he is now converting into fictional novels.

Parr won the Solo Medalist Winner New Apple Literary Services for "Mystery" in 2017 for his A MURDER ON WALL STREET. This follows his 2016 Solo Medalist Award with “Operation Raven -The Dead Have Secrets" in the same category, and the IACM "Best Crime Author-Gold" also in 2016.

Readers have compared Owen's novels to classics from Robert Ludlum and Michaels Connelly. One reader wrote: "If Ludlum and Connelly wrote a novel together, it would be an Owen Parr novel."

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Madonna Model by T.L. Ashton ~ Women’s Fiction ~ @Apocalipstick_ @RABTBookTours

The Madonna Model
T.L. Ashton

Women’s Fiction

Date Published: April 2018

Publisher: Dryads Green Associates, Inc.

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About the Book:

Jillian Warner journeys to the heart of today's art world, to learn how much true love is left in it. She soon discovers that there are as many fake people as forged paintings. Jillian lands a job as an American art specialist at Lyon's, a major New York City auction house. She wins a tough fight against sexism in the workplace, only to be defeated in her personal relationships by the doubtful provenance of the men she loves. She prefers Wyeth to Warhol, but is challenged by men who want to see her only as an abstract expression rather than the real woman she is. Then Tom Linde, a surgeon who worked with her mother at a voluntary medical mission in Afghanistan, returns having lost an arm to a land mine blast. Can they defeat a talented art forger with designs on Jillian?

Meet the Author:

TL Ashton writes books for smart sexy women. They know that smart is sexy because love lives in the brain, where we experience ultimate union. These women have been to college and now face the paramount challenge of the work place. They want their vision and talent to be recognized because the self-respect that comes with success leads to genuine love that wants to realize our fullest potential. They learn that they matter, and because they do, they can overcome male fear of just who they are. Ashton started in New York City and expects to end there, but has lived in Los Angeles, Manilla, Djakarta, Paris, London, and for long stretches in the Turks and Caicos. After attending four other schools, Ashton was granted a degree by Columbia University and spent several years telling people how good Keats and Shelley truly are. But Ashton left Lotus Land because the challenges needed for personal growth were missing, and took a publishing job in New York. That in turn led to an invitation from the CEO of a major Wall Street firm to head up strategic communications. That experience was captured in a superb debut novel, "Ms. Money," which women in finance have enjoyed. Having invested in American art, Ashton left Wall Street to head up an art gallery, leading to the very recent publication of a second novel, "The Madonna Model." Not chick lit or women’s fiction, these are books about female empowerment. Ashton is currently reading the auction catalogue for the estate of Zsa Zsa Gabor, who was married nine times and insisted, “I want to choose the man. I do not permit men to choose me.”

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