James Bowen is a street musician struggling to make ends meet. Bob is a stray ginger tom looking for a place to sleep. When James, a recovering heroin addict and a London street musician, discovers a shivering ginger tomcat his dark hallway, he takes pity on the injured cat. On an extremely tight budget, he nurses him back to health and names the cat Bob. Busking (playing a guitar) on the streets in popular places in London, he lets Bob accompany him and the unpredictable happens. A kind gesture turns into an unbreakable bond which becomes James’ salvation as he battles his own demons. Bob’s a ginger tom who has given his master a reason to live. An international best-selling book, you may also enjoy numerous videos on “You Tube” of James and Bob. Look for A Street Cat Named Bob.
Dreading the day, zoo keeper, Theodora “Teddy” Bentley takes Alejandro, the Gunn Zoo llama, to a Monterey Bay area Renaissance Faire to give rides to children. She becomes charmed by Alejandro’s loving way with children, and is stunned when she finds Reverend Victor, the proprietor of a local wedding chapel, shot dead by crossbow in the llama pen. Local law enforcement makes a mess of the investigation by arresting Teddy’s mother. Teddy’s nosiness leads her to discover Victor was not a reverend. He married many people in the community, and those marriages are now void. Who is the killer? Teddy’s prying makes her a prime target. The Llama of Death is a “cozy” mystery with animal lore and a hint of evil, the third entry in the Gunn Zoo series, after The Koala of Death.
Josh Michaels, alone in his cabin in the Colorado mountains and suffering a broken heart over a lost girlfriend, is outraged when a neighbor dumps a very pregnant dog, Lucy, on his doorstep. Josh has never had a dog, much less a pregnant one. But Josh can’t resist her warm brown eyes and is soon in over his head. He seeks help at the local animal shelter, where socially inept Josh meets lovely Kerri. Lucy, malnourished, goes into labor and loses the pups at the local vet’s office. When Josh arrives home with Lucy, he notices a large box in the back of his truck—and finds five abandoned pups—and the adventure begins. The Dogs of Christmas is a heartwarming holiday tale that explores the power of love, trust and a basketful of puppies, as warm and bright as Christmas morning.
In the first book in this trilogy, Adrenaline, (2011), CIA agent Sam Capra’s colleagues were killed in a bomb blast, his wife and child were abducted, and Sam was accused of committing treason. Now, desperate to find his son, Sam agrees to work for an enigmatic group called the Round Table, whose members claim to have vital information that can lead Sam to the boy. The kidnappers have offered a deadly deal. They will return his son if Sam finds the one man who can expose them and murder him. Sam is a likable, morally conflicted hero in a difficult situation. Will he? Thanks to Abbott’s skills as a storyteller we can’t tell whether Sam will commit murder to find his son. Reminiscent of Robert Ludlum, The Last Minute is the second book in a trilogy, which began with Adrenaline (reviewed in an earlier blog). Follow Sam through a third breathtaking adventure in Downfall.
Witty homemaker, Deuce Winters, is the small town of Rose Petal’s unofficial sleuth. Ridiculed by locals as a stay-at-home dad, he ignores the joking and enjoys cooking and caring for his five-year-old daughter and his lovely ten-month pregnant attorney wife, Julie. While sweating hard in the Texas summer heat at a food concession stand for the local fair, Deuce runs to the freezer to get more food–and finds a body in the bratwurst. This Father Knows Death when he finds it! Deuce may not be an expert on food concession stands, but he knows that dead bodies don’t belong in the freezer. Despite his wife’s pleas to not get involved, Deuce can’t resist. Enjoy this funny Texas-based cozy series which began with Stay At Home Dead.
In Taking Eve, Johansen weaves an intricate plot around her character Eve Duncan, her family and her searches for her lost daughter, Bonnie. As her adopted daughter, Jane, is planning to fly home to visit her parents, Eve and Joe Quinn—she is distraught when her beloved dog, Toby is suddenly desperately ill. Flying to mysterious Summer Island where an old friend rehabilitates dogs, she hopes to find an answer before Toby dies. Shock! Toby has been poisoned. Jane is afraid that she was distracted to expose Eve to danger–, but Jane is shot before she can leave the island. Eve has a visitation from her long-ago kidnapped and now dead daughter Bonnie—with grim forebodings. As Joe has gone to testify in court, Eve, hears the news about Jane and departs for the airport—but she disappears. Who is the target? Is Jane in more danger or is it a diabolic plan to kidnap Eve? Eve’s work reconstructing skulls of lost children puts her in contact with dark strangers—A tale with a hair-raising ending is the beginning of a trilogy. Hunting Eve continues the suspense.
Calliope Jenkins, singer turned PI, heads back to Iowa to find her missing business partner, Josh White, who keeps leaving messages for her after his reported death. Following Josh’s trail takes Calliope into the Hidden Lands, an alternate Midwest, where legendary creatures and mighty dragons roam. Provoked by a guide and a goad, Calli learns to confront her own fears of making a life for herself and dealing with losing her best friend. in Hidden Things, debut novelist Testerman, provides a satisfying blend of noir and magic with sweet revelations –a mundane piece of tire tread turns out to be a lilac-scented dragon scale.
Every village has it eccentrics. In Norbold, England, it’s Gabriel Ash, a grief-stricken loner, known locally as “Rambles with Dog” for his long solitary walks about the community. Gabriel is beaten by a gang of local thugs and is taken to a holding cell at the jail when he refuses treatment for his injuries. A cellmate, Jerome, whispers to Gabriel that he expects to die and gives Gabriel a coded message to pass on. Jerome’s last words were, “I had a dog once, Othello.” That night, Jerome is beaten to death in another cell by a drunken berserk prisoner. The police say that Jerome was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But Gabriel doesn’t believe it and teams up with Helen, a rookie cop, to prove it wasn’t an accident. Bannister departs from her Brodie Farrell mysteries in Deadly Virtues, a stand-alone thriller.
Kate is struggling with a commitment to marriage with her beau, Rowan, even after four years of dating. For the first time in her life, she also knows that she won’t fully love until she confronts her past. It’s time to act. Told in alternating time periods, we find that from the tender age of fourteen, Kate and Jack fell in love, but never fell out. Today, Kate fears that her heart may still belong to Jack, the man who fathered their child, a little girl she gave up for adoption thirteen years ago. When the mistakes have been made, and the running is over, it’s time to face the truth. Can she travel to the place where it all began, to the one who shares her secret? Can the lost ever be found?
And Then I Found You gives new life to the phrase “inspired by a true story.” Patti bases her novel on a period in her family’s life and exposes the price of a selfless act.
Caroline Paul was recovering from the crash of her small experimental plane. She was depressed, in a daze from painkillers and thought things couldn’t get worse. But her beloved cat, Tibby, disappeared. She and her partner, illustrator Wendy McNaughton, mourned his loss. After five weeks of calling his name, placing flyers, consulting a psychic,Tibby waltzed back into their lives, fat and healthy. His owners were overjoyed, but they were mystified.Tibby refused to eat and disappeared for a time every day. Where had their sweet anxious cat been and where is he going? This amusing and poignant memoir, Lost Cat, follows their search. Using a GPS unit and a kitty-camera, they tracked his movements around their San Francisco neighborhood. In the process, they managed to cure Caroline’s depression, meet their neighbors and finally figured out where the adventurous Tibby had been.
What does a perfect life look like? Libby, Justin and their beautiful teenage daughter, a gorgeous townhouse in Boston, a multmillion dollar construction business–What more could one want? But, after 16 years, their marriage is falling apart. On a “date” to discuss their personal problems, Justin and Libby arrive home, find the door open, the alarm off –and three menacing men waiting for them. Just as they hear their daughter scream, a touch of a taser changes their lives.Waking from a drug-induced sleep, all three are caged in a small cell in a now-abandoned prison built by non-other than Justin himself. The dark secrets they each harbor threaten everything they hold dear. Tessa Leone, a private investigator and Wyatt Foster, the local sheriff along with the FBI are trying to recover the kidnapped family alive. Why were all three taken? Why are there no calls, no ransom notes? Their lives hang in the balance in Touch and Go.
In a compelling memoir, Bouton, a former senior editor of the New York Times, chronicles her twenty-two year struggle with hearing loss. It started when she had difficulty hearing what her colleagues were saying and it was getting worse. She became profoundly deaf in one ear, and the other had a severe loss. She says hearing loss follows the traditional stages of grief: denial, anger, depression and finally a grudging acceptance. She speaks with doctors, audiologists and a variety of people struggling to cope with hearing loss. She concludes on an encouraging note about ongoing research for a biological cure. Shouting Won’t Help is a deeply felt look at a widespread and misunderstood phenomenon. At present, some 50 million Americans suffer some degree of hearing loss.
“Kevin Olson fell in love with Manhattan history at a young age. But he didn’t know that his encounter with Chief Tatarrax would lead him to write his first book. ‘My spark of history happened …as a small child at an Arts in the Park event, and I wandered off to find a monument of Chief Tatarrax,’ said Olson, now a lawyer in New York City. ‘That’s when I became interested in the history of the area.’ The project started six years ago when Olson was back in Manhattan to visit family during the sesquicentannial.” Hutchnews.com
In Frontier Manhattan, Olson covers the first four decades of Manhattan as it grew from tent to town. When Isaac Goodnow and five fellow New Englanders arrived, they pitched a tent and launched a town. Despite illness, harassment and homesickness, they established an anti-slavery and educational stronghold. His account of Kansa Indian Settlement Blue Earth Village shines a light on pre-history that has been little covered. Spared much of the Bleeding Kansas violence, Manhattan saw its share of shootout and lynchings in its Wild West days. He relates the story of the emigration of New England settlers, the antebellum era and the 1860s in great detail.
Pediatrician Jill Farrow’s idyllic life with her daughter, Megan and her fiance, Sam, is turned upside down when one of her ex-stepdaughters, Abby, arrives on the doorstep at midnight, drunk, soaked to the skin, and crying that her dad, William, Jill’s ex, has been murdered. Despite distaste for her ex and a three-year estrangement from her ex-stepdaughters, Jill is overcome with love and concern for Abby. Jill is propelled into a dangerous cat-and-mouse chase that risks her relationships with Megan and Sam and eventually threatens her life. Come Home is a satisfying thriller with a family story at its core.
In the Big Sky Country of Montana, Sheriff Slade Barlow, the illegitimate son of a wealthy rancher, grew up in a trailer hitched to the Curly-Burly hair salon his mother ran. Suddenly, Slade has inherited half of the most prosperous ranch in Parable, Montana- Whisper Creek Ranch- owned by his father. His father never acknowledged Slade, and his half-brother, Hutch, is shocked and furious by the will his father has made. With a town to protect, a rebellious teenage step-daughter and the return of Joslyn Kirk, an old flame, and a furious half-brother, Slade has his hands full. This new western romance series from Miller continues with Hutch’s story in Big Sky Mountain.