Thursday, April 5, 2018

Misfortune of Song: Druid's Brooch Series #5 by Christy Nicholas

·         Misfortune of Song: Druid’s Brooch Series #5. Christy Nicholas. Tirgearr Publishing. Copyright April 2018. pb.  257 pp.; ASIN B079VHSGMH. 

Orlagh is the apple of her grandfather, Maelan’s eye.  They live in Ceann-Coradh, near Cill Dalua, Hibernia, a place where love and obedience to the law of the clan is everything.  Melan believes Orlagh has a warrior spirit and admires her spunkiness, that is until she catches the eye of a visiting bard, Temuirr, a man who sings and plays the harp as beautifully as a dream.  At first it’s just flirting but they come close to consummating their love.  Orlagh then commits an act that will make her shed tears for years!

Now in the middle of all this passion bursting out, severing and binding family, friends and those of far-off clans, we have the “Fae” or fairies living alongside humans.  They are virtuous and evil and they have great powers; however, some of these powers need human cooperation.  Only a certain metal can keep the evil Fae from attacking humans; but once one has earned the devotion of the virtuous, devoted Fae, a bond of the deepest love and care endures whatever challenges arrive. 

Temuirr and Orlagh marry and passionately enjoy their early life together, that is until Orlagh discovers that Temuirr has lovers in every town he has ever visited.  Instead of leaving the past behind, this knowledge begins to break their infatuation, especially for Orlagh. 

Without spoiling a roller-coaster ride plot, suffice to say Orlagh is captured by her grandfather but pursued by her husband.  A viciously violent battle follows with evil powers of the Fae but the loyal Fae help end this horrific clash with the humans victorious – almost!  A magic brooch leaves both Maelan and later Orlagh with amazing supernatural powers!

This is an amazing, almost legend-like, story that is initially light reading but which turns into a huge conflict in which sacrifices are made, the price of deeply loving and protecting those who are loved!  Passion in song, dialogue, and nature abounds in these pages.  Readers who love Celtic history and legends, as well as a rollicking romance and adventure, will find Misfortune of Song… a delightful experience.  Nicely crafted with tremendous imagination and passion!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Why Kill the Innocent: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery by C. S. Harris

Why Kill the Innocent: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery. C. S. Harris. Penguin Publishing Group. Copyright April 2018. pb. 352 pp.; ISBN: 9780399585623.

Jane Ambrose is music instructor to Princess Charlotte, the presumptive heir (before Victoria) to the throne in England in London in 1814.  The Regent of Charlotte is doing everything in his power to get the Princess engaged to royalty in Denmark so that he can continue his rule unopposed.  Jane is a brilliant composer although as a woman she cannot publish her works under her own name.  A tragedy, however, cuts short her life and it is Sebastian St. Cyr’s wife, Hero, who finds Jane’s broken body in the snowy streets of London.  Certain clues, however, indicate that Jane was murdered elsewhere but the killer obviously dragged her body into the street thinking the awful snowstorm would hide her, allowing the murderer to escape any chance of arrest.

The famous couple sets out to investigate the crime and all clues lead back very close to the seat of royalty.  Hero also demonstrates a compassionate side in assisting the wives of men who have been impressed into the Royal Navy, leaving wives and children penniless and often homeless.

It also turns out that Jane’s husband was a violent man who just might have discovered Jane knew a secret that would have necessitated him permanently silencing her.  Jane’s brother is an enigmatic character who was formerly imprisoned for speaking out against government policies.  He also has a huge secret which might be lethal but will actually be elicited as something even more amazing. 

This is a non-stop, page-flipping, wild and intriguing romp through London’s fashionable, aristocratic society as well as in the dregs of poverty on the “other” side of London.  Murderers, however, are fierce but cowardly creatures who think too highly of themselves.  Several more characters will die by the time Sebastian and Hero immediately after the famous winter Frost Fair have it all figured out, the reader never suspecting the “who done it” side of the mystery.

This is a fine historical mystery that will delight all lovers of the genre and many more besides.  Plan on staying up late as this is a novel one can’t put down until the last page is finished!  Finely crafted, C. S. Harris; a real treat!

Monday, April 2, 2018

The Cat Burglars: The Accidental Adventures of Kurt Benson and his friends Riley and Jordan, Episode 1 by Max Elliot Anderson

The Cat Burglars: The Accidental Adventures of Kurt Benson and his friends Riley and Jordan, Episode 1. Max Elliot Anderson. Elk Lake Publishing. Copyright March 2016. pb 108 pp.; ISBN #: 978194430405. Tweens Reading - Ages 8 and older. 

Kurt, Riley and Jordan work at the local kennel, Pletchers’ Bed and Biscuit, where neighbors leave their animals while on vacation.  The work is hard but they enjoy the animals and chatting while they work.  One day in particular brings their attention to focus on wondering about a series of local burglaries.  At first they can’t quite figure it out and talk about it as a passing conversation.

These are just normal kids working and having fun.  They also have a great sense of humor as when they were talking about owners who look like their animals.

One day the boys notice something strange, a man taking the list of boarders from a clipboard, making a copy of it and shoving it in his pocket.  No spoilers here.  The remainder of the mystery is how the boys become alert watchers and investigators and eventually heroes of the town.  But in the process of this plot happening and getting more serious, the boys find themselves in a very dangerous situation.

Max Elliot Anderson has a knack for knowing how to craft great spy novels for Tweens, as well as holding their attention and making them want to read similar stories with different twists.  Nice read, Mr. Anderson!