Murder at the Columbarium by Emily Gallo #BookReview #RBRT @TheEmilyGallo

Cover: Murder at the Columbarium
by Emily Gallo

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Jed’s quiet life as caretaker of the San Francisco Columbarium is turned upside down when he comes upon a dead woman’s body and a crying baby just inside the gate. His search for answers thrusts him into a world of corruption, bigotry and drug trafficking and he becomes one of the principal suspects.

Genre(s): > Mysteries (Kindle Store)
> Literature & Fiction (Kindle Store)
> Mysteries (Books)
Series: n.a.
Length: 387 pages
Release date: 2018-09-23

Teaser


…Jed watched as the two men climbed the stairs. He took a rag and went upstairs as well. He started wiping down the front of the niches as he tracked the pair. They stopped in front of Francesca Balducci’s apartment and the better-dressed man crossed himself while the larger man stood to the side. Jed decided to move away at that point. He didn’t know much about Francesca Balducci. Her niche was one of the more traditional ones: a picture of an old woman, a brass urn, a crucifix, and a vase with some withered flowers He would look her up to see when she had been put in her apartment. He doubted it had been more than a year ago. She hadn’t had any visitors that Jed remembered. He was pretty sure that  this man had not been here before…


My Opinion

This book focuses on the Columbarium’s caretaker Jed and how his life changes when finding a murdered young woman on the premises.

With “Murder at the Columbarium”, Emily Gallo has created a well-elaborated and intriguing story about Jed and his friends. The story comprises a variety of characters with sufficient depth, interesting turns, food for thought, and a great flow. I was drawn into the story right away, close to Jed, his wife, their friends; captivated by what this story had to offer. I had a great time reading “Murder at the Columbarium”. It is a memorable story; I enjoyed reading about Jed who is warm-hearted and determined.

This is for you if you like steady-paced mysteries, stories that let you follow along and inspire your own train of thoughts, as well as books you would like to read again because their stories are unforgettable.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (few mild swearwords)
Violence :mrgreen: – 😳  (some violence without too many details)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (some mentions without details)

 

About the author

“I View My Life In 3 Stages”

Emily Kaufman was the girl growing up in Manhattan in the fifties and sixties. In the sixties and seventies, I attended Clark University and lived in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Seattle doing the hippie/peace/love/protest thing.

In the eighties and nineties, Emily Saur lived in Northampton, MA and Davis, CA and was the more conventional wife, mother of two, and elementary school teacher.

In 2006, I retired from teaching and became Emily Gallo when I married David, a professor of economics, and moved to Chico, CA to continue our journey. I started writing screenplays and television and moved into novels. David, Gracie (our Schillerhound), Savali (our cat) and I now divide our time between two and a half acres of gardens, orchards in Chico and a 750 square foot condo on the beach in Carpinteria, CA.

Connect with the author:

Website:  https://www.emilygallo.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TheEmilyGallo
Amazon:  Emily Gallo
Buy links:  https://books2read.com/u/4NQBj8


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “Murder at the Columbarium”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Murder at the Columbarium” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


 

 

 

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Christmas Cupcakes & a Caper (Death by Cupcake, #4) by D.E. Haggerty #BookReview #RBRT @dehaggerty

Christmas Cupcakes & a Caper
(Death by Cupcake, #4)
by D.E. Haggerty

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

It’s all candy cane cupcakes and peppermint coffee until you find a dead elf on your doorstep.

Only the elf wasn’t a real elf, because elves don’t actually exist – not even at Christmas time. A college student dressed like an elf decided taking a nap on the stoop of Callie’s Cakes in sub-zero winter temps was a good idea. It wasn’t. Anna, the pink-haired baker extraordinaire, is convinced the student’s death was not an accident. She drags Callie and Kristie along with her as she attempts to discover who killed the elf … um… student.

Will the gals of Callie’s Cakes find the killer before Christmas is ruined?

Cupcakes not included, although you’ll find recipes for all the delicious Christmas cupcakes Anna bakes.

Genre(s): > Amateur Sleuth Mysteries (Kindle Store)
> Cozy Culinary Mystery
> Holiday Romance (Kindle Store)
Series: Death by Cupcake, #4
Length: 113 pages
Release date: 2019-11-01

Teaser


“Why are you going? What are you planning?”

“Murderers like to go to the funerals of their victims.” Anna and her love of pop psychology strike again. “Besides, it worked before.”

To my frustration, I can’t contradict her. It did work before. It being finding a murderer at a memorial service. “Totally different situation. I was accused of murdering Dolly. We had no choice but to investigate when it turned out the detectives on the case were incompetent.”


My Opinion

This book focuses on the ‘Callie’s Cakes’ gang trying to find out who murdered the dead student on their doorstep.

With “Christmas Cupcakes & a Caper”, D. E. Haggerty has created an expertly worded and funny suspense story with a romantic touch. The story comprises a broad variety of believable characters with sufficient depth, hilarious moments, and interesting interactions to solve the case of the murdered college student. I had a great time reading “Christmas Cupcakes & a Caper” – it is a very fun read. I was drawn into the story right away, chuckling about the stubborn protagonists, shaking my head – a lot because of Anna; for me, Callie and Kristie are a great counterpoint for Anna.

This is for you if you like female amateur sleuths, stubborn and determined women, hilarious situations as well as a great combination of cosy suspense, humour, and romance.

A funny and suspenseful book to read again.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (appropriate)
Violence :mrgreen:  (some mentions)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent enough)

 

About the author

I grew-up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to “Little Women”. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Connect with the author:

Website:  http://dehaggerty.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/dehaggerty
Amazon:  D. E. Haggerty
Buy links:  https://books2read.com/u/mgGJLv


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “Christmas Cupcakes & a Caper”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Christmas Cupcakes & a Caper” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


 

 

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Behind the Fire Wall (Programagic Cycle, #01) by Anton Eine #BookReview #RBRT @AntonEine

Cover: Behind the Fire Wall
(Programagic Cycle, #01)
by Anton Eine

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

When the Pentagonal Citadel’s Fire Wall is breached as a result of a robbery, giving the perpetrators access to the most dangerous artifacts stored in the Vault, Magister Sajar Randhar finds himself in hot water.

His security clearance is pulled and he’s placed under house arrest for the entire duration of the investigation. But who could have hacked the most impregnable security system in the entire Murican Empire? How did they manage it in the first place? And why remove Sajar from the investigation instead of having him cooperate with the authorities?

The veteran mage is left with no other choice but to take the investigation into his own hands. The case is incredibly complex, but with his great experience and top-notch skills as a magic security specialist, there’s no better man for the job.

Genre(s): > 90-Minute Literature & Fiction Short Reads
> 90-Minute Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Reads
> Hard Science Fiction (Kindle Store)
Series: Programagic Cycle, #01
Length: 49 pages
Release date: 2019-09-23
Translator: Mark Berelekhis

 

Teaser


“OK, I’m sick of your fossilized wisecracks by now,” Spirit interrupted me, donning a businesslike dress suit this time, with tactically disheveled short black hair and toned-down makeup. “Give me a second. I just don’t get it. Why would you suspect yourself in the first place? How could you have gotten into a place that no one can reach – just Pat with his Code Zero?”

I squirmed a little. Could I entrust her with a secret of this sort? Would she betray me? On the other hand, if I couldn’t trust Spirit, I couldn’t trust anyone at all. 


My Opinion

This book focuses on mage Sajar Randhar, magic security specialist, who is suddenly suspected of a – major security breach!

With “Behind the Fire Wall”, Anton Eine has created a thrilling short story that kept me glued to my E-reader. This short story comprises two believable characters with sufficient depth and dialogues that sometimes made me grin. I had a great time reading “Behind the Fire Wall” – it is a very thrilling read. I was drawn into the story right away, getting closer to Sahar and Spirit, page by page. I am looking forward to reading more!

This is for you if you like computing, science fiction, savvy protagonists, entertaining dialogue, as well as mysteries and thrillers.

A suspenseful and entertaining short story to read again; it is the very promising first in a new series.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Mood Mysterious
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language 😳  (medium swearwords)
Violence :mrgreen: – 😳  (mentions of measures)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (some hints)

 

About the author

Anton Eine is sci-fi and techno-fantasy author from Kyiv, Ukraine.

After building his successful carrier in marketing, he decided to let his creativity writing fantastic fiction books to actualize numerous ideas he had in his mind for years.

Anton is passionate about food (and some drinks of course!), photography, animals (especially wild cats) and rock music. He likes embedding his hobbies into the fantastic canvas of his writings and to share that passion with readers.

Anton Eine officially can’t stand any limits and boundaries, so his books usually step out of the box of traditional genres, crossing the edges of conventional storytelling and blurring the borders of common thinking.

Author of superhero series “Maze City” and technomancy series “Programagic,” also known for short sci-fi stories “The Cleansing”, “Sincerely Yours, Lucifer”, “Plus Ten”, “Post-molecular Comfort Food”, “The Pyramids of an Alien World” and others.

Connect with the author:

Website:  https://www.antoneine.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AntonEine
Amazon:  Anton Eine
Buy links:  https://books2read.com/u/3RaZ1D


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “Behind the Fire Wall”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Behind the Fire Wall” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


 

 


Review: My New Superjob by Anton Eine

 

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My New Superjob (Maze City, #1) by Anton Eine #BookReview #RBRT @AntonEine

Cover: My New Superjob
(Maze City, #1)
by Anton Eine

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Have you ever wanted to be a superhero? The city’s defender against crime, violence, and all sorts of sicko nastiness?

When one day she stumbled upon a strange help wanted ad claiming that the city was looking for a superhero, Samantha Washington, a former Ranger commander, was sure it was a joke. She sent in a resume anyway.

Will the ad turn out to be somebody’s dumb idea of a prank, a practical stunt, a cunning maniac’s clever trap, or… a real opportunity leading to a difficult and dangerous future occupation?

Now that she has allowed herself be drawn inextricably into a whole chain of strange events, Samantha will have to figure it all out on her own. And she’ll have to do it face to face with her own deepest fears.

Genre(s): > Superhero Science Fiction
> War & Military Action Fiction (Kindle Store)
> Women’s Adventure Fiction (Books)
Series: Maze City, #1
Length: 45 pages
Release date: 2019-04-26
Translator: John William Narrins

 

Teaser


“Honestly? Yes. On average, male candidates have greater physical strength, which is a significant parameter for the current position. But we don’t live in the on-average world, we live in the real world, where I’m happy to consider each candidacy for what it is, irrespective of sex and biological species.”

“I’m almost afraid to ask whether that’s sarcasm or if you’re serious.”

“Let’s call ist… serious sarcasm,” said Mark, with a shrug. 


My Opinion

This book focuses on an interview between “Mark” and Samantha, the latter being in dire need of a paying job.

With “My New Superjob”, Anton Eine has created a very funny short story with more than a superhero touch. The story was initially planned to be just one short story – this would have been our (the readers’) loss. This short story comprises two believable characters with sufficient depth and hilarious dialogue. I had a great time reading “My New Superjob” – it is a very fun read. I was drawn into the story right away, getting closer to Samantha, page by page. I am looking forward to reading more!

This is for you if you like female protagonists, great – and fun – dialogue, as well as the superhero topic.

A fun and somehow suspenseful short story to read again; it is the very promising first in a new series.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Mood Mysterious and weird (for the protagonist)
Mysterious and hilarious (for the reader)
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language 😳  (medium swearwords)
Violence :mrgreen: – 😳  (mentions of measures, weapons and war)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (none)

 

About the author

Anton Eine is sci-fi and techno-fantasy author from Kyiv, Ukraine.

After building his successful carrier in marketing, he decided to let his creativity writing fantastic fiction books to actualize numerous ideas he had in his mind for years.

Anton is passionate about food (and some drinks of course!), photography, animals (especially wild cats) and rock music. He likes embedding his hobbies into the fantastic canvas of his writings and to share that passion with readers.

Anton Eine officially can’t stand any limits and boundaries, so his books usually step out of the box of traditional genres, crossing the edges of conventional storytelling and blurring the borders of common thinking.

Author of superhero series “Maze City” and technomancy series “Programagic,” also known for short sci-fi stories “The Cleansing”, “Sincerely Yours, Lucifer”, “Plus Ten”, “Post-molecular Comfort Food”, “The Pyramids of an Alien World” and others.

Connect with the author:

Website:  https://www.antoneine.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AntonEine
Amazon:  Anton Eine
Buy links:  https://books2read.com/u/bWBoA1


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “My New Superjob”?  Or – if you did not yet read “My New Superjob” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


 

 

 

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Not Knowing by Donna Dechen Birdwell #BookReview #RBRT @donnadechen

Cover: Not Knowing
by Donna Dechen Birdwell

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

When Meg was a little girl, Abuela María predicted she would travel to the moon.

Now she’s an archaeologist digging up Mayan ruins in Belize while trying to keep her own past buried beneath hard work and professional responsibility. It isn’t working. The summer of 2022 seems destined to push all of Meg’s buttons—her deep-seated aversion to marijuana and guns and the unwanted presence of a boy who reminds her of a certain horrific summer in Mexico. Digging deeper only unearths more questions. And then her husband buys a lottery ticket for the first tourist flight to the moon. What Meg doesn’t want to know may yet be her redemption.

Genre(s): > Contemporary Women’s Fiction
> Contemporary Women Fiction
> Contemporary Literature & Fiction
Series: n.a.
Length: 327 pages
Release date: 2019-07-20

Teaser


I drifted easily to sleep. It was good sleep but somewhere near morning, I began to dream. At first it was just one of those dreams of childhood, being in the old home place, catching the aromas from the kitchen – bread baking, chicken frying – and then playing hide-and-seek with my big brother among the bins and bushes of our neighborhood without fences. But then it shifted.


My Opinion

This book focuses on archaeologist Meg Fitzellen, spending her summer at ‘her’ Mayan ruin site in Belize; for her, digging in ancient history is more pleasant than reminders of her own past. Insights and Belizean events still have an influence on her after returning home to Texas.

With “Not Knowing”, Donna Dechen Birdwell has created a nicely developing and intense story about Meg Fitzellen. The story comprises a variety of characters with sufficient depth, interesting turns, archaelogical knowledge, and has a good flow. I was drawn into the story right away, close to Meg and Seth; captivated by what their story had to offer. I had a good time reading “Not Knowing” – also a great source of food for thought.

“Not Knowing” may be categorised ‘Contemporary Women’s Fiction’ – it offers a lot more. I enjoyed the human touch, the dreams, as well as the little mysteries; a story not easily forgotten.

This is for you if you like female protagonists, stories that let you follow along and inspire your own train of thoughts, as well as books you would like to read again.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Mainly: First person – past tense
In dreams: first person – present tense
Ending – present tense
Language :mrgreen:  (few mild swearwords)
Violence :mrgreen: – 😳  (some violence in retrospective)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (some mentions without details)

 

About the author

Donna Dechen Birdwell is creator of a haunting dystopian 22nd-century world in her RECALL CHRONICLES, which began with Way of the Serpent in 2015. Her writing is informed by a lifetime as a student of humanity and her travels to many countries, several of which (Belize, Ireland, Nepal) have become her “homes away from home”.  Donna is convinced that storytelling is one of our most powerful social mechanisms, imagination our most precious human trait.

Before anthropology, Donna was a journalist, and beyond anthropology she became an artist and photographer. As an artist, she is largely self-taught and her work has been primarily in acrylics on handmade Nepali lokta paper. She maintained an art studio in East Austin for a number of years, participating in EAST Austin Studio Tours from 2011 through 2014. Her primary photographic interest is in Miksang comtemplative photography.

Donna’s paintings and photographs have been displayed at ASmith photographic gallery in Johnson City, Austin Bergstrom International Airport (February 15 – May 20, 2014), Glovinsky Gallery in Denver, CO, Dragonfly Gallery (Austin), Gallery Black Lagoon (Austin), The Art Studio Inc. (Beaumont), and Frederick Gallery (Fredericksburg, VA). Her work was included in St. Louis Women’s Caucus for Art catalog of “Contemporary Women Artists XVI: Longevity.”

Donna holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Southern Methodist University and previously taught at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

Connect with the author:

Website:  https://donnadechenbirdwell.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/donnadechen
Amazon:  Donna Dechen Birdwell
Buy links:  https://books2read.com/u/bM9E0k


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “Not Knowing”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Not Knowing” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


 

 

 

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