I was super excited to get my hands on an ARC of Another Kind of Eden by James Lee Burke (the latest installment of the Holland family saga). It didn’t disappoint!
In this installment, set in the 1960’s Aaron Holland Broussard heads west trying to outrun his demons from Vietnam, get his writing career off the ground, and in Denver he begins working on a farm where he meets Joanne- the girl who may just be his soulmate. Only Joanne is mixed up with a professor who is mixed up with some shady cult-type people who don’t want to let her go and focus on in Aaron. Now Aaron must fight for both of their lives.
Mr. Burke was my introduction into adult reading/literature when I was 11-12 years old and read Black Cherry Blues (still my favorite book of his!). I’ve since read everything he’s written. He was even kind enough to email with me and assist when I used A Tin Roof Blowdown as a basis for a literature project in college.
I’ve learned over the years of reading his novels (we won’t discuss how many years that’s been😉) that his writing is dependable. It’s consistently great! The characters are always well developed, the plot always moves along at a decent pace (sometimes slower than others, but there’s always “that moment” and it picks up), the stories are character driven, and you feel something. The Robicheaux novels will always have my heart, but the Holland family is fantastic!
Clete here (yes, he’s named after THAT Clete- my husband thought of that. He’s also a huge fan!) thinks that you should pick it up and give it a try when it releases August 17!
*This can be read as a stand-alone, but as always, is better if read as part of the series so as not to miss small details.
Kate Darby has returned to the Peculiar PD. Last year she was shot in the line of duty, and she has been on leave for a year while she was in rehab and was recovering. When she returns, she is faced with some new faces, a rough couple of days that involves her partner being forced to shoot a man that leads to an IA investigation, and facing her own (very real) demons. When the ghost of Payoso comes back to haunt her, will Kate be able to hold herself together long enough to prove to herself and everyone else that she is really ready to be back, or will she fall apart and let him win this round?
This is the third installment in the Kate Darby series by Jamie Lee Scott, and I am enjoying this series more as it progresses. This book picked up a year after the second book ended, so some time has passed for the MC. As she makes her return to the department and the field, the reader can feel the bit of trepidation that she has. When all of the events begin to unfold and the “hauntings” begin, the reader can once again feel just the slightest bit of fear and panic in Kate as she tries to solve the mysteries surrounding her before it is too late. Scott did an amazing job at conveying all of Kate’s emotions through her words, and she really made me go through them with her. The action, mystery, and realness were definitely there, as they have been in the rest of the series. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite series to read, and I am already anticipating the fourth book!
This is a full story, so you could read it as a standalone if you wish. I highly recommend starting at the beginning, however, since the stories do build on one another and you’ll get a much clearer picture that way. There’s only three, so go ahead and dive in!
This year feels like it has flown by, and we are getting close to my favorite time of the year: Fall!! Unfortunately, for me, this year the Fall season is bringing me back to school. I’ve decided to pursue another degree, and I start back in September. That means that I am trying to get in as much fun reading as I can this month!
I am going to try to get through as many of these as possible before the Fall quarter starts:
I am currently reading Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, which I am enjoying. I’m also making my way through Preacher for the first time, and wondering why I’ve waited so long to read it!
What are your reading plans for August? Do you have any big upcoming plans for fall?
I hope you’ve all had a great week! Mine has been absolutely crazy, but I had to make time to spotlight one of my favorite mystery authors, Jamie Lee Scott!
This week, I’d like to boost Let Us Prey. This is the first book in Jamie’s Gotcha Detective Agency series.
If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll probably recognize this series, as it’s ongoing and I’ve recently reviewed book twelve, Love is a Many Splintered Thing. This is a really fun murder mystery/PI series, with some great humor and snark. The story definitely evolves as the series continues. The author did edit the book after some initial reviews, and removed some of the more crude language that was in the first edition.
If you’re a fan of lighter mysteries in the arena of Jana DeLeon, Janet Evanovich, or Joanne Fluke, I think you’ll enjoy this series.
Charles Holborne is a Jewish Barrister from the East End who is ostracized by his classist colleagues who don’t want him to be a part of their profession. Welcome to the 60’s! All of his feelings and anger are taking a toll on his relationships, especially with his wife whose family family believes that she married beneath her. He’s hopeful that the case that he just landed will turn things around for him, but a crime is committed that may may just make things even worse.
I am a big fan of British mysteries and thrillers, and this was no exception. The author obviouslyhas knowledge of the legal system, as he did a wonderful job of detailing the system without making it sound bogged down like an essay. I really enjoyed the 1960’s setting. It made for a most interesting setting and set up for this story. The plot moved along at a really nice pace with very few slow areas. The characters were all very well developed. The main character was complex and one that I could really root for, even when I might have questioned his actions a bit. He was a bit of an anti-hero, which I love in any story. The story had enough twists and turns to keep me intrigued. I’ll definitely be picking up the sequel to see what happens next in Charles’ story!
Kate Darby grew up in foster care, as her mother was a drug addict and alcoholic. Although she grew up not trusting the police, she is now an officer in the small town of Peculiar, TX doing her best to keep her town safe. As she’s heading in to the end of what has, up until this point, been an uneventful shift, Kate attempts to stop a care for a minor traffic violation. Instead of stopping, the Mercedes takes off on her, leads her on a chase, flips, and the driver runs for it. If that weren’t bad enough, there’s a dead body in the trunk. Now Kate has to go to the reading of the will of a grandfather that she never knew existed before working this case with her rookie partner and her ex-husband (who’s also her Sergeant). No big deal, right?
This is the first in a new series from Jamie Lee Scott, author of the Gotcha Detective Agency Mystery and Willa Friday Food & Wine Mystery series’. I always enjoy Jamie’s books, but this one was very different from her other works in a wonderful way. It was much darker and grittier, but definitely still has her voice. The characters are all incredibly well developed and fleshed out, including all of the secondary characters. They all had a great foundational story built in this first book, and the ending just left me wanting more! I can’t wait for the second book in the series, Bang Switch, which is coming this month!
Mimi and Nick have gotten married and have settled in to their beautiful new home. Married life seems to be going well, and all seems to be just perfect. But is anything ever really as perfect as it seems? Something always has to come along and rock the boat. When Charles offers Mimi cruise tickets as a way to escape the chaos she, of course, jumps at the opportunity. With Charles and Mimi on board, though, a relaxing cruise was never going to be just a relaxing cruise!
It was so much fun to be back in the world of the Gotcha Detective Agency! I had been waiting to see what happened after the end of book eleven, and book twelve did not disappoint! The ongoing storyline just got better, and the new mystery was a lot of fun. There was a bit of a “closed-door” mystery feel to it, as it was on a ship with limited access and limited suspects. Those have always been some of my favorite mysteries to read. The central characters have, of course, been well fleshed out over the course of twelve books. Scott did a wonderful job, however, with the introduction of the new characters and giving them great personalities, stories, and giving me a reason to feel some way about them. She also succeeded in giving this book great setting and atmosphere, as it was set mostly in a different setting than the usual Gotcha book. Overall, it was the reading experience that I was waiting for, and I’m looking forward to the next one!
Eva Montreaux is a Marine, but not a “normal” Marine. She is part of a program that creates biologically enhanced military personnel. She and her team, NEO 17 (comprised of several supernatural beings), have been sent to Okinawa on two missions. The first is to find out who or what has been serially killing the American troops stationed there. The second is a civil mission, to attempt to create peace amongst the locals and the troops, as there has been much animosity recently. While on patrol one night, Eva runs in to a group of Marines that know her from a deployment before her enhancement. The problem, her memory from that deployment is gone. A side effect of her treatments was amnesia, leaving large gaps in her memory, save for brief flashes of the past. One of those Marines is Gunny Marcos Delacruz. Eva doesn’t remember anything about him, except for his piercing eyes. When she brushes him off, because she can’t explain her memory loss, he seemed incredibly angry although Eva doesn’t understand why. As Eva struggles to reclaim her memory and uncover her past with Marcos, the murders keep piling up. With everything going on on the island, Eva must untangle her feelings and the secrets that Okinawa is harboring.
This is the second book of Carlisle’s that I have read, and it just reminded me that I really need to read more of her work. This was a great outing for her! It was a PNR read, but the “romance” part of the story was not the primary focus of the book. It was more focused on the mysteries- who is murdering American troops, and what is the connection between Eva and Marcos that she can’t remember. The descriptiveness of the setting was great, and made it easy to visualize. The character development was wonderful, for the main characters. It may have been a little bit lacking in the secondary characters, but certainly not enough to take away from the story. It was very well paced, and thoroughly enjoyable. I truly hope that we get watch Eva and Marcos’ story develop.