Friday, February 24, 2017

Book Review: In Albuquerque, Abandoned: A Mystery Novel (Cinnamon/Burro New Mexico Mysteries Book 7)

Release Date: September 30, 2016
Publisher: Create Space
Format: Kindle
Pages: 286 pages
Genre: Mystery
Buy: Kindle | Paperback 


Leon wants to rescue a baby abandoned in a dumpster in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His brother, Booth, is killed before Leon has a chance to get the baby. Did Leon kill his brother in order to save the baby? Is there a baby? In this noir crime story, Cinnamon and Burro unravel a closely woven secret, beguile a neurotic police officer, and assist a man with schizophrenia badly in need of treatment. Strange characters with odd habits abound. All the while, Burro uses his visions to search for the baby, the killer, and the long lost Momma, who appears and then disappears from view.


I have not read the other 6 books in this series and I'm thinking that this book may have made more sense if I had.  I feel like I was dumped into the middle of a mystery with people who acted like they knew me and I had no idea who they were.

Leon has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, lives with his brother and his wife and has recently been found every morning in the dumpster outside a school trying to find a baby that he insists is lost.  Cinnamon and Burro are private investigators, who are called in to try to find out the mystery of the baby and try to get Leon to stop coming to the dumpster.  Burro is a diagnosed schizophrenic as well but isn't medicated and gets visions of things that are happening or going to happen.  I don't know much about Cinnamon other than she is looking for her mother, who after much confusion I realize has the same name.

This book felt very disjointed and confusing.  Fifty percent of the book was focused on Leon and his dumpster diving for babies and why he thinks there may be a baby there and the cop who shows up every morning to stop him and is increasingly getting more aggressive.

It wasn't until I passed that fifty percent mark that pieces started falling into place about Leon's brother and some other characters selling artifacts from a museum on the black market.  And Cinnamon's mother keeps popping up in strange places but doesn't really fit the story.

This story had a lot of potential but there needed to be some back story on the characters and a faster move toward what was really happening in this small town. I liked the character of Burro but I didn't get enough of a feel for Cinnamon other than she wanted to find her mother.  I almost stopped reading but I hate doing that so I plowed forward and the second half of the book was much better. There were some typo's and grammatical things that could have used an editor but overall the story was good but the delivery needed some work.  Maybe I would have felt different had I read some of the previous books in this series.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

ARC Review: Waking in Time by Angie Stanton

Release Date: March 1, 2017
Publisher:  Switch Press
Format: Kindle
Pages: 360 pages
Genre: YA fiction
Buy: Hardcover


Still mourning the loss of her beloved grandmother and shaken by her mysterious, dying request to find the baby, Abbi has just arrived at UW Madison for her freshman year. But on her second day, she wakes up to a different world: 1983. That is just the first stop on Abbis journey backward through time. Will is a charming college freshman from 1927 who travels forward through time. When Abbi and Will meet in the middle, love adds another complication to their lives. Communicating across time through a buried time capsule, they try to decode the mystery of their travel, find the lost baby, and plead with their champion, a kindly physics professor, to help them find each other again ... even though the professor gets younger each time Abbi meets him.


This book reminded me a little of the Time Travelers Wife, in that Abbi keeps jutting back into time while Will travels forward.  Two star crossed lovers never knowing if or when they will meet again.. As they try to communicate through time they also enlist the help of a physics professor whose mission is to help them find each other again and stop them from traveling. Abbi is also on a mission to find out what happened to a baby that her grandmother asked her about on when she was dying.

Remembering that this is a YA book I found it to be fairly well written and captivating.  This book takes you through time, giving you glimpses into the past through the eyes of a modern day girl.  I love how she has to learn to adapt her behavior and dress to fit the time period.  It is a great way to get a small lesson on what it was like to be a teenager in different eras.

I was sucked into this book from the first page and couldn't get enough of it.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, February 13, 2017

ARC Review: Gunmetal Gray by Mark Greaney (Gray Man 6)

Release Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Publishing
Format: Kindle
Pages: 512 pages
Genre: Thriller
Buy: Kindle | Paperback | Hardcover


After five years on the run Court Gentry is back on the inside at the CIA. But his first mission makes him wish he had stayed on the outs when a pair of Chinese agents try to take him down in Hong Kong. Normally the Chinese prefer to stay eyes-only on foreign agents. So why are they on such high alert?

Court’s high stakes hunt for answers takes him across Southeast Asia and leads to his old friend, Donald Fitzroy, who is being held hostage by the Chinese. Fitzroy was contracted to find Fan Jiang, a former member of an ultra-secret computer warfare unit responsible for testing China’s own security systems. And it seems Fan may have been too good at his job—because China wants him dead.

The first two kill teams Fitzroy sent to find Fan have disappeared and the Chinese have decided to “supervise” the next operation. What they don't know is that Gentry’s mission is to find Fan first and get whatever intel he has to the US.

After that, all he has to do is get out alive...


I haven't read the first 5 books of this series but I may go back because Greaney's Gray Man has intrigued me.  He is a CIA op who the CIA turned against became a free agent and is now back as a CIA consultant.

 Set mostly in Hong Kong, Cambodia and Thailand this book lets you take a ride with one of the best covert op men in the business.  The problem the CIA has with him become very apparent toward the end of the book when you realize that Court Gentry has a code of honor that does not always mesh well with the CIA.  He may be a covert op turned assassin turned consultant but he doesn't betray his own morals or values.  He fights for what he thinks is right. Think of him as a modern day James Bond.

This book had great pacing, great action, lots of twists, a touch of romance, and enough political power plays to make your head spin. Even without reading the previous books I didn't feel lost or overwhelmed by past plots that were necessary to this story. I think the author did a good job of filling in the blanks to make this a stand alone even though it is part of a series.

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