Nearly Departed in Deadwood (Deadwood Mystery, #1)

Nearly Departed in DeadwoodNearly Departed in Deadwood
by Ann Charles
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9780983256809
Series: Deadwood #4
Publication Date: January 8, 2011
Pages: 376
Publisher: Corvallis Press

This is going on my cozy-mystery shelf, even though it really doesn’t belong there, but I’m not sure where else this genre jumping book (and series) should go.

What I do know is that this book is a really fun read! Humour, a good mystery, lots of creepy, and oh wow the sexual chemistry going on! This little voice in the back of my head nailed the bad guy early on, but I was certain I was wrong. The author makes some very bold moves for a book that comes close to cozy. I have a mental picture of the ending that I’d dearly pay a bit extra to get rid of – I suspect it will stick with me awhile.

Great characters and a great setting. For those who dislike language – it’s here in all it’s glorious colours. So is the sexual chemistry – no graphic scenes, but nothing prim and proper either.

I read the Kindle edition because it was a freebie, but I’ve since ordered the paperback of all the books available in the series.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson #4)

Fourth Grave Beneath My FeetFourth Grave Beneath My Feet
by Darynda Jones
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9781250014467
Series: Charlie Davidson #4
Publication Date: November 4, 2012
Pages: 308
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Sometimes being the grim reaper really is, well, grim. And since Charley's last case went so awry, she has taken a couple of months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above . . . or at least get dressed. It becomes clear something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she's insane. But the more they refute the woman's story, the more Charley believes it.

In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, is out of prison and out of Charley's life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved.

Just excellent. Have I mentioned how much I love this whole series? and this book was fabulous.

Truly great snark making for excellent readability. Fabulous characters with depth. No relationship in the book is perfect, but realistically messy – with the exception of Charlie and Cookie and, please, just don’t mess with that!

The main(ish) plot point of this book was an interesting one with a creepy twist at the end that I only half liked (and that’s all I can say without spoilers), but the entire story and all the plots had my undivided attention. I literally devoured this book in one sitting. It’s going to be a very long year waiting for the next book…

Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1)

Death and the Girl Next DoorDeath and the Girl Next Door
by Darynda Jones
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9780312625207
Series: Darklight #1
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Pages: 286
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

I don’t read a ton of YA, and I picked this one up especially because I’m a huge fan of Ms. Jones’ Charley Davidson series. I loved this book, I picked it up and did not put it down again until I’d read the last page and the excerpt from the next book.

All the great witty dialogue I’ve come to expect and adore from Ms. Jones writing, set in a teen universe. I love the strong focus here on the mythology of Angels, although I wouldn’t have normally picked up a book ‘about’ angels. All of the characters are just excellent, and the word play amongst them all is just a pure joy to read, although I worry about Glitch and his place in all of this.

I just had a really great time reading this story and I eagerly await the next book.

No Quest For The Wicked (Enchanted, Inc., #6)

This is such a great series for anyone looking for a light, fun, humorous read. No Quest for the Wicked is so action-packed it’s almost exhausting to read, but a lot of fun during the wild ride. I hope this is a series she continues to enjoy success with as I look forward to seeing all the great characters again soon.

Window on the Square

Window on the SquareWindow on the Square
by Phyllis A. Whitney
Rating: ★★★★½
Publication Date: January 1, 1962
Pages: 297
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Appleton-Century-Crofts


This was one of the first ‘adult’ books I’d ever read, one of my mothers favorites. I love the story, even though it’s not my usual fare.

Ms. Whitney does a brilliant job of writing characters that come alive – from the prim and proper Megan, to the mercurial Brandon, and the dark and forbidding Garth. I’ve read this story again and again over the years, wearing out the paperback until it is in pieces and held together with a rubber band. I upgraded to the hardcover version so I can keep on re-reading this book – it stands up very well over time.

If you like a ‘dark’ (kind of gothic) cozy, I think you’ll enjoy reading this oldie but goodie.

Much Ado About Magic (Enchanted, Inc., #5)

I remember when I finished ‘Don’t Hex with Texas’ thinking, for the first time, ‘she should self-publish the next book because the publishing houses are obviously too stupid to know a good thing when they see it’. So I was thrilled when I read earlier this year that Ms Swendson announced that she’d decided to do just that with the fifth book, Much Ado About Magic. I had it on my e-reader as soon as it was available, and finished it the same day.  The story didn’t disappoint – long held secrets revealed, lots of magical action, and the same wonderful cast of characters in a light, frothy, fun tale. My only ‘gripe’ (and it’s not really that) is the seeming distance between Merlin and Katie – in previous books she was a bit of a confidante to Merlin and I saw no evidence of that in this book. Still, an excellent read and if Ms. Swendson ever decides to physically publish, I’ll buy another copy to add to my bookshelves at home.  I’m truly looking forward to the sixth book in October.

India Black and the Widow of Windsor (Madame of Espionage #2)

I really enjoy this series – what’s not to like about a brothel madam that becomes a spy for her majesty? I love the repartee between her and French, her partner in spying. I love India’s sass and wit and her pragmatic outlook to life.  


This book, the second one in the series, takes place in Scotland at Balmoral castle. Generally, I’m not a fan of ‘away’ mysteries, since I usually have to adjust to a new cast of characters, but this one simply relocates the entire cast to Balmoral for the duration. India goes undercover as a personal maid for a Marchioness who is rather eccentric. There are scenes with this woman that had me absolutely laughing out loud – one involving pepper that forced me to put the book down for a moment, I was laughing so hard. Truly these are Stephanie Plum-worthy scenes, although the book itself could hardly be compared to J. Evanovich’s popular series.  


The book ends with some intriguing hints to future character developments and I look forward to the next book.

Grave Memory (Alex Craft Series #3)

There’s a whole lot going on in this book to Alex, maybe more than ‘normal’. A lot of action, and a creepy story line about a ‘rider’ that jumps from body to body, using them up and then killing them off to jump into the next available body.  I truly enjoy just about every character in this world, and they keep me reading when the story itself gets a little too heavy for my taste.


Alex gets the crap beat out of her, not only physically but much more emotionally this time. And I really, really want to know the deal with her father – I have a suspicion I know who he is, but I want an explanation for the awful indifference he shows towards Alex.


The love triangle between her, Death and Falin not only gets more complicated, but just when I thought it was sorted out, the ending throws everything for a loop. I’m looking forward to the next book!

Grave Dance (Alex Craft Series #2)

Excellent read. Different from what I normally choose, but never too dark or hard-boiled. The author has given Alex a very complicated past talent-wise, so there’s a lot of room for future discovery.


I’m not normally a fan of love triangles (at ALL) but so far this one has been well-balanced and not at all annoying or frustrating. The author has done an excellent job of keeping me from picking a favourite. But taking this triangle too far forward into future books will prove to annoy me to the point of abandonment. (Although, if she chooses to keep both of them, well that could prove to be fun too!) Just please don’t devolve into ‘which one will she choose’ silliness.  


The plot of the story was excellent and I was all prepared to accept the ‘bad guy’ in this story – Ms. Price really led me down the garden path – only to be blissfully surprised to find out I was wrong.  I have the next in the series, Grave Memory and I’m looking forward to cracking it open…