Tuesday, December 28, 2010

To Have and To Kill by Mary Jane Clark

Piper Donovan is an actress out of work. She can no longer afford the rent of her apartment and decides to move back home to her parents house. One of Piper's best friend is actress Glenna Brooks who she met while working on the daytime soap A Little Rain Must Fall. Glenna and Piper played sisters until Piper's character was killed off. Glenna is getting married and asks Piper if her mom would bake her wedding cake. Piper says of course and the deal is set. However, Glenna tells Piper that she received a threatening letter and shows her. Piper says she will take it to her friend Jack, who works for the FBI. Jack says he does not think it's anything to worry about. Then Glenna and her co-star Travis York emcee a fund raiser at Glenna's daughter's school, which also happens to be where her new fiance is a teacher. Travis is poisoned during the event and Jack decides that there might be more to the letter that Glenna received. As Piper tries to help find who killed Travis and attempted to murder her friend Peggy, she is also dealing with helping in her mom's bakery. Piper learns that her mother is suffering from macular degeneration.

I really enjoyed this books and give kudos to Miss Clark. I have only read a couple of her books but have to say that this one is my favorite. There is a little bit of everything in it, from murder to romance to humor. Loved the characters of Piper and Jack and would have loved to see a little more interplay between them. But even so it was a very easy read and kept my interest until the end.

Tempted by Fate by Kate Perry

Willow Tarata is looking for the man that killed her mother. She has followed him for years and has always been one step behind. Now she is in San Francisco because she has heard he is there. The first night she is to meet her informant, but when she arrives she finds him and one of her employees murdered. While she is there the police arrive, Willow knows that she has been set up and pledges to find the Bad man. Inspector Rick Ramirez is in charge of the investigation into the murders. Then there is another murder and Willow always seems to be around. Rick's grandmother tells him that Willow is good and to trust and help her.

This books was a page turner for me. I really like that in a book, one that keeps my attention and makes me want to keep reading. The inter play between the main characters kept the book interesting. There were several minor characters that were very memorable including the other Guardians and Rick's grandmother. It was easy to read because the plot just came together effortlessly. Was it realistic, there were elements of the supernatural that might are not everyday occurances. Can these things happen, whose to say but they make for a good read. The cover is an attention getter to start off. Not sure it compliments the story though. All in all I would highly recommend this book. I liked it so much that I found the first two so I can read them.

Deadly Heat by Cynthia Eden

Lora Spade is a fire fighter that lost her fiance to a fire. Lora is sure there is a serial arsonist at work and contacts the FBI's elite Serial Services Division to help in finding the culprit. The first day Kenton Lake is in town he is pulled out of a fire by Lora. He decides he needs her help in finding out what is going on. Kenton is sure that it's a person with fire fighting experience or a cop behind the fire because they are done with knowledge of both departments. Lora can't believe it's anyone she knows and is heartbroken when her house is one of the targets. Still neither one will back off until they find who is behind the fires and the deaths.

This book was interesting to learn about the inner workings of the fire department and how fires are set. A serial arsonist has to be precise and have knowledge of what he is doing and that was all brought out in the story. Lora's character is very aggressive, not only in her work but also in her home life. Kenton is a good foil for her but sometimes his character seemed to go over the top. The story was well written and there were no gaps or really slow spots in it. The minor characters in this were not that memorable to me, it was all Lora and Kenton from page one. Liked the cover on this one and thought it went well with the plot of the book.

Manifest Destiny by Rick Robinson

Congressman Richard Thompson's good friend and one of his staffer's go to Romania to observe the Presidential election. The staffer is kidnapped the first night and Thompson and his wife travel to help find him and bring him home. Before they leave though, the Mace of the House of Representatives is stolen. While Thompson is in Romania his friend the Fat Man looks into the disappearance of the Mace. Agent Jane Kline is assigned to help Thompson find his staffer Josh Barkman. They hear that they car Barkman was taken away in is an old car of Richard Nixon's and know that it will not be hard to find. They go into the mountains to the home of General Gheorghe Alexandro who took the car when the government of Nicolea Ceausescu fell. Thompson winds up doing things he never thought himself capable of and has to keep it all to himself.

The storyline was a good one, however it seemed disjointed in places to me. There was so much going on that sometimes it overwhelms the plot. Although all was resolved in the end, it was hard getting there. This was not a fast read for me, in fact it took several days to get through. It did not keep my interest and I was not sure I was going to like it. However, in the end it was a nice story. Richard Thompson seemed like a typical politician. The stand out characters for me were Jane Kline and Michael Griffith. Griffith didn't really care what anyone thought of him, but he changed as the book went on. Jane Kline was a take charge woman and didn't take any guff from anyone. As I said before the story just did not flow smoothly for me, but was overall a good one. I did love the cover with the top of the Mace on it. However the Mace was not the central part of the story.

Christmas Eve Can Kill You by William Marantz

Val Virgo's life changes after an episode of his talk radio show. His guest is Inspector Angus Duncan. Val has him on to question him about recent bombings that cost lives. In the middle of the program Val receives a threatening phone call. Inspector Duncan calls him into his office to try and find out what enemies Virgo has. Val's apartment is bombed one night while he was taking a bath. He survived but had to move out. He tried to figure out what all the bombings had in common and why he was being targeted. He goes and visits the widow of a judge that had been killed and they start a relationship. Meanwhile his producer takes over his show and in order for Val to come back he has to adhere to her rules. Val and the Inspector work hard to find out who is responsible for the bombings.

The story was basically a good one, but did not flow all that well for me. I could put it down and forget about it and not feel like I had to get back to it and get it finished. The characters were ok, but not really any stand outs. Val to me was not very forceful in his approach to the things that were happening in his life. Abby was kind of airheaded and I didn't think that was how she would have been. After all she lost her husband and was pretty sharp in dealing with the finances. So I thought she should have had a better head on her shoulders for everything else. The mystery part of the book was pretty good because you don't really figure it out until it unfolds. I did like the cover and thought it went well with the book.