The Christmas Walk Caper by J.B. Michaels

The Christmas Walk Caper by J.B. Michaels

The Christmas Walk Caper features Mac O'Malley, a retired Chicago cop, who is attempting to write a memoir of his last big case. When Mac learns that Patricia, the owner of The Tiny Wanderer, has been found dead in her home on the morning of the annual Christmas Walk, his cop instincts are telling him she didn't just die of old age. If the local cops, including his brother Vince, don't agree, maybe he and his girlfriend, Millie, can do some investigating on their own. The small town at Christmas setting was charming. The Christmas Walk sounds like an event I'd love to participate in, touring people's decorated homes. For a novella, the mystery was well-done. We had a couple of suspects and clues but not so many that the conclusion felt rushed. I liked Mac, although he was pretty quick to discount the abilities of the local police. I found the fact that he started investigating as a way to put...
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Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

First of all Harrow is not an easy read. It's absolutely necessary to read Gideon the Ninth first then take a short break before reading this one. At least, I had to take a break. I tried going from one right into the other and found I wasn't quite ready to immerse in that world again, but maybe that's just me. It's a dark, tense world and the writing style is very distinct, which is both good in the fact that it makes it mysterious and memorable, but also meant I needed a breather. Harrow has become a lychtor, a superpowerful, immortal magical necromance knight to the Necrolord Prime, the Undying Emperor — we know that — probably. In the present, told in the second person, Harrow is having a tough time. While she is an amazing bone magician, she's finding the process of becoming a true lychtor difficult, if not impossible. Sadly enough, we have no Gideon here, just...
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Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

So I loved Gideon the Ninth. She sucked me right in with her attitude, her snarkiness, her sword. She's a fabulous character. She will tell the world she doesn't care, but at the same time is fiercely loyal and honestly cares about the other on this adventure. She is Cavalier to Harrowhark, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House, ruler of their home planet. Harrowhark and the necromancer heirs of the other houses have all been brought Canaan House with possibility of becoming Lyctors, powerful, nearly immortal generals in the Emperor/God's army. Gideon the Ninth is maybe sci-fi. It takes place in space, there were a couple of space shuttles, but it is much more fantasy/horror. All the combat is hand to hand or with swords. Gideon and Harrowhark, her master/crush/frenemy, are exploring what basically a gothic space castle with skeleton servants and words written in blood that appear on the walls. Or maybe it's a murder mystery. The Emperor has...
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The Fall of the House of Thomas Weir by Andrew Neil MacLeod

The Fall of the House of Thomas Weir by Andrew Neil MacLeod

I adore Edinburgh as a setting. I've never been there, but maybe one day. And it does seem a perfect place for the supernatural to bump heads with the rational. It's the 1770s and Dr. Samuel Johnson has come to Edinburgh to visit his friend, James Boswell, for a tour of the city and holiday in the Highlands. Hearing reports of ghouls haunting the Old Town, and about a series of burglaries in the houses of noblemen, Dr. Johnson can’t resist getting involved. Of course, Dr. Johnson is knowledgeable and experienced in occult and supernatural phenomena. We get a story of secret societies, conspiracies, and hideously deformed people living in the tunnels below the city. The story moves along at a good pace. The characters are well-drawn. Both Johnson and Boswell are likable in their own ways, but not without faults. Secondary characters are brought to life well, even if they have smaller parts. Edinburgh is described well: the sights, sounds,...
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The Sandman: Act II by Neil Gaiman, adapted by Dirk Maggs

The Sandman: Act II by Neil Gaiman, adapted by Dirk Maggs

A reminder - I have never read the original Sandman comics. I rarely read comics or graphic novels, mostly because I'm not good at it and so don't enjoy them as much as I could. I tend to read the dialogue and miss the pictures. I can't tell how faithful the audio is to the original, but others say it's very close. I enjoyed this second act, which consists of two main arcs and several smaller stories. The Season of Mists was excellent. Dream travels back to hell to save Nada whom he had condemned for 10,000 years of torment… because she rejected him. Surprising twists and turns make it impossible to see where this one is going until it actually gets there. A Game of You was kind of blah for me. Barbie and some friends have to go on a quest to save a land but still manage to stay alive in our world. It was skippable. Fables & Reflections...
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Strange Frequencies by Peter Bebergal

Strange Frequencies by Peter Bebergal

I picked up Strange Frequencies for RIP's Peril of the Real. When it comes to fiction, I stay in the mystery aisles most of the time. Nonfiction, however, can be about anything. I can't say that I was really interested in the intersection of technology and the supernatural, but I can find most topics interesting and learn fascinating bits and pieces, especially when the writer/speaker presents it well. Bebergal covers a wide variety of topics, from golems to seances to electronic voice phenomena and he does it from the view of maybe a hopeful skeptic. He researches, but he also experiments. He talks about the history around certain devices or myths and contacts, when possible, experts. He also goes to the seance, tags along with the photographer, builds a Tesla radio, uses his dad's old tape recorder. My one complaint is that it jumps from topic to topic. I would have liked there to be more to it, not just...
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