Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

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*No Major Spoilers*

The Thin Man introduces Nick and Nora Charles, New York’s coolest crime-solving couple. Nick retired from detecting after his wife inherited a tidy sum, but six years later a pretty blonde spies him at a speakeasy and asks for his help finding her father, an eccentric inventor who was once Nick’s client. Nick can no more resist the case than a morning cocktail or a good fight, and soon he and Nora are caught in a complicated web of confused identities and cold-blooded murder.

I am a huge fan of crime noir, and this story takes place on the tail end of Prohibition. So if you love your mysteries with lots of illicit booze and over-dramatic women, then I would recommend The Thin Man for your reading list.

I enjoyed the first half of this mystery novel. The mystery was intriguing and I was trying to solve the puzzle along with Nick and Nora. There’s quite the cast of characters that would make any Agatha Christie fan enjoy this novel.

However, the drama with the suspect’s family got to be too much for me and I just stopped caring. Nick had already reached the conclusion that the ex-wife’s new husband had something to do with the murder and once the police were on the look for him and the ex-husband the family drama kept going and I mentally checked out until the end of the story.

The ending would’ve been a nice twist and a surprising ending. To see Nick explain in full detail to Nora about how the bad guy(s) committed the crime and almost got away with multiple cold-blooded murders was interesting. However, I feel like I was over this novel once the initial hunch was made clear and the family drama kept dragging on.

This is a quick read or listen depending on your preferred medium. I got through about half of the audiobook in one night, so if you’re looking for a crime noir to whet your appetite then check out The Thin Man.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Posted in Audiobooks, Book Club Reads, Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

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*No Major Spoilers*

New York, 1888. Gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but the miracle of electric light is in its infancy. The person who controls the means to turn night into day will make history–and a vast fortune. A young untested lawyer named Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, takes a case that seems impossible to win. Paul’s client, George Westinghouse, has been sued by Thomas Edison over a billion-dollar question: Who invented the light bulb and holds the right to power the country?

The case affords Paul entry to the heady world of high society–the glittering parties in Gramercy Park mansions, and the more insidious dealings done behind closed doors. The task facing him is beyond daunting. Edison is a wily, dangerous opponent with vast resources at his disposal–private spies, newspapers in his pocket, and the backing of J. P. Morgan himself. Yet this unknown lawyer shares with his famous adversary a compulsion to win at all costs. How will he do it?

“Poor people all think they deserve to be rich,” he continued. “Rich people live every day with the uneasy knowledge that we do not.”
Graham Moore, The Last Days of Night

This historical fiction novel was interesting to me because I’ve always had a fascination with the early inventors. The remarkable scientific leaps are amazing even for the times. Without these such inventors, we wouldn’t have things like the Internet, our smartphones and computers.

The mythos that surrounds Nichola Tesla is fascinating. How he was so far advanced for his time, and whether the government was conspiring to hide his inventions or ideas. Tesla is featured prominently in this novel, and I enjoyed how not only foreign in a fact that he is from another country, but foreign in how his intelligence far outpaces everyone else.

Paul’s adventure into this strange new world full of scientific wonders was awe-inspiring. How Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb and so many other inventions from the scientific community. I can understand Paul’s struggle to comprehend new technologies.

I would highly recommend this novel for lovers of historical fiction, early inventors, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, and early lawyering.

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Last Straw (Pigeon-Blood Red Book 2) by Ed Duncan

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*No Major Spoilers*

When a teenage girl witnesses a carjacking went bad, she is marked for death by a crime boss with no apparent motive. A black lawyer and a white enforcer with an unlikely history forge an uneasy alliance to protect the girl from a hitman with an agenda of his own.

After they find out that the crime boss is the father of the black teenage carjacker, Paul Elliott – lawyer and close friend of the witness’s family – begins counseling them.

As the long-simmering feud between Rico and John D’Angelo reaches boiling point, bodies start to pile up in rapid succession… and old scores will be settled.

I meant to have this review up last month, however, life happened and I fell behind. I am thrilled and honored to be sharing this novel with my readers today. The Last Straw is a thrilling action-packed novel that is beautifully written in a way where I didn’t feel the need to read the previous novel in the series.

This novel touches on topics such as good vs evil, modern racism, and even how things aren’t as black and white as we like to believe.

“Paul, I’m certain you could have handled that situation without the gun and without fighting. You would have thought of something. You know how I hate seeing you carry a gun. But I’ll suprise you by saying I guess I’m glad you had it just this once to use as a bluff if you really had to, because I’m sure you never would have shot anyone, even if you’re not.”

Paul turned that over in his mind for a moment. “Maybe you know me better than I know myself. I don’t think I could have shot them either. No, I couldn’t. When we were inside [the movie theatre], I was thinking that when I was growing up, I had friends who could have been either one of those two. Hell, I could have been one of them. My father used to say no matter how far you travel, you can never change where you came from. I was so damned angry back there for a while, I almost forgot where I came from.” –The Last Straw

I enjoyed the mystery of how everything and everyone was connected. Seemingly random characters having a part in the grand scheme of the novel held my attention, I felt like it was put together really well. There weren’t too many characters to keep up with and I enjoyed learning about Paul Elliot’s history with Rico and D’Angelo.

My favorite character is Rico. He is a product of his environment, but he does the best he can for those he cares about (whether he acknowledges it or not). He is a hitman who isn’t afraid to tell his boss ‘no’ when a job interferes with his morals.

I liked the fact this novel isn’t afraid to touch on modern racism. Beverly, the mother of the suspected carjacker, confronts both the racism from her past as well as present day. I’m not going to spoil how Beverly is connected to the overall story, but I did enjoy learning her backstory as well.

If you’re looking for an action-packed thrilling mystery, then I would highly recommend The Last Straw. The story will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, and reaching for the tissues at times. This novel is a thriller with a heart.

Buy “The Last Straw” by Ed Duncan HERE!

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Dragon Consultant (Supernatural Consultant #1) by Mell Eight

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*No Spoilers*

Supernatural consultant Dane receives a call from the government about dealing with a couple of dragons that are making airplanes halt their flights. Dane goes to investigate the area, and things aren’t quite what they seem. Soon Dane’s alliance with the dragons will put his world in danger. Will Dane be able to help the dragons?

I enjoyed this book. It was different, there were all different kinds of supernatural creatures in this book! However, the main focus was on the dragons. I was wary of the fact that this is classified as an LGBT book. It only provided laughs and giggles because I’m immature in my sense of humor. So just be wary of that.

I enjoyed the wide range of characters, each felt unique and special. My favorite was Lumie! He’s adorable in the fact that he attaches himself to Dane’s leg, and travels with him wherever he goes. He even discovers his favorite candy is cinnamon bombs!

This was a nice and easy read, and I might continue reading this series. Whether for this blog, of for my own time.

I would recommend this book for fantasy lovers, LGBT, and if you’re looking for a quick and easy read.

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Doctor Who: The Monsters Inside by Stephen Cole

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*Many Spoilers Ahead*

The Doctor and his companion, Rose Tyler, land on an alien planet where the ancient pyramids are being built. Before they can even leave the TARDIS, they are captured and arrested for trespassing. However, things as always are suspicious, and it’s up to Rose and the Doctor to fix things and save the universe.

***SPOILERS START***

I am a fan of Doctor Who, I’ve watched the rebooted version up to season 7, and I’ve watched the Classic episodes. I have read several of the novelizations and audiobooks. I’m not sure if I was expecting too much from this, or if it was just executed poorly. The villains, the Blathereen, even though they are the rival family of the Slitheen, still was predictable. Any Doctor Who fan would know where this story was going and fast.

Their plot was to take over the Justice planet system, and build a transportable wormhole so they can destroy other planets and sell the scraps for profit. A similar plot was used in season 1 of the Doctor Who 2005 reboot.

I enjoyed this novel, I love the 9th Doctor. Christopher Eccleston did a “fantastic” job as a reintroduction to the Doctor character. He is grizzled and battered after the Time War, so he is darker and edgier than his earlier previous incarnations.

The novelizations are usually a way to tell a Doctor Who story that might be difficult to tell on TV. Some call it glorified fanfiction. So to see this predictable of a plot disappointed me.

I would recommend this if you’re starting with the Doctor Who novels. It has familiar characters and villains that have appeared on Doctor Who before. The Slitheen and the Blathereen are very similar in goals and motives. So the slight name-change doesn’t make much of a difference.

Learn more about the Slitheen here

The Author’s Twitter

Buy it here on Amazon (not sponsored)

Read My Other Doctor Who Reviews Here!