There are very few nonfiction books I like to read, but true crime is always the exception. So, of course, when I found this beauty about the first American serial killer, one that occurred just before all the Jack the Ripper Killings—and had some people across the pond believing these fiends were the same perpetrator—sign me up! I was a little leery though, mainly because after reading “Devil in the White City” I was, frankly, a little disappointed. That book was mainly on the Chicago World’s Fair, not so much on Henry H. Holmes and how he committed his murders, or what really happened in his murder hotel. This book didn’t have THAT problem. Oh no! Hollandsworth scoured old newspaper reports, police statements, and death certificates and was able to present his readers with the utter brutality of this killer. Unfortunately, however, that was about all the author could give.
Confession time: I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. A period piece novel set just after the Great War with some Downton Abbey society vibes, a murder mystery, oh and magic. Yes! Magic! “Magic Most Deadly” follows Maia and Lennox as they bump into each other at a roaring house party, only to stumble across a murder, a plot to bring Britain to its knees once more, and that not only is magic real, but it’s been working in the shadows to keep society from going off the rails for decades, if not more. Now Lennox, who was undercover to try and discover the plot Maia witnessed, finds himself partnered with the fledgling magician—who is also a fiercely independent woman who constantly keeps Lennox on his toes. The tone of the characters fits so flawlessly with the time period and setting that I was immediately swept away and ended up adoring these characters and the rather cozy mystery they embarked on, while also trying to teach Maia about magic—oh, and keep it a secret from everyone else, naturally.
“In The Clearing” is the third book in the Tracy Crosswhite series and while each of these books is its own self-contained mystery, where you can kind of pick up anywhere in the series and not be lost, book two was best following book one due to the nuances in the story that carried over and affected book two's plot. Book three breaks that mold. Unlike books one and two, there are no elements from the previous books that make an appearance in this story that you’d be confused by. Dugoni does a nice recap of everything that has brought Tracy to this point, so if you read this book out of order, you’ll be fine. This story follows Tracy as she endeavors to solve a cold case that followed a friend’s father to his grave, with something about the case always nagging at him. Tracy agrees to look into it for her friend, and embarks on a forty year old crime that reminds her of her sister’s own disappearance and death. Unfortunately, that was the problem I had with this particular book in the series, it felt like a story I had already read.
****I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review****
“Seeking Dr. Magic” is a genre bender, meshing aspects of a crime-drama with pure magical fantasy in a clever way. We follow along as ex-FBI agent, Tony Hetfield, tries to figure out who is behind bizarre magical acts happening all around the world, and why they are happening to begin with. Tony has the fortune, or misfortune depending on how you look at it, of naming this mysterious being responsible for these phantom ninjas, drawing the attention of Dr. Magic, who doesn’t enjoy the new title. Tony is used to the limelight from other high profile cases, but even this is getting to be more than he can handle as government agencies around the world try to catch Dr. Magic, and Tony by proxy, in order to eliminate him as a potential threat. It’s a cool concept, and Dr. Magic has some awesome abilities, but the book just needed … a bit more.
****I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review****
The synopsis of this book does not do it justice! "Made Men" is what you'd get if the TV show "Supernatural" and a procedural cop drama had an illegitimate love child. The book focuses on Jim Shaw, an ex-military man who works as a contractor for the government and police (occasionally) to keep supernatural creatures in-line; everything from the classic werewolf, fae creatures, monstrous elves, and wisps so they don't hurt humans. In the world Creamer creates, all the creatures of lore and monsters that go bump in the night are no longer living in the shadows, but out in the open. They are no longer seen as just legends, but a fact of life. Shaw's job is to put the bad ones down and help law enforcement figure out who (or what) is responsible for the mayhem. Personally, I love this kind of stuff as I'm a big fan of supernatural lore and even the crass characters on "Supernatural". And while Creamer does a fabulous job, a bit more editing was needed. As it stands, his book is what it'd look like if "Supernatural" hated commas and paragraphs – which, who knows, maybe it does, but it started to get a bit distracting and it spoiled an otherwise thoroughly entertaining read.
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