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Monday, April 27, 2020

Review - Witches Protection Program

This is a paranormal police procedural novel with a unique concept.  Read on to see what I thought.

Author: Michael Okon (Michael Philip Cash)

Copyright: Sept 2019 (WordFire Press LLC) 202 pgs

Series: 1st in Witches Protection Program Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Paranormal Police Procedural

Main Character: Wes Rockville, disgraced police officer

Setting: Modern day, Manhattan NY

Obtained Through: Publisher, via Netgalley, for honest opinion

Book cover blurb: "Wes Rockville, a disgraced law-enforcement agent, gets one last chance to prove himself and save his career when he's reassigned to a 232-year-old secret government organization.

The Witches Protection Program.

His first assignment: uncover a billion-dollar cosmetics company's diabolical plan to use witchcraft for global domination, while protecting its heiress Morgan Pendragon from her aunt's evil deeds. Reluctantly paired with veteran witch protector, Alastair Verne, Wes must learn to believe in witches...and believe in himself. "

Wes Rockville is stubborn and has a problem with authority but overall has potential.  Wes is pushed and challenged to accept a different reality.  Alastair Verne is the sort of authority figure Wes fights but must rely on for this last chance. 

The big city setting fits this paranormal concept well and gives it a large scope. The setup of the paranormal world existing alongside the mortal world is well done.  The climax is a chase and showdown that gives some good tension.  The plot had just enough depth to keep my interest and turning the pages.  It sets up well for an ongoing series.

This is like the Men In Black of the paranormal world.  I enjoyed the book and will look for the next in series. 

Rating:  Excellent - a fun read! If you like creative paranormal mysteriess, buy this now.

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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Review - Prologue to Murder

This is the second novel in this series but my first one.  I had no trouble with understanding the back story and enjoying this one.  Sadly, this had been on my TBR pile for a little while plus taking time for me to finally review it.  

Author: Lauren Elliott

Copyright: April 2019 (Kensington) 336 pgs

Series: 2nd in Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy mystery, cozy amateur sleuth

Main Character: Addison Greyborne descendant to town founder and owner of bookstore

Setting: Modern day, Greyborne Harbor

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest opinion

From book cover: "Gossip columnists love a bold-faced name—but “Miss Newsy” at Greyborne Harbor’s local paper seems to specialize in bald-faced lies. She’s pointed a finger of suspicion at Addie after librarian June Winslow never makes it home from a book club meeting. And when June’s found at the bottom of a steep flight of stairs, Addie’s not only dealing with a busybody, but a dead body.

It’s a good thing the guy she’s dating is the police chief. But both the case and her love life get more complicated when a lanky blonde reporter from Los Angeles shows up. She’s trying her hardest to drive a wedge between the couple . . . as if Addie doesn’t have enough problems dealing with angry townspeople. Despite all the rumors, Addie doesn’t know a thing about the murder—but she plans to find out. And the key may lie in a book about pirate legends that June published. Now she just has to hunt down the clues before she becomes a buried treasure herself . . . "

Addison Greybourne is a mixed bag.  She could be viewed as strong with a side of funny, although I found her a bit over-the-top emotionally.  Chief of police Marc Chandler is kind-of her boyfriend and she sure gets jealous like there is more there between them.  Chief Chandler seems lacking in critical character detection for a cop when it comes to his ex-wife Lacey.  Addison's BFF and Marc's sister, Serena Chandler is naive and easily used by Lacey.  All of which makes for a tense ride for Addison as she tackles ongoing gossip in the paper and suspicion of her involvement in June Wilson's murder.  Lacey, the shallow and conniving complication in Addy's life, is a memorable part of the overall story as the character you love to hate.

Too often novels set at sea side don't feature the beach or ocean much.  The use of pirates and local pirate history really cemented the setting into the story.  The climactic scene also strongly features the location to great effects as well.

You can't have a pirate or treasure tale without an  exciting race to find the treasure.  In this case it all becomes part of the killer reveal.  It could have been cheesy, but it ends up exciting and well executed.

The pirate lore and lure of treasure was handled quite well and is probably my favorite aspect to this story and brought the entire novel to life.  I had a rough time with the personal drama going on and Addison's often juvenile reaction to it all. 

Rating:  Good - A fun read 

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