Good Books and the Random Movie

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23 January 2017

Guilty Minds (Nick Heller #3)

Guilty Minds by Joseph Finder is the third book in his Nick Heller series. Heller is a private intelligence operative based in Boston.

A Washington power broker hires Nick to stop a story that is about to break on a gossip news site. Slander Sheet is about to print a fake story - set up to withstand a cursory investigation - about a Supreme Court Justice. Heller has 24 hours to bring them proof that the story is fake and stop them from releasing it to the public.

But someone has got to great lengths to have this story printed, and the Justice ruined. Heller finds a witness, only to have someone kidnap her.

Finder writes great thrillers. I discovered this series at book three, but had no problem following the story. I will go back and read the previous novels. It is a fun read if you like thrillers.

Finder, Joseph. (2016). Guilty Minds. New York: Dutton.

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21 January 2017

Before the Wind

Before the Wind by Jim Lynch is a humorous look at people who love to sail. Written like a memoir, this novel follows the Johannssen family outside of Seattle.

Josh comes from a sailing family. His grandfather designs boats, his father build them. The Joho sailing boats are famous through out the Pacific Northwest and the racing community. Josh is the middle child who, as an adult, repairs sailboats - no matter how broken down. His older brother, Bernard, has taken off for points unknown - in a stolen sailboat. His younger sister, Ruby, is a sailing savant who could have gone to the Olympics but had other ideas.

Lynch has written a laugh-out-loud story about a single man in a boat yard. It is at times inspirational - stories of sailing on the open sea. And at times heartbreaking. This is a great book. Read it if you have any interest in sailing!

Lynch, Jim. (2016). Before the Wind. New York: Borzoi Books.

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11 January 2017

Of Fire and Stars

Of Fire and Star by Audrey Coulthurst is a great young adult fantasy novel!

Dennaleia, second princess of Havemont, has been promised to Prince Thandilimon since they were six years old. Her upbringing was spent learning to run a country. Now she is going to the city of Lyrra, capital of Mynaria, to be married.

Upon arrival, it appears she is missing one type of training. Dennaleia cannot ride a horse and is now in a land where horses are revered. Even her wedding will be on horseback.

Princess Amaranthine (Mare) is a horse expert. She was never going to inherit rule, so she has been left to do what she wants. Now she is supposed to teach her brother's fiancĂ© to ride. This will break into the time she usually sneaks into the city in disguise.

When an assassin attacks the royal family, Dennaleia and Mare feel like no one is doing enough to find out who is behind it. So they join forces, spending more and more time together. Does the attack have something to do with the fact that the marriage contract will outlaw magic in both Havemont and Mynaria? The council thinks so and is hunting down anyone who show an ability - an ability like the one Dennaleia has been hiding her whole life.

Coulthurst has written a great fantasy with two likeable characters thrown into political turmoil and put in danger. The relationship between Mare and Denna is sweet and realistic. It is unclear if there will be another book with these characters, but I hope so! This is a great lesbian fantasy novel.

Coulthurst, Audrey. (2016). Of Fire and Stars. New York: Balzer + Bray.

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07 January 2017

The Queen's Accomplice (Maggie Hope #6)

The Queen's Accomplice by Susan Elia MacNeal is the sixth book in her Maggie Hope series - a historical mystery, espionage series set during World War II.

England 1942. In London the Blitz has paused but the blackout continue. It is starting to seem like someone is taking advantage of the darkness and the transience of women working for the war effort. Someone is killing ATS women.

Maggie Hope is currently assigned to the SOE (Special Operations Executive) office overseeing spies in France. She is under appreciated and her expertise is being ignored by those in power - who have never been undercover - when she is borrowed by MI-5. Maggie is tasked to work with DCI Durgin at Scotland Yard. to find the man responsible for killing SOE recruits. A man the media has dubbed the Blackout Beast.

MacNeal has created a great character in Maggie Hope. The books are a wonderful mixture of historical, mystery, suspense and espionage as we follow Maggie's time in the war. This novel reads like a fiction version of Devil in the White City.

MacNeal, Susan Elia. (2016). The Queen's Accomplice. New York: Bantam Books.

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03 January 2017

Ashes of Victory (Honor Harrington #9)

Ashes of Victory by David Weber is the ninth book in his science fiction series featuring Honor Harrington.

The war between the People's Republic of Haven and Manticore continues. After a setback, the Royal Manticoran Navy is about to unleash a technological jump ahead in space warfare. It may be the beginning of the end of the war.

Honor Harrington is headed home to recover from her injuries. While on Manticore she has been asked to teach classes at Saganami Island, the Naval College.

In Haven, the committee that has taken over the government is having some internal suspicions. One or more of the high ups will be displaced and the balance of power will change once again.

The Honor Harrington series is great science fiction. If you are a fan and have not read this, buy the first book today. If you like scifi and are tired of the dearth of female lead characters - look no further.

Weber, David. (2000). Ashes of Victory. New York: Baen.

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