Tagged: Crime Fiction

Apricots & Wolfsbane – Review

Thrice Read Books reviews Apricots and Wolfsbane by KM Pohlkamp

About the book:

Apricots and Wolfsbane by K. M. Pohlkamp

Historical fiction (Adult/New Adult)   293 pages in print

Published October 13, 2017 by Filles Vertes Publishing

Lavinia Maud craves the moment the last wisps of life leave her victims’ bodies—to behold the effects of her own poison creations. Believing confession erases the sin of murder, her morbid desires are in unity with faith, though she could never justify her skill to the magistrate she loves.

Book club discussion guide included!

At the start of the 16th century in Tudor England, Lavinia’s marks grow from tavern drunks to nobility, but rising prestige brings increased risk. When the magistrate suspects her ruse, he pressures the priest into breaking her confessional seal, pitting Lavinia’s instincts as an assassin against the tenets of love and faith. She balances revenge with her struggle to develop a tasteless poison and avoid the wrath of her ruthless patron.

With her ideals in conflict, Lavinia must decide which will satisfy her heart: love, faith, or murder—but the betrayals are just beginning.

About the author:

K.M. Pohlkamp is a blessed wife to the love of her life, a proud mother of two, and a Mission Control flight controller. Originally from Wisconsin, she now resides in Houston, Texas.

Jenn’s Review:

Usually, when I get a request to read and review a book, I don’t read other folks’ reviews first, and I’ll admit that I was hesitant at first to add this particular volume to my to-be-read list for content concerns.

My doubts were utterly unfounded.

I’ve never read a book with an anti-hero (in this case, anti-heroine) as the protagonist, so Apricots and Wolfsbane was a first for me. Lavinia Maud is nothing short of a badass, though, as a woman who’s taken on a career that, in 16th century England, is nothing short of dangerous and illegal. However, she refuses to settle into the role of docile wife as she is expected to do, and she pursues her nefarious trade with a passion.

Ms. Pohlkamp has nailed the inner conflict in her creation of Madam Maud with her protagonist’s conflicted morals. She’s okay with murder-for-hire but craves absolution after each kill. Admitting to her list of victims isn’t a stretch for her, but she refuses to give up the names of who’s hired her.

I won’t say that Lavinia Maud is likable. Even after the last page, I’m still on the fence about whether I liked the main character. She is, however, (as are all the secondary characters in this story) well developed and multi-faceted.

Fans of bad-ass, female protagonists in historical fiction – this one is for you. It’s hard not to root for a character who refuses to quietly fit into the mold and boldly takes control of her own destiny. This is the first in a series, apparently, so I’ll be watching for book 2 to come out!

Jenn at Thrice Read Books reviews KM Pohlkamp's historical fiction Apricots and Wolfsbane

Sam’s Review:

Murder. To many, it’s a sin. But to Lavinia, it’s her job. And it’s a nicely paying job as well. Apricots and Wolfsbane is her story, and it is a fun-to-read story. The author is K. M. Pohlkamp, and I would love to thank her for sharing this book with me.

Poison is an interest of mine, mainly because it makes for a good story, so that helped boost the rating of the book. It was well-written and filled with tension at the right moments. I got chills reading this book, it was that good.

And in the negatives, well, for me, all I can say is, “What negatives?” It wasn’t too predictable, nor was it too unpredictable. I loved the plot twists, the well-developed settings, and characters, and I loved everything about this book.

Buy the book:

This book is available as a Kindle or paperback from Amazon here. [affiliate link]

Also by the Author:

Shadows of Hemlock (Book 2)

Born of Ice by Sherrilyn Kenyon – Book Review

In the Ichidian Universe where The League is law, most live in fear. We fight back. Welcome to a world where corrupt assassination politics dominate everyone. It’s kill or be killed. Welcome back to the future…and meet hell’s new breed of heroes.

Devyn Kell spent his life in service to the League until he learned of the double dealing and backstabbing that was costing innocent people their lives. Refusing to play those politics, he became a Runner―someone who makes sure planets get the weapons, medicine and supplies they need to survive. May the gods have mercy on any who get in his way, because he definitely won’t.

Alix Garran is a woman on the run from a past she can’t escape. Signing on to work for Devyn as a System’s Engineer, she finds a cause she can fight for―and a man she can respect. But as Alix’s past catches up to her, and Devyn’s old enemies turn lethal, they have to fight together…or fall alone, in Born of Ice, the third bestselling League novel from Sherrilyn Kenyon. (From Amazon.com product listing.)

I found book 3 to the League Novel series excellent giving it four stars.  Kenyon surely did not disappoint once again.  For a Sci-Fi Romance novel, this book and series is great.  Yes I know it was made for a lady, but it has just the right amount of action and violence to satisfy a man.  If you have read books one and two, you do not under any circumstances want to miss book 3.

You can purchase this book here.

This book is also available on Amazon in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audiobook and mass market paperback here.

Triple Cross Killer – Book Promo

Triple Cross Killer   By Rosemarie Aquilina

Fiery Seas Publishing   December 5, 2017   

Thriller

cover art for Triple cross killer

Have you ever wondered what really happens to Santa Claus letters?  In Detroit and Sarasota some children’s letters are diverted and reviewed by Nick Archer, a religiously obsessed, narcissist. Nick responds, leaving a trail of devastation in the two cities.

In Detroit, co-ed partners and wise-cracking lovers, detectives Jaq McSween and David Maxwell, team up with Sarasota detectives Abel Mendoza and his partner, Rabbit, to find this daunting killer.

When Jaq’s friend, the lovely nurse, Rita Rose, takes a chance on love again, she gets caught in Nick’s web. Working with the ME, she joins in, adding her perspective when events take a sinister turn.  

Can this diverse team of characters pool their insights, barbs, and taste for bad food to save Rita when she discovers the final clues or will she become the next victim?

Buy the Book:

Amazon [affiliate link]     Kobo     iTunes     Barnes and Noble

About the Author:

Rosemarie Aquilina is the mother of five children. Elected as a 30th Circuit Court Judge serving in the General Trial Division, after having served as a 55th District Court Judge in Mason, Michigan, she takes pride in public serve. 

In 1986, Judge Aquilina became the first female JAG Officer in the history of the Michigan Army National Guard, she retired in 2006 with twenty years Honorable Service.  She is an adjunct law professor at both Western Michigan University—Thomas M. Cooley Law School and Michigan State University College of Law and has earned teaching awards at both institutions. Judge Aquilina is the former owner of Aquilina Law Firm, PLC, and former host of a syndicated radio talk show called Ask the Family Lawyer. 

Find her on social media:

Facebook     Twitter

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – Book Review

Brian’s Review:

In this final book you’ll find yourself cheering and rooting for Salander.  You’ll experience the rush as things fall into place and the fear that perhaps it won’t go as planned.  If you have read the first two books, there is no way you’ll want to leave the story unfinished.  A must read. If you haven’t read the first two books, I strongly suggest you do.

The Book:

Lisbeth Salander- the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels- lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital.  She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders.  With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence.  And, on her own, she will plot revenge- against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

     Once upon a time she was a victim.  Now Salander is fighting back. (From inside the cover of book.)

Thrice Read Books has this used book in stock. You can purchase a copy here.

You can also purchase this book from Amazon as hardcover, Kindle, paperback, audiobook or Mass market paperback here. [affiliate link]

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Book Review

About the book:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Contains Affiliate Link)

The Industrialist

Henrik Vanger, head of the dynastic Vanger Corporation, is tormented by the loss of a child decades earlier and convinced that a member of his family has committed murder.

The Journalist

Mikael Blomkvist delves deep into the Vangers’ past to uncover the truth behind the unsolved mystery. But someone else wants the past to remain a secret and will go to any lengths to keep it that way.

The girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Lisbeth Salander, the enigmatic, delinquent and dangerous security specialist, assists in the investigation. A genius computer hacker, she tolerates no restrictions placed upon her by individuals, society or the law.  (From back cover of book)

Brian’s Review:

This is book one to a great trilogy.  I highly recommend reading this book before you endeavor on seeing the film.  Filled with twists suspense action and all out making you cheer for the underdog, the Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo will have you cheering and fearing page after page.  Word of warning, once you open this book you will not want to stop reading until you have read all 3 books in the series.  If you love books, if you love words, you love justice, then you undoubtedly love this book.

Buy the Book:

Thrice Read Books has a copy of this book for sale here.

You can also purchase this title from Amazon in Kindle, paperback, hardcover, audiobook and mass market paperback here. [affiliate link]

The Butterfly Garden – Book Review

About the book:

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

Jenn’s Review:

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison (contains affiliate link)

Okay, I am generally not one for psychological thrillers, but this one had me hooked from the go. “Maya” is one of several young women (girls? They’re all between 16 and 20, with one exception) who have been rescued from a serial abductor’s clutches, but she isn’t exactly forthcoming with the information the FBI needs to wrap up the investigation.

Instead, Maya takes readers, and her FBI interrogators, on a roundabout meander through the garden prison and the lives and deaths of her fellow “Butterflies” that have been her life for the last 2 years.

An amazingly spun tale of intrigue, broken lives, psychopaths and the deep inner strength that defines survivors of trauma. If you enjoy thrillers, don’t miss this wonderfully written story told in three parts.

**Warning: While most of the scenes are glossed over, there are a couple of dicey places that could trigger those with their own childhood sexual traumas, or those who are sensitive to violence.

Buy the book:

This book is available through Amazon as a Kindle, paperback, hardback, audio CD or MP3 CD here. [affiliate link]