Pirogue Wipeout (The Big Uneasy, #7) by Pauline Baird Jones – Review

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Review of Pirogue Wipeout

The Big Uneasy mystery/romance series is about the Baker family and how they all find their happily ever afters – all while solving the crime of the day. 

In this story, a passenger from Gemma Bailey’s charter boat ends up dead.  Along with two, maybe three others.  Dan Baker is the CGIS agent working the case.  Dan doesn’t want Gemma to be guilty, but she is one big mystery.  Gemma isn’t guilty, but she doesn’t mind being questioned by Dan.  The developing romance between Gemma and Dan is about the only thing in this story that we all know will be a sure thing. 

Everyone is looking for answers – about the murders, about a plane full of missing people, about a possible loup-garou (werewolf), about Gemma’s mysterious past.  “Who was Gemma Bailey?”  This is the questions that everyone wants answered in Pirogue Wipe Out.  Including, at times, Gemma Bailey.

Everything else is about secrets.  There are secrets all around in this story.  Starting with the secret Dan is keeping from his family.  There is a secret about Gemma’s parents.  Add in all the secrets associated with any murder and a wise guy showing up, you just know that there is a whole box full of antsy secrets, impatient to be revealed.  This is one twisty murder mystery.  You never know what bombshell is going to be dropped.  Never knowing is what makes it so fun!

Dan and Gemma are great in the hero and heroine roles.  At age 45 and 35, they are both old enough to be cool and young enough to be hopeful.  Gemma has become one of my favorite Big Uneasy heroines.  Her mysterious past is intriguing, and I even feel like she has more story to tell.  Maybe, Gemma will show up in a future Big Uneasy story. 

Pirogue Wipe Out is part of a great series, but can be enjoyed as a stand alone.  Thanks to the author for providing a copy of her book.  My review is my honest opinion.

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About Pirogue Wipeout by Pauline Baird Jones

No-nonsense Coast Guard agent, Dan Baker finds himself going where he doesn’t want to go (the swamp) and feeling what he never thought he’d feel (in love or in like). He really hopes the mysterious Gemma isn’t the murderer because he doesn’t want or need her in his life.

Gemma Bailey’s “get away from it all” summer on the charter boat Reel Escape, is not turning out like she’d hoped. There is a dubious lawyer, a sinister mob figure, and some murders. Was it the Rougarou? It is a pity the way too attractive Dan Baker thinks she’s the murderer.

Can they untwist the tangled ties, clear Gemma and the Rougarou, and ride off into the sunset on Dan’s Triumph?

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Peace Maker (Verdant String, #6) by Michelle Diener – Review

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Review of Peace Maker

Fjern is off the beaten path when it come to the Verdant String. When it was settled, the ancestors sent the Gyra with them for protection. Gyr are the Fjern who have been changed by the gyra nano-technology. It makes them stronger and faster. Fliss has lived in a remote part of the world and never been exposed to the Gyr culture. She is not like the typical Gyr in many ways. When she leaves home to join a Gyr team, her ‘sponsor’ Dakar, keeps the fact that she is Gyr secret from his team. Dakar’s death launches Fliss into a situation where she will need to learn fast.

Han, the leader of a Gyr team sent to investigate Dakar’s death, is immediately drawn to Fliss. And she is drawn to him. And their gyra are drawn to each other.

While the Gyr are dealing with the death of Dakar and the new Gyr who is different from them, their world has already been quietly invaded by aliens who are on Fjern to steal resources. Fliss is lured to their base in a trap, Han is looking for Fliss and Gyr command (composed of non-Gyr) is trying to maintain an arcane status quo. Things are about to get interesting ….. and dangerous.

I loved these characters. Fliss is quiet, and not likely to take any crap. Han is the great leader with a well-honed team of fellow Gyr. These characters are well-developed with just enough background and are further shaped by the events of the story. The complication of a stogy old Gyr command who seem to be interested only in power, adds a political aspect to the action-packed adventure.

When I read the last book of the Verdant String series, Wave Rider, I said it was my favorite in the series. Well, now I have a new favorite – Peace Maker!

Many thanks to the author who provided a copy of her book. My review is my honest opinion.

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About Peace Maker by Michelle Diener

Fliss knows all about her ancestors, the Travelers, who were forced to land on Fjern thousands of years ago, but when it comes to the Gyr—the enhanced warriors who protect the people of Fjern from the monsters that inhabit the planet—she’s in the dark, even though she is one herself. There’s plenty of ceremony and arcane tradition set up around who receives the gyra—the nanotech that makes the warriors the super-protectors that they are—but Fliss doesn’t care about any of that, she just wants to brush off the dust of the tiny mining settlement she’s been protecting all her life and leave the combative relationship she has with her father far behind her.

When the Gyr who offered her a way out of her old life dies in spectacular fashion, though, she comes to the attention of a host of powerful people, both the Gyr and the administrators from the institution that controls them, alike. Fliss is about to find out more about the Gyr—and herself—than she ever dreamed of.

Gyr leader, Hannu Kardenian, thought he was being called to investigate the strange death of a fellow warrior, but what he finds instead is a woman who breaks every rule he’s ever lived by. Everything about her sets his own gyra on fire, and when she comes to the attention of Gyr Command—the institution that mandates the Gyr’s very existence—he is determined to make sure she never ends up in their clutches, even if he has to upend the very structure of Fjern itself.

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Postcards from Another World (More in Heaven and Earth) by Katherine Gilbert – Review

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Review of Postcards from Another World

In Postcards from Another World, Gillian Sternbech, slightly magical parole officer in charge of Fluffy the Dog, is called in to help with a serial murder case. While Gillian is at a loss to understand how she can be of help, when she is partnered withe handsome sorcerer Nassar Farouq, Gillian goes along with the assignment. It doesn’t take long for Gillian and Nassar to figure out that she does have a connection to the culprit. The murderer leaves clues in the form of postcards and dreadful poetry for the pair to follow.

Each murder takes place at the site of some previous socio-political catastrophe/crime. The Whitechapel area of London, where Jack the Ripper victimized prostitutes who had no one to care about them. The 9th ward of New Orleans, devastated by a hurricane and ignored in the recovery. The Outer Banks of North Caroline, where wreckers purposely lured ships to crash on a rocky shore so the ships could be looted. And Lake Murray, South Carolina, where the residents were forced to leave so the area could be flooded to make a lake. As I was reading, I thought the author might just be making her own critical observations of history and felt that there was no purpose for it. Just so you know, I was wrong about that. Gillian will, in her on empathetic manner, make all the connections and use those connections to deal with evil.

Along the way, Gillian and Nassar will meet with Gillian’s grandmother (Baba Yaga), her mother and step-dad. He happens to be a sasquatch. There is also a possessed ventriloquist dummy who proves to be very helpful along with Fluffy the dog, who is helpful and supportive in his own way. Nasser, is the quiet hero in the background, letting Gillian do her own thing, helping when necessary, but knowing that she will get things done.

There are many things to appreciate about this book. The plot is at once straight-forward and chaotic (in a good way). The romance is sweet (no steamy sex scenes). The cast of characters, most of whom are part of the magical world, is extremely diverse. And I so much appreciated the author’s sense of humor.

Postcards from Another World is a part of the More in Heaven and Earth universe. Each book is completely standalone and this book was my delightful introduction to the series. Quirky and charming, this book includes an insecure Alpha heroine, a secure Beta hero, vampires, witches, a sasquatch, magic and a ton of entertainment! Oh, let’s not forget the human doing time in the form of a terrier because he tried to make a deal with a demon. And did I mention he has a thing for a cross-dressing vamp? Read this book only if you like fun! 🙂

Through StoryOrigin, the author provided a copy of this book.  My review is my honest opinion.

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About Postcards from Another World by Katherine Gilbert

She’s just a girl with a dog-shaped magical parolee. How did she end up having to search for a serial killer?

Gillian Sternbach is used to being overlooked. As the granddaughter of a famous, and dangerously-powerful, witch, she didn’t actually end up with much magic besides the ability to see and interact with ghosts, which often feels more like a curse than a blessing.

Still, she’s fine with her life as a parole officer for the Magical Council, looking after some of the less-dangerous magical miscreants, such as her current full-time charge, George, who’s rather mouthy for a man now trapped in the body of a fluffy Highland terrier. Even with her tendency to be a bit of a cryptid magnet, she doesn’t have any complaints.

Then, out of the blue, the Magical Council puts her on the case of a terrifying serial killer who leaves a Victorian postcard at each of his crime scenes through England and America. They team her up with Nassar Farouq, a sorcerer who’s way too attractive and kind to be good for her timid heart. Why she’s on the case is a mystery, until she learns that all of the killer’s previous victims seem to have connections to her.

Now, instead of her usual quiet life, Gillian and Nassar, with George the dog in tow, are chasing through every odd and supernatural spot on a multi-continent and cross-country trip to find a killer. From a Victorian cemetery in London to America and an abandoned town, a swamp where legends live, a sunken city, a creepy antebellum ruin, a haunted former insane asylum, and finally the wreck-strewn shores of the Graveyard of the Atlantic, she and Nassar will have to try to discover her connection to the killer and stop him before he kills again, especially since–as the murderer’s taunts make clear–his next victim is likely to be her.

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So, unrelated to this review, but related to a character in the book: do you watch TV shows about hunting for Big Foot? We watch them at our house and more than once, I have suggested to the Big Foot hunters (who can’t hear me) that they should look up! Thank you Katherine Gilbert, for getting this suggestion out there. Now, if we can just get the Big Foot hunters to read this book…..

Also, unrelated to this review, but related to an event in the book. Forcing residents to relocate and then flooding the previously inhabited valleys to create lakes has occurred in many places in this world. Climate change is altering the landscape at one such location. Drought is causing lake waters to recede and revealing the village that lay at the bottom in Northern Italy.

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