Showing posts with label POC Mystery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label POC Mystery. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Vanille Caught Something New Today



"Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, New York: Lyndsay Murray is opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family, and it’s everything she’s ever wanted. The West Indian bakery is her way to give back to the community she loves, stay connected to her Grenadian roots, and work side-by-side with her family. The only thing getting a rise out of Lyndsay is Claudio Fabrizi, a disgruntled fellow bakery owner who does not want any competition.

On opening day, he comes into the bakery threatening to shut them down. Fed up, Lyndsay takes him to task in front of what seems to be the whole neighborhood. So when Claudio turns up dead a day later―murdered―Lyndsay is unfortunately the prime suspect. To get the scent of suspicion off her and her bakery, Lyndsay has to prove she’s innocent―under the watchful eyes of her overprotective brother, anxious parents, and meddlesome extended family―what could go wrong?"

Author Olivia Matthew's NEW RELEASE is out TODAY. You can grab a copy on Amazon (affiliate link) HERE

I have a lotttttt of new releases to catch up on. Boy, I tell ya. Life of a bibliophile.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Two New #Blackmysteries Launching Within the Coming Weeks

Just a general heads up since we’re talking about Black women writing mysteries–per my last post on Tracy Clark. We have two pieces coming up in the first two months of 2023 (that I am aware of now).


Patricia Sargeant is writing as Olivia Matthews in another new series centered around baking pastries with a West Indian flare down to the Brooklyn streets. The first book in the series is Against the Currant: A Spice Isle Bakery Mystery. It’s due out January 24th, with a follow-up called Hard Dough Homicide coming in May 2023. So Matthews is not playing, honey. And I live for the back-to-back releases. Matthews is coming for the cozy field, as it appears this new series will share in all its West Indian culture and flavor. 

As a matter of fact, culture and taste were two things I found missing in the first book of her previous series. I have yet to read the second book, but I hope to get to it soon. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to Matthew's new (dare I say "daring") series. Many times authors such as Matthews have to either remove or water down cultural references and themes in their work. So this is Matthew saying to the cozy field: NOT TODAY, SATAN. NOT TODAY! That aside, my pre-order is in. Read Matthew's Sister Lou series if you can.




Author Patricia Raybon is back with her 1920s historical fiction-themed series featuring ex-college professor Annalee Spain. Double the Lies will release on February 7th of 2023. Despite my flurry of criticisms about the first book, I look forward to buying this one upon release. 

And such a treat this series is because you hardly EVER find a mystery series that takes place in the flapper days with a black woman in the lead. Like, NEVER. Go to the bookstore and see what I'm talking about! Anyway, how absolutely BOLD this cover is. The feeling I get knowing Raybon and Annalee Spain is COMING for the girls this season does my heart good. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one, too. With, of course, the hopes the author improves on her plotting and not rely on traditional mystery tropes to tell her story.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Tracy Clark's New Series Book Release Has Arrived

"When a young red-haired woman is found brutally murdered in downtown Chicago, one detail stands out: the red lipstick encircling her wrists and ankles.

Detective Harriet Foster is on the case, even though she’s still grieving the sudden death of her partner. As a Black woman in a male-dominated department, Foster anticipates a rocky road ahead acclimating to a new team―and building trust with her new partner isn’t coming easily.

After another victim turns up with the same lipstick markings, Foster suspects she’s looking for a serial killer. Through a tip from a psychiatrist, Foster learns about Bodie Morgan: a troubled man with a twisted past and a penchant for pretty young redheads with the bluest eyes. As Foster wades into Morgan’s sinister history, the killer continues their gruesome assault on Chicago’s streets.

In her desperate race to catch the murderer before they strike again, Foster will have to confront the darkest of secrets―including her own."

Unfortunately, 2022 didn't bless us with another Cass Raines book from mystery writer Tracy Clark. I suppose it's still being determined if the series will be complete (looks like Clark changed publishers or something) after the fourth book, Runner, was released in the summer of 2021. Cass Raines was one of few private investigator black woman characters in the overall genre; naturally, I have concerns about whether she should vacate the field. Nevertheless, Cass's "mother," Tracy Clark, is launching in 2023 with a new series featuring a new character/voice in the form of a Black woman detective named Harriet Foster. Apparently, Tracy Clark is shifting from the private eye to the law enforcement narrative. And guess what? I’m down for the ride! I just got my newly released copy of Harriet Foster’s first book, Hide. With–and get this–with the second book in the series (Fall) releasing later this year in December.


Now the issue is pulling myself out of a jagged reading slump to reclaim all the readings that I… well… I’ll stop here…

Regardless, I always show my support by buying books and going from there. I am a borderline book hoarder at this point. But I forgot to care.

Happy New (NEW) Release, Tracy Clark. Detective Harriet Foster is officially here. (Though I still want to know what is the future of Cass Raines.)

For more on Cass Raines and author Tracy Clark, click on the Labels below!

Friday, September 2, 2022

#WEEKENDREADS: Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older

In all my latest desires to dive back into reading urban fantasy, I've finally fallen onto my copy of Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older. It's the first book in this Bone Street Rumba series (two other books were released), featuring the first-person narrative of a Puerto Rican man named Carlos Delacruz. Carlos is half-dead. Or what they call an inbetweener. He works for an organization called Council of the Dead. I'm going to spare you and myself in trying to round out and encapsulate what each "inbetweener" and "Council of the Dead" conceive of. Just know Carlos is like an agent of sorts ushered out to put a stop to supernatural problems. In the case of the first book, he has to stop a sorcerer who is also an inbetweener. As well as put a stop to a slew of ngks attacks. Ngks are a phylum of imps. Only they cause plagues and a host of other fatal disturbances. When we’re first introduced to one, it’s actually rather creepy.

I’m 100 pages into the book and, while I don’t follow 100% with the story, I’m enjoying this book a lot more than I thought I would. I was hesitant over the years, but Half-Resurrection Blues is winning me over so far. Placing some of the issues I have so far aside, I think I like the voice of Carlos. There’s a bit of Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins in it–to a degree (I stress “degree”). Carlos is smooth and charismatic. Though, most of all, he cusses. With him in the lead, the story just kind of propels and glides me forward. Even and despite the work it takes to understand and conceive the urban fantasy landscape the author has built. Now in terms of urban fantasy, Carlos is obviously in the minority as a male protagonist and triple as a man of color. And can't I express how MUCH I appreciate a voice similar in likeness to my own. Call it swag or vernacular or whatever. I just appreciate it and it is what’s largely keeping me engaged.

Still got 226 pages left to see how much happens. And, of course, I’ll always be the first to drop out and say if and why something doesn’t work. But as of now, this is my #WEEKEND READ.


Friday, August 26, 2022

Just a Reminder: Shanora Williams...

 ... Lastest pyschologically thriller, The Wife Before, has been out. I'm late to have gotten my copy, but I have it (can't keep up with everything, man). The synopsis reads as (according to Amazon)...

"Samira Wilder has never had it easy, and when her latest lousy job goes south, things only promise to get harder. Until she unexpectedly meets a man who will change her life forever. Renowned pro golfer Roland Graham is wealthy, handsome, and caring, and Samira is dazzled. Best of all, he seems to understand her better than anyone ever has. And though their relationship moves a bit fast, when Roland proposes, Samira accepts. She even agrees to relocate to his secluded Colorado mansion. After all, there’s nothing to keep her in Miami, and the mansion clearly makes him happy. Soon, they are married amid a media firestorm, and Samira can't wait to make a fresh start—as the second Mrs. Graham . . .

Samira settles into the mansion, blissfully happy—until she discovers long-hidden journals belonging to Roland’s late wife, Melanie, who died in a tragic accident. With each dusty page, Samira comes to realize that perhaps it was no accident at all—that perhaps her perfect husband is not as perfect as she thought. Even as her trust in Roland begins to dwindle and a shadow falls over her marriage and she begins to fear for her own life, Samira is determined to uncover the truth of Melanie’s troubled last days. But even good wives should know that the truth is not always what it seems . . ."
It's giving Daphne du Maurier Rebecca vibes–though possibly the Black version. Regardless, if it's anything like her last book, The Perfect Ruin, I know it'll be goooooooooodddddddddd.


Sunday, August 7, 2022

Author Nadine Matheson is back with Inspector Anjelica Henley #2

Here we are a year later with the second Inspector Anjelica Henley book, The Binding Room, by UK author, Nadine Matheson. The book came out a few weeks ago in July, but right on time as it follows up Anjelica’s story post the first book, The Jigsaw Man.


Taken from Amazon:

Detective Anjelica Henley confronts a series of ritualistic murders in this heart-pounding thriller about race, power and the corrupt institutions that threaten us

When Detective Anjelica Henley is called to investigate the murder of a popular preacher in his own church, she discovers a second victim, tortured and tied to a bed in an upstairs room. He is alive, but barely, and his body shows signs of a dark religious ritual.

With a revolving list of suspects and the media spotlight firmly on her, Henley is left with more questions than answers as she attempts to untangle both crimes. But when another body appears, the case takes on a new urgency. Unless she can apprehend the killer, the next victim may just be Henley herself.




Tuesday, June 7, 2022

A Super Rare #BlackMystery Book

 

This 1974 gem came in the mail today. I’ve been hunting it down for about five months now, unable to commit to the usual $79-$100 price tag this sucker usually costs on second-hand sites. Somehow. Somewhere. In the world of dreams and fantasies, I managed to find this rarity on Thriftbooks.com for only $15. You know I grabbed this thing sooooooo FAST. Anyway, as contained within the cover art, the book is called Good Girls Don’t Get Murdered by Percy Spurlark Parker It’s about a woman seeking help from a black man named Bull. When she is found murdered, the police aim their investigation upon Bull who, of course, sets about traversing the local community to clear his name. I can’t speak too much of the commentary expressed in the work (considering I haven’t read it yet), but I’m certain it’s there for me to speak on in the future. Anyway, the point of today is to celebrate having obtained a copy of this book. The joy. The joy. The freakin’ JOY!

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Somebody said: “Birthday, Coupons, and Credit Card Reward Points.”

And I said: “Buy them STORES OUT!”

Recent acquisitions to slightly satiate my appreciation for reading (and buying books). I've been in a particular cozy kick lately. Or, in fact, desire to get back into reading cozies. It seems I haven't read a few in a hot minute. Heck, I didn't even pick up the Mrs. Jeffries series by Emily Brightwell last year. And, double heck, I didn't read cozies through December. I'm feeling those pangs. Additionally, having finished reading The Wheel of Time in November, I spent about a month and a half recovering from that experience. Now, I craze some more high fantasy goodness. Luckily, Tanya Huff and Mercedes Lackey have been somewhat handling that deal. Nonetheless, these are the books I spent the weekend doing what I love best (digging underneath stacks) acquiring…



1.  Black No More by George S. Schuyler

2. The Complete Smoke Trilogy by Tanya Huff

3. Pride, Prejudice, and Peril by Katie Oliver (kind of curious, but scared of this one)

4. Mrs. Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past by Traci Wilton (finally decided to give this series another try)

5.  Body and Soul Food by Abby Collette (this lady just KEEPS series going)

6.  The Chuckling Fingers by Mabel Seeley (the 1941 publication date and woman in a trench coat took command)



7. Dead in the Scrub by B.J. Oliphant (an elderly woman rancher solving mysteries sounds like my tea)

8. The Princeton Murders by Ann Waldron

9. He Died with His Eyes Open by Derek Raymond (the title alone provides the kick to this British 1980s PI adventure)


Now… the heavy part is finding time to read them. Oh, well!


Saturday, December 18, 2021

Last Few 2021 Black Mysteries I Desire to Read


*In-text links are Amazon affiliate

I pretty much had to play buying books by ear this year. With tuition payments blessedly covered, the majority of my book spending was on a desperately needed few new releases (ala J. D. Robb) while trying to read many of the unread titles already littering my bookshelves. So, naturally, as seen by my frequency here and in other places, black authors' mysteries are a consistent purchase. And though I can't catch them all, I usually grab a decent few. Alas, here are two that have been on my radar all year, but I only recently managed to snag in the hopes of devouring them soon (Holiday break hopeful). Nonetheless, they are…

All that is Secret (An Annalee Spain Mystery) by Patricia Raybon. First things first, if you are in the bookstore looking for this book (which I encourage you to do), note that it is primarily shelved in the Christian Fiction section instead mystery. Anyway, the story takes place in 1923 and follows Annalee Spain. She’s a theology professor at what is known as Chicago Bible college. Evidently, she gets a telegram asking her to return to her hometown in Denver, per the killing of her father. Thus, ensues a mystery. 

What captured my attention when I first came across the book was the infusion (per the synopsis) of what appears a woman taking on a sunset town, while driven by her love of Sherlock Holmes to keep her focused and steady as she solves her father's murder.


Though the book contains romance and is categorically Christian Fiction, I hope that the book does not shy too far away from speaking toward the racial commentary/exposition suggested in the synopsis. I hope the author will be honest and daring, instead being enraptured with sounding safe. And though I’m certain forgiveness is a theme, I want it to LAND. Basically, I am trying to emphasize that I want to be MOVED by every element suggested in this work. No, for real. I'm ready to be knocked out by the book. Regardless, much praise to Raybon’s cover artistic because the cover to All that is Secret is gorgeous! And I have a strong feeling my mamma might like this book, too. But, of course, I'll have to buy her her own copy should I love it for myself.

So I saw Shanora Williams’ book, The Perfect Ruin, back in the spring. I can’t remember where, but another author was promoting a live stream or something featuring Williams. Hell, I forget. Anyway, the point is that I saw Williams’ face on the announcement and raced to add her book to my wishlist. Nevertheless, according to Amazon, The Perfect Ruin seems relatively dark. Ivy Hill is traumatized and tormented by some tragedy in her childhood. Whatever the case, she is now so messed up that she doesn't see a reason to continue living. Until she finds out who was "responsible" for the tragedy that wrecked her life. This person is evidently a wealthy socialite.

Then Ivy infiltrates the socialite's circle and… well… let the PLOTTING AND SCHEMING BEGAN. This book puts three things in mind: the TV show Revenge, your usual 100+ episode Korean drama, and those recent thrillers like Gone Girl (or something, chile. I don’t know…). The book is labeled a psychological thriller, so we’ll see what happens. But the onlyyyyyy hesitation I have when it comes to psychological thrillers is that the stakes have to matter. Like, every deceptive chess move has to gag me with calculated twists and turns until that final confrontation. And the antagonist has to be just as crafty as the protagonis–that sort of thing. 

Chile, I tried to read a Jeffrey Deaver psychological thriller book earlier this year and couldn't get past fifty pages. To me, psychological thrillers aren't great when you can tell the author is playing in the reader's face. The reader has to connect with the protagonist. To care about their circumstances/motives to stick around for the payoff. That's all I'm gon’ say. But I look forward to finally reading ThePerfect Ruin.

Anyway, I’m done typing. I still have Dead Dead Girls by Nekesha Afia on my list.

Friday, July 2, 2021

#FridayReads Features the New Tracy Clark Mystery, Runner

Welllllllll, Tracy Clark's fourth Chicago P.I. Mystery called Runner, featuring our sister Cass Raines, is officially OUT. When I write OUT, I mean OUT! As in me walking out of work for the weekend so I can sit down somewhere (I honestly hope it rains so I can order out as well) and read it over the weekend. This is a series I look forward to for a new release each year, and so far we're in year four with a hopeful five down the slide.

Seriously, I want this series to be one of those long-running private-eye series where long into the future I can profess how I was a DAY ONE reader. Corny notions, but it's how I feel.

Evidently, Runner is going to be one of those winter-based chilly kinds of mysteries.


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

CHOP IT UP: While Justice Sleeps

A young law clerk works for a Supreme Court Justice who falls into a coma. Before his faltering health, he has given guardianship to his unexpected clerk with strict instructions for her to abide by his wishes. Furthermore, he has planted a trail of clues leading her to unveil a conspiracy aligning the US President in connection to a biological experiment with designs of enacting genocide toward a specific community of people.
Stacy Abrams's suspense thriller, While Justice Sleeps, was an automatic buy for me this year. No doubt. While the book was released in early May, and I bought it soon after, I'm just not getting to it and finishing it; I'm so troubled by the expression of "too many books with too little time."


Either way, I was excited to make it a focus venture this month, and I have to say I really enjoyed the book. I knew Abrams was going to implement an intelligent thriller. Like, I just knew it. And I wasn't disappointed–at all. She used her character, Avery Keene, to take us readers through legalese court and justice realms. Also, the often-infuriating chess game of politics (though the commentary wasn't as involved), biological weaponry, and personal avenues featured the main protagonist and her addict mother. Nevertheless, it is a busy, busy thriller. But unlike many thrillers I have attempted to read, Abrams' pace was outstanding! I'm a "I need more details" type of reader, so breakneck suspense isn't always fun for me. However, While Justice Speaks was suspenseful, it carried a balance of engaging details. Each event or uncovered clue brought information and motion. And, once again for emphasis, the book remained sharp and intelligent throughout. 


The story was way bigger than I anticipated, and not a single moment in the story's unfolding felt convoluted or read too conspired. However, I would say from my overall experience, two things did kind of bug me.


One: while the thriller was brilliant, I was hoping Abrams would pull away from lots of thriller conventions and present us with something fresher. Certain areas of the story were predictable, only because they mirrored standard patterns seen in thriller books. This is especially evident with the characterization of some of the antagonistic characters.


Two: while I enjoyed Avery, for whatever reason, I had trouble settling on what type of character she was. She's young at twenty-six, but serving as a clerk, it was evident she was intelligent. But I felt like she allowed too many characters to speak down to her, and I explicitly grew angry every time a male character would grab her arm. Nevertheless, in some cases, her rebuttal to being treated like a child often turned into moments of reinforcing the notion. Essentially, I recognized she was in command, but I never quite felt it completely. A lot of times, it felt like it was more projection to me. I also felt like she need more personality, and given that she's biracial, I would have loved more commentary on her experiences. Without those last two elements, she was borderline serviceable and placid at times. But not to get it twisted; she was great when she was great, which is throughout most of the book.


Anyway, I just wanted to run those thoughts down. I hope another book is coming out featuring this same cast.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Friday Book Purchases...

As I write this, I am ready to crash. I spent all of Saturday and the majority of today (Sunday) writing and beating down a course paper and journal.  My plan was to make a lasagna today, but I was so tired of writing and rewriting this paper that I just ordered a pizza, all else be darned. I'm so tired that my joints hurt! And I was only using my brain (or what's left of it) and my fingers. It goes to show the mind-body connection is real. But the second I post this, I'm back to reading A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  It's my first Sherlock Holmes reading ever.  I can honestly say it is good, especially the second half.

Nevertheless, Fridays are my jam.  Off days always usual are.  However, if God blesses you to have Fridays off... well... don't waste it!

Got paid. Bookstores to curve my mental health in a positive direction.

And just because I like the atmosphere and hoarding books, I went to Barnes & Noble (what else is new, homie?).

Anyway, before the weekend is up, here is what I picked up Friday. A bit of old with a mystery classic/pioneer force in The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins.  Previously, I had a children's book version of the book and have since decided I needed the whole enchilada experience.

Secondly, I grabbed a new release I've had on my watchlist since last year in Dead Dead Girls by NeKesha Afia.  Who, by the way, is a black woman debuting her Harlem Renaissance-themed mystery here. This is perfect because I'm always in the bookstore looking at newly released early 20th century era mysteries, but the ones that are released never look interesting.  The covers are always some woman looking over a horizon with a big ole wide-brim hat on and an evening gown making them ALL.LOOK.LIKE.THE.SAME.BOOK! Go look for yourself and tell me I'm lying!


Anyway, I was NOT going to walk out without NeKesha Afia having my support. I buy the book. The store replaces the book. Keep the cycle going, people. Now the real question is, when will I catch up with my backlog with all that I have purchased recently.

Well, I'm off.

Tired. Drained.  And still have to go to work tonight.  But I just came to put you all up on some game–book hoarding wise. Six courses left before graduation.  The good news is that I'm ahead, so I have Monday all to myself to make tea and read (and leftover pizza so I don't have to worry about what to eat). Wish me well, and take care yourself, chile.

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