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

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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Black & LGBTQ Mysteries Birthday Haul



So, after recently reading the second book in Paula L.Woods’s Charlotte Justice police procedural series, I quickly booted up the laptop to order the final two books.  And, well, those suckers are HERE.  I desperately (I understate a little “desperately”) want to get started on reading the third book, Dirty Laundry.  Of course, only to follow it up with the fourth and final book, Strange Bedfellows.  It’s one of those scenarios where you’re hungry to devour the series, but you also want to savor the experience with sips.

Nevertheless, the rundown goes:

Saturday, February 6, 2021

My #ReadSoulLit Start-Ups

 

So I would start a James Baldwin book the weekend before taking my Grandmother to two specialists the following week. Then the week after is my birthday week, as well as my return to the classroom. Busy little beaver, I suppose. Not the best time to find myself waist deep in Baldwin’s level of immersion and gripping engagement. Yet, I chose to pick up his book, Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone. But who am I kidding? It is always the perfect timing for a Baldwin book. As I write this, I am fifty pages in and on my second cup of coffee for the evening. His work is that absorbing; I always want to be alert to his offerings. And here it is about to start raining! The right vibe. The right move. The right night. As I have stated, perfect timing.

I’m halfway through Tammye Huf’s A More Perfect Union. It is the book chosen for the #ReadSoulLit read-along of 2021. So far, I am liking the book. It is a fictionalized retelling of the author’s ancestors' love story, seeded in a Virginia plantation around 1849. You take a slave named, Sarah, and her Irish immigrant beau named Henry; imagine the peril involved. One thing I enjoy is Henry's narrative insight into the Irish immigrate experience. I also enjoy the parallel of family pain and trauma both Sarah and Henry share, though the overall illustrations of those shared traumas are fairly "light" (if you will). Nevertheless, their pain is something that draws them to one another. To keep a balance, Sarah and Henry do alternate shifting his or her narrative throughout the book. Yet, there is a third character named Maple that is as desperate to share her painful narrative as well. And an interesting one it is, considering she is the half-sister of the plantation’s mistress.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Valerie Wilson Wesley's "A Glimmer of Death" is Out! Happy Release Day!


Listen. I stood at the stove about to reheat some lasagna (with cheap off-brand breadsticks from Wal-Mart and a "girl-bye" to them) when the UPS man delivered this baby to me. The book came on time. Delivered on its release date. I didn’t get played like I anticipated. So I was good to go! Y’all know the mailing services are off the chain these days. And my messy tail is contributing to it via Amazon purchases. But we’ll talk about that some other day.

THE FACTTTTT ISSSSSSS…

Valerie Wilson Wesley is one of my favorite black mystery writers, and she's back with a new series. Also, she's back with a fresh shift in gears toward undertaking the cozy mystery sub-genre. Wesley is best known for the famous Tamara Hayle lady private-eye detective series. She also has a catalog of black contemporary works out there (Playing my Mother's Blues being one). And Wesley is also known for two gothic romance novels (check the labels for “Savanna Welles”). My point is that Wesley has done about everything except cozy mysteries. Until today where we have A Glimmer of Death, book one in Wesley’s Odessa Jones series.

Get into Wesley's Tamara Hayle private-eye series, please

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

TWO Up-Coming 2021 Black Mystery Releases...

Naturally, I have these books sprinkled all over my virtual book-buying carts in anticipation.  But just as a friendly reminder, here's what we all have to look forward to (all links are Amazon/author's website affiliate)...

Runner (A Chicago Mystery #4) by Tracy Clark


"Chicago in the dead of winter can be brutal, especially when you're scouring the frigid streets for a missing girl.  Fifteen-year-old Ramona Titus has run away from her foster home.  Her biological mother, Leesa Evans, is a recovering addict who admits she failed Ramona often in the past.  But now she's clean.  And she's determined to make up for her mistakes–if Cass can only help her find her daughter.  

Yet, it seems Ramona doesn't want to be found.  Ramona is holding secrets dark enough to kill for, and anyone who helps her may be fair game. And if Ramona can't run fast enough and hide well enough to keep the truth safe, she and Cass may both be out of time."

I am so, so glad Tracy Clark and her P.I. Cass Raines [see labels] is back.  Four years.  Four books.  And a thousand or so more to go will do me just right.  The only hard part is the wait!  But, as always, I remind myself not to rush life.  Cheers for another Cass book to start the summer off with.

~.~

Murder by Page One: A Peach Coast Library Mystery from Hallmark Publishing by Olivia Matthews



"Marvey, a librarian, has moved from Brooklyn to a quirky small town in Georgia. When she’s not at the library organizing events for readers, she’s handcrafting book-themed jewelry and looking after her cranky cat. At times, her new life in the South still feels strange...and that’s before the discovery of the dead body in the bookstore.

After one of her friends becomes a suspect, Marvey sets out to solve the murder mystery. She even convinces Spence, the wealthy and charming newspaper owner, to help. With his ties to the community, her talents for research, and her fellow librarians’ knowledge, Marvey pursues the truth. But as she gets closer to it, could she be facing a deadly plot twist?"

So as you can see, this isn't the official cover art for the book.  But you can bettttttttt I look for an update daily!  Because I can't wait to see what it looks like.  Anyway, while I most certainly will miss Olivia Matthew's Sister Lou [see labels] mystery series, I am thoroughly excited that she has a new release coming up.  Can I guarantee you carrots and sticks that this Murder by Page One is going to be good!  Trust me, it will!

Hope you got these in your carts/wishlist/paper lists–WHEREVER.  See you all soon for the next round!

Thursday, December 10, 2020

UPDATED: 2020 Mystery Series Catching Up List

2020 Mystery Series Catching Up List

1st BOOK SHELF

*Updated notes as of December 2020


I’m making this list because I’m tired of myself starting a new series, while having a series I already need to read hanging around my shelves.  


This list will be used to help me stay focused!  Other genres in-between will come as well.

Mrs. Murphy Series by Rita Mae Brown


Book #13: Cat’s Eyewitness

Book #14: Sour Puss

Book #15: Puss N’ Choots

Book #16: The Perrfect Murder

(The rest of the series I’ll check out from the library)


*Got absolutely NOWHERE here.  Very unfortunate, considering this was once a beloved cozy series of mine.  I honestly think I just grew out of it.


John Le’ Carre Smiley Spy Series


Book #3 The Spy Who Came Out of the Cold

Book #4 The Looking Glass War

Stand-Alone: A Small Town in Germany (This’ll be my first read)


*Didn’t get anywhere with Le’Carre.  I started to read his stand-alone, The Little Drummer Girl, back in August.  Unfortunately, I got distracted with other reads.  Specifically that of Laura Child’s Tea Shop Mystery series.  In that, I took on books 4-8 and made progress there instead.  I also made progress in Margaret Maron’s series.  So there’s that! 

Suzanne Arruda’s Cameron Del African Series


It is vital that I finish this series this year.  I only have five books left to read.  The last two I’ll have to order.  Nevertheless, I must finish this series in 2020.


Book# 3: The Serpent’s Daughter

✅Book #4: The Leopard’s Prey

✅Book #5: Treasure of the Golden Cheetah

(I have to order the following two for my personal library.  Will not do until I’m done with BOOK #5)

✅Book #6: The Crocodile’s Last Embrace

✅Book#7: Devil Dance


*OFFICIALLY DONE AS OF OCTOBER 2020.  I buckled down and knocked this series out.  I enjoyed finishing it the whole way, too.  I will say the 7th and final book, Devil Dance, was self-published.  Not that this was necessarily a factor, but the quality of the series dipped here.  There was a five year break between books 6 and 7, and I suspect the author didn’t have the same editor as previous.  Nevertheless, I completed the series.  Going to miss Jade del Cameron and her adventures. 

Monday, August 17, 2020

FauxCast ~ CHOP IT UP: Goldenboy by Michael Nava (Henry Rios Mystery #2)

Been a while, huh?  I read this book back in March–as a part of #MarchMysteryMadness–and recorded this soon after.  I guess I just held on to this recording as one proceeds to tackle other areas of one's life amid... well... we know what's going on these days.  With that said, this recording is completely unedited.  Normally I try to clean things up for you guys.  This time I'm trying to get my mojo back first.  LOL.  

Anyway, enjoy!   I also hope you're all well.  Staying safe and motivated.  And refusing to give up on whatever you're reaching to achieve.



Thursday, May 28, 2020

The 3rd Cass Raines Private-Eye Book is OUT NOW!



"Wealth. Power. Celebrity. Vonda Allen’s glossy vanity magazine has taken the Windy City by storm, and she’s well on her way to building a one-woman media empire. Everybody adores her. Except the people who work for her. And the person who’s sending her flowers with death threats . . .

As Vonda’s bodyguard, off-duty cop Ben Mickerson knows he could use some back-up—and no one fits the bill better than his ex-partner on the police force, Cass Raines. Now a full-time private eye, Cass is reluctant to take the job. She isn’t keen on playing babysitter to a celebrity who’s rumored to be a heartless diva. But as a favor to Ben, she signs on. But when Vonda refuses to say why someone might be after her, and two of her staff turn up dead, Ben and Cass must battle an unknown assailant bent on getting to the great lady herself, before someone else dies.

Cass finds out the hard way just how persistent a threat they face during the first stop on Vonda’s book tour. As fans clamour for her autograph, things take an ugly turn when a mysterious fan shows up with flowers and slashes Ben with a knife. While her ex-partner’s life hangs in the balance, Cass is left to find out what secrets Vonda is keeping, who might want her dead, and how she can bring Ben’s attacker to justice before enemies in the Chicago Police Department try to stop her in her tracks . . ."
What You Don't See is the third (and I pray to GOD not last) book in Tracy Clark's Chicago-based private-eye, Cass Raines, mystery series.  Amazon had me wait two days since it's May 26th release, but I got mine.  Heck, and it's right on time for the weekend ('cause I ain't GOT TO WORK!).  

So yes, prowling the streets of Chicago with Cass is pretty much all I need.  That and maybe a DoorDash and Instacart order just to keep me in the house.  Anyway, super excited to start this one!  Black woman private-eye for the complete and UTTER WIN, baby!  Y'all out there know how I getz down.


Call or text me at your own risk.  I may respond.  I may not.  It all depends on how deep I am into my reading of What You Don't See.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

BWMW Reads ~ Author Terris McMahan Grimes's Two Theresa Galloway Books


Book #1 in Grimes's Theresa Galloway series:
"Theresa Galloway knows a call at three a.m. means trouble, especially when it's from her septuagenarian mother.  Mrs. Barkley, always keenly watching her deteriorating Sacramento neighborhood, phoned to report that something nasty was sure going on with an old friend next door.  And she was right.  Within hours the neighbor would be brutally murdered, and a little boy would be missing.  Theresa hates to admit it, but Mama usually does know best... until she insists Theresa has a better chance than the police to track down the killer and find the child."

Book #2 in Grimes's Theresa Galloway series:

"Her mother said there'd be days like this, but today's shock of her life is the red-haired stranger who moved into her mother's Sacramento home, claiming to be her father's "love child."  Being an African-American career woman juggling a stressed-out husband, two kids, and a meddlesome mom who is a magnet for trouble is more than enough for Theresa–who needs a long-lost brother? 
But what really sends Theresa over the edge is when that very same young man is suddenly missing–and then turns up as a corpse."

Monday, November 11, 2019

Let's Buy Some Newly Released Mystery Books!



"When a guilt-ridden client has an unexpected change of heart, the Mack team’s careful preparation for his grand jury testimony is blown to smithereens. Now, Charlie and Gil must pull out all the stops to defend him from his new enemies and the estrangement of his father. Meanwhile, Charlie reports for jury duty and unwittingly begins to unravel a disturbing plan to alter the outcome of a crime lord’s conspiracy trial. Before she knows it, Charlie’s dangerous meddling lands a bull’s-eye squarely on the intersection of her personal and professional lives, putting all that she holds dear in jeopardy."


Motherless Child (An R. J. Franklin Mystery Book 2) by V. M. Burns



"When John Paul Rollins is murdered during his niece’s wedding reception, Detective RJ Franklin quickly realizes this case is going to be anything but routine. The list of people who wanted him dead includes just about everyone he’s ever known including the bride and groom. Can RJ put his personal feelings behind him and catch a killer?"

"Amateur sleuth Samantha Washington’s shopping trip to Chicago takes a deadly detour when a man is murdered on her bus . . .

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