Patricia Briggs - Frost Burned
Signed 1st Editions Are Still Available.
It’s no secret that Amber and I are fans of Patricia Briggs, so we were excited to get her latest Mercy Thompson book, Frost Burned.
However, Amber hasn’t read it yet — and what’s keeping you? Hmmm? — so I’m not going into too many details here.
Mercy and her step-daughter, Jesse, are out on Black Friday, shopping for all they’re worth, when they find themselves tangled up in a car wreck. They’re banged up a bit, but the Rabbit is toast, so they call Adam for a ride. Except that Adam isn’t picking up. No one in the pack is answering their phones. And Mercy has a serious sense that something is deeply wrong.
They discover that the pack — the entire pack — has been trapped, and those folks who have captured the others are after them now. Mercy has to turn to the vampires for help, and that presents its own set of serious dangers.
When people come in asking about good urban fantasy, we steer them towards Patricia Briggs. She writes clearly, seemingly effortlessly, and her characters are people you sincerely care about. She’s smart, too, which is great. There are threads in Frost Burned that she started several books ago, and they’ve been woven in beautifully. And I’m incredibly proud of her for making a tough decision, doing something that may be wildly unpopular but was exactly what needed to happen in the story.
If you’re a fan of the Mercy Thompson series, you’ll absolutely have to read this one. But one of the things we continually point out to Mercy fans is that you have to read the “Alpha and Omega” parallel series as well. What happened in Fair Game (signed copies available) changes the whole world, and some of the events in Frost Burned won’t make any sense until you’ve read it.
FIND THEM HERE. BUY THEM HERE. KEEP BOOKS HERE.
-SEATTLE MYSTERY BOOKSHOP
Rachel Hawkins - School Spirits
Izzy Brannick has a very long and impressive lineage. While most people prize, politicians, celebrities and rebels in their family tree, Izzy has more unusual branches on hers.
For centuries, her family has hunted monsters, or, to use the more civilized term, Prodigium, becoming their boogie man in turn. However, thru the centuries of campaigns and fighting, the Brannicks have dwindled down to just Izzy and her Mom.
Finn, her older sister, has gone missing a few months earlier. On a routine hunt, Finn and Izzy were tracking a coven of witches. Finn went in, while Izzy stayed behind, and she hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Finn’s tactical belt is the only evidence that she had ever set foot in the house.
She and her mother searched, ran down every clue and still came up with nothing. However monsters don’t keep convenient hours, and before Izzy is ready, they have to continue on with their duties. In this case Izzy must go undercover in Ideal, Mississippi’s local high school. A ghost is on the loose and causing some serious bodily harm to a faculty member and threatens the rest of the school…..Izzy must now navigate the labyrinth of cliques, fashion, boys and magic. To solve her case, without becoming attached to the people around her, this is a job. Friends are a luxury she cannot afford…..right?
School Spirits is a parallel series to Hawkins’ Hex Hall series. Meaning, it is set in the same world with vampires, ghosts, fae and witches. However, none of the characters from that series pop up in this book. School Spirits is a solid mystery, with promising multi-book plots, such as her missing sister Finn, the prophecy that Izzy will let Torin out of his mirror and what exactly is going to happen with Dex? This book has the potential to start a new urban fantasy-ish YA series, and I cannot wait to see where we go next.
I would recommend this book to any girl 11-16 (sorry guys, I don’t think you are the targeted demographic here) who is looking for a fast paced, Buffy The Vampire Slayer -esque - mystery.
The one critique I have of this book, is it is missing the snarky humor found in the Hex Hall series, and I realize Hawkins cannot make the two series the same. However it would have been entertaining to see more sly humor embedded into this mystery.
FIND THEM HERE. BUY THEM HERE. KEEP BOOKS HERE.
- SEATTLE MYSTERY BOOKSHOP
Gail Carriger - Soulless
Alexia Tarabotti has been on the shelf since she was fifteen. Her mother decided her Italian heritage and unconventional looks (dark hair, dark eyes and the predilection of tanning) was too much to overcome, that no gentleman would seriously pursue Alexia. So she made the early decision to concentrate her attention and money on securing good marriages for her two younger daughters.
What her mother didn’t know was this suited Alexia just fine. Alexia enjoys the freedom spinsterhood allows her; to read whatever she likes, consort with flamboyant friends and concentrate on finding the best foods Victorian London can provide. Plus, well it would be a scandal if it came out to society that Alexia was born without a soul.
Soullessness can be an advantage when dealing with some of the residents of London, Werewolves, Vampires and Ghosts, since just her touch negates their power. This comes in handy when a very rude vampire has the audacity of attacking Alexia at party, thereby tossing Alexia into Lord Maccon’s path again, (how many times does she have to say the Hedgehog was not her fault?) and into the mystery of why all the lone wolves and rogue vampires are disappearing from all around England….
If you are looking for historical accuracy of Victorian London, with insights into the life and times of the people living in this period, this is NOT the book for you.
If you are looking for a funny, witty, romantic, melodramatic action-packed supernatural romp, then I highly recommend this book to you! I enjoyed every second of this book, the ridiculousness of pairing proper Victorian manners when being attacked by an unknown Vampire is hilarious. Alexia and the rest of the characters are over the top in their personalities and are just fun to read. And the mystery at the core of this book is well thought out as well, setting up future villains and problems in the books to come. I cannot wait to read the rest of this series!
I picked up this book purely because of the author description “Gail Carriger writes to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriated Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life for Europe and inadvertently acquired an education. She now resides in the Colonies with a harem of American lovers and tea imported from London.” If you find this as humorous and intriguing as I did, like urban fantasy without sparkling vampires, and enjoy a bit of steampunk thrown in for flavor, I think you will really like this book.
FIND THEM HERE. BUY THEM HERE. KEEP BOOKS HERE.
-Seattle Mystery Bookshop
I wasn’t going to review Jennifer Lee Carrell’s, Interred with Their Bones because there were a couple of things that I found a bit awkward.
One of the hallmarks of a really good book is how it digs itself into you and won’t let go, one of those you find yourself thinking about long after you’ve put it down. This one did that. I’ve been tossing some of the ideas that she’s presented around in my head, and she’s made me think and re-assess some ideas I’ve held.
The story is about a Shakespearean scholar who has given up research to direct Shakespeare’s plays. Kate Shelton’s been given a great opportunity to direct Hamlet in the reconstructed Globe Theatre in London, quite an opportunity for an American. However, her mentor, Roz Howard, shows up to a rehearsal, gives Kate a package and arranges to meet her later to explain. But then the theatre catches fire, ironically enough on the same date, June 29th, that the original Globe burned, and Roz is found dead. This begins a huge chase across England, the US and Spain to find a missing Shakespearean manuscript.
Let’s get the problems I perceived out of the way – and do remember, this is my perception and others may very well think I’m loony. I thought there were a few too many suspicious coincidences, I felt that she underutilized a character that should have been given greater prominence, and I found myself muddled in trying to keep all the various earls and dukes and whatnot straight, although that last one may be just my mental incapabilities.
But Ms. Carrell is a scholar, and her research and love of the subject is phenomenal, and I found myself sucked into the various debates that I’ve been aware of through the years, the idea that Shakespeare didn’t actually write the books, that there are others who might be better contenders, that there are people who are adamant that only Shakespeare himself could create such magnificent work. I also got caught up in her joy in the way people are influenced by Shakespeare even though they don’t realize it.
And I had forgotten that Shakespeare lived not only during the reign of Elizabeth, but also the time of King James and all that that implies, especially Biblically.
So I have to tell you that if you want a fast-paced read with outstanding scholarship, and if you liked Michael Gruber’s The Book of Air and Shadows then I think you should ignore my nit-picking and pick this one up!
Rebecca Cantrell’s A City Of Broken Glass
One Of The 2013 Edgar Nominees for the Mary Higgins Clark Award
I was wrong. She really IS that good.
In A City of Broken Glass, Hannah is writing for a Swiss newspaper under her pseudonym, Adelheid Zinsli, and she is sent to cover the Feast of St. Martin in a small Polish town. What should be an easy assignment and a lovely day out rapidly becomes much more serious when Hannah, her son, Anton, and their driver, Fraulein Ivona, find some of the 12,000 Polish Jews that were deported from Germany in the fall of 1938 and then housed in silos and stables. Their plight becomes personal for Hannah when she meets her old friend, Miriam, exhausted, hungry and in labor. Hannah resolves to bring Miriam medical help, and her actions take her right into harm’s way.
Kidnapped by two members of the Gestapo, Hannah is brought back to Berlin, where there is a price on her head. She is rescued by an unlikely duo, but after that, their escape out of Germany is complicated, not only by their lack of passports but by Hannah’s need to find Miriam’s daughter, Ruth, who was left behind when Miriam was taken.
Rebecca Cantrell caught the building tension and horror of the days leading up to Kristallnacht with a vengeance. The implacable and relentless determination of the Reich to eradicate the Jews, the Jewish resolve intermingled with anger and despair, and all through it, the ongoing search for two-year-old Ruth, born of a Jewish mother but with Aryan features, placing her squarely at the center of the spiralling hatred. It would not in the least surprise me to see these books used as textbook examples of what happened during those dark days. Cantrell weaves in so much actual history, it’s hard to believe these are works of fiction.
If you haven’t read the Hannah Vogel series, let me encourage you to do so. You absolutely need to read them in order, beginning with A Trace of Smoke, Cantrell’s writing is powerful, compelling and altogether human. This is a series not to be missed!
Tues, Jan. 29th, Ian Rankin will drop by to signStanding in Another Man’s Grave.Two detectives work the case of a 15-year-old girl who disappeared along a scenic Scotland highway. Other than a photo sent from her phone, there’s been no trace of her. The case becomes more complicated by three factors: the investigators learn that there have been many disappearances along this rural stretch, some going back a decade; for some reason, Internal Affairs is sniffing around the case; and the teen’s stepfather is a gangster and has his own people looking for her. One of the cops? John Rebus.
Because this will be a quick hit-n-run stock signing and we are uncertain of the time frame, we strongly suggest that you reserve a copy to be picked up later or mailed. We cannot guarantee that an entire collection of his books left here to be signed will get signed, either. Sorry. We wish this was a formal signing and all that one allows, and that the shop could be full of fans waiting to meet him like the last time he was here, but it isn’t. There will be no time to chat or ask questions or pose for photos.
Quantities will be limited.
Rob Reid - Year Zero
Okay, just us? Year Zero by Rob Reid. It’s a hoot! You’ll have music you think you’ve forgotten rumbling through your head for days!
Nick Carter is a music copyright attorney in New York, on the verge of being promoted (if he can do something brilliant and unexpected to impress his boss, Judy) or canned (substantially more likely), when a couple of aliens come to his office hoping to recruit him into helping them save our planet. You see, on October 13, 1977, all the various beings in the Refined League (as it’s known by all the civilized members, of whom we’re nowhere close to being one) discovered that our planet has the one thing that can be found only here on Earth: Music.
And from that point on, they’ve been downloading all our music and spreading it around the Universe. The catch is that our laws say that royalties must be paid, and no one in the Refined League has paid anything, which means they owe us for back royalties. They owe us a lot. More than the Universe has available to pay us.
So there are some who figure that they’ll encourage us to blow ourselves up (they’d never kill us, that would be uncivilized !), and that’ll wipe out the back debt AND they can keep the music they’ve already got.
From that point on, things take off. Year Zero is a non-stop, rollicking roller coaster. It’s a quick read, and it’s tons of fun, and it even comes with playlists for the aliens! I’ve spent a lot of time listening to artists I’ve never heard of, and lots that I have, if only to wipe out the fact that the first song the aliens ever heard was the theme from “Welcome Back, Kotter”, which is still stuck in my head.
This just rocketed onto my Top Ten list, it’s that good!
-Seattle Mystery Bookshop