Spotlight on Guest Reviewers

 

 GUEST REVIEWS!

 

As you know, our staff delights in reading and sharing what we are enjoying with our customers. Much of the time it's a two way street, and our customers share their finds and faves with us. Here's a place to share customer reviews with everyone... Want to share your $.02? Just ask a staff member!

Former MG staff Patrick Heffernan and Bunny Hand have their own dedicated pages!

And watch for Guest Reviews for some of our author event spotlight titles as well.

   

 

 

 

Staff Pick Logo
Kneaded to Death Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781496707727
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kensington Publishing Corporation - February 28th, 2017

Ivy Culpepper is back in Santa Linda, California, her childhood home. Once married, now divorced, a photographer by trade, Ivy returned to her hometown from Texas after her mother's tragic death. Ivy, her father, and her younger brother, devastated by the hit and run death, need to grieve together. As distraction, Ivy enrolls in a bread-making class taught by Olaya Solis, proprietress of the Mexican bread shop Yeast of Eden. Ivy hopes encountering Miquel Batista, the high school sweetheart who left town and broke her heart, reconnecting with her best friend Emmalene Davis, chief of police, and learning bread baking will reset her life. Instead, Ivy is faced with a murder victim and her new, makeshift, bread baking family is implicated. Naturally inquisitive, she begins to investigate classmate Jackie Maker's death. She meets her daughter, visits her house, pokes into the dead woman's life. Among Jackie's papers, Ivy finds a connection to her mother. Is her mother's hit and run related to Jackie's murder? Did one person kill them both? This is a well-paced first book in a new series. Ivy, an emotionally distraught main character, represents mother-daughter relationships everywhere. The surrounding characters are likable and realistic. This story is a pleasant, entertaining way to spend a couple of hours. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Staff Pick Logo
Of Books and Bagpipes Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250057495
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - April 4th, 2017

Delaney Nichols has settled into her new job and her new home in Scotland; she enjoys her adopted family. When Delaney and cabdriver Elias, her landlord, drive to Castle Doune to meet a costumed contact and pick up a comic book compilation, they find their contact dead. Without much thought for consequences, Delaney secrets the manuscript under her coat. Bad idea. She was told her contact was the son of an old friend of her boss Edwin, who died in a fire. Then Gordon — definitely not dead — walks into the Cracked Spine insisting Edwin tell him why and how his son died. Returning to the scene of the crime with boyfriend Tom and his father, Delaney finds two more clues. Always inquisitive, she begins to poke into the life of the murder victim, a William Wallace impersonator, as well as his not-so-dead father's relationship with her boss. Does the death have something to do with her boss and his mysterious past? Does it have to do with the reenactments? What is the meaning of the capital letters SPEC that appear to connect Edwin to the dead man? What does the dead man have to do with three college students, Edwin included, and the woman connected to them? Rumors of a death surround the group. Questions. Questions. Questions. She needs answers before she ends up with more dead bodies. This is a lively book populated by likable characters and many surprises. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Staff Pick Logo
The Cracked Spine Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781250118226
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 7th, 2017

Laid off from her museum job In Kansas, Delaney Nichols is starting over. The ad Delaney responded to sends her to a new city, new country, new continent. She will be working for Edwin McAllister at The Cracked Spine, a bookstore located in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her new family consists of Edwin, Rosie, Hector, and Hamlet. Her first friend is the cab driver who picked her up at the airport. Delaney's duties are varied and she wonders if they border on illegal. As Delaney settles into her new reality, the boss’s estranged, troubled sister is murdered and a First Folio of Shakespeare with a questionable history disappears. Naturally curious (think nosey), red-headed Delaney begins to probe, snoop, and investigate. She talks to the friends of her new boss, as well as the dead woman's neighbors. Elias, the cab driver, is worried because the search for a killer takes Delaney into a questionable area of town — and connects her with society's seamy side. Can Delaney solve a murder without alienating her new boss, his friends, or the hunky bartender down the street? And can she stay safe while investigating? This meandering story is propelled forward by eccentric, likeable characters, tours of a scenic, history-filled city, and unexpected surprises. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Staff Pick Logo
The Bone Witch Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781492635826
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Fire - March 7th, 2017

Chupeco’s created a non-western world of dark mysticism and beautiful complicated relationships that takes witchery and the paranormal to a whole other place where choices are never easy and the future has yet to be written. This is a coming of age journey not like others on offer. Chupeco’s writing choices call to mind the oral history keepers and provoke questions about not only the objectivity of her narrator but also the struggle to understand the motives of the subject of the tale and their world. The Bone Witch is a magical world beautifully steeped in culture with stunning descriptions. Chupeco’s built a nuanced landscape with hills worth climbing and valleys that invite you to linger while traveling through. The Bone Witch can capture your attention in a way that invokes a visceral reaction and piques your curiosity, but it is not a tale, however, for the impatient reader. – Guest Reviewer Ro


Staff Pick Logo
The Curse of the Were-Hyena (a Monstertown Mystery) Cover Image
By Bruce Hale, Bruce Hale (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781484713259
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - July 5th, 2016

What is wrong with Mr. Chu? Carlos’s favorite teacher growled when smelling his oral report. Then Mr. Chu began to sprout hair on his bald head. Weird. Fourth graders Carlos Rivera and Benny Brackman head straight for their comic book store to research mutants and monsters. Mrs. Tamasese, former female wrestler turned comic store owner, encourages the two boys to try an exorcism. To say the exorcism fails is an understatement. Nice, sweet Mr. Chu laughed uncontrollably, insulted students, mocked everything, and tried to eat a live chicken. Yup – something is wrong in Monterrosa. Carlos and Benny’s favorite teacher seems to be turning into a were-hyena. How can two kids deal with this new version of monsters under the bed? With two days to go before the full moon, the two best friends need help. Think comic store owner. Think museum. Think fast!  This fast-paced, fun read will entertain both kids and adults. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale (no relation)


Staff Pick Logo
Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies! (a Monstertown Mystery) Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781484713242
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - March 7th, 2017

According to AJ, the ladies that work in the school cafeteria are turning into bugs. Carlos Rivera and Benny Brackman may doubt his theory, but they will investigate. After all, their favorite teacher almost became a were-hyena. Monterrosa is not your normal small town. Admittedly, the lunch ladies are not their normal cheerful selves. Their lunch looks like creamed grasshoppers, and they are feeding the girls and boys in the school differently. Very differently. The kitchen is free of both rodents and cockroaches. So what? Now a small boy is missing – he vanished in the middle of lunch period from the cafeteria. No witnesses. Just gone. After lunch, during group session, the girls start backstabbing and belittling the boys – even the quiet girls join the ruckus. Little abnormal incidents that hurt feeling and stand out. So best friends Carlos and Benny head for the comic book store and Mrs. Tamasese. Add aliens (as in outer space) to the list of theories. After talking to Carlos’s grandma – think military experiment. How do you decide which option is correct? How do you solve the problem? Once again any chosen solution will create chaos and confusion, as well as an action-packed read. Suspend disbelief and enjoy. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale (no relation)


Staff Pick Logo
The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781455540006
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - January 3rd, 2017

Archeology, anthropology, history, adventure, academic infighting, and medical mystery. This well-researched book has something for everyone. And it's all true. From the early legends of the White City or City of the Monkey God, people outside of Honduras were curious. Artifacts reportedly from the city as well as stories circulated by adventurers insisting they had seen the ruins encouraged this curiosity. A few years ago, a documentary filmmaker, using cutting-edge mapping techniques, went looking for the sought-after city. Well-known author Douglas Preston joined the expedition, intending to write an article on the search. What follows is a riveting book about the mapping process, the expedition, their hardships, and their discoveries. Exiting the jungle did not end their story. Publication of their discoveries caused academic infighting. Then members of the small group began to fall ill. This page turner makes fiction appear tame. Douglas Preston draws his readers into a story that evolves from adventure to terror. I could not put it down. I took it to work, shopping, and lost hours of sleep. And I plan to read it again and again. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Staff Pick Logo
A Death by Any Other Name: A Mystery Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250101426
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - March 14th, 2017

Both Lady Clementine Montford and Mrs. Emily Jackson, her housekeeper, find their visit to Hyde House unsettling as the two amateur sleuths investigate a mysterious death. With encouragement from Mr. Ernest Stafford, landscape architect and friend to Mrs. Jackson, the ladies are attempting to clear the name of a previous cook. Mr. Rupert Bartholomew died of suspected food poisoning and the cook, blamed for the death, was terminated. Inviting themselves to the meeting of the Hyde Rose Society, the two unlikely partners are surrounded by unhappy marriages, unorthodox servants, and secrets. Many, many secrets which mean many motives. With war looming, could the motive by money?  Roger Haldane, owner of Hyde House, coveted Bartholomew’s business contract. Ladies liked the dead man which irritated husbands. Mr. Bartholomew created beautiful roses which elevated competitive personalities. As Lady Montfort quizzes guests, Mrs. Jackson works her magic downstairs. And reacquaints herself with Mr. Stafford. One by one, the two sleuths reveal secrets. Then one of the female guests is attacks and the stakes elevate. The two main characters are engaging, likeable, and entertaining. With the world in flux, mystery is the least of society’s problems. This is a well written book is the third in the series. As World War I begins and character roles change, I look forward to the next adventure. – Guest Reviewer Sandra Hale


Staff Pick Logo
Echoes in Death Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250123114
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 7th, 2017

Eve and Roarke are back and the latest installment of the In Death series isn’t pulling any punches. In a keeping with the “Marriage Rules,” Dallas and Roarke are on their way home from an evening mingling with the glitterati only to crash into another case, saving a woman who stumbles in front of their car. Dallas’s hunt for the perpetrator not only demonstrates her skill and instincts as an investigator, it seamlessly showcases her deepening personal relationships and how that growth poignantly guides her work. Robb’s writing guarantees you’ll root for Dallas. If you’re a new to the In Death series, this isn’t a bad place to get the best of what this series offers: an action-packed mystery, a steamy relationship you’ll want for your very own, and a kick ass cop who always gets the job done. – Guest Reviewer Ro


Staff Pick Logo
Power Game Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780399583919
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley Books - January 24th, 2017

Christine Feehan returns to the Bayou for another adventure with the Ghostwalker team fighting to make a safe haven for their families. It’s a rough ride that drags you further into the precarious world of the Ghostwalkers and the battle against their evil maniacal creator and his powerful allies...and enemies. Feehan’s a master at building tension, thickening the plot and kicking you over the edge with a twist just when you think you know what comes next. The intensity of her main male and female protagonists brings a believable element to relationships forged under pressure, and through fire and pain. Ezekiel and Bellisia’s story is passion-drenched definitive proof that Feehan is in no danger of losing her connection to her characters or the action-fueled world of the Ghostwalkers. Power Game doesn’t disappoint. – Guest reviewer Ro