Thursday, April 30, 2020

The 7th Month (Detective D.D. Warren #5.5), by Lisa Gardner (author), Kirsten Potter (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, January 2013 (original publication January 2012)

This is another re-listen.

It's a novella set between the fifth and sixth books of the Detective D.D. Warren series. D.D. is seven months pregnant, and currently confined to desk duty. which drives her bananas. She's also hesitating over moving in with Alex, whom she loves, and who is the father of her unborn child, but she's terrified of slipping out of her police career and becoming "just a wife and mother."

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Miracle at Speedy Motors (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #9), by Alexander McCall Smith (author), Lisette Lecat (narrator)

Recorded Books, January 2008

This is a reread of an older entry in the series.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency has already moved into the spare office at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors Grace Makutsi is engaged to Phuti Radiphuti, but their families are still negotiating Grace's dowry.

The orphans Mma Ramotswe and Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni adopted, are still adjusting to their new lives. The main focus in this story is the girl, Motholeli, is confined to a wheelchair, though she doesn't let it confine her much. But Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni has met a doctor who thinks he can help her, despite what previous doctors have said, and he's determined to pursue the chance despite Mma Ramotswe's doubts.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

An Amish Love Reclaimed, by Elizabeth Zook (author), Giselle M. Chatelain (narrator)

Elizabeth Zook, November 2019

Miriam Lapp is a young Amish wife with a four-year-old son, and a husband who is working long hours, focused on getting a promotion at the furniture store where he works.

It's been months since she saw a spark in his eyes when he looks at her, and the romance seems to be gone from their marriage. Miriam is determined to change that.

She recruits her mother to babysit her son, and planned an evening out with her husband, to try to revive their marriage.

It's a sweet, simple short story.

I received a free copy of this audio short story from the author, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Game Changer (Lisa Millar #1), by Lasairiona E. McMaster

Drama Llama Publishing, March 2020

AJ Williams is a college hockey player, with two Canadian best friends. One is Jeremy, his hockey teammate. The other is Brittany, a..k.a. Britt, whose visa is running out, and who wants to stay in the US, so she can be with her boyfriend, who is also not a US citizen. She's come up with a brilliant plan--AJ should marry her, a completely phony marriage, so that she can stay in the US.

This is of course a really stupid idea, and selfish on Britt's part, but AJ feels obligated to support his friend.

Jeremy, meanwhile, talks AJ into joining him in an online chat with his latest love interest and her best friend. That friend, Lisa Millar, is Irish, turns out to have a large overlap in musical interests with AJ, and is, improbably, a hockey fan. She's been watching AJ and Jeremy's games online.

You can see where this is going. AJ is soon a technically married man, with a girlfriend in Ireland he's getting more and more involved with.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Regenesis (Cyteen #4), by C.J. Cherryh

DAW, January 2010 (original publication 2009)

This is the direct sequel to Cyteen, picking up with Ari II, a.k.a. Ariane Emory, Personal Replicate, the clone of Ari I, one one the greatest scientists the human race has produced. It's a few months after the deaths of Giraud and Denys Nye. Yanni Schwartz is head of Reseune. Ari and her azi companions and security team, Catlin and Florian, are eighteen. So are most of Ari's friends.

This doesn't change the fact that the political conflicts that led to the deaths of Giraud and Denys, nearly caused Ari's death, and could have been disastrous for Reseune, are still active.

Ari needs to keep growing up faster than Ari I did, and learn to take control of Reseune and a significant role in Cyteen's Council. Her enemies, and Reseune's, include the Ministry of Defense, but she might have potential allies there, too. One of her friends, one of the few who isn't eighteen but twenty years older, is Justin Warrick, who mainly wants to keep his head down and do his work on developing stable azi psychsets, and who is the personal replicate and "son" of Jordan Warrick, former lover, rival, enemy, and possible murderer of the first Ari, and now bitterly resentful of all things Reseune, but especially Ari II.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Devil in the Details (Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective), by E.J. Stevens (author), Melanie A. Mason (narrator), Anthony Bowling (narrator)

Sacred Oaks, April 2020

Ivy Granger is a private detective with psychic powers. She's using her powers to help keep the residents of the little New England town of Harborsmouth safe from monsters, including demons, vampires, and the fae.

The catch? Ivy has recently discovered that she is fae herself, and her fae powers are starting to assert themselves.

This is a short story, in which Ivy finds her much-loved, adopted demon child, is being Summoned. If the summoning succeeds, either Sparky will become the slave of the summoner, or he'll die.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Louisiana Lies (Roxy Reinhardt #3), by Alison Golden

Alison Golden, March 2020

This is the third of Roxy's unplanned plunges into investigation of murder. It's a fun visit with our old friends, though Evangeline is mostly unseen. She's busy with her new dog.

Which leads me to my one complaint about the book. The dogs. I count a total of four, if we include Evangeline's new pet, whom we never actually meet.

No, no dogs die in the telling of this story, though it might be unwise to inquire what happens to the two German shepherds after the end of the story.

We have the two German shepherds, stereotypes of the vicious, snarling "police dog," or, in the UK, I've been told, "Alsatians,"  dogs who are nasty, vicious, hard to control, and likely to turn on their owner. Then there's the little dog belonging to one of the suspects, a fluffy little dog who gets carried around constantly, as if he were a purse. And finally we have Evanageline's new pet,  "French pug."

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Act One (What Doesn't Kill You #0.5), by Pamela Fagan Hutchins

SkipJack Publishing, April 2017

This is a prequel to the "What Doesn't Kill You" mystery series. Katie, Emily, and Michele attend a dinner mystery theater performance that's part of a law school reunion. Unfortunately, the performance ends abruptly with a real murder on stage before the end of Act One.

We also meet the actors, including Maggie, Becky, and Ava, who have more than enough conflict amongst them to spark a murder.

Monday, April 20, 2020

The Egg, and Other Stories, by Andy Weir (author), R. C. Bray (narrator), Jonathan Davis (narrator), Christy Romano (narrator)

Audible Studios, June 2017

This is a varied collection of short stories from Andy Weir. They range from hard sf to much softer and fuzzier fantastic fiction. Not all of the narrators are reliable; one narrator isn't who we think they are. Some of these stories work much better for me than others, but overall this is an enjoyable and satisfying collection.

It's an enjoyable way to spend an hour or so of your time.

I bought this audiobook.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

SIMPOC--Human Remnants, by Ray Jay Perreault (author), Zachary Johnson (narrator)

Ray Jay Perreault, November 2015

Earth has been hit by a sudden, fast-moving, extremely lethal virus, of unknown origin. Most of the human race has been killed, without even the time to identify the origins of the virus.

Now most of the human race is dead, and the survivors are working to pull their remnants together and save the species and hopefully civilization.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Grave Passion (DCI Isaac Cook #12), by Phillip Strang

Phillip Strang, March 2020

Two teenagers out for an evening of teenage sex walk through a cemetery on the way to their destination, and just miss witnessing a murder--the murderer passes them, and they find a body lying on a grave. Despite their panic, they call the police.

DCI Isaac Cook and his team find themselves with a body with no ID, no really unique feature, and only her shoes are new enough that it might be possible to track down where they were purchased. But DS Wendy Gladstone is very good at that, and--she gets a list of names, of the purchasers who paid with credit cards. There are others who paid with cash, so no way to track those.

Meanwhile, the two teenagers, and their families, prove to be an interesting problem in themselves. The kids saw the murderer, and almost the murder; he might be after them. But the boy, Brad, comes from a very troubled family, and his sister, Janice, working as a prostitute, is murdered in her flat--by someone who wrapped the knife in a towel, and then showered afterwards in her bathroom. Oh, and didn't have sex with her first. This is very strange, and doesn't seem to obviously be an angry client.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Roxy Reinhardt Mysteries 1-3, by Alison Golden (author), Honey Broussard (author)

Alison Golden, April 2020

Roxy Reinhardt is, when we meet her, working in a customer service call center in Chicago. It's an awful job for an awful company, but it pays the bills and lets her build some savings--more or less.

Then she loses the job, goes home, and learns she's lost her boyfriend as well. With him moving in with his new love, and with no job, she obviously can't afford the apartment.

In a mad moment of impulsivity, she takes her cat and her few possessions that matter to her, and heads to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. She booked a room in a tiny inn, the only one she could find quickly that she could afford and which would accept her cat. She's not sure what to make of the inn, never mind of New Orleans, and least of all of the staff--the owner, Evangeline; Nat, the tattooed waitress; Sage, the spiritualist who does the inn's website; Sam, owner of a modest laundry business who does the inn's laundry and also any odd jobs needed--and who owns a custom Rolls Royce.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

The Greatest Host, by Ray Jay Perreault (author), Christopher M. Allport (narrator)

Ray Jay Perreault, January 2016

The Mists are microscopic creatures that exist in a cloud, and seek suitable hosts to occupy and live with. They're benign; they live in harmony with their hosts. Unfortunately, their last planet got bombarded by meteors that rendered it uninhabitable. The Mists had to leave, and seek a new, safer planet with suitable hosts.

The Mists reach a planet that has life, the right kind of life, and is much safer from massive meteor bombardment from space. Now, can they find a good species to be their hosts?

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Loveless Ada (A God Complex Short Story): The Luggage Disaster, by George Saoulidis (author), Steve White (narrator)

Mythography Studios, October 2019

Ada is a fifteen-year-old on a school trip to Italy.  She's also an accomplished young programmer. Unfortunately, when their plane lands, it seems the airline has lost her luggage. The group's teacher/chaperone prefers to leave Ada alone at the airport rather than delay the group in order to help her get her luggage.

With her teacher and fellow students gone, and no real help from the luggage claim's help desk, Ada walks out of the cold, air-conditioned airport into the warm, Italian air.

Where she meets a man with luggage that follows him.

And they start talking.

This is just a lot of fun. Recommended!

I received this audio short story as part of a "there's a pandemic; let's do something nice" giveaway, and am reviewing it voluntarily.