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Archive for April 28th, 2015

The Botanist

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The Botanist by LK Hill

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) In the heat of the desert, Detective Cody Oliver inadvertently stumbles upon a strange garden adorned with exotic flowers. Upon closer inspection, he finds the garden is but a cover for the scores of bodies buried below. Soon, the small town of Mt. Dessicate plunges into chaos as journalists, reporters, and cameramen from across the nation descend upon the tiny, desert town to get a piece of the action.

Along with the media, a mysterious woman appears. She may be the only person who has come face to face with the killer, dubbed the Botanist, and lived to tell the tale. If Cody can’t piece together a timeline of the land the crime scene is located on, decipher how the woman’s mysterious past is connected to the killer, and bring the Botanist to justice, he may lose the people he values most.

Detective Cody is assigned to the mass grave that a hiker finds under a field of blue flowers. Because of the exotic blue flowers the killer is dubbed The Botanist. While investigating, Cody learns of a woman, Alex that filed a report years earlier that may be able to help find the serial killer. Cody is reluctant to let Alex help with the hunt since she is a civilian. But Alex is a strong woman and keeps pace with Cody easily. The real question is if they can catch The Botanist before he strikes again.

I don’t even know where to begin with this review. I was hesitant about Cody but instantly liked him in the story. I loved Alex. She has her own past she is working on but she is such a strong woman. The mystery was gruesome and chilling but so good. I had no clue who the killer was and loved how the book ended. It was so easy to get sucked into the book. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next and had to forcibly put it down or I was going to read through the night.

This is a great crime mystery/thriller. This was my first book by LK Hill but it won’t be my last.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

To purchase The Botanist or for more information make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and LK Hill’s website.

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Savage Girl

I have another release for today, Savage Girl.

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Savage Girl by Jean Zimmerman

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) In 1875, the Delegates, an outlandishly wealthy Manhattan couple on a tour of the American West, seek out a sideshow attraction called “Savage Girl.” Her handlers avow that the wild, seemingly mute Bronwyn has been raised by wolves. Presented with the perfect blank slate to explore the power of civilized nurture, the Delegates take her back east to be introduced into high society. Cleaned up, Bronwyn is blazingly smart and darkly beautiful; as she takes steps toward her grand debut, a series of suitors find her irresistible—and begin to turn up murdered.

The Delegates are a wealthy family that likes to help others with their fortunes. While in Nevada, they come across a side show with a young savage girl that was raised by wolves. They decide to rescue her and introduce her to high society in New York. As Bronwyn becomes more enfolded in high society, young men start showing up brutally murdered. The only connection is they showed Bronwyn some form of interest. But who is the killer, Bronwyn with her savage nature? Could it be Hugo, who loves Bronwyn?

It is clear that Zimmerman has done a lot of research for this story. The descriptions are so vivid and very real. I live 30 minutes from Virginia City and it is great seeing where the story fits into real life. I admit that I didn’t know who the murderer was until the end. Everything wrapped up neatly.

This is a very descriptive story with a great mystery. It was easy to get swept up in the story and the tidbits of real events and people just made it that much better. This is a great historical mystery that you don’t want to miss. Now I’m going to read other books by Jean Zimmerman.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

For more information on Savage Girl be sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Jean Zimmerman’s website.

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Book’a-neer’ (bŏŏk’kå-nēr’), n.

A literary pirate; an individual capable of doing all that must be done in the universe of books that publishers, authors, and readers must not have a part in

THE LAST BOOKANEER

London, 1890—Pen Davenport is the most infamous bookaneer in Europe. A master of disguise, he makes his living stalking harbors, coffeehouses, and print shops for the latest manuscript to steal. But this golden age of publishing is on the verge of collapse. For a hundred years, loose copyright laws and a hungry reading public created a unique opportunity: Books could easily be published without an author’s permission. Authors gained fame but suffered financially—Charles Dickens and Mark Twain, to name a few—but publishers reaped enormous profits while readers bought books inexpensively. Yet on the eve of the twentieth century, a new international treaty is signed to grind this literary underground to a halt. The bookaneers are on the verge of extinction.

In THE LAST BOOKANEER (Penguin Press; on sale April 28, 2015), award-winning and bestselling author Matthew Pearl (The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow, The Last Dickens) gives us a thrilling historical novel set inside the lost world of these doomed outlaws and the incredible heist that brought their era to a close. On the island of Samoa, a dying Robert Louis Stevenson labors over a new novel. The thought of one last book from the great author fires the imaginations of the bookaneers, and soon Davenport sets out for the South Pacific island. As always, Davenport is reluctantly accompanied by his assistant Fergins, who is whisked across the world for one final caper. Fergins soon discovers the supreme thrill of aiding Davenport in his quest to steal Stevenson’s manuscript and make a fortune before the new treaty ends the bookaneers’ trade forever. But Davenport is hardly the only one with a mind to pirate Stevenson’s last novel—his longtime adversary, the monstrous Belial soon appears on the island.

Yet Samoa holds many secrets of its own, and the duo’s bookish concerns clash with the island’s violent destiny. A colonial war is afoot between the British, American, and German powers, even as Stevenson himself quietly supports native revolutionaries from high in his mountain compound. Soon Davenport, Fergins, and Belial find themselves embroiled in a conflict larger, perhaps, than literature itself. Illuminating the heroics of the bookaneers while conjuring Stevenson himself to life, THE LAST BOOKANEER is a page-turning journey to the heart of a lost era.

Pearl’s singular talent for uncovering and extrapolating fascinating stories from literary history has intrigued and delighted book lovers and critics alike time and time again. (Pearl pulled the idea of the “bookaneer” from a scrap of history about the illegal 19th-century trade in books before the international copyright law of 1891 came into effect.) This is the first time Penguin Press is publishing Matthew Pearl, and we are very proud to showcase a writer at the height of his powers. THE LAST BOOKANEER, with its electrifying story and instantly quotable writing, is a fine testament to Pearl’s research and imagination and reaffirms his deep respect for the power of literature. It’s a love letter to books, to the people who write them, those who sell them, and all who treasure them.

Matthew Pearl

About the Author

Matthew Pearl is the award-winning and bestselling author of the novels The Dante Club, The Poe Shadow, The Last Dickens, and The Technologists. His books have been New York Times bestsellers and international bestsellers translated into more than thirty languages.

Advance Praise for THE LAST BOOKANEER

“An entertaining adventure tale steeped in literary history…[Pearl] offers many of the charms and unrushed distractions of a favorite old bookstore.”

Kirkus (starred review)

“In the days before e-books, self-publishing, and fan fiction, publishing was an even riskier undertaking—or so Pearl makes an entertaining case for in his latest, ingenious literary caper…Pearl gives the bookaneers a lively fictitious history…and populates it with a colorful cast of roguish characters…A loving testament to the enduring power of paper books.”

Publishers Weekly

“Writing mischievously clever novels about famous writers is Pearl’s forte…Passionately researched and ebulliently imagined…Pearl’s vividly descriptive and energetically plotted novel churns and charms with intriguing literary history, acid social critique, witty dialogue, and delectably surprising and diabolical reversals and betrayals.”

—Booklist

“This swashbuckling tale of greed and great literature will remind you why Pearl is the reigning king of popular literary historical thrillers. His latest is guaranteed to delight lovers of history and mystery.”

Library Journal (starred review)

“This novel is about book lovers, for book lovers, written by a book lover. Matthew Pearl is the gold standard when it comes to historical mysteries, and THE LAST BOOKANEER is no exception—a wonderful tale of passion, intrigue, and the last days of Robert Louis Stevenson.”

Lyndsay Faye, author of Gods of Gotham and Seven for a Secret

“When it comes to educating and enthralling in the same breath, nobody tops Matthew Pearl. THE LAST BOOKANEER is a riveting transatlantic adventure, a first-class exercise in intellectual history, and beneath its richly embroidered pages, a love letter to the written word. It reminds us why we love books in the first place.”

Louis Bayard, author of Roosevelt’s Beast and The School of Night

For more information on The Last Bookaneer or to purchase the book be sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Matthew Pearl’s website.

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