“The King’s Bishop” is part of the Owen Archer series by Candace Robb. Owen Archer is one of my favorite fictional characters. This one-eyed former archer turned apothecary apprentice lives in the 1300’s in England. He is also a spy for the archbishop of York and as such finds himself on many adventures, facing peril and intrigue alike while unraveling the mysteries that affect the archbishop and his position both in the church and at the Royal court.
In this installment of the series Owen’s friend and fellow soldier, Ned, finds himself being hunted down while on a mission for the king. Ned is suspected of killing a priest he was charged with protecting and he has just found out that the girl he wished to marry has been murdered. He decides to run. Owen is charged with finding him and returning him to court.
Candace Robb does a fantastic job of bringing the period and the characters to life in this series. I return to these books again and again as old friends. Be prepared to challenge your brain a bit with these stories because the twists, turns and intrigues of a royal court can be hard to keep up with but well worth the effort. I hope you will enjoy as much as I do.
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If you like forensics and behavioral profiling you will love “Taboo: A CSI Reilly Steel Thriller” by Casey Hill. This book has a little bit of everything, crime, mystery, forensic investigation, behavioral profiling and even a possible romance.
Reilly Steel is an FBI trained forensic scientist/profiler with a troubled past. Originally from California she takes a job running the forensic unit for the Dublin police. Her alcoholic father is also in Dublin and she is hoping to take better care of him now that they are in the same city. There is a tragedy in her past regarding her sister which is hinted at from the beginning but not fully revealed until the end.
With the exception of one detective, Chris Delaney, the Dublin police are pretty skeptical of Reilly and her GFU unit and their ability to assist in crime solving. But when a string of brutal murders hits the city they need all the resources they can get. A serial killer is on the loose and Dublin is quaking with fear. Reilly must first prove that the murders are related and all committed by one person, then she must discover who that person is. This investigation is full of twists and turns and is ultimately very personal for Reilly.
Reilly Steel and the other key characters and very well developed in this story and enabled me to be completely drawn in. The more I read the more I wanted to keep reading. This is book 1 in a series and I can’t wait to check out the next installment. I give this book 4 out of 4 stars because it just really captured my imagination.
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This beautifully crafted story had me riveted from start to finish!
The story centers around a young woman named Madeleine Karno. Madeleine lives in Varbourg, France in 1894. She is the only child of a local doctor whose nickname is “Doctor Death”. Not only does he treat the living but he is also the one who determines cause of death, much like what we know today as the coroner. Forensic science is not even a phrase yet but this is exactly what Dr. Karno is doing with the help of his daughter. Madeleine hopes to follow in his footsteps.
On a snowy night in February a young woman is found dead on her doorstep and Madeleine and her father are drawn into a twisted tale of murder. Shortly after the girl’s death the priest who watched over her body is also found dead and a young boy has gone missing. Is there a connection? What are the strange mites that are found on the bodies on the young woman and the priest? How does the missing boy fit in and is he dead or alive? Tracking down the answers will take Madeleine to a convent where the nuns are keeping wolves and where the young woman had been a student. She will also journey to Heidelberg to meet a leading scientist in the field of parasites who will end up changing her life. Because her father has been injured in an accident she will be given the opportunity to be the one to examine the evidence, practically unheard for women at the time, and give testimony in court. It’s all very exciting!
I found this story to be so well written that I felt like I was there with Madeleine as she is searching for clues to the mysterious deaths, interviewing those closest to the victims, and finding herself on the wrong end of a gun more than once. And just when you think they have it all figured out there is a spine-tingling and completely unexpected twist. I highly recommend this book to mystery lovers and forensics buffs alike. I will definitely be looking for more of Lene Kaaberbol’s books to add to my reading list.
This book is scheduled to be released Feb. 17, 2015.
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A wonderful journey through one woman’s life. Laura Reasoner Jones has put together the life of her great-grandmother, Florence Reasoner, through the eyes of those who knew her best. The story is told primarily through correspondence to Flora.
She lived through a pivotal period of American history, from the Civil War to the Great Depression. When her life begins women have very few rights and are dependent on men for their support but she lives to see women gain the right to vote and control their own money and property.
Flora had wanted to be a doctor like her father but she was denied the opportunity to go to college. After her marriage she sets up and operates, in complete secrecy, a clinic for the poor of her city. She teaches English to the immigrants, provides medical services, and instructs mothers in the art of parenting. She is also a worker for the women’s right to vote group in her area. Near the end of her life she struggles with the thought that she really didn’t do anything with her life. But those around her saw her as a key person in their lives, providing them with encouragement in their own endeavors and an inspiration to continue their education and work to improve their own communities.
I found this story to be both educational and inspiring. Sometimes we take for granted the rights that we now possess and this story really opened my eyes to just how tough the fight to get those rights was. I hope you will also enjoy this book and never forget those who came before us and the work they did.
Eel River Rising
I have a new hero. His name is Liam Campbell and you can meet him too, just pick up a copy of Fire and Ice by Dana Stabenow. I absolutely loved this story. This book is the first one in the Liam Campbell series and I can’t wait to read the rest.
Our hero, Liam, is an Alaska State Trooper who has been disgraced and demoted because of an incident where a couple of troopers under his command were shot. He has also recently lost his son in an auto accident which put his wife in a coma. He has been reposted to the small town of Newenham on Bristol Bay. Before he is even off the plane he has a murder to solve and he is confronted with a face from his past. This story is full of twists and turns and lots of interesting characters.
One of the reasons I so enjoy Dana’s books is because of her characters. They are always unique and draw you in to their lives, making you feel like you are right there in the center of the story with them. I highly recommend this book.
Fire and Ice