Wicked Secret by Valerie Keogh really contains a wicked secret. There is the main murder mystery. Who did it? That is not the wicked secret. There is a secondary and much more entertaining secondary murder mystery. Who did it? That is not the wicked secret either. The perpetrators of the two murders hoped their identities were secret, but those identities were not wicked secrets. Nicola, an abrasive almost psychic, a person who had helped the police solve gruesome crimes in the past, had a really wicked secret. My challenge will be to present an idea of what the book is about without revealing the secret. It is an interesting secret and should support reader interest in this novel as well as follow up novels.

After a wasted week dealing with a confrontational commentator, I want to get back into the swing of things with…

Scissors by Neil Bushnell is a short story I received by subscribing to an author mailing list. Which is another way of saying I read this for free. This is generally a way that Independent authors can get exposure; a reader can find interesting content and perspectives from new writers.

Tipping Point by Garry and Roy Robson begins as a story of a boy in trouble. Harry didn’t like to see his friend Epimou bullied. Epimou couldn’t defend himself so Harry waded in to discourage Gary Milton from further bullying. Using the fire extinguisher may have been a bit much. That was the Headmaster’s opinion when he expelled Harry.

When Harry returned home, mom was not happy. It was probably better that Harry went to a pub for awhile. Harry was sixteen. In some countries, he may just have been an expelled student in trouble, but in London, he was a man needing a job. And he got one. His father put him on a strike-breaking crew that would get rid of trash and refuse from posh areas of London. A general strike had been called by the responsible union workers but the rich wanted their streets clean. And they would pay for it. This was bound to lead to fighting. And Harry didn’t have his fire extinguisher.

Final Thoughts by Jaxon Reed is a very short story with a very abrupt, definite, short ending. We don’t know the narrator’s name but he won’t be around long enough for us to worry about. He is about to be executed. While the ending is definite, he has some choices about the method. Lethal injection looks like the best bet, the least painless. The firing squad is definitely out. He might get poor marksmen. Doc offered him the guillotine. What?? Why would anyone do that?

I received Chase & Chloe by Simone Elise as an Advance Read Copy (ARC) and was asked to read and review it by 12 July 2017. With about four days to read it, I thought this would be easy but not so. It took me four days because it was a unique reading experience for me. I haven’t previously read a novel I both liked and disliked so much. The parts I liked, I liked a lot. The parts I disliked grated on all kinds of sensibilities. This would be a good novel for a book club discussion but might require a referee when discussions became heated. There was a disclaimer that is probably standard on ARC that there might be typos or grammar errors that would be corrected before final printing. I only found one error, a typo, in which the word “one” was used when the word “own” was needed. I was impressed with the mechanical accuracy of my copy. I divided the content into three parts as far as my interest. These divisions are mine, not the authors. Part I sets parameters, introduces characters, and hints at overall plot. Part II bored and sometimes offended me. Once I started Part III this turned into an I-can’t-put-it-down story and continued until the final two chapters. Then it returned to its Part II style but at that point, I didn’t care. I was happy with what I had read

Tiny Trophies by Adam Hughes is an extremely short story which is also extremely weird. This is one of those you probably don’t want your kids to read although it is in the tradition of the original before it was cleaned up for children, Brothers Grimm. The selection is only eight Kindle pages which I believe to be more like flash fiction.

“Tiny” is a size. That is apparent from the story. But it also might be the narrator’s name. I am going to assume so because it is convenient to have the one word serve two meanings.

Note the NEXT to the last line. It seems there might be power in non-reading. But we will be overrun…

One of the first things a reader might note in You by Caroline Kepnes is the cover endorsement by Stephen King. It is a very strong endorsement; it is not on the back cover or in the first few pages preceding a table of contents; no, there it is on the front cover as it serves up a very strong endorsement of the talent of Kepnes. I kept this in mind as I read and found the endorsement, unlike many, to be completely appropriate even without the many references that Kepnes makes to King throughout the novel. By themselves, these references are clever and fun.

Fallen Angel by John Ling is a book I got from an author website through Instafreebie. It is in the genre of one spy-gone-rogue and another retired spy with humane concerns returning from retirement to save the day. In this case we have Kendra, the retired spy, who has spotted her boyfriend, Ryan, from ten years before engaging in some type of covert activity that does not appear to be officially sanctioned. When Ryan’s activities result in an explosion that should have assured his death, Kendra begins an investigation to determine what has been going on.