August is a good month to catch up on books. These were the shorter ones that I read earlier in the year but didn’t give formal reviews on the blog. Now it’s the end of August, and I really should catch up with myself
You may remember I had a phase in the late spring when I needed to read short books: several of these come from then. I’ve already reviewed two of Rebecca Douglass’s short story collections: there’s another here. Some light reading from a fairy-tale retelling caused me much enjoyment. And, when all seems dark, go for an old favourite: Max the amazing time-travelling cat, hero of the Shadows from the Past series. It’s always good to catch-up with him.
Clues, Cops and Corpses
by Rebecca M. Douglass
Nine tales of murder and mayhem, from the classic to the absurd. Can detective L. R. Hen discover who is committing the notorious Cackling Murders? Have the waters of lakes and rivers washed away all the clues in several damp cases? And just what can motivate a brainless thug to care about something? All these cases and more are solved in this quick, fun collection of stories by the author of the Pismawallops PTA mystery series. (smashwords)
Despite the fact I’ve put this on Goodreads with its ASIN, and the correct form of the author’s name, Goodreads has yet to synch it with their Amazon data. I suggest Rebecca attends to that when she’s back from her trekking, because this is a seriously enjoyable collection. As you’ll know from her other collections, these slim volumes are mainly flash fiction offerings, plus some specially written for the occasion. There are all sorts of crimes, including murder and what something that’s nearly murder… and some get away with murder. Highly recommended.
Hans & Greta: A Twisted Fairy-tale Novella
by Nicki Elson
Head into the forest with one studly guy and a psycho girl in this twisted fairy tale novella with a chance of zombie.
Hans and his contentious fiancé, Liesel, are just two warm bodies who wander too far into a forest that was once the site of a zombie infestation. When they stumble upon a romantic cottage, Hans is completely unaware that the woman who will capture his heart—as well as his meaty flesh—is hidden away inside the charming home. To claim true love, Hans will have to endure captivity, unraveling mystery, and a brawl with zombies.(goodreads)
This wonderful mash-up of Hansel & Gretel with Rocky Horror overtones made me laugh so much. I really enjoyed it, although many of the twists were wholly unexpected and highly original. I don’t know whether the author had her tongue firmly stuck in her cheek the whole time, but it was one of my most enjoyable books of the season. And considering I won this in the Realms Faire event in 2015, I think it’s about time I read it!
Max’s Arabian Adventures (Shadows from the Past series)
by Wendy Leighton-Porter
In this spin-off adventure from the SHADOWS FROM THE PAST series, Max the talking Tonkinese cat goes on a solo mission without his usual time-travelling companions. Snatched from the house where he lives with eleven-year-old twins Joe and Jemima Lancelot, Max is dragged back into the past by an evil magician who has lined him up to perform a special task.
Torn away from all he holds dear, the despondent cat fears he may never be able to return to the present and his beloved owner, Jemima. What will become of him? Will he make it back or will he be condemned to remain forever in a distant time and place, far from home? (goodreads)
If in doubt, read a Shadows from the Past book. Always good, sometimes astoundingly great, and of course, they star Max, the Tonkinese cat. Why the author let him out alone on this adventure I don’t know. He is clearly frightened out of his skin most of the time, and only escapes fates worse than death because of his innate star quality: every female under the age of 360 comes to his aid (and several males too). Great story-telling for all ages.