Author: J. Mercer
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, YA
Publisher: Bare Ink
Date of Release: January 6, 2019
Format: Kindle (YA Bound Book)
Triplicity: (n) a group or combination of three; triad.
Meet Isaiah, Jesse, and Navy as they adventure to Alaska on a cruise, with their families and each one hiding a secret. As the three get to know each other, things start to go missing. Each one falling under suspicion, can the three of them find the real thief before the ship docks one last time and things get worse?
While I figured out quite early who the thief was, I loved how each character was complexed and their backstories were extremely intriguing… some were heartbreaking and others were just outright complicated. The writing and storytelling kept me on the edge of my seat, needing to know what happens next. Each teen was likable in their own way. However, the majority of the adults didn’t have any redeeming qualities. For some people, that may be a drawback, but it drew me in. It intrigued me to see how the teens would navigate the seven days at sea. It was my first book by J. Mercer, and definitely not my last!
Title: Out, Proud, and Prejudice
Author: Megan Reddaway
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Fiction, LGBTQIA, Romance
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Date of Release: June 4, 2018
Format: Kindle (NetGalley)
Pride & Prejudice is one of my favorite classics. When I found out there was a male coupling, I immediately grabbed it! I will admit, one half of me grabbed this book because I knew it wouldn’t compare and I wanted to see what the differences were, aside from the obvious differences. The other half of me grabbed this book because it’s based on a classic, and you can’t go wrong with classics. The characters were well executed, and it was clever how the author made the story modern. The pacing was a bit slow for me. It felt like I had to get too far into the book for me to remotely connected to the story. However, once you’re hooked… you’re hooked.
You do feel the same amount of angst in this version as you do in the original, but not the same wit. I can’t speak for others, but I thought the character of Charlotte to be quite despicable. For her to be the best friend, she didn’t have any redeeming qualities. Bennet (Elizabeth), Darius (Mr. Darcy), Jaime (Jane), and Tim (Mr. Bingley) were wonderfully crafted to fit this modern version.
Modernizing a classic is no small feat. I can say, Ms. Megan Reddaway was up to the challenge.
Title: Last Stop in Brooklyn: A Mary Handley Mystery (Book 3)
Author: Lawrence H. Levy
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Shakera
Genre: Literary Fiction, Mystery, Suspense
Publisher: Random House, LLC
Date of Release: January 9, 2018
Format: Kindle (First to Read)
It was such a pleasure to read this book! Mary Handley is one hell of a private detective… and in the 19th century, no less! The book starts with an explosion, but ends with fireworks! In a time when Andrew Carnegie, Russell Sage, Jay Gould, and John Rockefeller, people were angry and frustrated and anarchy was on the rise. So was corruption in the New York Police force. Inspector Thomas Byrne joins the force and proclaims he will have Jack the Ripper apprehended in 36 hours. Well, Inspector Byrnes did apprehend someone… but was it indeed Jack the Ripper?
Mary’s first case came from a family friend who suspects his wife of cheating. Little did she know it would lead to a much bigger case that speaks to what’s going on in the country. Did I mention Jack the Ripper?! This leads to Mary’s next case. Yes, she’s working two cases. While the characters are intertwined in the two cases, the cases aren’t related, but they are intriguing. Brian Murphy thinks his wife is having an affair. He hires Mary to find out if that is true. What she stumbles upon is much bigger! A key witness to the assassination attempt of Russell Sage. The witness, Brian’s wife. This leads her to meet Harper Lloyd, who becomes extremely helpful in her second case, Ameer Ben Ali.
She’s hired by his brother, Basem Ben Ali to prove he is innocent of killing prostitute, Carrie Brown. Ameer is Algerian and occasionally live across the hall from Carrie. When she is murdered, Ameer is arrested, tried, and found guilty by a “jury of his peers”. Mary’s investigation takes her to Coney Island, a huge tourist attraction in a country of immigrants. While there you will meet characters who are not that intricate to the case but help you understand the time period. The opinions of immigrants were not very high, but not just for African-Americans, but for the Irish, Eastern Europeans… anyone who was different. Mary holds a different world view and was not afraid to voice those opinions. Her retorts to some of the comments will having you in stitches. Can she save Ameer from certain death or will he fall victim to a severely corrupt judicial system?
The pacing was a bit slow at times, but it was full of information that helped you understand what it was like to live in Brooklyn during the 1890’s. It also gave you, as the reader, an idea of what you would have experienced during this time period. Mary’s reasoning and deduction skills are modern and amazing. So is the constant banter she has with Harper. They have really great scenes together. What really fascinated me about this book is the research that went into telling this story, as most of the characters are actual people. Some of the chapters do fly by. The writing keeps you engaged. You find yourself wanting to know what will happen to the characters in this chapter and what will happen next. This was a great book and I’m so glad I was picked to read it.