Friday, May 11, 2012

More epic tales found @ your library

Copper Beach (Dark Legacy Series #1) by Jayne Ann Krentz

Kirkus Reviews -

In this launch of Krentz's Dark Legacy series, a psychic rare-book expert must wrest a valuable text from evildoers while resisting (or not) the uncanny charms of her client. Abby Radwell specializes in unlocking the secrets of a certain species of rare book, the kind that is encrypted with a psychic lock that can only be decoded by someone with special clairvoyance. Collectors of such codices are not your typical bookish antiquarians--since these tomes can wield dark powers, their aficionados usually have mixed motives for acquiring them. Referred by her mentor, Thaddeus Webber, Abby accepts an assignment from Sam Coppersmith, scion of a wealthy mining family, who occupies Copper Beach, his ancestral mansion on a remote island near Seattle. Abby's mission: Find a coded lab notebook that holds the key to unleashing the potentially deadly energy of crystals rescued decades ago from a destroyed Coppersmith mine. In the wrong hands, the book's secrets could trigger crystal Armageddon. The competition for the book has already impacted innocent victims: An elderly archivist is accosted in her home, and Thaddeus and a fellow book dealer die of suspicious heart attacks. Already on the run from a blackmailer and would-be kidnappers, Abby ignores her best friends' warnings to stay far, far away from Sam and the whole project. This is paranormal romance after all, and Sam and she have an instant, psychically augmented, unequivocally erotic connection. Besides, she needs a bodyguard and someone to interrupt her sleepwalking episodes, during which she tends to set things on fire. Appropriately enough, legacies figure heavily in the plot. Among the suspects trawling for the book are Lander, who believes the Coppersmiths stole his inheritance, and Abby's snooty step-relatives the Stricklands, who have every intention of cutting Abby out of the will until somebody unwittingly bets their fortune on the lab-book quest. Although the stakes are far-fetched and fanciful, the suspense never flags, and such ado over print material carries its own nostalgic allure.

Catch Me (Detective D. D. Warren Series #6) by Lisa Gardner

Kirkus Reviews -

Like her fifth case (Love You More, 2011, etc.), Boston PD Det. Sgt. D.D. Warren's sixth subordinates her to another woman just as strong as she is, and a lot more interesting. Back in high school, Randi Menke, Jackie Knowles and Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant were the Three Musketeers, inseparable buddies who'd do anything for each other. Now Randi and Jackie are dead, strangled a year apart on Jan. 21. So as this Jan. 21 approaches, Charlie is naturally terrified that her turn is coming. Accosting D.D. at a crime scene, she announces that she's marked for death, describes how she's gone on the run from her job as a small-town police dispatcher and begs her to solve her murder, still several days away. Underlining her peril is a note left at the scene: "Everyone has to die sometime. Be brave." But something about Charlie's story doesn't add up. If she's so scared that she's pulled up stakes and high-tailed it to the big city, why hasn't she changed her name? Instead of being a victim, could she be the vigilante killer of pedophiles D.D.'s squad has been hunting? Or is she both killer and victim? Alternating between the third-person narration of D.D.'s investigation and Charlie's feverish first-person narrative, and throwing in more subplots showing abused women fighting their abusers, Gardner brings the ingredients to a rolling boil until she's finally cut Charlie off from her police defenders, disarmed her and backed her into a corner awaiting her killer. Irresistible high-wire melodrama, though it's easy to see why D.D. observes, "I think we just fell into a Lifetime movie."

Celebrity in Death (In Death Series #34) by J. D. Robb

Kirkus Reviews -

A Hollywood party at which Lt. Eve Dallas and Det. Delia Peabody get to spend quality time with the actresses playing them in a new movie is interrupted by what turns out to be only the latest in a long string of murders. Now that potty-mouthed journalist Nadine Furst has sold her book about still another of Eve's innumerable triumphs (Treachery in Death, 2011, etc.) to Joel Steinburger's Big Bang Productions, the cameras are rolling on Marlo Durn, playing Eve; K.T. Harris, playing Peabody; and Julian Cross, playing Eve's husband Roarke, the world's sexiest millionaire. But the onscreen mayhem is topped by the news that K.T. has stepped out of a dinner party bringing the lead actresses together with the two detectives they're playing, gone upstairs for a smoke and ended up dead in a rooftop swimming pool. K.T. is soon unmasked as a conniving blackmailer who'll be missed mainly by her bewildered parents back home. With so many potential victims of her craft--director Mason Roundtree, his wife Connie Burkette, publicist Valerie Xaviar, Marlo's lover, actor Matthew Zank--literally in the same room, how can Eve and Peabody possibly spot a killer who's already moved on by eliminating a potential witness? Only by getting a hunch to dig deeper into one suspect's background and find a trail of homicide leading back from the future to the early 2020s. Their discovery leads to a long, long wrap-up--leaning on possible accomplices, inducing one of them to wear a wire, trapping the killer into another attempted murder, parading the array of evidence after a high-profile arrest--all of it eminently routine. Robb does all too little with the promising notion of doubling the cops with the actresses who play them, or indeed with any other elements of this futuristic, but surprisingly retro, closed-circle game of Hollywood squares.

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