Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie appears, after a brief hiatus in Eleven on Top, to have returned to her job as a bounty hunter, since all of her other career choices ended badly and briefly in that novel. She is still mostly in love with Morelli, but lusts after Ranger (as do Lula, Connie, and most other women who see him).

Things are busy at the bail bonds agency, and it's a bad time to lose Ranger's services for the more dangerous apprehensions, but he jumps on a plane on personal business in the opening pages, and isn't available to help Stephanie and Lula in their shenanigans.

It turns out that someone has kidnapped his daughter, and is trying to assume his identity, as well. When he decides he has to have Stephanie, too, since Ranger has "had" her, things begin to get dangerous, and she plays stalking goat in order to find and capture the impersonator.

In the middle of all of this plot, there are plenty of the usual frolics, with Grandma Mazur joining a band with Sally and Lula, and causing her usual scenes at funeral home viewings, even for the new owners of Stiva's.

Pretty good story; a quick read.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. It's been almost a month since I last posted something. Job changes, a divorce in the family, a death in the family...been a crazy Fall.

This novel is a "spinoff" from the Jane Yellowrock books, and I think there's actually a novelette or short story out there somewhere that tells the tale of how Jane met Nell, the heroine of Blood of the Earth. Nell is an exile from her family and her cult-like church, living on a small farm in Tennessee, and she seems to have some earth-witch type of powers which tie her to her land, to the forest and to her herb and vegetable garden. She survives mostly by trading the fruits of her labor (literal and figurative) with locals at farmers' markets and selling at a cooperative's roadside stand. She does mostly without modern conveniences; there is no cell service in the Soulwood, and the way she was raised in God's Cloud of Glory Church makes her wary of being "on the grid".

To escape what would have surely been a disastrous marriage to one of the church leaders, she entered into a polygamous arrangement with John and Leah, who lived on their own land adjacent to the church compound, and when they both passed away, she inherited the land. The new generation of church leadership would like to get the land - and Nell - back, and as the novel begins they threaten to return her forcefully to the bosom of the church.

Enter Rick LaFleur and his PsyLed team to alter the dynamics of the situation. They are in pursuit of a group of kidnappers who may have ties to her old church, and they recruit her as a consultant to help them investigate whether the men have joined forces with her old antagonists.

A worthwhile read. There's already a sequel out, and I'm going to have to do some research to find the story that ties it all together.

Happy Reading!