Monday, April 20, 2015

Guest Review: The Patriot Threat by Steve Berry


Guest Review – The Patriot Threat by Steve Berry

The 16th Amendment to the Constitution is why Americans pay income taxes. But what if there were problems associated with that amendment? Secrets that call into question decades of tax collecting? In fact, there is a surprising truth to this hidden possibility.

Cotton Malone, once a member of an elite intelligence division within the Justice Department known as the Magellan Billet, is now retired and owns an old bookshop in Denmark. But when his former-boss, Stephanie Nelle, asks him to track a rogue North Korean who may have acquired some top secret Treasury Department files—the kind that could bring the United States to its knees—Malone is vaulted into a harrowing twenty-four hour chase that begins on the canals in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia.

With appearances by Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Mellon, a curious painting that still hangs in the National Gallery of Art, and some eye-opening revelations from the $1 bill, this riveting, non-stop adventure is trademark Steve Berry—90% historical fact, 10% exciting speculation—a provocative thriller posing a dangerous question.

What if the Federal income tax is illegal?

Cheryl’s review:

Last year I reviewed The Lincoln Myth ( and was happy to have the opportunity to review Steve Berry’s latest, The Patriot Threat.

Cotton Malone is one of my favorite recurring characters in a book and The Patriot Threat doesn’t disappoint. Berry writes with a mix of a history lesson and fast-paced action. As his third Malone book with the United States as the starting point, he creates a realistic conspiracy incorporating historical figures and politics. Reading this in April during tax season made it especially speculative: “What if the Federal income tax is illegal?”

Although I enjoy all Berry’s books, this one was particularly fun. I couldn’t help but imagine what the country would be like if the Federal income tax was illegal. I’m familiar with Andrew Mellon’s financial legacy, but I didn’t know when or how it came about. Secret conversations, blackmail, and deception related to a President’s decisions also make you wonder what may have happened in past administrations.

I always appreciate the depth of historical research Berry does. Starting with the facts, he creates a realistic and though far-fetched, a believable conspiracy. As an archivist and historian, I also enjoy when his characters do archival research or visit archives. His explanations at the end of the book are worth reading to sort through the fiction from fact. While reading the story it can be hard to tell the difference, which is what makes the book good. I look forward to seeing what he comes up with next!

Thank you, Cheryl!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Feature: Aunt Dimity and the Summer King by Nancy Atherton

There are so many mysteries out there that it is hard to keep up! The Aunt Dimity series has been around for many years and I sort of overlooked them until now .I was given the opportunity to feature the newest title, book 20! I couldn't pass it up. I didn't realize they had a paranormal twist. That is certainly right up my alley.

Has anyone read any of these? What's your opinion?
They sound delightful.

Cozy mystery lovers’ favorite paranormal sleuth is back with her twentieth otherworldly adventure

There’s trouble in Finch. Four recently sold cottages are standing empty, and the locals fear that a developer plans to turn their cozy village into an enclave of overpriced weekend homes. But for once Lori Shepherd can’t help.

Her infant daughter, her father-in-law’s upcoming wedding, and the crushing prospect of her fortieth birthday have left her feeling inadequate and overwhelmed. Until, that is, she has a chance encounter with an eccentric inventor named Arthur Hargreaves. Dubbed the Summer King by his equally eccentric family, Arthur is as warmhearted as the summer sun. In his presence, Lori forgets her troubles—and Finch’s.

But Lori snaps out of her happy trance when she discovers detailed maps of Finch in the Summer King’s library. Next, a real estate agent comes knocking. Is Arthur secretly plotting Finch’s demise?

With Aunt Dimity’s otherworldlym help—and her new daughter in her arms—Lori mounts a crusade to save her beloved village from the Summer King’s scorching greed.

Though my list is long, I will add this one to my pile and maybe scratch off the letter A in my Mystery Author Challenge.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

Audio Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This book has been on my list for a few years now and I finally got around to it. I checked it out on audio and it is amazing. I have taken a break from dystopian/paranormal/teen fiction for awhile now and it was nice to get back into it with this one. Also, I really like books that take on well known fairy tales and twist them around. 
Cinder is a take on Cinderella, obviously. Cinder is a cyborg who falls for the Prince and battles the evil Queen Levana. 
"It is read by Rebecca Stolar who has narrated other Young Adult books before. She is magnificent!
 "Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future."

Highly recommended. 

Happy reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child