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Archive for February, 2019

Free Book Friday Winner!

Sunday, February 17th, 2019

 

The Winner of the brand new copy of

 

Robert Ludlum’s The Janus Reprisal
by Jamie Freveletti is:

Debra J. (homemakerdeb)

 

 

Congratulations! Your book will be on the way soon!

Thank you to everyone who entered!

Free Book Friday – The Janus Reprisal

Friday, February 15th, 2019

 

Robert Ludlum’s The Janus Reprisal
Jamie Freveletti

 

With U.S. intelligence agencies wracked by internal power struggles and paralyzed by bureaucracy, the president was forced to establish his own clandestine group–Covert-One. It is activated only as a last resort, when the threat is on a global scale and time is running out. — THE JANUS REPRISAL — It begins with a terrorist attack. Covert-One operative Colonel Jon Smith is attending a conference in The Hague on infectious diseases, together with leading scientists and political figures from around the world. Without warning, the conference hotel is consumed in a bloodbath. Smith is caught in the crossfire and barely escapes . . . but not before discovering a picture of himself and two other targets in the pocket of one of the shooters.

But the hotel is not the only location under attack in The Hague. Bombs are going off at the train station, the airport, and the International Criminal Court, where Pakistani warlord Oman Dattar is being held while he’s tried for crimes against humanity. In the resulting chaos, the prisoner escapes.

Dattar nurses a special hatred for the United States and its allies. With his freedom, and access to a mysterious new weapon, Dattar puts in motion a murderous, ambitious plot to exact his revenge and bring down the West once and for all–unless Covert-One can stop him.

 

ISBN 9781455521708, Paperback

To enter, simply leave a comment on this Blog post. You must be a PaperBackSwap member in good standing to win.

We will choose 1 winner at random from comments we receive here on the Blog from PBS members.

You have until Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 12 noon EST, to leave a comment.

Good Luck to everyone!

 

Note: All the books given away on Free Book Friday are available in the PBS Market. We have thousands of new and new overstock titles available right now, with more added hourly. Some of the prices are amazing – and you can use a PBS credit to make the deal even better!

 

 

 

 

Fiction Review – Ashenden

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Ashenden: the British Agent by W. Somerset Maugham

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

 

These short stories are based on the author’s experiences as a spy during WWI. Prospective thrill-seekers are clearly warned off in Maugham’s introduction. He says, “The work of an agent in the Intelligence Department is on the whole extremely monotonous. A lot of it is uncommonly useless. The material it offers for stories is scrappy and pointless; the author has himself to make it coherent, dramatic and probable.”

The stories here have verbal dueling and furious thinking but are without car chases, gun play, or stuff blowing up. The fantastic characters would be familiar to readers who like John “Greenmantle” Buchan, such as the Hairless Mexican, femme fatale Giulia Lazzari, and hardcore Teuton Mrs. Caypor. In contrast to the earnest tone of writers like Buchan, Maugham writes in his usual bemused tone, always tolerant of flawed human nature.

I’ve read more of Maugham’s stories and novels than is perhaps healthy. I think, in terms of characterization, dialogue, and Maugham’s favorite themes (like abused love a la Of Human Bondage), these stories rank with his best like Cakes and Ale, The Narrow Corner, and The Razor’s Edge. Finally, for those into history of genres, with these stories Maugham unwittingly invented the genre of sophisticated espio-fiction, which Eric Ambler, John Le Carre and Alan Furst, among many others, later did so well.

 

 

 

 

Free Book Friday Winner!

Monday, February 11th, 2019

 

The Winner of the brand new copy of

Wouldn’t It Be Deadly:
An Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mystery

by D.E. Ireland is:

 

Jewl W. (wallja99)

 

Congratulations! Your book will be on the way soon!

Thank you to everyone who entered!

Free Book Friday – Wouldn’t It Be Deadly

Friday, February 8th, 2019

 

Wouldn’t It Be Deadly:
An Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mystery

by D.E. Ireland

Following her successful appearance at an Embassy Ball — where Eliza Doolittle won Professor Henry Higgins’ bet that he could pass off a Cockney flower girl as a duchess — Eliza becomes an assistant to his chief rival Emil Nepommuck. After Nepommuck publicly takes credit for transforming Eliza into a lady, an enraged Higgins submits proof to a London newspaper that Nepommuck is a fraud. When Nepommuck is found with a dagger in his back, Henry Higgins becomes Scotland Yard’s prime suspect.

However, Eliza learns that most of Nepommuck’s pupils had a reason to murder their blackmailing teacher. As another suspect turns up dead and evidence goes missing, Eliza and Higgins realize the only way to clear the Professor’s name is to discover which of Nepommuck’s many enemies is the real killer. When all the suspects attend a performance of Hamlet at Drury Lane, Eliza and Higgins don their theatre best and race to upstage a murderer.

ISBN 9781250049353, Hardcover

There are currently 9 members wishing for this book.

To enter, simply leave a comment on this Blog post. You must be a PaperBackSwap member in good standing to win.

We will choose 1 winner at random from comments we receive here on the Blog from PBS members.

You have until Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 12 noon EST, to leave a comment.

Good Luck to everyone!

 

Note: All the books given away on Free Book Friday are available in the PBS Market. We have thousands of new and new overstock titles available right now, with more added hourly. Some of the prices are amazing – and you can use a PBS credit to make the deal even better!

 

 

Audiobook Review – Her Final Breath (Tracy Crosswhite Book 2)

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

Her Final Breath (Tracy Crosswhite, Bk 2)

Her Final Breath by Robert Dugoni
Review by Mirah W. (mwelday)

Tracy Crosswhite is back in the second novel of the Crosswhite series by Robert Dugoni. Her Final Breath picks up not too long after book one, My Sister’s Grave. You can check out my review for My Sister’s Grave here.

Her Final Breath takes the reader back to the case that was playing out in the background of book one. A murdered dancer’s case has been sent to cold cases, but a recent murder has brought the cold case back to the forefront. Unfortunately, clues are stacking up to make it look like these murders are the work of a serial killer.

At the start of the novel Tracy is left an eerie message with a noose hanging from the fence at the police’s firing range. Despite this threat, Tracy is assigned to lead the task force to catch the murderer who has been nicknamed The Cowboy. The killer leaves few clues and the task force is trying to put together a puzzle with very few pieces. Butting heads with her captain, Tracy does her best to keep following any leads, but she ends up placing herself closer to the noose of the killer.

I am curious how Tracy’s character will develop further in the series. Just two books in and she seems to be a target for the creepy characters, and I am already weary of it. I hope there is more dimension in the future books of the series as I do plan to continue reading.

I am glad Dugoni didn’t dismiss the case that was introduced in book one and that he concluded that mystery in book two. Some revelations were surprising and disturbing and I didn’t find Her Final Breath to be predictable; however, some parts were rather hard to follow. The main issue with the audiobook was the flashback portions were hard to navigate because the listener wasn’t aware when there was a break in the writing to indicate a new section within a chapter. Overall, I would recommend Her Final Breath, but would probably recommend reading, rather than listening, to the novel.

 

 

 

 

 

Mystery Monday Review – A Study in Scarlet

Monday, February 4th, 2019

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

A former army doctor returns to Victorian London from the war in Afghanistan. Instead of decorations and commendations, the war has given the medical man “nothing but misfortune and disaster.” He suffers chronic pain from a wound in the shoulder from a bullet at Maiwand. He caught a case of enteric fever so terrible they doctors gave up hope he would pull through. But, in his mid-twenties, he drew upon the resources of youth and did not die.

Back in London he must live on a small disability pension while he recovers his health. He desperately needs an affordable apartment. Another man has just rented an apartment in Baker Street and is looking for a roommate. The man says out of the blue to the doc’s amazement, “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.” The veteran warns of his eccentricities: “My nerves are shaken, and I get up at all sorts of ungodly hours, and I am extremely lazy,” thus listing the classic symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, insomnia, and fatigue.

Their meeting marks the beginning of the most famous partnership in detective fiction, John H. Watson and Sherlock Holmes. The two are still getting used to each other’s eccentric qualities when a letter arrives from Inspector Gregson of Scotland Yard about a killing near Brixton Road. An American named Enoch J. Drebber – now there’s a Englishman’s idea of a typical American name – was murdered, and there are no clues but for the German word “revenge” smeared on the wall with blood.

Holmes invites Watson to accompany him on his work as a consulting detective. Holmes, a brilliant quirky loner, is still human enough to get a kick out of astounding us ordinary people. Watson joins readers, clients and the cops Gregson and Lestrade as an appreciative audience when Holmes explains how he uses his knowledge and skill to “read” a crime scene and deduce the steps in a crime.

This was the first Holmes story, published as a novelette in the 1887 Beeton’s Christmas Annual. It’s not hard to understand why it was rejected many times before the 27-year-old author finally sold it. The successful first part introduces Holmes and Watson in a captivating style familiar from the later stories – it’s amazing Conan Doyle seems to have found his voice for these stories on the very first try. But the second part, set in the United States, fails as a western or an adventure tale, though it reads smoothly enough. It also expresses unfortunate views of the Church of LDS and Native Americans. Conan Doyle should have just made up a religion, not pandered to anti-Mormon prejudices of his day.