Monday, April 30, 2007

The Musketeer's Seamstress - Sarah D'Almeida

The Musketeer’s Seamstress
A Musketeers Mystery
Sarah D’Almeida
Berkley Prime Crime


Following their adventures in DEATH OF A MUSKETEER, the four men, Porthos, Athos, Aramis, and young D’Artagnan, have settled into their friendship. As the story begins, Aramis, ever the ladies’ man, is enjoying an interlude with the lovely Violette. Their affair must be kept quiet for many reasons. Violette is, in reality, a duchess and close friend of Queen Anne. She lives in the royal palace, and has a husband she rarely sees. But Aramis and Violette are quite happy together, sharing not only physical intimacy, but also emotional closeness that makes them feel married in all but name. To protect her reputation, when discussing her in public, Aramis refers to her as a seamstress.

Aramis only left Violette’s bed for a moment, to answer a call of nature in the next room. When he returns, his love lies on the bed, stabbed through the heart, dead. Aramis is utterly shocked and completely devastated. He’s soon shaken out of his stupor by the sound of pounding on the locked chamber door. He realizes that he and Violette were alone, in a locked room, with the only access being a small balcony overlooking a very long drop. Who could possibly have entered the room and killed her in the few moments of his absence? Aramis makes his escape, but quickly comes under suspicion for the crime. His captain tells him to leave Paris until the matter can be settled, so it’s up to Porthos, Athos, and D’Artagnan to solve the crime. They’re hindered by the Cardinal and his men, who would like nothing better than to see one of these musketeers hang for murder.

No prior knowledge of Dumas’ masterpiece is necessary. The author takes care to set down the relationships between the four friends, society at large, and the political situation of the time. Fans of Dumas’ original stories will be thrilled with this series since author uses the same tone and style, allowing the reader to become fully immersed in the musketeers’ world and lives. There’s intrigue, questions of honor, and a good bit of swashbuckling. The details of life, from the nobles to the servants, are meticulously rendered and make the story come alive. This is a skilled blending of the classic locked-room mystery with a set of well-known historical literary figures. The result is the best of both, and a real pleasure to read.

Rating: 8
April 2007
ISBN# 978-0-425-21489-3 (paperback)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Blood Bound - Patricia Briggs

Blood Bound
Mercy Thompson, Book 2
Patricia Briggs

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Note: This is a sequel to MOON CALLED. If you haven’t read the first book, this review may contain some spoilers.

It’s several months after the events of MOON CALLED, and the public at large now knows about the existence of werewolves. Years ago, the lesser fae (gremlins, brownies, etc) revealed themselves, and after an initial period of interest, there was a backlash that included riots. This time around, Bran, the leader of all werewolves is taking a different route. Initially, the public found out about the “hero” wolves: those in the military, or the police. Portraying werewolves, who are bigger, stronger, and far more deadly then the average wolf, as self-sacrificing protectors is an attempt to put positive spin on what might otherwise cause public panic.

Mercy Thompson, a mechanic and “walker” (she can turn into a coyote at will) was raised by a pack of werewolves, and still has friends there. One of them, Samuel, son of Bran, is actually living with her at the moment, but as a purely platonic roommate. Nevertheless, he’s protective. And he’s less than pleased when Stefan, a vampire, asks Mercy to accompany him to a meeting in her coyote form, to serve as an impartial witness. It seems that a vampire from another area is in town without permission of the locals, and Stefan is tasked with discussing this situation.

The meeting nearly kills them both. The visiting vampire, Littleton, is also a sorcerer, a magic user possessed by a demon, who can control vampires with his magic, and even alter their memories. Mercy was intended to witness the meeting and serve as a sort of secondary memory. A good thing, since Stefan leaves the place with unconscious Mercy-the-coyote in tow, convinced he’s killed everyone in the motel. This kind of bloodbath looks bad for all the fae creatures. And, while werewolves are public knowledge with their positive spin, vampires are still very much under wraps. The two groups are usually enemies, but must work together, and with Mercy, in order to combat the vampire-sorcerer who is a threat to everyone, fae and non-fae alike.

The second novel in this original series doesn’t waste time getting started. The background, for new readers, is sketched in briefly as necessary, but never takes over the narrative. Readers of the first book will be interested to know that, in this installment, Mercy finds out more about her past, what she is, and what she can do. The political interplay is very well done; if the fae came out to the public today, it might look very much like what is presented here. My only quibble is the potential love triangle subplot. Please, Ms. Briggs, this kind of thing is what ruined the Anita Blake series for a lot of readers. Mercy is a wonderful, strong, smart, independent woman. I’d hate to see that watered down, based on which guy she’s with at any given time.

That aside, this book is a bit more tightly plotted than the first, and the world building, very solid from the beginning, becomes more detailed and intricate here, providing new and interesting information about Mercy, the werewolves, and the vampires. It’s like a narrative spotlight, slowly widening to show a bit more of your surroundings. There’s clearly much more to be illuminated, and I’m looking forward to a lot more of Mercy Thompson and her world.

Rating: 8 ½
ISBN# 978-0-441-01473-6 (paperback)
February 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

American Outrage - Tim Green

American Outrage
Tim Green
Warner Books


Jake Carlson, a journalist by trade, has turned in stories from some of the most dangerous areas in the world. Now a reporter for the TV tabloid show “American Outrage,” Jake spends his time interviewing murders, spouses of victims, and nannies to the stars. Since the death of his wife a year ago, Jake has been letting his professional life slide, and his contract renewal is hanging by a thread. His personal life isn’t going smoothly, either. His 13-year-old son, Sam, has been getting into fights at school and now faces expulsion. In despair and confusion, Sam begs Jake to help him find his biological mother.

Jake and his late wife adopted infant Sam through possibly-shady channels. They were told that Sam came from Albania. Jake, eager to help Sam heal, begins his search with the adoption lawyer, but finds that the lawyer died in suspicious circumstances. The adoption agency is gone, and the Albanian embassy is less than forthcoming. It’s clear that some very dangerous people would like Jake to drop the whole thing: he’s followed, shot at, and becomes the focus of tabloid TV instead of the reporter.

I usually enjoy Tim Green’s books, so I’m sorry to report that this one is mostly a miss for me. Jake is a stereotypically self-centered reporter. He’s rude to everyone until he needs or wants something; then he manages to be shocked when those same people aren’t quick to help him. Sam is a stock disaffected teen who is a genius with computers, able to guess the passwords of people he barely knows. I understand that the author is making a point about the bonds of family, and Jake’s love for his son is clear, but it seems that allowing an already emotionally unstable teenager to participate in a search like this is ill-advised, to say the least.

Sam’s request to find his birth mother (not his father, interestingly) is presented as a way for a troubled boy to understand himself and, not incidentally, pull Jake into a mystery. But I can’t help wondering how it will it help Sam if it turns out that his birth mother sold him because she couldn’t afford to care for him? How will it help him at all if he discovers that his mother didn’t care enough to keep him? These are things that Jake, as an adult who has seen the misery of the world first-hand as a news correspondent, should realize. On the brighter side, the thriller aspects work quite well, and the pacing is lighting-fast. And it’s entertaining to watch the reaction of Jake when he becomes the story, instead of the reporter.

Rating: 6 ½
April 2007
ISBN# 0-446-57743-X (hardcover)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Moon Called - Patricia Briggs

Moon Called
Mercy Thompson, Book 1
Patricia Briggs

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Thirty years ago, the Gray Lords ordered the lesser fae (gremlins, brownies, sprites) to make themselves known to the world at large, hoping to prepare the world for the news that the bigger, more powerful things (werewolves, vampires) exist, too. For a short time, humanity was excited about the presence of the fae. Then came the inevitable backlash, headed by the religious and conservative interests. Now most of the lesser fae live in designated areas, and are not trusted by the general populace.

Mercy Thompson is a mechanic. She bought the business from its former owner, a gremlin. Mercy is also a “walker.” She can, at will, take the form of a coyote. She’s no match for the larger werewolves, but she’s smart enough to know that. When Mac arrives at her shop, looking for a day’s work, Mercy can smell that he’s a werewolf. The fact that he can’t smell her means that he must be very new. Mercy introduces him to Adam, the Alpha of the local Pack, as etiquette demands. But something goes very wrong. Adam’s home is attacked and his teenaged daughter kidnapped.

Adam is nearly killed in the attack, and Mercy goes to the only place she knows he can get help: Her foster family, a family of werewolves, led by Bran, the Alpha of all Alphas. Going back isn’t easy, and may not be safe. As a walker, Mercy carries lower status than any wolf and is only protected by Bran and his son Samuel, Mercy’s childhood love. The attack on Adam’s home was clearly planned; possibly from inside the Pack. Anyone who would attack an Alpha in his home is dangerous. So dangerous, that Mercy may have to look for outside help to resolve things.

MOON CALLED is an excellent urban fantasy novel that lays a great deal of groundwork for upcoming books. There’s plenty of politics, intrigue, and family/Pack relationships that make the situation complicated. The world the author has created is original and solid, with intricate social structures and dynamics for each type of creature. The plot is not exactly a straight line, and that makes the story all the more entertaining. Mercy is a great character. She’s tough without being reckless or foolish trying to prove it. She accepts herself and her limitations, both personally and within her particular social order. She’s smart and she knows when to fight and when to use her intelligence. This is one of those books that just flies by effortlessly. I’m looking forward to getting started on the next volume.

Rating: 8
February 2006
ISBN# 0-441-01381-3 (paperback)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Chinese Alchemist - Lyn Hamilton

The Chinese Alchemist
An Archaeological Mystery
Lyn Hamilton
Berkley Prime Crime


Lara McClintoch, an antiques dealer based in Toronto, has traveled the world, but her latest adventure starts at home. A good friend of hers, Dorothy Matthews (born Dorothy Zhang, in China) was, until recently, the highly respected curator of the Asian collection at the Cottingham Museum. Dorothy shows Lara a beautiful silver box from the T’ang Dynasty. Carved with nature scenes on the outside, the inside contains what looks like part of a recipe. Dorothy explains that the box, which from sometime around 900 A.D., was probably used by an alchemist, and may be part of the legendary potion for immortality.

This box is only one of a set of nesting boxes. Dorothy’s desire is to reunite the boxes and then donate them to a Chinese museum. Since Dorothy suffers from arthritis, Lara attends an auction in New York, intending to buy one of the companion boxes. Burton Haldimand, the new Cottingham curator and world-class hypochondriac, is also at the auction, trying to win the box. But during the auction, the anonymous seller suddenly withdraws the box. Disappointed, Lara and Burton head home.

Only days later, Dorothy is dead. In her will, she requests that Lara continue to try to reunite the boxes. As it happens, the box is coming up for auction again in Beijing. Both Lara and Burton arrive at the auction preview, only to watch, stunned, as the box is literally stolen out from under them. This can’t be a coincidence. Lara is ready to fly home to Toronto, but feels guilty about leaving Dorothy’s last wish unfulfilled. Burton stays on, obviously hoping to get his hands on the box for his museum. It’s obvious that there’s someone else who desperately wants the boxes, either for their intrinsic value or, perhaps, for the secret formula contained in them.

Readers who enjoy mysteries based on archaeological finds or antiquities know that a new Lyn Hamilton novel is cause for celebration. Much of this novel reads like a gorgeous travel guide to Beijing, the Forbidden City, and many other locations in China. There’s a lot of background and history woven into the story that makes it come alive. I especially enjoyed following the introductory sections to each chapter; an ancient history, written by an old man who once served at the Imperial Palace. These segments are beautiful. The voice and cadence are perfect, and it’s wonderful watching the narratives of past and present dovetail. While the mystery is engaging enough on its own, I have to admit that I love this series most for the history, travel, and antiquities. And Ms. Hamilton never lets me down.

Rating: 8
April 2007
ISBN# 978-0-425-21395-7 (hardcover)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Mold for Murder - Tim Myers

A Mold For Murder
A Soapmaking Mystery
Tim Myers
Berkley Prime Crime


Benjamin Perkins, his mother, grandfather, and six siblings make their living running the business that’s been in their family for generations. Where There’s Soap contains a production facility, a boutique, and space for classes on soapmaking techniques. When Ben decides to invite Contessa New Berne to give a demonstration at the store, he thinks it will be the highlight of the first Soap Celebration event. He’s right, for all the wrong reasons.

The contessa arrives, full of demands, and Ben does his best to meet them. After introducing her to the audience, he has to go looking for her, only to find her lifeless body on the floor in the back room. There are plenty of suspects. The personal assistant who didn’t arrive on time that morning; two different jilted fiancés; a disgruntled author who claims that the contessa plagiarized her last book; and, worst of all, Ben’s girlfriend, Diana, owner of the local bookshop. Because, as it turns out, the contessa has been in town before, and the results were deadly.

Ben’s family members enjoy some time in the spotlight, as each of their lives continue to develop. There are plenty of suspects, all with good motives and opportunity. Naturally, Ben wants to prove that his girlfriend is innocent of the crime. But even an amateur investigation can put strain on a relationship. The pace is quick and the eventual outcome has a ring of truth about it. This cozy series is always enjoyable, light, and reliably entertaining.

Rating: 7 ½
April 2007
ISBN# 978-0-425-21487-9 (paperback)

The Continuity Girl - Leah McLaren

The Continuity Girl
Leah McLaren

Chick Lit/ Humor

Unlike so many people, Meredith Moore has a job that is pretty much perfectly suited to her personality. She works on film sets as a Continuity Girl. She’s the one who makes sure that the glass is in the same hand from take to take; or that the actor’s hair is parted on the same side from shot to shot. After she, very uncharacteristically, walks off a set in Toronto, she’s surprised when an offer immediately comes in for her to work on a big-budget film in London. Going to London means seeing her mother, Irma, an infamous poet of the 60s who is still the life of any party. But, since Irma had a hand in getting Meredith the job assignment, and since she needs a change of scenery, she goes.

Before leaving, something monumental happens. Meredith turns 35 and realizes that all of her eggs are also thirty-five years old. She’s hit with a sudden longing for a baby. Not a husband, but a baby. Since she’ll be out of her comfort zone in London, she plans to look around for a suitable DNA donor. Meredith and her friends call this activity “genes shopping.” While she’s there, Meredith meets quite an assortment of men, from a photographer who specializes in unconventional subject matter; to the second son of an earl whose first love is his falcons; to a reclusive movie producer and financier. The strange thing is that, as much as Meredith tries to force life to fit her mold, life obviously has other plans for her.

This is one of those cases where the back cover blurb, all about wanting a baby, doesn’t do the book justice. It’s true that Meredith does want a baby. But, to be honest, that desire does not consume this entire book. There’s a lot more going on here. There are plenty of secondary characters who add depth, humor, and a nice combination of realism and eccentricity to the story. The author writes with a pointed and sarcastic wit that perfectly balances the subject matter. It’s just as much a story of Meredith and her mother finding some kind of common ground; or of Meredith finding her own way; as it is about her desire for a child.

Rating: 7 ½
April 2007
ISBN# 0-446-69959-4 (trade paperback)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sight Unseen - Samantha Graves

Sight Unseen
Samantha Graves
Warner Forever


Raven Callahan has always had the ability to hold or touch an object and receive physic impressions from it. Often, these impressions come with visuals; too often, they come with painful emotions. Raven puts this gift to use in her job as an art recovery expert for New York-based Antiquities Preservation Institute. Over the years, she’s restored many art objects to their rightful owners. And, sometimes, she’s had to resort to less-than-legal means to do it. Her boss doesn’t necessarily approve of these methods, but Raven loves the rush.

David “Dax” Maddox is a former cop on a mission. During a robbery, the fleeing suspect shot his partner, after smashing him over the head. Dax’s head injury left him with no color vision; his partner’s death left him with a lot of guilt and a desire for vengeance. On the trail of the thief who so changed his life, Dax attends an art auction in Miami. There, he sees Raven. They’ve run into each other before, while she was casing a house. He knows she’s not the killer, but he’s betting she’ll be able to lead him straight to the killer.

Raven and her colleague, the distinguished 70-year-old art dealer, Walter Abbott, are attending the auction for their boss. Their job is to acquire a certain painting. Before the auction begins, Dax corners Raven in an attempt to discover ulterior motives. When Raven and Walter lose the bidding, Raven immediately begins plotting another way to get the painting. Raven and Dax will both be put to the test when a sadistic madman makes the opening move in his twisted game: he kidnaps Walter and demands the painting as ransom.

Readers are immediately thrust into Raven’s world when, on the first page, she’s in the midst of cave diving to retrieve an ancient artifact. She presents a cold and calculating front to the world, as someone in her profession would have to do. Her life is her work and only her work, until she believes that Dax’s interference led to Walter’s kidnapping. The two are both independent and hardheaded, and the usual clash of personalities ensues, until the anger turns into passion. The suspense plot is nicely intricate, with plenty of action. The use of psychometric abilities, in an otherwise everyday world, gives a bit of a fresh twist on the genre. The author doesn’t pull punches with language and violence, and the result is a strong and entertaining read.

Rating: 7 1/2
April 2007
ISBN# 0-446-61838-1 (paperback)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

What's A Ghoul To Do? - Victoria Laurie

What’s A Ghoul To Do?
A Ghost Hunter Mystery
Victoria Laurie


Ever since she was a child, M.J. Holliday has been able to communicate with the spirits of the deceased. It wasn’t until many years later that she realized she might be able to make a living with that particular skill. Thanks to the urging of her lifelong friend, business partner, and MIT-educated hacker, Gil Gillespie, M.J. began a career as a professional medium. After several years of it, however, the emotional component of these readings began to take their toll on her. Then, someone asked her to help a “grounded” spirit cross over to the other side. Now, M.J. happily calls herself a ghostbuster, taking on benign and malicious spirits alike.

Arriving back at the office after a “bust,” M.J. meets Dr. Steven Sable, a wealthy new client. Steven’s grandfather, Andrew, recently died in a fall from the roof of his four-story hunting lodge. There was a cryptic, typed suicide note at the scene, but Steven doesn’t believe his grandfather would kill himself. And, the first time he spent a night in the lodge, left to him by his grandfather, Steven was awakened by his grandfather’s voice, calling his name. Steven wants M.J. to discover what really happened, and help his grandfather cross. There’s just a couple of catches. First, against M.J.’s policy, Steven insists on going to the lodge with them and participating in the process. Second, and also against policy, he’d apparently like to start a romance with M.J. But M.J. is going to need to keep a level head when she discovers that there’s more than one grounded spirit at the lodge.

This is an excellent start to a new series that’s sure to be a winner with both mystery readers and paranormal enthusiasts. The ghost hunting begins on the very first page, and M.J. is very serious and professional about it. That first hunt perfectly illustrates what she does and why she does it. Gil provides both support and a bit of comic relief. For readers offended by this sort of thing, be warned: Gil is a gay male and not at all shy about it. He’s a great character, and the friendship between him and M.J. is real and solid. For mystery lovers, there’s plenty of intrigue going on in this plane, and the twists continue until the last page. And, of course, much depends on the paranormal abilities of the main character. The story moves very quickly; I raced through the whole thing in an evening, and was sorry to see it end. I’m looking forward to the next installment, due in March 2008.

Rating: 9
April 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-22090-5 (paperback)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Unholy Grail - D. L. Wilson

Unholy Grail
D. L. Wilson


There have been theories floating around for years, speculating on the likelihood that the bloodlines of Jesus survived to present day. Father Joseph Romano, Jesuit priest and scholar, has been inclined to dismiss most of them, until a recent group of articles in various French magazines caught his eye. Rumors have come to light about The James Scripture, supposedly written by James, brother of Jesus, just after the Crucifixion. When Romano gets an anonymous call, offering the original manuscript to him, his curiosity overcomes his natural caution.

Brittany Hamar is a professor of religion, currently engaged in writing a book she’s titled The Jesus Fraud. Naturally, this doesn’t sit well with the Church, and her publisher is putting a lot of pressure on her to submit the final draft. She has a piece of a manuscript that’s been carbon-dated to the time of the Crucifixion, but wonders if this fragment will be enough to convince serious scholars. And there’s another problem. Recently, every priest she meets with ends up murdered, and in a very curious fashion. Running into Romano may be the break she needs; or the end of the line.

This first novel is a bit uneven, but is very entertaining and shows great promise. The initial set-up of the story is done quite well, with clues doled out judiciously throughout the narrative. The author introduces some interesting twists and fascinating background into this story that will, inevitably, be compared to another religious thriller that will go unnamed here. Suffice to say that UNHOLY GRAIL easily measures up to that other novel. Readers who enjoy religious or historical thrillers will enjoy this ride. I’m looking forward to more from this author.

Rating: 8
April 2007
ISBN# 978-0-425-21478-7 (paperback)

Friday, April 06, 2007

McKettrick's Pride - Linda Lael Miller

McKettrick’s Pride
Linda Lael Miller

Contemporary Romance

Since losing his wife several years ago, Rance McKettrick has dedicated himself to running the family business. Rance uses the work partly to keep his mind off of his loss, even though he knows it isn’t healthy. He realizes that he’s not being fair to his two young daughters, but consoles himself with the knowledge that they’re loved and looked after by his mother-in-law, Cora. Even so, he feels guilty about not spending more time with them. Recently, he’s considered the idea that the best thing for all of them would be to leave Indian Rock, the place his ancestors settled and thrived for generations.

Echo Wells arrives in Indian Wells from Chicago with one thing on her agenda: open the town’s first and only bookstore. As it happens, her store is next door to Cora’s beauty salon. Echo quickly bonds with Cora and the two young girls in her care. Romantic entanglements are not on the menu for Echo, especially not with the start-up business taking her time. Meeting Rance, she’s both attracted and confused. It’s not a perfect situation, but maybe with a little encouragement from Cora, it could be.

Echo instantly won me over on the very first page when she rescued an abandoned dog during a rainstorm. Add that to her genuine love for books, and a very nonconformist outlook on life, and you’ve got an interesting, intelligent character. Rance is also very believable as a man who’s been emotionally destroyed by the untimely death of his wife, now wondering if it’s worth risking his time or his feelings again. The relationship develops very naturally between the two main characters, both of whom carry a bit of baggage. Cora adds some humor without being eccentric, and also dispenses wisdom without being strident. This novel is a follow-up to McKettrick’s Luck, but works well as a stand-alone story.

A side note, but a very important one. Linda Lael Miller has a real love for animals that shows in her writing and her life; she supports The Humane Society of the United States. As part of her book tour in 2007, she’ll be including stops at many animal shelters. To check her schedule, visit To find out more about The Humane Society, how you can help or adopt a pet, please visit and

Rating: 8 ½
March 2007
ISBN# 978-0-373-77190-5 (paperback)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Tutu Deadly - Natalie M. Roberts

Tutu Deadly
A Jenny T. Partridge Dance Mystery
Natalie M. Roberts
Berkley Prime Crime


Jenny Partridge’s life is generally pretty chaotic. But, in the normal run of things, the worst she usually has to deal with is keeping the bills and rent paid; and dealing with a never-ending stream of “psycho dance moms” who all want their little darling to have the highlighted roles. So having an argument, even one that involves shouting, with a dancer’s mother isn’t unusual. Until the police arrive at her studio, bearing news that this particular mom, Sandra Epstein is dead. And, of course, plenty of people were around to witness the fight. To make matters worse, the cause of death appears to be poison in cookie dough. The same cookie dough the dancers sold as a fundraising activity.

Jenny explains that she did not deliver the tainted cookie dough to the dead woman; she entrusted that job to Emma Anderson, who lived across the street from the Epsteins, and is another “psycho dance mom.” Emma, enraged at Jenny for not giving her daughter a bigger role in the upcoming production of The Nutcracker, first denies this, then leaves town. Jenny’s dismay intensifies when the U.S. Marshalls join in the investigation. But she finds it difficult to believe their claims that she’s in danger. Until someone breaks into her apartment, and makes an attempt on her life, that is.

This is the debut novel in what may evolve into a very entertaining series. As it stands, there are some bugs to be worked out, first. Jenny is 30, yet often acts like a not-very-bright teenager. She knows her life is in danger, but doesn’t lock her apartment door. She continually loses her cell phone, then destroys someone else’s in a fit of pique. Some of her reactions are breathtakingly selfish. This is all explained away as the eccentricity of being an artist/dancer. A little of this kind of eccentricity goes a long way. The resolution to the central mystery comes out of left field and has not much to do with the narrative up to that point. In addition, there’s a major plot point that goes completely unexplained, and a second that is explained as a throwaway. The author is in her element, though, as she describes the atmosphere and inner workings of a dance studio. I was one of those little girls, once upon a time, and it all rings very true to what I remember. With some fine-tuning, this could shape up to be an enjoyable series.

Rating: 5
April 2007
ISBN# 978-0-425-21486-2 (paperback)