Monday, July 27, 2015

Mini Reviews: Kris Longknife: Defender and Murder Simply Brewed

Book Cover: Kris Longknife: Defender by Mike Shepherd

Title: Kris Longknife: Defender
Author: Mike Shepherd
Genre: Science Fiction
Page Count: 386
Rating: 4/5 ★★★★☆

Format: eBook
Source: borrowed from library via Overdrive
Completed: 21 July

Kris Longknife: Defender is book 11 in Mike Shepherd's military SF series. In the previous book, Kris returns from exile and convinces her great grandfather to send her on a mission to guard the planet with the bird-like inhabitants from the marauding aliens. There's an ulterior motive here: the hostile aliens refuse to communicate and blow their own ships up if they are damaged. They fired on the life pods ejected from the ships in Kris's fleet in their first encounter. It's imperative that the aliens don't backtrack the humans to their home planets. So, Kris and her new fleet are drawing a line in space and are determined to keep the aliens from taking any more inhabited planets.

In a single novel, Kris experiences a series of rapid promotions and leads another fleet into battle against the aliens. This time they are the defending fleet and can set up ambushes to give themselves a better chance of surviving an attack by the moon-sized mother ships and the hundreds of accompanying ships of an alien advance force.

I borrowed this book from the library through the Overdrive subscription. As I mentioned in this week's Stacking the Shelves, I was surprised that the library got a copy so quickly after I requested it. I read it in just a couple of days, requested that the library get a copy of the next in the series, and it has already arrived. I'm thoroughly enjoying the books in this series and am thrilled to find out that a new volume is scheduled for October and yet another for sometime in 2016.


Book Cover: Murder Simply Brewed by Vanetta Chapman

Title: Murder Simply Brewed
Author: Vanetta Chapman
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Page Count: 358
Rating: 3/5 ★★★☆☆

Format: eBook
Source: purchased May 2015
Completed: 23 July

One of the first books I received from NetGalley was Murder Tightly Knit, the second book in Vanetta Chapman's Amish Village Mystery series. Then, I received and reviewed Murder Freshly Baked, the third book. Having enjoyed both of them, I knew that I wanted to go back and see how the series started, and when I saw that Murder Simply Brewed was on sale, I immediately hit the “BUY” button.

Amber Wright is the general manager of the Amish Village and Inn, a retail complex in the small town of Middlebury, Indiana. When Ethan Gray is found dead in the coffee boutique that he runs, the police call it a heart attack—“natural causes”—and that seems to be it. Except Amber is convinced that Ethan was murdered. And, there seems to be someone who has a grudge against Amber and the Amish Village. Several acts of vandalism have gotten everyone on edge. Are they related to Ethan's death or not?

This was an engaging read. I suspect that the series will end with only three volumes. I'd love to see yet another outing for Amber, Hannah, and all the characters at the Amish Village shops. But, if that's not to happen, there are quite a number of books by Ms. Chapman that I haven't yet read.

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