Thirty miles west of Detroit, Michigan sits the small college town of Ann Arbor. A liberal enclave in Washtenaw County with the University of Michigan at its heart. Downtown Ann Arbor has small funky shops and restaurants featuring a variety of cuisines. Ann Arbor is a town with a long history but has a contemporary feel.
On South Main Street near the Liberty intersection is a heaven for comic book lovers, the wonderfully named Vault of Midnight. I first visited the store in March when my anime loving 14-year-old and her friend declared the store a must see on a trip across the border over the spring break. They’d found reviews of the store on Yelp and noted that the store hosts anime movies on Wednesday nights at an off-site location (for a limited run). While unable to take in the anime movie, my daughter and her friend spent time browsing the large collection of anime novels. Continue reading Book Store Review – Vault of Midnight in Ann Arbor, Michigan
It’s 1841 and Olivia Killion’s father is dead. In the tradition of the day, Olivia’s father leaves his modest fortune to his oldest son, leaving Olivia and her brother his Pennsylvania home and store at the mercy of their oldest sibling and with his controlling intended. Olivia has no intention of living under the thumb of her brother’s wife until they’re able to off-load her to the first man that shows interest. Olivia has a plan. In her father’s will is a plot of land in Michigan that will be given to whoever travels there and tries to plant crops. Mourning Free, the son of escaped slaves, is integral to her plan. Olivia knows that she can’t possibly pull this off alone, but can she convince Mourning, a man who feels safest where he is, to take the risk and come with her?
Dr. Madeline Pierce and FBI Agent Joe Roberts are back and engaged. Madeline is in Detroit working through Dr. Ellis’s journals to find the driving force behind the destructive drug Madvin. Joe is back in the West Michigan town looking to wrap things up and spending the rest of his life nesting with the woman he loves. When Madeline is taken captive by sadistic and bat stuff crazy forces, can Joe save her in time? [easyazon-link asin=”B00FPYTQ4W” locale=”us”]Chemical Reaction[/easyazon-link] is the second book in the Chemical Attraction series.
Frank DeFauw is a Detroit television anchor at the top of his game. On the west side of Detroit, a family blowing up in a car isn’t a cause for alarm. Throw in a corrupt judge, a good friend who shares Frank’s vices, and the anchor must decide if exposing the judge and destroying his own ever-distant family is worth the risk.
In Chemical Attraction by Christina Thompson, Dr. Maddie Pierce is worried about dangerous chemicals that appear on the order rolls for her department at a medical research lab. Research into the other departments and their order rolls have led to her calling the FBI for help. The FBI sends Agent Joe Roberts, a man with ties to the small western Michigan town. The attraction between Maddie and Joe is instant, but now animals started attacking and killing their owners, the stakes have been set higher. Can Maddie and Joe solve the case without their chemical attraction getting in the way?
The Riptide Ultra-Glide by Tim Dorsey is the eighteenth book in the Serge Storms series. Serge and Coleman are back and filming a reality show down the coast. Patrick and Barbara McDougall are laid off from their jobs in Wisconsin and they decide to vacation in Florida, a state that holds fond memories for Patrick as he lived there as a young child. Florida isn’t exactly as Patrick remembers. In the meantime, the pain pill market is alive and well in southern Florida and causing a bit of a bloody war. Can the ever-helpful Serge help the McDougalls stay alive long enough to get back to Wisconsin?
In Crimson and Cream by C.M. Skiera, in a world of dwarfs, trolls and elves, Eadriel and Elvar’s magic-teacher parents were killed when their boys were five years old, at a time when the King outlawed magic. The twins escaped by throwing themselves into the river and were rescued by orphans nicknamed Flotsam and Jetsam. Eight years later, can they survive to have the future of anything better that Jetsam knows is out there waiting for them? Crimson & Cream (The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy) is epic fantasy.
In The Skeleton Box by Bryan Gruley, Gus Carpenter has been back in his hometown of Starvation Lake working for the local paper for a few years when a rash of robberies breaks out. It seems that the hits always happen on bingo night when the targets aren’t home and nothing is taken … until the night the burglar hits the home of Gus’s mother. Gus’s mom and her best friend have skipped bingo and the burglar surprises them and kills the friend. Gus’ mom has secrets about another murder she’s kept for years and is sure she’s next. Gus must find the killer before he or she strikes again.
This Flashback Review, originally posted on Amazon.com, takes us back to February 13, 2009. There have been times when I have been very lucky to receive an Advanced Reader’s Copy of a novel from an author. This novel was one of those very lucky times.
A friend had met the author at Boucheron in Washington D.C. and suggested that Gruley and I connect via e-mail. This friend knew that, as a Michigan native, I would love a novel set in Northern Michigan. She also thought that, as my very small daughter was playing hockey at the time, I would have a place to hang posters advertising the novel.
I remember very clearly reading the opening passage while watching my 7-year-old playing a Sunday morning game. No setting could have been better to start this book. I read obsessively until this end. I’ve been to northern Michigan many times, and while Starvation Lake is a fictional town, it’s painted so perfectly that I could picture it as any of the many small towns of the Upper Peninsula. Again, no worries about offending the author with a not so positive review, this was an awesome read.