The Mousetrap Killer by J. Kevin Earp

“Mousetrap. I wanted to play Mousetrap. You roll your dice. You move your mice. Nobody gets hurt.”

– Bob the Tomato, VeggieTales’ The Toy That Saved Christmas


Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 10.07.21 PMWhenever I hear the word “Mousetrap”, that scene from VegeTales immediately comes to mind – a bunch of vegetables conversing after a sledding accident in which Bob the Tomato’s eyes and nose fall off. But J. Kevin Earp’s The Mousetrap Killer puts an entirely different perspective on the word: mousetrap.

The re-emergence of a serial killer brings Marcus Lear and his team to Marysville, Indiana, where an individual known only as the Mousetrap Killer claims to have taken another victim. Known for concocting elaborate plans, the Mousetrap Killer imprisons victims in a booby-trapped room, providing them with a clue that, if answered correctly, promises escape. Marcus Lear and his team are in a race against time. Using their newly developed, yet unfinished software, can the Lear team assist the Marysville Police in finding the Mousetrap Killer and saving the victim before it’s too late?

The Mousetrap Killer is the third book in the Marcus Lear Mysteries by J. Kevin Earp. While the first book, Murder on Perry’s Island, is by far my favorite due to the major role that PTSD plays in the story, The Mousetrap Killer is my next favorite. There is something about a serial killer that ups the suspense and intensity in a story, making it harder to put down.

So, if you like playing detective and want a high-stakes case, check out The Mousetrap Killer: Marcus Lear Mysteries, Book 3. As with the other books in the series, J. Kevin Earp provides you with all the details you need to solve the mystery along with Marcus and his team. You are not only a reader, but a detective as well.

*I am related to the author and was provided with a copy of “The Mousetrap Killer: Marcus Lear Mysteries Book 3” free of charge in exchange for my review. I received no monetary compensation.

The Son of the Morning: Book One of The Nightfall Wars

SonoftheMorning

They’re back! The nightwalkers. After 50 years of peace, they are back to wreak havoc on the kingdom of Entarna. 

As a boy, Alesh watched these creatures slaughter his parents, receiving a nasty scar in the process. Rescued by the high priest of Amedan after his parents’ death, Alesh is raised as a palace servant, and while he feels intense loyalty to Chosen Olliman, his rescuer, he doubts the existence of the gods. 

When Chosen Olliman is brutally murdered, Alesh finds his life turned upside down once more as he sets off on a quest to save Ilrika, the city under the protection of the late Chosen Olliman.

My favorite aspect of The Son of the Morning: Book One of the Nightfall Wars by Jacob Peppers was Alesh’s struggle with faith. Circumstances in Alesh’s life led him to question the existence and value of the gods, and I am curious as to how that will play out in future books. 

While I enjoyed the plot and characters, I did not appreciate the frequent use of profanity, particularly the F-word. The story is not laden with swear words, but the F-word is used regularly enough to make sensitive readers uncomfortable. In fact, had I not wanted to see how Alesh’s faith journey played out, I would not have continued reading it. 

Due to the frequent use of the F-word, this book is not getting added to my “favorites” list, nor is it one I will be recommending. 

Timebound

TimeboundJust finished reading Timebound by Rysa Walker.

It was an entertaining story about a teenage girl named Kate who learns she has a special ability to time travel, an ability her grandmother is hoping she will use to stop the Cyrists, a religious cult created by another time traveler who seeks to rewrite history for his own benefit.

While I enjoyed the book, time travel stories aren’t really my thing. However, I will be adding Timebound to my list of “enjoyed” books for teens/young adults as the story itself is well written and entertaining and worth recommending to those who enjoy time travel novels.

In the meantime, I think I will check out one of Ms. Walker’s other series, the Thistlewood Star Mysteries. But, for those who enjoy time travel, check out Timebound by Rysa Walker. It is the first book in The Chronos Files.

P.S. The reason this is going on my teen/young adult list is because there is a mild description of Kate making out with her boyfriend as well as some very vague adult references. I think I’d give this book a PG rating as the descriptions aren’t graphic. However, it’s not something I would want my 10 year old kid reading, if of course, I had a 10 year old kid.

 

Mage Errant

MageErrantI’ve found a new favorite author – John Bierce.

Choosing a new audiobook is always stressful. Many things run through my mind.

What if I don’t like it? It sounds good…but it probably won’t be as good as _______ (insert title of last favorite listen). How long do I need to ‘give it a try’ before I can quit listening? ……. etc.

You know. All those sorts of “normal” questions any avid listener/reader asks themselves when desperately searching for their next great escape.

Well, I took the leap and tried John Bierce’s Mage Errant series. I got lucky. I found my new favorite series! I actually enjoyed this even more than Twinborn Chronicles by J.S. Morin (which I enjoyed immensely). Mage Errant moves a bit faster and has a more focused plot (fewer characters and minimal sub-plots.) All-in-all, it made for a great listen.

So if you liked Harry Potter or Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap series, you might want to check out Mage Errant by John Bierce.

This book will be added to my “favorites” list. The well-developed characters, the humor, and the themes/values in the story make this a worthwhile read.

P.S. I forgot to mention that this makes it in my Top-10 list!


Sensitive Reader Alert / A Note for Parents:

There are many great themes in this book like:

  • overcoming your fears
  • learning you don’t have to face your struggles alone
  • loyalty and friendship
  • recognizing your own value (self-worth)
  • not being afraid to be different
  • learning that just because you are different doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you
  • and many others…

However, there are a few things parents should be aware of if they are letting their younger children read it. The third book (A Traitor in Skyhold) contains a few innuendoes, which are by no means vulgar compared to stuff on TV, and references to “contraceptive cantrips” (spells). Also one of the main characters is a homosexual. He is a loyal, friendly, patient, courageous, and caring individual. However, if you have not discussed same-sex attraction with your children, this book will raise questions as the third book deals a little bit with him and his relationship.