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.

 

Twinborn Chronicles

twinbonrchronciles1This is a loooooooooong story!

I downloaded the audio version of Twinborn Chronicles: Awakening Collection by J.S. Morin from Audible. The download included the first three books in the series – Firehurler, Ethersmith, and Sourcetheif. In total, the collection is 67 hours and 32 minutes! So, you understand why I say this is a loooooooong story. The narrator, Mikael Naramore, does a fabulous job with all the characters (and believe me, there are a lot of them).

The story is difficult to explain, so below is the description of the collection from Amazon:

Caught in plots between two worlds, his only hope is to awaken the link between them.

Kyrus had lived a quiet life as a scribe until his dreams begin seeping into his waking life. Fanciful tales of magic and battle turn out to be real. In his sleep, he witnesses the adventures of his twin. Kyrus is swept up in the intrigues of those who already know of this connection between worlds.

As his knowledge of the two worlds grows, so does his entanglement in the intrigues between them. Kyrus discovers friends, lovers, and adversaries among the twinborn. His knowledge of magic grows until he becomes a valuable pawn for masterminds of plots that threaten empires.

Kyrus must learn a deadly game against opponents who already know the rules. He must join forces with his twin to combat threats in both worlds. One misstep or misplaced trust and Kyrus could find himself dying…twice.

Twinborn Chronicles: Awakening Collection is a three-book collection chronicling the adventures of heroes who alter two worlds. For fans of epic fantasy who aren’t looking to start another unfinished series, the Twinborn Chronicles provides multiple new worlds to explore and all the closure you’ve long been denied.

©2012 J.S. Morin (P)2018 J.S. Morin

The general idea is that there are two worlds, and most people go through life never knowing of the existence of the other world. However, some individuals have “twins” living in the other world, and whenever one twin sleeps, instead of dreaming, he/she sees the daily life of their twin. Kyrus is one of these “twinborn” and soon finds himself on an adventure he never imagined. After all, he was just a scribe, but now, he is so much more!

The characters in the story are very well developed and complicated. Even the villains you have sympathy for, and for me, I wasn’t exactly sure whose side I was on. 🙂 My favorite aspect about the book was its uniqueness. The idea that people have “twins” living in another world made for an interesting dynamic, especially when the twins realized their connection and used it as a tool for spying, negotiating, and communicating with each other and their enemies.

As I said previously, this is a loooong story. I listened to the first two books and started the third. I got impatient and wanted to know what happened, so I skipped to the end and never actually completed the third book in its entirety. I think, had I downloaded and listened to each book individually instead of as a collection, I might have enjoyed it more and not been so impatient to finish it. But, overall, I enjoyed it and would recommend it to others, with the disclaimer that it is long and thus requires some patience to complete.

P.S. It will be added to my “favorites” list.

Castle

Castle is an ABC television series that aired from 2009 – 2016. The series centers around Richard Castle, a famous novelist, as he accompanies the NYPD on their homicide investigations.

When we first meet Richard Castle, he is experiencing writer’s block and has killed off the main character in his profitable murder mysteries series – Derrick Storm. Unbeknownst to Castle, someone is killing people, using his stories for inspiration. Castle is interrogated by the police and ends up assisting them, much to the annoyance of Detective Kate Beckett, in their investigation.

In finding the murder suspect, Castle also finds the solution to his writer’s block – Kate Beckett. Inspired by her feisty personality, Castle decides to base his next series off of her.

With the permission of the New York mayor and despite Beckett’s objections, Castle tags along, accompanying Beckett and her team on their homicide investigations. Inevitably, Castle becomes an integral part of the NYPD, even if he does drive Beckett insane.

The show is full of humor, but does contain adult content. Castle is rated TV-14. Compared to some of the other mystery shows I’ve watched (like NCIS), there are more bedroom scenes and adult references. While they aren’t found in every episode, and you may go several episodes without any, they do occur more regularly than I would like. Consequently, if you have young teens you might want to watch the episodes beforehand before showing it to them.