Category Archives: Book Reviews

Diagnosis Murder: The Double Life

Diagnosis Murder #7: The Double Life, by Lee Goldberg is the seventh installment in the Diagnosis Murder series. Dr. Mark Sloan awakens from an accident to find that two years of his life have passed of which he has no memory.

Goldberg’s Diagnosis Murder novels are based from the hit TV show of the same name, for which Goldberg also wrote and produced. Dr. Sloan is the Chief of Staff at Community General Hospital in Los Angeles. In his spare time, Sloan solves mysteries and tracks down murderers, with the help of his son Steve (a homicide detective) and fellow doctors Amanda Bentley and Jessie Travis.

This book was nearly impossible to put down. I ended up reading it in one day. The murder mystery was very fast-paced and had a lot going on, but not so much that it became confusing. Goldberg weaves a complex mystery full of murders and puzzles. As always, he gives Dr. Sloan so much depth, emotion, and humor that you can imagine Dick Van Dyke playing the part on TV. Goldberg has proved once again that he is a master of writing whodunits.

Besides writing Diagnosis Murder books, Lee Goldberg also writes original stand-alone novels and novels from the Monk TV series (starring Tony Shalhoub on USA). Check out Goldberg’s website for a complete list of his books.


On another note, I want to wish my friend Carl a very Happy Birthday!
Enjoy your day of watching many hours of Lord of the Rings!

Eragon: Inheritance

Christopher Paolini’s Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1) was a pleasant surprise. Paolini was 15 when he started writing this epic tale, and 17 when it was first published. That alone is extremely impressive. But I would have loved it just as much if an adult wrote it. Yes, Paolini obviously borrowed ideas from his favorite authors (Le Guin, Tolkein, etc.), but Eragon is definitely a different story.

Originally, I wasn’t going to read the book, even though I had heard of it. But then, I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie. I was intrigued. Boy, was I glad I did.

This is a wonderful coming-of-age story. Eragon is a young teenage boy who was raised by his uncle in a poor village. He happens upon a mysterious rock that ends up changing his life. As Eragon matures and goes off in search of two killers, he is trained by a strange old man named Brom.

I was immediately swept up in the book within the first chapter. This epic tale of fantasy and lore is not only beautifully written, but exciting as well. There are quite a few surprises along the way. And all of the characters have depth and unique personalities.

This is the first in a trilogy, Eldest being the second book that was just recently released. I plan on going out and getting it soon. And you can bet that I’ll be at the theater opening night.

Dean and Me

I finished Dean and Me: (A Love Story) by Jerry Lewis and James Kaplan this weekend. While the book jumps around in time a lot, it’s still a great homage to Martin and Lewis’ partnership. It was very touching. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about their road to fame as well as Lewis’ view of legendary people (movie stars and mobsters) back in the day. I’ve always been a huge fan of Dean Martin’s movies and voice above all, so I love reading anyone’s portrayal of him.

I’m about halfway through Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1) by Christopher Paolini. Since the movie is coming out next month, I wanted to read it first. And I’m definitely impressed so far. I’ve been telling friends that it’s a cross between the Harry Potter books and Lord of the Rings (except far easier to read). I’m not a big reader of fantasy, but I’m really enjoying this so far. I’ll present a full review when I’ve finished.

Rogue Angel: The Spider Stone

Move over Laura Croft.

The Spider Stone (Rogue Angel) was another amazing read. This series has quickly become my favorite this year. Getting off to an exciting start, Destiny (Rogue Angel) introduces us to Annja Creed. Creed is a part-time archeologist, part-time host of a tv show called Chasing History’s Monsters, and full-time adventurer.

In this third book in the Rogue Angel series,The Spider Stone, Annja is hired to find a treasure with a small stone as her only clue. From Atlanta, Georgia to West Africa, Annja is hunted by mercenaries and treasure seekers. But wielding the lost sword of Joan of Arc, Annja is a formidable force to be reckoned with.

As in the first book, the characters are all well developed. I can’t wait to see where this series takes Creed and her mysterious, occasional allies, Garin and Roux. As always, action and adventure abound in this cross between Indiana Jones and Laura Croft.

Mel Odom and Victor Milan alternately write the Rogue Angel series, under the pseudonym Alex Archer.

The Legend of Banzai Maguire

The Legend of Banzai Maguire by Susan Grant was a nonstop fun thrill ride.

Bree “Banzai”Maguire is an Air Force pilot whose plane, while flying over North Korea, gets shot down. From there, the action and adventure doesn’t stop. Banzai gets captured and wakes up 170 years in the future. This earth of the future has two major world powers, and neither democratic. These futuristic explanations can sometimes be difficult to understand and rationalize. But Grant gives us a reasonable account that’s pretty easy to grasp. Banzai soon realizes that a group of freedom fighters has chosen her as their symbol of hope.

The Legend of Banzai Maguire is considered an action-romance book. Though, it’s considerably heavier on the science fiction/action side.

This book is just the first of five in the 2176 miniseries. The first and fifth are written by Susan Grant. Unfortunately, this first book leaves you hanging enough to want to know what happens in their fight for freedom, so I’m off to pick up the next in the series!

The Artifact


The Artifact , by Kevin J Anderson (and others) just affirmed why he is one of my favorite authors. Every book of his that I have read has been action-packed and fast-paced. It feels like you’re watching a movie. The Artifact was no exception. A group of men, calling themselves the Daredevils Club meet every year to brag about their adventures. When one of the men discover several mysterious artifacts, seemingly not of this world, he enlists the aid of the Daredevils Club to help find the missing pieces.

The cast of characters was a group of people, so none of them were explored too deeply. But this was a short book, with only a back-story at the beginning, explaining how the Daredevils got together.

With plenty of twists and a surprise ending, The Artifact will keep you on the edge of your seat. I read through it in two days, because it was so hard to put down.

The Thirteenth Tale

Completing my first book in the October Reading Challenge, I read The Thirteenth Tale , by Diane Setterfield.

It seems like everyone and their brother has read and reviewed this book, but I’ll give my two cents as well. I purposefully didn’t read any details on The Thirteenth Tale, wanting to have a fresh take on it.

It was a perfect read for this Halloween season, spooky and mysterious. The story was so beautifully written, that I was captivated from the start and never once wanted to put it down. Setterfield wove a brilliant web of stories within stories, revealing parts at different times, as everything came together at the end.

I do have a few criticisms. One, I didn’t care for Margaret’s constant complaining about her dead twin that she had never known. Yes, it’s sad, but she’s now an adult and needs counseling if she’s still that wrapped up in the ghosts of her past. I guess I don’t have a lot of sympathy for such week women portrayed in books. That’s why I thought it hilarious when the doctor prescribed for her to read Sherlock Holmes, instead of her usual Jane Eyre.

My other major complaint is that Setterfield took so long to wrap everything up at the end. The end seemed to drag (the only part in the book that did). And the explaining what happened to everyone was overkill. Why would we care what happened to Judith and Maurice? I don’t remember who Maurice even was! I believe he was referred to once or twice in the story.

But overall this was a fun novel that I’d recommend to anyone who loves a good, spooky mystery.


And of course, I have to comment on last night’s Heroes episode.
We finally got to see Niki’s “Mr. Hyde” persona. And I have a new theory on Peter. (And I’m sure I’m not the only one). I think maybe he has the ability to adopt anyone’s powers when he’s near them. This would explain why he could fly only near his brother. (Remember he was falling the first time he tried to fly, until he was close to Nathan in the air.) It would make for a cool twist. And it would also mean that Peter could match Sylar’s abilities, making him the only one who could possibly take him down. Since it seems that Sylar has multiple powers: mind control, healing, flight, super strength, freezing ability, etc.

Everybody Comes to the Nightside

I just finished my last RIP book. Thanks to Carl for the great idea!

Everybody Comes to the Nightside, by Simon R. Green is actually a Science Fiction Book Club 3-in-1 book including originally published: Something From the Nightside, Agents of Light and Darkness, and Nightingale’s Lament.

The Nightside books center on John Taylor, a private investigator who has special abilities that help him find things in a dark, magical place called the Nightside. My favorite passage that pretty much sums it up is from the forward in Nightingale’s Lament:
“My name is John Taylor. I’ve made that a name to be respected and feared, but it’s also made me a target my whole life.
I operate as a private eye, in a world where gods and monsters are real. The Nightside: the sick, secret magical heart of London. A place where dreams come true, whether you want them to or not. It’s not easy to find a way in, and it can be even harder to find a way out.
I can find anything, solve any mystery. Except the answers to the dark and deadly secrets of my own past.
My name is John Taylor. And if you’ve come looking for me, either you’re in trouble, or you’re bound to be.”

In the first book, Something From the Nightside, a woman comes to John to ask him to find her daughter. They must travel to the dark and magical world of the Nightside, from where John has fled. The story incorporates dark humor, suspense, and horror, all wrapped up in an eerie mystery. This is my favorite in the series so far, simply because the Nightside is such a mystery and the slow reveal is great because it’s such a new and different place.

In the second book, Agents of Light and Darkness, the Nightside is already exposed to us, so Green can concentrate more on the plot, meanwhile still introducing new, creepy places within the city. A mysterious monk comes to John to ask him to find the Unholy Grail. Angels, demons, and everyone else dangerous seems to be searching for it as well. John teams up with Shotgun Suzie, a deadly assassin who once tried to kill him, for this disturbing tale.

In Nightingale’s Lament, the third book, Taylor is hired to find a famous singer in the Nightside whose audience seems to be committing suicide after her shows. Many more creepy (and yet fun) characters are introduced in this story that either aid or try to kill Taylor along the way.

This was a perfect choice as a final RIP Challenge book. I can probably attribute some of my disturbing dreams lately to the stories in this novella. I love how it’s written in a sort of classic pulp fiction detective novel, yet very fresh and fun.

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Speaking of creepy, disturbing things, I was on the edge of my seat several times last night watching Heroes! Each episode keeps getting better!

Don’t forget to read the online comic!