Book Review Killing Is My Business – Robot Crime Noir

Killing Is My Business A Novel by Adam Christopher (Ray Electromatic Mysteries #2)

Why I read: Robots!!!! Crime noir.

Book blurb: “A blend of science fiction and stylish mystery noir featuring a robot detective: the stand alone sequel to Made to Kill

Another golden morning in a seedy town, and a new memory tape for intrepid PI-turned-hitman–and last robot left in working order– Raymond Electromatic. When his comrade-in-electronic-arms, Ada, assigns a new morning roster of clientele, Ray heads out into the LA sun, only to find that his skills might be a bit rustier than he expected….Killing is My Business is the latest in Christopher’s noir oeuvre, hot on the heels of the acclaimed Made to Kill.

“Robot noir in 60s Los Angeles? You had me at ‘Hello.'” —John Scalzi, New York Times bestselling novelist on Made to Kill”?”

My review

Ray Electromatic, is the last robot. He works as as a Private Investigator but as the pay is better he sidelines as a hitman under the guidance of a supercomputer, Ada.  Every 24 hours his memory tape run out and he has to be reset by Ada with data for his current assignment.   Here the action packed novel begins as we follow Ray as he begins his current task  to infiltrate a gang and kill the boss.

This book is great robotic fun.   A quick and easy read with plenty of laughs. Filled with robots, explosions, car chases, gangsters, murder and a huge dollop of noir.  A  crime mystery with little twists alongside the main plot line that keeps everything entertaining.  There’s even a touch of “what does it mean to be human” philosophy thrown in.  It doesn’t take itself seriously and there is a lot of tongue in cheek humour.  Ray is a brilliantly lovable character, fun, witty and  endearing as he overcomes everything the world throws at him.

I haven’t read the first novel in the series but this did not seem to matter at all I enjoyed it as a standalone book.

I’d recommend it to:  fans of robots, crime noir, and anyone who wants a  fun read to brighten their day.

I received a free advanced reader copy via Netgallery in return for an honest review.

****

Hardcover, 288 pages   (I read ARC on PDF)
Published July 25th 2017 by Tor Books
ISBN  0765379201 (ISBN13: 9780765379207)

 

Book Review – Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge – Magic and Mixology

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Kreuger

Why I read – Book club pick for May.

Book blurb: “A sharp and funny urban fantasy for “new adults” about a secret society of bartenders who fight monsters with alcohol fueled magic.

College grad Bailey Chen has a few demons: no job, no parental support, and a rocky relationship with Zane, the only friend who’s around when she moves back home. But when Zane introduces Bailey to his cadre of monster-fighting bartenders, her demons get a lot more literal. Like, soul-sucking hell-beast literal. Soon, it’s up to Bailey and the ragtag band of magical mixologists to take on whatever—or whoever—is behind the mysterious rash of gruesome deaths in Chicago, and complete the lost recipes of an ancient tome of cocktail lore. “

 

 

My review

Cocktails giving secret powers to kill demons was really fun and I enjoyed this part.   The teen romance was too much for me so I skimmed over a lot of it and I didn’t feel the plot really went anywhere. I loved the diversity of the characters – a good blend of people all with distinct personalities.  However it seemed like the cocktails were the star of the book rather than the characters.   I was left feeling though that the idea of the book was better than the actual book itself so I think I had some disappointment as I was really looking forward to reading it and wanted much more.

The highlight of the book for me was the Devil’s Water Dictionary which had extracts interspersed throughout the book.   This fictional mixologist’s guide to alcohol and magic included recipes, secret histories, and effects of all the various cocktails. These were interesting and engaging with a good dose of humour thrown in. I can’t wait until our next cocktail evening so we can have fun trying the recipes in the book.

I’d recommend it to anyone who wants some lighthearted fun young adult reading with a cocktail twist.

***

Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Quirk Books
Book bloggers never stop reading.  I even managed a few chapters of this one whilst having my foot tattooed:

 

Book Review – Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat – Hilarious

Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat by Tyrolin Puxty

Why I read:  Vampire cat.

Select Sentence “If it makes you happy, then you succeeded already.” – Colt Harper: Esteemed Vampire Cat

Book blurb: “As a self-proclaimed master vampire cat, Colt never imagined he’d be sent to community service at a revolting community theater. And for what? Killing humans who don’t buy the expensive brand of cat food? Talk about unfair.

Still, working with a nervous werewolf and a monster addicted to tickling wasn’t on his to-do list.  What’s worse, is he’s falling for a human. Sure, she has green eyes. Sure, she fosters stray cats. But she’s still a disgusting human.  So why is he risking his own life to save her from the chasers?”

My review

A quirky book filled with humour.  A vampire cat is sentenced to community service for killing a human.  Throughout his journey he meets a bunch of weird characters including werewolf, tickle monster, demons, shapeshifter.  We follow his escape from human chases (humans who seek out and destroy monsters) in this wonderful book which is told from the point of view of the monsters.

The author plays with what is good or bad in a delightfully amusing way.   I loved seeing the humans as the bad guys whilst the monsters justified their actions.   Filled with crazy antics which turns the everyday into a quirky delight. Colt’s bluntness, cheekiness and mission to kill any human that harmed a cat were hilarious.  The quotes at the start of each chapter were especially brilliant. Colt Harper is now my favourite bad boy vampire cat as it was such fun to see the world through his eyes.  This is lighthearted tale filled with humour perfect to make you smile.

I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys humorous fantasy, demons and cats.

***

Paperback, 170 pages  (NB I read a PDF advance version).
Expected publication: June 27th 2017 by Curiosity Quills Press

 

 

Book Review: Spanky – a fun Daemonic read

Spanky by Christopher Fowler

Why I read:  Who can resist reading about a daemon called Spanky…..

I loved the original cover when I first read this book in the 90s so had to include this.  (The e-book is more modern):

Book blurb: “23-year-old Martyn has a dead-end job, a miserable family, few friends, and no love life. Then he meets a Spancialosaphus Lacrimosae, his own personal demon. Spanky’s friendship brings confidence, the good life, a better job, a girlfriend. But Spanky is a demon, and Martyn has a price to pay.

My review

A fun twist on the Faustian Pact.  The story has the soul and greed of 80/90s London, the cravings for an expensive perfect life filled with wine, women and wealth. It reminded me of my first delightful horror reads as a teenager, very tongue-in-cheek but with some cringy descriptions of women.   Darkly British humour, some graphically violent passages, a sprinkling of sex, and social commentary are all mixed together to form an entertaining cocktail that was a quick and easy read.

Martyn’s short-sighted naivety made him hard to have sympathy for but certainly fit into the plot.  I loved  the daemon Spanky, in my head he was a cross between Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp, all delicious swagger, a true cheeky bad-boy. Definitely the star of the book.  Is it wrong that I was rooting for the deamon to win?

I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys fun, light-heart 90s British horror.

I received a free ARC of this book via Netgallery and Random House Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.

***

20170513_104107

 

352 pages    Ebook    ISBN: 9780399180439 Expected Pub Date: 20 Jun 2017

We had some glorious weather in London last week so I couldn’t resist going out for a coffee and sitting outside to read this fun book.

 

 

 

The Humans – Lighthearted sci-fi to brighten your day

The Humans by Matt Haig

Select Sentence “Make sure, as often as possible, you are doing something you’d be happy to die doing.”

Book blurb: “It’s hardest to belong when you’re closest to home . . .

One wet Friday evening, Professor Andrew Martin of Cambridge University solves the world’s greatest mathematical riddle. Then he disappears.

When he is found walking naked along the motorway, Professor Martin seems different. Besides the lack of clothes, he now finds normal life pointless. His loving wife and teenage son seem repulsive to him. In fact, he hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton. And he’s a dog.

Can a bit of Debussy and Emily Dickinson keep him from murder? Can the species which invented cheap white wine and peanut butter sandwiches be all that bad? And what is the warm feeling he gets when he looks into his wife’s eyes?”

My review

Wonderfully entertaining story about an alien from the planet Vonnadori who takes over a Professor Andrew Martin’s body and life. His aim to destroy all evidence that Andrew solved a major mathematical problem that could change the course of human history including any one that might know.

The beginning is filled with humour although in some places it feels like the author is trying to hard to be funny but as the story progresses this becomes more insightful into human nature. With the alien learning how pain and sorrow are part of life and how humans are flawed but also kind.

There is a 97 point list entitled Advice for a Human towards the end of the book which is brilliant.  They are points to live by , interspersed with humour.   I’m tempted to print it out and put on the fridge!

This is a book that I’m sure I will turn to in my darker days when depression clouds the mind to remind me we are all flawed and to carry on.  It is a book  I will read again.  Because even though it had predictable plotting and some of the humour got on my nerves, something about it  just resonated with me.

A tale filled with humour and philosophy. I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a lighthearted tale to brighten their day.

****

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published May 9th 2013 by Canongate Books

You can read an extract of the book on Matt Haig’s website.