Medallion of Murder by B. R. Meyers

Medallion of MurderBlue Moon Publishers, 2018.

Daughter of Egyptologists and superpower wielding Nefertari Hughes is at it again. Halfway through her senior year in high school, Terry’s got some major life decisions ahead of her. The rest of her life is looming and Terry and her best friend Maude must decide what they’re going to do next. Unfortunately, their choices aren’t exactly what their parents had in mind for them, and they’re both avoiding that reveal.

Soon, mind a jumble of thoughts and emotions about the future, Terry’s wrapped up in another big mystery involving Cleopatra’s legacy. Is it right for Terry to involve her friends and boyfriend in the danger that seems to follow her? Is she taking foolish risks because of her powers or is she simply a victim of circumstance?

I enjoyed this next installment of the mysteries–I especially loved the way Maude seems to be coming into her own as the series continues. I’m looking forward to finding out what happens in the next installment of the Nefertari Hughes mysteries.

The Hound of the Baskervilles, a Graphic Novel by Dave Shephard

Dark Tales: The Hound of the Baskervilles: A Graphic NovelQuarto Publishing, 2018.

As a lover of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, I could not pass up a chance to read this new version of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Part of Dave Shephard’s Dark Tales series of graphic novels, The Hound of the Baskervilles was the perfect story to pick as the setting of the miry moor and the tales of a ghost dog make this one of the creepiest of the Sherlock Holmes tales.

Shephard’s pictures evoke the desolate landscape, the old manor, and the complex plot well. Readers who are familiar with the screen and television versions of Doyle’s stories will note with pleasure the visual references to familiar actors and settings.

Other books in the Dark Tales Graphic Novel Series from Canterbury Classics include The Call of Cthulhu, The Snow Queen, and Beauty and the Beast.

I received copies of The Hound of the Baskervilles from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

ASP of Ascension by B. R. Myers

asp-of-ascensionBlue Moon Publishers, 2017.

Sixteen-year –old Nefertari (Terry) Hughes is stuck in another new high school in a town where her dad’s got yet another temporary job. It’s been that way since Terry recovered from the terrible accident took her mother’s life and almost took hers. But Terry doesn’t want to be in this high school. She may officially be American, but as the daughter of two Egyptologists, Egypt is truly home to Terry.

Terry’s managed to escape the notice of the other students at the last few schools she’s attended, but somehow that’s proving impossible in Devonshire, especially since her dad’s in charge of the big new Cleopatra exhibit at the museum, and the history teacher’s acting like a Nefertari groupie. When Terry catches the attention of Zach, the star basketball player, she’s really in trouble. His cheerleader girlfriend tends to be jealous, and she’s got a mean streak a mile long.

Before she knows it, Terry’s got more than social problems on her plate. There’s a snag in the opening of the exhibit, and it looks like Terry’s going to have to be the one to solve it before it’s too late and her life changes forever.

This was such a fun read! The mystery’s intriguing and there’s plenty of room in the story for heartwarming friendships, nefarious motives, and a tingly romance. It looks like there are more Nefertari Hughes mysteries coming up, and I’ll definitely be looking for them. This is one sleuth I’ll be glad to follow!

I received an electronic review copy of ASP of Ascension from NetGalley and Blue Moon Publishers.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

one-of-us-is-lyingDelacourt Press/ Random House 2017

One Monday afternoon, five kids walk into detention in Mr. Avery’s science room. They’re not friends; they’re not even the usual suspects. Branwyn is the brainy, uber involved mathlete who has never had detention before. Cooper’s headed for baseball fame, if his father has anything to say about it. Addy’s the gorgeous girlfriend of the quarterback and hangs with the popular crowd. Nate’s the school’s dealer and all around bad boy. Simon’s the inventor of the gossip app that’s plaguing the school.

Every one of them got bagged for carrying a cell phone into science class, and every one of them swears that they’ve never seen that phone before. But before long, they’ve got a lot more to worry about than some illegal cell phones because before long one of them is dead and the rest? They are at the top of the list of suspects for the murder of their classmate Simon.

McManus has written an engaging Agatha Christie style mystery. Set in a modern high school, four appealing characters battle the expectations of their families, the cut throat social pressures of their peers, and the unpredictability of a murder investigation. Their most hidden secrets come out, making them pariahs among their peers and causing discord with their families. Against the advice of their lawyers, the remaining four tentatively build a friendship and work their way through the tangle of events that led to Simon’s being wheeled out on a stretcher and never coming back.

This mystery was a great read! Not only was it filled with the angst and social pressures of senior year of high school, but the story beautifully reflected the tightrope of senior year. Pressure comes from everywhere: parents, teachers, friends, college choices. When you add being investigated as a murder suspect? It’s a wonder they don’t all blow to pieces. Instead, in the most satisfying way each character seems to embrace the pressure, and rather than allowing it to blast them to pieces, each character instead grows stronger and begins to mold themselves into the adult they will soon be.

I was lucky enough to win an ARC of One of Us Is Lying on Twitter. I was drawn into the story from word one and read it in one weekend. It comes out May 30th. I will definitely look for more books from Karen McManus in the future.