Except that Johnny's assignments never turn out to be plums for long.
This time he's sizing up security on Catalina Island, where a new hush-hush facility is being built and a radar station is already in operation.
Easy-peasy, right? Foggy mornings, bright sunny afternoons with the cool ocean breezes. Watching the buffalo roam. Lots of time to enjoy one of California's prime vacation spots. Well, at least it was before the war.
The problem is that the Japs know something is up, they want to know a lot more and the security has more holes than a block of swiss cheese!
Major Spicer has his hands full this time, fighting for his life almost as soon as he arrives on the island. It's almost like the enemy knows he's there and they have a major grudge to settle with him. What did Johnny ever do to deserve this much attention? [Check out some of Johnny's other adventures like 'Payback' and 'S.N.A.F.U.' to find out!]
The fast-paced action and destruction lead Johnny north to Seattle where more bullets are waiting for him as he tries to root out a nest of spies!
Will he be able to stay alive long enough to help shore up the security and protect the island from Japanese saboteurs? If the snipers don't get him, the 'Jake' machine gun bullets might!
Johnny races against time to get the Coast Guard and the Army to boost their security before someone else gets killed.
Riding along with Johnny may be hazardous to your health, but it's never dull!
Major Johnny Spicer is in it up to his elbows this time.
Is this the caper that puts an end to his career in the Army and his romance with Susan?
Spicer is assigned an impossible mission by the MID, the Army Military Intelligence Division. Poke around and see if the Japanese are onto a top secret mission involving a bunch of B-25s. No clues, no smoking guns, nothing. Just 'do what you do best, Johnny', find trouble and stop it.
Enemy agents, multiple plots, wonderful period scenery, sarcastic dialog and a fast paced story. It's everything you've come to expect from a Johnny Spicer thriller.
And on a personal note, there is a 'surprise' character in this book. See if you can figure out who it is.
Grab a copy, fix a plate of nachoes to go with your ice cold Fat Tire and hit the patio, friends. Johnny is on the case again!
Parker T Atkins, news reporter and former detective was just driving home on a foggy night when a lady in white ran past his car, going the other way.
What happens next will chill your blood and lead Parker on a quest to solve a murder.
You're taken back to 1930s San Francisco and immersed into the feel and texture of the times. The Golden Gate Bridge, cars with chrome and newspaper headlines will spill from the pages. Pure fun!
Ride with Parker as he plunges headlong into danger, risking his life to help the next victim before it's too late.
The stories are compact and complete within themselves. But the stories all have the commonality of characters, the Kestrel and wonderfully creative adventure in the African savannas. The small crew is diverse and each interesting on their own. Put together on the tiny sky ship they make a great team that doesn't shy from danger or adventure.
This book would be a great intro for anyone into the Steampunk genre, but can easily stand beside others in this genre.
I loved this book and look forward to more for Mr. Tyler!
I settled in with anticipation and dove into Mr. Doweyko's tale. I was firmly hooked by the middle of the first chapter! That's my kind of story. Great opening, with quick character sketches that get filled in as you read. More than enough 'say what's?' to keep you keep you turning the page and hoping to get a bigger taste of the plot.
The plot is wonderful. I don't want to give anything away, it's too delicious to spoil. The book blurb on Barnes and Noble has a good intro and should give you enough to wet your appetite. I'll just say that Mr. Doweyko's characters, good and evil, are engaging and believable and that the scope of the plot kept me enchanted.
I look forward to sampling more of Mr. Doweyko's works as soon as possible!
I'm a huge fan of the Johnny Spicer capers by H.P. Oliver and this tale is the best one so far!
Like the other reviewers, I really enjoy being totally immersed into 1939 Hollywood with all it's glitz, glitter and intrigue. Johnny is a glib, gritty gumshoe that steps right out of the Hollywood newspaper headlines. He's smart. Smart enough to know when to push and when to sit back and let the action come to him.
This time his client is none other than Jack Warner of the Warner Brothers movie mega-machine. Someone is trying to sabotage Jack's latest film 'Thunderstruck' and he hires our intrepid detective to find out who and to stop them.
You'll meet a marvelous lineup of movie stars, high rollers and low life's as Spicer works his way through the evidence, one step at a time, risking life and limb to find the answers.
And just like in the other books, you're going to have a blast cruisin' up and down the boulevards of Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the coastal highways. Late night diners, ham sandwiches and hot coffee. No cell phones, no internet, not even a pager. Johnny has to rely on his wits and dogged determination to solve this one.
I highly recommend this caper and the other cool stories in H.P. Oliver's 'Johnny Spicer' series.
Grab a cool brew, a plate of nachos and settle in for the fun!
Mr. Carter's imagination unfolds in full force in this tale of a wayward space explorer stranded on a truly bizarre planet, while the snarky AI on his mother ship waits patiently for his return.
The more 'Uncle Jimmy' learns about the planet and it's inhabitants (loved the Ancestor Tree, Pete!) the more convinced he becomes that he will never understand this place or return to his orbiting ship.
This story is both fantastical in nature and chock full of SciFi 'what if' concepts. You'll bust a gusset trying to figure out if Mr. Carter's concepts for the planet and ... well, you'll see.
Have a blast turning the virtual pages of this delightful romp through Mr. Carter fevered imagination!
I'd suggest a plate of potato-skins and a iced bucket full of 1554 Black Larger beer.
These stories went great with a couple of cold Fat Tires and a platter of chips and salsa. Yumm!
"The Legacy Trust" by Pete Cater
"Alogorithm" by Authur Doweyko
"Little Differences" by Paul Levinson
"Loose Ends" by Paul Levinson
I admit my ignorance of most of Mr. Levinson's works, as my childhood and early days were spent with the hard SciFi masters of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. In the last few years, it's been Orson Scott Card, David Weber, Douglas Adams and others that capture my imagination.
Wonderfully, I have another author to explore. One of the favorite 'ah-ha' moments in my reading experience is when I find new worlds to live in. New ideas, new concepts; that slightly 'bent' slant on a subject like Time Travel.
Paul shows a great flare for engaging you into the life of Jeff Harris immediately, which is a must for a mr. I feel that an author has only a few moments to draw his/her reader into the story. If you succeed, the reader will reward you by embracing your characters into his imagination. They will spend hours with your words and worlds. And they will seek you out in the future, wanting more of your work, expecting the next story to be better than the first.
'Loose Ends', a novella of 50 pages, is such a story. Here's to hoping that Paul's other works are as interesting, fun and slightly 'bent'.
I recommend 'Loose Ends' as a great introduction into Mr. Levinson's stable of stories.
I don't generally review non-fiction, but this wonderful book hit a personal chord with me.
This is a well written, earthy portrayal of one of my heroes, George H. W. Bush by his son, another of my heroes, George W. Bush.
Written as though Mr. Bush and I were sitting on the patio (mine), sipping a glass of a nice Texas Red and enjoying the warm Texas summer afternoon. He doesn't talk down to me or assume I'm politically savvy.
I learned of the many challenges and opportunities 41 faced and how he faced them. Every President faces soul crushing responsibilities. I'm still proud of how 41 faced every challenge.
It's a warm, wonderful glimpse of Bush Senior's life, from early military life to present day with his family.
My highest recommendation for everyone.
Go. Learn how this kind, patient but determined man lead our country through some amazing times.
"The Fence" by Pete Carter
This is a balls-to-wall, full-steam-ahead action adventure that will keep you on the edge of your mental seat for all 500+ pages!
Mr. Carter weaves a tense tale of cunning conspiracies, treasonous terrorism, government gaffs and black-op bad asses. The action scenes are original, intense and even the good guys catch bullets in the fray. The 'enablers' (my term for new concepts that assist in moving the story forward ) are awesome. Finally, I get my jet car!
The bad guys seem to hold all the cards, their plans years in the making. All that's left is to steal a few things from what they think is an soft, infidel industrialist. What can a decadent Capitalist inventor possibly do to stop them!
Unfortunately for the black hats, they don't know about 'Jay', the Artificial Intelligence that was built by Wilder and his team and made possible because of their own micro-miniaturized memory chips. Of course, neither do any of the white hats at first.
This not-so-distant-future story is chillingly current in it's portrayal of events in the middle East and around the world.
It's a testament to Mr. Carter's excellent action-packed story that I finished it willingly. I generally do not pick up books this long, even if I've been told it's worth it. I have found that I usually lose the thread and the interest in the story.
Not so with this tale. Mr. Carter kept my interest and energy throughout the entire story. Well done!
Highly recommended to action junkies everywhere!
'The Evolution Trilogy' by Vanessa Wester on Amazon
The Evolution Trilogy is an excellent series by Vanessa Wester. These stories drew me into the worlds of the two main characters, Steven and Caitlin, as well as some very well established and interesting secondary characters.
I was totally invested in her creations, wanting to know how they would handle the changes and challenges in their lives.
The plot of each book in this series can stand alone, but the stories are smoothly blended and would be very enjoyable as a weekend read-a-thon.
The best part, for me at least, is that reading The Evolution Trilogy was FUN! I read to escape into new worlds and meet interesting characters. Ms. Wester's imagination flowed into the lines of the story, carrying me along for a wonderful ride.
I give this trilogy five stars and a great big 'well done', Ms. Wester.
When is your next book out?!
'The Dream Map' by Jason Luthor on Amazon
I thoroughly enjoyed this Sword, Sorcery and Dragon tale.
Mr. Luthor's style flows easily and strongly, with no weak or slow parts in the story. He added new elements and characters at all the right moments.
His plot enabler (how he convinces you this could happen) is imaginative and well thought out. It allows you to suspend belief with ease; no 'say what?' moments to interrupt the action.
The characters are well formed and believable. I found myself wanting to know more about the world the characters struggled in and the foe they struggled against. I really enjoyed the twist on the Dragon society!
This is wonderful young adult or adult read. I'm looking forward to his next book. Don't keep me waiting!
Well done, Jason.
'Deserving of Death' by James Paddock on Amazon on Barnes and Noble
Another great mystery read by one of my favorite writers! After reading 'Elkhorn Mountain Menace' (see review below) I was hoping Mr. Paddock still had his mojo running, and I was not disappointed. If anything, this book is a step up from the last. More action, more twists, more character engagement and a killer plot (no pun intended).
CJ Washburn, cop turned PI, is a believable, imperfect man throw into a murder mystery mess, just from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or was he? The story keeps you guessing, which is why Mr. Paddock got a 5 star rating from me and other readers.
The story is fast paced, the dialog perfect and the supporting characters helped draw me into CJ nightmare ride.
Mr. Paddock does it again. It's a 'must read' recommendation from me.
'The Traveler' by Garrett Addison on Amazon on Barnes and Noble
Mr. Addison's story is unique and unusual in several aspects.
Living inside the main character's head, feeling his angst, phobias and feelings of manic ecstasy was both intriguing and painful at times. I got to experience his every thought and revelation through a slightly bizarre series of business trips. This could be repetitive and draining at times.
I found myself rooting for the Traveler one moment and disliking him immensely the next. At times I could not reconcile his words and deeds and that threw me off the story. It did eventually make sense though.
Definitely well written with some very clever plot twists.
Mr. Addison's writing style and character development will pull you in the story. The action will keep you wondering...
'Elkhorn Mountain Menace' by James Paddock on Amazon on Barnes and Noble
Mr. Paddock has created a nail-biting, fast paced thrill-ride in this story of ordinary people drawn into extraordinary danger.
The characters are real, flawed and believable, something that is very hard to accomplish. Every character you meet breathes more life into the story, more flavor to the stew. Trevor is what every man wants to be and Natasha the woman he wants. Neither are perfect. Both love life.
The story grabbed me immediately. That's key for me, because I need to care about the characters and the plot quickly or I get bored. There was no chance of that with 'Elkhorn Mountain Menace'. There's not a slow spot in the whole book.
This is my first Paddock book, but definitely will not be my last!
'Prince of the City: The Cat's Whiskers' by Mackenzie Brown on Amazon on Barnes and Noble
This is a wonderful return to a genre I love; the hard nosed, struggling detective, pitched knee deep into a dangerous, sticky mess of intrigue.
'The Cat's Whiskers' is the first installment of a story that centers around war torn Liverpool in the early 40's. Vic Prince's flat feet and asthma prevented him from enlisting to serve his country but there is plenty of menacing peril along the Mersey and Vic seems to draw it in like flies to honey.
Vic is a wise cracking gumshoe; a black man struggling with the prejudices of the time to make a living for himself and his lovely Chinese girlfriend.
A seemingly innocuous case to find a missing cat for a wealthy client quickly turns into something much more complicated. Soon he's wrapped up in the black market, Russian spies and beautiful but dangerous women. What's not to enjoy!
I love books like this and Mr. Brown has hooked me good. I can't wait for the next installment!
'Wonder' by R.J. Palacio on Barnes and Noble on Amazon
This is story about a boy with a severe facial deformity that keeps him at home, away from shocked and cruel stares. Until 5th grade, when his parents urge him to try Beecher Prep school, in the hopes of giving him a better social life.
Justin's story, and the story of his family and classmates, unfolds gently but firmly as Justin struggles to be treated like everyone else.
This is a heart-wrenching and heart-warming story that engages your mind and your heart, pulling you along with enlightening dialogue as each character tells his/her side.
This will be a family classic. Please read!
'Dancing with Eternity' by John Patrick Lowrie
Mr Lowrie grabs your imagination and never lets go. This is a future unlike any I've explored before and it was wonderful.
The author blended rarefied concepts with engaging characters and a truly novel futuristic perspective. And made it fun to read!
This is one of those rare books I'll read again so I can explore Mr Lowrie's rich universe and characters.
'Blackstone & Brenwen: The Mirror & The Meretrix ' by Andrew D.
Mr. Mellusco brings together a rich cast of lofty Angelics, law-bringer Giants, deadly Wolfverns, Fire Demons and much more right into the court room. And Asmodeus has his own law firm!
I was instantly caught up in the mystery of Red Riding Hood charged with murdering her lover. And how does an insurance claim for a missing magic mirror figure into the murder?
Snow White is an assassin for the Queen? The Sandman can walk around in your dreams? It's a wonderful, entertaining read from opening scene to ending courtroom drama.
'Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins
I'm bit behind the rest of you reading Hunger Games but I've been busy with my own projects.
Ms Collins' story line is crisp and moves a great pace for me. I'm drawn into a world where the gladiator and his arena have returned. The reasons for the games is well established and believable from the beginning. That's a plus for me. Set up a plausible story in the beginning and I can sit back and enjoy the ride.
With any luck I'll finish before the movie comes out!