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“Christmas at the Contraband Café” by Liberty Bell and Scarlet Brodie

I you’re a fan of English Sitcoms like Doc Martin and Heartbeat, you’re going to like this one: definitely written with a TV contract in mind. Picture a small, close-knit village in Yorkshire. Picture a wannabe fashion journalist from London whose life is falling to pieces, suddenly transferred there by a series of coincidental events.…

“Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts” by David Ahern

In this second book of the “Madam Tulip” series, Derry, the starving actress, continues to fight (but not very hard) against taking up her crystal ball and making financial use of her on-again-off-again psychic abilities. Once again, the story is filled with interesting characters, witty dialogue, a good deal of suspense (courtesy of Russian Gangsters…

“At the Bottom of the Stairs,” a Blackfriar Mystery by M’lissa Moorcroft

Cozy Mysteries: crime stories in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. Well, the community in this case is an old mansion-turned-apartment building on the California coast near the Bay Area. As we expect in this genre, the building is…

“Rimrider” by L. A. Kelley

If you’re looking for rollicking Young Adult Science Fiction, this is your book. It has all the required elements: a fleet of independent space traders being squeezed by a suppressive multinational corporation, a pair of orphans taken in by a welcoming spaceship crew, and even a cute extraterrestrial creature with telepathy. There is also an…

“Bloodwalker” by L. X. Cain

“Bloodwalker” starts out as a detective story with a mild paranormal element, a tale that depends on beautifully described setting and mood for its tension. The tale takes place in Eastern Europe, in societies rich with paranormal legends. It also occurs at the intersection where two ancient cultures – the traditional circus and a backward…