Friday, December 19, 2014

'The Magician's Daughter'

I think that one of the most exciting things about having a book blog is the chance to read stories written by new, and semi-new, authors.  There's such passion and...well, 'newness' to their work.  They take a chance, put it out there, and patiently wait.  Maybe not patiently (I'm sure most of them bite their nails down to the quick while waiting for reviews); perhaps anxiously.  But I hope they realize that I (and most of my fellow reviewers) appreciate them. They show such tremendous courage in 'putting it out there'.

When I handsold books, I was especially proud to put an author's first book into someone's hands.  These noble writers deserve respect.  Like I said, it takes courage (or 'guts', if you will) to let their little birds fly free.

So, I was quite excited to receive Judith Janeway's new book, 'The Magician's Daughter'. It's the first book in her 'Valentine Hill' mystery series.  Although Judith has had her romance novels published, this is her second mystery novel.

Magician Valentine Hill is a woman without legal existence.  Her mother, a skilled con artist, involved the young Valentine in her scams, and Valentine learned a lot about life. After her mother disappeared, Valentine went to live with her Aunt June, and it was then that she learned to respect herself and vowed she would never lie.

Robbed of her stake in Vegas, Valentine chases it to San Francisco and learns that her mother is living there.  Assuming her mother is playing one of the city's super-rich, she enters a world where nothing is what it seems.  After a friendly FBI agent is killed, Valentine is determined to find the killer and perhaps find out what her mother is really doing.

Janeway has written a story that pulls you in from the very first page.  She's an intelligent writer, and brings surprise after surprise.  The twists-and-turns kept me on edge, and her research is well displayed.

Author Judith Janeway
Aside from the fine writing and mastery of the flow of the story, it is her characters that really appealed to me. Valentine is intelligent, strong, and in charge of her life.  She has morals and courage, and her fighting skills are exceptional. Plus, she's a kick-ass magician. Even though she's a seasoned grifter and is trying to leave those lessons behind her, she does have to use them to her advantage...but in a good way.

And, of course, there is some romance.  I enjoyed it; it was a welcome addition to such a tense storyline.  

I'm anxious to read the second in this wonderful series.  

I hope it magically appears in the very near future.

'The Magician's Daughter' by Judith Janeway, will be published in February 2015 by Poisoned Pen Press.  Book Hog would like to thank the publisher for the opportunity to review this story!

1 comment:

Don Lentz said...

Sounds like another winner that I would love to read. Going to check with the Library to see if they have it yet?