Friday, 27 December 2013

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse Book Review - Memories of Murder, Yolanda Renee

Hello there, book lovers. Greetings from Spain! 

Spending many hours on planes helps with the reading. I have been reading blogger e-books in my travel downtime. Today I'm reviewing Yolanda Renee's Memories of Murder, the second in her Detective Steven Quaid murder mystery series. I don't know how many people will be reading blogs after the joys of Christmas feasts, but here we go...

Thanks to Armchair Squid who organises the monthly book reviews. The idea of the Coffeehouse is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.  Please join us:

An Amazon review is more helpful than a blog review, so being short of time as I travel, I first wrote the Amazon/Goodread's review and am pasting an updated version below. 

The second in the series of the Detective Quaid Mysteries kept me riveted throughout. I'd enjoyed meeting the characters, artist Sarah Palmer and Detective Steven Quaid in the first book, Murder, Madness and Love, and found Yolanda Renee's writing style to be fast and furious as she takes the reader on a whirlwind ride as Sarah and Steven attempt to overcome obstacles to their relationship. This time the settings include Paris!

It is often a cliche to say you couldn't put a book down, but that is how these books affected me. I was often annoyed with Sarah's decisions in the first book, feeling her desire to be independent put herself and those around her at risk, and Sarah's independence continues to be a plot mover in the second book which I have just finished. Will the damage and pain she has suffered in the past allow her to accept help from those around her?

In Memories of Murder there is the ghastly spectre of Lucifer, the all-to-real demon who haunts Sarah's dreams, turning them into nightmares that she paints in an effort to make sense of what she is experiencing. Lucifer's desire is to have Sarah, and it is Detective Steven Quaid's mission to find Lucifer before he kills any more innocent victims on his quest to have Sarah. At times the macabre scenes are repugnant, so be prepared for blood and gore in the demonic rituals. (Side note: Yolanda adds explanations for these rituals at the end of her book).

Despite the gruesome machinations of Lucifer, the love story between Steven and Sarah is the central theme of the book. Their on-again of-again relationship is frustrating for the reader who just wants them to get over their distrust, their misunderstandings, their insecurities and their careers which put obstacles in the way of their relationship. There are those who seek to steal their love - Scott Chase is still determined to have Sarah, and Alice the Terrible, who was brought into the case as a professional to supposedly help Sarah, does everything she can to keep Steven away from Sarah and to have Steven for herself. What is annoying is that both Steven and Sarah allow themselves to be manipulated by those around them and believe the worst of each other, even though they love each other deeply. 

All through the novel with its central plot and sub plots, the reader wonders - will Sarah survive? Will Lucifer be brought down? Will Sarah and Steven come to trust each other enough to allow their love to win over all? How will such a driven couple ever let their love take precedence over their careers?

Read Memories of Murder to find out how/if they work their way through the obstacles.

About this author
I really wanted to be a drummer, or a race car driver. Obviously I'm neither, but they are on my bucket list, that and owning my very own fire breathing dragon!

I've always loved books and it was through books that I escaped and experienced all the things I'd only been able to dream about - through the stories, the characters, and the places created by talented authors. From Caroline Keene, Judy Bolton, Agatha Christie, Harold Robbins, Danielle Steele, and my all time favorite Stephen King. Now I read K J Larsen , Jennifer Hillier, Joanie McDonell, Maryann Miller, J D Robb, well, pretty much everyone and anyone who gets their words in front of me! I LOVE BOOKS!

I've always been a writer, always loved making things up - a crazy imagination is a good thing - or is it just being crazy?

You decide!(less)

  • I have lots of Amazon Gift Cards to put to good use, so if you can recommend a great e-book for me to buy, please do so!
  • Have you read Yolanda's Detective Quaid series? What did you think?
  • Thinking about New Year's resolutions? Sign up now for Write...Edit...Publish's January challenge - NEW BEGINNINGS.

There is a full list of the next 6 month's WEP challenges in my side bar and on the WEP site.


  1. Hi Denise! Hope you're enjoying lovely Spain! You must be having so much fun! Awesome review of Yolanda's book! And what a great thing for you to do--reading fellow bloggers books. You're a star for sure!
    Wishing you safe travels, happy reading, and a magical New Year's Day!! Where will you be ringing in 2014 I wonder????

    1. InPortugal Pk. Pretty cool...Happy New Year to you !

  2. I have not read it yet but I do have both of her books.
    And I have several iTunes cards waiting for me.
    Having a good time in Spain?

    1. Fantastic. Went to the amazing Alhambra, Granada today.

  3. I haven't been able to set up the WEP sign up list. Sorry. I'll do it as soon as I can...

  4. You are an amazing woman, traveling the world, reading the books of fellow bloggers and graciously writing reviews and blog posts - all the while writing your own blog and books and when not on vacation teaching too! I am honored and humbled, thank you! Each review posted has meant a positive change in the books sold - it means more than words can ever express for an author! Thank you feels inadequate and I'd offer my first born but he'd only ask to borrow money - which may be a better trade off - LOL
    Seriously, though - THANK YOU!

  5. What an interesting book series! It reminds me a bit of Darynda Jones' Grave Series. If you haven't read any of Darynda's work you may want to check it out. First Grave on the Right is the first book in the series...hysterical, and interesting, and sexy. I just adored them.

  6. Another interesting series to add to my list! Thank you for the tip.
    Author of Wilder Mage at Spirit Called
    Facebook Wilder Mage

  7. I am extremely pleased that some have taken the Coffeehouse as an opportunity to promote the work of fellow bloggers. I'm sure Yolanda appreciates it, too.

  8. Oh man, Spain sounds good right about now! And you read a book set in Paris. I don't think it could get any better than that! I haven't read any of this series, but you've definitely piqued my interest. Enjoy your travels!

    1. Thanks Mary. I hope you do. Yes, Spain is great this time of year.

  9. Wow, I was thinking it was a standard mystery until Lucifer popped up! That's a hell of a to speak. :)

    Enjoy Spain! Soy muy celosa.

  10. I really need to read this book. I keep putting it off, but I think, thanks to your review, I'll give it a go.

  11. I haven't read any of Yolanda's books, but I look forward to doing so! I want to catch up on reading blogger books next year. I am soooo behind it's not even funny!

    I think all our blogger friends/acquaintances should stop publishing so many books so I can get caught up at leisurely pace. :P

  12. Lol, Trisha has a point there! Always good to know what other bloggers are up to though and word of mouth is the best endorsement :-)

  13. Hi Denise and Yolanda,

    I'm so delighted to note your comprehensive, thoughtful review of Yolanda's latest novel. I'm the proud owner of both her books and can vouch for what you have so wonderfully articulated.

    Enjoy your time in Spain. Although it seems you will miss the Siesta Championships in Madrid :)


  14. Flying DOES allow much reading to be done, doesn't it? Perhaps I need to jet off some place warm in order to read Yolanda's new book!

  15. This sounds intense and dark. Thanks for showcasing it.

    I'd love to go to Spain one day. I also do a lot of reading while travelling.

    Happy New Year.

  16. This sounds like such an interesting series! Thanks for sharing.

  17. Reading and traveling- two of my favorite things! So happy for you. :)

    I have not read any of the books in this series- but I do love a good mystery and books that won't let me put them down. This sounds like an entertaining read that will keep me guessing. Thanks for sharing and happy travels. :)


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