Jan Tangen

Smashwords book reviews by Jan Tangen

  • King Harald's Heist on May 02, 2016

    I can give you an honest review, but forget about it being unbiased! (Several of our kids went to Mn universities, and we are all Norse). And we love dogs! This is a fun mystery with thefts, alcohol problems (not the dog or the hero), murder, secrets, a temporary mayorship, and all set in a Norse country small town in Minnesota. King Harald finds erotic gnomes, then a body, tells his part of the story, performs heroically. Andy, divorced once and dumped once, is an artist, works as host in his sister's upscale cafe, is friends with many interesting people, is the one who is partners with King Harald, gets coerced into becoming temporary mayor, is dragged into the murder and investigation. This book is interesting, an easy fun read with lots of laughs along the way. Thanks to LibraryThing giveaways.
  • Fossilized Gods on May 16, 2016

    What happens to gods who are no longer in fashion? Several outdated gods are together in a museum and interact with several of the academic staff. If you don't maximize your lung capacity laughing throughout this book, you must be seriously depressed! Spoilers are nasty things, and there are too many possible quotes, so just stick a crowbar into your piggy bank and get a copy to enjoy! Grateful to LibraryThing for this giveaway.
  • Paladin's Odyssey on May 16, 2016

    The struggle to stay alive and do what one man can to keep others alive is the basis of this fast paced first person novel set in the US after a major pandemic has strained individuals and health care systems to the max. Written as if a memoir after life has become more bearable for all, it reaches into the heart of man, warts and all. The story is moving, and the characters engaging, the story reaches out and grabs your attention and refuses to let you put it down. I was given this ebook through LibraryThing giveaway for my honest review.
  • Shiftless: A Fantastical Werewolf Adventure on May 30, 2016

    Good characterization of realistic personages. Storyline is a bit different from the usual. No gratuitous erotica. I liked it a lot. Bought as Whispersync on the cheap.
  • Shyster & Shyster on June 21, 2016

    Step away from the coffee. Unless you really want to spray it everywhere as you read this hilariousness! Publisher's blurb gives you plot clues, but not much can prepare you for this snarkfest with undertones of gawdawful puns. It's a nice length, and you simply cannot go wrong with this read! Thank you, LibraryThing Giveaways!
  • Sleuthing for a Living on June 30, 2016

    This one has it all: broke semiskilled single mom with a mother a lot like Cruella deVille, hot cop, ex boyfriend, mentoring uncle (even though he's dead), several murders. Sure, there are a few inconsistencies and a wishful thinking, but IT'S FICTION. Nice plot management and twists, a real snarkfest, and classic redheaded behavior (cut the growling, I was born a redhead and have the freckles to prove it!). Nice touch of having supposed pearls of wisdom from Uncle Al's book on sleuthing for a living at the beginning of each chapter. Certainly leaves this reader panting for the next in series. Oh, and no erotica (for those who care).
  • Hollywood Scandals on July 01, 2016

    Fluffy. Take 1 paparazza, one scandal rag, a lot of testosterone, and a boatload of snarks and humor and you have a nice beach read.
  • The Ankeny Arsonist on July 03, 2016

    What could be fun about murder with arson coverup? The characters and nonlethal events in this cozy mystery/romance! Wanda chases a killer while being chased by a goofy suitor, an ex boyfriend, and her current love target. This one kept me up late, not because of nightmares, but because I just didn't want to put it down!
  • The Recruit (Book One) on July 03, 2016

    Unusual premises and plot. But I've got to tell you, she doesn't find out about the werewolf shtick until later in the book, regardless of publisher's blurb. I did enjoy it, and the length was just right.
  • Raining Men and Corpses (A Raina Sun Mystery #1) on July 18, 2016

    : cozy-mystery, contemporary, romance, seniors, amateur-sleuth, women-sleuths Read on July 17, 2016 The grad student with problems. A murder of a colleague. Reappearance of ex husband who is lead detective on the case. A best friend/reporter who just steamrolls over everyone. Family trouble over an inheritance. A sassy Chinese grandmother who appears unannounced on her doorstep and moves right on in--to EVERYTHING. That's the basics, but the mystery/suspense are well done, and there is fun and snarks throughout. I really enjoyed it!
  • Fang and Claw on July 22, 2016

    procedural, law-enforcement, vampire, were-folk, relationships, urban-fantasy, ya-only-means-no-gratuitous-erotica Read from June 22 to July 21, 2016 Fine police procedural set in Dallas, Tx, in the future when those who are discriminated against are the shifters, vampires, zombies, and the like. Heading up the newly formed Undead Unit are Lt. Anderson, a vampire with a centuries old reason to hate werewolves, and Detective Scarber, a werewolf. So half the plot centers on each of them learning to trust and work effectively with each other. The other half is the telling of good solid police work resulting in a satisfactory conclusion to a truly baffling case. Lots of plot twists and convincing characters. Oh, yeah, and she drives a fast car and thinks 100 mph is a comfortable speed on the freeway. A great read for justice geeks. I found that it grabbed my interest and didn't let go until I finished it. I missed this one on Goodreads giveaways but caught up with it on sale.
  • Gusty Lovers and Cadavers (A Raina Sun Mystery #2) on Aug. 24, 2016

    cozy-mystery, amateur-sleuth, women-sleuths, chinese-customs, family-dynamics, romance, murder-investigation, humor Read on August 14, 2016 If you're looking for gory stuff and erotica: look elsewhere. If you're looking for a solid mystery with fun characters and lots of situational humor: grab your coffee, sit down, and enjoy! Raina gets put through the wringer by her family while she works to fix things for a tiny baby's future. The mystery is foremost in the story, but since her best sleuthing partner is her Chinese grandmother, the rest just gets folded in. There are lots of suspects and people who turn out not to be what they seem. Well told, and the characters certainly are!
  • Mystic Mayhem on Aug. 27, 2016

    nola, psychics, resort-hotel, amateur-sleuth, women-sleuths, paranormal, murder-investigation, humor Read on August 22, 2016 What a fun mystery! And it's set in my favorite city to visit, NOLA! Well, technically most of it is in the imaginary Mystic Isle Resort, but it's still on the bayou. The characters are just too much fun, and the humor is excellent. The mystery plot is well executed with many interesting twists, and the locale descriptions are clear. The publisher's blurb is adequate and is no spoiler. Looking forward to the next book with great anticipation!
  • Spying in High Heels on Sep. 06, 2016

    No erotica and minimal explicit violence despite two murders. Lots of OC references and boob talk. Loads of situational humor. The publisher's blurb doesn't tell you that Maddy designs children's shoes, or that her mother's idea of a bachelorette party is a male strip club. All I can say without doing the spoiler thing is that I laughed myself silly, and the supense and plot twists were great!
  • The Estate Appraiser on Sep. 07, 2016

    Fascinating little story. The beginning is by way of being a back story to the remainder. Typical rendering of the classic college grad problems of finding gainful employment. In this case, she is fortunate to get a positive response from a former professor and becomes her assistant, with compensation a percentage of the payment by the estate. The estate in question is a sort of time capsule from the 1960's and includes a myriad of truly valuable art an furniture, but no new clues to an old murder. All in all, a fascinating window into the world of estate appraisal. Very well worth the read!
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Brash Blonde on Sep. 09, 2016

    If you're looking for Cumberbatch, forget it. If you expect every detail not related to the case to be covered, skip that. If you're looking for a sappy romance, not happening. If you want a good, suspenseful mystery to solve with lots of clues and plot twists, you'll love this book as much as I did! Sherlock is invisible here in San Francisco. Dr. John Watson is the ME, Detective Lestrade is a grump, Irene Adler is a manic genius, and Ms Hudson has the memory of a high speed computer but no money. The investigation is excellently done. The puns and the verbal and situational humor are real coffee snorters! Can't wait for more in this new series!
  • Alibi In High Heels on Sep. 16, 2016

    More fun, confusion, and outright stupidity. The mystery aspect is well done and has a lot of twists. The reality aspect is wanting, but this is FICTION! The sleuthing holds the reader's interest, and the romance angle is positively twisted. Mrs. R. and Maddie's mother make me nuts, and not in a good way. But altogether, I think it was great!
  • The Devil Dogs of Belleau Wood on Sep. 17, 2016

    Net sales benefit the Semper Fi Fund. A look into the minds of men during close combat in one day's fighting during The War to End All Wars. Graphic descriptions likely to be triggers. A tough read, but reality based.
  • The Last Necromancer on Sep. 17, 2016

    ya-only-means-no-gratuitous-erotica, action-adventure, london, 19th-century, fantasy Read on September 15, 2016 Young adult only means no gratuitous erotica, but there is some violence. Survival as a boy was her only way of life after her father condemned and disowned her following her amazed and horrified discovery that she had influence over her newly dead mother. After she escapes from gaol 5 years later, she is kidnapped by a group of rather self righteous men with an unusual imperative. That's all you get, no spoilers, read the publisher's blurb for more clues. I really enjoyed it, and was unaware that it was YA until I settled in to do the review. Good writing, and a fresh imagination bring this sassy survivor and all of the other characters to life!
  • Forever Charmed on Sep. 28, 2016

    urban-fantasy, witches, humor Read on September 27, 2016 If you like fluffy stories with witches, a vampire, and a warlock that has you rolling on floor laughing (or groaning), you'll love this book. Can't say much for the narrator, though.
  • Killer In High Heels on Oct. 08, 2016

    law-enforcement, mystery, drag-queens, humor, las-vegas, romance Maddie and her shoe fetish are hot on the trail of a mystery and Ramirez is having fits. Bestie Dana and the *mahvelous* Marco decide to join in and go to Vegas to *help*. A crazy time is had by all with plot twists and humor galore! Fun read on a dreary afternoon.
  • The Case of the Homeless Pup: A Paul Manziuk and Jacquie Ryan Novella on Oct. 11, 2016

    toronto, murder-investigation, procedural, law-enforcement, relationships Read on October 09, 2016 Human bones are found in a park by a veterinary student who spies an apparently lost puppy. He then notifies the police and they are able to determine that it was a man dead for less than twenty years and that he has two major skull fractures. With due diligence they are able to come close and then positively identify the victim and his family. There is much hard and unpleasant work for the investigating team and also for the family before the truth is brought out. Excellent work by the team, the author, and in raising awareness of the pain and problems of the families of people who have gone missing. I now understand that this is one in a series, and I expect that I will read more of them because this one is so well done.
  • The Body in the Alpaca Pasture on Oct. 14, 2016

    murder-investigation, argentina, relationships Read on October 11, 2016 I really enjoyed both the murder investigation and learning about Argentina and Argentine alpaca breeding. The investigation was very well done and had lots of info on cultural differences in law enforcement as well as detailed opportunities for learning about alpaca husbandry and details about a particular firearm and its modification. I was totally absorbed by the opportunities for learning and the plot twists! Caveat: I am a knitting addict as well as addicted to Andrea Camilleri and his ilk.
  • Falling For A Wolf #1 (BBW Werewolf Shifter Romance) on Oct. 17, 2016

    shifters, relocating, snarky, humor What a fun story! Loved the snarkiness and clear visualization of scenery and characters. See publisher's blurb for clues, no spoilers. Am now hunting for more!
  • Wolf Lake: Part 1 (Werewolf Shifter Romance) on Oct. 17, 2016

    suspense, short Read on October 14, 2016 Too short! Very intriguing set up to a series. Methinks the publisher's blurb is a spoiler!
  • Shadow of the Moon #1 (Werewolf Shifter Romance) on Oct. 17, 2016

    erotica, shifters, law-enforcement Read on October 14, 2016 The characters were well done, and the plot sound, for the most part, but near the end, the shifter behaved more like an ultra testosterone vamp than shifter. And I bought more of this series?
  • First Bite, A Sweet & Sour Mystery (Alpha Werewolf Shifter Romance) on Oct. 18, 2016

    urban-fantasy, were-folk, conspiracy, reporter, snark-fest, humor, suspense, erotica, romance Don't miss this hilarious shifter intro! The dialog had me snorting my coffee! Some situational humor, but mostly the interactive verbal kind that turns any day into a really good one. Plot is hinted at in the publisher's blurb, but there is soooo much more; suspense, romance, mischief, and a conspiracy or two
  • Oracle of Spirits #1 (Werewolf Shifter Romance) on Oct. 18, 2016

    paranormal, urban-fantasy, snarky Read on October 15, 2016 The plotting was good, and the characters were fun and interesting, but the phantom whisperer and his minions plus the soul sucking hags just didn't do it for me. Good for someone else, just not me. See publisher's blurb for other clues.
  • Blacktip Island on Oct. 22, 2016

    No need to summarize the book, and the publisher's blurb will give you some clues. The characters are all looney and the action will have you snorting your Mai Tais! Fun and hilarity totally describe this book! Thanks, LibraryThing for having this as a Giveaway!
  • Breezy Friends and Bodies (A Raina Sun Mystery #3) on Nov. 08, 2016

    cozy-mystery, san-francisco, humor, chinese-customs, family-dynamics, relationships This time Raina is in San Francisco for Chinese New Year when she gets mixed up in another murder investigation. Her PoPo is her sidekick once again, and all kinds of mischief as well as real danger ensue. The insights into Chinese cultural beliefs and practices are fascinating to those of us who have been raised in other ethnic backgrounds. As a cozy mystery, it is really great, with a strong story line and more twists than a mountain road! Each of the books in the series is a stand alone, but they make you want to read all of them!
  • Balmy Darlings and Deaths (A Raina Sun Mystery #4) on Nov. 21, 2016

    Chinese customs, cozy mystery, family dynamics, friendship, relationships, California, murder investigation Another murder investigation with Raina, her grandmother, and the senior citizen posse! Lots of situational humor, scary stuff, plot twists, and all kinds of mischief make this book and series great. The suspense keeps the reader guessing, and most of the characters really are. The publisher's blurb gives hints, and this one can stand alone if necessary. Definitely a must read!
  • Calamity Jayne (Calamity Jayne book #1) on Jan. 05, 2017

    snarky, punfest, humor, amateur sleuth, women sleuths, murder This book is just too much fun! Each character is quirky and well explored, the verbal and situational humor are hilarious, and the plot is well developed. The publisher's blurb is helpful, and no need for spoilers. No gratuitous erotica! Innuendos yes, but that's part of the fun! Well worth the price!
  • First Feature on April 06, 2017

    PI, law enforcement, murder investigation, snarkfest, noir, relationships Engrossing. The cover is misleading, and the publisher's blurb is a disservice to the book. There is no Hollywood hype except for the insanity of the lifestyle of the first victim and most of the suspects. Anthony is a careworn ex cop/paint artist working as a PI, who drinks too much, and smokes too much, and has a great snarky sense of humor. His best friend is his former partner from the Department, and they collaborate on the case while trading friendly barbs. The descriptions of the characters and the environments are excellent. The plot is interesting and twisty. The editing is subpar and there are some really jarring notes when there is an auto correct inaccuracy or a completely wrong word used. That kind of thing takes away from the flow in a book that is basically well written.
  • Demise of a Devious Neighbor on May 28, 2017

    amateur sleuth, women sleuths, cozy mystery, murder investigation, Iowa Twisty and with lots of suspense. Set in small town rural Iowa which, basically could be farm town anywhere. Everybody knows everyone's business, and the gossip is spread really fast. The murder victim was an unlucky opportunist, the alleged murderer a former resident with a good reason to seriously dislike the man. Plus, there's a manuscript of a mystery novel based on local events, suspicion of illegal goings on, and a deputy with an ax to grind, and some really serious hard evidence. Good reflection of rural reality and some real characters! I loved it!
  • Undercover Unicorn on July 29, 2017

    magic, urban-fantasy, law-enforcement, shifters Found this hiding in my TBR pile! Intriguing tale about an FBI shifter assigned with similar agents to take down criminal shifters in Lafayette, Indiana. A different take on shifters from many that I've read, and totally engaging. Now I'm looking to find more
  • Cupcakes, Butterflies & Dead Guys on July 31, 2017

    cozy-mystery, hilarious, ghosts, food The perfect read after a really bad shift, or day, or whatever. Be prepared to laugh yourself happy! Interesting plot, plenty of suspects and red herrings, crazy twisted ending. Don't miss!
  • The Magician's Grift on Oct. 10, 2017

    : historical-fiction, magic, urban-fantasy, short, minneapolis, illusionists It's just before the Wall Street crash and the secretary meets the grifter who also can see the illusion in the street. When he shows up at her flat, her roommate tells them both about the magical talents. Together they confront the real con artist who is cheating people and ruin his scheme. Twisty. Well written with fine imagery and good character development. Enjoyable!
  • Fearless in High Heels on Oct. 24, 2017

    situational-humor, verbal-humor, amateur-sleuth, women-sleuths, murder-investigation, audiobook The readers win again with another fun murder mystery by Gemma Halliday! Maddie and her favorite cop are married and expecting, but that doesn't stop her from getting involved in murder investigations, much to husband's dismay. Lots of humor and the perfect book to escape into.
  • Blood Codex- A Jake Crowley Adventure on Feb. 28, 2018

    action-adventure, suspense, wry-humor, horror ----- What's not to love with a book vetted by David Wood? All the action/adventure you've come to expect, more suspense than you could hope for, and solid historical research, plus incredible plot twists and engaging characters. The publisher's blurb is a good teaser and there is no need for spoilers, but that can't begin to prepare you for the addictive nature of this read. Just give in and read it! I requested and received a free review copy via AudioBookBOOM. Jonathan Waters is outstanding in his narration: good voice quality, British accent enhances the characterization, and conveys the calm or urgency as needed.
  • Just Shoot Me Dead (A Lucy Fong Mystery, #1) on April 09, 2018

    family-dynamics, murder-investigation, situational-humor, verbal-humor, twisty, suspense, cozy-mystery Po Po, the irrepressible grandma from the Raina Sun series is now involved in her foster granddaughter's life and investigation. Although Lucy's family has a long history of private investigators in their small town, Lucy has been living and working in San Francisco for a long time. Now mom is in hospital and unresponsive since getting shot in her office, and little sister has gone missing. Lucy also discovers a good friend in her cousin, and an ally in the attractive police chief. Lots of twists and suspense as well as some really great situational humor. Can't ever go wrong with an Anne R Tan cozy mystery!
  • Duby's Doctor on April 24, 2018

    Fun, mystery, and suspense characterize this unusual story. There are no gory details or erotica, just a bunch of very interesting characters populating an unusual plot. There are lots of laughable situations, but the howlers are found during John Doe's school year with the preschoolers learning the basics that the head injury removed from him when his memory mostly vanished. Maybe I had more fun with this one because I used to work in a head trauma facility and our sense of humor is a little different. There is suspense because of dangerous situations arising from his previous career and acquaintances as well as the romantic misunderstandings. Well, no spoilers intended only a sincere recommendation for others to enjoy this one (even if you've never worked with TBI patients).
  • The Burglar Who Dropped In On Elvis on Dec. 04, 2018

    situational-humor, verbal-humor, scam The Burglar Who is approached by a reporter from a sleazy rag newspaper to overcome all the security at Graceland and shoot photos of the forbidden second floor. He not only gets paid for it but has great fun using the paper's money to hire folks to provide lots of distractions. That's all I'm saying, no spoilers, read it for yourself!
  • The Burglar Who Smelled Smoke on Dec. 04, 2018

    locked-room-mystery, books Bernie Rhodenbarr is called outside of Manhattan to deliver a very special book of questionable provenance to an eccentric book collector. VERY eccentric. What happens next is the mystery.
  • Emerald's Secret on March 21, 2022

    law-enforcement, situational-humor, verbal-humor, romance, Florida, flim-flam, undercover, gangsters, suspense, family-dynamics, cozy-mystery, laugh-riot, farce***** If you want to get away from reality with a fun short book, this is it! The publisher's blurb is a good set-up but doesn't really tell how much fun this is. I think it's even better when narrated by Jenny Hoops at 1.2 speed so as to appreciate her perky rendition of the loony characters! Absolutely loved it in print, and even more so in audio!