mystery


The Triangle has 10 episodes, all available from The Triangle’s page at Serial Box.

Publisher: Serial Box 2019
Writers: Dan Koboldt, Mindy McGinnis, and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
Format: eARC

This episode answers most of the questions which I have about the island. Some of the characters and happy with the answers and some not so happy. However, they still don’t have a way off the island and they know that it’s going to be very difficult to get away. MacBride also speculates that they might not even want to get off because the US government won’t let them walk around knowing what they now know. Vice Admiral Segarra is worried about Miller, their wounded soldier whom they rescued from the Russians. He wants to know more and heads out to the city with Maria St. Claire. They intend to search it for more clues. Instead, they’re again captured by the Russians.

Segarra is increasingly frustrated with his inability to find out what happened to the USS Wasp, the warship which disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle. He feels useless and a failure, so he wants to take decisive action. Meanwhile, David Hammond is almost happy. He feels useful again and is working. St. Claire has been reminded of how the Americans use her country and is furious about it. MacBride doesn’t know whether to be happy about the revelations or worried about his future.

Even though we now find out a lot about what’s going on, the characters are far from safe. In fact, they may never get home. The only thing they can do is attempt to negotiate with the Russian submarine commander. The episode ends with another big revelation.

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The Triangle has 10 episodes, all available from The Triangle’s page at Serial Box.

Publisher: Serial Box 2019
Writers: Dan Koboldt, Mindy McGinnis, and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
Format: eARC

The tragic events which ended the previous episode, push Vice Admiral Segarra to action. Now, the Russian submarine commander is the enemy and Segarra wants some explanations from him. However, he’s stopped by the troops but some very interesting information slips from them.

Segarra wants to rescue his wounded soldier Miller and now he knows a way to do it. The plan is dangerous but if the group can pull it off, Miller will be safe and Segarra can plan for a way to force the Russian submarine commander to stop what he’s doing. Michael Hammond is very much against the plan, especially because it puts Tessa Dumont into danger. However, Tessa doesn’t like Hammond’s possessive instincts. Arguing escalate to the point where the conspiracy theorist MacBride acts as the voice of reason. But the dangerous plan is put into action.

In this episode, we get a bit of evidence of what’s happening on this strange island. The group argues more but this time on personal level rather than professional. The group’s actions will most likely force the Russian commander to respond. They have lots of guns and a working nuclear submarine with torpedoes. Our intrepid heroes have one pistol. Things don’t look good.

The Triangle has 10 episodes, all available from The Triangle’s page at Serial Box.

Publisher: Serial Box 2019
Writers: Dan Koboldt, Mindy McGinnis, and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley.
Format: eARC

After the unexpectedly horrible ending of the previous episode, our heroes are stunned for a little while. But not for long. Alastair McBride is spinning outrageous theories and revealing some military secrets. They prove that something terrible, indeed, something most unnatural, is in the water around the island. Tessa Dumont has finally made the radio work but now Michael Hammond and the others don’t want anyone to come to the island, at least not before they find out how the rescues can land safely. David Segarra and Marie St. Claire want to further investigate the city and they go there. But the Russian soldiers are most likely there, so the duo must be very careful.

Meanwhile, Dumont and Hammond talk with the pair of young boys who are also on the island and find out what happened to them. Apparently, they lost their parents in the storm which brought then to the island. However, when St. Claire hears about it, she’s sure that no such accident has occurred in at least five years. How are the boys on the island? Are they lying or is something else going on?

Segarra and St. Claire find out something that changes all their expectations and the episode ends in another tragedy.

Now we find out why nobody leaves. But if nobody can leave, how and why can they come in? If it possible somehow to use that to leave? And can the group talk with the commander of the old Russian submarine and convince him to try? Should they?

Collects issues 0 and issues 1-5 of Lady Mechanika miniseries.

Writer and artist: Joe Benítez

This is a very interesting comic set in a steampunk world. There’s a mention of werewolves and the mechanical humans are an amalgam of humans and steampunk machines but no other magical stuff.

The first issue in the collection is issue 0, where Lady Mechanika meet the monster of Satan’s Alley. In it, we’re introduced to most of the cast. Lady Mechanika is hunting a monster which has been haunting the street called Satan’s Alley. She’s listening in on the mercenaries which Blackpool Armament has hired. She manages to catch the creature before them. She fights the creature but then she realizes that the “creature” is an intelligent being who is just hungry and scared. He’s a boy who has been created by someone he calls “master”. He’s half human and half mechanical creature. To Lady Mechanika’s surprise, he remembers meeting her. She doesn’t remember him but then she doesn’t remember her past. But before he can tell her more, lord Blackpool’s mercenaries shoot him.

Lady Mechanika fights with Blackpool and the mercenaries. She also meets a timid young doctor Littleton. Blackpool is established as the main villain who wants world domination through machines.

The rest of the story starts a year later. A young woman with mechanical arms is trying to escape from a group of men in dark, military-like outfits. She jumps to a train which takes her to Mechanica City. However, she dies at the train station. Lady Mechanika thinks that she might be related somehow to her own origin so she starts to investigate. She meet again doctor Littleton and this time she also meets his young daughter. Later, she tries to steal the corpse from Ministry of Health’s building but someone knocks her out and takes the corpse. Lady Mechanika is left behind to deal with Commander Katherine Winter who has just one eye and long, flowing red tresses. Apparently, they knew each other previously and have grudges against each other (probably about a man). The Lady shoots the commander’s troops and leaves. She follows the mechanical corpse’s previous escape route to a Romani Circus (Circue du Romani). She finds the gypsies similar to herself: they’re shunned by others just because they’re different and they keep secrets.

The Lady (we never find out any other name for her) has a close colleague, Lewis, who drinks all the time. He seems to be a mechanical genius and builds all sort of gadgets for her. We briefly find out about his tragic background and reason behind the drinking. The Lady is determined to find out about her past and to stay independent from anyone else. She’s an excellent shot and hand-to-hand combatant. She wears man’s clothing while on the job, but she wears large skirts and tight Emma Frost type corsets at other times, probably to fit in to this pseudo-Victorian world. She also takes part in a masked ball where she wears a very detailed dress and mask.

Unfortunately, the women have impossible figures and pouty lips, and the lady herself is contorted to impossible positions when fighting, in high heels. Otherwise, the art is very nice and very detailed. The mechanical body parts were especially nicely done.

This was a fun romp. I liked the rivalry between Mechanika and the commander .Although it was quite a let down when the hints in the dialog established that is was just over a man. I also quite enjoyed the precocious girl who knows all about Lady Mechanika (presumably from reading fiction about her) and doesn’t believe that Mechanika is herself. She was hilarious. I also love a good masked ball where the heroes and villains meet and can talk without knowing (or at least pretending) they don’t know who the other is. It was far too short in this comic but I really liked it while it lasted.

It’s a funny cozy mystery story in an urban fantasy setting. The murder takes place during a paranormal cheese convention! It’s the second in the Casino Witch mysteries series.

Publication year: 2018
Format: ebook
Page count: 160 (in GoodReads)

About six months have gone by since Ella found out that she’s a mage in the first book, “Of Murders and Mages”. She’s been training both with her official mentor figures and with her father’s friends. This hasn’t left her much time for anything else. Even though her official mentor is Olivia, she’s too busy running the casino to train her. So, Olivia’s aunt Ann, who trains witches for a living, has taken over the training. Ann’s daughter Vanessa is training with Ella and they’ve become close friends. But currently, they’re helping at the Paranormal Cheese Convention.

Vanessa thinks that she can invent a spell that will stuff the goodie bags quicker but has only managed to make the process a lot slower – and then cause an explosion. Vanessa’s mom and brother Vin aren’t impressed and somehow Ella is the one to blame. However, a man has passed away, supposedly from natural causes and Vin takes Ella to confirm that. Ella does that with her magical powers but during her vision she finds out that another man has been murdered.

The former president of the Paranormal Cheese Council has been flattened to death by the world’s largest wedge of cheese (it’s the size of a queen bed). It seems that the man was hated by many people so there’s no shortage of suspects. However, the cheese wedge is owned by Vanessa and Vin’s great-great-grand-mother Granner who’s not happy about her business being interrupted. Vanessa is eager to investigate and drags Ella to the investigation, too.

This was a funny cozy mystery with a lot of things going on. Ella still has a lot to learn about the magical world and about her own powers. Also, the local magical law-enforcement seems to be more than a little threatening and too interested in Ella. Her father was murdered and she don’t know who did it and why, so she tries to avoid any undue attention. Also, she’s strongly attracted to Vin who has now broken up with his former girlfriend. But Vin’s dour nature doesn’t invite Ella to tell him about her emotions.

Vanessa is Ella’s faithful friend and co-investigator. Even though she has trained far longer in magic, her spells makes things explode rather than do what they’re supposed to. Patagonia is Ella’s familiar. She’s a huge black cat who seems to enjoy making Ella trip and stumble. All the mages have cats as familiars.

Granner is a funny new character. She’s around 180 years old and doesn’t allow anyone to get in the way of what she wants. She’s a shrewd businesswoman who has been running her own cheese business for a long time.

I enjoyed the zany cheeses and the mage community. Unfortunately, I don’t really care for Vin and so I don’t really care for the romance, either. Otherwise, I enjoyed this fast-paced short book.

The Triangle has 10 episodes, all available from The Triangle’s page at Serial Box.

Publisher: Serial Box 2019
Writers: Dan Koboldt, Mindy McGinnis, and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley.
Format: eARC

In the previous episode, our heroes found out that they’re definitely not alone on the mystery island. Marie St Claire is unhappy that they still haven’t got food or water or reliable shelter. She’s trying to get the others to build a shelter. But Tessa Dumont is focused on getting a signal out and getting help. She’s also worried that they others are starting to agree that they’re stuck when they don’t work on getting away. She has no interest in staying on the island. Her fears just increase when the little girl, Olivia, show them a pool with fresh water.

Someone has been leaving small food gifts to St. Claire. She tries to shadow the mysterious person who is doing that but instead of catching them, she stumbles upon a wealthy couple on a beached yacht. She sees that they the items which were stolen from the group’s boat and finds them suspicious in other ways. When the others hear about the couple, they want to barter their antenna back. But why were the items taken in the first place? Why are these people on the island? Can their boat leave, and if not why not?

While we get a few answers, this episode gives us even more questions. That’s not a complaint! Of course, I don’t expect us to get most of the answers until the last episode, if even then, depending on what happens then. Another fast-paced and engaging chapter which urges me to read more!

The Triangle has 10 episodes, all available from The Triangle’s page at Serial Box.

Publisher: Serial Box 2019
Writers: Dan Koboldt, Mindy McGinnis, and Sylvia Spruck Wrigley.
Format: eARC

At the end of the previous episode, our intrepid heroes found something amazing: an old Soviet nuclear submarine and a city which seemed to glow golden. They decide to investigate the city first. The buildings seem to be made of metal but they can force one door open. Most of them are disappointed when they find just an old laboratory. However, Tessa Dumont stays to read the old notebooks which seems to date from the 60s to find out more about the mysterious island. Michael Hammond stays with her while the others want to explore the submarine despite vice admiral Segarra’s warning that the nuclear drive could be damaged. However, they’re soon captured and make a remarkable discovery: the submarine’s crew is mostly young and very much alive. Their captain insists that he’s not part of any faction but also says that he and his crew serve the Soviet Union. It fell 28 years ago and most of the soldiers look far too young to have been part of it. How and why has the submarine come there? It seems that they’ve been on the island a while, definitely more than a few months. Why haven’t they left?

This chapter adds more questions. While conspiracy theorist McBride is part of the group who is captured by the soldiers, he knows to keep quiet and not start trading conspiracy theories with the soviet captain. So the chapter has less humor than the earlier chapters. I was a bit disappointed with how the golden city was down played; the submarine was explored far more. No doubt the city will be explored more in the upcoming chapters.

But the plot continues to be fast-paced with unexpected twists and the characters are interesting. I think the sub has traveled through time or perhaps the island exists on another time. However, the laboratory seems to have been unused for a long time so that seems to be a strike against time travel.

Can the submarine leave? And will the soviet captain take the group with him? How is it possible that such an island isn’t in the charts? Are all who have been lost in the Bermuda Triangle here? If so, why can’t they leave? Because if they could, surely someone would have left by now. Or maybe the other missing people, including a whole US battleship, are somewhere else? I can’t wait to find out.

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