Wednesday, April 26

A Test of Wills by Charles Todd

Review by Andrea Maloney

Colonel Harris is a popular, retired military officer yet someone has murdered him.  The primary suspect is Captain Wilton, a much decorated war hero and friend of the Prince of Wales and also the fiancé to the Colonel's ward.  The local police want nothing to do with such an explosive case so they turn it over to Scotland Yard.  The case is assigned to Inspector Ian Rutledge by a jealous colleague, who has found out the inspector's secret, in hopes that it will ruin his career. For the inspector came back from the Great War in 1919 a changed man.  He is still suffering from shell shock and hears, in his head,  the voice of a young Scots soldier he had to have killed during the war.  Rutledge throws himself into the case in hopes it will help him recover from or at least block out the war. There are many suspects and yet no suspects as he questions the ward of the victim, her fiancé the captain, a local artist, a pair of cousins whose cottage was next to the victim's estate and other witnesses to the events of that day.

A Test of Wills is more than a mystery, in fact the mystery almost takes second place to the story of the effects of the horror of WWI on the people of Warwickshire and Inspector Rutledge. Charles Todd has written a terrific atmospheric psychological mystery novel with an abundance of historical detail and complex characters who seem to come right off the page. Rutledge is a fascinating character and Todd has given us an interesting look into the aftereffects of war. The mystery itself will have you guessing until the end who done it. An impressive debut which will leave you wanting to read the other books in this intriguing series.

Hostile Makeover by Ellen Byerrum

Review by Dawn Dowdle 

Lacey Smithsonian is interviewing Amanda Manville, reality TV makeover success story turned model.  Apparently all the makeover surgeries turned her sweet personality into that of a diva gone bad.  All Amanda wants to talk about is the death threats she's received.  She requests Lacey's help in stopping the stalker.  Lacy doesn't take much stock in the existence of a stalker.  That is until Amanda is killed. 

She and her boyfriend Vic Donovan are planning a getaway weekend until Lacey's mother and sister descend upon her.  How can she investigate Amanda's murder, survive her relative's visit, and keep Vic from meeting then?   

With Amanda's unpopular personality, the list of suspects is quite long.  How can Lacey weed out the real killer without putting herself in danger or her family since they keep tagging along? 

I really like Lacey.  She's so down to earth and fun.  I like her vintage clothing, too.  Her quirky family and relationship with Vic spice things up as well. 

I live not far from DC, and Ms. Byerrum has the fashion tone of Washington down to a T.  The tidbits always add to the story. 

Lacey's friends and co-workers are great additions to the story as well. 

I highly recommend this book and the whole series.

Killing Cousins by Rett MacPherson

Review by Dawn Dowdle 

Torie O'Shea has just given birth to their third child, a son.  And her mother has just married the town sheriff Colin Brooke.  Torie and Colin don't get along great.  So, she's surprised when he asks her to sort through the antiques and junk in the estate of Catherine Finch, a long-time New Kassell resident.  Turns out he's a budding antiques dealer and since he and her mother are going on a cruise for their honeymoon, he can't do the sorting himself.  Apparently there is a rush to get it completed.   

As town historian, Torie had just been requested to write a biography of Catherine Finch.  She was a popular jazz singer in the 1930s.  Torie sees this as a way to learn more for her biography and agrees to help out the sheriff. 

She soon discovers that Catherine never recovered from the abduction of their baby son in 1938.  He was never found. 

A stranger is found in an abandoned building in town.  When it is discovered that he is a relative of Catherine Finch, Torie begins to wonder if his being in town and his death have anything to do with the sorting of Catherine's estate?  As Torie digs further and further into Catherine's past, more things begin to happen.  Are they related?  Can Torie uncover the truth without putting anyone in harm's way? 

This was the first Torie O'Shea book that I have read.  You can bet it won't be the last.  I loved Torie and the other residents of New Kassell.  The writing is superb.  Torie is such a fun character.  I had trouble putting this book down.  I kept wanting to know what happened next.  I highly recommend this book!

Murder in Alphabet City by Lee Harris

Review by Dawn Dowdle 

Eight years ago, Andrew Stratton starved to death.  That was the official cause of death of the cold case Jane Bauer, NYPD, and her two partners are assigned to investigate.  His prominent sister has gotten the brass to reopen the case.   

As they investigate and begin tracking down people in his past, they discover the suicide of his social worker.  Things don't add up and soon they discover it was murder.  They continue investigating and trying to discover what really happened to Andrew and his social worker.  And what were they involved in. 

I really enjoy this series by Lee Harris.  Jane Bauer is a great detective and I like the way she works and thinks.  Generally, I read more light mysteries (generally called cozies), but this is one police procedural that I always read.  The characters are well written and the stories are interesting.  There is enough police action but without all the gore of other authors. 

I highly recommend this book and series.

Nature of the Grave by Martha Reed

Review by Dawn Dowdle 

John and Sarah Jarad are newlywed's working on Nantucket.  She's an artist, and he's the local police lieutenant.  When John's great-uncle dies and leaves an unexpected bequest, Sarah begins to explore John's family history more deeply.  She discovers the unsolved disappearance of John's younger brother years ago. 

Everyone is surprised when out of nowhere, the long lost brother reappears.  Can this be?  Where was he?  How did he disappear?  There are so many unanswered questions. 

As John and Sarah try to answer those questions, they also have to deal with the bequest.  Could these things be related?  Can they uncover the truth without bringing more heartache to his mother?   

I had a hard time putting this book down.  I kept reading another chapter to find out what happened.  I really liked the characters and the setting.  This was one of the best books I've read in a long time.  I highly recommend it.  But be sure you have time to read when you start it, you won't want to put it down.  Other things will just have to wait!

Dead Days of Summer by Carolyn Hart

Review by Dawn Dowdle

Max Darling starts a new case helping a young woman look for her brother.  But when he doesn't come home, his wife Annie starts searching for him.  In her search, she encounters someone in his office in the dark.  Annie is certain something has gone wrong.  Max just doesn't disappear like that. 

When a young woman is found murdered in a cabin, Max becomes the number one suspect.  But he's still missing.   

Annie and her friends step up the search.  Finally he is found walking along a road and taken to the police station for questioning. 

Max doesn't remember much.  What he does remember isn't helpful.  He is arrested.  Annie decides she has to do something to help free Max.  There is too much circumstantial evidence against him.  But, can she get the information in time without putting herself in danger?   

I really enjoy this series.  I like series set in the south, and Broward's Rock, SC, is a great island setting.  It has been a while since I had gotten to read one of these.  I think that's part of the reason I had a little trouble getting into the beginning of the story.  Once it got going, I fully enjoyed it.  I liked the way Annie went undercover to help find the truth to free Max.  Having the help of all her friends really made the difference. 

Annie is such a likeable character.  I think the fact that she owns a mystery bookstore helps me like her a lot, too.  Max is a fun character.  The way he and Annie interact is wonderful.  This book really let us see the strength of all their friends and that was great. 

I highly recommend this book!

Digging Up Otis by T. Dawn Richard

Review by Dawn Dowdle 

May List is fabulous!  I love this series.  She and her geriatric friends are at it again.   

May and her husband Ted had settled back into a comfortable life together when May gets a phone call from her friends at Waning Years Estate.  There's been another murder.  That gets May's juices going.  Ted encourages her to fly down to help them out.  He even agrees to join her as soon as he can get things settled in his doctor practice. 

May enjoys seeing all her old friends again.  She soon finds out Otis Cunningham is missing and presumed dead.  The gang shows her all the improvements made to Waning Years Estate since she left.  She is pleasantly surprised. 

While relaxing in the lounge, they discover Otis floating in the pool at the center.  The police call it an accident.  The gang knows it was murder.  But how do they prove it?  They split up to check out some various leads.  They begin to have even more suspicions about this murder.  

Once Ted arrives, he joins in on the hilarious antics of this group.  I laughed out loud many times.  So many that my husband asked me what was so funny more than once! 

I highly recommend this book and series.  It is a fun read that you won't want to put down until May and her friends have solved the murder.  Be prepared to laugh out loud and to keep reading until you finish!  You won't get much else done while reading it!

Sour Grapes by G. A. McKevett

Review by Dawn Dowdle 

Savannah Reid isn't your normal PI.  She is a full-figured PI who loves to cook for her friends, family, and co-workers.   

She's asked to do security for the Miss Gold Coast Beauty Pageant.  She figures this will be easy money.  What could happen at a beauty pageant? 

Then she finds out her little sister Atlanta arrives to be in the pageant.  Besides the headaches of her sister being in town, Savannah figures it will be an easy weekend. 

That is until Atlanta's roommate goes missing.  Savannah has to put aside her frustrations with Barbie Matthews to help find her.  Savannah calls in her reserves to help in the search. 

Unfortunately they don't find her alive.  What's worse is they determine it was murder.  Savannah is upset this happened on her watch.  She is determined to find the murderer and keep the rest of the girls, Atlanta included, safe from harm. 

In the meantime, she is becoming alarmed with Atlanta's concern for her weight.  Could this beauty pageant be too much for her?  Is there a deeper problem? 

Savannah is trying to deal with this while still pursuing the killer.  And most importantly, she is trying to keep everyone, herself included, safe from the killer. 

I really like Savannah.  She is so down to earth.  Her friends are great.  They all work well together.   I especially like her interactions with Dirk.  I keep hoping something will develop between them. 

The California setting always lends itself to the story.  Savannah's many sisters and Granny visiting or causing some ruckus adds to the story lines.  Plus when you add in Tammy, Dirk, John, and Ryan, you always have an interesting story. 

I highly recommend this book and series.

To Collar a Killer by Lee Charles Kelley

Review by Dawn Dowdle

Jack Field does not believe in training dogs the same way as other trainers.  And because of that, he seems to get hard to handle dogs eating out of his hand with what appears to be not much work.  He's now showing his training techniques on the TV. 

When Jack discovers a murdered man on his fiancee's aunt's island, he finds himself the prime suspect for the murder.  His buddy comes down to help him out since his lawyer is in the hospital with another bout of her cancer.   

The evidence points to Jack at first, but his fiancée Dr. Jamie Cutter, assistant state medical examiner, starts getting to the bottom of the evidence. 

In the meantime, Jack and Kelso, his buddy and new lawyer, do some investigating of their own.  They find a possible art forgery scheme, and Maori hit men from San Diego.  Plus, the man that was murdered was the helicopter pilot of a billionaire inventor from another private island off the coast of Maine. 

Can Jack and Kelso, with the help of Jamie, get to the bottom of things without Jack ending up in jail or any of them ending up dead? 

I love the way these books are written.  They are so much fun.  I wish Jack Field would come and train my dog.  He has such a wonderful way with them.  But he's also a great investigator, and Jack and Jamie have a terrific relationship, too.   I especially appreciate that the sex doesn't have to be spelled out! 

Kelso is a fun new character.  I hope he'll be back in future books. 

I highly recommend this book and the whole series.

Married to the Mop by Barbara Colley

Review by Dawn Dowdle

Charlotte never expected to be cleaning house for the mafia.  But, that's exactly what she's doing in this book. 

Emily Rossi called and asked her to help out in an emergency.  Her maid had been called out of town on a family emergency, and they had a big Mardi Gras party that week.  Charlotte agrees to clean for a few days as the money is very good.  When she realizes Emily's husband, Robert, is a top Mafia boss, she considers backing out.  She doesn't.  Then Robert ends up stabbed to death in his study during the party. 

Charlotte agrees to continue to clean the house to help out the family.  Mostly because she promised Bitsy, another of her clients, that she would help clear Emily.  Emily is currently in jail for her husband's murder.  Charlotte does not believe she killed him.  But then, who did? 

Charlotte is able to do some snooping while cleaning.  She is able to overhear some things and talk to people.  With knowledge the police haven't gotten, she pushes harder and harder to find the truth.  But, will the truth put her in danger? 

I love this series.  Charlotte is such a fun character.  She has a good life and a wonderful family.  Even though she is investigating a murder, it is an enjoyable read.  It always makes me want to go to New Orleans in reading her books.  I wonder what the next one will be like after Katrina has hit. 

I highly recommend this book and the whole series.

Satan's Pony by Robin Hathaway

Review by Dawn Dowdle

Dr. Jo Banks is a motel doctor in New Jersey.  What is a motel doctor?  She lives in a motel in a little town.  She is on call for the local motels if a guest gets sick.  Plus she has regular hours in a cabin out back of the motel.
 

The motel has become overrun with bikers from the Satan's Apostle motorcycle gang.  Once she finds out she grew up with Pi, the leader of the gang, her opinion of them changes.  She begins to see them as people, not just bikers and criminals.   

A biker is poisoned and Pi is the prime suspect.  Jo does not believe he did it.  She helps him hide while she does some investigating to find out who really killed him. 

Jo always gets herself into some pretty hairy situations, but I really like this character.  She isn't always sure of herself because of her past, but she also doesn't wallow in it.  Her character is well written and the location in New Jersey really lends itself to the various stories. 

I can't wait for the next one!  I highly recommend this book and Scarecrow, the first in this series.

The Cemetery Yew by Cynthia Riggs

Review by Dawn Dowdle

This wonderful book is set on Martha's Vineyard.  Victoria Trumbull is a 92-year-old police deputy.  The police chief is new to the island and knows that Victoria knows everyone and can be invaluable in an investigation. 

When a casket isn't where it's supposed to be in the cemetery, Victoria is the one to notice something wrong to help them locate it. 

Her friend Howland's cousin Dahlia is coming to the island.  She has cancer and will be getting treatments at the local hospital.  Victoria agrees to let Dahlia and her bird Bacchus rent a room until Howland can get his home presentable for Dahlia. 

Soon the hearse driver disappears, there is a string of suspicious deaths, as well as the coffin goes missing after it's dug up. 

Victoria begins to put the pieces together, but can she do so before the rest of the players are dead? 

I really enjoyed this book.  Victoria is such a wonderful character.  She may be old, but her mind is very sound.  I like that this book was told from her persepective. 

Martha's Vineyard is a favorite setting of mine.  I always feel like I'm on vacation when I read a book set there. 

I highly recommend this book and series.

The Stiff and the Dead by Lori Avocato

Review by Dawn Dowdle

Pauline Sokol left nursing and is now a medical insurance fraud investigator.  So why is it every time she gets a case, she ends up back in nursing under cover. 

This time she's investigating prescription fraud in a local seniors' center.  She finds the easiest way to get information is to become a senior. 

Her fellow investigator, Jagger, keeps making work interesting.  Can she keep her mind on work with him around?  Plus there's Nick. What's a girl to do? 

Pauline uncovers an illegal Viagra ring at the seniors' center, but she can't put her finger on the person behind it.  Will she be able to before there's another victim? 

I really like this series.  Pauline is so funny.  She keeps me laughing.  I like the tension with her, Nick, and Jagger a lot, too.  Goldie is a hoot.   

I read in bed at night and found myself trying not to laugh out loud to wake my husband.  That's hard to do while reading this book!  I highly recommend it!

Death for Dessert by T. Dawn Richard

Review by Dawn Dowdle

May List leaves her doctor husband after 35 years of marriage due to his philandering.  She moves into a senior citizen complex miles away. 

She and her neighbor, Mrs. Berkowitz have some run ins.  Soon May realizes Mrs. Berkowitz knows things in May's past that no one could possibly know.  How?  When May buys a computer, Mrs. Berkowitz offers to help teach her how to use.  After the first lesson, May realizes she took a disk by accident.  She finds information about others on it.  She talks to some of her new friends in the complex and determines that Mrs. Berkowitz is blackmailing people with the information on the disk.   

When May tries to confront Mrs. Berkowitz about it, she finds her dead.  May and her friends decide to take matters into their own hands before calling the authorities.  Can they right the wrongs and find the killer? 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It is very funny and I found it hard to put down.  I had to keep reading to find out who did and why.  May and her group of geriatric friends are a hoot, some more than others!  The characters are well written and so is the plot.  I can't wait for more in this series.  I highly recommend this book! 

Cherry Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Review by Dawn Dowdle

Lake Eden is the location for a new film.  Having Hollywood take over the town causes many problems.  Dean Lawrence, the director, hires Hannah, owner of the Cookie Jar Bakery, to deliver cheesecake to him twice a day.  He is very demanding, both on the set and off. 

Plus Hannah has two marriage proposals to consider.  And everyone in town thinks they know who she should pick. 

Dean demonstrates a suicide scene in front of the cast using the unloaded prop gun and falls down dead.  Who switched the gun and how?   

Hannah and her sisters end up investigating the crew.  There is a long list of suspects.  She has to her investigating without letting on that's what she's doing because she told Mike she wouldn't investigate.  Can she discover the identity of the killer without putting herself or others in harm's way? 

I love the characters and setting of this book.  The talk of cookies, etc. being made always makes me hungry!  I've never tried any of the recipes, but I'd like to some day. 

I often find myself laughing out loud when reading books in this series.  I highly recommend this book and series.  It's delicious.

Tuesday, April 25

Edge of Evil by J. A. Jance

Review by Dawn Dowdle

Alison Reynolds is fired after her late night newscast.  She doesn't even get to tell her viewers good-bye.  Frustrated with the executives wanting a "younger face," she decides to sue.  Her husband, one of the executives, tells her that would not be a good move.  Once she finds out he has been cheating on her, she doesn't listen to his advice.  Matter of fact, she starts divorce proceedings as well.
 

When she is called back home to Sedona, AZ, due to the death of her childhood friend, she doesn't believe that her friend committed suicide.  She begins to talk to people and look into what her friend had been going through before her death. 

Ali's son talks her into starting an online blog to be able to say good-bye to her viewers and it soon turns into therapy for others like her. 

Ali also helps out her parents who run the Sugarloaf Café when her father is injured and can't work. 

She soon begins getting threatening posts.  Too late she realizes she has given a lot of personal information over the web.   

Can she uncover the truth about her friend's death and stay safe from the person threatening her? 

I hope this book becomes a new series for author J. A. Jance.  I really like Ali and would love to read about her again and again. 

Ali is a well-written character.  The settings really lend themselves to this story.  The plot is wonderfully constructed. 

I devoured this book in two days because I just couldn't put it down.  I highly recommend it. 

Red Hot Murder by Joanne Pence

Review by Dawn Dowdle

Angie and her fiancé Paavo head to the Arizona desert to help out Paavo's friends.  Angie thinks it could be a great setting for their upcoming nuptials and Paavo is concerned because he knows that Dr. Griggs wouldn't be imagining things.   

When they arrive, Ned does not come to meet them.  This is not like him.  Paavo and Angie are staying at a local ranch.  They find out that the owner, Hal Edwards, was found dead in a cave not long before.  Turns out Dr. Griggs is the executor of Hal's estate.  Contrary to what others think, Dr. Griggs does not believe Hal's dead was an accident.  He and Paavo, a San Francisco homicide inspector, begin to investigate. 

The local sheriff, Merry Belle, likes her nice quiet town.  She doesn't want anything to upset that. 

Hal's ex-wife and son are in town awaiting distribution of his assets.  But, Hal's will has not been found. 

Angie gets pulled into the investigation against Paavo's best judgement.  Can they find Hal's killer and find out what is really going on without putting anyone else in danger? 

I really enjoy this series.  This was one of the best books in the series in my opinion.  I liked the setting a lot.  Arizona and the wild west feel of the setting really added to the story.  The characters are wonderful.  Angie and Paavo and the many local characters fit together very well.   

I highly recommend this book and series.

Monday, April 24

The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith

Review by Claire McManus

Book #5 in "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency"

This was our book club's selection for the month of April.  Most of us had already read at least a couple of the books in this series, and we decided to read yet another.  We chose the fifth book because most of us hadn't already read this one, and with the new installment just published some of us wanted to catch up.  Plus, this series embodies what we, as a group, collectively like (fast, engaging reads that aren't burdened with psychosis, brutality, or evil).

For anyone who isn't familiar with the series - and I can't imagine there are too many such people! - the books revolve around the life and low-key adventures of Mma Precious Ramotswe, owner of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Botswana.  Precious and her able assistant, Mma Grace Makutsi (she of the 97% passing grade and extremely large-lensed spectacles), take on a series of cases while Precious also deals with the various goings-on in her life, including her frustratingly long engagement to Mr. J.L.B. Maketoni, who seems unwilling to take the final plunge into the state of marital happiness.

Six of our nine members simply adore these books, and THE FULL CUPBOARD OF LIFE was no exception.  The other three find the books enjoyable but don't count them among their favorites.  We found that all the elements that we so enjoy were equally present in this installment of the series.  Smith is simply an elegant writer; the simplicity of his prose rivals Hemingway's, but many of us actually expressed a preference for Smith's style.  The repetition of key phrases like the "tiny white van" add to the almost mythological element to the books.  Most of all, as a group we tend to enjoy books that are very positive / life-affirming, as we feel that if we want to get depressed or spend time around perverted or evil beings, we can simply watch the evening news or read the newspaper.  And you always feel good when you've turned the last page of a No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency book.

A large part of our discussion centered around whether or not this book - and the others in the series - are a realistic or an idealized portrait of life in Botswana.  In some ways, the books must surely be idealized, in that Mma Ramotswe is of the higher classes.  She owns a comfortable home in a nice part of town, and was able to open the agency, as a result of the money her beloved father left her.  So, what we see is really an upper-middle class woman's life in Botswana.  While there are brief references to the challenges faced by the people, these are quite fleeting.  For example, one of our members pointed out that the incidence of AIDS in Botswana is extremely high, one of the highest in the world - and yet there is no mention of this crisis.  (Mma Makutsi's brother, who is living with AIDS, was featured in a previous book, but that theme was dropped.)

We also felt that in Smith's world, the people tend to be drawn both subtly and in black and white.  That sounds paradoxical, but it isn't.  Smith does seem to divide his characters into two camps:  basically quite good and moral, though perhaps suffering from an occasional peccadillo; or quite bad, debauched, or dishonest.  None of us feel that this a flaw in the book; indeed, that sort of simplicity is what keeps us returning - the message of these books is always the same:  It's better to choose to be a good human being than a bad one, and we all know the difference between good and bad.  (The villains in these books are always willfully bad, which makes them all the more unsympathetic.)

While the plots of the Smith books are never pulse-pounding or heart-racing, we felt the subplots in this installment were probably the weakest of the series so far.  But this wasn't a problem, except for two of us, who like a little more suspense.  (The majority of us felt that the subplot of Mr. Maketoni's parachute jump was very much a stretch, and required more suspension of disbelief that we are accustomed to from this series.)

Interestingly - and I will try to write this in a way that is not a spoiler - we had a huge debate over the way Precious and Mr. J.L.B Maketoni do end up getting together.  The conversation was quite polarized, with some arguing that it was very much in sync with the characters, and others feeling that Mma Ramotswe had done herself a disservice.  We would be interested in other opinions about this.

All told  - A wonderful book, from a series that is very hard to dislike.  Our grade: A - (because it wasn't quite as good as other books in the series).

Thursday, April 20

The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon

Review by Pat Brown

I'm a voracious reader. I go through 3-4 books a week, reading on the bus on my way to work, during lunch and in bed at night. Usually that means I'm reading 3 books at a time. But every so often a book comes along that captures my imagination and I break my pattern. The Hell You Say is one such novel. I found myself thinking about it even when I wasn't reading it, and now that I'm done I'm still thinking about it. I wish it had been longer.

This is the third book Josh Lanyon's Adrien English series. The first book, Fatal Shadows, alas is no longer in print, though you can download a PDF copy of it off of Lanyon's web site. His second book, A Dangerous Thing, is available, though my copy is coming from the UK so it might be something you need to track down. It's well worth the search just to have all three in your possession.

Adrien English is a young, gay mystery bookstore owner who writes his own mysteries on the side. He has the misfortune of finding himself dragged into oddball mysteries. His on again-off again boyfriend, Jake, an LAPD Homicide Detective who's way too firmly entrenched in the closet to be comfortable 'being' with Adrien is not happy when this happens. Frankly, he's not happy most of the time he's with Adrien. The dynamics between Adrien and Jake are a big factor in the power of this book, but don't be put off by the 'gayness' - there's very little sex (it occurs but not on paper) and the struggle is mostly about Jake's desire for Adrien (at one point earlier in their relationship he says 'I like girls, I just like men better') and his even stronger desire that absolutely no one knows he sleeps with men. A lot of the conflict in The Hell You Say is around how the current case could very well blow his secret right out of the water. Just how far will Jake go to protect that secret?

Adrien, meanwhile, finds himself embroiled in a bizarre search for a Satanic cult that he suspects is sacrificing people and now threaten Angus, Adrien's bookstore employee who dabbles in the dark arts. When bodies start piling up and the police, including an unhappy Jake, are sniffing after Adrien with suspicions he might be involved, Adrien knows he has to find out what's going on before he becomes the next victim. A subplot dealing with Adrien's oh so proper mother and her plans to marry again to a politician with three big haired blond daughters adds another layer of humor to an already funny book.

Because The Hell You Say is an absolutely hilarious book, except when it's not. Lanyon deftly handles the transitions from Adrien's irreverent attitude to some very nasty crimes without skipping a beat. Don't miss this book. I'm already looking forward to the next one.

Monday, April 17

Shooting Elvis by Robert M. Eversz

Review by Andrea Maloney

Mary Alice Baker is a blond haired blue eyed American girl from a small town. She dresses up as Gretel at Hansel & Gretel's Baby Photo Studio and takes photographs of children to earn her living. Her family is dysfunctional and she wonders if that is all there is to life. Then her good for nothing boyfriend Wrex asks her to deliver a suitcase to LAX and she figures what the heck especially since he offers her two hundred dollars to do it. She gives the suitcase to the contact and in return receives another one to deliver to Wrex,  as she is leaving, LAX blows up and she realizes the suitcase she had been carrying contained a bomb. She goes on the run, dyes her hair black, pierces her nose and changes her name to Nina Zero.  After moving into the loft of  a painter and filmmaker in Hollywood she finds she's wanted by the FBI, two nasty thugs are after her, and her new roommates want to sell her out for their fifteen minutes of fame. But Mary Alice finds that she isn't just some sweet little girl next door. In her time on the run she finds she is a strong, independent woman who can take care of herself.

Shooting Elvis is a gritty, noirish novel full of fast paced action, a gripping storyline and a heroine who is fascinating, resilient and full of life. From the very beginning of the book you find yourself pulled into the strange and wonderful world of Nina Zero. If you love noir this book is for you.

A Farewell to Legs by Jeffrey Cohen

Review by Andrea Maloney

Aaron Tucker is back and better than ever. A former high school classmate asks Tucker to look into the murder of her husband to try to find his killer especially since she is the police department's number one suspect. And since a magazine is offering him ten thousand dollars to do that he just can't refuse.  But one mystery isn't enough and he's also been asked by his children's principal to find out who has been tossing stink bombs into the school before she ends up with her job in jeopardy. And his wife is being stalked by a former client. He has to investigate all this while writing his screenplay and being a stay-at-home dad for his two children, Leah and Ethan who has Asperger's Syndrome. And if that wasn't enough, into this mix comes a gecko and a dog who enjoys relieving himself in Tucker's office. Tucker soon finds he has his hands full with family, friends and with a long list of suspects and red herrings abounding.

Jeffrey Cohen has written another wonderfully funny, heart warming mystery story that you will want to read in one sitting. Just be sure not to read it in public unless you want people staring at you when you start laughing hysterically over Aaron's wit, humor and antics. There is a scene with Aaron and a stink bomb that is absolutely hysterical and it brought me to tears. The plot moves along at a fast pace, the characters are well developed and fun, and the interaction between Aaron and his family is delightfully heart warming. A terrific second book in a wonderful mystery series.

Blue Valor by Illona House

Review by Pat Brown

This is the second in the Kay Delaney series. Delaney and her partner, Daniel Finnerty are Baltimore Homicide Detectives who work the mean streets of the Southwestern Division.

I tell you, there are some scenes in this book that will have your hair standing on end. I only read it during the day. I don't  think I'd want to face the nightmare creature that would haunt my sleep if I read it in bed. This guy's a nasty piece of work and sometimes you can taste the helplessness of the police to stop him.

She writes in intricate detail, outlining the police procedures and how the case affects the primary officers on it. A relationship between Kay Delaney and Daniel Finnerty continues here, and we get to see first hand just why cops find making a relationship work - even with another cop - so hard.

Sometimes you get a little too close to the twisted killer who starts out the book by cutting a teenage girl's heart and leaving it on the grounds of an elite private high school. And that's only the beginning. I always think one of the hardest things a writer attempts is to get into the mind of a killer. Especially a warped killer. Haus does it well. I'm reminded of Jeffrey Deaver's The Bone Collector. This is as good as anything Deaver has written. She kept me guessing to the end as to what was really going on. I definitely recommend this novel. I recommend both of them, Blue Mercy and Blue Valor. You can't go wrong with a Haus book.

Wednesday, April 12

Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton

Review by Andrea Maloney

Lori Shepherd has been having a tough time lately.  She's newly divorced, can barely pay the bills and the worst thing of all is her beloved mother has just died. Then she receives a letter from Willis & Willis informing her that Aunt Dimity has died.  Lori is shocked because as far as she knew Aunt Dimity was a made-up character in the bedtime stories her mother used to tell her. Soon Lori is whisked away to England to stay in Aunt Dimity's delightful English cottage while working on a task that was Aunt Dimity's last request.  Lori finds herself trying to solve a mystery that reaches back to World War II, haunted by ghosts and searching for love.

Aunt Dimity's Death is much more than just a mystery.  The mystery is actually just a small part of this delightful story. Aunt Dimity's Death is a novel that is a love story, ghost story and mystery all rolled into one. It's a joyfully written novel full of loveable characters and delightful settings. It will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy as if you too had just sat down in a beautiful English cottage while smelling the lilacs, eating Beth's oatmeal cookies and having a nice soothing cup of tea. I highly recommend it.

Enter Second Murderer by Alanna Knight

Review by Andrea Maloney

Enter Second Murderer is the first in the Detective Inspector Faro series. Detective Inspector Faro reopens the case of the Gruesome Convent Murders even though someone has already convicted and executed for the two murders.  The man who was executed denied he had killed the second woman and Faro believes the she was murdered by a different killer.  Faro delves into respectable Victorian era Edinburgh society to hunt down the second murderer and his list of suspects include a nun, an aristocratic hermit, a schoolboy and even one of his own colleagues.

Alanna Knight's novel is a wonderfully atmospheric period mystery which gives you insight into the Victorian era in Edinburgh.  Faro and his stepson Dr. Vincent Laurie are delightful characters and they along with a wonderful supporting cast are a joy to read about as they set about solving a mystery with lots of twists and turns. Terrific period detail and romantic entanglements just add depth to this terrific first mystery in the Detective Inspector Faro series.

Monday, April 10

No Way Back by Rick Mofina

Review by Pat Brown

This is the 4th book featuring reporter Tom Reed of the San Francisco Star and they just keep getting better. In this taut and gut-wrenching novel Tom's wife Ann is taken hostage during a violent jewelry store heist during which a cop is killed.

Meanwhile Reed is on his way into work to hand in his resignation. He has a bad habit of getting too involved with his stories and it's threatening his marriage. But when the time comes he can't quite do it. Crime reporting is in his blood. He can't give that up. So when the squeal comes in about the heist, Reed is on it from the start.

Then his life turns topsy-turvy when he finds out that his wife was the woman taken by the 2 gunmen. He descends into a nightmare as more and more information comes out about the 2 ex-cons fleeing across the country with a terrified Ann in tow. Because these guys aren't ordinary stick up artists, one is a cold blooded sexual predator who kills for pleasure and the other is a man with a serious vendetta against Tom Reed.

There were times when the book was hard to read, it was so intense. What both Tom and Ann go through makes for some edge of the seat, can't put it down reading.

An interesting sub-plot involves another reporter who writes for a sleazy gossip rag who in many ways mirrors Tom when he's in pursuit of a story, but in this case Tom is the subject and how he handles the role reversal adds a nice layer to an already complex story.

I heartily recommend this book for any fans of top shelf thrillers. Heck, I recommend the whole series.

Sunday, April 9

Fatlands by Sarah Dunant

Review by Andrea Maloney

Hannah Wolfe, private investigator,  is hired to chaperone teenage Mattie Shepard around London when her father is unable to get away from work. Complications arising from this assignment send Hannah off on a hunt for a brutal killer who may be hiding among a group of animal rights activists or inside a large corporation doing research on animals.

Sarah Dunant has written a well executed mystery while incorporating a dialogue about animal rights which doesn't detract from the mystery itself.  Hannah is a delightful character, very real, very caring and humorous. This novel takes a hard look at animal rights, the corporate world, the very unglamorous life of the private investigator and the thin line that at times can separate good from evil. The interaction between Hannah and Frank, her boss and mentor, is well done and the various characters who populate this book are well developed and make it an enjoyable read.

For Whom the Minivan Rolls by Jeffrey Cohen

Review by Andrea Maloney

Aaron Tucker is a freelance reporter who writes mostly about electronics and an aspiring screenwriter who is also a stay at home dad. So he is rather surprised when the richest guy in town, Gary Beckwirth,  asks and practically demands, that Aaron look into the sudden disappearance of Gary's wife Madlyn. Aaron tries to refuse but when he is offered $1,000 to write up the story of Madlyn's disappearance for the local paper he just can't say no. So off he goes to find out what happened to Madlyn but finds himself frustrated at every turn when Gary and his son both prove unwilling to cooperate in the investigation. Aaron persists but the more he finds out the more bizarre and complicated it all becomes. Soon he is followed by a mysterious minivan, receives a threatening phone call and even Madlyn herself calls to tell him to stop the investigation. But Aaron with the help of his wife Abigail and his friend Jeff refuses to stop investigating and uncovers a trail of murder and betrayal.

This is Jeffrey Cohen's first book in the Aaron Tucker series and it's a great debut.  It's filled with crackling humor, crisp dialogue, in depth and likeable characters and a terrific plot. The trials and tribulations of being a stay at home dad are depicted with copious amounts of humor and realism. A terrific read from beginning to end. This appears to be the beginning of a great series and if you are looking for a light, humorous and well written mystery to read this is the book for you.


Lifeless by Mark Billingham

Review by Sandra Ruttan

Lifeless picks up where The Burning Girl left off. In The Burning Girl, the humour paves the way for the heartache. Billingham utilizes his skills as a stand-up comic to heighten the emotional impact of the story.

Lifeless begins with a desolate Tom Thorne. Thorne’s career is circling the drain and he’s perhaps not thinking rashly when he volunteers for an undercover assignment to find the person who is beating homeless people to death. One of the most compelling aspects of the book is that the author is moving into fresh territory. Billingham has found other types of crime to address, not afraid to step off the well-trodden serial killer trail and explore new terrain. By making Thorne take on the roll of a lost, homeless person without anyone left to care about him in the world, his setting and roll parallel the desperation he feels inside after the loss of his father.

It’s imperative to read The Burning Girl first to fully understand Thorne’s emotional state at the beginning of Lifeless. I found myself holding my breath at times at the beginning, wanting to see Thorne work through his issues but afraid he was going to do something rash to compound his problems. Has Thorne managed to get his career back on track, is he ready to commit himself to a relationship? The best thing about a good series is a compelling character that you want to spend time with. Lifeless does what every great series book does: It leaves the reader wanting to spend more time with the protagonist. My only complaint is that it will be about ten months before I find out what the future holds for Tom Thorne.

For more information about Mark Billingham and the Tom Thorne series visit Mark's website

Cold Granite by Stuart MacBride

Review by Sandra Ruttan

Cold Granite begins with the discovery of a body of a young boy, and the first day back on the job for DS Logan McRae after recovering from a vicious knife attack. It isn’t long before McRae is injured on the job, being lectured by his supervisor and dealing with the report of another missing child. I was at that point in the story when I sat down with the author, Stuart MacBride, for part one of our interview. When I mentioned where I was in the book, MacBride said, “It’s all downhill from there.”

And it was. Actually, it was downhill, up a small hill, around a hairpin turn and down another hill again. Cold Granite resonates with originality and is a compelling, action-packed tale about the pursuit of a serial killer who is preying on young boys.

Cold Granite is also a story about the process of recovery for a promising police officer left with emotional and physical scars after a vicious knife attack that kept him off work for several months. One of the most intriguing things about Cold Granite is how the author manages to weave the back-story of McRae’s life into the current story without stopping the action. If Cold Granite is any indication, Stuart MacBride won’t be going back to his day job any time soon. My interview with Stuart MacBride can be read on page 76.

For more information about Stuart MacBride visit his website.

A Good Day To Die by Simon Kernick

Review by Sandra Ruttan

For me, first person narrative is always a tough sell. The main character has to be one I can relate to, one I can like, and one I want to spend a lot of time with.

In Dennis Milne, Kernick has the perfect character. Love him or hate him, Milne isn’t a protagonist that you’ll feel ambivalent towards. I was delighted by the return of the cop-turned-killer from The Business of Dying and couldn’t help thinking as I read that since A Good Day To Die features a main character that has few lines he won’t cross, the reader is left wondering what he’ll do next and it makes the story anything but predictable.

Kernick has a knack for picking the right kind of murders to make you sympathize with the killer instead of the victim. Milne is an avenging angel – misguided, perhaps, but not unprincipled – who returns to London from his exile when his former partner, DI Asif Malik, is gunned down in a double murder. Milne is determined to find the answers to Malik’s murder, despite the fact that his pursuit of the truth may, in the end, cost him his freedom or even his life.

Having traveled Southeast Asia, the descriptions of the Philippines resonated with authenticity. I have also traveled to England in late November and as I read I felt like I’d been pulled out of the roasting August heat and taken back eight months to pre-Christmas London. Kernick is establishing himself as a talented writer who can transport the reader through time and space with his skill at creating authentic settings. Like Milne, it’s hard to predict what Kernick will do next, but those who want to read crime novels with a fresh edge should put him at the top of their list.

For more information about Simon Kernick, the Dennis Milne books or the books featurning DI John Gallan, visit his website.

To The Power of Three by Laura Lippman

Review by Sandra Ruttan

To the Power of Three begins on the night a girl writes a letter and packs a gun in her bag. Within pages, the gun has been fired and the community is reeling from a shooting that’s claimed the life of a popular girl, left another critically injured and a third wounded.

Laura Lippman expertly introduces other threads, some from decades earlier, some only weeks before the incident. As a reader you seem to circle the event, seeing if from every angle. You move forward as the investigation unfolds and then travel back to see pieces of the past. Bit by bit, the story comes together to create a picture, revealing the truth about what happened and, most importantly, why. The method of weaving the storylines together to tell Three demonstrates Laura Lippman’s exceptional talent as a writer and helps create a poignant tale that lingers with you long after you’ve read the last page.

This book doesn’t shy away from looking at the subtle and overt ways children are pressured - both by their peers and their parents - to achieve status, to be accepted, to realize the dreams their parents were unable to fulfill. I felt as though I knew these girls, they were so like the students I once shared classrooms with. Three has a timeless quality because it centers on relationships and roles, what it means to be a daughter, a father, a son, a child, a student, a friend. Beautifully written, heart wrenching and thought-provoking, This is a powerful story, haunting you with the realization that no matter how good your intentions, any decision might have devastating consequences.

For more information about Laura Lippman, visit her website

Backlist Review: Sandra Ruttan looks at the published works by John Rickards

When I discover a new author that has eluded my radar until they have a few books to their credit, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I’m embarrassed that it’s taken me so long to discover this new writer. On the other hand, I can at least console myself with the fact that there is plenty of new talent out there just waiting for me to discover it.

With that in mind, I decided this issue to do what I’m calling a Backlist Review, featuring an author that has titles to their credit, and that I’ve finally caught up to. My hope is to highlight some of the incredible talent out there that readers may have, like me, missed until now.

John’s debut novel, Winter’s End, introduces the character of Alex Rourke, a PI who is heading back to his hometown for the first time since the death of his parents years before. He’s been called in to consult on a murder investigation and the process of proving the murderer guilty will force Alex to confront things from his past he avoided, as well as learn some harsh truths about his family.

One of the reasons Winter’s End stands out amongst debuts is the ingenious premise of the story. The woman’s body is found with the presumed killer standing over her, knives in his hands, but a driving rain has washed away the blood and the police can’t find any evidence of how they got to the spot on the road where they were discovered, nor do they have any concrete physical evidence to prove the man is the killer.

And he has refused to answer any questions from the police, making it almost impossible for them to close the investigation.

The elements of the story were expertly woven with the skill of a seasoned professional crime writer, and the talent John displayed in his debut novel was matched, if not surpassed, in the follow-up, The Touch of Ghosts.

By the time I started The Touch of Ghosts I’d already developed a deep emotional attachment to the main character, and reading this book at times made me feel I’d been kicked in the stomach. The alliteration is delicious, the way the words flowed so smoothly made me go back and re-read passages, just to enjoy the phrasing all over again.

Again, I don’t want to offer spoilers to the plot, but I will say this. With The Touch of Ghosts I was expertly fooled. This is a mystery with a triple-twist, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

John Rickards is likely one of the most under-appreciated rising stars in the crime fiction scene, and I believe that he will follow up The Touch of Ghosts with a book that will put him on the radar of every reviewer and crime fiction reader out there. The only thing that is keeping John from being an international best-seller is that people haven’t heard how good he is.

There’s something about the way John writes that gets under your skin, pulls you into his world convincingly. The writing permeated the senses to the point where I could smell and touch and feel along with Alex Rourke.

And the ending of The Touch of Ghosts… So powerful and moving. It has to be read to be appreciated.

John’s third novel, The Darkness Inside, will be available in late summer.

Friday, April 7

A Note RE: Reviews

There are links on the right side to all reviews by author name alphabetically, and by book title alphebetically under the reviewers name.

I've added pages here with all the review links for simplicity and am adding those links into the sidebar, so at the moment, you have to scroll down and use the links to get to the reviews.

The reason for this addition is simplicity for finding a review of a specific book by an author, or ability to read reviews by a particular reviewer you enjoy. Also, since more than one person will now be participating in updating the site, this is the best way to allow us both to have access to the code.

If you have any suggestions or comments, please email me at sandra.ruttan@spinetinglermag.com

**I have put on some Spinetingler reviews, also from our issues, just to bump these posts down. Sorry for the repeats - we expect to have a new batch of reviews in soon. Again, anyone is welcome to submit reviews for posting here. Our only restrictions are that the review isn't written by the author of the book, and that the review doesn't read like an attack on the author.

Thanks,
Sandra

Reviews by Andrea Maloney

“Andrea is one of our regular reviewers, contributing to the development and success of our online review site. She reads a wide range of crime books and is also assisting with updating the review site when submissions are received. In short, she’s an angel, saving me from my own insanity when my schedule gets too hectic. The reviews would be hopelessly behind without her.” - Sandra Ruttan

Andrea Maloney is a stay at home mom and jewelry designer who loves to read. Her favorite books are mysteries, suspense and thrillers. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two daughters and one large cat.

You can email Andrea at: lochthyme@gmail.com

47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers by Troy Cook

A Dream of Drowned Hollow by Lee Barwood

A Farewell to Legs by Jeffrey Cohen

A Test of Wills by Charles Todd

A Vision of Murder by Victoria Laurie

Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie

Art's Blood by Vicki Lane

Artrage by Everett Aison

Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton

Baby Shark by Robert Fate

Better Read than Dead by Victoria Laurie

Blindfold Game by Dana Stabenow

Blind Traveler Down a Dark River by by Robert P. Bennett

Blood For Blood by S.K. Rizzolo

Blood Hollow by William Kent Krueger

Blood's Burden by Alex Matthews

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood

Consigned to Death by Jane K. Cleland

Dance of Death by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Dangerous Undertaking by Mark de Castrique

Dead Run by P.J. Tracy

Deadly Blessings by Julie Hyzy

Deadly Interest by Julie Hyzy

Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood

Don’t Look Back by Karin Fossum

Dying Light by Stuart MacBride

Enter Second Murderer by Alanna Knight

Fatlands by Sarah Dunant

Feint of Art by Hailey Lind

First, Do No Harm by Larry Karp

Five For Silver by Mary Reed & Eric Mayer

For Whom the Minivan Rolls by Jeffrey Cohen

Improbably by Adam Fowler

Lifeguard by James Patterson & Andrew Gross

Mallory's Oracle by Carol O'Connell

Max Unlocks the Universe by Mark Bouton

Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger

Murder @ Work by Yvonne Eve Walus

Murder, Mather and Mayhem by M.E. Kemp

Philippine Fever by Bruce Cook

Relative Danger by Charles Benoit

Shooting Elvis by Robert M. Eversz

Six For Gold by Mary Reed & Eric Mayer

Snow Blind by P.J. Tracy

Speak Now by Margaret Dumas

Spiked by Mark Arsenault

Spurred Ambition by Twist Phelan

The Baby Game by Randall Hicks

The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

The Cellini Masterpiece by Raymond John

The Dead Place by Stephen Booth

The Deadly Tools of Ignorance by Robert Elias

The Fallen by T. Jefferson Parker

The Final Judgment by Michael A. Black

The Guards by Ken Bruen

The Heat of the Moon by Sandra Parshall

The King of Lies by John Hart

The Price of Silence by Kate Wilhelm

The Quick by Dan Vining

The Smoke by Tony Broadbent

Tilt a Whirl by Chris Grabenstein

Tropic of Murder by Lev Raphael

Twisted Perception by Bob Avey

Without Mercy by Jack Higgins

Reviews/Interviews by Chris High

Formerly a Chef, publican, shop manager, supermarket shelf-filler, library employee and deliverer of lambs, Chris High now dedicates most of his time to writing and journalism. He has successfully collaborated with singer Chris de Burgh on a collection of song based short stories available from his Website, and is currently in the process of completing his first Crime novel. Chris lives on Merseyside, England, with his cat Tigger and his dog, Duke.


Fresh Kill by Reggie Nadelson

Gone by Lisa Gardner

Piece of My Heart by Peter Robinson

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly

Through the Ruins of Midnight by Colin Campbell


Interviews:


Chris High interviews Reggie Nadelson

Chris High profiles Canada’s Adopted Son, Peter Robinson

Thursday, April 6

Reviews/Interviews by Sandra Ruttan

Sandra Ruttan has just signed a deal for the release of her first novel, Suspicious Circumstances, in November 2006. A regular contributor to Spinetingler Magazine, her work can also be found in the May/June and July/August issues of Crimespree Magazine. For more information about Sandra visit her website or her blog.

Sandra’s experience in writing professionally goes back to the age of 13, when she had her first newspaper column. Since then, she has studied journalism, written numerous articles and completed a creative writing diploma program. An early childhood intervention specialist, Sandra has also studied communication theory. You can email Sandra at sandra.ruttan@spinetinglermag.com

BACKLIST REVIEW: The works of John Rickards

A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read

A Good Day To Die by Simon Kernick

Cold Granite by Stuart MacBride

Dirty Sweet by John McFetridge

Every Fear by Rick Mofina

Lifeless by Mark Billingham

Missing in Precinct Puerto Rico by Steven Torres

Murder, Eh? by Lou Allin

One Large Coffin To Go by H. Mel Malton

Pale Immortal by Anne Frasier

Rhapsody in Blood by John Morgan Wilson

The Flood by Ian Rankin

The Forest of Souls by Carla Banks

The Green Room by Deborah Turrell Atkinson

The Last Assassin by Barry Eisler

To The Power of Three by Laura Lippman

Interviews:

Mark Billingham - Comedian, Author, Potty Mouth

IN CONVERSATION WITH DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI

IN CONVERSATION WITH JESS LOUREY

IN CONVERSATION WITH SIMON KERNICK: Nightmares, death threats and the future – and possible end – of Dennis Milne

On Baltimore and Books: A Discussion with Laura Lippman

On Beards and Books: A Discussion with Stuart MacBride

20 Questions with H. Mel Malton

CRÈME DE LA CRIME’S LYNNE PATRICK: Proving a small, new publisher with vision and initiative can thrive in the market

Of Cents and Psychology: An In-Depth Interview with Cornelia Read

Repo Chick Blues: Tracy Sharp Discusses Her New eBook

Reviews by Dawn Dowdle

"I have been reading mysteries for years. My favorites are cozies, but I do read some non-cozies. Over the years, I have turned my love of mysteries into my job. I run Sleuth Editing -- copyediting, specializing in mysteries and Mystery Lovers Corner -- a website for lovers of mysteries. I try to attend Malice Domestic each year. It's so much fun meeting authors I read." - Dawn

A Blush With Death by India Ink

A Hoe Lot of Trouble by Heather Webber

A Killer Collection by J.B. Stanley

A Shot To Die For by Libby Fischer Hellman

A Wedding to Die For by Radine Trees Nehring

And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander

Another Murder in the Inn by Barbara Fox

Batteries Required by Jennifer Apodaca

Better Off Wed by Laura Durham

Better Read Than Dead by Victoria Laurie

Bitter Sweets by G. A. McKevett

Blessed is the Busybody by Emilie Richards

Blood Relations by Rett MacPherson

Carbs & Cadavers by J. B. Stanley

Cattery Row by Clea Simon

Cherry Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Curuiosity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement

Dead Days of Summer by Carolyn Hart

Dead Giveaway by Leann Sweeney

Dead Roots by Nancy J. Cohen

Dead Wrong by J. A. Jance

Deadly Collection by Elaine Flinn

Deadly Trail by Marilyn Meredith

Death by Committee by Carole Shmurak

Death Climbs a Tree by Sara Hoskinson Frommer

Death for Dessert by T. Dawn Richard

Death In The Cards by Sharon Short

Death Takes a Honeymoon by Deborah Donnelly

Death Waxed Over by Tim Myers

Digging Up Otis by T. Dawn Richard

Don of the Dead by Casey Daniels

Don't Murder your Mystery by Chris Roerden

Duty Free Murder by Lori Sandys Lapierre

Driven to Murder by Judith Skillings

Edge of Evil by J.A. Jance

Feint of Art by Hailey Lind

For Better or Hearse by Laura Durham

Ghost Across the Water by Dorothy Bodoin

Getting Old is Murder by Rita Lakin

Herr Schnoodle and McBee by P.K. Paranya

High Rhymes and Misdemeanors by Diana Killian

Hostile Makeover by Ellen Byerrum

Hot Grudge Sunday by Rosemary & Larry Mild

Hung out to Die by Sharon Short

Identity Crisis by Debbi Mack

Jill 9 by J.D. Tynan

Killing Cousines by Rett MacPherson

Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton

Love You Madly by Linda Palmer

Married to the Mop by Barbara Colley

Mew is For Murder by Clea Simon

Murder By The Book by D. R. Meredith

Murder by the Glass by Michele Scott

Murder in Alphabet City by Lee Harris

Murder in Steeple Martin by Lesley Cookman

Murder of a Smart Cookie by Denise Swanson

Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney

Murder Over Easy by Jimmie Ruth Evans

Murder Passes the Buck by Deb Baker

Murder, She Wrote – Majoring in Murder by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain

Nature of the Grave by Martha Reed

New Year’s Eve Murder by Leslie Meier

Nothing To Fear But Ferrets by Linda O. Johnston

On the Run by Lorena McCourtney

On the Twelth Night of Christmas by Jo A. Hiestand

Patterns in Silicone by Maureen Robb

Poison Ivy by Misty Simon

Power in the Blood by Brenda Robertson Stewart

Pretty Poison by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Raiders of the Lost Corset by Ellen Byerrum

Relative Danger by June Shaw

Red Hot Murder by Joanne Pence

Satan's Pony by Robin Hathaway

Scent to Her Grave by India Ink

Shadows at the Fair by Lea Wait

Sonnet of the Sphinx by Diana Killian

Sour Grapes by G. A. McKevett

The Cameo Clue by Dorothy Bodoin

The Cemetary Yew by Cynthia Riggs

The Cradle Robbers by Ayelet Waldman

The Dead Sea Codex by Sarah Wisseman

The Ghost and the Dead Deb by Alice Kimberly

The Ghost and the Dead Man's Library by Alice Kimberly

The Hayloft by Alan Cook

The Nitrogen Murder by Camille Minichino

The Orkney Scroll by Lyn Hamilton

The Stiff and the Dead by Lori Avocato

The Wrong Drawers by Misty Simon

Thrilled to Death by Jennifer Apodaca

To Collar a Killer by Lee Charles Kelley

Two Wrongs by Morgan Mandel

Wedding’s Widow by Alex Matthews

Witch Way to Murder by Shirley Damsgaard

Who Killed Swami Schwartz by Nora Charles

Wreath of Deception by Mary Ellen Hughes

Reviews by Theodore Feit

Artrage by Everett Aison

Ask the Parrot by Richard Stark

Bleeding Hearts by Ian Rankin

By the Chimney with Care edited by Tony Burton

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

Dead Center by David Rosenfelt

Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood

Escape Clause by James O. Born

Face Down Beside St. Anne’s Well by Kathy Lynn Emerson

Hundred Dollar Baby by Robert B. Parker

Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason

Killer Instinct by Joseph Finder

Lights Out by Jason Starr

Love, Death & The Toyman by Robert S. Napier

Murder in Jerusalem by Batya Gur

Prisoner of Memory by Denise Hamilton

Puccini's Ghosts by Morag Joss

Pursuit by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza

Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason

Sudden Death by David Rosenfelt

The Case of Emily V. by Keith Oatley

The Collectors by David Baldacci

The Mission Song by John Le Carre

The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin

The Second Mouse by Archer Mayor

The Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman

The Sorcerer's Circle by Michael Siverling

What Came Before He Shot Her by Elizabeth George

Wildfire by Nelson DeMille

Reviews by Claire McManus

Email Claire at nyc.claire@gmail.com to discuss her reviews.

In The Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith

The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith

The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates

The Jealous One by Celia Fremlin

Thus Was Adonis Murdered by Sarah Caudwell

Who Gets The Apartment? By Steven Rigolosi

Reviews by Gloria Feit

Gloria in her former life was the office manager, for 26 years, of a medium-size law firm in downtown Manhattan, NYC. She and her husband, each having been previously widowed, have five children and nine grandchildren between them. They live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles east of NYC. Having always been an avid [mystery] reader, she is now able to indulge her passion for mystery-book-reading, having left her job in 1996. She reviews books on-line for several publishers and authors. Her husband, Theodore [Ted] Feit, is an attorney and CEO of the New York Stock Brokers Club, and has written on various subjects, including market analyses among other things, over the years.

Blinded by Darkness by Tony Burton

Blood Hunt by Ian Rankin (writing as Jack Harvey)

Bloody Harvests by Richard Kunzmann

Fear of the Dark by Walter Mosley

Final Fore by Roberta Isleib

Fools Rush In by Sunny Frazier

For Better or Hearse by Laura Durham

For Love and Money by Leslie Glass

Four Kinds of Rain by Robert Ward

In This Rain by S. J. Rozan

Kidnapped by Jan Burke

Monkey Man by Steve Brewer

Mourners: A Nameless Detective Novel by Bill Prozini

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson

Shadow of Death by Patricia Gussin

Slay Ride by Chris Grabenstein

Still Life by Louise Penny

The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy


The Fallen by T. Jefferson Parker

The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid

The Last Full Measure by Hal Glatzer

The Wrong Man by John Katzenbach

Reviews by Kate Charlton

“Kate and I have been reading partners for a few years. We select books, read, and then discuss the book in detail. I have always found Kate’s insights to be astute and intriguing. She brings a unique cultural voice to the team and is developing into a great reviewer and interviewer as well.” - Sandra Ruttan

Kate Charlton is our Australian editor. In addition to sifting through submissions and occasionally writing reviews and doing author interviews, Kate juggles her studies, her career, her intense reading schedule and tries not to get distracted by the antics of her two cats.

Dark Places by Jon Evans
The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid

Reviews by Pat Brown

Born in Winnipeg, Canada - which probably explains my intense dislike of all things cold - I actually spent most of my early years in Southern Ontario. At 22 I sold off my few meager life's possessions and headed for Hollywood, where I spent the next 8 years writing screenplays that never saw the light of day (you should all be eternally grateful for that blessing) Living in So Cal was a life lesson all in itself and I think it had a lot to with the type and quality of books and stories I've been writing since I left L.A. - following an all too short 18 month stint in Hawaii. I recently moved to Bermuda for a 3-year contract in the IT field, where I'm a Senior Network Engineer for a law firm. But writing is what I love and most evenings and weekends that's what you'll find me doing, though that may change some when the summer rolls around and the reefs beckon. My first mystery novel, L.A. Heat will be out in the summer of 2006. And more erotica, too!

I recently moved to Bermuda for a 3-year contract in the IT field as a Senior Network Engineer for a law firm. But writing is what I love and most evenings and weekends that's what you'll find me doing, while listening to some seriously heavy rock - though that may change some when the summer rolls around and the reefs beckon.
Pat Brown
Website
Blog

Are You Afraid of the Dark by Sidney Sheldon

Blue Valor by Illona House

Mahu by Neil Plakcy

No Way Back by Rick Mofina

Plague by Gary Birken, MD

Season of Iron by Sylvia Maultash Warsh

The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon

The Next Ex by Linda L. Richards

X, Y, Z

None at this time.

W

Shadows at the Fair by Lea Wait
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • The Cradle Robbers by Ayelet Waldman
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Murder @ Work by Yvonne Eve Walus
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Four Kinds of Rain by Robert Ward
  • Review by Gloria Feit



  • Season of Iron by Sylvia Maultash Warsh
  • Review by Pat Brown



  • A Hoe Lot of Trouble by Heather Webber
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • The Price of Silence by Kate Wilhelm
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Rhapsody in Blood by John Morgan Wilson
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan

  • U, V

    The Quick by Dan Vining
  • Review by Andrea Maloney

  • T

    A Test of Wills by Charles Todd
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Missing in Precinct Puerto Rico by Steven Torres
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • Dead Run by P.J. Tracy
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Snow Blind by P.J. Tracy
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Jill 9 by J.D. Tynan
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle

  • S

    The Blade Itself by Marcus Sakey
  • Review by K. Robert Einarson



  • Murder by the Glass by Michele Scott
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Are You Afraid of the Dark? By Sidney Sheldon
  • Review by Pat Brown



  • Death in the Cards by Sharon Short
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Mew is For Murder by Clea Simon
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Poison Ivy by Misty Simon
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • The Sorcerer's Circle by Michael Siverling
  • Review by Diana Bane



  • Driven to Murder by Judith Skillings
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • In The Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith
  • Review by Claire McManus



  • The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith
  • Review by Claire McManus



  • Blindfold Game by Dana Stabenow
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • A Killer Collection by J.B. Stanley
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Power in the Blood by Brenda Robertson Stewart
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Dead Giveaway by Leann Sweeney
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • The Blonde by Duane Swierczynski
  • Review by John McFetridge

  • R

    Blood Hunt by Ian Rankin (writing as Jack Harvey)
  • Review by Gloria Feit



  • The Flood by Ian Rankin
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • Tropic of Murder by Lev Raphael
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • Nature of the Grave by Martha Reed
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Five For Silver by Mary Reed & Eric Mayer
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Six For Gold by Mary Reed & Eric Mayer
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Death for Dessert by T. Dawn Richard
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Digging Up Otis by T. Dawn Richard
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Blessed is the Busybody by Emilie Richards
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • The Next Ex by Linda L. Richards
  • Review by Pat Brown



  • The Next Ex by Linda L. Richards
  • Review by M. Wayne Cunningham



  • BACKLIST REVIEW: The works of John Rickards
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • The Cemetery Yew by Cynthia Riggs
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Who Gets The Apartment? By Steven Rigolosi
  • Review by Claire McManus



  • Blood For Blood by S.K. Rizzolo
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Patterns in Silicone by Maureen Robb
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Piece of My Heart by Peter Robinson
  • Review by Chris High



  • Dead Center by David Rosenfelt
  • Review by Theodore Feit



  • Sudden Death by David Rosenfelt
  • Review by Theodore Feit

  • Q

    None at this time.

    P

    Love You Madly by Linda Palmer
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • The Fallen by T. Jefferson Parker
  • Review by Gloria Feit



  • The Fallen by T. Jefferson Parker
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • The Heat of the Moon by Sandra Parshall
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Lifeguard by James Patterson & Andrew Gross
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Red Hot Murder by Joanne Pence
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Spurred Ambition by Twist Phelan
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Mahu by Neil Plakcy
  • Review by Pat Brown



  • Dance of Death by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Mourners: A Nameless Detective Novel by Bill Prozini
  • Review by Gloria Feit

  • O

    The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates
  • Review by Claire McManus



  • The Case of Emily V. by Keith Oatley
  • Review by Diana Bane



  • The Case of Emily V. by Keith Oatley
  • Review by Theodore Feit



  • Mallory's Oracle by Carol O'Connell
  • Review by Andrea Maloney

  • N

    Fresh Kill by Reggie Nadelson
  • Review by Chris High

  • M

    Cold Granite by Stuart MacBride
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • Dying Light by Stuart MacBride
  • Review by Stephen Blackmoore



  • Dying Light by Stuart MacBride
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Identity Crisis by Debbi Mack
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Killing Cousins by Rett MacPherson
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • One Large Coffin To Go by H. Mel Malton
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • Two Wrongs by Morgan Mandel
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Blood's Burden by Alex Matthews
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Wedding’s Widow by Alex Matthews
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Five For Silver by Mary Reed & Eric Mayer
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Six For Gold by Mary Reed & Eric Mayer
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Dirty Sweet by John McFetridge
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • Bitter Sweets by G. A. McKevett
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Sour Grapes by G.A. McKevett
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • New Year’s Eve Murder by Leslie Meier
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Murder by the Book by D. R. Meredith
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Hot Grudge Sunday by Rosemary & Larry Mild
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Every Fear by Rick Mofina
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • No Way Back by Rick Mofina
  • Review by Pat Brown



  • Fear of the Dark by Walter Mosley
  • Review by Gloria Feit

  • L

    Getting Old is Murder by Rita Lakin
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Art's Blood by Vicki Lane
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • The Hell You Say by Josh Lanyon
  • Review by Pat Brown



  • A Vision of Murder by Victoria Laurie
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Better Read Than Dead by Victoria Laurie
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Better Read than Dead by Victoria Laurie
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Pretty Poison by Joyce and Jim Lavene
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • The Mission Song by John Le Carre
  • Review by Theodore Feit



  • Feint of Art by Hailey Lind
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Feint of Art by Hailey Lind
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • To The Power of Three by Laura Lippman
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • May Day by Jess Lourey
  • Review by Julia Buckley

  • K

    First, Do No Harm by Larry Karp
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • The Wrong Man by John Katzenbach
  • Review by Gloria Feit



  • To Collar a Killer by Lee Charles Kelley
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Murder, Mather and Mayhem by M.E. Kemp
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • A Good Day To Die by Simon Kernick
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • High Rhymes and Misdemeanors by Diana Killian
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • The Ghost and the Dead Deb by Alice Kimberly
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Enter Second Murderer by Alanna Knight
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Blood Hollow by William Kent Krueger
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger
  • Review by Andrea Maloney

  • J

    Dead Wrong by J. A. Jance
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Edge of Evil by J.A. Jance
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • The Cellini Masterpiece by Raymond John
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Nothing To Fear But Ferrets by Linda O. Johnston
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle

  • I

    A Blush With Death by India Ink
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Scent to Her Grave by India Ink
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Final Fore by Roberta Isleib
  • Review by Gloria Feit

  • H

    Murder Without Pity by Steve Haberman
  • Review by Flood Gondek



  • Prisoner of Memory by Denise Hamilton
  • Review by Theodore Feit



  • The Joining of Dingo Radish by Rob Harasymchuk
  • Review by M. Wayne Cunningham



  • Murder in Alphabet City by Lee Harris
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Dead Days of Summer by Carolyn Hart
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • The King of Lies by John Hart
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Blood Hunt by Ian Rankin (writing as Jack Harvey)
  • Review by Gloria Feit



  • Satan's Pony by Robin Hathaway
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • A Shot To Die For by Libby Fischer Hellman
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • The Baby Game by Randall Hicks
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Without Mercy by Jack Higgins
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • The Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman
  • Review by Theodore Feit



  • Blue Valor by Illona House
  • Review by Pat Brown



  • Deadly Blessings by Julie Hyzy
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Deadly Interest by Julie Hyzy
  • Review by Andrea Maloney

  • G

    Pursuit by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza
  • Review by Theodore Feit



  • Gone by Lisa Gardner
  • Review by Chris High



  • For Love and Money by Leslie Glass
  • Review by Gloria Feit



  • The Last Full Measure by Hal Glatzer
  • Review by Gloria Feit



  • Tilt a Whirl by Chris Grabenstein
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood
  • Review by Theodore Feit



  • Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Lifeguard by James Patterson & Andrew Gross
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Murder in Jerusalem by Batya Gur
  • Review by Theodore Feit



  • Shadow of Death by Patricia Gussin
  • Review by Gloria Feit

  • F

    Baby Shark by Robert Fate
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Killer Instinct by Joseph Finder
  • Review by Theodore Feit



  • Murder, She Wrote – Majoring in Murder by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Deadly Collection by Elaine Flinn
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Cherry Cheesecake Murder by Joanne Fluke
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Improbably by Adam Fowler
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Don’t Look Back by Karin Fossum
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Another Murder in the Inn by Barbara Fox
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Pale Immortal by Anne Frasier
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • The Jealous One by Celia Fremlin
  • Review by Claire McManus



  • Death Climbs a Tree by Sara Hoskinson Frommer
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle

  • E

    The Last Assassin by Barry Eisler
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • The Deadly Tools of Ignorance by Robert Elias
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
  • Review by Gloria Feit



  • Face Down Beside St. Anne’s Well by Kathy Lynn Emerson
  • Review by Theodore Feit



  • Murder Over Easy by Jimmie Ruth Evans
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Shooting Elvis by Robert M. Eversz
  • Review by Andrea Maloney

  • D

    Witch Way to Murder by Shirley Damsgaard
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Don of the Dead by Casey Daniels
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Dangerous Undertaking by Mark de Castrique
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Scare the Light Away by Vicki Delany
  • Review by Lou Allin



  • Wild Fire by Nelson DeMille
  • Review by Theodore Feit



  • Chain a Lamb Chop To The Bed by Denise Dietz
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Death Takes a Honeymoon by Deborah Donnelly
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Speak Now by Margaret Dumas
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Fatlands by Sarah Dunant
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Better Off Wed by Laura Durham
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • For Better or Hearse by Laura Durham
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • For Better or Hearse by Laura Durham
  • Review by Gloria Feit

  • C

    Deadly Illusions by Chester D. Campbell
  • Review by Tracy Sharp



  • Through the Ruins of Midnight by Colin Campbell
  • Review by Chris High



  • Thus Was Adonis Murdered by Sarah Caudwell
  • Review by Claire McManus



  • Who Killed Swami Schwartz by Nora Charles
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Big City, Bad Blood by Sean Chercover
  • Review by K. Robert Einarson



  • Dance of Death by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
  • Review by Martin Edwards



  • Consigned to Death by Jane K. Cleland
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Mountaintop Drive by James R. Coggins
  • Review by M. Wayne Cunningham



  • A Farewell to Legs by Jeffrey Cohen
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • For Whom the Minivan Rolls by Jeffrey Cohen
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Dead Roots by Nancy J. Cohen
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Married to the Mop by Barbara Colley
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly
  • Review by Chris High



  • The Hayloft by Alan Cook
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Philippine Fever by Bruce Cook
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • 47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers by Troy Cook
  • Review by Andrea Maloney

  • B

    Murder Passes the Buck by Deb Baker
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Murder, She Wrote – Majoring in Murder by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • The Forest of Souls by Carla Banks
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • A Switch in Time: A Dr. Erica Merrill Mystery by Anne Barton
  • Review by M. Wayne Cunningham



  • A Dream of Drowned Hollow by Lee Barwood
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Framed by Tonino Benacquista
  • Review by M. Wayne Cunningham



  • Blind Traveler Down a Dark River by Robert P. Bennett
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Relative Danger by Charles Benoit
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • The Scout Master: A Prepared Death by Luisa Beuhler
  • Review by Flood Gondek



  • Lifeless by Mark Billingham
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • Plague by Gary Birken, MD
  • Review by Pat Brown



  • The Final Judgment by Michael A. Black
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Ghost Across the Water by Dorothy Bodoin
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • The Cameo Clue by Dorothy Bodoin
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • The Dead Place by Stephen Booth
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Escape Clause by James O. Born
  • Review by Theodore Feit



  • Max Unlocks the Universe by Mark Bouton
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • The Last Good Day by Gail Bowen
  • Review by M. Wayne Cunningham



  • Monkey Man by Steve Brewer
  • Review by Gloria Feit



  • Whipsaw by Steve Brewer
  • Review by Gloria Feit



  • The Smoke by Tony Broadbent
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • The Guards by Ken Bruen
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Hostile Makeover by Ellen Byerrum
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Raiders of the Lost Corset by Ellen Byerrum
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle

  • A

    Artrage by Everett Aison
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Artrage by Everett Aison
  • Review by Theodore Feit



  • And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Murder, Eh? by Lou Allin
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • Batteries Required by Jennifer Apodaca
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Thrilled to Death by Jennifer Apodaca
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle



  • Rogue Angel - The Spider Stone by Alex Archer
  • Review by Bill Bennett



  • Spiked by Mark Arsenault
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • The Green Room by Deborah Turrell Atkinson
  • Review by Sandra Ruttan



  • One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
  • Review by Gloria Feit



  • Twisted Perception by Bob Avey
  • Review by Andrea Maloney



  • The Stiff and the Dead by Lori Avocato
  • Review by Dawn Dowdle

  • Wednesday, April 5

    Artrage by Everett Aison

    Review by Andrea Maloney

    Mace Caslon seemed to have it all.  He had been a brilliant student with a full scholarship to Williams College, graduated top fifth from Yale Law School and now he's a full partner in one of the most respected law firms on Wall Street and a serious collector of contemporary art. Yet one day he walks into the Metropolitan Museum of Art and throws acid on Universal Woman, a Picasso painting which just sold for forty-one million dollars. The question is why?  This is something everyone wants to know.  His act puts him in the middle of a media crazed frenzy. Everyone has something to say including television personalities, artists, museum officials, collectors, dealers, lawyers, a U.S. attorney looking to enter the Senate, psychiatrists, ex-lovers and anti-art demonstrators.  Everyone wants their time in the spotlight…everyone wants to know why.

    Artrage is not a mystery of who-done-it but why-done-it. Thru an in depth character study Aison takes a close look at our society and it's fascination with so called "celebrities" and their fifteen minutes of fame. He lampoons the art world, art connoisseurs, the media and our society's remote control personality which cause us to latch onto whoever is in the spotlight at the moment and forget about it seconds later when the next "celebrity" comes along.  Aison has created a fascinating novel filled with interesting characters and a thought provoking storyline that will leave you thinking about it long after you finish reading it.

    Chain a Lamb Chop to the Bed by Denise Dietz

    Review by Andrea Maloney

    Ellie Bernstein, a group leader for Weight Winners, is invited by her boyfriend, Peter Miller a homicide detective, to go on a nice relaxing vacation to a dude ranch outside Aspen. There she will have a chance to meet Peter's sister along with his niece and nephews plus renew her friendship with renowned artist Garrett Halliday and his wife Heather. But before they leave on their vacation a man is killed and a painting of Garrett's is slashed with the face of the model taking the brunt of the damage.  The model in the picture bears a striking resemblance to Ellie.  Once they arrive at the ranch they find more murder and mayhem and suspects aplenty.  Ellie finds herself taking on the role of sleuth again with deadly results.

    This book is full of delicious food references, romance, sexual innuendoes, humor and an intriguing mystery.  Ellie is an interesting and feisty heroine and the book is filled with a wide mix of characters. The plot had numerous twists and turns but the identity of who done it just didn't ring true for me. If you are a cozy mystery lover this is a book you will want to read but be sure to have some snacks handy because you will find yourself rather hungry when reading it's abundant descriptive food references.