REVIEW OF JUDGMENT

JUDGMENT by Joseph Finder takes an occurrence and uses it as a jumping off point.  He has a knack for having an incidental event magnify into a riveting conspiracy mystery.  Finder noted, “I met a judge socially and spoke with her about the pressures she faces.  I started to think, what would happen if her children get into trouble, or what if she gets many speeding tickets?  I interviewed five women judges practicing in Boston for this book.  The sense I got was that they went through a lot to become a judge, having to go through interviews and making sure they do not step on toes as they climbed the ladder. Then I thought...

REVIEW: WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER

WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER by Christina Dodd brings back the fabulous characters of Cape Charade.  Dodd has outdone herself by creating this character driven story.  The previous book presented the heroine Kellen Adams as a victim, survivor, and warrior.  But in this novel, readers also see another aspect of her, as a mom.  People will take a journey with Kellen as she grows emotionally, while overcoming the trials and tribulations of having a seven-year-old daughter. In the last book readers learn that Kellen escaped an abusive husband. Unfortunately, she could not escape his family and was shot in the head where she lied in a coma for...

REVIEW OF STROKE OF LUCK

STROKE OF LUCKby B.J. Daniels is the first of three in this new series.  Known for mixing romance and danger this one concentrates more on the relationship than the danger, a slight change from her past novels.  “I wrote it as more of a romance than a mystery.  My editor suggested I do this.  I tried it but feel it is not what I really want to do.  I think people read me for the suspense.  If people want a true romance they can find it elsewhere.  In this novel, it worked well to have the relationship more up front and the hero/heroine not personally involved in the mystery.  For the other books in the series I...

REVIEW OF SKIN GAME BY J.D. ALLEN

Jim Bean is a Las Vegas based private investigator who gets paid to uncover secrets. Specializing in small time insurance and infidelity cases, Bean makes a decent enough living to keep him in booze and Ms. Annie in kitty chow. While he is an expert in uncovering secrets, he is also a man buried in secrets. Eight years earlier, Bean had been a student in Columbus, Ohio. “Jim Bean” didn’t even exist yet. Korey Anders was a grad student who had a dream of ending up in the FBI. Those dreams had come crashing down when he had been accused of kidnapping and assault. Everyone was convinced Korey had done it. No one believed he was innocent, not...

REVIEW OF TAKE-OUT AND OTHER TALES OF CULINARY CRI...

Someone once noticed that actor Brad Pitt has a scene where he’s eating something in almost every one of his movies. So naturally the Internet compiled the film clips into a video mashup. Similarly, someone realized that several of Rob Hart’s short storied involved food in some capacity: a New York City bagel shop owner, a crime boss named after a drink, even the cut-throat world of food trucks. Rob Hart has established himself as the Brad Pitt of crime fiction. These short stories and more have been collected in his new anthology, TAKE-OUT AND OTHER TALES OF CULINARY CRIME, from Polis Books. While he is best known for his hard-boiled Ash...

MIRACULUM by Steph Post

I became a fan of Steph Post’s writing the minute I finished reading her novel LIGHTWOOD. She expertly wove together three plot lines and executed a fantastic ending to the book. When I heard she was writing a book set in the 1920’s, one of my favorite periods in American history, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Post’s book MIRACULUM does not disappoint. The carnival Pontilliar’s Spectacular Star Light Miraculum has been touring the American deep South during the early part of the Twentieth Century. Carnival rides and a freak show are the mainstays of the touring company. A stranger joins the troupe after the show’s geek, the guy who...