Thanks for stopping by. You'll find some reviews of books I've read. I love to read mysteries and thrillers. Favorites include James Lee Burke and Louise Penny. I love discovering new authors. New cookbooks are another favorite. I also review women's fiction, historical fiction and Christian fiction and non-fiction. Follow me on twitter: @PoCoKat. Happy reading my friends!
From 1963 to 1982 I lived in Ranch Park. My parents, Bill and Marlene, my sisters, Karen and Joanne, me and our 3 cats lived on The Lazy A Street. I still drive by our house and through the neighbourhood quite frequently as my church, Coquitlam Alliance Church, is located at the top of Ranch Park. Our home had an amazing view of the Golden Ears, Mount Baker in Washington state (a volcano) and the Coquitlam River valley.
Lazy A is the crescent in the middle of the photo.
One of my friends once proclaimed that growing up in Ranch
Park was like growing up on the television show “The Wonder Years”. And she was
right. Ranch Park, particularly on Lazy A Street, was a magical place to grow
up in the 1960s.
My parents bought our quarter acre lot in 1959. In 1963,
shortly after I was born they built their dream house. It was a mid-century
modern that they designed themselves. Both my parents had grown up in East Van
and were thrilled with the large lot and the gardens and lawns they soon
In 1967, my father had a large hole dug in our back yard and
using forms from one of our neighbours (Mr. Ellison, a shop teacher) and had our pool built. The excavators dumped
all the dirt from the excavation into three big piles onto the lot next door
which conveniently belonged to my parent’s best friends, Sunny and Don. Those three
big piles of dirt became play "homes" for the neighbourhood kids. We all played house
together on those big piles of dirt. Such a wonderful memory.
Lazy A and the surrounding streets were filled with young
families. There were so many children of every age, shape and size. We were
like one big family. We all knew everything about everyone. There were no play
dates in those days, you just went outside and you immediately found someone to
play with. Or you would knock on their door and out they would come, ready to
play. Our mothers knew we were around somewhere. I knew she would call (and by call I mean stand on the sundeck and yell out our name) when lunch was ready.
Ranch Park was very isolated in the 1960s. We were Coquitlam
yet our mailing address was Port Coquitlam. It was very confusing. There were
no corner stores in Ranch Park. There were no services of any kind. Harry’s
Corner, which was an old dilapidated gas station, was at the corner of Westwood
and Dewdney Trunk. In the 1960s, Westwood was the Lougheed Highway. There were
still farms along Dewdney Trunk. Children who lived on those farms went to
school with us. During the summer when we were bored, we would walk to Como
Lake Village to get candy. It was a 3 km walk one way. And we surrounded by
bush. Oh the adventures we had. We would cross streams on logs, manoeuvre
through swamps, knock down spider webs as we traversed through paths surrounded
by giant, moss covered cedars and endless ferns. Ranch Park Elementary School
was surrounded by forest on two sides. Everyone who grew up in Ranch Park
remembers The Rocks! We would jump from
one giant granite boulder to another. I sprained my ankle twice on The Rocks.
My ankle still gives me issues! Summer nights the kids in the neighbourhood
would just all naturally come together. We would play kick the can and hide and
seek until the street lights came on which meant it was time to go home. And we
all did. Those spontaneous games still bring me joy when I think about all the
fun we had.
One winter when I was probably around six years old, we had a
tremendous snowstorm. We often would slide our sleds, toboggans or crazy
carpets down the slopped pathway into Ranch Park between the Brook’s and
Washington’s houses. But this particular year someone decided to slide down
Daybreak. So soon everyone was sliding down Daybreak. I’ll never forget my
father trudging up the hill in his suit carrying his briefcase looking
miserable. He couldn’t get his sports car up the hill so had to leave it
somewhere at the bottom like everyone else. I thought he was pretty cranky that
day until a police car with chains came up Daybreak and told us all to go home
and told the adults that they should be ashamed of themselves for allowing
Daybreak to become a sheet of ice. We all ignored him and basically went back
Lazy A is a crescent that surrounds the actual park called
Ranch Park. Every summer, the Coquitlam Parks Board put up a shed in the park
as in all the other parks in Coquitlam. There was an activity person on staff
every week day. The shed was filled with every piece of sports and play
equipment you can imagine. As soon as the activity director who was usually a
young college student, we would all flood into the park. We spent our days
there playing every game imaginable. I learned my lesson pretty quick and
disappeared as soon as Red Rover started. I had sticks for arms and was always
a good target for breaking through. We had field trips once a week to places
like Alouette Lake, White Rock, Stanley Park and anywhere that there was
something fun to do. A big bus would pick us and our park activity person up along with kids from the
other parks and off we would go. No parents were there helicoptering over us to
make sure we were safe.
Every afternoon my mother would invite neighbours, relatives
and friends over to swim in the pool. Thinking back on the amount of treats
available every afternoon during these swimming parties, I am amazed I stayed
stick thin all those years! My sisters and I were like fish in the water. We
spent hours in that pool playing with other children. What fun we had! We would
tan for hours experimenting with baby oil to get better tans and putting lemon
juice in our hair to make it blonder.
Indeed, growing up in Coquitlam in the 1960s and the 1970s
really was the Wonder Years. I am so blessed to have grown up in such a fun and
beautiful neighbourhood. Our panoramic view of the Golden Ears, the Pitt and
Fraser River Valleys and Mount Baker was spectacular and I wish I had
appreciated it more growing up. I am thankful my parents picked such an amazing
place for my sisters and I to grow up.
**The photos are all courtesy of my mother Marlene and my grandfather Sandy.
Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
Publisher: Zondervan (Aug. 30 2016)
Sold by: Zondervan CA (CA SOR)
Play with Fire, the
debut book by popular speaker and teacher Bianca Juarez Olthoff, is the
reminder that God isn’t waiting until you have more resources or a
spouse or a job so he can use you. He’s ready to use you now.
the mythical creature, the Phoenix, which was also referenced by early
church leaders, she parallels this story with God’s work in her own
life, highlighting the beauty of reinvention with fire as both the
impetus and the method for change. Olthoff reminds us that we serve a
God who is redemptive and can take the worst situations and use them for
Play With Fire is a bible-infused message that will help women discover:
The way out of the middle is moving forward
The personal and powerful nature of the Holy Spirit
The power and sacrifice of transformation
The unique calling and purpose of life involves transformation
With Olthoff’s distinct style, strong storytelling gifts, and powerful bible teaching, Play with Fire will
remind readers that God has huge dreams for them. In Bianca’s words,
“He’s whispering in the wind and speaking through the fire and shouting
in silence the extraordinary dream He is birthing in you. His dream for
you is far greater than the dream you have for yourself. It’s not your
identity or income or influence that will make this happen. Like
Zechariah 4:6 says, “’It’s not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’
says the Lord.” It’s time to play with fire.
Everyone needs a friend like Bianca. I’m certain my mind would explode
if I had two. She isn’t afraid to run with knives, grab her knees and
jump off big cliffs, or see how thick the ice is by running out on it.
She also isn’t afraid to live her life as if God’s promises are really
true, rather than a bunch of right- sounding doctrine we interact with
by just agreeing. This isn’t just a book about Bianca’s journey. It’s an
invitation to yours. It’s not a trail of bread crumbs Bianca is giving
us, it’s a box of matches. She dares us to light the first one, throw it
back in the box we’ve made of our faith, and see what happens next. (–Bob Goff, New York Times bestselling author of Love Does)
thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing your story as well as the
truths you’ve discovered along the way. This book is a treasure. If
you’re experiencing a struggle, desire to know God on a more passionate
level, or simply want to be encouraged, you’ve found the perfect book! (-Kari Jobe)
fuego! Bianca is on fire. Her words form a pathway--- through her own
journey---to freedom and transformation. Her raw honesty and unwavering
belief in God’s plan for your life is contagious, and I’m excited to see
how this book sparks a wildfire of faith. (–Jen Hatmaker, speaker and New York Times bestselling author of For the Love)
and transformation isn’t easy, but using her personal story and the
stories of others throughout the Bible, Bianca shares with us ways to
not only survive the flames of life, but THRIVE in the midst of trials.
As a mentor and guide in her life, I’m excited that Bianca shares her
journey to help others become the people God has called them to be
through understanding the power of the Holy Spirit. Not only has Bianca
written about the transforming power of God, she has lived it out. (–Christine Caine, bestselling author, teacher, and founder of A21 and Propel Women)
the privilege of being one of Bianca’s best friends since high school, I
saw firsthand how she has loved, lived, and led as Jesus did. Her book,
Play with Fire, brings a real, transparent truth with a splash of her
quirky sense of humor. These are a few of the qualities that I love
about her! I pray this book will ignite a fire in your life and
encourage you to trust the Lord through the flames and enter into your
own “Promised Land” in full faith. (–Jennie Finch, USA Olympic Softball Gold Medalist)
someone reads Bible Scriptures regarding fire, they usually interpret
them within the context of sin or damnation. However, Bianca’s clear
voice in Play with Fire is carefully crafted to convey God’s holy
presence and the divine power to change the inner life of sincere
seekers desiring a radical change. As her father and pastor, I am
wholesomely proud of her work! I’ve witnessed my daughter transform into
a woman of strength and integrity, and that is nothing short than going
through a refining fire. (–Pancho Juárez, Pastor, Calvary Chapel, Montebello, California)
love this book written by my fiery Puerto Rican sister, Bianca! Her
transparent stories will stir your passion and position you to f lourish
amid the fires of chaos, exhaustion, and confusion. (–Lisa Bevere,
Messenger International, bestselling author of Lioness Arising, Kissed
the Girls and Made Them Cry, and Fight Like a Girl)
the narrative, the humorous anecdotes, and personal stories, Play with
Fire is proof of God’s redeeming love. I was reminded that fire---those
painful moments in life---can refine or ruin me, but God will see to
walking me through. Bianca wrote her story with grace and care as
further proof that all things work together for the glory of the
kingdom. Such an inspiring read! (–Jasmine Star, Branding Strategist and Marketing Consultant)
with Fire will make you laugh, make you cry, and open your eyes to the
power of God to transform your life. Bianca Juárez Olthoff has the rare
ability to weave beautiful Biblical truth into her own story of
transformation. You will love the power and freshness that Bianca
teaches with. Play with Fire is the book you stay up late to finish
because you can’t put it down! (–Alli Worthington, author of Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy)
About the Author
I’m a writer and teacher in love with two men: Jesus and my husband,
Matt. [You might not find this funny, but I laugh at myself, so it all
I didn’t learn how to read until I was eleven, but now I can’t put
down books. I ask questions, but most times I don’t want the answer
unless it’s something I want to hear. I believe in a faithful God, even
when I’m faithless. I’m a woman who loves God and is committed to
speaking truth when it hurts, loving when it’s hard, and living life out
I spend most of my time working as Chief Storyteller for The A21 Campaign,
a global anti-human trafficking organization. By day I’m a freedom
writer who advocates for justice, but at night I’m a step-mom who loves
to have dance parties with Parker, Ryen, and Ricci [aka The Cutest Dog
In The World].
Passionate about God’s word, I teach around the globe and blog about life, love, and the pursuit of Jesus.
Whether discussing topics from justice to pop culture, I’ve spent ten
years building the Church and mobilizing God’s people to action
alongside Matt, Lead Outreach Pastor at Mariners Church in Irvine,
California. I am so excited about the publication of my first book, Play With Fire, which you can pre-order today!
I discovered author and speaker Bianca Juarez Olthoff while watching the Propel series. While Christine Caine hosted the series, Bianca was one of the Christian leader participants. I enjoyed listening to her views on women and biblical truths. I also am following along with the Play With Fire Propel Book Club on Facebook. The first 2 books the book club covered were by Caine and by Alli Worthington. Both excellent books. I really enjoyed Bianca Juarez Olthoff's Play With Fire as well.
Play With Fire is a stand alone book but I also noticed that there is a study guide and a DVD. I recommended Christine Caine's Unashamed to my ladies bible study group and we are studying it this Fall. I would also recommend Play With Fire.
Play With Fire is a good read for women who are beginning their walk with Christ. Bianca goes through her life story with us and we travel through grief, desperation, and pain with her. But we also get to celebrate her victories with her. And her search for a purpose. I liked her A-ha moment in Chapter 1 where she decides to transform her life...she gets her butt off the couch and gets out there. She realizes that she needs to do something important with her life. It is a good lesson for all of us. And in the end she realizes that everything she been through in life is preparing her for her life as a Christian speaker, pastor's wife, stepmother, and now author.
I like Bianca. She is real and honest and a devout Christian. She has shared her life story with us. She is encouraging. By sharing her story with us we are encouraged to believe in ourselves and get moving. We need to find our own Promised Land.
I like that at the end of the acknowledgements she writes: And if you read this page too, thank you for staying through the whole journey. You are my favorite.
Well Bianca, you did great job with your first book. I am looking forward to many more.
#1 New York Times
bestseller Charlaine Harris returns to her Aurora Teagarden mystery
series with a fabulous new book featuring the small-town Southern
Aurora Teagarden is basking in the news of her
pregnancy when disaster strikes her small Georgia town: four kids vanish
from the school soccer field in an afternoon. Aurora’s 15-year-old
brother Phillip is one of them. Also gone are two of his friends, and an
11-year-old girl who was just hoping to get a ride home from soccer
practice. And then there’s an even worse discovery—at the kids’ last
known destination, a dead body.
While the local police and
sheriff’s department comb the county for the missing kids and interview
everyone even remotely involved, Aurora and her new husband, true crime
writer Robin Crusoe, begin their own investigation. Could the death and
kidnappings have anything to do with a group of bullies at the middle
school? Is Phillip’s disappearance related to Aurora’s father’s gambling
debts? Or is Phillip himself, new to town and an unknown quantity,
responsible for taking the other children? But regardless of the reason,
as the days go by, the most important questions remain. Are the kids
still alive? Who could be concealing them? Where could they be?
With Christmas approaching, Aurora is determined to find her brother…if he’s still alive.
more than a decade, #1 New York Times bestseller Charlaine Harris
finally returns to her fan-favorite Aurora Teagarden series with All the
Little Liars, a fabulously fun new mystery.
About the Author
Charlaine Harris has
been a published novelist for over twenty-five years. A native of the
Mississippi Delta, she grew up in the middle of a cotton field. Now she
lives in southern Arkansas with her husband, her three children, three
dogs, and a duck. The duck stays outside.
Though her early output
consisted largely of ghost stories, by the time she hit college
(Rhodes, in Memphis) Charlaine was writing poetry and plays. After
holding down some low-level jobs, she had the opportunity to stay home
and write, and the resulting two stand-alones were published by Houghton
Mifflin. After a child-producing sabbatical, Charlaine latched on to
the trend of writing mystery series, and soon had her own traditional
books about a Georgia librarian, Aurora Teagarden. Her first Teagarden, Real Murders, garnered an Agatha nomination.
Charlaine was looking for another challenge, and the result was the
much darker Lily Bard series. The books, set in Shakespeare, Arkansas,
feature a heroine who has survived a terrible attack and is learning to
live with its consequences.
When Charlaine began to realize that
neither of those series was ever going to set the literary world on
fire, she regrouped and decided to write the book she’d always wanted to
write. Not a traditional mystery, nor yet pure science fiction or
romance, Dead Until Dark broke genre boundaries to appeal to a
wide audience of people who just enjoy a good adventure. Each subsequent
book about Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic Louisiana barmaid and friend
to vampires, werewolves, and various other odd creatures, has drawn more
readers. The Southern Vampire books are published in Japan, Great
Britain, Greece, Germany, Thailand, Spain, France, and Russia.
addition to Sookie, Charlaine has another heroine with a strange
ability. Harper Connelly, lightning-struck and strange, can find
corpses… and that’s how she makes her living.
In addition to her
work as a writer, Charlaine is the past senior warden of St. James
Episcopal Church, a board member of Mystery Writers of America, a past
board member of Sisters in Crime, a member of the American Crime Writers
League, and past president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance.
She spends her "spare" time reading, watching her daughter play sports,
traveling, and going to the movies.
All the Little Liars is the ninth Aurora Teagarden mystery by author Charlaine Harris. This is the first book in the series that I have read and the first book written by Charlaine Harris that I have read. I am obviously coming late to this party as I really enjoyed Harris's writing style.
The Hallmark Channel has brought the Aurora Teagarden series to life and obviously renewed interest in the series which had not seen a new edition for over a decade. I liked that this ninth book, All the Little Liars, was set in the present. The author did not feel the need to head back to the early 2000s. Social media and electronic devices are all featured in this tale of bullying, murder and mystery.
I enjoyed the characters in All the Little Liars. I felt like I knew everyone instantly even though I had not read another book in the series. I liked the setting of small town suburban Atlanta. I looked forward to delving back into the book whenever I had to put the book down. The mystery aspect had me puzzled for quite some time. All the Little Liars refers to a group of girls who are bullying another girl...a girl who ends up being on the kidnapped youths.
I liked Aurora a lot. She is honest and I loved how the book explored all of her thoughts. I liked how she dealt with her rude father. Right on! She is not afraid of anyone. I hope Charlaine Harris is planning on more Aurora Teagarden books!
When Agatha Raisin left
behind her PR business in London, she fulfilled her dream of settling in
the cozy British Cotswolds where she began a successful private
detective agency. Unfortunately, the village she lives in is about to
get a little less cozy. Lord Bellington, a wealthy land developer, wants
to turn the community garden into a housing estate. When Agatha and her
friend Sir Charles Fraith attempt to convince Lord Bellington to
abandon his plans he scoffs: “Do you think I give a damn about those
pesky villagers?” So when Agatha finds his obituary in the newspaper two
weeks later, it’s no surprise that some in town are feeling
The villagers are relieved to learn that
Bellington’s son and heir, Damian, has no interest in continuing his
father’s development plans. But the police are definitely interested in
him―as suspect number one. His father’s death, it seems, was no
accident. But when Damian hires Agatha to find the real killer, she
finds no shortage of suspects. The good news is that a handsome retired
detective named Gerald has recently moved to town. Too bad he was seen
kissing another newcomer. But when she is also found murdered, Gerald is
eager to help Agatha with the case. Agatha, Gerald, and her team of
detectives must untangle a web of contempt in order to uncover a
“Agatha Raisin is in top form in bestseller Beaton’s 27th mystery…a
twisty plot, a familiar cast of eccentric characters, and a charming
English country setting mean that lovers of cozy mysteries will be
“It’s fast paced,
with lots of twists and turns, hilarity, and quiet moments when you
think maybe, just maybe, Agatha will get a grip.”
Chesney was born on 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and started her
first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department in John
Smith & Sons Ltd. While bookselling, by chance, she got an offer
from the Scottish Daily Mail to review variety shows and quickly rose to
be their theatre critic. She left Smith’s to join Scottish Field
magazine as a secretary in the advertising department, without any
shorthand or typing, but quickly got the job of fashion editor instead.
She then moved to the Scottish Daily Express where she reported mostly
on crime. This was followed by a move to Fleet Street to the Daily
Express where she became chief woman reporter. After marrying Harry
Scott Gibbons and having a son, Charles, Marion went to the United
States where Harry had been offered the job of editor of the Oyster Bay
Guardian. When that didn’t work out, they went to Virginia and Marion
worked as a waitress in a greasy spoon on the Jefferson Davies in
Alexandria while Harry washed the dishes. Both then got jobs on Rupert
Murdoch’s new tabloid, The Star, and moved to New York.
to spend more time at home with her small son, Marion, urged by her
husband, started to write historical romances in 1977. After she had
written over 100 of them under her maiden name, Marion Chesney, and
under the pseudonyms: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton,
Charlotte Ward, and Sarah Chester, she getting fed up with 1714 to 1910,
she began to write detectives stories in 1985 under the pseudonym of M.
C. Beaton. On a trip from the States to Sutherland on holiday, a course
at a fishing school inspired the first Constable Hamish Macbeth story.
They returned to Britain and bought a croft house and croft in
Sutherland where Harry reared a flock of black sheep. But Charles was at
school, in London so when he finished and both tired of the long
commute to the north of Scotland, they moved to the Cotswolds where
Agatha Raisin was created.
Pushing Up Daisies is the twenty-seventh book in the Agatha Raisin mystery series by M.C. Beaton. I love Agatha Raisin. What can I say. This book is a great addition to the series.
Pushing Up Daisies brings the reader back to the Cotswold...treasure of the English countryside. There are plenty of fascinating characters to keep the reader enthralled. The main story centers around unpopular Lord Bellington who is murdered. Agatha and her team sort out that mess whilst Agatha falls for unsuitable men and tries to keep Charles away from any women but her.
Agatha Raisin novels are always a pure delight. Agatha is the aunt or the friend you wish you had in your life. I enjoy being lost Agatha's world.
Highly recommend this entire series. Pushing Up Daisies is another winner.
Arizona sheriff Joanna Brady returns in this outstanding new mystery set in the beautiful desert country of the Southwest.
a baby on the way, her mother and stepfather recently slain, a
re-election campaign looming, and a daughter heading off for college,
Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady has her hands full when a puzzling
new case hits her department, demanding every resource she has at her
Two women have fallen to their deaths from a small
nearby peak, referred to by Bisbee locals as Geronimo. What’s the
connection between these two women? Is this a case of murder/suicide or
is it a double homicide? And if someone else is responsible, is it
possible that the perpetrator may, even now, be on the hunt for another
About the Author
Judith Ann Jance is the
top 10 New York Times bestselling author of the Joanna Brady series;
the J. P. Beaumont series; three interrelated thrillers featuring the
Walker family; and Edge of Evil, the first in a series featuring Ali
Reynolds. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance
lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.
Downfall is the seventeenth Joanna Brady mystery novel by J.A. Jance. I have been enjoying this series for years. Downfall is a great addition to the series.
Joanna is expecting again. Her son Dennis is growing fast and her daughter is off to university. Her mother and step-father's memorial service is pending. And if Joanna did not have enough stress to deal with, two women's bodies are found after they had plunged from local mountain peak, Geronimo. Did they fall or were they pushed? Did they know one another?
One of the local women, a schoolteacher, seems to have been leading a double life. Could one of the school boys she preyed upon be the killer? Joanna is determined to find the answer and the answer is close to home.
Good story. I like the continuity of the Brady family world. Fans of this series will be delighted with the latest in the series, Downfall.
Chase Ford was the first
of four generations of Ford men to leave Comanche County, Colorado. For
Chase, leaving saved the best and hid the worst. But now, he has come
home. His friends are right there waiting for him. And so are his
Then the murder of a boy, a high school basketball star
just like Chase, rocks the small town. And when another death is
discovered— one that also shares unsettling connections to him—attention
turns towards Chase, causing him to wonder just what he came home to.
A suspenseful, dramatic crime novel, Kevin Wolf's The Homeplace captures the stark beauty of life on the plains of Colorado.
"The Homeplace is one of those rare books that transcends
genre and challenges our sensibilities with its no-holds-barred
treatment of whatever's left of small town Americana. Culled from the
rarefied air of James Lee Burke, Greg Iles and John Hart, Kevin Wolf has
fashioned a painstakingly perfect tale of murder, angst, and the
enduring power of the human spirit. If the late, great Pat Conroy had
ever decided to write a mystery, this would be it. An instant classic
that is not to be missed." ―Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of the Caitlin Strong series
has been said that story-telling has only two plots: Somebody takes a
trip. Or a stranger comes to town. In Kevin Wolf’s terrific debut
mystery The Homeplace, the author weaves the two plot strands
into one seamless story that grabs readers on the first page and carries
them right through to its memorable conclusion. Wolf writes smoothly
and clearly and stays out of the way, letting his characters carry the
story. The author’s knowledge of small-town law enforcement, Colorado,
and outdoor fieldcraft shines. I expect and hope to see more from Mr.
Wolf and these characters in the seasons ahead.” ―Joseph Heywood, author
of the Woods Cop mysteries
“The Homeplace kept me reading
well beyond my bedtime. Kevin Wolf has a natural ability at pacing, and
he tells a story that moves along without a single wasted moment,
weaving people you come to care about, and their personal stories, in a
seamless narrative that builds tension chapter by chapter.” ―Robert
Bausch, author of Far as the Eye Can See
“Kevin Wolf’s debut novel, The Homeplace,
succeeds in every way. He has crafted a gripping, fast-paced narrative
with beautifully-drawn characters in an authentic and interesting
small-town Colorado setting. Not only is the mystery compelling, but so
are the characters. Even if there were no murders to solve, you would
still want to spend time with these fascinating people whose lives echo
the sparse and gorgeous landscape they inhabit and whose pasts refuse to
leave them to their futures.” ―Christine Carbo, author of The Wild Inside
"Kevin Wolf’s debut novel is a stunner, beautifully realized in language as pure and constant as the Colorado prairie winds. The Homeplace
is populated with small town characters that have the ring of truth as
they struggle with their intertwining histories and the restless hopes
and dreams that lead them to violence and redemption. This is a mystery
with great heart and a tender yet tough appreciation for the simple
passions that both divide and unite us. Mr. Wolf is a first-rate
storyteller." ―James Anderson, author of The Never-Open Desert Diner
“In The Homeplace,
Kevin Wolf creates a compelling cross between a modern-day Western and a
murder mystery with a story that centers around Chase Ford, the damaged
hero who returns to his home town to find it turned upside down by
three murders. The Homeplace is not only a terrific mystery but
also a wonderfully evocative examination of the difficulties of going
home and the baggage that awaits us there.” ―Allen Eskens, author of The Life We Bury
humdinger of a first novel that brings together several gripping
storylines, an appealingly flawed hero, and an intimate sense of life in
small-town America." ―Kirkus Reviews
brilliant well-placed descriptions of small town moodiness, politics,
and gossip, Kevin Wolf has written a solid mystery which is abundant
with unexpected twists in all the right places. The emotional intensity
of the plot contrasts nicely with the sullen beauty of the open
prairie." ―Colorado Book Review
"Wolf manages to mix a trip down memory lane with a lovely, old-fashioned whodunit." ―Booklist
to Hillerman’s, the prose here is clear-eyed and non-flashy. The
characters are vivid. And the mystery is a grabber, with an everyman
undertow." ―The New York Journal of Books
"Winner of the
2015 Tony Hillerman Prize, this cross between a Western and a murder
mystery will please Craig Johnson and C.J. Box aficionados." ―Library Journal
About the Author
Kevin Wolf is a member
of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Crested Butte Writers. The
great-grandson of Colorado homesteaders, he enjoys fly fishing, old
Winchesters and 1950s Western movies. He lives in Littleton, Colorado,
with his wife and two beagles.
The Homeplace is the first novel by new author Kevin Wolf. I knew that I wanted to read this book as soon as I knew that The Homeplace was the 2015 winner of the Tony Hillerman Prize. Every other novel that has won the Hillerman prize has been a winner and The Homeplace is no exception.
I loved The Homeplace. I felt the author Wolf really captured the essence of the Eastern Colorado countryside. I felt like I was there...immersed in the community. The characters were all fascinating and well written. I enjoyed learning more about every one of them. The murder mystery aspect of The Homeplace was well plotted and easily grabbed my attention.
I had a hard time putting down The Homeplace. I was entranced by the story and the characters. Damaged hometown hero Chase Ford is home to chase down some ghosts. As he reconnects with the people of his childhood, bodies sort showing up. All the murders seem to be connected but who could be the murderer? It is quite the ride to find out.
I highly recommend The Homeplace. The ending was extremely satisfying. I am looking forward to Kevin Wolf's next book.
A new series from the author of the Tourist Trap Mysteries!
English professor Cat Latimer is back in Colorado, hosting writers’
retreats in the big blue Victorian she’s inherited, much to her
surprise, from none other than her carousing ex-husband! Now it’s an
authors’ getaway—but Cat won’t let anyone get away with murder… The
bed-and-breakfast is open for business, and bestselling author Tom Cook
is among its first guests. Cat doesn’t know why he came all the way from
New York, but she’s glad to have him among the quirkier—and far less
Cat’s high school sweetheart Seth, who’s fixing
up the weathered home, brings on mixed emotions for Cat…some of them a
little overpowering. But it’s her uncle, the local police chief, whom
she’ll call for help when there’s a surprise ending for Tom Cook in his
cozy guest room. Will a killer have the last word on the new life Cat
has barely begun?
About the Author
Lynn Cahoon is the
author of the NYT and USA Today bestselling Tourist Trap cozy mystery
series. Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series won the Reader's Crown
for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She's also the author of the soon to be
released, Cat Latimer series, with the first book, A STORY TO KILL,
releasing in mass market paperback September 2016.She lives in a small
town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur
babies. Sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com
A Story to Kill is the first book in the Cat Latimer Mystery series by author Lynn Cahoon. I have previously read Cahoon's Tourist Trap mysteries which I enjoyed very much.
Cat Latimer, a college English professor, has inherited a large home in Aspen Hills, Colorado. She has decided to turn the home into a retreat for writers. She is excited about hosting her first retreat with a mixed group of writers. One famous author has signed up for the retreat but is found dead in his room shortly after the retreat begins.
Cat is determined to discover who has murdered famous author, Tom Cook. Author Lynn Cahoon is terrific at creating a family of interesting supporting characters around her main character. Cat has her best friend Shauna working for her to run the retreats including handling the cooking. Cat's uncle is the sheriff of Aspen Hills. And old boyfriend Seth is the local hunky handyman who is helping restore Cat's house and hoping to become her new boyfriend.
There are plenty of twists and turns in A Story to Kill to keep the reader enthralled. I am looking forward to more books in The Cat Latimer Mystery series.