Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reveiw: Desert Cut by Betty Webb

  • Paperback: 277 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590585836
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590585832

Book Description

While scouting locations for a film documentary on the Arizona's Apache Wars, private investigator Lena Jones and Oscar-winning director Warren Quinn, discover the mutilated body of a young girl. The gruesome manner of the child's death evokes memories of Lena's own rough childhood. Clashing with the local law, Lena's investigation uncovers a small town with a big secret. Los Perdidos is not the Eden it first appears. Founded by the descendants of pioneers who fought Geronimo, the townspeople have now armed themselves against the hordes of illegal immigrants streaming across the Arizona/Mexico border. A significant population of documented foreign-born residents also lives and works in Los Perdedos at a modern plant. Lena senses a sinister force at work in the town--but where? Then two more girls disappear from Los Perdidos, and as the death toll mounts, Lena is tempted to implement some frontier justice of her own. When she finally unmasks the killer, she discovers a chain of horrific crimes responsible for subjugating millions of girls and women around the globe. In Desert Cut, the still vivid memory of Geronimo's war mixes with the modern immigration war, the hard life on the Arizona/Mexico border contrasts with Hollywood's slick production meetings, and the cruelty of an ancient practice is tempered by a growing underground railroad fighting to save its young victims.

My Review

Another thought provoking mystery from Betty Webb.  Webb is an excellent writer.  I have a hard time putting down her novels. But the fact that she mixes in such thought provoking current issues with her mysteries makes her a unique and amazing writer.

Lena Jones, a former Scottsdale, Arizona policewoman now a Private Investigator is a fascinating character herself.  Flashbacks to the mysteries of her childhood populate Webb's books. That Jones has endured a horrific childhood allows her to be appropriately sympathetic to the young victims she encounters.  While I don't want to give away what Jones discovers in Los Perdidos, I want you to know that this book will haunt you.  Next up:  Desert Lost.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review: Desert Wives (A Lena Jones Mystery #2) by Betty Webb

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; 2 edition (December 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590586875
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590586877

Polygamy can be murder!

That's what private detective Lena Jones learns when she helps thirteen year old Rebecca escape from Purity, a polygamy compound hidden in a desolate area near straddling Utah/Arizona border.

When Rebecca's mother is arrested for the murder of Prophet Solomon Royal, Rebecca's intended husband, Lena enters Purity masquerading as a polygamist wife to uncover the real murderer. In doing so, Lena finds out more than she bargained for--the shocking secret the cult's Circle of Elders will kill to keep.

During her investigations, Lena also discovers more about her own past. At the age of four she was found lying unconscious by the side of an Arizona highway, a bullet robbing her of her memories. Raised in a series of foster homes, Lena does not remember her real name nor the names of her parents. She thinks she has put the past behind her, but the sins of Purity's polygamous mothers and fathers force her to reexamine the few memories she has of her own mother--the woman who shot her...

About the Author


Before writing mysteries full time, Betty Webb worked as a journalist, interviewing everyone from U.S. presidents and Nobel Prize winners, to the homeless and polygamy runaways. Most of her books are based on the stories she covered as a reporter. Today she's a volunteer at the Phoenix Zoo, and is also a member of the National Federation of Press Women, Mystery Writers of America, the Society of Southwestern Authors, and Women Writing the West.

My Review

Just before Christmas Poisoned Pen Press listed ten of their mysteries for 99 cents (ebook editions).  I bought them all.  Desert Wives was one of them.  I am so thrilled to discover this series by Betty Webb. 

Desert Wives is a wonderful expose of life in a polygamist sect. Since this book was written in 2002, polygamist sects have often been in the headlines.  Even here in British Columbia we have a polygamist sect in Bountiful which is allied with the Arizona/Utah polygamists.  They are often in the news as well.  It amazes me that women would live under such conditions thus this book was really fascinating for me.

A great mystery story with wonderful,believable characters filling out this book. I liked this book so much that I've already bought two more Lena Jones mysteries by Betty Webb for my Kindle.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Review: Death of a Kingfisher by M.C. Beaton

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (February 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446547360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446547369

Book Description 

Hamish Macbeth February 22, 2012
When Scotland is hit by the recession, Police Constable Hamish Macbeth notices that the Highland people are forced to come up with inventive ways to lure tourists to their sleepy towns. The quaint village of Braikie doesn't have much to offer, other than a place of rare beauty called Buchan's Wood, which was bequeathed to the town. The savvy local tourist director renames the woods "The Fairy Glen," and has brochures printed with a beautiful photograph of a kingfisher rising from a pond on the cover.

It isn't long before coach tours begin to arrive. But just as the town's luck starts to turn, a kingfisher is found hanging from a branch in the woods with a noose around its neck. As a wave of vandalism threatens to ruin Braikie forever, the town turns to Hamish Macbeth. And when violence strikes again,the lawman's investigation quickly turns from animal cruelty to murder.

About The Author

 M.C. BEATON has won international acclaim for her bestselling Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin mysteries. She is also the author of over 100 romance titles and a series of romantic suspense, The Edwardian Mystery Series. M. C. Beaton lives in a Cotswold cottage with her husband.

Marion is active on Facebook using her most popular pen name, M.C. Beaton. You can find complete book lists, information on events, and sign up for news updates at her website,

My Review

I love M.C. Beaton.  Although the Agatha Raisin series is my favorite, I also enjoy the Hamish MacBeth series.  Death of a Kingfisher is the latest entry in the Hamish MacBeth series.  Poor Hamish, he continues to be unlucky in love but is great at solving mysteries!

Another great cozy read from M.C. Beaton!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Review: Getting Lucky by D.C.Brod

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tyrus Books (December 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440531951
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440531958
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches

Book Description


December 18, 2011
When a young reporter is killed in a hit and run accident, freelance writer Robyn Guthrie agrees to finish one of the stories the reporter had been writing for the local newspaper. But nothing is as simple as it seems when she finds out about shady land deals, an old high school nemesis, and Robyn's aging mother.
My Review
Getting Lucky is the sequel to Getting Sassy.  I have not read Getting Sassy and you do not have to read it to enjoy Getting Lucky.  There is plenty of action in this novel centered on a freelance writer,Robyn Guthrie, who is trying to solve a colleague's death.  The plot centers around a "green" housing development.  

Robyn is a realistic main character.  She is in her forties whose main challenge is life is her aging mother who is living in an assisted living facility. She is facing a future without her beau as she has decided it is too late to contemplate having children. 

There are lots of interesting characters and plenty of action. I'm looking forward to reading more Robyn Guthrie adventures.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Review: Rain Falls Like Mercy by Jack Todd

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416598510
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416598510

 Book Description

November 8, 2011
Set against the sweeping backdrop of World War II, Rain Falls Like Mercy is a gripping depiction of a family and a country touched by the grand violence of war, the senseless violence of crime, and the intimate violence of the heart.
  IN THE TRADITION OF TRUE CRIME narratives such as In Cold Blood, acclaimed author Jack Todd’s new novel grips the reader from the first page; and as it spans continents and generations of one family, its taut and shocking undercurrent of violence builds to a stunning crescendo. Todd’s first novel, Sun Going Down, which introduced the Paint family, won praise from reviewers and major authors such as Michael Korda and Michael Blake. His second novel, Come Again No More, recounted the Paints’ saga of triumph and tragedy through the Great Depression, inspiring the Ottawa Citizen to label Todd “a first-rate novelist with a tender heart.”

Rain Falls Like Mercy opens with the murder investigation of a young girl in Wyoming in mid- 1941. Tom Call, the young sheriff running the investigation, falls in love with Juanita, the wife of Eli Paint, whose son Leo and grandson Bobby Watson are on duty with the U.S. Navy. Almost overnight, the case is derailed by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, disrupting the lives of all involved. Bobby mans an antiaircraft gun during the attack. Tom joins the U.S. Air Force and is deployed to England to fly bombers, still trying to pursue his murder investigation. His suspicion falls on Pardo Bury, the psychotic son of a wealthy rancher in Wyoming.
As Pardo and Tom make their ways to their inevitable and shattering confrontation, Rain Falls Like Mercy displays Todd’s uncanny ability to zero in on his characters’ emotional lives while simultaneously painting a sweeping picture of the historical events that shape their destinies.

Rain Falls Like Mercy opens with the murder investigation of a young girl in Wyoming in mid- 1941. Tom Call, the young sheriff running the investigation, falls in love with Juanita, the wife of Eli Paint, whose son Leo and grandson Bobby Watson are on duty with the U.S. Navy. Almost overnight, the case is derailed by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, disrupting the lives of all involved. Bobby mans an antiaircraft gun during the attack. Tom joins the U.S. Air Force and is deployed to England to fly bombers, still trying to pursue his murder investigation. His suspicion falls on Pardo Bury, the psychotic son of a wealthy rancher in Wyoming.

As Pardo and Tom make their ways to their inevitable and shattering confrontation, Rain Falls Like Mercy displays Todd’s uncanny ability to zero in on his characters’ emotional lives while simultaneously painting a sweeping picture of the historical events that shape their destinies.

About the Author


Jack Todd is the author of the novels Sun Going Down and Come Again No More and the memoir Desertion, which won the Quebec Writer’s Federation First Book Prize and the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction. Visit his website at

My Review

I wish that I had read Sun Going Down and Come Again No More because Jack Todd is an amazing writer.  You do not need to have read his first two novels to be able to enjoy Rain Falls Like Mercy.  What an amazing title and what an incredible read.

Rain Falls Like Mercy is partly a history novel as it is set during World War II.  It is also a story of love and a murder investigation as well.  Jack Todd's writing style makes Wyoming come alive for the reader.  The story can be violent at times so be warned. 

I do recommend this great book.  Jack Todd brings the West as well as World War II to life. 

Review: Love, Honour and OBrien by Jennifer Rowe

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590585437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590585436

 Book Description

January 3, 2012

She stared into the speckled mirror, wondering how she had come to this. How could she, Holly Love, apple of her parents' eye, competent manipulator of invoices in Gorgon Office Supplies, have ended up alone and starving in a dead man's flat?

How indeed? Most reluctant heroines would throw in the towel at this point. But Holly Love is made of sterner stuff. She's sworn to track down the cheating swine who ripped her life apart, and make him pay. But as she tries to keep her head in the face of a bizarre mystery, a gloomy old house, a hearse-driving Elvis impersonator and a gang of vengeful thugs - not to mention a garrulous and possibly possessed parrot - Holly is forced to come to terms with a great truth. However bad things seem, they can always get worse.

About the Author


Jennifer Rowe is a devotee of the murder mystery genre; she enjoys reading these 'extended brainteasers' as much as writing them. A multi-award winning writer, Jennifer is the author of the Verity Birdwood and Tessa Vance mysteries, and creator of the television series Murder Call. Now she brings us the adventures of a new and reluctant/accidental P.I., Holly Love

My Review

I really enjoyed this quirky Australian set mystery novel about accidental private investigator Holly Love. The story starts off with Holly preparing for her wedding day to a man she only known a short period of time.  She has foolishly put all of her saving into a joint account with can start to see the writing on the wall here!  But the story takes some interesting twists and turns as Holly inadvertently takes over the dead O'Brien's detective agency.

This book is full of fascinating and interesting characters.  I loved that it was set in the Blue Mountains in Australia.  And I loved the fast moving plot.

I highly recommend this mystery novel from Poisoned Pen Press and I'm looking forward to more Holly Love adventures.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: The Summer Garden by Sherryl Woods

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Mira (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778313093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778313090

Book Description

Chesapeake Shores January 31, 2012
Falling for “Maddening Moira” O’Malley was the unexpected highlight of Luke O’Brien’s Dublin holiday. So when she pays a surprise visit to Chesapeake Shores, Luke is thrilled…at first. A fling with this wild Irish rose is one thing, but forever? Maybe someday, but not when he’s totally focused on establishing a business that will prove his mettle to his overachieving family. Given Luke’s reaction, Moira has some soul - searching of her own to do. Scarred by her father’s abandonment, she wonders if Luke, with his playboy past, is truly the family man she longs for. Adding to her dilemma, she’s offered an amazing chance at a dream career of her own. Deep down, though, Moira knows home is the real prize, and that love can be every bit as enchanted as a summer garden.

About the Author


With her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. She's also especially partial to small towns, wherever they may be. A member of Novelists Inc., Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America, Sherryl divides her time between her childhood summer home overlooking the Potomac River in Colonial Beach, Virginia, and her oceanfront home, with its lighthouse view, in Key Biscayne, Florida. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

My Review

I have been following Sherryl Woods Chesapeake Shores series so I couldn't wait any longer to read this latest addition.  Luke O'Brien met Moira O'Malley while the family was in Dublin for Christmas.  Moira tags along with her grandfather when he comes to visit Nell O'Brien in America.  Luke is in the midst of setting up his new business,an Irish pub.  Although Moira could be the one Luke keeps letting her know that his new business is his number one priority.  Will she wait for him?

This book continues the love story of Nell and Moira's grandfather.  Predictable story but great writing from Sherryl Woods makes this entire series worth reading.

Hightly recommend if you enjoy a good love story.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: Zero Day by David Baldacci

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446573019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446573016

Book Description


October 31, 2011
From David Baldacci-the modern master of the thriller and #1 worldwide bestselling novelist-comes a new hero: a lone Army Special Agent taking on the toughest crimes facing the nation.

And Zero Day is where it all begins....

John Puller is a combat veteran and the best military investigator in the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigative Division. His father was an Army fighting legend, and his brother is serving a life sentence for treason in a federal military prison. Puller has an indomitable spirit and an unstoppable drive to find the truth.

Now, Puller is called out on a case in a remote, rural area in West Virginia coal country far from any military outpost. Someone has stumbled onto a brutal crime scene, a family slaughtered. The local homicide detective, a headstrong woman with personal demons of her own, joins forces with Puller in the investigation. As Puller digs through deception after deception, he realizes that absolutely nothing he's seen in this small town, and no one in it, are what they seem. Facing a potential conspiracy that reaches far beyond the hills of West Virginia, he is one man on the hunt for justice against an overwhelming force.

David Baldacci is one of the world's favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 110 million copies in print. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at and his foundation at, and to look into its program to spread books across America at


David Baldacci was born in Virginia, in 1960, where he currently resides. He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University and a law degree from the University of Virginia. Mr. Baldacci practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C., as both a trial and corporate attorney.
David Baldacci has published seventeen novels: Absolute Power, Total Control, The Winner, The Simple Truth, Saving Faith, Wish You Well, Last Man Standing, The Christmas Train, Split Second, Hour Game, The Camel Club, The Collectors, Simple Genius, Stone Cold, and The Whole Truth; and in his young adult series, Freddy and the French Fries: Fries Alive! and Freddy and the French Fries: The Adventures of Silas Finklebean. He has also published a novella for the Dutch entitled Office Hours, written for Holland's Year 2000 "Month of the Thriller." Baldacci authored a short story, "The Mighty Johns," as part of a mystery anthology published in 2002.

My Review

This is the first book by David Baldacci that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The John Puller of Zero Day has been compared to Lee Child's Jack Reacher whom I adore.  I do see the similarities but as far as I'm concerned you can never have too much Jack Reacher!

Good story, lots of action, lots of twists and turns.  Great read that I highly recommend.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review: V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: A Marian Wood Book/Putnam (November 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399157867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399157868

Book Description


Kinsey Millhone Mystery November 14, 2011
A spiderweb of dangerous relationships lies at the heart of V is for Vengeance, Sue Grafton's daring new Kinsey Millhone novel. 

A woman with a murky past who kills herself-or was it murder? A spoiled kid awash in gambling debt who thinks he can beat the system. A lovely woman whose life is about to splinter into a thousand fragments. A professional shoplifting ring working for the Mob, racking up millions from stolen goods. A wandering husband, rich and ruthless. A dirty cop so entrenched on the force he is immune to exposure. A sinister gangster, conscienceless and brutal. A lonely widower mourning the death of his lover, desperate for answers, which may be worse than the pain of his loss. A private detective, Kinsey Millhone, whose thirty-eighth-birthday gift is a punch in the face that leaves her with two black eyes and a busted nose.

And an elegant and powerful businessman whose dealings are definitely outside the law: the magus at the center of the web.

V: Victim. Violence. Vengeance.

About The Author

New York Times-bestselling author Sue Grafton is published in twenty-eight countries and twenty-six languages--including Estonian, Bulgarian, and Indonesian. Books in her alphabet series, begun in 1982, are international bestsellers with readership in the millions. And like Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald, Grafton has earned new respect for the mystery form. Readers appreciate her buoyant style, her eye for detail, her deft hand with character, her acute social observances, and her abundant storytelling prowess. She has been named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America (2009) and is a recipient of the Ross Macdonald Literary Award (2004).

Sue Grafton has been married to Steve Humphrey for more than thirty years, and they divide their time between Montecito, California, and Louisville, Kentucky, where she was born and raised. Grafton, who has three children and four grandchildren, loves cats, gardens, and good cuisine.

My Review

This series by Sue Grafton is one of the best out there.  Kinsey Millhone is a heroine we can all relate to.  I have read this entire series from beginning to end twice and I never tire of these adventures.  It has been a long two year wait but V is for Vengeance is a wonderful addition to the series.

This is a straight up mystery thriller that kept me turning the pages quickly.  Kinsey is hired by a man searching for the reasons that his fiance has died.  As Kinsey begins her investigation she discovers there is much more to the man's fiance than he ever dreamed.  There are also several substories going on that all come together in the end.  My favorite part involved disappearing designer dresses.  Lots of action and a great story!

Highly recommend this fabulous mystery by Sue Grafton.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review: The Measby Murder Enquiry (Ivy Beasley Mystery #2) by Ann Purser

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425241564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425241561

Book Description

Ivy Beasley May 3, 2011
Cantankerous spinster Ivy Beasley has quickly learned that spending her golden years in the quaint village of Barrington won't be as quiet as she thought. Ivy hasn't been in assisted living at Springfields for long, but she's already found new friends, formed a detective agency, and solved a murder. And as autumn falls, Ivy and her team are asked to investigate a mysterious death in the village of Measby-in between card games, of course.

Ann Purser's Web Site

My Review

Ivy Beasley is a clever elderly woman who is living in a retirement home in England.  In this second book in the series, Ivy is involved in a detective agency with fellow "inmate" Roy, cousin Deirdre, and possible former spy Gus.  A new resident at the Springfields assisted living facility, Mrs. Alwen Wilson Jones seems to have a mysterious past...a connection to Jones Brewing Company...and a murder in nearby Measby.

As readers of Ann Purser's other series starring Lois Meade know, Ann is an amazing story teller.  She brings the English countryside to life.  And I love that our heroine is elderly.  And that our elderly heroine has found love!

Great English cozy mystery.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Review: Skeleton Letters (A Scrapbooking Mystery) by Laura Childs

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425243893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425243893

Book Description


A Scrapbooking Mystery October 4, 2011
New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs sends her scrappy sleuths into New Orleans' French Quarter. 

Is nothing sacred? The last thing Carmela Bertrand and her friend Ava expected to bear witness to in St. Tristan's Church was a crime. But now a beloved member of their scrapbooking circle lies lifeless next to a smashed statue of St. Sebastien-and a mysterious hooded figure has absconded with an antique crucifix.

As Carmela and Ava are drawn deeper into New Orleans' French Quarter in search of the missing crucifix, they may need the help of more than a few patron saints. Because this is one killer they don't want to cross...

About the Author


Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cackleberry Club, Tea Shop, and Scrapbooking mysteries. In her past life she was a Clio Award-winning advertising writer and CEO of her own marketing firm. She lives in Minnesota.

My Review

I am a big fan of the cozy mystery series by Laura Childs:  The Tea Shoppe Mysteries, the Scrapbooking Mysteries and the Cackleberry Club Mysteries.  The Skeleton Letters is the latest in the Scrapbooking series which are set in the delightful city of New Orleans.

Both Carmela and Ava are featured prominently in this outing.  A friend of theirs is murdered in Vieux Carre church just when they happen to be there.  Although Carmela's beau, Detective Babcock warns her off the case, Carmela has to dig into things for herself.  Lots of red herrings are dropped and I was surprised to find out who the murderer was in the end. 

Probably not my favorite of the Scrapbooking series but a good read for a rainy afternoon.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review: The Litigators by John Grisham


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 602 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1444729705
  • Publisher: Doubleday (October 25, 2011)


Product Description


The partners at Finley & Figg—all two of them—often refer to themselves as “a boutique law firm.” Boutique, as in chic, selective, and prosperous. They are, of course, none of these things. What they are is a two-bit operation always in search of their big break, ambulance chasers who’ve been in the trenches much too long making way too little. Their specialties, so to speak, are quickie divorces and DUIs, with the occasional jackpot of an actual car wreck thrown in. After twenty plus years together, Oscar Finley and Wally Figg bicker like an old married couple but somehow continue to scratch out a half-decent living from their seedy bungalow offices in southwest Chicago.

And then change comes their way. More accurately, it stumbles in. David Zinc, a young but already burned-out attorney, walks away from his fast-track career at a fancy downtown firm, goes on a serious bender, and finds himself literally at the doorstep of our boutique firm. Once David sobers up and comes to grips with the fact that he’s suddenly unemployed, any job—even one with Finley & Figg—looks okay to him.

With their new associate on board, F&F is ready to tackle a really big case, a case that could make the partners rich without requiring them to actually practice much law. An extremely popular drug, Krayoxx, the number one cholesterol reducer for the dangerously overweight, produced by Varrick Labs, a giant pharmaceutical company with annual sales of $25 billion, has recently come under fire after several patients taking it have suffered heart attacks. Wally smells money.

A little online research confirms Wally’s suspicions—a huge plaintiffs’ firm in Florida is putting together a class action suit against Varrick. All Finley & Figg has to do is find a handful of people who have had heart attacks while taking Krayoxx, convince them to become clients, join the class action, and ride along to fame and fortune. With any luck, they won’t even have to enter a courtroom!

It almost seems too good to be true.

And it is.

The Litigators
is a tremendously entertaining romp, filled with the kind of courtroom strategies, theatrics, and suspense that have made John Grisham America’s favorite storyteller.

My Review

The Litigators by John Grisham is a decent read but it is not one of his best books.  The beginning was promising, the middle dragged and the ending was very satisfying.  I found the book to be somewhat predictable and I found myself annoyed with the endless Krayoxx litigation strategies.  Grisham did touch on one subject that is very relevant today and that is why did so many people require a cholesterol reducing drug...because there are so many overweight people today.  Definitely something to think about there.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307886263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307886262

 Comedy's fastest-rising star takes to the page in a book of essays, personal anecdotes, and impassioned pleas.

Multi-hyphenate Mindy Kaling is an Emmy-nominated writer, the actress famous for playing the beloved Kelly Kapoor on The Office, and the author of one of Twitter's most popular and quoted feeds.  She is a keen and witty observer of life, romance, and pop culture, whom the New York Times recently called "an entirely original and of-the-moment" performer and Entertainment Weekly deemed “one of the ten funniest actresses in Hollywood.”

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy shares her observations, fears, and opinions about a wide-ranging list of the topics she thinks about the most: from her favorite types of guys (including Sherlock Holmes, NBA players, Aaron Sorkin characters, and 19th-century fictional hunks) to life in the Office writers' room to her leisure pursuit of dieting (“I don’t travel, speak other languages, do crafts, or enjoy sports, but I love reading about new diets”) and how much she loves romantic comedies.  Loaded with personal stories and laugh-out-loud philosophies, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is a must-read by one of the most original comedic voices working today.

About the Author


MINDY KALING is an Emmy-nominated writer and actress on NBC’s The Office. You can find her on Twitter (@mindykaling), or at her desk pretending to be writing a screenplay but actually online shopping with a memorized credit card number. She resides in Los Angeles. Her billing zip code is 90067.

My Review

I am a huge fan of The Office and of Mindy Kaling's who is an actress, writer, director and producer on the show.   Mindy's book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?  was released last week.  It is a book of essays on her life so far.  If you can get past the occasional spicy language it is a great book for teenage girls to read.

Mindy was raised by immigrant professional parents who placed a huge emphasis on educational pursuits.  They were wonderful role models who raised a very intelligent daughter.  She discusses the pitfalls and pressures of growing up.  And she shows and proves what hard work and dedication to a dream can do for young people.

And the best part is, it is funny!  Just as I look forward to the craziness of The Office each week, I am looking forward to more from Mindy Kaling.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One Year Blog Anniversary

This is the one year anniversary of my book review blog and I wanted to thank you for following me.  I love reading and this is the perfect outlet to share that love and to work on my writing skills.  I appreciate every author that has personally sent me their book to read, either a physical copy or ebook and I am thrilled that Net Galley publishers also allow me to review their books.

When I began writing this blog I was not working and was trying to decide what to do career wise.  Two months ago a position came up that was so close to home that it would have been criminal to turn it down. I haven't been able to read and review quite as many books as I would like but I do savour every book that I have time read.

Once again, thank you very much for following MysteriesEtc!!!

Review: I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce #4) by Alan Bradley

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385344015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385344012

It’s Christmastime, and the precocious Flavia de Luce—an eleven-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry and a penchant for crime-solving—is tucked away in her laboratory, whipping up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ decaying English estate, to shoot a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern. Amid a raging blizzard, the entire village of Bishop’s Lacey gathers at Buckshaw to watch Wyvern perform, yet nobody is prepared for the evening’s shocking conclusion: a body found, past midnight, strangled to death with a length of film. But who among the assembled guests would stage such a chilling scene? As the storm worsens and the list of suspects grows, Flavia must use every ounce of sly wit at her disposal to ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight.


About the Author


Alan Bradley is the internationally bestselling author of many short stories, children’s stories, newspaper columns, and the memoir The Shoebox Bible. His first Flavia de Luce novel, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, received the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award, the Dilys Winn Award, the Arthur Ellis Award, the Agatha Award, the Macavity Award, and the Barry Award, and was nominated for the Anthony Award. His second and third Flavia de Luce novels are The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag and the New York Times bestselling A Red Herring Without Mustard. Bradley lives in Malta with his wife and two calculating cats.

My Review

Without a doubt, this is one of the best mystery series out there.  I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be able to read another adventure of Flavia de Luce.  It was wonderful to be back at Buckshaw with all of the de Luce's and Dogger.

We are given a few more clues to Dogger's past.  And I cannot help thinking that everything is leading up to Harriet returning at some point....wishful thinking maybe...Flavia desperately needs a mother and to be loved.  In the meantime, our favorite budding chemist is plotting up a storm in order to try to capture Father Christmas on Christmas Eve.  Throw in a film crew and an aging movie star and the fun begins.

Of course there is a murder and we know who will solve it!  But that is just a bit of the fun.  The best part is just being at Buckshaw in England in the 1950s.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Review: Three-Day Town by Margaret Maron

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (November 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446555789
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446555784

Judge Deborah Knott and Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant are on a train to New York, finally on a honeymoon after a year of marriage. January in New York might not be the perfect time to visit, but they'll take it. The trip is a Christmas present from Dwight's sister-in-law, who arranged for them to stay in an Upper West Side apartment for one week. While in New York, Deborah has been asked to deliver a package to Lt. Sigrid Harald of the NYPD. Sigrid offers to swing by the apartment to pick up the box, but when they reach the apartment, they discover that it is missing and the doorman has been murdered. Despite their best efforts to enjoy a blissful getaway, Deborah and Dwight soon find that they've teamed up with Sigrid and her team to catch the killer before he strikes again.

About the Author


Margaret Maron grew up on a farm near Raleigh and lived in Brooklyn for many years. Returning to her North Carolina roots prompted Marcia to write a series based on her own background, the first of which, Bootlegger's Daughter, was a Washington Post bestseller and swept the major mystery awards for 1993. THREE-DAY TOWN is the seventeenth book in the acclaimed Deborah Knott series. Visit her website at

My Review

I love this series by Margaret Maron so I was absolutely thrilled that it was offered on Net Galley and even more thrilled that I was accepted to review it.

Judge Deborah Knott and Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant are finally able to take their long awaited honeymoon.  They head to New York City and the apartment of Dwight's sister-in-law.  Deborah has a package to deliver in NYC that will lead them into a great adventure.  The daughter of the recipient of the package is New York PD Lieutenant Sigrid Harald who is also along for the ride.

There are plenty of twists and turns in this wonderful mystery set far from Deborah's usual North Carolina haunts.  Great story and I always love reading stories set in New York.  Even though Deborah and Dwight were away from home they never were very far as both the mystery they were involved in as well as close family ties kept the home fires burning.   

A wonderful addition to the Deborah Knott mystery series by Margaret Maron.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review: A Deadly Little List by Kay Stewart and Chris Bullock

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: NeWest Press (February 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1896300952
  • ISBN-13: 978-1896300955

Book Description

A deadly scandal surrounding a controversial land development casts a shadow over the annual Salt Spring Island theatre festival. While Constable Danutia Dranchuk searches desperately for clues surrounding an alleged suicide, nosy journalist, Arthur Fairweather comes face-to-face with another mysterious death. Can they get to the bottom of all this madness before a third body is added to the list?

About the Author


Kay Stewart was born in Texas, and Chris Bullock in Cheshire, England. They met while teaching at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Well-established as writers and editors, they moved in 2000 to a rural property near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, where they spend their time writing, supporting environmental causes, and enjoying the nature around them. A Deadly Little List is their first mystery title.

My Review

Salt Spring Island is one of the Gulf Islands in British Columbia.  It is a beautiful island surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and filled with forests, farms and lakes.  Artisans thrive there.  Bed and breakfast abound.  It is a delightful setting for a mystery!

In this bucolic setting developers are waiting to seize an opportunity.  Environmentalists will do what they can to stop them.  And in the midst of this is the annual Salt Spring Island theatre festival.  There are mysterious deaths and suspects galore.  Constable Danutia Dranchuk and newspaper critic Arthur Fairweather are both suspicious and on the trail of the murderer.  Which one will solve the mystery? Or will they join forces to solve it together?  

I love reading mystery novels set in the region where I live.  Kay Stewart and Chris Bullock have done a wonderful job of bringing Salt Spring Island to life and writing a great tale!  Highly recommend this delightful mystery novel.

Review: An O'Brien Family Christmas (Chesapeake Shores) by Sherryl Woods

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; First Edition edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778312704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778312703

Dating Matthew O’Brien-a playboy and a younger man-cost Laila Riley her career and her parents’ respect. A high price, even for love-and when Laila decides it was just a fling, she breaks it off, despite Matthew’s objections.

It’s a great time to get away from it all, but Laila has reservations about joining the O’Briens for a Dublin holiday. Matthew’s bound to be there, and she’s far from immune. What if she can’t resist temptation?

Meanwhile, the O’Briens are in an uproar over matriarch Nell’s unexpected romance with an old flame. Will she follow her heart despite the risks? And will Laila discover that some risks are actually once-in-a-lifetime opportunities?

About the Author


With her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. She's also especially partial to small towns, wherever they may be. A member of Novelists Inc., Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America, Sherryl divides her time between her childhood summer home overlooking the Potomac River in Colonial Beach, Virginia, and her oceanfront home, with its lighthouse view, in Key Biscayne, Florida. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

My Review

This is the third book in the Sherryl Woods Chesapeake Shores series that I have read.  This is a great romance series.  Woods is a great writer and her stories are very addictive!  Very hard to put down!

In this volume, the entire O'Brien clan heads off the Dublin, Ireland for the Christmas holiday season.  Love is in the air for the young Matthew O'Brien and his lady of choice Laila Riley.  Laila is still concerned about their age difference but perhaps with the magic of Ireland and the Christmas season she will finally see him for the mature man he has grown into.

And love is also in the air for the matriarch of the O'Brien family, Nell.  An old flame is also widowed and still looking at her with love in his eyes in Dublin.  So you can always predict what will happen in romances but it is always a nice journey to get there.

Excellent Christmas read!

Review: As The Pig Turns: An Agatha Raisin Mystery by M.C. Beaton

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312387024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312387020

 Book Description

Winter Parva is a “picturesque” (touristy) Cotswold village with gift shops, a medieval market hall, and thatched cottages. After a disappointing Christmas season, the parish council has decided to hold a special event in January, complete with old-fashioned costumes, morris dancing, and a pig roast on the village green. 
Always one for a good roasting, Agatha Raisin organizes an outing to enjoy the merriment. The rotary spit turning over a bed of blazing charcoals is sure to please on this foggy and blistery evening. But as the fog lifts slightly, the sharp-eyed Agatha notices something peculiar about the pig: a tattoo of a heart with an arrow through it and the name Amy.

“Stop!” she screams suddenly. “Pigs don’t have tattoos.”

The “pig,” in fact, is Gary Beech, a policeman not exactly beloved by the locals, including Agatha herself. Although Agatha has every intention of leaving matters to the police, everything changes when the Gary’s ex-wife, Amy, hires Agatha’s detective agency to investigate—and another murder ensues. With that provocation, how could any sleuth as vain and competitive (and secretly insecure) as Agatha do anything other than solve the case herself?

About the Author


M.C. BEATON has been hailed as the “Queen of Crime” (The Globe and Mail). Chosen as the British guest of honor at Bouchercon 2006, she is the author of twenty-one previous Agatha Raisin novels, the Hamish Macbeth series, and an Edwardian mystery series published under the name Marion Chesney. Born in Scotland, she currently divides her time between Paris and the English Cotswolds.

My Review

I love love love the Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton.  There is no better way to while away an afternoon than with Agatha Raisin.  Agatha is a loud, brash, overwhelming but endearing middle aged British woman who happens to constantly stumble across murders and mysteries.  She lives in the quiet bucolic Cotswold area in a lovely cottage with her two pet cats...who really do love her.  She has stumbled across and solved so many mysteries that she opened up her own detective agency.

Agatha thinks she is not loved and her pursuits of love (with all types of unsuitable men of course) always bring about the funniest situations and best laughs.  Agatha has actually created a great circle of friends and people that love her in her village and in her detective agency.  An outing with some of them to Winter Parva and her discovery that the roast pig is not a pig but a dead male body sets them off on a great adventure.

This adventure of Agatha Raisin is the 22nd in the series.  I cannot recommend this entire series enough and I really really recommend that you read it from the beginning.  It is in my opinion one of the best cozy mystery series out there.  I am already looking forward to the next adventure of Agatha, Charles, Toni, and James.

Review: The Queen's Jewels by David Glenn

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Cortero Publishing (July 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935585819
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935585817

A lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth I is murdered. Later, the Queen discovers some of her jewels are missing. These are obviously two unrelated events-or are they? Sir Michael de Subermore, the Queen's sworn defender, and his ally, private investigator George Monty, are charged with solving both crimes. One by one, suspects are eliminated; and, unless another candidate is discovered, the Earl of Essex, with his increasingly naked ambition for the throne, stands alone as the guilty one. But is he? To get to the bottom of things, Sir Michael must survive a shipwreck, being chained to the oars of a galley, a very strange naval battle, and several murder attempts. But even when he solves the mystery of the jewels, there is an additional problem he must resolve-and that problem involves treason at the highest levels. England's most vigorous and colourful era is captured in this stirring tale of intrigue, treachery, and dedication to duty.
About The Author
David Glenn recently published through, two Elizabethan adventure/mystery novels.  The Queen’s Sword & The Queen’s Jewels are now available in print and electronic formats through all major booksellers worldwide.
In 1999, he won the Canadian Authors Short Story competition and since then has had various other stories and articles published.

As a professional actor/singer, David has played in most Canadian theaters, and appeared in a number of films and television productions.

My Review

I love mysteries and I love the Elizabethan period so The Queen's Jewels was already a winner in my eyes.  David Glenn's writing style is easy to read and enjoyable as well.  

One of Queen Elizabeth's ladies in waiting is murdered.  And some of her jewelry is missing.  Connected?  It's up to Sir Michael de Subermore and private investigator George Monty to solve the mystery.  There is plenty of action and lots of twists in this exciting read.

Author David Glenn brings to treachery and plotting of the Tudor period to life in this adventure mystery story that is bound to please both lovers of historical fiction and mysteries alike.

Review: The Tourist David Coles and Jack Everett

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 441 KB
  • Publisher: Acclaimed Books (August 5, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English

Product Description


Robert Cleghorn was a good soldier, so good that he was first selected to join the Special Forces and following a head injury, was recruited by the CIA. A second head injury hospitalized him and psychiatrists rebuilt his memories from what they could recover.

He escapes from the hospital where he was a virtual prisoner and goes to find the love of his life: his brother’s wife and a typically English rose. Always on a knife-edge, Robert quarrels with and kills his sibling.
Finding his brother was about to go to England, Robert assumes the other’s identity and heads for the UK. Blithely unaware that the memories of his beloved are artificial, unaware of the mayhem about to erupt and the very astute English copper soon to be seeking him and unaware, too, of the Americans dogging his footsteps, Robert soldiers on. The fun is about to start.

My Review

Wonderful thriller that features British detective Stewart White who is pursuing American Robert Cleghorn.  Robert has assumed his dead brother Alan's identity after doing away with him.  Robert sets off to Britain in pursuit of his sister-in-law, Stephanie.  Robert Cleghorn has had a past that has left him brain damaged and dangerous.  He was in the Special Forces and the CIA so he has been trained to hunt and kill.

This isn't my usual type of read...a little bit more descriptive of gore than my usual but still it all fits the story, it is not gratuitous.  Hard to put down book with the action moving a fast pace.  Good characters and a good story make The Tourist a great read!  Pick up the Kindle edition for only $2.99 on Amazon.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review: Lassiter by Paul Levine

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553806742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553806748

Product Description


Eighteen years ago, Jake Lassiter crossed paths with a teenage runaway who disappeared into South Florida’s sex trade. Now he retraces her steps and runs head-on into a conspiracy of Miami’s rich and powerful who would do anything to keep the past as dark as night and silent as the grave. In this tale of redemption and revenge, Edgar-nominated author Paul Levine delivers his most powerful thriller yet.

Jake Lassiter, second-string linebacker turned low-rent lawyer, is cynical about the law, but if you hire him, he’ll take a punch for you . . . and maybe a swing at the prosecutor, too.

Amy Larkin—beautiful, angry, and mysterious—accuses Lassiter of involvement in the disappearance of her sister eighteen years earlier. What does Lassiter know about Krista Larkin, the runaway teen turned porn actress? More than he’s saying.

Seeking to atone for his own past, Lassiter follows the cold trail of the missing Krista and butts head with the powerful men who also knew her: a former porn king turned philanthropist, a slick Cuban-born prosecutor who’d love to be governor, and an aging mobster who once worked for the infamous Meyer Lansky. 

The evidence leads to a long-ago night of kinky sex, designer drugs—and possible murder. But before Lassiter can nail the truth, a gun goes off, a suspect falls dead, and Amy is charged with murder.

The state has an eyewitness and a slam-dunk case. Lassiter has a client he doesn’t trust and a case he can’t win. Did Amy shoot the man who killed her sister? Or the wrong man? And what really happened to Krista? The answers, buried under years of deceit and corruption, are revealed in an explosive courtroom finale proving that rough justice is better than no justice at all.

About the Author


Paul Levine is a former trial lawyer and the award-winning author of legal thrillers including Illegal, Solomon vs. Lord (nominated for the Macavity Award and the James Thurber Prize), The Deep Blue Alibi (nominated for an Edgar Award), and Kill All the Lawyers (a finalist for the International Thriller Writers Award). He won the John D. MacDonald Award for his critically acclaimed Jake Lassiter novels, which are now available as ebooks. He’s also written more than twenty episodes for the CBS military drama JAG. Paul Levine lives in Los Angeles, where he is working on his next Jake Lassiter thriller.

My Review

This is my first Paul Levine novel.  Excellent surprise to discover that he is a great author.  Lassiter is the title of the novel which is the latest in the Jake Lassiter series.  The last book in the series Flesh & Bones was published fourteen years ago.

Jake Lassiter is an ex-football player who is now a lawyer in South Florida.  Not the greatest lawyer but his heart is in the right place.  I loved this book.  It is well written and you really connect with the characters in the novel.  The story itself is full of twists and turns that you don't see coming.  I loved the ending.

I highly recommend this crime mystery novel by Paul Levine. 

Blog Tour Review: A Christmas Journey Home: Miracle in the Manger (Understanding the Books of the Bible) by Kathi Macias

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: New Hope Publishers (October 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596693282
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596693289

Product Description


During Isabella Alcantara’s seventh month of pregnancy, her parents and siblings are murdered in gang- and drug-related violence, simply because their home was targeted by mistake. Isabella knows she was spared only because she now lives in a different location, but she knows too that the same thing could easily happen to her and her husband, Francisco. When her grandfather offers to hire a “coyote” to bring them across the border to America, she agrees. But Francisco and Isabella are abandoned by the coyote and left to die. Francisco then valiantly sacrifices himself to get Isabella to safety. Homeless, nearly penniless, pregnant, and alone, Isabella determines to find a way to honor her promise to her beloved husband.

Living on one of the smaller spreads along the Arizona border, Miriam Nelson becomes furious with God and turns from her faith when her <br /> border patrol agent husband, David, is killed in a skirmish with drug smugglers. Though her mother and young son do their best to woo her back from the anger and bitterness that have overtaken her, they make little headway.

Two widows—one driven by fear and a promise, the other by bitterness and revenge—must make their journeys along different pathways, but with the same destination: a barn full of animals that stands waiting for them on Christmas Eve. Forced to face their personal demons, Isabella and Miriam soon discover a common yearning that will bind them together in a most miraculous way.

About the Author


Award winning author Kathi Macias has written more than 20 books, including the “Extreme Devotion” series of novels for New Hope Publishers.

Kathi has won many awards, including the Angel Award from Excellence in Media, fiction awards from the San Diego Christian Writers Guild, and the grand prize in an international writing contest.

With women’s ministry as her primary interest, Kathi is a popular speaker for women’s retreats, conferences, and churches. A mother and grandmother, Kathi and her husband, Al, call California home.


Watch the video

My Review

I am quite thrilled to be part of the blog tour for this inspiring book.  What a wonderful idea for a Christmas book.  Kathi Macias has brought the bible to life with a contemporary retelling of the nativity story.  It will appeal to Christians and non-Christians alike.  What an excellent book to give to someone who is seeking answers or someone who you know needs Christ in their lives.

This is the story of two very different women who paths converge on Christmas Eve.  In the two months leading up to Christmas these two women's hearts are revealed to us.  While you know deep down what the inevitable outcome is going to be, Macias's wonderful writing style makes the story believable and compelling.  I'm sure your emotions will be stirred as mine were and you will be moved to tears by the end. 

I highly recommend this lovely Christmas novel.  Buy a copy for yourself but be sure to get a few for friends who you know in your heart need this story.  Perfect read for just before Christmas.  With all the silliness and consumerism that often surrounds the Christmas season people need to be reminded what Christmas is really about and reminded of the true message of Christmas.