Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review: The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451617755
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451617757

Book Description

Actors aren’t the only ones trying to make it in Hollywood.…At twenty-three, Ruth Saunders left her childhood home in Massachusetts and headed west with her seventy-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to make it as a screenwriter. Six years later, she hits the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Best Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie’s going to be the showrunner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on her boss, and her grandmother’s impending nuptials.

Set against the fascinating backdrop of Los Angeles show business culture, with an insider’s ear for writer’s room showdowns and an eye for bad backstage behavior and set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s new novel is a rollicking ride on the Hollywood roller coaster, a heartfelt story about what it’s like for a young woman to love, and lose, in the land where dreams come true.

About The Author

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ten books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, and Then Came You. She was the co-creator and co-executive producer of the ABC Family sitcom State of Georgia, which aired in 2011. She lives with her family in Philadelphia. To learn more, visit

My Review

Jennifer Weiner's books are consistently good reads.  The Next Best Thing is a story about a writer in Hollywood that provides the reader with a behind the scenes realistic picture of the process behind getting a new show on the air.  It is also a love story between a grandmother and a granddaughter thrown together by circumstance.  And the love they both find in Hollywood.

Ruthie's parents died when she was young in a terrible car crash that left Ruthie fighting for her life and disfigured.  Her grandmother gives up her retirement to raise Ruthie and she raises her well.  Her grandmother works hard to instill a sense of self worth in Ruth.  She is her biggest supporter.  And heads off to Hollywood with Ruth when she wants to write for television.  Ruth works as an assistant and works her way up while working on her writing skills.

Weiner's Hollywood is portrayed with all imperfections.  What sells is what really matters.  Good writing and good stories are rarely appreciated in the world of network sitcoms.  Quality be damned.  If women are not stick thin then they aren't worth anything.  Cosmetic surgery abounds. These realities pepper the journey Ruth embarks on as her concept and script for The Next Best Thing go full circle.

Loved the ending!  How delicious!  A perfect conclusion for Weiner's two Golden Girls.  The Next Best Thing is out on July 3rd.  Excellent summer sure to give it a shot.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: XO by Jeffrey Deaver

  • File Size: 1117 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 12, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0061QAZY8
Book Description

 Internationally bestselling author Jeffery Deaver delivers the latest sensational thriller in his wildly popular Kathryn Dance series. 

Newsweek calls Jeffery Deaver a “suspense superstar,” and in his new novel, he lives up to the accolades once again as he sets his heroine Kathryn Dance on a quest to stop an obsessive stalker from destroying a beautiful young country singer.     Kayleigh Towne is gorgeous with a voice that is taking her to the heights of the country pop charts. Her hit single “Your Shadow” puts her happily in the spotlight, until an innocent exchange with one of her fans leads Kayleigh into a dark and terrifying realm. The fan warns, “I’m coming for you,” and soon accidents happen and people close to Kayleigh die. Special Agent Kathryn Dance must use her considerable skills at investigation and body language analysis to stop the stalker—but before long she learns that, like many celebrities, Kayleigh has more than just one fan with a mission.      A former folksinger, Deaver has written the actual song, "Your Shadow." Readers will be able to download it from his website,

About The Author

 Jeffery Deaver’s most recent #1 international bestseller is Carte Blanche, the new James Bond novel that brought Ian Fleming’s Agent 007 firmly into the modern age. After revealing his lifelong admiration for Fleming’s novels while accepting the Crime Writer’s Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for his thriller Garden of Beasts, Deaver was approached by the estate of Ian Fleming to write the next Bond thriller. It debuted on bestseller lists around the world.

The author of two collections of short stories and 28 previous suspense novels, Deaver is best known for his Kathryn Dance and Lincoln Rhyme thrillers, most notably The Bone Collector, which was made into a feature starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.  His many awards include the Novel of the Year at the International Thriller Writers’ Awards in 2009 for his standalone novel The Bodies Left Behind. The latest entries in the Lincoln Rhyme series are The Cold Moon, The Broken Window, and The Burning Wire.

Deaver has been nominated for seven Edgar Awards by the Mystery Writers of America, an Anthony Award and a Gumshoe Award. He was recently short-listed for the ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for Best International Author. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into 25 languages. He lives in North Carolina.

For further information, visit

My Review

This is the third book in the Kathryn Dance series by Jeffrey Deaver.  I've read the first two and always been taken on a roller coaster ride so have been looking forward to this latest book!

Mr. Deaver does not disappoint!  An excellent addition to the series. Lots of twists and turns to keep the suspense going.  A little overdone on the song lyrics though!  Well maybe a lot overdone!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: Trickster's Point by William Kent Krueger

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (Aug 21 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451645678
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451645675

Book Description

The latest in the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series—the action never stops when the private detective ends up in the crosshairs of a political assassin.

In Trickster’s Point, the unsinkable Cork O’Connor is sitting in the shadow of a towering monolith known as Trickster’s Point, deep in the Minnesota wilderness. Beside him is the first Native American governor-elect, Jubal Little, who is slowly dying with an arrow through his heart. Although the men have been bow hunting, this is no accident. The arrow in the governor’s heart belongs to Cork.

When he becomes the primary suspect in the murder, Cork understands full well that he’s been set up. As he works to clear his name and track the real killer, he recalls his long, complex relationship with Jubal, the Native kid who aspired to be a populist politician and grew to become a cunning man capable of treachery and murder. As Cork looks deeply into his own past, he comes face to face with the many motives, good and ill, that lead men and women into the difficult, sometimes deadly, political arena.

With crisp writing filled with the twists and turns his fans have come to expect, Krueger delivers another knockout novel of suspense.

About The Author

 William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of ten Cork O’Connor novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Vermilion Drift and Northwest Angle. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Visit

My Review

I am so thrilled that William Kent Krueger continues to write these wonderful Cork O'Connor books! Trickster's Point goes back into Cork's past to explain the happenings in his present life.  This is the twelfth in the series and it is just as well written and compelling as the rest.

Jubal Little has been in and out of Cork's life for as long as he can remember.  Jubal is assassinated in the first moments of the book.  Cork has been set up to take the fall.  And so it begins.

 Krueger weaves native American religion and a love of nature throughout his books.  His love for the wildness of Northern Minnesota always shines through.  His family and friends are present throughout and they add to the richness of the novel.  Krueger is an amazing story teller. 

 Full of twists and turns and surprises...the ending is a perfect shocker...another winner from William Kent Krueger.  Be sure to pick up a copy in August.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review: Never Say Pie by Carol Culver

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK (August 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738723797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738723792

Book Description

Book two in the popular (and delicious!) Pie Shop Mystery series

It’s summertime in Crystal Cove, California, and sales are brisk at the outdoor Food Fair. There’s fresh bread, artisan cheese, gourmet cupcakes, plus Hanna’s delicious pies. When despised local food critic Heath Barr is found stabbed to death, no one is sorry to hear the news—except perhaps Hanna, the main suspect. It doesn’t help that Hanna’s high school crush is the police chief. Hanna must track down a killer while up to her elbows in pie dough.

Featuring scrumptious recipes, including Double Chocolate Cream Pie and Butterscotch Pecan Pie

About The Author

 Carol Culver is the author of over thirty books, including several bestselling Harlequin romance novels for young adults. She has a BA in French and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. A former staff member of KQED, the author resides near the Bay Area of San Francisco.

My Review

Well written, light read perfect for an afternoon read.  I enjoy cozy mysteries that are centered around food and Never Say Pie is centered around Hanna's Pie Shop in the seaside town of Crystal Cove in California.  The action happens at a Food Fair or what I would call a weekly farmer's market.  A newspaper critic who has criticized all the tradespeople's wares is found murdered.  They are all suspects.  

The police chief is an old friend of Hanna's who is not too happy with Hanna sticking her nose into everything.  But she does anyway!  And of course she stumbles across the murderer after a number of false starts and misadventures.

Great cozy read!  Yummy sounding pies!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Review: A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250003482
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250003485

Book Description

In this powerful, intricate debut from a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Keller, a mother and a daughter try to do right by a town and each other before it's too late.

What's happening in Acker's Gap, West Virginia? Three elderly men are gunned down over their coffee at a local diner, and seemingly half the town is there to witness the act. Still, it happened so fast, and no one seems to have gotten a good look at the shooter.  Was it random? Was it connected to the spate of drug violence plaguing poor areas of the country just like Acker's Gap? Or were Dean Streeter, Shorty McClurg, and Lee Rader targeted somehow?
One of the witnesses to the brutal incident was Carla Elkins, teenaged daughter of Bell Elkins, the prosecuting attorney for Raythune County, WV. Carla was shocked and horrified by what she saw, but after a few days, she begins to recover enough to believe that she might be uniquely placed to help her mother do her job.

After all, what better way to repair their fragile, damaged relationship? But could Carla also end up doing more harm than good—in fact, putting her own life in danger?

About the Author

 JULIA KELLER was born and raised in West Virginia, and now lives in Chicago and Ohio.  In her career as a journalist, she won the Pulitzer Prize for a three-part series she wrote for the Chicago Tribune about a small town in Illinois rocked by a deadly tornado. A Killing in the Hills is her first mystery.

My Review

 What a powerful first novel. Julia Keller paints a vivid picture of contemporary West Virginia in this well written mystery thriller, A Killing in the Hills.

Have your ever been to West Virginia...I have and it is gorgeous.  One of the most beautiful motorcycle roads we have ever rode is Highway 50 through that state.  I did see a lot of closed down businesses and homes in disrepair.  And the cost of goods in stores were incredibly low priced.  I loved that I kept seeing the word Hollow on road signs!  A Killing in the Hills is set in a mountain town where times are not good economically and a lot of the population has turned to prescription drugs in their despair.

The novel focuses on the main character Bell Elkins and the people close to her... Bell and her daughter Carla, her sister Shirley, Carla's father, the Sheriff who has been their for her since her father died and her best friends.  Each of these people play a role in this story as well as in Bell's life.  And what a story it is.  It is a story of modern day America and a story about a beautiful place full of broken people with lost dreams.  But most of all it is a mystery that plays out throughout the novel into a surprising conclusion. 

You'll love these characters and the writing style of Julia Keller.  A Killing in the Hills is a must read mystery is available in August.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062088149
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062088147

Book Description

A stunning debut reminiscent of the beloved novels of John Hart and Tom Franklin, A Land More Kind Than Home is a mesmerizing literary thriller about the bond between two brothers and the evil they face in a small western North Carolina town

For a curious boy like Jess Hall, growing up in Marshall means trouble when your mother catches you spying on grown-ups. Adventurous and precocious, Jess is enormously protective of his older brother, Christopher, a mute whom everyone calls Stump. Though their mother has warned them not to snoop, Stump can't help sneaking a look at something he's not supposed to—an act that will have catastrophic repercussions, shattering both his world and Jess's. It's a wrenching event that thrusts Jess into an adulthood for which he's not prepared. While there is much about the world that still confuses him, he now knows that a new understanding can bring not only a growing danger and evil—but also the possibility of freedom and deliverance as well.

Told by three resonant and evocative characters—Jess; Adelaide Lyle, the town midwife and moral conscience; and Clem Barefield, a sheriff with his own painful past—A Land More Kind Than Home is a haunting tale of courage in the face of cruelty and the power of love to overcome the darkness that lives in us all. These are masterful portrayals, written with assurance and truth, and they show us the extraordinary promise of this remarkable first novel.

About The Author

I deeply love my native state of North Carolina, especially its mountains. I hope my love for this region is evident in A Land More Kind Than Home's portrayal of western North Carolina's people, culture, and religious faith. While A Land More Kind Than Home revolves around a young autistic boy who is smothered during a church healing service, the novel's three narrators all represent my experience of growing up in North Carolina and being raised in an evangelical church.

Like Jess Hall, the younger brother who secretly witnesses the death, I often found myself sitting in church and waiting for something to happen. As a boy I was promised that I would recognize my salvation when I felt Jesus move inside my heart; however, just as Jess does after his brother's death, I attempted to rationalize the mysteries of Christianity, and I soon realized that we often use faith to fill the empty spaces in our lives. Like Adelaide Lyle, the church matriarch who straddles the divide between religious faith and old-time folk belief, my own religious beliefs are rounded out with a healthy dose of skepticism. While I'm always suspicious of those who pray the loudest, I can't help but acknowledge the tug on my heart when I witness a baptism, and I can't account for the inexplicable peace that comes from humming an old-time gospel. But I most identify with the character Clem Barefield, the local sheriff who must sift through his own tragic past to solve the mystery of the boy's death, because, like Clem, I'm guided only by what I can perceive of this world, and I'm hesitant to get lost in following those who claim to be led by a spirit from the next.

I began writing A Land More Kind Than Home while working on my Ph.D. at the University of Louisiana, where I spent five long years sweating, celebrating Mardi Gras, and missing the mountains of North Carolina. While living in Lafayette, I took a fiction workshop with Ernest J. Gaines, who taught me that by writing about home I could recreate that place no matter where I lived. Gaines made this clear to me one afternoon while we were visiting an old cemetery near the plantation where he was born. He pointed to a grave marker and said, "You remember Snookum from A Gathering of Old Men? He's buried right over there." While none of the characters in A Land More Kind Than Home are based on people who actually existed, they're all amalgams of the types of people I knew growing up. In creating these people and the place they live I got to watch the sun split the mist on the ridges above the French Broad River. From my desk in Louisiana I pondered the silence of snow covered fields. While living in a place that experiences only summer and fall, I watched the green buds sprout on the red maples, and I was there when their leaves began to shrivel before giving way to the wind. I lived in two places at once, and it was wonderful.

I became a Southern writer because I wanted to recreate the South that I know, and I learned to write about the South from the writers I loved. Because of this, I knew it was important to garner support for A Land More Kind Than Home from authors like Gail Godwin, Fred Chappell, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Clyde Edgerton. These writers wield an enormous influence on my work, and I have no doubt that they can say the same for the writers who came before them. Gaines often recalls William Faulkner's invocation of Oxford, Mississippi as a little postage stamp of earth that he continually mined throughout his career. Gaines did the same thing in his Louisiana fiction. That's what I tried to do in A Land More Kind Than Home. My next novel is set in the same region of North Carolina. Fortunately, this part of the country is much larger than Oxford, and I can't imagine ever running out of stories to tell about it.

My Review

Cash Wiley's debut novel A Land More Kind Than Home is a glorious read.  He has a fabulous descriptive writing style that makes the reader feel like they are right there in the hills of North Carolina.  He brings the way of life of the people there to life.  He is a storyteller who has a powerful story to tell.

I love Southern stories for some reason...probably because they celebrate the reality that people are are far from perfect.  We have faults and idiosyncrasies.  We are all a product of our surroundings.  Like people everywhere, many of the people in hills have religion at the center of their lives and like people everywhere they can be easily be misled by a charismatic preacher - a wolf in sheep's clothing.  Such is the case in A Land More Kind Than Home.  I can easily relate to false prophets and Wiley Cash is portraying a particularly evil one here. 

The relationships between the characters and the vivid portrayal of each of them brings this story to life.  You can feel what each character is feeling.  There is nothing more sad than the loss of a child.  And for a young boy to lose his only brother.  It is easy to feel young Jess's pain.  The Sheriff, Clem Barefield,  has suffered his own pain in the past and his story is interwoven with that of the Halls.  Adelaide Lyle knows something is terribly wrong with the church and she does what she can to keep the evil from the children...until she can't.  All these events lead up to an explosive ending that affects every character in this tale.

A beautifully written story by an amazing new storyteller that will haunt you for some time to come...


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Review: Death Comes Silently (Death on Demand Mysteries) by Carolyn G. Hart

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover; First Edition edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425245705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425245705

Book Description

National Bestselling Author and winner of multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards, Carolyn Hart continues to dazzle mystery fans with an all new Dead on Demand Mystery.

Winter has arrived in Broward's Rock, South Carolina, and business has slowed for Annie Darling, owner of mystery bookstore Death on Demand. So when the island's resident writer publishes the latest in her popular mystery series, Annie jumps at the chance to host a book signing, even though it conflicts with her shift at the local charity shop, Better Tomorrow.

Luckily, fellow volunteer Gretchen Burkholt agrees to sub for her. The signing goes well, but Gretchen interrupts the event multiple times, leaving voice mails about scandalous news she's dying to share. Even though Gretchen tends to be excitable, Annie heads over to Better Tomorrow, where she finds Gretchen dead on the floor, an axe by her side.

Annie enlists the help of her husband, Max, to piece together a puzzle involving an overturned kayak, a stolen motorboat, a troubled love affair, and a reckless teenager. And she must tread carefully in her investigation, because a killer is on the loose, and that killer works well in the foggy days of winter...

About the Author

Carolyn talks about mysteries and writing in a new video. Please go to her website at and click on the upper right hand corner 

My Review

It's always wonderful to return to Broward Rock, even in the middle of winter.  All of the regulars are here in Death Comes Silently.  Annie finds the body of a fellow volunteer and the games begin. Annie and Max along with "aunt" Henny quickly set out to prove that a local handyman Jeremiah is not the murderer as the police assume.  Of course their sleuthing puts them in danger...

A wonderful cozy should read all  22 volumes in this well written,well plotted series.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Review: All Summer Long by Susan Mallery

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin HQN (July 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373776942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373776948

Book Description

Can a summer fling turn into love that lasts a lifetime?

Former underwear model turned entrepreneur Clay Stryker has loved, tragically lost and vowed that he'll never risk his heart again. After making his fortune, the youngest of the rugged Stryker brothers returns to Fool's Gold, California, to put down roots on a ranch of his own. But he's frustrated to discover that even in his hometown, people see him only for his world-famous...assets.

Firefighter Chantal (Charlie) Dixon grew up an ugly duckling beside her delicately beautiful mother, a feeling reinforced long ago by a man who left soul-deep scars. Now she has good friends, a solid job and the itch to start a family-yet she can't move toward the future while she's haunted by painful memories.

Clay finds an unexpected ally, and unexpected temptation, in tomboyish Charlie, the only person who sees beyond his dazzling good looks to the real man beneath. But when Charlie comes to him with an indecent proposal, will they be able to overcome their pasts and find a love that lasts beyond one incredible summer?

About the Author

 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women. Publishers Weekly calls Susan’s prose “luscious and provocative,” and Booklist says “Novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling.” Susan lives in Seattle with her husband and her tiny but intrepid toy poodle. Visit her at

My Review

 Another winner from prolific romance author Susan Mallery.  This outing features tomboy fireman Charlie Dixon.  Charlie's two best friends have found love with the Stryker brothers so why not Charlie as well.

The book features the struggles that Charlie has in the relationship with her mother and her fear of intimacy due to a date rape in college.  And her mother's reaction to that episode in her life.  They have been estranged for years but her mother reaches out to all the wrong ways.  A self centered diva, her mother finds fault in everything about Charlie.

And Clay Stryker's brothers have trouble taking him seriously as well.   A former model Clay who has been away from his family for a long time as well, works hard to show his family that he can work hard.  He impresses Charlie with his hard work and dedication when he tries out to be a volunteer fireman. 

But can these two who have so little in common find true love...everyone in Fool's Gold finds true....don't they?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030758836X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307588364

Book Description

"'What are you thinking, Amy? The question I've asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions storm cloud over every marriage: What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?'"

Just how well can you ever know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what did really did happen to Nick's beautiful wife? And what was left in that half-wrapped box left so casually on their marital bed? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war..

About The Author

GILLIAN FLYNN is the author of the New York Times bestseller Dark Places, which was a New Yorker Reviewers’ Favorite, Weekend TODAY Top Summer Read, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009, and Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction choice; and the Dagger Award winner Sharp Objects, which was an Edgar nominee for Best First novel, a BookSense pick, and a Barnes & Noble Discover selection. Her work has been published in twenty-eight countries. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son. 

My Review

Wow, Gone Girl grabs your attention right away with its excellent writing.  This book has received excellent reviews from authors and publications alike.  And it deserves it.  This is bound to be one of the must read books of the year...and I'm sure will be optioned as a movie.

The characters that inhabit the world of Gone Girl are not nice people, in fact it is difficult to find redeeming qualities in any of them, but it doesn't matter because they are written so well.   Nick Dunne is completely full of himself and careens through life taking the easy way.  He is basically a self involved jerk.  Initially Amy seems likeable...the Amazing Amy...that's all I will say on that subject.

I love that this is story for the times.  Nick and Amy have both lost their jobs and have retreated to Nick's home town.  He gets to be big man about town owning a bar (which Amy bought) with his twin sister.  Amy is lost without her hometown of New York City.  The town is full of the unemployed.  Industries are shutting down.  The huge mall that was the town's main bread and butter has shut down due to the economic recession.  Homeless, people are turning to drugs.  Gillian Flynn has captured the midwest recession perfectly.

This book is full of amazing twists and turns.  The ending is legendary.  I highly recommend Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  It was released yesterday...don't wait to read this one...everyone will be talking about it!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Review: Death Makes the Cut by Janice Hamrick

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (July 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 125000554X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250005540

Book Description

 The first bell of the new school year hasn’t even rung, and Texas high school teacher Jocelyn Shore is already at the scene of a murder. Friend and fellow teacher Fred Argus has been found dead on campus, and it isn’t long before the annoying, albeit attractive, Austin police detective Colin Gallagher uncovers evidence that Fred might have been selling drugs to students. Shocked by her loss as well as the insinuation that Fred was a dealer who got what he deserved, Jocelyn starts asking the kinds of questions guaranteed to set fellow teachers, administrators, and parents on edge.

With the school serving as the setting for a big-time director’s latest film, her investigation could hardly have come at a worse time. Jocelyn, however, finds clearing her friend’s name far more important than the needs of a pesky movie crew and doesn’t care who knows it. But it’s only when she’s attacked while on set that she realizes someone is determined to make sure the secrets hidden by Fred’s death remain hidden no matter what the cost.

Humor, romance, and murder abound in Janice Hamrick’s follow-up to her Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award--winning debut, Death on Tour, and make Death Makes the Cut a charming addition to this outstanding new series.

About The Author

 Janice Hamrick is the author of two titles in her Jocelyn Shore mystery series. The first, Death on Tour, was the winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition, a finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and a nominee for the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best First Mystery. She lives in Austin, Texas.

My Review

Janice Hamrick is a new to me mystery author so I was very excited to read this book. You do not have to have read the first in the series, Death on Tour, to enjoy Death Makes the Cut.

This novel is set around the activities at the high school in Austin, Texas where Jocelyn works.  Jocelyn Shores, a teacher who loves her job, is plunged into a mystery at the beginning of the school year when a fellow teacher is murdered.  Complications occur in Jocelyn's personal life when she meets handsome detective Colin Gallagher.  Complicated because she is still involved with Dallas travel tour provider Allan.  Allan who is out of town is there to help Jocelyn like Colin is.

Jocelyn is attacked, her home ransacked and another teacher is murdered.  What is going on behind the scenes in Jocelyn's school?  This is a well written, enjoyable mystery.  It will be released in sure to pick up a copy.