Archive for June, 2012
This is the first book I have read by author Shelley Shepard Gray and it will definitely not be the last! Ms. Gray writes with wisdom and feeling. I love the Amish words of wisdom that are peppered throughout the story of murder in the quiet community of Marion, Kentucky.
Big city detective Luke Reynolds is brought in by a friend to help investigate the circumstances of this crime. Little does he realize he’ll also face unexpected feelings for Frannie, the Amish owner of the local bed-and-breakfast. Read the rest of this entry »
Most churches are not crime scenes. It’s just that most of us are not comfortable with our church being the center of an investigation, especially a suspicious death. Something just seems wrong about any crime in a place of holiness, sanctity and forgiveness.
For organist, Hayden Konig, being a part of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church is part of his life, just like having a gun in the organ bench. Hayden has always idolized the legendary writing style of Raymond Chandler and even actually using Chandler’s Underwood typewriter in the hopes of replicating that definitive style of the hard-boiled detective embraced in similes. Hayden is also the police chief in this quiet village of St. Germaine, North Carolin.
However, this quiet, secluded, town’s church seems to be a place that is related to numerous crimes. Why else would he need the gun?
In towns like St. Germaine, everyone knows everyone and everything. There are no secrets in this town. When there is a crime, someone will know something that will assist in solving the crime. All you need to do is to ask the right questions and give some time for the right people to respond. Read the rest of this entry »
Judith McMonigle Flynn stays busy owning and running Hillside Manor, a local bed-and-breakfast. Besides that she cares for her highly overly opinionated mother who does not like Judith’s present husband. Fortunately, her cousin Renie, is a great friend and helps out even though she is known for being a horrible cook and wants to submit her special recipe of Shrimp Dump for the fund-raising cookbook of the local parish school.
Judith also has an uncanny ability for solving crime. This seems to come natural even though her husband, Joe, is a retired policeman who now works as a private investigator.
Judith is reluctantly remembering her upcoming obligation for the B & B in which she offered the facility to the top bidder at the parish school fundraiser. The winning family whose name is Paine is planning on filling the house but have numerous requirements such as one that eats no meat and one that has to sleep with a special pillow.
Joe currently has a surveillance job for insurance fraud when he is
arrested. The person he was observing is shot with Joe’s gun. Added to that, Joe does not want Judith involved so he basically is hiding out at the police station as the investigation continues. Read the rest of this entry »
Parrot & Sweeney is the new realistic series involving three case stories investigated by two detectives in London. The experienced Chief Superintendent George Parrot and Detective Inspector Daniel Sweeney collaborate in questioning those closest to the crime to solve each whodunit.
These tales contains crimes involving kidnapping, blackmail, and murders which are both riveting and enthralling as the readers discover the reasons and circumstances along with the trained investigators.
This enthralling collection of stories, Parrot & Sweeney is actually the second book by this same author with the same title. Please carefully look at the copyright dates and the ISBN numbers when ordering this collection. Each book involves the same investigators with three crimes that unfold through the direct skills of these two detectives. Read the rest of this entry »
A fast moving story involving the abduction, rape, and strangling of a high school cheerleader in a small town in Texas. As is his custom Grisham takes the reader through all the legal steps and courtroom drama and makes that reader feel that he is deeply involved in the whole procedure.
All in all The Confession is kind of a sad story. Keith Schroeder, the minister of a small church in Kansas, receives a visit from a distraught man who claims to be suffering from a cancerous brain tumor. The man is extremely nervous and depressed. He also claims to have committed a murder in Texas nine years ago for which a young boy is now being prosecuted. Listening to Travis Boyette’s story and then doing some checking via the internet Schroeder discovers that there is in fact a case in Texas at that moment.
Donte Drumm, a black high school football star in Slone, Texas was arrested for the murder of Nicole Yarber, a popular high school cheerleader. Donte due to the antics of an overzealous cop and prosecutor was not only sentenced to prison but he was also given the death sentence. Read the rest of this entry »
Female students at Cambridge University are committing suicide at an alarming rate and using truly bizarre methods to do it. Authorities are concerned, but no one can find any link between the girls, nor is there any evidence to indicate that any of the deaths are anything other than a suicide. DC Lacey Flint is sent in undercover as a student to see if she can uncover any link between the girls.
Lacey is told repeatedly NOT to investigate, but rather just observe and report on any unusual behaviors or events However, Lacey is a bit of a loose cannon, and almost from the moment she arrives begins to run her own investigation. Readers primarily follow Lacey through a first person narrative, but we also get in the head of Evi Oliver, the student counselor and various other characters along the way. The thing is, nearly everyone involved is experiencing some sort of mental disconnect, paranoia or may be under the influence of drugs most of the time. As readers, we’re left wondering what is real, what is drug induced and what is total paranoia. It is a frightening ride. Complicating things even more, both Evi and Lacey have experienced some sort of trauma in the not too distant past that is still affecting them. As readers, we are only given clues about the events until the very end, leaving it is hard to judge whether what is happening with them is relevant to the case, tied to the past or possibly both. Throughout the book, the only character readers can count on being totally sane is Sniffy the dog.
Bolton has become one of fiction’s premiere “scare the reader silly” authors and with Dead Scared she raised the bar to a new height. She does this by taking a fairly standard plot premise but with many convoluted twists. Then she adds frighteningly realistic fear triggers in the victims. Who hasn’t heard scratching noises on a window at night or found things not quite as you remember them being? All this adds up to give even the most passive reader the heebie jeebies. Using very short chapters, multiple points of view and shifting from the present to years, months and days ago, leaves the reader frantically turning pages to get the next installment of each character’s plot line. Read the rest of this entry »
As Scorpion Betrayal opens, a covert meeting between a high ranking Egyptian official and an unnamed person takes place. In a mere seven pages, a fake terrorist attack is staged, the Egyptian assassinated and our unnamed man (later known as the Palestinian) is on the move leaving a bloodbath in his wake. All of this in just seven pages. That alone should give readers a fair warning as to what is to come.
The assassination has the world’s intelligence community on edge. The CIA is concerned that it is the prelude to a larger attack against the United States. The Mideast is edgy with a plethora of questions- why this man and why now and what does his killing mean is coming. But the worst thing for all of the agencies is that no one has any idea who the killer is or who he is working for.
Readers are then introduced to our man Scorpion. A former CIA agent who parted ways with the agency because lacks respect for chain of command and authority, the operative known by the code name Scorpion is called in to track the killer. The agency may not like him, but they respect his unique ability to find out the killer and his employer. Read the rest of this entry »
Currently Tom Jeffries is a private investigator. Jeffries is an ex-Special Forces operative and an ex-Dallas police officer. Jeffries is also on retainer with an elite Florida law firm. Jeffries has a habit of leaving his business card in various places. He has a note on the back “If I can help, call me.” and he signs the card. The police found a body of a girl and Jeffries is contacted to identify the body. Jeffries is called because one of his business cards is clutched in the hand of the victim. While at the morgue Jeffries states that he can’t identify the body and does not reveal that he knows the identity of the victim.
Jeffries’ best friend Charlie Rogers has been in contact with him regarding the disappearance of his stepdaughter 17-year old Mary Lou Smithson. Now Jeffries must make a call to Charlie to tell him the girl’s body is at the morgue. Several weeks ago, Jeffries had given Lonnie, Mary Lou’s Mother, some of his cards. Lonnie was concerned about her daughter, Mary Lou, who had taken a part time job at a supermarket chain. Since Mary Lou had been working, she had been breaking rules and Lonnie could not seem to halt the rebellion and then she disappeared. Read the rest of this entry »
Missing, the first book in a new series by Gray, brings together a setting in the Amish Community of Crittenden County, Kentucky, a murder and romantic suspense. It is my opinion that the author was a little loose with the first, did a fine job with the second but succeeds best with the last of the three.
Perry Borntrager has been missing for months when Abby Anderson happens on his body in an abandoned well. Most people had assumed Perry, an Amish kid with a wild streak, had simply “jumped the fence” and left the Amish community and the area. Now the small community is forced to face the fact that not only has he not left, someone has caused his death. There are several people in the community that are not that eager for Perry’s life leading up to his death to be looked at too carefully. Perry had been friends with his “English” coworkers, especially Walker Anderson, at local variety store until shortly before his death-when Perry’s life started to change. Perry had also been in a relationship with Lydia, a well respected Amish girl, until about that same time. Deputy Sheriff Mose Kramer gets just that far in the investigation, but can’t get anyone involved to go further and tell him what changed in Perry’s life. What caused those around him to pull away? Kramer begins to think that his own roots in the Amish community may be the barrier so he brings in Luke Reynolds, an old friend on disability leave from the Cincinnati police force, to help him with the investigation. The case is eventually solved but many secrets are uncovered along the way. Read the rest of this entry »
If you have never read this book, get it and read it. Without a doubt this may have been Michael Connelly at his best (and his best is not reached by many writers in today’s writing world). The story that he started with The Poet transcended into several more of his books but the original really put it all into motion.
Jack McEvoy is a crime reporter who works for the Rocky Mountain News but he always has visions of more. Either a similar job with one of the bigger newspapers in L.A., New York, or Chicago or else to someday finish the book he has written. If he could get one book published then he is certain he could move up in his journalistic field of endeavor.
However the immediate future is extremely clouded. Two detectives from the Denver Police Department have just informed him that Sean, his brother, is dead. Jack and Sean, though twins, are not overly close. Not at this time anyway. Throughout their lives they have been in and out of the closeness thing. However Jack is still shocked and he begins to look into how and why Sean died.
All things point to suicide, even to the leaving behind of a few poetic lines as a suicide note. But to Jack it just doesn’t ring true so he begins to go deeper and deeper into the whole death thing. Read the rest of this entry »