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Archive for the ‘Mystery’ Category

The Last Mrs. Parrish: A Novel by Liv Constantine

Reviewed by Teri Davis

The Last Mrs. ParrishAt some time in your past, you probably have looked at a celebrity and imagined yourself as that celebrity. After awhile, most of us realize that no matter how hard we try, we just cannot become that person. Even with a makeover and dieting, it just will not work. You won’t become that person.

Amber Pattinson obsesses over Daphne Parrish. She sees Daphne as perfect. To Amber, Daphne is who she wants to become. The beautiful, blond socialite and philanthropist exists with designer clothes including jewelry, travels extensively in their private jet and has a nanny For her two supposedly perfect daughters. She even has a charismatically handsome husband who happens to own his real-estate company. Of course, the family lives in their elegant homes, complete with servants and everything a woman could buy or desire.

Amber can only find one imperfection in Daphne. Daphne’s sister passed away twenty-years ago from cystic fibrosis. In her honor, she created a charity for those suffering from the disease. However, she still misses her sister. Read the rest of this entry »

The Brethren by John Grisham

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The BrethrenThis is a really interesting story that basically has several stories going on at the same time. The Brethren are a group of three ex-judges who are currently serving time in a minimum federal security prison or camp which is meant for criminals who have committed nonviolent crimes basically against society. They have to be guarded and watched but it is a very low security atmosphere. One of the three had been convicted for tax evasion, one was a justice of the peace who was jailed for embezzling bingo profits, and one had killed two hikers in Yellowstone while he was driving drunk. They basically had jurisdiction over the other inmates in the prison camp as long as it was a crime dealing only with other prisoners.

But there status did allow them to have privileges such as mail in and out without anyone checking it. They were also allowed visits unhampered by their attorney who in fact became their errand boy as they used him in the scheme which they put together. He was happy with the overall arrangement because one of the three judges was a knowledgeable sports gambler and he was always giving the errand boy tips on games to bet with very good odds of winning. Read the rest of this entry »

After the Monsoon: An Ernst Grip Novel by Robert Karjel

Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

After the MonsoonAfter the Monsoon is an engrossing, intense, and suspenseful multi-layered thriller set in the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa. From the tension-filled opening chapter, to the escalating conflict, and the palpable sense of dread sustained throughout the story, readers will be kept on the edge of their seats until the final page. The tale includes a number of illegal activities, such as piracy, terrorism, money laundering, torture, and espionage. Readers get a close look into the inner workings of organizations in charge of preventing these nefarious activities.

Imagine your life changing dramatically in the blink of an eye. This is exactly what happens to a Swedish family sailing around the world when their boat is hijacked by Somalia pirates in the Indian Ocean. The family is held hostage on a remote island, and the pirates demand payment for their release. Living conditions are deplorable, and the family’s bad situation worsens when their son runs low on his antiseizure medication. How long can they survive their inhumane treatment? Will the ransom be paid? Is there any chance of rescue? Read the rest of this entry »

The October List by Jeffery Deaver

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The October ListI am a Deaver fan and read almost all of his books BUT this one is so completely different I am not sure what comes next. The story is a good one and I am sure if he had written it in the right order it still would be a top seller. I’m sure this is is a best seller for him but it is weird!

The first chapter is actually Chapter 36 and is the ending of the book! Yes, you read that correctly. Chapter 1 is actually at the back of the book and though it is the last chapter it is actually the beginning of the story!

In essence it is a story about a lady, Gabriela McNamara, (as she is known part of the time but uses aliases also) who is an undercover cop and at the same time she works as an undercover person for a big time criminal. Now the reader won’t know all of this right away as some of it comes out at the ending (or in Chapter 1 if you will at the end of the book). Read the rest of this entry »

The Victim’s Club (Kindle Single) by Jeffery Deaver

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Victim's ClubA different approach in some ways. Deaver has written this book as a Novella and it is very interesting though short.

Jon Avery is a detective working in Monroe County Sheriff’s office and is given a case to help out on as the primary detective is away for a few days. Avery begins his work when the state calls with some info the other detective had requested on one of her cases. It turns out that a burner phone was used to photograph a professor from the local college. The pictures showed the lady lying on a bench and pretty much undressed but also appeared to be asleep.

Avery knew of the college and that it was well known for its sports programs as well as quite a bit of partying. In discussing the event the other detective had found that Rose Taylor, the professor, had been at a party where she had one glass of wine and had started the second when she really felt wiped out so she had laid down on the bench. When she came to she noticed how her clothes were all messed up but instead of reporting to the police or anyone at the party she headed home. Read the rest of this entry »

The 17th Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The 17th SuspectI have to assume the title The 17th Suspect refers to this book’s place in a series of books by Patterson. Probably the 17th Women’s Murder Club novel since I know he has written a batch of them (usually with help and often with Maxine Patterson). There is nothing in this story about a bunch of murder suspects but there is lots of good reading.

It is two stories (kind of usual for the Murder Club series) in one of which Yuki Castellano, the Assistant District Attorney, is involved with attempting to find a woman guilty of (a) first raping a man while holding him captive and (b) of attempting to find her also guilty of shooting the same man in the leg.

The second story involving the second member of the Murder Club is about San Francisco Police Sergeant Lindsay Boxer as she not only is battling to find who is shooting vagrants and street people but also battling her own physical condition which appears to be deteriorating rapidly.

Both stories are well worth the reader’s attention as they unfold quickly and show how the in-side portion of the criminal justice system works but also shows how the “on the street” portion of the system plays out.

Yuki fought hard to get her case into Criminal Court and worked even harder to figure out what actually went on as two co-workers entwined themselves in not only sexual adventures but then it appears one of them took it even further. The female player supposedly tied up the male participant and raped him (while he unbeknownst to her recorded it all on tape.) He claims she raped him though they had been having sex for some time together willingly on both behalves. Read the rest of this entry »

Rescued: An Andy Carpenter Mystery (An Andy Carpenter Novel) by David Rosenfelt

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

RescuedAndy is called to come help with a truck load of dogs found at a rest stop. The driver of the truck, who was contracted to transport the dogs from Southern states to rescue groups in the Northeast is found dead having been shot. Andy is on board with the Tara Foundation taking on the care of the dogs, but he isn’t necessarily so ready to yield to Laurie’s request. Laurie asks Andy to defend her ex-fiance who is going to be charged with the murder. Dave Kramer had a history with the victim which is bound to come out, and while he admits he shot the victim, he claims it was in self defense. The problem is, there is no sign of the knife Dave claims the victim used to threaten and attack him.

As Andy begins to investigate he finds several things that don’t seem to add up. The Tara Foundation is having trouble locating the groups supposedly in line to accept the dogs. As is often the case, some folks are not quite who they appear to be which leads to some interesting twists to the plot along the way. Rescued, in my opinion, has one of the best legal cases running through it of the series. There is a fairly complicated solution to the murder which requires Andy and is team to look well beyond the dogs and into corporate America for their answers.
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A Howl of Wolves (Sam Clair) by Judith Flanders

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

A Howl of WolvesFlanders brings back book editor Sam Clair for a fourth book in A Howl of Wolves. Again there are two plot threads to follow-the major one being a crime involving a murder that Sam’s boyfriend and Scotland Yard detective Jake Fields is assigned to and a minor one involving some aspect of the book publishing industry. Once again, the plot solving the murder is well written with plenty of twists, but it is the insider scoops on publishing the draws me to the series and sets it apart from the many crime fiction series available.

Sam and Jake’s neighbors who are involved in the theater world have a new play opening with the added bonus of their son Bim is also going to have a part. Sam and Jake attend the opening night and while they are a bit taken a back by the thirteen murders written into the script they are horrified when the body opening the second act turns out to not be the stage dummy but the body of the production’s director. Immediately Jake is on the case, and as always he warns Sam to stay out of the investigation. However, she is drawn in because of her relationship with Bim and his parents. Read the rest of this entry »

The King of Torts by John Grisham

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The King of Torts[amazon_link asins=”” template=”” marketplace=”” link_id=””]I am not sure how I missed this one by Grisham as it is not a new release but it, like most of Grisham’s, is a great read. Perhaps because he writes about the legal field and he has had much experience in that field. He came out of law school, worked in criminal law, and even served in the House of Representatives. His background really has helped his writing expertise.

The King of Torts follows Clay Carter as he while working in D.C.’s OPD gets stuck with a murder case that he tried desperately to avoid. No one in his Department wanted murder cases as they are far too time consuming with little or no reward for the work.

It seems that a young black male named Tequila Watson had shot a young man for no apparent reason. He wasn’t on drugs and they weren’t fighting. Watson just walked up and shot him 4 or 5 times. Then when he was confined to a cell he beat his cellmate profusely and again for no apparent reason. Read the rest of this entry »

The Disappeared (A Joe Pickett Novel) by C.J. Box

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The DisappearedAs usual Joe Pickett, Wyoming’s favorite Game Warden, gets picked to move out of his normal bailiwick and has to work on a problem for the governor. But this new governor is not a fan of Joe nor is the governor’s right hand. Mainly because Joe is always solving problems but he is always causing other ones as he works. Usually he is not only tearing up state furnished equipment like trucks, etc. but he also tends to even run up against the legal system by doing things HIS way as opposed to by the book!

However because of the seriousness of the newest problem and because they have no one as good at solving problems the governor gives Joe an assignment that no one could solve. It seems that a very well-known British businesswoman has turned up missing instead of returning to England after her stay at a very exclusive guest ranch in Wyoming. And wouldn’t you know, Sheridan Pickett, Joe’s oldest daughter is working at the ranch as a wrangler after just finishing college. Joe is somewhat astounded by this since Sheridan was never the horse lover that her mother and sisters were. But it seems Box needed a “friend” in the right place for Pickett as the story evolves.

As Pickett arrives at his new working grounds which is not in his assigned region he receives a call from Nate Romanowski who wants to bring in someone to talk with Joe about a problem that the falconers are seeing and trying to solve. Joe isn’t happy with the potential interruption but does know that Nate, even though he can be a problem, can also be an asset in Joe’s endeavors.

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