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Knife Creek (Mike Bowditch Mysteries) by Paul Doiron

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Knife CreekA very good crime story written by a new writer (to me) who has done an excellent job putting together this one.

Mike Bowditch, a Maine game warden who seems to always be a bit ahead of where his supervisors think he should be, gets off on a tangent. Though he is out trying to clear out some feral hogs who have decided to take up residence in his district, Mike discovers a reason to do some investigating.

What he finds is a dead baby in a shallow grave that appears to even have been partially at least nibbled at by the hogs. He notes that the baby is covered with a pink Red Sox shirt and immediately calls in his findings and forgets about the hogs. The first state patrol officer who comes to the scene is a young woman who had previously worked with Bowditch as a game warden. Pretty much against the wishes of their superiors these two decide to see what they can find out. When nothing else appears evident they split up and go about their other chores. Read the rest of this entry »

She Rides Shotgun: A Novel by Jordan Harper (Review #2)

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

She Rides ShotgunFrom the first sentence in Jordan Harper’s thrilling fiction debut, She Rides Shotgun, you find yourself a willing captive held fast by his audaciously gritty narrative which centers on the corrupted coming of age of young Polly McClusky, an innocent, thrust into the seamy side of life where criminal elements heartily dwell.

The day estranged dad and convict, Nate McClusky reappeared in eleven-year-old daughter Polly’s life, and it was effectively forever changed. Fresh out of jail, Nate didn’t bring candy and gifts like other fathers might do to make up for lost time; instead, he brought trouble, danger and visceral violence hot on his heels.

As a criminal for most of his life, Nate was no stranger to difficult predicaments, especially when he finds himself just before his release out of jail, faced with an irrefusable demand to work for a violent and widely powerful white supremacist organization, Aryan Steel. But, when Nate refuses with a shiv to the neck of the brother of the leader of Aryan Steel, he consequently finds himself, his ex and young daughter on a hit list. Compelled into an intense race against time and the treacherous, as well as forced to use any means necessary to ensure his and daughter Polly’s survival, he instructs his daughter in life lessons that no young girl should ever have to experience. Additionally, to further complicate matters, father and daughter are basically strangers and polar opposites causing personality clashes and breathtaking moments as the two have to learn to accept each other for the sake of their own survival. Read the rest of this entry »

The Fix (Amos Decker series) by David Baldacci

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The FixAmos Decker, Baldacci’s cop with the unbelievable memory, is walking along the street in front of FBI headquarters in Washington when he watches a man across the street from him walking toward a woman. The man and woman pass each other, and then the man turns and pulls a gun. He fires one round in the back of the woman’s head and Decker takes off across the street pulling his guy and shouting. The man looks at Decker, smiles and then puts the gun under his chin and fires. And with that Walter Dabney, aged 61 and a government contractor is seriously wounded. The lady who is dead is Anne Berkshire an unmarried school teacher who for some reason was killed by Dabney.

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Because of his proximity to the shooting Decker, a special agent with the FBI gets assigned to the case. And as is usually the case in Baldacci’s thrillers it does in fact become quite a case and quite a story with many twists, turns, flips, and flops. Alex Jamison, Decker’s partner and another FBI agent go to the hospital to see if they can talk with Dabney while Decker goes to the morgue to get any info he can on the woman. Read the rest of this entry »

Devonshire Scream: A Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Devonshire ScreamAuthor Childs treats readers to the seventeenth Tea Shop mystery with Theodosia Browning as the protagonist in Devonshire Scream. In this edition of the series, readers don’t have to wait long for the action to begin. The book opens with Theodosia and her crew catering a trunk showing at a high end jewelry store.

Click Here for More Information on Devonshire Scream Read the rest of this entry »

Licensed to Dill (Pickled and Preserved Mystery) by Mary Ellen Hughes

Licensed to DillReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Piper Lamb returns in the second “Pickled and Preserved Mystery.” Having successfully launched Piper’s Picklings, her shop of all things pickled in The Pickled Piper, Piper’s life seems to be back on track. Her relationship with Will is going well, her business is thriving and she has settled into the comfortable rhythms of small town Cloverdale, New York. But things seldom remain the same for long and unfortunately for Piper, the changes that were to come caused some pretty big upsets in her life.

First, her former fiancé not only wants back into her life, he wants her life. After leaving her to wander the world he is not only back in the country, he has decided to move to Cloverdale and open a legal practice just down the street from her shop. Repeatedly she tells him there is no “them” as a couple but repeatedly he manages to wiggle into her day to day life, leaving Will to wonder where he fits in to all of this. Read the rest of this entry »

Last Winter We Parted by Fuminori Nakamura

Last Winter We PartedReviewed by Book Bug

Would you ever want to write a book about a cold blooded killer?

A young and aspiring Japanese author wants to do just that.

Photographer Yudai Kiharazaka is on death row. He’s accused of burning two women to death. On top of killing them, He snapped photographs of their burning bodies. Pretty brutal.

He tells anyone who will listen that he’s the guilty one.

Did he really do it? Is the real killer behind those steel bars?

I was so excited to begin reading this book. It sounds so dark and twisted.

It was dark and twisted. But, there is ALWAYS a but, right? Read the rest of this entry »

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh (Review #2)

The Weight of BloodReviewed by Teri Davis

“You grow up feeling the weight of blood, of family. There’s no forsaking kin. But you can’t help when kin forsakes you or when stranger has come to be family.”

Being a sixteen-year-old, Lucy Dane and wants a job. Currently she is working in her uncle’s store doing whatever job he assigns her. Something just doesn’t seem quite right to her though.

Added to that is the coincidence of Lucy’s mother disappearing years ago. Could her mother have been killed? As she is maturing, she is looking more like her mother and for many people in this small Ozark Mountain town, that is a problem. It seems like the more questions Lucy asks, there are no answers but just more questions as to what happened to Lila. Read the rest of this entry »

The Confession by John Grisham

The ConfessionReviewed by Allen Hott

An extremely well told story of how deeply involved some people can quickly get into others’ lives. Grisham has written a story that is not only about good people and good happenings but he has tempered it with sadness and terrible events. As usual he has written in such a way that the reader cannot put the book down but has to continue moving toward an ending which I am not even sure Grisham had envisioned when he began writing The Confession.

It seems very innocent and not out of the ordinary when a gentleman enters the office of Keith Schroeder, pastor of St Mark’s Lutheran Church in Kansas. He wants to speak to the pastor and the pastor’s wife, Dana Schroeder, after a few basic questions, escorts him into the pastor’s study. Read the rest of this entry »

A Diet to Die For by Sarah Steding

A Diet to Die ForReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Jen Stevens, event planner extraordinaire, has everything for the party honoring Bess Brantwood planned down to the last detail-everything that is except the star of the evening who is a no show for her own party. Among the Yummy Channel’s viewers, Bess Brantwood is queen. Not only does she consistently draw huge audiences for her show, the cupcakes she developes and sells in her bakery are truly divine. Unfortunately, she is not so divine to work with and so, when she turns up dead in the alley behind the bakery, there aren’t too many of her coworkers grieving.

As set ups go for an amateur sleuth to become involved in a police case, this is probably one of the more plausible ones I’ve run across. Jen worked for the victim, planned the event, knows all the key persons involved and last, but certainly not least, used to date one of the “persons of interest” that has gone AWOL since the murder. It is quite logical that she would be questioned and later re-interviewed for follow up details. Are there some things that happen that no way would really happen? Certainly, but as far as a reason for the protagonist to become involved in the investigation in the first place, this one is fairly plausible. Read the rest of this entry »

The Hit by David Baldacci

The Hit Reviewed by Allen Hott

David Baldacci introduced his readers to Will Robie earlier in another story and now he has him on a new mission. In case you missed it, Robie is a top U.S. government assassin who does away with the government’s enemies usually one or so at a time. No, he is not a member of our armed forces although he has been trained as such. Now he works strictly undercover for a special unit that reports pretty much directly to the president. As Robie moves along in this tale he also has contacts with Julie Getty, a young girl who now relies on him for strength and hope. He also reunites with Nichole Vance, an agent for the FBI who has worked alongside Robie in the past.

But Robie in this story meets up with a former female agent that he trained with several years ago. Jessica Reel was one of the best that Robie had ever seen join the group. One of the best overall not just one of the best women! And from what he has heard she has excelled in her assignments since becoming a full time assassin.

However something seems to be amiss as all indications are that on her last assignment she did the unthinkable. The unit’s hits are directed via all types of top of the line electronic communications. And they are basically fail safe! However in Reel’s last case she was given the task of taking out a leader of a Middle Eastern nation that was using his power in a way not accepted by the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »