Archive for category Crime

Review: THE LOVER by Laura Wilson

The Lover

Laura Wilson

Felony and Mayhem Press

ISBN: 978-1-934609-88-0

$14.95

321 pages

Reviewed by Amanda Capper

The Lover is a very good read with the added titillation of being a BOAT (Based on a True). This book revolves around The Blackout Ripper and will entice any fan of true crime to research further, if for no other reason than to see just how much in common The Lover has with Jack the Ripper.

Set in London during the Second World War, the story centers on three characters; Lucy, a young woman reaching maturity during uncertain times; Rene, a prostitute constantly living under a threat of local violence; and Jim, an Air Force pilot who becomes the love interest of Lucy. The author writes in the first person for each of these characters and does an excellent job of keeping the voice of each character distinct. Laura Wilson also does an excellent job of suspense, tying the characters together at crucial points of the story and giving the reader a very good idea of what motivates both victim and murderer.

The Lover also reminds us how darn good we have it these days. If our cable goes down, or our internet speed slows, we think we’re hard done by. But black-outs were routine during the war. In order to decrease targets for enemy planes, all lights were extinguished and Londoners were expected to head for air raid shelters under ground. Where they sat and listened to the bombs fall, wondering all the time if the bombs would fall on their homes and any loved ones who didn’t make it to an air raid shelter in time. Add to these fears the horror of someone attacking and mutilating the most helpless of women and you have an account of a whole city on the brink of insanity.

It is a can’t-put-down, up-all-night type of book because you want/need to know what happens next to these three main characters, as well as the secondary characters woven into their lives. As with any good book, when the end comes, you want more. Guaranteed to send the reader into research mode.

 

Copyright © 2011 Amanda Capper

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

 

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Review: FEVER DREAM by Dennis Palumbo

Fever Dream

Dennis Palumbo

Poisoned Pen Press

ISBN-9781590589595

342 pages

$14.95 (soft cover)

Reviewed by Laura Hartman

 

The weather isn’t the only thing heating up in Dennis Palumbo’s latest Daniel Rinaldi novel. Fever Dream finds psychologist Rinaldi on the hot plate when he is called in by the Pittsburg PD to help the only survivor of a bank robbery gone bad. Treva is so traumatized she is unable or unwilling to communicate with anyone but Rinaldi.

Things go from bad to worse as shady politicians, kidnapping and death circle around Rinaldi. Nothing comes easy in this case, especially when half of the cops on the PD resent the consulting psychologist and his theories.

Stirring in ex-girlfriends, former patients and the possibility of a new love interest thickens the plot as things become more and more complicated. The fast-paced action makes this novel a real page turner, but take the time to appreciate the beauty of Palumbo’s writing. Descriptions like “…spreading tendrils of Interstate 76 reaching delicately into furrowed valleys…” are gems found throughout the book.

Fever Dream is Palumbo’s second in his Daniel Rinaldi Mystery series, following Mirror Image. I have not read the first in the series and found Fever Dream fine as a stand-alone novel. Because it was well written and intriguing, I am looking forward to going back and reading the first in his series.

Copyright © 2011 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

 

 

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Review: CHOKE by Kaye George

Choke

Kaye George

Mainly Murder Press, LLC

ISBN-978-0-9827952

214 pages

$14.95 (soft cover)

Reviewed by Laura Hartman

Kaye George has a recipe for success with her Imogene Duckworthy mystery Choke. Imogene – Immy to her family and friends – quits her job working for at her slimy uncle’s diner in hopes of following her dream to become a private eye. How hard can it be? Immy watches PI shows on TV and even reads The Moron’s Compleat PI Guidebook for tips and tricks of the trade.

She jumps into her new career with both feet in mismatched shoes when Uncle Huey turns up murdered and her mother is the main suspect. Immy breaks her mom out of jail and they go on the lamb while Immy searches for the real killer. The sharp contrast of Hortense’s propensity for ten dollar words when discussing everyday things and Immy’s new PI lingo made me laugh out loud more than once.

This quick cozy is entertaining and often tongue-in-cheek. Subtle jokes make me chuckle like Immy’s late father’s name, Louis and her Uncle’s name Huey. All we need is Dewey and we have all three of Donald Duck’s nephews. Very fitting names for a Duckworthy family. Immy’s daughter is named Nancy Drew Duckworthy, again perfect for the daughter of a want-to-be detective.

Stephanie Plum needs to watch out for the new PI in town, Immy has all the charm and the right touch of zaniness to take over as top duck with her mixture of armchair detection and just enough knowledge to get herself in trouble without even trying. Mix in the small town cast of characters, a couple of possible love interests that popped up in Choke and we are on the way to books that readers can’t wait to get their hands on next in the series.

 

Copyright © 2011 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

 

 

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Review: MURDER IN A BASKET by Amanda Flower

Murder In A Basket

An India Hayes Mystery

Amanda Flower

ISBN: 978-1-4328-2567-6

Five Star Publishing

281 Pages

Reviewed By Diane Grace

India Hayes, college librarian and struggling artist, is talked into running a face-painting booth at the Founders’ Day Festival by her older sister, Carmen. She’s not sure how her sister persuaded her to dress in the pink pioneer costume, including mobcap and granny boots, but that’s a small problem when she finds one of her fellow artists dead.

The woman, a basket weaver named Tess Ross leaves behind an angry blacksmith husband, an adopted son, squabbling siblings, an artists co-op she helped start and a labradoodle with a trust fund.

India with her backbone of cooked spaghetti and relatives that put the word dysfunctional in the dictionary, finds herself talked into searching for the killer by the distraught son, a college student with a crush on India. In her search for answers she is conned by the victim’s lawyer into being the foster-owner of the labradoodle until things are settled. To make matters worse, Tess is the sister of the college provost, India’s pompous superior. The further India looks into the matter the worse things get. With a little luck, India will find the answer to her quest before she becomes the murderer’s next victim.

Murder In A Basket is Amanda Flower’s sophomore effort in a series featuring India Hayes, college librarian and amateur artist. Ms. Flower’s writing style fits in nicely with other professional cozy mystery writers, Earlene Fowler, M.C. Beaton, Barbara Colley and others. The story has more twists and turns than the baskets the murder victim made. India goes blundering into one situation after another. And if she can’t get into enough trouble by herself, her neighbor and family will be happy to do it for her. All in innocence of course.

This is a delightful story, I would find myself immersed in the characters, rooting for them to succeed, cringing when they got in over their heads. Made me wish there was a Stripling, Ohio and a Founders’ Festival to visit. I can recommend Murder In A Basket without qualm one to any cozy mystery reader.

Copyright 2011 by Diane Grace

Disclosure of material connection: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep in consideration preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

Cozy mystery, Mystery

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Review: THE CONCERT KILLER by R J McDonnell

The Concert Killer

RJ McDonnell

isbn 978-0-9814914-5-5

Published by Kileena Publishing Scranton, PA

308 pages

Reviewed by Marlene Pyle

This is the third novel in the Rock & Roll series, again featuring former band member and mental health counselor, Jason Duffy. Now a private investigator, Jason staffs his office with past clients from his days as a therapist, and they are a quirky but lovable crew.

The son of a gruff retired cop, Jason comes naturally to the field of crime fighting, but he doesn’t always see eye to eye with his old-school, traditional dad. Jason’s also recently begun living with his school teacher girlfriend, Kelly, and they don’t quite have all the kinks in their relationship worked out yet.

But Jason’s got bigger problems. The novel opens with the murder of a young woman in a restroom at a concert arena. When it becomes evident that a serial killer is picking off victims at local concerts, the concert promoters hire Jason to track him down, but some of the businessmen seem more worried about their profit margins than the safety of their customers.

The murderer is a misguided religious fanatic. He keeps score of his kills on the back of a dollar bill and leaves taunting clues at the scene of each brutal crime. As Jason gets closer to identifying the killer, his own life and those of the people he loves may also be in danger.

Fast paced and full of action, this is a well-told story set in the glamourous world of high-dollar rock and roll.

Copyright 2011 Marlene Pyle

Disclosure of material connection: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep in consideration preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

 

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