Monthly Archives: February 2011

Supreme Justice by Phillip Margolin

Supreme JusticeReviewed by Vickie Dailey

Philip Margolin once tried a case before the Supreme Court. Through firsthand knowledge and many interviews with court personnel, he combines real experiences with fiction to create a really good novel.

Supreme Justice reunites attorney Brad Miller, Keith Evans of the FBI and P.I. Dana Cutler in a sequel to 2008’s Executive privilege.

Brad is now clerking for Supreme Court Justice Felicia Moss. When she is almost brutally attacked, Brad saves her in the parking garage of the court. After Brad saves her he shares that he has had co-workers asking about the current cert before the court. Oregon VS. Woodruff. Becoming suspicious, she askes Brad to enlist his friend PI Dana Cutler to go to Oregon and investigate. Sarah Woodruff is on death row in Oregon for killing her lover John Finley.

Deadly Currents by Beth Groundwater

Deadly CurrentsReviewed by Patricia Reid

Mandy Tanner is on her second week of serving as a seasonal river ranger on the Arkansas River, a fantastic location for whitewater rafting. Mandy is still under the supervision of Steve Handley, head river ranger, when both Mandy and Steve realize that Gonzo Gordon, a rafting guide, was in trouble with the three-raft pod he was leading down river.

Steve and Mandy both spring into action in an attempt to rescue the occupants of the rafts. Mandy manages to reach the woman who had taken a spill but there is still a man who needs to be rescued. Once Mandy has the woman secure, she moves towards the man who appears to be unresponsive. Mandy manages to get to get the man somewhat secured and after fighting the current finally made it to shore. Mandy immediately began CPR but her efforts were useless. The man was dead.

The deceased is identified as Tom King, a real estate developer in Salida, the town where Mandy lives and her Uncle Bill owns a rafting business. The first indication was that King’s death was due to a heart attack. As soon as the news of Tom King’s death gets around town people start cancelling trips booked with her Uncle’s business. To make matters even worse, King’s widow filed suit against Mandy’s uncle.

Lethal Lineage by Charlotte Hinger (Review #2)

Lethal LineageReviewed by Patricia Reid

You might think life in a little Kansas town would be boring but Lottie Albright and her sister Josie can testify that sometimes it is just downright exciting to say nothing of being a little dangerous.

St. Helena’s is a small Episcopal Church built on the corners of four western Kansas Counties. The church is the result of donations of money, land, and labor by members of the congregation who are anxiously awaiting the first service in their own church. What should be a joyous occasion suddenly turns into a tragic affair when Reverend Mary Farnsworth drops the sacramental wine and rushes to the anteroom. When the door to the anteroom is finally opened, Mary is dead. What is first believed to be a suicide is soon found to be murder. Mary has been poisoned.

Lottie Albright acts as undersheriff of the county as well as historian. Lottie soon discovers that although Mary has lived in town for years no one really knows anything about her history or if she has family. Lottie is at a loss as to who to notify about Mary’s death. Lottie’s twin sister, Josie, is assisting Lottie in her search for Mary’s identity.

Don’t Tell Nobody: A Forbidden Desire Not Forever Vulnerable by Darryl Wayne

Don't Tell Nobody Reviewed by Cy Hilterman

For a person such as me, the reading and reviewing of this book was extremely difficult. I respect those that are gays or lesbians to live that type of life but to write a respectable review I must change gears in my thinking and write through the eyes of them. The language is very explicit and is meant for adults only.

Young girls and boys that were born and raised in a very poor and run down section of Philadelphia started life with, in their eyes, a world against them. They grew up with much abuse, sexual and physical, homes with little or no morals or normal family closeness, and little personal space of their own in area and in privacy. They got used from day one of their memory to being abused by those in their own homes as well as many in the neighborhood. They learned at a very young age that giving and taking sex and abuse was a part of their life, want it or not. They existed with drugs, sex, rape, beatings, and mental anguish every day of their life as long as they could remember. They carved out a life of their own on the streets, alleys, condemned houses, and rarely lived in the same place more than several nights in a row unless they had met someone that would take them in feeling sorry for them but expecting something such as sex in return.

Cat Striking Back by Shirley Rosseau Murphy (Review #2)

Cat Striking BackReviewed by Teri Davis

Do you really know your neighbors? They appear agreeable and helpful but are they honest or are they just waiting for the moment when they can rob you?

What would you do if you had a spat with your spouse and the person fell, killing them self? O.K., you might have pushed them a little, but you had no intentions for their being hurt in any way. After all, your mate started the argument, so it was their own fault. Will the police view it that way? If you go to the police, will they discover that you are really a thief, or will they accuse you of murder, or both?

Ed and Francis Becker fit in well to their California community. They babysit the neighbor’s children and join the other neighbors for the occasion meal or barbecue. What they do not realize is the influence of the cats in the area. They are extremely astute and seem to be communicating and assisting adults.
Isn’t that strange? How does all this fit together? That’s the puzzle to solve in Cat Striking Back.

The Prince of Frogtown by Rick Brag

The Prince of FrogtownReviewed by Allen Hott

That boy can write!

Rick Bragg’s Prince of Frogtown is the final in the trilogy about fathers and sons. I for one am sorry to see it end. Hopefully Mr. Bragg will continue however to write about his homeland of Jacksonville, Alabama. He certainly captures the ambiance of the south as he pictures his family, neighbors, and surroundings.

Sadly much of his past includes problems with a father who preferred drink and overall problem causing instead of parenthood filled with happiness and tranquil surroundings. Charles Bragg, the father, had grown up in a family that thought nothing of weekends completely ruined by the over-indulgence of “white liquor” or as known to many by white lightning. Although Charles didn’t actually turn into the man that he became until after World War II he did have the background which helped lead him into the wrong life.

Charles did however, according to some of his old buddies, refer often to an incident that he could not forget and which may have been a major part of his later lifestyle. While he was in the Marines and fighting in the Pacific he actually killed one of the enemy but not by the conventional method of gunfire. He recounted quite often of seeing the enemy’s eyes as Charles held him under water and drowned him. No doubt that could shake most folk’s psyche!

The Final Detail by Harlan Coben

The Final DetailReviewed by Allen Hott

An earlier Myron Bolitar thriller by Coben and a very interesting twisting story. One major difference is that in this one Myron is working with a baseball player rather than a basketball player, which is his normal fixation. However he and his crew are involved as agents for sports figures so the story is entirely believable.

What does seem unbelievable however is that Esperanza, his former girl Friday and now partner at MB Agents, has just been charged with the murder of one of their clients. Or as the case would have it “former” clients. All of this transpired while Myron was off out of touch with the world. He was supposedly getting over a “final” breakup with his long time love. No one knew where he had gone nor how long he would be gone. Luckily Win Horne, Myron’s longtime associate and master of everything imaginable was able to track him down.

Even though both Myron and Win feel confident that Esperanza did not in fact kill Clu Haid, the former client, they find quickly that they have their work cut out for them in finding the real killer. One major part of their problem is that Esperanza refuses to speak with them and her attorney also refuses to deal with them in any way.

Money to Burn by James Grippando (Review #2)

Reviewed by Julie Moderson

Michael Cantella and Ivy Layton meet when they are both working in finance. Michael is a rising star with one of Wall Street’s finest investment banks. On the wedding night Ivy disappears off the yacht they rented. Her body is never recovered. Michael never stops loving Ivy even when he gets married to Mallory.

Mallory throws Michael a big birthday bash for his 35th birthday and checks them into a swanky hotel and he goes on line to check his investment accounts and finds they have all disappeared. He then receives an email saying “just as planned.” Xoxo.

Lethal Lineage by Charlotte Hinger

Lethal LineageReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

What starts out as a happy celebration for both the Albright family and the parishioners of St. Helena’s Church, turns terribly wrong in the course of a few minutes. First the visiting Episcopal Bishop who has come to confirm Lottie and Josie Albright’s niece delivers what can only be described as a fire and brimstone homily. Then as the congregation is receiving communion, Reverend Mary Farnsworth, drops the chalice spilling the consecrated wine before fleeing to the ante-room. Farnsworth is found dead after the service ends. That is the set up for Hinger’s second Lottie Albright mystery.

There are so many different angles to this book to pull different sorts of readers in. It’s rather unusual to have a protagonist who is both an amateur sleuth and a law enforcement officer, but that is exactly what readers have in Lottie Albright. While she came to Western Kansas as the Director of the County Historical Society, she soon found herself a part-time deputy for the Sheriff’s Department and is now in fact the Under Sheriff. So while the book is technically a police procedural, it’s also an amateur detective novel. Because Lottie’s current project at the Historical Society is writing the county’s history through the stories of the residents, it is very much historical fiction as well.

Then there’s the rich detailing of Western Kansas for a setting which brings the area to life leaving no confusion with the reader that Lottie’s Kansas is far, far away from Kansas City-and not just in miles. Through the oral histories of the families readers learn much of how this area of the country came to be settled-what drew people to what was not by any measure an easy life in the early days.

In Desperation by Rick Mofina

In DesperationReviewed by Patricia Reid

Jack Gannon is working on a story in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Jack is a journalist employed by Word Press Alliance. Jack and Isabel Luna, a crime reporter for El Heralda, a family owned newspaper in Juarez, have just discovered a mother cradling her dead son in her arms. The boy was only 16 and the third child that Paula Chavez had lost to the drug wars raging in Mexico.

Jack has also lost his family. His sister, Cora, left home when she was just a teen-ager. Jack’s parents are deceased. Prior to their death, they had done everything possible to locate Cora but they were not successful in their search. Members of a drug cartel had murdered Isabel’s father. Isabel confided in Jack that she had actually witnessed her father’s death and had seen his murderer.

Meanwhile in Phoenix, Arizona a mother named Cora Martin is terrified. Her eleven year-old daughter, Tilly, has been kidnapped. The men who took Cora said that her boss, who was also her boyfriend, Lyle Galviera had stolen money from them. Lyle owns Quick Draw Courier and had been using his company to launder money for the drug cartel. The kidnappers’ state that Tilly will not be returned until the money is recovered. Cora is told if she wants to see her daughter, she must find Lyle and make sure he returns their money.