Daily Archives: March 21, 2011

Chime by Franny Billingsley

ChimeReviewed by Teri Davis

Living near London in the first half of the twentieth century gives most readers a sense of the setting. However, living in a swampy area creates an environment based on superstition and witchcraft.

Briony Larkin has guilt issues. She feels responsible for her twin sister’s lack of development due to a childhood injury and also her stepmother’s death. What really happened?

Briony and Rose Larkin are the unusual twin daughters to the local Reverend. For years, Briony lived as the wolfgirl of the swamp while Rose seemed to be a lost immature child. Since their mother died giving birth to the twins, the Reverend struggles raising with these two.

Finally, the two sisters are developing love interests and their relationship with their community is becoming strained, especially when a suspected with is hung. After her death, since the body did not turn to dust, that was the proof that the red haired woman was innocent.

Briony has the gift of second sight and can view when someone will die. She also sees spirits, brownies, and creatures that normal people do not even know exist. She doesn’t want to die by being accused of being a witch, so she has the constant challenge of not fitting in, when she truly feels that she never
does belong.

Toys by James Patterson

ToysReviewed by Patricia Reid

Toys moves the reader forward to the year 2061 where humans are referred to as skunks and the Elites are in charge. Hays Baker is an Elite. Although every Elite has special powers, Hays Baker seems to have received more than his share of strength, intelligence and good looks. Hays has a beautiful wife, Lizabeth, and two wonderful children. The future is bright for Hays until the fatal day when he was called to a Toyz store where many were dead due to a violent attack.

Owen McGill, Hays partner, was sure that the killings were the result of an attack by skunks. Hays set out to catch the skunks that had caused the carnage but in his attempt to catch them he took a fall that was beyond even his capacity for survival without serious damage. Hays winds up in the hospital. Suddenly Hays was no longer the perfect example of an Elite but a person that the Elites hated and wanted to torture and interrogate.

Hays goes on the run and ends up at the home of his parents. In reconnecting with his parents Hays learns the truth of his heritage as well as the horrors that humans have been subjected to at the hands of the ruling Elites.

Dying for Justice by L.J. Sellers

Dying for JusticeReviewed by Patricia Reid

Clark and Evelyn Jackson were shot to death in their home eleven years ago. Detective Wade Jackson has moved beyond the horror of his parent’s murder and his estrangement from his brother Derrick. Wade and his brother inherited their parent’s home but Derrick lives there even though the house should have been sold and the proceeds divided between the two brothers. When Wade receives a letter from the man who had been convicted of the murders, old wounds are once again brought to the surface.

Hector Vargas was a man who was doing odd jobs for Wade’s parents. Due to an anonymous tip, Vargas was picked up and eventually confessed to the murder of Clark and Evelyn Jackson. Vargas writes that he has cancer and wants to set the record straight before he dies. Wade decides to make the trip to Oregon State Penitentiary even though he feels that Vargas is just trying to make a last minute attempt to clear his conscience.

When Wade hears the story Vargas has to tell he is convinced that Vargas is telling the truth. Vargas did steal from Wade’s parents but swears he did nothing to hurt the couple. Vargas describes his interrogation and the brutality of the two police officers who are still in the department.

Jackson receives permission from his supervisor to spend some time trying to find out more information about the case involving the murder of his parents. He also requests that an investigation begin regarding the allegations made by Vargas regarding police brutality.

Afraid of the Dark by James Grippando

Afraid of the DarkReviewed by Nancy Eaton

The first chapter of Afraid of the Dark started off with such suspense that I could feel my heart pounding. I was completely hooked.

McKenna, a young girl has been murdered. As she died in the arms of Sgt. Vince Paulo, he managed to get her to say the same of the person who did this terrible thing to her. She named Jamal as the person responsible. Jamal was her ex-boyfriend. Vince heard a noise and thought he could catch Jamal but all of a sudden he heard a blast and everything went black and Vince lost his eyesight.

Jack Swyntek, a Miami criminal defense lawyer, is called in on a case. His job was now to save Jamal from the death penalty. Jamal is accused of being a terrorist. Jamal claims he is innocent of being a terrorist and states that he did not kill McKenna. If he did not murder McKenna, who did? That means a murderer is still out there. Jack wants to withdraw from the case. He is almost positive Jamal will fail the lie detector test. Much to his surprise, Jamal passed the test.

Pushing Up Daisies by Rosemary Harris

Pushing Up DaisiesReviewed by Allen Hott

A somewhat different angle to this one. Paula Holliday is a transplanted media executive who moved to a small town in Connecticut and opened up a gardening business. However it turns out that Paula spends about as much of her time solving mysteries as she does planting and pruning.

One of Paula’s biggest successes has been getting the Halcyon/Peabody Gardens account for her nursery business. The gardens have just been turned over to the Historical Society and after a short visit with Richard Stapley, the Society’s president; he hired her as the new gardens keeper.

Shortly thereafter on one of her first chores in working the garden she unearths a metal crate that contains the remains of a baby with a religious medal attached to a chain. Not sure of exactly what to do she calls in the local police. The find stirs up the entire community’s curiosity and Paula finds herself doing what investigating she can to solve the mystery.

Luckily it is a small town and she has cultivated quite a few friends in her short time there. So as she finds out more and more about the dirty business in the past more and more people are drawn to her. Not only do the most of them give her help in finding clues to the mysteries but they also seem to give her more and more gardening jobs to grow her business.