Murder, She Wrote: A Date with Murder by Jessica Fletcher, Donald Bain and Jon Land

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Broken Chord: A Music Row Mystery by Alice A. Jackson

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Shortcut (The Cut Series Book 2) by Arnold Eslava-Grunwaldt

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Daily Archives: September 13, 2011

The Final Reckoning by Sam Bourne

The Final ReckoningReviewed by Jud Hanson

It started with a warning over the radio: “Watch for a man in an overcoat.” A UN Security Guard shoots who he thinks is the potential threat. It turns out to be an elderly gentleman, a seemingly innocent victim. Enter former UN attorney Tom Burns, asked current UN Counsel to help make the matter go away. He travels to England to meet with the sole surviving family member of the victim, a daughter and has been given cart Blanche to give her whatever she asks for so the matter can be closed. All is not as it appears, a fact Tom realizes after taking a journal from the daughter’s home and reading it. His pursuit of the truth will take him back more than sixty years and place him in the crosshairs of a clandestine brotherhood of assassins who will allow nothing to get in their way.

Bears with Us (Tempe Crabtree Mystery Series) by Marilyn Meredith

Bears with UsReviewed by Patricia Reid

Bears are all over Bear Creek, the small mountain community in the southern Sierra where Tempe Crabtree lives with her husband Hutch. Hutch is a pastor in the local church. Tempe is a deputy in the small community and it seems she is being called out so much that she hardly has time to eat or sleep. The bears are preparing for their period of hibernation but are having a hard time finding sufficient food so a few have decided that they will forage for food wherever they can. Tempe has been called when a bear is tearing up a Bear Creek resident’s kitchen and helping itself to whatever is available in the refrigerator and creating quite a mess. A local apple orchard attracts a bear that is dead set on eating the entire crop before the owner of the orchard can get the apples picked and sent to market. Some new residents of the community find a bear on their deck enjoying a nice big roast. A bear even tries to get into the local school.

But it isn’t all about bears. Tempe is called to the home of a new family who has moved into the community. Their son has committed suicide. Although Hutch, serving in his capacity as a minister, tries to offer comfort and help to the family he is not very well received. The family is acting very strangely and seems to want the death of their son kept very quiet.

The mother of a young girl calls upon Tempe to investigate the young man her daughter wants to date. That isn’t exactly in the line of duty for Tempe but she tries to reassure the mother that the boy is a nice young man and well liked in the community. When Hutch invites the daughter to attend his youth group and the young man is in the group the girl’s mother decides to file a complaint with Tempe’s boss.

Bad Weeds Never Die by Christopher Valen

Bad Weeds Never DieReviewed by Patricia Reid

“Santana is destined to become one of my favorite detectives,” is a quote from my review of White Tombs the book that introduced Detective John Santana. The Black Minute, the second Santana book, was even more exciting than the first book. Now author, Christopher Valen, has brought Detective John Santana back in Bad Weeds Never Die. “Bad weeds never die,” is an old Columbian saying and turns out to be an excellent title for this book.

John Santana was born in Columbia. He had avenged his Mother’s death and he was forced to flee leaving behind his younger sister Natalia. Santana hopes someday to locate her. He knows that his sister could be dead but his dreams and his senses tell him that she is still alive.

Santana’s current case is the death of Teresa Blackwood. Teresa’s vehicle is found in a parking lot. The car is full of blood and some dirt and an orchid are on the floorboard of the car. Although the vehicle was empty, the police felt that someone had died in that car and that the body had been moved. When Santana and his partner Kacie Hawkins call on Jonathan Blackwood, Teresa’s father, they discover that Teresa has a twin sister, Maria. Blackwood tells the detectives that although the twins are identical their personalities are very different. Teresa is head of an adoption agency. Maria is a part time musician and mystery writer with a history of some drug problems. The twins were adopted by the Blackwood’s when they six months old. The twins were adopted in Columbia.