Daily Archives: January 25, 2014

The Dinosaur Feather by S.J. Gazan

The Dinosaur FeatherReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

The latest Scandinavian author to his the international market is S. J. Gazan. Set at the University of Copenhagen, readers expect a mystery with an academic tilt. The book is certainly that which proves to be both a strength and weakness in Gazan’s debut novel.

Anna Bella Nor, a graduate student in Biology has had a hard time of it. She’s had to balance being a single parent of a toddler while working on her thesis. On top of that, her advisor, Lars Helland has been less than supportive of her work-odd in itself since her thesis is in his field of expertise, the avian origins of dinosaurs. But then, two weeks before she is set to defend her thesis, things take a turn for the worse. Her advisor is found dead in a bizarre manner, his death ruled murder and nearly everyone associated with the professor is at least looked at as a potential suspect. When the police superintendent doesn’t seem to be making progress on the case, Anna begins nosing around putting herself in danger.

La Salle’s Ghost by Miles Arceneaux

La Salle's GhostReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

In this the second Charlie Sweetwater mystery, readers find Charlie out on the water for the anniversary of his brother’s death. Set fifteen years after the first book, readers find out what Charlie has been up to during that time as this story slowly unfolds. Charlie is sitting on the deck of his boat in total darkness when he imagines he hears someone swimming towards the boat. What he thinks he’s imagining turns out to indeed be a man swimming straight for the boat. He ends up diving in to save the man and brings him on board. The man, Julien Dufay, turns out to be a Frenchman from an oil rig some thirty miles from the boat. But the reasons for him to be in the Gulf at all are not about the oil rig, but about a family secret dating back over three hundred years. As Charlie was soon to learn, while Julien’s dream may be all about the past, Julien’s brother has another goal in his sight-one rooted very much in the present. There may be a mother lode of French history buried here, but there are also fossil fuels.

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

The Weight of BloodReviewed by Gina Metz

The Weight of Blood is set in Henbane, Missouri deep in the heart of the Ozarks. The story begins with Lucy Dane a seventeen year old born and raised in Henbane. Her friend from down the road, Cheri Stoddard, has been missing for a year and her body has just been found in pieces jammed into an old hollow tree. Lucy feels guilty that she was not a better friend to Cheri and that she did not try harder to find her or help her when she went missing. The papers labeled her as “deficient” or “developmentally disabled”. Kids at school had called her a lot worse things. Lucy had outgrown her and hadn’t spent much time with her in later years.

A Bride for Noah by Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith

A Bride for NoahReviewed by Jane Squires

The story begins Seattle and is an adventure in logging, love and more.

Evie feels she can leave Tennessee and start over. She travels with an employee who she has a partnership with to start a restaurant. Two other ladies are with them too. When she cannot get help from the loggers, it doesn’t stop her from getting ladies to help her clear off land for a restaurant. Love that part a lot.

Turns out land belonged to Noah so she forms a partnership with him too. Noah can hardly believe his Uncle brought women to the logging site. He is kept busy trying to keep the women out of the men’s way so they will work. But turns out he finally has to allow women near men to get the work done on time.

The Absence of Mercy by John Burley

The Absence of MercyReviewed by Allen Hott

Lots and lots of tension in this one! The Absence of Mercy carries the reader to the finish line with just a nominal number of bumps and stops. But mostly it is a fast moving suspense novel that follows a doctor in a small Ohio town as he works at performing his tasks as the Coroner of the area. John Burley’s background in medicine (works now as an emergency medicine physician part time) shows throughout in his ability to discuss many of the happenings in medical terminology. If he continues to write books like this one I would think he would be walking away from his part time medical work soon.

The story begins with a teenage boy walking through the woods near his home when he is suddenly accosted by someone who after chasing him gets close enough to stick a sharp object into his head. The attacker then brutally ravages the youngster with repeated stabs, hacks, and even bites into some of the torn apart sections of his body.