Monthly Archives: September 2015

By the Iowa Sea: A Memoir by Joe Blair

By the Iowa Sea

Reviewed by Teri Davis

“Life can hypnotize you into thinking that you have no choice. That you’re trapped. You have a mortgage. You have a job. You have a wife. You have children, one of whom will never dress himself. Never hold a conversation. Never fall in love. And you will provide. This will be your life. What choice do you have in the matter? Things will always be this way.”

Joe Blair is like many normal people. He works hard to earn a living for his family. He has a mortgage, a wife, and four children. He is fairly certain that the oldest three will be successful in life with one day having their own careers and families. His fourth child, Michael, is autistic. Will Michael always need to depend on him for his care? What do people do when they have a handicapped child?

And Sometimes I Wonder About You: A Leonid McGill Mystery (Leonid McGill Mysteries) by Walter Mosley

And Sometimes I Wonder About You

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Mr. Mosley is quite a storyteller! Takes some reading to get it all together and realize what happened, is happening, and will happen but it is an interesting read.

Leonid McGill, a NYC based Private Investigator, lives quite a life. Both his private and business lives are actually more than enough material for a book and Mosley blends them together perfectly. Some of it is a bit hard to believe but then most stories do have lots of possibilities and not necessarily all sure things.

Pretty Girls: A Novel by Karin Slaughter (Review #2)

Pretty Girls

Reviewed by Allen Hott

A family devastated by the loss of their oldest daughter seems to have come apart at the seams. The girl was kidnapped and no one knows what happened. The parents divorce, the father commits suicide, one daughter becomes a druggie party girl and the other quietly retires into the shadows until she later becomes a millionaire’s wife.

But a whole lot goes on in the lives of this crew as Karin Slaughter takes the reader on an interesting journey. She gets the show on the road by having Claire’s (the millionaire’s wife) out in town waiting for her husband to join her. While she waits she hears of a young girl missing and assumed kidnapped. When Paul, her millionaire husband, finally shows the two of them begin walking down the street. In a strange manner her husband pulls her into an alley and appears to be planning to have some type of sexual encounter with her there. However about that same time a hooded man approaches and begins making threats. Paul tells Claire to give up her wallet, earrings, and such but still the man thrusts a knife into Paul before the man takes off. Claire tries to keep Paul awake and alive as the police and medics arrive but to no avail. They advise that he is dead and she is left alone and devastated.

Strong Light of Day by Jon Land

Strong Light of Day

Reviewed by Russell Ilg

Strong Light of Day is another great novel in the Caitlin Strong series; I won’t say best because each book is the best in its own right, since this is without question the finest thriller series going today. But this latest entry is both the most complex and timely. Indeed, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine opening up the newspaper not long down the road and spying a headline about the nation’s food supply under attack. Agro-terrorism, in other words, in Strong Light of Day at the hands of Russians who never stopped fighting the Cold War. Indeed, reading these books serves as a pointed reminder that there are people out there icily committed to destroying our way of life.

A Ghostly Demise (Ghostly Southern Mysteries) by Tonya Kappes

A Ghostly Demise

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

A Ghostly Demise is the third entry into the Ghostly Southern Mystery series by Kappas with protagonist Emma Lee Raines. While Emma Lee is one of the town’s two undertakers, she also has a side gig that is far more interesting. An accidental conk on the head has left her with an unusual talent; she can see and communicate with the dead. And not just any old dead person either. The ones who seek Emma Lee out are the ones who can’t quite move on because the circumstances surrounding their deaths have not been resolved. And so Emma Lee has reluctantly become a “betweener,” a person who helps those stuck on earth move on by solving their cases. The ghosts pass Emma Lee’s name on to the next ghost in line leading the little town of Sleepy Hollow, Kentucky to appear to be suffering from “Cabot Cove” syndrome. Didn’t anyone buried in the town cemetery die of natural causes? It sure doesn’t seem like it to Emma Lee!

Emma Lee was hoping for a break from her “betweener” duties, but alas that was not to be. Cephus Hardy popped up in Emma’s life asking for, of all things, a Strohs beer. Apparently, Cephus had not just gone on a bender and left town five years ago after all. And so the new case begins. This one has a twist because before it’s over Emma is actually trying to help two souls depart earth.

And Emma Lee’s quest to find answers for the departed is not the only thing going on in A Ghostly Demise. As unlikely as it seems, Granny is running for mayor with all of her flamboyance style in play and a carnival has taken over the town square. The competition between Emma Lee and the other funeral parlor in town is heating up with the Burns family throwing all sorts of nastiness Emma’s way.

These books are just fun. The writing is snappy with just the right amount of humor sprinkled in. The characters are colorful and the town is probably a lot more realistic of small town life than portrayed in many cozies-except of course for all of the restless souls.

Even though this is the third book in the series, it is not necessarily a must to read the earlier books first. A reader would quickly be up to speed on Emma Lee’s “gift” and get a feel for some of the other main characters in the series. Each of the books’ plots stand alone. I’m pretty confident though that after meeting Emma Lee and her granny, a reader would want to go back and read them all.

Click Here to Purchase A Ghostly Demise: A Ghostly Southern Mystery (Ghostly Southern Mysteries)

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The Kill Switch: A Tucker Wayne Novel by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood

The Kill Switch

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Former Army Rangers have distinct skills that are frequently needed in other situations throughout the world. Sigma Force is a governmental agency that employs many of these people who can actually keep the world safer. Their latest mission is to assist a Russian pharmaceutical expert to acquire an organism that could be the survivor of all plant life, essentially being the equivalent of stem cells in plants. Whoever can utilize and control this organism could rule the world. This is definitely a new type of biological warfare.

Ruthless by John Rector


Reviewed by Teri Daivs

“Every decision we make has consequences…Some people, however, don’t grasp the concept of consequences, and I can see now that you’re one of those people, Nick.”

There are certain times in your life where a mistaken identity can be a blessing, others where it definitely is a curse. For Nick White, he is uncertain which.

Crime and Clutter (A Friday Afternoon Club Mystery) by Cyndy Salzman

Crime and Clutter

Reviewed by Teri Davis

It’s confession time. What secrets about your family would you prefer no one to ever know? What do you believe your friends would think if they knew about your past?

Everyone needs a good friend and the Friday Afternoon Club is a group of women who for many years have supported each other and their families while creating a close-knit group of six women who also pray together. Lucy, Jessie, Marina, Mary Alice, Kelly and Liz take turns on hosting this weekly event at four. Obviously their families assist in allowing these women their special “me” time. This special relationship has kept this group together for over eleven years.

Hell, and God, and Nuns with Rulers by John Collings

Hell, and God and Nuns with Rulers

Reviewed by Please Pass the Books

In John Collings’ Hell, and God, and Nuns with Rulers we meet Tristan Adamson, a teenage boy with all the trappings that a young man in high school faces: struggles with grades, a part-time job at a burger joint, raging hormones, the unfortunate complexion of a pubescent teen, and parents that seem to understand absolutely nothing (although they certainly claim to). However, unlike the average teenage boy, Tristan has an added conflict that arises from the expectations of his bible-thumping parents and the dreaded classes meant to prepare him for the holy sacrament of Confirmation. As Tristan attempts to maneuver his way through the muddled and confusing question of faith, he is thrown into an even deeper degree of soul-searching on his own personal crusade while trying to come to terms with his sexuality.

When the Serpent Bites by Nesly Clerge

When the Serpent Bites

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

When a snake bites there are a few steps one can take right away, such as immobilizing the affected area, before being transported to a medical facility. But “When the Serpent Bites” the venom spreads faster and the victim must fight for his life.

The serpent is one of the most widespread and fascinating mythological symbols. So, it is no wonder that out of the many values which are attributed to it, some are contradictory, like guardianship and vengefulness. The magical thing about the serpent is that it is the ultimate representation of the duality of good and evil. In this crime novel just like in real life the good and evil are intertwined.