Tag Archives: Debbie Viguie

Top 10 Tuesday — Unusual Crime-Solving Professions

1 Aug

IYears ago I read G.K. Chesterton’s collection of short stories entitled The Club of Queer Trades. It was fun reading. Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

(For Amazon) British writers have long enjoyed inventing preposterous clubs with eccentric members, unusual qualifications for membership and zany rules of behavior. The brilliant and gifted G. K. Chesterton was no exception, and the entertaining short stories in this volume revolve around just such an institution. In The Club of Queer Trades, candidates qualify for admission by creating a thoroughly original profession and proving they can make a living from it.

Six marvelously funny episodes with improbable plots are made especially pleasurable through Chesterton’s vivid descriptions of late Victorian London, sly pokes at the legal system, and a characteristic gift for delicious nonsense. In each story, a bizarre crime — such as kidnapping of a respected clergyman in “The Awful Reason of the Vicar’s Visit” — seems in the process of being committed. Actually, the events are all frenzied activities traceable to club members or would-be members. Here are intriguing tales of a little old lady imprisoned in a gloomy private dungeon; of prim and proper matrons bent on committing evil deeds; of a former British army officer and his extremely unusual residence; and a host of other incredible characters and situations.

This book got me thinking of all the mystery and suspense I read, and the many jobs the main characters have. There are plenty of FBI agents, US Marshals, and other law enforcement types, plus doctors, lawyers, PIs, bodyguards, etc., who get in on the action. But what about the unassuming amateurs or even the little known professionals that solve crimes, at least fictional crimes? So for this Top Ten Tuesday I’ve compiled a list of my own queer trades.

Top Crime-Solving Professions

 

Advice Columnist — Josephine Tulip (Mindy Starns Clark)

Josephine Tulip is definitely a smart chick, a twenty-first century female MacGyver who writes a helpful hints column and solves mysteries in her spare time. Her best friend, Danny, is a talented photographer who longs to succeed in his career…perhaps a cover photo on National Geographic?

When Jo’s next-door neighbor is accused of murder, Jo realizes the police have the wrong suspect. As she and Danny analyze clues, follow up on leads, and fall in and out of trouble, she recovers from a broken heart and he discovers that he has feelings for her. Will Danny have the courage to reveal them, or will he continue to hide them behind a façade of friendship?

Bailiff — Hugh de Singleton (Mel Starr)

Some valuable books have been stolen from Master John Wyclif, the well known scholar and Bible translator. He calls upon his friend and former pupil, Hugh de Singleton, to investigate. Hugh’s investigation leads him to Oxford where he again encounters Kate, the only woman who has tempted him to leave bachelor life behind, but Kate has another serious suitor. As Hugh’s pursuit of Kate becomes more successful, mysterious accidents begin to occur. Are these accidents tied to the missing books, or to his pursuit of Kate?

One of the stolen books turns up alongside the drowned body of a poor Oxford scholar. Another accident? Hugh certainly doesn’t think so, but it will take all of his surgeon’s skills to prove.

Church Secretary — Cindy Preston (Debbie Viguie)

Cindy and Jeremiah come from two different worlds, even though they work right next door to each other. Cindy is a strong Christian who lives a normal but somewhat dull life, working as a church secretary. Jeremiah is a Reformed rabbi with a mysterious past full of danger and excitement. But one eventful Easter/Passover week, the two find themselves working together to solve a murder and stop a serial killer from striking again. Solving the mystery should put an end to their alliance, but the church secretary and the rabbi quickly find themselves enmeshed in another mystery. Soon the two form a friendly alliance and friendship, exploring personal history and faith and growing closer with each passing adventure. Despite their differences Cindy and Jeremiah find a lot of common ground.

Crime Scene Cleaner — Gabby St. Claire (Christy Barritt)

Gabby St. Claire dropped out of school on her way to completing a degree in forensic science. Instead, she did the next best thing: she started her own crime scene cleaning business. When a routine cleaning job uncovers a murder weapon the police overlooked, she realizes that the wrong person is in jail. But the owner of the weapon is willing to do anything to keep Gabby quiet. With the help of her neighbor, Riley Thomas, Gabby plays detective. But can Riley help her before another murder occurs?

 

 

English Teacher — Amelia Prentice (E. E. Kennedy)

Amelia Prentice, a forty-something high school English teacher comfortable in her predictable routine, regains consciousness after tripping over the corpse of a former student in the safest of places, the public library. Returning to the classroom, she tries to pretend nothing happened. But when it becomes obvious that the victim’s death wasn’t an accident and she is now a murder suspect, she realizes that her cozy small-town life in New York’s Adirondack region will never be the same.
 
Crazy things begin to happen: The victim’s mother disappears. Amelia’s friend Lily is thrown overboard from the Lake Champlain ferryboat. A mysterious millionaire from Montreal seems determined to buy Amelia’s house. The school nurse is viciously attacked by a student. Amelia’s old beau Gil suddenly seems determined to rekindle their romance. Amelia is carjacked, and of course, there’s the Lake Champlain Monster . . . 
 
It will take all Amelia’s wisdom, humor, and faith to figure out what’s going on and embrace the new life that lies ahead. If she survives.

Forensic Artist — Gwen Marcy (Carrie Stuart Parks)

In 1857, a wagon train in Utah was assaulted by a group of militant Mormons calling themselves the Avenging Angels. One hundred and forty people were murdered, including unarmed men, women, and children. The Mountain Meadows Massacre remains controversial to this day–but the truth may be written on the skulls of the victims.
When renowned forensic artist Gwen Marcey is recruited to reconstruct the faces of recently unearthed victims at Mountain Meadows, she isn’t expecting more than an interesting gig . . . and a break from her own hectic life.

But when Gwen stumbles on the ritualized murder of a young college student, her work on the massacre takes on a terrifying new aspect, and research quickly becomes a race against modern-day fundamentalist terror.
As evidence of a cover-up mounts–a cover-up spanning the entire history of the Mormon church–Gwen finds herself in the crosshairs of a secret society bent on fulfilling prophecy and revenging old wrongs.

Can a forensic artist reconstruct two centuries of suppressed history . . . before it repeats itself?

In A Cry from the Dust, Carrie Stuart Parks utilizes her own background as a celebrated, FBI-trained forensic artist to blend fact and fiction into a stunning mystery.

Housewife — Tess Spenser (Heather Day Gilbert)

Child of the Appalachian mountains, Tess Spencer has experienced more than her share of heartache. The Glock-wielding, knife-carrying housewife knows how to survive whatever life throws at her. But when an anonymous warning note shows up in her best friend Miranda’s mailbox — a note written in a dead woman’s handwriting — Tess quickly discovers that ghosts are alive and well in Buckneck, West Virginia. Hot on a cold trail, she must use limited clues and her keen insight into human nature to unmask the killer…or the next victim might be Tess herself. Tinged with the supernatural and overshadowed by the mountains’ lush, protective presence, this twisting psychological mystery is the first in A Murder in the Mountains series.

Limo Driver — Andi McConnell (Lorena McCourtney)

Downsized from her job.
Dumped by her boyfriend.
Depressed about that upcoming 6-0 birthday.
Not a good week for Andi McConnell.

But now there’s good news: She’s just inherited a limousine, a long, sleek, black limousine, from an eccentric uncle.

There’s also bad news: The dead body that soon turns up in the trunk. And Andi is the top suspect in the murder.

Enter Keegan “Fitz” Fitzpatrick, former TV detective, very interested in the case – and in Andi. As they work together to solve the crime, a big question looms: when the bullets start flying, are the windows in Andi’s limo really bullet proof?

Night Watchman — Ray Quinn (Mark Mynhier)

Eleven months ago, Ray Quinn was a tough, quick-witted Orlando homicide detective at the top of his game–until a barrage of bullets ended his career…and his partner’ s life.

Now medically retired with a painful handicap, Ray battles the haunting guilt for his partner’s death. Numbing the pain with alcohol and attitude, Ray takes a job as a night watchman at a swanky Orlando condo.

But when a pastor and an exotic dancer are found dead in one of the condos in an apparent murder-suicide, Ray can no longer linger in the shadows. The pastor’s sister is convinced her brother was framed and begs Ray to take on an impossible case — to challenge the evidence and clear her brother’s name.

Ray reluctantly pulls the threads of this supposedly dead-end case only to unravel a murder investigation so deep that it threatens to turn the Orlando political landscape upside down and transform old friends into new enemies. As Ray chases down leads and interrogates suspects, someone is watching his every move, someone determined to keep him from ever finding out the truth — at any cost.

Nun — Sister Evangeline Devine (Lynne Hinton)

Sister Eve knows God moves in mysterious ways. And Eve adores a good mystery. Especially a murder.

Two decades into her calling at a New Mexico monastery, Sister Evangeline Divine breaks her daily routine when a police officer appears, carrying a message from her father. Sister Eve is no stranger to the law, having grown up with a police captain turned private detective. She’s seen her fair share of crime―and knows a thing or two about solving mysteries.

But when Captain Jackson Divine needs her to return home and help him recover from surgery, Sister Eve finds herself taking on his latest case.

A Hollywood director has disappeared, and the sultry starlet he’s been running around with isn’t talking. When the missing man turns up dead, Captain Divine’s case escalates into a full-blown murder case, and Sister Eve’s crime-solving instincts kick in with an almost God-given grace.

Soon Sister Eve finds herself soul-searching every step of the way: How can she choose between the vocation in her heart and the job in her blood?

Recovery Specialist — Landry Parker and Nickolai Baptiste (Robin Caroll)

Former Army MP Landry Parker fell into the recovery specialist role quite by accident — to help her ailing father. Now that she’s on her own, she is determined to prove herself and honor her family legacy.

After being shot in the line of duty, former police officer Nickolai Baptiste became a recovery specialist, and he’s good at his job — maybe even the best.
           
A potential client pits Landry and Nickolai against one another to find the Dutchman’s Lost Gold Mine map that was stolen from her murdered husband, and the potential payday is too enticing to pass up. The trail takes them from New Orleans to Weaver’s Needle in Arizona where legend claims the mine is hidden. Landry and Nickolai are no strangers to adventure, but the unlikely partners quickly discover there’s someone after the treasure and there are those who want to ensure the lost mine in Arizona’s Superstition Mountain stays lost forever.

Can Landry and Nickolai work together despite their distrust of each other to save the legend before more innocent lives are lost? Will they find the real treasure isn’t the gold, but something more valuable . . . true love and understanding?

What do you do?

Could you solve mysteries too?

 

 

 

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Top 10 Tuesday — Halloween Cozies

25 Oct

Last year I posted a Top 10 List of Spooky Christian Fiction for the Halloween Freebie. But I realize not everyone likes creepy-crawly scary. 😉 So here are a few cozy mysteries that will give you that spooky vibe without keeping you up at night! To find more Halloween treats, check out The Broke And The Bookish Top 10 Tuesday.

toptentuesday

Top 5 Slightly Spooky Cozy Mysteries

 

Agatha Christie is considered the Queen of Mystery and her Hercule Poirot series is a favorite for road trips. Her novel, Hallowe’en Party will have you sleuthing right along with Poirot.

Lillian Jackson Braun was the author of the beloved Cat Who series featuring two inquisitive and intuitive cats who aided their owner in solving crimes in upstate Michigan. The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts is a must read for fans of this series.

Janet Evanovich is the popular and prolific creator of the Stephanie Plum series. Her Between The Numbers series features quirkier characters than normal who have a spooky side as well. Plum Spooky is her Halloween offering.

Every book in Carolyn Haines’ Sarah Booth Delaney series features a ghostly sidekick who gives advice from the beyond to help solve the case. Hallowed Bones is a good place to start in this long-running series.

Debbie Viguie has a fun mystery series featuring a church secretary and a rabbi, unlikely partners in crime-solving. The Psalm 23 Mysteries series often revolves around holidays and her Halloween edition is titled I Will Fear No Evil.

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What are your Halloween reading recommendations?

Tales from The TBR Pile — Halloween Edition!

10 Oct

In October I like to ready spooky books. One that I enjoyed years ago was Kiss of Night by Debbie Viguie, Christian fiction featuring a vampire. (I know it sounds weird, but it really worked!) I liked it so much I bought the other books in the series, Kiss of Death and Kiss of Revenge. Unfortunately, those two are still gathering dust on my shelf. Have you read either of these books or the whole series? What did you think? And would you recommend that move them up to the top of the pile?

51cfiyupuzl-_sx308_bo1204203200_In the wake of a failed attempt to defeat the vampire Richelieu, Susan and her friends are weakened and divided. Raphael must set aside his animosity and join with his enigmatic sire Gabriel to discover a powerful weapon before Richelieu claims it. Meanwhile, Susan and her cousin Wendy translate a 12th century diary belonging to their ancestor, Carissa, to learn the origin of their family’s connection with the vampires. As Carissa’s story of love and betrayal unfolds, they discover the secrets of the present will only be revealed by solving the mysteries of the past.

 

 

 

 

unknownSusan and her friends must prepare for their most important battle with the vampire Richelieu, but they find themselves divided. Wendy has been kidnapped by a centuries-old enemy of her ancestor, Carissa. While they search frantically to save her, a greater danger threatens as Richelieu’s army of vampires and humans fills the crevices of Europe. Susan learns the rest of the ill-fated romance between Carissa and the formidable vampire Gabriel of centuries ago and soon realizes that history is repeating. But it is the secret of the cross that might save them all if she can discover it in time.

 

 

 

debbie-wit-headshot-200Debbie Viguie is the New York Times Bestselling author of over a dozen novels including the Wicked series and the new Crusade series co-authored with Nancy Holder. Much of Debbie’s writing has a dark edge to it, including her retold fairy tales, her latest being Violet Eyes, a retelling of The Princess and the Pea. In addition to her epic dark fantasy work Debbie also writes thrillers including The Psalm 23 Mysteries and the Kiss trilogy. When Debbie isn’t busy writing she enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott, visiting theme parks. They live in Florida with their cat, Schrödinger.

Book Review: The Lord Is My Shepherd

19 Mar

701890_w185Cindy’s church is getting ready to celebrate Easter, and Jeremiah’s Temple is preparing for Passover when Cindy literally stumbles over the body of an unknown man lying dead in the sanctuary. The church was locked, and a bloody cross necklace on the floor seems to be the only clue. The killer is likely a member of the congregation, but there are hints that similar deaths have happened in the past. Are Cindy and Jeremiah dealing with a serial killer? They have to unravel the clues before Easter Sunday arrives and more people die. Cindy and Jeremiah come from two different worlds, even though they work right next door to each other. Cindy is a strong Christian who lives a normal but somewhat dull life, working as a church secretary. Jeremiah is a Reformed rabbi with a mysterious past full of danger and excitement. But one eventful Easter/Passover week, the two find themselves working together to solve a murder and stop a serial killer from striking again. Solving the mystery should put an end to their alliance, but the church secretary and the rabbi quickly find themselves enmeshed in another mystery. Soon the two form a friendly alliance and friendship, exploring personal history and faith and growing closer with each passing adventure. Despite their differences Cindy and Jeremiah find a lot of common ground.

debbie-wit-headshot-200Debbie Viguié is the New York Times Bestselling author of over a dozen novels including the Wicked series and the new Crusade series co-authored with Nancy Holder.  Much of Debbie’s writing has a dark edge to it, including her retold fairy tales, her latest beingViolet Eyes, a retelling of The Princess and the Pea.  In addition to her epic dark fantasy work Debbie also writes thrillers including The Psalm 23 Mysteries and the upcoming Kiss trilogy.  When Debbie isn’t busy writing she enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott, visiting theme parks.  They live in Florida with their cat, Schrödinger.

My Impressions:

Debbie Viguie’s The Lord Is My Shepherd is just the kind of mystery I like. The characters are likable with enough quirkiness to make them interesting, but not too much to make them silly. The mystery has great twists and turns and makes you think about what will come next. The setting gives it a bit of a small town feel, but this one definitely has too large a body count to qualify as a strictly cozy mystery.

Cindy, a secretary at First Shepherd Church, arrives at work on the Monday before Easter and literally trips over a dead man in the sanctuary. Jeremiah, the rabbi from the synagogue next door comes to her aid, and an interesting friendship and sleuthing duo is formed. Bodies begin to pop up whenever Cindy is around, and the staging of the murders mimics the final week in Jesus’ life. The police have their hands full, so Cindy and Jeremiah oblige them with some extracurricular investigating.

The Lord Is My Shepherd was timely reading for me since it is set during Holy Week and Passover and the mystery revolves around the final actions of Jesus. The interactions between Cindy and Jeremiah are not romantic, but they definitely have a friendship going on. I enjoyed the glimpse into the traditions and rituals of Passover preparations. I also liked that Cindy didn’t shy away from her faith around Jeremiah, but lived it out. This book is definitely one any mystery lover will like. I look forward to reading the remaining 3 books in the series, all revolving around holidays.

Recommended.

(I purchased The Lord Is My Shepherd for my Kindle. All opinions are mine alone.)

To purchase a copy of this book, click on the image below.

Book Review: Kiss Of Night

6 Oct

Centuries ago, Raphael was a blasphemous knight who fought in the Crusades purely for his own mercenary benefit, and to satisfy his taste for killing. Now, condemned for his evil passions and hypocrisy, he wanders the earth a vampire, cursed with first-hand knowledge of the supernatural world he once denied existed. The powerful relic he still possesses from his days as a Crusader has been stolen by a rival vampire who has recruited an army of soulless underlings to aid him in spreading evil. At the time he learns this, Raphael has been hunting this vampire for nearly a century, and it seems the final battle is destined to take place in Prague.

For help in this quest, Raphael must enlist the aid of two humans, David and Susan, who suddenly find themselves immersed in a world they never imagined, entangled with supernatural forces they can’t control. Susan, in particular, finds herself conflicted as she struggles with her inexplicable attraction to Raphael. In the end, both Susan and Raphael will be called upon to exercise courage and faith, and in the process, the question What would happen if a vampire truly accepted God? is answered.

Excerpt

Debbie Viguie is the New York Times bestselling author of several novels for young adults. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Comparative Religion from Bircham International University and is using her studies to research religious themes and historical events. She and her husband recently moved to Florida, where she writes full time (when she’s not walking on the beach).

My Impressions:

A Christian Vampire book? Really?  Really!  Debbie Viguie has written a fast-paced, suspense-filled novel with all the elements that a vampire-genre loving reader could want.  And she has done that within a framework of faith that really works.  Kiss of Night explores the vampire legends and delivers a great novel. The upside and downside is that the book is the first in a series — more to look forward to and loose ends left dangling.

Susan is in Prague to bury her beloved grandmother.  David is there as well on a work assignment.  But they get much more than they bargained for when vampires invade their worlds.  With fear and distrust they agree to join in the vampires’ quest to eliminate the threat of some really bad vampires and their schemes for world domination.

Viguie looks at the lore and legends of vampires providing something to think about — can a vampire be redeemed.  And she never lets the reader get too complacent about the nature of the vampires.  Their true natures are exposed — the rage, the blood-drinking, the evil is always just below the surface ready to come out.  I would recommend Kiss of Night to any reader, but especially to those who love the glamorous side of vampire lit.  Kiss of Night is a reality check wrapped up in an urban fantasy.

Recommended.

Be sure to visit the other Kiss of Night tour participants:

October 3

http://www.renees-reads.blogspot.com/

http://torilounge.blogspot.com

http://www.bittenbybooks.com

http://steelergirl83.blogspot.com

http://mybookaddictionandmore.wordpress.com

http://www.moonlightbookreviews.com

http://www.edgyinspirationalromance.com

October 4

http://www.a-fair-substitute-for-heaven.blogspot.com

http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com

http://www.kittycrochettwo.blogspot.com

http://www.heartofabookworm.blogspot.com

http://practicalfrugality.blogspot.com/

http://www.electrifyingreviews.com/

http://myonlyvice.blogspot.com

October 5

http://www.myfriendamysblog.com

http://ashleysbookshelf.blogspot.com

http://inthehammockblog.blogspot.com

http://overweight-bookshelf.blogspot.com/

http://www.seasonsofhumility.blogspot.com

http://www.mikeduran.com

http://www.tickettoanywhere.net

October 6

http://www.reviewsbymolly.com

http://www.bibliophilesretreat.com

http://www.bookswithbite.net

http://reviewsfromtheheart.blogspot.com

http://Www.tinasbookreviews.com

http://itstimetoreadmamaw.blogspot.com/

October 7

http://books-movies-chinesefood.blogspot.com

http://afewofmyfavoritethings-michelle.blogspot.com/

http://bookzone.atwc1.com

http://proudbooknerd.com

http://www.amusingreviews.blogspot.com

http://www.talesofwhimsy.com

http://www.libslibrary.blogspot.com

(I received an e-book version of Kiss of Night from FaithWords.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)