Tag Archives: mystery fiction

Top 10 Tuesday: Series I Need to Finish!

20 Jun

The folks at The Broke And The Bookish want to know what book series bloggers want to start. Well, before I can start a new series, I need to complete some first. Oh, who am I kidding? Having uncompleted series won’t keep me from starting new ones, but they will weigh heavily on my mind. LOL! To find out what book series other bloggers long to begin, click HERE.

 

Because I have many books on my shelves that regularly whisper (or shout) Read Me!, I thought I would share those series I began in earnest, but have been a slacker in completing. I share these partly to find out from you which one I should be reading and partly to shame myself into reading those long neglected books. So here they are.

Top Book Series I Need to Finish

 

The Darkwater Saga by Patrick Carr

 

Drew Farthering Mystery series by Juliana Deering

 

The Martyr’s Song series by Ted Dekker

 

 

Sophie Trace Trilogy by Kathy Herman

 

 

Secrets of The Shetlands series by Michael Phillips

 

Which series would you finish first?

 

 

 

Audiobook Review (+ Giveaway!): Kill And Run

19 Jun

 

Five women with seemingly nothing in common are found brutally murdered in a townhome outside Washington, DC. Among the many questions surrounding the massacre is what had brought these apparent strangers together only to be killed.

Taking on his first official murder case, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, believes that if he can uncover the thread connecting the victims, then he can find their murderer.

Before long, the case takes an unexpected turn when Murphy discovers that one of the victims has a connection to his stepmother, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates. One wintry night, over a dozen years before, her first husband, a Pennsylvania State trooper, had been run down while working a night shift on the turnpike.

In this first installment of the Thorny Rose Mysteries, the Lovers in Crime join newlyweds Lieutenant Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday to sift through a web of lies and cover-ups. Together, can the detectives of the Thorny Rose uncover the truth without falling victim to a cunning killer?

 

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband and three dogs (including the real Gnarly’s klutzy nephew Sterling) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with LaurenWebsite  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

 

C.J. McAllister (narrator) is an Audible Approved Producer — “Audible Approved producers are the best audiobook producers in the business.” Only a small number are awarded this honor.

C.J. has produced best-selling audiobooks in multiple genres/styles, TV commercials/promo teasers, animation projects, interviews (TV and radio), corporate presentations.

 

 

My Impressions:

Combine the fast-paced action of a political thriller with the elements of a police procedural, then add a healthy dose of humor and big personalities of a cozy mystery, and you get the first book in Lauren Carr’s Thorny Rose mystery series, Kill And Run. Set within the District of Columbia within the halls of the highest military leaders, this novel will appeal to die-hard mystery fans. I found the characters engaging, the writing well-done, and the mystery puzzling indeed. I did have a few suspicions that played out within the pages of the book, but Carr added a few surprises I didn’t see coming. All in all, this one is a very satisfying mystery read.

Newlyweds Jessica and Murphy have settled into a familiar routine that, while not exactly conventional, works for them. But murders past and present put them both on the firing line. They, along with members of their family, dig deep into murders of five women with the Army as their only connection. With threats within and without the military complex coming at them, they are determined not to be deterred from discovering and bringing to justice those who are guilty.

With its D.C. setting, Kill And Run has a great political feel. Readers will love the behind-the-scene glimpse into the workings of the Pentagon. The secret (and fictional?) Phantom team lends a cloak and dagger element that I loved. There are plenty of shady characters to deal with, and the reader needs to pay close attention to keep up with the tangled web of threads connecting them. Corruption abounds at the highest levels, and the Russian mob is involved! Murphy and Jessica are extremely likable, as are the minor characters that fans of Carr will recognize. But if this is your first foray into Carr’s crime stories, don’t worry. I jumped right into this newest novel and series with no confusion. The narrator does a great job of bringing the story and its characters to life.

Kill And Run is a fun addition to any mystery library. Please note: this book is not Christian fiction, but targeted to the general reading audience. Make sure to read the content rating below.

Content Rating: Kill And Run is rated PG-13 and contains murder scenes. There is also violence associated with military assignments. The book contains sex scenes which are not overtly explicit. There is a little profanity.

Recommended.

Audience: adults (see content rating above)

To purchase the audiobook, click HERE.

(Thanks to iRead Book Tours for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Giveaway!

One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card! (open internationally). Click on the link below to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/defcd44e276/?

Top 10 Tuesday — Summer Reading!

23 May

Summer is upon us, although here in the sunny South, we have had temps in the 90s for a few weeks now! When the weather is hot do you prefer a sizzling romance, a suspense-filled mystery, a riveting historical, or thoughtful literary fiction? All of the above? Me too! I love to read across all genres, and summer is a great time to abandon yourself in a good book. The folks at The Broke And The Bookish are hosting Summer Reads this week in their Top 10 Tuesday. Find out what other bloggers are packing in their weekender and beach totes HERE.

 

This week’s list is a mixture of books I’ve read that would be good take-alongs on your summer adventures and books that I will be reading this summer. More than 10? Maybe! LOL! But it’s summer. Indulge!

Top 10 Books for Summer Reading

 

What I’ve Read

If I Run/If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock (suspense)

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin (literary fiction)

The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry (literary fiction)

Vendetta/Missing/Pursued by Lisa Harris (suspense)

The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton (historical)

What I’ll Be Reading

Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason (romantic suspense)

Deep Extraction by DiAnn Mills (romantic suspense)

Driver Confessional by David L. Winters (political thriller)

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson (historical romance)

Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett (historical fiction)

The Runaway by Claire Wong (mystery)

Sailing out of Darkness by Normandie Fischer (women’s fiction)

True to You by Becky Wade (contemporary romance)

With You Always by Jody Hedlund (historical romance)

What will you read this summer?

Book Review: Exit Katrina

4 May

Weeks after Hurricane Katrina, Kate Mitchell’s husband, Daniel, is still missing. He had not arrived back in Missouri on his scheduled flight after attending an industry conference in New Orleans the week before the hurricane. Hundreds of miles away, one of the thousands of Katrina refugees settles in a small town in Tennessee. Quiet and unassuming, he slowly gains the trust and acceptance of Maggie, a recent widow who accepts his reserve as reasonable because of the loss of his family. Why then is he furtively accessing Kate’s blog? When New Orleans police and the FBI make little progress, Kate begins her own search. But the devastated city is dangerous and does not give up its secrets easily. Her perplexing discoveries make little sense until she finds herself asking the unthinkable . . . did my husband walk away from his life?

 

 

Chris Link lives in the Ozarks with his wife of 33 years and their horses and dogs. They have one grown son. Chris has been a voracious reader for most of his life, enjoying books of many genres, both fiction and nonfiction. His favorite books influence people to live differently, to be aware, perceptive and appreciative, to risk love in all circumstances.

Chris’ debut novel, Exit Katrina, draws from his love of reading, life experiences, his faith in God, and a story that once considered, would not leave him alone.

When not reading and writing, Chris enjoys teaching and consulting with people in their careers, hiking and photography, playing and listening to music, and riding his motorcycle. He is always looking forward to the next adventure and the next idea that refuses to be dismissed.

 

My Impressions:

Exit Katrina is the debut novel of R. Chris Link inspired by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A mystery unfolds around the disappearance of a man who was attending a conference in the days leading up to the storm. With little to go on, his wife embarks on an investigation to discover what happened. Meanwhile, a mysterious refugee from the hurricane has landed in a small town in Tennessee. A man with little interest in God, Jonas becomes a part of the community while maintaining secrecy about his past life.

Link maintains the mystery throughout the novel, making the the reader speculate as to what the truth really is. Twists and turns abound, and you can never be sure whom to trust. The book had a bit more tell than show than I would have liked and lagged a bit, but the premise of the book is good. There is a strong faith message throughout. I liked many of the characters, especially Maggie and Jimmy Dean. Main character Jonas definitely is a mystery man, but one who shows true heroism.

While I found this just an okay read, Exit Katrina has a number of 4 and 5-star reviews on Amazon. Make sure to check those out.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Author Interview: Judith Rolfs

6 Mar

http://www.judithrolfs.com/
This week we have a special treat! Author Judith Rolfs has been published in every genre. As an author and professional marriage and family counselor, Judith focuses on motivating people to live their best lives – emotionally, physically and spiritually. In her thirties, she researched the complexity of the natural world and moved from agnosticism to faith in God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Today, she talks about her latest novel, Never Tomorrow.

Tell our readers about your new mystery novel Never Tomorrow.

Thanks for asking. It’s like having a new baby – I welcome a chance to talk about Never Tomorrow after literally years in the writing. This is a powerful murder mystery, plus more – a psychological thriller that probes the marriage relationship, infidelity and forgiveness. I use my insights and experiences as a psychotherapist for three decades to instill deep emotions in my characters– the grieving, the loves, and the deep joys, that we all experience in real life. These are integrated with a compelling murder mystery.


This is your seventeenth book but only your third mystery novel. Tell us about your switch to fiction from non-fiction.

My previous books were how-to books about marriage and parenting and family issues, also a devotional and a teen book. Mysteries are a huge change. They are much more difficult to write, but seem to have a greater impact on readers.


Which leads to my next question. I understand your slogan is Mysteries With A Message. Explain please.

My mysteries center on real life family issues while keeping the suspense steaming. Directive 99, my first self- suspense novel is about conflict between a woman’s career vs. family priorities. She makes major life changes when her husband is kidnapped. My next mystery novel Bullet in the Night with Prism Books is about genuine rehabilitation leading to life change and the value of nurturing friendships. I want readers to have a takeaway to ponder that can help them face situations in their own lives with more wisdom and confidence.

Tell us about where you like to write and a bit about your process.

My favorite writing places are my cottage in the woods in Fontana-on-Geneva Lake and a winter beach condo we rent in Venice, FL. I need solitude to create the story and develop my characters, but then I love to edit in coffee shops where I’m immersed in the energy of people. Relationships have always been fascinating to me, which is why I became a psychotherapist. Of course it’s helpful as an author to develop well-rounded characters. I also love to travel. In fact, Never Tomorrow starts out in Ballybunion, Ireland which I researched during a three-week trip there.

How and when did your writing career begin?

My writing career began at age ten creating stories for neighborhood children. I wrote newspaper editorials in high school, and was part of the Superior Student program at Marquette University, which published me in their literary journal. I love everything about writing especially contact with readers and other authors who are so gracious! I recently met Pat Gussin, New York Times Best Selling Author of After the Fall and she offered to read Never Tomorrow prior to publication. She blessed me with an amazing review: “Layer upon layer of intrigue—laced with murder–propels this novel to the pinnacle of suspense. An ingenious plot, dynamic and complex characters, and an insight into the troubled avenues of human behavior rarely exposed make NEVER TOMORROW a stand-out for readers of mysteries, thrillers, and suspense.”

In closing, where can we find your new book baby?

Never Tomorrow is available through Prism Book Group, on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and through local libraries. If it’s not at the local library I hope readers will request it. Thank you for featuring me on your blog. It’s been a pleasure.

———————————————–

Visit Judith at http://judithrolfs.com/Dr._Judith_Rolfs/Home.html

 

A compelling mystery with a powerful theme of forgiveness and healing…

Journalist Whitney Barnes investigates the mysterious death of her mother and
three women from Cortland City seeking the thread that links them to an
enigmatic killer. Why are women being murdered with no apparent motives
for their death? Police are mystified at the lack of clues and a growing
sense of fear surrounds the community. Who will be the next victim?

Determined to find the killer, Whitney discovers these women were dealing with
wounds from their troubling pasts, but what was their connection? She
teams up with Dr. Sarah Stevens, an expert on women’s issues, to ferret
out information while TV talk show host Rich and real estate broker
Jordan vie for Whitney’s affection.

Whitney discovers new strength within her, but is it powerful enough to cope with this dark force of evil? Suspense escalates as Whitney becomes the killer’s next target.

Book Review: Deep Water

16 Feb

518hst1tmal-_sx323_bo1204203200_An obesity treatment has been discovered, but before anyone can benefit, a dispute breaks out about who owns the discovery. David Marchmont, a patent lawyer, is asked to handle the case. There’s one big problem, though: crucial evidence is missing — evidence that might have a bearing on the clinical trial two years before.

David’s personal life has its own challenges. His daughter, Chloe, has a rare and serious genetic condition. His wife, Rachel, becomes friendly with a young researcher, Kate Flanagan, who is seeking a cure for Chloe’s disorder; Kate, in turn, becomes concerned that her lab colleagues may be cutting corners on the obesity drug.

As evidence of mishandling mounts — then disappears — Kate, Rachel, and David find themselves caught up in acute ethical challenges and personal danger. Is biotechnology outstripping our capacity to make ethical decisions?

 

Dr. Christine Poulson has lectured in art history and is familiar with academic life. A member of the Society of Friends, she is the author of several novels and works of nonfiction and is an active blogger. She is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association.

My Impressions: 

When I signed up to review Deep Water by Christine Poulson, I’m not sure what I expected. I guess I thought this book would be a medical thriller with lots of action, but short on character development. I was very pleasantly surprised by the depth of characterization, the complexity of the plot, the ethical and moral themes, and the very good writing of this thinking man’s mystery. Deep Water is a gem, and I am hopeful Christine Poulson will have a long fiction career.

Let’s first look at setting. Deep Water is set in Ely, England a place sometimes described as Silicon Fen. This very old cathedral town set in the marshes is home to high tech and biotech firms and labs. I liked that the author spent time describing the city and cathedral — it definitely added to the book. The characters are complex, flawed and very likable. I became invested in their lives. The mystery involves a clinical trial and patent case with some irregularities — an interesting premise that kept the pages turning. But this book has a bit more than the average mystery. There are moral and ethical questions that keep the characters and the reader engaged and thinking. While not an overtly Christian book as one would define it here in the US, Deep Water has a foundation based on a Christian worldview. Life has value, whether it is pre-born or born, healthy or medically fragile. The issues the characters deal with are not easy, but they are true to life. Deep Water is published by a British house, so there is a bit of language and social drinking that may not appeal to those who read only Christian fiction. I did not have any trouble with it.

A great blend of mystery and ethical questions, Deep Water gets a recommended rating from me.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Kregel and Lion Hudson for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

February 2017 Book Club Selections

1 Feb

February is the shortest month of the year, but we are never short of good books to read! Here are the two novels my book clubs are reading this month. Have you read them? We’d love to know what you thought.

 

By The Book — My Sister’s Prayer by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould.

51fzrfbcl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Virginia, 1705

Celeste Talbot is usually such a sensible young woman—until she falls for an English soldier reassigned to the Colonies. Leaving her Huguenot family behind, she sets sail for America, only to realize that her younger sister Berta has been kidnapped and forced on board the very same ship. Whom can Celeste trust? The dashing soldier? Or the vigilant carpenter who remains by their side in the perilous New World?

Virginia, present day

Madeline “Maddee” Talbot has her hands full when she agrees to take in her younger sister Nicole following a serious car accident. The young women grew apart when Nicole fell into drug addiction, and Maddee prays this will be the start of a better life for her sister. But as they investigate a trauma from their childhood, Maddee must keep a diligent eye on Nicole—and the shadowy figure watching them from afar.

From the Christy Award-winning team of Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould, My Sister’s Prayer tells an epic tale of two women compelled to protect their sisters, confront their fears, and navigate the muddy waters of betrayal to find true love.

Page Turners — Doc by Mary Doria Russell (currently $1.99 for Kindle!)

511ffqgk9plBorn to the life of a Southern gentleman, Dr. John Henry Holliday arrives on the Texas frontier hoping that the dry air and sunshine of the West will restore him to health. Soon, with few job prospects, Doc Holliday is gambling professionally with his partner, Mária Katarina Harony, a high-strung, classically educated Hungarian. In search of high-stakes poker, the couple hits the saloons of Dodge City. And that is where the unlikely friendship of Doc Holliday and a fearless lawman named Wyatt Earp begins — before the gunfight at the O.K. Corral links their names forever in American frontier mythology — when neither man wanted fame or deserved notoriety.