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Posts tagged ‘Mystery’

Book Review: Roachville by Marianne Germain

Roachville Cover

About the book:

Translator Annika Roy is bored with life and just going through the motions when a mysterious artefact comes crashing into her lonely existence, forcing her to interact with the outside world again.

But there’s danger there, and Annika must decide whether to follow the handsome but shady Kenneth Tann on his obsessive quest, or to trust an enigmatic mother-daughter duo and their two aborigine bodyguards.

It’s a journey from the mundane to the weird—on a road with twists, turns, and more than a few bumps.

My review:

Roachville by Marianne Germain grabbed my attention from the beginning and is largely responsible for my antisocial behavior during family gatherings the last few days. This mystery with a touch of the paranormal kept me looking for moments when I could open my Kindle and see what happened next. Annika Roy, the quirky, sarcastic main character and her group of equally fascinating friends added humor, romance, and suspense to this fun read. For my old-fashioned taste, the author could have included less pot and alcohol, but I appreciated her restraint in leaving most of the details of the few intimate moments to my imagination. I would not hesitate to recommend Roachville, and I look forward to more of Ms. Germain’s work.

Marianne Germain Head Shot

About the author:

95% translator, 5% writer, Marianne Germain lives with her partner, their 2 daughters, one dog and a cat, in a small village in the South of France. She likes music, tennis and her electric bike.

Find the author on Facebook and Twitter

Buy Roachville at Amazon 

Blessings,

Linda

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Book Review: The Grievance Collectors: A Sip of Death by Karla Hull

Cover A Sip of Death

About the book:

When a lifetime of grievances becomes unbearable, deadly consequences will follow. Revenge, secrets, and meticulously kept journals hold the key to solving the mystery of three unexplained deaths at Harrison University. Were these tragic deaths from natural consequences or is something more sinister lurking in the halls of HU? Dr. Bridget O’Leary, the new Provost at HU, doesn’t believe in coincidences. Although Bridget is tormented by the recent murder of her husband, she will have to put her personal pain aside and grapple with solving this puzzle before she becomes one of the victims.

While the HU campus is still dealing with the mysterious deaths of a student and two professors, an active shooter drill becomes an opportunity for attempted murder. Bridget realizes she will need to add a gun to her administrative toolbox as she works with Hazel Mars, a university police officer, Sam Adams, a city police detective, and Nathan Radford, a troubled student to find the person responsible for terrorizing the campus.

The Grievance Collectors: A Sip of Death is the first book in the series and although it is fiction, it may remind you of events and characters from your own university experience. Every university has its secrets.

My Review:

A Sip of Death by Karla Hull was an entertaining read and a good start to Hull’s venture into publishing. The characters were fairly well developed, and the plot was full of twists and surprises that kept me turning pages. That said, there were several issues that kept this from being a four-star offering. Because the plot was so intricate, the transitions from one thread to the other were not always smooth and were hard to follow. In addition, some sub-plots were introduced and then just disappeared. There were time jumps and point-of-view shifts that were a bit disconcerting, and some of the references to southern culture seemed a bit contrived and didn’t always ring true. Still, the story and writing are strong, and the issues I mentioned could be ironed out with the help of a good developmental editor. I did enjoy the book and would recommend it to mystery fans who don’t demand perfection. I look forward to reading more of Hull’s work in the future.

Author Headshot

About the Author:

Karla Hull is a mystery writer, professor, mother, and avid consumer of mysteries in books and film. She has spent 30 years working with students and faculty in a variety of university settings and incorporates humorous, poignant, and terrifying experiences into her mysteries.

After being an administrator at a university that experienced the murder of a young student, Karla vowed to write a complex mystery series that revealed some of the shadier sides of university life. Her characters operate in a university setting but they have the universal characteristics of greed, anger, revenge, and love that will resonate with with all mystery readers.

Find the author:

Twitter: @karlamhull
Blog: http://www.karlamhull.com

Buy the book at Amazon

Blessings,

Linda

Book Review: The Borman Factor: A Nick Borman Thriller by Robert Lalonde

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About the book:

A member of the wealthy and influential Piermont family is brutally murdered in a public place. Two weeks after the assassination authorities have no witnesses, no leads and no motive for the crime.

The Piermonts hire Nick Borman, a specialist in corporate espionage, to bring the killer to justice. A tangled web of deceit unfolds as Borman discovers greed and corruption at the highest level.

From city hall to the depths of Toronto’s criminal underworld, Nick Borman is in hot pursuit of a cold-blooded killer.

My review (four stars out of five):

The Borman Factor by Robert Lalonde is a very entertaining read with exceptional moments sprinkled in. It is a bit uneven in the beginning, but the first chapter was very well done – tight, intense, relying on a well-told story rather than gratuitous gore. The next few chapters basically laid the groundwork and introduced characters, mostly through dialogue. Using conversation in such a major role requires a lot of finesse that was lacking in these few chapters. Although I detected some faint Sam Spade undertones, the stilted exchanges were a bit distracting.

Once the preliminaries were out of the way, however, and Nick Borman stepped into the spotlight, Lalonde shifted into a more narrative mode. The pace picked up and smoothed out, and I was able to lose myself in the twists and turns of this fast paced thriller. The Borman Factor is a promising debut into a new genre for the author, and I look forward to Book 2.

About the author:

Head Shot

Robert Lalonde is the author of The Borman Factor (A Nick Borman Thriller, Book 1).

He is currently writing Jinxed (A Nick Borman Thriller, Book 2).

He lives in Ontario, Canada with his wife Marianne.

Find Robert here:

Website

Facebook

Twitter 

Goodreads

Find the book at Amazon 

Blessings,

Linda

Book Review: The Road Cain Walks by Matt Kilby

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About the book:

When psychologist Joe Richards came home to Pine Haven, he expected to find the same tranquil town he left ten years ago. One that hadn’t seen a murder in decades. One without Grady Perlson or the vicious thing inside him. But when the bodies start turning up and the local sheriff’s department has trouble finding answers, his newest client’s past might explain it all and warn of worse to come. Dark and introspective, The Road Cain Walks explores the consequences of regret as it builds constant tension towards its staggering conclusion.

My review (Four stars out of five):

Matt Kilby is a talented writer and an amazing story teller. The opening line of The Road Cain Walks – “Pine Haven was a town people passed through on their way somewhere better.” – let me know I was in for a treat.

Kilby’s debut novel is a tale of mystery and suspense, fantasy, and horror with an intricate plot and, at times, an overwhelming cast of characters. I have to admit that I sometimes got lost in the maze, but in spite of the occasional lag, the author’s engaging style kept me turning the pages, all 744 of them. Ultimately, though, my persistence was rewarded, and every question was answered. Well, almost every question. There was just enough ambiguity to leave room for a sequel.

Before I commit to another marathon read, I would like to see the author use a strong editorial hand – either his or someone else’s – to tighten up his story, to use fewer pronouns to ensure that the reader knows who is doing what, and to correct a few repetitive grammatical quirks that detract from the story. If the second novel incorporates these changes while maintaining the same level of storytelling, I would have no trouble giving Matt Kilby a five-star review.

About the author:

Head Shot

Matt Kilby lives in North Carolina, where he continues to write. His first novel, The Road Cain Walks, is the first book in a series that will span multiple genres and themes.

You can find Matt at:

Twitter 

Facebook

Find the book at Amazon

Blessings,

Linda

Tatia’s Tattoo Quote – Back Alleys | by Linda Brendle

Dark Alleys

As a successful D.C. lawyer, Tatia’s mission in life was to destroy the sex trafficking trade in small-town America. She knew where to find it. She’d been there. With only apathetic foster parents to protect her, she fell prey to the local pimp. Trapped in the sordid underbelly of a small Texas town, she survived by sheer will. Her friendship with her fellow victim Cindy was the only light of humanity in the darkness until she saw a familiar face. Would Mrs. G, a mama bear of an attorney, still think she had strength and potential? Would Jesse, the young Christian tattoo artist and biker, still look at her with a twinkle in his eyes? Or would they both see only the mark of shame Eric had etched onto her forearm?

Tatia’s Tattoo is a novel about sex trafficking in small-town America. It will be published by Crowdscribed later this year. In the meantime, check out the first two chapters HERE.

Blessings,

Linda

Tatia’s Tattoo – Quote | by Linda Brendle

Angry Eyes

As a successful D.C. lawyer, Tatia’s mission in life was to destroy the sex trafficking trade in small-town America. She knew where to find it. She’d been there. With only apathetic foster parents to protect her, she fell prey to the local pimp. Trapped in the sordid underbelly of a small Texas town, she survived by sheer will. Her friendship with her fellow victim Cindy was the only light of humanity in the darkness until she saw a familiar face. Would Mrs. G, a mama bear of an attorney, still think she had strength and potential? Would Jesse, the young Christian tattoo artist and biker, still look at her with a twinkle in his eyes? Or would they both see only the mark of shame Eric had etched onto her forearm?

Find a link to sample chapters on my Crowdscribed Book Page.

Blessings,

Linda

Tatia’s Tattoo Crowdfunding Campaign Winding Down | by Linda Brendle

only-3-days-left

Several week ago I launched a crowdfunding campaign to help cover the considerable costs of publishing Tatia’s Tattoo, a Christian novel about a young girl who is victimized by sex trafficking in small-town America. I have publicized the campaign on social media to the point of saturation. However, a British writer friend gave me this advice:

“We Brits don’t like to make a fuss, but I’m afraid you have to make a nuisance of yourself.”

That’s why I’m making a special appeal to my blog readers, asking you to join me in the Book Markfight against child sex trafficking. I am passionate about this project, and my hope is that it will raise awareness of the problem as well as present some ways in which people can be involved in the solution. 

If you would like to know more about Tatia’s Tattoo, visit my Crowdscribed book page to read a brief synopsis of the story. Under the mock up of the book cover, you will see “Download a sample.” This is a link to the preface and first two chapters. If you would like to review the pre-order options and other levels of support and reward, click the green “Contribute” button. 

I hope you will join me in this project. Together I believe we can make a difference.

Blessings,

Linda

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