A Blog for Mystery Lovers

Posts tagged ‘mystery’

“Looks Can Be Deceiving” by Jim Conners

This book was a fun read.  The author is a former high school classmate of mine, so we both hail from Western New York State where the story is set, and when it comes to reading enjoyment, for me, a great deal is about the setting.  So being able to relate to the actual places described in the book was a big plus.  Written in first person with a gruff and gritty dialogue style, the main character came across  as realistic and down-to-earth, and most of the secondary characters were developed enough to make the story come alive.  One caution: the book could use another round of editing for punctuation and word usage, although I think too much refinement in this case could distract from the style of writing and the feel for the main character. All in all, the story seemed to work for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Jim, I’m looking forward to your next book.  Keep up the good work!

“No Way Back” by Andrew Gross

No Way Back

Just finished “No Way Back”, Andrew Gross’ new book. He manages to keep the excitement going throughout, as usual, while getting you personally invested in the characters, and I love how he manages to weave real-life events into his plots. Looking forward to the next one, Andrew!

“Eyes Wide Open” by Andrew Gross

The unique thing about “Eyes Wide Open” (HarperCollins Publishers, 2011) is that it was inspired by a real life tragedy.  In 2009, the author’s 25 year old nephew, Alex Gross, was found at the bottom of a cliff at Morrow Bay, having jumped or fallen to his death. Severely troubled, Alex had only days before been released from a hospital mental health ward in care of a small halfway facility from which he went for a walk, never to return.  Was it suicide or something else?

Andrew has taken this real-life and very personal happening and crafted a book which begins wth a fictional character suffering the same fate as Alex, and then proceeds to unravel the mystery of his death.  It is also a story of two brothers, one successful and one wayward, trying to bridge the gap between them, while each revelation from the past puts them in more danger.

Andrew has made this story exciting, thought-provoking, and also heart-wrenching, all the more so because of its link to real life, and it is well worth a read.  An author who may never find the solution to his own real life mystery has perhaps achieved some sort of closure by inventing a fictionalized solution for his characters.  Well done, Andrew.

To read about Alex and the circumstances of his tragic death go to www.alexwemissyou.com.

New Bay Tanner Mystery

I just wanted to share with all the mystery lovers out there news of  the recent release of the latest Bay Tanner mystery, “Jericho Cay“, by one of my favorite authors, Kathryn Wall.  This is the 11th book in this series set in the Hilton Head, S.C. area.

Here is Kathy’s preview of the book:

“While restoring her Hilton Head home after a brush with a hurricane, Bay reluctantly accepts best-selling true crime writer Winston Wolfe
as a client. Arrogant and secretive, Wolfe is researching the
cold-case disappearance of reclusive millionaire Morgan Tyler Bell
from his secluded private island off the South Carolina coast. What
has Bay’s investigative antennae quivering is the apparent suicide of
Bell’s longtime housekeeper at the time he vanished. After viewing
the scene inside his fabulous abandoned mansion on Jericho Cay, Bay
isn’t so sure.

Her newest employee–her husband Red–is hot to pursue the inquiry.
But as Wolfe’s behavior becomes more and more bizarre, Bay is torn
between her desire to earn her hefty fee and her fear that something
much more sinister is going on just below the surface. Is Bell dead
or alive? And who is the elusive man in the red baseball cap who just
may hold the answers to all her questions?”

Looks like I’ll be adding this one to my summer reading list!

“April Fool Dead” by Carolyn Hart

This is not exactly going to be a review of “April Fool Dead” (HarperCollins, 2002) beacuse I never actually finished reading the book.  I tried, I really did.

I chose this one because the title caught my eye (it happened to be around April 1st, of course) and this author’s series setting for the Death on Demand bookshop mysteries is the South Carolina LowCountry, which I love.  And I do like a cozy once in a while.  In fact, I am working on writing one myself someday.  However, this book was way too cozy for me, if you get my drift. 

The first chapter introduces a multitude of characters, all with their own story lines, so I was pretty much lost right there at the beginnning.  But I made it through about 100 pages, even though nothing much had happened yet with any of these characters, so I put the book aside for a while. About a week later I picked it up again thinking, “There has to be some action coming at some point here,” and read about 60-some more pages.  Still zero action and zero suspense that I could pick up on.  The only mystery seemed to be who put out a bunch of bogus flyers, and I just couldn’t get interested in that.

Sure, eventually there was a murder, but nobody seemed particularly shocked or disturbed by it, and a few characters had somebody taking pot shots at them, but they didn’t seem very frightened at that either.  I just couldn’t get emotionally nor intellectually involved, so I gave up.

Sorry, Ms. Hart, but no sale.

Randy Wayne White Wins Award

Congratulations to Randy Wayne White who has won second place in this year’s Florida Book Awards, Popular Fiction Category, for “Deep Shadow” which I recently reviewed on this blog.  I enjoyed hearing him speak recently at our library and am certainly looking forward to reading more of his work.

 

Workin’ for a Living

Just started a new job last week, so my reading and blogging will be slowing down somewhat for now – gotta pay the bills once in a while! 

However employment has not stopped me from adding to the huge pile of books waiting for me to read them:  currently almost done with another Kathryn Wall, just ordered some Lisa Unger and a Carolyn Hart (haven’t read her before) from the library, and of course the pile in my closet must be growing moldy by now (a couple of old Sidney Sheldon, some Sandra Brown, a James Patterson, and assorted others are gathering dust there).

Unusual for me, I am returning a book to the library that I just cannot get through: “The Devil’s Banker” by Christopher Reich – too complicated, and no characters so far that I can even remotely relate to.  A quarter of the way through, I simply don’t care what’s going to happen next.  If anyone out there has read this one and thinks I’m making a mistake, let me know and I’ll try it again.

So I’ll be blogging when I can, in between reading and finding time to work on the outline for my first mystery novel, which is coming along great in my head, just not on paper yet!  Wish me luck.

Bev

Tag Cloud