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Posts tagged ‘Mystery’

Lawyer Loses Everything and Finds What Matters Most

Water’s Edge          By Robert Whitlow

Tom Crane has a beautiful girlfriend, a nice home, and is about to make partner at his law firm–life is treating him pretty well.  Entering the meeting where he expects the partnership announcement to be made known, the rug is violently pulled from beneath his feet. Tom finds out that not only is he not going to be made partner, but he is completely out of a job thanks to economic cutbacks.  He tells his girlfriend, and before he arrives home  she has left him and taken his cat as well.

With nothing standing in his way, Tom heads back to his hometown to close up his deceased father’s small town law firm.  What he finds is suspicions of foul play, criminal activity, people who love him for who he is, and seeds of faith that had been planted long ago.  What he learns is that God can take even our biggest failures and turn them into something not only worthwhile, but beautiful as well.

Robert Whitlow never disappoints his readers, and this book is no exception.  A masterfully written plot with twists and turns that keep you glued to the pages long into the night, Water’s Edge is a book that you will treasure for years to come.  5 Stars

This book was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley.  All opinions are my own.

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Victim Found with Skull Knife Protruding From Chest

Mark MynheirThe Corruptible                                                              by Mark Mynheir

Ray Quinn isn’t doing much better these days.  The ex-homicide detective turned private investigator never envisioned himself chasing cheating spouses and getting beat up by enraged husbands. When a new client emerges offering him a check for his services that has more zero’s than he’s ever seen  Ray knows he should be suspicious.  But, wow, if he takes the case he won’t have to worry about taking cheating spouse cases for a very long time.

On the surface the case seems simple: find Logan Ramsey.  Logan is an ex-undercover cop who Ray worked with briefly back when he first came on the force.  After an incident where Logan let classified information slip  and almost caused the death of multiple officers, he was let go from the force.  Now working for Ray’s client, Logan has supposedly taken off with extremely valuable and secret client information.  Of course rarely do cases ever turns out to be simple, and this one’s no exception.

When Logan turns up dead in a seedy hotel, there are  suspects everywhere.  Could it be the biker gang he infiltrated years ago? A woman he wronged?  His estranged daughter? His employer? This was not a well liked guy.

Ray is accompanied by his ever faithful sidekick Crevis,  his constant companions Jim (Beam) and Joe (coffee), and Pam who’s sincere worry for his soul keeps her nearby.  Together they beat the trail trying to find the elusive answers, but when bullets start flying into Ray’s office window, he knows he’s getting close.  The only question is weather he will live long enough to find what he’s looking for.

A impeccably well written detective story, The Corruptible is sure to please.  The characters are honest and true to life.  Ray’s slow journey from agnostic to considering God is well written, but not preachy.  The pace is quick and contains just the right amount of twists and turns.  This is the second Ray Quinn mystery Mark Mynheir has written (the first being The Night Watchman), and  hopefully he will continue the series in the future.

5 Star Worthy

Simple Choices is a Great Choice

Simple Choices                                       by Nancy Mehl

Gracie is quickly regretting her choice to bring Mennonite teenager Hannah to Wichita for six weeks of art classes.   Hannah, dressed in tight jeans and a tank top, is throwing a temper tantrum that rivals any thrown by the typical American teenager.  And is that mascara and jewelery Gracie spies?  There is no way Hannah’s parents are going to let her stay with Mr. Monahan and attend a specialized Art High School for her senior year.  Getting her back to Harmony looking like her old self is going to be hard enough.

Soon after returning the newly reinvented teenager to her parents, Gracie is devastated to learn the teenager has gone missing.  The police assume that Hannah has run away, but even though the teen has undergone some radical changes, Gracie knows she would never do that to her parents.  And to make matters worse, three other teenagers that fit Hannah’s description have recently gone missing as well.  And on top of all this Gracie is trying to plan her wedding, and visit with her parents and ailing grandfather who have come to town for the wedding.

Plot twists and layers  keep the reader’s attention throughout this well written story.  The true to life flaws and struggles faced by the Mennonite community in this book, make it more realistic than many works about sheltered societies.  Although this is book three in a series the author does a good job of bringing the new reader up to date on what is going on without seeming to retell the previous story.  I found this book to be a very enjoyable read.  It is neither a light or heavy read and I believe most readers will thoroughly enjoy it.  I confidently give it 4 stars.

This book was provided to me by Barbour Publishing, through NetGalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

Be Alert: Suspect Using Poisonous Plants to Kill

Died in the Wool                                    by Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery

In this hometown mystery Monah, the town librarian, is  on a mission to get much-needed funds to purchase computers for her little library.  She’s up against quite a bit of competition, including her boyfriend who wants the funds for police department improvements.

When her competition starts dying, fingers point to Monah as a likely suspect.  She has given them both water bottles right before they died.  Toxicology reports show that they died from Monkshood poisoning, but that doesn’t narrow down the suspect pool, because the garden club sent out monkshood seeds to all its members this spring.  Since she knows she didn’t do it, Monah realizes that she or her boyfriend might be next on the killers to-do list. 

Suspects abound in this cute cozy mystery.  It is a good read for when you want something lighthearted and easy to read.  Several times I thought I knew who did it, but I kept changing my mind.  Right up until the end of the story,  I was still searching for the answer to this pleasant who-done-it.  I give it 3 Stars.

Died in the Wool is book two in the Massachusetts Mayhem Mysteries, part of the Hometown Mystery collection by Barbour Books Publishing. 

I was provided with this book by the publisher through NetGalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

Hairdresser Accused in Missing Body Case

Missing Mabel                by Nancy Mehl

When Hilde Higgins, hairdresser to the recently departed is called in to tidy the tresses of 87 year old Mabel Winnemaker, she is shocked to her roots to discover the body has been switched.  Before long, fingers are being pointed at Hilde accusing her  of  inventing this conspiracy to cover her own pilfering of  Mabel’s diamond ring.  Hilde knows she is innocent, but the evidence is found in her handbag.  Who would set her up, and why?  Although Hilde comes up with several suspects, none of them seem likely.  Hilde’s life seems to be in tangles.  Can she straighten things out before her life is trimmed short.

I really enjoyed reading this book.  The characters are amusing and the story is captivating.  It moves along at a brisk pace and all the questions are tied up by the end.  It is the perfect book for when you want a good relaxing read that doesn’t require too much thinking on your part.  I give this book a solid 4 stars.  Although it’s not a blockbuster, it does the job it was called to do quite well.

Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband Norman and her son, Danny. She’s authored nine books and is currently at work on her newest series for Barbour Publishing.

Nancy says,  “I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

Warning: Environmental Disaster in Progress!

Disaster Status                                                 by Candace Calvert

When an environmental disaster in progress becomes a media circus and danger to the community Pacific Mercy  Charge Nurse Erin Quinn calls for reinforcements.  What she gets is Fire Captain Scott McKenna, a handsome  incident commander who insists on doing everything by the book -even when that means refusing Erin entry into her own E.R.  Tempers flare and sparks fly as these two battle it out, each trying to do their version of the right thing.

I thoroughly enjoyed book 1 in this series and was expecting book 2 to rate at the same level.  In many ways it does.  Author Candace Calvert builds deep, believable characters with all the quirky nuances that make them, well…characters.  The plot took off right from the start, built in intensity as the story went on, and did not disappoint.  This being said, I did not enjoy this book as much as book 1.  It seemed that throughout this book Calvert was setting the stage for book 3.  She took too much time building characters and situations that did not matter to this book.

This book would be great for a book club wanting a light read.  There are many aspects that would make for great discussion,  especially the differences between being a strong woman and a woman of strength.

I am only giving this book 4 stars, but would definitely still choose to read it if I were going back to make that choice.   Even though this book can be read as a stand alone, I suggest reading book 1 first as it will help you understand the relationships between the characters better.  All 3 books in this series are currently available, and as of today (5/2/11), Critical Care is available as a free download for Kindle at Amazon.

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