Wednesday, April 29, 2015

REVEW OF TIN GOD: Stacy Green You Like Taut, This One’s for You
TIN GOD by Stacy Greene is the latest in a string a really good books I’ve downloaded lately. It extends the streak and assures me that great writing is alive and well. 
Jaymee Ballard is a woman with a lot of problems piled on her young shoulders. It’s not bad enough that her boyfriend ran off with the rent money and that her friend/employee Rebecca Newton winds up dead. In the first chapter Jaymee is awarded the privilege of discovering that body. Yuck! That’s enough to make you lose your lunch for about the next ten years. Add in a father I so wanted to punch in the face and one big, humongous, dark secret, and you’ve got a pressure cooker that’s set to explode.
As for pacing, while the first chapter is engaging, it’s not until a couple chapters in that a twist comes out of left field and hits you in the face! It’ll have you shouting, “Wha’ happened?!!!” What can I say? Me liked! I mean, really, really!!! I was so excited that I tore through 30% of the book in one sitting. Only the need to recharge my kindle made me put it down!
As for the protagonist in this story, Jaymee is just such a dear. I became very protective of this woman trying so desperately to get her life back on track. Given her chaotic/abusive background, I well understood how much more difficult that can be. Abuse strips you of self-confidence and makes you very socially awkward most times. Consequently, she keeps quiet when she should be vocal and draw a boundary, and says too much when she should shut up! And talk about trusting the wrong people!!! Yikes!!! Ms. Green has crafted a perfect central character that we can identify with as well as empathize with what she’s going through. But the hurdles Jaymee faces are bigger than her young years and experience can handle. She needs help in solving what’s going on in her life and Rebecca’s murder, and it comes in the form of Nick Samuels. He’s a reporter that was married to Jaymee’s deceased best friend, Lana. Lana was also murdered in a similar way to Rebecca. Could there be a connection? That’s what reporter Nick Samuels aims to find out.
Tin God is an emotional, character-driven story. While the plot is strong, it’s the emotional connection we make with Jaymee that puts this one over the top and makes me so enthused about recommending. I couldn’t stop reading … and couldn’t stop being surprised! If you want to be immersed in a story that keeps you guessing and wondering what the heck is going on, this one is for you! Five stars and a standing ovation for Ms. Green. Truly a perfect read! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

An Intricately Plotted Thriller
Dark Moon Crossing by Sylvia Nobel is a pretty good read. The author builds the story on a timely issue and manages to create an imaginative, exciting mystery. 
Kendall O’Dell is the intrepid reporter that is at the center of the complex tale. She’s about to take a weeklong vacation with her beau Tally, but her plans are interrupted by an impassioned plea of employee Lupe Alvarez. Lupe’s brother and uncle have disappeared after trying to sneak across the U.S./Mexican border. As if this isn’t enough, a new employee on the paper alleges UFO sightings in that area. So did Lupe’s relatives meet with foul play? Or were they space napped? What’s a reporter to do? Rush headlong into danger and try to help her friend and do a favor? No! Kendall does it for the best reason of all—for an adrenalin rush! Yup! Seems she’s adventure deprived! Yeah, let’s all get out the tissues for her!
While there’s a lot to love about Kendall, there’s a whole lot more to hate. I think the biggest problem that I consistently see with the way protagonists are written is that after an author makes them an expert/professional, they then have them act like stupid idiots. Professionals and experts take calculated risks! They do not jump off cliffs hoping someone will be passing by to catch them. Kendall seemed to have missed this part in the primer she was supposed to read, but why should she? She’s thinks she knows everything already! Ditto her interpersonal skills. Self-centered, arrogant and conceited, the only two things she has going for her are: (1) Red hair. Who doesn’t love that? And (2) People in love are stupid and overlook flaws. This latter reason is why, even in the beginning of this book, I was screaming at Tally to run in the other direction. Did he listen? Without giving away any spoilers, I’ll again assert, “People in love are stupid!” Got it, get it, good!
In spite of my wanting to slap the crap out of this crazy adrenalin junkie (yes, Kendall, the world was created only to get you out of trouble that you’re incapable of handling yourself! Besides, other lives are so unimportant compared to yours), I read on. I do feel that some of the internal dialogue could have been edited down a bit. Other than that, I don’t have any other problems with the way the story was written. The cadence and flow is good and the plotting is intricate. It’s a solid suspense thriller and the characters are developed and fleshed out. There are no holes in the plot (only in Kendall’s head), and the conclusion is satisfying and unexpected.  
I definitely would recommend and do recommend Dark Moon Crossing. Lots of action and twists and turns. The only reason the rating isn’t higher is because of the series of bone-headed moves made by a certain imbecilic reporter who shall remain nameless.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

There are a lot of good books around—and this is one of them!
The Lanvin Murders by Angela M. Sanders is why I read books. I go through a ton of them all because, every once and a while, I discover a gem like this. The Lanvin Murders is true entertainment and I have to hand it to Ms. Sanders for deftly handling the layering of this story. What I expected it to be a light, fluffy, Cool Whip type of read turned into something much deeper and more complex. A little bit of historical fact thrown in with accurate descriptions of the setting for atmosphere blended with a complex plot and you have a book that will keep you turning those pages. I also fully appreciated the way the red herrings kept me diverted and led down the garden path. This book is sort of the literary equivalent of the Winchester house that was built with doors leading nowhere and crooked pathways that ended up at dead ends. It makes tracking down the clues great fun.
Joanna Hayworth is the protagonist. The owner of a vintage clothing store, she’s way more into helping customers find the perfect outfit than figuring out how a customer could have broken into her store and ended up dead. And it would have to be a client that used to sell her marvelous classic dresses that included a certain “to die for” Lanvin coat, but who takes phrases literally? Unfortunately, not the victim Marnie Evans. However, all this is enough to get Joanna’s detective wheels turning, and even a warning from her friend/employee Apple about “bad vibes” doesn’t keep her from becoming involved. 
The negatives? It doesn’t really have any. While the ending was more protracted and drawn out than I would have liked it to be, I forgave it because it did deliver. It was more befitting a movie or film so perhaps it was done with this in mind since it culminated in quite a visual.
What can I say? I loved the storyline, loved the quirky characters and loved the way this story is written. Because of all of the above, I heartily recommend The Lanvin Murders to those looking for an enjoyable, fast, satisfying read!
Five stars to this one.   

Thursday, April 2, 2015


For a Good Time, Call Hetta Coffey! NEEDS KILLIN’ is the first book I’ve read by Jinx Schwartz, and it won’t be the last. Her style of writing is easy to sink into and the plot complicated enough to make things interesting.
What’s Hetta to do when her tall, blonde friend Jan arrives on the scene with tales about being propositioned by a guy named Ishi? “Take the money,” pretty much sums up what Hetta advises, and I had to agree. But before Jan can make up that beautiful, ditzy mind of hers, Ishi turns up dead in his hotel room—the hotel where Jan and Hetta are also staying. And since Jan was the last one to be in the room, they need to think on their feet—and fast!
There really are no negatives in the story or writing. The pace is fast and furious and the dialogue hilarious, laugh-out-loud funny. The book was a romp I found myself wanting to take again and again so thank goodness Ms. Schwartz is prolific.
As mentioned earlier, there is some tight plotting going on, so it’s not just a bunch of jokes with no substance. For we mystery lovers, it’s important and I appreciated that Ms. Schwartz took care in crafting a story.
If you’re in need of a pick me up, I suggest partaking of a Hetta Coffey Mystery. Read one and call me in the morning. I guarantee you’ll be smiling. 
Five stars for making me laugh.