Archive for November, 2012

The Blood Gospel-James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

November 27, 2012

The Blood Gospel

James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell

Morrow, Jan 8 2013, $27.99

ISBN: 9780061991042

 

In Caesarea, archaeologist Dr. Erin Granger and her team find evidence of a tomb containing hundreds of dead babies buried two millennia ago.  She thinks they may have found King Herod’s “Massacre of the Innocents.”  In Masada, an earthquake kills hundreds including the parents of Tommy, a child taking chemo due to melanoma; he survives and miraculously his cancer is cured.

 

Erin, U.S. Army Sergeant Jordan Stone and Father Ruhn Korza explore a tomb concealed for centuries until the earthquake.  They find the crucified body of a child who died just over a decade ago.  While still inside the tomb, the trio fights for their lives when inhuman beings attack them.  Father Ruhn believes the answers can be found in the mystical missing tome allegedly scribed by Christ in his blood.  The threesome begins a trek to obtain this holiest of holy books by Christ in order to bring divine sanctification to a secret Vatican order the Sanguines exposed by Rembrandt but ignored by all until now.

 

The first exciting Order Sanguines Christian horror thriller grips the audience from the moment the tomb in Mount Masada is discovered and keeps that hold until the final sacrament occurs.  Readers will enjoy traveling to Germany, Russia and ultimately the Vatican with the protagonists as our guides through a Church with a history of good and bad.  Although the storyline is straightforward, The Blood Gospel is a super ride.

 

Harriet Klausner

Killer Librarian-Mary Lou Kirwin

November 8, 2012

Killer Librarian

Mary Lou Kirwin

Pocket, Nov 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN 9781451684643

 

 

In Minnesota, Sunshine Valley librarian Karen Nash and her boyfriend Dave the plumber plan to travel to England, a place she has visited many times in books.  Hours before they are to leave, Dave flushes his relationship down the toilet and cancels the trip.  Though she is disappointed and hurt by “Mr. Toad,” Karen decides to go anyway on her magical mystery tour especially after seeing Dave accompanied by a blonde board the same jet she flies.  Ironically in spite of the close quarters on the transatlantic flight, the cuddling pair fails to notice Karen while she turns to novels for creative ways to murder Dave.

 

In London at a pub near the B&B where she is staying and run by bibliophile Caldwell Perkins, Karen and a stranger drink and chat.  She mentions her rage towards Mr. Toad saying she wants him dead.  The next day a guest at the B&B is found dead.  Soon afterward, Karen’s inner librarian begins to notice evidence that point to a killer targeting Dave and his new squeeze.

 

This is a terrific cozy starring a Killer Librarian who uses her skills to investigate.  The literary references from English authors enhance the engaging amateur sleuth storyline as no one, not even a killer or a politician, messes with the librarian.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Prince-Tiffany Reisz

November 5, 2012

The Prince

Tiffany Reisz

Mira, Nov 20 2012, $13.95

ISBN: 9780778314103

 

A reporter forced dominatrix Nora Sutherlin into hiding.  Her owner Søren sends Nora from New York to Kentucky to stay out of unwanted publicity.  At the same time that Nora goes into exile, Kingsley Edge replaces her with Søren, a place she has been at on and off for years.

 

In Bluegrass Country, Nora reunites with thoroughbred king Wes Railey in his realm rather than her turf.  Meanwhile Søren and Kingsley search for the predator threatening to expose their kinky lifestyle.

 

The third Original Sinners BDSM tale (see The Siren and The Angel) is an engaging drama that contains two interesting subplots.  First Nora seems on the cusp of choosing between two different hunks though one she can never have one completely and the other only partially satiates her kinky needs.  Second Kingsley and Søren hunt the stalker.  Fans of the series will enjoy the latest erotic adventures in New York and in Kentucky where Wes’ lower head affirms why he is The Prince.

 

Harriet Klausner

Cat Bearing Gifts-Shirley Rousseau Murphy

November 5, 2012

Cat Bearing Gifts

Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Morrow, Nov 20 2012, $19.99

ISBN: 9780061806940

 

On a mountain road near Molena Point, California, violent Vic Amson’s pickup is wrecked in a multi–vehicle accident.  Not one to sit around, Vic and his injured partner Birely Miller steal Pedric and Lucinda Greenlaw’s Lincoln Town Car.  They take the “abandoned” vehicle so that they can return to their search for bank robbery money taken by Birely’s grandpa and hidden by her sister Samantha though the property now belongs to Emmylou Warren.  The Greenlaw couple is in the hospital having been injured by a landslide just before losing their car.

 

Vic and Birely soon find the stolen vehicle contains priceless antiques and plenty of jewels.  Clyde and Ryan Damen help sneak the Greenlaw companion Kit into the hospital to see Pedric and Lucinda.  Afterward the feline and some pals like Joe Grey protect their two legged friends while investigating the theft and subsequently murder.

 

The key to this entry and for that matter the Joe Grey series (see Cat Telling Tales and Cat Coming Home) is that readers will believe in the feline anthropomorphist behavior especially sleuthing and watching over their two legged pets.  The investigation is top rate and the human sitting well done as Kit (and others) works the case while Dulcie works the computers.

 

Harriet Klausner

Fox Tracks-Rita Mae Brown

November 5, 2012

Fox Tracks

Rita Mae Brown

Ballantine, Nov 20 2012, $26.00

ISBN: 9780345532978

 

Septuagenarian Master of the Jefferson Hunt Club in Virginia “Sister” Jane Arnold is staying at Manhattan’s posh Pierre while attending the Masters Ball.  She and college student Anne “Tootie” Harris walk in the snow to a nearby Fifth Avenue tobacco shop where the proprietor Aldolfo Galdos sells Sister a special WWI lighter.  The two visitors return to the hotel only Sister forgot her cell phone so go back to the shop.  In the few minutes between their stops, someone put a bullet between the eyes of Aldofo.  The victim had an Amercian Smokes cigarette pack on him.

 

An eerily similar murder occurs in Boston.  Sister begins to think the murders tie back to tobacco farms, but unsure how.  When she mentions her feelings, she becomes a target too.  At the same time Sister’s enemy Crawford Howard deploys a scheme to devastate the Jefferson Hunt Club. In both cases, Sister and her four legged posse refuse to go away quietly.

 

The latest Sister Jane amateur sleuth (see Hounded to Death) is an enjoyable whodunit that provides a spotlight on the sport of the hounds and the foxes.  The storyline starts passive as readers meet the players while obtaining a deep look into what motivates the passionate two legged players and the various friendly and hostile rivalries between groups and participants.  Series fans will enjoy Sister’s sleuthing.

 

Harriet Klausner

Hot Stuff-Don Bruns

November 5, 2012

Hot Stuff

Don Bruns

Oceanview Nov 16 2012, $25.95

ISBN 9781608090617

 

The difference between the amateur and the pro is the pro gets paid even when they lack experience as is the case with Miami’s Moore or Less Investigations PIs Skip Moore and James Lessor.  Besides being sleuthing tyros, the pair acts more like teens on the prowl of a good time than investigators on a case.

 

When someone murders L’Elfe sous chef Amanda Wright, her friend Emily Minard wants the culprit caught as a way to pay back a debt to her late buddy.  She asks her boyfriend Skip to make inquiries and persuades the French restaurant’s chef Jean Bouvier to hire Moore or Less to go undercover in order to determine who on the staff has a motive.  Possessing a culinary arts degree, James replaces Amanda as the sous chef while Skip possessing two hands replaces AWOL dishwasher Juan Castro.  Police Detective Ted Conway warns the bungling pair to stay out of his way.

 

The latest Stuff investigation (see Too Much Stuff) is an amusing murder mystery as the two stooges cause havoc in the posh French restaurant while trying to uncover a killer one dish at a time.  The whodunit is fun but thin while fans of the Stuff duo will enjoy their jocular juvenile jaunts amidst a stuffy elite dining class.

 

Harriet Klausner

Death of a Country Fried Redneck-Lee Hollis-

November 4, 2012

Death of a Country Fried Redneck

Lee Hollis

Kensington, Nov 6 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780758267382

 

In Bar Harbor, Maine, Island Times food and wine columnist single mom (of teenagers Gemma and Dustin) Hayley Powell writes a popular unpretentious column.  She is excited with the news that her favorite country singer Wade Springer will perform two concerts for charity in Bar Harbor.  Hayley figures the way to a man is through his stomach so she pulls a ploy and makes breakfast for Wade.  Enjoying the meal, Wade asks her to be his chef while he remains in town; she euphorically agrees.

 

Roadie Mickey Pritchett makes an unsavory bid for Hayley to sleep with him; she rejects his uncouth attempt.  Soon afterward someone shoots and kills Pritchett and sets the tour bus on fire.  Though Hayley knows she should remain in the kitchen, she investigates the killing of a rough and rowdy roadie.

 

The latest Hayley Powell Food & Cocktails mystery (see Death of a Kitchen Diva) is an enjoyable zany amateur sleuth with a seeming horde of suspects such as other roadies, ex-wives and groupies.  Over the top of Mount Katahdin, fans will enjoy this amusing wild riff as star-struck Hayley learns the music world proves deadly.

 

Harriet Klausner

So I’m A Heel/Flint/The Big Out-Arnold Hano writing as Mike Heller and Gil Dodge

November 2, 2012

So I’m A Heel/Flint/The Big Out

Arnold Hano writing as Mike Heller and Gil Dodge

Stark House, Oct 15 2012, $23.95

ISBN: 9781933586502

 

“So I’m a Heel” by Mike Heller.  In 1944, the Howitzer exploded killing a dozen solders and leaving the “lucky” one Hawkins with a disfigured face having lost his lower jaw.  He lives with his wife Mary and ten-year-old son Matt in Laredo Rock, California.  Acrimonious Hawkins uses his deformity to take advantage of others and blackmails lawyer Otto Weylin.  However Weylin plans to take out Hawkins who is attracted to the attorney’s trashy wife Millie. 

 

“Flint” by Gil Dodge.  The only one way a hired killer retires is in a coffin.  Flint struggles with a bullet lodged in his lungs.  He hopes to walk away after he completes his last job so he heads to Colorado where rancher Good hires him to kill Thomason.  Flint obtains a job working for Thomason, but is attracted to his employer’s wife Cora.

 

“The Big Out” by Arnold Hano.  The syndicate informs Blues’ catcher Brick Palmer that his brother forged his signature on a $10,000 debt.  They demand remittance.  Herald sports reporter Randy York witnesses the money exchange and the player busting the collector’s nose.  He exposes Brick who is thrown out of the league.  He and his wife head to Montreal to play but is treated with rage while an irate syndicate debt collector travels to Canada for payback.

 

Using two pseudonyms, Arnold Hano showed his vast depth with this exciting 1950s crime caper collection reprints in differing milieus.  The three entries are fast-paced with strong characters in troubled waters way over their heads.  Although the exciting suspenseful tales do not fully pass the test of time, fans will appreciate these diverse noirs.

 

Harriet Klausner