The Physicists’ Daughter by Mary Anna Evans – #BookReview – #historicalmysteries

The Physicists’ Daughter by Mary Anna Evans

Book Blurb:

New Orleans, 1944.

The Physicists' Daughter by Mary Anna EvansSabotage. That’s the word on factory worker Justine Byrne’s mind as she is repeatedly called to weld machine parts that keep failing with no clear cause. Could someone inside the secretive Carbon Division be deliberately undermining the factory’s Allied war efforts?

Raised by her late parents to think logically, she also can’t help wondering just what the oddly shaped carbon gadgets she assembles day after day have to do with the boats the factory builds. When a crane inexplicably crashes to the factory floor, leaving a woman dead, Justine can no longer ignore her nagging fear that German spies are at work within the building, trying to put the factory and its workers out of commission.

Unable to trust anyone—not the charming men vying for her attention, not her unpleasant boss, and not even the women who work beside her—Justine draws on the legacy of her unconventional upbringing to keep her division running and protect her coworkers, her country, and herself from a war that is suddenly very close to home.

His Review:

Justine Byrne was taught welding, trained by her parents. She knew things that most Americans could only dream of. She was given a job at Higgins Industries Carbon Division. She and the people in the division were making parts designed by others that they had never seen assembled into anything. Justine’s parents had been killed because of the technology they helped develop.

The Physicists' Daughter by Mary Anna EvansJustine is young and lovely and two suitors are attempting to win her heart. One is a spy placed by Germany prior to WW II. The Higgins Plant was hidden in the bayous of southern Louisiana. There was an airfield next to the plant where the top-secret parts were made.

Supervisors at the plant were men with infirmities that kept them from being enlisted in the military. They were usually self-important oofs who lorded over everyone, particularly the women. They made life miserable for the better-looking girls.

Saboteurs were sent in by the Nazi’s to find out what was being made at the plant and also to slow or stop production. This was extremely unusual for a young lady during the war. Parts that were broken in the fabrication were quickly welded by her and production continued.

CE WilliamsThis tale of the valiant efforts by women hired in all war industries showed the ability of women to do jobs formerly only held by men. The women were being paid more than they had ever been paid before, the same wage as a man doing the same work. Six, ten to twelve-hour days, left them only Sundays to rest and prepare for the following week. The book is very well written and I could not put it down! 4.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Historical World War II Fiction, World War II Historical Fiction, Historical Mysteries
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
ASIN: B09TGB4BVK
Print Length: 345 pages
Publication Date: June 7, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Physicists’ Daughter [Amazon]

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Mary Anna Evans - author
Mary Anna Evans

The Author: I’m the author of the upcoming historical suspense novel THE PHYSICISTS’ DAUGHTER and the award-winning Faye Longchamp archaeological mysteries. My thriller, WOUNDED EARTH, is available in print, ebook, and audiobook editions.
I’m a university professor of writing, and I’m also a chemical engineer by training and license, with a degree in engineering physics thrown in for spice. This background came in handy while writing THE PHYSICISTS’ DAUGHTER, which features Justine Byrne, who works at a Rosie-the-Riveter-type job during World War II. I like to describe Justine like this: “The Nazis are no match for the physicists’ daughter.” As for the protagonist of my archaeological mysteries, I’d say, “Faye Longchamp digs up trouble.” If you like strong, smart, independent female protagonists, I think you might like Justine and Faye.
My other fiction includes several short stories, available separately as ebooks, and as a collection in both ebook and print form, called JEWEL BOX: SHORT WORKS BY MARY ANNA EVANS. YOUR NOVEL, DAY BY DAY: A FICTION WRITER’S COMPANION is available for novelists in both ebook and print form.
I am a co-editor with Dr. JC Bernthal of an upcoming book on the bestselling novelist of all time, the BLOOMSBURY HANDBOOK TO AGATHA CHRISTIE. It is very much a labor of love to the Queen of Mystery.
I enjoy reading, writing, teaching, gardening, spending time with my family, cooking, and playing my 7-and-a-half-foot-long monster of a grand piano. For more information on my work, visit http://www.maryannaevans.com.

©2022 – CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint Publishing

The Texas Job by Reavis Z Wortham – #BookReview – Small Town & Rural Fiction

Book Blurb:

The Texas Job by Reavis Z WorthamTexas Ranger Tom Bell is simply tracking a fugitive killer in 1931 when he rides into Kilgore, a hastily erected shanty town crawling with rough and desperate men—oil drillers who’ve come by the thousands in search of work. The sheriff of the boomtown is overwhelmed and offers no help, nor are any of the roughnecks inclined to assist the young Ranger in his search for the wanted man.

In fact, it soon becomes apparent that the lawman’s presence has irritated the wrong people, and when two failed attempts are made on his life, Bell knows he’s getting closer to finding out who is responsible for cheating and murdering local landowners to access the rich oil fields flowing beneath their farms. When they ambush him for a third time, they make the fatal mistake of killing someone close to him and leaving the Ranger alive.

Armed with his trademark 1911 Colt .45 and the Browning automatic he liberated from a gangster’s corpse, Tom Bell cuts a swath of devastation through the heart of East Texas in search of the consortium behind the lethal land-grab scheme. 

His Review:

Early 20th Century east Texas was a wide-open territory. Texas Ranger Tom Bell has a very dangerous job. The mob has infiltrated the area because of quick riches from the discovery of oil. A forest of oil rigs blight the once open range and forest lands. Where money flows, greed and corruption closely follow. One of the get-rich schemes was to marry the ladies who owned the land and then kill them to inherit the land and the wealth stream.

The Texas Job by Reavis Z WorthamThe mob has no compassion for people, their problems, or their needs. Take whatever you can and if someone dies in the process, oh well! Author Wortham weaves a very interesting tale of bravado and heroism against wanton killing and conniving. I found his tale engaging and entertaining. His writing style harkens back to western authors of old. The characters who became Texas Rangers were smart and cared for the people of east Texas.

The weapons and attack methodology were reminiscent of WW I war tactics. The mob sent in large groups of killers with the instructions to “take care of the problem.” Ranger Tom Bell is one of those “problems.” Six men are sent down from Hot Springs, Arkansas to accomplish the goal. Their problem was a lack of understanding the abilities of Tom Bell.

Segregation was rampant in Texas at that time. The African American youth were considered slightly less valuable than cattle. African American women were considered ignorant and were generally ignored. Therefore, Tom has a ready source of intelligence because the criminals gave them little consideration. The Black population, however, knew everything that was going on and appreciated being treated fairly.

CE WilliamsEnjoy this tale from a gifted writer. Set aside time because you will not want to put the book down. 4.5 stars- CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions. Current on pre-order.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Small Town & Rural Fiction, Murder
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
ASIN: B096L96MP1
Print Length: 272 pages
Publication Date: February 15, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link(s):  The Texas Job [Amazon] 
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

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Reavis Z Wortham - authorThe Author: As a boy, award-winning writer, Reavis Z. Wortham hunted and fished the river bottoms near Chicota, Texas, the inspiration for the fictional setting for The Rock Hole and The Red River Mystery Series. He was born in Paris, Texas, but lived in Dallas. “We grew up in the city and went to school there, but every Friday evening my parents put us in the car and made the 120-mile drive to Chicota, where we truly lived at my grandparents’ place in the country until Sunday evening, when we came back to the city. Our real home was that little scratch farm in Lamar County.”

 [Amazon bio Truncated…]

Reavis also penned Doreen’s 24 HR Eat Gas Now Café. More than 2,500 newspaper and magazine articles bear the byline of this award-winning Texas writer. The Rock Hole was a finalist in the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award presented by the Independent Book Publishers Association, is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Writers’ League of Texas, International Association of Crime Writers (North American Branch), and International Thriller Writers.

He lives with his wife, Shana, in northeast Texas.

(Reavis Z. Wortham retired in 2011 and now works harder than before as the author of the critically acclaimed Red River historical mystery series. Kirkus Reviews listed his first novel, The Rock Hole, as one of their Top 12 Mysteries of 2011. True West Magazine included Dark Places as one of 2015’s Top 12 Modern Westerns. The Providence Journal writes, “This year’s Unraveled is a hidden gem of a book that reads like Craig Johnson’s Longmire on steroids.” Wortham’s new high octane contemporary thriller from Kensington Publishing, Hawke’s Prey, featuring Texas Ranger Sonny Hawke was released in June, 2017. [Goodreads])

©2022 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint winter graphic

Where There’s a Will (Roland Sinclair WWII Mysteries Book 10) by Sulari Gentill – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

2021 NED KELLY AWARD NOMINEE, BEST CRIME FICTION

Book Blurb:

Hell hath no fury like a family disinherited…

Where There's a Will by Sulari GentillAmerican millionaire Daniel Cartwright has been shot dead: three times in the chest, and once in the head. His body is found in Harvard Yard, dressed in evening attire. No one knows who he planned to meet there, or why the staunch Oxford man would be caught dead at Harvard—literally.

Australian Rowland Sinclair, his mate from Oxford and longtime friend, is named executor of the will, to his great surprise—and that of Danny’s family. Events turn downright ugly when the will all but disinherits Danny’s siblings in favor of one Otis Norcross, whom no one knows or is able to locate. Amidst assault, kidnapping, and threats of slander, Rowly struggles to understand Danny’s motives, find the missing heir, and identify his friend’s killer before the clock—and his luck—run out.

A deft blend of history and mystery, WHERE THERE’S A WILL offers an alternately charming and chilling snapshot of Boston and New York in the 1930s, with cameo appearances by luminaries of the day including Marion Davies, Randolph Hearst, Errol Flynn, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and an arrogantly ardent Joe Kennedy, who proves no match for Rowly’s sculptress friend Edna…

My Review:

I love it when I can get into daily life of the 1930s crowd, although these characters are all so wealthy it was difficult for me to identify.  The background is Boston, New York, and North Carolina and name-dropping throughout the narrative brought some jolting moments. Not that old, but these support or peripheral characters are names even most younger people would recognize.

The protagonist, Rowland Sinclair, and his cronies are Australian called from Singapore to Boston upon notice of the death of a close and dear friend, David Cartwright. Rowland is accompanied by Edna (who he insists on calling Ed), Clyde, and Milton. To Rowland’s horror, he has been named executor of David’s will. Upon reading of the will, however, the family discovers the bulk of David’s wealth is to go to one Otis Norcross—assuming he can be found. The Cartwrights are not happy.

In languid prose, the narrative proceeds with no one breaking out a sweat to find Otis—although that is the declared objective from the beginning as well as the discovery of who killed David. In the meantime, the novel introduces all manner of early to mid-thirties characters, invoking scenes in which Marion Davies, Joseph Kennedy, or William Randolph Hearst might appear. (Followed by Errol Lynn and Orson Wells.)

“Reputation is what you are supposed to be; character is what you are.”

There are gangsters, both Irish and Italian, formal dress codes for dinner, fashions, sights and sounds of the time along with delightful and entertaining quotes from news reports as intro to new chapters.  I also enjoyed the lively scenes of the dance halls, noting the Savoy in New York and the creation and popularity of the Lindy Hop.*

There are twists, turns, and shenanigans that sidetrack the MCs and I loved the tidbits regarding some of those historical figures as well as F Scott Fitzgerald and Monopoly (the Parker Brothers game that saved the company). So many historical luminaries woven into the story!

I must admit that my attention waned several times throughout the book as the gain in the whodunit was rather slow, then something would happen to spark my interest again. Took a while to get to the heart of the matter, the histories of the victim and the missing Otis, and I’d guessed the antagonist shortly after introduction to the plot.

My first experience with the author and the series, it’s obvious that Rowland and Ed have a thing, have had for some time, so I wasn’t particularly thrilled about the solution in the conclusion but any history buff would enjoy the Louella Parsons worthy gossip.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Trigger Warning: Homophobia

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Organized Crime, Historical Mysteries
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
ISBN: 1464214905
ASIN: B09158FKZ2
Print Length: 386 pages
Publication Date: January 18, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Sulari Gentill-authorThe Author: After setting out to study astrophysics, graduating in law and then abandoning her legal career to write books, Sulari now grows French black truffles on her farm in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains of NSW. Sulari is author of The Rowland Sinclair Mystery series, historical crime fiction novels (eight in total) set in the 1930s. Sulari’s A Decline in Prophets (the second book in the series) was the winner of the Davitt Award for Best Adult Crime Fiction 2012. She was also shortlisted for Best First Book (A Few Right Thinking Men) for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2011. Paving the New Road was shortlisted for another Davitt in 2013.

[Goodreads] Sulari lives with her husband, Michael, and their boys, Edmund and Atticus, on a small farm in Batlow where she grows French Black Truffles and refers to her writing as “work” so that no one will suggest she get a real job.

* The Lindy Hop is an American dance which was born in the African-American communities in Harlem, New York City, in 1928. [Wikipedia]

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Chained – a Book Review

Chained, a Kate Turner, DVM, Mystery by Eileen BradyTitle: Chained by Eileen Brady

Genre: Currently #138 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Animals

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

Publication Date: To be released December 5, 2017

Source: Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Chained, bear is a small part of the story

Once again, coming into a series at #3, this Kate Turner, DVM mystery, has gotten a start on me, but really could be read as a stand alone. Without a lot of back story, we know that Kate is fairly new to the Hudson Valley town of Oak Falls. When their home town golden boy disappears, everyone thinks he’s made good on his vow to go to Hollywood. Unfortunately, one of her dog patients turns up a bone deemed to be human and it proves to be Flynn. The smashed skull proves murder–but that was ten years ago. Continue reading “Chained – a Book Review”

Missing Persons-a Buddy Steel Mystery – a Book Review

Missing Persons by Michael BrandmanTitle: Missing Persons- a Buddy Steel Mystery by Michael Brandman

Genre: Currently # 9721 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller  Suspense, Mystery, Police Procedurals

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

Publication Date: To be released September 5, 2017

Source: Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Missing Persons – Beautiful cover – conveys book location

Missing Persons is the first in the Buddy Steel Mystery series by Michael Brandman.

Steel is an independent bachelor; aggressive, smart, and has been working homicide at the LAPD, on track for advancement and content with his life. His father, a sheriff in Freedom (a small upscale coastal community north of Los Angeles) discovers his health is going south and asks his son to come home prepared to step into his shoes. Buddy grudgingly agrees, after argument with himself, not happy to return under his father’s counsel. Unfortunately, all hell breaks loose shortly after he returns when he lands in the middle of a missing persons case. She is the wife of a world-renowned television minister. Of course, nothing is simple–that’s the rule–and the investigation leads to con artists, violent gangs, drugs, and murder. Continue reading “Missing Persons-a Buddy Steel Mystery – a Book Review”

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