The Corpse Who Knew Too Much (A Food Blogger Mystery) by Debra Sennefelder #BlogTour #BookReview #TuesdayBookBlog

Welcome to the review for The Corpse Who Knew Too Much by Debra Sennefelder at my blog stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. 

The Corpse Who Knew Too Much by Debra Sennefelder - blog tour

Book Details:

The Corpse Who Knew Too Much (A Food Blogger Mystery) 
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Publisher: Kensington (September 29, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496728912
ISBN-13: 978-1496728913
Digital ASIN: B082WR1YCL

Book Blurb:

Food blogger Hope Early takes on a cold case that’s heating up fast . . . 

Building on her recipe for success with her food blog, Hope at Home, Hope is teaching her first blogging class at the local library in Jefferson, Connecticut. She’s also learning about podcasts, including a true-crime one called Search for the Missing, hosted by Hope’s childhood friend, Devon Markham. Twenty years ago on Valentine’s Day, right here in Jefferson, Devon’s mom disappeared and was never found. Finally Devon has returned to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother—and she asks Hope to help. 

The next day Hope discovers Devon’s apartment has been ransacked. Her laptop with the research on her mother’s cold case is missing, and Devon is nowhere to be found. When her friend’s body is later discovered in a car wreck, Hope is convinced it’s no accident. Clearly, Devon was too close to the truth, and the cold-blooded killer is still at large in Jefferson. Now it’s up to Hope to find the guilty party—before the food blogger herself becomes the next subject of another true-crime podcast . . .

Includes Recipes from Hope’s Kitchen! 

My Review:

The Corpse Who Knew Too Much by Debra SennefelderHope Early has achieved her dream of being a full-time food blogger in Jefferson, Connecticut, and is quickly expanding her reach with interested sponsors. The narrative has some great support characters including her sister Claire and Ethan, her police chief boyfriend. (She is divorced and has fur babies dog Bigelow and Princess the cat. She also has a few chickens, including Poppy, and I loved that the animals also have personality.)

Hope additionally is creating a community class at the local library for those who wish to learn to set up and run their own successful blogs and looking forward to her first class when she is informed of the return of the daughter of a woman who went missing twenty years ago. She quickly becomes embroiled in the quest to discover what happened when the daughter is found dead and it doesn’t appear to be an accident.

What was a cold case turns hot quickly as another body turns up and Hope is strongly warned off. Between testing recipes, creating her content, and caring for her animals, she continues with her interviews gleaning little clues along the way.

There are tidbits dropped here and there regarding motive, twists, and more POIs although it’s easy to eliminate those persons of interest that just don’t fit the picture.

In the meantime, she shares instructional materials with her class (and the reader) regarding some of the mysteries of blogging, social media, and SEO, which I particularly enjoyed.

The conclusion settles all the threads and clarifies the motive and suggests Hope may expand her blogging efforts in podcasting to her next entry to the series.

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Debra Sennefelder - authorAbout The Author: Debra Sennefelder is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.

Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.

Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih Tzu, Connie.

Author Links – Website & Blog Facebook Instagram

Website: http://bit.ly/2lQwSNi

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2jBx9oV

Facebook Author Page: http://bit.ly/2qjwHyT

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2EQh6da

Purchase Links:

Amazon – Barnes & Noble –  Kensington – Kobo – Google Play

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

April 1 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW*

April 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

April 2 – Literary Gold – REVIEW

April 2 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

April 3 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

April 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

April 4 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT

April 4 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW*

April 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW*, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

April 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST

April 6 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW*

April 6 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 7 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

April 7 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 8 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR GUEST POST

April 8 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – Novels Alive – AUTHOR GUEST POST

April 9 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 9 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

April 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

April 10 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

April 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW*, AUTHOR INTERVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

April 12 – Christy’s Cozy Corners -SPOTLIGHT

April 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

April 13 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY

April 13 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

April 14 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT  

April 14 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2021 V Williams

The French Paradox (A Wind Country mystery Book 11) by Ellen Crosby – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

“According to Napoleon, in victory you deserve champagne, in defeat you need it.”

 Book Blurb:

Lucie Montgomery’s discovery of her grandfather’s Parisian romance unlocks a series of shocking secrets in the gripping new Wine Country mystery.

In 1949, during her junior year abroad in Paris, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis The French Paradox by Ellen Crosbybought several inexpensive paintings of Marie-Antoinette by a little-known 18th century female artist. She also had a romantic relationship with Virginia vineyard owner Lucie Montgomery’s French grandfather – until recently, a well-kept secret.

Seventy years later, Cricket Delacroix, Lucie’s neighbor and Jackie’s schoolfriend, is donating the now priceless paintings to a Washington, DC museum. And Lucie’s grandfather is flying to Virginia for Cricket’s 90th birthday party, hosted by her daughter Harriet. A washed-up journalist, Harriet is rewriting a manuscript Jackie left behind about Marie-Antoinette and her portraitist. She’s also adding tell-all details about Jackie, sure to make the book a bestseller.

Then on the eve of the party a world-famous landscape designer who also knew Jackie is found dead in Lucie’s vineyard. Did someone make good on the death threats he’d received because of his controversial book on climate change? Or was his murder tied to Jackie, the paintings, and Lucie’s beloved grandfather?

My Review:

I always enjoy these entries to the wine country mysteries, as I’m assured of learning new facts about viticulture and the historical areas of Virginia. In this episode, protagonist Lucie Montgomery (owner with her family of the Montgomery Estate Vineyard) discovers a DB (dead body) in her fields—the guy she was supposed to have met to consult about problems with her sickly grapes.

The French Paradox by Ellen CrosbyHer winemaker-fiancé Quinn is quick to provide support, but it’s just one of several threads and I’m still trying to decide whether or not I like the Jackie Kennedy inclusion. She is also anticipating the arrival of her 93 year old French grandfather for a birthday celebration with a local friend. There are enlightening discussions on the impact of climate change to certain grapes and a comparison of GMOs with hybrids. Additionally, a major sub-plot involves the daughter of her birthday friend and the big reveal regarding her book and the early women art masters tied into the mystery of Jackie O.

The well-plotted narrative delves deeply into the family drama anticipation of a mini-family reunion with her beloved grandfather and her artistic sister’s commission for the art exhibition that will feature renown paintings tied to the books’ announcement.

I really loved The Angel’s Share and Harvest of Secrets but the pacing of this series entry was a bit slow for me and my attention waned. I suppose in the end, part of my enthusiasm this time was the Jackie thread. Not a lot of elements of a cozy, listed as a traditional detective mystery—but didn’t feel that vibe either. Still, these can all be considered standalone and I’ll be looking forward to the next one.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Detective Mysteries, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher: Severn House Publishers

  • ASIN : B08QNF14TD

Print Length: 243 pages
Publication Date: Happy Release Day! April 6, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Ellen Crosby - authorThe Author: Ellen Crosby is the author of the Virginia wine country mysteries, two mysteries featuring international photojournalist Sophie Medina and MOSCOW NIGHTS, a standalone. THE FRENCH PARADOX, the 11th book in the wine country series will be out 1/29/21 in the UK, 4/6/21 in the US and 3/1/21 as an ebook. Before writing fiction, Crosby–who has lived in England, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the former Soviet Union–worked as a freelance reporter for The Washington Post, an economist at the US Senate, and Moscow reporter for ABC Radio News. Visit her website at http://www.ellencrosby.com and follow her (very) occasionally on Facebook at EllenCrosbyBooks, sometimes on Twitter at @ellencrosby–but mostly on Instagram at ellencrosbyauthor. She also writes an erratic (but interesting) newsletter.

©V Williams

The Hiding Place: A Mercy Carr Mystery by Paula Munier – #BookReview – #readingirelandmonth21 – Cozy Animal Mystery

The Hiding Place by Paula Munier

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

“…she said a silent prayer to St Roch. The patron saint of dogs.”

Book Blurb:

Mercy and Elvis are back in The Hiding Place, the most enthralling entry yet in USA Today bestselling Paula Munier’s award-winning Mercy Carr mystery series. When the man who killed her grandfather breaks out of prison and comes after her grandmother, Mercy must unearth the long-buried scandals that threaten to tear her family apart. And she may have to do it without her beloved canine partner Elvis, if his former handler has his way….

Some people take their secrets with them to the grave. Others leave them behind on their deathbeds, riddles for the survivors to solve.

When her late grandfather’s dying deputy calls Mercy to his side, she and Elvis inherit the cold case that haunted him—and may have killed him. But finding Beth Kilgore 20 years after she disappeared is more than a lost cause. It’s a Pandora’s box releasing a rain of evil on the very people Mercy and Elvis hold most dear.

The timing couldn’t be worse when the man who murdered her grandfather escapes from prison and a fellow Army vet turns up claiming that Elvis is his dog, not hers. With her grandmother Patience gone missing, and Elvis’s future uncertain, Mercy faces the prospect of losing her most treasured allies, the only ones she believes truly love and understand her.

She needs help, and that means forgiving Vermont Game Warden Troy Warner long enough to enlist his aid. With time running out for Patience, Mercy and Elvis must team up with Troy and his search-and-rescue dog Susie Bear to unravel the secrets of the past and save her grandmother—before it’s too late.

Once again, Paula Munier crafts a terrific mystery thriller filled with intrigue, action, resilient characters, the mountains of Vermont, and two amazing dogs.

My Review:

Even as an adult I still gravitate heavily to dog stories, albeit a stronger more aggressive type than Lassie. This is the story of Elvis, a military trained, sharp as a tack, fierce, loyal, and gorgeous Belgian Malinois. Okay, the story includes Elvis, who is the canine protagonist, but I like him best.

The Hiding Place by Paula MunierThe third in the series examines parallel storylines, each complex and just as gripping: the mystery—which involves more than one active case as well as a cold case, and the entry of the prior owner/handler of Elvis seeking to retrieve his dog. He is another Army vet, original owner of Elvis and Mercy is adamant she won’t turn the dog over to be a support animal in Missouri.

Mercy’s grandfather’s deputy is dying and requests her presence to hand over a cold case in which he was involved and couldn’t shake. There is also the news that the person responsible for her grandfather’s death has escaped from prison. It would appear he is headed back to Vermont and that her grandmother might be in danger. Her grandmother doesn’t appear to be worried and doesn’t bestow additional reasons why or why not.

Mercy had a falling out with Troy Warner and Book 3 catches up the reasons for the break. Tensions still run high between them—although they are forced to work together on some cases, including the suspicious death of a game employee following a juvenile moose. Troy has a search and rescue dog, Susie Bear, a lovable Newfie.

As a veteran herself, Mercy is still working through her return to civil life, enjoying her grandmother Patience, and smoothing the contentious relationship with her mother.

It is a well-plotted and fast-paced narrative, never sagging in the middle, while she whittles away at clues and interviews, often times involving Troy.

The immersion into a winter in Vermont is frost-laden and beautifully described sufficient to see your breath and chill the bones. There are stunning descriptions of snow storms and cabins deep enough in the woods accessible only by snowmobiles. As several of the threads began to appear linked, pieces of the puzzle gradually fall into place.

I correctly surmised what happened to the abuse victim, and the author does a good job of unraveling all the clues, making sense of the chronology. I really enjoyed the strong inclusion of the working canines, as well as the cats, and the sensible resolution of the ownership question of Elvis.

I read Book 1, The Borrowing of Bones, and greatly enjoyed it. Somehow I missed Book 2, but was thoroughly engaged and entertained in this uncorrected digital galley received from the publisher through NetGalley. Assuming my quibbles regarding this novel, including several contradictions, the clarification of her income (she isn’t K9 police—so who pays her?), and one glaring error regarding ticks (they don’t jump), is correctly edited, I enjoyed this entry more than the first. I’m looking forward to Book 4 and can wholly recommend this to any who enjoy a canine/location driven mystery, interesting and complex male/female protagonist team, and the beauty of Vermont and their distinctive Yankee spirit.

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Book Details:

Genre: Small Town & Rural Fiction, Cozy Animal Mystery, Cozy Animal Mysteries
Publisher: Minotaur Books

ISBN : 1250153077
ASIN : B08BYDK2DV

Print Length: 326 pages
Publication Date: Happy Release Day! March 30, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Paula Munier - authorThe Author: PAULA MUNIER is a literary agent and the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Mercy Carr mysteries. A BORROWING OF BONES, the first in the series, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and was recently named the Dog Writers Association of America’s Dogwise Book of the Year. The second, BLIND SEARCH, pubbed in November 2019. The third, THE HIDING PLACE, will debut in March 2021.

Paula was inspired to write the series by the hero working dogs she met through Mission K9 Rescue, her own rescues, Newfoundland/retriever mix Bear, Great Pyrenees/Australian cattle dog mix Bliss, and Malinois mix Blondie, and a lifelong passion for crime fiction.

Paula also written three popular books on writing: PLOT PERFECT, THE WRITER’S GUIDE TO BEGINNINGS, and WRITING WITH QUIET HANDS, as well as the acclaimed memoir FIXING FREDDIE: A True Story of a Boy, a Mom, and a Very, Very Bad Beagle, and HAPPIER EVERY DAY: Simple ways to bring more peace, contentment and joy into your life.

She lives in New England with her family, her three rescue dogs, and a rescue torbie tabby named Ursula.

©2021 V Williams

Alley Katz (Dev Haskell-Private Investigator Book 27) by Mike Faricy – #BookReview – #noir #readingirelandmonth21

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars Five Stars

Book Blurb:

Alley Katz by Mike FaricyDev Haskell is running late for dinner at his girlfriends house when he rear ends a car in the parking lot. Small world, the car is driven by a Dev’s former high school English teacher. . In lieu of paying for damages Dev agrees to work Tuesday and Thursday evenings helping kids with homework. From there he ends up searching for an art forger with ties to local crime lord, Tubby Gustafson.

Along the way he’s beat up by a petit woman in a thong, searches for a missing boy… Oh, and he sets a homeless kid on a career path.

Another hilariously delightful Dev Haskell tale.

A wonderful read to remind you that, actually, your life is pretty good!

As always, Morton, Dev’s Golden Retriever, provides a dose of sanity. 

His Review:

Alley Katz by Mike FaricyDev Haskell is a brow beaten gumshoe! Two fat mobsters push him around like an unwanted relative at a family gathering. Who would want to hire Mr. Milk Toast? This is a perfect primer for anyone who aspires to be a private detective.

Taylor Cummins is a young man who cannot get away from a toxic childhood quick enough. He is discovered in a locked school attempting to keep from freezing to death in a cold Minnesota winter. Dev’s delinquent school years have prepared him and he is enlisted to assist with students who are ne’re-do-wells!

The story develops well and a relationship of convenience develops into a feel-good story of overcoming a difficult childhood. Taylor is a gifted artist who is totally unknown. Dev meets him as a school counselor and takes him under his wing. He helps to pull Taylor out of his shell with the help of Annette, an art curator. She recognizes the potential in Taylor.

Mike Faricy has put together a fun read and two very believable characters. The book is a tad short but certainly does not disappoint. The ending is satisfying if not a little fanciful. Read this novel and enjoy the experience. 5 stars- CE Williams

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author. These are my unbiased opinions. 

Book Details:

Genre: Noir Crime, Private Investor Mysteries

  • ASIN : B08P7ZBHRX

Print Length: 265 pages
Publication Date: December 27 2020
Source: Direct author request
Title Link: Author request-Alley Katz [Amazon]

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Mike Faricy - authorThe Author: Mike Faricy was awarded the 2016 IACM Silver Award for Best Mystery Author. His books have held the #1 slot in the Kindle Store in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and India. Mike Faricy was listed as the IACM Author of the Month for April 2018. His Dev Haskell tale, The Office, was a finalist for the 2018 Minnesota Book Awards and the 2018 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award. He was awarded the Crime Masters of America Poison Cup Award in January of 2019. His Dev Haskell tale, Star Struck, was a mystery finalist for the 2019 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award.

The Dirty Lowdown called Mike Faricy America’s hottest new mystery writer.
Robert Carraher referred to him as Minnesota’s Master of the Bizarre.
Crime Scene referred to him as the next Carl Hiaasen.
Crime Capers said; “Open at your own risk, you won’t put him down.”
UnderCover wrote; “This guy is nuts and one hell of a lot of fun.”
The Irish Gazette referred to; “The laugh a minute storylines of Faricy’s deliciously engaging worlds.”

Mike’s Dev Haskell series books are stand-alone, they can be read in any order. His Corridor Man series was initially written under the pseudonym Nick James and should be read in order. His Jack Dillon Dublin Tales series was originally written under the pseudonym, Patrick Emmett. His Hotshot series are standalone tales that can be read in any order. Faricy’s novels are filled with the sort of oddballs we’re all curious about, but wisely prefer to keep at a distance. His characters serve not so much as an example as they do a warning. None of them will be saving the world from terrorism, international banking conspiracies or coups to take over the government. Rather, Faricy’s characters inhabit a world just below the surface of polite society. The circumstances they find themselves in are usually due to their own bad decisions, but then bad decisions make for interesting stories.

Reminiscent of the late Robert B. Parker, Faricy’s tightly woven Dev Haskell series is penned with a delightful sense of humor and even some romance. Entertainment is the name of the game as back-slapping, corner-cutting, babe magnet Dev Haskell interacts with such quirky characters as ice cream mogul Mr. Swirlee, The D’Angelo brothers, local crime lord Tubby Gustafson, ‘Fat Freddie’ Zimmerman, former NFL tight end Luscious Dixon, exotic dancer Swindle Lawless, and gorgeous Heidi Bauer. The Dev Haskell novels can be read in any order.

Faricy’s Corridor Man series was originally released under the pen name Nick James. The series is a bit more gritty than the Dev Haskell series and a lot more violent. Disbarred attorney Bobby Custer makes his way back into the legal game. He’s neurotic, psychotic, psychopathic, narcissistic, greedy, unprincipled and . . . always charming.

Faricy’s Jack Dillon Dublin Tales series was originally released under the pen name Patrick Emmett. US Marshal Jack Dillon is sent to Dublin to escort a prisoner back to the US. Things don’t go exactly as planned and trouble ensues. Dillon becomes permanently stationed in Dublin, just to get him out of his boss’s hair. Things take an entertaining turn from there, think of a cross between Dev Haskell and James Bond.

Faricy’s Hotshot series are zany, delightfully entertaining standalone crime tales.
Enjoy the reads!

Originally from Saint Paul, Minnesota, Faricy still spends six months of the year in the saintly city as well as six months in Dublin, Ireland. Thanks for taking the time and be sure to tell 2-300 of your closest friends.

Mike’s Links:

Visit Mike on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MikeFaricyBooks
Visit Dev Haskell’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/DevHaskell
Email Mike” mikefaricyauthor@gmail.com
Follow Mike on Twitter @mikefaricybooks
Mike’s web site; http://www.mikefaricybooks.com

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams

First Love: The Erin O’Reilly K-9 Mysteries Book 10 by Steven Henry – BookReview – #policeprocedural #readingirelandmonth21 #TuesdayBookBlog

Reading Ireland Month 2021

 

“May the good saints protect us and bless us today, and may troubles ignore us each step of the way.” 

Book Blurb:

A young woman is strangled in her bed. The door is smashed in and the apartment ransacked. Is this a robbery gone wrong? A random attack? A jealous lover? Or a serial killer? It’s up to Detective Erin O’Reilly, her K-9 Rolf, and the rest of her Major Crimes squad to find out the truth before anyone else dies.

It’s a simple case; or is it? Erin has been able to keep an uneasy balance between her personal and work lives. She’s always known it was risky to let herself fall for a gangster. But now, she and her boyfriend, smooth-talking Irishman Morton Carlyle, find themselves drawn into a situation in which the only escape is for the two of them to choose a side and take a stand. Jealousy and betrayal are in the air. Who do you trust when your lover could be your enemy?

My Review:

First Love by Steven HenryI got hooked on this series with Books 1 and 2, Black Velvet and Irish Car Bomb, and fell in love with the dog, Rolf and Erin O’Reilly, a very strong NY traditional Irish cop following in her dad’s footsteps. She has been now been promoted to detective in Major Crimes. She had a special guy I was rooting for that didn’t work. Now her interest is an immigrant Irishman with a history who runs a bar. Unfortunately, Carlyle is a mid-level organized crime associate of the O’Malley Irish mob. Her involvement with him creates somewhat of a quandary for her.

Topping this episode is the death of a young woman whose apartment is made to look like a botched robbery and the crew jumps all too easily on a guy witnessed in the building before; my first quibble. Rolf has a small contribution to this storyline, my second, as I love the scenes with these powerful working canines. As with all police procedurals, there are the associates, supervisors, good and bad, who make for interesting support characters, as well as Carlyle’s driver/bodyguard, Ian.

High Stakes by Steven HenryThe sub-plot then comes to the fore as the initial crime is solved and the storyline goes a bit off the rails. I can’t say too much here as it would only add spoilers. Book 10, however, exploded into a hurried conclusion resulting in a cliff hanger. Book 11, High Stakes, will be coming out the end of March this year.

Much as I like the character of Erin, it seems she is being steered into a double direction, although she’ll continue to perform her K-9 partnering duties with Rolf. Still, I’m torn.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Police Procedurals, Women Sleuths
Publisher: Clickworks Press

  • ASIN : B08PS3VWJ8

Print Length: 213 pages
Publication Date: December 18, 2020

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Steven Henry - authorThe Author: Steven Henry is the USA Today bestselling author of the Erin O’Reilly mysteries and the Clarion Chronicles. He learned how to read almost before he learned how to walk. Ever since he began reading stories, he wanted to put his own on the page. He lives a very quiet and ordinary life in Minnesota with his wife and dog.

©2021 V Williams

A Matter of Life and Death: A Robin Lockwood Novel by Phillip Margolin – #BookReview – #legal thriller – #TuesdayBookBlog

Happy Book Release Day!

 Book Blurb:

A Matter of Life and Death by Phillip MargolinJoe Lattimore, homeless and trying desperately to provide for his young family, agrees to fight in a no-holds-barred illegal bout, only to have his opponent die. Lattimore now finds himself at the mercy of the fight’s organizers who blackmail him into burglarizing a house. However, when he breaks in, he finds a murdered woman on the floor and the police have received an anonymous tip naming him the murderer.

Robin Lockwood, an increasingly prominent young attorney and former MMA fighter, agrees to take on his defense. But the case is seemingly airtight—the murdered woman’s husband, Judge Anthony Carasco, has an alibi and Lattimore’s fingerprints are discovered at the scene. But everything about the case is too easy, too pat, and Lockwood is convinced that her client has been framed. The only problem is that she has no way of proving it and since this is a death case, if she fails then another innocent will die.

His Review:

Capital crimes require the best available defense attorneys. Robin Lockwood fits that description. A persons’ life hangs in the balance. The press and the prosecuting attorneys present the defendant as a cold blooded and ruthless killer. Robin is faced with the task of saving the life of the accused. All the I’s and T’s need to be dotted and crossed and no mistakes made!

A Matter of Life and Death by Phillip MargolinPhillip Margolin opens the reader’s eyes to the process. Robin is portrayed as a hands-on defense attorney charged with saving the arrested man’s life. Evidence can point one way and the truth takes another path. Knowing that a life hangs in the balance is the carrot driving the story line.

Unlike TV dramas this book reads more like a defense lawyers’ primer. Dig into the events, identify key witnesses for both the prosecution and the defense and strategize how the prosecutor will present the case. Build a solid timeline of the events leading up to the crime. The investigators of the crime and the forensic team will do their best to label your defendant as the perpetrator and how he is tied to the case.

Framing a patsy for the crime is an interesting process. Robin goes about the procedure with a fine-toothed determination. Certainly, the prosecutors are not cheating or manufacturing evidence. Can the actual killer be doing such a great job of manufacturing damning evidence? Reading this book is a way to learn what brilliant strategies culprits can employ.

I highly recommend this book as both an entertaining read and a satisfying use of time. The actual conclusion had enough twists to keep me totally engaged. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from publisher through NetGalley. These are my honest opinions.

[NB: I reviewed Book 3, A Reasonable Doubt, in April, 2020. There is a slight disparity in how I saw the protagonist. See that review here.]

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

Book Details:

Genre: Legal Thrillers, Women Sleuths
Publisher: Minotaur Books

  • ASIN : B08BYC5YSM

Print Length: 281 pages
Publication Date: 1st Edition, March 9, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: A Matter of Life and Death [Amazon]
Also find the book at these locations:
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
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Phillip Margolin - authorThe Author: PHILLIP MARGOLIN has written over twenty novels, most of them New York Times bestsellers, including Gone But Not ForgottenLost Lake, and Violent Crimes. In addition to being a novelist, he was a long time criminal defense attorney with decades of trial experience, including a large number of capital cases. Margolin lives in Portland, Oregon. This text refers to the audioCD edition.)

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams

The Shortest Day by Colm Toíbín – A #BookReview – Literature & Fiction – #readingirelandmonth21 – #TuesdayBookBlog

Our first contribution to this years’ #begorrahthon

Book Blurb:

The Shortest Day by Colm ToibinIn Ireland, a man of reason is drawn to a true mystery older than the Pyramids and Stonehenge in this enthralling story about ethereal secrets by New York Times bestselling author Colm Tóibín.

During the winter solstice, on the shortest day and longest night of the year, the ancient burial chamber at Newgrange is empowered. Its mystifying source is a haunting tale told by locals.

Professor O’Kelly believes an archaeologist’s job is to make known only what can be proved. He is undeterred by ghost stories, idle speculation, and caution. Much to the chagrin of the living souls in County Meath. As well as those entombed in the sacred darkness of Newgrange itself. They’re determined to protect the secret of the light, guarded for more than five thousand years. And they know O’Kelly is coming for it.

His Review:

Can archaeologists be considered scientists or grave robbers? Colm Toibin explores this question in this book. A site in Ireland called Newgrange or Bru’ na Boinne was built 3200 years before Christ as a resting place for those who have passed on. Professor O’Kelly is exploring the site and trying to decipher the meaning on various carved rock slabs at the site.

The Shortest Day by Colm ToibinThe spirits who inhabit the site are not particularly fond of this meddling educator. The secret of the site is the inclusion of light once a year that allows a spiritual energy rebirth for the inhabitants. This happens on the winter solstice when the entire chamber is alight. The local town folk prefer that the interloper stay away but he does not take the hint. The overall feeling is to let the dead rest in peace!

I enjoyed the interplay between the spirits and Professor O’Kelly. One of the more traveled of the spirits warns the others as the Professor comes near. Clever anecdotes between the spirits add a flavor of community to the site and are humorous to read. Road blocks are thrown in the professors’ way to help keep him from discovering the overall secret of the structure.

This quick read begs the question; should graves be exhumed or desecrated for historical and/or scientific knowledge? Many great treasures have been found in graves and monuments built thousands of years ago. True, we do learn some things from these discoveries but at what cost to the original inhabitants and their intent? The argument that we can discover how they lived during that time period doesn’t seem to be strongly valid to me. Exhuming a corpse, grave, or sarcophagus for historical knowledge seems a very selfish and weak argument.

The small town near the structure has kept the secret of the design of the structure. Shouldn’t mankind show the same reverence and consideration? 4 stars – C.E. Williams

Rosepoint Publishing: Four of Five Stars 4 stars 

Book Details:

Genre: 45-Minute Literature & Fiction Short Reads, Kindle Singles Literature & Fiction, Literary Short Stories
Publisher: Amazon Original Stories

  • ASIN : B08GBPRXQC

Print Length: 31 pages
Publication Date: November 3, 2020
Source: Local Library
Title Link: The Shortest Day [Amazon] 

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Colm Toibin - authorThe Author: Colm Tóibín is the author of four previous novels, The South, The Heather Blazing, The Story of the Night, and The Blackwater Lightship, which was shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize. He lives in Dublin.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams