Wednesday, November 17, 2010

'Thin Ice', 2010; Crime Stories by New England Writers; Eighth Annual Anthology; Level Best Books

'The Bank Job' by Bev Vincent is a very cleverly written plot with the story cetering on the power of loyalty and friendship among men. Vincent's story is one of my favorites and I thoroughly enjoyed the humor he injects in his cast of characters. The story sound so 'Jersey' I loved it! A quite unusual story.

Judith Green's 'A Good Safe Place' left me hanging in the end without closure or any hint of explanation, leaving me frustrated.

'Size Matters' by Sheila Connolly is a well written plot that is concise and uncomplicted with ordinary characters in an unusual situation. With her insight, Connolly has blended it all together for a delightful story with a great ending. One of my favorites!

Leslie Wheeler's 'Dead Man's Shoes' was probably my favorite. Filled with suspense and surprises to the very end. Wheeler has a special knack for portraying her characters with diversity and a little craziness. 'Dead Man's Shoes' kept me engrossed with the story line and such intriguing characters. This story was exceptionally different!!

FTC: Disclosure: Book provided by author

Saturday, November 13, 2010

'A Gift for Murder', Karen McCullough; 2011, Five Star Publishing, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning

As assistant to the director of the Washington,DC Market Show Center, Heather McNeil loves her job except for a one week-long stressful ordeal. The Gift and Home Trade show is the largest by far and this year's show is creating turmoil and many other problems than is the norm. When a murdered executive's body is discovered in a trash bin, Heather knows that this trade show has begun with a catastrophe that throws everyone and everything into confusion. The police suspect someone but Heather doesn't agree and sets out to find the murderer before the trade show is over and the guilty party will be free to kill again. Heather has help from a new security officer but she will be risking a job she loves as well as her own safety and well-being.

What a great character Karen McCullough has developed in Heather McNeil. She is genuine, likeable and a bit complex. In 'A Gift for Murder' McCullough has produced an appealing setting that reveals to the reader what occurs during a trade show. Her writing is concise; her characters skillfully portrayed and her storyline stays on track, creating a most enjoyable and interesting read. I thoroughly enjoyed every page.

FTC: Book Supplied by Author

Sunday, November 7, 2010

'Did Not Survive', Ann Littlewood; July 2010; Poisoned Pen Press

Near Vancouver, Washington is Finley Memorial Zoo, a small zoo that has two Asian elephant cows, Damrey and Nakri. Iris Oakley is a keeper in the bird section of the zoo, is pregnant and still recovering from her husband's murder. But early that morning she hears a rukus in the elephant barn and decided to investigate and with no elephant experience sees that she has to help her boss, Kevin Wallace from being mauled by Damrey. Damrey has never acted in any aggressive manner and has no motive, but Iris finds that there are others with motives to kill the foreman. Confused and dazed coworkers appoint Iris to find out what's going on. Soon Iris learns of feuds, secrets and adding to all the confusion, animal rights activists are picketing the zoo. Animals are disappearing; what about the improved exhibit that isn't even under construction as planned? Iris plunges in to solve the many mysteries surrounding the zoo.

Ann Littlewood's 'Did Not Survive' offers the reader an inside look at the day to day running of a zoo and the personalities of the employees a well as the animals. I found all this very informative and written with a well-crafted plot that keeps the reader's interest. Littlewood has given each character distinct personalities and is adept at keeping the mystery evolving while still presenting her wealth of knowledge about the zoo world, which I found fascinating. Animal lovers or not,this is a real eye opener that I thoroughly enjoyed.

FTC: Full Disclosure: Book provided by author