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Swept Away: Quilts of Love Series
Swept Away: Quilts of Love Series
Price: $9.76

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars delightful inspirational romance, November 20, 2014
Swept Away
Laura V. Hilton and Cindy Loven
Abingdon, Nov 18 2014, $13.99
ISBN 9781426796173

In the Appalachians at the Heritage Festival, Sara Jane Morgan panics when she loses track of her beloved grandmother Sari who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Trying to stay calm during her search for her missing relative proves difficult until she finds her grandma alone with a Neanderthal. His business card states: “starving artist/pay the bills handyman”, but Sara Jane tells Sari they need a real repairman. Sari lectures her granddaughter for being rude while Drew Stevenson enjoys the show of the elderly feisty woman tearing into the beautiful snob.

As the prehistoric throwback works on Sari’s house, Sara Jane collaborates with her grandma on a ballad quilt in which Drew soon joins them. With Sari matchmaking the recalcitrant pair, each fear commitment to a person and somewhat less to God. Drew has used the trail to overcome his once paralyzing grief and Sara Jane blames herself for what happened to her late parents. With time running out on her mentally, Sari turns to the Lord asking for a miracle.

Swept Away is a delightful inspirational romance with a wonderful lead trio. However, what turn the fascinating storyline from a simple first impressions misunderstanding into an awe-inspiring contemporary are the separate intense reflections by Sara Jane and Drew on the personal impact of deaths and disabling dementia of loved ones.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 23, 2014 7:08 PM PST

The Cinderella Murder: An Under Suspicion Novel
The Cinderella Murder: An Under Suspicion Novel
by Mary Higgins Clark
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.50
85 used & new from $6.08

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thrilling cold case whodunit, November 19, 2014
The Cinderella Murder
Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke
Simon & Schuster, Nov 18 2014, $26.99
ISBN: 9781476763125

Two decades ago, UCLA student Susan Dempsey skipped her father’s sixtieth birthday bash to audition for a role in director Frank Parker’s production. She was found strangled to death near the director’s home. Because a shoe had fallen off the victim, the media dubbed this The Cinderella Murder.

In the present, Under Suspicion TV producer Laurie Moran wants to do a recreation show on the cold case. Susan’s still grieving mom Rosemary agrees as she sees this as an opportunity for her daughter Susan to become known as a victimized person rather than a fairy tale in which everyone has ignored that the ogre won. No one else from Susan’s inner circle including her then boyfriend actor Keith Ratner, her college roommates (Madison Meyer and Nicole Melling) or her close friend Dwight Cook want to participate; though their motive for avoidance may have to do with their present elite stature rather than guilt. In spite of a persistent refusal to help from those who knew Susan; Laurie and show attorney Alex Buckley continue their inquiries.

The latest (and first collaboration with Alafair Burke) Under Suspicion (see I’ve Got You Under My Skin) is a thrilling cold case whodunit as the TV protagonists investigate what happened twenty years ago, but with practically no cooperation from the victim’s friends. As readers will try to guess whose lead character seemingly represents which of the two authors, The Cinderella Murder is a super mystery.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 20, 2014 3:57 PM PST

One to Go
One to Go
by Mike Pace
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.11
28 used & new from $9.79

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars absorbing Faustian thriller, November 17, 2014
This review is from: One to Go (Hardcover)
One to Go
Mike Pace
Oceanview, Dec 2 2014, $26.95
ISBN 9781608091355

DC lawyer Tom Booker drives on the Arlington Memorial Bridge while also texting. Not focused on the road, Tom crashes into a minivan driven by his sister-in-law Rosie Battaglia and his seven-year-old daughter Janie and her friends inside. To his helpless horror, Tom observes Rosie’s vehicle on the verge of falling into the Potomac below.

A couple approaches Tom with a deal to save his child. They will turn back the clock to before his neglect occurred but he must murder someone every two weeks to pay the “soul exchange” debt for each one saved in the minivan. The desperate father accepts their terms; but when he finds himself driving on the Arlington Memorial Bridge with no accident, Tom assumes he suffered a strange nightmarish fugue moment. His reality alters when two weeks later a text arrives informing him that Rosie has been viciously killed and one of the kids will follow if he fails to live up to the terms of the contract.

One To Go is an absorbing Faustian thriller as the father finds himself in a moral quandary between saving his daughter at the cost of killing innocents. Although the climax disappointingly impacts Tom’s responsibility and accountability, Mike Pace authors an interesting ethical question of how far will a papa (or mama) grizzly go to save a beloved cub.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 1, 2014 6:30 AM PST

Herald of the Flame
Herald of the Flame
by Sylvia Engdahl
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.85
13 used & new from $8.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific timely futuristic science fiction, November 17, 2014
This review is from: Herald of the Flame (Paperback)
Herald Of The Flame
Sylvia Engdahl
Ad Stellae Books, Oct 2 2014, $16.50
ISBN: 9780692293768

He was Terry Radner from top secret Maclairn where, unlike the rest of humanity on other planets, mental powers are encouraged; on Ciencia he became a freedom fighter, prisoner, and escapee Terry Rivera, but crashed his ship to protect his homeland from terrorists. Elders saved his life; gave him a new identity as Terry Steward; provided him with a starship he calls Estel to recognize what he fostered on Ciencia; and a mission to help spread support for mind skills in order to save mankind. He knows he can never go home and misses his wife and the tweener son he never met, but embraces his role.

Captain Steward returns to Ciencia to ask his beloved Allison Willard and pilot Jon Darrow to join him. Gwen the engineer also becomes part of the crew. As the quartet begin their impossible Quixote quest, Steward makes a dangerous announcement to the people of Ciencia; while, assaults on those with mental abilities everywhere intensifies. The Captain of the Estel becomes public enemy number one hunted by hired guns by those in charge who reject these skills as an abomination, but conceal from the manipulated masses their fear of losing power.

The second Hidden Flame science fiction is a terrific timely futuristic thriller as deniers in charge persecute those with abilities they fear leading to equality and subsequent loss of power. The pace starts more leisurely than the first entry (see Stewards of the Flame) and the previous series Rising Flame (see Promise of the Flame and Defender of the Flame), but once in space readers will want to fly with stalked Captain “Terry and (his) Pirates” (cartoonist Milton Caniff).

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 20, 2014 9:36 AM PST

A Billion Ways to Die
A Billion Ways to Die
by Chris Knopf
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.78
17 used & new from $0.04

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars action-packed cat and mouse amateur sleuth, November 16, 2014
This review is from: A Billion Ways to Die (Hardcover)
A Billion Ways To Die
Chris Knopf
Permanent, Nov 21 2014, $29.00
ISBN 9781579623630

Not fully recovered from his head injury suffered when his late wife's enemies killed her and left him for dead in their Connecticut home (see Dead Anyway), Arthur Cathcart feels safe in his new identity especially after they took care of their foes (see Cries of the Lost). Arthur and his girlfriend psychologist Natsumi Fitzgerald enjoy sailing his ship Detour on the Caribbean. However, his contention that it is over proves false when hired guns invade his sailboat, demanding he turn over the missing billion. He insists he knows nothing about the lost loot.

Warned to find it or else, Arthur and Natsumi conclude they must go home to face criminal charges involving stealing money and murder. Though the FBI and mobsters make the pair toxic with their wanted dead or alive pursuit, Arthur's sister Evelyn who faked his death (see Dead Anyway) and ex-Fed Shelly Gross assist the beleaguered couple; while Cathcart shows once again his uncanny adaptability skill under pressure.

The third Cathcart amateur sleuth is an action-packed cat and mouse thriller in which who readers believe are the felines and rodents change during the storyline. Fans will root for agile Arthur and nimble Natsumi; as the awesome lovers take the fight in person and on line to the enemy.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 26, 2014 12:10 AM PST

Purged (Circle City Mystery) (Volume 4)
Purged (Circle City Mystery) (Volume 4)
by M. E. May
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.18
9 used & new from $13.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping police procedural, November 16, 2014
M. E. May
M&B Literary Creations, Nov 20 2014, $14.95
ISBN: 9781500411121

In Indianapolis, Doug watches and waits in horror as a local Wiccan coven praises the Goddess on Sabbath Samhain. When they leave, he abducts the last Wiccan to depart while thanking the heavens for his opportunity to save the soul of this devil worshipper. Doug explains to his frightened victim Sasha that he is an angel who must do the Lord's work using any means to cleanse the evil out of her. When he completes God's work, he etches "Forgiven" in olde English on her corpse.

Zach and April find the location where the "witches" recently performed their rite. April trips over Sasha's body before Zach, thinking human sacrifice, calls 911. Police Detectives Chennelle Kendall and Erica Barnes lead the investigation into the homicide of the tortured Wiccan. They find numerous suspects, but most people of interest belong to the deeply pious Avenging Angels Evangelical Church flock whose goal is ending the devil worshipping Wiccan coven. More torture murders follow from an avenging angel claiming his divine mission from God is saving souls.

The fourth Circle City police procedural starring different lead cops (see Ensconced, Inconspicuous and Perfidy) is a gripping murder mystery even with readers knowing the identity of the deranged serial killer from the start. The keys to the engaging investigation are the beliefs backed up by strong convictions of the Wiccan coven and Avenging Angels Evangelical Church congregation seem real; as does the psychopath's contention that he is God's messenger purging evil from sinners.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (17) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 18, 2014 9:46 PM PST

The Brothers' Keepers (Parched Book) (Volume 2)
The Brothers' Keepers (Parched Book) (Volume 2)
by NLB Horton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.49
9 used & new from $12.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars rousing inspirational family thriller, November 15, 2014
The Brothers’ Keepers
NLB Horton
RidgeRoute Press, Nov 17 2014, $14.99
ISBN: 9780991401734

At four in the morning from Switzerland, upset BBC war correspondent Jeff Madison calls his archeologist mom Grace who is in Brussels. He tells her someone fired a shot that just missed his wife Becca, a former M16 operative, and that he cannot locate his sister Maggie who is in Paris before heading to Marseilles to attend a water conference. When Grace fails to make contact with her daughter, she calls her husband Mark who is in Colorado.

Though the attack on Becca and the vanishing of Maggie probably are unrelated harrowing incidents; Mark, Grace, Jeff and Becca rendezvous in Paris; as none of them want to take a chance otherwise. Also meeting them in France is Grace’s former teaching assistant and current acting director of the Kinneret dig in Israel, Cliff, who wants to marry Maggie. As they search for missing Maggie, each Madison turns to God praying for her safe return, but hesitant to rely solely on the Lord.

The second Parched inspirational family drama (See When Camels Fly) is a rousing thriller in which the females are very competent in their abilities to take charge and the smart males let them. With a fully-developed lead family and a solid support cast, sub-genre fans will appreciate the Madison inspiring tour of Europe and to a lesser amount the Holy Land.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 20, 2014 10:11 AM PST

The Wrong Man: Ted Stratton #3
The Wrong Man: Ted Stratton #3
by Laura Wilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.74
32 used & new from $9.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars terrific historical psychological British police procedural, November 15, 2014
The Wrong Man
Laura Wilson
Felony & Mayhem, Dec 7 2014, $14.95
ISBN: 9781937384838

In 1950, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales police send a telegram to Metropolitan Police that John Davies confessed to killing his wife Muriel after she miscarried and giving away his infant daughter Judy to Norman Backhouse in London. Although he wants nothing to do with this case that echoes the murder of his wife Jenny and their unborn child several years ago, London Detective Inspector Ted Stratton and Sergeant Ballard head to the address provided by Davies. The two cops search the drain in front of 10 Paradise Street where Davies said he disposed of her body but find nothing as it takes a team of four strong cops to remove the lid. Supported by his spouse Edna, Norman tells them that John said his wife and baby were in Bristol and that the couple fought so much they wondered if he was a bit mental and dim-witted.

Davies changes his confession to claiming Backhouse killed his wife during a failed backroom abortion. Taken to London, when the bodies of his wife and daughter are found, Davies admits to murdering both. However, instead of case solved, Stratton senses something is not right with this air-tight capital case in which his guts scream The Wrong Man heads to the gallows.

Based on a true murder, the third Ted Stratton British police procedural and first post WWII novel (see The Empty Death and The Innocent Spy) is a terrific historical psychological crime drama. The clever opening telegram as a prime communication between police in Wales and London sets the time as does the way evidence is found and handled. Although an unnecessary romance with Diana Calthrop feels forced, Laura Wilson provides a fabulous Cold War mystery.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 18, 2014 5:13 PM PST

Proof of Angels: A Novel (P.S.)
Proof of Angels: A Novel (P.S.)
by Mary Curran Hackett
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.33
72 used & new from $1.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining inspirational drama, November 14, 2014
Proof of Angels
Mary Curran Hackett
Morrow, Nov 4 2014, $14.99
ISBN: 9780062279958

In Los Angeles, firefighter Sean Magee is trapped with no way out of a three-story blaze. He hears his nephew Colm’s voice encouraging him to go back because there is always a way. Praying to God for the first time in years, Sean promises to return as a better person if saved. An angel escorts him to a third story window. Reluctantly he performs a leap of faith. Surviving but with his back and legs busted up, Sean awakens weeks later in a hospital. As he slowly recovers, Sean knows he will never work a fire again.

From his L.A. hospital bed, he calls New York to talk to his friend Dr. Gaspar Basu who married Sean’s sister Cathleen when they teamed up to save Colm, and have had two babies with a third on the way since. Gaspar rushes to Los Angeles where Sean shows him his list of those he hurt to include God, mom, Cathleen and Gaspar crossed out, and Colm and Chiara with no line through them. Sean plans to fulfill his pledge to God by fixing what he broke and left broken. Physical therapist Tom Smith helps Sean recover so that the patient can go to Florence, Italy to atone for what he did to Chiara Montanari.

This is an entertaining inspirational drama starring a broken man physically and spiritually who struggles to regain his faith, his family and his forever love although he does not believe he deserves God, Cathleen (and Colm) or Chiara’s forgiveness. Even though the storyline turns too mushy, fans will feel inspired by Mary Curran Hackett’s pleasant Proof of Angels (and … Heaven) redemption tale.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (13) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 17, 2014 2:54 AM PST

The Black Stiletto: Endings & Beginnings
The Black Stiletto: Endings & Beginnings
by Raymond Benson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.31
37 used & new from $14.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great ending to a tremendous series, November 13, 2014
The Black Stiletto: Endings & Beginnings
Raymond Benson
Oceanview, Nov 4 2014, $26.95
ISBN 9781608091034

Martin Talbot tells his daughter Gina about the daring five years of escapades of her maternal grandmother Judy Cooper starting in 1958. Like him, Gina is excited over her grandma leaving Texas for NYC where she became the Black Stiletto masked vigilante. After reading the first three diaries, Gina starts the fourth (see The Black Stiletto: Secrets & Lies) in which Judy left for Los Angeles with the love of her life Leo Kelly. Martin begins the fifth and what appears to be the last diary. The pair will do what it takes to keep their one time superhero relative safe from those with a five decade plus grudge.

In 1962 pregnant Judy cannot believe her former lover Leo the mobster and his psycho sister Christina framed the Black Stiletto for crimes they committed. Limited physically as she carries her baby, Judy shrewdly tries to fight back using brains not brawn; but is forced to leave Southern California for Texas to make her last stand.

The Fifth Black Stiletto Diary is a great ending to a tremendous series as all the major threads are deftly and logically completed. Once again, Raymond Benson makes it seem as if Judy wrote her latest diary over fifty years ago. Rotating subplots (and points of view), the gripping storyline provides readers with wonderful Endings & Beginnings.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 17, 2014 12:27 PM PST

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