The Puzzled Heart – Amanda Cross
All Books , Mystery , Thriller / February 4, 2017

Amanda Cross brings forth a thrilling and dramatic mystery in The Puzzled Heart, published by Ballantine Books, copyright 1998. In this intriguing novel Kate Fansler and her husband Reed are faced with far-right-wing activists who object to her lectures supporting women’s rights.  Reed is kidnapped by these radicals and Kate is sent ransom notes demanding that she retract all her pro-feminist statements and declare that her lectures were improper if not wrong.  She is instructed to publish letters to all available newsletters as well as professional magazines stating that she was misguided in her teaching and lecturing. Confronted with the fact that her husband is being held hostage Kate seeks advice from her close friends, who happen to be lesbian partners, as well as private investigators.  Together they try to figure out who would be inclined to commit such an offensive assault up on a well respected professor of a prominent college.  They spend endless hours remembering who might have a reason to inflict the torture of the kidnapping of her beloved husband. The search focuses on the few that could be imagined as having any sort of animosity toward the Fansler family.  Kate and her friend Harriet finally narrow it down to…

Hidden Figures – Margot Lee Shetterly
All Books , Historical / January 31, 2017

Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly, is a historical novel published by HarperCollins Publishers, copyright 2016. Shetterly tells us that her mother, along with four of her schoolmates fresh out of high school, challenged the courses at John Carol University, one of the most renowned engineering colleges in the country.  At the time, the late 30’s and early 40’s, the university was all male students and had the attitude that women were incapable of the higher math skills required to design and produce well-engineered machinery, equipment, and buildings.  These women met and conquered that challenge. Her mom met her father there but they sent him off to build bridges in France during WWII.  When he returned with a purple heart they produced and raised eight children.  As the last of them were ready to leave the nest, Shetterly’s mother went back to college and impressed so many people that NASA took notice and invited her to travel the country and give lectures on the importance of research and analysis of data related to the aerodynamics and trajectories required for space flight. This amazing historical novel that has shown me the challenges that these women faced and the added fact that these remarkable women…

Revival – Stephen King
All Books , Horror / December 19, 2016

Stephen King brings a taste of weird horror and supernatural mystery in Revival, published by Scribner, copyright 2014. Jamie Morton is arranging his toy soldiers on a hill he had constructed when a shadow crosses his battleground then stops over him. Jamie is a young boy in 1962 and is curious about this new preacher who is offering advice on troop placement and attack strategies. The new minister and his wife and son quickly became quite popular in the community and the six-year-old Jamie looked up to the minister for guidance. One afternoon the preacher, Pastor Charles “Jabs” Jacobs, invited Jamie to his garage to see something he knew would interest the boy. To Jamie’s astonishment, Pastor Jacobs had assembled a miniature town he had named Peaceable Lake on a plywood and sawhorse table; complete with running water for a lake and stream and electric lights to illuminate the roadways and buildings. This mini town, Jamie was told, would be used as a teaching tool during Bible Studies. This was not the only undertaking Pastor Jabs would use electricity for. He later applied two electric wands to Jamie’s brother’s throat when he lost his voice through a traumatizing experience thus bringing his voice back. Many…

White Cargo – Stuart Woods
All Books , Mystery , Thriller / December 2, 2016

Stuarts Woods’ skillful writing brings another mystery thriller in White Cargo, published by HarperCollinsPublishers, copyright 1988. This tale begins on a sailboat vacation from Fort Lauderdale to the Panama Canal and then on to the Pacific Ocean. Wendell “Cat’ Catledge, his wife Katie, and their daughter, nicknamed ‘Jinx’, are boarded by pirates from the fishing vessel Santa Maria off the Colombian Coast near a seaport named Santa Marta.  His first mate, Denny, turns out to be affiliated with the pirates and shoots Cat with bird shot from a shotgun, rendering him unconscious.  Cat awakens to find his wife and daughter murdered and his sailboat sinking quickly.  With no choice but to abandon ship, Cat eventually makes it back home with the help of the Mexican Coast Guard and the American Embassy. After months of mourning he receives a mysterious phone call: “Daddy?”.  It could only be Jinx still alive and captive somewhere in Colombia.  He sets off to Santa Marta to pick up her trail with the help of the CIA.  The Agency wants inside info on the drug cartel that is believed to have been instrumental in Jinx’s abduction.  He employs a Spanish-speaking Australian who is of great help in locating…

The Bones of Paris – Laurie R. King
All Books , Mystery , Thriller / November 14, 2016

Paris! Just the name brings thoughts of romance and intrigue.  In the first century Before Christ the Romans had named it “Lutitia”. Rome fell and the French renamed it Paris. Laurie R. King has once again demonstrated her brilliance and clever use of suspense, character development, and climactic situations creating an edge-of-your-seat thriller.  The Bones of Paris is published by Thorndike Press, copyright 2013. In 1928-29 the city of lights was teaming with artists, writers, poets, photographers and jazz players. Harris Sturyvesant travels to the Montparnasse in Paris in search of a young woman whose uncle has hired him to find her because the family hadn’t heard from her in some time. Harris had worked for J. Edgar Hoover and had a falling out with him so private detective work seemed a practical alternative. He’d been to Paris before and knew his way around but nothing could prepare him for the macabre and theatrical events that he was about to encounter.  His objective, Phillipa Crosby (‘Pip’ to her friends), had been a regular correspondent with her mother and family. Then the letters stopped. Harris Sturyvesant had known ‘Pip’ briefly a year before and that she did modeling for painters and…

Funeral in Blue: A William Monk Novel – Anne Perry
All Books , Crime Thriller / October 24, 2016

Funeral in Blue: A William Monk Novel, copyright 2011, is a detective novel authored by Anne Perry and published by Ballantine Books.  It is the 12th installment of Perry’s series of detective novels featuring the character William Monk. The novel is set just after the turbulent year of 1848, the “year of revolutions”, in London, England involving a double murder in the studio of an artist known for his portrait and nude paintings where two women are discovered with broken necks.  One woman is a beautiful young model and the other is the wife of Kristen Beck, a highly distinguished Viennese surgeon who emigrated to London after a revolt in Austria and setup a lucrative practice. The main characters are inspector William Monk and his wife Hester, and their dear friend Lady Callandra Daviott who has a deep love for the surgeon.  The surgeon and the artist, Allardyce, become the main suspects in this horrible murder.  Since the surgeon is a friend of the Monks they attempt to prove his innocence with notable vigor.  They trace his path through the streets of Victorian London and Anne Perry gives the reader a true feel for the life, the people, and the accents of…

Cop to Corpse – Peter Lovesey
All Books , Crime Thriller , Thriller / September 7, 2016

Cop to Corpse, copyright 2012, is a detective novel authored by Peter Lovesey and published by Soho Press.  It is the 12th installment of Lovesey’s Peter Diamond series of detective novels. This installment opens with Peter Diamond finding himself promoted to Chief Superintendent of the murder squad of Bath, England.  Diamond has served for many years as a homicide inspector and boasts the highest rate of solved crimes on the force.  As he begins his new role Diamond is faced with the recent murders of two police constables by high powered rifle shots.  Diamond has just begun his investigation when a third such murder is called in minutes after it occurs.  He and his team swiftly head to the scene with hopes of apprehending the sniper or at least identifying any witnesses to the murder. Once at the scene Diamond encounters a motorcyclist and narrowly avoids getting run over, but he is knocked to the ground and receives many cuts and bruises in addition to a badly twisted ankle.  Hampered badly by the painful injuries, he has to rely on Ingelong Smith and inspector Leaman to continue his investigation.  Diamond’s theory that the murders of police constables were committed by someone in the police force is not a…

The Naming of the Dead – Ian Rankin
All Books , Political Thriller , Thriller / January 17, 2015

The Naming of the Dead (AMZN)– Edgar Award winner, Ian Rankin (wiki) is one of Scotland’s finest writers of mystery with a hand on the pulse of politics and police procedure. Scottish history is, at best, difficult to understand. Infiltrated by many cultures and religions, this country has endured some extremely difficult times both politically as well as feudally. In 2005 presidents Bush and Putin attended an international conference of world leaders triggering massive protests and riotous crowds. When one head of state commits, what seems to be a suicide, most of the police were engaged in riot and crowd control, leaving no one but detective inspector John Rebus and his partner Siobhan (pronounced shee-vaun) to look into the case. When other high ranking officials start turning up murdered, Rebus suspects there is more to this than a serial murderer. As he follows the trail things get rather dangerous for him and his partner when they start connecting politicians with the clues. Ian Rankin’s character development creates a familiarity with seeming real-world kind of people; personalities tend to float off the page. The Inspector Rebus series has kept me captivated and glued to the edge of the next page. I highly recommend…

© San Juan Web, Inc. 2018 | Hosted at Orcas Web