A six-foot tall ex-marine turned school teacher finds a dying man on the D.C. Mall and conflict follows. That ex-marine-turned-teacher is a woman, and...moreA six-foot tall ex-marine turned school teacher finds a dying man on the D.C. Mall and conflict follows. That ex-marine-turned-teacher is a woman, and while that conflict sometimes gets emotional, the action that follows any bout of soul searching leaves no doubt who is in charge.
Antonella Teitelbaum decides to have what she sees as a bit of fun one week-end. She agrees to take her young students on a trip to the country’s capital, Washington D.C. While there, a dying man’s cryptic message ensnares her in a dangerous string of events, making her fully aware that any action she takes could get her killed.
As ominous as all this sounds, author Stella Baker manages to lace plenty of easy humor into her suspenseful thriller, not the slapstick kind but short retorts or comments you wish had formed on the tip of your tongue at one time or other. I found myself chuckling at unexpected phrases, and smiling often.
The contents of the 4-gig flash drive could bring down a major corporation, but if the information doesn’t reach the right hands, too many innocent people will suffer. With little hesitation, the teacher and the ex-marine in Antonella (Toni the Tiger) Teitelbaum join forces to find a solution. Her major backup, two loving uncles, bring their own brand of humor and conviction to the situation.
Often the villain in a story is more exciting than the hero. J.A. Konrath actually compiled a book featuring a string of villains from many of his novels. In 4 Gigs of Trouble, this is not the case though. Keeping up with Toni is a challenging task as she travels from D.C. to Vegas and back, picking up clues, dropping tails, and dodging her mother’s cleverly named crap-o-meter at every turn. (less)
Though this novel’s title is “A Texas Christmas Mystery”, its focus on the holiday season offers no distraction from the plot and can be read anytime...moreThough this novel’s title is “A Texas Christmas Mystery”, its focus on the holiday season offers no distraction from the plot and can be read anytime of the year. I loved the idea of a strong female protagonist who chose a career with the Coast Guard.
Amber Meredith is new to her position as a Coast Guard Ensign so she has no intention of messing up her first assignment of a murder on an oil rig. All the clues point to the troubleshooter of the company’s two hundred rigs, Derrick Darbonne, as the likely suspect. Something about the case doesn’t ring true, though, and begins to sound more or more like the clang of a setup.
While Amber and Derrick feverishly combine forces to hunt for the real killer, they also spend inordinate amounts of energy avoiding any romantic involvement with each other. They have their reasons. Amber will not deviate from her goal to command her own Coast Guard cutter and Derrick worked too hard getting where he is to risk everything on a relationship that has no guarantees.
Author Anne Greene expertly built both tension and anticipation into the narrative that held my attention and kept me reading. Though there wasn’t much mention of the victim, or the cause of death until later in the story, I still wanted to know who was guilty of murder and why someone went to great lengths to implicate Derrick.
Another noteworthy character who added a heartwarming touch to the story was Granny, Amber’s Irish great grandmother. I just wish I could have tasted her gumbo and rice. (less)
Blood Orchids is set on the Big Island of Hawaii with much of the action occurring around the eastern town of Hilo. Lei Teixera, on the police force f...moreBlood Orchids is set on the Big Island of Hawaii with much of the action occurring around the eastern town of Hilo. Lei Teixera, on the police force for three years, has aspirations of moving up from policewoman to police detective. But her past threatens to undermine this goal.
While on patrol checking for vandalism, Lei and her partner find the bodies of two murdered teenage girls in the muddy overgrown area of a park. She wants in on the investigation. When the lead detective says the case requires experienced detectives, her determination to get the assignment only escalates.
Crime-Mystery lovers who want a female protagonist to take them for a roller coaster ride through a plot strewn with believable action-packed drama that maintains a realistic, steady pace right up to a satisfying conclusion, Blood Orchids delivers.
Along with the sights, sounds and fragrances of Hawaii, author Toby Neal treats readers to the use of local pidgin, a language first developed and used as a means of communication on the sugar plantations by the people of Hawaii, China, Portugal, Japan, Korea, and the Philippines.
The novel also offers an in-depth psychological study that unfolds as the story progresses and can only be fully appreciated by reading Neal’s novel, Blood Orchids.
Local flavor, tradition, and a bit of the pidgin Posted on Amazon: December 21, 2011 By Gail M Baugniet, Author of For Every Action
Recently, I purcha...moreLocal flavor, tradition, and a bit of the pidgin Posted on Amazon: December 21, 2011 By Gail M Baugniet, Author of For Every Action
Recently, I purchased a trade book copy of author Laurie Hanan's mystery novel from her display table at a craft fair. This is the first in her Louise Golden series. With my obsession for e-books, print copies usually end up on a shelf unread. But, a mystery, set in Hawaii, on the island of O'ahu? I couldn't wait to start reading ALMOST PARADISE.
Postal mail carrier Louise Golden lives on the island of O'ahu and enjoys a friendly camaraderie with the people on her mail route. When she notices elderly Mrs. Santos missing from her home one day, Louise becomes concerned and talks to neighbors in an attempt of learn what happened to her. Off the job, while visiting a movie set on the North Shore, Louise inadvertently overhears a man bragging about a murder, and finds herself spiraling through a labyrinth of dangerous encounters as he begins to stalk her. Is the man just a loudmouth or a dangerous killer? How is the disappearance of Mrs. Santos related to the stalker? These are only two of the many questions that kept me reading right up to the inspired conclusion.
Though I've lived on O'ahu for years, Hanan's novel offered a new perspective on several Hawai'ian landmarks. Her descriptions are authentic and she keeps the reader involved in the story by illustrating the essence of a scene with minimal explanation. Louise Golden and the novel's other major characters come fully realized, bearing ethnic names and unique personality traits that can be found in most local neighborhoods.
Laced throughout the novel is a humor that is reminiscent of Janet Evanovich's early books in the Stephanie Plum series. Some of the scenes in Almost Paradise were written so true to Hawai'ian character that, often, the subtle humor of a situation almost escaped me.
The story's plot action intertwines with local flavor, tradition, and a bit of the pidgin language. There are even a couple of bonuses: a quick language lesson at the beginning of the book and a glossary at the end, which includes definitions for a mix of Hawai'ian, Yiddish, and Japanese words. (less)
My sister gave me this book as a birthday gift a few days ago. This true crime story is sent in my home state/home county so it isn't surprising that...moreMy sister gave me this book as a birthday gift a few days ago. This true crime story is sent in my home state/home county so it isn't surprising that I read the book quickly, and with interest.
Over the years, I heard bits and pieces of the Steven Avery story, how he was unjustly convicted, and how he spent many years of his life in jail for a crime he didn't commit; then, after release, was arrested for an even more horrendous crime. Was he set up ... again?
This reads like a novel, but readers of crime fiction, mystery, thrillers, and suspense would not be willing to suspend disbelief long enough to finish reading the entire story ... if it was a novel.
But this it is a true crime series of events occurring from before 1985 to beyond 2007, laid out by the author (and, incidentally, a prosecuting attorney) Michael Griesbach. I read the story with the fascination of a voyeur. I am left with many unanswered questions, and a bit of an unsettling feeling from the author's description of the protagonist, Steven Avery, in the book's epilogue. (less)
During the Labor Day Book Blowout, sponsored by Independent Book Collective (IBC), I discovered and purchased DISCONTENTS, written by author James Wal...moreDuring the Labor Day Book Blowout, sponsored by Independent Book Collective (IBC), I discovered and purchased DISCONTENTS, written by author James Wallace Birch. The “Legal Stuff” posted at the front of the book mystified me: Were the great many notices presented on this page issued out of fear . . . or did they mirror the paranoia of the story’s protagonist? With some trepidation, I finally proceeded to read the published version of Emory Walden’s ordeal.
The eras covered in Emory’s story are twofold, presented in a seamless blending of the politically sizzling 1960s and the current, high-tension situations in which Emory Walden becomes enmeshed. Entertaining and action-filled, often edged with the paranoia and fear reflected in the opening disclaimers, the book held my attention with its effortless transitions between vital backstory and unfolding “news-at-five” style present.
Sometimes it is the unexpected, tightly-written phrases utilized by an author to “show, not tell” that add power to a novel. Shortly into DISCONTENTS, I realized protagonist Emory Walden would not be receiving his fair share of respect anytime soon. As a steakhouse hostess watches the “half-sober backpacker” that is Emory enter the restaurant, Emory interprets her reaction: “. . . she gave me her disappointment with a shift of her weight.” As I experienced the waitress’s reaction of disapproval through the eyes of the protagonist, I developed empathy for Emory that carried through to the story’s end, granting credence to the story and offering me, the reader, investment in the outcome.
That empathy was put to the test, though. One instance is the street artwork Emory plasters around town, along with his opinion that the streets belong to the people and it is okay to use the outer walls of public buildings for personal commentary. If the streets belong to the people, what are the rights of the people who do not want to see graffiti? Many who read this book will feel the urge to express an opinion: about politics, personality conflicts, oil prices, or even about current protests via the Internet. It’s that kind of story. (less)