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Review: In Flames – Richard Hilary Weber

Posted on: February 24th, 2015 By Rick Rhodes
Print Length: 167 pages
Publisher: Alibi (February 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-
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Dan Shedrick – American Architect living and working in San Inigo.
Elaine Ferguson – A powerful woman, runs a local bar and hotel.


An American working for an American firm on a Carribean Island is drawn into a plot of murder, betrayal, and conspiracies to overthrow the local government.


At first I expected this to be a murder mystery. While there is a murder that occurs, it isn’t really a major focus of the story. In the beginning section of the novel, I was reminded quite a bit of Casablanca, with Elaine playing the part of Rick. There were a lot of similarities, a military threat, love, betrayal, and then the tropical setting.

Then the story makes a shift, and becomes a story of survival. Dan must survive people wanting him dead, for whatever reason, he needs to find out. This is where the action picks up in the story.

Then finally we get drawn back into the murder in Act 3.

Overall, the characters were well developed. They felt like real people, the situations seemed realistic, and the plot moved at a good pace. It was written from a 1st Person perspective, with the POV character being Dan. It was an enjoyable story, and I would check out more from this author. Due to language, violence, and strong situations, I’d recommend it for older teens and adults.

About the Author

Richard Hilary Weber, a native of Brooklyn and a Columbia University graduate, has taught at the universities of Stockholm and Copenhagen, and has been a scriptwriter for French and Swedish filmmakers. He lives in Provence, France.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to TLC Book Tours at Lisa for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: What The Fly Saw – Frankie Y. Bailey

Posted on: February 9th, 2015 By Rick Rhodes
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (March 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250048303
ISBN-13: 978-1250048301
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Hannah McCabe – Detective, Albany Policy Department.
Angus McCabe – Hannah’s father and her sounding board.
Baxter – Hannah’s Partner.


Albany, New York, January 2020 (parallel universe)

A blizzard sweeps up the coast and shuts down the city. When it is over, funeral director Kevin Novak is found dead in the basement of his funeral home. The arrow sticking out of his chest came from his own hunting bow. A loving husband and father and an active member of a local megachurch, Novak had no known enemies. His family and friends say he had been depressed because his best friend died suddenly of a heart attack and Novak blamed himself.

But what does his guilt have to do with his death? Maybe nothing, maybe a lot. Three people — the minister of the megachurch, the psychiatrist who provides counseling to church members, and a medium visiting from the South – say they reached out to Kevin Novak. One of them might know why Novak was murdered. But Detective Hannah McCabe and her partner, Mike Baxter, must sort through lies and evasions as they try to find the killer.

The relationship between the partners is threatened as McCabe deals with a political controversy involving her family, unanswered questions about their last high-profile case, and her own guilt because a young woman died after McCabe failed to act.


Chapter 1

Saturday, January 18, 2020
5:47 AM

After the storm had passed, in the chilly hour before dawn, the last of the “space zombies” found their way back to their nest in the derelict house.

From his command post, the squad leader gave the signal. “Go!”

A black van pulled up in front of the house. Albany PD vice cops wearing protective gear jumped out and stormed up the walk. They used a battering ram to smash open the wooden door.

“Police! Albany PD!”


Their high-powered torches illuminated the grotesque horror movie creatures in the 3-D posters on the walls.

One of the cops ripped down a dangling black plastic replica of the 2012 UFO. He tossed the boomerang-shaped object to the floor.

Hippie freaks, he thought. Ought to make them all go live out in the Mojave Desert and wait for the mother ship to arrive.

He kicked at the nearest mattress on the floor. “Police!” he shouted down at the long-haired occupant. “On your feet!”

Blank eyes in an eerie white-painted face stared up at him.

“Hands up! Hands up!” the cop yelled as the kid stumbled to his feet. He shoved him against the wall and patted him down.

Upstairs, in a bathroom, another cop had found a girl sprawled out, unconscious, on the dirty tile floor beside the toilet. She had vomited in the toilet bowl. Her jeans were stained with urine and feces.

Reaching down, he shook her, and then rolled her onto her side to see her face beneath the mop of dark hair. A nasty bruise on her cheekbone stood out against the streaked white paint. He moved her red scarf aside to feel for a pulse in her throat. The scarf was damp, like her tee shirt and soiled blue jeans.

“Whaddya have?” another cop asked from the doorway.

“Looks like an OD,” the cop inside the bathroom said. “Still breathing, but the wagon had better get here fast.”

“Got it,” the other cop said, touching the comm button on his helmet.

The cop in the bathroom spotted a smear of blood on the corner of the sink. That explained the bruise. She’d banged her face on the sink when she passed out.

Downstairs in the kitchen, cops surveyed the debris of dirty dishes and rotting garbage – and an impressive array of drugs and paraphernalia. One of them lowered her weapon and observed, “With a stash like this, they could have stayed zonked out until the next UFO came to visit.”

Chapter 2

Saturday afternoon
3:17 PM

Funeral director Kevin Novak stared at the Cupid and Psyche bronze clock on his host, Olive Cooper’s mantel. He had allowed himself to become marooned on a conversational island with Paige, Olive’s great niece.

As Paige complained about the conversation and laughter filling the long room — the “rabble babble,” as she put it — Kevin found a name for what he had been feeling for the past forty-eight plus hours. Grief.

He was experiencing first-hand what he had often observed when relatives came into the funeral home after the unexpected death of a loved one. That first stage of grieving the experts described as denial, but he often thought of as amazement and disbelief. The stage of bereavement when family members spoke of their dead loved one in the present tense because they couldn’t yet believe their lives had been ripped apart.

It seemed in this state of mind, one went through the usual motions, saying what was expected. But the shell was thin. His was developing cracks. He could tell because he felt no inclination at all to warn Paige Cooper that he had glanced over her shoulder and seen her Great Aunt Olive headed their way and Paige had better shut up. So he must be moving into the next stage: anger.

“Where in the galaxy did Aunt Olive find these people?” Paige said. “Look at them.”

“Some of them are from the church’s community outreach,” Kevin said.

True, Olive’s guest list for this celebration of her life reflected her eccentricities. An odd assortment of guests: old friends, relatives, church members and business associates, and other people who tickled Olive’s fancy or touched her big heart. But they had all cleaned up and put on their best in Olive’s honor.

“It’s freezing in here,” Paige said. She pulled the belt of her hand-knit cardigan tighter and held her hands out toward the fireplace.

“Feels fine to me,” Kevin said.

“It really is annoying we have to come out for this farce when there’s a blizzard on the way. The least Aunt Olive could do is heat this mausoleum. Everyone here except her will come down with pneumonia, and we’ll still have to do this all over again when she finally does kick off.”

“When I finally do ‘kick off’, Paige,” her great aunt said, right behind her. “You may feel free not to attend my funeral. In fact, if you die first – maybe of the pneumonia you expect to catch – you’ll spare us both that annoyance. And for your information, it was your father who insisted on including you in this shindig.”

Paige flushed an unbecoming shade of scarlet. “Aunt Olive, I didn’t mean –”

“I know what you meant. Get yourself a glass of champagne, now you’re actually old enough to drink, and make the best of the situation.” Olive’s sharp gaze fastened on Kevin. “And since you already know you’re going to get to bury me when I’m dead, you can relax and enjoy the party.”

“I always enjoy your parties, Olive,” Kevin said.

“Come with me,” she said. “There’s someone I want you to meet.”

Aware of Paige’s suspicious glare, Kevin smiled in her direction. That would teach the little brat to say funeral directors reminded her of vultures without first checking for one of the species within hearing distance.

Vultures sometimes exacted their petty revenge.

“At your service, Olive,” he said, offering his arm to the woman, who was eighty-five years old and counting and might well live to be a hundred.

“How have you been?” she asked him.

“Fine,” Kevin said. “Never better.”

“Don’t give me that. Anyone who knows you can tell you’re still taking Bob’s death hard.”

“Having your best friend collapse with a heart attack while you’re beating him at tennis and then die on the operating table can have that effect.”

“It’s been over four months since it happened. You should be coping with it by now.”

“I am coping with it.”

“You’re still off-kilter. Not your usual self. That’s why I want you to meet Luanne Woodward.”

“Luanne? That medium or spiritualist or whatever she calls herself that you found somewhere?”

“I didn’t find her ‘somewhere’. She was the featured lecturer at a fundraiser.”

“Lecturer? Don’t you mean ‘performer’?”

“She talked about being a medium and answered questions. She’s an interesting woman. I think you could benefit from talking to her.”

“I don’t believe in that hocus-pocus, Olive.”

“I don’t believe in most of it, either. I’m almost ancient enough to remember the Fox Sisters and their flimflam. But, as I said, Luanne’s interesting. I invited her today so you could meet her.”

Kevin noticed one of Olive’s guests filling his plate high with the urgency of a man who expected the bounty in front of him to disappear. “And do what?” he said in belated response to Olive. “Sign up for her next séance?”

“That might not be a bad idea. Spiritual therapy, so to speak.”

“I get my spiritual therapy at church on Sunday from our minister. You might consider doing the same.”

“At my age, I take what I need from wherever I happen to find it. And the fact you’re going all righteous on me instead of laughing about my eccentricities, as you like to call them, proves you’re off-kilter. We need to get you put to right.”

“Olive, I don’t think a medium and a séance will do the trick.”

“You need an opportunity to confront your feelings.”

“I have confronted my feelings. I confronted them after Bob died. I sought counseling from both Reverend Wyatt and Jonathan Burdett.”

Olive stopped walking and glared at him. “Now, if you want to talk about hocus-pocus, psychiatrists are right up there. You lie on their couch spilling your guts. And they mumble an occasional Freudian pearl of wisdom while they’re thinking about how they intend to spend what they’re charging you.”

“Burdett offers the option of sitting in a comfortable armchair, and, as you well know, his services are free to church members.”

“The church pays his salary, so he’s not free. He’s full of his diplomas and his jargon, that’s what he is.”

“And what about your medium? Is she one-hundred percent jargon free?”

“Not a chance. They all have their language intended to impress, but she’s a hell of a lot more fun then Burdett. So come along and meet her.”

“I suppose it would be a waste of time to say no?”

“Yes, it would. You said you were at my service.”

“Yes, I did say that.”

Not much sleep last night or the night before. His moment of irritation with Paige had given way to weariness. No doubt he would feel the anger later. No chance he’d be able to skip over that stage. Not with the piper to pay.

“Luanne,” Olive said to the plump, blonde woman sipping from a champagne glass as she observed the people around her. “I’d like you to meet Kevin Novak, the friend of mine I was telling you about.”

“I’m so happy to meet you, Mr. Novak,” she said in a Southern drawl that suited her pleasant, round face. Her blue gaze met and held his.

If he believed in such things, Kevin would have sworn she’d looked past his tailored suit and crisp white shirt, straight into his tarnished soul.

He took a step back, and reached out to steady Olive, whose hand rested on his arm.

“Sorry, Olive” he said. “I just remembered something I need to do.”

Luanne Woodward said, “It’s all right, Kevin, honey. You don’t have to run away from me.”

But he did, Kevin thought. He had to run as fast as he could.


A police procedural style mystery is set in an alternative future. This at times threw me a bit off as I’d get so engrossed in the story that I’d forget I was in an alternate world, and then it would mention historical events differently than I remembered. While a great spin on all the detective stories placed in our time period, it could be a bit disconcerting at times. I also found myself confused by some of the technical jargon. I’m still not sure what an Orb is, or why people have them, but everyone does and it’s tied to the individual, almost like a fingerprint it seems. Perhaps if I read her previous novel The Red Queen dies this would all be explained. However, as a reader, I should have that explanation somehow within this novel. Maybe I did though and missed it, but that’s about my only negative.

On the positive, I loved the characters. I loved the relationship between Hannah and her father. He functioned as a kind of Watson to her Holmes The supporting characters were all interesting as well. The plot was tightly woven and like all good mysteries leads you into thinking one person is the killer, only to change the direction when you least expect it.

I enjoyed the story writing, and the style of this author and would definitely pick up more of her work in the future. This has actually enticed me to go out and read her previous entry. Overall a great mystery that will keep the reader involved from the beginning. Pick it up, and drop by and let us know what you thought.

Tour List

02/02/15 Showcase Showcase @ The Book Divas Reads
02/05/15 Guest Post Writers and Authors
02/08/15 Radio Interview Suspense Magazine
02/08/15 Review Literary R&R
02/09/15 Review Rhodes Review
02/11/15 Showcase Ryder Islingtons Blog
02/16/15 Review A Dream Within A Dream
02/17/15 Guest Post Babs Book Bistro
02/18/15 Guest Post Mythical Books
02/19/15 Review Vics Media Room
02/20/15 Review For Life After
02/23/15 Review Carol Wong
02/24/15 Review Bless Their Hearts Mom
02/28/15 Interview Hott Books
03/02/15 Review Booksie’s Blog
03/03/15 Review The Top Shelf
03/04/15 Review Booked on a Feeling
03/10/15 Showcase The Pen & Muse
03/16/15 Review Bunnys Review
03/20/15 Review FictionZeal

About the Author

Frankie Y. Bailey is a mystery writer and a professor in the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany (SUNY). Her academic research focuses on crime history, popular culture/mass media, and material culture. She has done research and written about topics ranging from local history and women who kill to African American characters in crime and detective fiction. She is currently at work on a book about dress, appearance, and criminal justice. She is the author of two mystery series, featuring crime historian Lizzie Stuart, and Albany police detective Hannah McCabe. Frankie is a past executive vice president of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. A dog lover, she now shares her home with a Maine Coon cat/mix named Harry.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Gina at Partners In Crime Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Windy City Blues – Marc Krulewitch

Posted on: January 22nd, 2015 By Rick Rhodes
Publisher: Alibi (January 6, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-n/a
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Jules Landau – Chicago Private Eye.
Bernie Landau – Jules’ Father and an ex con.
Jimmy Kalijero – Chicago Detective.


A parking cop ends up dead. Jules Landau is pulled into his second murder investigation despite the opinion of his father and his friend. The trail of blood leads him into a plot involving Russian gangsters and local politicians.


This is my second time reading a book by Mr. Krulewitch, and like the first one it didn’t disappoint. He manages so well to capture the dark feel of a dark, depressive area of Chicago. While set in modern times, it captures the whole feel of what the city may have been like under the rule of Capone and his compatriots.

The plot is very well laid out, and logically fits together. The characters are well developed, and as a reader I find myself caring about them and involved in their lives. While some of the mystery aspect is easy to guess, it still keeps you thrilled and reading on until the very last page.

OVerall, a very recommended book, and I look forward to more adventures of Jule Landau. Rated PG-13 for older teens and adults due to language, and violence. For a great weekend thriller though, grab a copy, drop back by and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Marc Krulewitch grew up in the Chicago suburbs, although his crime novels take place in the Windy City, where he was born and where his family has lived for generations. Maxwell Street Blues is the first in what he hopes to be a long and enduring detective series. His great-grandfather once shared a headline with Al Capone.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Lisa at TLC tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: 13 Hollywood Apes – Gil Reavill

Posted on: December 30th, 2014 By Rick Rhodes
Publisher: Alibi (December 16, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-n/a
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Layla Remington – LA District Attorney Deputy Detective Investigator.
Rick Stills – Assistant DA, Los Angeles County


During a raging forest fire, 13 apes at a Hollywood Animal Sanctuary are found shot to death. One Ape survives. Layla Remington is assigned to investigate. She will find herself drawn deep into a mystery, as people connected to the sanctuary begin to be killed by Ape attacks.


I had mixed feelings regarding this book. I was torn between the plot and the characterization. The plot I found very interesting. The storyline was consistent, the events seemed realistic, and nothing jumped out at me as being off base. So based on the plot alone, I really liked this book. It was exciting and kept me reading from page 1.

Now the characterization is where I had problems with the book. While the characters were somewhat 3 dimensional, their behaviors didn’t strike me as realistic. One example is the character of Layla. She would just seem to get angry all at once with no build up, and no clear reason on why. It seems the author did that with a few of the female characters. It seems as if it was intended to make the characters seem tough and hard edged, but as the reader, to me it just seemed to stretch a bit. The male characters didn’t seem to strike me like this.

However, that drawback aside, I still found myself enjoying the book. I’d definitely read more in the Layla Remington series to see how the character grows, and how the author grows. For this, I’d recommend it for older audiences and for those fans of thrillers. I’d be interested in seeing the opinions of others out there, so if you read it, drop by and let us know what you thought.

A very interesting side note to this story.  On December 21st, news broke that an Argentinian Court had given Sandra, a Sumatran Orangutan the classification of a non human person, and declared that she has rights and will no longer be held captive in a zoo.  This follows similar rulings in which Dolphins were declared non human persons by the government of India.

About the Author

Gil Reavill is an author, screenwriter, and playwright. Widely featured in magazines, Reavill is the author of Aftermath, Inc.: Cleaning Up After CSI Goes Home, and the co-author of Beyond All Reason: My Life with Susan Smith and the screenplay that became the 2005 film Dirty, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. He lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife, Jean Zimmerman, and their daughter.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Lisa at TLC Book Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Duke City Hit – Max Austin

Posted on: December 11th, 2014 By Rick Rhodes
Publisher: Alibi (December 16, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-n/a
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Vic Walters – Hit Man for Hire.
Penny Randall – Vic’s friend and job coordinator.


A hit man finds that someone is arriving at his jobs before he does. When he discovers who the mysterious second gunman is, he’s pulled into a web of lies that will require all his skills to untangle.


This was a fast paced, interesting story. My one complaint is that it ended too soon. I was really enjoying the story and the characters. Luckily for me, the author has said that they will be back in a future book. The characters were well developed and felt like real people, well real people who work at killing other people. But everyone has to have some kind of skills.

The plot was well laid out and by the end of the story, all the pieces fit properly together. One slight drawback is that one of the big twists may have been telegraphed a little too much, and at least to me didn’t come as the big shock that I think it was intended to be. However, that didn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the book.

The book is definitely for older teens and adults due to the violent tone of the book as well as some strong language. Overall though, it was a very enjoyable story that I look forward to following up in future books.

About the Author

Max Austin is the pseudonym of writer Steve Brewer. He lives in Duke City (Albuquerque), New Mexico.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Lisa at TLC Book Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Review: Dangerous Denial – Amy Ray

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 By Rick Rhodes
Paperback: 212 pages
Publisher: Barking Rain Press; First edition (April 9, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 193546096X
ISBN-13: 978-1935460961
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BK Hartshaw – A young woman from a broken family.
Lenny Mayhew – A violent, oppressive scumbag.
Trevor Mayhew – Lenny’s son, an abused, mentally scarred young man.


Two people from two different worlds find themselves on a collision course headed towards tragedy.


This was a rather interesting book. It switches back and forth between two different families, the Mayhews and the Hartshaws. The reader sees Lenny as a young, troubled man with a propensity towards criminal activity. We see BK dealing with her broken family, and a mother bent towards social climbing more than being a responsible parent. The book follows through Lenny’s life, up through the birth of his son Trevor, where it then diverts and we begin seeing the story from Trevors angle. BK we follow her life from childhood up to being a young woman.

There’s a lot of intensity in this book, and the author does a great job of building the stress levels until the final act. Along the way there are twists and surprises. The writing style is very fluid, and reads easily. The characters are interesting and well designed.

I’d rate it for older teens and adults due to the nature of the story and some scenes that may cause trigger effects. For those looking for a good weekend story though, give this a shot. Be sure to drop back by and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Dangerous Denial is Amy Ray’s first published novel. Early in 2015, she will have a short story published in Love Free or Die, the fourth book in the New Hampshire Pulp Fiction anthology series.
Before embarking on a writing career, Amy owned an old fashioned five and dime store where, in addition to regular priced merchandise, she had a display of items that actually retailed for five or ten cents each. She lives near the short but picturesque seacoast in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. In her spare time she enjoys packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child, reading, knitting, and tap dancing.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Trish at TLC Book Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Mrs. Kaplan & The Matzoh Ball of Death – Mark Reutlinger

Posted on: November 13th, 2014 By Rick Rhodes
Publisher: Alibi (November 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-n/a
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Mrs. Rose Kaplan – Senior Citizen and amateur detective.
Ida – Rose’s Best Friend and Cohort.


Mrs. Rose Kaplan makes the best Matzoh Ball soup of anyone at the Julias and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors. It’s no surprise then when she is chosen to make the soup for the center’s annual seder. What is a surprise though, is one of the residents ends up dead in her soup and Mrs. Kaplan is the prime suspect.


This was such a fun book. It was advertised as a modern Miss Marple, but I disagree a bit. The one thing it has in common with Miss Marple is the age of the amateur investigators. However, it differs in the fact that Miss Marple was always played straight while this had numerous instances of humor, particularly in some of the sticky situations Mrs. Kaplan finds herself in. While Miss Marple was dry, this was was a fun rolic.

The characters were interestingly depicted, and a lot of Jewish or Yiddish slang terms were used which fit with the characters, and really seemed to bring them to life. I instantly fell in love with Mrs. Kaplan and hope so much that she will have many further adventures.

I’d recommend this for all audiences. Other than the one death, which was done with no gratuitous details, there was nothing I found offensive in it. For all those fans of the cozy mystery, with a sense of humor and fun, you definitely want to pick this up. If you do, drop back by and let us know what you thought of it. We’d love to hear from you.

About the Author

Mark Reutlinger is the author of the novel Made in China and a professor of law emeritus at Seattle University. Born in San Francisco, Mark graduated from UC Berkeley and now lives with his wife, Analee, in University Place, Washington.



*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Lisa at TLC Book Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Review: Gold Digger – Frances Fyfield

Posted on: October 28th, 2014 By Rick Rhodes
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Witness (July 15, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062305476
ISBN-13: 978-0062305473
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Diana Quiqley – Young wife, heiress and former thief.
Gayle – Daughter of Thomas Porteus
Beatrice – Another daughter of Thomas Porteus.
Edward – Gayle’s Husband.
Patrick – Gayle & Edward’s son.


A man named Thomas Porteus dies leaving his young wife a fortune in paintings. His two daughters, along with a conniving son-in-law are convinced that the man’s wife, Diana, a former thief, murdered him and that the paintings rightfully belong to them.


This was a very difficult story for me. Each chapter began with descriptions of a painting. That description was a short synopsis of what would occur in that chapter. However, in the beginning stages of the book, I found myself confused, and usure of what exactly was going on. The writing style just made it very hard to get into.

As I progressed, since I’m not the type to give up on a book, I noticed it was less about the plot and more about the characters. As a character driven story, I found the characters to be very richly created. I just felt like they were dropped into a storyline that tended to go nowhere at times.

In the end, I liked the story, but it took a while to get to that point. I’d definitely recommend it only to the hard core mystery/psychological thriller readers out there. Ms. Fyfield is indeed a great writer, and I may check out her other novels, it just turns out that this one wasn’t quite my cup of tea. If you grab a copy of it, and read it, drop back by to let us know what you thought.

About the Author

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to at for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: The Hydra Protocol – David Wellington

Posted on: October 23rd, 2014 By Rick Rhodes
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (May 13, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062248804
ISBN-13: 978-0062248800
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Jim Chapel – American Spy
Nadia Asimova – KGB Spy


Jim Chapel is pulled into a secret mission with a Russian counterpart. They must infiltrate and destroy a Russian built computer program that if left to run, may set off all of Russia’s nuclear missiles.


This was a great story. It was the second Jim Chapel story I’d read, and he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite spies. This story takes us around the world, through the desert, and pits him against all sorts of enemies. Some of these enemies are human, and some are the local animals. There’s plenty of twists, turns, and romance. Just what you’d expect out of a good spy novel.

If I had one complaint, it’s that Jim seemed to recover just a little too quickly from his broken relationship, and dive into the arms of another woman. I’d expect someone to be a little more shaken up, and not ready to just jump into another person’s bed, but of course this is the spy world.

Overall, a great spy story that keeps me looking forward to the next entry. Grab a copy, give it a read, and drop back by to let us know what you thought.

About the Author

David Wellington was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The acclaimed author is most famous for his online serialized zombie novel, the Monster Island trilogy, later published by Thunder’s Mouth Press. In 2006, he began serializing Thirteen Bullets, a vampire novel. He lives in New York City. His previous Jim Chapel missions include Chimera and Minotaur.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Ashley at Harper Collins for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: The High Druid’s Blade – Terry Brooks

Posted on: October 21st, 2014 By Rick Rhodes
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (July 8, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345540700
ISBN-13: 978-0345540706
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Paxon Leah – Descendent of the prince’s of Leah and holder of the Sword of Leah.
Chrysallin Leah – Paxon’s Sister.
Arcannen – Dark Magician with ambitions to take over the Druid Order.


A young man is drawn into adventure when his sister is kidnapped by a dark wizard. Unknown to him, he is about to awaken some long dormant powers that are a legacy of his family.


I’m a huge fan of Terry Brooks and with each book release I look forward to it with eager anticipation. This book was no exception. It varied slightly from the normal formula. No Wizard convincing the average person to take up an adventure. This time the hero takes on the adventure of his own accord, in order to rescue his sister. Along the way, the story follows the classic mythological/fantasy pattern. The young man discovers his own dormant powers. Along the way he also forms his own little group of adventurers.

This was a fun fantasy novel,that once again took me to a world I love to visit. While a lot of the plots have been revisited, the characters still feel fresh and appeal to me. I look forward to Mr. Brooks next release.

If you’re a fan of Fantasy, or of Mr. Brooks writing, then you definitely want to check this book out. Be sure to drop in and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Terry Brooks is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books, including the Dark Legacy of Shannara adventure Wards of Faerie; the Legends of Shannara novels Bearers of the Black Staff and The Measure of the Magic; the Genesis of Shannara trilogy: Armageddon’s Children, The Elves of Cintra, and The Gypsy Morph; The Sword of Shannara; the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy: Ilse Witch, Antrax, and Morgawr; the High Druid of Shannara trilogy: Jarka Ruus, Tanequil, and Straken; the nonfiction book Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life; and the novel based upon the screenplay and story by George Lucas, Star Wars:® Episode I The Phantom Menace.™

His novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word were selected by the Rocky Mountain News as two of the best science fiction/fantasy novels of the twentieth century. The author was a practicing attorney for many years but now writes full-time. He lives with his wife, Judine, in the Pacific Northwest.

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