Archive for March, 2014

Review: The Sound of Broken Glass – Deborah Crombie

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (February 19, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061990639
ISBN-13: 978-0061990632
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Duncan Kincaid – Police Investigator
Emma James – Police Inspector
Melody Talbot – Detective
Andy Monahan – Inspiring Musician


When a man is found bound and gagged, dead in a motel room, the main suspect becomes a young Up and coming musician who was one of the last people to have contact with the man. But the true answers will lie in the past.


This was truly a book I couldn’t put down. From the time I picked it up, to the next day I was almost constantly reading it. The characters pulled me in, the story grabbed me, and seeing the history unfold and the events lead up to where the past and present connected proved to be very interesting. While I believe this is #15 in a series, I hadn’t read any of the prior series before receiving a copy of this. This is one I’ll definitely go back and check out previous entries on.

The author, born and raised in Texas does a very good job, in my opinion, of capturing the feel of England. I didn’t know until I had gotten to the end of the book that the author was not British. She really knows her stuff, and how to spin a great tale and create great characters.

On a scale, I’d say for older teens and adults due to some dark imagery and the content, although there aren’t a whole lot of objectionable material, there is enough that fans of the cozy mystery might not find it as appealing. But for those who want to read a great thriller, go out and grab The Sound of Broken Glass, and be sure to drop back by and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Deborah Crombie was born in Dallas and grew up in Richardson, Texas, a suburb north of Dallas, second child of Charlie and Mary Darden. A rather solitary childhood (brother Steve is ten years older) was blessed by her maternal grandmother, Lillian Dozier, a retired teacher who taught her to read very early. After a rather checkered educational career, which included dropping out of high school at sixteen, she graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, with a degree in biology.

She then worked in advertising and newspapers, and attended the Rice University Publishing Program. A post-university trip to England, however, cemented a life-long passion for Britain, and she later immigrated to the UK with her first husband, Peter Crombie, a Scot, living first in Edinburgh, Scotland, and then in Chester, England.

After returning to Dallas and working for several years in her family business (manufacturer’s reps for theatre concessions) while raising her daughter Kayti, she wrote her first Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid/Sergeant Gemma James novel. A Share in Death [Scribner, 1993], was subsequently given Agatha and Macavity nominations for Best First Novel of 1993. The fifth novel, Dreaming of the Bones (Scribner 1997), a New York Times Notable Book for 1997, was short-listed by Mystery Writers of America for the 1997 Edgar Award for Best Novel, won the Macavity award for Best Novel, and was voted by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association as one of the hundred best mysteries of the century. Her subsequent novels have been received with critical acclaim and are widely read internationally, particularly in Germany.

In 2009, Where Memories Lie won the Macacity Award for Best Novel. In 2010, Necessary as Blood received a Macavity nomination for Best Novel.

Crombie’s novels are published in North America, Japan, Germany, Italy, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Romania, Greece, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and numerous other countries.. The latest novel in the series, No Mark Upon Her, will be published in August, 2011 by Pan Macmillan in the UK, and in February, 2012 by William Morrow in the US.

Although she travels to England several times a year, Crombie now lives in McKinney, Texas, an historic town north of Dallas, sharing a 1905 house with her husband, Rick Wilson, two German shepherds (Hallie and Neela), and three cats. She is currently working on her fifteenth Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James novel, as yet untitled.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Andrea 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.

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Interview: Georgette Todd – Foster Girl

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Rhodes Review: How has the reception been to Foster Girl?

George Todd: Mixed, which is to be expected. My book is not an easy read and I hold nothing back. I don’t sugarcoat or imply – I grab readers by the jugular and walk them through the darkest recesses of human behavior. That said, from child abuse survivors and former foster youth, I’ve been touched by their support and validation of how accurate I nailed the youth perspective. They also all thought I was funny, and there is quite a bit of humor amongst the darkness. As for others, I’ve been told my book is too graphic and just too much. Different people have different curiosity levels and sensibilities. Above all however, just about everyone who has responded to me all wonder how I get out of bed in the morning given all that I have been through.

Rhodes Review: What was your writing process like when writing Foster Girl?

George Todd: Time really does fly when you’re enjoying what you’re doing. I would happily spend 12-14 hour days doing nothing but writing, reading what I wrote, editing and rewriting – and I loved every minute of it. When you’re immersed, there’s a possession that takes over and nothing exists but your memories, emotions, and a strong desire to tell the best story you possibly can. I enjoyed the process even more as I got closer to finishing. Interestingly, I did experience psychosomatic responses during certain passages. Some scenes, which could be as little as three paragraphs, took so much out of me that I would immediately take a nap. I noticed I gained weight while writing and rewriting certain chapters as well. Strange.

Rhodes Review: What did your family think about you writing Foster Girl?

George Todd: I don’t really have that many family members, and the ones who I have reconnected with have all died. The very few left were all pretty much dead set against it. I think they were afraid of what I would write about them, which I really didn’t. I didn’t go into depth about the others because, well, this is not their story – it’s mine.

Rhodes Review: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

George Todd: Read or move. I’m reading some science fiction right now. When not reading or writing, I need to move my body by hiking or walking for miles, lifting weights or kickboxing. Also, spending time with my close loved ones brings me a lot of joy, especially with my fiancé or little niece.

Rhodes Review: What would you tell people who are going through or been through the foster care system?

George Todd: For those in foster care, I’d tell them to stay out of trouble. Don’t make things worse for you than they already are. I know it’s rough but this time will pass and there are people who can help you. You have to be willing to show that you want to help yourself however. Also, find a safe and harmless way to release all your justifiable anger, depression and upset. For those who have been through foster care, I would stress that they take care of themselves first and foremost. Be selfish and care for you in a way a parent should have done. I’ve noticed some former foster youth – myself included at one point – wants to help other youth…but that kind of work can lead to being re-traumatized and burn out. I had a nervous breakdown after years of working around the clock and being So, I’d tell them to take care of yourself first and I’d encourage them to seek a career outside of foster care. I get the

Rhodes Review: Do you ever run into any of the people you were in homes with?

George Todd: Only online thank God! People from my past in foster care have tracked me down, which I have mixed feelings about. I do however, still talk to one girl I lived with in a group home. My greatest fear though is for both my dad and stepdad to contact me. I hope that never happens.

Rhodes Review: What are some areas/problems you see with the Foster Care system and how do you think they should be addressed?

George Todd: I think the main problem outside of foster care is the lack of awareness of what goes on and how the system operates and how people can help. Inside the system, there should be more emphasis on family finding earlier on.

Rhodes Review: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

George Todd: To write novels and stories. Now I want to go back into journalism and write screenplays.

Rhodes Review: What inspired you to write Foster Girl?

George Todd: The fact that I wanted to read stories like the one I lived and I could not find any. So, the absence of my type of stories on the bookshelves was what initially inspired me.

Rhodes Review: How did you start writing?

George Todd: I wrote the first draft as a teenager, 19, when the memories were fresh. Then I learned how to write. When I was in graduate school, I got a copy of my case file (300 pages) for research. It took me a couple years to piece out and decide which court report, letter or psychological assessment to include in the book, where to them and why in the story.

Rhodes Review: What was your favorite part of Foster Girl?

George Todd: Completing it, to be honest. How does one write the worst experiences in one’s life in a coherent, linear way? I was able to accomplish that and I’m proud of the result.

Rhodes Review: What was the hardest part to write in Foster Girl?

George Todd: The abuse scenes narrated from the child’s perspective. I had to regress and relive the most traumatic moments of my life over and over in order

Rhodes Review: What do you wish was different about Foster Girl?

George Todd: I wish I didn’t have to write it. I wish I had a normal, healthy upbringing that resulted in me being completely well adjusted. But that didn’t happen, and as a result, I felt compelled to say what was unsaid, write about an experience most people don’t have.

Rhodes Review: I know you went on to become an advocate, what is involved in that job, and what do you like about it?

George Todd: I used to work in child welfare and to be honest, it gave me a completely new perspective as a professional. I was burnt out, frustrated and ultimately, discovered that no matter how hard or long I worked, it was never enough. I salute those who continue to work in the field. As for what I liked about it – I liked the purity of intentions in the beginning, and finding people who genuinely shared my passion in making lives better. But I was shocked and disappointed to see so much politics involved in child welfare.

Rhodes Review: What are your current writing projects?

George Todd: I write a weekly column for the Chronicles of Social Change at I just wrote about the Dylan Farrow/ Woody Allen sexual abuse allegations, titled: “No One Wants to Be the Poster Child for Abuse” I’m also working on a screenplay that is a family drama and magazine articles. It may be awhile for me to write a whole book again. It just takes so much out of you.

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