Archive for November, 2014

Review: Dangerous Denial – Amy Ray

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
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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Characters:

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.

Synopsis:

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

Review

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

Thursday, November 13th, 2014
Publisher: Alibi (November 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-n/a
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Characters:

Mrs. Rose Kaplan – Senior Citizen and amateur detective.
Ida – Rose’s Best Friend and Cohort.

Synopsis:

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.

Review

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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