“Sunset Beach,” by Mary Kay Andrews

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews (aka Kathy Hogan Trocheck) created her successful second career by writing books with strong, displaced women who reinvent themselves in the face of struggle. Along with her trademark compelling female protagonists, the books written under the Mary Kay Andrews pen name also feature complicated kith […]

Claire Hamner Matturro Interviews Lisa Patton, Author of “Rush”

Rush is a gentle literary novel of the New South involving a diverse group of freshmen co-eds adjusting to college life, facing new challenges, and rushing sororities, each hoping to become members of Alpha Delta Beta. When the sorority sisters and pledges learn that their beloved African-American housekeeper has been denied a promotion due to […]

“Troubles Wedding Caper,” by Jen Talty and “The Truffle with Weddings,” by Laura Durham

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro  Isn’t there something about a cozy mystery and a wedding that makes for a natural nexus between the two? A cozy mystery—a subgenre of crime fiction—is charming, but not without its drama, tension, and suspense, which, it so happens, are also elements of a typical wedding. Thus, within the ever-popular […]

April Read of the Month: “Road’s End,” by Rebecca Barrett

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Lush, lyrical, often painfully sad, the ultimately uplifting Road’s End (Witch Creek Publishing 2017), by Rebecca Campbell Barrett, is Southern literature at its finest. The story of three generations of a West Alabama family focuses on headstrong, sometimes impetuous women whose menfolk are not overlooked. Inspired in part by Barrett’s […]

“Love and Death in the Sunshine State: The Story of a Crime,” by Cutter Wood

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Even amid high crime statistics and several infamously grisly Florida murders, the 2008 killing at the center of Love and Death in the Sunshine State: The Story of a Crime (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2018) still drew national attention, including a 2016 feature on NBC’s Dateline. But it wasn’t […]

“The Stranger Inside,” by Laura Benedict

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Let’s get the obvious out of the way: The Stranger Inside (Mulholland Books, 2019) is a big, grand, intelligent thriller by Laura Benedict that will have readers guessing and gasping as they avidly turn the pages. The phrase “the plot thickens” is an understatement with regards to The Stranger Inside. […]

“Key West—A Lush and Magical place for Cozy Mysteries,” by Claire Hamner Matturro

Review essay by Claire Hamner Matturro  Key West. Ah, just read the words in a mystery novel and a certain whirl and whoosh of coconut-scented, warm, moist air seems to fly off the pages. From the lush tropical landscape and the complex history to the raucous party atmosphere, from the old-world elegance of the Hemingway […]

November Read of the Month: “Christian Bend,” by Karen Spears Zacharias

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Karen Spears Zacharias writes with remarkable sensitivity and insight. She is so profoundly in touch with her fictional people that she can present a tale from multiple points of view with an acuity and heart-felt honesty that soon makes her characters feel like close friends to the reader. Because of […]