“Burials,” by Mary Anna Evans

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Burials, the tenth Dr. Faye Longchamp-Mantooth archaeological mystery by master-writer Mary Anna Evans, begins with a bang. Literally. Faye and her client are hiding under a pick-up in Oklahoma as somebody shoots at them. Though the precise motive and identity of the shooter will not be revealed until the end, […]

September Read of the Month: “Book of the Beloved,” by Carolyn Haines

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro The amazing Carolyn Haines is at it again. The compelling, complex and darkly fascinating Book of the Beloved illustrates all over again just how talented and versatile the award-winning Haines is as a writer. Beloved is a book you won’t be able to put down, Southern to the core, and […]

“My Southern Journey,” by Rick Bragg

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Rick Bragg can spin a charming, compelling story about coleslaw—that’s the range of this man’s creativity and talent, which I’ve been appreciating since reading (savoring) his hauntingly beautiful memoir about growing up hard, fast and poor in Alabama, All Over But The Shouting (Pantheon 1997). I wasn’t the only one […]

“Burdy,” by Karen Spears Zacharias

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro “Burdy didn’t set out that morning aiming to get shot by the end of the day.” So begins Burdy (Mercer University Press, 2015), a sequel to Karen Spears Zacharias’s best-seller Mother of Rain (Mercer University Press, 2013). The title character does get shot in one of those increasingly common random […]

“Between Black and White,” by Robert Bailey

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Following the success of his powerful debut legal thriller, The Professor (Thomas & Mercer 2015), Bailey offers a second, stunning story in the series. In his novel Between Black and White (Thomas & Mercer March 2016), Bailey establishes beyond doubt that he is an author to be read and reckoned […]

Claire Hamner Matturro Interviews Celeste Fletcher McHale, Author of “The Secret to Hummingbird Cake”

CHM: The Secret to Hummingbird Cake rings with authenticity. I know you are Southern, so your ability in capturing the charm and culture of Louisiana makes good sense to me. But aside from the setting, the emotions and plot line are so vivid and evocative, I have to ask: Is the story based upon something in your […]

February Read of the Month: “The Secret to Hummingbird Cake,” by Celeste Fletcher McHale

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro The Secret to Hummingbird Cake (Thomas Nelson, 2016) by emerging Southern author Celeste Fletcher McHale manages to do a very difficult thing: It spins a loving tale about enduring female friendships in a small town in the Deep South without engaging in stereotypes or sentimentality. Replete with the poignancy of […]

“The Professor,” by Robert Bailey

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Move over, John Grisham, there’s a new kid on the legal thriller playing field. Robert Bailey, an Alabama trial attorney and graduate of The University of Alabama School of Law, returns the kickoff for a 100 yard touchdown with his debut novel, The Professor. The football reference is apropos as […]