Drive-Through Review of Three Mysteries

Reviewed by Donna Meredith For Better or Hearse by Laura Durham It’s not every day you find a mystery with a wedding planner as the protagonist. Laura Durham’s Annabelle Archer series is fun-filled—as long as you aren’t the bride and groom who have their special day disrupted by murder and mayhem. Humor begins in the title […]

“Blake, or The Huts of America” by Martin R. Delany and “The Hindered Hand” by Sutton E. Griggs

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Even though their works were created some forty years apart, two early American black authors recognized the power of fiction to engender social change. Both men came to believe the Back-To-Africa movement, or colonization, offered the most viable way to achieve social justice. Prior to the Civil War, Blake, or The […]

“Sally St. Johns,” by Denise Heinze

Reviewed by Donna Meredith The voice of 43-year-old Sally St. Johns sparkles with intelligence and humor in Denise Heinze’s debut novel, which shares its title with the protagonist. As this eco-thriller opens, Sally calls to inform her mother she is in big trouble. She is in jail. Not for jaywalking either. The CIA wants to […]

“Engineering Eden,” by Jordan Fisher Smith

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Engineering Eden, by Jordan Fisher Smith, is not for the squeamish. Its pages contain numerous accounts of human encounters with bears that end in death or injury, and as Smith points out, “There are two ways in which most people don’t wish to die: by being torn apart by a wild […]

“Marantha Road,” by Heather Bell Adams

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Marantha Road is an exquisite story with characters so real they could step off the pages into your living room. All the strengths and flaws of small town life are laid bare. The worry over how others will judge you. The importance of the church in the community. The complicated bonds […]

“Place of Peace and Crickets,” by Tricia Booker

Reviewed by Donna Meredith In Tricia Booker’s engaging memoir, Place of Peace and Crickets, readers meet a family with enormous heart—and an equally large dose of heartache. The story opens with Booker deciding to start a garden, but soon her plants droop. As they struggle to survive, she whispers to them that she won’t let […]

“Our Love Affair With Murder”: Donna Meredith Reviews Five Mysteries

Reviews by Donna Meredith Sex sells, but crime pays too—at least for writers. Mystery and crime stories earn upwards of $730 million a year in book sales. That’s a lot of love for dead bodies, sales figures topped only slightly by the live bodies found in the romance genre. From the earliest mysteries penned by […]

December Read of the Month: “Perennials,” by Julie Cantrell

Reviewed by Donna Meredith If you’re looking for a heart-warming novel to put under someone’s tree this holiday season, Julie Cantrell’s Perennials should top your list—but of course snag a copy for yourself first. This first-rate tale of love and loss, betrayal and forgiveness, weakness and strength, is Cantrell’s fourth novel. From book clubs to […]