“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 Sound of Holding Your Breath,” by Natalie Sypolt

Reviewed by Phyllis Wilson Moore    The title of Natalie Sypolt’s first short story collection, The Sound of Holding Your Breath: Stories, caught my attention. Just what is the sound of holding your breath? According to the young and newly married Marley, the protagonist in the title story, nothingness is the loudest sound in her home. […]

“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. […]

January Read of the Month: “Where the Crawdads Sing,” by Delia Owens

Reviewed by Donna Meredith With gorgeous imagery and breathtaking detail, Delia Owens perfectly captures the exquisite song of the North Carolina coastal marsh and all its creatures in her debut novel, Where the Crawdads Sing. Not since Pat Conroy’s Prince of Tides has there been a love song to the low country as poignant. And […]

“Depth of Winter,” by Craig Johnson

Reviewed by Phyllis Wilson Moore In Craig Johnson’s fourteenth novel, Depth of Winter (Viking, 2018), Sheriff Walt Longmire is far from Absaroka County, Wyoming.  He is in Mexico on a desperate lone-wolf mission to rescue his only daughter from a vicious drug cartel. He has no authority. He has no passport. He is about to experience […]

Donna Meredith Reviews books by Geneva Cobb Moore and Boyd Creasman

Reviewed by Donna Meredith

“Dixie Luck,” by Andy Plattner

Reviewed by Jessica Williams Dixie Luck, by Andy Plattner, is a seductive collection of drama-filled tales of risky gambling in the Deep South. The collection entices readers with knee-jerking turns, narcissistic characters and adventures in the hidden pockets of New Orleans, Biloxi, and other money-driven cities of the South. Most stories take readers down the […]

“How We Came To Be,” by Johnnie Bernhard

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Forget the Father Knows Best clichés of the 1950s—they are so yesterday. Set in contemporary Houston and Austin, How We Came To Be (Texas Review Press, 2018) is a witty, insightful study of the forging of a twenty-first century family. A finalist in the 2017 International Faulkner-Wisdom Competition, the novel was […]