“Weedeater: An Illustrated Novel,” by Robert Gipe

Reviewed by Phyllis Wilson Moore Robert Gipe’s Weedeater, the much anticipated sequel to his 2015 Weatherford Award winning first novel, Trampoline, has a problem common to some sequels; while it does expand the previous work, it teeters on the edge of too much, too soon, too similar. It is gritty, contemporary, and includes Gipe’s illustrated […]

“Trampoline: An Illustrated Novel,” by Robert Gipe

Reviewed by Phyllis Wilson Moore Back in 2015 I received an advanced copy of Robert Gipe’s novel Trampoline and proceeded to read it. The author, Robert Gipe, was new to me and the first-person story featured some of his line drawings scattered in appropriate places. They were different. I’m not a fan of illustrations in […]

October Read of the Month: “Finding Joe,” by Rebecca Hunn

Reviewed by Donna Meredith If you’re looking for an entertaining mystery crafted around a strong setting and unusual characters, check out Finding Joe, Rebecca Hunn’s debut novel. The protagonist Donna Cain is “an oil and gas leasing agent—part sleuth, part genealogist, part salesperson,” who believes she has “the best job in the world.” She lives […]

“All the Lovely Children,” by Andrew Nance

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Andrew Nance does two difficult things in All the Lovely Children (Red Adept, 2018), and he does both exceptionally well. First, he infuses the often formulaic serial killer subgenre with fresh, new energy by providing innovative twists, a setting that juxtaposes beauty and horror, and sharp, clean writing. Second, he […]

“Dark Lady,” by Charlene Ball

Reviewed by Joshua S. Fullman Historians have long attempted to discover the identity of Shakespeare’s “Dark Lady,” the mysterious figure haunting many of his latter sonnets. Identified by A.L. Rowse in 1973 as the most likely contender,[1] Emilia Bassano Lanyer might possibly have served as the poet’s muse and obsessive love interest, and she becomes […]

“Undercurrents,” by Mary Anna Evans

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Author Mary Anna Evans never disappoints. That’s rare for authors of a long-running mystery series because the confines of the genre, compounded with the repetition of characters, often leads to staleness. But Evans’s Faye Longchamp archaeological mystery series is emphatically not stale. Evans proves as much in her eleventh novel […]

September Read of the Month: “When Nighttime Shadows Fall,” by Diane Michael Cantor

Reviewed by Brandy Renee McCann  As a social scientist and native to southern Appalachia, I picked up Diane Michael Cantor’s novel, When Nighttime Shadows Fall (University of South Carolina Press, 2017), with interest. Similar to the characters in the novel, in 1976 my eighteen-year-old mother was pregnant with me. My folks were married at the time […]

“Reading the Coffee Grounds and Other Stories,” by Niles Reddick

Reviewed by Susan Cushman  As I review Pulitzer-nominee Niles Reddick’s latest short story collection, Reading the Coffee Grounds and Other Stories, I am also taking a stab at working in this genre for the first time myself. As a novelist, memoirist, essayist, and anthology editor, I’m new to writing short stories. I’m in awe of […]