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 […]

“Specter of Seduction,” by Carolyn Haines

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro In Specter of Seduction (KaliOka Press, November 2017),” the third book in Carolyn Haines’s Pluto Snitch series, human villains, living and dead, and a demon from another sphere collide with force and sparks. At the center of the storm, a talented young girl child appears to be possessed, or merely […]

“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 […]

April Read of the Month: “Fixing Boo-Boo,” by Pat Stanford

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Ultimately a story of grace and transcendence, Fixing Boo Boo (Southern Yellow Pine Publishing, 2017) details a reluctant caregiver’s journey with her brain-damaged older sister, Barb. It gets messy along the way, and Barb is often her own worst enemy. But Pat Stanford tells the story with a deft and […]

March Read of the Month: “Dancing to an Irish Reel,” by Claire Fullerton

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard Hans Christian Anderson wrote, “To travel is to live.”  His words suggest the underlying theme of Dancing to an Irish Reel by Claire Fullerton.  Living, instead of existing, is exactly what protagonist Hailey Crossan does on the west coast of Ireland. Leaving the “soullessness of Los Angeles” and her job in […]

February Read of the Month: “Gradle Bird,” by J.C. Sasser

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Rodgers  Can a savior come in the form of a sixteen-year-old girl in a green prom dress and cat-eyed glasses? A phenomenal debut novel by gifted storyteller J. C. Sasser, Gradle Bird flips southern gothic fiction on its head and turns ghosts stories inside out. Forget everything you thought you knew […]

“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 […]

“Seven Wings to Glory,” by Kathleen M. Rodgers

Reviewed by Johnnie Bernhard Texas author Kathleen M. Rodgers weaves a tale of heartache and triumph for the multigenerational residents of Portion, Texas, in the masterful Seven Wings to Glory. Portion is a place where the past is the key to the present and strangers become family.  With empathy and a true sense of place, […]