“Girl from Blind River,” by Gale Massey

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Florida writer Gale Massey’s debut novel, Girl from Blind River, is being compared to Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone. The comparison is apt. Both feature a teenage girl determined to help family members survive in a community roiled by poverty and addiction. Nineteen-year-old Jamie Elders is caught between conflicting desires: to take […]

“Key West—A Lush and Magical place for Cozy Mysteries,” by Claire Hamner Matturro

Review essay by Claire Hamner Matturro  Key West. Ah, just read the words in a mystery novel and a certain whirl and whoosh of coconut-scented, warm, moist air seems to fly off the pages. From the lush tropical landscape and the complex history to the raucous party atmosphere, from the old-world elegance of the Hemingway […]

November Read of the Month: “Christian Bend,” by Karen Spears Zacharias

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Karen Spears Zacharias writes with remarkable sensitivity and insight. She is so profoundly in touch with her fictional people that she can present a tale from multiple points of view with an acuity and heart-felt honesty that soon makes her characters feel like close friends to the reader. Because of […]

“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 […]