August Read of the Month: “Hopscotch,” by Steve Cushman

Reviewed by Claire Matturro Someone draws a hopscotch board on a sidewalk by a hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. The hospital CEO with a Grinch persona orders it cleared off and a recently released felon, John Deaver, glad for his job as a janitor, erases it. But the chalk hopscotch board reappears on the sidewalk—again […]

“House of Memory,” by Carolyn Haines

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Something profoundly sinister is on the prowl in central Alabama. It’s the time of the Jazz Age, a spirited respite between national disasters, but what lurks and stalks young women will not be tamed by exuberant dancing or bathtub gin. Whether the evil is spectral or human—or both—is just one […]

“The Myth of Water,” by Jeanie Thompson

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Award-winning writer Jeanie Thompson is a brave, bold poet. In The Myth of Water (University of Alabama Press 2016), she presents a remarkable and evocative series of thirty-four poems to tell a deeply personal story of the iconic Helen Keller. And if the concept of historical persona poems wasn’t daring […]

“Burials,” by Mary Anna Evans

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Burials, the tenth Dr. Faye Longchamp-Mantooth archaeological mystery by master-writer Mary Anna Evans, begins with a bang. Literally. Faye and her client are hiding under a pick-up in Oklahoma as somebody shoots at them. Though the precise motive and identity of the shooter will not be revealed until the end, […]

Claire Hamner Matturro Interviews Carolyn Haines, Author of “Book of the Beloved”

CHM: Carolyn, you’ve written 16 Sarah Booth Delany books, and an abundance of other stand-alone books, and here you are, starting a new series with the Pluto’s Snitch Mysteries. I read where you’ve written over 50 books, but then again, I’ve read where you wrote over 70. Just how many books have you written? CH:  […]

September Read of the Month: “Book of the Beloved,” by Carolyn Haines

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro The amazing Carolyn Haines is at it again. The compelling, complex and darkly fascinating Book of the Beloved illustrates all over again just how talented and versatile the award-winning Haines is as a writer. Beloved is a book you won’t be able to put down, Southern to the core, and […]

“My Southern Journey,” by Rick Bragg

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Rick Bragg can spin a charming, compelling story about coleslaw—that’s the range of this man’s creativity and talent, which I’ve been appreciating since reading (savoring) his hauntingly beautiful memoir about growing up hard, fast and poor in Alabama, All Over But The Shouting (Pantheon 1997). I wasn’t the only one […]

“Burdy,” by Karen Spears Zacharias

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro “Burdy didn’t set out that morning aiming to get shot by the end of the day.” So begins Burdy (Mercer University Press, 2015), a sequel to Karen Spears Zacharias’s best-seller Mother of Rain (Mercer University Press, 2013). The title character does get shot in one of those increasingly common random […]