“Troubles Wedding Caper,” by Jen Talty and “The Truffle with Weddings,” by Laura Durham

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro  Isn’t there something about a cozy mystery and a wedding that makes for a natural nexus between the two? A cozy mystery—a subgenre of crime fiction—is charming, but not without its drama, tension, and suspense, which, it so happens, are also elements of a typical wedding. Thus, within the ever-popular […]

April Read of the Month: “Road’s End,” by Rebecca Barrett

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Lush, lyrical, often painfully sad, the ultimately uplifting Road’s End (Witch Creek Publishing 2017), by Rebecca Campbell Barrett, is Southern literature at its finest. The story of three generations of a West Alabama family focuses on headstrong, sometimes impetuous women whose menfolk are not overlooked. Inspired in part by Barrett’s […]

“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 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. […]

“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 […]

“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 […]

“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 […]