“The Paris Key,” by Juliet Blackwell

Reviewed by Donna Meredith What could be grander, sweeter, and more delightful than a woman finding—no, recreating— herself in the glamorous, enlightened city of Paris? That is the happy premise behind Juliet Blackwell’s novel, The Paris Key. But as you might suspect, Genevieve Martin’s journey is marked by obstacles and dark moments. To escape the […]

May Read of the Month: “Fraccidental Death,” by Donna Meredith

  Reviewed by Pat Spears Fraccidental Death, the second in Donna Meredith’s Water Warriors series, is part murder mystery and part cautionary tale about the country’s insatiable appetite for cheap fossil fuel, with keen observations about broken relationships adding complexity to the narrative. Fans of the first Water Warriors book, Wet Work, will have met […]

“The Gospel of the Twin,” by Ron Cooper

Reviewed by Donna Meredith With his third novel, The Gospel of the Twin, Ron Cooper delves into very different and far more controversial territory than his earlier fiction, Hume’s Fork and Purple Jesus. Those were satirical in tone, peopled with wacky characters. In The Gospel of the Twin, Judas Didymos Thomas, now eighty years old, […]

“The Grace of the Gingko,” by Michael Hardesty

Reviewed by Donna Meredith Given that 2.7 million grandparents are raising grandchildren in the United States, it’s surprising more fiction hasn’t explored those relationships. Michael Hardesty’s debut novel, The Grace of the Gingko (Old Stone Press, 2015), fills that gap with a heart-warming tale of one grandfather’s tender devotion, a story splashed liberally with humor […]

A conversation: “Walk Till The Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden in Appalachia”

Silence can be “an unfortunate and even dangerous act of submission,” editors Adrian Blevins and Karen Salyer McElmurray write in the preface to this collection of thirty-two essays, Walk Till The Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden in Appalachia (Ohio University Press, 2015). They speak of the enormous expectation from their “workplaces, families, and […]

“The Poisoned Table,” by Diane Michael Cantor

Reviewed by Donna Meredith “I was a slave,” a renowned white actress confesses in Diane Michael Cantor’s captivating historical novel, The Poisoned Table (Mercer University Press, 2015). Private lives are far from what others imagine them to be in this story based on the life of nineteenth-century British actress and writer Fanny Kemble. Events take […]

“Valentine’s Day,” by April Kelly

Reviewed by Donna Meredith If you enjoy a mystery with a strong injection of humor, you should pick up a copy of Valentine’s Day by April Kelly. With a tone that evokes the best writing of Janet Evanovich, Kelly gifts mystery fans with newly minted private investigator Rick Valentine, a slightly more competent and sexually […]

“Secondhand Sister,” by Rhett DeVane

Reviewed by Donna Meredith In Rhett’s DeVane’s latest novel, Secondhand Sister, Mary-Esther Sloat may be down on her luck, but that’s about to change when she flees hurricane-ravaged New Orleans for a new life and sanctuary in North Florida. The hospitality of newfound friends and family soon envelops her—and this sixth novel in the beloved […]