October Read of the Month: “N.O.K.,” by Bruce Ballister

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro North Florida author Bruce Ballister takes his readers on a scenic, suspense-filled fast ride through the Forgotten Coast of north Florida, in N.O.K (May 2021). Myriad things about the state make it a perfect setting for crime novels, and Ballister deftly makes use of most of these: the heat, the […]

September Read of the Month: “The Committee,” by Sterling Watson

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro With eight books to his credit, Sterling Watson has long been a powerful author, but he raises the bar considerably in The Committee (Akashic Books 2020), a compelling historical novel about the havoc the so-called Johns Committee wreaked on the University of Florida in the late 1950s. With impeccable accuracy […]

“The Wrong Side,” by Robert Bailey

Reviewed by Claire Matturro The Wrong Side (Thomas and Mercer 2021) is very much a Robert Bailey legal thriller—which is to say it is a riveting book full of intrigue, last ditch chances, compelling characters, an enthralling, well-paced energetic story line, and a plot twist at the end readers won’t see coming. Bailey, as an […]

“When Stars Rain Down,” by Angela Jackson-Brown

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro When Stars Rain Down (Thomas Nelson April 2021) is a delicate yet brave coming-of-age novel by Angela Jackson-Brown. Delicate in its tenderness and kindhearted embrace of its characters and their culture, the book is warm, loving, and evocative in its depictions of family life in the Deep South. It also […]

Claire Matturro Interviews Dennis “Mitch” Maley

Bradenton journalist and author Dennis “Mitch” Maley delves into harsh historical events in his newest book, Burn Black Wall Street Burn (Punk Rock Publishing, June 2021), and he does so with verve, talent, and force. Told through the eyes of several characters, the book is a riveting, up close and personal story of one of […]

“Incognito,” by Terry Lewis

Reviewed by Claire Matturro Incognito (Moonshine Cove Publishing 2021) by Terry Lewis is a riveting, high-stakes adventure story with accurate, well-drawn history about the birth of the United States. Set in the early days of the American Revolution, the tale captures the tensions and conflicts of the time in compelling action and narrative. Lewis, a […]

“Rising and Other Stories,” by Gale Massey

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Gale Massey burst into the literary scene two years ago with her acclaimed debut novel, The Girl from Blind River (Crooked Lane), which won a 2018 Florida Book Award, among other accolades. Prior to that novel, some prestigious publications had published her short stories. So it’s no surprise to see […]

January Read of the Month: “Wrecked,” by Mary Anna Evans

Reviewed by Claire Hamner Matturro Writing a successful mystery series is a hard thing to do well. Not only must series authors continue to create intriguing and original plots time after time, but they must also keep the recurring characters fresh while rotating in new villains, alternate heroes, and supporting personalities. It also helps to […]