August Read of the Month: “The Murder Gene” by Karen Spears Zacharias

The Murder Gene (Koehler Books, 2022) is written with the precision of an ace journalist and with the page-turning intrigue of an award-winning novelist. No surprise since the author, Karen Spears Zacharias, is both. This combination of talents results in compelling nonfiction which deserves a wide and appreciative audience. Not only impeccably written, the book […]

“James Dickey: A Literary Life” by Gordon Van Ness 

For James Dickey, who believed in the “transcendence of the imagination,” as evidenced in a letter to Gore Vidal in 1988—“I make no distinction between fact, fiction, history, reminiscence and fantasy, for the imagination inhabits them all,” —Gordon Van Ness takes on a complex, passionate, revelatory—and often thorny—task in James Dickey: A Literary Life (Mercer […]

June Read of the Month: “Fast Break,” by Terry Lewis

Reviewed by Claire Matturro Ever since Scott Turow re-energized the legal thriller with his critically acclaimed and commercially successful Presumed Innocent, there’s been a bounty of novels written by lawyers about lawyers and legal proceedings. Into this now-crowded field, former Florida circuit court judge Terry Lewis spins a compelling, authentic tale of courtroom intrigue and […]

May Read of the Month: “In the Lonely Backwater,” by Valerie Nieman

Reviewed by Donna Meredith In the Lonely Backwater (Regal House Publishing, 2022) would be a grand read if it were only a clever psychological mystery or simply a unique coming-of-age story, but Valerie Nieman achieves so much more than that. With gorgeous description and elegant prose, Nieman transforms a North Carolina village and marina into […]

April Read of the Month: “Family Law,” by Gin Phillips

  Reviewed by Adele Annesi Family Law, by novelist Gin Phillips, is a work of historical fiction set in Montgomery, Alabama, from 1979 through 1981. Told from the perspectives of young attorney Lucia Gilbert and budding teen Rachel Morris, Family Law explores the course of two female alter egos on the cusp of change and […]

March Read of the Month: “Old Country Fiddle,” by Heath Dollar

Reviewed by Adam Van Winkle Old Country Fiddle is certainly an appropriate title for Heath Dollar’s new short story collection from Red Dirt Press.  Though, those familiar with some of Dollar’s previous stories will recognize the setting, fictional Waylon County, out in the land of the accordion, Texas Hill Country. Those familiar with the Texas […]