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Archive for July, 2009

Where Angels Fear – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

Revelers writhed to the discordant music. Masks covered many of the faces, leaving identities to the imagination, but not much else. Conversation was confined to body language.

“This is the main dance area so people can get acquainted,” Connie-the-tour-guide explained. “There’s a small stage up front for exhibitionists, and smaller rooms for shy types. They’re wired for close circuit TV for voyeurs. The torture room is still under construction on the second floor.”

Christy Bristol chided herself for agreeing to make a house call. All she needed was the birth date to do a horoscope. But the client insisted on a “face-to-face meet.” And as Christy finds out, the horoscope isn’t for her client but for her husband… who is missing. Thus starts Christy’s voyage into the world of S&M, through a secret club called the Knights of Sensani. Admittance to this club is through a red matchbook, three of which were found on three different men that ended up in the morgue. Christy was given her matchbook by her client who’s husband it turns out is a member of this elite group. And according to his horoscope, his time to be rescued is running out. Will Christy find him before he turns up in the morgue? Or will Christy end up there herself? Travel with Christy and her ex-roommate Lennie as they take on this after dark world of erotic sex and torture in their attempt to save her client’s husband.

When I read Fools Rush In, which was the first of the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries, I thought Frazier had peaked in her writing and that there was no way she could top Fools Rush In. I have to admit that I was wrong. Where Angels Fear is even better and will keep you wondering who and why all the way to the end.
Where Angels Fear

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Moonlighting in Vermont – Kate George, Author

Moonlighting in Vermong

Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

“Bella Bree MacGowan,” he repeated. “I am authorized to detain you on the suspicion of murdering Vera Post. Will you come with me please.” It wasn’t a request.

Bree MacGowan was the last person, anyone that knew her, would suspect of murder. She owned her own farm which became a rescue haven for animals. So many animals in fact that she worked two jobs just to keep them in food. Her main source of income came from being a paste-up artist for the Royalton Star owned by her best friend Meg who was married to Police Captain Thomas Maverick. Her part-time job was working as a housekeeper for Whispering Birches, a secluded resort that catered to the rich and famous. It was at Whispering Birches that Bree found the body of Vera Post, the head of housekeeping.

Why would anyone kill Vera? Easy answer. Everyone hated Vera, including her own sister. She enjoyed making trouble, spreading rumors, telling lies, plus she was just down right mean. So why pick Bree out of the pack as the number one suspect? She found the body and her fingerprints were all over the room.

Bree is as stubborn as a pit bull. When she grabs onto something she won’t let go. Her determination shows through as she tries to prove her innocence and find the real killer. And no one can stop her, especially Lieutenant Brooks, the arresting officer. Her quest to prove her innocence has her kidnapped, carted around in the trunk of a car, handcuffed to a bed and stabbed with a pair of scissors. But she still won’t give up.

In Moonlighting in Vermont, Author Kate George uses her style of writing to actually put humor in kidnappings, attempted murder and even murder itself. I thoroughly enjoyed following Bree through her comical situations as she took life one day at a time. The story and characters are so realistic that you find yourself believing they are real. I felt as if I had just read a very long newspaper account of an event that really happened.

Moonlight in Vermont will be released August 27, 2009

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Web of Secrets – Ernesto Patino, Author – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

“Sarah? Sarah Baker?” said a man with a raspy voice. “I know this may sound a little strange, considering you don’t know me. But I happen to be in possession of some interesting information concerning your parents – your natural parents, that is – and I thought we might…”

This phone call became the beginning of many changes to come in Sara Baker’s life. Of course the blackmailer wanted money. And due to the information this man threatened to make public, Sarah’s husband Mark agreed to pay. But the information did more than threaten their comfortable lives. It sparked Sarah’s desire to know more about her parents who had given her up many years ago. That’s when she turned to 20 year FBI veteran turned private investigator Joe Coopersmith.

Through Joe’s research, he discovers that Sarah’s mother died in a fire in 1965. He also finds Sarah to have 2 brothers and a sister. As he interviews them, he learns they too have been contacted by the blackmailer and they wanted him stopped. The information held by this man would drastically alter their lives and totally destroy Sarah’s brother Hal’s future as a Conservative radio talk host. But they want something else as well. They want Sarah to give up her search for information on their father.

Sarah’s determination is strong and becomes even stronger when she learns her father is still living. She has questions about the past and he’s the only one living to provide the answers. No matter what her family says, nothing will make her give up in her quest of finding her father. Not even murder.

Patino takes you on a rollercoaster ride as you travel with Joe Coopersmith from Miami to Key West and then to Mobile ending on the Miccosukee Indian Reservation where the final answers are to be found. Web of Secrets is fast pace from beginning to end and a very enjoyable read.

Web of Secrets

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Gumbo Justice – Holli Castillo, Author – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘Ryan couldn’t keep her thoughts from drifting back to the homicides on the short drive home. L’Roid Smith had been killed in a way common among gangs members – beaten, shot in the head execution style and left naked. It was the ultimate humiliation, and the same way he had committed his own gang murders, including the one Ryan had tried to prosecute. And Jeremiah had been beaten, the same way he had beaten his wife on the case Ryan had handled.’

Ryan Murphy is a New Orleans Assistant District Attorney working to build a winning case history in the hopes of being promoted to the “Strike Force.” But she has a problem. The die-hard criminals that she prosecutes are turning up dead in the same fashion of pain and death that they bestowed on their victims. Even though this may be getting the criminals off the streets, it’s not helping Ryan with her promotion. Especially when news leaks to the media that there is a connection between Ryan and the deaths.

Gumbo Justice was a book that I actually sat up until 1:00 in the morning to finish. I had to know who was trying to ruin Ryan’s career and why. This book is so well written that as I read along I actually started seeing Ryan and the other characters in action. It could easily be made into a movie and I know the perfect actress to play Ryan. Holly Hunter plays in a TV series called “Amazing Grace.” In my opinion “Grace” is the perfect Ryan. She loves to party, get down right dirty but still get her job done.

I thoroughly enjoyed Gumbo Justice and recommend it to anyone who loves a good murder mystery. Holli Castillo’s experience as a prosecutor and public defender in the New Orleans court system comes through with the full knowledge as to how the courts really work.

Gumbo Justice – Holli Castillo, Author – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

Gumbo Justice

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Throughout our lives we hear people talk about, watch movies, read books and even see commercials that pertain to the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines. We all have relatives and/or friends who served in one of these branches of the military. But if you are like me, especially with the world as it is right now, you picture these men and women going into battle carrying their guns and fighting for freedom. In the movies we see these brave individuals walking down roads and crossing bridges. But have you ever stopped to think.. who built those bridges? In WWII it was 104th Combat Engineers. Their job was to go ahead of the soldiers to make their passage possible. Edward T. Cook’s book The History of the 104th Combat Engineers may be a small book but it opened my eyes to the dangers and sacrifices these men endured to help their fellow soldiers insure our Freedom.

Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

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ARealBasketCase I loved this book. Usually I have the bad guy figured out about halfway through a book. Not with this one. “A Real Basket Case” didn’t reveal the killer until the last few pages. And I can’t believe who it ended up being. This has been a really enjoyable book. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery. Beth, don’t change your way of writing!
Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

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‘Does violent death have a name? Can evil truly be born into the world, evil so deep that it is bred into the genetic make-up of an individual? Until I came to this place and met the man who made me begin to suspect that such an evil could exist, I’d have been as dismissive as most of my profession at the prospect of such a possibility… Dr. Ruth Truman, Psychiatrist.’

Porter’s book A Study in Red tells about the Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper. As the story goes, Robert Cavendish, who was a psychiatrist in modern day, received the journal from his father, who received it from his father, who received it from his father. The original Cavendish was also a psychiatrist who had a patient he found to be no other than the famous Jack the Ripper. Thus began the story of A Study in Red – The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper.

After Robert Cavendish’s death the journal was passed on to his nephew Jack Reid.
Upon receiving his “legacy” Jack’s life becomes twisted in what will be known by modern day London as the “The Brighton Ripper Case.” Murders are taking place following the same pattern as those of the original Jack the Ripper.

Wright and Holland have worked the case from the first murder. With the help of Alice Nickels, who is a “Ripperologist,” a plan is set to capture the modern day Ripper hopefully before he strikes again. This plan ends with the capture, trial and institutionalization of Jack Reid. But did he really commit these gruesome murders? If so, did he do it alone? He insists that there were others that actually set him up and committed the murders. He even admitted to having received the journal and to the effect reading it had upon him. The police believe the journal never existed but was instead a fixation of his distorted imagination. So after Jack’s removal from society and the murders ceasing, it appears that the police really have found and caught their man. But what happened to the journal and legacy? Will the present owner, whoever it might be, pick up where Jack supposedly left off? Read Legacy of the Ripper and find out for yourself. I think you will be as surprised as I was.

Legacy of the Ripper

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