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Archive for September, 2009

And on the Surface Die

And on the Surface Die – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘”Don’t discount petty-ante crime,” Ben Rodgers, her mentor in The Pas, had told her. “Sometimes they’re part of a bigger picture, and it usually involves drugs. Why steal a CD player you can sell for only a twenty unless you need another fix?” But Ben had made his own fatal error. Their last month together, checking out a stolen car seen at a trailer park, he hadn’t expected the twelve-year-old deaf boy to be holding a rifle instead of an air gun.’

These words were remembered by Holly Martin as she took charge of her first post as a Corporal in Fossil Bay. Fossil Bay, located on the south coast of Vancouver Island, had its fair share of drunk drivers, speeders, theft and as Holly found out on her 1st day of command, an occasional drowning.

Angie Didrickson’s body had been found by a diver while taking underwater photos. Angie, a student of Notre Dame and one of their star swimmers, was on a senior trip. The trip was supervised by teachers in hopes of keeping the drinking and substance abuse to a minimum. But that didn’t seem to stop some of them from slipping out of their tents at night in hopes of a little enjoyment.

And on the Surface Die turned out to be a very enjoyable book. It kept me in suspense, as I tried to determine what really happened to Angie and why. Author Lou Allin added another mystery to the story with the disappearance of Holly’s own mother. She is drawn between her loyalty to her father and the man her mother was apparently seeing behind his back.

One thing that really impressed me with Allin’s style of writing was the way she took one mystery, added another and kept the lines open for a continuation of the story. And I, for one, can’t wait to read what happens next.

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Man Corn Murders

Man Corn Murders – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘Now she was too weak to leave the bunk, her tongue swollen and her lips cracking against every shallow breath, and she prayed for blessed release back into a warm, wet womb, her own barren into eternity. The tears had surrendered days ago, re summon them though she would to bathe sore eyes. She blinked a final time as cotton closed her ears and the pain fled, leaving her fresh and strong, moving her young muscles with the spirit of a freed colt.’

Terry Hart, a reporter from Cleveland, Ohio, and her aunt Judith Davis, a retired world history teacher, were out for a summer long trip to explore the historic “Mormon Road” ending up in Utah’s Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument. Their trip takes them near Sunset Years Retirement Ranch where Deborah, an old friend of Judith lives. Upon reaching the ranch, Judith learns that Deborah has left the ranch to live in Seattle with a nephew. Puzzled by the move, Judith starts investigating and learns that two other residents have mysteriously left the ranch as well. These sudden moves become a challenge to Judith that must be solved.

As Terry and Judith explore parts of the 1.7 million acre wilderness, they run across a cave with a metal door. Upon entering the cave they discover the body of a young woman. Melanie Briggs was an anthropology student who had been missing for several weeks. Now came another mystery which Terry vowed to solve. How did Melanie become trapped inside the cave?

Through her investigation, Terry learns that Melanie believed that the ancient tribes resorted to cannibalism in their attempt to survive the elements. Her theory brings enemies and threats from some of the locals. But did it upset someone enough that they would actually lock her inside the cave?

When I was a child my Dad moved us to a small town just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. I loved seeing the Great Salt Lake, the Bonneville Salt Flats and even the artisan wells that just “spring” up out of the ground. I’ve always wanted to go back and see more of this state of many mysteries and after reading Man Corn Murders, that desire has grown even stronger. This book is not just a murder mystery, it’s also a mini history book about the Anasazi and Fremont tribes during the 1400s. It has taken me to places and times in history that have sparked my interest to learn more.

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Secrets by the Sea – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘Far below, in a brilliant flash of lightning, Dana saw something move. Heart pounding, she brushed her hand across her eyes and leaned closer to the glass. She watched a dark shadow rise from the water – a human shadow with arms flailing skyward.’

Since very early childhood, Dana Sinclair had written letters weekly to her grandfather, William Henry Bryson, that she had only seen once in her entire life. Grandpa Bryson lived on an island in the Caribbean Sea and Dana became his only link to his estranged wife Madeline, his daughters Mary Elizabeth and Margaret and Dana’s sister Rebecca. Over the years, Dana kept him up-to-date on everything that was going on in the lives of his far away family still living in the states.

When Grandpa Bryson, also known as “Old Man Bryson” by those that knew him on the island, died under suspicious circumstances Dana had inherited his island home. When Dana left the states and moved to her new home, she had one specific reason in mind… to find out what really happened to her grandfather and why. But the surprises that followed her moving to the island were not quite what she had expected.

Shortly after moving in, Dana encounters Clifton Wilder who is the number one suspect in the death of her grandfather. Clifton hated Old Man Bryson and didn’t mind letting his hatred show. But after meeting Dana, he forms a protective attraction for the Old Man’s granddaughter. Dana, on the other hand, fears Clifton. She finds him in her home after knowing she locked the doors. She sees lights swaying from an upstairs room and hears footsteps when there’s no one there. It starts becoming apparent that Clifton has to be the one behind the mysterious happenings but as Dana gets to know him better, she can’t but hope that he’s not the one causing the fear she has developed about living in her own home.

Follow Dana as she encounters “ghosts”, murders, and a strange artist while trying to stay alive. Read along with her as she reads her grandfather’s diary in hopes of answering some of her questions about the reason for his death. And find out if there really is a pot of gold coins hidden somewhere in the house.

Secrets by the Sea

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