Category Archives: mystery
LOWCOUNTRY BRIBE by C. Hope Clark has the best opening line I have read in quite some time: “O-positive primer wasn’t quite the color I had in mind for the small office, but Lucas Sherwood hadn’t given the décor a second thought when he blew out the left side of his head with a .45.” I was hooked.
Hope’s descriptions don’t end with that beautiful Tarantino-esque opening. In what sounds at first like the last thing I would ever read – an agricultural mystery in the Deep South – Hope delivers fast paced, easy reading, absolutely compelling prose. Her sense of place and people put you there, and the tension and twists don’t let you put the book down. I read it in one sitting, and I don’t do that often. I loved the characters, and the edge. And this is coming from someone for whom mysteries are just not in the wheelhouse.
Carolina Slade Bridges is a strong female protagonist, a good woman drawn from equal parts Dashiell Hammett, Patricia Cornwell, and Elmore Leonard. She’s tough, she’s harsh, she’s by the book, and quite often, she’s Hope Clark herself – or at least the woman, mentor, and friend I have come to know after a decade of interviewing her at The Writer’s Chatroom. It’s no secret the book is loosely based on real events, but how close, no one’s talking. Any way you slice it, Slade (don’t call her Carolina) rocks, and I can’t wait for the next installment – TIDEWATER MURDER, due next month. Four stars out of four, highly recommended.
The Lady Vanishes ~ I had not seen this Alfred Hitchcock classic before seeing it several Mondays ago at the Rave Cinema Classics locally. I’m glad I saw it, and am kicking myself for not seeing it years ago. The Lady Vanishes is everything one expects and loves in a Hitchcock flick, and it reminded me a lot of one of my faves, Shadow of a Doubt. There is intrigue, humor, fascinating characters, and plots twists galore. Most of all, it’s fun. I loved it.
A couple investigate a missing old lady on a train across pre-war Europe, where the apathy and selfishness of others keep the mystery intact. This is not the stereotypical Hitchcock flick, although his touch is golden and obvious throughout. And speaking of interesting characters, this film is the first appearance of Charters and Caldicott, who have appeared in various British films over the years. Fun, suspenseful and highly recommended.
From my friend C.L. on the Facebook: “My thoughts and prayers are with Jennifer Stanley aka Ellery Adams. She lost her sister-in-law to complications following a C-section earlier today. She is a great writer and this is the first in her new Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery series. She will be too busy with family to promote her new book, so her friends are trying to get the word out. You can help by asking for it at your local library or ordering from your favorite book store.”
Here’s the official description for Pies and Prejudice: “When the going gets tough, Ella Mae LaFaye bakes pies. So when she catches her husband cheating in New York, she heads back home to Havenwood, Georgia, where she can drown her sorrows in fresh fruit filling and flakey crust. But her pies aren’t just delicious. They’re having magical effects on the people who eat them–and the public is hungry for more.
“Discovering her hidden talent for enchantment, Ella Mae makes her own wish come true by opening the Charmed Pie Shoppe. But with her old nemesis Loralyn Gaynor making trouble, and her old crush Hugh Dylan making nice, she has more than pie on her plate. and when Loralyn’s fiancé is found dead–killed with Ella Mae’s rolling pin–it’ll take all her sweet magic to clear her name.”
Bio from her website: “Ellery Adams grew up on a beach near the Long Island Sound. Having spent her adult life in a series of landlocked towns, she cherishes her memories of open water, violent storms, and the smell of the sea. Ms. Adams has held many jobs including caterer, retail clerk, car salesperson, teacher, tutor, and tech writer, all the while penning poems, children’s books, and novels. She now writes full-time from her home in Virginia.”