Thursday, December 12, 2013

THE DEVIL LAUGHED - Third in the Award-winning Moriah Dru Series





Judge Portia Devon invites Moriah Dru, Richard Lake and his daughter to Lake Lanier, north of Atlanta, for the Fourth of July weekend. There Dru spots the stern of a missing sailboat. It went down in a storm when the lake was full pool. Four years later, the area is suffering one of the worst droughts in its history, thus revealing the large boat.

Four passengers were aboard the sailboat, last seen docked with the drunken boaters raising hell at the marina's restaurant. Johnny Brown's body was found the next day floating in the no-wake zone; the other three disappeared with the sailboat.  Because of their lecherous behavior and wealthy status they had been the topic of gossip ever since. When the sailboat was raised there were no bodies aboard, reinforcing the rumor that Laurant Cocineau and Candice Brown, Johnny's wife, also got rid of Janet Cocineau, Laurant's wife, and fled to Rio, a place they'd clandestinely visited before.

Evangeline, Candace's daughter by her first husband, believes her mother is alive and wants to hire Dru to find her. Dru is a child finder, and Evangeline is a precocious, demanding twelve-year-old, but Dru acquiesces because, by spotting the boat, she feels invested in the case. She'll have help from Lake, an Atlanta police detective.

This twisted tale of jealousy, greed and downright evil takes us from the North Georgia mountains to the wine country of Cape Fear, N. C. where the grapes become part of the wrath.

Happy reading,

Gerrie

At Amazon:  http://amzn.to/14cExnt
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/16SKAPT

Friday, December 6, 2013

Welcome William S. Shepard to my blog

  Let me introduce my guest for the next few days, William S. Shepard, a prize-winning author of the new mystery genre the diplomatic thriller.



  Now residents of Maryland's Eastern Shore, the Shepards enjoy visits from their daughters and granddaughters, fine and moderate weather, ocean swims at Assateague, Chesapeake Bay crabs, and the company of Rajah and Rani, their two rescued cats.

  Shepard's diplomatic mysteries are set in American Embassies overseas. That mirrors Shepard’s own career in the Foreign Service of the United States, during which he served in Singapore, Saigon, Budapest, Athens and Bordeaux, in addition to five Washington tours of duty.

  His diplomatic mystery books explore this rich, insider background into the world of high stakes diplomacy and government. His main character is a young career diplomat, Robbie Cutler. The first four books in the series are available as Ebooks. Shepard evokes his last Foreign Service post, Consul General in Bordeaux, in Vintage Murder, the first of the series of five “diplomatic mysteries.” The second, Murder On The Danube, mines his knowledge of Hungary and the 1956 Revolution. In Murder In Dordogne Robbie Cutler and his bride Sylvie are just married, but their honeymoon in the scenic southwest of France is interrupted by murders.



  The Saladin Affair, next in the series, has Robbie Cutler transferred to work for the Secretary of State. Like the author once did, Cutler arranges trips on Air Force Two – now enlivened by serial Al Qaeda attempts to assassinate the Secretary of State, as they travel to Dublin, London, Paris, Vienna, Riga and Moscow! And who killed the American Ambassador in Dublin?



  The Great Game Murders is the most recent of the series. There is another trip by the Secretary of State, this time to Southeast Asia, India, China and Afghanistan. The duel between Al Qaeda and the United States continues, this time with Al Qaeda seeking to expand its reach with the help of a regional great power nation. And Robbie Cutler’s temporary duty (TDY) assignment to Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, carries its own perils. Fortunately, Uncle Seth helps unravel his perilous Taliban captivity in time!

***
                        
Now we'll hear from William on:

Treating Real And Real Time Events In Fiction

  My series of diplomatic mysteries now has five novels. All are, to some extent, based on fact. The first, “Vintage Murder,” concerns the Basque extremist organization ETA. Then “Murder On The Danube” takes as its background the heroic Hungarian Revolution of 1956. “Murder In Dordogne,” interrupts the honeymoon of my two main characters in an idyllic French rural landscape with murders past and present, as remnants from the Occupation still have present consequences. Then “The Saladin Affair Murders” has Al Qaeda tracking the Secretary of State on his first official trip to London, Dublin, Paris, Vienna, Riga and Moscow. Lastly, the latest novel, “The Great Game Murders,” explores real time events including the war in Afghanistan, and cyber warfare.

  I’ve found that exploring actual events, sometimes in real time, while undergirding the story with a realistic background, presents both opportunities and pitfalls, which may be of interest to readers and fellow authors. First, of course, is to get the actual events right. In “Murder On The Danube,” for example, survivors of the twelve days of street fighting know what was going on every day, in each quarter of Budapest. The problem I thought was to make sure that this material was accurately presented, without the detail overwhelming the story. But I wanted to present a modern story as well, and therein lay the problem. The political scene kept changing with every election, and I wrote at least three different drafts of that evolving situation, trying to get it just right. I finally realized that no words of mine were ever going to fix a changing political situation, and so I settled for a realistic, somewhat broad brush background that let the main story emerge. That was lesson number one – a background is going to continue to evolve, and the writer cannot fix it like a bug preserved in amber. The balance is to have just enough background for realism, while letting the main story proceed.

  How is it possible to balance a terrorist subplot with a murder mystery? This new diplomatic mystery genre is still evolving, and I surely don’t have all of the answers yet. But in “The Saladin Affair Murders,” the murder of the American Ambassador to Dublin seemed to fit well into the overall plot. And I found that Al Qaeda’s plans to assassinate the Secretary of State in three different locations were best foiled by good police and intelligence work, not dissimilar to detection of a nonpolitical crime, such as murder.

  In “The Great Game Murders,” there is a duel between Al Qaeda and the United States, as the Secretary of State visits Southeast Asia, India, Afghanistan and China. Here I incorporate what is known of Al Qaeda’s methods, with the addition of a further nightmare – a possible link between that terrorist group, and a Great Power. Since that is fanciful I am free to speculate on how such a link might develop. You’ll see the consequences in the chapter on the Secretary of State’s secret visit to Beijing!
As part of the plot line, Robbie Cutler becomes suspicious that private email communications may have been intercepted or compromised in some way. He learns about cyber warfare, and uses what he learns to thwart a plot against the Secretary of State during their visit to Goa, on the Indian Ocean coast. This was rewarding to research and to write, and the lessons may be more broadly applicable than this fictional account!

  Afghanistan is of course presented in real time. Here I use the conflict as background for Robbie Cutler’s temporary duty (TDY) assignment to Kandahar Province. Together with official military and USAID colleagues, he builds a well in a small forsaken village, which had no clean water supply. It is an almost biblical undertaking, and several readers have said that they liked this segment best. The needs of the people continue due to and in spite of the conflict, and there seems to be a timeless quality about the well digging. I rather like that in a novel set against actual news events.

  And so, against this background of five novels, I think it is possible to draw a few conclusions. First, get your history right. (The background of the Basque terrorist group ETA and its emergence as a dangerous group was established in “Vintage Murder.” “Murder In Dordogne” contains a number of London radio message to the French Underground, set in exactly the style of the time.) But don’t let your story become the prisoner of its historical setting, no matter how fascinating that may be. Next, the fact that you may be writing against a real time background has its own perils. Don’t let your story become prisoner of tomorrow’s headlines. Don’t be afraid to use new technology, such as cyber warfare, in your story. But always remember that the story is the important thing, not the background against which it is set. For we all love to read an interesting, well paced story, with evolving characters, now don’t we?

***

Note:
I can't wait to read this latest in the series. I loved "Murder on the Danube."

Amazon.com: Murder On The Danube (Robbie Cutler Diplomatic Mysteries) eBook: William S. Shepard: Kindle Store

***

Thanks so much William for creating Robbie and sharing your thoughts.

Gerrie Ferris Finger
Author of:
THE END GAME
THE LAST TEMPTATION
THE DEVIL LAUGHED
MURMURS OF INSANITY - July 2014


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Drawing for THE DEVIL LAUGHED



I am giving away three copies of the third in my award-winning series (beginning with The End Game - Malice Domestic, St. Martin's First Traditional Novel in 2010). The contest ends Dec. 13 so I'll have time to get the books to the winners before Christmas.

Enter to win the third in the award-winning series. THE DEVIL LAUGHED

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/71741-the-devil-laughed






Check out my other books at 
https://www.gerrrieferrisfinger.com

Gerrie

THE END GAME
THE LAST TEMPTATION
THE DEVIL LAUGHED.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Wild Party and a Wild Ride when The Devil Laughed

The Browne and Cocineau families who were partying on the sailboat when it disappeared had been at odds over a vineyard in Cape Fear, N.C. When Dru follows the trail there, her visit leads to another death and uncovers money laundering and other criminal doings. When all is said and done, however, it is the closemouthed, closely knit mountain community that holds the answers. Dru's third (The Last Temptation, 2012, etc.) provides plenty of quirky characters and surprising revelations. -- Kirkus Reviews.

Post a comment for a chance to win an autographed hard copy.





Judge Portia Devon invites Moriah Dru, Richard Lake and his daughter to Lake Lanier, north of Atlanta, for the Fourth of July weekend. There Dru spots the stern of a missing sailboat. It went down in a storm when the lake was full pool. Four years later, the area is suffering one of the worst droughts in its history, thus revealing the large boat.

Four passengers were aboard the sailboat, last seen docked with the drunken boaters raising hell at the marina's restaurant. Johnny Brown's body was found the next day floating in the no-wake zone; the other three disappeared with the sailboat.  Because of their lecherous behavior and wealthy status they had been the topic of gossip ever since. When the sailboat was raised there were no bodies aboard, reinforcing the rumor that Laurant Cocineau and Candice Brown, Johnny's wife, also got rid of Janet Cocineau, Laurant's wife, and fled to Rio, a place they'd clandestinely visited before.

Evangeline, Candace's daughter by her first husband, believes her mother is alive and wants to hire Dru to find her. Dru is a child finder, and Evangeline is a precocious, demanding twelve-year-old, but Dru acquiesces because, by spotting the boat, she feels invested in the case. She'll have help from Lake, an Atlanta police detective.

This twisted tale of jealousy, greed and downright evil takes us from the North Georgia mountains to the wine country of Cape Fear, N. C. where the grapes become part of the wrath.

Happy reading,

Gerrie

At Amazon:  http://amzn.to/14cExnt
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/16SKAPT

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Marilyn Meredith explains Why We Do It.

(Comment for a chance to be a book character.)


Welcome, Marilyn. Happy to have you visit.
 
Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. She borrows a lot from where she lives in the Southern Sierra for the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding area, including the nearby Tule River Indian Reservation. She does like to remind everyone that she is writing fiction. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and follow her blog at http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com/




Marilyn's latest in the award-winning series:






 

Blurb for Spirit Shapes: Ghost hunters stumble upon a murdered teen in a haunted house. Deputy Tempe Crabtree's investigation pulls her into a whirlwind of restless spirits, good and evil, intertwined with the past and the present, and demons and angels at war.

 
To buy directly from the publisher in all formats:
 http://mundania.com/book.php?title=Spirit+Shapes Also available directly from Amazon.
 
And now a few thoughts from Marilyn:
 
Why Do We Do It?
  

Why do writers keep on writing? Of course I can’t answer to every author, but I’ll give you my reasons.

First, I’ll give you the reasons why someone might ask that question if your name isn’t one that people recognize right off.

You spend hours sitting at a computer writing—or sometimes just thinking. Writing is hard work—sometimes even painful.

You spend hours sitting at a computer doing promotion. Promotion is hard work and you never quite know if the time you spent paid off.
 
You don’t have time to go out to lunch with friends on a whim. In fact, you probably schedule your social outings.

You don’t have time to belong to social or service groups—or if you do, you miss a lot of meetings.

Sometimes your husband and family members feel neglected because you spend so much time on your writing.

You don’t have time to watch TV all day, or do some of the chores you ought to be doing, because writing is more important.

You don’t make much money for all the work you do. (And if you’re not published yet, you haven’t made a dime for all that work.)

Here is why I keep on writing.
 
The main reason is because I can’t stop. Writing is such a part of my life, I can’t imagine not spending most days doing at least some writing.

How will I know what is going to happen to Deputy Tempe Crabtree and her husband, Pastor Hutch, or the men and women on the Rocky Bluff P.D. if I don’t write the next book?

Despite the lack of monetary reward, there’s nothing better than having someone tell me how much they liked my book.

I am writing for the readers as much as I’m writing for me. Hopefully, they want to find out what is happening with my characters too.
 
Maybe it’s not enough for some folks, but those are the reasons I keep writing.



Contest:

The person who comments on the most blogs on this blog tour will have the opportunity to have a character named after him or her in the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.

 
Thank you, Marilyn for an excellent post.
P.S. Comment folks. It's fun to be a character in a mystery book.
 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Who is Moriah Dru?


I am often asked, "Who is Moriah Dru?"
 
I do a lot of radio and the question is important, as important as describing the plot of the latest Moriah Dru/Richard Lake release. (This year "The Devil Laughed" was released September 1.) Since I've "lived" with Dru for years now (I'm on my sixth in the series), I know her pretty well.
 
 
 
I have to admit Dru was inspired by Emma Peel of the old TV series, "The Avengers." Like Mrs. Peel, she'll have nothing to do with a damsel in distress life. While she's as bold as that suave British spy, she's as American as Angela Gennaro -- Dennis Lehane's rugged yet compassionate heroine. 
 
Dru grew into who she is at the Atlanta Police Department where she excelled as an officer and consequently was awarded a spot at the FBI National Academy.  When she and Richard Lake became lovers, she left the APD and started Child Trace. As a child finder she is hired by private citizens and the Juvenile Justice System.
 
She’s intuitive in investigations and unafraid to pursue her investigative theories. She hones her shooting skills on a gun range and is proficient in martial arts. She isn’t the first to start a battle, but she’s capable of winning it. She has killed to save Lake's life.

Dru is what every woman thinks she is deep within herself. Inside we’re all heros. Think of the air guitar craze. Everyone can play one; not everyone can play a real guitar. Unlike the reality of most air guitarists playing a mean Gibson, Dru can defend herself and those she protects in her character's reality.

She’s no wonder woman. She has human vulnerabilities. She can assess herself with sarcastic barbs. She and Lake get into dark humorous conversations which reveal her vulnerabilities. We see Lake, her lover and former partner at the Atlanta Police Department, through Dru’s point of view. He’s handsome to the point Moriah is always on the lookout for women’s attraction to him. Jealousy is but one of her vulnerabilities.    

Happy Reading,

Gerrie Ferris Finger
THE END GAME
THE LAST TEMPTATION
THE GHOST SHIP

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

THE DEVIL LAUGHED -- New Release

Out and ready to be read: The latest in the Moriah Dru/Richard Lake Series, THE DEVIL LAUGHED.





Judge Portia Devon invites Moriah Dru, Richard Lake and his daughter to Lake Lanier, north of Atlanta, for the Fourth of July weekend. There Dru spots the stern of a missing sailboat. It went down in a storm when the lake was full pool. Four years later, the area is suffering one of the worst droughts in its history, thus revealing the large boat.

Four passengers were aboard the sailboat, last seen docked with the drunken boaters raising hell at the marina's restaurant. Johnny Brown's body was found the next day floating in the no-wake zone; the other three disappeared with the sailboat.  Because of their lecherous behavior and wealthy status they had been the topic of gossip ever since. When the sailboat was raised there were no bodies aboard, reinforcing the rumor that Laurant Cocineau and Candice Brown, Johnny's wife, also got rid of Janet Cocineau, Laurant's wife, and fled to Rio, a place they'd clandestinely visited before.

Evangeline, Candace's daughter by her first husband, believes her mother is alive and wants to hire Dru to find her. Dru is a child finder, and Evangeline is a precocious, demanding twelve-year-old, but Dru acquiesces because, by spotting the boat, she feels invested in the case. She'll have help from Lake, an Atlanta police detective.

This twisted tale of jealousy, greed and downright evil takes us from the North Georgia mountains to the wine country of Cape Fear, N. C. where the grapes become part of the wrath.

Happy reading,

Gerrie

At Amazon:  http://amzn.to/14cExnt
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/16SKAPT


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Alexander the Great's Words of Wisdom

A friend sent this to me and I want to share with you:
 
On June 10, 323 BC, Alexander the Great died of fever in Babylon
after battling illness for several days. He had conquered the Persian Empire,
traveled farther east than the god Dionysus, and survived a multitude of war
wounds. Alexander left no clear successor, though he had a son, Heracles, and
another child on the way by his Bactrian wife, Roxane.


 
 

 On his death bed, Alexander summoned his generals and told them his three ultimate wishes:

 1. The best doctors should carry his coffin; ...

 2. The wealth he has accumulated (money, gold, precious stones.) should be scattered along the procession to the cemetery.

 3. His hands should be let loose, hanging outside the coffin for all to see!!


 One of his generals who was surprised by these unusual requests asked Alexander to explain. Here is what Alexander the Great had to say:

 1. I want the best doctors to carry my coffin to demonstrate that, in the face of death, even the best doctors in the world have no power to heal;

 2. I want the road to be covered with my treasure so that everybody sees that material wealth acquired on earth, stays on earth...

 3. I want my hands to swing in the wind, so that people understand that we come to this world empty handed and we leave this world empty handed after the most precious treasure of all is exhausted, and that is TIME.

 4. We do not take to our grave any material wealth . TIME is our most precious treasure because it is LIMITED. We can produce more wealth, but we cannot produce more time.

 5. When we give someone our time, we actually give a portion of our life that we will never take back. Our time is our life!

 6. The best present that you can give to your family and friends is your TIME. *May God grant you plenty of TIME and may you have the wisdom to give it away so that you can LIVE, LOVE and DIE in peace.

All the best,

Gerrie Ferris Finger
THE END GAME
THE LAST TEMPTATION
THE DEVIL LAUGHED Released Aug. 21 2013

Friday, August 2, 2013

A GLORIOUS CURSE

An unpopular archeologist is murdered at his dig in the dead of night. The killer’s narcissistic mind cloaks the cowardly crime. Now Ann Gavrion must use unworldly methods to unmask the murderer.


http://amzn.to/14Yey8g

After Ann’s voyage on THE GHOST SHIP, her tumultuous relationship with Rod Curator settles into a love affair. She moves from Atlanta to Hatteras Island and becomes an unofficial partner with Rod in his duties as a marine biologist for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
She helps him save stranded whales and fights alongside him against bullies protesting the controversial beach closing laws designed to protect shore birds and turtle nests.



http://amzn.to/r3imp5

And she ducks when bullets fly.

She's beautiful, she's found the perfect mate along with her calling. There's just one flaw. The sea, or the ghost--she's not sure which--gave her the gift of telepathy. She'd return it, if only she could.
Nevertheless, she's certainly not relying on the cursed gift as her only weapon to unmask a murderer.

She’s taking gun lessons.

Happy Reading,

Gerrie Ferris Finger
www.gerrieferrisfinger.com
www.crimewritersblog.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 2, 2013

One Perspective on Snarky Reviews

Unfortunately not everyone loves our books. It's a fact writers accept when negative opinions come from professionals, and even honest, critical amateurs. However, it appears there's a growing list of nameless customer critics out there with minds conjuring poisonous words and phrases to vent upon some hard-working author.

I'm on several lists and social media sites, and, lately, there have been several posts about bad reviews and how unfair customer opinions are. On Amazon, if you buy a trinket, you're eligible to review a book. If you're an author whose work is out there for all to read and review, you know whereof I speak.

Bad reviews are inevitable -- and for a variety of valid reasons. I review other writers' books. If I don't care for a book's plot, premise, characters, etc., I don't review it. Chances are I don't finish it. Life's too short to read something I don't enjoy. All that said, there's never a reason to give a two-star or a two-heart rating, much less a one. Others might not agree, but opinions on weightier matters differ, too.

I read a phrase from an author that stuck in my head. He called unnecessarily cruel reviews "electronic snarking." These are tirades from readers who, many times, have not even read the book. You know the type: This book was so awful I threw it against the wall. The best part about it was the cover and that wasn't good either.

If you're a small press, mid-list or indy author these rants are very damaging. The meanies may simply think they're being cute, have an ax to grind, or possess a devilish desire to bring down your star rating. Whatever the motivation,  their snarking can kill sales for a promising book. It only takes a handful of unfair opinions to dampen enthusiasm.
 
I would implore those with a bent to rant negatively to stop and think of the consequences to an author with whom you might enjoy drinking a cup of coffee or sharing jokes over a beer.
 
Also authors must constantly monitor internet customer opinion sites. It is said that we authors should not answer our critics. That's easy if you're Nora Roberts and have multi-thousand reader reviews per book, but we who toil at protecting our reputations must comment on unfair snarking, and promptly.
 
And now a little blatant self promotion on the subject of reviews. My coming release, THE DEVIL LAUGHED (Five Star/Gale) was reviewed by Kirkus, a giant in the world of professional reviews. That they chose my book to review out of the thousands they receive a month was good news. While not glowing (does Kirkus ever give a glowing review?) it was positive, fair, and I'm happy with it. That's all an author can ask for.
 
 
 
 Gerrie Ferris Finger
THE END GAME
THE LAST TEMPTATION
THE DEVIL LAUGHED
 

Friday, May 3, 2013

BOBBING FOR A WINNER

Hello,

Last weekend at the Amelia Island Book Festival -- I love book festivals, the camaraderie with readers and other authors is indescribable  -- I held a drawing for a free Advance Reader/Reviewer Copy of my August release, THE DEVIL LAUGHED.



Bogey, the black standard poodle, selected a name that corresponded to a number on one of his tennis balls and came up with a winner. I will email her for an address and send the book. I'm hoping for a review, but there were no strings attached to entry. Not even buying one of my books for sale at the festival.






And there you have it, a simple selection method to ding the Power Ball apparatus. ;-D



Regards,

Gerrie Ferris Finger

THE END GAME, 1st in Dru/Lake Series
THE LAST TEMPTATION, 2nd in Series
THE DEVIL LAUGHED, third in Series, August 2013
A GLORIOUS CURSE, May 2013 release, sequel to
THE GHOST SHIP




Wednesday, May 1, 2013

CUMBERLAND ISLAND - Strong Women, Wild Horses

Hello,

Last weekend I attended the annual Amelia Island Book Festival in Fernandina Beach, Florida. I had a fabulous time hobnobbing with the many authors that I met. The event -- from luncheon to the sale of books by authors ready to autograph them -- was a huge success, and my compliments to the organizers. I was told this was the third venue since the festival's founding. It kept getting bigger and bigger, and that's good news for authors and readers. Lest I forget, the Kid's event was a buzzing success, too.

I had the pleasure of meeting a Facebook friend, Holly McClure. We've made a pact to get together with others in our Georgia authors and readers community.

Happily, I was reunited with a colleague from my days at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Charles Seabrook. I am retired and Charlie is semi-so -- his editors having pressed him to continue his column, "Wild Georgia". This is good for those who enjoy a lively piece on nature and our environment. At the newspaper Charlie was the National Environmental Reporter. When he wrote a probing series about Georgia's mining industry, he won the Investigative Reporters and Editors "Best Story of the Year" award in 1994.

Charlie is also the author of the beautiful, CUMBERLAND ISLAND - Strong Women, Wild Horses. I haven't finished it yet, but so far, half way through, it's dynamic in its depiction of the island itself and its inhabitants. Wild horses could serve as a metaphor for the wilderness island, but they're very real. The horses are sturdy little buggers that are as protective of their small herds as the women who fought to protect the island they loved, dating from the days of the Revolutionary War until today.

Highly Recommended



I've been on Cumberland a number of times. It's a fascinating place, and (plug in here for moi), my granddaughter photographed the Grand Avenue for the cover of my book WHISPERING, a romantic suspense novel set on the island -- renamed Sago Island for fictional purposes.

 
 

 
CUMBERLAND ISLAND, Strong Women, Wild Horses
John F. Blair, Publisher
Fourth Printing

Gerrie Ferris Finger
Did I say Cumberland Island, Strong Women, Wild Horses was highly recommended?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

SECRETS - a Carl Brookins Review

SECRETS                  
By Frederick Ramsay
ISBN: 1590581881
Poisoned Pen Press, August 2005
290 pgs

 

Small town, male sheriff protagonist, religious murder with larger implications

The sheriff, Ike Schwartz, has retired from the world stage of law enforcement. He likes this small town of Picketsville where most of his time is spent smoozing with the citizens and dealing with the administration of his small department.

The characters in his department are close to being clich├ęs. And we have a classic town vs. gown dance. But a couple of things make a big difference, every time the novel starts to drift into the ho hum. First, there is Samantha Ryder, a slick, leggy and very bright computer wizard who not only towers over the sheriff in height, but her understanding of the use of computers in law enforcement even in this small municipality, is becoming legendary. That’s particularly true with the sheriff who sometimes can’t find the power switch on the things. Then there’s the local college president. There’s no denying the attraction between the highly educated, sophisticated president of Callend College and the sheriff, even if an observer might be hard pressed to figure out why. But they don’t really care, except that Sheriff Ike seems to have a predilection for tossing barbed comments at her faculty on frequent occasions. It keeps the relationship fresh.

Then Waldo gets murdered. Now here’s a quiet inoffensive not-very-talented church organist. Who’d want to kill him? And in the very place he works of a Sunday, the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Episcopalian Church. And why did some people think he was a little creepy? Not only that it’s a double tap. That is, twice shot, once dead.
 
The solutions will amaze and satisfy you in this crisply written novel.


From Amazon: Dr. Frederick Ramsay was born in Baltimore. He is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and received his doctorate in Anatomy from the University of Illinois.






Carl Brookins
www.carlbrookins.com  http://agora2.blogspot.com,
Case of the Great Train Robbery, Reunion, Red Sky

 


Submitted by Gerrie Ferris Finger
THE END GAME
THE LAST TEMPTATION
THE DEVIL LAUGHED, August 2013
 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

There Was an Old Woman - a Carl Brookins Review

 
 
there was an old woman  
by Hallie Ephron
ISBN: 978-0-06-211760-1
A William Morrow 2013 release,
304 pages
 
I could hardly put it down. Creepy, tension filled, elegantly crafted, filled with emotional turmoil and characters that seem to rise from the pages and sit beside you while you read. Not a mystery in the usual sense, not a novel of slam-bang adventure with bodies dropping on every other page. This elegantly crafted novel demonstrates a mastery of story-telling, of how to feed tidbits of information to the reader in a way that not only keeps one glued to the book, but step-by-step raises gut-wrenching questions of life and death and reality.
 
Somehow, Ephron has plumbed the dark recesses of the mind of an elderly woman named Mina Yetner. Independent still at ninety-one, and living in a small New York City neighborhood on the edge of a salt marsh, she’s sound of mind if physically frail and she’s determined to live out her life as she has always done, to the very end. Mina is a wonderful fresh character and readers shouldn’t be surprised if her voice comes, unbidden to mind while they turn the pages.

 
In this time of aging baby boomers, of rising concerns about privacy, rampant mortgage offers, retail development, and uncertain government, here is a universal crime novel that should be read by just about everybody on the planet.










Carl Brookins
www.carlbrookins.com  http://agora2.blogspot.com,
Case of the Great Train Robbery, Reunion, Red Sky

-- Carl Brookins www.carlbrookins.com http://agora2.blogspot.com, Case of the Great Train Robbery, Reunion, Red Sky

Thursday, February 21, 2013

CODE OF SILENCE - A Carl Brookins Review

Code of Silence

by Sally Wright

ASIN: B007G0IQ1M

A Kindle e-book

released in February, 2012


I found this prequel to the Ben Reese series to be an odd book for the genre in a couple of ways. First, the author’s style. It’s pretty far from being similar to Agatha Christie. I like the style. It grew on me. What’s more, it changed in subtle ways from beginning to the end. At first, the rhythms are abrupt, blunt-edged. There are few compound sentences and any number of sentence fragments. Second, while the author is celebrated as a top mystery author, and has several fine mysteries to her credit, this novel has little mystery, being more of a taut suspense-laden thriller. The tension rises and becomes more intense as the novel progresses until we arrive at an excruciating and satisfying climax.


This is the 6th Ben Reese mystery, and is set in a time frame before the others in the series. It is a historical novel with roots in the relationships between the US and European nations, principally the Soviet Union during and after WWII. The novel begins with a murder that occurs in 1947 in Washington, D.C. As an aside, it feels a bit odd to this reviewer to refer to a book as historical that deals with an important part of this reviewer’s life.


A decade later a second murder occurs near a small university town in Ohio. Several troubling events with no initial connection to the murder have happened to an Alderson University academic. Ben Reese, who trained as an Army Ranger and then served in WWII as a scout behind enemy lines in Europe has joined the staff of the university. He served with various units, including Canadian soldiers at the invasion of Fortress Europe. Now, this talented archivist and ex-military scout, Ben Reese, steps out of the shadows of his wartime career to locate and stop a man who seeks to eliminate all evidence of his previous espionage against the United States by murdering those who know the truth.


The novel is distinguished by the author’s meticulous and extensive research which buttresses the authenticity of conversations between various characters. As always one of the hallmarks of Wright’s writing is her development and presentation of the contextual basis for the actions that take place in her novels. If this novel is flawed it may be, for some readers, the sometimes rambling if thoughtful dissertations on the ever-shifting geo-political realities and the secrecy that surrounded events and decisions that were made at the highest levels of governments.


The novel bears the stamp of a careful writer who doesn’t shy away from descriptions of more brutal aspects of war and their aftermath. For fans of Ben Reese this novel reveals much about the experiences which shaped the character’s attitudes. And, as with other novels in the series, readers will be left with deep appreciation for marvelous character descriptions as well.
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+Carl Brookins Reunion, Red Sky, Case of the Great Train Robbery www.carlbrookins.com carlbrookins@comcast.net