Posts Categorized: mystery

Book Review- Promise Keeper; Maine Shore Chronicles

02 May, 2012 by in Mary Fremont Schoenecker, mystery, Promise Keeper; Maine Shore Chronicles, suspense 1 comment

Promise Keeper; Maine Shore Chronicles
by Mary Fremont Schoenecker
Hardcover; 226 pages
Published October 21, 2011
by Five Star
ISBN: 1432825372
Book Source: Author
4 stars
Book Sumary From Amazon: The theft of a painting on loan to the Cornerstone Gallery and the disappearance of Suzanne Petrone, the owner of the painting, send gallery owner Paul Fontaine on a search for both. When the stolen painting turns up for sale in Sarasota, Florida, Paul travels there in the hope of unraveling Suzanne’s existence in that city and finding the truth about her connection to the painting. But the Sarasota CID detectives and the FBI Art Crime Team form a task force with other plans in mind. Conflict and turmoil builds as this engrossing tale unfolds to a startling climax.
Danielle’s Review: Paul Fontaine has been shot, and the woman he loves may be involved. Mary Freemont Schoenecker’s next edition in the Main Shore Chronicles features Paul and his quirky family trying to sort out their personal lives as illness and marriage plans overwhelm them all. Luckily for Paul, his Tante Margaret is able to harness her psychic abilities to help him face the truth as he journeys to Florida in search of a stolen painting.
Mary Freemont Schoenecker has created characters as comfortable as the company of old friends. Paul is as emotionally fragile as his ailing father back at home, as he must come to grips with whether or not his beloved Suzanne is involved in an art heist. He is underwhelmed by the officials investigating the case, but his passion for both truth and love carry him through. Along the way we meet a colorful, spry Floridian ensemble, ready to keep him comfortable until he is ready to return home again.
I did not read the first installments of this series, and I wish I had. The Maine shore and its accompanying culture and heritage make for a beautiful setting. The mysterious art world heist kept me fascinated as I got to know the extended Fontaine family. Sharing Paul’s crime solving journey was an enjoyable ride into the Keys and hurricane season.
PROMISE KEEPER is a cozy, relaxing read I can recommend, but only after picking up the first two in the series.
Danielle Thorne
Author Bio: After early retirement from State University of New York, I pursued free-lance writing. I wrote a column for a newspaper in Saratoga Springs, New York and feature articles for newspapers and regional magazines in Florida. My first book, a children’s novel was chosen by a small press for a History Project, part of a NEH grant proposal. The grant was not received and after many rejections the first “book of my heart” was put on a shelf.
Undaunted, my dreams grew bigger. Our youngest son completed a genealogical search of his ancestors which inspired me to write a historical novel using those ancestors as characters. I felt pretty competent about research, but never did I anticipate it would take several years.

Meantime, I definitely needed help with the craft of writing adult fiction. I joined organizations, attended conferences, networked with authors and editors, joined a critique group and struggled with rejections― until finally it happened―a contract from a publisher !

I am a member of The Historical Novel Society, The Questers, chapter #1355, and The Friends of the Venice Library. Many thanks to Romance Writers of America, Tara Chapter, for the help I received as a new writer.

I write, read and enjoy life on the beach with husband Tom. Although I miss the Adirondack Mountains of my former New York State home, The Gulf of Mexico has inspired a whole new life of writing for me.

Book Review-Original Sin by Beth McMullen

21 Sep, 2011 by in mystery Leave a comment

Original Sin
A Sally Sin Adventure
by Beth McMullen
Hardcover 304 Pages
Publication Date: July 12, 2011
by Hyperion
ISBN: 1401324215
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: Publisher

On the surface, Lucy Hamilton looks just like all the other stay-at-home San Francisco moms. She takes her three-year-old son, Theo, to the beach, to the playground and to the zoo. She feeds him organic applesauce and free-range chicken. She folds laundry and plays on the floor with Matchbox cars until her knees ache. What no one knows about Lucy, not even her adoring husband, is that for nine years Lucy was Sally Sin, a spy for the United States Agency for Weapons of Mass Destruction. And that’s just the way she wants to keep it – a secret. But when Lucy’s nemesis Ian Blackford, a notorious illegal arms dealer, hits the USAWMD’s radar, the Agency calls Sally Sin back to action to lure Blackford out into the open. Racing against time, Lucy must fight to save herself, her loving family – and, oh right – the world. Hilarious and resonant, ORIGINAL SIN is the story of one woman’s quest to find that most elusive work-life balance in the face of danger, intrigue, and proper recycling habits.

You know, I really do love a good mystery, and Original Sin has many of the characteristics of a good mystery: a strong lead, interesting characters, plenty of action and a well unraveled plot. Sally (or Lucy) looks to the world like every other paranoid, first time mother; with her purse filled to the brim with sippy cups and crackers, watching her 3 year old son’s every move. What everyone around her doesn’t realize is that her paranoia comes from experience, she has seen the worst the world can do and isn’t about to let it reach her precocious little boy (he is very clearly and only child).

I enjoyed the back and forth between current day and Sally’s past adventures with the USAWMD. You really get a picture of the whole Sally when you see both aspects of her life. Past and present begin to mingle and help you understand more of what is going one. The author does a great job of unraveling a little bit of the mystery at a time, building your knowledge of the big picture bit by bit. Even by the end of the book, you aren’t quite sure how everything fits together, leaving you to anticipate the next book in the series.

So, why if I enjoyed the mystery, do I only give this book a three star rating? This comes into content. I admit, I am a bit of a prude when it comes to the books that I read. To be honest, if I hadn’t been sent this book on review, I would likely have quit reading it after the 5th dropping of the “F-bomb” (about 2 chapters into the book). What I find curious about it’s use is that it appears to be the author‘s swear word of choice, because we see very little other swearing (a few other incidents here and there). There is also very limited sexual content (mostly all innuendo or a quick mention of what occurred, without much description). This leads me to ask, why include the aforementioned “F-bomb” so often if you kept the book fairly clean of anything else? I honestly really enjoyed the story-line and had it left out the swearing or limited it more I would easily have given this book a 4.5 star rating.

Content: quite a bit of the “F-bomb” and other minor swear words, mention of sex between adults and other somewhat sexual content (but fairly minor). See the paragraph above for more on the book’s content.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes. No other compensation was received.

Dearly Departed Blog Tour

24 Feb, 2011 by in mystery, suspense, tristi pinkston 11 comments

Dearly Departed
by Tristi Pinkston
Published by Walnut Springs Press
January 2011
Softcover: 270 pages
ISBN# 978-1-935217-89-3

Ida Mae Babbitt has done her community service and is a reformed woman – no more law-breaking for her. But when Arlette’s granddaughter Eden discovers a mystery in a fancy nursing home, Ida Mae – with the
perfect excuse of a broken wrist and a broken ankle – checks herself into the place. After all, it is for the greater good. Soon she’s buzzing around in her motorized wheelchair, questioning the residents and swiping files from the office. She’s bound and determined to get to the bottom of this case. But can she solve the mystery before she becomes the next

Dearly Departed
is a bit like Golden Girls meets Nancy Drew. Three partners in crime solving, Ida Mae, Tansy and Arlette make up the “Secret Sisters” and the name of their game is to crack murder cases. The only hitch is that Ida Mae is starting to show her years. After two consecutive falls winds up out of commission. But, never fear…she is also the perfect candidate to solve the latest who done it at the Shady Pines Care Center, where one resident has already ended up suspiciously dead. Eden, the local obituary editor for the paper is called in to investigate the murder by a relative of the deceased so, she sends Ida Mae into the thick of the crime scene. Soon the Secret Sisters are literally wheeling themselves around sniffing out clues which leads to high speed chases in their wheelchairs. Can Eden and Ida Mae figure out who is guilty before they themselves are thrown into harm’s way?
This book kept me chuckling, and has a nice side plot of romance coming in bloom between Eden and co-worker Kevin/ Ida Mae and George. Kevin is quite the catch, so I may have to read the next book in the Secret Sisters series to see what happens! This is a clean cozy mystery that is sure to have you craving chicken casserole and a healthy dose of knitting lessons. Well done Tristi!
And, if you want your own copy of Dearly Departed as a part of the blog tour, read on…

Ida Mae Babbitt rides again!
Ida Mae Babbitt may be a reformed woman, but trouble just can’t stay away.
Follow the blog tour for Dearly Departed by Tristi Pinkston and learn
about Ida Mae’s latest adventure.

We will be giving away THREE copies of Dearly Departed . One GRAND PRIZE winner will win this fun scrap booking pack.

It’s easy to enter.
1. Visit the fabulous reviews and leave a comment letting us know why
you’re excited to read Dearly Departed. Remember to include your email address.
2. For an additional entry become a follower of Walnut Springs Press blog,
Tristi’s blog, or any of the fabulous reviews blog. Leave a comment letting
us know who’s blog you now follow.
3. If you tweet about the blog tour, or post about it on your blog or
facebook, leave the link in the comments section and you’ll receive an
additional entry for each post.

Good Luck! Entries close at midnight (MST) on March 6th.

February 16th
Starcrossed book
(Nichole Giles)

Febraury 17
(Karlene Browning)

February 18
Heather Justensen

February 21
Elizabeth Mueller

February 22
LDS Women’s Book Review (Shanda Cottam)

February 23
Rachelle Writes
(Rachelle Christensen)

Hard But Oh So Worth It
(Kimberly Coates)

February 24
Fire and Ice (Heather Gardner)

February 28
Cheryl’s Book Nook
(Cheryl Koch)

March 1
JDP News (Joyce DiPastena)

March 2
Teri Rodeman

March 3
Why Not? Because I Said
(Sheila Stayley)

Book Review- Contagion by Joanne Dahme

28 Oct, 2010 by in mystery, running press, YA historical fiction 2 comments

Paperback, 400 pages
Published September 28, 2010
by Running Press Kids
ISBN 0762437383
4.5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads: In her fourth novel Joanne Dahme creates another page-turning tale in which a young woman named Rose strives to rid Philadelphia’s water of the deadly typhoid bacteria. Set in the late 19th century, Rose Dugan is a young wife who is actively involved in her community. But when her best friend is killed while working at Philadelphia’s Water Works’ gardens, the mystery around her death pulls Rose in. Will she save the city from a deadly typhoid outbreak that is threatening the city’s water system? Will Rose unravel the mystery behind her best friend’s murder—a fate that was actually meant for her?

If you are looking for a creepy Halloween read, look no further. Contagion is the perfect mix of history and mystery.

The first thing that drew me into this book was the setting. I spent much of my childhood visiting parks in Philadelphia so I could imagine the places described and air of the novel. Historically based novels are fascinating to me.

The main heroine is Rose, a young girl of 18 who is forced to grow up quickly she and her 25 year old husband are left without parents. Both are passed control of the family business. However, husband Patrick is a power hungry contractor who just keeps looking more sinister and slimy as the plot unravels. He’s one you’re going to loathe.

As the city of Philadelphia battles with numerous outbreaks of Typhoid the suspense and political mudslinging between Patrick and his competitors begins to increase. There are so many subplots going on, it feels like a cross between Sherlock Holmes, Clue and a creepy BBC mystery show I used to watch as a kid. But I just couldn’t put this book down!

I had a couple of distractions due to typos and punctuation problems in the finished copy. And, it bothered me that there is romance blooming between a married woman and widowed man…no matter the circumstances.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and all the work put in to making it solid historically. The author is versed in water issues and she explores the logistics of it with ease and in a way that is not boring for teens.

Contagion is a page turner with a twisty plot and rich descriptions. I’d say pick it up and give it a try for a night with all the lights on! Check out other titles by Joanne Dahm on Goodreads.

Mom’s Monday- Nancy Drew Books

05 Apr, 2010 by in book giveaway, mystery, nancy drew 6 comments

The Hidden Staircase
published May 1st 1987 by Grosset & Dunlap (first published 1930)

details Hardcover, 182 pages

characters Nancy Drew

isbn 0448095025 (isbn13: 9780448095028)

description from Goodreads: Teenage detective Nancy Drew uses her courage and powers of deduction to solve the mysterious happenings in an old stone mansion

Does anyone else remember the old Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books?! The beginnings of mystery and detective work…We give them a thumbs up and we happened upon two duplicates which we are giving away to you!

To Enter to win Nancy Drew Hardbacks #2 and #5 both:

RT this contest on Twitter @fireicephotos and you will be automatically entered! Ends April 8th.