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THE FMAM MOSTLY MYSTERY REVIEW is the place to come to find out what to read next. Want to know what readers are saying (as opposed to critics) about the books you see around you? You’ve come to the right place! And, if you appreciate a critical review we’ll have those, too. Come in, sit down and see what’s write with the world! (Or, right in the world of write!)

New reviews will be posted on FMAM the 1st day of each month. Reviews will be kept on the FMAM website for 12 months.

New reviews this month from:

. Dr. Cynthia Clark . Harriet Klausner .


March 2011

Book CoverAngel’s Tip
Alafair Burke
Harper, 2008,342 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-156124-5
         
Ellie Hatcher is a relatively new detective on the NYPD. She climbed the ladder rather quickly which created some jealousy in the squad room. While on her early morning jog, Ellie discovers a body. She takes control of the scene and case throwing her in a world of clubbing and in the sites of a serial killer.

Chelsea Hart was visiting NY from Indiana. Everything was exciting, especially when rich party boys invited her to join them. But that was the last time she would ever do anything again. Her body was found by Ellie. Her two fellow travelers are devastated. When her two friends left the nightclub, Chelsea was still partying and having a great time. But did the man she was dancing with kill her?

Chelsea wasn’t the only victim which throws Ellie into an obsession. A retired police officer pieces together a portrait of a serial killer. But he does before he can tell Ellie his finding. Were Chelsea and older cases linked? Why was Ellie being stonewalled? Can she trust those around her?

As Ellie enters the world of clubbing and gets her sea legs in investigation she comes against a calculating, clever killer.

ANGEL’S TIP is an exciting thriller dealing with the pretty party people while testing the limits of trust. To escape to the wild scene of New York while trying to piece the puzzle together is not only fun but a great way to spend an evening reading. Alafair Burke has crafted a well written who-dun-it. Very enjoyable.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give is a 4.8.

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D.

 

Book CoverSomeone’s Watching
Sharon Potts
Oceanview Publishing, February 7, 2011, 360 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60809-013-6

Out of the clear blue sky, Robbie Ivy’s father shows up. He left when she was seven. But even more shocking than him just showing up is that he tells Robbie she has a sister. A sister who is missing. Kate had come to Miami with her friend Janet for a vacation. Now both girls were missing. Robbie’s father asks her to find Kate. At first Kate blows off her father. She harbors much anger and resentment. But when the body of Janet shows up in a creek, Robbie becomes concerned for the sister she never knew she had.

Robbie, in an effort to find herself and simplify her life breaks up with her love Jeremy. But they remain friendly, running into each other every so often. Currently she is dating Brett, an extremely selfish PR person. He always has something going and is constantly after Robbie to make friends with his boss, Michael.

Investigating where Kate and Joanne might have been before their disappearance leads Robbie to BURN, a trendy night club. Brett is thrilled because he can introduce her to Mike, but over in another area is Jeremy. This allows Jeremy and Robbie to re-connect to a degree. Brett isn’t really interested in Robbie’s search for Kate but Jeremy offers to help. Their journey leads them to Keys and a surprise Robbie did not expect.

SOMEONE’S WATCHING is a picturesque romp through Miami and the Keys. Sharon Potts writes with such vividness that you are right there with Robbie, for example, when they follow the Black car with tinted windows. You can feel the pulse of the music in the nightclub.

SOMEONE’S WATCHING is an exciting thriller well worth the read.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 4.8.

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D.

 

Book CoverRed Planet Noir
D.B, Grady
Brown Street Press, November 28, 2009, 215 pages, $14.99
ISBN: 978-0-09641674-3-8

Michael Shepherd is a private in New Orleans. He is near bottom – drinks too much, gambles, and doesn’t do a job of avoiding those wanting to teach him a lesson.

Sofia Reed offers him a job on Mars. Sofia’s father is dead. She is sure it’s foul play. The coroner says suicide. Sofia is unable to find anyone on Mars to check things out for her as they are afraid of retribution and being snubbed.

To avoid some of the leg breakers, get some money to pay some of his debts, Michael takes the case. His journey takes him through the elite of Mars as well as the dregs. And before he knows it, Michael is dead center in a conspiracy.

RED PLANET NOIR joins the two genres of thriller and science fiction to create a plausible, exciting jaunt on two planets. D.B. Grady writes in such a way that you buy it. Life on Mars – yep, it works. He totally immerses the reader in this other world making one feel connected to the planet as well as the story. Highly enjoyable.
         
On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 4.8

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D.

Book CoverNaming the Bones
Louise Welsh
Felony & Mayhem Press, February 2011, 384 pages, $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-934609-70-5

Depressed, Professor Murray Watson buries his troubles in a bottle. Nothing in his life is doing well, not even his research on the poet Archie Lunan. Lunan drowned before he could write more than a slim volume of prose. Was he a loser? A drunk?

Professor Watson explores these questions as he delves into the life of Lunan. He is blown off by some and others talk to him. But he isn’t getting the answers so he goes to Lunan’s home town of Lismore. Here he discovers much about self-destruction. Can he redeem Lunan’s reputation? Can he save himself?

NAMING THE BONES is a cerebral look at self-destruction, betrayal, and the search for truth. Can Watson make it through his investigation alive? Was Lunan murdered?

Louise Welsh has written a dark look into the worlds of two very sad souls – Watson and Lunan. Is there hope for them? Journey with Ms. Welsh as she pushed Watson to the edge and us with him!
         
On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 4.5.

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D.

Book CoverThe Dead Man Face of Evil
Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin

Adventures in Television, Inc., 2011, 80 pages, E Book

I enjoy both Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Rabkin’s books so I looked forward to this novella. Their collaboration on THE DEAD MAN FACE of EVIL is a departure from Mr. Goldberg’s MONK books or his DIAGNOSIS MURDER Books. However, it is quite a fascinating story that kept me guessing all the way to the end – not an easy task. THE DEAD MAN FACE of EVIL reminds me of Stephen King and Dean Koontz.

When the Sawmill decides to upgrade their equipment that means they have to layoff many of their employees. Matt Cahill quits in solidarity when his friend Andy is the first one fired. Matt lives a rather simple life still mourning the loss of his wife. Rachel, who works in the office of the Sawmill, is interested in Matt but he can’t quite get into her. His loyalty and love of Janie is too strong. But Rachel does convince him to go on a ski trip with her (as a friend) and manipulates their staying in one room when she cancels the second room. But everything goes wrong when they hit the slopes and an avalanche hits burying Matt. Three months later, Katie a precocious little girl discovers a frozen arm while making a snow man and Matt is found. But while in the morgue Matt’s body warms more quickly than the assistant coroner believes he should leading the assistant to think something is wrong with the thermostat. But as he cuts into Matt for the autopsy drops of blood appear. And that does not happen in a dead body. Paramedics are called and Matt is rushed to the hospital to be warmed and checked out.

We learn about Matt’s upbringing and how he and Andy became friends. But as the story unfolds there are twists and turns. How did Matt survive for three months? And who is this odd man he keeps seeing – who is there one minute and gone the next? Did Matt die and come back to life with some sort of special power? How did Matt survive? Why does he things others do not?

I could not put the novella down. I look forward to more in what promises to be an exciting series of Matt Cahill’s journey to understand what has happened to him and to find the Dark Man.

Once again Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin have written an exciting, journey into what if….They have merged writing styles to produce an fascinating horror story that leaves you wanting more, more, more!

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 5.

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D.

Book CoverThe Body in the Gallery
Katherine Hall Page
Avon, 2008, 323 pages, $7.99
ISBN: 978-0-06-076370-1

Faith Fairchild is a wonderful caterer married to a reverend. Her friend Patsy asks her to take over the café in an art museum where Patsy and her husband had lent a priceless art piece. Patsy is positive the piece has now been exchanged for a good fake.

Before Faith can do much investigating she finds a bald woman is found in a fish tank art exhibit. Who is this woman and why was she murdered at the museum? The dead woman is a young woman who had done some modeling for the museum, Tess. And it seems everyone who claimed they didn’t know her did know her. Faith’s list of suspects keeps growing. But Tess isn’t Tess. She has been using a fake name. Faith is positive that she is somehow tied to the fake art work.

And to make matters worse, Faith’s son Ben is acting oddly. He has stopped being friends with his best friend. He’s been hanging out with a new boy that is questionable and he turns off the computer when Faith enters his room. And Tom, her husband wants her to quit work and be a stay at home mom.

When she sits on a bag of goldfish in her car, she knows she getting close to the killer. But who is it? The curator? Her husband? A member of the Board?

THE BODY IN THE GALLERY is a fun, easy to read cozy. I enjoyed it. Katherine Hall Page writes in a style that not only can you see the art work in the gallery but you feel like you can reach out and touch it! Charming.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 4.9.

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D.

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