Reviews - January 2017

What They Say

“Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.”
—Hunter S. Thompson


Review Coordinator
Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D., MHt:

Cynthia Lee Clark

Former Miss Chicago (Miss USA), Cynthia Lea Clark continued school, graduating from Northwestern University (multiple degreed), attended nursing school, and became a Firefighter Paramedic. After working as an actress in Chicago, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked on many television shows, such as DAYS OF OUR LIVES and STAT, while continuing her education with a Masters in Psychology and then a Doctorate of Psychology. While working on STAT, she was stalked which led her to work in Forensic Psychopathology. She has over 70 interviews with serial killers, mass murderers, etc. Today she mixes Forensics with writing and acting.  She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death Chapter of RWA, International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, and the American College of Forensic Examiners International.


Aaron Paul Lazar:

Aaron Paul Lazar

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. A bestselling Kindle author of 22 books, including three addictive mystery series, writing books, and a new love story, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at and watch for his upcoming release, UNDER THE ICE. Aaron has won over 18 book awards for his novels and finds writing to be his form of "cheap therapy." Feel free to connect with him on Facebook or his website; he loves to connect with readers.


Virginia Lo Monaco:

Virginia Lo Monaco

Virginia Lo Monaco lived in Sicily, Italy for 16 years and recently returned to California. She was trained as an operatic soprano, and has worked for numerous Opera Companies in America and was director of the Schola Cantorum for the Church of Sant'Anna in the town where she lived with her two dogs (including Tim, the overgrown Fox Terrier that co-stars in the Terry Strong, P.I., series) and three canaries. In order to pay for the years of vocal study, she worked for five years as a Fingerprint Technician for a sheriff's department and five years as a Group Counselor for juvenile offenders.

She started writing fiction in November, 1998. She started her first Terry Strong, P.I., novel, "Lethal Relations," in January, 2013.

She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the Private Eye Writers of America, the Short Mystery Fiction Society and Sisters In Crime-Los Angeles Chapter.

The first Luigi Mancuso story, "Oil in a Day's Work," was published in the Oct/Nov/Dec 2002 issue of Futures MYSTERY Anthology Magazine. 

The second Luigi Mancuso story, "Hearts and Diamonds," was published in the April/May/June 2004 issue of Futures MYSTERY Anthology Magazine.

Among other short stories originally published in Futures MYSTERY Anthology Magazine were: "A Man of Honor," Feb/Mar 2001 and, "Saturday Night Reruns," April/May 2001.

She is a former editor of FMAM.

In July, 2001, "A Man of Honor" (translated into Italian), won SECOND PLACE in the Akery National Literary Competition in Acerra, Italy (V Edizione Concorso Letterario Nazionale di Narrativa "Akery"). In November, 2001, it was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Her Science Fiction short story, "Intermezzo a Cappella," won an HONORABLE MENTION in the Writer's Digest 2001 Writing Competition. It ranked 22 in a field of more than 1,600 genre short stories.


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

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  • Adrenaline
    John Benedict
    262 pages, $12.95
    ISBN: 978-1484897522


Anesthesiologist Doug Landry comes under suspicion when patients in the hospital he works out begin to die. Accidents? Incompetence? Murder?  At first Doug doubts himself – could he have made a mistake but then as the deaths mounts he knows it is not him.  Are any of the other anesthesiologists involved? But, how, why, who? Do the deaths have anything to do with the upcoming hospital mergers?

ADRENALINE takes us through what could happen not only in a medical community but in anesthesiology – where life and death is truly at a switch.  Affairs, addiction, incompetence can all reside in the OR.  Who succumbs and who remains strong?

To find out read ADRENALINE for a wonderful wild ride of a medical thriller.  John Benedict takes us on an accurate, enjoyable, what if tale. 

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 5.0.

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D., Ph.D., MHt., Diplomate Homeland Security


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  • Death Spiral
    Janie Chodosh
    Poisoned Pen Press, 301 pages, $10.95
    ISBN: 978-1929345007

Everyone says Faith Flores’s mom died of an OD.  She was found on their bathroom floor.  But Faith knows her mom did not OD.  Faith is sent to live with her Aunt T in the burbs of Philly and uses her inner geek to find a way to prove her mom did not OD.  One day Faith receives a note from Melinda a friend of her mom directing her to a methadone treatment center.  This makes Faith suspect they were both trying to get clean.  But suddenly Melinda dies of an overdose as well?  What are the odds?  As Faithcontinues her investigating she discovers that this center does some sort of clinical trials – what methadone treatment center does clinical trials?  Faith must get to the bottom of this even if means, lying, cutting school and learning about life on the streets.

Faith is a wonderful role model for intellectual and never giving up.  When “adults” give up she does not at all costs.  Not that I say a teenager should ever put herself in danger, I do like that women, teen age girls can be strong and willing to “battle.”  Bravo.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give is a 5.0.

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D., Ph.D., MHt, Diplomat Homeland Security


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  • Captcha Thief
    Rosie Claverton
    Crime Scene Books, 293 pages, $13.95
    ISBN: 978-0993381508


Amy Lane is an incredible hacker and an agoraphobic.  She works with Jason Carr an ex con.  In CAPTCHA THIEF, he comes to Amy with a new case – a security guard at the National Museum of Wales has been murdered while a priceless impressionist painting was stolen.  But before Amy can hack very far, NCA (National Crime Agency) investigator woos Jason into working with her leaving Amy alone.  Amy struggles with her panic attacks while Jason see excitement.  But what is real?  Who is the tracker?  Who is the pawn?  Are Amy and Jason the hunters are the huntees?

Rosie Claverton has written a wonderful, exciting thrill ride.  Enjoyable and exciting with breath taking moments as if you are right their side by side with her characters.  Excellent!

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

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D., Ph.D., MHt., Diplomate Homeland Security


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  • Bye, Bye Love
    K.J. Larsen
    Poisoned Pen Press, 218 pages, $24.95, April, 2015
    ISBN: 978-1464203831


PI Cat DeLuca runs a private detective agency called Pants on Fire Detective Agency.    She targets liars and cheaters. She is highly skilled but also very hot.  She does very at her job because she takes them by surprise in her skintight jeans and sexy walk.    But that day could have any regular day.  Cat was running in the park until she literally crashed into the faceless body of Bernie Love.  Bernie had been the Provenza’s finance guy. As she tries to call the police she is knocked out.  When the cops finally show up her knocked out is gone as is Bernie.  Of course, no one believes her so she makes it her mission to find the man who hit her.  She remembers her assailant wore a Rolex watch, had a stun gun and a wheel barrow.  She and her collection of interesting assorted “assistants” (ex spy, family etc.) she set out to solve this crime.

BYE, BYE LOVE is a charming, witty, clever romp in the PI and female detective world, Thoroughly delightful.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 5.0.

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D., Ph.D., MHt., Diplomate Homeland Security


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  • Title:  All Lies (Lies series, book 1)
    Author:  Andrew Cunningham
    Publisher: Amazon Digital Service
    Genre: Mystery Thriller
    Kindle eBook: $3.99
    ASIN: B00SU4OTJ6
    Trade Paperback: $13.95
    ·  ISBN-10: 1507801661
    ·  ISBN-13: 978-1507801666
    Author’s website:

Who doesn’t love a story about long lost treasure? Me, for one, and I really loved this book. All Lies is a high-octane read, full of high-energy adventure, unexpected twists, and a delicious blend of two main characters who fall for each other in this first book of the series.

After reading Fatal Lies, book 2 in the “Lies” series, I had to pick up All Lies, book 1, to find out more about Del and Sabrina’s past lives. By the way, there was absolutely nothing lost by reading these two book out of order – Fatal Lies worked fine as a standalone.

Sabrina is a powerful, fragile, gorgeous woman who’s been through hell and back and is just starting her life over. She bumps into Del—a man who hadn’t yet found his purpose in life—and together they discover that both lines of their mutual ancestors from many generations were linked to crooks who became involved in several unsolved heists.

The story is told in an unpretentious, easy-to-read style which feels natural, but also urges the reader forward with page-turning suspense.

My absolute favorite part of this novel are the scenes that take place on the Amazon River in Brazil. The sense of place is powerful, and although I’ve never traveled to that part of the world, I felt I was truly there. Fordlandia was beautiful depicted, and I found myself growing very curious about its true history.

Highly recommended for lovers of mystery and suspense.

Aaron Paul Lazar