Reviews - March 2018

What They Say

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


Reviewers

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 http://www.lazarbooks.com 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:

Aaron Lazar . Virginia Lo Monaco

 


book cover
  • Title: Eden’s Legacy (Eden Rising Trilogy, book 3)
    Author:  Andrew Cunningham
    Publisher: Amazon Digital Service
    Genre: Mystery Thriller
    Kindle eBook: $3.99
    ASIN: B01CWQDEL6
    Trade Paperback: $13.95
    ISBN-10: 1530437024
    ISBN-13: 978-1530437023
    Author’s website: www.arcnovels.com

  • I loved the first two books in this amazing series. (Eden Rising and Eden Lost) But I have to say, this book—book 3—may well have been my favorite.

    Our characters Ben and Lila have grown, seven years have passed since Eden Lost, and the delightful little daughter they produced has become an amazing young woman.

    I loved this character—and even though she was only sixteen, she astounded me with her ability to adapt, flow with nature, and protect herself and her loved ones without flinching or hesitation. While there were so many awesome high action, edge-of-your-seat scenes (they were sooooo good!), some of my favorite passages involved Cat (formerly “Katie”) interacting with nature and animals.

    I loved the scene where she rescued the baby wild mountain lion, where she escaped the giant grizzly bear with her mother, and where she walked among the buffalo.

    This serious and delightful young woman captured my heart with her down-to-earth spirit, her connection to nature, and her love of animals.

    Then again, I also loved how she would draw her crossbow and pick off any villains who threatened her family or friends.

    Like I said, this gal is a keeper. And I pray—oh so hard—that somehow Mr. Cunningham will find a way to extend this trilogy (or at least its characters) into another book, or two, or more!

    One of the most interesting aspects of these post-apocalyptic stories is the intense sense of renewal and the “second chance” that mankind has to “get it right.” I loved that the earth regenerated and that the characters found a way to survive without the gadgets of today’s modern world. It makes one long for that life of simplicity…for the life on a ranch or farm, to raise one’s own produce and chickens and goats…or whatever it takes to live a wholesome life in the country. The ideals of peaceful communities co-existing and helping out their neighbors was also so very refreshing. I miss that kind of country life in today’s society, and hope that this book might even inspire others to think twice about their own lifestyles of incessant video games and texting. There is so much more to live for and to enjoy outside of electronics! I hope this inspires of Mr. Cunningham’s readers to get outside and take a walk in the woods, and to leave the cell phone at home. ;o)

    Okay, off my own soapbox for a while and on to search for another book by this amazing author.

    Highly recommended by award-winning author Aaron Paul Lazar www.lazarbooks.com.

 

 

book cover

  • Double Daggers
    Author: James R. Clifford
    Publisher: Dan River Press
    Release Date: June 27, 2011.
    204 Pages.
    Kindle E-book Edition Price:  $0.99
    ASIN: B0058KBEXE

This novel is presented as an historical novel. It is anything but.

The premise of a coin being “haunted” or carrying a curse to whomever owns it, through history, is not historical fiction. It is just fiction.

The beginning of the book is a painful read. It’s obvious that the author was having a hard time concocting this story, and it shows. Does the phrase: “Trying too hard,” ring a bell?

Not only is the story preposterous, the author’s historical inaccuracies are blatant.

In Chapter Four, he has Brutus thinking about how the Ides of March were tomorrow, 44 BC. Now how could Brutus know it was 44 BC? BC stands for “Before Christ.” How could Brutus know anything about Christ?

Brutus visits an old woman who proclaims: “Beware of the Ides of March.” Unfortunately, Shakespeare wrote those words to Caesar, not Brutus.

In Chapter Eight, the author has Antony reading from a piece of paper. Paper did not come to Europe, or Italy, until the 12th Century. So, Antony was definitely ahead of his time.

At one point, the author has Brutus drawing his tunic tighter over his shoulders. I believe the author has confused “tunic” and “toga.” It would be difficult to pull his tunic tighter over his shoulders.

In the third section of the book, the author misspells Hermann Göring’s name. Really?

The author also has problems keeping to one Point of View. He skips from one to another, which causes much confusion as to who is doing what.

Double Daggers is not an historical novel. The plot of a cursed something traveling through time and destroying the lives of people is not a new concept.

I don’t recommend this book as a good example of historical fiction, it is a novel of fantasy and horror with a celebrated coin as its centerpiece.

Virginia Lo Monaco