Reviews - May 2016

What They Say

“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.”
—Allen Ginsberg


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.



Barry Gill:

Barry Gill

I love a good mystery and always have. While other 9 year olds were playing in the yard I was spending my time plunked down in a plastic backed chair at our local library becoming, at least in my mind, Sherlock Holmes using Baritsu, the system of Japanese wrestling, to throw Moriarty to his death at the bottom of the Reichenbach Falls, or imagining myself to be Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin solving the diabolical double murders in the Rue Morgue.

Compared to the lives of my paperback and kindle hero's mine has been rather dull but very rewarding. Recently retired from a successful sales career I can fondly look back on forty-three years of marriage to a wonderful woman while raising three beautiful daughters. But throughout all of these years some of my most memorable experiences have been when I've had the opportunity to temporarily inhabit the colorful Florida climes of a John D. MacDonald, the working class Boston of Dennis Lehane or the quick witted PI world of Robert Crais.



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 . Aaron Paul Lazar

book cover

  • Rituals
    Mary Anna Evans
    Poisoned Pen Press, 286 pages, $24.95, November 5, 2013
    ISBN: 978-1-4642-0167-7


Faye Longchamp is an archaeologist. Working with the dead is her forte. She does not believe in ghosts or spirits or things that go bump in the night. But when she is working in the town of Rosebower, New yok, she finds herself surrounded by people who claim to talk to the dead. One such person is Tilda Armistead, when she invites Faye and her daughter to see for themselves. Faye is amazed at the “visions” that are revealed to her by Tilda. She can find no rational reason for them. And if that is not enough, Tilda, herself is dead within the hour.

Tilda’s death may be a case of murder in a locked room – how, who, why? But to make matters worse, Faye is positive that Tilda came to her home – when she was dead!

As Faye investigates she finds many people with reason to kill Tilda or certainly wish her dead. So which one did the crime? Why? Faye has her hands full as she jockeys her way through fake and real psychics to discover who killed Tilda.

Mary Ann Evans writes a charming, fun story. RITUALS is an easy, fast read and highly enjoyable. I look forward to more books in the series.

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

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


book cover

  • Night Terrors
    Dennis Palumbo
    Poisoned Pen Press, 352 pages, May 7. 2013
    ISBN: 978-1-4642-0129-5


Lyle Barnes, now retired as a FBI profiles is feeling the stress of the many serial killers he dealt with. Daniel Rinaldi begins treating Barnes for his night terrors. Barnes is suffering from horrific nightmares. To make matters worse, Barnes is being stalked by a serial killer. The FBI “hide” Barnes for his own safety, but he escapes their protective custody causing a massive man hunt for him.

Although Rinaldi is involved in the hunt for Barnes he takes another case – where the convicted young man’s mother is convinced he is innocent. He begins to work with Detective Eleanor Lowrey on this case but before long finds the danger increases such that he is concerned for her safety. And could the two cases be connected?

Dennis Palumbo has crafted an intense thriller that keeps you in the edge of your seat. Excellent, exciting read.

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

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


book cover

  • Isolation
    Mary Anna Evans
    Poisoned Pen Press, 274 pages, $26.95
    ISBN: 978-1-4642-0402-9


Archaeologist Faye Longchamp- Mantooth has had a personal loss. She wants to accept the comfort of those at home but instead she has retreated to a dig on the island of Joyeuse in Florida. Her husband, Joe Wolf Mantooth is back at their home searching for his own answers. One involves his father – how long has his father been out of prison but more importantly when and why did he go there in the first place? When a friend of Joe’s is murdered, Joe feels that Faye is in danger. Contacting the authorities at the dig, they say they will help, but Joe is not sure they really will. On the other hand, could they make things worse?

Faye searches into her own family history for answers and finds danger and death instead.

What is going on? Who killed Joe’s friend? How is it connected to a string of crimes against women? And how is it all connected to Faye?

Fun, exhilarating read. Enjoyable and well written. Great way to pass the time with a good book.

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

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


book cover

  • The End of Healing
    Jim Bailey
    The Healthy City, Inc., $25.95, 491 pages, May 5, 2015,
    ISBN: 978-0-9854203-9-0


Dr. Don Newman is a resident at University Hospital. As he tends patients strapped to bed screaming in terror he begins to doubt whether he is “doing no harm” or doing harm. As such, he begins a journey to heal patients and not harm them. He throws out his plans to be a cardiologist and instead enrolls in a health system science program. One professor, quite the character, takes him and Francis Hunt (a nurse) and Bruce Markum (a surgeon) on a wild ride into the underworld of medicine. The team discovers that conspiracies are alive and well as they stumble on to one that extends from the Congress, Wall Street and more plus their own campus. What was supposed to be harmless has become anything but.

Although THE END OF HEALING is a work of fiction, while reading it, it is easy to wonder could something like this happen? Be real? Makes one think. I adore a book that is well written and makes me think, could this be real?

Highly enjoyable thriller. An excellent page turner.

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

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


book cover

  • Book Title: Antiques and Avarice
    Author Name: Jane Firebaugh
    Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
    Page count: 275
    Published date: November 2015
    Price:  $2.99 Kindle
    ASIN: B018ND2KK8

Antiques and Avarice is a thoroughly enjoyable cozy mystery, perfect for a relaxing wintry day’s read. As book 1 in the new White Mountains Romantic Mysteries, it sets a firm stake in the ground for the future of protagonist Olivia McKenna and her new love interest, the kind yet manly State Police Detective Josh Abrams. One couldn’t help but root for their relationship to move forward into its next stage, and at the risk of spoiling the suspense, this reader was quite hopeful by the end of the book.

The book is easy to read, full of humor and natural-sounding dialog, and the plot flows well. Set in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, it has the potential for plenty of future chase scenes through majestic mountain settings.

My favorite characters—aside from Olivia and Josh—were the animals, who were endowed with just as much personality as their humans. Molly, an adorable Golden Retriever, captured my heart from the beginning. And Sheyna, the cat Olivia finds and adopts who plays a very important part in the mystery, holds equal appeal. Both animals felt authentic and just as real as the people in the story.

Looking forward to the next installment by talented author Jane Firebaugh.

 Aaron Paul Lazar