Reviews - November 2019

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.



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 review this month from:

Aaron Paul Lazar


book cover

  • Ellie & the War on Powder Creek (The Dolan Girls Book 2)
    Author: S.R. Mallery
    ASIN: B07QVF65MJ
    Print Length: 220 pages
    Author website:


Ellie & the War on Powder Creek is an epic western romance that sweeps the reader into the gritty, startling world of unregulated life in the Old West in 1891, run by power hungry cattle baron gangs empowered by layers of crooked politicians. But it isn’t just shootouts and barbary, because S.R. Mallery skillfully weaves in a poignant tale of love, loss, and family.

Ellie Dolan Parker, a broken woman still grieving for a lost child, now works for the Pinkerton Agency in town, where she’s uncovering evidence of serious wrong doing by wealthy cattlemen. This inquiry eventually leads into escalating danger for her and the entire community. As she doggedly researches the blossoming madness of the evil spreading through town, she’s also dealing with her inability to feel close to her husband, Brett, after her traumatic loss. 

Aside from enjoying the basic story and the beautifully depicted scenes from the Old West, the unresolved relationship between Ellie and her husband had quite an effect on me. Here we have a totally decent man, Brett Parker, who trains horses for Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill (aside: how fun it was to hear about the famous characters of the time!) and who puts himself, heart and soul, into working hard and being a decent person, all for the love of his wife, Ellie. They lose a child together when (in the previous book) Ellie takes off -- eight months pregnant -- on a galloping horse she believed was well-trained. The ensuing fall causes her to lose their baby. But the terrible part is, she blames Brett for having claimed the horse was well-trained in an overheard conversation. 

I related to Brett, although at times he could be a hothead and not use common sense under stressful situations. (re: the kidnapping scene) Mostly, though, I truly sympathized for him because he lost a child, too, and he was equally grieving. On top of this, his wife treats him coldly and withholds all affection for years. Although I’ve never personally experienced this kind of loss (thank God!), I can imagine how it would hurt both parents deeply. Of course, in 1891, a man’s right to actually “have” feelings was probably not recognized or even allowed, and if this drama were played out in today’s world, perhaps Brett would have stepped forward and told her how he felt about the double loss: his child, and his subsequent relationship with his wife. 

But as in all good stories, I was pleased to find resolution on many fronts. I also greatly enjoyed one particular character, Mary, a young Shoshone orphan who plays an integral part in the plot and who I hope will continue in the series to come. 

Thank you, S.R. Mallery, for a wild ride through the Old West with unforgettable characters. I’ll look forward to the next book(s) in the series.

Aaron Paul Lazar