Reviews - September 2018

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 review this month from:

Aaron Lazar


book cover
  • Title: Murder at Sea of Passenger X, Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery #5.
    Author: Anna Celeste Burke
    ASIN: B01MYH77FW
    Number pages: 338
    Price: eBook, $2.99

  • Murder at Sea of Passenger X is a colorful, cozy mystery set on a cruise ship deep in tropical waters featuring female lead Georgie Shaw and her brand-new husband, Detective Jack Wheeler. Along with her two adorable Siamese cats, Miles and Ella, all four members of the new family are situated in a luxurious stateroom with a balcony overlooking the sea.

    It doesn’t take long for this sumptuous honeymoon to go bad, and when someone is tossed overboard, the scene is set and both Georgie (who works for the cruise line) and Detective Wheeler are drawn into the investigation. The bodies pile up, multiple villains become even more brazen, and on top of the murders, a very pricey necklace goes missing.

    While trying to figure out “who dunnit,” was fun, my favorite parts of this book were the flamboyant characters and the luscious descriptions of food. Georgie is a magnetic leading lady, her husband is not only a very smart detective, but supremely romantic, and her two cats are delightful. To top it off, Ms. Burke includes some tempting recipes in the back of the book.

    Also referenced were many “vintage” Hollywood movies and actors, which lent great color to the dialog.

    The best quote from the book actually came in the last chapter, and I loved it. “Is that what love is—a string of small transcendent moments bound together by the ups and downs of ordinary life? If so, I’ll take it.”

    This was my first Georgie Shaw mystery, and it stood alone very nicely without having to read the previous editions.

    By award-winning author Aaron Paul Lazar