Monthly Archives: December 2017

Book Review: A Murder For the Books – First in the Cozy Series

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from the publisher/author in connection with Killer Nashville in return for my review. Copyright © 2017 Laura Hartman

Nursing a broken heart and a bruised ego, Amy Webber flees to a small town in Virginia. Leaving a prestigious university job to become the director at the Taylorsville Public Library wasn’t part of her life plan, but it just might be what she needs at this point in her life.  She is enjoying the slower pace of life. Living with Aunt Lydia, whom she has adored since childhood, has been good for both of them.

Amy’s tranquility is upended when the tiny town is shattered by a murder. Not only is the body found in the library, but there may be a connection to one of Lydia and Amy’s long dead relatives. The mystery is too much for Amy to ignore. She begins to dig into the past with the help of her handsome new neighbor, Richard.

There is just enough romance to lighten up the tension of the mystery that must be solved. Richard is not only a partner in the investigation; he is also clearly smitten with Amy.  How long does her heart have to heal before she can trust anyone?

Against her better judgement, Amy impulsively jumps into the investigation. The closer she gets to the truth; she realizes that many of the people she loves may be in danger. Will she find the answers she seeks before the killer strikes again?

Murder for the Books is the first book in Victoria Gilbert’s new series.  It is the perfect cozy mystery.  The characters are interesting and can easily be seen as people you might know. The town sounds delightfully quirky with the beautiful setting of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background.

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Shelved Under Murder, slated for publication July 2018.

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Book Review: Naked We Came – Compelling Mystery

Naked We Came

By Robert Lane

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley and the publisher.

Jake Travis is a haunted man. When he was seven years old his sister was abducted while on a family vacation. This life changing event was compounded by the reality that her body was never found and the person that committed this heinous act has never been brought to justice. It is no surprise that this shaped him into the man he is today. He only allows people to see what he wants them to, never getting close enough to find the truth of the guilt he has harbored since he was a child.

When the man Jake suspects of her death washes up close to his dock, Jake is immediately under suspicion for the death. Jake realizes that person who was trying to frame him for this murder must be involved in the death of his sister. Jake will stop at nothing to get the answers he has waited twenty years to hear, but he must do so as he is wanted for questioning by the authorities. His decision puts friends old and new in jeopardy. But Jake is relentlessly pursuing the truth of what happened and will not stop at any cost.

Lane is a masterful writer. He paints descriptions pulling the reader into the scenes with his characters. Bits of literary beauty are tucked in this gritty mystery. Much like Dean Koontz, Lane adds quotes such as one from Picasso and words that enhance the reader’s experience and enjoyment. For instance, “gibbous moon” had me clicking the dictionary feature on my Kindle.

This is the fourth Jake Travis novel I have read. I love Lane’s style of writing as well as the depth and growth of his characters. The plot-line of Naked We Came explains so much of how Jake reacts in the previous novels when confronting criminals. He is relentless – undoubtedly he sees his sister’s abductor in them. Like the previous novels in this series, Naked We Came is a fast-paced, complexly interesting mystery. I highly recommend this series.

Copyright © 2017 Laura Hartman

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