Monthly Archives: October 2020

Bookreview: Hanging Falls – Fast-Paced K-9 Mystery

Hanging Falls

By Margaret Mizushima

Deputy Mattie Cobb and her canine partner Robo are about to meet Mattie’s long-lost sister and grandmother. Taken as a child, Mattie and her family did not know how to find each other until she registered her DNA on an ancestry website. As luck would have it, her sister also registered on the site, linking them at last. She is anxious, but excited to reconnect.

The day before Mattie plans to fly out to see them, she has the misfortune of finding a body while on a hike at Hanging Falls. As always, her instincts and training kick in. Mattie and Robo are needed to track the possible killer. One body leads to another in this complicated case. Are they related or is this just a coincidence? She is torn between her past and the present. Thankfully her family decides to drive to see her so that she can reacquaint herself with them while she and Robo continue to work the case.

The deeper she delves into the murders, the more she needs the help of her colleagues as well as her boyfriend, the local veterinarian, Cole Walker. Soon they become suspicious of an oddly strict religious group, but evidence also points to others in the community. Now Mattie divides her attention between solving the murders and learning about her past from the only people who know what really happened to her and her family when she was a child.

This fast-paced mystery will have you reading “just one more chapter” because it cannot be put down. The lives of the characters are interesting and realistic. There are several suspects in the crime that will keep you guessing until the final chapters.

Reading a new book in a beloved series is like catching up with old friends. Ms. Mizushima does a fantastic job pulling in information from the previous books in the series so that readers that have not read them are not lost. While I feel Hanging Falls works well as a standalone novel, I encourage readers to check out the previous books in the series. You will love all of them – I certainly do!

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from publicist Maryglenn McCombs in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Woodson Falls: 16 Lakeview Terrace – Stunning Debut Novel

Woodson Falls: 16 Lakeview Terrace A Gaby Quinn Mystery

by Andrea O’Connor

Gabriella Quinn is living the quiet life of a small-town lawyer. Life has delt her a hand she never thought she would have to play. Not so very long ago she lived in New York City with her beloved husband. Her world came crashing down the night he was murdered and she was seriously injured by an unknown assailant in the city they both loved. Moving to Woodson Falls and her adored dog Kat are the two things helping her cope with the residual pain and fear from the attack.

When she is called upon to settle the estate of Pieter Jorgenson, a Woodson Falls resident, she happily takes the case. Unfortunately, this case will be anything but ordinary. He was an odd man. He was feuding with his neighbors, and yet he was a kind and compassionate crossing guard for the elementary school children. A loner skilled in woodworking, he seems to have ties in New York City as he was found there, dead in his truck.

As Gaby begins collecting information to settle the estate, she contacts his only known relative, an uncle who paints a picture of Jorgenson as a bullied young boy that grew up to be a loner. One evening after gathering papers from the dead man’s home, Gaby is rammed by a vehicle on the way home. She is shaken, but not hurt. Luckily Officer Matt Thomas was patrolling the area and helped Gaby get a tow truck for her car and got her home safely.

As luck would have it, Matt has ties to New York, and helps grease the wheels for her with the NYPD when she has to go looking for information on Jorgenson’s death. The deeper she digs, the more secrets she finds. Jorgenson apparently was not the man many people thought he was – but who and what exactly was he?

I loved this fast-paced mystery. The characters, especially Gaby and Jorgenson, have many layers that are interesting to peel back and discover. The solid plot that ties up all loose ends in the final chapters is perfect for mystery lovers as well as legal thriller fans. Readers will latch on to this and not let go until the final pages.

This is the first book I have read by Andrea O’Connor but will not be my last. She has previously published several non-fiction books. Woodson Falls: 16 Lakeview Terrace is her first venture into fiction. I absolutely loved her writing style as well as the plot and characters. I’m adding her to my favorites list so that I can snatch up her next book as soon as it hits the shelves. I highly recommend you check out this fabulous debut fiction author.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for a fair and honest review. https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/woodson-falls-16-lakeview-terrace-andrea-o-connor#review Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: A Christmas Resolution

Fast Paced Christmas Mystery

The Reverend Arthur Roberson has known loss in his life, particularly his beloved wife. That is why he has a soft heart for her brother Seth Marlow. Marlow is brash and has been rumored to have done harm to his wife in the past before her disappearance. Now he is being blackmailed by an unknown person regarding his missing wife and daughter.

Celia is a kind woman that has always sought the truth in her life. Involved previously in a police matter she did not tell the truth, but the lie was because an innocent person would have gone to jail. This has followed her like a shadow, always with her. When her best friend Clementine agrees to marry Marlow, he warns Celia to stay away from Clementine. Known for his violence, he may not stop by merely threatening Celia. Frightened for her, Celia’s husband, Police Officer John Hopper, begins to investigate the disappearance of Marlow’s wife and daughter. Disregarding her own safety, Celia stands up for herself as well as Clementine much to the ire of Marlow. Will he make good on his threats to harm her if she doesn’t stay out of his business?

This fast-paced Christmas mystery has an interesting twist. While the story is set at Christmas, the main storyline is the investigation of the disappearance of Marlow’s family. If you like a solidly plotted mystery with a side of holiday traditions, I recommend this book. The fast-paced story is interesting and entertaining.

This Victorian Christmas Novel is written by best-selling author Anne Perry. A prolific writer since the late 1970’s, she is best known for her Victorian detective novels.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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