Monthly Archives: November 2021

Book Review: Hello, Transcriber – Must Read Debut Suspense

By Hannah Morrissey

Black Harbor is a crime riddled city that people run away from, not to. Hazel Greenlee has moved there with her husband Tommy, because he found a job there. He hunts for their food and seems overly fond of the guns he keeps around the house. Hazel has aspirations to be an author. She finds a job as a transcriber for the local police force, giving her fodder for the book she is writing.

Hazel is an amazing typist, and doesn’t mind working the night shift. When a young boy is killed during her shift, things change drastically for her. She might know who the killer is, but cannot tell anyone. The detective in charge, Nikolai Kole, sends his report to Hazel. With his voice talking in her ear, she transcribes the events, fearing her involvement by withholding evidence, yet intrigued by the sound of Kole’s voice.

Strangely enough, Kole visits her during the long night. This is the beginning of something between them that is more than inappropriate. Hazel fears her attraction will be discovered by her husband. She also fears the repercussions for not sharing her suspicions about the killer with Kole.

This deliciously dark suspense novel is full of twists and turns. The characters are fully developed and most of them have their own agenda that will stop at nothing to attain their goals.

Hello, Transcriber is Hannah Morrissey’s debut novel. Her previous job as a police transcriber and being the wife of a police officer, brings first-hand knowledge to creating her characters. I highly recommend this fast-paced suspense novel. I cannot wait to see what she writes in the future.

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 © 2021 Laura Hartman

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Filed under Book Review, books, debut novel, fiction, Suspense

Book Review: The Rusted Dream – A Fast-Paced Thriller

The Rusted Dream (Dr. Dan Trix Mystery Series #11)

By: Rodney Romig

Dr. Dan Trix and his lovely wife Elaine live in a posh neighborhood known as Naughty Pines. This country club community enables the Trix family to rub elbows of the elite bunch that like to drop by and drink his expensive wines. But the visitor today is more surprising than most of his guests. It is Pamela, his ex-wife. She has a problem.

It seems as though her husband, Bronco J, is missing. It is not like him to disappear and Pamela is worried. He is a wealthy man, so anyone could be after him, but his investment in a private college must be linked somehow. Especially since other investors have turned up dead.

Pamela obviously needs protection. So Trix and his sidekick Lester Ponzolli – whom he met while serving in the Army – are on the hunt for Bronco J. Meanwhile, Elaine and Pamela bone up on their martial arts training, after someone attacked the two women when they were alone in the house. The hunt for Bronco J is far flung, requiring trips both in and out of the United States. It is a race to see if the good guys or the bad guys will get to Bronco J first – peppered with the pitfalls of surprise attacks by the men who want to see Bronco J and possibly Ponzolli and Trix dead.

To say this book was fast-paced would be an understatement. Fast-talking, fast moving and exhausting action defines this page-turning mystery. The characters are clever, quirky and gave me a long list of fabulous wines that are, if they are not fictional, most likely out of my price range.

At times the dialog was so prolific, it read like a screen-play instead of a novel. That doesn’t bother me in small doses, but I needed more meat with details of the story than pages of witty banter. When there was action, it was explosive, but I wanted more. I feel readers need to digest what is happening rather than flip pages at a breakneck pace while the characters amuse themselves with inside jokes. Perhaps it is because this is book 11 in the series and not having read the previous 10, I might feel differently – which isn’t the author’s fault.

This is the first book I have read by Rodney Romig. He has led a global life. After his graduation in Nebraska, armed with a B. A. in English and a Ph.D. in Economics, he lived and worked in Asia and Europe, then landed in Hawaii. His knowledge of the world shines through his characters as they travel on their adventures. Roming’s novel Lakeside was chosen as the 2013 Royal Palm Award winner for best published literary novel. If you love fast talking, fast paced novels, The Rusted Dream is definitely the book for you.

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. Copyright © 2021 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Recipe for Disaster – Must Read Middle Grade Fiction – Even If You Are an Adult

Recipe for Disaster
by Aimee Lucido

Twelve-year-old Hannah Malfa-Adler has been cooking with her Grandma Mimi for as long as she can remember. Life is getting more complicated for Hannah now that she is twelve. Her best friend, Shira is studying for her bat mitzvah. While Hannah is excited for her bestie, she is a little bit jealous. Grandma Mimi is Jewish, which makes her mother Jewish – thereby Hannah is as well. But is Hannah really Jewish if she doesn’t practice her religion? In their house the only person that practices Judaism is Grandma.

Everything was going along well, until Shira made a decision at her bat mitzvah party to dance with a boy she liked instead of the “best friend dance” she and Hannah discussed for weeks before the event. Hurt and jealous, Hannah proclaims she will be having the next bat mitzvah to her friends. Which is pretty unlikely because her mother refuses to have any association with her Jewish heritage. Grandma has a plan that may help Hannah, but is a secret until the time is right to tell Hannah’s mom.

Hannah’s teenage angst is portrayed beautifully. She is in turmoil in many aspects of her life. Religion, losing her best friend, finding a new friend that is edgy and the relationship with her parents all factor into her actions and thoughts. Her family isn’t the best support system at this very moment. First of all, her older brother wants to become a chef, much to the disdain of their father. The tension in their home is buffered with Grandma’s wise advice and delicious family recipes (which are included in the book).

This book is teenage reality wrapped in love. Middle school is not easy. Author Aimee Lucido does not sugar coat the situations Hannah finds herself in the middle of. But Lucido leads readers on a path that shows family and friends will disagree, but things will work out. Sometimes with surprising results.

This is the first book I have read by Aimee Lucido. It is the second book she has written, the first being Emmy In The Key of Code. I look forward to reading it as well as others she will write in the future. She just might be the Beverly Cleary of this generation.

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 © 2021 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Death by Beach Read

Death By Beach Read

by Eva Gates

A Lighthouse Library Mystery

Lucy loves being the librarian in the historic Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. So much so, she used to live in it. That was before she became engaged to Connor, the local mayor. They find a fabulous historic home on the beach that needs a bit – most likely a lot – of work to bring it back to the beautiful beach home it once was. Luckily, Connor and his father are doing most of the work, but living in a construction zone is difficult for the couple as well as Charles the cat. He is actually the library’s cat and was named appropriately for Charles Dickens. He travels with Lucy to and from the library each day.

While Connor was away for business, Lucy was awakened by what sounded like someone walking in their home. Charles was also aware that something or somebody had invaded their space. Lucy didn’t say anything to Charles, thinking she must have been hearing things outside. But soon, it became apparent that someone was trying to scare them – or more sinister – kill them.

Delving into the history of the home, they found interesting facts and folklore including rumors of a resident ghost. Could someone be looking for hidden treasure long forgotten? Could the incidents be personal attacks on Lucy and Connor? Legends and larceny may be teaming up creating a catalyst for disaster.

This is the 9th book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates. It is the first one in the series I have read, but was not confused by reading it out of order. The characters are interesting and fully developed. Some I loved and some I loved to hate. Like all cozy mysteries, there is a happy ending. It is an interesting and easy read with likable main characters and a persnickety cat that has a realistic attitude. He lends a paw when needed. 

Eva Gates is one of the pen names of Vicki Delany. She resides in Canada and is an award-winning mystery novelist. I highly recommend Death by Beach Read and will be checking out the other books in her series.

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 © 2021 Laura Hartman

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Filed under Book Review, books, cozy mystery, fiction, Mystery