Friday, August 5, 2011


by Wendy Dingwall
Canterbury House Publishing
Vilas, North Carolina
ISBN: 9780982905425

Yvonne Suarez, travel agent with the Pinkerton Travel Agency in Fort Lauderdale, FL, books a group tour to the Greek Islands. From the beginning of the tour, when a man’s body is found on the baggage claim conveyor belt in Athens, the trip goes awry. Bad luck follows the group as they continue on their tour, and Yvonne begins to suspect some of the passengers aren’t who they say they are. When two of the women meet with accidents which could have been fatal, Yvonne teams up with fellow traveler David Ludlow in hopes of keeping her tourist group safe. Yvonne is attracted to David but her years married to an abusive husband interfere with her ability to trust him. David, on the other hand, would like nothing more than to begin a relationship with Yvonne. But danger lurks ahead for the two, in more ways than one.

The premise for this mystery series is a refreshing addition to the mystery genre. The author excels at interweaving interesting historical and mythological data into the plot. This, along with her vivid visual descriptive, leaves the reader feeling as if s/he is actually touring the Greek Isles along with the group. Although characters abound, the author’s unique ability to introduce and flesh out each one voids any sort of confusion as to who’s who. Yvonne Suarez is an intriguing character, a woman who had the strength to leave an abusive relationship and harbors empathy for those in like situations. The mystery is one readers will be challenged to solve, filled with twists and turns and plenty of red herrings.


by Mark Rosendorf
L&L Dreamspell
London, TX
ISBN: 9781603183437

Two weeks after the breakup of the Duke Organization, its leader, Rick Rasner, is incarcerated in a mental asylum with a roommate who claims to be king of an African island. Rick plots his escape with one goal in mind: to kill General William Straker, the man who put him there, before Straker can kill him. Teenager Clara Blue, whom Rick helped escape from the Brookhill Psychiatric Institute, is trying to rebuild the Duke organization so she can rescue Rick, but not having much luck. Clara has a secret, one which will be the end of her life if Rick finds out, but she is willing to take that chance in order to help the man she perceives as her surrogate father. She ultimately decides the only one who can help her is Rick’s nemesis, Jake Scarberry. Although Jake has tried to kill Rick twice before, Clara hopes if she offers him enough money, his mercenary skills can be bought and he can put aside his hatred for Rick long enough to save his life.

Once more, Rosendorf fills the book with unlikeables, bringing to life characters who are merciless and cruel and whom readers will not feel much sympathy for. However, this ingenious strategy works for this series, and redemption hovers for some. The plot moves fast, packed with action and suspense and nicely tuned twists and turns.


by Claire Applewhite
L&L Dreamspell
London, TX
ISBN: 9781603183062

In this second installment of the ‘Nam Noir Series, Elvin Suggs and Dimond “Di” Redding, along with their friend, fellow Vietnam vet Cobra Glynes, have begun a new chapter in their lives: moving to a new home and starting the Grapevine Detective Agency. Their first case is to trail Nick Davies, husband of Emily, who suspects Nick is having an affair. This is confirmed when they follow Nick to the Coral Court Motel, a cheap place popular for secret love trysts. There’s something about Emily Di doesn’t trust, and this is borne out when Emily is spotted at the same motel her husband utilizes. The investigators come up against a block wall when they try to question the secretive desk clerk, who refuses to divulge any information about the motel’s regulars. After Nick’s girlfriend is found dead, the police zone in on Nick. When the bodies of two other women are discovered, Detective Reggie Combs has his hands full trying to figure out if the murders are connected, who is behind them, and the possible motive. The investigators team up with the detective, ultimately placing their own lives in danger.

This mystery, which takes place in the gritty back streets of south St. Louis, Missouri, is replete with suspicious characters. The plot is a good one, offering a mystery readers will be challenged to solve. Applewhite conveys the seediness of characters and locales in a vivid, colorful manner. Her characters are fleshed out and real, enhanced with dialogue that rings true.