by Diana Hockley
If you’re looking for some summer e-book reading, KRL has provided you not only with some mystery & Sci-Fi e-book reviews of Sweet Tea & Secrets by Nancy Naigle, Seeker of the Truth by C.L. Shore, Choke by Kaye George and Parmenters Wager by Terri Lynn Main, but also a chance to win a copy of all 4 books! Details at the end of this article. All reviews were written by Diana Hockley.
Sweet Tea & Secrets by Nancy Naigle
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
ISBN – 10: 193581754 X
ISBN – 13: 978-1935817543
Paperback & e-book
Nancy Naigle’s Sweet Tea and Secrets reads as it sounds—a pleasant amble through a small American community. Her main character, naive Jill Clemmons, leaves her home town after discovering that her childhood sweetheart, Garrett Malloy, the man she thought the love of her life, has cheated on her and has no intention of settling down, despite plans they made for their future.
Seduced by the high finance world of charity fundraising and romance, Jill enters into a year-long relationship with a slick operator whose housekeeper is openly hostile and whom he refuses to fire. In spite of underlying doubts, evidence of his somewhat brittle personality and memories of her grandmother’s cautious comments, Jill is eagerly awaiting an expected proposal from Bradley Kase on the night of a huge fundraiser which she has organized.
While the function is in full swing, a phone call from Garrett brings bad news, which sends her racing back to Adams Grove, disillusioned with Kase. Despite discovering the first in a long line of deceits–news of the death of someone close to her has been withheld to ensure the success of a glittering social occasion—Jill persists in viewing her former lover, Garrett, as a villain and gives him a hard time. Expecting to inherit property, she is astounded and dismayed to find that Garrett and she are to be co-owners, not only of a house and land but of a very large dog.
I particularly liked the images of the small town and characters in it—like sitting on a bank watching a river flowing by. It is not until about three-quarters of the way through that the real action begins and a long ago relationship has its effect on the present.
A surprising underlying plot is uncovered—and that is something which I am not going to reveal in case I spoil it for future readers! The entire book is warmly written; the ending explosive and satisfying.
Seeker of the Truth by C.L. Shore
Publisher: Eternal Press
paperback & e-book
Seeker of the Truth is the type of crime novel which was very fashionable before the 1990s, straightforward, some would say traditional—but it is a workable plot and good-humored reading. Detective Jed McCracken lost his best friend and work partner, Mark, several years previously in the line of duty. How, we are not told, but assume he was shot. Mark’s widow, Sarah, now a nun, rings Jed and tells him that she has had a vision of a murder victim dancing with a man who is not her husband.
As Jed knows, Sarah, or Sister Lucie, as she is now known, has a sixth sense when it comes to murder and has given insights into cases when her husband was alive. The victim in this novel is an ex-nun who has married the head of a university, who has secrets of his own. Through a series of clues, Jed and Sister Lucie, with the assistance of a young night receptionist, Nyla, solve the crime, the motive for which is more complicated than first appears. A pleasant read.
Choke: An Imogene Duckworthy Mystery by Kaye George
Publisher: Mainly Murder Press
ISBN – 10: 0982795270
ISBN – 13: 978-0982795279
Paperback & e-book
Imogene Duckworthy—love the name—and her mother, the eccentric Hortense, go on the lam after being suspected of causing her Uncle Hugh’s death by ramming a frozen sausage down his throat. Imogene’s teenage dreams of becoming a private detective, a la Nancy Drew, appear to be within reach, aided by the purchase of old-style text books on solving crime.
To Immy’s delight, this ambition becomes a reality, when she interviews for employment in a real private investigator’s office. However, the experience is somewhat of a shock to Immy, who imagined she would be a fully qualified P.I. the first day of her employment.
Undaunted, she forges ahead with her investigation and the suspects mount up as Ms. Duckworthy tries various ways of avoiding the law, employing some dubious disguises.
Kaye George’s naive and likeable young female sleuth grapples—literally, in the case of the delectable Baxter, and—figuratively, with some rather seedy characters—before all is revealed. I must say that although I did pick the murderer out early in the piece, I was mistaken by which of her suitors eventually wins Immy and her daughter, Drew.
Overall, a funny, energetic, good-natured read, particularly for young women who will relate to Immy’s outlook on life.
Parmenters Wager, a novella by Terri Lynn Main (Reedley author)
I was rather surprised to discover that this is not a full length novel, but more of a longish short story. It is a measure of how much I enjoyed it, that I am sorry it is NOT a novella. I wanted to read more.
The question posed in this work is, when is a “human” not a human? Terri Main’s skillful writing leads her main character to answer the question, “Do I have a soul?” in a very satisfying way, and to outwit and outface those of his parishioners who would caste a newcomer out into religious darkness.
I am not in favor of writing spoilers, so I will challenge any would-be reader to discover the answer to this interesting question for him- or herself.
Thoroughly delightful read.
Learn more about Terri in her interview with KRL.
To enter to win copies of all 4 ebooks, simply email KRL at email@example.com with the subject line “ebook”, or comment on this article. The winner will also receive bookmarks, tea candy and Harney & Sons tea from Sweet Tea & Secrets author Nancy Naigle. A winner will be chosen July 23, 2011. U.S. residents only.