Tag Archives: mystery

Book Review: Without Proof – by Janet Sketchley

without-proof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Without Proof: a Redemption's Edge novel
Author: Janet Sketchley
Publisher: Janet Sketchley
Genre: Christian suspense
Date: October 10, 2015
Pages: 308
Price: paperback, $12.99
My rating: a suspenseful story of hope

I won this book from the author and, very late, I’m posting my honest review.

Without Proof is book three of a trilogy by Canadian author Janet Sketchley. Even though it is the third in the series, the author gives enough information so that the first two books are not necessary for the reader to easily follow and enjoy the storyline. This novel can stand on its own. (I read and reviewed the first book, Heaven’s Prey, HERE, if you would like to check it out.) I haven’t read book two, Secrets and Lies, but would like to purchase it and find time to read it later.

In Without Proof a young woman, Amy, is recovering from serious injuries she suffered in a plane crash two years before. Her fiancé, Gilles, did not survive it, so she is left alone and grieving. Her fiancé’s Aunt Bay takes her in, and his best friend, Michael, helps out however he can. Michael also has an art business, so Amy helps manage it while struggling with her memories, physical pain, and emotions, including her growing feelings for Michael.

Janet Sketchley’s writing style is easy to read and enjoy. She pulls the reader right into the story, meaning that once into the story the reader doesn’t want to leave until the end. In this novel, there is suspense and enough going on to keep the reader interested in trying to figure out who is doing what to whom. Someone leads Amy to believe the plane was sabotaged, and in trying to find out the truth Amy places herself in danger. There are threats, break-ins, mysterious people, and enough drama to keep the pages turning in anticipation. And, of course, there are surprises – events that occur to keep up the level of suspense.

God is front and center in Aunt Bay’s life, and yet Amy isn’t sure how God fits in her own life or even if He does. Without Proof is written without profanity, is not preachy or “religious” – although there is a hopeful message – and is a story that leaves the reader satisfied. In the back of the book, there are even discussion questions that are great for a study group or a book club.

Without Proof was a finalist is the Word Awards (Suspense Category).

You can find Without Proof by Janet Sketchley on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

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Book Review: Devil’s Hump – by Syr Ruus

Devil's Hump
Book: Devil’s Hump
Author: Syr Ruus
Publisher: etc. Press Ltd., Canada
Date: August 2013
Genre: regional fiction
Pages: 148
Price: $20.00
My rating: an amazing tale to satisfy the mind

 

I purchased this book from the author, and what a treat. Syr Ruus has written an amazing tale to satisfy the mind. She believes “one shouldn’t take the time to write what is already on the bookshelf” and – since this approach does not work for everyone – I admire her for daring to be different and succeeding at it. Her writing is compelling. Devil’s Hump is not like any novel I have ever read, which is certainly not a bad thing. It was intriguing and kept me curious and reading.

The story around Devil’s Hump begins in the early 1920’s on a fictional island off Nova Scotia, Canada. (FYI: there are hundreds of small islands off Nova Scotia’s coast so it could be similar to several of them.)

Devil’s Hump is written in five sections, each addressing a pivotal character in the story. Although separated it’s not disjointed because each part relates back to, and interconnects with, the main story in a very interesting way. The reader gets to know each character and to appreciate how they individually saw and understood the events that happened. When reaching the ending to this marvellous story, the reader may wonder ‘what if?’ while at the same time being satisfied with how it wraps up.

Syr Ruus wrote a very interesting and well-constructed novel. Although it is not always advisable to try to write the way people speak because it can get hard to follow, Syr Ruus did this and effectively mastered it, adding so much depth and realism to the story. The dialect helps to shape the characters and brings the reader right into the old General Store to eavesdrop and nod along with the locals eager for the latest gossip and opinion-sharing.

You see, there was a series of dramatic events that occurred – a diphtheria epidemic, deaths, dramatic life-altering decisions, mystery surrounding one particular secluded family, a newcomer, a discovery. No one knows all the details of how it played out, except one person thinks he knows. Most of it. Only the reader is permitted the luxury of that knowledge. It is well worth the read to that end.

Devil’s Hump is sold in a very few Nova Scotia shops and not on the Internet, but it can easily be ordered directly from the author. Please write to her at: syr(at)eastlink(dot)ca

For anyone local who has the chance to attend a book reading, Syr Ruus is reading from her novel, Devil’s Hump, on Tuesday, August 19 at the LaHave Islands Museum Hall on Bells Island (as the novel was inspired by the LaHave Islands) from 3-5 p.m.

If you would like to contact or connect with Syr Ruus through Facebook, she has two locations: Her personal Facebook page is HERE where she uses her full name of Sirje Ruus, and her Author Facebook page is HERE

You can find Devil’s Hump listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Book Review: Don’t Dare a Dame (Maggie Sullivan Mysteries) – by M. Ruth Myers

Don't Dare a DameBook: Don’t Dare a Dame (Maggie Sullivan Mysteries book 3)
Author: M. Ruth Myers
Publisher: Tuesday House 
Date: November 7, 2013
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 359
Price: $13.99 paperback; Kindle under $4.00
My rating: a great sleuth novel with a smart lady PI
 
 

Don’t Dare a Dame by M. Ruth Myers was fun to read. This is a sleuth novel that pulled me in, involved me without my realizing it, although I was thinking about the story when I couldn’t be reading it.

This is a mystery told in the voice of private investigator, Maggie Sullivan, who has intelligence, heart, courage, and determination. She takes the reader on a delightful journey – tense at times, loaded with clues and hints and glorious details and trails and situations. And surprises. And drama.

Set in the 1930’s to 1940’s, Don’t Dare a Dame starts with Maggie saying: Two old maids who wanted to hire me had asked me to tea, so I’d treated my nails to a fresh coat of raspberry pink and put on a hat that matched and a Smith & Wesson that didn’t. This shows the reader right away that here is a woman who likes looking like a woman but who takes her job seriously and is ready to do business at any time.

Maggie finds herself investigating the decades-old disappearance of a man, unsure if she will find anything at all regarding that mystery since she suspects all clues would likely be gone by then. Through her curiosity, compassion, determination, and her skill as a private eye, she uncovers more than she first imagined could be connected. In so doing, she upsets some respected people and endangers not only herself but her clients.

Don’t Dare a Dame by M. Ruth Myers is a good story that keeps the reader interested. There’s some swearing but it is not over the top.

Don’t Dare a Dame is the third book in the Maggie Sullivan mysteries. If this is the genre you enjoy, judging by this volume it would be well worth your while to read the whole series.

You can find Don’t Dare a Dame listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Book Review: Songbird Under a German Moon – by Tricia Goyer

Songbird Under a German MoonBook: Songbird Under a German Moon
Author: Tricia Goyer
Publisher: Summerside
Date: June 13, 2011
Genre: Christian romance; historical fiction
Pages: 320
Price: Kindle $7.77
My Rating: dramatic fiction to interest romance readers

 

Songbird Under a German Moon by Tricia Goyer is set in the post WWII years in Germany. The story begins in a noisy twin engine airplane that is transporting Betty – a twenty-year-old singer – with several soldiers on their way to Germany,  but already there is drama. The plane is having engine trouble and must try to make a safe emergency landing in Nuremberg, Germany.

In Bayreuth, Germany, there is a famous opera house – Festspielhaus – where Hitler was said to enjoy operas, especially those of Richard Wagner. This opera house is where the musical entertainment is being performed for the soldiers, not far from the house where Hitler had sometimes stayed and where the ladies are now living between performances. But there is something creepy about that war damaged building, something unsettling.

When Betty, and Frank, a photographer for the military, first see one another romance is soon in the air. But Frank is not all he appears to be; he has a secret. He is not the only one with a secret, though, and when there is a murder those secrets start being revealed. Realizing her life may be in danger, Betty thinks she can trust Frank to help her.

Some scenes seemed a little stilted in this story, perhaps a bit unrealistic when dealing with human emotions in relationships, but the drama pulls one’s attention in another direction. It was easy to get interested in Songbird Under a German Moon by Tricia Goyer. 

Interesting facts, around which Songbird Under a German Moon was written,  about Festspielhaus opera house, Wahnfried house, and Richard Wagner can be found on the Internet.

If you enjoy historical fiction with romance and a Christian flavour this may be the book for you. You can get a history lesson at the same time!

You can find Songbird Under a German Moon listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Untraceable – by S. R. Johannes

Untraceable by S.R.JohannesBook: Untraceable
Author: S. R. Johannes
Publisher: Coleman and Stott
Date: January 10, 2014
Genre: teen thriller
Pages: 314
Price: $11.50 on Kindle
My rating: Action-packed, suspenseful adventure
 

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Author S.R. Johannes has created an action-packed thriller for young adults that will certainly keep them reading. In Untraceable she introduces us to Grace, the teen daughter of a forest ranger who went missing three months before and whom everyone has given up as dead. Everyone, that is, except Grace, who gets into trouble more than once in her quest to find her father. Not only does she get into trouble with the local police and her mother (with whom she is always fighting), she becomes caught up in a very dangerous situation when discovering something she is not supposed to know.

Grace does have an ally – an ex-boyfriend who, although not as nature savvy as she, has stuck by her through her risky schemes while trying his best to help at great risk to himself. Then there is the mystery guy Grace comes across while fishing. She can’t help falling for him, even though she is nervous about getting involved with anyone. Unfortunately, what she learns about him turns her world, and her heart, upside down.

S. R. Johannes builds suspense as Grace keeps seeking clues, getting deeper into a mess she may not be able to remedy. What she finds is shocking. The visuals in this story make the reader wince but simultaneously want to keep reading because it’s hard to put the book down.

Untraceable by S.R. Johannes is an action-packed novel teens will enjoy. It is the first book in the Nature of Grace teen thriller series. Book two has been released and the third book is to be released in June 2014.

You can find Untraceable listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

 Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 
 

Book Review: The Tipping Point – by Walter Danley

The Tipping Point. Walter DanleyBook: The Tipping Point (A Wainwright Mystery)
Author: Walter Danley
Publisher: Marble Arch Communications
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Date: 1st edition December 9, 2013, 2nd edition May 15, 2014
Genre: mystery thriller; crime mystery
Pages: 354
Price: $13.78 but can be found for much less
My Rating: a crime mystery full of twists and intrigue to keep the reader hooked
 
 

* Before the book was in its finished state, I received the ARC of the second edition of The Tipping Point to review; therefore, my comments are based on the unpolished product. *

Debut novel, The Tipping Point by Walter Danley, begins with murder and continues from there with corporate greed, intrigue, conspiracy, suspense, and more. There are many questions that come up which the reader will want answered before reaching the last page. Even though there were a few contradictions in the story, sidetracks and extra information that drew the reader away from the main story, and times when it was hard to follow who was speaking, the main thread carried through. It was set in the 1970’s, so the reader may find some subtle sexism that seems to be accepted by the characters.

Instead of my dwelling on the problems with the editing of this story, and inconsistencies which I hope have been corrected in the final edits, I would suggest – if you enjoy a novel such as I described in the first sentence of the above paragraph – you give this book, The Tipping Point, a try. 

You will meet Wainwright, who, after one of his partners is murdered, tries to uncover the corrupt undercurrent he discovers that prevails in their multimillion-dollar company. There are more deaths, threats, fraudulent dealings, love affairs, an illusive hit-man, and many well-developed characters to follow through it all.

The Tipping Point is not a straightforward tale, but one that is tangled and interesting to read. It is fast-paced where needed, and dramatic. Even with my habit of noticing flaws as I read, this was a story I wanted to follow to the end. I’m usually a good guesser at ‘whodunit’, but this one kept me guessing as to whom was behind the murders and conspiracy.

Readers will be satisfied with the ending Walter Danley wrote to The Tipping Point. Because of his fans’ requests, the author is working on a sequel. 

Visit Walter Danley’s website to view the trailer for The Tipping Point.

You can find The Tipping Point listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

Book Review: Treasure Me, Book One in the Liberty series – by Christine Nolfi

Treasure Me by Christine NolfiBook: Treasure Me
Author: Christine Nolfi
Publisher: Christine Nolfi
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Date: April 19, 2011
Genre: romantic fiction for adults
Pages: 352
Price: $12.95 paperback; $5.00 Kindle
My Rating: Captivating characters and a story line that reels the reader in.
 

I received a copy of Treasure Me from Christine Nolfi to review.

Treasure Me starts out at a nervous pace, snagging the reader’s attention immediately. The main character, Birdie, is hanging from a ledge three stories above street level, trying to escape from a very angry man from whom she had just lifted a wallet. Now, is that enough to reel you in?

Birdie is a petty thief, taught by her mother. She has had a hard life alongside her mother who moved from town to town, stealing and playing her con games as she went, using her daughter to sweeten the con until cutting her loose at a young age, leaving her to fend for herself. Birdie learned well, and when the opportunity arose to strike it rich she grabbed at it.

Striking it rich, though, didn’t turn out to be as simple as she thought it would be. The only clue she had to hidden treasure in a lazy little town was passed down through generations and she could only hope it still existed. Little did she know her life was about to be drastically influenced by the unsuspecting people of that town in a way that would cause her much regret.

I won’t tell you any more! If this interests you then you will have to read it for yourself. 😉  But, beware: the author sprinkled flirtation, seduction and adult information (although not explicit) throughout so that this is not a book for pre-adult readers.  If it weren’t for that, I would recommend Treasure Me for advanced young readers because the main story line is a good one, well-executed with humour and mystery mixed into the interwoven relationships and fabric of the town’s history.

Christine Nolfi created memorable characters – although a couple are a little exaggerated, perhaps – who made Treasure Me a story in a fictional little town worth visiting.

You can find Treasure Me listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂