Author Art Johnson introduces us to The Devil’s Violin:
With his diverse background of art evaluation and Desert Storm duty, FBI Special Investigator Chris Clarke is ready for all comers. Only one fugitive haunts his thoughts: the notorious and ruthless assassin known only as “The Man in Black,” whose trail of contract killings had never led law enforcement to anything but a figure lurking in the shadows.
One morning, “The Man in Black” is seen by witnesses in Cremona, Italy, in the area where a young violinist was found dead with his throat cut. Clarke and his partner head off to Europe to track down the assassin while attempting to decode the mystery that lies behind the motive. Meanwhile, veteran sneak-thief Gus Edward Happy has been hired to fly to Europe and steal the most valuable violin in existence – the famed violin coveted by the Jimi Hendrix of the nineteenth century, Niccolo Paganini – thought to be in league with the devil because his genius was unexplainable in earthly terms.
Through a tangled web involving Illuminati, secret documents in the possession of Paganini at his death, a master violin forger and his deceptive daughter, thieves, and assassins, Clarke faces the challenge of his career as he and his partner move across Italy to the South of France where pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place with the Devil’s Violin at center stage.
This is a great book to read and enjoy! Art has written a murder and art heist mystery. With a lot of disparate threads to weave into a tapestry, Art has done a magnificent job! He kept me guessing right until the end when the winner in the race for the most famous violin was revealed. With competing parties, good, bad, and neutral, it was really hard to tell who the winner would be. Clarke and Chubbs, FBI agents, are a great pair and find themselves up to their eyeballs in trouble with this assignment.
Lots of action and dialogue move this adventure along very nicely. The different sub-plots kept the suspense high. You would not know this is his first book, Art handles so many details of the writing craft quite well.
Lots of adventure, great story, and wonderful writing! I found only a few spelling and typographical errors. The Devil’s Violin gets 4.9 stars out of 5!!
I have already reviewed Art’s second book Deadly Impressions. See the review here http://www.wordrefiner.com/book-reviews/-deadly-impressions-by-art-johnson
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Note: There is a different cover showing on Goodreads.com
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Author Michelle Path introduces us to The Cowboy Who Was Scared of Horses:
The rodeo is about to arrive in town and all the cowboys want to impress the cowgirls with their riding skills. Cowboy Marty lives on Seven Star Ranch and rides a bicycle to do his chores. He wants to impress the cowgirls too but there is just one problem: he is secretly scared of horses. To stop anybody finding out, he puts an advert in the local newspaper asking for help. To his surprise, a skilled rider named Marjorie shows up on his ranch and is willing to teach him to ride. However, Marty has skills of his own. Can he teach her some valuable lessons in return?
This newest offering from Michelle Path is a wonderful and heartwarming story for all but the youngest of children. Marty suffers from equinophobia, while not usually a problem, Marty lives on a ranch with horses. This is a well written story with beautiful full page illustrations. There are some great lessons for discussion, many teachable moments. The story is fun and light-hearted. We get to follow Marty as he seeks a solution for his problem.
This is such a wonderful story, and I found no errors; The Cowboy Who Was Scared of Horses gets 5 stars! I congratulate Author Michelle, she is showing growth in her craft!
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Author Tegon Maus introduces Bob to us:
After 27 years as a newspaper man, Peter Anderson’s career is slipping away, at least it was, until he stumbled upon the story of a lifetime. Sent to do a fluff piece about lights in the night sky over Arizona, he discovers far more than he ever expected when he comes upon a mysterious young woman held prisoner in a basement. After helping her to escape, she disappears before he can learn the truth about who she is or where she came from. His search for her leads him back to the lights in the sky and leaves him with more questions than answers. The only thing he knows for certain . . . the only thing he can count on are the two words offered repeatedly by his friend and guide . . . “IS BELT.”
Ha ha ha. Sorry, I can’t stop laughing! Ha ha ha. This is the funniest book I have read in a long time. “Is belt.” I am not going to forget that ever. I will laugh to myself or smile every time I think of Bob.
I don’t think Peter Anderson needed much help to find trouble. Bob took him to a whole new level of Trouble, and I was laughing all the way. Let me suggest you read this book in private, unless you don’t care how people look at you when you are in the middle of a big belly laugh. I am not going to spoil this book, you already know it is scifi from the cover. The rest you should discover on your own.
I like Tegon’s writing, he shows himself adept at the craft. He handles POV well and includes lots of action and dialogue to move the story along. This is a well written book.
Here is my problem, I found a small handful of errors. I normally do not give more than a 4.9 star rating when I find errors. Bob is so well written, it is so funny, and a true pleasure to read, I have to give it FIVE STARS!
My side still hurts, thank you Tegon!
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Amazon All-Star author Dianne Harman describes Murder and Brandy Boy:
Liz Lucas, the owner of the Red Cedar Spa, hires an intern to help her prepare family style meals served to guests at the lodge. Only days before graduation, his car crashes over a cliff and into the ocean. Was it suicide or murder?
Liz, along with her trusty dog, Winston, sets out to find the killer. Was it the high school computer genius, Nerdy Birdie? Brent, who was going to Stanford on a football scholarship? Kaitlin, the quarterback's girlfriend? Clamhammer, the gangster from San Francisco's Chinatown? Or Nerdy's mother, the president of the Women Whose Husbands Left Them Club?
Who would have thought Brandy Boy, the lovable but lazy St. Bernard who's the mascot of the Red Cedar Spa, would become a nationally recognized hero?
I love Brandy Boy, he reminds me of the St. Bernard I grew up with on the farm. Dianne has captured the spirit of the breed wonderfully. While sleeping most of the time Brandy Boy plays a pivotal role in this delightful Cozy Murder. What’s a Cozy Murder? It is a murder/mystery story without a lot of mayhem or blood.
I enjoyed the story immensely, and found Dianne’s writing to be top-notch. She does an excellent job of maintaining POV and that helps a reader keep track of what is going on. I also found it helpful that Liz’s thoughts were in italics, it helps to separate from the narration.
The mystery of how the victim died and who was the mastermind unravels slowly as Liz and company struggle to piece all the clues together. I was fooled right up to the unveiling, which is what I like. If I can figure out who the killer is real soon, then the story is not plotted well, because I am not a very good sleuth.
For you foodies out there, Dianne includes several recipes for the foods that are mentioned in the story. My mouth still waters every time I think about the Frozen Butterfinger Pie.
I give this 4.9 stars of 5! It is not 5 stars only because I found a couple of spelling errors.
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Author, Larry Landgraf introduces his book Into Autumn A novel:
The economy of the United States has failed, government has shut down, and the grid has gone offline. No Internet, no TV, no utility services. There is rioting, killing, and chaos everywhere. You have no water and little food. You hear gunshots then banging at your door. You have no gun. What do you do? It is not a question of whether or not this will happen but when. Could you survive if it happened tomorrow? The lives of Lars Lindgren and Eileen Branson have been turned upside down. Follow their struggle; learn how they must change in order to survive.
I have read lots of dystopian/survival books and Larry’s book really impresses me. There are no zombies, no nuclear attacks or severe climatic changes. We really don’t know what caused the collapse of civilization in the U.S. of A.
Into Autumn is a detailed look at how a small handful of people struggle and survive to carve a new civilization out of unrelenting chaos. I am really impressed with the pace in Larry’s book, it is slow and even, there is a lot of development of characters and the settings where everything occurs. The action is tangible, the characters responses are quite realistic and very believable. Larry has a great eye for detail and he keeps his POV really clean. Into Autumn is a well-reasoned look at what it takes to survive a permanent catastrophe, when the government will never come to your aid. As an ex-boy scout, ex-military and working in construction for over twenty years there is a lot of good information here as food for thought.
Good news, there is a sequel in the works!
I love the book, but the handful of spelling errors allow me to award only 4.8 of 5 STARS!
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Who am I?
An avid reader, typobuster, and the Hyper-Speller. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
"I'm very pleased with all your efforts. Twitter promotion and proofreading were beyond what I expected with a book review. Your suggestions throughout the process of refining both books helped me immensely. I look forward to working with you again." A.E.H Veenman “Dial QR for Murder” and “Prepped for the Kill”