Multi-volume, multi-series, mystery author, Marni Graff introduces us to the fifth volume in The Nora Tierney English Mysteries series, “The Evening’s Amethyst”:
Who is Verity? That becomes the central question for American writer Nora Tierney, who has moved to her new Oxford home with her fiancé, DI Declan Barnes, and her young son. Declan's new case at Exeter College coincides with a frantic call from Nora's stepsister, Claire Scott: a fellow graduate student has died in a fall, and Claire begs Nora to help her prove her friend didn't commit suicide. The sisters conduct their own snooping, while Declan and his tam juggle this death with a cold case that proves to be more surprising than Declan could ever imagine.
I love Nora, don’t tell my wife or Declan. Her supporting cast adds so much depth to the story. Her life seems to be on the upswing in many ways.
The author is very talented in weaving multiple stories into a cohesive and interesting plot! I was on the edge of my Kindle much of the way.
The characters seem alive and quite three-dimensional. They struggle with everyday stresses and have worries just like us. Even the minor characters seem very organic in the story. A lot of the dialogue is witty and sometimes it is heartbreaking. The investigation proceeds at a reasonable pace and every step is realistic.
I award 5 stars to "The Evening's Amethyst"!
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Tags: amateur sleuth, police procedural, women sleuths, dogs, toddler, action, mystery, suicide or murder, England, Oxford
I reviewed other books by Marni:
“Death at the Dakota” and interviewed her beneath that review: https://www.wordrefiner.com/book-reviews/death-at-the-dakota-a-trudy-genova-manhattan-mystery-book-2-by-m-k-graff
“The Golden Hour” we had an interview there also:
Copyright © 2021 Mark L. Schultz except for the author’s introduction
Award-winning, multi-volume author, Mercedes Rochelle introduces us to her third volume in The Plantagenet Legacy, “The Usurper King”:
From Outlaw to Usurper, Henry Bolingbroke fought one rebellion after another.
First, he led his own uprising. Then he captured a forsaken king. Henry had no intention of taking the crown for himself; it was given to him by popular acclaim. Alas, it didn't take long to realize that that having the kingship was much less rewarding than striving for it. Only three months after his coronation, Henry IV had to face a rebellion led by Richard's disgruntled favorites. Repressive measures led to more discontent. His own supporters turned against him, demanding more than he could give. The haughty Percies precipitated the Battle of Shrewsbury which nearly cost him the throne—and his life.
To make matters worse, even after Richard II's funeral, the deposed monarch was rumored to be in Scotland, planning his return. The king just wouldn't stay down and malcontents wanted him back.
I have enjoyed this series so much! Mercedes takes a dusty and dry part of history makes pure entertainment out of it! I think she has a time machine because the actions and conversations seem so real, the people are real, whole and so organic. The things they do and say make a lot of sense. This is how people are, they worry first about their own well being and then they look to the welfare of those they love the most and the circle slowly expands. People today are the same as people back then.
The writing is so good, Mercedes truly understands these people. Her powers of description provide the perfect balance with dialogue and action. There is lots of action also, love, bravery, murder and intrigue at all levels.
I award 5 stars to “The Usurper King”! Considering all of the books Mercedes has written, this is the best!
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Tags: history, biography, fiction, medieval, European, Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, France, historical, biographical,
Copyright © 2021 Mark L. Schultz except for the author’s introduction.
Multi-genre, multi-volume co-authors Krall and Barton introduce us to their collection of tales for the fall season:
Travel the world and enjoy a collection of luxurious short stories with a paranormal edge from the writing desks of Bibiana Krall and Veronica Cline Barton. This 'spirited' anthology is guaranteed to give you the shivers and keep you reading late into the night with heady doses of mystery, haunted imagery and psychological suspense. Catch up and read Hearth Fires (Book #1) and get ready for an intense ride to places unknown.
Here in the fjordic crags, each of us can be the victim of ourselves, the frozen death within waiting to be unleashed. I hear their silent whispers cry… ‘meg, meg, meg’. Most I choose to ignore, letting karma’s destiny of actions unfold. For those I extricate, the journey into the Northern Light or depth of darkness is swift.
Choose wisely, hviske within.
WIDOW’S WALK (Falmouth)
After inheriting a historic mansion on the shores of Cape Cod. Abigail is consumed by grief for the loss of an incredible woman, and tormented by a childhood ghost that does everything possible to scare her out of her wits.
When the troubling entity makes physical contact, it’s clear that Abby is in danger. Does the mysterious phantom want her dead?
SCULPTURE OF THE DEAD (Aspen)
I touch the cold, Colorado marble with my hands, running my fingers over the veins. I know when the stone matches the traits of the departed. Sculptural portraits, masks of the dead, fragments of limbs…the living think they want to remember their dearly departed with my creations.
Sometimes it’s better to forget.
SPIRIT ISLAND (Jasper)
Seychelle is a free spirit, taking one day at a time and doing her best to help her family. When she accepts a creative assignment and experiences something, haunting and otherworldly in the wilderness… will it help her understand her own life better or carry her down a crooked and violent path she cannot return from?
The past is alive.
MODE de VEUVE NOIRE (Quebec City)
Selfie, pose, look at me, I’m the fashion influencer you want to be.
Follow, buy, so yesterday, darling--opinions, trends my ultimate worth. When wannabe, legend in her own mind Monique hits the streets of Quebec with an antique camera once owned by the famed Madame Coco, the photos she takes provide a stroke of famed acclaim, or dismal despair to those she hoped to install in her style hall of shame. The camera never lies, Madame.
Click. Click. Click.
RAGNO DAZANTE (Italy)
Itsy, bitsy spider, dance, twirl and spin that tangled web. What waits for us on the other end of the cosmic red string? Aurelia has it all, a lush life in Italy, and fierce looks to match, yet she uses her power to dominate, mistreat and humiliate another woman.
When Pietra finally embraces her dark birthright, the wicked game is afoot.
Hoo, boy! I love these stories! I can’t decide which is my favorite. but I do know which one creeped me out the most. Spirit Island takes that top slot, followed closely by Ragno Dazante. RD thoroughly surprised me with the ending. I didn’t see that coming. Mode de Veuve Noir had an unexpected climax also. Hviske was quite surprising as well. I guess my favorite is between Widow’s Walk and Sculpture of the Dead. Anything that makes me laugh as much as those two stories did lands at the top of my list for humor.
This is a perfect offering for the fall season we are in now. What is left unsaid is almost as important as the writing. Extrapolation is a mark of good writing!
5 stars from me!
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Copyright © 2021 Mark L. Schultz except for the authors’ introduction
Who am I?
An avid reader, typobuster, and the Hyper-Speller. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
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