Author: Rachael Huszar
Narrator: Jenn Lee
Length: 5 hours and 31 minutes
Producer: Audiobook Empire
Publisher: Rachael Huszar
Released: January 20, 2022
Genre: Historical Thriller
One Will Too Many
A Julia Fairchild Mystery #4
Finngirl, LLC, December 2021
From the author—
A wealthy banker with a long list of secrets dies.
The bizarre crime scene stumps the local police…
… but a young doctor could be the key to solving the case.
Internist Julia Fairchild encounters banker Jay moments too late – the poor man is near death in his own dining room. At first no one can figure out what killed him, but the coroner soon confirms that it was homicide: Jay died of methanol poisoning, and now a murderer is on the loose. Julia knows how to catch a killer and she can cut through the noise like a scalpel through skin. She agrees to help the understaffed police force solve the case, but each clue only complicates her investigation further.
Can Julia dissect the deadly riddle and nail the perp, or will this be the first time a monster succeeds in giving her the slip?
If you love Louise Penny, Kelly Oliver, and PC James, you need this medical mystery! Find out why fans say, “I love the character Julia Fairchild!”
To my way of thinking, it’s not easy to write a medical-focused mystery without a sense of it being a thriller or suspense and I don’t really agree with the “cozy” label on One Will Too Many. It’s also not especially thriller-ish but I think it fits nicely into the “traditional” category; the amateur sleuth is not just accidentally part of the plot and has some validity to her investigating as well as being welcomed by law enforcement.
Having said that, labels don’t really matter all that much when the difference is so thin and the whodunit here is nicely offered with characters who are particularly well-fleshed out. Julia is, of course, quite good at sussing out potential clues as you might expect in a doctor and she works well with her nephew on the police force. Learning that the wealthy victim, Jay, had a lot of secrets and that his will is likely to be a hefty motive, Julia soon leads the reader down a variety of paths and I admit to being diverted more than once. In a side storyarc, Julia has a new-ish romantic interest, maybe even more than one, but that doesn’t intrude too much on the core investigation.
Ms. Peterson does a fine job of creating tension and her pacing is quite good, always leaving me wanting to keep going to the next page and the next. This was my introduction to the Julia Fairchild series and, while I didn’t feel a lack in not having read the first three books, I’m eager to catch up now.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, March 2022.
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Julia arrived at the Hotel Montpelier just as Drake drove up. She took advantage of his simultaneous presence to make a proper entrance to the celebration in the Hotel’s Grand Ballroom. It had recently been refurbished to its original grandeur from the early 1920’s. She admired the beauty of the ceilings with their Art Deco design, recently uncovered by the removal of a false ceiling from a previous “upgrade.” The beautiful wood floor with exquisite inlaid mosaics shone from a recent floor polishing. The cherry and mahogany woodwork glistened in the light from the elegant crystal chandeliers which had also been hidden until now.
Julia and Drake were greeted by some of the other members of the restoration committee. Drake was the designated master of ceremonies while Julia’s primary duty was to personally welcome as many of the potential donors as possible and say a few words in support of the project. He certainly looked the part tonight in a well-cut black velvet tuxedo. His dark hair was touched with silver—just enough to give him a classy look. He stood tall and proud as he walked through the crowd, nodding to some and saying a word or two to other attendees.
Julia searched the assembled festival attendees for familiar faces as Drake gently guided her to an older man and woman. He placed his hand at the small of her back as he addressed the wealthy couple. “Julia, I’d like to introduce Mr. And Mrs. George Oglethorpe. They have been long-time supporters of the theatre.”Julia stepped forward a half-step and extended her hand. “I’m Julia Fairchild. I’m honored to meet you. I love our theatre, too.” The woman’s face brightened as she recognized the name. “Of course! Dr. Fairchild. Call me Anna. I’ve heard a lot of good things about you.” She took Julia’s hand in both of hers. “You’re so young and pretty for a doctor.” Julia reddened. She actually felt a little mousey most days, but conceded to herself that she did ‘clean up’ nicely for such events. “Thank you. I was blessed with good genes. How long have you and your husband lived in Parkview?” “My goodness. Forever. Right out of college anyway. George heard about the paper mill here looking for mechanical engineers and applied right away.” She smiled proudly at him. “We love the town and were never inclined to leave once we settled in. Isn’t that right, dear?” Her husband nodded between sips of his drink. “Are you from here?” “Not from Parkview. I grew up down the highway on a small farm. My grandma persuaded me to come home and here I am.” Julia felt her eyes well up as she recalled warm memories of time spent with her grandparents. “Thank you for your support of our lovely theatre. The restoration committee will be sharing the plans for the renovation during the program.” Julia felt Drake’s arm around her waist as he interceded. “Thank you for coming this evening. Please excuse us. I see someone who is clamoring to talk with Dr. Fairchild before the dinner starts.” Drake took Julia’s arm and as they turned around, they found Gregory Lantz and his wife Sandy who had been standing right behind them. “Greg! So good to see you here tonight. Thanks for coming.” They exchanged nods and handshakes. “Julia is standing in for Karen tonight. She’s also supporting the project.” Julia smiled and nodded. Aside from the perfunctory smiles, Julia sensed a tension between the men, and she moved a step away from Drake to better observe them both. Greg stirred his gin and tonic vigorously. “I’ve talked with some of the members of the board at the bank, but I don’t have a definite commitment yet for a donation. I think we can come through for $50,000. But nothing close to the million dollars that everyone seems to think the bank can donate.” “Greg, any amount would be great. I understand it’s been a little tough with the new bank still getting started.” Drake Ashford was the president of the older, long-established Parkview National Bank. He was aware that despite heavy advertising and promotions, the new River City Community Bank was not yet meeting expectations. He was also acutely sensitive to the loss of some of his own banking clients to the new bank, where Greg was Vice President. Greg bristled. “Actually, we’re meeting our numbers and seeing new business every day. I would think you would have noticed already.” He smirked. “We’ve noticed a little change, but we’re prepared to handle it.” Drake took a large swallow of his scotch. “Please excuse us. I have some other people to greet. Talk to you later, Greg.” Drake and Julia moved away. “That man really annoys me,” Drake said under his breath. “He’s so naive. He doesn’t see how Jay is using him. He’s just a ‘yes’ man. But I guess it makes him feel important.” “What do you mean?” Julia asked, nodding and smiling at some of the faces she recognized. She knew he referred to Jay Morrison, recently divorced and head of the new bank. She felt Drake’s hand shaking as he maneuvered her through the crowd. “I’ll tell you later. Too many ears here.” He surveyed the guests nearby. “Let’s see…there’s Warren Pontell and his lovely wife Sarah. He’s talked about making a major contribution. His wife was a theatre actress in her younger days. And they have money to burn.” He turned to Julia and wiggled his eyebrows, à la Groucho Marx. Drake and Julia chatted with the Pontells for a few minutes, using the time to emphasize the benefits of the smaller venue of the “little theatre.” It was designed to be an intimate stage setting with seating for about one hundred fifty people. Until recently, the area had been used for storage and was marginally functional for stage events in its current state. Julia had found herself daydreaming but tuned back in when she heard Mr. Pontell say, “We’d like to donate $50,000 for the little theatre. Perhaps you can find a way to let us have something to say about naming it.” He grinned broadly as his wife beamed. “Warren, that’s wonderful!” said Drake. “I’ll talk with the board of directors about naming opportunities. Let me get back to you on details for your donation. Thank you.” Now grinning, Drake gently guided Julia toward Adam Johns, an influential man in the local union hierarchy, and his wife. He had started working at ESCO Paper Company right out of high school and had worked his way up from the labor pool to an electrician apprenticeship and then to a journeyman electrician. His constituents considered him to be fair and honest. He had an unofficial status in the union as a leader, although he didn’t have an elected or paid position as such. Adam tugged at the neck of his dress shirt and pulled at the bottom of his dark blue waistcoat. The jacket gaped over his generous girth. He looked uncomfortable in his tuxedo. Julia was sure her mother would have said something like “putting perfume on a goat,” but most likely his wife had insisted he dress up for this occasion. He certainly looked impressive at his height of six foot three inches. “Mr. and Mrs. Johns, good evening,” said Drake as he offered his hand. “Do you know Dr. Julia Fairchild? She’s helping to support the Theatre Restoration project as we all are.” “We sure do,” said Adam, returning the handshake. “Dr. Fairchild, you took care of my mom several years back. She was real sick but you got her well and she’s fine now. Thanks to you. In fact, she’s going on a cruise through the Panama Canal with her church group this coming week. She’s always wanted to go on that trip.” “You’re welcome, Mr. Johns. I do remember your mom—Violette, I believe? She’s a lovely lady with a lot of spunk.” Julia shook his hand before turning to his wife. “Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Johns.” Mr. Johns turned back to Drake. “Mr. Ashford, some of the guys at the mill want to know if you had talked with our union officials yet about the stock trading going on with our pension funds. And if you know anything, they hope you can tell them. And call me Adam. My wife is Linda.” “Yes, Adam. I talked with a Scott Sowders in Portland. He’s looking into whether those trading fees can be traced back to any individuals. May I call you when I know something more?” “Sure. You can call me at ESCO. The operator knows how to reach me. Thanks a lot, Mr. Ashford.” “You can call me Drake, please. I’ll call you soon and we’ll go from there. Thanks again for being here tonight.” “Hey. It’s an alright party. My wife is always trying to get me to gussy up. It’s more fun than I thought it would be.” He grinned and saluted with his cocktail. Julia saw the auctioneer heading their way and alerted Drake. “I’ll check my lipstick while you talk with him. Where are we sitting?” “Main table,” he said, pointing to the center of the long side of the room. He scowled. “Unfortunately, it appears we’re seated next to Jay Morrison, of all people.” *** Excerpt from One Will Too Many by PJ Peterson. Copyright 2022 by PJ Peterson. Reproduced with permission from PJ Peterson. All rights reserved.
PJ is a retired internist who enjoyed the diagnostic part of practicing medicine as well as creating long-lasting relationships with her patients. As a child she wanted to be a doctor so she could “help people.” She now volunteers at the local Free Medical Clinic to satisfy that need to help. She loved to read from a young age and read all the Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew books she could find. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she wrote anything longer than short stories for English classes and term papers in others. Writing mysteries only makes sense given her early exposure to that genre. Sprinkling in a little medical mystique makes it all the more fun.
Gambling with Murder
A Southern California Mystery #5
Level Best Books, March 2022
A late-night call is all it takes for rookie lawyer Corrie Locke to kiss her day job at the movie studio goodbye, and do what she does best: flex her sweet P.I. skills and go undercover to find a senior who’s missing from a posh retirement community. One small stumbling block: skirting past security to gain inside access to the exclusive Villa Sunset. Time to call in the heavy artillery. Besides former security guard turned legal assistant—now wannabe P.I. –Veera, Corrie relies on a secret weapon: her mother, a surprisingly eager addition to Corrie’s team. Armed with enough attitude and pepper spray to take down a band of Navy Seals, Mom impersonates a senior to infiltrate the Villa, Corrie and Veera in tow. Turns out the job’s not as easy as they’d thought. These seniors have tricks tucked up their sleeves and aren’t afraid of using them.
The action gets dicey as the missing senior case turns into attempted murder by a criminal mind who’s always one step ahead. Corrie’s hot on the trail, but finds more than she bargained for…especially when her mother becomes a target.
When I first started reading this book, something kept niggling at me, sounding familiar. After rummaging around a bit, I discovered that I wasn’t imagining things and had actually read and reviewed the first book in the series back in 2015. I had really enjoyed it so why haven’t I kept up with the series in the past few days years? The only excuse I can come up with is that I just lost track of it.
Lida Sideris’ first stint after law school was a newbie lawyer’s dream: working as an entertainment attorney for a movie studio…kind of like her heroine, Corrie Locke, except without the homicides. Lida was one of two national winners of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship Award and a Silver Falchion Award Finalist. She lives in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, rescue dogs and a flock of uppity chickens.
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A Victoria Emerson Thriller Book 2
by John Gilstrap
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
A Victoria Emerson Thriller Book 2
Kensington, February 2022
From the publisher—
John Gilstrap, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Jonathan Grave novels, continues his acclaimed Victoria Emerson thriller series with Blue Fire. In the wake of a global conflict that has devastated America, one woman must lead—and protect—a community of survivors determined to rebuild all they have lost . . .
They call it Hell Day—a world war that lasted less than twenty-four hours. Nations unleashed weapons that destroyed more than a century’s worth of technology. Electrical grids cannot generate power. Communications and computers cannot run. And the remnants of the U. S. government cannot be depended upon. Those who survived must live as their ancestors did, off a land ruled by the whims of nature.
One-time congressional representative Victoria Emerson has become the new leader of the small town of Ortho, West Virginia. She has been struggling to provide food and shelter for the town’s inhabitants, while coping with desperate refugees. An autumn morning’s calm is shattered when her teenage son sounds the alarm with the cry “Blue Fire”—the code phrase for imminent danger.
A band of National Guardsmen intends to take Ortho and its resources for themselves. They have enough soldiers and firepower to eliminate anyone who dares to stop them. But Victoria swore an oath to defend and protect her people, and she isn’t about to surrender. It’s time to tap into the traditional American values of courage, ingenuity, and determination – and fight fire with fire.
A Victoria Emerson Thriller Book 1
Brad Taylor meets The Stand in a riveting novel of suspense kicking off a brand new series perfect for fans of the page-turning novels of A.G. Riddle, Mark Greaney, and Matthew Mather.
“One of the most singular and compelling heroines to come along in years.”—Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author
“Snaps with action from the very first page.”—Marc Cameron, New York Times bestselling author of Stone Cross and of Tom Clancy’s Code of Honor
From John Gilstrap, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Jonathan Grave novels, comes Crimson Phoenix—first in the new Victoria Emerson Thriller series. With America brought to the brink of destruction, one woman becomes the last hope of a nation and its people . . .
Victoria Emerson is a congressional member of the U. S. House of Representatives for the state of West Virginia. Her aspirations have always been to help her community and to avoid the ambitious power plays of her peers in Washington D. C. Then Major Joseph McCrea appears on her doorstep and uses the code phrase Crimson Phoenix, meaning this is not a drill. The United States is on the verge of nuclear war. Victoria must accompany McCrea to a secure bunker. She cannot bring her family.
A single mother, Victoria refuses to abandon her three teenage sons. Denied entry to the bunker, they nonetheless survive the nuclear onslaught that devastates the country. The land is nearly uninhabitable. Electronics have been rendered useless. Food is scarce. Millions of scared and ailing people await aid from a government that is unable to regroup, much less organize a rescue from the chaos.
Victoria devotes herself to reestablishing order—only to encounter the harsh realities required of a leader dealing with desperate people . . .
“Just the thing for readers who feel oppressed by the pandemic lockdown.”
“A gripping page-turner.”
—Taylor Stevens, New York Times bestselling author
“An explosive story that keeps your mind churning and pulse racing . . .
Don’t miss this powerful new series from a master thriller writer.”
—Jamie Freveletti, international bestselling and award-winning author
Amazon * Apple * B&N * Kensington * Kobo * BooksAMillion * BookShop
John Gilstrap is the New York Times bestselling author of award-winning action novels including the Jonathan Grave Thrillers and the Victoria Emerson Thrillers. A master of action-driven suspense, his books have been translated into more than 20 languages. He is the recipient of an International Thriller Writers’ Award for Against All Enemies, the ALA Alex Award for Nathan’s Run, and a two-time ITW Award finalist. A nationally recognized weaponry and explosives safety expert as well as a National Shooting Sports Foundation member, John Gilstrap frequently speaks at conferences, events, clubs, youth programs, and military bases. He is a former firefighter and EMT with a master’s degree in safety from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in history from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. John lives in Fairfax, Virginia.
Murder Is Not a Girl’s Best Friend
The Diamond District Mystery Series, #2
Camel Press, February 2022
From the publisher—
Journalist-turned-amateur-sleuth Mimi Rosen is back with her father Max for another action-packed tale of murder and intrigue in New York City’s Diamond District.
A Reverend from Africa has found a sparkling $20 million diamond that he hopes will free his continent from the scourge of blood diamonds. But this attempt to do good soon turns very bad. After the diamond is stolen and leads to a series of murders, Mimi discovers both the diamond and the Reverend have a less-than-sparkling history.
Soon, Mimi is investigating a web of secrets involving a shady billionaire, a corrupt politician, Africa’s diamond fields, offshore companies, as well as an activist, filmmaker, computer genius, and police detective who may or may not be as noble as they appear. Is the prized gem actually a blood diamond?
Rob Bates has written about the diamond industry for close to 30 years. He is currently the news director of JCK, the leading publication in the jewelry industry, which just celebrated its 150th anniversary. He has won 12 editorial awards, and been quoted as an industry authority in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and on National Public Radio. He is also a comedy writer and performer, whose work has appeared on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update segment, comedycentral.com, and Mcsweeneys He has also written for Time Out New York, New York Newsday, and Fastcompany.com. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and son.
Margaret Truman’s Murder at the CDC
Margaret Truman’s Capital Crimes, #32
Forge Books, February 2022
2017: A military transport on a secret run to dispose of its deadly contents vanishes without a trace.
The present: A mass shooting on the steps of the Capitol nearly claims the life of Robert Brixton’s grandson.
No stranger to high-stakes investigations, Brixton embarks on a trail to uncover the motive behind the shooting. On the way he finds himself probing the attempted murder of the daughter of his best friend, who works at the Washington offices of the CDC. The connection between the mass shooting and Alexandra’s poisoning lies in that long-lost military transport that has been recovered by forces determined to change America forever. Those forces are led by radical separatist leader Deacon Frank Wilhyte, whose goal is nothing short of bringing on a second Civil War. Brixton joins forces with Kelly Lofton, a former Baltimore homicide detective. She has her own reasons for wanting to find the truth behind the shooting on the Capitol steps, and is the only person with the direct knowledge Brixton needs. But chasing the truth places them in the cross-hairs of both Wilhyte’s legions and his Washington enablers.
Years ago, I read quite a few of the mysteries written by Margaret Truman, initially because I was curious about whether this president’s daughter could actually write. As it turned out, she was a decent writer and, more importantly, could craft a mystery and I also thought she had a leg up on other political crime fiction authors, having a very intimate knowledge of that unique environment. I eventually drifted away because the books started to feel formulaic and there were too many other authors I wanted to explore.
“A wonderful mystery novel, riveting until the last page.”–Strand Magazine
“A terrific tale that never lets up.”–Sandra Brown
JON LAND is the USA Today bestselling author of fifty-eight books, including eleven in the critically acclaimed Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong series, the most recent of which, STRONG FROM THE HEART, won the 2020 American Fiction Award for Best Thriller and the 2020 American Book Fest Award for Best Mystery/Suspense Novel. Additionally, he has teamed up with Heather Graham for a science fiction series that began with THE RISING (winner of the 2017 International Book Award for best Sci-fi Novel) and continues with BLOOD MOON, to be published in November of 2022. He has also written six books in the Murder, She Wrote series of mysteries and has more recently taken over Margaret Truman’s Capital Crimes series, with his second effort, MURDER AT THE CDC, to be published in February of 2022. Jon is known as well for writing the film DIRTY DEEDS, a teen comedy starring Milo Ventimiglia and Zoe Saldana, which was released in 2005. A graduate of Brown University, he received the 2019 Rhode Island Authors Legacy Award for his lifetime of literary achievements.
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The Union Series #1
Narrated by Alexa Elmy
Theresa Hernandez, November 2021
Downloaded Unabridged Audiobook
After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes – the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.
Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn’t have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.
When she’s kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down. What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she’s ever known, from Bryce to her family and even the Union itself.
Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she’s in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she’s ever known. But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.
It’s been a while since I’ve read any post-apocalyptic and/or dystopian books, mainly because I guess you could say I got obsessive. Okay, I greatly overindulged to the point of being saturated 😄. Anyway, this one piqued my interest, especially since I was being offered the audiobook, and I’m SO glad I decided to join the tour.
Evan’s story is downright enthralling, aided by the author’s vivid worldbuilding so that I understood from nearly the beginning what her young life is like and the restrictions placed upon the populace by the powers that be…and some of the consequences of flouting those restrictions. If there was anything I still don’t quite get it’s why the teens go on this sort of walkabout in the first place but that doesn’t really matter.
Shortly after Evan goes on her trip with her best friends Lisa and Colin, later meeting up with her crush, Bryce, Evan is kidnapped by a pair of very unsavory characters and her real adventure begins. Eventually, a new dude, Cyrus, enters the scene along with his family and she begins to learn the truth, the REAL truth, about the Ruins, the supposedly barren area outside of the Union where only the dregs of America’s former society live. This is when Ms. Hernandez’s story truly takes off and I was listening to my audiobook as often and long as I could. And then comes a whopper of a twist, not entirely believable but exciting nonetheless.
Speaking of the audiobook, narrator Alexa Elmy was an excellent choice. Her voice is young enough that she can easily carry off teen girl voices but mature enough that she does a more than decent job with males. I couldn’t always differentiate between characters but, no matter, the prose always let me know who was speaking.
So, thanks to an intriguing story and very engaging characters, I thoroughly enjoyed my return to this subgenre and, while there are occasional flaws, I’m hooked again. Can’t wait to listen to the next book!
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, February 2022.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by T.H. Hernandez. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
T.H. Hernandez is a published author of young adult novels. THE UNION, a post-climate change dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category. SUPERHERO HIGH, an urban scifi teenage romance, set in San Diego, about the offspring of the world’s superheroes. Her first young adult contemporary, co-written with Jennifer DiGiovanni, PROM-WRECKED, is published through Entangled Teen.
She thrives on coffee, peanut butter-flavored anything, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.
When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, you can find her in usually sunny San Diego with her husband, three teenage spawns, a bearded dragon, a couple of cats, and Artemis, a neurotic rescue mutt.
Alexa is a NYC based actor and voice over artist. Born in Connecticut, Alexa has been creating art in all its forms since childhood. She graduated from Fordham University with a BA in Theatre and a concentration in Performance. Alexa previously trained at the London Dramatic Academy (UK), the Stella Adler Studio of Acting (NYC), the New York Film Academy, and the Greenwich Performing Arts Studio.
She is pursuing performance opportunities on the stage, screen, and in audio. Her recent acting credits include the tv show Shattered (Investigation Discovery), Innards (Troma Ent.), Ray Gun Say0nara (New Ohio Theatre) and a voiceover for Google. Alexa’s other talents include playwriting, painting, playing piano, and singing. Her favorite play is Oil by Ella Hickson and her favorite genre is comedy.
She is represented by Innovative Artists and Stefanie Talent & Entertainment.
Plugging you into the audio community since 2016.