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
A Fight for Full Disclosure
Stanley M. Berry
Moonshine Cove Publishing, September 2021
In this merger of medical and legal fiction, a well-liked and healthy woman undergoes a routine surgery and unexpectedly dies. Was the surgeon negligent? Did the hospital miss some critical information? Department Chair Harold Thompson investigates, in hope of getting answers to why the woman died.
The author overexplains medical devices and procedures, and spends time on physical details and actions that don’t move the story forward. The ending is disappointing and leaves the reader dissatisfied. The author is a medical doctor, a special in Maternal-Fetal medicine. This is his first novel.
He probably has many interesting stories from his years in medical practices but this isn’t one of them.
Reviewed by Susan Belsky, March 2022.
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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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.
Caramel Pecan Roll Murder
A Hannah Swensen Mystery #28
Kensington Books, February 2022
Caramel Pecan Roll Murder is the latest book in Joanne Fluke’s series featuring baker Hannah Swensen, owner of The Cookie Jar bakery. It begins when Hannah is asked to help out Sally Laughlin owner, together with her husband Dick, of the Lake Eden Inn. Sally is desperate for help because a fishing tournament is about to be held at the Inn with the fishermen staying there and having all their meals there. Unfortunately, Sally’s dessert chef isn’t available for the week of the tournament due to a family emergency and Sally wants Hannah to stay at the Inn for the week of the tournament and take over the baking which Hannah agrees to do with the help of her sister Andrea.
The tournament is in full swing and is going well except for the behavior of the fishing pro, Sonny Bowman, the star of the tournament sponsor’s televised fishing show. Sonny it seems drinks far too much and has a habit of hitting on the women present, most of whom are wives of the fishermen, which does not go over well with their husbands.
Sonny’s behavior aside, the tournament is going well until a dead body turns up. Of course, Mike and Lonnie, the police department’s detectives are investigating but, no surprise to regular readers of this series, Hannah, an amateur sleuth, also begins her investigation. One thing readers can always count on is that Hannah will get involved in murder investigations, aided and abetted by her family and friends! In fact, one of the things I find amusing about this series is how she gets involved in the investigations on the thinnest possible pretext!
I liked this book. It’s filled with several of the usual characters and while the solution to the murder makes sense, it isn’t glaringly obvious. I also liked the recipes which, as usual, I am sure I will make someday – but probably won’t. I recommend this book. It is a fun read and a worthy addition to the series.
Reviewed by Melinda Drew, February 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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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.
Deadly Summer Nights
A Catskill Summer Resort Mystery #1
Berkley Prime Crime, September 2021
Mass Market Paperback
Shades of Dirty Dancing! Almost from the first description I was transported to the Catskill Mountains where opulent resorts held sway in the 50s. The 1950s, that is. The incessant smoking, the ritzy cocktails—does anyone drink Grasshoppers anymore?—the full skirts, girdles and stockings required even in the middle of a hot, humid summer are part of what strikes me as an entire other age. The cast includes college boys earning money for the next semester’s tuition, and in some cases, grifters and con artists. Mainly, we meet an extremely hard-working staff trying to please women with children whose husbands make enough money to allow an escape from the city heat.
But there’s nowhere, evidently, you can escape murder, McCarthyism, and small-town cops with an ax to grind.
A convoluted revenge story, sometimes it appears everyone–yet no one–has the motive to kill a simple college professor who is in want of privacy to write a novel. Yet he turns up dead. Wild tales spread through the resort population, with hotelier Elizabeth Grady at her wits end trying to keep nasty rumors from ruining the summer season. Determined to discover the murderer herself when the police prove inadequate, Elizabeth is helped not only by her friends, but the dead man’s nephew.
The story has a fine plot, excellent characters, and a wonderful setting. A lot to like in this one, sure to put you in the mood for soft summer days and hot nights.
Reviewed by Carol Crigger, February 2022.
Author of The Woman Who Built A Bridge (Spur Award Winner), Ault’s Heir,
The Woman Who Wore a Badge, and Six Dancing Damsels: A China Bohannon Mystery