Recommended Reads: Thriller explores psychological impacts of online attacks

Splinter the Silence, by Val McDermid Here’s a thriller mystery novel that could easily be tomorrow’s news headline. How dangerous are these internet trolls? See what could possibly happen when some of your worst imagined fears about venomous, online attackers come true in fiction. This plot is a timely look at the psychological impacts on…

Recommended Reads: ‘The Assassins’ a chilling espionage thriller

The Assassins, by Gayle Lynds “To say that assassination never solved anything is as inaccurate as saying crime never pays. Or that all assassins come to a bad end.” — The Book of Assassins, George Fetherling This quote describes part of the fast-paced plot in Gayle Lynds’ chilling international espionage thriller. Six master assassins, each…

Recommended Reads: Chicago is setting for gritty urban noir murder mystery

A Negro and an OFAY, by Danny Gardner This gritty urban noir book is a loosely fictional account about a real person, Lieutenant William Drury, a person “known for personal bravery” as was said after his death. The story takes place in the early 1950s in Chicago and includes fresh description and detail on the…

Recommended Reads: Danger and passion in this noir novel

Revenge In Paris, by Valerie J. Brooks New Year’s in Paris sounds like a dream, but in this contemporary noir novel it’s just the beginning of a swirling nightmare for a smart and impulsive protagonist. Angeline Porter is a criminal lawyer. She knows crime when she sees it, and she’s used to seeking justice in…

Recommended Reads: Twisted passions and intrigue in ‘Disturbed’

Disturbed, By Kevin O’Brien This book, which I recently inhaled over a lock-all-the-doors weekend, was suspense at its best. And yes, I was Disturbed, in a good way. Wow! This author’s characters and situations feel very realistic. The mystery all takes place involving everyday people, adding to the fearful feeling that grows as you read,…

Recommended Reads: A mystery set in the South, with ghostly connections

A Ghostly Murder, by Tonya Kappes Here’s an amateur mystery sleuth who believes in justice for all, even the ghostly. Emma Lee Raines has discovered that she is able to see and talk with ghosts. These spirits who are visiting her are “Betweeners” who are unable to “cross over” because they’ve got unfinished business. As…

Recommended Reads: A sweet book about the intriguing octopus

Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness, by Sy Montgomery Here’s a sweet read written by a mesmerizing storyteller who spins a true novel all about a sea creature that I discovered I knew very little about. This book entertains with so much interesting information that surprises. The octopus lives…

Recommended Reads: Enjoy this delicious mystery, with dash of humor

Beat Until Stiff, by Claire M. Johnson Are you hungry for a fun, summer read? Here it is — a taste of intrigue, with spicy characters, a dash of humor, and a steamy setting all blended into a delicious mystery. In this mystery, the protagonist, Mary Ryan, is a pastry chef at a fancy San…

Recommended Reads: Spy novel provides thrilling look at life of KGB agent

Deep Undercover, by Jack Barsky The tension and intrigue of a thriller, spy novel is irresistible for so many of us. What about reading a spy memoir? Can real life spying stand up to artistic license to kill? In this case, yes. I enjoyed reading all about the life of a real German, Russian spy…

Recommended Reads: ‘Ghostman’ a refreshingly intelligent crime novel

Ghostman by Roger Hobbs A casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly sideways, despite all appearances of its intricate planning. The brain behind the operation needs to repair the damage and make it go away. He calls in an old favor from a Ghostman. Occasionally called Jack, Ghostman lives completely off the grid and cannot…

Recommended Reads: Two Simon Wood mysteries that will get under your skin

The One That Got Away by Simon Wood Friends Zoe and Holli take a break from graduate studies for a joyful Las Vegas trip, but end up tragically abducted by a sadistic killer. Zoe escapes with her life, forever changed. She never sees her friend again and this villain wasn’t caught. A year later our…

Recommended Reads: Gripping mysteries from a delightful author

Close Call and The Reckoning Stones, by Laura DiSilverio I’ve discovered a delightful mystery author who has authored a wide range of books in this broad genre. Many of you may know this author from her enticing cozy mystery series: The Readaholics series, Mall Cop series, Ballroom Dance mysteries, or Southern Beauty Shop mysteries. Talented…

Recommended Reads: Kendall and Cooper talk mysteries with Mike Lawson

Recommended Reads columnist Wendy Kendall joins mystery writer Julie Cooper for a podcast interview with Mike Lawson, and also provides a short write-up below about one of Lawson’s books, “House Odds.” ~ ~ ~ ~ With so much attention directed at Washington, D.C. these days, here’s an author who has some fun with the mysteries…

Recommended Reads: A swashbuckling tale with a Shakespearean twist

Shakespeare’s Rebel, by C. C. Humphreys Has it been awhile since your last swashbuckling adventure? Then avast ye readers and you’ll be forewarned. I’m telling you about a fun, fast-paced, sword-wielding tale of a daredevil rogue on a thrilling, romantic adventure. The story is set in 16th century England, during Shakespearean times, without the Shakespearean…

Recommended Reads: Kendall and Cooper talk mysteries with Hugh Ashton

Recommended Reads columnist Wendy Kendall joins mystery writer Julie Cooper for a podcast interview with Hugh Ashton. Ashton is a renowned Holmesian author, writing more Sherlock Holmes stories that were found in Dr. Watson’s deed trust box, as the story goes. He’s also written a series of delightful children’s books – Sherlock Ferret. Sherlock Ferret…

Recommended Reads: Gene Wilder’s novel of love set in World War I

My French Whore: A Love Story, by Gene Wilder The treasured legacy of Gene Wilder includes his books. He wrote a touching autobiography, and also an intriguing group of novels about love. This is one of those novels. It’s set partly in France and then later in Germany in 1918, during World War I. The…

Recommended Reads: ‘We the People’ explores evolution of American ideals

We the People, by Juan Williams This comprehensive American history tells how Americans, known and unknown, contributed to this nation’s story. The author poses interesting questions. What would the Founding Fathers think about America today? Where are we today, and how did we get here? We’re taught who the original Founding Fathers are; who are…

Recommended Reads: Books describe return of wolves to Yellowstone

Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone, by Douglas W. Smith and Gary Ferguson And When the Wolves Returned: Restoring Nature’s Balance in Yellowstone, by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent and photos by Dan Hartman and Cassie Hartman “Amazingly, a study conducted in 2005 estimated that some two hundred thousand people were seeing wolves in…

Recommended Reads: Clever D.C. murder mystery written by a President’s daughter

Murder in the Smithsonian, by Margaret Truman The Smithsonian museums are filled with fascinating artifacts, so many displayed and so many hidden in private storage. On a visit you might encounter moon rocks, the Hope Diamond, a fossilized skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, ancient mummies, or in this mystery novel you might see a featured…

Recommended Reads: Restaurant critic dishes on her life in disguise

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, by Ruth Reichl I met Ruth Reichl when she generously donated her time at the Seattle Public Library System’s Literary Lions fundraiser Gala as Keynote speaker, and she also met guests and signed her books for them. I can tell you, her books were…