Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Teddy Loses His Ears by Christine Milkovic Krauss


Teddy Loses His Ears by Christine Milkovic Krauss
Publisher: Tellwell Talent
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Teddy is a rescue cat who lost his ears from frostbite. Teddy has inspired a series of stories with his true-life adventures that share relatable messages of kindness and acceptance. Teddy hopes that his stories will raise awareness to the organizations that saved his life, and thousands of other animals’ lives every year.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

Teddy Loses His Ears by Christine Milkovic Krauss


Teddy Loses His Ears by Christine Milkovic Krauss
Publisher: Tellwell Talent
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Teddy is a rescue cat who lost his ears from frostbite. Teddy has inspired a series of stories with his true-life adventures that share relatable messages of kindness and acceptance. Teddy hopes that his stories will raise awareness to the organizations that saved his life, and thousands of other animals’ lives every year.

Everyone has the ability to make the world a better place.

I loved the way the narrator briefly described Teddy’s backstory without going into much detail about it. Rescued animals often have mysterious pasts, so it made perfect sense for the narrator and the kind human who later found him to not know much about what this cat’s early life was like. This also gave me a lot of room to imagine who might have looked after him in his kittenhood and what sort of life he had with them.

The simplicity of the storyline meant that I think it would be a good choice for kids who are just beginning to learn how to read on their own. Frostbite was the most difficult word included in it, and the text was sure to explain what it meant for anyone who might not know. This also covered a topic that I haven’t seen mentioned too often in picture books and that can be very appealing to kids who love animals.

One of the biggest reasons why I chose a five-star rating for this tale was the compassion that was woven into every scene. Readers were encouraged to feel compassion for Teddy as he mourned the loss of his ears as well as for the other cats who were confused by his appearance and kept asking him questions about why he didn’t have ears. I also adored the heartwarming message the narrator shared in the final scene that tied everything together and encouraged human readers to think about how they can incorporate it into their own lives.

Teddy Loses His Ears was a beautiful read.

Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Monkey Business: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Films of the Marx Brothers by Josh Pachter


Monkey Business: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Films of the Marx Brothers by Josh Pachter
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Historical
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, Duck Soup, Animal Crackers…over the two decades between 1929’s The Cocoanuts and 1949’s Love Happy, the Marx Brothers—Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and sometimes Zeppo—entertained movie-goers around the world with their madcap antics, rapid-fire dialogue, and prowess on the piano, the harp, and in song.

Now, a Who’s Who of award-winning crime writers pays homage to the Marxes in fourteen short stories, each inspired by one of the brothers’ thirteen studio films. (Wait a second: fourteen stories inspired by thirteen films? How does that add up? You’ll find the answer to that question…and so much more!…inside the covers of this book.)

The authors? Donna Andrews, Frankie Y. Bailey, Jeff Cohen, Lesley A. Diehl, Brendan DuBois, Terence Faherty, Barb Goffman, Joseph Goodrich, Robert Lopresti, Sandra Murphy, Robert J. Randisi, Marilyn Todd, Joseph S. Walker, and editor Josh Pachter, who is a recent recipient of the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s Golden Derringer Award for Lifetime Achievement and the editor of two previous “inspired by” anthologies from Untreed Reads, The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell and Only the Good Die Young: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Billy Joel.

To paraphrase Groucho: Outside of a dog, this book will be your best friend. (Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.)

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

Monkey Business: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Films of the Marx Brothers by Josh Pachter


Monkey Business: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Films of the Marx Brothers by Josh Pachter
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Historical
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, Duck Soup, Animal Crackers…over the two decades between 1929’s The Cocoanuts and 1949’s Love Happy, the Marx Brothers—Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and sometimes Zeppo—entertained movie-goers around the world with their madcap antics, rapid-fire dialogue, and prowess on the piano, the harp, and in song.

Now, a Who’s Who of award-winning crime writers pays homage to the Marxes in fourteen short stories, each inspired by one of the brothers’ thirteen studio films. (Wait a second: fourteen stories inspired by thirteen films? How does that add up? You’ll find the answer to that question…and so much more!…inside the covers of this book.)

The authors? Donna Andrews, Frankie Y. Bailey, Jeff Cohen, Lesley A. Diehl, Brendan DuBois, Terence Faherty, Barb Goffman, Joseph Goodrich, Robert Lopresti, Sandra Murphy, Robert J. Randisi, Marilyn Todd, Joseph S. Walker, and editor Josh Pachter, who is a recent recipient of the Short Mystery Fiction Society’s Golden Derringer Award for Lifetime Achievement and the editor of two previous “inspired by” anthologies from Untreed Reads, The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell and Only the Good Die Young: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Billy Joel.

To paraphrase Groucho: Outside of a dog, this book will be your best friend. (Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.)

Perfection comes in many forms, including funny ones.

“The Cocoanuts” showed how a family took over the management of a hotel in Florida and attempted to improve it. Money was tight, so they had to be creative with the resources they already had. I was intrigued by the ideas they came up with and wondered if they’d manage to pull everything off before the tourists began arriving. This was a breezy and hilarious read that made me wish I could visit this state and enjoy the sunshine there.

While it wasn’t strictly necessary to be familiar with the Marx brother films of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s in order to read this, anyone who has seen them will find an extra layer of enjoyment in these tales. “At the Circus” was one such example of this. The physical comedy included in it was a wonderful reminder of how much can be communicated through body language and gestures. I also chuckled at their reference to the Ringwing brothers instead of the Ringling brothers, especially once it became obvious that these shysters were counting on people to misread it in their excitement to see a famous circus act. The plot twists played out in my mind as clearly as if I were watching them happen on film, and I loved every single one of them.

The main character in “A Night at the Opera” was convinced there was a stowaway onboard the cruise ship she and her cousin Eloise were currently enjoying. It was amusing to see how she planned to prove her theory and what she wanted to do if it was correct. While she wasn’t someone I’d want to go on a cruise with for reasons I’ll leave up to other readers to discover for themselves, her cleverness and ability to keep the audience guessing made it impossible for me to stop reading.

Monkey Business: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Films of the Marx Brothers was a marvelous homage to silent films in general and to the Marx Brothers in particular.

Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ Sworn to Fly by Maria Imbalzano


Sworn to Fly by Maria Imbalzano
(Sworn Sisters Series) Book 3 of 3
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Mistflower

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Risk-averse ER nurse, Alyssa Beckman, is about to lose her job because of yet another bad decision. In order to put her life back on track, she books a week at a rustic mountain resort to ponder her next steps and rejuvenate. But when she arrives, she learns she’s enrolled in boot camp, an adventure program far out of her comfort zone.

While there, she meets Gabriel Sutton, a world-travelling high-fashion photographer who is in danger of losing his clients as well as his status if he doesn’t start following the rules. While hiking, kayak racing, and participating in team challenges, sparks fly between Alyssa and Gabe as they encourage each other to take different life paths. But will those paths lead them farther apart or bring them closer together?

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

Sworn to Fly by Maria Imbalzano


Sworn to Fly by Maria Imbalzano
(Sworn Sisters Series) Book 3 of 3
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Mistflower

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Risk-averse ER nurse, Alyssa Beckman, is about to lose her job because of yet another bad decision. In order to put her life back on track, she books a week at a rustic mountain resort to ponder her next steps and rejuvenate. But when she arrives, she learns she’s enrolled in boot camp, an adventure program far out of her comfort zone.

While there, she meets Gabriel Sutton, a world-travelling high-fashion photographer who is in danger of losing his clients as well as his status if he doesn’t start following the rules. While hiking, kayak racing, and participating in team challenges, sparks fly between Alyssa and Gabe as they encourage each other to take different life paths. But will those paths lead them farther apart or bring them closer together?

I had zero inclination that this book was part of a series until I started the review and discovered that it’s actually book three of the Sworn Sisters Series. That demonstrates to me that Sworn to Fly can clearly be read as a standalone. I have never read a book by the author, Maria Imbalzano but I can assure you that I’ll be looking for more of her books in the future. Specifically, I’ll be purchasing the first two in this series without a doubt. I chose this book because the synopsis captured my interest. Now that I have finished the story, I am pleased that the synopsis was only a highlight to spark my interest. I compare the synopsis to the top and bottom bread of a sandwich. The story is whatever your absolute favorite sandwich filling would be.

I usually conclude my reviews with a recommendation to read the book or put it on a keeper’s shelf etc. I’m actually compelled to make such a statement at this point, Sworn to Fly is a must read. It is my greatest pleasure to claim this romance book as a LASR Best Book.

The heroine, Alyssa Beckman was easily someone I could know in reality which made it extremely easy for me to relate to her. Alyssa was more than just a character in a book. It felt as if she could be my neighbor, co-worker, sister, or in this situation, my best friend. Alyssa has three best friends that I’d like to get to know better. Apparently, they each had their own story previously in the Sworn Sisters Series. If their story is anything as good as Alyssa’s story then I simply must read them.

The hero, Gabriel Sutton is the meat of the sandwich. That just made me laugh out loud. If he’s the meat, then Alyssa is all the other fixings and condiments. Together they complete each other and the sandwich. That’s actually an awesome analogy for them and all the other characters are the chips, cookie and drink. The entire story is a combo meal. I can keep going with this analogy when I think of the series as a restaurant. I want to go back and get two more combo meals, which are the first two books, and I hope they will be just as delicious.

Gabriel and Alyssa are funny, overly dramatic and have amazing chemistry. I enjoyed reading their time together in the rustic mountain resort. Together as a couple they took my breath away. I’d really love to see this book made into a movie and I’m not talking about a Hallmark movie. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I actually love my Christmas Hallmark movies. I’m saying that I think there is enough material to turn this into an award-winning movie in the theaters.

The writing in this story was vivid, engaging and entertaining. I was able to visualize what I was reading while feeling what the characters were feeling as if I was at the scene. The synopsis intrigued me, the first page captured me and the best part is that there was even an epilogue.

This romance story was not a drive through fast food restaurant where the meal is finished in ten minutes and wrappers tossed into a trash can. This was a sit-down fancy lunch diner, where I took my time to eat and a waitress served me. Every bite was delicious, leaving me with a satisfied belly. I hope this review encourages other readers to give it a try. It’s a great book to sink your teeth into.

Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ The Purveli by Dianne Duvall


The Purveli by Dianne Duvall (Author), Kirsten Potter (Narrator),
Aldebarian Alliance, Book 3
Publisher: Self-published, Tantor Audio (Audio Publisher)
Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy, Romance, Action/Adventure
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Ava has always been different. Born with strong telepathic abilities, she lives a very isolated life until she is offered a job with an obscure network that aids powerful Immortal Guardians in their quest to protect humanity from the psychotic vampires who prey upon them. Suddenly, she doesn’t feel so different. For the first time in her life, Ava has found a place where she belongs. She’s happy. Life is good. And when her employers invite her to join a group of other gifted ones and a handful of Immortal Guardians on a journey to another planet, it becomes absolutely fantastic.

In no time at all, she is speeding across the galaxy aboard a Lasaran warship manned by two amazing alien races. It’s the dream of a lifetime… until a vicious attack by a mutual enemy of Lasara and Earth lands her alone in an escape pod with no habitable planet in sight and only one ship within range: one that carries the enemy who wants to know why the bioengineered virus they released on Earth long ago didn’t exterminate humanity and leave the planet ripe for their claiming.

Jak’ri doesn’t know how long he has been a prisoner aboard the Cebaun, but he fears the enemy’s twisted experiments will soon lead them to a virus that will eradicate the Purveli people. Despair grips him until a female from Earth is taken captive and reaches out to him telepathically. The gift that Ava said caused her such misery in the past soon becomes his salvation as the two of them form a fast friendship. Determined to distract each other from the horrors of their existence, they immerse themselves in telepathic communion during the day, then seek solace and adventure together in shared dreams. As their friendship deepens into love, the two hatch a daring plot to escape their captors. But the enemy will not let them go without a fight.

Can Ava and Jak’ri stand against so many and emerge victorious?

FIND THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

The Purveli by Dianne Duvall


The Purveli by Dianne Duvall (Author), Kirsten Potter (Narrator),
Aldebarian Alliance, Book 3
Publisher: Self-published, Tantor Audio (Audio Publisher)
Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy, Romance, Action/Adventure
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Ava has always been different. Born with strong telepathic abilities, she lives a very isolated life until she is offered a job with an obscure network that aids powerful Immortal Guardians in their quest to protect humanity from the psychotic vampires who prey upon them. Suddenly, she doesn’t feel so different. For the first time in her life, Ava has found a place where she belongs. She’s happy. Life is good. And when her employers invite her to join a group of other gifted ones and a handful of Immortal Guardians on a journey to another planet, it becomes absolutely fantastic.

In no time at all, she is speeding across the galaxy aboard a Lasaran warship manned by two amazing alien races. It’s the dream of a lifetime… until a vicious attack by a mutual enemy of Lasara and Earth lands her alone in an escape pod with no habitable planet in sight and only one ship within range: one that carries the enemy who wants to know why the bioengineered virus they released on Earth long ago didn’t exterminate humanity and leave the planet ripe for their claiming.

Jak’ri doesn’t know how long he has been a prisoner aboard the Cebaun, but he fears the enemy’s twisted experiments will soon lead them to a virus that will eradicate the Purveli people. Despair grips him until a female from Earth is taken captive and reaches out to him telepathically. The gift that Ava said caused her such misery in the past soon becomes his salvation as the two of them form a fast friendship. Determined to distract each other from the horrors of their existence, they immerse themselves in telepathic communion during the day, then seek solace and adventure together in shared dreams. As their friendship deepens into love, the two hatch a daring plot to escape their captors. But the enemy will not let them go without a fight.

Can Ava and Jak’ri stand against so many and emerge victorious?

I had an absolute blast reading this book. Of the three she has written about the Aldebarian Alliance, The Purveli blew me out of the water. I am incredibly excited to write this review. I want to shout loud and proud about how much I adored this book. Ms. Duvall has written a story that made me clap my hands in glee. It totally rocked.

It will give you the purchase viagra online other right way to achieve your target and then you can easily enjoy your sex. Pelvic Floor exercises is also necessary for online cialis india men. Hence, for the introvert types of people the best solution is to side effects viagra . Taking large dose is detrimental to health, hence void tadalafil uk cheap it. A little background – bad aliens blew up the good alien’s ship prompting its passengers, Gifted Ones and Immortal Guardians alike, to hurry to escape pods. Unfortunately, the interstellar highway was damaged, and it spit the escape pods out and scattered them in outer space. Time is running out because those bad aliens, the Gathendiens, want those Earthlings so bad, they’re not giving up and are searching for them. In The Purveli, it proved what we knew from The Lasaran and the Segonian, those horrible lizard bad guys want to wipe out all human life on Earth and they need the Earthlings to do experiments on to find out why they didn’t die out thousands of years ago when they should have. The Gathendiens are the ultimate bad guys and Ms. Duvall describes them in intricate detail for this novel. Now, readers have a clear picture of who the enemies are of our favorite characters from the Immortal Guardians series. They are nasty – they smell really bad too and they are really, really mean.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff, Ava and Jak’ri. Ava is a Gifted One and Jak’ri is a Purveli. I was thrilled with the author’s description of the hero. I adored what happens to his hair and I got the biggest kick out of Ava’s excitement at meeting Jak’ri for the first time and asking him a bazillion questions about his physical features that fascinated her. I mean, he’s an ALIEN. Right? I would have done the same thing. It’s really cool!

Usually, I’m not a fan of dream sequences but what Ms. Duvall did in this novel took that technique and made it her own. For a change, the meeting in dreams is crucial, important and absolutely integral to the plot. There’s a reason for its happening and fans of the Immortal Guardians will remember it well. During those dream sequences, I experienced laughter, joy, excitement and tears.

I also want to give credit to the narrator, Kirsten Potter. I listened to the book on audio, and I am pretty sure I’ve said this before in other reviews, but Ms. Potter is the bomb. Her narration, with its clearly defined character representation, vocal range, emotion and talent made this 5-star review blast to a Best Book rating.

Here’s where I get personal. When Jak’ri thought Ava was dying, I reacted. When I mean I reacted, my eldest son came running, “Mom! What’s wrong??” Oops. I had earphones on. I didn’t think I gasped that loud. Obviously, I did. I GASPED! Seriously, that scene – what a shocker! And boy o boy, fans of the series are in for some intense emotional feelings. I also cried. Not sniffled, not teared up – cried – needing tissues cried – with the scenes of Jak’ri and his brother. I was gutted. Later on, I found myself laughing hysterically, snickering, grinning and cheering. The scene when Jak’ri read Ava’s mind is priceless. The Purveli literally had my emotions running amok. It wasn’t just Ms. Potter’s narration; it was the quality of the plot, dialogue and writing talent that Ms. Duvall put into her story that made this novel such a powerful read.

I haven’t been this jazzed since Seth’s story.

I truly believe I could write a book about the book. Ms. Duvall’s imagination is on full display when she described the cute Leapers, and other flora and fauna of the alien world they escaped to, including the big kitty-like things. The description of the cave was cool and I thought the scene during the thunderstorm was adorable. The author made her alien world come to life in vivid detail. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The attraction between the hero and heroine is a slow sizzle until it finally sparked and they went up in delightful flames. There were a few fits and starts, but that’s what made their final coming together so satisfying.

The ending was awesome, perfectly wrapped up and joyous. However, in the audiobook version, Ms. Duvall added a treat. She shared what seems like the first chapter of the next book. Again, Ms. Potter is the narrator, thank goodness. As soon as it’s up for pre-order, I am going to grab it. Why? Because the beginning was AWESOME! I was listening to it in my car, and I just sat there. I didn’t drive. I couldn’t. I was too enthralled by what I was listening to. Oh, my Goodness! It’s going to be another great one. Talk about setting the hook! I’m so excited!

Run, don’t walk to get your own copy of The Purveli. I expect fans are going to be wowed like I am. I believe this could be read as a standalone, so new readers will be in for a treat too. I totally, completely and enthusiastically recommend this novel for sci-fi romance readers who like action, a hero and heroine who survive impossible odds and a story that sucks a person in because the writing is just that good.

Book of the Month Poll Winner ~ The Wrong Words by Yvonne Rediger


The Wrong Words by Yvonne Rediger
An Adam Norcross Mystery Book 1
Publisher: BWL Publishing Inc.
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy
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Adam Norcross is not in a good place. He recently buried his mother and now he needs something more than a power struggle between him and his mother’s cat to distract him from his grief. That something comes in the form of an assignment from his boss, Walter Shapiro, who is not a patient man. Not surprising since he reports directly to the prime minister. Shapiro interrupts Norcross’ bereavement leave to give him an assignment. Norcross’ task is to find out how the country’s most eminent climate scientist ended up dead off the highway in a mountain ravine. Was it an accident or suicide? As soon as he speaks to Shapiro, Norcross’ unique precognitive ability tells him it is something else, something darker.

Sergeant Bethany Leith is not thrilled to have Norcross stepping on her toes. Even though Constable Bighetty is willing to give Norcross the benefit of the doubt. Once he inserts himself into Leith’s suspicious death inquiry, Norcross will use his investigative knowledge and unusual talents to help her uncover who wanted Doctor Flete dead and why.

Salish University is ground zero for the investigation. Among those involved are Flete’s dean, his wife, and his new girlfriend. Then there are his colleagues, some of whom denounced Doctor Flete’s important work, including a woman from Adam Norcross’ past.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE!

The Wrong Words by Yvonne Rediger


The Wrong Words by Yvonne Rediger
An Adam Norcross Mystery Book 1
Publisher: BWL Publishing Inc.
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Adam Norcross is not in a good place. He recently buried his mother and now he needs something more than a power struggle between him and his mother’s cat to distract him from his grief. That something comes in the form of an assignment from his boss, Walter Shapiro, who is not a patient man. Not surprising since he reports directly to the prime minister. Shapiro interrupts Norcross’ bereavement leave to give him an assignment. Norcross’ task is to find out how the country’s most eminent climate scientist ended up dead off the highway in a mountain ravine. Was it an accident or suicide? As soon as he speaks to Shapiro, Norcross’ unique precognitive ability tells him it is something else, something darker.

Sergeant Bethany Leith is not thrilled to have Norcross stepping on her toes. Even though Constable Bighetty is willing to give Norcross the benefit of the doubt. Once he inserts himself into Leith’s suspicious death inquiry, Norcross will use his investigative knowledge and unusual talents to help her uncover who wanted Doctor Flete dead and why.

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I can’t believe how fast time flew while I read this story! I wasn’t sure what I was going to experience but the blurb mentioned the main character, Adam Norcross, had some type of precognitive ability. That intrigued me. Since it is the first book in the series, I figured there’d be some interesting worldbuilding going on. Well, I’m not sure how to explain things but I guarantee you that this book is absolutely interesting.

The mystery takes place in Canada and starts off kind of slow – Adam is having a personality struggle with a cat. What I think is happening is that both the cat and Adam are coming to grips with the loss of Adam’s mom, and they have to turn to each other, in a cat/human kind of way, and adjust. That tiny thread of pet relationship challenges is woven throughout the story, giving it a softer touch given how serious the situation is that Adam finds himself in. It’s endearing and it makes Adam more appealing. I sympathized with him easier because of it. The hero is not a soft guy – he himself is a bit mysterious. I liked that. He’s part of some governmental arm of the law that is quite hush-hush, very influential and Adam reminds me of a low-key James Bond. He’s professional, knowledgeable, and a great observer of people. He has this really amazing memory ability, and he can cook!

I know that Adam is the main focus of the series and it’s told in his point of view, but Sergeant Bethany Leith, the police officer, is the other main character. The death happened in her district and she’s the one assigned to the case. I only get to know her a bit from her dealings with Adam, her dialogue and the author’s descriptions. She’s no nonsense, dedicated and smart as a whip. She is a perfect complement to Adam.

The book reads like a serious detective novel. Adam isn’t referred to as Adam, he’s usually, Norcross. And the Sergeant is referred to as Leith, or ‘the cop’. The story has a certain feel to it, like the original Dragnet, but with a bit more personality. It’s a dogged pursuit of facts gleaned from evidence at the scene and lots of interesting interviews with potential suspects whose personalities liven up the tale. I was fascinated on how the author led me from chapter to chapter, each one bringing me closer to solving the case but leaving me totally dependent on Norcross and Leith to ferret out the truth of who done it. I guessed and was close. However, one of them was a shocker and I didn’t know what to think. Was that person truly guilty? I would have bet that they were innocent. That’s a pretty tricky call and I like what the author did.

One thing that stood out for me was the subject matter the victim was involved in. I haven’t made up my mind about which side of the fence I’m on, especially since it’s very topical right now. But many parts in the chapters made me believe that the author truly did her due diligence and researched the subject. There were many observations that made so much sense to me, at times I just stared at the words, letting them absorb into my brain. I’m like, yeah – yeah, that makes sense! And, yes, it did tie in to the motivation and plot conflict. I thought it was pretty danged cool and it made for a really great mystery.

There is a light dusting of allusion to Norcross actually liking Leith as more than a peer of the law, but it’s absolutely not romantic. I can assure you it’s not indigestion he’s feeling, it’s something else, and it could be a wonderful future development if that’s the direction the author is thinking of going. I liked how they worked together, eventually. They were bouncing theories, ideas and observations off of one another. I enjoyed watching their working association firm up and I liked how they showed mutual respect, once it was earned. There were other important secondary characters Norcross also had to earn respect from, and that was equally fascinating.

Eventually, the puzzle pieces fit together and I was completely satisfied with the end results. I have to say that the blurb on Amazon is a bit misleading. The story is even better than it sounds. I’m extremely glad I gave this book a try because if the next installment in the series is as mesmerizing and clever as this one, then Ms. Rediger has a new fan. A straight mystery is not my typical read but I really enjoyed this novel and I’m looking forward to more from this author.