Monday, September 11, 2023

The Cough of Birds by Brian Anderson


About the Book: Minneapolis PI Lyle Dahms reluctantly visits a friend, an armorer at a rural Renaissance festival. Instead of a day of medieval merrymaking, Dahms witnesses a grisly murder, watching helplessly as one of the armorer’s colleagues is pinned to a wall by an arrow shot by an unseen assailant.

Although warned to stay out the case by the local constabulary, Dahms gets drawn in farther and farther, uncovering an illegal drug operation and crooked cops—and even stumbles into an unlikely chance at love with a comely, independent-minded barmaid. As lies and hidden agendas reveal themselves, Dahms must keep his wits while navigating the unfamiliar lands of knights in armor, wandering jugglers, lusty wenches, strolling minstrels, and broadsword wielding adversaries.

All that and, of course, something with which Dahms is all too familiar—murder.

 Our Review: Author Brian Anderson follows up the award-winning The Shiver in Her Eyes, his debut novel in the Lyle Dahms Mysteries with the unlikely but oddly captivating hero who finds himself—more than a little reluctantly—at a Renaissance festival. This story that will keep readers’ interest for the sharp, biting dialogue and quirky, fascinating characters—and flavored with all those things involved in the world of Renaissance faires—from the costumes, to the period speech patterns and food options. Dahms himself is a treat. Reminiscent of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser PI, his dry humor and smart-mouth are a welcome change in mystery fiction. In short, he’s a keeper.

 Based on a scale of 1-5, The Cough of Birds merits an 8.

 Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews

Friday, August 18, 2023

A Sour Note by Jill Piscitello


When murder provides a welcome distraction…

 About the Book:  After living out of state for the past ten years, event planner Maeve Cleary reluctantly returns to Hampton, NH, a charming beach community where she was raised. Living in her childhood home an iron-willed mother, Maeve struggles to rebuild her dismal financial situation while recovering from the destruction of her engagement to a nationally recognized news correspondent. Confronted by best friends, nosy neighbors, and unwelcomed relatives—who all seem to know what’s best for her—the discovery of a corpse outside her mother’s music school provides Maeve with not only a distraction but a reason to get out of bed and keep moving.

 Our Review:  Who, after suffering brutal disappointment, doesn’t want only to hide in the same and wallow in their grief? Who hasn’t been forced to rely on the kindness of others while recuperating from devastating blows to their ego? And who hasn’t suffered the well-meaning, unwelcomed advice and guidance with a smile and grace? Meet Maeve Cleary—a young woman every cozy mystery lover will recognize, then root for. Adding to this mix is a charming beach locale with cleverly named businesses, owned and operated by a host of unique, interesting characters, any one of whom had good reason to murder the thoroughly unlikeable victim. Author Piscitello hits every high note with this delightful story—we look forward to the next Music Box Mystery.    

 Based on a scale of 1-5, A Sour Note merits a 7.

 Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews

Friday, August 11, 2023

The Vampire's Retribution by M. Flagg


Terrifying. Michael Malone, a mystically enhanced vampire, destroys three immortal sorcerers and takes on their vengeful army of hell-beasts in an unprecedented battle. Poisoned and captured, his body is exsanguinated and left to rot in a cell beneath the city. Guided by the heavenly entity known as Helena, he spins a fantasy full of deep love and devotion to the one woman he treasures and his mystically-human, very troubled son. Helena focuses Michael’s fading mind through emotional twists and unexpected turns, through passionate highs and very realistic lows.

 Our Review: This novel, with its complicated plotline and multi-layerd characters is seasoned throughout with the author’s talent for lush descriptive phrasing as well as intense emotion. Fans of vampire fiction will love this one.

 On a scale of 1-5, The Vampire’s Retribution merits a 4.

 Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews



Thursday, August 10, 2023

The Twenty-One Year Contract by L. B. Griffen


Coming of age in 1960s London.  

 About The Book: orphaned as a young teenager, Kathleen Gray struggles to find her own way in the world, including learning more about her birth mother. But the laws governing release of information on adoption are strict. Kathleen, now Kate, learns to make a family of her heart—and eventually finds what she’s been looking for all along.  

 Our Review: The Twenty-One Year Contract is more than a coming of age during the turbulent 1960s. It is more than traveling the road of sex, drugs and rock & roll. It is a story of a hard fought battle for self-reliance, self-awareness and friendship.

 On a scale of 1-5, The Twenty-One Year Contract deserves a 4.

 Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews





Friday, August 04, 2023

Venus Rising by Tammy D. Walker


Mystery on the high seas.

 About the Book: While hosting an author event aboard The Cullinan Diamond, a luxury British ocean liner as it travels from London to New York City, librarian Amy Morrison  unravels the mystery of a sixty-year old painting, a memoir by the artist the publisher won't allow anyone to read, and the whereabouts of the artist after she goes missing. 

 Our Review: The setting of a luxury ocean liner where passengers expect all the amenities due them for their wealth and status is a perfect background for this charming cozy mystery. After a somewhat slow start, the pace picks up and the heroine, Amy Morrison, begins finding her spirit and gumption, things take off. Fans of cozy mysteries should love this one.

 On a scale of 1-5, Venus Rising merits a 3.5.

 Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews

Monday, July 31, 2023

Whispers Through Time by Rosetta Diane Hoessli


If you listen, time will speak.

 About the Book:  The only man Sierra Masters has ever loved appears with a proposition that could alter her future. She turns him down, but then after experiencing a foretelling dream, decides to take a risk in order to uncover the truth.

          Hunter Davenport realizes the evidence he’s shared with Sierra could indeed destroy her – but it could free her as well. The decision is yanked from her hands when the past and present collide through a historical portal on sacred Native American land. Will she take the jgift that is offered? And will Hunter do what he didn’t do twelve years earlier – stand by her?

In the end, Sierra launches a journey that will change her life forever.

 Our Review: Whispers Through Time takes the reader on a whirlwind adventure, traveling from present day, to the late 1800’s and the massacre at Wounded Knee, then to the mid-1970’s and the infamous standoff at the Oglala Sioux reservation. It is powerful, thought provoking, and unfailingly realistic. As an added treat, the author’s talent for description whether it be the location[s], foods, people, or speech patterns feels effortless. The characters—and the South Dakota badlands must be considered a character—literally jump off the pages. Well done!

 Based on a scale of 1-5, Whispers Through Time earns a 7.

 Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Bewept by Colleen Coyne


Her memories are dying to kill her.

 About the Book: Anna is finally happy—newly married to a wonderful, supportive man and living in her dream home. Just as her husband begins to announce a big surprise, his heart ceases, her future dissolves, and she plunges into grief.

From past experience, Anna knows how easy it is to get lost in a grief that causes odd behaviors, lost chunks of time, and forgetfulness. This time, is it a sign she is in the throes of early dementia?

When past horrors resurface and collide with Anna’s uncertain present, she wonders if something sinister is at play. Discovering the truth sends her on a harrowing odyssey where each step forward unlocks another terrible memory. Successfully confronting the ghosts from her past will be key to her survival.

 Our Review: What starts out as the standard woman recovering from intolerable grief evolves into a thriller that has the reader asking, “Could it be? Is Anna imagining all this—or is it something utterly unspeakable. And then it gets worse. Bewept is an incredible story written by a talented author. We can’t wait for the next creation by Colleen Coyne.

 Based on a scale of 1-5, Bewept merits an 8.

Kat Henry Doran, Wild Women Reviews