Here is a blog I follow regularly. I liked this post for a couple of reasons. There is the sense…
Reading books from Carol Ervin’s Mountain Women Series is like going back to a childhood home after a long absence. In this case, I am sure to have a place to stay. The Boardinghouse is book five in this series. Readers should not be discouraged by the bewildering number of characters, each with their own backstory because Ervin helpfully provides a guide in the front of the novel which lists all the characters the reader will meet. Each introduction has a few keywords indicating what the backstory will contain. Reading all the books in the six-novel collection is a good idea for fans of TV series such as Dallas.
Déjà Vu by Emma Clapperton is a very short story of delayed revenge. Celia was a young teenager trying to get over a bad relationship with Tom. Her best friend, Lainey knew better than to invite Celia and Tom to the same party but that hadn’t stopped Lainey from doing it. She assured Celia everything would be alright because she had invited her cousin Simmy to the party. Simmy would protect Celia from the attention of Tom. Once Celia saw Tom again, the attraction was so strong she left Simmy to enjoy the party with his cousin. Simmy didn’t enjoy the party and a year later when he met Celia again, it did not go well for Celia. Simmy stabbed Celia to death.
Land of the Brave by Tom Fowler is a mystery novella. It is a formulaic mystery with a by-the-book cop working together with a thinks-outside-the-box private investigator. Somewhere within the first third of the novella, the reader is secure in the knowledge that the two are brothers. Rich, the cop, had a friend, Jim Shelton, who died while working for a charity that focused on help for returning combat veterans. The verdict was suicide but, due to the close wartime relationship between Rich and Jim, Rich didn’t accept the finding and recruited his brother for a road trip to the scene of death where they would conduct their own investigation. The locals would not welcome the two and would employ the small town everyone-knows-everyone social structure to hinder the brothers’ investigation. Possible corrupt politicians and possible police involvement in a wrongful death are a given. Formulaic.
The Ultimate Race by Tara A. Devlin is a short story about a race. In this case, you might even call it a human race because Max is running it to get his mom’s name on the top of a heart transplant list. His father had already died of cancer so for the sake of his younger sister and himself, he wanted to save their sole remaining parent. But there were special rules for this race. The way Devlin sets out the rules increases the disbelief and horror as each new rule is presented. Detailing the rules here would spoil the effect, so I won’t.