Wolf by Kelly Oliver attracted my attention because of its cover. Following the title, the cover informed me that this was a Jessica James mystery. Jessica James? Jesse James? The Amazon page claimed that this was a witty suspense thriller. The elements were there that led me to believe this would be a fun read. I purchased the novel for USD 0.99 although it is listed on Amazon at USD 4.99. The novel might be far more interesting to fans of Russian art, Russian culture, Russian expat culture, the Russian mob, and Russian slang than it was to me. I felt it dragged along with occasional contrived interjections of forced humor. Most of the humor was of the double innuendo sexual type which I felt was added later in the novel’s development during the editorial or revision process. If a reviewer with interests in all things Russian gave the novel four Amazon stars, I could understand that. But several things kept me from giving such a high rating.
Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom is, from the author’s point of view, a true account of one woman’s remarkable ability to see opportunity and innovatively carve her own empire out of a niche previously dominated by males. Many of the males were hustlers, conmen, professional poker players, and members of criminal enterprises such as the Mafia or the Russian Mob. While male members of the mentioned groups all seem to have shadowy or incomplete backgrounds with little regard for anything described as a moral compass, Bloom decided to take a higher road. She did not employ criminal enforcers to collect a player debt. She did not resort to vicious gossip strategies to destroy the reputations of reluctant payers. She took a more relaxed, feminine approach. She simply cut off their rights to play. Sounds like a stern Mommy figure.