Not Shakespeare’s Hamlet

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On its surface Don’t Trust Me by Jessica Lynch is a murder mystery with an interesting puzzle. The prime suspect in the murder of Jack is his wife, Tessie/Tess/Tessa. That goes with the time-honored theory that it is more likely the spouse, or at least people closest to the victim, committed the crime. But Tessie was in jail during the night of the murder. While that mystery percolates in the reader’s mind, Tessie, although grief-stricken, seems to appreciate the possibilities of future relationships or play with Deputy Sheriff Mason who put her in jail for drunk driving on the night of the husband’s murder. She also is impressed, as in take-my-breath-away by Hamlet’s only doctor and medical examiner by default, Dr. Lucas, the guy that cremated her husband’s body.


Rudolph’s Magic

I read December Magic by Tracey Mayhew at the request of some of my students who told me to take a break from my favorite genre of horror and crime. I don’t generally read romance novels but in deference to the Christmas season, I wanted to try something more in line with what Christmas is supposed to be about. This is an excellent short story for that purpose.

Glass is Fragile

The first thing that struck me about Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney was the writing style. In one word, it is elegant. Cudney tells a story with a style that I used to read (and like) several decades ago. The style is not populated with a lot of action words that speed to an objective. There is nuance and layers as Cudney tells several stories at the same time about a family that ultimately might define dysfunctional. This is a style I rarely find today.

Safety With Renee

Terry Boyle walked into a hardware store, met Renee Patrick, the partial owner and full-time operator of Hardware California, to buy five fire escape ladders for his home. According to the overly cautious, extremely conservative, and always well-organized Terry; you could never have too much safety equipment. If we believe that opposites attract, Terry was the perfect match for Renee; a spur-of-the-moment woman, a sex addict, and a woman dedicated to a life of instant gratification. Terry was very aware of his marital status; he would not succumb to the overt sexual invitations Renee signaled. Renee was very aware of Terry’s marital status, wasn’t bothered by it at all, and looked on Terry’s resistance as a challenge worth overcoming. No other man had ever resisted her, and married men were better conquests because they went home. Tools used should be put back in their place after use.

A Ghost of a Chance

The front cover of Ultimate Seven Sisters Collection by M. L. Bullock is minorly deceptive with a front cover announcement that there are “All Six Books Inside.” Some readers might not be happy with the claim that what is inside constitutes “books.” The Amazon site lists this collection as six ghost novels in one, a collection of 607 pages. I usually choose one “long” novel as part of the mix of five or six current reads. Free on Kindle Unlimited, the price is an eyebrow-raising USD 9.99 even though I purchased the collection from Amazon at USD 0.99. There is a possible typo for you.

Run Away from Olivia

The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher is a novel I both heard on Audible and read on Kindle. I find listening…

Medical Thriller Without The Thrills


I should have known better when I saw this blurb on the front cover of Inconclusive Evidence by Reily Garret: “A Romantic Thriller.” Somehow, the written invitational summary of the book convinced me this novel would focus on a legal thriller theme and there would be non-subtle hints of a romantic situation along the way. In fact, there is little of a legal thriller in this novel. Instead there many unrealistic coincidental situations disguised behind supposedly possible scientific description set in an overplayed almost sexual romantic non-thriller.

The Queen Stings

Confessions of a Queen B* by Crista McHugh is categorized by Amazon as Teen, Young Adult, and Humor. It also…

A Sorry Mystery

I believed Say You’re Sorry by Melinda Leigh to be a mystery novel. While I was sure there would be an element of romance, I didn’t realize there would be more of an emphasis on emotional elements than solve-the-crime elements. The emotional elements involve not only the reluctantly developing romance between attorney Morgan Dane and private investigator Lance Kruger, there is also the love single parent Morgan has for her three children, her grandfather, and a recovering drug addict who acts as a nanny for Morgan’s three children.