LOOKING FOR A GOOD BOOK? – TRY ‘THE RHINESTONE MURDER’

LOOKING FOR A GOOD BOOK? TRY THIS ONE:
 
I’m back with another short book review and reading suggestion. THE RHINESTONE MURDER is the best little cozy mystery I’ve read in quite a while. Last week, I reblogged the posts from Isaac Wallace with 4 preview chapters, so you may have seen those posts. I have to agree with what the back of the book says about the story. In fact, I’ll just quote it here:
 
“A snappy little novella introducing private investigator Carson Knight, who finds himself at the end of a gun barrel when Police Detective Andrea Pierce discovers him searching through an active crime scene. Knight, who was hired to investigate threats to his client, barely gets started on his case before the client is found murdered. Starting out on the wrong side of the police detective in charge of that murder investigation puts him in a bad position. But when he unexpectedly discovers a handful of rhinestones at the scene of the crime, they prove to be a key to discovering the killer. Knight’s a committed Christian, convinced he can get help from the Lord in solving his cases, and he’s going to need that kind of help if he’s going to win over Detective Andrea Pierce and help bring a murderer to justice.”
 
That pretty well sums things up. If you like cozy mysteries, I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy THE RHINESTONE MURDER by Isaac Wallace.
 

LOOKING FOR A GOOD BOOK? — TRY ‘NO GAME FOR A DAME’

I’ve felt led this year to devote a little attention to helping promote some authors and their works that I feel are worth readers’ time and money. I shared last week about my favorite novel, and this week I’m passing along a series that I think a lot of you will enjoy — if you like a good mystery that is.
 
NO GAME FOR A DAME (BY M. Ruth Myers) is the first book in the “Maggie Sullivan Mystery Series.” And one of the best things about this story is that it doesn’t have to end with the words “The End,” because there are several more where it came from.
 
The heroin, Maggie Sullivan, is a tough but totally likeable young woman who has broken through the barriers of the early 20th century resistance to women in the public work sector. In fact, the story is set in the years just prior to and including America’s involvement in WWII — a time when women in America were catapulted from being considered out of place in almost any workplace to holding down jobs in virtually every sector of life.
 
But Maggie has been ahead of the game, because she already had her own detective agency before 1940, and she doesn’t shy away from any case that needs her innate ability to solve a mystery and get people out of trouble.
 
The storyline is captivating, and the historical aspects of the setting are realistic, but not overbearing. Readers get a good handle on customs and attitudes without having to wade through a lot of excessive and unnecessary descriptions.
 
On top of that, the book is well-written. In an age when many independently published writers allow their work to go out to the public lacking any journalistic polish — or even the best grammar — Myers’ books have passed my “English teacher’s” test just fine.
 
Are there one or two things that I don’t particularly like about the books? Yes, but they are things that reflect my own very personal feelings and attitudes, and they don’t detract from the positive aspects of these stories. I’ve read 4 of the books in the series, and I’d have to say that if I were rating them with the 5-star test, I’d have to give them all 5 stars.

Looking for a good book? – Try ‘A Redbird Christmas’

It’s a little place — a mostly happy place — called Lost River, Alabama. I’d move there if I could. I can’t because, unfortunately, it isn’t real — except in the pages of a delightful novel titled A REDBIRD CHRISTMAS, by Fannie Flagg. Now, in general, I don’t care much for Alabama. And, in general, I’m not a fan of Fannie Flagg’s novels. However, Ms. Flagg did write one novel that is totally entertaining and gratifying to read. In fact I read it about once a year. And that novel is  A REDBIRD CHRISTMAS.

Let me deal first with the story’s one failing — if it can be called that. The first chapter introduces the main character, Oswald Campbell, as he is being given a very negative prognosis about his health. Now, unfortunately, coming so early in the book, that situation could be enough to turn many readers away. But if you’re looking for a story that is uplifting, encouraging, and life-affirming, please take my word for it that you need to push right on through that first chapter to find out what Oswald does in response to that prognosis and how he finds an altogether different future.

The rest of the story is set in the peaceful, friendly, (let me say it again) ‘life-affirming’ community settled on the banks of a clear, quiet river known as Lost River, Alabama. Even the mail is delivered by river in this little community. Everyone living there knows everyone else — and cares about everyone else. The weather is not too cold or too hot. The flowers, birds, and other natural wildlife are pleasant company. And the whole attitude and atmosphere is one of optimism.

Now, if you’ve read this far in the review, you may be thinking that the story will be too “Pollyanna-ish” for you. But, again, I’ll ask you to take my word for it that the positivity found in this story is really quite natural and down-to-earth. It’s just that the focus here is on looking for and trying to bring about the best in the midst of all circumstances — both good and bad. It makes a terrific change from all the criticizing, back-biting, hate-dispensing, and fear-mongering that we have been subjected to for the past two years in most of the media and a good deal of our day-to-day interactions.

And don’t think you need to wait until next Christmas to read this book. It isn’t a “Christmas” novel in the usual sense of that term. It does include some Christmas celebrations, but the story is about people who value life and love and sharing and caring. It’s a book for any season of the year.

How much do I like this book? Well, it sits right at the top of my list of favorite books. And I’ve already told you that I generally read it every year. I can’t move to Lost River, Alabama to live, but I can visit annually and enjoy the vacation from stress and life overload that most of us deal with on a regular basis. So if you’re like me, and you like reading about kind people, second chances, and happy endings, you must read A REDBIRD CHRISTMAS.

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Look for more book reviews over the next few months. Most of my followers know me as an author, but I’m also an avid reader, and this year, I’d like to help promote some of the books and authors that have given me so much personal reading pleasure. So adding a few book reviews is part of my plan for this site during 2022.