Laughed ‘Til He Died – Carolyn Hart, NEW RELEASE

April 5, 2010 at 7:47 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )


Laughed ‘Til He Died – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

Jean’s harsh sobs brought Max’s secretary, whose heart was as big as her beehive hairdo, to his office door. Summer-bright in a yellow tunic and white caprice, Barb looked at him questioningly. As awkward as most men in the face of feminine meltdown, Max cleared his throat. “How about some iced tea, Jean? Hey, Barb, bring us some of your special fruit tea and good lemon pie.” Jean using a handkerchief provided by Max, wiped her face, leaving purplish smudges atop puffy redness. She looked shyly at Barb when she returned. Barb placed a try with two big tumblers and two plates on the desk. “Goji berries and guava, my own private blend. Guaranteed to refresh. And lemon pie made this morning.”

Jean Hughes had just stepped into Max Darling’s office at the Confidential Commissions. Jean, who is the director of a youth recreation center called the Haven, came to seek Max’s help. One of the directors was in the process of acquiring enough votes to have her dismissed and she didn’t want to go down without a fight. Since Max’s specialty is in solving problems, he takes her on as a client.

Annie Darling, Max’s wife, owns a mystery bookstore called Death on Demand. At first, she’s not comfortable with Max taking Jean as a client. But that changed with the death of a young member from the Haven and the death of one of the Haven’s directors with Jean being the police’s number one suspect.

I’ve read both of Carolyn Hart’s Bailey Ruth books and loved them. I’m patiently waiting for her to write a 3rd. This is the first of her Death on Demand books that I’ve had a chance to read and I have to say I love it too. Carolyn Hart holds you in suspense until the end. She gives no clues throughout the book allowing you to guess at who the killer really is. In fact, she actually had me believing that the killer just might be Jean Hughes. Did Carolyn Hart lead me on a wild goose chase throughout the whole book? I’ll never tell. Read Laughed ‘Til He Died and find out for yourself.

Harper Collins Publishers
April, 2010
ISBN 978-0-06-145309-0
282 Pages

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Ghost at Work – Carolyn Hart, Author

February 28, 2010 at 6:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )


Ghost at Work – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

“He’s dead!” Her voice was a whisper. “What am I going to do?” “Call the police.” I clapped my fingers to my mouth. I hadn’t intended to speak. “I can’t.” It was a moan. The moan turned into a strangled gasp. She looked wildly about. “Who’s there? Where are you?” Skirting the body, she hurried to the back door, flung it open, clattered down the steps. In an instant she returned to the porch, dashed to the rectory back door, yanked it open, seeking the source of the voice.

Bailey Ruth Raeburn is dead and living the the glories of Heaven, but there are times when an “emissary” from Heaven needs to be sent back to earth to help out those in trouble. Bailey Ruth has never had the honor of being returned to earth as an emissary so Wiggins, who is in charge of this Heavenly task, must teach her the rules and prepare her before letting her depart. Unfortunately, there is no time for preparation. In Bailey Ruth’s own home town of Adelaide, someone has murdered Daryl Murdoch right on the steps of the rectory. It becomes Bailey Ruth’s job as an emissary to protect Kathleen, who just happens to be the pastor’s wife, and hopefully find the real killer.

As Bailey Ruth approaches Kathleen, she knows that before she can help her she must first gain her trust without scaring her half to death. This isn’t an easy task since Kathleen can hear Bailey Ruth but not see her. The solution to that is to appear but that is frowned upon in the Precepts, which are the rules an emissary must follow.

After Bailey Ruth and Kathleen finally get a grip on the real situation, it’s decided that the best thing to do is to move the body away from the rectory. And where would be a better place to deposit a dead body in the cemetery. But doing that will take some imagination from Bailey Ruth. She can’t just snap her fingers and have the body moved, so she must find a mode of transportation and the wheel barrow seems to be perfect vehicle. As she and Kathleen wheel Murdoch’s body to it’s destination, they discover that the cemetery is occupied by a couple of teens who are attempting to remove the greyhound statue that watches over the Pritchard mausoleum. She accomplishes this by grabbing the crowbar away from one of the boys and flinging it out into the darkness. But, Kathleen has already dumped the body on the steps of the mausoleum where it’s discovered by the two frightened teens.

Ghost at Work is the first book written by Carolyn Hart in the Bailey Ruth series. In Ghost at Work, Bailey Ruth is an emissary in training and on probation. Following her antics as she tries to follow the rules of not appearing, speaking, nor scaring the living half to death unless completely necessary, I’ve found Ghost at Work to be humorous and creative. Hart’s characters are not only believable but you find yourself completely wrapped up in them, not wanting the book to end. And fortunately, Bailey Ruth is carried forward in Hart’s second book in the series titled Merry, Merry Ghost. I’ve had the enjoyment of reading both of these light hearted books and can’t wait for the next.

I’ve read many series books which spotlight the same character and have found that after a while, the character becomes predictable and over years “aged.” Bailey Ruth is one character that I feel that can never happen to. After all, she is a “ghost.”

Harper Collins Publishers
2008
290 Pages
ISBN 978-0-06-087436-0

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When Fools Rush In A Christy Bristol Astrology Mystery- By Sunny Frazier

August 9, 2009 at 12:04 pm (astrology, mystery, Suspense Novels) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


When Fools Rush InOn a blazing July day in Central County, California, snitch Johnny Blue is murdered by lethal heroin injection. The undercover narcotics detective who handled Blue goes to the Sheriff’s Department seeking his ex-girlfriend, Christy Bristol. In the past he ridiculed her hobby of casting horoscopes but now he needs her expertise to help catch the man he suspects is behind Blue’s murder, a drug dealer named Lloyd Parr.

 

Stuck on the lowest rung of the law enforcement ladder, Christy becomes first a victim, then a hero, in the high-stakes game of narcotics trafficking. Through her eyes, the drug world is reduced to individual players, lost values and discarded dreams.

 

In the drug world of the Valley, there are no winners. Only losers. 

 

“Fast-paced and riveting, FOOLS RUSH IN is a salute to good cops, an insider’s view of astrology, and a grim descent into the dark world of drug dealers.”

Carolyn Hart, Agatha Award-winning author of LETTER FROM HOME and DEAD DAYS OF SUMMER

 

“In her debut novel, Sunny Frazier ratchets up the tension. The astrology is a bonus.”

Denise Dietz, bestselling author of CHAIN A LAMBCHOP TO THE BED and FOOTPRINTS IN THE BUTTER.

 

“Frazier does an excellent job keeping the reader on the edge of the seat.”

Lesa Holstine, The Bookbitch

 

“Christy is a great character. Told almost entirely from her viewpoint, we can’t help but feel her fear and cheer her on. She is strong and clever and thinks fast on her feet. This series can go in a lot of directions and I plan to be there to see what comes next.”

Kim Reis, Armchair Reviews

 

“FOOLS RUSH IN is an enjoyable novel, and Christy an interesting and likable protagonist. I must admit to never having been one to follow astrology, but the author makes the subject very interesting. And I love Christy’s observation that ‘Pluto was still considered a planet in astrology-speak.’”

Gloria Feit, Spinetingler Magazine

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