Saturday, October 31, 2009


DOUBLEBACK: A NOVEL OF SUSPENSE (formerly Double Cross)Author: Libby Fischer HellmanBleak House
October 2009
Hardcover/$24.95/978-1-60648-052-6 Paperback/$14.95/978-1-60648-053-3300 pagesFiction/Mystery

“Panic has a way of defining an individual. It scrapes the soul bare, scrapes away pretense, reveals the core of the human spirit. It’s hard to dissemble when fear crawls up your throat, you hear stampedes like a herd of wild animals, and your skin burns with the prickly-heat of terror. For the six people thrown together in a Loop office building on a hot June day, the moments they shared would reveal parts of themselves they had not know existed.”

What would you do if your neighbor’s daughter was kidnapped and the mother was told not to contact the police? If you had a good friend who worked as a private investigator, wouldn’t you contact that person?

That is the situation that reunites video producer, Ellie Foreman with private investigator, Georgia Davis. Now, when the little girl is returned after being gone for three days, no ransom obviously paid, the mother just wants the investigation over. The police, who were contacted, also know no more about the kidnapping. Do you drop it?

Do you decide to investigate when the brakes on the mother’s car go out and she is killed? The mother was employed in the computer systems in a bank and three million dollars is missing. Coincidentally, the mother’s boss just died in another questionable accident. The girl’s father agrees to hire Georgia to investigate.

Besides the kidnapping, DOUBLEBACK investigates illegal immigrants, smuggled drugs, and security firms who are not always following the same laws as everyone else. Georgia and Ellie quickly learn that with all that has happened sometime you need to double back to understand the entire situation running from Wisconsin to Arizona and back.

DOUBLEBACK is the sequel to EASY INNOCENCE combining both Ellie and Georgia. Other books by Libby Hellman featuring only Ellie Foreman are AN EYE FOR MURDER, A PICTURE OF GUILT, AN IMAGE OF DEATH, and A SHOT TO DIE FOR.

I found the novel to be suspenseful, thoughtful, and logical while reading at a break-neck pace. The characters were believable as was the story; this is definitely a wonderful “escape” into reading. I loved reading about this adventure but definitely would not want to live this adventure in real life.
Teri Davis October 31, 2009

For more reviews by Teri Davis go to her blog at: Http://
To contact Teri Davis please e-mail to


Author: Albert Samuel Tukker
January 10, 2009
ISBN-13: 978-0557024759
316 pages
Fiction/ Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
3rd Place 2009 Premier Books Awards

Once in a while you find a book that is unusual, not predictable, almost haunting, and demonstrates creative thinking. RAGE is such a book. With naked ghosts and pirate treasure, RAGE romps through many times and places.

Jules Planchette finds himself in an awkward situation when he is simply trying to avoid being drenched by a downpour. As he shelters himself under the overhang of a building, he notices a vagrant. Unfortunately, this vagrant also has a mission and that is to rid himself of the “rage”. This being, “rage”, is inside of Jules’ body everything appears normal except for if he happens to witness a situation where someone is at a disadvantage or is bullied.

The “rage” seems to level the playing field in regards to fairness and being just. Unfortunately, it also overreacts and literally turns Jules into a Rambo-like being. Is it really wrong to beat up a bully who is terrifying someone? It definitely is when you can’t stop the fury and the bully ends up being killed. However, this “rage” almost gives Jules superpowers without a cape and a motto. His concern is how to control it and get rid of it.

RAGE is Jules’ story of his trials with this possession which only becomes problematic in a threatening situation. In each situation, the voice of Jules is the outstanding feature of this novel. You can truly feel his questioning of his choices, the situation, his frustration, and fear in ridding himself of the “Rage.”

Albert Samuel Tukker is masterful at balancing this adventure in terror with humor and compassion. His position of fighting for those incapable of defending themselves from life’s misfortunes while being possessed makes this twist unusual, but intriguing.

My biggest question about RAGE is why isn’t a regular publisher working with the obviously gifted author. Yes, this book is a self-published, vanity press novel. Being that this book have already won an award, I am puzzled.

Albert Samuel Tukker lives in the Omaha metropolitan area. He is definitely an author that is an extremely gifted storyteller with an imaginative gift for writing. Unquestionably, I look forward to reading his other novels.

Teri Davis October 20, 2009

For more reviews by Teri Davis go to her blog at:
To contact Teri Davis please e-mail to

Saturday, October 24, 2009


THE DEPUTYAuthor: Victor GischlerBleak House
August 2009
Hardcover/$24.95/978-1-60648-046-5 Paperback/$14.95/978-1-60648-047-2256 pagesFiction/Mystery

“I faked a cough, put my hand over my mouth to hide the grin. I knew it wasn’t really funny, but the surprised look on Luke Jordan’s dead face caught me just right. Luke was the first dead guy I’d ever seen up close except for in a funeral home.”

Being a twenty-five year old part-time deputy in the small town of Coyote Crossing, Oklahoma, Toby Sawyer truly believes that his life is heading in the right direction. Even though, supporting a wife and a child on her waitress salary and his part-time salary proves challenging. Toby dreams of joining the force full-time.

When he is asked by the chief to watch over the dead body of Luke Jordan, Toby is relieved that it is an easy task, but Toby finds ways to distract himself such as visiting his 17-year-old girlfriend, Imagine his surprise when he returns and the body was missing. Along his search he accidentally releases a truckload of illegal Mexican aliens and finds himself involved with many of his law-enforcement buddies, especially the ones that are bending the laws to fit their finances. What is the right thing to do?

Personally, I loved the moral conflict in this novel. I truly empathized with Toby Sawyer. He had the problem of doing the right thing, but realizing that with each choice, there probably are many unpleasant consequences. Also, when do you stop doing the right thing and just run away and hide?

This is a novel that you cannot stop reading until the very last page. The characters are curiously flawed, but realistic. The action is constant. The daily problems of even providing a babysitter and having to buy the inflated pricing for baby supplies at a convenience store were examples of the realism within the survival of everyday life. Toby’s quest for finding someone he can trust is an all too realistic in everyone’s life. Although definitely dark, this story has a driving force that proves the expertise in Mr. Gischler’s writing. The personal voice of Toby adds a dimension to the strength of this character. I personally look forward to a sequel to THE DEPUTY in Mr. Gischler’s future writings.


Teri Davis October 20, 2009

For more reviews by Teri Davis go to her blog at: Http://
To contact Teri Davis please e-mail to

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Author: Lee Emory
WhoooDoo Mysteries (Science Fiction)
Treble Heart Books
ISBN: 978-1-932695-78-6
Trade Paperback
239 pages
Science Fiction

Who knows what our world will be like in the year 2194? What will be the rules in that time?

“Miss Berina Colchek, you stand convicted of twenty-two counts of murder against the aforementioned, high ranking, United Federation Collective members. This court believes you and your gang committed many more murders, but the prosecution failed to prove any certainty of this.”

“This court therefore waives the death penalty only because, in addition to these heinous murders you perpetrated upon innocent citizens, we cannot find enough solid violence of you following your deceased parents’ former religious teachings. You have demonstrated no evidence of such ignorant beliefs.”

“You are hereby sentenced to be transported from Earth to Androneda Prison in the Damnation Alley sector in three days’ time. There you will spend the rest of your natural life.”

Murder of twenty-two people could easily be a reason for someone to be executed. However, if you assassinate twenty-two politicians of the current leadership within the world government, and you are religious, you would be executed. If you do not have religious ties or beliefs, then your life is sparred and you are placed in a prison on a remote planet where it is constantly raining and having earthquakes.

Adjusting to prison-life can be life-threatening. It is a five-year journey to arrive at the Adroneda Prison. If you are causing the administration and guards grief, they use a mind-altering device called the Lobe-O which immediately gives the prisoner different degreed levels of a lobotomy. For some strange reason, life is fairly simple on this planet.

Berina has a natural ability to fix anything mechanical which places her in a valued position within this community. The warden, Aaron Gromar, has a secret that would definitely endanger his position and his life. The planet is increasing the number of quakes and is quickly becoming unstable for all the inhabitants. All of these compile into
an addicting and enthralling plot.

I enjoyed PERDITION. Even though I found the story predictable, I enjoyed the interwoven conflicts within the characters and the constant intensity with each event.

Lee Emory has written numerous novels in various genres including NIGHT FREEZE, COUNSELOR AT LARGE, GENEROUS TO A FAULT, A CALL TO MAGIC, HOT ROD’S LAW, GATEKEEPER’S PROMISE, GATEKEEPER’s CHALLENGE, GATEKEEPER’S CHOICE, and LOVE DONOR. She currently resides in Arizona.

Currently, Lee Emory is working on a sequel to PERDITION which I look forward to reading.

Teri Davis October 10, 2009

For more reviews by Teri Davis go to her blog at: Http://
To contact Teri Davis please e-mail to

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Author: Charlotte Hinger
Poisoned Pen Press
September 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59058-645-72
290 pages
Fiction, Mystery

“She was coming for me. From the belly of the vault, I could hear Fiona Hadley making her way down the main hall of the county courthouse toward my open door. No mistaking those authoritative, high-heeled clicks echoing across the marble floor.”

Who knows what secrets you can find when you are collecting the tales about the county’s history from family histories told and retold? Checking out what you are told sometimes makes it difficult to really see the truth or to see the truth through the lies of those telling the story.

Zelda St. John has a story to tell and her twin-sister, Fiona, wants to get it out of the hands of local history society in this western Kansas community. Fiona does not want this particular story to become public knowledge. Why? Apparently Fiona’s son, Brian, is running for public office and the story will damage Brian’s reputation. So what skeleton from the past could hurt a promising senatorial candidate?

Lottie Albright works as editor of county history books for the local historical society. She has integrated herself completely into this community as the local veterinarian’s much-younger second wife. She is still adjusting to being the step-mother to daughters that are near to her own age and the relationships with each of them.

Logically, Lottie wants to let Zelda know of Fiona’s demands. However, when she call Zelda, the phone just rings until the answering machine picks up. She couldn’t because she was dead.

Unfortunately in a small town, most are not known for their outstanding law enforcement. When the sheriff runs an ad in the local paper for a deputy, Lottie quickly applies for the position. Naturally, the sheriff wants to know if she had discussed this first with her husband. Being Lottie, she didn’t think that made a difference.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading DEADLY DESCENT. It had enough problems to be realistic, enough guts and spunk to be fun, and enough real feelings to connect with the reader. Definitely, this is a book that makes me want the sequel, now!

Charlotte Hinger essentially created Lottie Albright from her own life as a western Kansas historian who compiled county history books. COME SPRING, a historical novel won the Western Writers of America Medicine Pipe Award. DEADLY DESCENT is her first and hopefully not her last mystery.

Teri Davis October 3, 2009

For more reviews by Teri Davis go to her blog at: Http://
To contact Teri Davis please e-mail to


Author: Priscilla Royal
Poisoned Pen Press
August 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59058-640-2
260 pages
Fiction, Mystery

“The tree limbs arched with the weight of ice-kissed rain then dropped their burden with a loud crack like a bursting dam.”

During the late 13th-century and the early 14th-century travel was fairly slow for those living in rural England. While freezing rain is pelting down on Prioress Eleanor, Brother Thomas, and Mariota as they return to Tyndale, Mariota is ill. They find shelter in a nearby manor where a series of murders are beginning to occur. It might be safer to be out in the elements.

Everyone has an idea of what life in a manor house should be. In this manor, the lady of the manor is having an affair with a groom who seems to be having affairs with many women. A widow seems to be the lady of the manor while the first-born son and his wife are just nasty people who find fault in everything. In the midst of this hapless group is the return of the younger prodigal son who has left his studies with the Church in order to become a wandering minstrel. Obviously, there are more secrets and problems than this visiting group can grasp during their short visit.

Everything changes when the philandering groom is found dead from having his throat cut. It almost seems as if everyone has a motive for killing him. Curiously, the cook is arrested for the murder and then she is stabbed before her innocence can be proven.

Eleanor and Thomas find themselves propelled into the investigation and being they are concerned about justice, decide to question people themselves to find the murderer while Mariota recovers enough for them to continue their traveling back to their home. That is unless they offend the murderer and find themselves being the victim.

Priscilla Royal continues her series featuring Prioress Eleanor of Tyndale in this sixth installment of her medieval mystery series. She currently lives in Northern California.

The character of Eleanor is delightful as she proves to be an intelligent and gutsy character that focuses on doing the right thing, not always within the constraints of being a prioress during the medieval times. She seems to be able to pry into the lives of others with class and dignity which is definitely a trait valued then as is now. Brother Thomas is the perfect sidekick with his parallel inquiry and frequent collaboration with Eleanor.

This is a series that I enjoy the familiar recollections with the delightful characters of Eleanor, Thomas, and Maud. They feel like a reunion with long-time fictional friends who I look forward to meeting again soon.

Teri Davis October 3, 2009

For more reviews by Teri Davis go to her blog at: Http://
To contact Teri Davis please e-mail to

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Author: Sean Doolittle
Delacorte Press
Random House
ISBN: 978-0-385-33898
352 pages
Fiction-Married People, Domestic, City and Town Life, Iowa

“My wife, Sara, and I are hosting a faculty party at our home when the Clark Falls Police Department arrives to take me into custody.”

How do you prove that you did not commit a crime? Sure, we’ve always been told that in our country you are innocent until you are proven beyond a doubt to be guilty. Can someone fabricate evidence of you having sexual relations with a minor? What about if you really are innocent? How do you prove that you were not involved? How will people in your family and community ever trust you again?

Moving halfway across the country allows Paul and Sara Callaway to start over in Cedar Falls, Iowa as part of the local college community. Life isn’t so idealistic when Paul returns to his home on the first night in their new home and manages to rescue his wife from an attacker by using a golf club. To help reassure the new couple, the local neighborhood appears to welcome them into the community while also maintaining surveillance on the area. However, there is such a thing as too much surveillance.

When trying to establish yourself in a new neighborhood, where is the line between your privacy and the growing sense in being a part of your local community? Balancing the needs of your career, a marriage, a pregnancy, and the neighborhood can be a juggling act, especially when the neighborhood cheats.

The characters are realistic and likable. The neighborhood and the supporting characters are unfortunately, very lifelike. What I particularly enjoyed was the settings which are based around the Omaha/Council Bluffs metropolitan area. I was also wondering about how Petrows, a local family restaurant, enjoyed jumping over to the Iowa side of the river.

Sean Doolittle is the author of DIRT, BURN, RAIN DOGS, and THE CLEANUP. SAFER is his newest book. He currently lives in the Omaha/Council Bluff’s metropolitan area.

The book is unnervingly real. The terror and experiences of Paul are what adds to the suspense. Between the accusation and the overly protective neighborhood, Paul’s pressures with his wife and career seem petty. Also, things are seldom as they seem. Sometimes the best way out of a difficult and awkward situation is straight through it even if it is not easy and possibly bordering on illegal when it comes to truly investigating the crime.

Sean Doolittle continues his brilliant writing with SAFER which definitely does not make you feel safe.

Teri Davis October 3, 2009

For more reviews by Teri Davis go to her blog at: Http://
To contact Teri Davis please e-mail to