A Secret In Ash Brooke by Dutch Rhudy

A Secret In Ash Brooke by Dutch Rhudy

A small town detective agreed to mentor a local newspaper reporter who wished to enhance his sleuthing hobby. In the process of improving his observational skills, the reporter scrutinized various citizens torso and behavior. As his facial recognition abilities increased, he grew more aware of subtle similarities and differences.

The reporter soon became intrigued with an exceptional physical likeness between two young women. Each portray different cultures, and appear nothing alike in manner of dress, or in their separate lifestyles. The reporter, convinced they must be twins, maintained a constant vigil on his suspects.

He befriended one of these ladies to learn more about her. All attempts at justifying to himself she was a twin, proved futile. Subtle comments among her friends and family, confirmed she had only one sibling, an older brother.
These facts led our sleuth-hound reporter, to believe these two women were one in the same person.

Turning his attention from the proper lady, with her strict religious upbringing; to the one of questionable moral values. His observations only invited confusion and generated unanswered questions. Each time his suspicions exposed another clue, a positive clarification negated the probability.

Their timetables overlapped, and one person cannot possibly be in two places at the same time. Or can they?
Certain his assumptions are correct, our reporter continued his quest to learn the truth.

Log Line: How can she be in two places at the same time?

Tag Line: Never take anyone at face value.

Genre: Fiction, Cozy, Mystery & Detective, Historical

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Book Review: If you enjoy mystery, detective fiction with a little history thrown in, ‘A Secret In Ash Brooke’ should be your next read.

The small town setting depicts both the advantages and disadvantages of communities where people know each other intimately.

I especially liked the small mill town setting where men went off to war and some returned. Where women left the security of their homes (changing women’s roles forever) to help in the war efforts and hold their communities together.

Sometimes it takes another perspective to not only notice but unravel secrets that loom large but that are dismissed by ordinary life. Dutch Rhudy’s characters are well suited for the mystery that unfolds in Ash Brooke.

Theodocia McLean endorses A Secret In Ash Brooke by Dutch Rhudy. This review was completed in July 2014.

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The Journal Of Ezekiel Walker by John J. Zelenski

The Journal Of Ezekiel Walker by John J. Zelenski

On furlough from his World War ll Civilian Public Service Unit in the fall of 1945, a war weary Ezekiel Walker returns to his family farm in Walker’s Vale, Pennsylvania. Everything about him, the world and his beloved town of Walker’s Vale, which had been founded by his grandfather Noah Walker 90 years ago had changed.

The town was dwindling despite his parents’ devotion to their community and the small church that they shepherd. Soon it became evident to Ezekiel that the changes surrounding this small community of Walker’s Vale weren’t just material orientated, or caused by the residual effects of the war. The changes were far more troubling and sinister than anything he had ever encountered.

Unexplained supernatural events were unfolding that were drawing him into a battle unlike a human battle known to man. Ezekiel accounts in his journal “Aware of my own thoughts, I concluded that I was caught somewhere between reality and the fantastic—between light and dark, but not a part of either. I suddenly recalled the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness and remembered how he defeated Satan by quoting the Father’s Word.”

The growing conflict that confronts Ezekiel tests his core beliefs and shapes the depth of his faith after a man named Mr. Simon Tremblestone arrives in town.

I (Theodocia McLean) personally endorse ‘The Journal Of Ezekiel Walker’ by John J .Zelenski as a depictive fictional supernatural account of spiritual warfare. I purchased this book from Kindle and the review was completed on March 3, 2015.

Genre: Horror, Paranormal, Supernatural

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Our Justice (John Cannon Trilogy Book Three) by John W. Howell

Our Justice (John Cannon Trilogy Book Three) by John W. Howell

For all you John Cannon followers ‘Our Justice’ (trilogy book three in the series) is finally here.

To refresh your memory, ‘My GRL’ is book one in the series. Like a lot of business men who tolls in an office setting day in and day out John J. Cannon takes a leave of absence from his firm, buys a boat and names her “My GRL”. Life was looking up until he wakes up in the hospital and finds out that he was found unconscious beside the woman who sold him the boat. If you have read this book you know where the story goes, if not, you need to read book one to see how the purchase of this boat brings John into the dangerous world of terrorism, counter-terrorism and politics that will either bring out the best or the worst in him.

Book Two of this thriller trilogy is titled ‘His Revenge’ for a reason, but revenge my not be what John imagines. In fact, he unwittingly becomes an accomplice in a plan to attack the credibility of the US President and topple the worldwide oil industry. How will John get out of this without becoming a traitor to his country and endangering thousands of lives?

‘Our Justice’ is here, and now you must find out if justice is as sweet as revenge. Let me start with a quote from Chapter three to catch you up and whet your appetite.

The two agents explain something about being called off the case. Ned asks them what they’re doing here, and they tell him they’re sorry for the way things turned out. We all shake hands, and they go away.

Ned suggests we go to dinner, and we do. We have a little discussion about the agents, and I think Ned feels it is good riddance. Ned and I finish dinner, and he drops me off at my house again. He wonders if he should come inside to check the house before he leaves. I offer to buy him a beer if he’s so inclined. He smiles, “You know, a nice cold beer might be just the thing to top this day. Also, I’m going to have an officer come over here tonight.”

I don’t say anything about the officer and just nod. We get out of the SUV and start up the driveway. I’m not sure if I see something at the corner of the house or not. “Ned, take a look at the corner of the house to the right.”

He whispers, “Yeah, someone’s there. Get down.”

As I move to the ground, flashes come from the dark corner. Ned grunts like someone just hit him in the stomach, and then falls to the ground and rolls over close to me. “Take my gun and start shooting.” He reaches out, and I can see his gun and also a lot of blood.

I take the gun from his sticky hand and fire toward the corner of the house. A dull moan tells me that I’ve likely hit something other than the building. I get up and hold Ned’s gun out in front of me, as I’ve seen the police do on TV. After a quick move to my left, I run toward the corner of the house, only closer to the bushes in the front. I don’t want to be a big target while I make my approach toward the gunman. When I reach the corner, I make out an arm with a gun in the hand. Though the arm is outstretched on the ground, it could be a trap, so I step on the wrist. When I do, the hand opens, and the gun makes no sound when it slips to the ground. With the muzzle of Ned’s gun at the person’s head, I say a line I’ve heard before, “One move and you are a dead man.”

Upon looking closer, I can say that my line was a little redundant. I haven’t seen too many dead men in my life, but this guy looks dead to me. Still wary, I pick up the guy’s gun and sprint back to Ned. When I get there, Ned is still on the ground. “Ned, can you hear me?”

“Call 911. I need to get to a hospital.” “Should I drive you?”

“No. No offense, but we both need to stay alive.”

I dial 911 and speak to the dispatcher. I tell them where we are and that the chief has been shot. The dispatcher sounds upset and lets me know that EMS and a car are on the way. “Please, stay on the line, Mr. Cannon. I need you to give me some idea of Chief Tranes’ condition.”

I assure the dispatcher that I don’t intend to hang up. I sit on the driveway and look Ned over. He seems to be bleeding a little less, which I take as a good sign. “Ned, the dispatcher wants to know about your condition.”

“Uh, tell her I’ve been better, but it’s not too serious.” He pauses. “And, John, try to make it believable. The dispatcher is my wife, Geneen.”

“Oh my God. I had no idea.”

“Tell her.”

“Mrs. Tranes? I just spoke to your husband, and he told me to tell you that he’s been better, but it’s not serious.”

“I heard him, Mr. Cannon. Please, don’t let Ned die. He is the love of my life, and although he’s one tough son of a bitch, this is just the kind of nightmare I’ve had for years. Please, promise me you won’t let him die.”

I invite everyone to read on to get the answers that both you and John Cannon need. This action, mystery, suspense thriller rivals that of Jack Bower (lead protagonist of the Fox television series 24) and will leave you waiting for John W. Howell’s next book titled ‘The Circumstances of Childhood’ scheduled to be released mid-year 2017.

Theodocia McLean endorses Our Justice (John Cannon Trilogy Book Three) by John W. Howell. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on September 24, 2016.

Genre:  Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

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Hold On-Season 1 (Action Thriller) by Peter Darley

Hold On-Season 1 (Action Thriller) by Peter Darley

Amazon # 1 Best Selling Trilogy

Corporate secretary, Belinda Reese, finds herself trapped in an inferno when her office building is attacked by apparent terrorists. However, she is rescued by mysterious interloper, Brandon Drake, an AWOL soldier. Using an advanced, experimental aircraft, he flees with her to his hidden cabin in the mountains of Aspen. There she learns his story – he’s a man on a mission to thwart a corrupt, government conspiracy.

Brandon and Belinda’s feelings for one another soon deepen. When they attempt to flee from America, they discover that now, Belinda too, has become a target of the conspiracy. A nightmare is unleashed upon them as the police, assassins, and government agencies drive them into relentless perils. Brandon’s combat training and stolen weaponry are challenged to the limit in the face of overwhelming odds; a devastating, reality-shaking discovery further hampering his plight.

Shocking twists and cliffhangers take the two lovers on a journey through the first installment in this high-tech action, romantic thriller series.

Book Review: Author Peter Darley takes an amazing approach to his ‘Hold On’ Romantic Suspense Thriller Series. ‘Hold On’ is book one in the adult series and it is FREE to all readers who crave action, mystery, conspiracies, romance, science fiction and heart stopping thrills.

The author’s approach may be unorthodox, but it might be genius because after reading ‘Hold On’ I am convinced that you will want to purchase the next books in his trilogy.

Forty seven intense chapters introduce you to his two main characters Brandon (an AWOL soldier) and Belinda Reese (a corporate secretary for Carringby Enterprises). This book is set up in an easy to follow format with chapters that remind me of my favorite TV series episodes. I guess this is why the author lists his books as Season 1, 2, 3, etc. Well-developed characters along with a fast paced persuasive story line will keep you turning the page.

I personally love thrillers! My heart races and my mind turns to my favorite TV Heroes Steven Seagal and Bruce Willis as I find myself searching for clues that will allow me to accept Brandon Drake as the new empowered hero that brings his own experience, skills and gismos into a world filled with conspiracy and terrorism.

Let’s begin as Brandon Drake as he sits on the edge of his sofa. His thoughts beg him to stay in the comfort of this room where it is safe. Heroes never play it safe now do they?

The sign of a skilled action thriller writer is the ability to draw the reader into the action while offering a softer, more romantic interlude when action creates an adrenalin rush, death that may or may not be cheated, and an afterglow of pure animal attraction. Let me tease you with this quote: “The aircraft landed outside a wooden cabin deep within the snow-covered mountains. Belinda’s safety harness automatically detached itself and retracted into the seat. The side door slid upward, and she noticed they’d landed directly against the porch of the cabin. “I didn’t want you to be knee-deep in snow,” he said. Shaking, she reached out and eased herself onto the porch. “It’s dryer this way.” The stranger climbed across the passenger’s side to join her. She assumed he was trying to put her at ease by acting nonchalant. He walked across the porch and inserted a key into the cabin door. Belinda considered the sight somewhat bizarre—a tall, muscular man in black combat fatigues, and a sleek helmet with a reflective visor, acting so normal. She was instantly drawn to the vision before her. The moonlight shone down onto a valley of snow, creating a calming, hypnotic, purple-blue effect. It was a contender for the most beautiful sight she had ever seen, and such a dramatic contrast to that which had led her to it. He pushed the door open and stepped inside. “You’d better come in or you’re gonna freeze.” She turned around and cautiously followed him into the living room. Nothing about the interior registered with her.”

Are they safe in the Cabin? Will Belinda let her guard down? Is there more to Brandon than first impressions? Can life ever be normal again? Can you define normal?

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Hold On: Season 1 by Peter Darley. Careful, once read, you might just purchase Go: Hold On Season 2, Run: Hold On Season 3 and Hold On: Tomorrow (A Futuristic Action Thriller). I read and reviewed this book from Kindle. This review was completed on July 26, 2017.

Genre:  Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Conspiracies, Romance, Science Fiction

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Blood Stones: The Haunting of Sunset Canyon (Volume 1) by Krista Lynn

Blood Stones: The Haunting of Sunset Canyon (Volume 1) by Krista Lynn

Blood Stones: The Haunting of Sunset Canyon by Krista Lynn begins in 1911 during the Summer Solstice in Little Springs River at Sunset Canyon, Arizona with a story that sets the stage for a supernatural suspense.

Fast forward 100 hundred and four years later in Sacramento, California where Darcy Peel lives and teaches at a prestigious university. Darcy is forced to return to her rural hometown of Dry Creek, Arizona when her sister, Deanna Peel, suddenly disappears in the desert canyons while pursuing her research. The local headlines relate Deanna’s disappearance to the deaths of other Peel family members who entered the canyon and presume that she is also dead. “Deanna is well known in her community as an activist for desert preservation and anthropological research in the “Canyon that Sees the Sun” as that deep gorge is known from Indian myth”. Some of the locals believe that Deanna “fell prey to the Curse”.

Intent on doing her own expedition to find her sister, Darcy drives the long hours back, stopping alongside the highway a half-mile from her family’s 76 Diner and Gas Station to view Prospector’s Mountain. What awaits her is Déjà vu as she holds up an old Polaroid photo from June 22, 1986 and stares out her windshield at the mountain, then back to the photo. The cloud formation she sees over the mountain top is identical to the one in the old picture which was taken the day of a horrifying experience that happened on the date of the photo.

Darcy has to stay focused on her mission to find her sister as the dark magic of the New Moon at vernal equinox draws near, bringing its strange energy to the mountain, its canyons, and the small community steeped in rich Native American legends. Darcy might just find more than the answers she came in search of when a young deputy named Alan Brandt is willing to assist. Their attraction to each other another is yet another mystery that will need to be solved.

Author Krista Lynn weaves a tale conjured up from her childhood where she lived with her family sixty miles north of Arizona on an old gold mine. The nearest neighbor was twenty miles away. Krista draws from her own memories of an isolated desert life with her brothers, animals and the supernatural desert landscape. Descriptive writing, easy to follow dialog, well developed characters will draw you into this first story in her Blood Stone series and will leave you waiting for her next novel coming soon titled ‘Cast In Stone’.

If you enjoy stories that speak of supernatural legends and curses, suspense and mystery, humor and romance this book is for you. It is a multi-genre geared for young adults and up.

I personally endorses Blood Stones: The Haunting of Sunset Canyon by Krista Lynn. I bought and reviewed this book from Kindle on July 6, 2016.

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Alter Ego (The Davenport Decrees Book 1) by Tory Allyn

Alter Ego (The Davenport Decrees Book 1) by Tory Allyn

Dead bodies are just a fact of life for law enforcement and the FBI, but the body found in the woods in Rockfort, Virginia would make the hair on the back of the neck stand up for the seasoned professional.

With mounting terrorism against soft targets all over the US and agencies stretched to their limits, FBI Special Agent Jack Stanwick is put in charge of the Rockfort case because a total of three bodies have been found and the Governor of Virginia has reported his son missing.

The mystery surrounding these deaths are unique because all three victims were injected with a chemical in the carotid artery. “Their chemistry screens, blood cultures, toxicity tests and complete blood counts were anarchic and their chromosomes had been displaced. There were also disorganized levels of hormones. However, my most crucial finding was the pineal gland”. It is in the coroner’s hand to determine exactly what they were injected with and why.

Jack enlists the help of his friend who owns the Davenport Detective Agency and the investigation leads to Prescott Chemicals and a low level militia group called M.A.G.O.C. which stands for Men Against Government Overtaking Control. The question remains, is the general public at risk?

Well-developed characters, good dialog, unusual mystery, humor and a little romance keeps the reader focused. ‘Alter Ego’ is Author Tory Allyn’s debut novel. According to the author ‘Alter Boys’ will be out August 15, 2016, ‘Altered State’ will come out December 15, 2016 and ‘Alter Bound’ will end the series on April 15, 2017.

Theodocia McLean endorses Alter Ego (The Davenport Decrees Book 1) by Tory Allyn. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on May 21, 2016.

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Mice Tales: Persevering Possibilities and Succeeding (Volume 1) by Linda Bunker

Mice Tales: Persevering Possibilities and Succeeding (Volume 1) by Linda Bunker

MICE TALES is a story of a diverse group of mice who experience life’s ups, downs and all-arounds, just as humans.

They adopt a motto of persevering possibilities, brilliantly achieving an impossible goal, which in turn results in a happy ending for all.

The story, while comical, accentuates deep acceptance of all earth’s species, nationalities, religious or non-religious beliefs, lineage and lifestyles. The Golden Rule works –

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”

How very simple. If mice can do it, why can’t humans?

Book Review: An endearing story with life lessons involving a cast a characters made up of a group of mice who persevere through challenges, never sway from their core values  and convictions, while achieving a task so grand that most would have gone away in defeat.

Special mention for Kelly Morgan who did a beautiful job on the book cover and the illustrations throughout the book.

Author Linda Bunker is a great story teller who weaves her own life philosophies into her stories and this is a great beginning to this new series. I found the book’s introduction very interesting with forty-four well written chapters that keep the reader engaged in the life of this unique group of mice living in the mall shops. Two live in the Deli, one in the Tuxedo Shop, three in the Bridal Shop and two in the Yarn Shop. Aishe Vadoma is the proprietor of the yarn shop and her life is about to change in more ways than one.

I invite you to read this uplifting story in a day and time when there is more negative thrown at us then most of us can handle in a day. As a grandmother of two I recommend this book for Tweens (ages 10-14), Young Adults (ages 15-21) and all adults of all ages who are young at heart. We are never too old to listen, learn, accept one another and follow ‘The Golden Rule’. I highly recommend for teens and adult book clubs where discussion is encouraged.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Mice Tales- Persevering Possibilities and Succeeding (Volume 1) by Linda Bunker. This is the first book in her ‘Mice Tails’ series and I hope it won’t be long until the next book is available. Available in both print and Kindle, I purchased this book from a Kindle format and this review was completed on 01/21/2017. I have also have the privileged to have read Linda Bunker’s dual set of books titled ‘Your Story Matters… Tell It’ and ‘Claudia Estelle The Extraordinary Senior Gay Couple’.

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Your Story Matters… Tell It’ and ‘Claudia Estelle The Extraordinary Senior Gay Couple’ by Linda Bunker

Your Story Matters… Tell It’ and ‘Claudia Estelle The Extraordinary Senior Gay Couple’ by Linda Bunker

‘Your Story Matters… Tell It’ is a genuine, heartwarming memoir of a friendship between two women that grew into a passionate lifelong commitment and partnership.

Even in the best of circumstances human relationships (gay or straight) are hard work and when there is a strain of secrecy the odds aren’t good. I admire these two women for their love, devotion, and determination to build a successful life together in a period in time where society would have eaten them alive if their secret had been exposed.

Their love, strength, intelligence, compassion, faith and humor allowed them to grow as couple (in secret) while extending love, kindness, generosity to their families, friends and community. Even the local police considered their home as a safe place where they brought community kids that were in danger, abused and neglected in the dark of night to find loving arms, a warm bed, healthy food, laughter and games until proper family, friends or suitable foster accommodations could be agreed upon.

Author Linda Bunker tells her story with candor, assuming the risks of coming out of the closet, detailing historical facts regarding the progression of gay and lesbian rights, in order to leave their legacy of love to the generations of women who will follow.

Linda’s second book titled ‘Claudia and Estelle The Extraordinary Senior Gay Couple’ is a companion book to ‘Your Story Matters… Tell It’. As the reviewer I encourage readers to purchase these two as a set because the humorous side of their relationship transcends the hardships and secrecy. Linda’s writing style reminds me of the late Erma Bombeck reminding us to look at our life circumstances from the lighter side. I believe that it was the lighter side of these two women that have brought them to the twilight phase of their journey together still embraced in each other’s loving arms.

Theodocia endorses this dual set of books ‘Your Story Matters… Tell It’ and ‘Claudia Estelle The Extraordinary Senior Gay Couple’ by Linda Bunker as the serious memoir and the humorous short story collection of two women enjoying retirement years from a more normal view outside of the closet. This dual review was completed in August 2014.

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Her Man In Havana by Fran Connor

Her Man In Havana by Fran Connor

From the time Harry walked into the Saratoga Hotel in Havana, Cuba his routine business trip would be anything but routine. After all, this is Havana which has a mystique unlike any place on earth.

It doesn’t take Harry long to scope out the most beautiful woman on the island and his heart among other things beats with excitement as she notices him and strolls over to him. There isn’t a man on earth that doesn’t dream of classy women like Maria. Harry is mesmerized by her deep brown eyes that look into his soul.

Harry soon discovers that his British accent and inability to communicate well in this multicultural community leaves him at the mercy (smiling) of his new found friend Maria who speaks English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Russian. With serious business to conduct as an importer, Harry is the luckiest man on earth to have Maria by his side as guide and interpreter. However, business is not as he imagined it to be in Cuba and soon Harry is in too deep.

I would like to share you a quote to show you the author’s writing style and the character’s mind-set.

“There was Neanderthal and one of the grey-suited guys. He held a gun against me, inside a newspaper.

I looked at the line of people in the queue ahead waiting to check in for my flight. Could I do anything? Could I make a scene? These guys wouldn’t shoot me here in broad daylight with so many witnesses. Or would they? Did I have the bottle to find out?

I answered my own question when I walked submissively in the direction the gun was pushing me: away from my ride home. Away from safety and into God only knows what end. In my mind I went through my last will and testament. Most of what I had—which included a three-bedroom, terraced house in Fulham that only had a twenty per cent mortgage on it due to the rise in house prices, a Ford Mondeo and some cash—would all go to my mother.

I thought about what she would say when she heard I’d been shot dead in Cuba: ‘Silly bugger. Always was a prat.’ Then she’d blow most of it at bingo.”

Author Fran Connor writes this fast paced romantic thriller with an intellect of the setting and people of Cuba, with humour and interesting dialog. I personally love it when a man writes romance and I believe any adult reader will enjoy and stay engaged with the plot. According to Fran Connor’s bio and screenplay portfolio, he has seven feature length scripts in several genres with one in pre-production in the UK. Six of his eleven plays have been produced on stage. Fran is a romantic at heart and this is reflected in his writing.

Theodocia McLean endorses Her Man In Havana by Fran Connor. Other books by Fran Connor found on Amazon include Sophia and the Fisherman, Someone to Watch Over Me, The Devil’s Bridge and Elbourne House-Novella Series Volume One-Eight. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on April 13, 2016.

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Elbourne House-Novella Series Volume One-Eight Available
Her Man In Havana
Someone to Watch Over Me
Sophia and the Fisherman
The Devil’s Bridge
Elbourne House-Novella Series Volume One-Eight Available

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Violent Departures by F.M. Meredith

Violent Departures by F.M. Meredith

It is serious business for Detective Doug Milligan of the Rocky Bluff P.D. when a student from Santa Barbara College named Veronica Randall disappears from her idling Toyota Prius parked in her grandmother’s driveway. Items left behind along with a new clue emerges when the neighbor Mrs. Doris Jarvis tell officers everything she can about the sedan speeding by the house earlier that morning.

The investigation revs up and the list of possible suspects grow as inquiries into college and work acquaintances begin. The ex-boyfriend Bryan Franklin is an interesting lead and so is a possible stalker from Veronica’s high school days.

Meanwhile Detective Milligan and his wife move their family into a new house that seems to suit their needs, except for the reported resident ghost. He and his new partner Felix Zachary are finding themselves dealing with other criminal activities in the community while the whole department keeps an eye out for Veronica.

A multi-faceted story line with personable characters that could be from your own community. Author F.M. Meredith writes with a charming style that brings the reader into the detectives’ investigation. Here is a small quote. “The woman moved quickly up the spiral wrought iron stairs, and the rest followed. The second floor landing had two door on both side, and an open window. A breeze brought in a mixture of scents, the salt from the ocean, the pungent almost medicinal smell of eucalyptus, and the heavy sweet odor of gardenias. The last set of steps led to a small space in front of a closed door.”

Never a dull moment when a crime mystery and poltergeist activity inhabit the same space.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Violent Departures’, book 11 in F. M. Meredith’s Rocky Bluff PD Series. Each book stands on its own merit, so you can enjoy each book even out of sequence. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on April 23, 2015

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