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Book Review: Drive by James Sallis

Originally written in 2005, Drive by James Sallis has been out of print for over a decade, since its last printing following the acclaimed movie of the same name. Now Poisoned Pen Press has brought a beautiful reprint edition back to the market, giving me the chance to evaluate both book and movie together. Both…

The Registration by Madison Lawson: Featured Excerpt

Chapter 1 Lynnel feels the sun cutting into her skin, a harsh reminder of her own mortality. She rolls forward onto her toes and holds her hand up against the sun. The motion puts an old scar on her forearm in her direct line of sight. Her stomach clenches and she steps back into the…

Book Review: Fallout by Carrie Stuart Parks

Sam Williams has built a nice, quiet life for herself as an elementary school art teacher in rural LaCrosse, Washington. After her parents died when she was a little girl, she was taken in by a strict aunt who taught her how to run a farm and be self-sufficient. While Sam eventually went off to…

Book Review: Wise Gals by Nathalia Holt

The United States of America’s Central Intelligence Agency would not exist as it is today without the exemplary efforts of five brave and often undersung women. This lack of recognition, to a certain extent, is part and parcel of working with the CIA: it would never do to publicly laud work that is best done…

Book Review: The Guest House by Robin Morgan-Bentley

Wow, I had a really hard time reading this book. Not because it’s bad, which it most certainly isn’t. It’s just such a harrowing, vivid depiction of every parent’s nightmare, I had to put the book down time and again just to catch my breath before pressing on with the propulsive narrative. Said narrative comes…

Cooking the Books: Death of an Ice Cream Scooper by Lee Hollis

Hayley’s Kitchen—the namesake Italian restaurant that our heroine, Hayley Powell, recently opened in her small town of Bar Harbor, Maine—is doing excellent business. Even before turning such profits, though, she’d made it part of her mission to spread the financial love to other local enterprises, promoting their businesses as best she could on her menu.…

Book Review: The Butcher and the Wren by Alaina Urquhart

Wren Muller has worked hard to become a New Orleans medical examiner, putting in grueling hours and sacrificing most of her social life in order to help find closure and justice for the dead and their grieving families. When bodies start turning up in the bayou and surrounding areas, each bearing a cryptic hint as…

House of the Dragon: “The Princess and the Queen” Episode Review

Remember last week when I praised House of the Dragon for not holding our hands while it zoomed through the story? Well, I’m afraid we’ve discovered the other side of that coin, as this week’s 10-year jump felt a bit too jarring. I want to be clear: this doesn’t have anything to do with the…

Book Review: Always the First to Die by R. J. Jacobs

Once upon a time, Lexi was a horror movie starlet, plucked from obscurity to play Casey the Party Girl, the first victim of the serial killer in cult horror director Rick Plummer’s smash hit film Breathless. As a teenager growing up on the Florida Keys, Lexi has long wanted to escape to the wider world.…

Book Review: The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves

The Rising Tide will strike a chord of recognition with lovers of The Big Chill.  Our deepest hopes, ambitions, and fears of failure are well known to the friends of our youth. They know where the bodies are buried, who feels guilt, who was betrayed, and who’s sitting on “long-held secrets.” The friends in The…