The SCOTUS Affair: A Dimase Augustin Thriller

Stephen L Bruneau

iUniverse, 244 pages, (paperback) $13.99, 9781532099748
(Reviewed: September, 2020)

Stephen L. Bruneau’s second Dimase Augustin thriller (following The MIT Murders) finds the homicide detective-turned-P.I. uncovering a deep-state conspiracy.

The novel begins when Ben Johnson learns that his clandestine lover of over 40 years, Acadia LaFleur, has been attacked in a home invasion and lies in a coma. Seeking justice for Acadia, Ben enlists his […]

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Dear Durwood

Jeff Bond

Jeff Bond Books, 190 pages, (paperback) $13.99, 9781732255296
(Reviewed: September, 2020)

Jeff Bond’s Dear Durwood, part of his Third Chance Enterprises series, offers an unusual crime-fighting character: an ex-Marine who lives on a West Virginia farm and helps people who contact him by mail through an ad in Soldier of Fortune. He chooses the most interesting pleas forwarded by the magazine.

As the story begins, Durwood […]

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The Trapped Daughter

Jay Kerk

Jay Kerk Books, pages, , 9781513665276
(Reviewed: September, 2020)

In Jay Kerk’s The Trapped Daughter, protagonist Belle Andresson believes herself held captive by her father, Richard, and his secretary/lover, Marie.

The story is told from the viewpoint of Belle, who lives in the family’s fenced, gated, and guarded property, and believes that her father, Richard, and Marie are drugging her to keep her compliant. […]

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Sam Learns to Hug

Diana Duncan

Partridge, 28 pages, (paperback) $25.01, 9781543758146
(Reviewed: September, 2020)

Sam, a boy who avoids physical affection, gains comfort from a dog with an abused past.

As this rhyming picture book begins, Sam (age unclear in the text, but illustrations depict him as a young adolescent) doesn’t like to hug anyone but his mother and occasionally his father. This causes consternation in his family. His […]

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The Temple Tree: A Fable of Nature, Magic, and Discovery

Sidney Snow

Sidney Snow, 218 pages, (paperback) $12.34, 9798666289693
(Reviewed: September, 2020)

As with all good fables, Sidney Snow’s The Temple Tree urges readers to open their minds to nature and to listen to their hearts, as well as their minds.

The novel opens in a Brooklyn attic with young Ali drifting off toward sleep, his head filled with the magical stories his late father had told […]

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Granduncle Bertie

William Peace

, 214 pages, ,
(Reviewed: September, 2020)

In William Peace’s thought-provoking novel, Granduncle Bertie, family-driven drama is recounted in the conversations and memories of a struggling agnostic searching for spiritual connection.

For several years, Londoner Bertie Smithson has partnered with his artistically talented niece, Sarah, to create a popular series of children’s books. Suffering from thanatophobia (fear of death), “a bit of […]

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The Crocodile Makes No Sound

N.L. Holmes

WayBack Press, 405 pages, (paperback) $14.99, 9781734986839
(Reviewed: September, 2020)

Set in pharaonic Egypt during the early reign of Akhenaten, the second installment of N.L. Holmes’ Lord Hani mystery series (after Bird in a Snare) continues the adventures of Hani, a lifelong diplomat who recently left the service because of the perplexing foreign policy agenda of the new king.

Like the first novel, three narrative […]

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The Watchman’s Son

R.J. Stachofsky

Trafford, 384 pages, (paperback) $20.99, 9781490798615
(Reviewed: September, 2020)

After wandering the back roads of the West, a young man returns to his hometown after more than a decade away in R.J. Stachofsky’s novel, The Watchman’s Son.

When 30-something Jacob Sparks arrives in Fletcher’s Crossing—which he recalls as “just a rickety, old ferry and a small cabin”—he’s been on the road so long he […]

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Walking in Love: Why and How?

Suzanne Miller

iUniverse, 72 pages pages, (paperback) $10.99, 9781532094644
(Reviewed: September, 2020)

In Walking in Love, Why and How? Suzanne Miller encourages readers to forget the rules of religion and achieve perfection by loving others.

In this brief work, the former Episcopalian minister suggests we can overcome the negative limitations of human nature and achieve our full potential by loving “all human beings…without distinction.” She encourages readers […]

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He’s kinda tall: Julian’s Sophomore Year, Part 2


Diphra Enterprises, 582 pages, (paperback) $19.95, 9781732880566
(Reviewed: September, 2020)

He’s Kinda Tall is author Eldot’s latest installment of the adventures of Julian, a gay boy growing up in small-town North Carolina during the early 1960’s.

Picking up from the last novel, it follows the rest of Julian’s first semester in high school, as he’s chosen to help Kasey, a Black boy who will be […]

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