Reviews - July 2018

What They Say

“Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.”
—Hunter S. Thompson


Reviewers

Review Coordinator
Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D., MHt:

Cynthia Lee Clark

Former Miss Chicago (Miss USA), Cynthia Lea Clark continued school, graduating from Northwestern University (multiple degreed), attended nursing school, and became a Firefighter Paramedic. After working as an actress in Chicago, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked on many television shows, such as DAYS OF OUR LIVES and STAT, while continuing her education with a Masters in Psychology and then a Doctorate of Psychology. While working on STAT, she was stalked which led her to work in Forensic Psychopathology. She has over 70 interviews with serial killers, mass murderers, etc. Today she mixes Forensics with writing and acting.  She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death Chapter of RWA, International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, and the American College of Forensic Examiners International.

 

Aaron Paul Lazar:

Aaron Paul Lazar

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. A bestselling Kindle author of 22 books, including three addictive mystery series, writing books, and a new love story, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at http://www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming release, UNDER THE ICE. Aaron has won over 18 book awards for his novels and finds writing to be his form of "cheap therapy." Feel free to connect with him on Facebook or his website; he loves to connect with readers.

 

Virginia Lo Monaco:

Virginia Lo Monaco

Virginia Lo Monaco lived in Sicily, Italy for 16 years and recently returned to California. She was trained as an operatic soprano, and has worked for numerous Opera Companies in America and was director of the Schola Cantorum for the Church of Sant'Anna in the town where she lived with her two dogs (including Tim, the overgrown Fox Terrier that co-stars in the Terry Strong, P.I., series) and three canaries. In order to pay for the years of vocal study, she worked for five years as a Fingerprint Technician for a sheriff's department and five years as a Group Counselor for juvenile offenders.

She started writing fiction in November, 1998. She started her first Terry Strong, P.I., novel, "Lethal Relations," in January, 2013.

She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the Private Eye Writers of America, the Short Mystery Fiction Society and Sisters In Crime-Los Angeles Chapter.

The first Luigi Mancuso story, "Oil in a Day's Work," was published in the Oct/Nov/Dec 2002 issue of Futures MYSTERY Anthology Magazine. 

The second Luigi Mancuso story, "Hearts and Diamonds," was published in the April/May/June 2004 issue of Futures MYSTERY Anthology Magazine.

Among other short stories originally published in Futures MYSTERY Anthology Magazine were: "A Man of Honor," Feb/Mar 2001 and, "Saturday Night Reruns," April/May 2001.

She is a former editor of FMAM.

In July, 2001, "A Man of Honor" (translated into Italian), won SECOND PLACE in the Akery National Literary Competition in Acerra, Italy (V Edizione Concorso Letterario Nazionale di Narrativa "Akery"). In November, 2001, it was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Her Science Fiction short story, "Intermezzo a Cappella," won an HONORABLE MENTION in the Writer's Digest 2001 Writing Competition. It ranked 22 in a field of more than 1,600 genre short stories.


 

THE FMAM MOSTLY MYSTERY REVIEW is the place to come to find out what to read next. Want to know what readers are saying (as opposed to critics) about the books you see around you? You’ve come to the right place! And, if you appreciate a critical review we’ll have those, too. Come in, sit down and see what’s write with the world! (Or, right in the world of write!)

New reviews will be posted on FMAM the 1st day of each month. Reviews will be kept on the FMAM website for 12 months.

New reviews this month from:

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Virginia Lo Monaco


book cover

  • Burning Ridge: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery
    Margaret Mizushima
    Crooked Lane Books, 279 pages, $26.99, release date September 2018
    eBook $12.99
    ISBN: 9781683317784


Mattie Cobb’s partner is well trained police dog named Robo.  Together they are a powerful team seeking clues.  In BURNING RIDGE, they are called to the Colorado Redstone Mountain Ridge where they find a “grisly” discovery – a charred body in a shallow grave.  As Officer Mattie and Robbie continue to hunt for clues in this murder, she is joined by Veterinarian Cole Walker.  It isn’t long before they find 3 more bodies – 2 adults and a child.  And a more shocking discovery – a connection to Mattie, herself!  What does all this mean? How is this connected to Mattie?  Is she the next victim? 

Is everything Mattie thinks she knows about herself a lie?  She is challenged to not only find a psychotic killer but the truth.

Margaret Mizushima has written as fast paced roller coaster of a thriller.  Just when you think you have figure out a curve appears.  Wonderful!  And I love Robo.  Animals are smart and Robo is a credit to police dogs everywhere!

Delightful!

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 5.0.

Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D., Ph.D., MHt., Diplomate Homeland Security

 

book cover

  • Guilt
    Author: Amanda Robson
    Paperback: 416 pages
    Publisher: Avon; edition (April 19, 2018)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0008212244
    ISBN-13: 978-0008212247
    Kindle Edition
    Print Length: 417 pages
    Publisher: Avon (April 19, 2018)
    Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
    ASIN: B076K89W6W

I just finished reading, “Guilt, the New York Times Bestselling Psychological Thriller,” by Amanda Robson.

Well. I can tell you that it isn’t. Bestseller, maybe, psychological thriller, no. It reads like a romance/mystery novel. There are some rather explicit sex moments, but I’ve seen all that before. The only part that seemed real was Miranda’s feelings for her sister, Zara.

There were plenty boring, minute by minute descriptions of every motion of each character, from beginning to end. Ms. Robson has broken the novel into 163 chapters in order to show those detailed moments of each character. Much of which I just, sort of, skipped over. I got really good at speed reading. I even had to force myself to slowly read the court room scenes. They were not exciting or revealing. And I do love a good court scene.

The characters, themselves, seemed superficial and of one level, except for some of Miranda’s scenes.

Sebastian was portrayed as an archetypical villain. I could almost imagine him twisting his little mustache and gloating as the damsel was tied to the railroad tracks.

Zara was just too “dippy” for her own good. And her sudden rage scene was unconvincing.

There were no shocking revelations, no twists or turns in the plot, nothing to surprise me.

All, in all…I was very disappointed in this book. I expected it to thrill and surprise me. It didn’t.

So, don’t waste your money. Buy something by James Patterson, Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Jeffrey Deaver, or any of the great writers. At least you know they won’t bore you.

Virginia Lo Monaco