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The Butcher of Beverly Hills by Jennifer Colt

Publisher:  Broadway Books ISBN:  0767920112

Reviewed by Anne K. Edwards, New Mystery Reader 

If you like murder with a macabre sense of humor, this is definitely a tale you will really enjoy.  Written tongue in cheek, talented Jennifer Colt will hold your fascinated attention from first to last pages in this tale of twin P.I.s.  

Inveigled by the friend of an elderly aunt to regain money a runaway husband supposedly stole, Terry and Kerry McAfee reluctantly take the case and wind up involved in a series of murders of elderly women who have been the patient of the same plastic surgeon.  When their client dies in the hospital their aunt hires them to find out what is going on when another friend is murdered.

The twins share a small house and once into the case, wind up sharing it with two dogs who would drive the normal dog lover crazy.  And you'll meet a body guard who is anything but a protector.  He is just one of the larger than life characters you'll meet on these pages. 

A well-told tale peopled with characters you'll long remember, this is one story that will have you looking for other books by this talented author. Lots of sexy goings on flavor the action with mirth. Enjoy. I certainly did.

 

Body Double by Tess Gerritsen

Publisher: Ballantine Books ISBN: 034545894x

Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla, New Mystery Reader

Gerritsen makes yet another stunning return in her series featuring the highly appealing characters of Boston Pathologist Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli.  Maura, returning home from a medical conference, is bewildered to find her home surrounded by flashing lights and police personnel, and even more startling is the odd looks she receives by everyone, it's as if they've seen a ghost.  So Maura is even more shocked when she discovers that a woman has been shot dead in front of her home, a woman who looks exactly like Maura. 

It doesn't long for it to be discovered that the dead woman is in fact Maura's twin sister.  Further investigation leads to Maura's birth mother who is in prison for the savage murders of two women five years previously.  From there, the trail grows increasingly dangerous as Jane and Maura attempt to unravel this most spectacular mystery, leading to revelations that will shock and astound all.     

This is one author that is always eagerly welcomed back, each book being almost better than the one before.  And although, as per usual, the forensic detail is a bit rough on the senses, it's all made worthwhile by the outstanding thrills and chills that dominate.  Another highly recommended read, don't miss this one, as it provides suspense galore and further enticing details into the intensely dramatic world that surrounds these clever characters. 

 

The Heartbreaker by Susan Howatch

Publisher: Ballantine ISBN: 0345466284

Reviewed by Donna Padilla, New Mystery Reader

Carta Graham has lost her husband and her job.  She turns to St. Benet's healing center for help and ultimately takes a job as their fundraiser.  She enlists the help of her former law partner Richard Slaney.  When Richard dies of a heart attack, Carta remembers that he has talked to her about his lover and given her the address.  She sets out to find the lover with the news of Richard's death.  She is shocked when the lover turns out to be Gavin Blake, a male prostitute.  He tells her he is straight and tries to put the make on her, but she retreats in spite of the fact that she feels an attraction for him.

Gavin begins fundraising for St. Benet's to win her approval.  At a St. Benet's board meeting thy speculate about whether or not Carta and Gavin have a destined spiritual journey to take, and agree that Gavin needs their help and prayers.

The first half of this book is very graphic about the world of prostitution, S&M, snuff movies and everything abhorrent.  However, the second half is a metaphysical account of the spiritual journey of Carta and Gavin .  This book should remain on the reader's shelf to be read again and again.

 

Deadline In Athens by Petros Markaris

Publisher: Grove Press ISBN: 0802142079

Reviewed by Donna Padilla, New Mystery Reader

An Albanian couple is murdered in Athens, but when another Albanian confesses to the murder, Detective Costas Haritou closes the case.  TV news reporter Yanna Karyoryi asks if the police found a child at the scene.  Just before Yanna is to go on the late night news to report a bombshell story about stealing and selling Albanian children she is murdered. 

The TV station immediately airs a story about a revenge killing by a pedophile Yanna was instrumental in sending to prison.  Haritou's instincts tell him that there is more to Yanna's death than revenge and sets out to find the real murderer.

DEADLINE IN ATHENS is an exciting novel with a very complicated plot.  Detective Harirou follows every false clue to the bitter end, which slows down his ability to solve the case.  But like a bulldog who never turns loose of anything he gets his teeth into, he works his way through all the dead ends then comes back out to follow another path until he finds the killer.  This is a great read for those who like dedicated, determined detectives.

 

Plant Them Deep by Aimee and David Thurlo

 Publisher: Forge  ISBN: 0765314134

Reviewed by Donna Padilla, New Mystery Reader

Navajo plant watcher Rose Destea discovers that sacred and endangered plants are being stolen from the reservation when her son Clifford, a respected medicine man, cannot find a specific plant needed to save the life of Rose’s best friend.  The tribal Council hires Rose to produce a detailed inventory of sacred and medicinal plants.  She is also to report all locations where there is evidence of plant theft, creating an animosity between traditionalists and modernists.

Rose’s home is broken into, her research is stolen, and then she finds another plant watcher (a Code Talker) dead under mysterious circumstances, and his plants missing.  Her daughter Ella, an investigator for the Tribal Police becomes very concerned.  It seems that Rose may be the plant thief’s next victim.

Set in the area around Shiprock, New Mexico, this an absolutely fascinating read for anyone who wants to learn more about the Navajo culture, their beliefs and customs.  The plot is well developed, and the action moves at a very well planned pace.  Recommended.