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Green Thumb by Ralph McInerny

Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur ISBN: 0312324197

Reviewed by Anne K. Edwards, New Mystery Reader

If you play golf, you can imagine how stunned Phil Knight and Jimmy Stewart were to find a body had preceded them onto the golf course at Notre Dame. One just doesn't play through such an obstacle, but must stop and tend to business. And their business is murder.

The unexplained death of a well known university donor during a reunion also has Roger Knight, brother to PI Phil Knight, going in circles as he attempts to track the source of the poison that was used to kill Mortimer Sadler and was found in the water bottle of one of his friends too. Was a challenge golf game to Sadler by a woman reason enough to get him murdered?

Green Thumb has all the ingredients to make a first-class read, beautiful women, red herrings, false trails, all mixed with plenty of mystery while the Knight brothers try to figure out why Sadler was on the golf course before his tee-off time. With Notre Dame academia as part of the cast of this clever tale, you will enjoy trying to outguess Roger Knight in his search for a killer.

Highly recommended as a tale any mystery lover will thoroughly enjoy.  I look forward to the next tale in this series.


Chilling Effect by Marianne Wesson

Publisher: University Press of Colorado ISBN: 0870817876

Chilling Effect by Marianne Wesson: Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla, New Mystery Reader

In this intelligent and timely legal thriller Wesson pulls out all the stops to make a great case regarding the effects of unrestricted free speech.  Boulder attorney Lucinda Hayes is hired to take on the case of Peggy Grayling, a woman whose daughter was raped and killed by a mentally disturbed man, and who also believes that a certain child pornographic snuff film was also directly responsible for the crime.  So not only is Cinda taking on the distributor of the film but, incidentally, the whole entertainment industry as well, making what follows nothing short of spectacular.  And as Cinda becomes more involved in the case, the disturbing aspects of it not only begin affect her work, but her personal relationships as well.   

This thought-provoking novel is both highly entertaining and intensely suspenseful.  Both sides of the coin are equally represented, but Cinda's position that the First Amendment should not automatically free one from responsibility of the effects of such an unrestricted law is put forth with such conviction, that it's difficult not to at least consider the argument.  With superbly drawn characters, a story with grit and purpose, and a final denouement worthy of intense consideration, this latest mystery from Wesson comes highly recommended.  But do be warned that some of the content is very disturbing, however, in Wesson's assured hand, never gratuitously so.      

The Last Voice You Hear by Mick Herron

Publisher: Carroll & Graf ISBN: 0786714670 

The Last Voice You Hear by Mick Herron: Reviewed by Stephanie Padilla, New Mystery Reader

In this enthralling tale, Herron has managed to create a female character that soars above many of her contemporaries.  ZoŽ Boehm, strong, independent, and heavily scarred from having had to kill a man once upon a time, is everything one would want in a character, and her story all that more gripping because of who she is, and who she once was. 

A PI in the outskirts of London, ZoŽ takes her life as it comes, her fearlessness arising more from her wounded and slightly deadened soul then from any type of bravery.  And so when she's hired by a business man to tie up the loose ends of his secretary's death, she rushes head first into the investigation, unaware of the danger that awaits her.  But all too soon, she connects the woman's death with another who met the same fate, putting her own life at risk. 

Meanwhile, she hears of the death of a boy she encountered long ago, a boy she brushed off, leaving him to his own troublesome fate, and the guilt that dogs her leads her to yet another source of danger.  And as she hunts down the guilty, the guilty hunt her, all leading to a climatic ending that will leave the reader breathless. 

This brilliant novel, filled with pathos, redemption, and all the drama one could wish for, is simply stunning.  Suspense in spades, emotion, passion, and luminous characterization make this a must read for any fan of the genre.  Highly recommended, don't miss this author's stunning work of heartrending thrills.