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Desert Redemption–excellent mystery, intricate plot

Desert Redemption

by Betty Webb

Desert RedemptionCults and communes, terrifying memories, and learning to love and trust all take top billing in Betty Webb’s Desert Redemption.  I have read several other mysteries in this series, and this one is probably the best. The plot is intricate with difficult to determine motivations and victims found in various locations, but with similar causes of death. As P.I. Lena Jones has reasons to take the deaths personally, she gives more than one hundred percent of  effort to solving the cases. This fast paced mystery has a lot of excitement, some danger, and an unusual method of escape. There are interesting subplots involving Lena’s goddaughter and Lena’s relationship with her patient Pima boyfriend. Most important, however, is a thread that keeps popping up about a woman named Helen. This part of the tale occurs 35 years prior to the current action. At first the significance of the thread and its relationship to the main plot is obscure, but it broadens and develops as Lena remembers more of her past.

Desert Redemption is the tenth and last book in the Lena Jones Mystery Series. In it author Webb brings closure to Lena’s storyline—past, present, and future. Even though Lena’s story reaches a conclusion, the final novel just piques my interest to watch this talented P.I. at work on previous cases. The characters are interesting. I particularly enjoyed the relationship Lena has with Sylvie Perrins, her “frenemy” from the Scottsdale Police. They engage in humorous and biting repartee, but obviously have respect for each other. The Arizona desert backdrop is almost a minor character and one that makes the story more interesting. This is a book you will want to search out for its many good features, but especially to watch Lena solve possibly the most intricate puzzle of her career.

I would like to extend my thanks to and to Poisoned Pen Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #10 in the Lena Jones Mystery Series, but will work as a standalone.

Publication:   March 12, 2019—Poisoned Pen Press

Memorable Lines:

I wouldn’t be a teenager again for all the money in the world. Everything was now or never, black or white, ecstasy or sorrow.

Downtime can be dangerous time for me, because when I have nothing to do, my mind acts up. It always wants to take me on a forced march down Memory Lane, where monsters dwelled.

We’d lost one of the great saguaros, though. It had been split apart by lighting, its skeleton scattered along the desert floor. A reminder that nature could be cruel as well as kind. As could people.

Lowcountry Bookshop–good intentions

Lowcountry Bookshop

by Susan M. Boyer

Lowcountry BookshopIn Lowcountry Bookshop, Susan M. Boyer outdoes her last cozy mystery which I thought was  good. In this book Liz Talbot and her husband Nate, both private investigators, are hired anonymously through an attorney to prove the innocence of a very sweet mail carrier who stopped at the scene of a hit and run. The plot is very complex and involves a group of women who try to help victims of domestic violence.

Watching Liz and Nate go about their business of investigating the crime and the people involved is very interesting. They have tools, disguises, and methods that they use to pursue the truth regardless of where it leads them.

In the middle of some pretty intense scenarios, there is a little comic relief as Liz’s family deals with a situation involving a Bassett hound, a pig with a broken leg, three escape artist goats, and a backyard dug in preparation for a swimming pool. As you can imagine, “Mamma ain’t happy” and everyone knows it.

Set in the Charlestown area of South Carolina, Lowcountry Bookshop features heat, humidity, and Southern charm. This mystery will keep you on your toes as you follow its complexities and guess who did it and why—right up until the end.

I would like to extend my thanks to and to Henery Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: General Fiction (Adult), Mystery

Notes: 1.  #7 in the Liz Talbot Mystery Series but works as a standalone

2.  Slight paranormal aspect: One character is a helpful guardian spirit. Frankly, she contributes little to the solving of the mystery and could easily be removed without harming the plot.

Publication:   May 29, 2018—Henery Press

Memorable Lines:

Sunday morning arrived on air as thick as mamma’s gravy.

At five in the morning, it was already eighty-three degrees.

Everyone had baggage. Some of us had heavier bags than others.

False Pride–follow the money

False Pride

by Veronica Heley

False PrideDo you like mysteries with very complicated plots? If so, then you’ll want to read Veronica Heley’s  False Pride. Bad things happen faster than the police can keep up with them, and Bea Abbot, owner of the Abbot Agency, an employment service, finds herself in the middle of events surrounding the mysterious and secretive Rycroft family. Is this a power play or could the motive be greed or maybe revenge? Is one person behind all the crimes? Bea is forced to unite forces with her ex-husband Piers as he too is unintentionally pulled into a slew of deadly happenings.

While Bea is trying to survive threats, violence, and home invasions, she also has to deal from afar with the willfulness of her precocious ward Bernice. Romance is in the air for some of the characters, but these personal affairs take a back seat to a series of crimes so involved that the main characters unite to create a timeline to try to piece together the information they have acquired in order to discover who is behind these robberies and deaths.

I would like to extend my thanks to and to Severn House for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #12 in the Bea Abbot Agency Mystery Series, but works well as a standalone

Publication:   April 1, 2018—Severn House

Memorable Lines:

Magda reacted to difficult situations like cardboard in a downpour.

Piers managed to lever off the damaged hinges. They came away with a screech of tortured wood. It was a big, heavy door. The early Victorians had built to last. She wasn’t so sure that she would.

Bea reflected that there was no use getting at Piers for flirting. He didn’t mean it. It was something in the water. Charisma. Call it what you like. He didn’t do it on purpose.

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