Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Book Review: The Jenny Cain Mystery Series

As my current work-in-progress is a mystery (my first), I’ve found a lot of my leisure reading leaning in that direction, as well. My grandmother and my aunt were big fans of the mystery genre. I remember staying overnight with Grandma and flipping through the pages, at night, of the dozens of Ellery Queen’s that were stacked neatly on her headboard.

I’ve found myself less-than-satisfied, however, with the cozy mysteries I’ve picked off the shelf at various bookstores in the last few months and at the library, with so many options, I’ve had trouble committing to any one author. I finally took a look at my bookshelf and decided to take a more methodical approach to my reading with an author I already knew and loved.

Nancy Pickard’s career as an author began with the Jenny Cain mystery series. I started with her first book, A Generous Death and immediately liked Nancy’s heroine, Jenny Cain. It has been fun to read the stories and watch the characters develop. Each book has also had a little introduction or bit on writing by the author or an editor, as well. These might be the pieces that many readers ignore, but I cherish the insights to the writing process when I’m reading a story. It helps to have Nancy’s voice in my head, as well, as I’ve been fortunate to listen to her speak at two different Kansas Authors Club events.

As I write this, I have completed Say No to Murder and Marriage is Murder (my favorite so far), and am just getting started on the book, I.O.U. Initially, I thought I’d just read a book or two of the series, but I’ve enjoyed them enough I just may read through to the end of the series.

Post Script: I did read all the way through to the end of them, and I enjoyed every page.

 *reposted from my previous blog entry on 3/23/2013 TS

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Book Review: The Rocking Horse

The Rocking Horse

by Gloria Zachgo

Every year at the Kansas Authors Club convention, I make a point of meeting and getting to know someone I’ve never met before. In Coffeyville this year, I was able to share a table at breakfast with new Kansas Authors Club member and new author, Gloria Zachgo, and her husband Ron. Bonus! A new member to add to my writing friend collection and an autographed book.

Gloria's first novel, The Rocking Horse, is available through Create Space. It can also be found on Amazon.

The story takes place in Kansas and completely passes my test for a Kansas book. The author obviously knows the state and appreciates its people. It was easy, as a reader, to settle into a setting that was at once familiar, though fictitious.

The Rocking Horse is a story of suspense and mystery. It examines the effects on a small town of a decades-old, brutal murder, and the characters, who are immediately likeable, finally get some closure. As happy as endings can get in a story that starts out with such violence, this one is tops.

I thoroughly enjoyed Gloria’s first novel and am looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

 *reposted from my previous blog entry on 3/23/2013 TS

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