Miranda Warning – An Audiobook Review

I just finished reading Miranda Warning (A Murder in the Mountains – Book One) by Heather Day Gilbert. I thought it would be a straightforward mystery, but it turned out to be a multi-faceted introduction to what I expect will be a long series. NOTE – This kindle book is FREE on Amazon right now, and when you buy it (for FREE), you can get the audible version for $1.99.  I highly recommend it, and I think you will want to follow up with the next in the series, “Trial by Twelve.” The author has created a refreshingly original world. I wouldn’t classify the book as “Christian Fiction.” Instead, Ms. Gilbert writes from a Christian worldview, and her setting includes a realistic mix of Christians and nonbelievers in community. None of them are perfect, and they live naturally according to their convictions. The heroine is a unique character. She bears some scars from a dysfunctional childhood, but she went to college, married into a healthy family and doesn’t wallow in angst. As a mother-in-law, I was pleased to see the loving relationship between Tess and Nikki Jo. The politically conservative characters are portrayed as intelligent and sensible instead of rednecks Read More

Bite Size Book Reviews

I’m not feeling romantic this week. When I am stressed, instead of reaching for something lighthearted, I usually pick up a mystery or (slightly)romantic suspense novel. We moved two weeks ago, unexpectedly, and I listened to audiobooks while I worked on packing and cleaning.  When in Rome is an old favorite, and I always enjoy Kristen Heitzmann, but the others were new to me. Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris is a FREE KINDLE BOOK! (Price may change without notice, but it’s free right now!) We are starting to settle into our new home – did I mention that it is an apartment in a Tudor castle? – but I’m still not ready to snuggle up with a romance. Expect more murder and violence next week… When in Rome, audiobook by Ngaio Marsh, read by Nadia May Retro Read! This classic detective story from 1969 is an old favorite. Ms. Marsh writes so clearly that the reader experiences the story more like a movie than a book. She researched Rome, its history and its legal system for this tale of blackmail and drug smuggling. Her characters are varied, each drawn with realistic attitudes and behaviors, and each has his or her Read More

Bite-size Book Reviews

With the exception of Susan Baganz’s “Pesto and Potholes” – so suitable for the start of the Green Bay Packers season! – it’s all audiobook reviews this week. I get a lot of housework and sewing and quilting done while I listen to audiobooks!   Pesto and Potholes, paperback by Susan M. Baganz This is a delightful, gentle romance sprinkled with silliness.  The heroine is recovering from serious physical and emotional trauma, trying to restart life in a new city. She connects with the hero and friends at her new church and starts to heal, but she experiences setbacks and has to recover, a little stronger each time.  I was especially impressed by the realistic community. The friends and families of the main characters interact naturally under various circumstances, including the potentially-problematic operation of a family business. Ms. Baganz writes in a pleasant rhythm, pacing the story well.     Poseidon’s Arrow, audiobook by Clive and Dirk Cussler, read by Scott Brick I’m starting to worry about Dirk Pitt. He’s not getting any younger, but he’s still out there saving the world. This is an interesting and creative story featuring the rare earth minerals, Chinese villains, and an amazing piece Read More

Love Comes Calling – A Book to Chew On

I chose that catchy title because I normally write bite-size book reviews, and I have a little more to say about this one.  A few days ago, I needed a pleasant story – nothing too thought-provoking – to listen to while I did some sewing.  Siri Mitchell’s book Love Comes Calling looked perfect. And I loved it. Just loved it. I didn’t need the author’s note at the end to tell me that the heroine had ADHD. Any mother or teacher (and many adults who don’t even have children) recognized it on page one. When I read the Amazon reviews later, I was surprised to see that not everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. They found the heroine: confusing, annoying, immature, flighty, scatterbrained, selfish, insecure, irresponsible, repetitive, foolish and impulsive. Well, then…  the author did a fabulous job of creating an authentic heroine.  That is exactly how such a girl would feel and appear to others. Some reviewers found the stream-of-thought style confusing because the heroine’s thoughts were so random and jumpy, and I think it is likely that her personality is better captured in the audiobook than in the written format. The reader, Morgan Hallett, is good. She Read More

Bite-size Book Reviews

These were all new, first-time reads for me, from some of my favorite authors. It was a nice variety of styles and time periods.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Random Acts of Murder, audiobook by Christy Barritt, read by Sandy Rustin This book is the first in a new series. The heroine is appealing, with her good intentions, insecurities and quirky personality.  She fled the scene of a murder and now she’s being framed for it. The hero is an old high school classmate, all grown up and in charge of the murder investigation.  Ms. Barritt does a good job of pacing the mystery and concealing the identity of the killer.  I would have liked to see more about the heroine’s spiritual and physical conditions, but it is a light-hearted story with lots of other action.  The supporting characters seem interesting; I hope they are developed further in the rest of the series.   Snow on the Tulips, audiobook by Liz Tolsma, read by Susan Denaker Ms. Tolsma has created a vivid portrait of a small Dutch village and its residents near the end of WWII. This is an intense, suspenseful story as much as Read More

Bite Size Book Reviews

  I listened to audiobooks this week while I worked on a number of household, quilting, sewing, and crafting projects. These are some of my favorite contemporary writers of Christian fiction in a variety of genres, and they were all first-time reads.   No One to Trust, audiobook by Lynette Eason I always watch my library for Ms. Eason’s new books. Her plotting is exceptionally tight.  This one does have a good storyline, but the characters were not her best. I wanted to slap the heroine and shake the hero. She never stopped harping on the fact that he had lied to her, even when the reason was clearly and repeatedly justified. I would have liked him better if he was just a little assertive.  That said, the plot, action and mystery were good.  The resolution was creepy.       Nothing but Trouble, audiobook by Susan May Warren A fun summer read, but don’t underestimate it. The mystery is solid. The family characters and their relationships are enjoyable. The history between the first hero and the heroine creates a sensitive tension that gives them depth but doesn’t overshadow the lightheartedness of the book. I found the second hero kind Read More