Review of The Troubleshooter: New Haven Blues

Wow! Is anyone still here? Yes? Oh, thank goodness! I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I have posted, and I am so sorry and glad you are still with me. In my defense, as I hope those of you who are also writers can relate, I was busy working on my own debut novel, and it has not been an easy road for me. I was stuck on a certain way I wanted it to go, and finally had to abort that idea as it was much too complicated for a first novel, so I went with my idea on a reduced scale, and I am starting over. For the millionth time or so it seems. Anyway, enough about my excuses, I finally have another review for a very talented writer, Bard Constantine. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

In The Troubleshooter: New Haven Blues, we meet Mick Trubble, a hard-boiled, Sam Spade detective in a futuristic world. Sprinkle in some comic type supporting characters, and set him in a dystopian future, and finally have your protagonist be an individual who is suffering from amnesia so that he does not know who he really is, or remember anything from more than two years before, and you got the gist of this book. He is an aptly named anti-hero, as he does attract plenty of trouble wherever he goes. This is a violent story, yet in parts it will have you laughing out loud until you cry. Now this is a completely different genre than I am usually into. I love mysteries, but not particularly hard-boiled ones, and I’ve never been much into anything dystopian. I did not expect to like this book. I would read some, and stop, but then, I had to keep picking it up to see what happened next! Since I am very open-minded, yet I thought I knew exactly what I liked, this did tend to surprise me, much as it did when I told my rooommate I didn’t like fantasy, until she shared this fantasy series by Stephen Reeder Donaldson, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Has anyone else read these books? They are excellent.

There were no errors in context, syntax or grammar and punctuation. So, I have no choice but to give this my highest recommendation! I give it this many smiles: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂




Literary Agents: Beware!!

Let me first of all thank everyone for their patience! I finally have another review for you! Normally, I only review those that have 3 or less published books, but I spoke with the author of today’s review, Johnny Ray, several months ago about reviewing LITERARY AGENTS–BEWARE, AN INTENSE ROMANTIC THRILLER, and I thought it was so catchy and interesting for debut authors, that I said that I would be happy to review it anyway. Johnny Ray is the author of not 3, but 10, international romantic thrillers.

This is the story about an aspiring author who just happens to have bipolar disease. She meets and has a fling with a literary agent, hoping this will get her book read. When she is rejected, she is angry and vows revenge. In the meantime, there is a serial killer targeting literary agents. Is she guilty? What is the connection?

I do not like to give away any plot points or spoilers, so I will leave you to finish any descriptions of the book as mentioned on Amazon.

My Thoughts: This seemed a rather tongue in cheek slant towards literary agents, of course, but not in any derogatory way. The main character is bipolar, as I mentioned above, and it is a bit tough to follow their thought processes at times. I do understand this, I once had a roommate with bipolar disease, and it can be hard to deal with. The author did quite a good job at depicting this. Her building of hate and feeling of rejection was very accurate. Her later actions of falling for someone that she hated so intensely, not so much. Although the beginning was a bit slow, it was a good buildup. I was really enjoying the first part of the book because of that. About 2/3 into the book, the pace increased as you would expect it would, but in my opinion, maybe a bit too much. When she totally throws her hate away and starts behaving out of character, I kept reading, but I stopped caring. I kept hoping for a bit of slowing the pace down a bit, but that never happened. The ending felt rushed. I felt a bit let down. I honestly wanted to be able to recommend this book highly, but I just can’t do that. I know that he has many books out and I have purchased a few others, which I do intend to read. I truly think that he is a very great storyteller, but this one was really not for me.

My Star rating: ***

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my review in any way.

Do You Like Mysteries?

The Scent of Lies
Do you like trilogies or book series like I do? Sometimes a character will stick with you long after the story is over and you begin to feel about them as not only a living human being, but a friend. You don’t want to let them go. That is how The Scent of Lies makes the reader feel. I am adding a star rating system now for every review based on 1-5 stars:
*hated it; **I can’t recommend it; ***it’s mediocre and needs work; **** I really like it and recommend it: and *****a very high recommendation and will read more of this author.

The Scent of Lies is Book 1 of 4 in the Paradise Valley Mysteries series by Debra Burroughs. This is a romantic mystery, but unlike many of this genre, it is not heavy-handed romance with the mystery as a sideline. The emphasis is on the mystery, or mysteries in this instance. I find that very refreshing. There is nothing wrong with romance, but if you are going to call it a mystery, that should be the focal point. Ms. Burroughs has an excellent balance of both throughout the entire book.

Emily Parker is a young widow whose husband, Evan Parker, Private Investigator, was murdered in his own office 6 months ago. While looking for answers into his death, Emily discovers more questions. Was he really the man that she thought he was? When she is asked by a client of Evan’s, Delia, to investigate Delia’s husband, she is interested and encouraged by her close circle of friend’s to take over Evan’s P.I. business. Then Delia’s husband is murdered. To complicate matters, Emily is introduced to the sexy new police detective, who is convinced Emily’s first client is guilty of murdering her husband. Emily must fight for her client before Delia goes to prison for a crime she didn’t commit. Or did she? Emily fights to prove Delia’s innocence as she also tries to fight the budding attraction to the new police detective; who is trying to keep Emily alive long enough to see if she could be the one to mend his heart.

Ms. Burroughs has the beginning to a winning series with The Scent of Lies. The reader is immediately rooting for Emily, for her to solve the case, get the answers about Evan’s murder, and for the new romance building for her. She has several strong female characters and men that support them rather than feel threatened by their resolve. Not all of the answers are given, it is the beginning of a series after all. The reader is given enough to pique the interest to continue reading the series, but not a gratuitous major cliffhanger that makes the reader feel cheated at the end. I highly recommend The Scent of Lies. I will be reading the entire series of Paradise Valley Mysteries. I hope you’ll join me.