More Reading

The other night I stayed up late to finish reading Rachel Grant’s Concrete Evidence, one of the tensest suspense novels I’ve read in a long time.  I mentioned the book recently when I started reading it, and it turned out to be just as good as I expected.

The heroine of Concrete Evidence, Erica Kesling, has a job and a life far from the troubles that cost her a career in underwater archeology, but she knows she’s still in danger.  If the truth comes out, she may lose the job she has now, and her entire archeological career.  The incompetent intern assigned to her, Lee Scott, is far too attractive to ignore, and may not be what he seems.  When the man who caused her career-changing disaster appears on the scene, apparently thick as thieves with the management of the Cultural Resource firm where she works, Erica no longer knows who the real thieves are.  Who stole the artifacts, and where are they now?  Who is smuggling what?  And who is out to silence Erica, by killing her if need be?  Concrete Evidence is an edge-of-your-seat ride, all the way to an ending that I did not see coming.

Grave DangerAs soon as I finished Concrete Evidence I looked for Grant’s next book, Grave Danger, another archeological thriller which has just been released on Amazon.  I’ve added it to my Kindle, and I’m looking forward to reading it.

At lunch yesterday (a pork fiesta bowl with extra onions at Pollo Campero in Webster, Texas), I pulled out my Kindle and read Tempest in the White City, a short story by Deeanne Gist.  The story, like her new release It Happened at the Fair, which I picked up Tempest in the White City(the paper version) last weekend, takes place at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893.  The story introduces Hunter Scott, a Texas Ranger serving as a Columbian Guard at the Fair, and the lady doctor who treats him for a rather embarrassing illness. (Even Gist’s short stories come with beautiful covers!)  Hunter and Dr. Tate will be back in Gist’s next novel.  Meanwhile, the download includes a peek at this year’s book, the recently released It Happened at the Fair, which is high on my To Be Read list.  I even bought an extra copy for a friend–books do make such wonderful gifts.

Reading: Mystery & Suspense

A few weeks ago I won a door prize copy of Barbara Taylor Sissel’s Evidence of Life, a book I might have missed otherwise.  Sissel is a Houston area author, but I don’t know her, although we have mutual friends.   I pedal fast enough trying (unsuccessfully) to keep up with the books of my friends.

But one of those friends, Colleen Thompson, highly recommended Evidence of Life, and as soon as I opened it I understood why.   It’s a hard book to categorize, but literary thriller may come close enough.  It’s the story of a woman, Abby Bennett, whose husband and daughter, on a camping trip in the Texas hill country, disappear without a trace in the wake of a storm and flash flood (yes, that does happen).  In the course of trying to discover what happened to them, Abby learns too much that she had never suspected, about her husband, her family, her marriage and her friends.   An excellent and beautifully written novel.

Falling for FrederickFalling for Frederick, by my friend Cheryl Bolen, was one of the first of Montlake’s Kindle serials, but is now available as a full novel.  I read it in installments, which suited me because I usually read on my Kindle once or twice a week while waiting for an appointment or grabbing lunch by myself.  So when the last installment was delivered to my reader recently, I was nearly caught up, and I found myself sitting up late to finish the story.  Falling for Frederick is a contemporary romantic suspense tale, featuring an American grad student in England, the handsome earl she meets when she’s found crouching over the body of his archivist, knife in hand, a missing (and highly valuable) artifact, and an historical mystery to go with the modern one.  And, of course, a romance.

Yesterday at lunch I opened my Kindle and began reading Concrete Evidence, by my friend and fellow Starcatcher andConcrete Evidence Firebird Rachel Grant.  Although Rachel is considerably younger than I, we have quite a lot in common:  we both studied archeology at Florida State University, worked as cultural resource management archeologists, and married men involved in marine archeology.  So I wasn’t surprised to learn that Rachel’s romantic suspense novels involve archeology.  Fortunately my own involvement in archeology (and Rachel’s, I’m sure) never included the sort of danger the heroine of Concrete Evidence finds herself in.  I picked it up again last night and had to force myself to put it away at 1:30 this morning–I had too much to do today to read all night.  I can hardly wait to get back to it.

Lowcountry BoilAnother of my Firebird sisters, Susan M. Boyer, won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel last night at the Malice Domestic Conference, for her 2012 Golden Heart finalist, Lowcountry Boil.  Published by Henery Press last fall, Lowcountry Boil is a wonderfully entertaining mystery (with a paranormal twist), the first in a series.  Huge congratulations to Susan, and to Henery Press, a new publisher with a bright future.

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