Saturday, June 27, 2009

the four corners of the sky

The four corners of the sky by Michael Malone is difficult to categorize. Is it a mystery, a romance, a family saga, or an adventure story? It doesn't matter because the four corners of the sky is one of the best books you will read this year.
The story of Navy pilot Annie Peregrine-Goode and her extended family will stay with you long after you have closed the volume.
Abandoned by her father, Jack Peregrine, at Pilgrims Rest his family home she is a lost little girl who gets The King of the Sky for her seventh birthday. As she hugs the Piper Cub she chants to herself, "I'm a flyer."
Reared and formally adopted by her aunt, Samantha "Sam" Peregine and Dr. Clark Goode, Annie spends her childhood flying, which becomes her life when Sam arranges for her to have a balloon ride with D.K. Destin for her eight birthday. Annie flies as a runner and a pilot to out-pace the loneliness of being left behind, but never wins either race.
Annie is a fighter. The story opens when Annie realizes she married for all the wrong reasons and her father steps back into her life with a pull that may destroy her career and her life.
Nothing is ever as it seems with Jack Peregine at the controls. The pace is fast, surprises at every corner, the intricate plot and threads are woven with expert prose into an exceptionally well told story that will keep your eyes glued to the page.
Michael Malone has ten award winning novels to his credit and is a professor at Duke University. the four corners of the sky is available on line at or bookstores everywhere.
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Drowning Pool

I won a copy of Jacqueline Seewald's The Drowning Pool; it was the first contest prize I've ever won.

Kim Reynolds and Mike Gardner are a couple in the early stages of their relationship who have a unique bond. Kim is a research librarian and Mike is a police detective, both have an insight into people and crime scenes. The psychic element is very subtle and adds to detailed police-work, which takes the reader into the story.
Mike has a new partner in Bert St. Croix. Bert has so many issues it is difficult for her to trust anyone. Her past has followed her from New York, but is she really ready to leave her old life and move on into a new phase?
The victim, Rick Bradshaw is a man about bedrooms who uses, discards, manipulates, taunts, and humiliates people to feed his feed his devouring ego. The story follows the classic style of a cozy where the character of the victim provides the clues to his demise with all the twists and turns of a New Jersey back-road.
But Ms. Seewald has some surprises in-store for the reader who thinks they have it all figured out. You will keep turning the pages late into the night with this strong sequel to The Inferno Collection.
The Drowning Pool is the perfect pool for a cool summer dip. Another review of this excellent addition to the cozy mystery field is by Marlene Pyle at The Genre Review, Jacqueline Seewald"s books are available in bookstores and on Amazon, B&N and other online outlets.
You can contact Jacqueline at
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Kidnapping Gone Wrong

Fran Stewart's Biscuit McKee makes her fifth appearance in Indigo as an Iris, which was my introduction to the series. Indigo is a complete cozy, with nice people caught in extra ordinary events.

A one page introduction of a kidnapping victim regaining consciousness leads the reader to turn the page to discover who was bound in the backseat of her own car while a mother drove and feed her child the cinnamon buns the victim had purchased? The kidnapping is planned by the most mathematically inept abductors on the planet. It has no hopes of success, but leads to lives twisting and ending. The murder does not occur until the climax of the story and there is never any doubt as to the killer.

Biscuit McKee, who is Martinsville's librarian and Marmalade, her cat find their way into homes and shops they pass on their walks through the close knit community. Family members create problems with their fractured relationships and friends refuse to behave as expected in this complex cozy.

Biscuit's reactions to her daughter, her sister, and her husband give the reader a clear picture of her insecurities. It is the charm of those insecurities and the distinctly southern voice that gives the story its flow as one event intertwines and leads to another.

The cast of characters fascinated me so much I ordered Orange as Marmalade (the first of the series) to expand my appreciation of Biscuit, her family, her friends, and Marmalade who behaves as a cat whose humans never understand her language.
You can visit with Fran Stewart at Mystery Matters: where murder is an open book and listen to her outstanding radio interviews of mystery celebrities. Fran's books are available at and other retail outlets.
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists Writing as a Small Business and Haints.