Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Under the Apple Boughs and Batch Magna

Peter Maughan's Batch Magna series has the marvelous charm of a landscape painting, a moment caught in time, but Peter draws with words. Images that move in rhythm with the currents of the river that flows through the land.
When the troubles of the world become too much to endure escape into a land that may not exist, but should for everyone to enjoy. You will enjoy your visit and hoard each vivid phrase.
The Cuckoos of Batch Magna is where the reader is first introduced to the delightfully unique characters who dig a hole in your heart. They reside on the Cluny River in derelict paddle wheelers. Their view of life is that of an endless summer when the reality is held at bay for a few brief hours.

"River talking ... you could put the world to rights and change your life, or somebody else's, several times, all before breakfast."

Their lifestyle is extreme casual and frequented by 'jollies' on whichever old boat one happens to pass. Who would want to disturb the peace and tranquility of their home with 'change?'
The river people must cast loose their moorings when Humphrey Strange (American) inherits a title he knew nothing about and
heavily mortgaged land, with tenants who don't pay their rent in a world beyond his comprehension until he finds that yes, he does want to be the 9th baronet of Batch Hall.

Meet Sir Humphrey in the sequel Sir Humphrey of Batch Hall, has discovered love and taken up living in his ancestral home even though the walls are molding, the roof leaks, and the taxes must be paid. Now that he has found his baronial home place, he will fight to the death to protect it even against the evil which threatens to invade and seize his land by "a road to nowhere in particular, and in no particular hurry to get there."
Miss Wyndham, the village spinster, comes into her own as she 'frantically flaps her hand' to shush a wren whose song might betray her presence as a sleuth in Cutterbach Woods.

Polish the novels off with the outstanding baker's dozen essays that will take you though a year of village life. Detailing each season with their lyrical story telling of birthing, living and growing, harvesting and dying for humans and the land.
The pieces in Under the Apple Boughs will draw you back again and again to read and savor as one does a cup of well-brewed tea, a steaming mug of coffee, or a goblet of vintage wine.

As Peter observes, "Time. We are tied to it from birth and burdened with its future as well as its past."

Peter Maughan's books are available in Kindle editions. Visit with him on Twitter @PeterMaughan and http://www.batchmagna.com.
Nash Black, author of Cards of Death.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Wiggle Room

War is hell, especially when there is no escape and it follows you home. Darden North paints a vivid picture of the tragedies of war and conflicting values and religious beliefs in his page turning thriller, Wiggle Room.
Major Brad Cummins is serving a tour in Iraq as a surgeon. On a horrible day two young men are brought into surgery. Brad follows all the procedures, but Marine Lance Corporal Chad Giles dies after his successful surgery for no reason.
Brad must use his skill to save the life of an Iraqi civilian who was standing on the sidelines when the roadside bomb exploded.
Zarife Amarah is not an innocent victim, but the bomber himself and he resents the American doctor's interference with his attempt to die a martyr to Allah. He follows Brad home seeking vengeance against the doctor for his disruption of a deadly goal.
Amarah is not alone in aiming for retaliation. Dr. Brad Cummins becomes the target for revenge that will see both his twin brother and fiancĂ©e die, leaving him suspected of murder.
The ending will surprise and shock you, though if you look deep Dr. North has laid little clues along his twisted plot line.
You can visit Dr. Darden North at http://www.dardennorth.com and can purchase Wiggle Room from Amazon.
Nash Black, author of Prelude of Death.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

According to Luke

Rosanne Dingli's According to Luke is an outstanding traditional mystery with an interesting premise. Ms. Dingli's quiet style enthralls the reader with possibilities as Jana Hayes searches for clues to authenticate an ancient icon.
The narrative is seamless with each tiny thread leading to broader questions. Questions posed in fiction that have valid evidence in verifiable fact.
Jana works for Johan Berg at Zona Scientifika in Venice is far from her home in Australia, but she is not lonely in her dingy apartment. She is within walking minutes away from the riveting intricate work she loves.
She discovers through x-rays a seconded painting hidden behind a black madonna that was sent to the firm by the Catholic church to its establish providence. The bearer of the precious artifact is a young priest, Rob Anderson, who is a fellow Australian. There is an instant recognition between Jana and Rob, but as strangers passing, Jana's work is almost finished.
She arrives at the lab to discover all of her notes and work files have vanished. Her friend and colleague, Anita Schneider, is dead. She was murdered during the break-in.
Jana and Rob set off across Italy on a journey both personal and professional. They are aided in their quest by Bryn Awbrey, a Welsh bibliophile, who becomes involved in their search for the truth, no matter what it may cost them.
The reader is drawn into the story and will remain there through the exciting climax to the end. Then you may find yourself doing some reading in the Bible.
This title has been compared to a famous book of the symbolic seaching, but I see traces of the early traditional mystery writer, Mary Roberts Rinehart.
Rosanne Dingli is at work on a related title to be published in the near future, which will again involve the wily Bryn Awbrey who lives with books and never forgets a page or reference. You can visit with her on Twitter @RosanneDingli or on her website at http://www.rosannedingli.com.
Nash Black, author of the Ono County of Death series.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Past Never Ends

Jackson Burnett's The Past Never Ends is a treat for fans of traditional mysteries. The reader learns all the facts at the same time Chester Morgan uncovers them. The clues along with the red herrings are there, but Burnett's twists gives an experienced reader a challenge.
Tanya Everly, stripper/prostitute, had few friends, but those who loved her want answers as to why she died.
Alan Kinman has little money, but he is willing to hire Chester Morgan to gain access to records of her death, which are marked "accidental death-closed."
Chester spends valuable-billable time on the case to the despair of his helpmates, but each way he turns his way is blocked. In frustration he turns to the law and the courts.
This is were Mr. Burnett lifts a complex legal mystery above the ordinary. He executes a skill in turning 'the law' into a character in its own right. This technique is so exceptional it makes for fascinating reading.
Enjoy The Past Never Ends. It is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kindle.
Nash Black, author of Sandprints of Death.