B.T Polcari Against my Better Judgment This is a lighthearted young adult mystery starring Sara Donovan, a slightly disorganised—nah, let’s be fair about it: super-dysfunctional college freshman with a mortal fear of germs who encounters a bunch of antiquities smugglers – just in time for finals. Mauzzy to the rescue. Mauzzy is not the local sheriff, just in case you wondered. Nor is he a significant other of any form. That’s the privilege of the nicely-butted neighbour. No, Mauzzy’s a dachshund with extraordinary bladder control….Continue Reading “Review of B.T. Polcari “Against my Better Judgment””

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. What a great story premise. Set in the seedier side of Victorian London, the novel introduces Detective Nathanial Brannick. His wife having died from consumption, he’s given the case of a young Irishwoman who suffered from the same wasting disease that is now ravaging Brannick himself.  To ease the pain, he’s consuming opium – the archetypal flawed detective. There’s more to it. Like a bloody birthmark on his wrist and an eerie…Continue Reading ““Consumed” by Justin Alcala”

THE BAT is part of a string of stories told by the patrons of The Red Grouse Inn. I can see them there, sitting by the fire, a pint in their hands, spinning their yarns. I liked THE BAT, a coming-of-age story since it demonstrates that adult fiction does not have to pivot on adult protagonists. Instead, the friends enjoy Thomas’s tale, and the reader gets to listen in.Actually, while this set-up frames the narrative, it also creates a bit of a distance. We know…Continue Reading “Review of Leslie Garland’s “The Bat””

Original and unique, both the story premise and the setting of Margaret Holton’s TRILLIUM triggered my interest. TRILLIUM tells the story of Canada’s Niagara Peninsula from the advent of the first European settlers in 1750 up to the beginning of this millennium, a story that becomes an epic journey not only through time but also a very specific location. A story? No: an epic saga of three families spanning generations. Three young settlers, Tom, Franco, and Paddy sow the seeds of the novel, that grows…Continue Reading “Review of “Trillium” By Margaret L. Holton”

Pissed-off rattlesnakes? Check. Hungry Caimans? Check. Murderous thugs and heinous villains pulling strings from afar? Check and check. Add the forgotten tomb of an Incan Emperor into the mix, a Texan treasure hunter and a British librarian, ah—sorry Kate, make that a historian—plenty of untouched jungle and, yes, a raging underground stream and you get GOLD RIVER. Think Die Hard, only in the Peruvian Andes. The whole story is pure action from the moment Tom tests his latest Amazon purchase—a metal detector—in the Texan desert….Continue Reading “Review of “Gold River” by Eric Dabbs”