Monday, January 27, 2020

Review: Healing Chay by Donna Fasano



Genre: Romance/Native American

Description:

“All Chay Makwa wants is solitude so he can conquer these tormenting nightmares, yet he can’t ignore the soft sobs of a woman in the woods near his cabin. The stranger with hair as pale as moonlight and secrets in her eyes is in need of a shoulder to cry on. But after a kiss meant to soothe turns passionate, she is gone.

Tori Landing has heard of Chay, but they’d never met before the night by the lake when the grief over her sister’s senseless death overwhelmed her. Tori steers clear of relationships for a very good reason and feels putting the security of others before her own happiness will amend her past failings. But the appeal of the brooding Native American is stronger than her determination to remain single and unencumbered.

Is Tori the one woman who can bring Chay peace… and can he teach her to trust in love?”

Author:

“Donna Fasano is a three-time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, a Golden Heart finalist, and a two-time winner of Best Romance of the Year given by BigAl's Books & Pals Review Blog. Her books have sold 4 million copies worldwide and have been published in two dozen languages. Her novels have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times, climbing as high as #1.”

Ms. Fasano has two grown sons and lives with her husband on the eastern seaboard of the United States. To learn more please visit her website or follow her on Facebook.

Appraisal:

Chay Makwa is a tortured soul. He believes he cannot find peace until he can understand and come to terms with his nightmares. Finding Tori Landing at the edge of the lake crying late one night, tugs at his heart.
Tory owns a Bed and Breakfast on the outskirts of town by the lake. Her B&B is also a secret harbor for abused women. Tory is part of a network that relocates them far away from their abuser. There are only a few people in town who know this about Tory and her Bed and Breakfast. She has to be careful because she also entertains guests at her establishment.

Through her work with abused women, Tory has become quite intuitive. This trait has become natural for her and it serves her well in dealing with abused women. In this story we learn why she is so dedicated to her work. After Chay meets Tory he begins to see a new future of himself, if it wasn’t for those blasted nightmares. Tory tries to become a sounding board for his dreams and offers perspectives for him to consider. However, she has to hide her true work from him and Chay feels rejected because she has to keep her secret while she has an occupant in the house.

I found Tory and Chay’s journey extraordinarily insightful. There are some hard truths that needed unraveling. Ms. Fasano is able to weave these two souls together in such a way that the holes now have a way to close nicely into a cohesive whole. I do have to add that I had been looking forward to Chay’s story since we met him briefly in the first book. It was worth the wait. I also feel like Chay offered the best apology. ~ swoon ~

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Healing Chay is book 3 in Donna Fasano’s, The Black Bear Brothers Series.
The books in this series are stand-alone novels, but reading the books in order will offer the most enjoyment.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 40-45,000 words

Friday, January 24, 2020

Review: The Shakespeare Conspiracy, a Clayton Lovell Stone Adventure: Volume 1 by Bruce Hutchison



Genre: History/Mystery

Description:

Clayton Lovell’s partner goes on a sudden research trip to the UK and is murdered there. She leaves him a clue as to why she has been killed. She has stumbled upon something that has the potential to rewrite Elizabethan history. There are those who desire very much to benefit from what she has found. And others who believe the world is better served by the status quo. Lovell follows her to London, Oxford and Stratford upon Avon.

Author:

Bruce Hutchison has several novels and a non-fiction book on the market all of which investigate his thesis regarding Shakespeare. There is also information on his website.

Appraisal:

The wraparound which Hutchison has used to enable him to develop his thesis regarding Shakespeare provides an exciting aura of conspiracy and violence through which the historical facts and extrapolations are woven. If you are not familiar with the several theories regarding the true authorship of Shakespeare’s plays, and such conundrums appeal to you, then this is an intriguing and informative read, especially towards the end.

Each of the 73 chapters in Hutchison’s book is preceded by an epigraph in the form of a short quote from Shakespeare’s oeuvre. The function of an epigraph is to act as a summary, introduction or example from some famous literary work so as to draw a comparison, or to generate a specific context for what follows. Often these are too anodyne to do that. A number of the epigraphs are misquoted.

There are some howlers. ‘Lord Cecil Burghley’ is actually William Cecil, Lord Burghley. A burial 392 years ago would have been made in 1626. Not a useful date for any Shakespearean enquiry I can think of. The ‘Charwell’ river which flows through Oxford is actually the Cherwell. There are others.

Hutchison is, perhaps, unfortunate that I picked up this book. I am a British writer and historian with a keen interest in Shakespeare and Elizabethan England. That being the case, of course I would pick this off BigAl’s virtual shelf for review.

Like Hutchison, I don’t believe for a moment that the glover William Shakespeare of Stratford upon Avon wrote the plays ascribed to him. Over many years a number of notables have felt the same way, including Americans Mark Twain, Henry James and Charlie Chaplin. On this side of the Pond a current advocate for alternative authorship is Mark Rylance, erstwhile director of The Globe Theatre in London and one of our finest contemporary actors. Could Hutchison’s theory possibly be correct? There is, unfortunately, a fair-sized elephant in the room that he doesn’t address. And so, the debate continues.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

One very violent scene.

Format/Typo Issues:

A number of typos. Also some muddiness of expression, non sequiturs, confusing continuity, and unhelpful formatting, particularly of the epigraph quotations at the head of each chapter. This complex book would be easier for the reader if an editor had been through it.

Rating: *** Three Stars

Reviewed by: Judi Moore

Approximate word count: 90-95,000 words

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Review: Awakening Cocijo by Thomas Juarez



Genre: Metaphysical Fiction/Cultural Myths/Coming of Age 

Description:

“A storm rises.

Can a boy quell the fury of a god?

Join the Zapotec on a journey through time and across generations, as the descendants of this civilization are led on a path of transcendence.  The rebirth of their storied civilization depends upon their ability to awaken Cocijo, the god of lightning and rain.”

Author:

 “With roots set in Germany and Texas, Thomas (Tom) Juarez grew up enjoying the life of a military dependent. Living in multiple states and countries, his family would finally settle down in the beautiful city of Wetumpka, Alabama; a place Tom still refers to as home.

Filled with a sense of service, Tom would leave Wetumpka in 1985 for a twenty-one-year career in the United States Army… After a lifetime of moving here or there, Tom called it a career and retired from the military. He and his wife enjoy the fruits of their collective journey in Sterling, Oklahoma.”

Appraisal:

Part one of this journey begins in ancient times. Following the initiation of a young Priest and his transcendence to adulthood of mythic proportions. This sets up the legend behind the story and I found it fascinating. Part two moves forward to a more modern time. The summer of 2003 in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Here we meet Agent Gustavo Hamilton, a clairvoyant with the US government, and Staff Sergeant Citalli Patee, of Hispanic descent. Agent Hamilton recruits Citalli to help him prevent an international incident that he had a vision of which included Citalli.  

After a metaphysical experience in Oaxaca, Mexico, Citalli and Gus develop a lifelong friendship with mutual respect. Part three jumps forward ten years to Taugui, Oklahoma where he meets Citalli’s ten year-old son, Canneo. Canneo has been raised knowing the old ways and legends, as Citalli was. Canneo has started having dreams of things to come. His rite of passage into adulthood and introduction to the old gods follows.

I liked the relationship and dialogue between Citalli and Gus. Citalli has a quirky sense of humor, you couldn’t help but like him. Citalli’s wife, Kara, kept him grounded so they were a perfect match. Gus is a character that takes a bit of time to get to know, but he settled in with the whole family well.

Citalli’s dead mother had a heavy load to carry. During Citalli’s prayer time she explained their religion and their relationship to the gods. It seemed a bit repetitious but I can understand why the author did it. It is a lot to take in. This is a work of fiction and loosely based on Zapotec history, not a history lesson. I did enjoy the story and it was worth my time to read. If you are interested in Mesoamerican cultures you may enjoy this story as well.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

Format/Typo Issues:

A small number of proofing issues, nothing that threw me out of the story.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words

Monday, January 20, 2020

Reprise Review: The Big O by Declan Burke




Genre: Crime/Thriller

Description:

By day Karen works for disgraced plastic surgeon Frank, by night she carries out armed robberies. Whilst holding up a store she meets Ray, who also has two roles – mural painter and kidnapper.

Frank lives the high-life, but he’s bankrupt. He needs a lot of money, and fast, to resolve his many problems. So he employs local crook Terry to kidnap his ex-wife, Madge. The plan – get an insurance payout for $500,000 and jet off somewhere hot.

The trouble is Madge is Karen’s best friend and Ray is the one who’ll be snatching her. Throw psychopath Rossi, fresh out of prison and gunning for Karen, into the mix and things are going to get very messy, very quickly…

Author:

Declan Burke lives in Ireland with his family. To date he has published four critically acclaimed novels. In addition Declan hosts a website dedicated to Irish crime fiction, Crime Always Pays.

To learn more about the author visit his website.

Appraisal:

Two comments before I start this review:

1)   I’ve clearly been living in a hole for the last few years as this was my first experience of Mr. Burke’s writing.

2)   I have a very short attention span.

Number one is now corrected (thankfully) but number two is a permanent affliction. I get bored easily, I find it hard to stick with long books that don’t grab me by my throat in the first couple of pages, I physically groan when I see the book size measure on the kindle screen going off the scale.

Can’t help it, it’s just me.

So when I start The Big O, I don’t know of Mr. Burke and the book looks huge. Oh dear. But this is the opening paragraph:    

In the bar Karen drinking vodka-tonic, Ray on brandy to calm his nerves. Karen told him how people react to death and a stick-up in pretty much the same way: shock, disbelief, anger, acceptance.

Then Karen goes on to describe how to carry out said stick-up, it transpires this is how she met Ray (having nearly shot him). And so within a couple of paragraphs we plunge headlong into a whip-crack smart novel that barrels along at high pace that simply compels me to finish it. For the next couple of days I’m stuck with my nose in my kindle, much to my wife’s disgust as she wants me to get stuck into dreaded DIY instead, but I’m simply too absorbed by the characters and their activities to do anything else but read.

In short I thoroughly enjoyed The Big O and was disappointed when I finally put it down, simply because the joyride was over.

This is a very cleverly plotted, character driven novel. There are relatively few characters but all are very strong, have flaws (to varying degrees) but display hidden depths that are gradually revealed as the narrative progresses, adding to it.

The action is split into seven segments – the week long period over which the snatch is planned and occurs. These segments are then broken up by short chapters (which keeps the pace high) each headlined with the particular person whose perspective it follows – the narrative is modified accordingly. The prose is economic, very sharp and strongly dialogue driven.

What I really liked about The Big O and that set it apart from the pack was that initially the story seems well sign posted, i.e. it appears obvious what’s going to happen next, but Burke was simply lulling me into a false sense of security before throwing me into a tail spin with a twist. This happened on numerous occasions. In the end I gave up guessing – hence the joyride.

For example, Anna. I had a concept of who the character was and how they fitted with the others, but I was completely wrong (I won’t say any more so as not to give it away). Then there’s the snatch, again the cards fall in a completely different way to how I envisaged they would. It’s very, very well done.

Overall a thoroughly enjoyable, clever and well plotted read that simply makes me want to find more of Burke’s work.

Buy now from:    Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Adult scenes.

Added for Reprise Review: The Big O by Declan Burke was a nominee in the Crime Fiction category for B&P 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran June 15, 2013

Format/Typo Issues:

None.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: Keith Nixon

Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words

Friday, January 17, 2020

Review: Witches Protection Program by Michael Okon



Genre: Urban Fantasy/Young Adult/Contemporary

Description:

“Wes Rockville, a disgraced law-enforcement agent, gets one last chance to prove himself and save his career when he’s reassigned to a 232-year-old secret government organization. The Witches Protection Program. His first assignment: uncover a billion-dollar cosmetics company’s diabolical plan to use witchcraft for global domination, while protecting its heiress Morgan Pendragon from her aunt’s evil deeds. Reluctantly paired with veteran witch protector, Alastair Verne, Wes must learn to believe in witches…and believe in himself.”

Author:

“Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling in his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.”

You can find out more about Mr. Okon at his website or follow him onFacebook.

Appraisal:

In this contemporary urban fantasy a disgraced law-enforcement agent, Wes Rockville, is reassigned to a secret government organization. His first assignment is to protect the young heiress of a billion-dollar cosmetic company, Morgan Pendragon, and uncover their diabolical plan for world domination using witchcraft.

Wes’s learning curve is steep, as he doesn’t believe in witches. The plot and the characters are cleverly written. Morgan Pendragon is a feisty witch who marches to her own tune and doesn’t rely heavily on her witchcraft unless she’s in a pinch. She’s a fun character, however, she doesn’t trust Wes.

The battle scenes are epic and full of fast action that Mr. Okon captures without a hitch. And there are many. Slowly Morgan begins to trust Wes and she starts working with him. It’s easy to see a relationship developing. The ending is satisfying and some family truths are revealed that I didn’t see coming. All in all, an entertaining story.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Only one F-bomb.

Format/Typo Issues:

Nothing to note.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 45-50,000 words

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Review: Past This Point by Nicole Mabry



Genre: Post-Apocalyptic

Description:

“Karis Hylen has been through the New York City dating wringer. After years of failed relationships, she abandons her social life and whittles her days down to work and spending time with her dog, Zeke. Her self-imposed exile ends up saving her life when an untreatable virus sweeps the east coast, killing millions.”

Author:

“Nicole Mabry spends her days at NBCUniversal as the Senior Manager of Photography Post Production. Her nights are reserved for writing novels. At the age of seven, she read The Boxcar Children, sparking a passion for reading and writing early on. Nicole grew up in the Bay Area in Northern California and went to college at UCLA for Art History. During a vacation, she fell in love with New York City and has lived in Queens for the past seventeen years. On weekends you can find her with a camera in hand and her dog, Jackson, by her side. Nicole is an animal lover and horror movie junkie.”

Appraisal:

I’m not sure that it is indicative of anything, but Nicole Mabry, the author of this book, Karis (the protagonist of the story), and I all look to the children’s book The Boxcar Children as one of the more significant reads of our life. While my memories of the plot details of that tale of four orphaned siblings who end up living in an abandoned boxcar are skimpy for me more than a half-century after my Mom read it to my siblings and I, I can’t help but compare that book to this one. Sure, the stories are completely different genres and you’ve got one adult who is largely on her own for much of the book as opposed to four kids. But in both they find themselves in an unprecedented situation and are forced to figure things out on their own. Determining how to provide themselves with the most basic things like food, water, and shelter are a challenge.

Of course, Past this Point has some major differences from The Boxcar Children too. The big one is with Karis being on her own and needing to be careful how and with whom she interacts. Can another person be trusted? Are they safe or are they infected with the virus sweeping the Eastern US? These kind of challenges and how a character figures things out and deals with them are a big part of a good post-apocalyptic story and are well done in this book. I found it to be intense, entertaining, and at times thought-provoking. An excellent read.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 115-120,000 words

Monday, January 13, 2020

Review: Molten Trail: Elemental Keys Book 3 by Lynne Cantwell



Genre: Modern fantasy

Description:

Some spoilers are inevitable here if you haven’t read the first two books in the series. Four demi-elementals (half human) have been brought together by The Powers That Be to foil a demon named Surgat – which translates as One Who Opens All Locks - who is determined to collect four Elemental Keys which will open a mysterious door. So far Surgat has foiled them twice. Now they are journeying to Hawaii to attempt to get to the fire key before Surgat does.

Author:

Lynne Cantwell is a prolific author of short books in a number of different fictional genres, from romantic to memoir. Apart from the memoir, all the books have an element of what Cantwell calls ‘the woo-woo’, ie a sixth sense in her protagonists, and an edge of otherworldliness which manifests as creatures and gods out of myth and legend.

She is also a stalwart of Indies Unlimited, where she contributes sensible advice for writers.

Appraisal:

Hot on the heels of the previous instalment, when the demi-elemental quartet were in Ireland looking for the Earth key, comes this even hotter instalment which has them scampering between volcanoes on Hawaii. As the story unfolds their relationships deepen and we learn more about what makes Rufus and Gail, in particular, tick. Raney and Collum’s more intimate relationship is a joyful one, which almost makes this old cynic believe in love again. Rufus turns out to have a quite delightful Auntie on Hawaii and a cousin-by-marriage called Annie. These two help the four Key hunters in all sorts of ways, and the reader gets a sense of Hawaiian life through them. As I love to learn about new places (and am unlikely ever to get to Hawaii) I enjoy this sort of local colour – especially when it is not at the expense of page-turning quality. And the pages do turn!

Cantwell has a gift for relating the quotidian, imbuing it with intrigue, and peopling it with characters who are steeped in ‘woo-woo’ – in this case empaths, and people and creatures from Hawaiian folklore. It is a compelling mixture, and keeps the little book skipping along at a great pace. The information imparted about Hawaii is fascinating – and not a word is extraneous: everything drives the story forward.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

If this sounds like your sort of book and you haven’t read the first two instalments, it will be a good idea to do so before embarking on this one. Although Cantwell does provide a ‘the story so far’ at the beginning of each why would you deny yourself the pleasure of the whole story?

Format/Typo Issues:

Nope.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: Judi Moore

Approximate word count: 45-50,000 words

Friday, January 10, 2020

Review: Beautiful, Complicated Family: Volume 1 by Rosey Lee



Genre: Short Story Collection/Flash Fiction

Description:

Beautiful, Complicated Family: Volume 1 is a collection of five flash fiction stories exploring the connections that can hold people together or tear them apart. Like most families, the relationships in this uplifting collection consist of intricate elements. Sometimes things get messy, but it’s always beautiful. Read each story in about 5 minutes and get Volume 2 of the collection for free using a link within the book. The stories are perfect for readers who enjoy contemporary fiction novels as well as those who only have time for a quick read.”

Author:

“Rosey Lee is a writer whose work has appeared in Necessary Fiction, Bending Genres, Barren Magazine, Turnpike Magazine, and elsewhere. Her flash fiction has been nominated for the 2019 Best of the Net anthology. A New Orleans native who lives in Atlanta, her writing is influenced by the people, traditions, and food that keep her connected to the South.”

Appraisal:

By most accounts the definition of flash fiction is a fictional short story of 1,000 words or less. Sometimes a lot less. This collection of 5 flash fiction stories average just a touch shy of 1,000 words each.

The challenge of writing good flash fiction is getting adequate character and plot development into a limited number of words. As someone known in some circles for being extremely wordy, this ability in others is something I can appreciate. As the best songwriters can say a ton in few words, so can the best flash fiction writers. Often these words imply a lot and allow the listener or reader to fill in the gaps.

I found these five stories to be excellent reads. As implied in the title, each story is looking at the relationships between people, as in a family. Each of them resonated with me, not only being a good story I could relate to, but doing an excellent job in helping the reader to quickly know what was needed about the characters. Even with stories this short the author found a chance to surprise me, setting me up to expect the story to go one way and having the plot take an unexpected (at least to me) twist that made perfect sense once it had happened. A good, short (well duh) read.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 4-5,000 words

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Review: Let It Snow by Nigel Bird



Genre: Police Procedural/Crime Fiction

Description:

“Police Constable Ernie Shavers is murdered while trying to save the life of a suicidal teenager and everyone wants a piece of the killer. Some are happy to play it by the book, others don’t give a damn whether the rules are smashed to pieces. Whether they’re playing straight or crooked, they may not have long before the killer strikes again. Unfortunately it’s a big city and the current crime wave has thrown them a couple of curve balls to pile on the pressure.

At the zoo, a rhino is killed for its horn. With no evidence trail and a broken heart, DS Sue Nolan turns to an old flame, a man who always has his ear to the ground. Gangland boss, Johnny Yen, is only too happy to help, but only if he can get a little something in return.

In the centre of town, the biggest store in the city is robbed by a mannequin. 
It’s the perfect inside job and the owners of the store know exactly which officer they want on the case, only the officer doesn’t feel quite the same way.

If that wasn’t bad enough, record snowfall has created chaos within the police department.

It’s going to be one hell of a Christmas.
As detectives work, they reflect upon their lives. Each of them needs to make 
changes. Not all of them know where to begin.”

Author:

Nigel Bird is the author of multiple novels, novellas, and short story collections. A native of the UK, he now lives on the Scottish with his wife and three kids.

Appraisal:

A police procedural will typically have a member or members of law enforcement, often detectives, as the protagonists and focus on their investigation and actions to solve the crime. Solving the crime might or might not involve figuring out who did it, figuring out how to prove they did it, and/or just finding the right person or persons. As a reader we’re normally like an assistant, looking over the detective’s shoulder, trying to put the clues together too.

Sometimes the reader will be given a glimpse of the suspect that the detective doesn’t get. That was the case in this story. These glimpses were interesting in that they changed what I wanted to have happen. I still wanted the culprit to get caught, but I was hoping for more. I don’t want to say more so as to avoid spoiling the story, but this aspect was a twist I can’t remember feeling in a story like this before.

As for story, it was well told. The characters are interesting and unique. A solid and worthwhile read.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Uses UK spelling conventions and slang.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 70-75,000 words

Monday, January 6, 2020

Review: Monster Walk by Melissa Bowersock



Genre: Cozy Mystery/Native American/Myths

Description:

“Two recent murders have rocked the small town of Chinle, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. Navajo Tribal Police have found no connection between the victims even though both were killed the same way and brutally mutilated. Lieutenant John Stoneburner has no choice but to call in medium Sam Firecloud and his partner, Lacey Fitzpatrick, to see if they can make sense of the grisly facts. When it becomes clear to Sam that the murders are related to ancient Navajo mythology, he enlists the help of an elder, his grandfather Ben, who leads them all into the perilous realm of gods and monsters.”

Author:

“Melissa Bowersock is an eclectic, award-winning author who writes in a variety of fiction and non-fiction genres: biography, contemporary, western, action, romance, fantasy, paranormal and spiritual. She has been both traditionally and independently published and is a regular contributor to the superblog Indies Unlimited. She has a tattoo on the inside of her left wrist that says IMAGINE. In her next life, she plans to be an astronaut. She lives in a small community in northern Arizona with her husband and an Airedale terrier. She also writes under the pen name Amber Flame.”

Learn more about Ms. Bowersock and her other books on her website or on Facebook.

Appraisal:

We first met Lieutenant John Stoneburner of the Navajo Tribal Police in book 11, Spirit Walk. Lieutenant Stoneburner wasn’t raised with the old ways and is therefore not a believer in Navajo mysticism or aware of their legends and myths. While Lt. Stoneburner is investigating two recent gruesome ritualistic looking murders that seem unrelated, he enlists Sam Firecloud to get his opinion on the mysterious connection between these two murders. After walking the site of the murders, Sam’s memories of a Navajo myth are stirred and he decides he needs to consult with his grandfather Ben.

After seeking advice from Ben, Ben’s own curiosity is piqued, He decides to tag along on this case, uninvited. Of course he is welcomed with open arms. (I was thrilled to get to spend more time with Ben.) So, off Sam, Lacey, and Ben head to Canyon de Chelly. The Canyon is a geologic and cultural wonder that sports Spider Rock, a sandstone spire that thrusts up 750 feet from the canyon floor unconnected to any other monolith.

The plan is to camp up on the rim to watch to see if their suspicions are correct. They suspect that the killers are invoking the gods from the legend of Monster Slayer. Learning Navajo myths drew me into the story and the way Sam was able to merge the past with modern myths was genius. Ha! Here I am giving Sam the credit when the credit actually goes to the prolific imagination of Ms. Bowersock. She also weaves in a little of the Firecloud family history which is especially heartwarming.

Monster Walk may be my new favorite story in this series. The undercurrent of this tale swept me away.  

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Monster Walk is book 24 in Ms. Bowersock’s, A LACEY FITZPATRICK and SAM FIRECLOUD MYSTERY SERIES. This series does not need to be read in order. However, you may miss some character development.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 35-40,000 words