Back on Track

New reviews coming soon! I'll be importing my work from the past two years, but in the meantime,
I'm reclaiming my small place on the web.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Mystery Review

Witness on the Quay
by Gini Anding
ISBN-10: 0595339670
Review by Heather Froeschl

I've never been to Paris but I feel as though I have after reading Gini Anding's "Witness on the Quay." This is no ordinary whodunit. The book is full of intrigue, romance, history, and raw human emotion; an entertaining read!

Amy Page is a middle-aged widow, authoring a cookbook and staying in Paris for a good length of time. She has rented a flat and is enchanted with Ile St-Louis. The mystery begins as she returns to her apartment and finds that a taxi driver has been murdered right outside her door. Jean-Michel Jolivet, an inspector with the French Police, asks her questions over a period of hours. This is the beginning of an interesting relationship and the unraveling of a mystery much bigger than the murder of one man.

As the case evolves it seems that Amy is much more involved than a simple witness, and even more than she ever realized. And as time goes on she and Jean-Michel become more involved than either of them intended. The plot thickens as the pages turn and readers will find they stay up late to find out what happens next.

Gini Anding has written an intriguing story with an ever-expanding plot. It is a delightful read, but even more than that it is a glimpse into Paris that many people will have dreamed of. I hope to see more from this author in the future but in the meantime I recommend "Witness on the Quay" to anyone who loves a good mystery.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Fiction Review

The Death of an Agent
by RM Secor
ISBN-10: 1420857983
Review by Heather Froeschl

Jim Deliviki is an agent on a mission to avenge his father's death. What he gets himself into is a lot more involved, as he becomes the pawn of several different double agents. Never knowing who is on his side or who is pretending to be for the moment, Jim is very much alone in a position against the terrorists of the world. What cause did his father die for? What is the purpose of Jim's involvement? This espionage novella has a twisting plot and action packed scenes.

The writing could be better. The first rule in writing fiction is to show and not tell, but most of this book is spelled out in telling form. Much more detail and sensory input is needed to tell a story in a captivating way. Numerous typos distracted me from trying to figure out where the author was leading the reader. The plot was sometimes fuzzy and unclear. I feel the book needs a bit of fleshing out and a good editor's guidance before it can become a sought after read.

RM Secor shows promise as an author, with a pulp fiction appeal.

Fiction Review

Ghost Of A Chance
by Eric Wilder
ISBN-10: 141375936X
review by Heather Froeschl

Buck McDivit digs dirt for a living. He's a P.I. who stumbles across the fact that he has an Aunt in Deception, Texas. Deception isn't just the name of the town; it's the feel of it. Things are not what they seem to the tourists and when you stay a few days longer than most, like Buck does, you're likely to uncover some very ugly truths.

Buck discovers his aunt just a little too late and comes to town to learn that she has died. The island, in the middle of Caddo Lake, where Aunt Emma's lodge and marina are, is about to be foreclosed upon and since her death is ruled a suicide her life insurance is not valid. Pearl, Aunt Emma's housekeeper and friend, and her husband Raymond, do not believe she would drown herself though, and what's even more suspicious is the fact that Emma's lawyer claims there was no will. This leaves the couple without the inheritance of the marina, and what's more, the deed to their own house and property on the island has disappeared from the records of the courthouse. Buck has a lot of digging to do if he's to find out what exactly is going on in Deception, and find a way to save the island.

What he digs up is a whole lot of trouble. Deception, Texas is run by the powers of a number of white-power, Klan bigots who seem to have denied the knowledge that the civil war is long over. What they've gotten away with, and what they plan to do is enough to turn your stomach even while remembering that this is a work of fiction. Will Buck be able to get to the truth before it is too late? What can he do once he finds it? And what does all of this have to do with the visiting spirit of a young girl on the island? Things are not what they seem, at all.

Eric Wilder is a gifted storyteller. I was drawn into the book from the first page and the plot led me through every chapter, turning pages to discover what would happen next. Everyone enjoys a good family secret revealing story and this one offers such with the twist of a ghost, despicable villains, down-home traditions, a bit of romance, mystery, and the exciting adventures of a stubborn P.I. I highly recommend this book as a ripping good read.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Children's Picture Book Review

The Life of Riley the Cat
by Julie Akerson Chicos
ISBN-10: 1412058589
Review by Heather Froeschl

Meet Riley, a curious kitty who goes in search of discovering what it means to be a cat. Does he have a purpose like so many of those other creatures that he meets? Time will tell and in the meantime young readers will come to learn a thing or two themselves.

Riley first meets Simon the crow, who isn’t very kind when he tells Riley that cats don't sound very important. This sets the plot in motion, and Riley comes to understand how spiders, bees, and beavers are all very useful creatures. When she meets a wise bat, named Bart, she learns the most important thing of all – that you have to look deep inside yourself to see what it is that you can do to make the world a better place.

Children will learn this lesson along with Riley but will also come to see that everyone is important in some way and that being different isn't a bad thing. Back home, Riley is reminded of the most important job of all – being part of a loving family.

I highly recommend this book to every child, everywhere! The text is well written, friendly and captivating, the characters are interesting, Riley is extremely lovable, and the illustrations are sweet and inviting. The messages of the book are appropriate and important for all children to learn. I would like to give a copy of this book to every child I know, and one to every child I don't know! Parents will be reading this book to their little ones time and time again, as it should be.