Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged mystery

Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery and Fantasy

Unusual Suspects is an eclectic assortment of stories ranging from mystery to the supernatural. Editor Dana Stabenow, also a contributing author, and eleven others lend their twelve tales to this compilation. The collection is heavy on the fantasy and even heavier on the entertainment.

Between Here and April

Deborah Copaken Kogan’s novel Between Here and April begins with Elizabeth Burns, a modern New York journalist and mother of two young girls, recalling her first-grade friend April Cassidy’s sudden disappearance.

Never Tell a Lie

In a suburban area in Massachusetts, David and Ivy Rose host a yard sale as a way of getting rid of items left in the attic by previous owners of their recently purchased Victorian home. During the sale, a woman named Melinda, whom they both knew in high school, informs David and Ivy that as a child she played in the house they now own and would like to see the inside again.

Steamed: A Gourmet Girl Mystery

Steamed is a beach-book that should have been broadcasted—Law and Order _meets _The Naked Chef. This book is formulaic TV on paper, addictive with a pinch of sex appeal. Despite being a truly page-turning story, Steamed can be described in many ways, but does very little with the power of literary description, character and plot development, or genre. Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant, a mother-daughter team, get together to write what is the younger's first book. (Susan is the writer of the Dog Lover's Mysteries and Cat Lover's Mysteries).

The Enigma Woman: The Death Sentence of Nellie May Madison

In her astonishingly well-written account of California’s first female death row inmate, Kathleen Cairns weaves the story of domestic violence and the influence of the media into her telling of one woman’s life. Nellie May Madison shot her husband in their Southern California apartment in March 1934. During this time period, the media easily conflated Nellie with the film noir femme fatal image that was popular at the time.

The Bridesmaid

Claude Chabrol is a grandfather of French cinema; he is one of the major figures of the French New Wave who is still making frequent, full-length films.

The Curse of the Holy Pail

When I first laid my hands on this book, I really didn’t know what to think. I’d never heard of this series before, the only thing I did know was that it was a mystery novel. Before reading it, I studied the book’s cover and found myself smiling; it was the outline of a thick woman in casual garb, not the typical "attractive" silhouette squeezed in a curve-hugging, tailored suit that I was expecting. I guess that was my first clue this book would not be what I expected. For a moment I pondered if I should have read the first book before reading this one.

The Session

The Session is a novella mystery with quirky, intellectual humor dispersed throughout the book. It reminds me of the “Who’s on first?” Abbott & Costello skit: What we’re after here is the truth of the situation. I’ve got it. I’m pleased to hear it. In the palm of my hands. That’s the wrong place for it. On the edge of my seat? In anticipation of…? What? What? What are you waiting for? Who says I’m waiting? You’ve just done. I said no such thing.

New Orleans Noir

Unlike every other volume of short stories I've read, none of the stories in this book disappointed me. Written by authors who live or have lived in the Big Easy, New Orleans Noir digs below the surface and into the social fabric of a city that had its troubles long before Hurricane Katrina. To say that it pushes the reader out of her comfort zone would be a major understatement. The collection is divided into two parts: pre- and post- Katrina.


Norwegian Aud Torvingen was born into a life of wealth and privilege. The former police officer gives back to the community by teaching women self-defense. The new women in her latest course cross all social and financial lines so that a southern society belle is on an even footing with a housewife. The women savor each other’s triumphs until one day one of them has to put into practice what she learned. After dealing with officials following the woman’s act, Aud flies to Seattle where she owns property that she must clean up as her property manager violated OSHA and EPA rules.

Stain of the Berry

Stain of the Berry sounds fleshy and sweet; this title sums up the beauty of Anthony Bidulka's most recent mystery involving detective Russell Quant. Occurring during summer, the main character travels through the gorgeous Canadian countryside while investigating his newest case. Delightful and a bit awkward, the quirky private detective is hired to find out if a young woman committed suicide or if she was killed.

The Vanishing Point

The Vanishing Point is the story of two sisters living at the end of the 17th century. The title comes from the point on the horizon where an object disappears from view. In this case, the sisters, May and Hannah have been separated by distance and marriage. May, the eldest daughter is beautiful and willful. From the age of 15 she has taken many lovers, earning her the reputation as a slut.

Woman of Ill Fame

Nora Simms is a prostitute who comes to San Francisco in 1848, during the Gold Rush. She starts as a "crib girl," working in a row house with several other prostitutes. One of Nora's aims is to work in a parlor house. Parlor houses are more upscale bordellos, frequented by men with more education than the miners Nora serviced. To achieve this goal, Nora begins speaking with a fake French accent. She takes lessons from another crib girl and meets a professor who sweeps her off her feet. Nora also wins the affections of Abe, a gentle, mildly retarded man.

The Ravenscar Dynasty

In 1904 a fire in a hotel in Carrarra, Italy takes the lives of brothers Richard and Rick Deravenel and one teenage offspring of each. A family relative, Neville Watkins, informs Richard's wife, Cecily, and their eighteen-year-old son, Edward, of the tragic deaths of their loved ones. He also uniforms his cousin that he believes the four men, who were in Carrarra on business, were murdered to hide questionable problems involving marble quarries.