Thursday, January 17, 2019

Intriguing Quest on Sara Stamey's Islands

IslandsBy Sara Stamey

sara islands“Just a touch of turbulence, folks. Buckle up.” Maybe archeologist Susan Dunne should have heard the pilot’s voice over the speaker as a larger warning, about what lay ahead of her on the Islands of the Caribbean. Curl up with a hot mystery that’s set in a sunny, tourist mecca. Join this Pacific Northwest scientist as she digs deep into the culture, the history, and the motives of current residents, within this garden paradise.

No stranger to investigating mysteries, Susan Dunne specializes in discovering and researching clues to discovering ancient petroglyphs and their associated history. These are boulders and rocks with primitive carvings. An intriguing dimension that enhances their allure is that many of the carved designs which are found worldwide are surprisingly similar. Susan is working on a theory and wants to consult with an anthropologist who was last reported to be hiding out in the Caribbean. She is on the hunt to find him and her search turns up some unexpected and ominous results.

But Susan also holds a secret of her own, the last letter from her dear brother. He recently drowned while living on this island as he was diving for treasure at a sunken ship that’s guarded by legendary voodoo, Jumbies, and a bloodthirsty cult. Susan wants to solve the mystery surrounding his death. She unlocks some most disturbing secrets and will need to face fears of her own in order to try and stop evil from overtaking her.

The history, legends, and culture of the Caribbean are integrated delightfully within this suspenseful story. The characters and their passionate motivations are artfully revealed throughout the course of the plot. Descriptions of the luscious setting, both above and below waters, during adventurous scuba dive explorations, are to be savored.

The author, Sara Stamey wrote an early draft of Islands when she was living in the Caribbean, working as a scuba instructor and guide. She originally wrote the book as a stand-alone novel. At the end she felt that the characters had more to tell, so she started a sequel set in Belize and Guatemala, where she has also spent time. Sara’s journeys include treasure hunting, backpacking worldwide, operating a nuclear reactor at Hanford, and owning a farm in Southern Chile. Returning to her home town in the Pacific Northwest, she taught creative writing at Western Washington University for several years.

This author has several other exciting books as well, including her most recent The Ariadne Connection which is a Science Fiction thriller. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Maeve Malloy Chilling Mystery - Hemlock Needle

Hemlock Needle

By Keenan Powell

The most recent book in the Maeve Malloy Legal Thriller series finds the adroit attorney under investigation herself in Anchorage, Alaska. She’s been advised not to take on any cases until her own is settled. Depending on how it’s settled, she may not be allowed to take on cases ever again. While under pressure to prove her own innocence she makes a pro bono exception that tugs at her heart, to help find a missing Yup’ik Eskimo chief financial officer who is a single mother. Is this a partying woman who’s wandered off with the wrong crowd? Or did danger lurk in her business life, or personal history?

Maeve Malloy and her strong-willed investigator Tom are driven to solve this case on behalf of the dear seven year old son Evan that the mother has left behind. And as the mystery grows, it looks like young Evan’s life is in danger. Maeve’s strong desire to help is admirable, but the unexpected leaves her skating on thin Alaskan ice, and it’s cracking under the weight of legal entanglements and dangerous murderers.

Keenan Powell has authored an action thriller that incorporates poignant descriptions of Alaskan scenery, its extreme conditions, and residents’ lifestyles. This loving, illustrative account is vivid, crisp, clear, and a fascinating glimpse into what life is like in Anchorage, including the positive and the difficult. The action builds quickly and this book is truly an exciting read. The clues discovered during the investigation are presented for the reader to attempt solving the mystery before Maeve Malloy. The very diverse array of characters driving the story, their actions, and motives are artistically molded by this author, showing compelling insights into human nature.

Keenan Powell writes murder mysteries because, as she says, “I love mystery best. Only in mystery do you have the puzzle, the game played between writer and reader. The writer plants clues and red herrings in what she hopes is an enjoyable story. The reader pits herself against the writer to figure out whodunit.” Keenan Powell lives in Anchorage, and has practiced in many areas of law in private practice - civil, criminal, administrative, and appeals. Earlier in her career, she defended criminal cases including murder charges. She still maintains a practice in Anchorage. In addition to this series, she authors other published works including short stories and a blog. Find out more on her website at

And if you want to hear more from the author during her interview about the first book in this series, Deadly Solution, listen on YouTube to – Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with Keenan Powell

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

High Stakes in Dead If You Don't by Peter James

Dead If You Don't

By Peter James

The most recent book in the DS Roy Grace series, the Detective Superintendent is thrown into the midst of the kidnapping of a teenager, but this turns very complex in the investigation. All is not as it seemed at the start of the case. In the meantime, the parents are faced with the dilemma whether to follow the kidnapper’s instructions precisely because their son is Dead If You Don’t. Or maybe it’s actually better not to do what the bad guy says. How are they to know?

This prolific writer never disappoints. His thrillers are not only action packed, but they are thought provoking. Life and death questions are forced upon the characters, and require fast answers. What is the right response? That’s a debatable question, often best seen only in hindsight. The immediacy of the writing style communicates the importance of each decision and each undertaking. And at the heart of the story is the depth of emotions portrayed by the diverse characters.

Kipp Brown is a successful business man and addicted gambler experiencing the worst of luck. His bank account is depleted just as his teenage son is kidnapped and a high ransom is demanded. How can Kipp pay? This is truly high stakes because his son is Dead If You Don’t. When the Detective Superintendent takes the reins of the case he’s surprised at the direction the evidence takes him and his officers. He is coordinating and working with a fascinating team of officers and others including a creative and reliable Pathologist. The perspective of each is compelling. In the other camp, motivations of those who plan the kidnapping are poignant and disturbing. And as is so often the case plans often go astray.

In addition to this exciting thriller, also try the audio book of his new standalone novel Absolute Proof – read by Hugh Bonneville of Downton Abbey fame. Investigative reporter Ross Hunter nearly didn’t answer the phone call that would change his life – and possibly the world – forever.

Peter James is a celebrated, highly-award winning author on both sides of the Atlantic with over nineteen million books sold worldwide. A British mystery/thriller author who’s an international bestseller and a regular on the New York Times bestseller lists.  He’s been nominated for or awarded almost every mystery/thriller award including the CWA Diamond Dagger award, the Barry Award, and first time ever recipient of the Rheinbach Glass Dagger Award for excellence in crime fiction in 2017. Three of his novels have been turned into films and several more have been adapted for the stage.

And if you want to hear more from the author listen on YouTube to – Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with Peter James

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Read! Recommend! Raffle! Results!

The Edmonds Library in partnership with the Friends of the Edmonds Library and Symetra held a community reading recommendation event. Readers who submitted book recommendations had a chance in the raffle for prizes. Thank you so much to the Edmonds Library Staff who made participation so easy and also launched the event. The winners were:

5-12 winner is Sophia
13 - 18 winner is Sofia
19 - 49 winner is Justin
50+ winner is Ruby

And the winners are also all of us who can now share these book recommendations. Please go to this link to see all the book recommendations now posted on the Friends of the Edmonds Library website -

Which one will be your next read?


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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Wonderful Children's Book About Alzheimer's by Susan McCormick

Granny Can’t Remember Me

By Susan McCormick
Illustrated by Timur Deberdeev

When Alzheimer’s disease and dementia affects members of a family, so much about it can be difficult for adults to understand, and accept. Imagine how confusing it can feel to the young children in those families? Now there’s a book by Susan McCormick for young children aged three to eight that helps when they discover that Granny Can’t Remember Me.

The book tackles this topic in a soothing, fun, and helpful way and in a language that engages children. It’s very clever that the story is told by the character of Joey who is a six-year-old boy. His voice sounds so true to this age range, giving readers someone they can relate to. Joey is very matter of fact about his visits with his granny, and he finds joy in the things that she does remember. In some of his descriptions of their visits there is a wonderful injection of humor which is very clever in that he pokes fun at the situation, not the people. He doesn’t dwell on what Granny can’t remember, but accepts her happily as she is. In the end Joey relates the wonderful surprise to the reader about how he definitely knows that although Granny Can’t Remember Me, “But Granny loves me. And I love Granny.”

The text of this book is readable by the older children in this age group who have started to read. But that doesn’t diminish also encouragement to read this book to the children out loud. It’s an engaging, short story that provides an opportunity to surface some questions and discussion about their specific situation that children would like to voice and talk about, but may not feel prompted to otherwise. The illustrations throughout the book are delightful, warm, and page turning.

The author, Susan McCormick is a doctor who lives in Seattle. She graduated from Smith College and George Washington University Medical School. She is married and has two boys. She also learned a lot about families living with Alzheimer’s when it occurred in her family. The multi-talented illustrator, Timur Deberdeev lives in Uzbekistan.

And for more information, please check

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Solemn Graves History With Mystery

Solemn Graves

A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery
By James R. Benn

Solemn Graves is the newest of the outstanding Billy Boyle World War II mystery series, set within the Allied High Command in Europe. The focus on the characters’ stories is surrounded with a brilliantly researched, historic time and place. It’s illustrated against a background of military protocol, weapons and culture. The action scenes are vivid and exciting, and skillfully written to convey the essence of this action even to readers who haven’t felt anything like World War II.

This time US Army detective Billy Boyle is called to investigate a mysterious murder in a Normandy farmhouse, threatening Allied operations just a month after D-Day. The investigation is top secret to protect the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, which are also known as the Ghost Army. The activities of the Ghost Army are meant to cause the enemy to think they’re facing larger formations than they really are. That misdirection is meant to change the enemy’s actions and decisions based on misleading information, almost like red herrings are meant to mislead mystery readers. In this book you get two for one fiction, a mystery and a history.

Thoughtful writing describes the investigative drive pulsing through Billy Boyle. Reading through this acclaimed series from its first book, this character learns and grows into his responsibilities. As he now comes into this Normandy murder scene, he positions himself. “I stood back, studying the scene, trying not to draw conclusions and let the room talk to me. It was one of the things my dad had taught me, or tried to, back in Boston. He was a homicide detective, and as soon as I got my badge as a rookie cop, he dragged me along to watch and study him at work . . . so here I was, carrying on the family business in Normandy, wearing khaki, instead of home in Boston, wearing blue.” Stakes are as high as ever this time, unmasking the murderer while safeguarding the secret of the Ghost Army is critical, if that secret is discovered it could turn the tide of war decisively against the Allies.

Author James Benn turned to writing full time in 2011, after over thirty-five years employed in the Library and Information Technology fields. With that background, it’s no wonder that his research is so thorough and interesting. He’s a graduate of the University of Connecticut, receiving his MLS degree from Southern Connecticut State University. When speaking about his Billy Boyle series he emphasizes that it “has brought me an immense amount of joy. I’ve gotten to meet people in person and online from all over the country (and the rest of the world) and hear their reactions, feedback, and most importantly, their own stories.”

And if you want to hear more from the author listen on YouTube to – Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with James R. Benn

Monday, October 1, 2018

Racing To Read Run Dog Run

Run Dog Run

By Kathleen Kaska

Image result for run dog run book coverKate Carraway is devastated when a poacher shooting incident causes her eviction from Africa and her beloved elephant research project. She ends up traveling to a friend’s ranch in Texas. Kate and her husband look forward to a restful visit with their friends to revitalize and make future plans. But planning is put on hold when a mystery surfaces surrounding a prominent neighbor rancher. Kate is drawn into investigating possible racing greyhound abuse, and finds murder added to the stakes after she finds a body. Danger pushes the animals to Run Dog Run by Kathleen Kaska, while the sleuth Kate Caraway also races to find the killer, before she becomes the next victim.

Vivid, passionate writing draws you into this action packed puzzler. The plot immediately tugs at the heart when Kate’s goddaughter asks for her help solving a mystery about possible racing greyhound dog abuse. It’s the determination to protect these beautiful animals that cannot defend themselves against this killer that drives the suspense. Unfortunately for these characters “good judgment was often lost in a moment of passion.” It’s these moments that can result in either tragic mistake or heartfelt sacrifice. And after scratching the surface of this case, Kate finds there’s even bigger issues buried below.

This killer is ruthless, but is pitted against a skilled sleuth. Character Kate Carraway best describes the key to the chase. “She was used to seeing the kill in a killer’s eyes as with the predators on the African plains. It was impossible to hide. Her binoculars would be focused on the eyes of the big cats – lions and cheetahs motionless in the grass, leopards crouched in trees. Their prey would see it too – an instinctual fear would shoot through the air like a bolt of electricity. It was survival in its most raw form. Prey who misread the signals did not survive . . . . A killer could lie, deceive, and even charm victims, but could never hide that look in the eyes.”

Best known for her Kate Caraway Animal-Rights Mystery Series, Kathleen Kaska is also author of the Sydney Lockhart series which are wonderful, historical mysteries; each of these is set in a different, incredible, grand hotel. Kathleen Kaska has also published trivia books on today’s favorite mystery writers, teaches workshops, and is a contributing writer to multiple magazines. Her Alfred Hitchcock and Sherlock Holmes trivia books were finalists for the 2013 EPIC award in nonfiction. She’s also marketing director for Cave Art Press. Her 5-Minute Writings Tips blog posts are published in book form - Do You Have a Catharsis Handy: Five-Minute Writing Tips? When not writing, Kathleen spends much of her time traveling the country’s back roads and byways; bird-watching; and looking for new locales for her mysteries.

And if you want to hear more from the author listen on YouTube to – Kendall & Cooper Talk Mysteries with Kathleen Kaska