BOOK REVIEW: Tough Customer By Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown is still awesome!

 

I admit it. Sandra Brown is one of my favorite authors. She has a magical way of weaving the real world into a thrilling mystery. Her literary talents are fully on display in Tough Customer as she mixes in just the right amount of sexy sass to highlight the plot and make her characters stand out. This is one of the many Sandra Brown novels that will stay on my bookshelf for re-reads

BOOK REVIEW: The Grave On Peckerwood Hill By James Gary Vineyard

A COMPELLING JOURNEY

 

This is not a story that you have read before, but one you will think about long after you finish this well-crafted mystery. Fellow author, Donalie Beltran, recommended The Grave on Peckerwood Hill to me and I am so glad she did.

There are few things not to like about Vineyard’s writing style with one exception. The beginning seems to wander – trying to find its direction – before settling into the main story line. In the end, the author does a credible job of wrapping up all the seemingly disparate plot lines. On the other hand, his major characters are well developed and likable, all with a wry sense of humor. The relationship of Eastman and Doc is particularly enjoyable.

The author’s background in law enforcement work shows up in the Tom Clancy-like descriptions of police procedures and weapons. The authenticity of his narrative lends confidence in Vineyard’s expertise throughout the novel.

The Grave on Peckerwood Hill is a fast read at 440 pages, but enhanced by the need to keep turning pages. You won’t be disappointed in the ending or the way Vineyard leaves open the opportunity for another novel with these characters. This book is an altogether most satisfying five star entertainment. I recommend it to all adults who enjoy a romping good read.

BOOK REVIEW: The Art Of Caring: Zen Stories By Dan Glover

A GREAT EXPOSURE TO WHAT IS ZEN!

 

Generally, I don’t read short story anthologies. I guess my attention span needs a more consistent focus, but Dan Glover has changed that aspect of appreciation for literature. Glover’s The Art of Caring: Zen Stories is many things; boring is not one of them!

When you see the cover, you know what you can expect beyond the Table of Contents. Twenty-two stories that, to a lesser or greater degree, reflect Glover’s interest and experience with Zen Buddhism. My assumption is that Mr. Glover is a practitioner and/or knowledgeable student of the faith. Zen emphasizes the attainment of Enlightenment and Glover delivers, particularly in Ghost, Nowhere to Go, and The Coldest Winter.

Dan Glover’s characters are well drawn, an accomplishment with a high degree of difficulty in the restrictions of a short story. Several of the different characters have attributes in common. They all seem to be broke, or down on their luck, or in some other way, they find themselves in a desperate state. While struggling to overcome the status quo, success is measured through the precepts of Buddhism. Interspersed among the other stories are several “sectionals” of a few paragraphs that contribute to the readers understanding of this Asian originated philosophy.

In spite of the darkness, and often oppressive, stories, Glover’s talent for the right prose never disappoints as he paints visuals clearly for his audience. One might wonder who that audience is. My best guess is that his intended listener is Dan Glover. The stories entertain. The writing is professional and inspired. Beyond amusing the reader, you will come away with a small grasp of the ancient way of life.

Mr. Glover provided this reviewer with a Kindle edition of his book at no cost in exchange for an honest review of his work. It is with no small amount of candor that I recommend The Art of Caring: Zen Stories and award it five stars.