Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WHERE DANGER HIDES - a Carl Brookins Review

Where Danger Hides
By Terry Odell
ISBN 978-1-43282-512-6
Five Star Mystery from Gale
May, 2011

The novel is a suspenseful thriller with a healthy dose of romance.  Or
maybe it’s a romantic thriller with a good deal of suspense that keeps this
moving at a sometimes alarming pace.  “Where Danger Hides” is both, and it’s
also a fantasy in particular in the way and the speed with which the two
principal characters are drawn together.

Miri Chambers is the caretaker and overseerer of a San Francisco shelter
primarily for abused women.  Galoway House also manages to shelter and care
for a number of children and men, as well. There’s a lot more to Miri
Chambers. She is adept at disguise, light-fingered and as prickly as one can
get. Two wrong words and she is liable to go off like a rocket. That
propensity for shoot-from-the-hip judgments and attitude may also be the
reason for her nearly unbelieveable hormonal response to the hunk she meets
on a clandestine foray into the home office of a wealthy art patron.

Her reaction to “just” Dalton isn’t much different from his.  He works for a
private security firm that has a large well-funded and mostly covert group
of operatives working well outside the usual legal limits. Dalton, one of
Blackthorn’s elite black ops operatives has an appreciated eye for female
anatomy, wherever he finds it, including hiding under the desk of the
aforementioned wealthy San Francisco Art patron.

Dalton and Miri Chambers are all fire and sparks and hot sex throughout this
rollicking novel.  The author has created a pair of characters who could
each carry the novel solo, but when you pair them, look out.

The action carries Dalton and Chambers from posh and elegant settings to
gritty exceedingly dangerous operations.  Readers are not likely to predict
each succeeding move.  One is required to suspend disbelief and recognize
from the outset that explicit play, both sexual andfirearms, is integral to
the story.  Nevertheless, the plot is carefully and fully laid out, the
dialogue is mostly logical and the tension carries well through the entire
book. Gritty, tender, frustrating by turns I did feel that there were times
when both characters exhibited too obtuse attitudes and were slower on the
uptake than they should have been, given their life experiences.

Nevertheless, this is a fun read that makes several important points along
the way.

Carl Brookins,
Devils Island, Bloody Halls, Reunion, Red Sky
more at Kindle, Smashwords & OmniLit!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Eggsceptional EGGSECUTIVE ORDERS - Happy Easter

Berkley, 2010
352 pages

If you like light reading, and who wouldn't at Easter time, give Julie Hyzy's award-winning culinary series a hop and skip through the pages as she prepares for the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House.

Make no mistake this is cozy writing at its best with a series that began with State of the Onion (Anthony award winner).

In Eggsecutive Orders, a White House dinner guest has died. Was he poisoned? Suspicions point to Executive Chef Olivia Paras, the first female White House Chef, and her staff. Even her Secret Service lover, Tom, is no help because he's been told to keep her out of the kitchen, away from the first family's food. She must clear her name to keep her job and boyfriend, to say nothing of staying out of jail, or worse.
This wonderful souffle is funny and mysterious at the same time.

From Booklist
The ever-burgeoning culinary mystery subgenre has a new chef-sleuth. In her second adventure (following State of the Onion, 2008), Olivia Paras, the first female White House Chef, just wants to focus on her job: cooking for the president’s family, preparing state banquets, and getting ready for the annual Easter egg roll. However, when one of the guests at a state dinner dies, everything changes: Olivia and her staff are banned from the kitchens. Her boyfriend, Tom MacKenzie, part of the Secret Service’s presidential detail, has been assigned to keep Olivia from meddling in the investigation. Her mother and grandmother are about to arrive for their first visit to Washington, D.C., and tensions are rising among Olivia’s staff and guest chefs. Hyzy does a great job of keeping us interested in all of these problems, and the back-stage look at the White House proves fascinating. Recipes are included for Eggcellent Eggs. --Judy Coon

Gerrie Ferris Finger