Beth's Book Review

May 19, 2017

Together: A Journey for Survival by Ann S. Arnold (Avalerion Books, 20160)   At the March meeting of the New Jersey Commission on the Holocaust, Mark Schonwetter, a survivor of the horrors of the 1930s and 40s, and his daughter, Ann S. Arnold, introduced the Commission to Ann's publication of ...

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The Devil Amongst the Lawyers by Sharyn McCrumb (St. Martin's Press, 2010)   Years ago, when I attended my first Malice Domestic convention, I met Sharyn McCrumb, author of three beloved series, including the Elizabeth McPerson, the Ballad, and the St. Dale series. Malice Domestic, which ...

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th Seduction by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Little, Brown, and Co., 2017) For those who love hard core suspense fiction, what could be better than a fast paced novel with a psychopathic villain? The answer is, a book with two psychopathic villains! And that is exactly what famed author, ...

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The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg (Random House, 2016)   What happens to us when we die? Does everything stop and our bodies just turn to dust? Or do our souls continue to exist in some ethereal form? Are we able to see what happens to our loved ones; are we reunited with those who ...

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Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca (St. Martin's Press, 2016) At the turn of the 20th century, the thrilling, fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, had captured the imaginations of both British and American readers. In those days, when sleuthing as a career was ...

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Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2014)   Liane Moriarty is a great story teller and Big Little Lies is one of those engaging books that the reader doesn't want to end because it is such a riveting read. Although written in 2014, Moriarty's novel has been adapted recently ...

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The Private Lives of the Tudors by Tracy Borman (Grove Press, 2016) I admit it. I am a Tudor junkie. So when I espied The Private Lives of the Tudors by Tracy Borman on the shelves of our local library, I clutched it to my breast and ran to the check out counter. Can I recite every British ...

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Usually this column reviews both non-fiction and fiction books. Today I would like to digress and inform you about a true New Jersey gem, the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, located at 100 Grant Avenue, Deal Park, NJ. Nestled in a suburban area, just a couple of miles from the Atlantic Ocean, this ...

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Heartbreak Hotel by Jonathan Kellerman ( Penguin Random House, 2017) “Thalia Mars's wide amused mouth was augmented by meticulously applied coral lipstick. Her eyes were clear brown. Shoulder-length hair tinted the ivory of old piano keys had been whipped into a meringue of waves. Nearly a ...

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Without Mercy: A Body Farm Novel by Jefferson Bass (Harper Collins, 2016) In James Patterson's Master Class, an online course which I recommend highly to aspiring authors, Patterson talks about the validity of writing with a partner. Patterson notes several well respected creative teams like ...

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The Glory Years of the Pennsylvania Turnpike by Mitchell E. Dakelman and Neal A. Schorr (Arcadia, 2016) “Our story begins in the early 1960s with two young boys who had never met. One grew up near Pittsburgh, the other in central New Jersey,” writes Neal A. Schorr in the Introduction to The ...

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Food, Health, and Happiness by Oprah Winfrey (Melcher Media, 2017) In the Introduction to Food, Health, and Happiness Oprah Winfrey includes a photo of herself in size ten jeans, toting a red wagon loaded with fat. The caption with the photo reads, “Me, my Calvins, and that infamous wagon of fat ...

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Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (Ballantine Books, 2016)   When the last thing we notice Is the color of skin, And the first thing we look for is the beauty within; When the skies and oceans are clean again, We shall be free. Garth Brooks and Stephanie Davis   Small ...

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I Loved Her at the Movies: Memories of Hollywood’s Legendary Actresses by Robert J. Wagner with Scott Eyman (Viking, 2016)   I Loved Her at the Movies, by veteran actor Robert J. Wagner, begins with his first encounter with a major screen star, Norma Shearer. At the age of eight, Wagner was a ...

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The Ripper's Time by Mark R. Vogel (CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2016)   What if we could turn the clock back to 1888, knowing what we know about profiling the characters of serial killers, DNA evidence, analysis of fibers left behind at a crime scene, and lifting fingerprints from ...

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Mark R. Vogel, a resident of New Jersey, has completed his second book, The Ripper's Time. Recently, Mark and I spent some time discussing the new novel and his career as a writer of fiction. Moroney: Why do you think that after all of these year the case of Jack the Ripper continues to ...

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Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith (Wheeler Publishing, 2016)   Afrika Afrika, Afrika Afrika, Afrika, Afrika Afrika, Arika Afrika   Each of Alexander McCall Smith's seventeen books in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series ends with this wistful poem, ...

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On the Beach by Nevil Shute (William Morrow, 1957)   On the Beach by British/Australian author, Nevil Shute, is the scariest book ever written. Yes, Stephen King is a masterful horror story writer who has scared the bejeezus out of me more than once, and yes, The Walking Dead in its comic ...

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Collecting the Dead by Spencer Kope (St. Martin's Press, 2016) Collecting the Dead is one of those rare books that comes along and just knocks the reader off his/her feet. Not only are the characters intriguing, the plot is engaging, and Kope's prose is elegantly written, taking this novel to a ...

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The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews (St. Martin's Press, 2016)   Having just passed the winter solstice, dreams of summer, warm beaches, suntan lotion, and the shussh of the ocean lapping the shore are very much on the minds of beach lovers. It is only five months until Memorial Day kicks off ...

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Falling by Jane Green (Berkley, 2016)   Every now and again I just love a mindless romance novel, and I've been a huge fan of Jane Green's since her first book, Jemima J: A Novel About Ugly Ducklings and Swans. Despite being classified as “chick lit,” the character and plot of Jemima J. has ...

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Home by Harlan Coben (Penguin Random House, 2016) “The two men headed out for breakfast at Eppes Essen, a 'Jewish-style' (according to the brochure) deli and restaurant on the other side of town. Myron and Dad both ordered the same thing---Eppe's famed Sloppy Joe sandwich. . . Eppes Essen makes ...

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Adnan's Story:The Search for Truth and Justice after Serial by Rabia Chaudry (St. Martin's Press, 2016)   Injustice in the American system of jurisprudence is a hot topic, especially today with groups such as the Innocence Project investigating old cases in which the convicted have an ...

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The Whistler by John Grisham (Doubleday, 2016)   If I had to choose one word to describe a John Grisham novel, it would be engaging. From the first page, Grisham introduces well drawn characters with whom the reader empathizes or loathes, depending on whether they are the heroes or villains.

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Bees on the Roof by Robbie Shell (Tumblehome Learning, Inc., 2016) In the last two decades the genre of adolescent fiction has exploded to suit the interests of avid young readers. Although the public perception may be that today's kids prefer to play computer games, it never ceased to amaze me ...

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Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philiippa Gregory (Touchstone of Simon and Schuster, 2016)   When one reads an historical novel by Philippa Gregory, s/he is transported magically through the power of words to that era. Given the turbulence of the recent political scene in America, returning ...

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The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (Scout Press, 2016) Self doubt can be paralyzing. More importantly, the source of self doubt can be even more disturbing and debilitating. In the case of travel writer, Lo Blacklock, a violent home invasion right before the biggest opportunity of her career, ...

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Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD (Puddle Dancer Press, 2003) Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, like The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, is an eye-opening book that the reader will want to return to over and over ...

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Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music by John Fogerty with Jimmy McDonough (Little, Brown, and Co, 2015)   “Bad Moon Rising.” “Suzie Q.” “Green River.” “Lookin' Out My Back Door.” “Who'll Stop the Rain.” “Down on the Corner.” “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” “Proud Mary.” If you are a Baby Boomer, ...

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Chaos by Patricia Cornwell (Harper Collins, 2016) Patricia Cornwell begins the novel Chaos, with a definition of the title word. “From the Ancient Greek . . . A vast chasm or void . . . Anarchy . . . The science of unpredictability . . .” The intriguing title, with its violent and mysterious ...

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