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Redder Than Blood

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Redder Than Blood by Tanith Lee

A vampiric Snow White whose pious stepmother is her only salvation….
A supernatural Cinderella who strikes at midnight, leaving behind a prince mad with desire….
A sleeping beauty never meant to be woken…
In her World Fantasy Award-nominated short story collection, Red as Blood, Tanith Lee deconstructed familiar fairy tales, recapturing their original darkness and horror in haunting new interpretations. Behind gilded words and poised princesses, she exposed a sinister world of violence, madness, and dangerous enchantments.
With Redder than Blood, Lee resumes the tradition of twisting tales. Among its nineteen tales, this volume explores unnerving variations of Beauty and the Beast, The Frog Prince, Snow White, and other classics, including three never-before-published stories.

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 Tanith Lee

Author’s Bio

Tanith Lee was a British writer of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. She was the author of 77 novels, 14 collections, and almost 300 short stories. She also wrote four radio plays broadcast by the BBC and two scripts for the UK, science fiction, cult television series “Blake’s 7.”
Before becoming a full time writer, Lee worked as a file clerk, an assistant librarian, a shop assistant, and a waitress.

Her first short story, “Eustace,” was published in 1968, and her first novel (for children) The Dragon Hoard was published in 1971.

Her career took off in 1975 with the acceptance by Daw Books USA of her adult fantasy epic The Birthgrave for publication as a mass-market paperback, and Lee has since maintained a prolific output in popular genre writing.

Lee twice won the World Fantasy Award: once in 1983 for best short fiction for “The Gorgon” and again in 1984 for best short fiction for “Elle Est Trois (La Mort).” She has been a Guest of Honour at numerous science fiction and fantasy conventions including the Boskone XVIII in Boston, USA in 1981, the 1984 World Fantasy Convention in Ottawa, Canada, and Orbital 2008 the British National Science Fiction convention (Eastercon) held in London, England in March 2008. In 2009 she was awarded the prestigious title of Grand Master of Horror.

Lee was the daughter of two ballroom dancers, Bernard and Hylda Lee. Despite a persistent rumour, she was not the daughter of the actor Bernard Lee who played “M” in the James Bond series of films of the 1960s.

Tanith Lee married author and artist John Kaiine in 1992.

Website

My Review

4 stars

Tanith Lee has taken nineteen fairytales and twisted them into something closer to their real story and her own twist. This is one of my weaknesses. I am not much of a Disney princess girl and I love when they are revamped into something dark and twisted. Yes, there are some touchy moments that will cause some readers to be hesitant, but I loved most of the stories. Sorry, but I have never found a collection of short stories that I have loved everyone.

You will read about a beastly man that like to collect things. A wolf that meets a woman in a red cloak and gets more than he expected. Cinderella’s mother is not as bad as we first think. And so many more.

Most of these stories have been published before but there are three new ones. I have never read any of Tanith Lee’s work before but this was a great introduction. The stories were well written, dark, and many erotic.

I really enjoyed this book and will be looking for other books by Tanith Lee.

I received Redder Than Blood from Penguin Random House for free. This has in no way influenced by opinion of this book.

Inside: Part 1

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Inside, Part 1 by Kyra Anderson

America is peaceful and back at the top of the world seventy years after the Second Revolutionary War tore through the country and gave birth to Central–the new government. For Lily Sandover the Second Revolution is just another war to learn about in school, until her political father gets promoted into Central and she is taught that everything is not as it appears.

Lily’s family soon gets invited into a branch of Central that acts more like an exclusive club called the Commission of the People, and once you’re in the Commission, you’re in the Commission for life. The Commission of the People is responsible for keeping the peace of America, and Lily soon learns that the peace comes at an extremely high price.

Using her position inside the Commission, and the obsession that the leader of the Commission has for her, she tries to find a way to change the face of America and bring down the Commission of the People.

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 Kyra Anderson

Author’s Bio

K.J. Amidon is a born and raised Northern Nevadan with a passion for languages, horses, art, and writing. Always challenging herself with each new project, K.J. is devoted to developing stories in such detail that the readers will live the journey. She has a penchant for creating stories that will engulf you and never let go. K.J. is also no stranger to pushing boundaries. Her novel, Inside (written as Kyra Anderson) shows just how fearless she can be with her writing and just how far she’ll take readers.

K.J. is also a seasoned traveler and has lived abroad in both France and Japan. She is always ready for the next adventure, whether it is to another country or into a new genre for her writing.

K.J. currently has thirteen titles available: Inside (Parts 1-3), the Dimension Guardian SeriesThe Significant & The Significant Expanded Story, and The Faith. Her fourteenth title, the first of the Roadside Paradise Series, Into Oblivion will become available in May, 2017.

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My Review

5 stars

Years after a Second American Revolution, Central was created. Part of Central was the Commission of the People which is more of an exclusive club than a branch of the new government. Lily Sandover’s father is a politician and has just been invited into Commission and things seem perfect. Lily is happy for her father’s new position but she notices things don’t seem entirely right, especially the other kids her age. Then on a tour she starts seeing the inner workings of Commission. Lily has decided that Commission needs to be taken down and is going to be the one to do it.

I loved this story. It has so much to it that I could see it happening in real life. There are so many things happening from brain washing to experimentation, it was horrible but I couldn’t wait to see what else was going on. But the thing that really got to me was all of this was happening and either the people had no desire to learn the truth or were not really looking for it.

This is a great dystopia young adult story. It does end with one heck of a cliff hanger so I can’t wait to get into the next book. I might as well get the third one too since I’m sure that I will be hopping into that one as soon as I am done with book two.

I received Inside Part 1 from Candid Book Reviews for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Golden Prey

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Golden Prey (Lucas Davenport – 27) by John Sandford

The man was smart and he didn’t mind killing people. Welcome to the big leagues, Davenport. Lucas Davenport’s first case as a U.S. Marshal sends him into uncharted territory, in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series.

Thanks to some very influential people whose lives he saved, Lucas is no longer working for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but for the U.S. Marshals Service, and with unusual scope. He gets to pick his own cases, whatever they are, wherever they lead him.
And where they’ve led him this time is into real trouble. A Biloxi, Mississippi, drug-cartel counting house gets robbed, and suitcases full of cash disappear, leaving behind five bodies, including that of a six-year-old girl. Davenport takes the case, which quickly spirals out of control, as cartel assassins, including a torturer known as the “Queen of home-improvement tools” compete with Davenport to find the Dixie Hicks shooters who knocked over the counting house. Things get ugly real fast, and neither the cartel killers nor the holdup men give a damn about whose lives Davenport might have saved; to them, he’s just another large target.

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 John Sandford

Author’s Bio

John Sandford was born John Camp on February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He attended the public schools in Cedar Rapids, graduating from Washington High School in 1962. He then spent four years at the University of Iowa, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies in 1966. In 1966, he married Susan Lee Jones of Cedar Rapids, a fellow student at the University of Iowa. He was in the U.S. Army from 1966-68, worked as a reporter for the Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian from 1968-1970, and went back to the University of Iowa from 1970-1971, where he received a master’s degree in journalism. He was a reporter for The Miami Herald from 1971-78, and then a reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press from 1978-1990; in 1980, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, and he won the Pulitzer in 1986 for a series of stories about a midwestern farm crisis. From 1990 to the present he has written thriller novels. He’s also the author of two non-fiction books, one on plastic surgery and one on art. He is the principal financial backer of a major archeological project in the Jordan Valley of Israel, with a website at www.rehov.org In addition to archaeology, he is deeply interested in art (painting) and photography. He both hunts and fishes. He has two children, Roswell and Emily, and one grandson, Benjamin. His wife, Susan, died of metastasized breast cancer in May, 2007, and is greatly missed.

Website

My Review

5 stars

Lucas Davenport is back and now has a job as a US Marshall where he can pick and choose his cases. Lucas has been on the hunt for Garvin Poole, and armed robber that shoots, shoots, and shoots again. Poole has been hiding out but recently decides to rob a counting house which leads to five deaths, including that of a six year old child. But Poole picked the wrong house and now has the cartel after him. They will stop at nothing to find him including torture and kill those that know anything about him. Lucas will be playing the ultimate game of cat and mouse with Poole and a torturer known as “Queen of home-improvement tools.

Lucas is in a new world with his new job with none of his prior contacts and friends. He is going to have to start from scratch and with his special status he has ruffled several feathers. But this doesn’t stop him from hunting down Poole.

This is a fast paced, action packed story. Lucas is a great detective and is bound and determined to get his man. I have not read a lot of John Sandford’s books but I really enjoyed Golden Prey. This book could be read as a standalone but it also is a great way to be introduced to the Prey series. I can’t wait to see what Sandford has in store for Lucas next.

I received Golden Prey from Penguin Random House for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

The Night Mark

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The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

She has nothing to live for in the present, but finds there’s something worth dying for in the past…

From Tiffany Reisz, the international bestselling storyteller behind The Bourbon Thief and The Original Sinners series, comes an enthralling new novel about a woman swept away by the tides who awakens to find herself in 1921, reunited with the husband she’s been mourning for four years. Fans of Kate Morton and Diana Gabaldon will fall in love with the mystery, romance and beauty of an isolated South Carolina lighthouse, where a power greater than love works its magic.

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Tiffany Reisz 

Author’s Bio

Tiffany Reisz is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning Original Sinners series for Mira Books (Harlequin/Mills & Boon). Tiffany’s books inhabit a sexy shadowy world where romance, erotica and literature meet and do immoral and possibly illegal things to each other. She describes her genre as “literary friction,” a term she stole from her main character, who gets in trouble almost as often as the author herself. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband, author Andrew Shaffer, and two cats. If she couldn’t write, she would die.

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My Review

4 stars

Faye Barlow lost her soul mate, Will four years earlier. Then her marriage to his best friend has not been that great. So she turns to something that she loves, photography. While in Beaufort she meets Father Pat, the man that painted a mysterious woman. After sharing her past with him, he tells her about the painting, the lighthouse, and Carrick Morgan. When she is swept away by a wave, Faye finds herself saved by Carrick. She slowly learns that she is actually Faith Morgan, Carrick’s daughter. Faith died of a mysterious drowning and we are along for the ride for the truth.

I was heartbroken about Faye. She lost the love of her life, was stuck in a non to happy marriage, had two miscarriages, and just feels like nothing is ever going to look up again. She was basically existing and the divorce left her with almost nothing. Carrick is a true gentleman and you can’t help but be swept off your feet like Faye was. But where does Faye’s live need to be? In 1921 with Carrick or in present day?

This is a great romance that crosses the ages. There is hardship and happiness and beautiful settings. This is a great story that will tug at your heart strings. This is one worth checking out.

I received The Night Mark from the publisher for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

The Wishing Stone

Children’s Fantasy Chapter Book
 Date Published: March 9, 2017 

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Spenser hates to read until he meets a mysterious cowboy who gives him a wishing stone and tells him it can possess magical powers when he reads. Skeptical, but willing to try it out, Spenser holds the stone as he reads his book about dinosaurs and suddenly finds himself transported back in time. After convincing the people he is there to help, he must join Arco, the local cave boy, to try and save their village from a dinosaur intent on destroying it. Will Spenser be able to help save the village? Will he ever find his way back home?
 Excerpt

 

Spenser looked to the left and right, clutching the straps of his backpack tighter. He had read about cowboys but never seen one in real life. There weren’t many in western Washington. His mother, who was from Texas, spoke of them occasionally, but even she said there weren’t as many as there used to be.
“Why you looking so glum little pardner?” the man drawled. His accent was heavy, and his words were slow.
Spenser wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers, but his curiosity got the best of him. “I have to read a book and do a report on it by Friday, and I don’t like reading.”
“Well, that is a mighty big problem,” the man agreed, tipping his hat. “Maybe you just ain’t found the right book yet.”
“What do you mean?” Spenser asked, narrowing his eyes at the man.
“Books can be full of amazing stories. Once you find one you like, I’ll bet you’ll be hooked for life pardner. Here, I got something that might help.” He reached into the pocket of his black duster and pulled something out. It was small enough to fit in his hand.
Unable to help himself, Spenser took another step closer. His blue eyes widened as he waited for the man to open his hand.
The man’s fingers uncurled one at a time to showcase . . ..
“A rock?” Spenser’s nose wrinkled in disgust. He had been hoping for something cooler than a rock.
“Not just any rock, son. This is a wishing stone. You jest hold it while you read and see what happens, but I must warn you to be careful of your thoughts. For sometimes, when you hold this stone, magical things happen.”
Spenser looked again at the stone. Though nearly completely white, it still looked just like an ordinary rock to him. He took the rock, expecting nothing, but a cool sensation tickled up his arms. He glanced up quickly at the man, who merely smiled and nodded, as if they now shared a secret.
About the Author

Lorana Hoopes is an English teacher in the Pacific Northwest where she lives with her husband and three children. When not writing, she enjoys kickboxing, singing, and acting. The Wishing Stone series was born when her oldest son began reading The Magic Tree House books. While she loved that he was reading, she wished the book didn’t use all simple sentences. She decided to write a series just a step up from Magic Tree House and The Wishing Stone was born. Dangerous Dinosaur is the first book in what she hopes will be a long series.
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Bone White

Bone White

by Wendy Corsi Staub

on Tour April 1-30, 2017

Synopsis:

Bone White by Wendy Corsi Staub

In Mundy’s Landing, bygone bloodshed has become a big business. During the rigorous winter of 1666, all but five colonists in the small Hudson Valley settlement died of starvation. Accused of unimaginable crimes, James and Elizabeth Mundy and their three children survived, but the couple were later accused of murder and executed. Left to fend for themselves in a hostile community, their offspring lived out exemplary lives in a town that would bear the family name. They never reveal the secret that died with their parents on the gallows… or did they?

“We Shall Never Tell.” Spurred by the cryptic phrase in a centuries-old letter, Emerson Mundy has flown cross-country to her ancestral hometown in hopes of tracing her ancestral past—and perhaps building a future. In Mundy’s Landing, she discovers long lost relatives, a welcoming ancestral home… and a closet full of skeletons.

A year has passed since former NYPD Detective Sullivan Leary solved the historic Sleeping Beauty Murders, apprehended a copycat killer, and made a fresh start in the Hudson Valley. Banking on an uneventful future in a village that’s seen more than its share of bloodshed, Sully is in for an unpleasant surprise when a historic skull reveals a notorious truth. Now she’s on the trail of a murky predator determined to destroy the Mundy family tree, branch by branch.

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Published by: William Morrow Mass Market
Publication Date: March 28, 2017
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 0062349775 (ISBN13: 9780062349774)
Series: Mundy’s Landing #3 (Stand Alone)
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

July 20, 2016
Los Angeles, CA

We shall never tell.

Strange, the thoughts that go through your head when you’re standing at an open grave.

Not that Emerson Mundy knew anything about open graves before today. Her father’s funeral is the first she’s ever attended, and she’s the sole mourner.

Ah, at last, a perk to living a life without many—any—loved ones; you don’t spend much time grieving, unless you count the pervasive ache for the things you never had.

The minister, who came with the cemetery package and never even met Jerry Mundy, is rambling on about souls and salvation. Emerson hears only We shall never tell—the closing line in an old letter she found yesterday in the crawl space of her childhood home. It had been written in 1676 by a young woman named Priscilla Mundy, addressed to her brother, Jeremiah.

The Mundys were among the seventeenth-century English colonists who settled on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, about a hundred miles north of New York City. Their first winter was so harsh the river froze, stranding their supply ship and additional colonists in the New York harbor. When the ship arrived after the thaw, all but five settlers had starved to death.

Jeremiah; Priscilla; their sister, Charity; and their parents had eaten human flesh to stay alive. James and Elizabeth Mundy swore they’d only cannibalized those who’d already died, but the God-fearing, well-fed newcomers couldn’t fathom such wretched butchery. A Puritan justice committee tortured the couple until they confessed to murder, then swiftly tried, convicted, and hanged them.

“Do you think we’re related?” Emerson asked her father after learning about the Mundys back in elementary school.

“Nope.” Curt answers were typical when she brought up anything Jerry Mundy didn’t want to discuss. The past was high on the list.

“That’s it? Just nope?”

“What else do you want me to say?”

“How about yes?”

“That wouldn’t be the truth,” he said with a shrug.

“Sometimes the truth isn’t very interesting.”

She had no one else to ask about her family history. Dad was an only child, and his parents, Donald and Inez Mundy, had passed away before she was born. Their headstone is adjacent to the gaping rectangle about to swallow her father’s casket. Staring that the inscription, she notices her grandfather’s unusual middle initial.

Donald X. Mundy, Born 1900, Died 1972.
X marks the spot.

Thanks to her passion for history and Robert Louis Stevenson, Emerson’s bookworm childhood included a phase when she searched obsessively for buried treasure. Money was short in their household after two heart attacks left Jerry Mundy on permanent disability.

X marks the spot…

No gold doubloon treasure chest buried here. Just dusty old bones of people she never knew.

And now, her father.

The service concludes with a prayer as the coffin is lowered into the ground. The minister clasps her hand and tells her how sorry he is for her loss, then leaves her to sit on a bench and stare at the hillside as the undertakers finish the job.

The sun is beginning to burn through the thick marine layer that swaddles most June and July mornings. Having grown up in Southern California, she knows the sky will be bright blue by mid-afternoon. Tomorrow will be more of the same. By then, she’ll be on her way back up the coast, back to her life in Oakland, where the fog rolls in and stays for days, weeks at a time. Funny, but there she welcomes the gray, a soothing shield from real world glare and sharp edges.

Here the seasonal gloom has felt oppressive and depressing.

Emerson watches the undertakers finish the job and load their equipment into a van. After they drive off, she makes her way between neat rows of tombstones to inspect the raked dirt rectangle.

When something is over, you move on, her father told her when she left home nearly two decades ago. She attended Cal State Fullerton with scholarships and maximum financial aid, got her master’s at Berkeley, and landed a teaching job in the Bay Area.

But she didn’t necessarily move on.

Every holiday, many weekends, and for two whole months every summer, she makes the six-hour drive down to stay with her father. She cooks and cleans for him, and at night they sit together and watch Wheel of Fortune reruns.

It used to be because she craved a connection to the only family she had in the world. Lately, though, it was as much because Jerry Mundy needed her.

He pretended that he didn’t, that he was taking care of himself and the house, too proud to admit he was failing. He was a shadow of his former self when he died at seventy-six, leaving Emerson alone in the world.

Throughout her motherless childhood, Emerson was obsessed with novels about orphans. Treasure Island shared coveted space on her bookshelf with Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, The Witch of Blackbird Pond

She always wondered what would happen to her if her father died. Would she wind up in an orphanage? Would a kindly stranger take her in? Would she live on the streets?

Now that it’s happened he’s down there, in the dirt … moving on?

She’ll never again hear his voice. She’ll never see the face so like her own that she can’t imagine she inherited any physical characteristics from her mother, Didi—though she can’t be certain.

Years ago, she asked her father for a picture—preferably one that showed her mother holding her as a baby, or of her parents together. Maybe she wanted evidence that she and her father had been loved; that the woman who’d abandoned them had once been normal—a proud new mother, a happy bride.

Or was it the opposite? Was she hoping to glimpse a hint that Didi Mundy was never normal? Did she expect to confirm that people—normal people—don’t just wake up one morning and choose to walk out on a husband and child? That there was always something off about her mother: a telltale gleam in the eye, or a faraway expression—some warning sign her father had overlooked. A sign Emerson herself would be able to recognize, should she ever be tempted to marry.

But there were no images of Didi that she could slip into a frame, or deface with angry black ink, or simply commit to memory.

Exhibit A: Untrustworthy.

Sure, there had been plenty of photos, her father admitted unapologetically. He’d gotten rid of everything.

There were plenty of pictures of her and Dad, though.

Exhibit B: Trustworthy.

Dad holding her hand on her first day of kindergarten, Dad leading her in an awkward waltz at a father-daughter middle school dance, Dad posing with her at high school graduation.

“Two peas in a pod,” he liked to say. “If I weren’t me, I’d think you were.”

She has his thick, wavy hair, the same dimple on her right cheek, same angular nose and bristly slashes of brow. Even her wide-set, prominent, upturned eyes are the same as his, with one notable exception.

Jerry Mundy’s eyes were a piercing blue.

Only one of Emerson’s is that shade; the other, a chalky gray.

***

Excerpt from Bone White by Wendy Corsi Staub. Copyright © 2017 by Wendy Corsi Staub. Reproduced with permission from William Morrow Mass Market. All rights reserved.

Wendy Corsi Staub

Author Bio:

New York Times bestseller Wendy Corsi Staub is the award-winning author of more than seventy novels. Wendy now lives in the New York City suburbs with her husband and their two children.

Catch Up With Wendy Corsi Staub On Her Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

My Review

4 stars

It is a year after the Sleeping Beauty Murders and everything seems to have calmed down in the little town of Mundy’s Landing. Then Emerson Mundy shows up with some old letters that she has inherited. Emerson is looking into the history of her family. But this is just the beginning. Ora Abrams, the curator of the Mundy’s Landing Historical Society has a girl’s skull that has been passed along through her family. Ora decides that she wants it looked at to learn how the girl died.

Sully Leary is adjusting to life in Mundy’s Landing when she is surprised by her former partner Stockton Barnes. He says he is just looking for a place to crash but he is acting strange and might be dragging both of them into something. Finally, Roy Nowak is coming to Mundy’s Landing. Roy is Emerson’s fiancé and she has no idea that he is coming to town. Shortly after his arrival he is found dead. Is it a suicide or is there a new killer in town?

This is a great mystery. There were three different stories that converge on Mundy’s Landing. I loved reading about the history of this town and it seems that someone is bound and determined to end the Mundy line. And Ora with a skull, CREEPY!!!

I have not read the other books in this series. Bone White could be read as a standalone book but I think the background of the other two books would add to the story. This book had three separate parts that come together at the end and there was a good mystery along with all the drama of Mundy’s Landing. Overall I really liked this book and I would be happy to get the first two books to catch up on what I missed.

I received Bone White from Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Tour Participants:

Visit the other hosts on this tour for more reviews, guest posts, interviews, & giveaways!

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Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Wendy Corsi Staub and William Morrow. There will be 3 winners of one (1) Print copy of Bone White by Wendy Corsi Staub. The giveaway begins on March 30th and runs through May 2nd, 2017. This giveaway is for US residents only. Void where prohibited by law.

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A Question of Devotion

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A Question of Devotion (Mrs. B Mystery – 1) by Anita Kulina

Then she saw it – a sheet of paper in the mailbox, underneath the mail. It was white with large black letters and said LEAVE IT ALONE.

Mrs. B has a quiet life, and she likes it that way. Morning pinochle games at St. Mary’s Senior Center. Afternoon lunches with Myrtle, Anne and Rose. Peaceful evenings with a cup of coffee and the classic movie channel.

But one day she wakes to a phone call, which leads to consequences she could never have foreseen. Secrets snowball and threaten to change the neighborhood of Burchfield forever. Someone has to make things right. It’s up to Mrs. B.

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Author’s Bio

Like most people who love to write, Anita Kulina has been telling stories since she was old enough to hold a pen. Her first publication was in the letters-to-the-editor column of Adventure Comics #341. Nowadays, much of her work centers on the rich and colorful lives of Pittsburgh’s working poor. Since Anita spent much of her life in those ranks, it’s a subject dear to her heart.

Her book Millhunks and Renegades won her the Achievement in Literature award from the community of Hazelwood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is currently at work on the next two Mrs. B books.

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My Review

5 stars

Mrs. B is your typical little old lady. She has her little events like pinochle at the Senior Center and lunches with her best friends. She also has a nice little relationship with the new little girl across the street. But when Mrs. B’s friend tells her about the trouble her son is in, Mrs. B decides to start investigating to see if she can prove he was innocent. Between her learning to use internet searches and many secrets that start coming to light Mrs. B start getting threatening notes and phone calls. She may be in over her head with her digging but she is not going to let that stop her from solving this mystery.

This is a wonderful cozy mystery. Mrs. B is a sweet little old lady that knows everyone and everyone knows her. Most people might not think of her as a detective but that is not going to stop her search for the truth. I loved reading about her bumbling around on the internet. But I loved the interaction between her and Kelly.

If you like cozy mysteries look no further. This one has a great story and some hair raising events. I will be looking forward to other books in this series.

I received A Question of Devotion from Premier Virtual Author Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Exceprt

See the first part of this excerpt here.

            It was three o’clock when Mrs. B left the Senior Center. The church fair would open in an hour or two. People were bustling around to get ready and little kids were already congregating around the bouncy castle. The very first booth at the end of the drive was the bake sale. Mrs. B walked toward it, stepping aside as someone hurried to drop off a pecan pie.

At the booth, she heard a curt “We’re not open yet,” and then the young woman looked up and apologized. “Oh, hi, Mrs. B. Sorry, we’re so busy! I didn’t realize it was you.”

Mrs. B said, “I don’t want to bother you, but I wonder if I can get a little something.”

“We don’t have the cash box out yet, but if you have exact change . . . .”

Mrs. B fumbled through her change purse. Four dollar bills, two quarters and seven pennies. She had more than enough. “Can I have that little loaf of banana bread?” she asked.

When she got home, she pulled the mail out of the mailbox and picked up the evening paper from the porch. As she walked through the front door, out of the corner of her eye she saw a flash of color. A child’s pink sweatshirt was lying across the seat of her glider.

She walked back outside, looked around, and then picked it up. Must have been a little girl on her way to the fair. She folded it gently, laid it back on the glider and went inside.

With a fresh pot of coffee brewing, Mrs. B cut herself a slice of banana bread, then cut the remainder of the loaf in two. She wrapped one half in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator and wrapped the other in aluminum foil and put it in the freezer. When the coffee was ready, she got out a cup and plate, spread some cream cheese on the banana bread, and sat down to read the paper.

On the second page, she saw why Myrtle had been crying.

Ron Monaghan, Myrtle’s son, had been arrested. Money was missing from St. Mary’s Church. A lot of money. More than Mrs. B would have thought the church had, until she remembered the large bequest from Dr. Harrigan last year. Or was that the year before?

Poor Myrtle.

Leo, Ron and Danny were friends all through grade school and even in high school, when Danny started to hang out with the athletes and Leo and Ron got in with a wilder crowd. From the day Danny’s football scholarship took him to college, success followed that boy like he was riding the tail of a lucky star. In a million years, she wouldn’t have guessed the kid with the muddy face, spilling milk at her kitchen table, would someday coach the Chicago Bears.

For Leo and Ron, though, things were different. They drifted from job to job, never caring if they were fired, or if they had a black eye, or if they woke up at a police station. Nothing seemed to interest the two of them except their nighttime carousing. Then one day—out of the blue, it seemed to Mrs. B—the two of them packed up Ron’s old station wagon and left for California.

Something bad happened there. Mrs. B never knew what and she wasn’t sure she wanted to know. Ron came back alone. The day he came home, Ron stopped at Mrs. B’s house. He said he hadn’t seen Leo for a while. He didn’t even know where Leo was.

Mrs. B still didn’t know.

But Ron, he’d been walking the straight and narrow for all these years now. At least that’s what everyone thought. He was even on the board at St. Mary’s Church. When they asked Ron to join, no one gave a lick about his past. Half the neighborhood boys were in trouble at some time or another. No, all the board cared about was the fact that Ron was a contractor. They were looking for someone to oversee work when the church needed repairs. For free, of course. Father Clancy asked Ron himself, and naturally Ron couldn’t say no.

At the time, Mrs. B took Ron’s position on the board as evidence of the turnaround in his life. Father Clancy once told Mrs. B that Ron had the second best attendance record at St. Mary’s board meetings.

Walter Earnest, their treasurer, was first. Even though he was starting to get dementia, the date of a board meeting was one thing Walt never forgot.

No one had the heart to ask Walt to step down, so eventually Father Clancy started paying the bills for the church. They took Walt’s name off the bank accounts and added Ron’s last year, mainly because they needed two names and no one else on the board would take on the responsibility.

Mrs. B read to the end of the article. Ron had been released on bond and the trial date was pending.

Well then, why was Myrtle so cheerful this afternoon?

Before Mrs. B went to bed that night, she walked out to her front porch to see if the sweatshirt was still on the glider. It was gone. She looked down to the bottom of her street for a few minutes, watching the lights twinkling all around the fair.

Praise for A Question of Devotion

“If you can picture Columbo when he’s retired, and spending more time in church and the kitchen, and Polish, and wearing a babushka, you have a sense of the down-home detective that Anita Kulina has created. I love Mrs. B!”-Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist and author of The Paris of Appalachia

“A Question of Devotion is a comforting snapshot of an aging population, where the way of life is still bound by churches, neighborhoods, and countries of origin. Its heroine, Mrs. B, is not just an old woman living out her twilight years at the senior center, but an able detective engaged in solving a mystery as cozy as cocoa and afghans on a cold Western Pennsylvania day.”-Kathryn Miller Haines, author of the Rosie Winter Mysteries and the Iris Anderson Mysteries