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THE INNKEEPER’S SISTER: A Southern Romance and Historic Mystery Novel ~Linda Goodnight

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

THE INNKEEPER’S SISTER is certainly a wonderful beach read and I tucked it into my gear for a long weekend of wave watching and page turning.  I am not a great fan of Southern Romance and yet Goodnight’s characters are quite real and not so sticky sweet and the historic mystery was a nice glimpse into the reconstruction period after the Civil War.  (It did not omit that slavery was an issue – thank goodness for that)

About the Author:

“NY Times and USA Bestseller, Linda Goodnight writes novels to touch the heart as well as to entertain. Her emotional stories of hope have won the RITA, the Carol, the Reviewer’s Choice, and numerous other industry awards. A small town girl, Linda remains close to her roots, making her home in rural Oklahoma. She and husband have a blended family of eight, including two teenagers recently adopted from Ukraine. Many of her books are about family and children and rightly so, as she draws her deeply emotional stories from her surroundings, her great love of family, and from personal experiences as a nurse and teacher.” (TLC book tours page)

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THE INNKEEPER’s SISTER is also about recovery after a child has been abducted and how life goes on years later.  Two sisters have purchased an old orchard and have refurbished with skill the house into a stunning bed and breakfast.  This gives them purpose and vision and keeps Julie moving ahead and making new plans.  For Valerie it is not so important to her and she understands the value of the endeavor, but she longed to be a professional dancer and now she cannot move ahead in that direction.  She has started using alcohol to cope with her secrets and continue to hide.

Grayson Blake is a developer and he and his brother find old landmarks to refurbish and turn into 5 star restaurants.   He has come to Honey Ridge and Old Peach Orchard to revitalize an old Mill and develop a new destination restaurant.  The new construction is halted because a pile of bones has been discovered in the basement of the mill near the water wheel.   Grayson stays at the bed and breakfast and reconnects with a high school friend.  Together they find old sheet music that is actually a code that leads to some answers about the mystery and the history of the farm.

The Civil War elements of the story expose the new possibilities for the former slaves and share the details of the farm’s own love story and the role of the house as a hospital for soldiers.  Very interesting.

Over the years of reviewing books, I have read another of Linda Goodnight’s stories and thought it was quite good.  There is a caring quality to the stories and some down to earth good solutions to problems.  Time does not heal all wounds but it is certainly part of the recovery process.

I think many folks will enjoy this story and the gentle touch of the author.

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CHAIN OF CUSTODY: An Inspector Gowda Novel ~Anita Nair

Monday, February 6th, 2017

I am very pleased that the Meryl Zegarek Public Relations Firm sent me CHAIN OF CUSTODY for review.  It is always wonderful to read what has been written in other countries and how novelists and authors are approaching social issues in their locations.  This is the second book in the Inspector Gowda mystery series and it truly sheds a light on the culture of Bangalore, India.

I needed to keep my Google search engine warmed up and ready as I researched new terms and words and I was happy to realize that the titles were similar to British law enforcement terms.  I was disheartened as the story wove through the antiquated laws and sanctions, which were such human rights violations as the story unfolded.  I did need to keep a pencil and paper close by to keep the characters sorted and figured out.  The story was a learning experience.  The translation (?) might make USA readers work a bit harder.

From the press sheet:

“Anita Nair has never shied away from the darker underside of life and in CHAIN OF CUSTODY she addresses another one of Bangalore’s compelling human rights issues.  In recent years the city has become a hub for Indian child trafficking.  Children are often picked up by scouts on trains or abducted on the streets of villages and brought to the city.  Sadly, if they’re lucky they are placed into slave-like domestic service – the boys mostly.  The less lucky, the girls, end up in brothels under heavy and brutal guard.”

“Anita Nair lives in Bangalore and is a prize-winning author, playwright, essayist and lecturer.  Her novel LADIES COUPE is a feminist classic, which has been published in thirty languages all over the world.  The Gowda series is a new departure from her into noir and literary crime.”

The novel begins with the murder of a prominent lawyer and weaves into the story of the disappearance of twelve-year -old Nandita.  There are a great many characters in the story including child welfare workers and abducted boy servants.  The police have many interesting positions and interpretations of the law and rules.  The story pulls in Inspector Gowda’s wife, son and mistress and all his confusions about his relationships and his “admiration” for his Bullet cycle.  There is much tension as in the story Gowda and Nair bring it to its proper conclusion

I pushed myself to get into the rhythm of the writing and very much enjoyed reading the book and the revealing cultural insight.  I do not wish to visit this location because of the heat and the violations of human rights; the extreme worries about clean water.  It was reassuring that this author was pursuing the issues in a way that it might become a well read and accepted process to make change occur and human respect more prominent a factor within the culture.   Yes!  Let’s take on the “bad guys” any way we are able.

This London Bitter Lemon Press book will appeal to many readers and particularly those who enjoy a good murder mystery – CHAIN OF CUSTODY

“Nair captures the seedy side of shiny new India vividly, and Inspector Gowda is a welcome addition to the ranks of flawed-but-lovable fictional cope.” (The Guardian)

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