Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming


Live and Let Die, Ian Fleming, 1954 My favorite quote: “The gain to the winner is always less than the loss to the loser.” Notable characters: James Bond, agent 007; Felix Leiter, Bond’s friend in the CIA; Mr. Big, the Voodoo Baron of Death; Solitaire, Mr. Big’s fortune-telling employee Most memorable scene: The note pinnedContinue reading “Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming”

The Servants of Twilight by Dean Koontz


The Servants of Twilight, Dean Koontz, 1984 My favorite quote: “It began in sunshine, not on a dark and stormy night.” (Best opening line ever, IMO) Notable characters: Chrsitine Scavello, the single mom; Joey, her son; Charlie Harrison, the PI; Grace Spivey, the leader of the religious cult for which the book is named; KyleContinue reading “The Servants of Twilight by Dean Koontz”

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager


Lock Every Door, Riley Sager, 2019 My favorite quote: “Never take anything you haven’t earned, my father used to say. You always end up paying for it one way or another.” Notable characters: Jules Larsen, the apartment-sitter; Nick, another resident Most memorable scene: The fire Greatest strengths: The character motivation. I think most people wouldContinue reading “Lock Every Door by Riley Sager”

Return to Howliday Inn by James Howe


Return to Howliday Inn, James Howe, 1992 My favorite quote: “‘My fate is a mirror in which to see / One will look in and end like me.’” Notable characters: Harold, our narrator; Chester (also known here as Cute Whiskers, his friend; Howie, their young companion; Felony and Miss Demeanor, two cat burglars; Bob andContinue reading “Return to Howliday Inn by James Howe”

Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King


Dolores Claiborne, Stephen King, 1992 My favorite quote: “An accident is sometimes an unhappy woman’s best friend.” Notable characters: Dolores Claiborne, a housekeeper who’s had enough; Joe St. George, her husband, with whom she’s had enough; Vera Donovan, the woman who employs Dolores … and lets her know that sometimes, it’s okay to have hadContinue reading “Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King”

Shattered by Dean Koontz


Shattered, Dean Koontz, 1973 (originally published under the pseudonym K.R. Dwyer My favorite quote: “The things we regret most in life are the things we don’t do.” Notable characters: Alex Doyle, the new groom; Courtney, his bride; Colin, her little brother Most memorable scene: The ax attack (even though they really, really should have reportedContinue reading “Shattered by Dean Koontz”

Moonfall by Tamara Thorne


Moonfall, Tamara Thorne, 1996 My favorite quote: “Midnight. A dark, moonless shroud of midnight that closed in around Minerva Payne, starving her lungs, chilling her soul with its blackness.” Notable characters: Sara Hawthorne, a woman returning home; Minerva Payne, a mysterious local with mysterious abilities; St. Gertrude’s, aka, St. Gruesome’s, a girl’s school run byContinue reading “Moonfall by Tamara Thorne”

The Howling by Gary Brandner


The Howling, Gary Brandner, 1977 My favorite quote: “A few minutes later he was very glad that she was asleep. Because in sleep she could not hear what he heard off somewhere in the night. The howling.” Notable characters: Karyn and Roy Beatty, a young couple looking for a new start; Chris Halloran, Roy’s BFF;Continue reading “The Howling by Gary Brandner”

Haunted by Tamara Thorne


Haunted, Tamara Thorne, 1995 My favorite quote: “He’d always thought of supernatural horror as something that arose in daydreams and nightmares, fantastic thoughts born of facts and twisted to the imagination’s wishes. It seemed to be the other way around now.” Notable characters: David Masters, author an new owner of Baudey House; Amber, his daughter;Continue reading “Haunted by Tamara Thorne”

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie


Hallowe’en Party, Agatha Christie, 1969 My favorite quote: “You and I have a principle in common. We do not approve of murder.” Notable characters: Hercule Poirot, the sleuth with a really, really great mustache; Ariadne Oliver, an author who calls on Poirot for help; Joyce Reynolds, a bratty little busybody with whom you should neverContinue reading “Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie”

Bad Things by Tamara Thorne


Bad Things, Tamara Thorne, 1994 My favorite quote: “Icky Ricky, icky Ricky, come out and play.” Notable characters: Rick Piper, a single father looking to rebuild his life; Robin Piper, Rick’s abbreviated (and very creepy) little brother; Jade Ewebean, their wonderfully nasty aunt; Dakota O’Keefe, Rick’s good friend; Big Jack, a dude you don’t wantContinue reading “Bad Things by Tamara Thorne”

The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler


The Lady in the Lake, Raymond Chandler, 1943 My favorite quote: “He was quite easy to hate,” she said emptily. “And poisonously easy to love. Women — even decent women — make such ghastly mistakes about men.” Notable characters: Philip Marlowe; the best PI ever; Derace Kingsley, the wealthy businessman who hires him; Crystal Kingsley,Continue reading “The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler”

Second Child by John Saul


Second Child, John Saul, 1990 My favorite quote: “But though her lips smiled warmly as she accepted the embrace, her eyes — had anyone noticed — betrayed an emotionless chill.” Notable characters: Melissa Holloway, a shy young girl; Teri MacIver, her older half-sister; D’Arcy, Melissa’s not-so-imaginary friend; Phyllis Holloway, the horrible mother; Charles, the excruciatinglyContinue reading “Second Child by John Saul”

Ghost Walk by Heather Graham


Ghost Walk, Heather Graham, 2005 My favorite quote: “ … you can get the same feeling at a Civil War battle site — even with all the bodies removed. I guess it’s a way of feeling the past, of history, people, the emotions. Remnants of the lives that were lived there, lost there.” I likeContinue reading “Ghost Walk by Heather Graham”

They Thirst by Robert McCammon


They Thirst, Robert McCammon, 1981 My favorite quote: “Well, look around. Just look. Have you ever considered the possibility that God might be insane?” Notable characters: Andy, the detective; the Roach, a rapist and murderer; Gayle, a reporter; Rico, a gangster Most memorable scene: When the albino opens fire in that bar in Texas. NotContinue reading “They Thirst by Robert McCammon”

The Heart Does Not Grow Back


Sometimes, you read a book, and it reaches into you and rearranges things. You don’t usually know exactly what’s changing, only that some quiet alteration has been made – and that somewhere down the line, you’ll likely react differently to a situation, solve a problem in a new way, or draw an unexpected conclusion aboutContinue reading “The Heart Does Not Grow Back”