False Memory by Dean Koontz


False Memory, Dean Koontz, 1999 My favorite quote: It’s a toss-up between, “She turned more heads than a coven of chiropractors,” and “Where does fiction end and reality begin?” I can relate to that one. The one about fiction and reality — not the one about turning heads. Obviously Most interesting characters: Martie Rhodes, whoContinue reading “False Memory by Dean Koontz”

The Liar by Nora Roberts


The Liar, Nora Roberts, 2015 My favorite quote: “She sat on the floor with harsh colors against hard white walls, rocking, weeping. Weeping not because the man she’d loved was dead, but because he never existed.” Most interesting characters: I liked Richard, the lying liar in question. Not because he was a liar (being aContinue reading “The Liar by Nora Roberts”

The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes


The Lodger, Marie Belloc Lowndes, 1913 My favorite quote: “For the first time in her life, she visioned the infinite mystery, the sadness and strangeness, of human life.” Most interesting characters: Mr. Sleuth, the mysterious lodger who may or may not be quite what he seems Opening scene: Middle-aged couple, Robert and Ellen Bunting, sittingContinue reading “The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes”

Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon


Speaks the Nightbird, Robert McCammon, 2009 My favorite quote: “Tell me. What is the point of life, if truth is not worth standing up for? If justice is a hollow shell? If beauty and grace are burnt to ashes, and evil rejoices in the flames?” Most interesting characters: Matthew Corbett, young clerk to the travelingContinue reading “Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon”

The Falls by Karen Harper


The Falls, Karen Harper, 2003 My favorite quote: “I have a feeling my survival training is going to come in real handy.” Notable characters: Keith Malvern, a man who allegedly commits suicide; Claire Malvern, his wife, who believes he was murdered; Nick Braden, the town sheriff-turned-love-interest Most memorable scene: The discovery of a hidden truthContinue reading “The Falls by Karen Harper”

Blood and Ice by Robert Masello


Blood and Ice, Robert Masello, 1999 My favorite quote: “Every species, from the blue whale to the fruit fly, will struggle, with every fiber of its being, to preserve its own existence.” Notable characters: Michael Wilde, a journalist on a month-long assignment to the South Pole  Most memorable scene: The discovery of a man andContinue reading “Blood and Ice by Robert Masello”

Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton


Q is for Quarry, Sue Grafton, 2002 My favorite quote: “From the bottom of the stairs, someone called, ‘Kinsey.’ For one wonderful moment, the voice was my mother’s and she’d returned from the dead.” Notable characters: Kinsey Millhone, the PI; Con Dolan and Stacey Oliphant, the two cops working the case with her; Jane Doe,Continue reading “Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton”

The Haunting of Brynn Wilder by Wendy Webb


The Haunting of Brynn Wilder, Wendy Webb, 2020 My favorite quote: “Reading for pleasure with nothing more important to do. What a delicious idea.” — And let me say upfront: I received no pleasure from this book. None. For me, the whole thing was a dull gray blur of meh. That said, proceed at yourContinue reading “The Haunting of Brynn Wilder by Wendy Webb”

Christine by Stephen King


Christine, Stephen King, 1983 My favorite quote: “If being a kid is about learning how to live, then being a grown-up is about learning how to die.” Notable characters: Dennis Guilder, a high school jock; Arnie Cunningham, a high school geek … with a killer new car; Christine, the killer new car Most memorable scene:Continue reading “Christine by Stephen King”

The Private Practice of Michael Shayne by Brett Halliday


The Private Practice of Michael Shayne, Brett Halliday, 1940 My favorite quote: “The moon had not yet risen, and stars studded the dark velvety blue of the tropical sky, casting an illusively perceptible sheen through the still night.” Notable characters: Mike Shayne, the PI; Larry Kincaid, his friend; Harry Grange, the crooked lawyer; Phyllis Brighton,Continue reading “The Private Practice of Michael Shayne by Brett Halliday”

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides


The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides, 2019 My favorite quote: “…we often mistake love for fireworks – for drama and dysfunction. But real love is very quiet, very still. It’s boring, if seen from the perspective of high drama. Love is deep and calm – and constant.” Notable characters: Alicia Berenson, a famous painter who shootsContinue reading “The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides”

Affinity by Sarah Waters


Affinity, Sarah Waters,  1999 My favorite quote: “Your twisting is done–you have the last thread of my heart. I wonder: when the thread grows slack, will you feel it?” Notable characters: Margaret Prior, a woman recovering from a suicide attempt; Selina Dawes, a mysterious spiritualist imprisoned for a seance-gone-wrong which left one woman dead anotherContinue reading “Affinity by Sarah Waters”

Die a Little by Megan Abbott


Die a Little, Megan Abbot,  2005 My favorite quote: “The hardest thing in this world is finding out what you’re capable of.” Notable characters: Lora King, a schoolteacher; Bill King, her brother, a junior investigator with the DA’s office; Alice Steele, a Hollywood wardrobe assistant with a sketchy past … and Bill’s new wife MostContinue reading “Die a Little by Megan Abbott”

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens


Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, 1861 My favorite quote: “I am what you designed me to be. I am your blade. You cannot now complain if you also feel the hurt.” Notable characters: Pip, an orphan who dreams of one becoming a gentleman; Mrs. Joe, his hot-tempered older sister; Joe, her husband; Miss Havisham, a wealthyContinue reading “Great Expectations by Charles Dickens”

Red Harvest by Patrick C. Greene


Red Harvest, Patrick C. Greene, 2018 My favorite quote: “‘For, you see, come Halloween, Ember Hollow becomes Haunted Hollow, Halloween Capital of the World.’” That, or, “‘What is this? The Waltons? I thought men were supposed to go all corpsy after sex.’” Notable characters: Stuart Barcroft, an Ember Hollow Junior High School student; Candace Galeens,Continue reading “Red Harvest by Patrick C. Greene”

The Obsession by Nora Roberts


The Obsession, Nora Roberts, 2016 My favorite quote: “You put something behind you, Nome, it’s got its eye on your back. I’d rather keep it in front of me, so I can see where it’s going.” Notable characters: Naomi Bowes/Carson, a photographer and daughter of a serial killer; Xander Keaton, the Nora-Roberts-style sexy car-mechanic-love-interest whoContinue reading “The Obsession by Nora Roberts”

The Blackstone Chronicles by John Saul


The Blackstone Chronicles, John Saul, 1997 My favorite quote: “The dark figure cradled the doll, gazing into its porcelain face in the moonlight, stroking its long blond hair, remembering how it had come to be here.” Notable characters: The truth is, they’re all notable. Seriously. This is some of the best work Saul has everContinue reading “The Blackstone Chronicles by John Saul”

Blackmailed by Annamarie McKenna


Blackmailed, Annamarie McKenna, 2006 My favorite quote: “‘No sane man would whore his daughter for the sake of an heir.’” Spoiler alert: He does  Notable characters: Brianna Wyatt, a virgin who’s blackmailed into reproducing with an obscenely rich sex god; Cole Masters, the obscenely rich sex god; Tyler Cannon, his friend with whom he sharesContinue reading “Blackmailed by Annamarie McKenna”

Icebound by Dean Koontz


Icebound, Dean Koontz, 1976, 1995 My favorite quote: “Politics was an illusion of service that cloaked the corruption of power. It was lies, deceptions, self-interest, and self-aggrandizement: suitable work only for the mad and the venal and the naïve.” Also, “In the end, no lamb could escape the slaughter.” Notable characters: Harry Carpenter, a scientist;Continue reading “Icebound by Dean Koontz”

Gilded Needles by Michael McDowell


Gilded Needles, Michael McDowell, 1980 My favorite quote: “You are falling into inanity,” said Judge Stallworth coldly. “I have told you, the lower classes do not take revenge upon the upper.” (P.S. – like hell, they don’t) Notable characters: Black Lena Shanks; the family matriarch who heads a group of female criminals; Judge James Stallworth,Continue reading “Gilded Needles by Michael McDowell”

In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash


In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash, Jean Shepherd, 1966 My favorite quote: “Heat, in Indiana, is something else again. It descends like a 300-pound fat lady onto a picnic bench in the middle of July. It can literally be sliced into chunks and stored away in the basement to use in winter; onContinue reading “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash”

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham


Skipping Christmas, John Grisham, 2001 My favorite quote: “Why do we eat so much and drink so much in the celebration of the birth of Christ?” Notable characters: Luther and Nora Krank, a couple who want to break tradition; Vic Frohmeyer, the neighbor who won’t let them Most memorable scene: Luther, trying to get hisContinue reading “Skipping Christmas by John Grisham”

SEX: A Man’s Guide by Stefan Bechtel


Sex: A Man’s Guide, Stefan Bechtel, Laurence Roy Stains (tee, hee, hee — Stains), 1996 My favorite quote: “Some ancient philosophers thought that semen’s grayish froth was a little bit of the gray matter between our ears — and, therefore, not something to be indiscriminately spent.” Umm .. gray? I don’t know whose you’re lookingContinue reading “SEX: A Man’s Guide by Stefan Bechtel”

The Unloved by John Saul


The Unloved, John Saul, 1988 My favorite quote: “He pitched forward, his vision going black as he died. The last thing he saw was the scarlet gash of Marguerite’s mouth, twisted into a vicious parody of a victorious smile.” Notable characters: The Devereaux family, Kevin and Anne, and their children Jeff and Julie; Helena, Kevin’sContinue reading “The Unloved by John Saul”

Silent Night by Mary Higgins Clark


Silent Night, Mary Higgins Clark, 2000 My favorite quote: “God rest you merry gentlemen let nothing you dismay.” While this is obviously not the intellectual property of Ms. Higgins Clark, it’s the best collection of words in this book Notable characters: I don’t know that I’d call any of them “notable,” but the main charactersContinue reading “Silent Night by Mary Higgins Clark”

Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow by James Howe


Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow, James Howe, 2006 My favorite quote: “Did you ever find yourself doing something that, even while you’re doing it, you’re asking yourself, “How did I get myself into this? Have I lost my mind?” Well this was one of those moments.” Notable characters: Harold, the canine author; Chester, the paranoidContinue reading “Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow by James Howe”

The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton


The Laughing Corpse, Laurell K. Hamilton, 1994 My favorite quote: “People say I’m a feminist, but in truth, I am an equalist. I believe that everyone, male and female, should be free to be whom and what they are. Not to fit into some tight cultural box.” Oh, and also, “Hope is a lying bitch.”Continue reading “The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton”

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens, 1843 My favorite quote: The opening line: “Marley was dead, to begin with.” What a great way to start  Notable characters: Ebenezer Scrooge, a heartless miser who finds redemption Most memorable scene: My favorite scenes have always been those early moments when the spookiness is just beginning to take shape.Continue reading “A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens”

Guardian by John Saul


Guardian, John Saul, 1993 My favorite quote: “Suddenly MaryAnne Carpenter had an uneasy feeling that there was a dark facet to Joey Wilkenson’s personality that she knew nothing about. A darkness she was just beginning to see.” Notable characters: Joey Wilkenson, a boy with special abilities; MaryAnne Carpenter, Joey’s godmother; Alison and Logan Carpenter, hisContinue reading “Guardian by John Saul”

Bacchanal by Veronica G. Henry


Bacchanal, Veronica G. Henry, 2021 My favorite quote: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”  Notable characters: Eliza (Liza) Meeks, the new recruit; Clay, the talent scout; Jamey, his assistant Most memorable scene: There are a few that stand out, but my heart will always belongContinue reading “Bacchanal by Veronica G. Henry”

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”

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James


The Turn of the Screw, Henry James, 1898 My favorite quote: “I seemed to float not into clearness, but into a darker obscure, and within a minute there had come to me out of my very pity the appalling alarm of his perhaps being innocent. It was for the instant confounding and bottomless, for ifContinue reading “The Turn of the Screw by Henry James”

Blood Farm by Sam Siciliano


Blood Farm, Sam Siciliano, 1988 My favorite quote: It isn’t a quote from the book itself, but I just love that Blood Farm calls itself “an Iowa Gothic” on the cover. I mean, what is an Iowa Gothic? And do we need Iowa Gothics?  Notable characters: Mike Michaels, the tortured Viet Nam vet; Angela Rosalba,Continue reading “Blood Farm by Sam Siciliano”

The Crimson Corset – a Review from FaerieFits


In honor of the June 13th release of The Black Wasp (book 3 in the Vampires of Crimson Cove series), here’s a review of book 1, The Crimson Corset, from FaerieFits: “I honestly had no idea what to expect when I picked up The Crimson Corset. I don’t actually even know how I found it, but you know,Continue reading “The Crimson Corset – a Review from FaerieFits”