Category Archives: Crime fiction

Kindred Spirits

Kindred Spirits 
Author: Marilyn Meredith
Publisher: Mundania Press, LLC.
Reviewed by:  Cheryl C. Malandrinos



Murder, ghostly visions, and a quest for justice are woven together to create an engaging story in Kindred Spirits, the latest in Marilyn Meredith‘s Deputy Tempe Crabtree series.

A forest fire rushes through the mountains of Bear Creek as Tempe searches for local artist Vanessa Ainsworth. When Vanessa’s body turns up inside her burnt out studio with a bullet hole, Detectives Morrison and Richards seek Tempe’s help in finding out who could have behind what might have been a perfect murder.

Even though Tempe and Hutch’s marriage is on the rocks, Tempe takes a trip to Crescent City to visit with Vanessa’s family and friends to see if she can find any clues to who might have wanted Vanessa dead. Tempe’s involvement in the case puts her in danger, but she knows she’ll never be rid of the ghostly visions haunting her until she brings Vanessa’s killer to justice.

In this installment of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, Meredith brings back Tempe, Hutch, and members of the Bear Creek Sheriff’s Office and gives them a mission: to prove who killed local artist, Vanessa Ainsworth. While in Judgment Fire–the book before this one in the series that I reviewed here–Tempe and the gang had a full slate of suspects, in Kindred Spirits their efforts are combined to prove the one person who couldn’t possibly have committed the crime, did it. And even though I typically prefer a “who done it” kind of mystery, this novel had me on the edge of my seat as Tempe dodged threat after threat to bring Vanessa’s murderer to justice.

Again Meredith has woven Native American history, small town charm, and a quest for the truth to provide an entertaining read for mystery and crime fans. And while Tempe is still dealing with the prejudice of being the only woman in the Bear Creek Sheriff’s Office, she finds Detective Morrison an unexpected ally in this latest installment, perhaps forever changing their working relationship and making me eager to see what the next book will bring for Morrison and Tempe. True to form, Meredith has made the personal lives of her characters an integral part of the story and the reader is eager to see if Tempe and Hutch, her minister husband, can find their way back to each other. Involving Hutch in Tempe’s case makes for many tense moments as they each deal with concern for the other’s safety, even though they are worlds apart on issues that might have forever changed their marriage.

A great read that mystery and crime readers will certainly enjoy, Kindred Spirits proves why Marilyn Meredith‘s fans keep coming back for more!


Filed under Crime fiction, Mystery

The Last Jew Standing

The Last Jew Standing

Author: Michael Simon

Publisher: Viking

Reviewed by: Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Gritty, tough, and full of suspense The Last Jew Standing by Michael Simon is a sure winner for crime fiction fans. This fourth installment of Simon’s Detective Dan Reles series finds Dan with a new home, a new wife, a son, and far removed from the life he once had in New York. But there is no way that Dan will ever escape his past…especially when it shows up on his doorstep.

Dan’s father, Abe has been on the run from the Mafia for twenty-five years, and when he shows up at Dan’s new house with a Russian prostitute on his arm, Dan–who still blames his father for his mother abandoning them–can’t imagine what he wants.

But he knows it isn’t good.

When a former employee of Mafia boss, Sam Zelig turns up dead, Dan is even more concerned about his father’s arrival in Austin. And when Sam Zelig and his goons make it personal, Dan is forced to make some tough decisions…never knowing if he’s right or wrong.

Michael Simon gets the award for drawing me into a book with the very first sentence. Late nights, skipped meals, and falling into bed with my clothes on were all well worth it, just to read a bit more of this oustanding novel. The danger, the suspense, the raw hatred and violence that poured forth from this crime thriller, leaves the reader clamoring for Simon’s next book. The Last Jew Standing is one of the best examples I’ve read of pushing a character so far into desperation that even the reader can’t guess what he’ll do next.

If all of Michael Simon‘s books are as thrilling and intense as this one, Simon has just gained a life-long fan.

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Filed under Crime fiction