Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Murder, Mayhem and a Fine Man by Claudia Mair Burney (Book Review)

Title: Murder, Mayhem and a Fine Man (an Amanda Bell Brown mystery)
Author: Claudia Mair Burney
Genre: Mystery/Christian
Available: Now
ISBN-10: 1416551948
ISBN-13: 978-1416551942

I read this book for fun.

First sentence: I had every reason to be peeved, and I told Carly so.

Amanda Bell Brown was celebrating her 40th birthday with her sister Carly when it was interrupted by murder. You see, Carly is a medical examiner and she was the one on call. The victims were two men whose house Bell had been to years before when she was working/investigating cults. But if it wouldn't have been for those murders, Bell would never have met Jazz Brown - lieutenant with the Detroit Police Department.

And so begins Bell and Jazz's friendship - courtship - headlong tumble into love - whatever you want to call it. As they work together to try to solve these murders (Bell is a forensic psychologist) they learn how much they really care for each other.

One of the cult members, Susan, "escapes" and ends up at The Rock House. This is the church Bell attends, where the pastor, Rocky, is also her ex-boyfriend. Susan appears to be in a catatonic state, so Bell goes to visit her to see if she can get her to talk. After waiting hours, Susan doesn't move or speak so Bell goes home. The next day Susan writes Bell's name, so she called in again. She doesn't say much, but what she does say seems to implicate someone for the murders. Susan soon leaves the Rock House and nobody can find her.

Bell gets Rocky to tell her the addresses/phone numbers that Susan gave them when she showed up - before she went catatonic. Bell sets out to find the leader of the cult. She puts her life on the line to try to save the women and children involved. You see - 10 years earlier, she was actually in a cult where she was beaten and de-humanized - where she eventually lost a baby she was carrying. She has a hard time separating the present from these haunting memories in her past.

When the cult leader and Susan show up at her apartment, what will she risk to save Jazz, who she believes might be "The One?"

I recently read Deadly Charm (review here) which was the third Amanda Bell Brown mystery. I loved this one as much as that one and can't wait to get book 2 - Death, Deceit and Some Smooth Jazz. There is something about the way the author writes that just stays with me. I love the sarcastic flirting that goes on between these two - it keeps me smiling all the way through the book. Sometimes, reading as many books as I do, the characters can get mixed up or the plots can be confusing - but I don't find this happening when I read the Amanda Bell Brown books. Keep them coming!


Anonymous said...

Hey Kristi - have I mentioned how in awe I am of your header - my grandmother tried forever to get me to cross-stitch but my brain would keep wandering! Anyway, I'm trying to pimp a friend's book and a giveaway for it - but it's a really, really, really great book and worth checking out!

Anonymous said...

Okay, that's totally not the link. It's this:



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