Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Deceived by Brett Battles

The Deceived (Jonathan Quinn, #2)

“Cleaner” Jonathan Quinn’s job is cleaning up messy loose ends at crime scenes. He has a major rule: don’t let emotions get in the way of getting the job done. When a “mess” turns out to be the body of a dead friend, however, Quinn and his allies make things personal…

The Deceived’s plot has many sudden, but not unbelievable, twists and turns.  Quinn is methodical and professional which makes him able to think quickly. Battles includes casual details about locales which help give the reader a feel for those places. (For instance, Quinn muses about the different types of haze in the Hollywood Hills.) He also shows the reader a criminal underworld through Quinn’s eyes. The Deceived could be a match for a reader looking for a twisty plot, a professional protagonist and/or a chance to visit other places.

Want other books like The Deceived that involve heroes having to untangle the truth and visit exotic locales?

CIA agent John Wells, like Quinn, finds himself getting personally involved when someone he cares about is harmed in Alex Berenson’s The Silent Man.

Intelligence officer Mitch Rapp must move fast after he is framed in Paris in Vince Flynn’s Kill Shot.

Surgeon Jonathan Ransom loses his wife and might lose his life when it becomes apparent his wife was connected to danger in Rules of Deception by Christopher Reich.


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The Matchmaker of Perigord by Julia Stuart

The Matchmaker of Périgord

In the village of Amour-sur-Belle good food is far easier to find than true love. When one of its lovelorn citizens turns matchmaker lives will never the same. Will barber turned Guillaume Ladoucette’s mismatched matchmaking help the village or is everyone bound to be alone forever?

The lovelorn matchmaker, the obsessive dentist and a council member terrified of dealing with the locals are a few of the quirky characters. The dates and village events are gently humorous. Descriptions of meals and village history give Amour-sue-Belle a feel of quirky uniqueness. The Matchmaker of Perigord could be a good match for a reader looking for quirky characters, a book in which food takes a part, romance and/or a setting of a small French town.

Want other books that, like The Matchmaker of Perigord, feature love, food and a rural setting?

A cheese making farm is filled with quirky characters, cheese making and romance in  Blessed are the Cheesemakers by Sarah-Kate Lynch.

A widow opens a chocolate shop and turns life upside down in a France village in  Chocolat by Joanne Harris.

Books such as Michael Payle’s A Year in Provenceprovide a nonfiction portrayal of rural life in France.

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Leave Tomorrow Behind by Judy Clemens

Leave Tomorrow Behind: A Stella Crown Mystery

Dairy farmer Stella Crown knows unearthing a body in a manure pile & attacks on livestock are not supposed to happen at county fairs. She decides to get to the bottom of things to save her sanity. Unfortunately, the challenges of untangling messes smellier than any manure pile, the heat & dealing with a fussy relative might make her lose her sanity…

Stella is a likable mix of tough & kind who feels like an ordinary person. Other characters make the story fun by being endearing or annoying. Stella’s plain-spoken views on other characters and their actions give a the plot a humorous undertone. Clemens provides an endearing-but not romanticized- behind the scenes look at dairy farming through a 4-H competition & Stella’s routines. Leave Tomorrow Behind is a potential match for readers looking for a likable protagonist, a slice of life in a non-upper-class environment & a plot with a humorous undertone.

Want other books like Leave Tomorrow Behind?

A determined female protagonist is drawn into solving murder in a rural setting in Carol Miller’s Murder and Moonshine.

Another mystery, though with a serious tone, that involves a tough female protagonist solving a mystery in a farming community is Nancy Mean Wright’s Mad Season.

A mystery with a likable, and ordinary, female protagonist set in a rural setting is Slow Dollar by Margaret Maron. Click here to read my blog entry on Slow Dollar.

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Cape Farewell by Peter Tonkin

Cape Farewell

Catastrophe strikes husband and wife team Richard and Robin Mariner when a storm sweeps Robin overboard. Robin’s rescue by a submarine becomes a curse when the sub is trapped underwater and a madman roams its halls. Will the Mariners overcome these challenges or will death triumph under the sea?

Tonkin’s nautical knowledge immerses the reader in sea weather, challenges of rescue at sea and what it is like in a submarine. His use of inventive comparisons also helps readers visualize what is going on. The series of weather and human challenges create a suspenseful tone. The Mariners’ commitment, bravery & intelligence are another appeal. Cape Farewell could be a good choice for those seeking a sea based tale, submarines and/or a capable husband-wife team.

Want other books that, like Cape Farewell, involve challenges at sea?

An embattled commander must face down ocean weather and a pack of rogue submarines David Poyer’s Korea Strait.

A captain must save a cruise ship and face down a rogue submarine captain in Michael DiMercurio’s Threat Vector.

A husband and wife team join forces with an action duo to prevent the secrets of a cargo ship from being used by the wrong hands in Clive Cussler’s Serpent.

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