Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?
Layers of secrets abound in Heaven’s Crooked Finger. 50-year-old Earl Marcus returns to his hometown in the mountains of Georgia that he left after a failed snake handling forced on him by his father RJ almost killed him at seventeen. RJ is recently deceased and was a fundamentalist preacher in a snake handling church he created decades ago. Earl’s brother, Lester, is running the church but there is talk that RJ has returned from the grave. Earl, who works as a Private Detective in North Carolina, investigates this mystery and others along the way.
The southern gothic atmosphere of lightning (i.e., heaven’s crooked finger), religious fervor and snakes makes this a great fall read. The character dynamics of Earl, Mary, Granny and Rufus make their interactions interesting. The resolution of the mystery is difficult to figure out though some of the clues were easy.
I read this book in less than two days. I woke up in the middle of the night to read it because it was that compelling! This is the first book in a series. I will be pre-ordering the second in the series as soon as it is available. 5 stars!
I won Heaven’s Crooked Finger in a Goodreads giveaway but that has not impacted my review.
Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: nov 7 2017, Southern Gothic
The Real McCoys is a cute humorous mystery for middle grade readers with perfect artwork.
Move over Encyclopedia Brown, Moxie McCoy is the new detective in town! Moxie is in fourth grade at Tiddlywhump Elementary School. She is also the sole remaining partner at M&M Inc. detective agency. Her partner, and best friend, Maude moved to California at the worst possible moment. Tiddlywhump’s mascot, Eddie the wise, and stuffed, owl is missing and only a great detective like Moxie can solve the crime. Moxie, who prefers to be called Slim when working a case, narrows down the list of suspects using the wisdom of Annabelle Adams. Annabelle is the star of 58 mystery books that Moxie has read 37 and a half times. Annabelle is obviously the long-lost cousin of Nancy Drew as she uses her wits and luck to get out of incredibly intricate situations. Moxie is also looking for a new detective partner and best friend before winter recess starts the following day.
The illustrations in The Real McCoys are excellent. They are used to perfection to move the plot forward. Many adult mysteries would be improved with illustrations like these. Moxie and the other residents of the school are believable while also being funny. Does Principal Jones really have an eel pit in her closet where she dangles errant students? Does Moxie’s teacher, Mrs. Bunyan, have a weird fascination with teeth? While solving the mystery, many moral lessons are slipped in like don’t jump to conclusions and don’t be embarrassed to ask for help when it’s needed. The mystery is handled well with many twists and turns in the plot. The resolution is both unexpected and perfect. Overall, this humorous mystery is perfect for ages 8 to 12. 5 stars!
I received The Real McCoys in a Goodreads giveaway but that has not impacted my review.
Posted in Children, Diane's Favorites Tagged with: girl detective, middle grade, nov 7 2017, Siblings