Saturday, January 9, 2010

Scent of Murder / Shadows at the Window / The Glassblower

Three books for your consideration -- two romantic suspense and one historical

Author: Virginia Smith
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
June 2009
ISBN: 978-0-373-44343-7
Genre: Inspirational/romantic Suspense

Caitlyn Saylor is in Little Nashville, Indiana, for a wedding. She and friends are supposed to perform at this wedding, where Caitlyn is supposed to play the flute. Caitlyn decides to go up to Indiana a bit early to spend time sight-seeing. And one of the first stops she makes is at a candle factory where she purchases a couple candles.

Chase Hollister is the owner of the candle factory, and he is instantly fascinated by the beautiful blond. But the timing couldn’t be worse. Chase had just discovered a body in the park where he goes jogging, and the police are treating him as a suspect in the case. Still, his mother convinces him to invite Caitlyn to a gospel concert at his church.

But now someone has targeted Caitlyn. And it is linked to Chase and his candle business somehow. Is Chase involved in drugs? Or is it someone in his employment? And will Caitlyn even survive long enough to play at the wedding?

SCENT OF MURDER is one of Ms. Smith’s many romantic suspense books. I fell in love with Ms. Smith’s voice with her first Love Inspired Suspense, Murder by Mushroom, and I’ve read most all of her books since.

Caitlyn is a realistic heroine, and Chase a great hero, both of them kind and considerate, though I think that Chase was a bit cavalier regarding some of the people in his employment. It was fairly easy to discover “who-dun-it” in this story, but I had to keep reading to see how Chase would figure out what was going on behind his back. If you like romantic suspense, well scented with candles, then don’t miss SCENT OF MURDER. Burn your favorite scent while you read and settle down with your favorite beverage. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $5.50. 208 pages.


Author: Linda Hall
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
July 2008
ISBN: 978-0-373-44297-3
Genre: Inspirational/romantic suspense

Lilly hasn’t always been the fine, upstanding citizen she is now. She used to live with an abusive boyfriend, took drugs, and did other shameful things. When her boyfriend, “Mudd” is allegedly murdered, Lilly ran away and started a new life. Now she’s a college student, and almost engaged to youth minister Greg Whitten.

But someone knows the truth about Lilly’s past. She has gotten an email with a picture of her in her former life. And Lilly is panicking. Should she stay, or should she run? Who knows the truth, now that “Mudd” is dead…or did “Mudd” survive?

Now Lilly’s worst nightmare is coming true, and even Greg and their church are getting pictures of Lilly in her former life. And if Lilly wants to live at all, she’ll need the support of her friends and Greg, more than ever.

SHADOWS AT THE WINDOW is not the first book by Ms. Hall that I’ve read, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. The story is told in first person, but it is rather dark, and in I got kind of tired of being right there for all the indecisiveness that Lilly suffered from.

Gregg is a kind, considerate hero, acting in an appropriate minister-type way through the whole book. Lilly is running scared, and while wanting to trust Greg and her best friend, Bridget, with the truth, she’s afraid that if “Mudd” really is alive that their lives will be in danger too. I can find her behavior believable. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $5.50. 214 pages.


Author: Laurie Alice Eakes
Publisher: Heartsong Presents
December 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60260-674-6
Genre: Inspirational/historical romance

Colin Grassick is a master glassblower from Scotland and he’s been paid well to relocate to America to work. The owner of the Glassworks, Mr. Jordan, has given him a large house and paid well for his trip over. Right away Colin is put to work making goblets for Mr. Jordan’s daughter and windows for the school house.

Margaret Jordan is looking forward to starting a school for the area poor and uneducated children. But the building she’s been provided is cold, and she wants windows to keep out the vandals and keep the children warm. But even after windows are put in, vandalism keeps occurring.

Margaret is fascinated by the new glassblower, a forbidden man, since she’s been promised to her father’s friend, a man Margaret doesn’t love. How can Margaret possibly marry the man she loves when her father forbids her to even talk to him?

THE GLASSBLOWER is the second Heartsong Presents historical novel published by Laurie Alice Eakes, and personally, I think it was even better than her first. Laurie Alice is a talented author who has the gift of bringing the historical time period she writes in to life.

Margaret is a wonderful heroine, kind and gentle and beautiful, and she certainly bends over backwards to fulfill her promises to her deceased mother and her father, even at the risk of her own happiness. I couldn’t help but hope that Margaret would find a way to be with the man she loved, even if he were a common laborer, and her a lady of influence and wealth. I’m looking forward to Laurie Alice’s upcoming releases. $4.95. 169 pages.

1 comment:

Virginia Smith said...

Laura, thanks for the review of SCENT OF MURDER! I appreacite your insights. I'm glad you noted that the focus of this book isn't on figuring out who the murderer is, but on the character's figuring it out. This book was a first for me - trying to shift the majority of the focus from the mystery to the suspense.

I absolutely love the Disclaimer on your site!