Author Showcase: It’s a Mystery
March 19, 2013
The Book: Dangerous Impulses
The Author: F. M. Meredith
The Story: F.M. is also known as Marilyn Meredith, the author of the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. She first became interested in writing about law enforcement when she lived in a neighborhood filled with police officers and their families.
The interest was fanned when her daughter married a police officer and the tradition has continued with a grandson and grandson-in-law who are deputies. She’s also serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association, and has many friends in different law enforcement fields.
For twenty plus years, she and her husband lived in a small beach community located in Southern California much like the fictional Rocky Bluff. She is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Epic, and Mystery Writers of America.
Dangerous Impulses is novel number nine in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. An attractive new-hire captivates Officer Gordon Butler, Officer Felix Zachary’s wife Wendy is befuddled by her new baby, Ryan and Barbara Strickland receive unsettling news about her pregnancy, while the bloody murder of a mother and her son and an unidentified drug that sickens teenaged partiers jolts the Rocky Bluff P.D.
Review by Lorna Collins: It is always a joy to visit Rocky Bluff, California again. Since I’ve read quite a few of the books in this series (not necessary to enjoy any of them), I look forward to ‘visiting’ with the officers of the RBPD. They’ve become like old friends. But they are never static. They face the same trials and issues as the rest of us. In other words, they’re real.
This time, they are faced with a double murder followed by a teenage party during which several of the attendees are poisoned. The two investigations converge, but I won’t provide a spoiler.
This is a tight, fast, read that leaves the reader wanting more. Fortunately, there’s always the promise of another adventure!
Review by Cheryl C. Malandrinos: The latest installment in F. M. Meredith’s Rocky Bluff P.D. series is more proof of why the author has carved out a lengthy and prosperous writing career. In Dangerous Impulses, Meredith brings back favorite characters and introduces new ones, always blending the elements of the characters’ personal lives and their jobs. Perfect as a stand-alone novel, new readers will enjoy this murder mystery, and longtime fans of the series will be thrilled to see how everyone in Rocky Bluff is getting along.
Meredith weaves in numerous sub-plots around the larger plot of the murder investigation and Vice Officer Stacey Milligan’s questioning of the kids at the party. This gives readers a true sense of community inside and outside of the department.
Dangerous Impulses is a quick, enjoyable read. Lovers of police novels and murder mysteries will like this one.
The Book: Unleavened Dead
The Author: Ilene Schneider
The Story: Unleavened Dead is the second book in the cozy mystery series featuring Rabbi Aviva Cohen, a fifty-something, twice-divorced, child-free rabbi and reluctant amateur sleuth living in southern New Jersey.
A couple, members of Aviva’s congregation, are found dead, victims of what has been ruled accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by a blocked dryer vent. A friend of the couple tells Aviva she knows the couple had an operating carbon monoxide detector and their dryer had been serviced not long before. Aware of Aviva’s success in investigating a supposed suicide sixteen months earlier, the congregant tries to convince her to look into the circumstances of these deaths. Aviva has also wondered about the deaths: the couple had information about a colleague who has been offered a new position, an offer that will be withdrawn if the information is revealed. She doesn’t believe her colleague would go so far as killing someone to protect his job, but she’s not as sure about his wife.
Aviva has a more pressing problem, however. Her niece’s partner, the director of the student counseling center at the nearby university, is the prime suspect in a deliberate hit-and-run death. The victim was a newly appointed dean who had just informed Sherry he was taking over as director, and she was being demoted, without cause, to a per diem counselor position. Witnesses heard Sherry threaten to kill the dean, after punching out a cubicle wall. Even more incriminating, her SUV, matching the description of the vehicle that had struck the dean, has a body-sized dent on the front.
As she looks into these two disparate cases, Aviva discovers they may be connected, in ways she never imagined. Her sleuthing takes a sinister turn that involves sexual abuse of young teenaged girls, money laundering, stolen identities, and an FBI investigation. Once again, her curiosity has put her life in jeopardy.
Author’s Bio: Rabbi Ilene Schneider, Ed.D., one of the first six women rabbis ordained in the U.S., hasn’t decided what she wants to be when she grows up. She is currently Coordinator of Jewish Hospice for Samaritan Hospice, Marlton, NJ, where she lives with her husband, Rabbi Gary Gans, and two “millennial” sons. She is the author of the Rabbi Aviva Cohen mysteries, Chanukah Guilt and Unleavened Dead, and is working on the third, Yom Killer. She is also the writer of Talk Dirty Yiddish. Please visit her website/blog: http://rabbiauthor.com or email her at email@example.com.
Review by Stanley D. Crow: Rabbi Aviva is back– and never in better form– if never more stressed. The pressure of Passover preparations with a wedding the night before, Aviva’s complicated relationship with her ex-husband and turmoil in her niece’s life should be enough, but then people close to Aviva start dying in suspicious circumstances. And then the mob shows up. As always, Schneider gives us a wonderful picture of life in a Jewish community– Chaim Potok with a wacky sense of humor.
Review by NJMOMIS: Light and easy. Funny and suspenseful. Rabbi Aviva Cohen just can’t stop snooping! You have t o love her and her quirky ways. Can’t wait to see what lies ahead the next time that she suspects the facts are not as simple as they seem!