Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Canterbury Crime - A Belinda Lawrence Mystery by Brian Kavanagh

A Canterbury Crime: A Belinda Lawrence Mystery by Brian Kavanagh. 2010. Bewrite Books. 150 pp. ISBN No. 9781906609450.

Professor de Gray has suddenly died, and Belinda Lawrence and Hazel Whitby, knowledgeable ladies in the world of antiques, have arrived in the ancient, well-renowned town of Canterbury, to catalogue the furniture and objects in the Professor's home. Once they settle in, they are put off by the cold, unwelcoming attitude of Miss Mowbray and the weird, silent presence of Mrs. Jones. That initial reaction, while initially offsetting, becomes downright frightening when they learn that the Professor and his wife died suddenly under highly suspicious conditions.

It's right about the time Belinda and Hazel decide to investigating in addition to their cataloguing job when Miss Mowbray fails to return from a brief trip and a mysterious caller says she won't be back for a while. The case becomes even more complex when a rather flip character, Tom Bedford, enters the picture and claims he has the right to lurk through all of the late Professor's computer and paper records.

The Professor, it turns out had written a book in which the last chapter was supposed to be a historical blockbuster that would guarantee it's widespread sale and fame for the Professor. Everyone is looking for that final chapter and some shady characters are vying for opportunity to publish, hoping to connect to a new connection to Canterbury that will change history.

Add to the complexity of this mystery with a new twist on every page the fact that Belinda is being forced to decide between someone in England and someone else in Australia who would both love her hand in marriage. Mark, however, is the English beau who will prove himself in a life-threatening scene within these pages and offer her a new view of spending life with him in wedded bliss.

Brian Kavanagh is a very talented writer who has written an even more tautly plotted tale than his last crime mystery. The story is totally unpredictable and never loses the reader's rapt attention. Brenda and Hazel are witty, irksome, sharp, and pleasure-loving characters who are the perfect detectives barely managing to elude disaster by the most dire, unsavory criminals imaginable!

A best seller, for sure!

Barney and The Runaway by Max Elliot Anderson

Barney and The Runaway by Max Elliot Anderson. Comfort Publishing. 2011. ISBN No. 9780984559848.

Michael W. Ellis has a new ideal to live by, the Declaration of Independence. He's tired of doing what everyone else wants, and so he decides to run away. It seems like an adventure at first when he and his dog, Barney, wind up on a railroad car and then with a traveling circus. Big Bob takes to Mike and wants to make Barney part of the circus, since he has a very special talent that could draw crowds and make money.

The plot thickens, however, when some evil characters have other plans for Barney. When the threat grows, Mike thinks of all the times "if that hadn't happened" that have added up to one big mess. Big Bob, however, comes to the rescue but also tells Mike a story that changes everything. The bottom line is that plans go crazy and one must realize the consequences might not turn out for the best after all is said and done.

Barney and The Runaway is a great adventure story that is unpredictable and fascinating on every page. It's a great addition to the already terrific novels written by this very talented YA fiction author!!!