Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Todd Borg's 'Tahoe Dark' serves up murder and mystery in Lake Tahoe area

     Private investigator Owen McKenna is up to his eyebrows in trouble in Todd Borg's latest novel, Tahoe Dark. The police have discovered a dead body and the evidence points to McKenna as the killer. Only one catch – he didn’t kill the man and in fact, hardly knew him. As he works to clear his own name, he finds others implicated in the crime, but are they being set up, too?

Cover art copyright Todd Borg and Thriller Press

     Borg writes thrilling mysteries with elegantly woven plots. In exchange for the reader's attention, he delivers tight action in a beautiful setting. Borg's robust cast of characters includes McKenna's girlfriend, entomologist Casey Street; his Great Dane, Spot and a number of local law enforcement officers in jurisdictions all around Lake Tahoe, both California and Nevada.

     Evil seems even more vile against the majestic backdrop of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Borg does an excellent job of using the geography in his stories, making each one a mini-vacation to the area. Just keep your head down while you’re there.

     As I’ve read more and more of his books over the years (Tahoe Dark marks detective McKenna’s fourteenth book), my admiration for Borg’s storytelling increases. His characters grow with each volume. Relationships wax and wane, with realistic issues impacting the day-to-day, in addition to the adventure inherent in the case. His situations provide interesting and unusual crimes and motives.

     If you love a great mystery with unexpected turns, you’ll adore Tahoe Dark. Relationship and buddy story fans will find a lot to embrace here as well. As for dog stories, well, you don’t stand much chance of encountering more delightful dogs in fiction than Spot. 

     I’ve likened Borg’s work to James D. MacDonald and Robert B. Parker as contemporary brethren. Owen McKenna can hold his own with Travis McGee and Spenser. Others go back even further, with comparisons to …”Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe and Lew Archer” (Kirkus Reviews). In my opinion, Borg’s series will become just as much of a classic as all of those. 

     Yes, I am an unabashed fan of Borg’s work. Any mystery lover will risk instant addiction with the first one opened. I’m not alone in my admiration. Borg has been named the Toastmaster for the 2018 Left Coast Crime Conference.

Tahoe Dark by Todd Borg
Available in print and electronic formats
Published by Thriller Press

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Eyewitness: A Cat & Mac Mystery by Laura Anne Ewald - a review

     When Detective Cahal “Mac” MacAlastair becomes part of a murder investigation in Seattle’s Pioneer Square area, he stumbles into a world of art and attitude. As he investigates the third death in the series, he finds a badly battered black cat on the scene. Could the killer be the same person who injured the cat? On the chance the cat may constitute evidence, he takes it home. That’s when the surprises begin.

Cover art courtesy Laura Anne Ewald

     Author Laura Anne Ewald has put together a tight romantic mystery in her novella, Eyewitness. Available as an ebook, the well written story takes readers behind the scenes of the art world. 

     In Mac MacAlastair, readers will find a strong hero, dedicated to justice for all. He’s stuck with a partner who’s just marking time to retirement and a by-the-book captain who demands answers. Can he stay true to his own convictions as he makes a case against a killer?

     Catherine “Cat” O’Sullivan manages Dreamscape Gallery, one of the art galleries in the neighborhood. She’s pretty, resourceful and different from some of the other gallery managers Mac has met in his investigation. 

     The most recent victim was found behind Dreamscape Gallery. Does the comely Ms. O’Sullivan have a role in the murders? Or does she hold the key to their solution? Can Mac solve the murders without losing his heart?

     The novella will appeal to mystery lovers as well as animal lovers. Readers who prefer romances will find a sophisticated romance here, reminiscent of the clever conversation and dramatic situations in movies from Hollywood’s Golden Era. One needn’t be an art expert to appreciate the story line, although art will appreciate the respectful approach taken to art.

     As a murder mystery, the story contains some violence; the action is neither gratuitous nor gross. Although the protagonists experience periods of sensual interaction, they don’t act upon their feelings so readers aren’t bombarded with sexual content. Some mild cursing occurs within the book, but Ewald’s writing conveys emotion without resorting to coarse vulgarity. The book can carry a general audience rating, suitable for readers from teen years on up. 

     Best news of all for readers is that Ewald intends to write a series of Cat & Mac Mysteries, meaning we can look forward to more adventures with the two. Readers can purchase Eyewitness at the bargain introductory price of $.99 for a short time, so don’t delay. 

Eyewitness: A Cat & Mac Mystery [1] by Laura Anne Ewald

Disclosure: This review is based upon a purchased copy of the book. All opinions are my own.

© 2016 Mary Beth Magee