The Case of the Sin City Sister

Sin City SisterI love, love, love The Case of the Sin City Sister by Lynne Hinton. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I agreed to review this book for BookLook Bloggers but I am glad that I took the chance. This is the second book in the series, the first being Sister Eve, Private Eye (which I will begin as soon as I finish this review!)

Sister Evangeline is a nun who is having a crisis regarding her vocation.While her father was recuperating from his illness she was able to solve a few cases and felt strong satisfaction in helping her clients. Upon returning to her convent after caring for her ailing father, she realizes that she is feeling restless and discontent. Is the monastic life really the right life for her?

In order to sort out her feelings, Father Oliver urges her to take time away from the convent to find the answers that she seeks. He also admonishes her that whatever conclusion that she arrives at will be the right one for her — there is no judgment surrounding staying or leaving the convent. So, reluctantly taking his advice, Sister Evangeline returns to assist her father in his work as a private detective with the hope of figuring out what direction her life should take.

Evangeline  (Eve) is lead into Sin City (also known as Las Vegas) by the mysterious disappearance of her sister Dorisanne. While the two have not been particularly close in years due to distance and lifestyle choices, they do keep in touch fairly regularly. So when Eve can no longer get in contact with her all kinds of red flags rise for her. Although her father, the Captain, originally believes that she is being dramatic, he soon realizes that something is amiss. With the help of her friend Daniel (the Captain’s former police partner) she sets out to Las Vegas to find her baby sister. The game is afoot!

I really like Eve because she is  complex, like a real person. Being able to create a flesh-and-blood character from one’s thoughts isn’t easy and this author did an outstanding job. Her confusion of whether to remain a nun or pursue a life as a private detective was very real and easy for me to empathize with because I know that I have often struggled with, for example, what was right for me at 20 but as the years roll on, may no longer be the right path at 30+ (the age of this character). Life is always changing, and we all need to do soul-searching at one time or another.

In addition to this, the mystery and its resolution were  both credible and enjoyable. There are a few life lessons contained within the journey to find the truth, but it never executed in a heavy-handed fashion.  I highly recommend this book to others. I fervently hope that we will be invited back to Sister Evangeline’s world very soon.

 

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle’s Eye

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's EyeLen Bailey’s book Sherlock Holmes and the Needle’s Eye is AMAZING! I love, love, love, love, LOVE this book. Okay, before I go into why I heart this book I must disclose that I received a free copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review, blah, blah and blah.

Okay, now that all that legal stuff is done, let’s get back to the book. It’s amazing! I do love Sherlock Holmes so I was hoping to love this book from the beginning. But this Sherlock Holmes’ adventure is completely different from anything I’ve read before. Sherlock has been commissioned by an unknown source to solve ten ultimate Biblical mysteries.

In order to fulfill this commission he needs to use the Needle’s Eye (a time machine that he *acquired* from Moriarty in an earlier adventure). With the help of the time machine, Mrs. Hudson, and of course, Dr. Watson, Sherlock endeavors to apply logic and reasoning to some scriptural mysteries.

This book is so well-written that even people who are not interested in the Bible will be drawn into the mysteries. The investigations hold true to Sir Conan Doyle’s methods for the great detective and are never forced. The solution to the mysteries are plausible and logically obtained, as well as entertaining.

Sherlock Holmes and the Needle’s Eye is also designed to be used as a bible study guide for individuals and groups. If you are using the book as a study guide you’re encouraged to do your own research to familiarize yourself with the mystery’s environment. Once you’ve done that you can tackle the mystery in the front of the book and see if you came up with the same conclusion as Sherlock and friends.  If you’re just a mystery lover, just start at Chapter One and enjoy the ride.

Sherlock Holmes & Friends

One thing that Len Bailey does change is the relationship that Sherlock has with Watson. They relate to each other more as brothers than the original books. The best way to describe their relationship would be to say that they are more modern in their dealings with one another. It is a much more relaxed relationship with quips, sarcasm, squabbles and even teasing between the two gentlemen.

Mrs. Hudson is an active member of the team in this book and she is not afraid to speak her mind.  She doesn’t mince words with either men and is totally not impressed by Sherlock’s acumen.  One of the funniest scenes in the book is the description of Mrs. Hudson bellowing her battle cry as she charges the walls of Jericho while Sherlock stands by, unable to control his headstrong housekeeper. There is definitely a more family-like feel to the trio than in the original stories.

Obviously I give this book five stars. I hope that the author is working on Sherlock’s next set of mysteries.  These were so much fun that I couldn’t put the book down until I had devoured the last page.

Review: A Matter of Trust

The cover A Matter of Trust by Lis WiehlI love a good mystery, so when Booksneeze offered this one, I just couldn’t resist – and I wasn’t disappointed. A Matter of Trust is the first in a new series called the Mia Quinn Mystery and I can’t wait for the next installment.

Mia’s  husband died in a car crash and she’s been forced out of her role as a homemaker to once again working in the District Attorney’s office. Being a single parent with two children causes her to experience lots of angst as she struggles to find balance as a good parent and a career mom.

The story starts with a BANG! Mia’s best friend, Colleen, is killed while conversing with her on the telephone. She is appointed by the District Attorney to find Colleen’s killer in addition to her other caseload.

Mia really annoyed me at various points in the book especially because she spent a lot of time judging her colleagues and family’s behavior. The fact that I wanted to shake her speaks to how well Lis Wiehl brought Mia to life for me.

I was totally invested in Mia catching a clue that things and people can and do change so just stop it already. I was also rooting for her to stop beating herself up for not being superwoman – she has a really hard time accepting help from others.

I found the writing in A Matter of Trust to be engaging, the characters are vivid. Lis touches on cyber-bullying, flash mobs, murder and the wheels of justice in a very realistic way. There’s no tidy resolutions of the various issues (which is refreshing) since real life isn’t known for its tidy finales.  I highly recommend this book to other mystery lovers.

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