Running From Scissors

Running from Scissors ISBN: 9781732135802, Better Mousetrap Books is a ‘Running Store Mystery’ copyright and written by T. C. Westcott.

Plot: Lacy Purdy, is a forty-five-year-old divorcee now working for a friendly couple in the new-for-her town of Cedar Hill, near Tulsa, Oklahoma. The actual town is mid-sized but with the quite definite ambience of, and ‘cliquish’ undertones associated with, those of a town of much smaller size. She is somewhat hesitant in initiating new relationships, but as an above average runner has joined a local running club entitled “Run For It” and owned by Marti and Chase Reynolds. She has acquired a close friend, Juanita Stax Best, the outspoken, shoot-from-the-hip owner of the local book store she had renamed from “Best’s Cellar” to “Read It or Eat It” after installing a small food service area overseen by her younger, also adopted, non-Hispanic brother who had some experience as a ‘fry-cook’. The adopting parents were a childless Caucasian couple who had retired and left the business to them. The story opens with Lacy thinking “Today’s the day I’m going to kill her…” and moves gradually from here into the plot where Marlene Petrick, lead runner of the group, disappears on a local run and Lacy, because of a contentious confrontation with her after a quite demeaning remark had been made about her. However, as time progresses, more questions evolve as more suspicious activity is indulged in by several other characters and Ruby Maplethorpe, one of the older members of the running store, befriends Lacy. Ruby is one of the well-known, but for some time retired, older detective mystery story writers a lá Agatha Christie. The mystery ultimately is solved, largely though Ruby’s diligent attention to detail that is verified by the legally acquired support obtained by the knowledgeable detective Bentley recently arrived from his former similar position in a large eastern city.

Discussion: The author has set forth this first in a mystery series that is replete with interesting characters and a complicated plot where clues shift constantly among several individuals and all are provided in a package that devotees of the style provided by the early authors of this genre will love. Specifically, It spells out each feature in minute detail and keeps supplying many interestingly designed ‘delays’ before delivering the ultimate culprit.

Summary: A well-plotted, well-written story with interesting characters provided in the delightfully charming style reminiscent of ‘another time’.

5* Delightfully charming mystery in a style reminiscent of ‘another time’.

 

Eagle Shield: Milestone Rising

Eagle SHIELD: Milestone Rising, first published in Australia by Aurora House 2018 copyright and written by Carl Lakeland. This Kindle edition ISBN: 978064822690.

Plot: The story opens in Alice Springs, a settled area in Australia’s ‘Outback” with Nathan being assigned to be the guardian/new parent for orphaned 10-year-old Angel whom he is informed has some ‘most ‘unusual talents’. Nathan Masters, nicknamed Canter, is a former special services soldier who had lost part of a leg in combat, but still works for ASIS, the Australian CIA/FBI type of organization. They are engaged in clandestine defensive activities against an organization that intends to devastate earth by nuclear fission. Purportedly, the organization is composed of worldwide, highly placed government and large company CEO’s along with Mafia and similar groups. These individuals are aligned with aliens who have infiltrated and lived among earth people for years and have provided these ‘privileged’ individuals with the opportunity to harvest large personal gains for their aiding the aliens while assuring them they would be provided with a means of escape from the devastated planet. The reason for the ‘Oudarretians’ desire to devastate earth is because the remnants of nuclear fission produce a substance they need to survive and gradually their source is being depleted. Angel is part human and part of this alien origin. Nathan’s assignment is titled Eagle Shield, presumably associated with an unusual relationship she appears to have with these birds. His instructions are to deliver Angel from Alice Springs to a safe house in Melbourne and then remain as her new parent/guardian while helping to prepare her to become an ASIS agent when she becomes an adult. Along with Angel he is given an important disc and other pertinent material about the Milestone Project that must never be out of his sight and control. With this attempted elimination of some of the early confusion of this story, the reader can embark upon pursuing the well written, fast paced abundant action that follows.

Discussion: The author has a most creative mind with which he has set forth a very interesting high-octane action plot, often on the edge of credibility, but acceptable with its occult/fantasy, alien/paranormal thread. His characters also gradually become increasingly interesting as more about them is revealed as is the plot, even though a certain amount of confusion still persists. Unfortunately, Canter is not as careful as his instructions require, numerous complications result and the action moves forward at a decidedly accelerated pace. So, readers who enjoy fast, often violent action with a touch of the paranormal will discover an enjoyable romp. Buy it and enjoy it but DON”T read the next paragraph.

A SPOILER ALERT must be offered for readers who, if like this reviewer, are not particularly attracted to lead characters who are quite inept in other than certain situations, here active combat. Specifically, if Canter were more mentally agile, listened to and followed instructions provided, he would be an individual more in line with expectations of an operative in a government’s intelligence service. But then, and most regrettably and apologetically, this perhaps is simply ‘one person’s opinion’.

3* 5* For violent action devotees; caveat regrettably and apologetically offered for others.