Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Salon: Witches and Mobsters

Today’s Sunday Salon deals with witches and mobsters (not monsters) to help get you in the mood for Halloween.
BLACKWORK by Monica Ferris

With Halloween just a week away, a book involving a witch and murder seem to fit the bill.

BLACKWORK (now in paperback) takes readers to Excelsior, Minnesota, where the town is preparing for its Halloween celebration and parade.

Protagonist Betsy Devonshire, owner of the Crewel World needle work shop, is helping out as are the other downtown business owners. All is going well at an organizational meeting until a drunken Ryan McMurphy accuses Leona Cunningham of being a witch. Leona is co-owner of The Barleywire, a microbrewery-pub, where the meeting is being held.

From there things begin to look bad for Leona. Within minutes, Ryan is involved in a wreck and a short time later he’s found dead. There are no marks on his body and he was found inside a locked basement room.

Betsy embarks on a search for the real killer and the list of suspects grows. There are plenty of twists, turns, surprises and more intrigue as Betsy gets closer to finding the real killer. I was able to figure out how Ryan was killed, but not who killed him. That was a surprise.

The 13th installment in the Needlecraft Mystery series, BLACKWORK is a stand alone book. This was my first introduction to Betsy and her quirky friends, but it won’t be my last. This is a delightful read from beginning to end where a counted cross-stitch pattern has been included.

I can’t wait to see what Betsy and the gang get into next. Not to mention Betsy has a handsome new tenant that just might add to the intrigue and mystery next time.

Author Monica Ferris’ website is

Blackwork by Monica Ferris, A Needlecraft Mystery, Berkley Prime Crime, @2010, ISBN: 978-0-425-23742-7, Paperback, 304 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

DON’T BLINK by James Patterson and Howard Roughan

Nick Daniels is a reporter who is always chasing after that ‘one’ great story to make his career when one literally finds him.

A major league baseball player who years before let his fans down during a world series by not showing up wants to have his first interview since then with Nick.

When the two finally set down for the interview at a local restaurant, a lawyer for a notorious mob boss is shot at the next table. Chaos erupts and the ballplayer disappears. Later when Nick is listening to his tape recording from the interview, he overhears who ordered the hit on the lawyer.

From there Nick and others around him are thrown into turmoil between warring mob bosses, corrupt officials and even jealous lovers. More people are murdered and Nick realizes all is not what it seems. Trying to find the answers he’s looking for, Nick may soon be faced with the biggest question yet - is it really worth it?

The unabridged version of DON’T BLINK is only 6 disc long (approximately 7 hours), but it’s an action-packed adventure from beginning to end. It is a big graphic as to how some of the hits are carried out so this isn't a cozy mystery, but a thriller.

Maybe I like the story more than most because it deals with a reporter and what he would and wouldn’t do for a story, and especially how far he’d go for the people he cares about.

Don‘t Blink by James Patterson and Howard Roughan, Read by David Patrick Kelly, Hachette Audio, @2010, ISBN: 978-1-60788-234-3, 6 Disc, App. 7 Hrs. Run Time

FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this audio book and it was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.


  1. Mason - Thanks for sharing these reviews! You've got some very interesting Halloween picks there :-). I'm glad you enjoyed your reads; it's always such a disappointment when a book lets one down. I'm glad these didn't.

  2. Blackwork sounds rather tempting.

  3. These are good halloween reads. I got a little scared myself last night watching (again) The Client. It's that time of year when we want to feel a little spooked.

    Reading and looking over our shoulder...what a great thing.


  4. Great seasonal reviews. I always enjoy a good read tied in to the time of year, it has a way of bringing the story close.

  5. Ooh, Blackwork sounds good, and I LOVE that cover.

    Don't Blink is one James Patterson I haven't read, along with a few of his other recent ones.

    Here's my salon:

    Click my name for the link....

  6. Thanks for the reviews. I'll put Blackwork on my look-for list. I like the idea of the protagonist being the owner of a needle work shop. I don't do needle work, although I've tried in the past, but it might be fun to read the books.

  7. Love the shop name Crewel World - made me smile :) Sounds like a great read!

  8. It's fun to read scary books at Halloween time and hopeful books at Christmas and relaxing books in summer.

  9. Sounds very interesting - and very timely, too! Thanks, Mason.

    Hope you're having a great weekend.

  10. Now if you do come across a book about witches AND mobsters, let us know!

  11. Thanks everyone for stopping by. I hope y'all enjoy these two books as much as I did.

  12. Great reviews! And Blackwork sounds like a fun read! I'm going to have to check out the Needlecraft Mysteries. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Both of these sound great! And I've been in the mood for something a little scary for Halloween. :)

  14. Can you believe it? I've never read a Patterson novel before. This one looks great. Thanks for the post.


  15. Thanks for the recommendations! Oddly, I've never heard of this James Patterson book. I know, sometimes I swear I live under a rock. :o)

    And it's great to find your blog--I'm here through Michele Emrath's. :o)

  16. Blackwork sounds like a fantastic book. Not read any in the series- this may be a good place to start.

  17. Hi Mason .. Don't Blink sounds interesting .. and as you say the reporter link for you was the clue to a good read .. thanks Hilary


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