Sunday, March 20, 2011

Book Review: A Mystery / Suspense Collection: Sweet

A Mystery/Suspense Collection Anthology: SweetA Mystery/Suspense Collection Anthology: Sweet by Miss Mae

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Mystery / Suspense Collection Anthology: Sweet would not be my first choice as a title for this anthology. The title is long, cumbersome, and lacks the real flavor of the book. The anthology was an interesting, well written, and diverse group of romantic suspense stories. Victory Tales Press is a Christian press, therefore, the four novellas are free of profanity, gratuitous violence, and graphic sex. I wouldn’t hesitate to give my mother a copy of this book. On the whole, the anthology holds up and is well worth reading.

Miss Penelope's Letters by Miss Mae opens the anthology. The only opening scene is unnecessarily italicized. Otherwise, it is an excellent story. Miss Penelope, a London doctor’s daughter, is filling in for Lord Wellington’s ill housekeeper and begins receiving unsigned letters. The writer demands that Penelope meet him in one of London’s most ill-reputed sections of town. When she dares to keep the assignation, she encounters trouble and a mystery man in a black mask. She must decide if the man behind the mask is truly a man of honor as he claims. It doesn’t help that his stolen kiss leaves her breathless and his presence makes her heart pound.

A Distant Call by Gerald Costlow takes readers deep into the mysterious wilds of the Appalachian Mountains and holds them spellbound by “the Call.” Jessy Corman, a young minister who has answered the call to preach, finds a church and a home in the mountains. He also finds Anna May Sherritt, a beautiful young mountain woman that locals believe to be a witch. Jessy doesn’t understand the dangers of his new home or the fear locals have of  the full moon. Anna May and her granny, know the mysteries of the mountain too well. Can they save Jessy from being the next victim of the call? To succeed, Anna May must solve the mystery of “the call” and save Jessy from being the next to disappear. If she succeeds what will happen to the new preacher if he falls under the spell of the local witch?

The Last of Her Kind by Cheryl Pierson is the story of an old Victrola and its place in the family. The Victrola is the cherished possession of Cassie's dying grandmother. Her father and new stepmother are fighting over the antique phonograph, which her stepmother is determine to get out of the house. During the fight Cassie discovers a frightening secret about the Victrola and its place in the family. Will this secret bring her broken family back together or destroy it? Cassie takes the Victrola into her grandmother’s room and together they play the music of love lost and found.

Dangerous Deception by Anne Patrick: Gwen Jacobs is the story of an investigative reporter who thrived on dangerous assignments, until the massacre of an African village. At first glance this story didn’t seem to fit with the others. The massacre is in the recent past, the magical elements of the previous two stories are absent, and the language of the story is very different. The story is of love and redemption. Gwen is offered a chance to become the kind of person she wants to be by accompanying Jack Peterson and his small group of humanitarians to report on the atrocities taking place amidst a civil war. Her chance is tainted by the past and her relationship with the owner of the newspaper that has given her this assignment. When her secrets are revealed, will she be able to overcome her past and build a future with Jack?

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