Tag Archives: Skeet Bannion

The Letter

Every Hidden Fear (nook book)

Every Hidden Fear: A Skeet Bannion Mystery by Linda Rodriguez (Minotaur Books, $26.99, 292 pages)

Linda Rodriguez is serving up her third installment in the Skeet Bannion mystery series set in the fictitious town of Brewster, Missouri located 12 miles outside of Kansas City. Rodriguez provides a smooth segue from her prior book. The narrator, Skeet Bannion, is chief of police at a local college after a distinguished career with the Kansas City Police Department. As in the past, Skeet is somewhat entangled with her former husband, Sam. Together they care for Skeet’s dad who is an aging ex-cop.

Brewster is changing as outsiders are pushing for the development of a shopping mall. The prospect of an invasion of the big box stores is terrifying to the local shop owners in the provincial town square. The charm and quaint atmosphere of Brewster is its main draw.

The plot of Every Hidden Fear is fine; however, the author becomes a bit repetitive with background information already provided within the text. Some editing would have made for a smoother read. Moreover, the anger seething inside Skeet is present almost too often. The lack of comic relief or a few warm and fuzzy moments makes this a lesser in entry in Rodriguez’ ongoing saga of Middle America.

Recommended.

Moriarty Returns a Letter (nook book)

Moriarty Returns a Letter: A Baker Street Mystery by Michael Robertson (Minotaur Books, $24.99, 263 pagesl $14.99, 272 pages)

Moriarty Returns a Letter (alt. cover)

Across the Atlantic Ocean in England the reader is treated to the fourth installment of the charming Baker Street series. The series features Crown Barrister Council Reggie Heath whose office is located at the historic 221B Baker Street address made famous by the Sherlock Holmes stories.

Heath is drawn into a murder mystery that ties to the abduction of his soon-to-be bride, movie star Laura Rankin. Laura is beautiful and clearly knows the value of a trustworthy and loyal man. She has chosen Reggie over the pompous publisher of a sensationalist news corporation – think Rupert Murdoch. Together, Reggie and Laura set out to the countryside for a quiet weekend.

The dialogue is clever and the scenes are cinematic. The reader is happily riding along on their adventure when mayhem, madness and trickery insinuate themselves into the picture. This tale moves along smoothly despite a few mishaps.

The real question for fans of Reggie and Laura is – will this be a case of “and they lived happily ever after”?

Well recommended.

Ruta Arellano

Review copies were provided by the publisher.

Moriarty Returns a Letter is available in both hardbound and trade paper versions.

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Kansas City

Every Last Secret: A Mystery by Linda Rodriguez (Minotaur Books, $24.99, 289 pages)

Poet Linda Rodriguez, who is part Cherokee and lives in Kansas City, Missouri, brings more than a bit of herself to her first mystery novel.   In many ways, it seems as though she is living a fantasy life through the story.   The main character is Marquitta Bannion, a female cop in America’s heartland – K.C., Mo.   Skeet, as she’s known by her peers, has worked her way up the ranks of the Kansas City Police Department at the cost of her marriage to a fellow officer.   To make matters worse, her dad’s tarnished reputation as a cop has shaken her faith in him.   She’s half Cherokee which makes her internal struggle even more challenging as she integrates what matters most into her maturing persona.   The Native American values Skeet learned from family are sometimes at odds with her work life.   With so much tension and disappointment haunting her, Skeet decides to move on in life.

The action takes place at a nearby small town college where Skeet has taken a job as the chief of the campus police.   Her hope for a career move away from the turmoil of big city crime fighting is shattered when the student editor of the school newspaper is found murdered.   As is to be expected, the tale centers on solving the crime.   What is not expected is the knitting our heroine uses as a way of calming and soothing her frazzled nerves.   The author is an avid knitter and her knitting references are authentic.   It makes for a charming twist to the standard mystery genre.

The underlying themes of an intergenerational struggle and life shifts sets the stage for Skeet to arrive at realizations about her priorities.   The action moves smoothly and keeps the reader’s interest.   Clearly, Ms. Rodriguez has set up the beginning of an engaging series of novels with a great ending – and the potential for a direct sequel.   Stay tuned!

Highly recommended.

Ruta Arellano

“Murder on a college campus, plenty of bad people, and all kinds of puzzles to solve.   Linda Rodriguez has written a highly enjoyable procedural introducing a rough and tender heroine, Skeet Bannion.”   Kathleen George, author of The Odds and Hideout.

Every Last Secret was released on April 24, 2012, and is available as a Nook Book and Kindle Edition download.

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