Archive for March 21, 2016

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Those Who Walk In Darkness
(Jacks Jackson Mystery Book 1)

Historical Mystery
Print Length: 266 pages
Publisher: J. Lavene (March 8, 2016)


My Review

I’m such a huge fan of these authors. How could I pass up a chance to read their new mystery. It’s different from their cozies and takes place in the late 1800s.

The first thing I was going to talk about was the beginning. That first chapter had a doozy of an ending. I was all ready to tease you about Jacks, but then I read the blurb and that burst my balloon. You see, when you first meet Pinkerton’s finest agent, you have no idea Jacks is a woman, Julia Jackson. I really had no idea until a conversation revealed it. From there on, I was riveted.

Julia’s transformation begins the day of her wedding. Her husband to be is gunned down and dies in her arms. From that day forward, she’s consumed with vengeance. She’ll do whatever it takes to track down Jonathon’s killer and exact retribution. Hopefully by her own hand. So begins Julia becoming Jacks.

She goes to Pinkerton for help, but ends up with a job. He strikes a deal with her. Work for him and he’ll help her. Now she has a name to put to the face of the killer, Zeke Castle.

Sounds thrilling, doesn’t it? Boy, that first case was wild. Jacks is saddled with a green agent, Davey Hume. He’s only been an agent for a month and is overly excited to be working with the legendary Jacks. Things go boom, a gang is taken down, and Jacks’ infamy grows.

Now she has a new case, Track down the Cherokee Indian named Coyote. He kidnapped the wife and son of a railroad man associated with Pinkerton, sending grisly proof. Jacks usually works alone, but this time she’ll have company. The husband of the victims, David Boyd, the newbie Davey Hume, and their guide, Running Wolf, who will come in handy when they have to enter Cherokee territory in pursuit of Coyote.

Jacks senses something hinky about the case right away. But with Coyote’s ties to Zeke Castle, her fiance’s killer, she heads off in pursuit.

About a a quarter of the way into the book, I started to pick up on a bit of a supernatural or paranormal theme. What’s with the raven that keeps following Jacks? And those yellow eyes peering in at her from the darkness outside? Or that voice that whispers in her ear when no one can be seen? Getting creepy.

The only hitch with this book is the cover. It works as their is some mysticism in it. But I think having Jacks on the cover, maybe standing in the roadway of a western town, back to us, arm ready to draw her gun, would be amazing. She’s become a favorite character of mine and I’d like to see her in action. Just sayin.

It’s only fair I should warn you. There’s a cliff hanger ending. A big one. I have a love/hate relationship with it. Hated that the story ended where it did. Loved that there would be more. Gonna miss the whiskey drinkin, cigar smokin, gunslinging, Jacks. Curious whether Davey Hume will continue to work with her. And I’m hoping their might be something going on between her and Running Wolf.

I’ll be ready for the next story. The authors have built a strong character base and I’m excited to see where they go.

5 Stars



Three years ago, Julia Jackson was a well to do young woman from Boston whose fiancé, Jonathon, was killed right before her eyes. Obsessed with finding the killer, a man whose face she saw only in a flash as he walked up and shot Jonathon, she leaves her family and her life behind. She starts a new life as ‘Jacks’ Jackson—a cigar smoking, dead eye, female Pinkerton agent…pretending to be a man.

Now Allan Pinkerton needs Jacks to find the man who kidnapped the wife and son of a railroad official, David Boyd. Their only clues are the severed finger from the man’s wife, complete with wedding ring, and a map of the Qualla boundary, the Cherokee reservation in North Carolina.

Jacks doesn’t like the way the whole thing sounds from the beginning. David Boyd isn’t important enough to target for a kidnapping. And why travel so far with two hostages?

But Pinkerton tells her that he believes the man responsible for the kidnapping worked with Jonathon’s murderer in a train robbery five years ago. Jacks agrees to go after the kidnapper with hopes of catching him before he can reach his home grounds.

Pinkerton insists that Jacks bring three men with her—Boyd, her new partner, and a Cherokee guide named Running Wolf, who’s always watching her, like he’s trying to figure it out.

Can Jacks catch the kidnapper with her secret—and her life—intact?

Purchase on Amazon


Authors Jim and Joyce Lavene


Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

Webpage / Facebook / Amazon / Twitter


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Follow the tour for more fun posts

March 8 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 9 – A. Holland Reads – INTERVIEW

March 10 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, GUEST POST

March 11 – Author Annette Drake’s Blog – INTERVIEW

March 12 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 14 – Book Babble – REVIEW

March 15 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – REVIEW

March 16 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 17 – fundinmental – REVIEW

March 18 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

March 20 – Deal Sharing Aunt – SPOTLIGHT

March 21 – fuonlyknew – REVIEW

March 22 – Community Bookstop – CHARACTER GUEST POST


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Welcome to My Monday Minis Reviews where I share short reviews of books I’ve read. For today I’ll be sharing my review of

Memory House

The Memory House Collection #1

by Bette Lee Crosby



My Review

I’ve read most of Bette Lee Crosby’s books and adored them. She has this southern flavor in her writing that appeals to my soul.

Memory House is the first book in the collection and enchants you right from the get go.

Ophelia is nearing 90 years old, and while she’s slowing down, she still has a lot of living to do. Searching from someone to pass her guardianship of treasures to, she waits for that someone to appear.

Ophelia can capture memories from objects. She feels their emotions, and sometimes visualizes them. She keeps the objects she comes across in her loft, keeping them alive to become others memories too. Perhaps that’s why so many of us are drawn to antiques and old things. We’re curious about them, wonder about the owners.

In walks Annie, looking for some time away after a bad break up with her boyfriend. She stumbles upon Memory House Bed & Breakfast, where a kind elderly woman welcomes her in. They quickly form a kinship and Ophelia feels that special someone has finally arrived. Now to see if she’s right.

I especially enjoyed it when Ophelia introduced her treasures to Annie. I recognized character’s the objects belonged to from some of her other books. It took me back to those beloved places and characters. A treat and such a clever idea.

Memory House a lovely read. Bette never fails to deliver engaging, step from the pages character’s that quickly become special friends to you. Her story is woven with magic. It entices, evokes your emotions, and you finish with a need for more.

I’m now reading the second book, The Loft, and it take places not too long after this book ends. Right back into this world and eagerly turning the pages.

5 Stars




Ophelia Browne knows the answer is yes. She knows because she’s been granted the unique gift of finding and caring for those forgotten memories. But now she’s nearing ninety, and Browne women seldom live beyond ninety.

Before time runs out Ophelia must find a successor. Someone who can take hold of the gifts and keep the memories from fading.

When broken-hearted Annie Cross shows up on the doorstep of The Memory House Bed and Breakfast, Ophelia knows she is the one. The two women forge a bond of friendship as they sip magical dandelion tea and share stories. When Annie starts to sense the memories Ophelia is delighted, but then a thread of violence begins to unravel and Ophelia fears things have gone too far.


To get your copy of Memory House and view all of Bette Lee Crosby’s books, click on the link above or the book covers.


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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

For a list of my reviews go HERE

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