I met Radine Trees Nehring several years ago after I first started writing my mysteries. I was attending Writers’ Conferences that year to promote my books. We hit it off immediately, perhaps because she, too, writes a mystery series based on travel. Her protagonist visits Arkansas’ many tourist destinations where she subsequently becomes involved in a mystery she helps solve. These fun and charming stories always challenge and relax me. When I finish one I feel I’ve taken a trip to the beautiful sites Arkansas offers. At any rate, Radine apparently likes my stories too and the other day she posted this on a reader’s site on-line and sent me this copy which I’m going to share with you.
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2011 17:09:29 -0500
From: Radine Trees Nehring
Subject: CARNAGE GOES COASTAL CARNAGE GOES COASTAL, the latest addition to Gayle Wigglesworth’s Claire Gulliver mystery series, is, to me, more suspense/thriller than cozy mystery, though the background is traditional cozy. (Keep in mind I’m waffling here, since I find it very difficult to define just what each division in the genre means.) I hope I’m not stating a spoiler when I say this time it’s Jack Rallins’s adult daughter Karen who’s in trouble. This is deep enough trouble that someone is trying to kill her, and isn’t at all concerned if “side damage” to the inept murder attempts take out twenty more innocent people. Those familiar with this terrific series know that Claire Gulliver and Jack Rawlins have been in love for some time, but his profession–in the CIA–keeps him traveling so much that wedding plans have been on hold. (Think Mrs. Pollifax in a masculine form.) However, now Jack is changing jobs so he can stay closer to home, and their wedding is planned for the near future. But Jack is off on a last assignment when Karen, terrified by the attempts on her life, calls to ask him what to do, and gets Claire instead. As series’ readers know, Claire has been involved in more than one dangerous event in the past, and, in Jack’s absence, she immediately steps in to save Karen. The story of how she accomplishes this is one reason I see suspense/thriller in this novel. It’s full of heart-pounding fast action. Claire’s rapidly concocted plan to save Karen Rallins is as exciting as that in any James Bond novel, though, of course, she doesn’t have access to the clever gimmicks and inventions he uses. For a time Karen is relatively safe at Claire’s home, but along the way the killer(s?) pursuing her have murdered several more people in attempts to get to her. And now, they’re after both Claire and Karen. The big unknown is: Why is someone so anxious to see Karen dead? True, she has given birth to a son, the result of a disastrous love affair with a married man who has political ambitions, but Karen has disappeared out of his life and– well, surely he knows she’s no threat to him? In the meantime, by the time Jack returns, Claire and Karen have bonded, and “baby Jack” is drawing everyone’s love and attention as babies most often do. The story advances to the heart-pounding level again when hired killers locate Karen, Claire, and baby Jack and, for a time, the reader wonders how they can possibly escape the advancing threat. In the Acknowledgements section that precedes this story, Gayle Wigglesworth says the book was very difficult to write because she “had written Claire into a moral dilemma” and that stopped her cold in the middle of the story. Eventually, however, she was able to plunge ahead, and wrote through the problem–very successfully. Of what I assume to be her “moral dilemma” I will only comment that, more than once, I have heard women who were asked if they could ever kill another human say: “Only if that person were threatening my child.” (End of comment.) Read the novel and see what happens next.
CARNAGE GOES COASTAL.
You may want to look for Radine’s books and see what you think.