Monday, December 10, 2012


By Shelley Dayton

Genre: Adventure comedy, mystery



Three friends’ vacation from hell staggers through a jungle well seasoned with adventure, intrigue and humor.

When the ladies of Short Mountain Mortgage clock out, chaos clocks in. Why Rita Hates Monkeys follows Vicky, Rita, and Lynette as their vacation in a Mexican rainforest goes horribly wrong. The aggressive bats are frightening and nobody can identify the dinner meat, but the trip becomes a real adventure when a monkey flings a hand at them. Their guide Elsa asks them to find the hand’s owner.

Their options are to help, or a local tribe will have them for dinner. And then later for a midnight snack.

My Review:

I want to use the word quirky, which isn’t a bad thing. It can mean original, odd, unpredictable all perfectly good words to describe some of Ms. Dayton’s characters and plot points. To be honest, I giggled my way through this misadventure of Vicky and her friends. I certainly didn’t see the ending or how Ms. Dayton was pulling it all together.

Tell me who wouldn’t laugh at this line: “You are in luck, my friends!” Elsa said. “We just dug holes for the outdoor toilets!” I was very much like the characters…what have I gotten myself into.

Why Rita Hates Monkeys is a very short story, roughly 48 electronic pages, and while the editor in me questioned a couple of small areas, I had fun reading it.

Fun…that’s another word some people don’t like. I’ll never understand that thinking. When I read a book, fun fits. Writers and their words allow my emotions free reign, something in day-to-day life we try and maintain to a socially excepted level.

You want adventure, fun, mystery, and a monkey who gets away with everything…well, here’s the place.

Material provided by the author in exchange for my impartial review


by Karen Wiesner and Chris Spindler

Mystery/Police Procedural Novella Collection

All information available and future updates available at:

Blurb via author’s site:

Bugs: A partially digested body is found in the oxidation ditch at the Falcon's Bend Wastewater Treatment Plant. Was it an accident...or is new Falcon's Bend Investigator Pete Shasta facing his first murder? 

Broken Wings: Just two months ago, a runaway daughter Keith Pierce never knew he had landed on his doorstep. Seventeen years earlier, Keith Pierce had a brief, intense affair with a woman on the lam. When Keith returns to Kat's hometown of Falcon's Bend to find his daughter's mother, he discovers that Kat disappeared shortly after giving birth to Quinn. Investigator Pete Shasta solves a decade and a half old missing-person case that's about to turn into murder. 

Obsessions: A newborn baby is stolen from Falcon's Bend Community Hospital's maternity ward...and Lt. Pete Shasta's only lead is to the Liace Adoption Agency, which set up the open adoption of the unmarried mother's baby. Case Representative Lisa Mercer is as suspicious and defensive as she is beautiful. Pete finds himself breaking the cardinal rule of investigation--never get emotionally involved with anyone even remotely associated with a case. With a kidnapper who seems to believe there's nothing left to lose and potentially everything to gain, and his own uncontrollable feelings for Lisa, Pete's about to learn just how dangerous obsessions can be. 

Blind Revenge: For the first three years of her life, Lindsay Bronwyn had nightmares about a witch who wanted her eyes. Nineteen years later, those nightmares have come true when she's found murdered on her kitchen floor, her eye sockets empty. Falcon's Bend Investigator Danny Vincent faces the supernatural to get at a chilling flesh and blood truth. 

Fixated: Someone has been following new Falcon's Bend citizen Risa Nitzberg for the past few weeks. Victor Brooks, her neighbor from across the street who's become fixated with Risa from afar, steps in when Risa's creepy stalker decides to get up close and personal.

My Review:

I’ve mentioned before that reviewing anthologies, short story collections, or any short story is different and slightly more difficult than reviewing a larger piece. The reason being with less material there’s a greater chance of giving the story and ending away.

Now, less material does not mean less story, less impact, less craft. No, there are times when a short story will pack more punch than any full length novel.

I discovered Falcon’s Bend a few years back through a previous publisher and am glad to see the series thriving and growing. Listed as a Mystery/Police Procedural this series as the feeling of a cozy…coming home to a familiar setting and character-friends. The difference between Falcon’s Bend and cozies is its boldness.

The authors have found a balance of small town closeness and strong edged crime, murder, and mystery. With a touch of the extra…see story Blind Revenge.

Other aspects of collections/series are the similarities within each story. Not that authors copy or repeat themselves, but plot patterns can be found, story rhythms felt as you read each book. Falcon’s Bend doesn’t quite fit this scenario. The main characters follow their established behaviours and so far they haven’t veered off illogically. The plots vary. However, the action centres on the main police characters more than anyone else in Falcon’s Bend. It’s not the community I know, it’s the detectives. Well, the exception might be in the short…Fixated. Here we visit through the other side of the crime.

With this all said and done, the bottom line is…when you’re searching for a solid police character driven mystery, Falcon’s Bend is the place.

For me, it’s been too long and I’m glad to be back. What’s even better is I have a few more books, a few more stories to visit.

Material provided by authors in exchange for my impartial review