Author Archives: G.P. Gottlieb

Cleverly, Barbara — Detective Joe Sandilands Mystery Series, Inspector Redfrye Mystery Series, and Laetitia Talbot Mystery Series

“Some figures in the British establishment were above the reach of common law and order and any policeman threatening to topple one of this elite group would himself be sent spinning base over apex before he could do any harm. Joe’s letter of resignation was lodged permanently in the drawer of Trenchard’s desk as a gauge of his independence and determination to uphold the law without ear or favour. The men assembled on this occasion were all well aware of that. Sandilands was not “One of Us” nor yet quite “One of Them.” Might even prove to be a loose cannon.” Diana’s Alter, Barbara Cleverly

Goudarzi, Sara – The Almond in the Apricot

“The basement smells wet. Other than random flashes of light coming through the small window, it’s dark everywhere. I’m squatting on the cold concrete floor under a wooden table, covering my ears with my hands and wondering if our house will still be here tomorrow. Mom and Dad are sitting on chairs a few meters away. They’re quiet. I don’t like sitting on a chair. The table is like another roof. I told my parents it’s like playing house, and they said it was okay. We all do different things when the lights are cut and the air raids begin.”

Manansala, Mia P. – Homicide and Halo-Halo

Curls of smoke drifted around the Brew-ha Café, a pleasant floral aroma filling the space while hints of an unknown herb tickled my nose, making me sneeze. “Salud,” said Elena Torres, the pierced-and-tatooed woman holding the smoldering bouquet, as she wafted a bit more smoke toward me. Adeena Awan, Elena’s girlfriend and my best friend, stood next to her, breathing the mixture in, bathing in the smoke. I held back a cough. “didn’t we already cleanse the place?” Elena nodded, circling me with the smoke-cleansing stick in her hand. “Yes, but I did some research and saw that guava leaves were used in ancient Filipino practices the same way the indigenous people here use sage. Thought it would bring some good energy into the shop and be something nice for your ancestors, without us having to appropriate white sage. This is a special blend of guava leaves, rosemary, and lavender my mom and I grew in our greenhouse.”

Brown, Teri M: Sunflowers Beneath the Snow

“Lyaksandro was aware of just three things. The slit of sun sneaking through the hurriedly closed curtains in an otherwise claustrophobic room. The air sucking into his lungs only to escape again in uneven gasps. And the unsympathetic, unyielding metal pressed against his temple awaiting his decision. How had he gone from a simple man – a university employee, a son, a father, a husband- to a man facing a decision at the end of a gun?”

Finch, Charles: Charles Lynch Mysteries

“There was a great deal to take in, and, beginning with an inspection of the body, he noted it all with a pencil in the mall leather-bound notebook he kept in his font pocket, each small detail. Still, when he stepped down on the platform again, some fifteen minutes later, it was not the inhumane manner of the murder that filled him with consternation. It was that for the first time in his young career, he had encountered a case without a single clue.”

Hicks, Patrick: In the Shadow of Dora

“He was tired and cold when he arrived from Auschwitz. The moon hung above him, battered and beaten, as he trudged down a long concrete road with thousands of other men. The train that had carried him across Germany huffed in the night. A whistle pierced the frosty air – it was a single note, strangled into silence. The huffing engine took on water as he licked his dry lips. He tried to swallow. Searchlights paced the dark as dogs strained against their leashes, their front paws wheeling the air. Guards stood along the road and yelled at the prisoners to move faster, faster. Behind him, bodies were tossed from the railcars. They his the pebbly ground in sickening hard thuds. Stones skittered away.”

Ellis, Lyndsey: Bone Broth

“What could she say for herself? My husband ordered me to help kill him, so I did? Her defense sounded weak and bizarre. Even Wesley wouldn’t have believed her, if he hadn’t done what he did. The truth was absurd. Justine hadn’t told a soul. Definitely not her kids. Not even Bev. It made more sense to create a new truth. A few weeks after Wesley’s funeral, Justine started stealing from the funerals of dead folks-some she knew, but mostly those she didn’t-not to be sordid or cruel, but because she wanted to recreate her past with pieces of truths that came from other people’s past.”

McCormack, Judith: The Singing Forest

“Children found the bones more than once. This was one of those times. They should have known something, of course. They did know. They didn’t know. They had no idea it was as bad as that. It was a soft, deadly secret that had settled into the small forest, blanketing the ground, wrapping itself around the rough skin of the trees. The people nearby tended it silently, patting its edges, smoothing it, the metallic taste of it always in their mouths. As soon as they thought they knew it, though, as soon as they believed they could run their hands along its contours in their sleep, they would remember something else, hear about something else, something they had forgotten or perhaps never knew. Then the secret would assume a different shape, a new form, still soft and baleful.”

Chancy, Myriam J.A. – What Storm, What Thunder

“When the earth moved, the houses fell to the ground within seconds, jolted when the ground stopped swaying and crushed everything that had remained. The girls were not the only ones left crying below: the whole street swayed; the earth rippled like a carpet heaving itself of crumbs and dirt that a distracted housekeeper had forgotten to sweep away. I left my stand and all my wares- the piles of mango, the eggs (they would fall, smash against the ground), the packs of Chiclets, the ripe avocadoes- and made my way toward the voices, not thinking of my own small house up and away in the hills.”