Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Buns and Roses

Some of the members of my discussion group (and my wife) attended an event – the second annual Buns and Roses Romance Tea for Literacy. They were scheduled at the table of author Brenda Novak who in addition to writing romance novels also wrote a series starting with Dead Silence. I decided I would read this book. Is this book a mystery? Well … not really. Technically it is classified a romantic suspense novel. It does not have a typical “sleuth” which is generally associated with a mystery. Is there a mystery? Yes there is – what happened to and where is Reverend Barker a respected member of the Stillwater community who disappeared some 16 years earlier than the book. But it is no mystery to the Montgomery family.

Most of the Stillwater community suspect murder and still believe the Montgomery family is responsible. Grace Montgomery who left Stillwater 13 years ago and became a successful assistant D.A. is returning to Stillwater for a visit. In spite of her success, most of the community still thinks she is trash. We learn in this book why the there is this image of her and the underlying reason. As a young kid, she had been abused by her stepfather – the reverend. As a result she had a very low esteem as a teenager and fell into a trap of getting approval by letting the boys have sex with her. Yes this is fiction but it is not unusual for the same thing to happen when a kid is molested. Grace Montgomery’s return restirs the suspicions of the community that the Reverend was murdered by the Montgomery family. We learn what the Montgomery family knows about the death of the Reverend. But was he murdered?

We learn the circumstances leading up to his death. Giving this information, we understand why it happened. I am no lawyer but it would be my opinion that no legal charge of murder should be made. But given the attitude of the community and their feelings towards the reverend, the Montgomery family feels alone. However, they learn they have allies. And when you think the truth (that the reverend is buried on the family property) is going to come out, it still remains a secret. In the end Grace gets some peace in knowing she was not responsible for what the reverend did to her. Also she finds love and a family. But since this is the first in the trilogy, this is obviously not the end.

Even though this was not what I consider a mystery, I enjoyed the book and will probably read the other two books in the trilogy.


Anonymous said...

Sandra Brown, David Baldacci and Joseph Wambaugh
Among Acclaimed Authors Set for Court TV’s MURDER BY THE BOOK

Hit, Real-Life Series Returns for Second Season Monday, Nov. 5 at 10 pm, (ET/PT)

Series Also Features Best-Selling Crime Authors Kathy Reichs, Lee Child, Harlan Coben , Linda Fairstein and Lisa Gardner

Sandra Brown (Play Dirty), David Baldacci (Stone Cold) and Joseph Wambaugh (Hollywood Station) are among the slate of acclaimed authors set to appear on MURDER BY THE BOOK, Court TV’s popular original series featuring best-selling authors who provide insight into true crime stories that have long captivated or had a personal impact on them. The series returns for a second season with 13 episodes beginning Monday, Nov. 5, at 10 pm (ET/PT).
Brown is set to be featured on MURDER BY THE BOOK Nov. 5 and will be followed by Baldacci on Nov. 12. Subsequent weeks will feature Wambaugh, Harlan Coben (The Woods), Lee Child (Bad Luck and Trouble), Lisa Gardner (Gone), Linda Fairstein (Bad Blood), Kathy Reichs (Break No Bones), Elizabeth George (What Came Before He Shot Her), and Nick Santora (Slip & Fall). Returning from last season are authors Lisa Scottoline (Daddy’s Girl), Faye Kellerman (Capital Crimes) and Jonathan Kellerman (Obsession).
Season one of MURDER BY THE BOOK, which premiered Nov. 13, 2006, averaged 1.3 million viewers and more than half a million adults 18-49. MURDER BY THE BOOK also dramatically increased the delivery for its time period over the prior year among adults 18-49 (+31%) and total viewers (+42%).
MURDER BY THE BOOK is produced by Digital Ranch for Court TV. David Cargill is the supervising producer for Digital Ranch. Jessica Shreeve is executive producer for Court TV, and Ed Hersh is executive in charge of production.
Court TV®, a Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. company, provides a window on the American system of justice through distinctive programming that both informs and entertains. Seen in 86 million U.S. homes, Court TV Networks is comprised of Court TV News™, which provides live trial coverage in daytime; Court TV: Seriously Entertaining™ in prime time, featuring investigative drama, expert reality and compelling non-fiction series; and Court TV Extra™, a subscription Web-based service offering viewers an interactive opportunity to watch multiple live trials on the Internet, while accessing the tremendous resources of Court TV Online™. The Court TV Web sites can be accessed via and On Jan. 1, 2008, Court TV will change its name to truTV as part of a major re-branding initiative.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and a leading provider of programming for the television industry.

Jaime Yandolino New York 212/692-7844
Susan Ievoli New York 212/991-3110

Anonymous said...

I agree. There are no legal grounds for murder in this case. However the emotional atmosphere of the town would likely lead to this if taken to court.