Sunday, December 31, 2023

Review: Blood Ties

Blood Ties Blood Ties by Barbara Fradkin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Country handyman Cedric O’Toole finds his life turned upside down when a stranger named Steve shows up at his farm, claiming to be his brother. Steve believes they have the same father, and he is on a quest to find him, as Cedric’s unwed mother took the secret of their father’s identity to her grave. Together Steve and Cedric embark on a hunt for answers. At every turn, people seem to have the police officer who investigated a suspicious death years ago and who is now the chief near retirement, Cedric’s aunt Penny, who knows all the gossip in the town but claims to know nothing about the death and, most alarming of all, Cedric’s own grandparents and uncle, who insist no good will come of his questions. What are they all hiding? And does Cedric really want to know the answers?

Friday, December 29, 2023

Review: The Night Thief

The Night Thief The Night Thief by Barbara Fradkin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Simple country handyman Cedric O’Toole relies on his organic vegetable garden to supplement his meager income, so he’s upset when vegetables begin disappearing. After several futile attempts to protect the garden, he stakes it out one night with his shotgun and spots a shadowy figure running into the woods. Cedric follows and finds a young boy living rough on his land. The boy has never been taught to read or write, and no one has reported him missing. No stranger to childhood neglect himself, Cedric takes the boy under his wing and tries to find answers. Who is the mystery boy, and why is he hiding in the woods?
The Night Thief is the third novel in a series featuring reluctant sleuth Cedric O’Toole.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Review: Evil Behind That Door by Barbara Fradkin

Evil Behind That Door by Barbara Fradkin Evil Behind That Door by Barbara Fradkin by unknown author
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When softhearted handyman Cedric O'Toole agrees to help Barry Mitchell renovate his farmhouse, he finds himself facing old fears. Not only did Mitchell bully Cedric all through school, but his life has been troubled ever since. Now, just out of prison, he's broke and his parents have gone missing, leaving a cloud of suspicion hanging over his head. But when Barry warns him not to touch the boarded-up door in the cellar, the ever-curious Cedric can't resist. The small storage room, obviously unused in years, contains jars of preserves, barrels of dried apples and a pile of small bones. As he sets out to discover who died and how, Cedric uncovers a tale of violence, deception and abuse. And he learns just how far Barry will go to keep a tragic family secret from coming to light.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Review: The Fall Guy

The Fall Guy The Fall Guy by Barbara Fradkin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Handyman Cedric O'Toole likes his simple life. He lives by himself on a hardscrabble farm, collecting sheds full of junk and dreaming of his next invention. Then one day a slick city lawyer drives down his lane and his nightmare begins. Lori-Anne Wilkins, the wife of a wealthy local businessman, has fallen to her death from a deck Cedric built, and the furious widower has slapped him with a lawsuit. When Cedric goes to check out the accident site, he discovers that someone has tampered with the railing around the deck. It appears he's been set up to take the blame. But who might want Mrs. Wilkins dead? Then, when someone runs him off the road, he realizes that his life is in danger too. To clear his name and save his life, Cedric has to use his inventive mind to trap the real killer.


Review: Fire in the Stars

Fire in the Stars Fire in the Stars by Barbara Fradkin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A former aid worker returns home haunted by her time in Africa and channels her pain into a murder investigation that’s all too personal.

After surviving a horrific trauma in Nigeria, international aid worker Amanda Doucette returns to Canada to rebuild her life and her shaken ideals. There, the once-passionate, adventurous woman needs all her strength and ingenuity when a friend and fellow survivor goes missing along with his son.

A trained first-aid and crisis responder, Doucette ― always accompanied by her beloved dog Kaylee ― joins forces with RCMP officer Chris Tymko to discover the truth about the disappearance. Their search leads them to the Great Northern Peninsula, a rugged landscape of Viking history, icebergs, whales, and fierce ocean storms. Elsewhere, a body gets hauled up in a fisherman’s net, and evidence is mounting of an unsettling connection with Amanda’s search for her friend. Fradkin writes evocatively of the beautiful, often hostile, Newfoundland landscape where Amanda soon finds herself fighting for her very survival.

I loved this book and am so happy to have found this writer. Will be reading more of her books.


Review: The Convict's Wife

The Convict's Wife by Libby Ashworth My rating: 4 of 5 stars When Molly Holden's husband,...