Auntie M’s Google Images is not responding due to our rain/thunderstorms in the SE today, so I can’t give you any cover images today of these two books.  But each will be easy for you to find on the shelves.

Nancy Atherton’s newest is Aunt Dimity Slay the Dragon.  Atherton’s cozy series, usually set in England, revolves around Lori Shepherd, her busy twins, hunky hubbie Bill, and the spinster ‘aunt’ who left Lori their adorable cottage, somewhere outside Oxford in the Cotswolds fictional village of Finch.

Aunt Dimity comes to Lori in a journal and provides her with a sounding board when she goes off on her hunches, solving mysteries real and imagined.  It’s been a fun series, quick reads I call ‘brain candy.’  Until this one . . .

IF you want to know  are intested in Renaissance Festivals, this is the book for you.   The details are many and educational if you’re interested in Everything You Wanted to Know About RenFests.   But I couldn’t help feeling as I was reading that it wasn’t up to the same standards as the past books.  The ‘mystery’ bit is long in coming, and is a sort of disappointment when it pans out.

I got the feeling Nancy Atherton, whom I usually adore, was pressed for a deadline or simply needs a break.  Maybe she needs to take Lori and Aunt Dimithy on a cruise?

On the other hand, Face of Betrayal was so fast paced I read it in one night and one afternoon.  Written with mystsery writer April Henry, former prosecutor Lis Wiehl has come up with a trio of ladies we hope to get to see more of over the next few books.

Reporter Cassidy Shaw, Federal Prosecutor Allison Pierce, and FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges are the “Triple Threat” ladies who form this lively new series.  Their personal lives, religious views, and family situations are as different as can be, which adds to the interest.  In this first installment, set in Portland, a 17 year-old Senate page home for Christmas break disappears after taking her dog for a walk.

By showing the story from three diverse perspectives, and objectives, including the reporter who needs this story to climb the ladder, we are treated to the advancement of the story and varying ways of obtaining information.

We also get a look at the behind-the-scenes reality of these very different occupations, from the makeup consultant called in to show the changes needed for high definition TV coverage, to the functioning of a grand jury, to the boring grunt work that makes up any FBI investigation.  There’s a smattering of romance and sex, but not too heavy.  Just enough to keep it interesting.

I give this one a high thumbs up!

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