May 26, 2011

Looking for a Good Read: Look No Further than The Blue Virgin

For those of you who don’t know, I also do a book and movie review blog at Mom in Love with Fiction. I started this blog as my first foray into blogging. I’m an avid reader, so reviewing books was a natural progression. I also review books for Rebecca’s Reads.
Marni, or M. K. Graff, is a friend and writer’s group cohort of my mother’s. Mom featured Marni’s co-authored Writing in a Changing World book on our Five Favorite Writing Books blog post. I have it in my pile of books and can’t wait to read and review it at a later time. Most of my reading time has been spent perusing the wonderful Blogathon posts lately.
Marni also sits on the Editorial Board of Bridal Path Press and reviews books at her AuntieMWrites blog. She is multi-talented, and I feel honored to have met her. I’m only beginning to pick her brain for information and hope she will guest blog here soon.
The Blue Virgin is the first of M. K. Graff’s Nora Tierney mysteries (and a little birdie told me she has written a second one due out late 2011 or early 2012). I was hooked from the beginning. Nora Tierney is an American in Oxford sorting out her life. She’s pregnant and recently lost her fiancé, who she’s not sure she even loved, in a plane crash. When her dear friend Val Rogan is suspected of killing her lover, Nora jumps head first into the investigation.
The mysterious death of Bryn Wallace grabs you from the first page. I suspected many characters thanks to Graff’s twists and turns, and I didn’t guess the true killer until near the end, and even then I wasn't sure.  Detective Inspector Declan Barnes heads the investigation and leans toward Val in the beginning but has nagging feelings. And although Nora is closely guarded by friend and want-to-be lover, Simon, there’s a pull toward the detective as well. I’m hoping we meet Nora’s baby and find out more about her love life in Book 2.
Graff does an excellent job maintaining a tight pace; she pulls the reader from page to page while also focusing on character development. You care about these people. After all, what’s a good story if the characters aren’t compelling? And it’s a good who-done-it to boot.
I really don’t want to give too much away, but I recommend all mystery-lovers buy The Blue Virgin. You won’t be sorry you did!

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