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Book reviews for "Dams,_Jeanne_Martin" sorted by average review score:

Golden Unicorn
Published in Paperback by Fawcett Books (1990)
Author: Phyllis A. Whitney
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Not for tots
This is a great book, especially for anyone trying to teach the real meaning of christmas. It is in the format of a child's book, but its language and subject matter (including the murder of all babies under Herod) is pretty advanced, so it's appropriate for kids who would normally read chapter books: I'd say 7+ years.

Beautiful Story
This book should be on the gift list for everyone you know! The original story was written by Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933). Susan Summers has rewritten and brought forth such gorgeous illustrations of a very special tale! No holiday season should go by without bringing this wonderful book out to read in a cozy gathering around the fireplace.

The Fourth Wise Man tells the story of Artaban who had originally planned to journey to Bethlehem with the other three wisemen to pay homage to the new King of the Jews but was delayed by his acts of kindness to others along the way. He does miss the birth of Jesus but continues a lifelong search of the King with a most wonderful journey and blissful end.

This is one of my all time favorites for any season and always brings tears to my eyes to think of the beauty of Artaban's life. Here's what Mr. Van Dyke had to say about his story:
"Who seeks for heaven alone to save his soul May keep the path, but will not reach the goal; While he who walks in love may wander far, Yet God will bring him where the blessed are."

A wonderful addition to a family's library. Reading this book should become a family tradition right along with "Twas the Night Before Christmas"

Handbook of Disruptive Behavior Disorders
Published in Hardcover by Kluwer Academic Publishers (1999)
Authors: Herbert C. Quay and Anne E. Hogan
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Each story is a gem!
Fans of Christine Feehan are in for a double treat as this anthology features a haunting story by her at the beginning and a preview of her upcoming novel. Though this is not a Carpathian story, like that series, two lovers are brought together by destiny and magic, but opposition from the outside world threatens both their love and their lives.

Katherine Sutcliffe gives us a fast paced story of an FBI profiler with a useful gift that borders on being a curse. With the help of a seductive detective, she strives to stop a killer targeting prostitutes. However, even his protection may not be enough to keep her alive. This is one that I hope is only the beginning of a longer novel, the cliffhanger ending is chilling.

Fiona Brand carries readers to an exotic and unique setting as two people find themselves suddenly free to pursue a forbidden love. Passion flares from every page as a reserved widow and a sexy bad boy find love despite small town politics and the threat of home invasion.

Rounding out the collection, Eileen Wilks gives us a snappy, fast moving werewolf story. Werewolves appear to be behind a series of murders, and a beautiful detective is forced to work with one to solve the case. Her prejuidice against his kind quickly melts under their mutual attraction, but conflict of interest and the mix of their races might be more than their love can overcome.

***** Each of these stories is a gem, well worth the readers' time. The only fault with this anthology is each story deserves to be a full length book. *****

Excellent anthology of the paranormal
"Magic in the Wind" by Christine Feehan. Military defense systems expert Damon hides from the threats to his life. In his new town, he hears strange whispers about his neighbor Sarah, her "sisters" and their otherworldly powers. Damon and Sarah instantly fall in love with one another. When his adversaries find him, Damon and Sarah try to keep each other safe. This strong story needs novels starring Sarah's siblings.

"Hot August Moon" by Katherine Sutcliffe. FBI profiler Anna uses her psychic skills to locate killers. She investigates the mutilation murders of a friend and her two children under the direction of district attorney Jerry, who once broke her heart. This gory tale is for those who enjoy explicit mutilation scenes with unanswered questions.

"After Midnight" by Fiona Brand. In New Zealand, the rape murder has left everyone frightened especially recently widowed Jane since her farm is isolated. She avoids her nearest neighbor Michael because she feels guilty that she desired him while her spouse was dying. Michael wants her too, but first must deal with being the prime suspect. This is a strong romantic investigative tale tat showcases the talent of this fine author.

"Only Human" by Eileen Wilks. Chinese-American detective Lily investigates a murder that appears to be the work of a werewolf. To infiltrate the clans, Lily enlists the help of werewolf Rule though she detests the species. Soon they fall in love, but first they must weed out the rogue killer.

The novellas are well written and because the stories are so different this anthology will appeal to a wide variety of tastes.

Harriet Klausner

Four great stories in one great book...
Magic in the Wind (Christine Feehan)...Damon Wilder had always been a recluse. Never forming lasting attachments, all Damon lived for was his work. That all changed when his partner died and he was tortured for answers on the project he was working on for the government. Drawn to a sleepy town on the coast, Damon was enjoying his retirement as much as he was able. Then he started hearing the whispers. 'Sarah's home' seemed to call to him and he was irrestibely drawn to the house that was on the cliff above his. Sarah Drake was the first of seven daughters. Descended from a legacy of magic, Sarah put her special skills to use protecting innocent people. She was happy to take the job that would take her back to her home, but she was unprepared for the feelings that Damon Wilder unleashed in her. Magic in the Wind is a great story by Christine Feehan that has me looking foward to the six remaining stories.

Hot August Moon (Katherine Sutcliffe)...Anna Travelli was a special profiler of the FBI. Moved into the depths of the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI, no one understood why Anna had to be at the scene of the crime to profile the killer. Anna knew though, she knew that she would see through the eyes of the killer and sometimes even the victim. Her current case brings her back to New Orleans and the lover and love of her life that she left behind. Jerry Costos never forgot Anna, not even in the years they spent apart. Now they are working together to solve the murder of the family of a good friend of them both. In the midst of it all, Anna knows that it could never work out. This is a prequel to Bad Moon Rising, which I already read and loved. If you haven't read Bad Moon Rising, you will not like how this book ends and you will be very dissapointed.

After Midnight (Fiona Brand)...Jane O'Reilly went from city girl to country wife when she married her husband, Patrick. When Patrick died of cancer, leaving Jane behind, she was determined to go on and keep the farm running. She hadn't seen her volitale neighbor, Michael Rider, in nearly seven years since the day his startling confession ruined any chance she would have at happiness with her husband. After standing by Patrick, Jane is now determined to find out if what she felt for Michael all those years ago was real. The day that Michael met Jane, it ruined his marriage and almost his life. Determined to give her time, he left for seven years. Now he's back, and adament on claiming her. But there is evil lurking in the shadows, and all Michael and Jane have are each other. I really enjoyed this book. It was short and sweet and held everything you would be looking for in a romance.

Only Human (Eileen Wilks)...Lily Wu was promoted to a detective in the homicide division of the San Diego Police Department because of her determination to find justice. When horrible murders start taking place, she is forced to work with Rule Turner, who may be the only one who could help find the murderer. Descended from a species that was not quite human, Rule's clan didn't believe in fidelity or faithfulness. Lily didn't think that would be a problem early on, afterall he was only a means to an end. Rule knew exactly who Lily was, all he had to do was get her to see it. Together they embark on a journey of discovery, from finding a murderer as well as a traitor, to discovering what it is like to find your soulmate. A definetly different book, I nevertheless really enjoyed it.


Creative Cloth Doll Making: New Approaches for Using Fibers Beads Dyes & Other Exciting Techniques
Published in Paperback by Rockport Publishers (2003)
Author: Patti Medaris Culea
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American homage to Christie, Pym and the like
The British cozy mystery is practically an institution so it's fun when a book comes along that respects that tradition while giving it a different twist. In this case, an American protagonist, Dorothy Martin, guides us through British village life, high church nuances and murder.

This book has all of the things I want in a four star rated book. The writing is always competent and sometimes quite witty. The plot moved along with only one or two annoying digressions into tourist information. And, most important, I like Dorothy. Maybe it because I've recently helped my own mother cope with widowhood but Dams has created a character who ran both true and likeable. Of course, the hint of an upcoming romance with the widowed chief constable will have me back for more soon.

The mystery itself is solid. There are plenty of suspects with reason to kill the victim. Was it church politics? Was it a matter of musical taste? Was it an agrieved employee? Was it a jealous scholar?

I've held back a fifth star for a couple of reasons. While I throughly enjoyed the book it isn't so outstanding that I'll be recommending to friends (yet). Also, as a non-Christian, I felt Dams was a bit heavy handed with the religious angle (even if the victim was a Canon).

Cozy Up For This Fun Debut
It's Christmas Eve in the small town of Sherebury. Dorothy Martin, a recently widowed American, is looking forward to her first Christmas as a resident of England. But when leaving the cathedral's midnight mass, she literally stumbles over a body. Soon the questions are flying. Who killed Canon Billings? Since the list of suspects includes most of the town, more importantly why? Dorothy has her hands full trying to figure this one out.

I was drawn in by the charm of this book. It starts out rather quickly and the pace never lags until the gripping conclusion. Dorothy is an interesting main character. I felt her interest in the murder was a little under explained, but I was willing to let that go. I really enjoyed the writing style. The first person narration felt like a letter to a friend and the scenes where Dorothy argued with her self were funny because they were so true.

Having already discovered this author's other series, I now look forward to reading more in this one as well. She is a truly talented mystery author.

Solid cozy
Dorothy Martin and her husband had planned to move to England when they retired. When he died she decided to go ahead with their plan. She moves to Sherebury England where she starts to put the pieces of her life back together. Because this is a murder mystery she promptly stumbles over the body of Jonathan Billings. To the dismay of her new friend, Chief Constable Alan Nesbitt, she starts to investigate and as she gets closer to the solution the danger increases. A charming cozy with a main character whose affinity for hats rivals Dorothy Gilman's Mrs. Pollifax.

Holy Terror in the Hebrides : A Dorothy Martin Mystery
Published in Mass Market Paperback by HarperCollins (1999)
Author: Jeanne M. Dams
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Brush off your tartans, and roll your RRRs ....
Dorothy Martin, an American widow with arthritic knees and a penchant for hats, travels with the reader into this cozy mystery set on a dramatic island off the coast of Scotland. Bright flowers, glorious hiking, historic landmarks, mislaid keys, heavenly meals, a canny cat, travel to the dark and mysterious island of Staffa, even a cure for seasickness, factor into a fun and clever whodunit. When one of the members of an acrimonious church group is lost and presumed drowned in Fingal's cave, Dorothy senses more than knows that it is murder. Back at the beautiful island, she puzzles out the numerous motives, as a major storm blows an ill wind across the island. Better batten down the hatches, this one is exciting.

A charming English cozy
This is the third in Jeanne M. Dams' delightful English cozy series featuring Dorothy Martin, a retired American schoolteacher living in Sherebury, England. In this adventure, our heroine, en route to a vacation on the Scottish island of Iona, finds herself on a bus with an ill-assorted, bickering American church tour group headed for the same idyllic destination. Dorothy's holiday turns out to be anything but peaceful: An obnoxious American is killed in a fall from a cliff in Fingal's Cave, and Dorothy suspects murder. As if that weren't enough, the island is hit by an extremely violent storm. This is a wonderful series, with a charming sleuth and many likable characters. I recommend beginning with the first novel, "The Body in the Transept," and reading the books in order, so you can become acquainted with Dorothy and her friends.

This is not a review...I had written a review but do not see it listed with the others do you only take so many for each book or is there certain criteria that I am not meeting....I thought it was a good review. (Margie R.)

Sins Out of School: A Dorothy Martin Mystery
Published in Hardcover by Walker & Co (2003)
Author: Jeanne M. Dams
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Could have been better
Instead of getting better with age,this series seems to be stuck in a rut.The early entries in the series (The Body in the Transept, To Perish in Penzance) were so much better than the most recent Dorothy Martin mysteries. Dorothy seems a bit sanctimonious these days and the presence of her dull husband, Alan Nesbitt, doesn't help much. Nesbitt is so sketchily drawn that it's hard to see him as anything other than just a shoulder for Dorothy to cry on once in a while. The plot in this book is only mildly involving and the mystery not very difficult to figure out. Overall, this is an ok book but it difinitely could have been better.

A Clever Diversion
The story begins with a Thanksgiving Celebration in the heart of a British Cathedral town. Dorothy Martin, American Chatterbox with arthritic knees and the new wife of former Chief Constable Alan Nesbit, is begged to fill in for a teacher during a flu epidemic. While doing an admirable job as a substitute teacher, she becomes aware of bit of oddness and suddenly finds herself in the midst of a very unusual murder case. Jeanne Dams does an EXCELLENT sense of setting in her cozy mysteries, and the detective work is plausible. The Dorothy Martin character with her wacky hats and nosy questions does get on my nerves just a bit, but I like her anyway. The religious angle to the book was well set out and quite interesting and the characters were ones the reader could care about.

To Perish in Penzance
Published in Hardcover by Walker & Co (2001)
Author: Jeanne M. Dams
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wooden dialogue and improbable coincidences
This latest entry in the Dorothy Martin series is characterized by wooden dialogue and improbable coincidences. It completely lacks the charm of the earlier entries in the series.

The married couple whose unlikely detective antics are at the center of this series are dull and preachy in this book. Their activities are farfetched in most of the books, but their charm and the atmosphere of their village make the books enjoyable. Unfortunately, this book lacks both charm and atmosphere. Instead of the glorious side of Cornwall, we see Cornwall as a center of illegal drug activity. Instead of charming interplay between Alan and Dorothy, we see preaching and the discussion of topics which most married couples (or even dating couples) would long have exhausted between them. There is an awful lot about Alan that Dorothy does not know, ranging from how he feels about criminals and capital punishment to what he did in the military. How could they not have discussed such topics? Alan is often patronizing to his wife, and Dorothy for the first time seems relatively unintelligent.

The mystery itself is the real weakness in this novel. It is based on the most unbelievable set of coincidences. This string of coincidences begins with the fact that Dorothy proposes a trip to Cornwall to try to solve a mystery that Alan had failed to solve thirty years earlier, and they (by chance) end up staying in the hotel with the daughter of the murder victim. Help!

I kept reading, and finished the book, but I do not recommend it. The characterizations in it are as superficial as the relationship Alan and Dorothy apparently have, and the plot is absurd.

Parallel Perils in Penzance
An unlikely plot, and dialogue that crosses over into trite way too often, still an interesting travelogue and glimpse into the coastal town of Penzance. Dorothy Martin is a retired American schoolteacher and recent newlywed to retired Chief Constable Alan Nesbitt. Escaping the constant rain in their cathedral town, this unlikely pair of sleuths head for the sunshine at the seaside, and another peek at a decades old crime. The likelihood of a repeat of that crime is a stretch, and Dorothy crosses the line between caring and interested into nosy and bossy one time too many for this reader. The story has moments of charm and a sense of place, but could have benefited from a map (most books could?). Not a strong recommendation, but still an interesting escape.

Not like the others
This was not a bad mystery at all, but it lacked the coziness of her other books. Instead, it brought in a lot of the sordidness of society that exists today that I really prefer not to have in my books. I read for enjoyment and entertainment; if I went something more true to life, I'll find it in the newspapers. The author brought in a lot of the sadness people feel in the excessive use of drugs and alcohol by those in the younger age group, and the knowledge that nothing can be done about it. I hope that in her following books the author returns to her more familiar cozies that don't leave you feeling so despondent.

Smoke and Mirrors: The Devastating Effect of False Sexual Abuse Claims
Published in Hardcover by Perseus Publishing (1998)
Authors: Terence W. Campell and Terence W. Campbell
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Not the best in the series...
...but I think I enjoyed it more than the other reviewers listed here. One factor that may have played into my enjoyment is the fact that I lived in southern Indiana for quite some time (now living in Europe) so I recognized many of the locales mentioned, especially the Indiana University sites.
I do have to agree with the other reviewers regarding the fact that the episodes of this series that take place in England are better than this one. I enjoy the interaction of Dorothy with the English mentality/way of life, and hope that the next book in the series returns to the UK.

Killing Cassidy takes place in the author's home state of Indiana rather than the village of Sherebury in England and the results are somewhat disappointing. Dorothy seems out of sorts during the entire book and is rather whiny. The characters lose much of their charm in the move across the Atlantic. The plot was ok but I enjoyed the other books in the series a lot more. Let's hope Dorothy hightails it back to England and stays there.

Plot good
I like Dorothy Martin. I read the reviews already written and don't agree with the negatives about this book. It's definately worth reading, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the ones set in England. I tend to choose English mysteries over American because of a quaintness and charm that I missed in this one. We automatically expect her books to take us to familiar places and miss them if our expectations are not met. But this is a good book. Many will enjoy it.

Anatomy of the Horse
Published in Paperback by Breakthrough Pub (1983)
Authors: Robert F. Way and Donald G. Lee
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