Tag Archives: Literary Suspense

Review & Giveaway: The Bones of Amoret by Arthur Herbert

Genre: Mystery /Suspense
Publisher: Stitched Smile Publications
Date of Publication: April 1, 2022
Number of Pages: 323 pages 
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In this enigmatic follow up to his critically acclaimed debut novel The Cuts that Cure, Arthur Herbert returns to the Texas-Mexico border with this saga of a small town’s bloody loss of innocence.
Amoret, Texas, 1982. Life along the border is harsh, but in a world where cultures work together to carve a living from the desert landscape, Blaine Beckett lives a life of isolation. A transplanted Boston intellectual, for twenty years locals have viewed him as a snob, a misanthrope, an outsider. He seems content to stand apart until one night when he vanishes into thin air amid signs of foul play.
Noah Grady, the town doctor, is a charming and popular good ol’ boy. He’s also a keeper of secrets, both the town’s and his own. He watches from afar as the mystery of Blaine’s disappearance unravels and rumors fly. Were the incipient cartels responsible? Was it a local with a grudge? Or did Blaine himself orchestrate his own disappearance? Then the unthinkable happens, and Noah begins to realize he’s considered a suspect.
Paced like a lit fuse and full of dizzying plot twists, The Bones of Amoret is a riveting whodunit that will keep you guessing all the way to its shocking conclusion.

The Bones of Amoret by Arthur Herbert is one of the most satisfying mystery books that I have ever read. Too often I have been able to solve part (if not all of) a mystery by the middle. But Herbert is the master of twists and turns, as well as cooking up some delicious red herrings that are too tempting to ignore.

But even more tantalizing than the thrill of finding out the who and why behind the seemingly senseless murders, the cast of characters provide so much color, even in the midst of somber situations. Herbert’s talent for writing witticisms with a West Texas drawl make characters like Noah Grady spring to life. And his tendency to write things as he sees them in his mind’s eye translates into a truth that is not always pretty.

While there is love and friendship in this book, there is certainly a whole host of hate and vengeance. If there were ever a time to learn the lesson that in order for there to be good, evil must exist, this book would definitely be a candidate for a case study. It would also open up questions about what lies in the middle ground, I imagine.

Given the way that this book ends, I fully expected to walk away with some scars. But there is something in the way that Herbert writes that makes me accept that things are not as simple as right and wrong, good and bad. That every human has two sides of the same coin within them and that it only takes a split second for one side to emerge triumphant over the other.

Even more than a great mystery, I love how this book is a snapshot of West Texas in the ‘80s. One could argue that the social and racial tensions of those days are still prevalent. I don’t know if that was Herbert’s intent, but it’s a sobering thought, nonetheless. I can’t recommend this book enough to all the mystery readers out there. I hope to read more of this author’s work in the future.

Arthur Herbert was born and raised in small town Texas. He worked on offshore oil rigs, as a bartender, a landscaper at a trailer park, and as a social worker before going to medical school. For the last eighteen years, he’s worked as a trauma and burn surgeon, operating on all ages of injured patients. He continues to run a thriving practice.
He’s won multiple awards for his scientific writing, and his first novel, The Cuts that Cure, spent ten days as an Amazon #1 Best Seller. His second novel, The Bones of Amoret, will be released on April 1, 2022 through Stitched Smile Publishers. Arthur currently lives in New Orleans, with his wife Amy and their dogs.
Arthur loves hearing from readers, so don’t hesitate to email him at arthur@arthurherbertwriter.com.

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Pennies from Burger Heaven by Marcy McKay

 Pennies from Burger Heaven
by Marcy McKay
Genre: Literary Suspense
Publisher: SkipJack Publishing
Date of Publication: December 28, 2015
# of pages: 340


Eleven-year-old Copper Daniels is homeless and alone. She spends her nights sleeping beneath the cemetery’s Warrior Angel statue for protection, and her days battling the mean streets of Remington, Texas, hell-bent on discovering what happened the night her Mama disappeared. While Copper and her rag-tag group of friends find danger at every corner, two horrors are certain: her Mama’s really missing and someone’s after Copper, too. 


In the tradition of The Lovely Bones and Room, Pennies from Burger Heaven tells a dark story through the eyes of a child. With wit and wisdom, Copper Daniels will steal your heart, then break it in two.
 Awards for Pennies from Burger Heaven: 
*Winner – Writers’ League of Texas: Best Mainstream Novel 
*Winner – Frontiers in Writing: Best Mainstream Novel  
*Winner – Frontiers in Writing: Best of Show


Praise for Pennies from Burger Heaven
“Against the gritty backdrop of an inner-city ghetto rises the unforgettable voice of eleven-year-old Copper ‘Penny’ Daniels, offering poignant and heartbreaking insights into the horrors and trials of homeless life on the streets, finding heaven where you least expect it, and help in those you never thought to ask.”
 A.G. Howard, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Splintered Series
“At once disturbing and exhilarating, heartbreaking and heartwarming, Pennies is the story of an undying love between a mother and daughter. It grabs you by the heartstrings from the start and won’t let you go, even after you’ve read the last word.”
 Ken Oder, author of The Closing and Old Wounds to the Heart
“Debut novelist McKay infuses Pennies from Burger Heaven with wit, charm and moxie, so much so that the achingly beautifulness of Copper Daniels’ life sneaks up on you. All of this wrapped around a mystery that is fast-paced and rife with tension, with a satisfying series of twists. Can’t wait for the next Burger Heaven novel.”
 Pamela Fagan Hutchins, author of the Katie & Annalise mystery series
I’m real big on writers writing what they know. And if I didn’t know better, I would think that McKay knows a whole lot about being homeless, gangs, and prostitution. And while I agree with all the praise given by the authors above, that last one makes me pause.
Beautifulness? Copper’s life is pretty much a nightmare. Her curly red hair is a beacon that thugs and dirty old men are drawn to. It seems like every turn she makes, Copper is narrowly avoiding death or rape. She’s literally limping around and getting stared at because she spends most of the time covered in bruises, scrapes, and blood. She acknowledges that trouble seems to find her, despite her lucky penny.
Even if you put the mystery aside of where the heck Copper’s mom is, the book reads like a good sleuth (chapters ending with one-liners that tell you nothing good is on the way) with a tough little 11-year-old on the beat. Although Copper’s mother taught her “you can’t trust anyone but yourself,” she’s wrong. Kinda. The kid finds out that the people she didn’t want to trust, are trustworthy after all, and vice versa.
I’m still sad about some outcomes. The characters were very real to me, so I’m attached like that. But to go back to picking on that one author up there, I didn’t get a feeling that there will be a sequel. And to be honest, I kind of hope that there isn’t one. I hope that Copper just gets to live her life as a normal, safe kid.


Marcy McKay knew she wanted to write stories the moment she read about Oompa Loompas in the fourth grade. She’s an award-winning short-story author and copywriter, as well as a freelance journalist. Her work has appeared in Writer’s Digest, Accent West, Roots & Wings, The Write Practice, Write to Done, and Positive Writer and Jane Friedman. Marcy lives in Texas with her husband and two teens, who all still like her…most of the time.  McKay is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas and the Texas High Plains Writers. 

 blog tour services provided by
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You can follow the rest of this tour:

1/28       The Librarian Talks                            Guest Post          

1/29       Belle Whittington on Tumblr      Author Interview

1/30       Book Crazy Gals                                   Promo

1/31       Secret Asian Girl                                  Review

2/1          Texas Book-aholic                              Review



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