Storm Gathering – by Rene Gutteridge (2005)

Storm Gathering


“Storm Gathering” is a tale of two brothers, Mick and Aaron. All his life Mick has thought of Aaron as the “good” brother, the one with a successful career in the local police force, the one who married the woman he wanted. Mick sees himself as the “bad” brother”, the one who came back from Vietnam with nightmares and a drinking problem. Aaron is a man of faith, but Mick is angry with the Almighty for the way his life turned out.

One evening Mick finds a young woman – Taylor – that he really feels comfortable talking with. He goes home with her, and wakes up to find himself lying on the floor and Taylor missing. It isn’t long before he is accused of kidnapping her. Mick will do anything to prove his total innocence, including conducting his own investigation and becoming a fugitive. Fortunately, Mick has God and a cop named Shep looking out for him.

Note: This book is a prequel to the novel “The Splitting Storm”


Don’t Take Any Wooden Nickels – by Mindy Starns Clark (2003, 2011)

Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels

Callie Webber is a PI who works for a wealthy philanthropist she has never met, investigating people and organizations he is thinking of donating money to. It’s Callie’s job to determine if they are worthy of the gift. In addition to her regular job, Callie spends time helping battered and abandoned women get back on their feet. One of the women is accused of murdering her boyfriend, but Callie simply can’t believe that she did it, and starts her own investigation.

I enjoyed this mystery, both for what it contained and what it didn’t contain. There was no vulgar language or behavior, and no grizzly descriptions of dead bodies. What the story did contain was a young woman who converses regularly with God throughout the day, whether she is frustrated or terrified or happy. Callie relies on God, not just on her own strength. This is a refreshing read for anyone wanting a clean mystery.

Shoofly Pie – by Tim Downs (2003)

Shoofly Pie

“Shoofly Pie” introduces us to forensic entomologist Nick Polchak, aka “the Bug Man”. Nick’s whole life is devoted to studying and understanding every type of fly or insect. His dream is to discover some unknown insect. His adoration of bugs tends to put people off a bit, but it’s hard not to admire a guy so devoted to his line of work.

Into the story comes Kathryn, who has lost a dear childhood friend, supposedly to suicide. But she can’t bring herself to believe he would take his own life. So she hires the Bug Man to investigate, much to the irritation of the local police chief. I loved Nick’s clever ways of questioning people, and getting to the bottom of things. If you enjoy this book as much as I did, there are five more Bug Man mysteries!

Bug Man novels include:
1 – Shoofly Pie
2 – Chop Shop
3 – First The Dead
4 – Less Than Dead
5 – Ends Of The Earth
6 – Nick Of Time