Maria Schneider


Maria writes cozy mysteries, romantic fantasy, paranormal mysteries, urban fantasy and has just completed a ghost story. Audio books for some of her novels can be found on google play or kobo books.

Introduction to Author Maria Schneider

It’s gardening season again! I go out every morning to water and plant. Had just started the sprinkler, when I realized a bird had become tangled in the support strings hanging off the tomato cages used to prop up large tomato vines.

Upon closer inspection the fluttering, frantic “bird” was actually a baby dragon. “Not again,” I muttered. Dragons were so temperamental. Birds couldn’t singe me while I freed them either.

“Okay, you. Hold still.” I shut the water off, leaving the poor baby dripping. His dark blue head feathers hadn’t yet hardened into spines. Most of his iridescent scales were a mix of brown, light yellow and white. Later in life he’d probably turn more beige and sage to match the desert terrain.

I retrieved clippers from my garden cart, an old rag that used to be a kitchen towel and approached slowly. The dragon’s eyes were huge, wide orbs staring piteously up at me.

“You’re gonna hafta hold still,” I ordered. “I’ll cut you free.” Scissors would be a better tool, but I hated to leave him there, dripping, sad, and at his young age, vulnerable.

“Do not flame me,” I instructed, cutting at string behind him. This particular piece of twine wasn’t holding him at all, but he needed to adjust to my intent. Snip, Snip. The string frayed instead of cutting clean, but I kept at it. The dragon’s snout was wide open in distress.

“Gimme a couple of minutes and you’ll be free.” I ran the old towel down his back, squeegeeing his scales and accidentally smashing down a few feathers. He looked worse for it, but he barely dripped anymore. I finally freed one clawed foot. Predictably, he tried to fly, but his wing still had a cotton string running under and around. I latched onto it and half pulled, half cut the threads. He shredded the rest of the string and left a pretty good sized trench in the back of my hand from a toothy, smokey strike.

“Dammit!” I snatched my hand back. “Ease up, little one!” More cutting and suddenly he squawked, much like a bird, and bounced off the wire gate. He was still pathetically wet and in such a hurry, he splatted rather ungracefully onto the ground face-first.

A large shadow covered the sun, putting me and the little dragon in a gloomy, dark shade. The baby bobbed onto clawed feet, trilled an excited call and stared over my shoulder.

I swallowed hard, still leaning over the little guy. The clippers were a visible, threatening, but inadequate weapon.

With my heart making more noise than the baby dragon, I dared turn my head and only my head. Like a giant scaled bear sitting on her haunches, there was mom dragon. Her gray snout wound between two juniper trees, easily capable of taking a chunk out of my butt, which was inconveniently still high in the air. I knew the rules. Humans who saw what they weren’t supposed to see had to die, lest the magical others be discovered. “Never saw a thing,” I said. “Wouldn’t dream of telling a soul.”

Her diamond eyes seemed small compared to those of the baby dragon, but that was because her head was longer than my leg. She didn’t blink, letting slit, golden eyes convey a very nasty threat. She didn’t let loose with flame, even though a mysterious forest fire that cindered me, my house and my garden would likely be blamed on an errant lightning strike. Her gaze did search the sky hopefully, but the desert of New Mexico is often devoid of clouds.

“Not a soul,” I repeated, while baby dragon fluttered, fluffed and hopped over to his mother.

A tail many times larger than the largest of rattlesnakes snaked out from behind a pinon pine, gathering junior dragon inside protective scales and muscles. His protesting squawk was a direct result of her hurry and displeasure.

I straightened. No sense dying in a bad position with my butt up in the air.

She regarded me with solemn focus before one giant, black talon stepped back. Scales rippled with desert colors, reflecting gray-brown tree limbs mixed with mottled green and blue sage speckled with chamisa yellow.

“Nary a word,” a dry, hot wind boomed.

My hair blew straight back, and the ends split from the sudden heat. “Not a word,” I agreed with a very emphatic nod.

Of course I was lying. In the dark of the night, behind closed doors, I write about dragons all the time. Dragons of Wendal is the first book of one such series. Sure, it’s billed as fiction. No need to have mom dragon come back looking for me!

Visit Maria at her blog:

Smashwords Interview

How does one get grave dirt out of clothes?
We writers…are weird. We have concerns that normal people just never have to deal with. It’s the way our minds work (or overwork. Or don’t work…)

When your characters go wandering around graveyards (Adriel in Under Witch Moon, for example) you just might need to know how to get graveyard dirt out of clothing. It’s not ordinary dirt, you know. I mean…it has…stuff in it. It’s not like you’re going to want to toss a cotton shirt that has grave dirt into your compost bin, I don’t care HOW long you leave it there to compost! And if you do clean it…even if all the stains DO come out, well, you see the problem here??? You aren't really going to WEAR the thing again...unless you have to visit said graveyard a second time, and do you want to leave the thing hanging in your closet just in case??? What if some sort of ghost attached itself to the shirt??? Or pants? Yeah. In the middle of the night, if there are ANY unexpected sounds coming from that closet, you'll shoot it so full of holes, none of your clothes will be wearable!

It's probably best to burn it, bury it and just buy a new one.

I had the opportunity to chat with author Frank Tuttle recently about plot issues. If you kill an almost-vampire, is it murder? I mean the guy is in the middle of dying, but he’s not going to die, he’s going to vamp. And once he vamps, you’d have to kill him to keep yourself alive and avoid becoming dinner, right?

Frank, being Frank, had this to say:

You know, you do pose a very real legal concern. As I understand it, one can be charged with homicide if one shoots a man to death who has jumped from the 100th floor and is passing by your floor, the 50th, down to a certain death. Yes, the falling man was doomed anyway. But legally, the shooter committed murder — which I assume would also apply to vamp-bitten humans who have yet to turn.

Too bad all the best lawyers are vampires themselves!

So, if a writer you know asks you an odd question or two, don't take it to heart. We're probably just researching for a novel.
Red or White Wine with that?
I was recently reminded of a time I was invited to a cookout. It was suggested I bring the wine. Okay, I am not the right person to ask because I don’t drink wine, but when the hostess asks you to bring wine, you do the best you can. When I asked what the main dish would be, she replied, “Hotdogs. New York hotdogs.”

Erm. Is it just me or do writers attract weirdos? I mean, people even weirder than writers???

I muttered about New York and just why did any hotdog require wine? But being a writer, I know how to research. Plus, I have an uncle who claims to be a wine connoisseur. Well, it turns out, uncle is a FRAUD. All he did was sputter when I asked what kind of wine to pair with hotdogs. He may have even called my mom to complain about my attitude.


But, never fear! I have a buddy who drinks French wine. He is more geek than connoisseur. He speaks French, at least to the extent where he can show off. He knows fancy phrases, the ones people throw out at parties to show how knowledgeable they are. No one understands the phrase, but we all nod knowingly. It's quite possible that all these years he’s been telling us that eating green peas puts hair on your chest. Still, he was my best bet so I sent him an email. I asked if he could he recommend a dinner wine to pair with hotdogs. --NO, it isn’t my party. I don’t even eat hotdogs!

Luckily, my geek friend is more into research than I am. He does not like any question to go unanswered. Nothing like passing the homework on to someone more obsessed than myself!

Friend suggested Scotch straight up to get through the party. As for wines, he asked if maybe she meant she wanted to soak the hotdogs in wine. Or beer.

No, I assured him. She wanted wine to drink.

Well, he came through. For hotdogs, “boxed wine is the only way to go. Doesn’t matter if it is red or white. Get a rose and you’re covered. If you want upscale wine for your hotdogs, get a four or six pack of wines with tops that screw off.”

He didn’t include any helpful French phrases for the party. Not that I’d get them correct. As for the outing, I decided to bring hamburger patties because I don’t actually like hotdogs, and if I brought wine, I'd have nothing to eat AND nothing to drink. Yeah, yeah. So I might not get invited again. I’ll probably get over that.

Maria is the author of the humorous Sedona O'Hala mystery series, Catch an Honest Thief and the Moon Shadow urban fantasy series.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Maria Schneider online

Where to buy in print


Sedona O'Hala Mysteries
A humorous cozy mystery series.
Executive Lunch
Price: $2.99 USD.
Executive Retention
Price: $3.99 USD.
Executive Sick Days
Price: $4.99 USD.
Executive Dirt
Price: $4.99 USD.
Executive Shorts
Price: $0.99 USD.
Dragons of Wendal
Outcasts in search of a home meet their destinies in this cozy fantasy series.
Dragons of Wendal
Price: $2.99 USD.
Price: $3.99 USD.
Fairy Bite
Price: $3.99 USD.
Dragon's Egg
Price: $3.99 USD.
Moon Shadow Series
Earth magic, mayhem and shifters. A fast-paced urban fantasy set in Santa Fe, NM. Witch Way, Null Witch and Ghost Shadow are Moon Shadow Sidekick novels and can be read without reading Under Witch Moon, Under Witch Aura and Under Witch Curse
Under Witch Moon
Price: $1.99 USD.
Under Witch Aura
Price: $3.99 USD.
Under Witch Curse
Price: $4.99 USD.
Ghost Shadow
Price: $4.99 USD.


There's a Road Here Somewhere
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 85,240. Language: English. Published: September 7, 2021 . Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships & Family » Family relationships, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor & satire » Topic / animals
(5.00 from 1 review)
I’ve been blogging slice of life misadventures for thirty years. Even though I left the rural New Mexico ranch where I grew up, it followed me around, advising me against stepping in cow patties usually after I had just done so. The star of the show in these tales is mostly my dad, recalcitrant cats, rogue cows...and maybe me, a reluctant cowgirl, trying to find that elusive road through life.
Executive Shorts
Series: Sedona O'Hala Mysteries, Book 5. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 13,550. Language: English. Published: April 5, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Romance » Romantic Comedy
(5.00 from 1 review)
Three Sedona O’Hala short cozy mysteries in one volume! Executive Affairs and Executive Gardening have been previously published, but are now joined by Executive Bagger, a new cozy adventure. In these adventures, Sedona finds herself followed by a sneaky spy, investigating a possible murder and protecting a friend from a devious scammer.
Dragon's Egg
Series: Dragons of Wendal, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 65,290. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Romantic Comedy, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal » Witches
Winter is a skilled thief. It should have been an easy job. She wasn’t counting on a dragon with postpartum depression, the dragon’s unhatched egg or the injured wizard with a shakier past than her own. The plan was to depart town for greener pastures and easier purses to snatch. Too bad leaving requires pulling off the biggest heist of all.
Fairy Bite
Series: Dragons of Wendal, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 63,200. Language: English. Published: April 27, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal » Witches
Shunned ever since a fairy mistakenly bit her, Ally leaves her village knowing it's the only way her family can resume their normal lives. She heads to Wendal, hoping the shifters there won’t care about problems associated with a fairy bite. Before she is even halfway there, she discovers that the fairies may not be finished ruining her life. Book 3 in the Dragons of Wendal series.
Dragons of Wendal Boxed Set (1-3)
Series: Dragons of Wendal, Book 5. Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 183,470. Language: English. Published: April 24, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » New adult
The Dragons of Wendal Trilogy includes: Dragons of Wendal, DragonKin and Fairy Bite.
One Good Eclair (A Nutrition Mafia Mystery)
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 69,240. Language: English. Published: October 4, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Romance » Romantic Comedy
Ivy is determined to make her living as a nutritionist, but her family has other plans. When that family is the mafia, and one of them has gone missing, all other jobs are summarily pushed aside. Or else. Ivy can’t cook her way out of this mess, but she has a recipe or two for dealing with disaster—if she can just put the fires out before she gets burned!
Year of the Mountain Lion
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,990. Language: English. Published: August 12, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Adventure » General
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
Cursed as a drought-bringer, Jolan lives a harsh life of nomadic exile in the desolate desert that surrounds her former cliff dwelling home. Now, for reasons she can't fathom, she is being hunted by those who have already cast her out. Unfortunately for her pursuers, Jolan is not helpless and she is determined to survive.
Executive Dirt
Series: Sedona O'Hala Mysteries, Book 4. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 70,360. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Sedona happily turns down Steve Huntington’s latest undercover project when Mark gets her a fantastic job testing advanced cell phones. But if the dead body of her co-worker is any indication, the new job may not prove to be any safer than Huntington’s covert assignments. Can she somehow endure family interferences and stay alive long enough to solve the case?
Ghost Shadow
Series: Moon Shadow Series, Book 6. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 74,490. Language: English. Published: January 25, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal » Shifters
Shadow is stuck In Between, dead, but not gone. Martin insists she isn’t dead and doesn’t belong here, but so far as she can tell, the trip was a one-way ticket. If Adriel and Lynx insist on trying to help her, how can she refuse? But if magic can’t find her living body, how can one stubborn cat do the impossible? is there really enough magic in the world to bring her back over?
Soul of the Desert
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 81,750. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Western, Fiction » Coming of age
In 1976, the best a kid in Harlem can hope for is to work for the mob or pick up extra bucks as an informer. It may be too late for Rand, but that won’t stop him from trying to save his brother, Bo. When strangers appear on the streets of Harlem, Rand hatches a crazy plan to send Bo to a place that is so desolate and removed from Harlem that no one will dare follow.
Series: Dragons of Wendal, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 62,360. Language: English. Published: December 26, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal » Shifters
Drissa needs a place to hide, and she needed it yesterday. Wendal, with its rumors of inhospitable shifters, unknown terrain and wild magic, is not a territory many want to explore, making it the perfect place to disappear. Now, the last thing Drissa needs is to adopt more trouble, but what can she do when it hatches at her feet and then insists she drag it and a half-dead stranger to safety?
Under Witch Curse
Series: Moon Shadow Series, Book 3. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 81,370. Language: English. Published: December 19, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Zandy, the wily coyote, is back in town, and he’s out for blood. Someone had better find him fast because the body count is rising. With White Feather to help, Adriel expects life to get easier, but the relationship comes with surprises. This time, Adriel might just need more than solid ground beneath her feet and the wind at her back.
Dragons of Wendal
Series: Dragons of Wendal, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 57,980. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance » Paranormal
(4.00 from 1 review)
Learning magic isn’t as easy as Zoe expected, especially when the mages at Gorgon seem dead set against teaching. When Zoe involves herself in a rescue, she gains the attention of a dragon and a wolf shifter from Wendal. To regain her freedom, all Zoe has to do is unravel a curse on Lindis, the dragon. As for Derrick, the wolf, he's happy to protect Zoe. But what will he demand in return?
Under Witch Aura
Series: Moon Shadow Series, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 91,400. Language: English. Published: December 13, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal » Witches
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
There’s an ill wind blowing, and it’s touching every witch Adriel knows, including White Feather, who is far more important to Adriel than just any warlock. Adriel will do what she must to keep those she loves safe, but if she lures the enemy away, will she be able to save herself? Her only hope is to use earth magic to hide from the very air she breathes as she hunts down an untenable evil.
Executive Sick Days
Series: Sedona O'Hala Mysteries, Book 3. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 77,040. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy
(5.00 from 4 reviews)
Book 3: Sedona O'Hala Mysteries. Steve Huntington had a way of offering jobs that were too good to be true. Mark Huntington made offers too good to turn down. Sedona had a habit of being caught in the middle; somewhere near bad guys with guns and family members she was trying to avoid.
Under Witch Moon
Series: Moon Shadow Series, Book 1. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 92,280. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2010 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
(4.40 from 10 reviews)
Under Witch Moon is the first in an urban fantasy series: When dead bodies start turning up Adriel has no choice but to talk to White Feather, an undercover cop. Unfortunately, Adriel is a witch and White Feather isn't convinced she's innocent of wrongdoing. She's going to have to talk fast--and set spells even faster if she expects to survive.
Executive Retention
Series: Sedona O'Hala Mysteries, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 79,870. Language: English. Published: May 27, 2010 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
(4.00 from 1 review)
After solving one case of corporate crime, Sedona expected to get her peaceful life back. Problem: She is still a manager at Strandfrost, and there is still rampant jealousy over her promotion. Is the danger of being railroaded by her not-so-illustrious colleagues worse than taking a new undercover job from Steve Huntington? Book 2 in the Sedona O'Hala series. "Executive Lunch" is the first.
Tracking Magic
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 30,130. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2010 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
"Get Smart" meets "Ghost Busters!"-- A humorous urban fantasy. Five case files from Max Killian Investigations: Max is hired to expel a ghost from a mansion, counteract an ancient curse, investigate a graveyard mystery and figure out which secrets are worth dying for. All in a day's work--assuming he survives!
Executive Lunch
Series: Sedona O'Hala Mysteries, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 77,150. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2009 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy
(4.33 from 6 reviews)
Sedona is given the opportunity of a lifetime: play an up-and-coming executive with all the trappings of wealth with someone else footing the bill. The catch: find out who is stealing company funds before the criminals find out that their program is being debugged. Sedona runs into danger, the corporate glass ceiling, and an occasional chance at romance in her quest.
Catch an Honest Thief
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 73,730. Language: English. Published: September 7, 2009 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
An Indiana Jones-style caper across the desert of New Mexico; high-tech gadgets, a mystery and a romance. Alexia must protect the crystals that power the city of Haven. Going undercover and stealing the crystals seemed like a great idea--until a real thief showed up. Confessing her duplicity might help Chris, the attractive new security chief, but it would cost Alexia everything she holds dear.
Sage: Tales from a Magical Kingdom
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 31,310. Language: English. Published: August 29, 2009 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
(5.00 from 4 reviews)
Sword and Sorcery meets Agatha Christie: Three novellas introduce the Kingdom of Sage and those who protect its boundaries. Toil, Trouble and Rot: Sage is under attack from a deadly and mysterious enemy. Dungeons and Decay: Find out how far a mother will go when her child is in danger. Call to Arms: Every hand is needed when a ghost invades the kingdom demanding old wrongs be righted.

Maria Schneider's tag cloud

action adventure    adventure    african american    alternate history    amateur sleuth    american indian    animal stories    anthology    caper    cat stories    chicklit    clean fantasy    comedic mystery    comedy    comedy family    comedy fantasy    comedy mystery    coming of age    contemporary fiction    contemporary mystery    cozy    cozy comedy    cozy fantasy    cozy mysery    cozy mysteries    cozy mystery    cozy series    crime    crime fiction    dad stories    detective    dog stories    dragonkin    dragons    dragons of wendal    dryad    ebook    ethnic stories    fairies    family sagas    fantasy    fantasy adventure    fantasy detective    fantasy humor    fantasy romance    female sleuths    female slueth    fiction    free    free fantasy    gargoyles    ghost    ghost stories    ghosts    gryphons    hawk shifters    hawks    hawkshifter    heroine adventure    humor    humor and comedy    humor romance    humorous myster    humorous mysteries    humour    humourous mystery    lantino    life adventure    mafia    mages    magic    magic academy    memoir    moon shadow series    mysery    mystery    mystery humor    paranormal    paranormal fantasy    paranormal mysteries    paranormal mystery    paranormal romance    paranormal suspense    quest    relationships    romance    romance clean    romantic caper    romantic comedy    romantic mystery    sedona ohala    sedona ohala series    series mysteries    shape shifters    shapeshifter    shapeshifters    shifters    short mysteries    short stories    sleuth    sorcery    southwest    spells    suspense    thief    trolls    unicorns    urban fantasy    values christain    vampire    warlock    werewolf    werewolves    western    witch    witch detective    witch fantasy    witch slueth    witch spells    witchcraft    witches    wizards    women sleuth    womens fiction    young adult    young adult fiction    zany comedy   

Smashwords book reviews by Maria Schneider

  • Smashwords Style Guide on Aug. 30, 2009

    Good stuff and essential reading if you want to upload a book! Thanks for writing down the details in such a compact form.
  • If Only on Sep. 12, 2009
    (no rating)
    Cuuuuute. Good formatting (although there is a stray number 2 at the end?) and good editing. Bit of silliness here; nothing wrong with that.
  • On the Great Wall of Texas on Sep. 12, 2009

    This is a very well-written, political irony piece. I admit, it grabbed my attention--which side of the issue...there's some...let's call it global warming thrown in for good measure. I imagine it was written to make people think a bit--It resonates. But if you don't like polarizing issues, this may not be for you. Cleverly done piece.
  • Close Shave on Sep. 12, 2009
    (no rating)
    I don't like horror, but this is well-written and well-formatted. It is, as the description promises, rather gross (not an overdone thing, just horror.) It is...every boy's nightmare.
  • You Better Run on Sep. 12, 2009
    (no rating)
    A quick read, kept me turning the pages. There's some minor issues with characters talking followed by a capital: "Blah, blah." She said, instead of-- "Blah, blah," she said. Sometimes an action other than speaking also follows the speaking part, "Blah, blah," she walked away. It wasn't noticeable until the last page. The story moves along quickly so the minor anomalies are easy enough to ignore. I'd classify this as horror, rather than suspense. If you like a good vampire scare, this qualifies.
  • Dead(ish) on Sep. 13, 2009

    This story was okay, although I'm not fond of changing POV in a novel...and less so in a short story--but that is a personal preference. The cursing got in the way--too much of it, distracting. The formatting/editing was of good quality in this read.
  • Backlash: A Novelette on May 22, 2011

    I've read some of Nancy Fulda's short stories before; this one is every bit as stellar. Backlash grabs your emotions and doesn't let go until the last page. I felt the pain, the desperation, the hope. These characters want to survive and you'll be right there with them, hoping for a miracle. *Highly* recommended. This novella was a definite page-turner. There are interesting sci-fi elements, but it's the characterization and plot that really make it shine.
  • The Star Creature on Nov. 16, 2015

    Good story, although a tad melancholy for my tastes. Not a thing wrong with it and it's a nice sci/fi fit.
  • The Poet and the Crock on March 06, 2016

    I liked this--fun piece with two great characters to put a smile on your face!
  • Green, Green, Blue on April 08, 2018

    This is a good flash fiction piece. Like all of Kevin's work, it makes its point and quickly, but manages to touch the heart, probably because it comes from the heart. Sometimes we miss the forest for the trees. Always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
  • The Only Suspect on May 01, 2021

    The Only Suspect is a very cute and fun mystery. Kanika planted some good clues, red herrings and has a great cast of characters. Yes, there are misplaced commas (when in doubt, leave them out), but that sort of thing doesn't bother me anymore. I so rarely have time to read, it's just fun to find a good story. "The Only Suspect" is set in India and imparts some cultural background in a very natural voice. By the time I finished, I felt had a very satisfying glimpse into one layer of India's modern and changing culture. The writing style reminded me of Margaret Lake's cozy mysteries. It's a very character driven novella, but the plotting and setting carry their own weight. It was refreshing to read about a married couple with jobs rather than the tired cozy themes of "cute policeman, who doesn't believe me," dog walkers and inherited run-down inns.
  • Encrypted on May 03, 2021

    Was an okay read. I found it predictable for some reason and it seemed to drag the last quarter, but maybe that's because I felt like I knew where it was going and some of the reveals were obvious. The romance is one of those where a great deal of angst could have been cleared up by just a single conversation, but that part was dragged on. Good book.
  • Living in the Golden Age on Dec. 18, 2021

    As usual with Lyon's work, there's quite a bit of perspective. This is the kid we all were in high school (and maybe college if that applies). Living the dream in our heads to get by in the day. In real life, we're not very important. But if we'd lived up to our dreams, we weren't even limited by the stars.