Brenda Telford


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Smashwords book reviews by Brenda Telford

  • My Sister's Funeral (A Murder Mystery) on Feb. 13, 2012

    When James was 10 years old, his big sister Maria, disappeared. She vanished on the way home from school near Newcastle, NSW...she was with her girlfriends on the train, and after she had alighted at the station, no-one saw her again. Now, over thirty years later, Maria’s remains have been found near Broken Hill, and everything comes crashing back. James finds himself reliving all the trauma, the devastation and horror that occurred after Maria went missing, the breakdown of the family, the rapid growing up he had to do, having to prepare meals for himself, iron his own school shirts, all the things his mother would normally do, except she was distraught, and in no way capable of anything anymore. While James is organising Maria’s funeral, he revisits family members with whom he had lost contact over the years, trying to find some answers...he visits Maria’s girlfriends from her school days, looking to get more information. He also goes to his estranged father’s nursing home, but the anger is palpable. And all the while his Aunt Rose is there for him, having a meal now and then, helping James more than his mother ever did. The re-appearance of Allison, James’ ex wife, has him more confused than ever, as he needs to confront his past in a way that makes him very uncomfortable. And when they are all together at the funeral home, things come together in a way that will surprise and shock you..... This novel is a very well written murder mystery, with twists and turns throughout, until the sudden, unexpected ending! A very enjoyable quick read!
  • Water's Edge on July 03, 2012

    David Samuels is a retired EPA investigator, and has just settled into life away from his previous city dwelling, where the memories were too harsh, where he lost his lovely wife, Lisa to a car accident. David and his companion, Blackout, planned on doing some relaxing! But David received a call from his former employer, informing him that benzene had been found dumped in the river, and he needed David’s help to find the culprits. Blackout was able to sniff out chemicals, and it seemed an ideal partnership in catching the environmental criminals. Suddenly though, there seemed to be many more problems than David and Blackout could handle. With the help of Mac, an ex-policeman and David’s friend, they were discovering corruption in government, terrorism, and the dangers seemed to be escalating. Just as they were realizing they might be in over their heads, the investigation was shut down. But David and Mac, along with an environmentalist who was helping out, decided to keep checking things out…they had come too far to let it go now! As things got scarily worse, and the pollution of the water-ways escalated to more and different terrorism, the corruption was wide spread, and seemed to go back to one thing…money! This sinister environmental thriller was a different concept, but one that is certainly possible. I enjoyed Water’s Edge, and Blackout’s role in the novel, and hope to read more about Blackout, and his owner, David in the future.
  • Tuning In (An Elite Short Story) on Dec. 11, 2012

    Canan Jones was celebrating his 25th birthday with his friends and co-workers at the youth club where he devoted the majority of his time. He had a special gift, and because of the sadness of his past, he had decided his path was to help troubled youngsters find the right direction in their lives. But he couldn’t keep the sadness away, and when he received an intimidating phone call from the one person he DIDN’T want to hear from, and was ordered to Sydney to work for an undercover government firm, he refused. But when this same person called a week or so later, and offered an incentive Canan had difficulty in saying no to, as it was connected to his tragic past, he found himself wondering what he would do to find the answers he so desperately needed. I enjoyed this short story about Canan and his troubled past so much, I immediately downloaded Intuition, which is book one of the Elite Series, and will follow on where this left off. I received my copy of this short story free from the author.
  • Three Degrees of Murder on May 20, 2014

    When Helen Hendricks, widow and mother of three teens received a telephone call from her best friend, Delia Nelson, she wasn’t expecting the message that Delia’s husband Bill was missing. But then she reasoned, Bill had done the “vanishing act” before and would always turn up bragging about some football game or similar sporting event that he had been caught up in. The fact that Helen, Delia, their kids and three other families had just returned from a mammoth weekend of camping and were all exhausted meant a long soak in a warm bath looked very tempting to Helen – but what were best friends for if not to try to help in times of stress? With family friend Detective Salvatore Marone working at the police station in Wollongong, he asked Helen to bring Delia in – Detective Patrick Ryan began asking questions but the answers weren’t easy ones as the families had been away all weekend when Bill must have “gone missing”…what had happened to him? As the investigation deepened the evidence became conflicting and it seemed that no-one really knew anything. Suddenly things became serious – a home invasion terrified Delia and her children; then a robbery – what were they after? What had Bill been doing? Where was he? With everyone expecting him to be found at some hotel in Sydney, or just to walk through the door wondering what all the fuss was; why couldn’t that happen? The situation was becoming more and more upsetting, especially for the kids. Secrets and lies and the FBI…. This was an interesting mystery with an intriguing plot, which doesn’t race along but meanders satisfyingly through the events – with the bookclub women trying to be amateur detectives, some side characters and the depth of friendship between two best friends who had known each other for 35 years. This is Aussie author Wendy Hird’s debut novel and I wish her all the best with her literary future. With thanks to the author for my copy to read and review.
  • Sisters at Heart on May 21, 2014

    After the devastating loss of her sister Lily three years prior, then the divorce from her husband, Carrie decided on a fresh start – new beginnings were always good. Moving to Tarrin’s Bay with her young son, Carrie was feeling stressed and uncertain when she volunteered for the cake stall at Zac’s school – her cake making skills left a lot to be desired, but at least she was making an effort. “Hi I’m Deanna, call me Dee” was the first voice she heard; a friendly member of the cake stall, Dee immediately put Carrie at ease. As the cakes sold and the chatter continued, Carrie suddenly made a startling discovery. Was it coincidence or was it meant to be? It seemed that Tarrin’s Bay was living up to its title of The Town of New Beginnings… What a lovely, sweet short story! Aussie author Juliet Madison has certainly captured all the emotions in this one and even with it being quite short the satisfaction of a complete story is here! I have no hesitation in recommending this one. (I won this ecopy from the author)