Updated: Jan 23
Thanks to Wayne Hughes for recommending a book called Blood Red Snow: The Memoirs of a German Soldier on the Eastern Front by Gunter K. Koschorrek. I needed to get a feel for exactly what German soldiers experienced. Diaries were forbidden, as they were in the Allied forces, but this man wrote on scraps of paper, which he hid inside his coat lining and smuggled to his mother. He married, had a child, and divorced. The ex-wife took the scraps to the United States where she moved. Many years later, his daughter called and offered to return them! This book is the result. I have two book reviews this month. Both are published by Yellow City Publishing and will be available on or before November 10. You will likely recognize the author's names.
Mountain Heat is the fourth book in Natrelle Long's Charley Anderson series. Charley is a tough, no-nonsense New Yorker (former Texan) who keeps getting involved in danger. In book four, she's called to New Mexico because her ex-husband, Jimmy, was found in a ditch near Hatch, murdered. He was a professor who had been contacted by an Apache tribe because a small piece of land, sacred to them, had been taken. There are few clues. One is a letter found by the custodian who cleaned Jimmy's office. It contained the the word Hutch and a claw-like symbol. There was also a hand-written note for her found in Jimmy's boot which contained a puzzle of numbers and a crude map. As Charley investigates, she uncovers a lot more nefarious activity than she expected. If you like complicated mysteries and strong women, this book is for you.
McTague, by Wayne Hughes is his third novel about the residents of the small Texas town of Jerrod. Scotty McTague has returned to the area from a job he loved in California to take over his dad's custom wheat-harvesting business. Dad insists that he hire cousin Hatcher, who has promised he won't drink on the job. He really did promise. Hughes writes entertaining dialogue among diverse and interesting crew members as they make their way north amid moisture, fire, and a long-time customer's inability to pay. Hughes does an excellent job of placing his reader in the midst of the long, exhausting hours required to bring in a crop and the many factors lining up against the small farmer. If you are from a small town, or were ever curious about what makes rural America tick, Waynes Hughes's characters in this book and his others--Kiborn and Espinoza--will bring it alive for you.