TERF Wars (Jinx Ballou #4), by Dharma Kelleher

Eight stars

Catching up on my backlog of Dharma Kelleher novels, I realised how much I miss the author’s gritty delivery and unique perspective when it comes to crime. Kelleher’s novels approach the genre from a LGBTQ+ perspective, with the Jinx Ballou series adding a trans woman flavouring. Exploring the world of abuse and mistreatment of the trans population, Kelleher educates and entertains in equal measure throughout this piece.

Jenna ‘Jinx’ Ballou is a successful bounty hunter in the Phoenix community, having developed great skills tracking criminals when she worked for the police. Jinx has come a long way, having transitioned to a woman at an early age and has not suffered a great deal of the transphobic attacks that many of her friends have encountered. Her happiness is so strong that she is ready to marry her long-time fiancé, Conor, and the wedding is in only a matter of days.

When she is given the file of a accused murdered who killed a Black trans woman, Jinx takes on the case with gusto. This is a heinous crime and Jinx will not let anyone tell her otherwise. However, as she tries to track down the criminal, Jinx is set upon by a group, Womyn Born Womyn, a TERF (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist) collective who want nothing but to spew hatred and violence. Jinx adds this to her motivation and sets out to capture a bail jumper.

When the case takes her to Vegas, Jinx finds herself in a heap of trouble and lands in jail for a night, but this will not deter her from getting to the bottom of what’s been going on. She will not rest until she captures the criminal, who has been stirring up added hatred for trans women and targeting Jinx with a number of social media ploys.

As the wedding approaches, Jinx can only hope that she will be able to complete the capture and leave it behind her. However, some have other plans and Jinx’s own wedding turns into a bloodbath, only adding to the intensity needed to re-capture the criminal. TERF or not, this group is one that cannot remain free to express their hateful views and the truth must come out. Kelleher does a wonderful job capturing the many themes of the book and provides the reader with some powerful reading.

I have been trying to remember how I stumbled across the works of Dharma Kelleher, to no avail. However it ended up working, I have been able to thoroughly enjoy each of the books presented to me, gathering information about topics to which I was clueless and themes that do not enter my usual reading experiences. Either way, it has been a stunning and eye-opening experiences, as well as being highly entertaining. I learn so much and appreciate the effort Kelleher puts into her pieces of fiction.

Much like her series involving a female biker gang, this collection of novels about bounty hunters extends well past what I might usually read. Adding the LGBTQ+ flavouring and I am completely out of my depth, but still love the reading experience. Kelleher offers up a strong narrative with known direction to keep me on my toes throughout, offering up characters who guide the story along and keep things entertaining in doing so. Plot twists that mirror societal issues help not only to surprise the reader but educate them on some of the struggles to which they might not have been aware. Gritty and full of relevant discussions, Kelleher offers readers a jagged view of things, refusing the dilute the arguments at any time. I can only hope that Dharma Kelleher has more to come and that others take a moment to explore the themes she has to offer.

Kudos, Madam Kelleher, another winner. I am happy to have caught up and am eager to see where your next novel will take me,.

Road Rash (Shea Stevens #4), by Dharma Kelleher

Eight stars

Back in the swing of things, I eagerly reached for another book by Dharma Kelleher. Her latest novel in the Shea Stevens series packs a punch and offers readers some insights into the LGBTQ+ world with some of Kelleher’s first-hand knowledge. The author adds more grit to this piece—a self-styled biker thriller—and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat throughout, while also educating on a variety of topics. I am always pleased when Dharma Kelleher pens another book and this was no exception.

Shea Stevens has always been a proud active member of the Athena Sisterhood Motorcycle Club, while managing a custom bike shop as well. When she is asked to help locate the daughter of two friends in a local ‘cult’, Shea agrees with some trepidation. She knows nothing about cults and will have to style herself slightly differently in order to get the needed information. Still, she is willing to make whatever sacrifice needed to help a friend in need.

After a significant road accident, Shea is shaken but not deterred from going undercover, where she learns just how strong the power of suggestion can be. Remaining as acute as she can, Shea locates the woman she is to help extricate, but the power of the cult has already taken hold. It will surely be a fight to get answers and remove a young woman from the clutches of a powerful group.

All the while, Shea’s niece is attending an overnight camp that is not entirely what it seems. This could mean real trouble for Shea and the other girls at the camp, especially after the shake-up occurring at the cult’s main facility. Shea will have to scramble to ensure everyone is safe and justice prevails, as tough as that seems from time to time. Kelleher offers up another winner and has me eager to see what else she’s got up her sleeve in the coming years.

I am unsure how I found Dharma Kelleher or her books, but I have not once regretted doing so. Kelleher not only knows how to write with ease, but her style is smooth and full of interesting tidbits about both bikers and the LGBTQ+ community. I find things easy to comprehend, without feeling things are watered down, and am always keen to see what I will take away from one of her novels. There is much to be said for keeping an open mind as a reader and Dharma Kelleher has done well to prove just how worthwhile such acceptance can be.

I often find myself either liking or being turned off by a book in the opening pages. Dharma Kelleher is able to lure me in with her storytelling abilities no matter my mood. This novel provides a strong narrative and keeps the reader engaged as they are along for the ride. There is a handful of strong, key characters, many of whom are back in this piece, which allows the reader to trace their development or be entertained by all they have to offer. Short chapters keep the story moving along and permits the reader to devour large portions of the story in a single sitting. There are great plot twists throughout, which mix well alongside the grittiness of what’s being presented. Dharma Kelleher may come across as a humble author, but she is surely one to follow, as she has a great deal to say, for those eager to listen.

Kudos, Madam Kelleher, for keeping me entertained throughout.

Blood Sisters (Shea Stevens #3), by Dharma Kelleher

Eight stars

Always pleased to get my hands on a book by Dharma Kelleher, I was happy to read the latest in the Shea Stevens series. Kelleher develops more grit and blood in this ‘biker thriller’, which has the reader speeding alongside as the narrative gains momentum. Kelleher pulls on a great deal of own experiences to entertain the reader effectively until the stunning conclusion. I am quite pleased to return to this series to see how Shea Stevens can pack a punch.

While running her motorcycle shop during the day, Shea Stevens is also an active member of the Athena Sisterhood Motorcycle Club. When a troubled woman approaches Shea and seeks the assistance of the Club, things take on a whole new angle. A dirty politician with a deep secret will stop at nothing to keep his transgressions from being known. This worries Shea more than anything. A visit to the state senator backfires and things turn deadly, all while Shea is seeking a truce.

All the while, a group from a rival gang area back for some retribution after they have been released from jail. It is sure to be a bloody affair, one that Shea cannot sanction with everything else going on. As the Sisterhood are trying to fend people off on two fronts, Shea has a personal issue that boils over and requires her attention as well. It’s sure to be a bloody mess, but Shea Stevens is not one to back down, even as her life hangs in the balance. Kelleher does a great job with this newest book in the series, sure to pique the interest of the open-minded reader.

I cannot remember how I stumbled upon the works of Dharma Kelleher, but I have not looked back since devouring the first novel. Her work is gritty, realistic, and impactful, without needing to be overly gruesome. The reader gets just what they need and can follow along with ease, as the narrative flows without issue. Great characters and issues that brings to the forefront topics that are only now seeing the light of day, Kelleher educates her readers as much as entertain them.

I always look for a strong opening to keep me enthralled with a book, something that proves to be central to this novel. Kelleher offers a strong narrative and provides the reader with something they can digest with ease. Key characters return for another round of fighting and self-reflection, which provides the reader with something entertaining as they get into some troubling issues. Plot twists emerge throughout, adding depth to the story and those characters in the middle of it all, which makes it all the more impactful try the closing pages. I may not know much about bikers or how they run their everyday lives, but Dharma Kelleher is surely a great teacher and I am ready to learn even more.

Kudos, Madam Kelleher, for a great piece that I could not put down!

A Broken Woman (Jinx Ballou Bounty Hunter #3), by Dharma Kelleher

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Dharma Kelleher, and Dark Pariah Press for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

A great fan of Dharma Kelleher and her work, I was pleased to be able to secure a copy of her latest novel in the Jinx Ballou series. Picking up soon after the previous novel ended, Jinx Ballou is still trying to process everything that has befallen her, including the apparent death of her fiancé, Conor. While out on a bail enforcement job, the client attempts to flee and takes a header onto the cement. This being part of a long string of incidents, Jinx is fired and begins to wonder if she has done anything productive with her life. Crawling under a rock, Jinx finds solace in the bottle and seeks to detach from the rest of the world. However, a former colleague reaches out to her with a special request, to help locate a trans woman who has skipped bail after a horrible time behind bars. Unsure if this will make her a traitor to the trans community, Jinx debates what to do, but chooses to make an effort, if only to help clear the woman’s name. Working with a new partner, Jinx begins trying to find Zia “Indigo” Pearson. Following a few leads, she finds herself at the Athena Sisterhood Motorcycle Club, where few take a liking to her presence. After a little roughing up, Jinx and the club’s VP, Shea Stevens, agree to work together, as long as they can clear Indigo’s name and find the actually person who killed a hateful preacher keen on espousing the evils of gays and loose women. Jinx finds herself in the middle of a few situations when the girlfriend of an old client resurfaces and seeks her assistance. Trying not to be deterred, Jinx works with Shea on these cases and uses her own PI license to dig a little deeper, discovering that there may be a larger situation at play. With time running out to have Indigo taken into custody before the bail is revoked, Jinx and Shea must work together and try to stay one step ahead of the killer, without become victims themselves. A wonderful addition to the series that allowed Kelleher to bridge her other popular collection, complete with a cliffhanger that will leave series fans screaming for more. Recommended to fans who enjoy police procedurals with a spin, as well as the reader who has discovered and become a fan of Dharma Kelleher’s work.

While she does bring a unique perspective to the crime thriller genre, Dharma Kelleher does well to advance causes dear to her without treating the reader like a square. She has tackled the “trans and queer aspects” (her words) well and promotes a better understanding of the lives those within the community live, meshing them nicely with other groups. I find the frank discussion not only refreshing, but needed in an era where some have turned to scoffing at those who are different, be it verbally or hidden behind Twitter. Jinx Ballou is the perfect protagonist for this series, working through many o issues from her past and into the present. Coming out and transitioning at a young age, Jinx knows what it is like to be ostracised, but has always had the support of her family and close friends. She uses this grittiness to push forward in her work as a bail enforcement officer (bounty hunter). The reader can see her struggling with trying to define herself, as well as process many of the recent goings-on in her life, all of which enriches her as a character and pushes the narrative of the story forward effectively. Others tend to complement Jinx effectively and pursue their own growth throughout this book. The attentive reader will recognise Shea Stevens from Kelleher’s other popular series, watching as she returns to the page and has some growth of her own. I will admit that I have often sought writers who have multiple popular series to blend their characters, if only for a book or two. Kelleher does this effectively and the reader can see the clash of gritty, strong women, which seems to work well. The story proves to be strong and keeps the reader intrigued, as Jinx debates her own future before making a push to help a fellow trans, finding new connections through the Athena group during the narrative’s build. With a mix of longer and short chapters, the reader will easily be able to propel themselves forward, learning much about Phoenix and the way in which many live while under the conservative umbrella of the city’s inhabitants. I hope there is more to come from Kelleher with both series, as they work so well together and keep me on my toes, posing the boundaries of what I would usually read.

Kudos, Madam Kelleher, for another winner. I can count on you showing your great writing style each time I pick up one of your pieces.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

A Broken Woman (Jinx Ballou Bounty Hunter #3), by Dharma Kelleher

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Dharma Kelleher, and Dark Pariah Press for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

A great fan of Dharma Kelleher and her work, I was pleased to be able to secure a copy of her latest novel in the Jinx Ballou series. Picking up soon after the previous novel ended, Jinx Ballou is still trying to process everything that has befallen her, including the apparent death of her fiancé, Conor. While out on a bail enforcement job, the client attempts to flee and takes a header onto the cement. This being part of a long string of incidents, Jinx is fired and begins to wonder if she has done anything productive with her life. Crawling under a rock, Jinx finds solace in the bottle and seeks to detach from the rest of the world. However, a former colleague reaches out to her with a special request, to help locate a trans woman who has skipped bail after a horrible time behind bars. Unsure if this will make her a traitor to the trans community, Jinx debates what to do, but chooses to make an effort, if only to help clear the woman’s name. Working with a new partner, Jinx begins trying to find Zia “Indigo” Pearson. Following a few leads, she finds herself at the Athena Sisterhood Motorcycle Club, where few take a liking to her presence. After a little roughing up, Jinx and the club’s VP, Shea Stevens, agree to work together, as long as they can clear Indigo’s name and find the actually person who killed a hateful preacher keen on espousing the evils of gays and loose women. Jinx finds herself in the middle of a few situations when the girlfriend of an old client resurfaces and seeks her assistance. Trying not to be deterred, Jinx works with Shea on these cases and uses her own PI license to dig a little deeper, discovering that there may be a larger situation at play. With time running out to have Indigo taken into custody before the bail is revoked, Jinx and Shea must work together and try to stay one step ahead of the killer, without become victims themselves. A wonderful addition to the series that allowed Kelleher to bridge her other popular collection, complete with a cliffhanger that will leave series fans screaming for more. Recommended to fans who enjoy police procedurals with a spin, as well as the reader who has discovered and become a fan of Dharma Kelleher’s work.

While she does bring a unique perspective to the crime thriller genre, Dharma Kelleher does well to advance causes dear to her without treating the reader like a square. She has tackled the “trans and queer aspects” (her words) well and promotes a better understanding of the lives those within the community live, meshing them nicely with other groups. I find the frank discussion not only refreshing, but needed in an era where some have turned to scoffing at those who are different, be it verbally or hidden behind Twitter. Jinx Ballou is the perfect protagonist for this series, working through many o issues from her past and into the present. Coming out and transitioning at a young age, Jinx knows what it is like to be ostracised, but has always had the support of her family and close friends. She uses this grittiness to push forward in her work as a bail enforcement officer (bounty hunter). The reader can see her struggling with trying to define herself, as well as process many of the recent goings-on in her life, all of which enriches her as a character and pushes the narrative of the story forward effectively. Others tend to complement Jinx effectively and pursue their own growth throughout this book. The attentive reader will recognise Shea Stevens from Kelleher’s other popular series, watching as she returns to the page and has some growth of her own. I will admit that I have often sought writers who have multiple popular series to blend their characters, if only for a book or two. Kelleher does this effectively and the reader can see the clash of gritty, strong women, which seems to work well. The story proves to be strong and keeps the reader intrigued, as Jinx debates her own future before making a push to help a fellow trans, finding new connections through the Athena group during the narrative’s build. With a mix of longer and short chapters, the reader will easily be able to propel themselves forward, learning much about Phoenix and the way in which many live while under the conservative umbrella of the city’s inhabitants. I hope there is more to come from Kelleher with both series, as they work so well together and keep me on my toes, posing the boundaries of what I would usually read.

Kudos, Madam Kelleher, for another winner. I can count on you showing your great writing style each time I pick up one of your pieces.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

A Broken Woman (Jinx Ballou Bounty Hunter #3), by Dharma Kelleher

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Dharma Kelleher, and Dark Pariah Press for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

A great fan of Dharma Kelleher and her work, I was pleased to be able to secure a copy of her latest novel in the Jinx Ballou series. Picking up soon after the previous novel ended, Jinx Ballou is still trying to process everything that has befallen her, including the apparent death of her fiancé, Conor. While out on a bail enforcement job, the client attempts to flee and takes a header onto the cement. This being part of a long string of incidents, Jinx is fired and begins to wonder if she has done anything productive with her life. Crawling under a rock, Jinx finds solace in the bottle and seeks to detach from the rest of the world. However, a former colleague reaches out to her with a special request, to help locate a trans woman who has skipped bail after a horrible time behind bars. Unsure if this will make her a traitor to the trans community, Jinx debates what to do, but chooses to make an effort, if only to help clear the woman’s name. Working with a new partner, Jinx begins trying to find Zia “Indigo” Pearson. Following a few leads, she finds herself at the Athena Sisterhood Motorcycle Club, where few take a liking to her presence. After a little roughing up, Jinx and the club’s VP, Shea Stevens, agree to work together, as long as they can clear Indigo’s name and find the actually person who killed a hateful preacher keen on espousing the evils of gays and loose women. Jinx finds herself in the middle of a few situations when the girlfriend of an old client resurfaces and seeks her assistance. Trying not to be deterred, Jinx works with Shea on these cases and uses her own PI license to dig a little deeper, discovering that there may be a larger situation at play. With time running out to have Indigo taken into custody before the bail is revoked, Jinx and Shea must work together and try to stay one step ahead of the killer, without become victims themselves. A wonderful addition to the series that allowed Kelleher to bridge her other popular collection, complete with a cliffhanger that will leave series fans screaming for more. Recommended to fans who enjoy police procedurals with a spin, as well as the reader who has discovered and become a fan of Dharma Kelleher’s work.

While she does bring a unique perspective to the crime thriller genre, Dharma Kelleher does well to advance causes dear to her without treating the reader like a square. She has tackled the “trans and queer aspects” (her words) well and promotes a better understanding of the lives those within the community live, meshing them nicely with other groups. I find the frank discussion not only refreshing, but needed in an era where some have turned to scoffing at those who are different, be it verbally or hidden behind Twitter. Jinx Ballou is the perfect protagonist for this series, working through many o issues from her past and into the present. Coming out and transitioning at a young age, Jinx knows what it is like to be ostracised, but has always had the support of her family and close friends. She uses this grittiness to push forward in her work as a bail enforcement officer (bounty hunter). The reader can see her struggling with trying to define herself, as well as process many of the recent goings-on in her life, all of which enriches her as a character and pushes the narrative of the story forward effectively. Others tend to complement Jinx effectively and pursue their own growth throughout this book. The attentive reader will recognise Shea Stevens from Kelleher’s other popular series, watching as she returns to the page and has some growth of her own. I will admit that I have often sought writers who have multiple popular series to blend their characters, if only for a book or two. Kelleher does this effectively and the reader can see the clash of gritty, strong women, which seems to work well. The story proves to be strong and keeps the reader intrigued, as Jinx debates her own future before making a push to help a fellow trans, finding new connections through the Athena group during the narrative’s build. With a mix of longer and short chapters, the reader will easily be able to propel themselves forward, learning much about Phoenix and the way in which many live while under the conservative umbrella of the city’s inhabitants. I hope there is more to come from Kelleher with both series, as they work so well together and keep me on my toes, posing the boundaries of what I would usually read.

Kudos, Madam Kelleher, for another winner. I can count on you showing your great writing style each time I pick up one of your pieces.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Kissing Asphalt (Jinx Ballou Bounty Hunter #0.5), by Dharma Kelleher

Eight stars

In this short piece, Dharma Kelleher treats her loyal fans to a brief story about how Jinx Ballou decided to start up her own bail enforcement company. A strong bounty hunter in her own right, Jinx is set to work alongside a team to capture a meth maker whose as dangerous as he is big. However, she cannot help but remember the night of passion that she shared with her boss, Conor Doyle. Her head is split between the work and her amorous endorphins, which is never good when violent offenders are on the loose. When they arrive, the capture goes awry and one of the team is shot, clinging to life. Jinx wonders if she could have been more on the game and ensured her colleague was not in this predicament. When sent out to finish the capture, Jinx realises that she needs to make some major changes to ensure her life is safe and she can stay with the man for whom she has come to develop strong feelings. A great piece and puts some things into perspective for series fans. Recommended to those who enjoy Dharma Kelleher’s work, particularly this newer Jinx Ballou series.

This short piece actually fell into my lap when I finished the second book in the Jinx Ballou series, and I could not be happier to have read it over my morning cup of coffee. While the piece raced along, I was able to learn a little more about Jinx’s backstory and how she came to decide it was time to go out on her own. The reader also gets a little hint of the early Jinx-Conor storyline, which progresses nicely throughout the series. Much like the other Kelleher short pieces I have read, this story has momentum from the outset and keeps building throughout. I can only hope that others will find it and latch on to what has been a great series, tackling issues in the “transgender-queer” realm (Kelleher’s words) and laying them out for the reader who may be interested but unsure how to ask without seeming daft. I have the third novel in this series waiting as an ARC, so off I go there, sure to be impressed again.

Kudos, Madam Kelleher, for a great piece that took only a few minutes. I am so pleased to have discovered your work!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Extreme Prejudice (Jinx Ballou, Bounty Hunter #2), by Dharma Kelleher

Eight stars

As I tackle this second book in her newer series, I remain pleased with what Dharma Kelleher offers her readers. Never one to shy away from the controversial, or at least tackle issues that are still not fully mainstream, Kelleher uses her wonderful descriptive ways to tell an energetic crime thriller. Jinx Ballou has been happy working as a bail enforcement officer (bounty hunter) and seems to be keeping herself quite busy. After a few easy apprehensions, she is handed one that will challenge her. What looks like a simple capture for skipping bail on a murder charge soon takes on a life of its own. While she and her crew scour around Phoenix, another criminal from her past crosses her radar. These two men are not only dangerous in either own right, but have ties to White Power, which makes the apprehension even harder. If that were not enough, Jinx is getting closer to her boyfriend of a few years, Conor, though the Northern Ireland police appear and want to speak with him about a bombing from years ago. Jinx tries to stay calm, but there is more going on that leaves her worried. While she has dealt with a lot since transitioning as a teen, Jinx is shaken to the core and needs all the support she can find. Things reach a climax for Jinx, as the reader will surely also feel the plot reverberations. Well paced and never with a dull moment, Kelleher tackles much in this novel and educates the reader as they are entertained throughout. Recommended to those who love crime/police procedurals with a twist.

I have long enjoyed Dharma Kelleher and all her writing, which takes a well-established genre and spins it with some unique elements. Keen to promote some of the areas to which she is well-versed, Kelleher educates readers on queer lifestyles (her word) and how the stereotypes remain misunderstood. Jinx Ballou has quite the life, both with her work and at home. She has been able to handle herself well and finds the balance within her control, at least until she is thrown the odd curveball. Working to advance an understand of the transgender community, as well as trying to settle in with Conor, Jinx must also rub elbows with some of the criminal underbelly around Phoenix, never shying away from a fight. Others who grace the pages of this book help to sketch out many of the themes Kelleher wishes to explore throughout. The banter on many levels helps to elevate the narrative flow and provides a great deal of information on a variety of subjects. The story is quite well written and keeps the action going throughout. There is a great deal of information on a variety of subjects, particularly the gay-transgender-straight equality as the reader is provided with terms and lifestyle choices to help better explain to the less educated on the subject. I wish not to misidentify terms or anything like that, but I did find the discussion refreshing, even as it is set against a backdrop of white supremacy and ignorance to those who differ. Kelleher uses this series to tackle some weighty issues, but also keeps the core ‘chase the criminal’ theme that is highly entertaining. I have read both series she has written and love them both, as well as some of her short stories, which leave the reader guessing at how things tie off. A fabulous book that pushes the limits for some, but in a highly inclusive manner.

Kudos, Madam Kelleher, for another wonderful book. I cannot wait to begin the third, an ARC that awaits me.

Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

Date Night: A Flash Fiction Thriller, by Dharma Kelleher

Eight stars

On a small Dharma Kelleher short story binge, I thought I would complete the three pieces I had on hand with one that made me gasp. Jake Peterson is an easy going guy, trolling the dating apps for the perfect match. When Mandy crosses his radar, he’s more than happy to meet her for dessert one of the local eating establishments. Noticing her enter, he hopes he can pull off a wonderful first date, without revealing the one secret that can never get out. Kelleher pulls the reader along and then delivers a scintillating ending as tart as it is sweet!

Many are surprised that I read Dharma Kelleher, who does not write the type of books I might usually enjoy. However, her work in the thriller field is unique and that draws me in, as I am always up for something outside of the box. This piece was just that, long enough that I could likely finish a single scoop of ice cream or scrape the icing off a wonderful piece of cake. Her ability to get to the point as the reader is distracted by something else proves effective and the end result is always worth the wait.

Kudos, Madam Kelleher, for another wonderful piece. I can only hope to get my hands on some of your novels soon, as these short pieces have me happy to have rediscovered your writing.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

The Beast of Bayou Beauregard: A Short Story, by Dharma Kelleher

Eight stars

Armed with a few short stories by Dharma Kelleher, I thought I would speed through them before tackling my next reading project. This, the longest of the three, is still relatively short and packs a real punch. Sophie DeChaude is a journalist for a small publication, but seems to always get the worst assignments. When her editor asks that she follow-up on a call from a local about the Beast of Bayou Beauregard, Sophie’s sure it will be another drunk with a sighting of the regional Bigfoot. Armed with a photographer, Sophie makes her way into the bayou, where she meets with a local as Cajun as they come. He recounts his story and Sophie is sure it’s only some errant gator that has stolen the man’s dog. However, she has a job to do and sets up camp in hopes of seeing the Beast and dispelling the myth. What follows is something Sophie could not have predicted and likely wished she’d never encountered. A cute piece that is easily read over a quick cup of something to pass a handful of well-earned minutes of relaxation.

Dharma Kelleher is not an author I would usually find myself reading, but her writing seems to enthral me each time I find one of her pieces. Her crime thrillers with strong female bikers or bail bondsmen seem to tap into the wonderfully unique aspects of the genre in today’s supersaturated collection of published pieces. While this story was short, Kelleher did well within the limitations and pulls the reader in, captivating them in short order. There’s no real time for character development, but the story moves along well at a clipped pace. Perfect for those who need a little pick-me-up before locating their next major read.

Kudos, Madam Kelleher, for a great short piece. It reminds me that I need to get back to your novels, which are always highly entertaining and educational.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons