Two Fast-Paced Reads for the Holidays

magic book flickr

I purchased a couple books written by bloggers whom I’ve followed for a while now. Who said that blogging doesn’t sell books?

The gurus of the book-blogging world advise us to skip the “Buy my Book” spiel and they’re spot on. I’ll attest to the importance of an occasional reminder that there actually IS a book to celebrate and sell, yet I’ve learned that this whole blogging thing is really about relationships. The sale of a book (through blogging) is mostly a result of the genuine interest that grows out of engagement.

After taking six months to get through the 1,860 page Raven’s Shadow Trilogy, it was a total delight to scoop up a couple books that I couldn’t put down and ended up polishing off in about three evenings. This feat meant forgoing a bit of sleep, but what can a person do when the next chapter begs a reading?

The Seneca Scourge

The first book I picked up is Carrie Rubin’s thriller, The Seneca Scourge. It takes off on the first page as a viral contagion manifests on an international flight.

Not long after arriving in the US, the traveler shows up in a Boston Hospital and becomes a patient of Sydney McNight. She’s a resident doing an infectious disease fellowship and her life is going to quickly turn upside down.

Sydney’s supposed to be working under the renowned epidemiologist Casper Jones, but who has time for that? She’s right in the thick of an influenza epidemic that’s running rampant with a body count suggesting a worldwide plague.


To complicate Sydney’s life, her relationship of convenience isn’t ending well, coworkers and friends are falling ill, and something is definitely not adding up about the secretive Casper Jones. Things get pretty crazy as Sydney slides in over her head – asking questions, breaking the rules, and trying to figure out who Casper is and what he’s hiding. All while time is running out.

I thought I had the plot figured out about a third of the way through – Not! This book has a great twist.

Rubin’s personal experience in the medical field adds authenticity to the hospital setting, protocols, and medical/physical details of an infectious disease. The story moves at breakneck speed, with believable characters, realistic action and a number of tough moments as Sydney’s own life hangs in the balance. The writing is sharp and engaging. I’d recommend this thriller to any readers who enjoy an exciting ride.


Death in a Red Canvas Chair: A Rhe Brewster Mystery

Noelle Granger’s Death in a Red Canvas Chair is a perfect book to pair up with Rubin’s Seneca Scourge. Both plot-driven books feature strong female protagonists and are fast-paced investigative reads.

Rhe Brewster is a mom, wife, and nurse with a penchant for crime-solving that she can’t resist. In this first of the Rhe Brewster series, she finds a dead body stinking up her son’s soccer game.

Her brother-in-law is the sheriff of her quaint Maine town, and she’s persistent enough to get involved in the investigation against her husband’s wishes. Her husband isn’t wrong to worry as Rhe is prone to taking dangerous risks.

emiliecarolnoellegranger-9-2The investigation leads from the soccer field to the local college where her husband works as a professor, to a Caribbean cruise ship outfit and a high-class brothel at a posh seaside estate. Granger intertwines all these threads with a shady operation at a mortuary that Rhe will discover after a close encounter with a freezer full of body parts. More bodies show up and things get tense before Rhe solves the riddle of the woman in the red canvas chair.

Rhe is a great character and her relationships with her husband and brother-in-law were complex adding to the interpersonal tension of the read. The story is well-structured and entertaining with plenty of action, touching moments, and suspenseful danger. A delightful book for readers who enjoy murder mysteries.

I had a wonderful time reading both books and can happily recommend these two talented writers. The reads have broad appeal and would make great gifts! Happy holidays 🙂

43 thoughts on “Two Fast-Paced Reads for the Holidays

  1. Jools says:

    I’ve not read your second choice, but I heartily endorse your review of The Seneca Scourge – an excellent read with a terrific twist.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Wallace Peach for her kind mention of my first book, The Seneca Scourge. Diana is a talented writer whose own books can be found […]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow so nice to share these fellow bloggers books and review them! I will check them out! thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dgkaye says:

    Thanks for sharing these reviews Diana. I actually have Carrie’s books in my reader and am more eager than ever to get to them. There’s nothing like a good addictive enjoyable read to take us away. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Two good reviews, Diana. Both books sound interesting. I love mysteries. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sabiscuit says:

    Such a lovely post! I was very happy to read it because I feel the same way as you’ve said, that writers’ success will come from building a strong relationship with the entire reading population of Earth. It is very kind of you to support these authors and share their with readers. Read on, and write on. Thank you for your warmth and candour.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for sharing these recommendations… if only I had more time to read! 😉 My list is about a mile long now!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. olganm says:

    They both sound fabulous. I knew about Noelle’s book (although haven’t got to it yet) but thanks for the introduction to Carrie’s. I’ll add it on to my never ending list!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yay! Way to promote Carrie (’cause Lord knows she sure hates to promote herself)!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are set! They sound delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Annika Perry says:

    Diana, first I want to say how much I liked your comment about building relationships whilst blogging, this personal element is such a huge factor, after all I think most of us enjoy that sense of ‘connection’. Both books sound terrific, just up my street and I’ll make sure to put these on my Christmas list. Thanks for the lovely reviews which really caught my attention. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. noelleg44 says:

    Thanks so much for the review – you are a REAL peach! I thought I was following you, but darn, I was wrong. So I fixed that!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Carrie Rubin says:

    What a wonderful surprise to find this morning. Thank you so much! I’m thrilled you enjoyed “The Seneca Scourge.” Hopefully you had some hand sanitizer nearby. 😉

    You are so kind to showcase it here (and the nod to “Eating Bull” too!). I truly appreciate that. And “Death in a Red Canvas Chair” sounds wonderful. I’ll definitely go check it out.

    Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. tamaraprokopchuk says:

    Always good to stumble upon some great reads 😀 I’m playing catch up with my TBR pile over the holidays. I think I may be the only person who has yet to read “The Martian”!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks for that! I’ve been meaning to read Noelle’s book for a while now, but was unfamiliar with Carrie’s work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great review, Diana. 🙂 The two books sound amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Nurse Kelly says:

    Thank you for the recommendations! Wonderful write-ups on them both! I finished “Eating Bull” recently, and loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Dan Antion says:

    It may have to be for after the holidays – my reading stack is pretty high 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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