Can’t live without ’em.

Reader reviews are always a great puzzle to an author.
You know what you intended in your book, what you hoped to evoke in a reader’s mind.
Sometimes you get a response that fits exactly:
aha! this person got what I was trying to do and thinks I succeeded.
Sometimes you’re bewildered: that wasn’t
my book!
Sometimes it’s the contradictions: “way too slow” versus “type of book you don’t want to end.”
And finally the occasional sex-disturbed Canadian (last item).


 FitToCurve      these reviews have been selected and edited for coherenceHeart Attack
Highly Entertaining Puzzle
Fit to Curve is a skillfully written mystery with complex characters and such a fascinating plot that I’m way behind on my chores. It is the puzzle that first brings Harold in, and his death draws Ellen and Geoffrey into the puzzle. The fellow bed-and-breakfast companions and their associates are complicated and clever, making them excellent suspects as well as lively conversational partners. Ellen and Geoffrey are clever and thoughtful people and I thoroughly enjoyed following along on their investigation. Highly recommended for mystery lovers that enjoy a good puzzle. I just bought Heart Attack, and I’m looking forward to spending more time with this inquisitive couple, once I’ve finished my chores.


This is too fine a novel, as a novel, to be mired in the mystery/suspense ghetto. It’s a good mystery, with a complex plot, all the mystery trappings, but the characters are rounded and attractive, especially the outstandingly competent Special People. They’re the kind of people that I would like to be (even though at least one of them is not so nice). The theme seems to me to be a consideration of morality – not just sexual morality (or immorality), though there’s some of that too, for those who like to read such descriptions, but all kinds of morality, including that part that some would call “ethics”, which doesn’t only apply to doctors and lawyers, or “integrity”. For how high a price might you sell your soul? Then, of course, it’s usually immoral to kill someone, though there may be moral reasons for doing that, as in self-defense, or the defense of someone else, and then one question is whether a particular death was a murder or an accident or natural causes. Morality is an important part of character, either the kind of character that is about integrity, or the kind that is about accurate description of a person, one who feels real – “three-dimensional” in analogy. When A uses B as a tool to get what A wants, regardless of what B wants, whether sexually or in other areas, without consideration for harm to third parties, I believe that is immoral.

I believe that I’ll be thinking about this book, and the problems posed in it, beyond mystery stories, for quite a while.
Ultimately, I found that the meandering plot line made sufficient sense to enjoy the last quarter of the book but it was hard-going through much of the first half. I don’t think I ever got clear in my mind exactly who the outer circle of the small group of characters were (the larger group is comprised of a dozen or so guests and staff at the Bed and Breakfast which is the main arena of interaction, a number of law enforcement persons, and some members of a brokerage house). The more important actors only gradually became identified in my mind, with a few key players only shakily in my grasp. The shifting first person narrative is not a form to which I am drawn but it is a perfectly acceptable literary device. So much for the negatives, for me, at any rate; on the more generally positive side were the rather odd couple (appropriate for a teacher of poetry and a travel writer) who were hero and heroine, respectively, the innkeeper and his nubile teen-age daughter, who has long since discovered sex, if not all its possible permutations, the ancient female guest, who has Miss Marple beat on the physical, if not the mental side, and the hero’s first significant other (of 20 years before), who is also on hand, with her husband. All have their oddities (as do those I have not mentioned specifically) but are interesting.
I suppose, what causes what confusion I felt, was the admixture of mystery sub-genres the author includes: there is first, and for much of the way, the most significant aspect-the long-winded leisurely build up and elaborate detail, which were so much a part of early mysteries, when the author was often paid by the word (but also was a duplication of the general novelists approach of the day); secondly, there are all the accouterments of the cozy, detailed descriptions of food dishes, furnishings, clothing, and the like, along, of course, with the essential pets, beloved intimates of their masters and mistresses; and, third, there are the inserted sex-play scenes, which are clearly intended to be the spice in the dish (although, to be fair, some of it does help build up the image of some of the character}s.

What to recommend? To the reader accustomed to the heavy mysteries by best-selling authors, who, I think, are advised to make their books fat enough to justify to the reader the high price of the hard cover and then the paper bound editions, this could be just what they are looking for. For the typical reader of the less expensive volumes by best-selling kindle mystery writers, the pace would likely be too leisurely for their taste, since these kindle e-books, tend to get down to business with little delay. I don’t think I can be any more helpful than that.

Oh,yes, for the reader like me, relatively rare, I should think, who has accommodated to the robot reading device, be prepared for a good bit of confusion since the shift in first persons is without warning and one will often go through a few minutes of confusion before some clarity emerges (if it ever does). I tried both approaches to the book and eye-reading was better (though more of a strain on eyes that cannot take much of it).
Series has potential
This is the first book in this series that I’ve read and although it has problems, I think the series has potential.
The characters, Geoffrey and Ellen are appealing and I can see a series based on them, kind of a Nick and Nora thing.
However, there are some things that really didn’t work. One is the ‘head-hopping point of view”. A good book has a very limited number of points of view, two or three at the most. This book was in and out of EVERY character’s head in almost every chapter. POV changed from paragraph to paragraph. This is not a good thing. It makes the story feel very unfocused especially when most of the character voices are indistinguishable. You never really get a good feel for who your main characters are. This story would have been much more effective if the author had focused on the two sleuths. The author might also look at how the dialogue is written. Some of it felt very stilted and contrived.
Another problem was something I seem to be seeing a lot, especially in self-published cozies: too much cozy and not enough plot. Nothing really signficant happens in this book until almost halfway in. However in that time, we’ve toured Asheville and the Biltmore house, had numerous descriptions of various meals, been biking, hopped in and out of numerous characters’ lives, etc. Pages were spent on one character telling another one how to dress. None of this moves the story along. A certain amount of this is expected in a cozy, but too much and the plot bogs down.Another thing is this book that didn’t really work was the rather graphic (for a cozy) predatory sexual behavior of one of the characters. It was very jarring and seemed out of place in this book.Yet despite all this, I still felt like the series good be a decent one. I will probably read another and hope with time, the author will resolve some of these issues.
B and B
A bed and breakfast mystery. Super characters, well developed. You are waiting for the other shoe to drop. A mouth-watering, good read. I love the old lady with the sharp wit and mind. I’d like the recipes, too.
Good Eatin
I loved the setting, Ashville North Carolina and the bed and breakfast where the main characters stayed (especially the descriptions of the meals). I will read the next book in this series.
This series is a favorite with interesting plots and wonderfully drawn characters. Wish the author of would write more of them. The type of book you don’t want to end.
This couple are a great addition to the mystery genre. Sharp and interesting with a bit of humor and spice.
snappy dialogue
Geoff and Ellen are a great team. He has a definite intuitive method of assessing info and arriving at conclusions that baffle and irk his cohorts. Ellen is more conventional and together are a great team. Unusual and unconventional mystery not easily solved.
Twists, Turns, and Roundabouts
Intriguing plot with lots of twists and turns. Some of the crimes were ‘over the top’ graphic but the characters are likable, especially Geoff. Ellen is a bit too perfect for my taste, but she does get the job done and gives kudos to Geoff for his expertise in putting the pieces together even when they don’t seem to fit.

Overall, a good read if you want a ‘light’ mystery with some graphic suspense!

Interesting Characters

I wasn’t sure I’d like this book at first, because the plot builds very slowly. But once I got into it, I was hooked. I liked the characters, and you get a lot of insight into them. I was especially fond of the amazing Honoria, a 91-year-old woman with a sharp mind and surprising skills. As a senior myself (although not yet 91), I appreciate when older people are depicted favourably by authors, as they often are not.
Great Summer Read
Great read! Just wish Ellen & Geoffrey weren’t quite so perfect; never do anything wrong, look great all the time, have wonderful jobs, and the only drawback to their marriage…she can’t have kids.
Heart Attack 
I just read the first few pages and then deleted it from my Kindle. I am not a fan of books with nothing but sex and innuendo for a story line. It might have gotten better as it went along, but I couldn’t get far enough to find out.
I started reading this book with the idea that it was gonna read like some mysteries I read probably thirty years ago. Not that there weren’t a lot of good mysteries in those days; they were just written a little more conservatively than today’s. I was so wrong about it. Once I got to know the characters, I thoroughly enjoyed all the twists and turns; ins and outs. My favorite thing about the story was that the good characters were so much more intelligent than the bad ones. I rate this one 4.5 stars. I have another book by this author and am looking forward to reading it.
Heart Attack 
I just read the first few pages and then deleted it from my Kindle. I am not a fan of books with nothing but sex and innuendo for a story line. It might have gotten better as it went along, but I couldn’t get far enough to find out.
This last from Amazon Canada: very strange take,
but it brought on a serious spike in sales (to disappointed readers, probably).