Facing a shelf full of romance novels can be daunting. It’s hard to determine what is great, what is good, and what is mediocre or just plain bad. That is why it is a delight to recommend two really good romances from two really good writers. One is from relative newcomer Mary Jane Russell and the other is written by veteran three-time Lambda Literary finalist Ronica Black.

First, from author Mary Jane Russell comes Murder in City Hall. We’ve all seen movies like this, even read some good books along these lines, but finding well written, well developed and sometimes even more importantly, well edited books can be a bit of a challenge.

Murder in City Hall measures up. Molly Hamilton is consistently kept back by the men for and with whom she works. No surprise there! He supposed friend Eric is a guy she is mentoring while he is planning to stab her in the back. Her boss is one of those guys everyone has at least one good motive to murder—but when he’s found dead, Molly has been so carefully set up that it seems her fate is sealed. Not only is this a mystery to the end, it is a good, solid read.

MURDER IN CITY HALL
by Mary Jane Russell
Intaglio Publications
ISBN: 9781935216131
Paperback, 282 pages, $16.95

From Bold Strokes Books, comes Ronica Black’s (former FBI) profiler Kennedy Scott in The Seeker. Stalkers, child kidnappers and murderers all collide in this fast-paced, dual-plotted novel. With one unsolved haunting case behind her, and an assault on her sister, Scott is compelled to accept the FBI’s invitation to help solve their latest stalker case. Clearly, from the beginning all three of these cases will somehow come together, but not before Scott is knee-deep in the lives of her current “clients.” This is not Black’s first novel, and readers can only hope it will not be her last.

THE SEEKER
by Ronica Black
Bold Strokes Books
ISBN: 9781602821286
Paperback, 288 pages, $16.95



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  • Ron Fritsch

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