I requested The Stars Shine Bright because I am absolutely in love with the Raleigh Harmon mysteries -- very odd for me, since I burned out on mysteries around a decade ago. They are all beautifully written and the latest installment is no exception.
In The Stars Shine Bright, FBI agent Raleigh is sent to uncover a possible race-fixing scheme at a horse track called Emerald Meadows. But, not long after Raleigh arrives, horses begin dying and Raleigh's life is threatened. Are horses being killed to fix races, or is there more to what's going on at the race track than a mere attempt at improving betting advantages?
While Raleigh rushes to find the answers before her undercover assignment time runs out, she must also deal with the growing awareness that she might just be engaged to a good man for all the wrong reasons. At the same time, Raleigh must learn to live with the hard facts of her mother's mental illness.
I never seem to manage to mark quotes in Sibella Giorello's books because I get sucked into them like the U.S.S. Enterprise gets sucked into wormholes, but you can trust me when I say Giorello's writing is absolutely stunning. Her mysteries are complex enough to satisfy without being so twisty that you find yourself feeling like you must be missing significant brain matter and her conclusions are satisfying. The main character is always getting herself into trouble and she's always in an emotional tangle, which also makes you want to continue following her to see whether she'll get herself out of the latest bind. I just love Raleigh.
One caveat: Raleigh Harmon is a Christian and Thomas Nelson is a Christian publisher. If you don't like being in the head of a Christian and can't respect her opinions, you might feel like the books are a tad preachy. I'm a Christian, myself, and I did feel like there were times The Stars Shine Bright might briefly have turned off the average mystery reader. But, I also like to look at Christian books the way I do anything else. I get just as weary of atheist characters telling me why they don't believe in a higher power, at times; but, if it's just a part of their characterization and it makes sense, no big deal. Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, whatever. I'll read anything if the story is good. And, the Raleigh Harmon series rocks.
Highly recommended to mystery lovers, Christian or otherwise. The Stars Shine Bright is the 4th book in the Raleigh Harmon series. I have the first in e-book form but have not yet read it. I began with the 2nd in the series and didn't feel like I was missing anything but I do recommend reading the books in order, if possible.
Other books I've reviewed in this series:
In other news:
I am going to try to knock out at least one review per day till I'm caught up. I have a couple children's books I haven't added to my sidebar, as well.
Cat pic of the day (pardon the moving mess):
Izzy says, "If the human doesn't bother to place all the toys in convenient locations, one must fend for herself."