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:
- The Clouds Roll Away (#2 in the Raleigh Harmon series)
- The Mountains Bow Down (#3 in the 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."
©2012 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for written permission to reproduce text or photos.
You'll catch up. We all find behind sometimes. ;)ReplyDelete
At least this time I have a decent excuse!Delete
I'm not into the preachiness, but I loved your Star Trek comparison! :)ReplyDelete
It's not horribly preachy, but it does have its moments. I'm glad you liked that Star Trek analogy. My son posted instructions on how to build your own TARDIS, yesterday, and I thought of you! :)Delete
As someone who constantly runs behind schedule, I applaud your courage to pound back at the calendar. Thank you for taking time to read, and review, The Stars Shine Bright. And thank you for your good words about Raleigh and her forensic adventures laced with personal plights. Wishing you abundant time going forward. ;-) -- sibella giorelloReplyDelete
I hadn't thought of catching up in quite those terms! Love it! I'll have to remember "pounding back at the calendar". It sounds very pro-active.
You're welcome and thanks for another great reading experience. Raleigh is such a wonderful, 3-dimensional character. I knew I was going to be moving this month (although I didn't know we were going to have to rush to get out so our renter could move in) but I couldn't bear to miss out on a tour of one of your books. Keep writing! Good wishes to you, too!
I've read the first book in the series and need to get going on the rest. Too many books, too little time. Have a great week! :O)ReplyDelete
I need to go back and read the first book in the series. Hope you get to continue reading on, soon. The Raleigh Harmon series is consistently enjoyable, in my humble opinion. Yes, "too many books, too little time" is pretty much my anthem!Delete
I don't mind Christian books when they aren't too preachy and sanctimonious, but this one sounds like something that I would enjoy and get a lot of thrills from. You gave it a great review, and I am glad that you liked it. I think I am going to take a look for the first in this series.ReplyDelete
I really love this series, Heather, and I'm glad you're interested in reading them. I like the fact that Raleigh is so human and flawed. In general, the Christianity aspect is mostly about her need to fall back on her beliefs to get her through the everyday. I like that. Yes, it can occasionally be a little preachy, but the expression of her opinion about various issues is pretty minor, in my opinion (at times, I didn't agree with her, I should add) and it's just a part of who she is.Delete