Buried Cold Case Secrets by Sami A. Abrams

Reviewed by Sandra Merville Hart

Melanie Hutton accepts a job as a forensic anthropologist back in her home town. Her parents have moved away—not that they supported her when she needed them most anyway. No, it’s the kidnapping she endured with her best friend that she can’t recover from, especially since Melanie escaped and Allie’s remains were never found.

Detective Jason Cooper isn’t happy to see Melanie return. She had escaped and left her best friend—his sister—at the mercy of that monster. The fact she can’t recall what happened makes matters worse. He had once imagined dating Melanie, marrying her. No longer. He couldn’t trust her. Too bad they have to work together.

But someone is trying to kill Melanie. Does it have anything to do with the kidnapping? They both must work together to discover the truth before someone else dies.

This story gripped my interest from the beginning. The characters face real danger throughout and the action builds as the story escalates.

A multi-layered story that was a page turner for me!

Recommended for readers of contemporary suspense.



Deadly Probabilities by D.L. Koontz

by Sandra Merville Hart

Book 1 of Risky Changes Series

Ann McCarthy is good at her job as part owner of CRS (Corporate Response Specialists) yet can’t wait to leave it. When a stranger on a bicycle knocks her down, it’s not an accident. He gives her a message and leaves her a sinister warning.

Her new client, Logan Kassell, reports an explosion at his company and needs her company’s expertise to navigate the press. The former SEAL recognizes a fake bomb in her pocket and realizes she’s in danger.

There is danger at every turn but which one of them is the target? Action-packed. Suspenseful. Unexpected twists and turns kept me turning pages to the end.

Believable, likeable characters drew me into the story and had me pulling for them the whole way. I tried to guess who was behind the attacks and danger along with the characters. I couldn’t put down the book for long as I had to know what happened.

The suspense as well as the love story kept me turning pages. This isn’t the first time I’ve read books by this author and I will look for more.

Looking forward to the next book in this series!


Death of an Imposter by Deborah Sprinkle

Bernie Santos never expected to begin a murder investigation her first week as detective. After all, this was the quiet community of Pleasant Valley. Nor did she expect to meet a handsome doctor. Bad things seem to happen around him. Is it a coincidence?

Dr. Daniel O’Leary comes to town to help his aunt with autopsies—at least that’s his story. He’s really an undercover FBI agent working on a case. He doesn’t expect to fall in love with the police detective who suspects him.

This story grabbed my attention and held on. Suspenseful. Fast-paced. Action-packed. Real, believable characters. I had no idea of the killer’s identity until just before the detectives discovered it.

This book was a page turner for me. I recommend this book to those who love action-packed romantic suspense novels.

I’ll look for more books by this author!

-Sandra Merville Hart


Wyatt by Susan May Warren

Book 4 in The Montana Marshalls Series

Wyatt Marshall, the goalie for the Minnesota Blue Ox NHL team, is in Russia to rescue Coco Stanley, the woman he loves. Ruby Jane, his sister, is already safely back home in the States.

Coco, the daughter of a Russian general, is in constant danger. She has to get some information to Wyatt and then let her son’s father go. She does what she does best—flee. Yet Wyatt can’t let her go that easily. Then he discovers she has a son. His son.

Danger follows Wyatt as Coco meets up with York, who is trying to protect.

York loves Ruby Jane (RJ) but feels unworthy of her. But RJ isn’t as safe as they’d all hoped.

This fast-paced romantic suspense had me on the edge of my seat the whole journey.

A second love story in this novel also tugged at my heart. The author does a wonderful job of weaving these into the story.

Multiple viewpoints tell a gripping story. There are lots of characters in the story and I had trouble keeping their various connections to each other straight in the beginning.

A page turner! The story ends with a cliff-hanger and readers will want to read the next book in the series.

-Sandra Merville Hart


Carolina Reckoning by Lisa Carter

A page-turner!

Alison Monaghan finally has the proof she never wanted—a photograph that proves her husband has been unfaithful to her. She’s ready to confront him when he returns from his latest trip.

She never sees him alive again.

Instead he is found dead on a lonely road near a historic park where he serves on the board.

Mike Barefoot, the homicide detective assigned to the case, immediately suspects Alison even as his heart goes out to her teenaged son and daughter. It isn’t long before Mike trusts in Alison’s innocence, yet protecting her becomes a challenge.

Driven by a need to discover the truth, Alison takes a job at the historic park near the location of her husband’s death—against Mike’s advice.

Her growing feelings for Mike can’t prevent her from seeking the truth. Danger lurks as Alison digs deeper. Is any place safe?

I found myself pulling for the whole family because the author shows their struggles with cruel acquaintances they’d once considered friends. The budding romance between Mike and Alison also shows how they both struggle with past relationships and circumstances. Can they overcome mounting obstacles before someone else dies?

Recommend! I will look for more novels by this author.

-Sandra Merville Hart





Primary Suspect by Laura Scott

Wrongfully accused and on the run for a crime he didn’t commit, Firefighter Mitch Callahan hates that Dana Petrie is on the run with him. The widow’s only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

They flee from the hospital when a man attacks Mitch. The reason for the attack is a mystery to both of them. Mitch feels guilt enough that he couldn’t save her husband from a fire they both battled. All his efforts failed that day three years ago, leaving Dana a widow. Now he’s managed to drag her into his nightmare.

Danger escalates at every turn and now Dana is also a target.

Escalating tension and growing romance make this novel a suspenseful page turner! Twists and turns in the story kept my interest until the end. This is the first time I’ve read a suspense novel by this author and I will look for more.

-Sandra Merville Hart


Two Rivers by Deborah Sprinkle

Today’s post has been written by talented author and friend, Deborah Sprinkle. Her debut contemporary romantic suspense is a page turner! Welcome to Historical Nibbles, Deborah!

Together, the Mississippi and the Ohio Rivers create the arteries that feed the heart of our great nation. Both have played a major role in America’s history since its beginning, carrying the first explorers and the first pioneers, loaded with hopes and dreams. Today, barges ply their waters, loaded with coal and other major commercial goods. They’ve served as boundaries and as obstacles, as death traps and as lifelines.

They’ve played a part in every major conflict in our country. During the Civil War, control of the these mighty rivers became paramount. To do this, navies were needed, and in this regard, the industrial North had the advantage. Commander John Rodgers of the Union Navy ordered his ships to Cairo, Illinois, the confluence of the Ohio and the Mississippi. Constant patrolling of both waterways from this strategic location established Northern control to the point that Kentucky and Missouri remained neutral throughout the war.

More ships were built and the Mississippi ran red with the blood of our nation’s men as the North gained control of the river further south, culminating in the fall of Vicksburg in 1863.1 On April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant marking the beginning of the end to the conflict that pitted brother against brother, and took more American lives than any other war.

That’s when one of the most tragic river disasters in the history of our country happened. Two weeks later on April 27, the Sultana, a wooden steamboat, left St. Louis for New Orleans, her objective to pick up released Union soldiers and bring them home. Built to carry 376 passengers, she ended up with 2,137. She fought her way upriver, despite riding low in the water and nursing a patched boiler.  North of Memphis her luck ran out. Three of her four boilers exploded under the pressure of pushing against the current with so much extra weight. Loss of life was estimated at somewhere between 1,200 and 1,500 souls.

On the 150th anniversary of its sinking, a museum opened in Marion, Arkansas, memorializing the Sultana. Artifacts and pieces of the hull displayed were found in a field. The river’s course had changed by two miles since it went down.2

America started as colonies huddled on the east coast with a vast expanse of land to the west. With the help of the great rivers, we became territories and then states. We’ve fought for independence. We’ve fought for our borders. We’ve fought amongst ourselves. Each time, our rivers have been one of our most valuable resources. Ah, the tales they could tell.

In my debut novel, Deadly Guardian, my heroine knows a lot about rivers. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and currently lives near Cincinnati, Ohio. Both are river towns. One is on the Mississippi and the other graces the shores of the Ohio. While she doesn’t live on the river, she does have a home on a lake nearby. And that body of water gets her into…well, I don’t want to give it away. You’ll just have to read it for yourself.

-Deborah Sprinkle


  1. Sam Smith. “Winning the West.” Civil War History The River War.  American Battlefield Trust. http://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/river-war

2. “Sultana (steamboat).” Wikipedia.  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultana_(steamboat)#Museum


About Deborah

Deborah Sprinkle is a retired chemistry teacher among other things. So it should come as no surprise that the protagonist in her debut novel, Deadly Guardian, is one as well. Mrs. Sprinkle is also co-author of a non-fiction book entitled Exploring the Faith of America’s Presidents.  She has won awards for her short stories, articles, and her latest work in progress. Mrs. Sprinkle lives in Memphis with her husband where she continues to be an ordinary woman serving an extraordinary God.

Deadly Guardian Blurb

When the men she dated begin dying, Madison Long must convince the police of her innocence and help them determine who has taken on the role of her guardian before he kills the only man she ever truly loved, Detective Nate Zuberi.

Madison Long, a high school chemistry teacher, looks forward to a relaxing summer break. Instead, she suffers through a nightmare of threats, terror, and death. When she finds a man murdered she once dated, Detective Nate Zuberi is assigned to the case, and in the midst of chaos, attraction blossoms into love. Together, she and Nate search for her deadly guardian before he decides the only way to truly save her from what he considers a hurtful relationship is to kill her—and her policeman boyfriend as well.


The Contessa’s Necklace by Linda Siebold

The action with this book begins in the Prologue and doesn’t let up!

A migraine keeps Marguerite Collins from a celebration dinner for her best friend and her fiancé. It also saves her from tragedy that goes terribly wrong.

Selena Simmons can’t believe that anyone would intentionally kill her sweet grandmother. While she reels from the news of her grandmother’s death, she learns that she’s the killer’s next target.

Where can she hide?

Private Detective Sam Russell’s latest case leads him directly to Selena, who is running for her life. Why does the killer want her dead?

This book is a page turner. It kept my interest throughout the story. I had to know what happened next.

If you like romantic suspense, this book is a good short read.

-Sandra Merville Hart


A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter

Sergeant First Class Caden Wallis loses more than his foot in Afghanistan—he loses his leader and friend, Joe, and Friday, his bomb-sniffing dog. While he struggles to recover, his girlfriend dumps him. There’s only one thing left to do—return a quilt that brought him such comfort during his recovery to its rightful owner and then end it all.

McKenna Dockery can’t get over the loss of her fiancé three years ago. If not for his death, they’d be married by now. She gave up her dream of dancing when he died to help out in her family’s restaurant in the Outer Banks. She’s been a Banker all her life and never wants to leave.

When McKenna meets Caden on the beach, she recognizes his despair and quickly grasps his suicidal intentions. She offers him a chance to do something positive again.

Then a dead body washes ashore and suspicion falls on Caden, the stranger in town. And that’s only the beginning.

This multi-layered story captured my interest—and my heart—from the Prologue and never let go. Suspenseful. Lovable, broken characters that tugged at my emotions. Add a skillfully-woven romance to the mix and you’ve got a great story.

I highly recommend this book to readers of contemporary romance and romantic suspense.

-Sandra Merville Hart


Deadly Guardian by Deborah Sprinkle

Chemistry teacher Madison Long’s plans for the summer break quickly take a bad turn. Long walks with her dog beside the lake leave her looking over her shoulder. She’s being watched though she never spots the guy.

Detective Nate Zuberi helps her out of a sticky situation with an ex-boyfriend only to find the man dead hours later. Is Madison guilty of murder? Despite Nate’s growing feelings for her, he has to consider the possibility.

Danger mounts as someone continues to stalk Madison. Who is after her? And why is Nate in danger?

Readers are given no time to relax as Madison goes from one danger to the next. This intricately-woven suspense is Sprinkle’s debut novel. The author has written a spell-binding romantic suspense. I couldn’t put it down! I had to know what happened next.

I recommend this book for readers of romantic suspense. A page-turner!

-Sandra Merville Hart