Posted in Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Review: Hooked Up by Jim and Joyce Lavene

Hooked Up
(Stock Car Racing Mysteries)

Book 2
Published by Midnight Ink (January 8, 2008)
An Imprint of Llewellyn Publications
Cover Design by Kevin R. Brown
288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738711102

Hooked Up

Glad and Ruby are back and Ruby’s parents are going with them to the Monster Mile in Dover, Delaware. Ruby and her mom are traveling in one RV and Glad and Zeke are in another. They arrive at the campground and Glad is shocked when he finds a strange man in his bed wearing his pajamas. Ruby quickly tries to defuse the situation by explaining that they picked up the man and his cat hitchhiking along the road. Glad is not happy but what can he do? While they are discussing the situation the man has disappeared from the bedroom but has left behind his cat.

Then there is a commotion on the track. Someone has fallen from the Monster Bridge onto the raceway. Glad and Ruby follow the crowd and Ruby soon identifies the victim as her hitchhiker. We soon learn that the man is the twin brother of the man who owns the nearby Casino and Hotel. The rumors start to circle the track that there was a story of 10 million dollars disappearing some years back and the casino owner was involved.

Ruby starts to jump to some conclusions and thinks because of their past success they need to investigate even after the local police have classified the death as a suicide. Glad wants to sit back and enjoy the race festivities but he can’t let Ruby race off by herself. They are again chasing down the crooks when all Glad wants to see which drivers make the chase.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Another trip to the Winner’s Circle for Joyce and Jim Lavene! 

I am so happy my favorite NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth made this installment. Glad is a Joe Nemecheck fan and Ruby cheers for Jimmy Johnson. Ruby and I would probably come to blows over our drivers. Johnson is boo’d regularly and heavily this house.

I also need to say that Zeke coming to the racetrack in this story put a huge smile on my face. Now if Ruby’s mom would just call Glad by his name instead of “Ruby’s husband”. You will notice in both my reviews I have not used Ruby’s mom, Zeke’s wife or Glad’s mother-in-law’s name. 🙂 

Both of the Stock Car Mysteries are full with track details including Glad and Ruby’s Track Logs.  The settings are described perfectly, you feel like you are out to the track. I am really sad there was not more installments in this series. It would be great fun to travel around the country with Glad and Ruby. Keeping my fingers crossed The Lavene’s have more of these stories under the hood. Hooked Up is another keeper!

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About These Authors

Jim and Joyce will be Guest Posting Here on September 19!!

Check out the webpage for a complete list of books here.

Like them on Facebook here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Just For Fun Challenge Reviews 2012

Review: Swapping Paint by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Swapping Paint
(Stock Car Racing Mysteries)

Book 1
Published by Midnight Ink (May 7, 2007)
An Imprint of Llewellyn Publications
Cover Design by Kevin R. Brown
288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738710204

Swapping Paint

Glad Wycznewski lives for three things: NASCAR, cold beer and his passionate wife Ruby. Glad is a retired cop from Chicago and Ruby has left her job as a beautician so that they can follow the racing circuit in their RV. The newlyweds, married last year at the racetrack in Somona, have just arrived in North Carolina for the Coca-Cola 600. The track is just down the road from Ruby’s hometown.They are excited because Ruby’s brother, Bobby, a rookie driver, may be one of the lucky 43 racing in the 600.

The race week excitement hits the wall when another rookie driver is found dead and Bobby becomes the number one suspect. Glad wants to stay out of the locals way but Ruby has other ideas. She is determined to track down the real killer. They throw caution to the wind and shift their investigation into overdrive so they can put the murderer behind bars before the checkered flag waves.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am a huge NASCAR fan and this series had been on my wish list for way too long. There was no Cup race last Sunday so I spent my time reading this book instead of watching a race. I loved this book and it is going on my keeper shelf.

Glad and Ruby make an awesome team. Ruby is sassy, stubborn and her mouth has no filter. These traits can all mean trouble when investigating a murder. Thankfully Glad is smart with wonderful detective skills and very patient. They are perfectly suited for each other even if they are a generation apart in age. They clearly adore each other and their dialogue is funny and natural.

Other than the main characters I would have to say Ruby’s dad, Zeke, was my favorite character in this story. Zeke’s only love besides his family is fast cars. He has worked for almost every race car driver in the business. That was until he broke his back 5 years ago. He is now confined to a wheelchair and doesn’t even go to the races anymore. Like me he is worried about how people will treat him in his disabled state. I hope he realizes like I did that the those that care about you, won’t care about the chair, and those that treat you differently weren’t your friends in the first place. I really identified with this character.

Jim and Joyce Lavene are wonderful writers. This is just one of their mystery series. I have enjoyed everything I have read that they have written and plan to read them all. I hope you will join me! Their current mystery series’ are the Missing Pieces Mysteries and the Renaissance Faire Mysteries. Both series have new installments coming soon.

Dollycas
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About These Authors

Jim and Joyce will be Guest Posting Here on September 19!!

Check out the webpage for a complete list of books here.

Like them on Facebook here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”