Bargain books, and a murder trial, February 15, 2023

Good morning! We have a book suggestion today. This one is a little different than our usual fare and it looks like it’s worth checking out. “The book that launched bestselling author Robert Whitlow’s career!”

The List Robert Whitlow

“Fans of John Grisham will find much to like here.” —Library Journal review of The Confession

In a world of secrets, where evil has reigned for over a hundred years, the power of an ancient covenant will change the life of one man forever.

As a struggling young attorney fresh out of law school, Renny Jacobson pines for the day he can afford the luxuries of the partners in his Charlotte firm. With news of his father’s death and a secret inheritance, Renny’s life will surely change forever. But the clandestine society that provides the inheritance soon threatens to change him in more ways than one.

Renny’s life, and the life of the woman he loves, depend on supernatural deliverance from the curse of The List.

“My verdict for Robert Whitlow’s Chosen People: compelling, realistic and inspiring. Robert combines the intensity of a legal battle against terrorists with a poignant depiction of Israel, with all of its tensions and grandeur.” —Randy Singer, bestselling author of Rule of Law

“Whitlow’s timely story shines a spotlight on prejudice, race, and the pursuit of justice in a world bent on blind revenge. Fans of Greg Iles’s Natchez Burning will find this just as compelling if not more so.” —Library Journal, starred review of A Time to Stand


In the course of this first search another interesting book showed up. This time with an author new to us.

Edgewater Road (The Rumors in Ross County Series Book 1)

The first in a new series from New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray, Edgewater Road invites us into a world of family mysteries, small-town secrets, and perhaps a little romance along the way.

When Jennifer Smiley’s grandmother, Ginny, leaves her an old farmhouse on Edgewater Road in seemingly quiet Ross County, Ohio, Jennifer can’t pass up the opportunity for a new beginning. Almost immediately she meets a group of men who generously help her move in. When she realizes that they work for Lincoln Bennett, her next-door neighbor, she’s intrigued. Lincoln is gorgeous and has dark, lapis-blue eyes she could get lost in … but he doesn’t seem all that friendly. She’s torn between getting to know him and sticking with the solitude she knows so well. Maybe she could let down some of those walls she’s built around her emotions?

Lincoln Bennett likes to keep his head down and get his work done. He’s been to prison and he knows that a lot of folks don’t take kindly to a man with that kind of history. Plus, he’s busy helping other ex-cons get back on their feet. But when he meets Jennifer, he can’t help but feel an instant attraction. Will she be able to look past his unsavory history? Will she be able to accept the men he’s working so hard to help?

While Jennifer gets to know Lincoln and his friends, she also begins to unravel her grandmother’s story, putting together the pieces from scraps of memories and things she finds in her new home. She soon discovers that Ginny Smiley harbored some dark secrets on Edgewater Road—and that those secrets include both Lincoln and her own absent father. Is learning the truth worth the heartache it could bring?

As the weeks pass and she and Lincoln become closer, Jennifer learns there is a lot to uncover in Ross County—wonderful friendships, darling towns … and more than one secret that might be better left buried.


Three more interesting books from this new author showed up for us. Different genre though. I’m going out on a limb and taking a chance on these three.

Shall We Dance? (The Dance with Me Series Book 1)

At twenty-seven, Shannon Murphy has just discovered that she has two sisters she never knew. Now, through Shannon’s loving persistence, the three of them are moving in together above her dance studio in Bridgeport. Shannon is excited to make a home with her sisters and to grow her budding business. Then she meets her newest client—he has all the right muscles, a perfect smile, and a lot of attitude. Will Shannon be able to keep things professional with this charming stranger?

Take the Lead (The Dance with Me Series Book 2)

Growing up in foster care, Officer Traci Lucky had a rough start to life, but things are looking up now that she’s found a place in Bridgeport with two sisters she never knew she had. One night while on the job Traci finds Gwen, a pregnant teen caught up in a dangerous world of drugs, and takes her straight to the hospital. There Traci encounters the oh-so-charming Dr. Matt Rossi, who surprises Traci with his compassion—and his movie-star good looks.

Save the Last Dance (The Dance with Me Series Book 3)

Kimber Klein has left the modeling world behind. She’s sick of the constant pressure to be perfect and ready to live her life without watching every little thing she eats. She’s also really happy to finally spend some time getting to know herself and the two sisters she never met until recently. Life is good … mostly. Kimber can’t stop worrying about a stalker she’s hoping she left behind in New York City. She doesn’t think he’s found her in Bridgeport, until one day she leaves her volunteer job at the elementary school library to find two of her tires slashed. Has her old life come back to haunt her in Ohio?


This is a good day for books and the chance to explore new authors.

My current read is turning out better than expected so I will be finishing it before moving on this time. A very nice situation.

While all this is going on I’m listening to a high profile murder trial that has been going on for several weeks. It should be wrapping up in the next week of so. There will be more reading time to be had once the trial is over. Not a bad thing at all.

It is not looking good for the accused. Mainly because he has a verifiable tendency to lie, prolifically. He is such a nice guy that everyone believes him. The murder investigation has been the reason behind the recent exposure and now the prosecution has the verifiable proof. The killing is particularly brutal and the way it plays out it appears a lot of planning has gone into it, and over a long period of time.

Technology it is not a friend of the defendant. GSP locations with movement times recorded on the vehicle and the record of cell phone calls placed, both answered and unanswered, prove the lies. The verifiable records blow gigantic holes in his story.

It looks like he is guilty. It will be interesting to hear how the jury sees it.

The brutality, in my opinion, demonstrates a high level of rage against family members he claims to love and cherish.

Rage only increases along with the collapse of his house of cards. He has been embezzling money from his employer and clients for several decades. This is a recent discovery and now there are 99 charges laid against him. Independent of the murder trial. The case against him, financially, is airtight and once convicted I doubt he will ever see the light of day again. Except in the prison yard.

It is possible that family members adding pressure to his financial difficulties because of things going on in their personal lives, this is what is behind the timing of the rampage.

One more opinion/observation: Watching the high level of civility and pleasant demeanor in the court room and then the large number of expensive expert witnesses over the course of a long trial, leads me to believe both sides know he is guilty and they are just trying to get through it as best they can. The defendant is millions of dollars in debt. He can’t afford this. Not sure who is paying for his defense but it isn’t him.

It also occurs to me that the reason for such meticulous attention to providing proof from every angle is more to convince the public than the jury. This man is from a well liked and popular prominent family. It would be easy for the legal court to be crucified in the court of public opinion, with their possible bias and outrage. It appears every question raised in the trial has been explored and answered soon after being raised.

I think it would be difficult to deny the truth when close attention has been paid to every day of the trial.

Both sets of lawyers, and the judge, have been put in an unenviable position. I applaud them for their efforts, over and above the call of duty, to mount a fair trial.

The lunch break is over. Time to finish watching the video of a riveting pre-trial interview.

Happy reading y’all

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