Tag Archives: books

New Arrival at Barnhill’s: Over Her Dead Body by Karen Vaughn

 Over Her Dead Body Author: Karen Vaughan Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Just how far would you go to keep your man? To what lengths would an over the hill, used up pushing forty year old due to keep her hot 84 year old husband of more than 20 years? After all he is rich, gives her all the perks she wants and for that she keeps him relatively happy if you know what I mean. So, why would she be jealous of an octogenarian old woman who is friends with her husband? Ethel Peterson had an untimely death. Well, not really she had some help. Someone came into her apartment and beat her over the head with a bat. From the prologue of the story we learn that someone was paid one million dollars to rid the world of this lovely lady. But, just who and why remains to be seen. From the talented author of Dead On Arrival where our main character Laura comes home and finds a dead coworker in her living room comes another hilarious murder filled with twists, mayhem, wild and zany characters and two building supers that play sleuth to help solve the case. Once again author Karen Vaughan delivers a first rate mystery. Ethel is gone but her family does not seem to care. Or do they? Coming to see her affects and check out what needs to be done, her niece Adrianna shows no emotion and just wants to be done with anything related to poor Ethel. Laura is more than upset at this girls unacceptable behavior and can’t imagine why she treated the incident and Ethel like yesterday’s trash. But, there is much more as we meet Sanford Brown who has a special interest in this case and who adored Ethel. Well, wife Leena who is tons years his junior, does not like and did not like the relationship and who will do anything to keep her rich sugar daddy. But, would she commit murder? Just as Laura and her live in boyfriend Gerry begin cleaning out apartments, dealing with Ethel’s death several incidents happen letting the reader know that someone is not happy that she is snooping around and someone just might get hurt. Her car is vandalized, her boyfriend is injured and someone on the phone verbally threatens her but she thinks she knows who that might be. Added to that to make matters even worse her ex-husband is hired by the owners of the restaurant where she works as the cook. Dealing with that and much more Laura surely needs more than just a hug from Gerry and support from her friends and family. So, what will happen when wife Leena learns that Sandy is about to try and cut her loose? What will be the killer’s next move? Things get complicated as Gerry is injured, Laurie’s car is vandalized, Sandy is shot and one loony tune wife is on the run or just out there causing more havoc than she is worth. Let’s not forget sister Jackie who has issues with Leena of her own. Added to that Jackie and her father are definitely two of a kind and have a borderline personality that tips in the wrong direction when crossed. Did Leena pay someone with her father’s money to off poor Ethel? Just how far would this lunatic go before more bodies are found? If Laura did not have enough trouble she relates to the reader how her ex-husband is having trouble with his parents and his new boyfriend who is pressuring him to make a permanent commitment. Sandy relates how Leena followed him to the Senior Center and demanded his drop poor Ethel? Poor Detective Gibbons never knew what hit him when Laura came to live in his town and poor Gerry is getting fed up with her playing amateur detective. Poor Laura can’t seem to win and she is getting it from all sides. Added to that a star witness is murdered, the sister needs protection, security has to be beefed up at Sandy’s and Laura now needs a police escort. What will happen next? When will the nightmare be over and will they ever be able to prove who killed Ethel and why? Then Laura and Jackie are kidnapped and taken to stand trial. Wait until you find out who the judge is. Threatening to shoot jurors, kill Laura and Jackie will anyone find them before it’s too late? With an ending that will keep you guessing, laughing and definitely in suspense author Karen Vaughn once again delivers a wild and zany mystery with characters that are so unique and different you hope they come back for more. Will poor Laura ever go home and not find herself smack dab in the middle of a murder? Will they remain where they are or will they decide to move? Will Gerry and Laura ever tie the knot? What happens to Leena will endear you not only to the police department but to Sandy, Laura, Jackie and of course Gerry in more ways than one. What happens when a woman decides no one is going to take her man? What really happened to Ethel and how many people were involved in her murder? That is something I promised Gerry, Laura and Office Gibbons I would never divulge. After all: They still have to bring the culprit to trial. What is next for Laura and Gerry? Let’s hope author Karen Vaughan has more mysteries, plots, murders and excitement in store for our two favorite supers, amateur sleuth and of course readers. What happens at the end to prove that Adrianna might not be so cold and that she just might have loved her aunt? Find out for yourself when you read this great book.


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New Arrival: Dead Comic Standing by Karen Vaughn

Dead Comic Standing
Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Some people think laughter is wrong. Others think that comedians are detrimental to the world and their own good. What happens when someone decides to knock off those that try and make us laugh? What would happen if there were no more funny men or women in the world? What would happen if the world were devoid of comics and the Last Man Standing had no one else waiting in line after him to make us smile? But, Dave Feener had no idea that when he left the stage it would be his last time and neither did Phil Vetters. Dave tore down the house at Laff Attak and Phil at Comedy F/X the clubs where they performed and neither realized that they were giving their final performance. The killer decided that neither man was funny but there would be more before the final joke was told and the killer was hopefully caught.

But, someone feels that he is the new comic critic and the body count is about to rise and the police department is on the look out for someone that feels comics need to die. When one of the police officer’s brother’s is the next victim, a young hopeful finds himself in critical care but the police get to the hospital too late no one realizes this guy is hiding in plain sight. Added to that the author brilliantly allows the reader to hear the inner thoughts and the killer’s rationale for murdering everyone including his feelings for his murder who just happens to be one his victims.
As Jeff the manager of Laff Attak and Shelly a comedian get closer the killer becomes more enraged and has his own plans for both of them as he watches from a distance and goes unnoticed. Comic F/X and Laff Attak seem to be the two clubs he is targeting for now. What will happen next and will anyone not die laughing? Constables Mike Borneo and Lissa Cassway along with Phil’s brother detective Vince Vetters are racing the clock to find this serial killer before he strikes again. Seeing his brother’s body, having to inform his family and his wife’s family of Phil’s death was hard enough. However, he won’t stop until he finds this guy takes him in and gets the revenge he so rightly wants to inflict on him. Stab wounds made with different knives and victims killed because they don’t make him laugh the comedians in this town need definite protection.

The comics left standing wanted to ban together and have a fundraiser to help the families of the victims but the killer knew that too. His plan would be carried out during the festivities and the end result if not stopped catastrophic for more than just those trying to help and the comedians. Added to that the people of Edmonton needed to be on the alert at all times for this crazy man and the mayor and police chief wanted answers. The heat was rising on the police department and the comics.

The manager of one of the clubs knifed and more bodies on the rise as everyone prepared for the fest hoping big named comics would be present. But, the killer decided to give the police a run for their money and killed an older comedian and as usual left the night’s playbill next to the victim, which should have alerted them to the fact that he might be part of the audience. But, Shelly is attacked on her way out of the club; a Good Samaritan helps her and turns up out of nowhere.

The fun part of the novel is that the author created dialogues and routines for each comedian so you can decide for yourself which ones are really funny and which are not causing the killer to eliminate them. Hearing the killer’s rage when someone is arrested for assaulting Shelly and thinking he was the real killer sent him on quest for another victim. Alternating locations should have tipped the cops off but our killer who is always right in front of them seems to be clever enough to be invisible. Another victim, this time a woman comedian was killed but the killer was seen by a group of kids during the attack. Was he slipping? Would this finally be his first mistake? Evidence left at the scene but his master plan still in place. If this man succeeds the end result would be worse than an earthquake or hurricane. Just how all the pieces of the script get put together and how they nail this guy you just won’t believe. As the clues come into place and one person’s memory remembers a face and the snapshot comes into focus the killer just might be caught. Wait until you find out why he did it? This you just won’t believe and the end result ? I can’t tell you that or I will give away the ending or as a good comic would say THE PUNCH LINE.

Filled with humor, comedy routines, characters that blend well together a police department that does its job and listens to its witnesses, this book is filled with twists, turns and surprises not only for the reader but just maybe for the killer too. Laughter helps you feel better when stress seems to be on the menu during the day. Comedians sometimes pick on audience members just for fun or we hope for fun. Some comedians can get out of control and others just choose their marks and you have to hope the person in the audience has quick comebacks and a sense of humor. From the author of Dead On Arrival once again Karen Vaughan gets it better than right. This book is a quick read for anyone that wants to laugh, feel like they are in a comedy club even though you are reading a book and of course understanding that NO ONE SHOULD DIE LAUGHING OR TRYING TO MAKE OTHERS LAUGH TOO!

Fran Lewis: REVIEWER

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This week at Barnhills!!!!!

5th Cameron Kent
6th Pumpkin Painting with Ginnie
6pm Mindful Eating Book Club
7th T.D. Johnston
8th Scott Roche
Children’s reading 11 am
Horror reading 5:30 pm
14th Open Reading
/Jessie  Carty
15th Susan Surman
Mary Lambeth Moore
20th Michael Renegar and Amy

21st Mary Ruth Dobbins
22nd Cotton Ketchie
22nd Claude Limoges
25th E Reid Gilbert
26th Julia Ebel
28th Tim Bullard
30th Thomas D Perry 5:30-7:30

Historian Thomas D. “Tom” Perry
was born in Mount Airy and grew
up in Ararat, VA, just up the road
from where Civil War General J.E.
B. Stuart lived. Perry writes on
Patrick, Henry and Surry Counties
in VA and NC. He is the author of
a dozen books on local history and

Oct 1st 11am
Deborah Williams Rodenhizer
March 1, 2004, was a beautiful day.
Blue skies and white fluffy clouds
promised that spring was just around
the corner. It was an ordinary day.
There was no sign that I would
remember this day as the worst day of
my life. On this tragic day, Deborah’s
firstborn son, Christopher, committed
suicide. Joy in the Mourning is the
encouraging story of how this mother
dealt with the initial shock, the following
guilt, and the eventual peace she felt
upon accepting
her child’s death.
Kala Ambrose Oct 1st 2-5
Explore haunted lighthouses, forts,
and shipwrecked areas of East
Carolina where Blackbeard and
his pirates still roam as you join
author and paranormal researcher
Kala Ambrose in Ghost Hunting
North Carolina. Journey across the
state and visit the most actively
haunted capitol in the US, and
continue west into the Blue Ridge
Mountains where the pink lady and
her friends await your presence.
Maps and travel information are
provided to every haunted location
for those brave enough to make
the journey in person and for the
paranormal researchers who are
interested in exploring North
Oct 1st 3-6 Surry Oak Winery

A must-taste newcomer to selling his
wines. Two Chambourcins, one
Merlot, a dry Niagara(very rare and
good) and a combination
Merlot/Chambourcin  named Well Red
(we love the play on words for us)

Sign up now for Wine classes
beginning Oct 5th.
Pumpkin Painting is fun for all
ages, come watch Ginnie
Conaway create.
The Mindful Eating book club is still
taking participants see the website for
more information on all these events.


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Barnhills is going to be at Bookmarks on Saturday Sept 10th!!!

A free annual one-day street book festival featuring readings, discussions,
book signings, workshops, storytelling, demonstrations, and performances
with more than 30 authors, illustrators, and chefs representing all genres.
Reading-related exhibitors and food vendors, a Young Readers Central Area,
and an onsite bookstore selling featured authors’ books are also included.
Save the date of Saturday, September 10, 2011. The festival takes place in the
Downtown Arts District on Sixth and Trade Streets.

Bookmarks Website
Last years Festival

Check back for updates!

Authors at our booth include!
10-11 Children’s:
Kim Underwood with Illustrator Garnet Goldman, Libby Bagby, Carolyn S
 Michele Manderine, Roosevelt Pitts Jr
11-12 Poetry and Prose:
Helen Losse, Richard Krawiec, Patricia Hall, Malaika King Albrecht, Becky
Gibson Gould, Jessie Carty
12-1 Self Help and Personal Interests:
Janet Nestor, Allen Speer, Marta Felber, Robert Hardy, Sarah Bush, Wilt
1-2 Mainstream Authors:
Gary Bolick, Cathy Langston, James Munden, Steve Lindahl, Laura Wharton
2-3 Romance/ Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Richard Nance, J. Keith Jones, Leslie Neil Strickland, Susan Surman, John
Garland, Honey A Hutson,
3-4 Crime and Mystery
Sean Keefer, John J Hohn, Karen Fritz, Aaron Phillip Clark, Michael Renegar,
Amy Spease
4-5 Hodgepodge
Bowman Gray, Brian Clarey, Jean Rodenbough, Heather St. Aubin-Stout,

All Day Guests-
Second Wind Publishing:
Calvin Davis (Mainstream/Romance)
J Conrad Guest (Romance and Sci-fi/Mystery)

Sean Keefer (crime-mystery) 2:30-4:30
Honey A Hutson (Romance/Paranormal) 1-3
Leslie Neil Strickland (Steamy Romance 1-3
Libby Bagby (Children’s) 10-12

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Victoria Christopher Murray Book Signing

Title: Victoria Christopher Murray-author visit
  Date: Jun 28, 2011
  Time: 5:00 PM
  Calendar: Library: Carver School Road
  Contact: Carver Branch Lib
  Description: Teen girls are welcome to come meet national bestselling author, Victoria Christopher Murray on Tuesday, June 28th at 5 PM. Victoria Christopher Murray is the author of a series of YA books entitled The DIVAs. Four teenage girls, Diamond, India, Veronique, and Aaliyah, “who sing to glorify God and are hoping for a little fame as well.”
  Location: Carver Branch Library


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This week at Barnhills

Last week was awesome!!!  On Sunday, May 1st, Jim Minick was here reading from and signing copies of his book, The Blueberry Years.  On Thursday, Mary Noble Jones was here again for storytime.  Saturday, Valerie Nieman was here reading from and signing copies of her latest novel, Blood Clay.  Also on Saturday, Surry Oak Vineyards was offering FREE tastings of their wonderful wines.  We now have all their wines open for tasting!!  🙂

This coming week will be just as fabulous!!!  On Thursday, the wonderful local poet, Terri Kirby Erickson will be here reading from and signing copies of her latest book, In the Palms of Angels.

On Friday, we will have storytime with Laura Alston, author of My Pet Rocky Renee.

 On Saturday, author/lawyer Sean Keefer will be here reading from and signing copies of his book, The Trust.  Blending elements of traditional southern literary fiction, suspense and mystery, you won’t be satisfied until the final page is turned.

Then on Sunday, Carolyn Peterson will be here reading from and signing copies of her book, Fishing For Memories.  This is an awesome tribute to her uncle who had Alzheimer’s and also a wonderful story for both children and adults.

Another busy week at Barnhills – have you visited our store yet?  If not what are you waiting for?  We have something for everyone in the family – a great children’s section, wonderful books, awesome gifts and art, and of course some fabulous North Carolina wines. FREE wine tastings daily.   Come visit us today!

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This week at Barnhills

Whew, it’s been a busy few weeks which is why I haven’t posted in a while.  Our 1st Anniversary celebration was awesome!!!!  Thanks to all the vineyards who participated and congrats to all who won prizes.

Last week we had Mary Noble Jones in doing a children’s reading from her Itsy Rabbit series (she will be back on May 5th at 4pm). Shadowfax Sound played here on Friday – they were awesome as usual.  Saturday Kathryn Fisher was here reading from and signing copies of her books Up A Tree with Tattie Wee (a memoir) and One Forgotten Summer (fiction).  Check out FB and our YouTube account to see her reading soon.  Sunday, T.L. Bailey was here reading from her second book, Island of Lost Guardians.

This coming week will be just as busy.  On  Friday, WestBend Vineyard will be here offering FREE tastings of their Riesling, Chambourcin and Carolina Blush.  They will also be bringing a cake made with the Riesling and the recipe!!!

On Saturday, local children’s author, Linda Greene Dean, will be here at 11am to read from her book – Wally Rooster’s Big Move.  A charming story about moving and making new friends.

Also on Saturday, Anna Jean Mayhew will be here reading from and signing copies of her debut novel, The Dry Grass of August.  A beautifully written book about complicated family relationships set int eh south in the 1950’s.

Then on Sunday, local cookbook author, Elizabeth Wiegand, will be here with her latest book, The New Blue Ridge Cookbook (reviewed by Michael Hastings in the WS Journal).  She will also be bringing samples of some of the recipes.

As you can see the upcoming week has a little something going on for everyone in the family, so stop by soon & check us out.

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