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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Restrike (Mystery)
By Reba White Williams
ISBN #978-1839052001
Price $12.00
391 Pages
Rating 5 Stars

“An Interesting Concept”

Coleman and Dinah Greene are involved in the New York art scene. Coleman is the owner and editor of an influential art magazine, and Dinah is the owner of a print gallery in Greenwich Village. When a young gay man is murdered, it turns out that he had sold several rare and valuable art prints to an auction house, where they are sold for very high prices. Yet the young man should not have been in possession of such items. Coleman wants to investigate the sale for her magazine, while also worrying about a spy in her company. It seems that a rival magazine is picking up important stories before hers goes to print. Meanwhile, the buyer of those rare prints is planning a museum to feature a print gallery, and this pulls Dinah into the situation.

This is an introductory novel, bringing the characters all forward to meet the reader, thus the story reads a bit slow, and at times confusing, and difficult to keep up with the characters. Too many characters can spoil a plot, and there really appears to be too many characters for the reader to keep everyone straight. Two minor characters in the story caught my attention over the leads, actually. Rachel Ransome of Ransome Galleries is rich, decisive, and quick to act; Robert Mondelli is an ex cop, ex lawyer, and now a private detective investigating art crimes. Both had more potential than the leads. Another minor problem was too much backstory of each character all at once. Since this is to be a series, backstory should be revealed a little at a time over the course of the series. The backstory is then discussed throughout the story, which bogs down the pace – not to mention all the restaurant scenes.

These negative comments do not downplay the interesting story here. I considered giving the book a 4-Star rating, but since this is the author's first novel I felt she deserved a higher rating. I think the author will tighten up her plots in future books, and the concept is one that should hook mystery readers quickly. Although many novels have touched on this topic, such as “The Art Museum Murders”, to my knowledge, there has never been a series featuring crime in the art world, and Coleman and Dinah Greene are certain to correct that oversight.

Tom Johnson
Detective Mystery Stories

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