a.s.a. durphy

Review of ‘A Still and Silent Sea’

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When she was 12, Gracie Stratis’ father, Roger, took her and her 4-year-old brother, Russell, on an archeological dig in Scotland. The dig unearthed some ancient Viking artifacts, including a striking cross with a dragon motif that seemed to speak to Gracie.

When Russell’s nurse and one of the workmen on the site steal the artifacts, and kidnap Russell, Gracie can’t get her father to pay attention. So, the intrepid soul that she is, she sets out to rescue Russell and retrieve the artifacts herself.

A Still and Silent Sea by A.S. A. Durphy is a prequel to the Gracie Stratis detective series that introduces Gracie and provides a lot of the background information that explains some of the more arcane elements of the series.

A short read, it’ll keep you turning pages until the end.

I give this one five stars. It was a fascinating read.


Review of ‘A Wolf by the Ears’

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When you grab a wolf by the ears, you can’t hang on and you can’t let go. Gracie Stratis, former diplomatic security agent, now private eye, is still recovering from her wounds, and is trying to impress her new boss, PI Walker Wuhl. A client, Zach McClung, walks in and says he’s being framed by his boss for something he didn’t do.

Gracie and Walker take the case, but their biggest challenge will be keeping their client alive long enough so he can pay their fee. He’s being chased by a pair of color-coded assassins and their henchmen, who are more than willing to include the two PIs in their body count. They want something Zack has innocently taken, but he’s given it to Gracie, and, while she wants to get rid of it, she knows that she can’t.

A Wolf by the Ears by A.S. A. Durphy is the second offering in the Gracie Stratis mystery series, and it’s noir fiction at its best. Witty dialogue, hard-bitten action, and bad guys you just love to jeer at.  On top of all that, you’re treated to a heroine who is a take-no-prisoners, kick-butt, bundle of neuroses who talks to ghosts. What more could you ask for?

I received a free copy of this book. I give this one five stars!

Review of ‘The Thing Speaks for Itself’

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Rookie Diplomatic Security Special Agent Gracie Stratis and her veteran partner, senior Special Agent Charles Davis, are assigned to the Los Angeles field office, where they investigate passport and visa fraud and provide protective details to foreign VIPs visiting the city. Gracie is looking forward to a career of travel and adventure until assassins attempt to kill a Mexican official she and her colleagues are guarding, Davis is killed, and she’s severely injured.

Back home in Oakland, recuperating from her injuries, she reunites with her brother and friends, the only family she’s known for a long time. The long and difficult rehabilitation process is impeded by strange visions of smoke and fire, and messages from her dead father. Then, Noah, one of her friends who is employed by the mayor’s office on a special community development project, goes missing.

Gracie and her friends pull out all the stops, and start turning over rocks in search for Noah, in the process irritating some dangerous people, including a crooked businessman with visions of grandeur, and a drug dealer with a thing about people wearing shoes in his house. When she starts getting too close to the truth, political payoffs on a large scale, attempts are made on her life, and another of her friends is killed, which is a mistake for the bad guys—Gracie Stratis doesn’t like it when people hurt her friends. With help from a grizzled old PI, and her father’s . . . spirit, Grace kicks butt all over Oakland.

The Think Speaks for Itself by A.S.A. Purphy is a fun read. Tons of white-hot action and a female main character that makes Jason Bourne look like a wimp. Some of the events strain credulity; it’s unlikely that the Secretary of State would become involved in the hiring of a junior Diplomatic Security agent, for example, but that bit of literary license can be forgiven, because the reader’s taken on an entertaining ride.

I received a free copy of this book.   I give it four stars.