Saturday, January 6, 2018

Book Review: For Better or Worse (The Ginger Barnes Main Line Mysteries Book 8) by Donna Huston Murray

For Better or Worse 

(The Ginger Barnes Main Line Mysteries Book 8)

by Donna Huston Murray 

Men have once again become an issue for amateur sleuth Ginger Barnes--men who mistreat their wives, men suspected of murder, and men who ask her out.

While working on a DIY project at her newlywed daughter's house, a bag of bricks is thrown from the neighboring third-story window. Next, pops that sound like muffled gunshots have Gin racing for her phone. Eric, who lives in the house with his grandmother, claims she's obsessed with mystery novels. Yet after the septuagenarian falls down a flight of stairs, she's so frantic to keep Eric away that Gin must intervene. Was the fall actually attempted murder?

In her husband's eyes, Cissie Voight can't do anything right. Gin occasionally helps the frazzled young mother, and when she needs a dresser carried upstairs, Gin brings Eric along. Bad move! The electricity between the two new acquaintances sparks a chilling premonition. This time Gin's good intentions will produce grave consequences--for everyone involved.

Recommended for fans of Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:

A transparent haze of colorless hair exposed the shape of the tiny woman’s skull while sagging puffs of flesh made her appear to be melting.

Photographs were snapped as if baby Jack were the reincarnation of Elvis.

‘My mother doesn’t cook,’ Chelsea tried to explain. ‘She makes food.’

My Review:

I could kick myself for not noticing this series until it reached the eighth installment, but while prior knowledge was not necessary as the book stood well on its own, I am sure I would have gleaned great delight in having also read the first seven as well.  I was well pleased and reveled in this engaging and cleverly crafted mystery that was chock-full of quirky and intriguing characters.  Written primarily from a first person POV, I adored the tactless and curious Ginger, her inner musings and insightful observations were ceaselessly amusing and entertaining.  Ms. Murray’s writing and storylines were interesting, pleasantly delivered, easy to follow, well-paced, and often delectably humorous.  Each character was colorfully detailed in a knowable manner.  I enjoyed every page and greedily want to read all her words.  

Empress DJ

About the Author

Donna Huston Murray's eight cozy mysteries feature a woman much like herself, a DIY headmaster's wife with a troubling interest in crime. FINAL ARRANGEMENTS, set at Philadelphia’s world-famous flower show, achieved #1 on the Kindle-store list for both Mysteries and Female Sleuths. The first in Murray’s new mystery/crime series, WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU, garnered Honorable Mention in the 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.

At home, she assumes she can fix anything until proven wrong, calls trash-picking recycling, and, although she should probably know better, adores Irish setters.

Donna and husband, Hench, live in the greater Philadelphia, PA, area.


  1. I've read several books that were good stand alones, but also part of a series. You're right in that you can read them, but reading the whole series helps even more.

  2. I've never heard if thus, but it looks good.

  3. I haven't heard of this series. I'll have to look it up, it sounds great!

  4. Not come across this series before but will look out for it now, it sounds great from your review. Thankyou!

  5. Great review. I'd not heard of this series until now either.

  6. That cover is so beautiful! I would like to live somewhere like that. :)

  7. I love the cover! And wonderful review, as always