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FlashpointReview - Flashpoint
A John and Mary Bolt Mystery
by Linda S. Bingham
Double SS Press, 2000
Review by Su Terry
Nov 18th 2004 (Volume 8, Issue 47)

Flashpoint: A John and Mary Bolt Mystery by Linda S. Bingham is the second book about an arson investigator and his new wife. While John and Mary fan the flames of their desire on a delayed honeymoon, John's best friend, Harry, is about to tie the knot for the fifth time before a few select ex-wives and sundry other greedy relations. The only question is why has the groom vanished like smoke? And as in the first mystery, where there is smoke there is sure to be fire!

Flashpoint is set on the private island of Coeur d'Saint off the coast of Saint Maartin in the Caribbean. John Bolt, an arson expert from an Insurance company in Houston, and Mary Yates, an actress with the San Francisco Deaf Players (stage name Alyssa Henry) have been married for nine months and are due for their delayed honeymoon. The perfect opportunity for a honeymoon comes with the invitation to attend the wedding of John's best friend, Harry Tepperwein, on his private island in the tropics. This in fact will be Harry's fifth wedding and surprisingly to a much younger barmaid. It is surprising because Harry has stopped drinking years ago. On the way to the island, John and Mary have another surprise - three of Harry's former ex-wives will be in attendance. Ellen, Harry's first wife, is almost completely deaf and is supportive of the young bride-to-be. Maureen is wife number two and a former beauty queen. Harry had her committed and she is clearly still heavily medicated and unstable. Patrice, Harry most recent wife, is hurting and bitter. Tightly clutching her briefcase, she swears she has found evidence that will stop this wedding before a single note of the bridal march is sounded. Brandy, wife to-be number five, is young, perk, and suffering more than the usual bouts of wedding jitters. (If you are counting, wife number three died in France.) Add to this dangerous cocktail, an assortment of impoverish sons and greedy relatives, a collection of odd servants and some restless and superstitious natives. For excitement add one plot twist from an extinct volcano and garish with one very mean and very powerful drug dealer determined to reclaim his former home and island. Shake, don't stir. Sit back and sip the intoxicating brew.

Linda S. Bingham brings a diverse background to her writing. She was an English teacher, a building manager for a skyscraper, and worked on the campaign to elect Houston's first woman mayor (who just happens to also be her sister-in-law). She is the founder of the Texas Coalition of Authors. In 1997, she won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction. She was inspired to write the John and Mary Bolt series after sitting on a jury and based on her husband's experience as an insurance investigator. Her novels include three mysteries in the John and Mary Bolt series: Up in Flames (1998); Flashpoint (2000); and the soon to be released: Who's Burning Paloma Blanca? (Dec 2004). She has also published: Born on an Island (2000); All Roads Lead Home (2003); and What the Librarian Heard (2003). Bingham lives with her husband on a range in Texas. For more information on Linda S. Bingham, please visit her website at - http://www.flamewriter.com/

Flashpoint: A John and Mary Bolt Mystery by Linda S. Bingham is a "cozy mystery". It is short on thrills, big on romance, and this one is big on Caribbean atmosphere. It is a wonderful beach book.

 

2004 Su Terry

 Su Terry: Education: B.A. in History from Sacred Heart University, M.L.S. in Library Science from Southern Connecticut State College, M.R.S. in Religious Studies/Pastoral Counseling from Fairfield University, a M.Div. in Professional Ministry from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, a Certificate in Spirituality/Spiritual Direction from Sacred Heart University. She is a Licensed Minister of the United Church of Christ and an Assistant Professor in Library Science at Dowling College, Long Island, NY.


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