‘Murder on the Orient Express’ – UMW Theater production

“There are precious few at ease with moral ambiguities…” – Stephen Schwartz, Wicked This is an often-retold story. The tale (retold by Ken Ludwig) is a tightly paced extended memory (or narrative) told by Christie’s famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. In Ludwig’s hands, the “whodunit” becomes mingled with the tougher question “who is in the […]

The Girl from the Red Rose Motel – by Susan Beckham Zurenda

Published by Mercer Univ Press (September 5, 2023), Hardcover – $27, 291 pages Hardback edition Kindle Edition There is a temptation to read The Girl from the Red Rose Motel through the veil of fiction with the comforting thought that the story of Hazel “Zell” Smalls is far removed from the Fredericksburg area and its […]

Who’s Your Founding Father?

by David Fleming Published by Hachette Books (May 16, 2023), Hardcover – $29, 320 pages Hardback edition Kindle Edition Audible Edition Reviewed by Erik Nelson BOOKS The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence was signed on May 20, 1775, in Charlotte, North Carolina, more than a year before July 4, 1776. Whaaat? Thomas Jefferson’s tombstone states he […]

BOOK REVIEW: Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo

Published by Ecco/HarperCollins (August 1, 2023), Hardback – $30, 384 pages Hardback edition Kindle edition Audiobook edition Reviewed by Ashley Riggleson Elizabeth Acevedo had an auspicious introduction to the literary scene when she published her debut Young Adult novel, The Poet X. While Acevedo is a successful writer in the young people’s literature scene, her […]

THEATER REVIEW: ‘Singing in the Rain’

Producing a show in a “found” theater space is always a challenge. There are structural issues (size, obstructed views, a lot of stairs) that producers face. These can be accepted with a lot of humor and ingenuity in staging and audience handling. For the most part the directed production of Singin’ in the Rain-directed by […]

Meet the Author (and Editor) at Barnes and Noble

Come meet the author of 30 Days with America’s High School Coaches, as well as the founder and editor of the FXBG Advance, at Barnes & Noble on September 30. Martin will be signing copies of his book. It’s a great opportunity to pick up a good read, and talk with FXBG Advance’s editor. To […]

BOOK REVIEW: Good Night, Irene

  By Luis Alberto Urrea Published by Little Brown and Company (May 30, 2023), Hardback – $29, 416 pages Hardback edition Kindle edition Reviewed by Penny A Parrish I have a photo of my dad in his Army Uniform from WWII.  He never spoke to me about his service.  I never spoke to my mom […]

BOOK REVIEW: Happiness Falls

By Angie Kim Published by Hogarth (August 29, 2023), Hardback – $30, 400 pages Hardback edition Kindle edition Reviewed by Ashley Riggleson There are few thrillers I have thought more about over the years than Angie Kim’s debut novel, Miracle Creek. So, I was so excited to see that her newest novel, Happiness Falls was […]

BOOK REVIEW: The Year of Second Chances

by Lara Avery Published by William Morrow (August 22, 2023), Hardback – $30, 288 pages Hardback edition Kindle edition Reviewed by Penny A Parrish The bride, the groom, the vows:  “To love and to cherish until death do us part.”  Almost everyone who has spoken those words to a spouse expects that the latter phrase […]

Classic Book Review: The Bluest Eye

In my previous life as a book reviewer for The Free Lance-Star, the Book Page rarely reviewed books more than year old. On the rare occasions when my editors would relent to my pleas, it would be a book of local relevance or one that was particularly timely, like Albert Camus’ The Plague during Covid. The […]