Books by Christine Matthews

While working on successful careers separately Bob Randisi and Christine Matthews have also managed to forge a second career each as a writing duo. They have written short stories and edited anthologies together, as well as penning the first Gil & Claire


DEADLY HOUSEWIVES by Christine Matthews
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 2006

"A so-so collection, but the authors ratchet up their charm quotient in their pithy biographical assessments of their personal domesticity. Try their recipes at your own risk."
Fourteen new short stories in which female authors present women who are disgruntled or worse. Read full book review >
THE MASKS OF AUNTIE LAVEAU by Robert J. Randisi
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 14, 2001

"A walk on the white-bread side. Follows Murder Is the Deal of the Day (1999), the uninspired series debut, and is only marginally better."
He owns a bookstore, she hosts St. Louis's top-rated home-shopping show, but that doesn't mean they can't catch murderers, does it? Amateur sleuths Gil and Claire Hunt are supported by a tradition sturdy enough to survive even this colorless performance. Dispatched by her TV station to scout New Orleans for merchandise, Claire drags Gil along. They get a call from a local named Auntie Laveau, who makes the kind of exotic Mardi Gras masks Claire thinks her audience might buy. A meeting is arranged, but Auntie doesn't show. Someone pretending to be her does, though, and soon enough, the real Auntie—who incidentally claims kinship with celebrated 19th-century New Orleans voodoo queen Marie Laveau —turns up dead. Though the Hunts are back home by this time, Gil has been well and truly voodoo-struck. Fascinated by that old black magic, he's eager to delve, and when Detective Lasalle phones requesting his help, he sees his chance to hop back on a plane in order to identify the woman lying comatose in a New Orleans hospital, a woman Lasalle thinks might be the bogus Auntie. It's a good guess, and Gil corroborates it—whereupon he's drawn step by step more deeply into a situation he senses will prove awkward. But it's almost as if he has no choice. Has he been hexed? Read full book review >
MURDER IS THE DEAL OF THE DAY by Robert J. Randisi
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 4, 1999

Three murder victims, all women, are smothered to death within days of each other. World-class shoppers all, they met their fates while watching Claire Hunt—host of St. Louis's most popular TV home-shopping show—on videotape. Solely on that basis, Claire finds herself rated as suspect number one. Why? Good question. And on page 152, a minor character finally raises it, for all the good it does her. The best answer she gets pertains to the possibility of a mysterious aura hovering about a policewoman's head, the dark effect of which is a pronounced anti-Claire bias. "I think she's dirty," grumbles Detective Myra Longfellow, who may be the least convincing cop since the Keystoners. But now Claire and her adoring husband, bookshop owner Gil, find themselves under the gun, so to speak. In time-honored crime-fiction fashion, they respond by becoming amateur sleuths in order to prove Claire's innocence. Sleuthing takes them down various unrewarding paths and into several ill-tempered confrontations with the police. At length, though, they turn up at a meeting of Gamblers Anonymous where, somewhat implausibly, several suspects put in an appearance. Shortly thereafter, the trail again goes cold. The sleuthing, both amateur and professional, seems to reach a dead end. Actually, such sleuthing as there's been all slid into the low grade. And when the feckless killer is eventually caught, it's mostly because he's entirely cooperative. Bland characters, feeble plotting, undistinguished prose. Randisi (In the Shadow of the Arch, 1998, etc.) has done better. Read full book review >