I’ve heard about the Brenda Strange series for at least a couple of years now and was always a bit curious about them but never actually read one. I’ve seen Ms. Henderson on various message boards and thought, “she seems really nice and has a cool quote about horror writers as her signature, I should really read one of her books.” And then I’d get sidetracked and read other stuff. A month or so ago, I decided that it was time to buy one and actually read it, so I went to her website – where the link in the title of this review will take you – and looked around. I took a trip over to Lulu where I bought a VERY reasonably priced ebook version of the first in the Brenda Strange series. I had already committed to reading more than one other book or fan fic, so I knew it would still be a couple weeks, at least, before I got to sit down with Brenda but I couldn’t help reading a few sentences. I mean, who has the sort of will power that allows for buying books and not at least flipping a few pages? Not me, that’s for sure. The prologue was FANTASTIC and just grabbed me. It was incredibly hard to put it down without going any further. But I did it. And when I was finally able to commit some time to The Burning of Her Sin, it grabbed hold and wouldn’t let go.
I know this review is sort of backward, but I finished the book less than an hour ago and am fighting with myself not to run over and get the next installment. But, alas, I have other literary priorities right now. Anyway, here’s what the story is about, and I hope not to give too much away: Brenda Strange was about to have her dream of becoming a junior partner in her law firm realized when a gunman mows down just about everyone in her office. Brenda is fatally wounded. Yes, she died, but not for long. When she comes back, she’s got a new psychic talent. She and her partner, Tina, decide to buy a summer home near Tampa but the house already has a few occupants.
As you can tell from the way the review starts out, I truly enjoyed this book. There’s some good mystery action and the author doesn’t just lay everything out for us. Yes, some things are pretty easy to figure out but Ms. Henderson has Brenda figure them out at the same time as, or a little after, the reader does. I’m usually able to figure out nearly every plot twist at the first hint of what’s supposed to be foreshadowing but The Burning of Her Sin left a few important details for us to figure out.
And while the reader and Brenda work to figure out what happened in the past, we are also trying to figure out what’s going on in the present. Someone wants Brenda and Tina out of the house permanently but who and why? There’s also the changing relationship between Tina and Brenda. Speaking of Tina and Brenda, those folks that want erotica mixed with their mysteries probably won’t be happy with the amount or description of sex in the book. For a reader like me, who doesn’t care much about the sexual aspect of the read but more about the quality of the plot and writing, I think you’ll enjoy this one quite a bit. There was sex in the book but more of the “fade to black” sort than the “she plunged her fingers into the dripping wet…” sort.
If you like mysteries, ghost stories, teddy bears, and good looking, rich, smart women, the Brenda Strange Mysteries are for you.