December 2020 Publisher’s Choice
By Rose Mary Stiffin, PhD
Reviewed by Anita Finley
I have been so excited to read Dr. Stiffin’s books, especially during the holidays. Her stories are better than many of the television shows and there is peace and quiet, while sitting in a comfortable chair. Of all her books that I read, however, Casino Blues was the deepest and scariest with plots coming out of nowhere, unexpected treachery and behind the scenarios.
One of the skills that Dr. Stiffin has acquired is character development. I have spoken to many major publication houses and they all say that although there are many excellent plots, the characters don’t come to life…they don’t seem real. That has not been the case with this author as she makes them pop off each page! One of the many testimonials says it so succinctly: “Through exquisite narrative and intimate native knowledge of the Mississippi Delta, Stiffin takes us on a journey to terrifying places as we experience the full impact of the choices made by each member of a family as they try to pull together to face loss, sacrifice, murder, sadness, hopelessness, and the accidental if not miraculous act of a scared stranger that gave life a fighting chance. Casino Blues is a page turner, tearjerker; it is a book one must read.”
I don’t have much experience with crack cocaine or marijuana, but after you read how people can get so mixed up with these deadly substances, it will open your eyes. It did mine. I am still in disbelief that someone as sophisticated and scientific as the author understands each of these fictitious characters as though they lived inside of her. Maybe they did and that is why she had to release them into the world.
Many people don’t observe or understand how fertility can play such an important part in a couple’s life, but the shame is that too many young people get pregnant so casually, consider abortion, and then those who desperately want a child, can’t conceive. One of her main characters, Angelo, is struggling with sterility and it affects his new romance with Belinda. We wonder what will happen, so we read on.
Dr. Stiffin understands how to get a reader to not put her books down. She puts up roads with twists and turns and more like a roller coaster, when you think you are going down, you are really on the way up again. In all our lives, we know people like the author’s characters, but do we really know them?
This book and all of Dr. Stiffin’s five books are really a treasury of excellence and I hope you buy all or even just one. You will be well satisfied.
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Rose Mary Stiffin, Ph.D. was raised and educated in Indianola, Mississippi, the hometown of the blues legend, BB King. She received her Bachelor of Art degree in Chemistry from Mississippi Valley State University (1974), her Master of Science degree in Organic Chemistry from Mississippi State University (1981), and her Ph.D. (Biochemistry) from the University of Tennessee in Memphis (1995). She did her post-doctoral work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. She is the Chair of the Division of Health and Natural Sciences at Florida Memorial University, a small HBCU located in Miami Gardens, FL.