Book Reviews

Signed copies of books for review are available on request by recognized reviewers.

Reviewed by Carol Alwood for Pubby March 18, 2020

Sir Thomas the cat understands English, and his owner, Roberto Gonzalez understands cat. I wouldn't say these adorable stories are for children, but I would say these anecdotes are for animal lovers. The stories are well-written and full of humor. If you are an animal lover, you will adore these stories. From a cat swallowed by a seal, to families heading out to the beach, there are many playful stories to be enjoyed. Includes several photos. This resource was provided by the author. All opinions are my own.

Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite



Completed on:


Review Rating: ***** 

The Foothills Mystery: The Investigation into the Death of the Solo Rock Climber is a police procedural murder mystery written by Stanley Yokell. While this is the fourth book in Yokell's Marie Quizno mystery series, the author gives enough background information to allow this book to be read on its own. Marie Quizno, Big Rock's Chief of Detectives, County Sheriff Joe Hobson, and Deputy Alan Miller were getting ready to begin their rock climbing adventure on the Serendipity Trail when Marie's eyes were drawn to something lying at the base of Risky Ridge. When they got there, the three found the lifeless body of Tom Campbell, a well-known Big Rock solo climber. Just about everyone was aware of the competition between Tom and his best friend, Morris, to be the first to solo free climb Risky Ridge, so the first thought on Marie's mind was that the expert climber had fallen accidentally. But when Mortimer Thanatos, the coroner, called to discuss the crushed and blackened state of the deceased’s fingers, on one hand, Quizno began to think an investigation was in order.

Stanley Yokell's mystery novel, The Foothills Mystery, offers the reader the best of the police procedural and legal thriller genres. This is the first Marie Quizno mystery I've read, and I’m so impressed that I'm planning on reading the first three in the series. Police procedurals are my favorite type of mystery, and I wasn't at all disappointed. Yokell takes you through every phase of the investigation, from examining the scene and collecting evidence through to interviewing the suspects and any witnesses. The courtroom scenes are brilliant and filled with suspense, and following the trial preparation of the accused's defense attorney was a thoroughly enjoyable intellectual feast. I must admit I found myself Googling the town of Big Rock as it seemed a perfect place to relocate to and was somewhat disappointed to find it was fictional. Still, the trails, the discussions of climbing and the general outdoorsy ambiance made this already enthralling novel into a real treat for me. The Foothills Mystery is most highly recommended.


The book has been reviewed by other reviewers three of whom gave it four-star ratings.



Reviewed by Roy T. James for Readers' Favorite




The Murder On The Mall: The Mystery of the Death of the Pornographer by Stanley Yokell begins with the finding of a dead body in a city mall, the body of the owner of Baddyflicks Studio. Also, the studio, the main center of his business, is found to be gutted by fire. Marie Quizno, the smart police chief of the city, begins an investigation and exposes the possibility that the victim was running a business involving pornographic material, including performances by underage children. Many of the victims are teenage girls, and further inquiry leads to identifying one of the affected parents as the originator of the fire, and possibly of the murder. Finding that there is enough evidence to book those parents for arson, they are brought before the court, but the jury’s decision is unexpected.


The Murder On The Mall: The Mystery of the Death of the Pornographer by Stanley Yokell is a suspenseful drama. The professional competence of the city’s police chief in conducting investigations, as well as that of the defense counsel in formulating the courtroom tactics, is shown with credible brilliance. The part played by others in the story, the children, their parents and other characters, are also kept relevant to the plot. I can therefore confidently say this book is a realistic depiction of present society, given the nature of news that quite regularly appears in our media. This is a good read, an engaging and entertaining work, and it fully grabbed my attention till the very end.


Review of 2084 The Secularist Revolution By jimheh "jimheh" (New Berlin, WI USA) ****



The book raises a lot of speculation in religious thought. It may disturb religious personnel.


Review of The Body in the Park by Michell Robertson *****




Michelle Robertson reviewed The Body in the Park for Readers' Favorites.

She gave it 5 stars. Here is her review: 


Marie has been long overdue for a visit with her friend Ana Alvarez. Being Big Rock, Colorado's, Chief Detective, a personal life, let alone a vacation has not been an option. Marie puts her detective life on hold to explore Ana Alvarez's artistic life in Greenwich Village, New York. Like any good hostess, Ana offers Marie the chance to sight-see and tour the Village. While in Central Park, Marie examines the detailed work of cast iron flowers on the Gotham Bridge. Little did she know that detective work wasn't going to leave her alone on this vacation, as she spots a body in the bushes below the bridge. Marie, not being from New York, notifies the local authorities and joint task force - FBI, NSA, and NNSA - but will she be able to solve this mystery murder in Central Park?


Stanley Yokell has written two other mysteries prior to The Body in the Park. Even if readers are not familiar with the other two the series, The Body in the Park can be read alone and easily understood. The story plot and character identities, dialogue, and scenes within the book are skillfully written with great detail, giving a familiar and realistic feel. The book welcomes readers who enjoy an intriguing, mysterious, problem-solving type of story.withinbooks



Two Reviews of Beneath the Surface: Stories of Scuba Diving


Mamta Madhavan reviewed Beneath the Surface: Stories of Scuba Diving for Readers' Favorites. Here is her review. *****


Beneath the Surface: Stories of Scuba Diving by Stanley Yokell is a collection of short stories about topics related to scuba diving and scuba divers. Many of the author's observations have been woven into these stories, making the experiences authentic. Apart from being a collection of short stories, the book introduces you to a world of scuba divers and underwater experiences. You get a lot of information about scuba diving and the techniques related to it. The way the theme has been incorporated into the stories makes it easily understandable to readers and it is also more interesting than simply reading a book on scuba diving.


The backdrop of each story is very nice and some of them are set in exotic locales like the Bahamas. The book obviously has a sea theme since it is about scuba diving. The ocean and the diving details are very informative. The book also exposes us to the mysteries and secrets lurking underwater. One of the chapters takes you to Egypt and the Red Sea. The author has tried to cover many seas and oceans in his stories. There are also stories written on football, tennis, and other sports so it was nice to read on something that is not commonly written about.


This book should be recommended reading for all scuba divers and swimmers and also to those who are fascinated by the ocean. They might be able to relate to many of the experiences in these stories.


Karma Jewell Crampton of the Society of Lady Divers of San Marcos, California read and reviewed Beneath the Surface. Here is what she said:



Hi Stan,


I have enjoyed your book so much! I actually found your other book on and was fascinated by all of it.

I plan to write a fun review in the next few days and put your book on our website under "Lady Diver must reads," as well as post the review on our and have just started it.

My favorite chapter from "Beneath the Surface," was the one about "huggin and chalkin." It was so sweet and reminded me of how we humans can be so wonderful!

I also really enjoyed how most if the stories tied together in a way before the end. Fantastic read, I related to it so much,


I'd like to include the URL for our members and any others busy world right.

Karma Jewell Crampton to order your book. Would amazon be the best link? What is your preference, and I will post that with the write up interested


Thank you so much for sending me the book.

Sorry it took me so long to get reading. Lol


Sent from Atlantis, in my Super Submarine!


Review: Old People 


Posted by: Avery Hurt July 16, in Book Reviews 2013. *****


This book is a collection of interconnected stories about just what the title says: old people. The loosely connected characters recur throughout the stories. One couple, from their retirement to Sam’s eventual move to The Rest Place, a retirement community in Boulder, but include many stories about other characters.Jokel, are the primary characters, and they anchor the stories. The stories follow the JokelsSam and Evie


Though the stories cover several years, the book is nicely organized from winter to winter, ending on New Year’s Day, reflecting the metaphor of life as one calendar year.The first story, “Guilt Trip,” is a pitch-perfect rendition of a stereotypical old woman grousing about how she is not being treated fairly by her grown children, refusing to get a computer or cell phone (which would make it easier for her daughter to keep in touch), and telling and retelling stories of old slights and resentments.


The author seems to have a keen ear for his neighbors in the real-life retirement community where he lives. (One assumes that is a thinly veiled representation of the author, Stan Yokell. If so, there is a nice little joke in the change of the spelling.) Not all of the characters, nor all the stories, are so exasperating as the woman in “Guilt Trip.” JokelSam


In “Grand Parenting” we see the characters at their most loveable, as they interact with their grandchildren and enjoy skiing and bicycling. “Good God What A Mess” is probably my favorite of the lot. The ending is surprisingly funny. It is almost as if the entire story is a set up to that gag.


Throughout, when they are spending time with children and grandchildren, less so when they are living in The Rest the old people tell many stories about their childhoods and youths. It seems that as the “year” goes on, there is more looking back and less engagement with the current world. It is not clear if this has to do with advancing age or living in a retirement community, as the recurring characters are doing by the end of the book. The characters seem more likable.


The characters in these stories are members of that group of people Tom Brokaw dubbed the “The Greatest Generation,” many of them veterans of World War II or spouses of WWII veterans. For the most part, they fit the stereotypes of this demographic, from the cranky woman who can’t stop complaining that her daughter doesn’t visit often enough to the braggarts at the community dining table trying to one-up each other at Scrabble and crossword puzzles; from the low-grade bickering among themselves to repeated comments that often imply and occasionally come right out and say how much better their generation was at almost everything. The stories are sweet and often amusing, but somewhat thin, with little action and lots of back story on the characters, their children, and friends. This is not burdensome, and in some cases it is necessary, but it would have been nice to have learned about characters through their actions, with the back story having been served up in smaller bites and the characters revealed more dialog and action.The stories deal with many of the challenges of aging: losing friends and loved ones, facing dementia, and making hard choices about independence and security. Because all of the characters, as well as their children, are financially well-off, they have more options than many, but these stories are a gentle reminder that no matter what your socioeconomic status, getting old is not for sissies.The heart of the book, however, is the relationship between Sam and Evie, a heartwarming, and at times heartbreaking, love story. The subtle changes in Sam after he moves into The Rest Place are very realistic, if somewhat depressing. The book ends, however, on a surprisingly neutral note, neither particularly sad nor uplifting, just very realistic. throughout.


The original edition of this book had editorial flaws. In April 2015 Outskirts Press published a second edition correcting editorial errors in the first edition and adding stories. Buy the book on by clicking on the image. A limited number of signed copies is available from the author at the price plus S&H. Use the form below to order a signed copy.


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