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Posted June 7, 2012
She’s sassy and sexy and green right down to her organic cotton underwear. A vegan who savors scrambled tofu for breakfast.
Dr. Esmeralda Green is biracial, Latina (her mom’s light-brown skin) and Irish (her dad’s red hair; her own being strawberry-blond). She tells her story in first-person English but swears and exclaims in Spanish. “Aye, Dios, mio! Why don’t we have more high-speed rail?” she questions when stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on the 405 freeway—the state of traffic on the 405 pretty much 24/7.
Dr. Green is an ecopsychologist (as is author Cher Fischer in real life). “Ecopsychology acknowledges the environment as an important part of the human psyche,” Esmeralda explains. “When nature’s integrated into the human experience, things get intense. They
get meaningful.” Already you have a dynamite combo for a mystery series California-style.
She lives in the yellow clapboard ranch house built in the 1960s by her abuelo and abuela, in Majorca Point (presumably on the Palos Verdes peninsula). Her house is slip sliding toward the ocean with the shifting earth, and saving it is costly, such as new plumbing lines the power company has mandated she must have installed. But our girl only trades green stocks, usually solar or wind, and they are coming through for her.
The man in and out of her life is Gabriel Hugo García, local TV news superstar for the Latino global news organization KLAT. She meets up with him while riding her twelve-year-old palomino, Sam. Esmeralda uses the animal in equine-assisted therapy for patients. Garcia is covering a breaking story on location. He reports, “The young woman, Abigail Pryce, who was found dead tonight at the bottom of the highest cliff at Majorca Point, is the nineteen-year-old niece, or would have been the niece, of the long-ago suicide victim Charlene Pryce, who was only sixteen when she leapt to her death at this very same location …”
Charlene Pryce was Esmeralda’s best childhood friend and now her niece may have jumped, or maybe she was pushed off that cliff, but why? Why did Abigail call Esmeralda just the day before, wanting to talk? Why, before she committed suicide, did Charlene warn her to stay out of the water? Why suicide? Is Hummer-driving TV newsman Garcia sleeping with her nemesis, Detective Suzy Whitney, who drives a gas guzzling mega SUV?
Dr. Green is a quirky California gal who cares deeply about things that matter, the kind of protagonist you wish could be a real life friend.
Falling into Green, published by Ashland Creek Press, is the first book in what promises to be a fabulous eco-mystery series by Cher Fischer. This reviewer already is a #1 fan.
Posted May 3, 2012
As a reader, I enjoy books that backdrop the story against a different, or new to me, setting. These settings can add to the tone of a story in quiet and barely perceptible ways. This is what I was looking forward to as I opened this novel. The idea of an eco-mystery intrigued me. I was hoping for a great mystery/suspense tale rising up from the background of an ecologically friendly setting. What I got instead was a 336 page lecture on being ecologically responsible and friendly with a great suspense story trying to be heard through the rhetoric. I got tired of the continual explanations of how Ez lived and built and survived and cooked and ate in a sustainable way. I just didn't care that much - I wanted to delve into the mystery not learn how tofu could be scrambled to make a great tasting egg-like breakfast. What started out with great promise soon lost my interest entirely. I guess I'm just not the environmental activist type; maybe if I were, I would have enjoyed the book more.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 24, 2012
Every time Ashland Creek Press announces the upcoming release of one of their new titles I get giddy with excitement. Staying true to their mission of publishing exceptionally well-written, engaging works of both fact and fiction, surrounding the themes of travel, the environment, ecology, wildlife and animals, their newest release, Falling Into Green managed to surpass even my high expectations.
Cher Fischer, an eco-psychologist who writes fiction and mystery as well as any veteran novelist I can name, has produced an exciting, educational and thought provoking story that is a must read for anyone interested in learning more about the interrelation of environmentalism and our mental health, as well as getting lost in the life of a feisty new protagonist, who is sure to be this generation’s next Kinsey Millhone.
As a writer, I would be remise if I didn’t mention just how well structured this story proved to be, with brilliant character development and dialogue, and enough of a peripheral focus that blended and balanced the wealth of information Fischer litters throughout, with the perfect amount of fiction and entertainment. It works just beautifully.
And congrats to Ms. Fischer and the good folks over at Ashland Creek Press, Midge Raymond and John Yunker, because a pilot for a TV series is being developed based on the characters in the book. Now that will be good TV. But don’t wait for the show, you must read this book!