Editorial Reviews

Reader’s Favorite

Conversations On The Bench

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite

Conversations on the Bench: Life Lessons from the Wisest Man I Ever Knew by Digger Cartwright is an uplifting and inspirational book based on real life events. This insightful conversation is also an example of timeless friendship that transcends everything and motivates readers to look into their lives and effect positive changes that will make their living more interesting and fulfilling. The bond between Robbie and Sebastian and their words of wisdom will show readers how to live life using the basic lessons that we all are aware of but have forgotten to incorporate into our lives. It’s a truly inspiring and moving story where Robbie and Sebastian give a new perspective on living a contented life to readers.

The interaction and dialogue between Sebastian and Robbie in the initial chapters set the tone for the rest of the book. The stories and the words of wisdom shared by author Digger Cartwright are relatable and readers can connect well with the author’s words. All the lessons are valuable, true and useful and the friendship between two different people will inspire and motivate readers in different ways. Many of the lessons shared will make readers look within themselves. The story is original and the author is hopeful that the wisdom shared in the book will enrich, improve and inspire everyone’s lives. These conversations shared on the bench will definitely be useful to all readers, to find a purpose in their lives and also guide them during their journey of life.


The House Of Dark Shadows

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite

Digger Cartwright welcomes you to the world of online dating in The House of Dark Shadows. On the outside, it appears that Alex Rommel has everything. He has the best of everything, but on the inside, he is just a lonely man. When he meets an old friend, he finds out that his old buddy found love on the internet and is blissful to say the least. Envious and desperate to let go of the past and lost love, Alex ventures into the world of online dating to see what it has in store for him.

The murky world of internet dating brings Hope in his life. Hope is a French journalist and just about everything he ever desired. But she has her own secrets and her past. It appears that something sinister is coming towards him from all directions. His mother is constantly badgering him, his lusting secretary is getting on his nerves, his business is getting more demanding, and Hope is making him suspicious. There are shadows all around him and he cannot decipher if any of them are friendly or all of them are enemies. Can he rescue himself before all is lost and he is destroyed?

Since I started reading this novel, I have been thinking of a word to describe Alex Rommel. The only word I find suitable enough is jaded. The House of Dark Shadows is an amazing psychological thriller and it entices the reader from the get go. The storyline is good and very entertaining. Alex is a little tough to love, but I think that is just a part of his character. Nonetheless the novel was good and deserves to be read again and again.


The Maynwarings

Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers’ Favorite

The Maynwarings by Digger Cartwright is everything a western novel should be and so much more. The Maynwarings are an influential family living in Carson City, Nevada, shortly after the Civil War during the time of reconstruction. Barron is the head of the family as well as the State Senator, dividing his time between Washington, D.C. and his Greenbrier spread, the largest cattle ranch in the area. Carson City is a typical western town until they suddenly begin having all sorts of trouble. There is a hanging, cattle rustling, unexplained killings, sick cattle and mass confusion. There is also a newcomer in town, Gideon Van Thorn. The Maynwarings are slowly able to connect the dots and blame all of the trouble on Thorn and his unruly group of men.

The Maynwarings is 428 pages long and the action is continuous on all of the pages, in each paragraph and in every sentence. Digger Cartwright has written a western story that not only tells the story of the old wild west cowboys and ranchers of early Nevada days, but there is also politics, family, drama, suspense and mystery to keep you reading well into the middle of the night. I found myself looking at the Maynwaring family as old friends. I hurt for their pains, cheered for their joys, and booed the bad guys. The Maynwarings would be such a great movie; I even have a cast of Hollywood stars picked out for them. This is a must-read book; I know you will not be able to put it down until you reach the unexpected ending.


The Versailles Conspiracy

Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers’ Favorite

When building inspector Max Spalding dies in a terrible car accident, something just doesn’t seem right. Detectives Graisco and Wickland, assigned to the case by the local Myrtle Beach police department, quickly realize that his death was no accident. And when they start to look into what really happened, they realize that they’re in for more than they ever expected. In an investigative novel that leads from the highest echelons of Myrtle Beach’s elite all the way to a Russian crime syndicate, The Versailles Conspiracy by author Robert “Digger” Cartwright leads the reader on a wild ride of mystery, suspense and action, from its beginning all the way to its exciting end.

Digger Cartwright’s new book kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. A fantastic police procedural, the descriptions, explanations and backstory provided make it difficult for me to believe that Mr. Cartwright doesn’t have a background in investigation himself. The plot is engaging and complex enough to keep even those who are tired of mysteries and thrillers to stay involved. The development of the characters is fantastic; you’ll find yourself rooting for Graisco and Wickland, and despising the Russian Vladimir Stratavynski as well as the other unsavories this book reveals. The Versailles Conspiracy is much more than a simple story, and would appeal to any reader who loves mysteries, detective novels, police procedurals, action/adventures, political intrigue, or just a plain good book. This was the first novel of Robert “Digger” Cartwright’s that I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be the last. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!


Murder At The Ocean Forest

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers’ Favorite

In Murder at the Ocean Forest, which is set in the 1940s, a morose Southern couple, Terence and Faye Underwood, are guests at the Ocean Forest Resort, the grandest hotel in the South in the quaint seaside town of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. When the distraught Faye disappears from the elegant hotel, Feltus Boone LaMont, a Southern detective, investigates Faye’s apparent murder. When Terence becomes the second murder victim, Feltus is further drawn into the case and to the hotel’s other intriguing visitors; Lady Jane and her husband Lord George Ashburn, an aristocratic couple from Britain, blind clairvoyant Ms. Elizabeth Bascomb, and Preacher Cooper.

Murder At The Ocean Forest by Robert “Digger” Cartwright is a traditional mystery novel where the plot stretches back to the battlefields in France. Emotionally, it is easy to connect to the characters that are genuinely flawed in their own ways. Preacher Cooper is quite an interesting man of the cloth, whose faith is rivaled by his sadness and anger over the loss of his only son in the war. His arrival at the hotel comes with unexpected business dealing, and I will not spoil this part for the other readers.

The confrontation in the train between Lord Ashburn and Preacher Cooper regarding the war is a great read and one of the best moments in the story. I could picture the scene vividly in my mind and the moderate pace of the plot gave me room to immerse myself in the story. The prose has a classic flair and breathes life into the 1940s setting. This is an enjoyable and intricate murder mystery.



Red City Reviews

Murder At The Ocean Forest

Murder at the Ocean Forest tells the story of a young wealthy couple whose South Carolinian vacation turns into a nightmare. Faye and Terence Underwood have a tenuous marriage. She suspects him of womanizing. He suspects her of imagining things. While vacationing at the historic Ocean Forest Hotel at Myrtle Beach, Faye mysteriously disappears. What follows is a convoluted, mind-boggling, and haunting murder investigation.

Robert ‘Digger’ Cartwright, author of several mystery stories, teleplays, and novels, has produced a mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Set during World War II, Cartwright’s third person narrative is replete with all the elements associated with that era (Nazis, covert operations, prohibition, Pullman cars) and most particularly high society (Rolls Royce touring limousine, colored help, etc.) Cartwright utilizes a mix of literary tools to keep his novel continually flowing. On top on that list of tools is his skillful use of red herrings to throw readers off guard to the real perpetrator, such as the sense of malevolent ghosts lurking about the hotel. Cartwright not only alternates scenes that zero in on all of his prime and supporting characters, but he also laces his plot with affluent imagery befitting the rich of that time period (environs, dress, references to vintage books, and especially the patriarchal mindset.) Of course, Cartwright’s descriptions are tightly woven into his meticulous character development, which is coupled with irony. Good examples of that include the preacher who raises money for his church by secretly peddling liquor, and the blind clairvoyant woman who has ominous visions of impending disasters. Lastly, Cartwright employs a plethora of narrative twists, especially during the investigation. Murder at the Ocean Forest is, indeed, riveting from cover to cover.


The House Of Dark Shadows

Digger Cartwright’s The House of Dark Shadows is a mind-bending, psychological thriller. Alex Rommel is a business savvy, attractive, charismatic, twenty-five year old living in the beautiful and historic Charleston, South Carolina. He is emotionally recovering from the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend. Upon an unexpected encounter with an old college friend and his new fiancé, who he met online, Alex is convinced to give love another shot. He signs up for an online dating service and immediately finds a gorgeous French woman named Hope. Thus, begins their wild and confusing relationship. Although Hope intoxicates Alex, she and her family may not be all they seem. At the same time, Alex is struggling with maintaining a highly desired plot of land that he owns. A large business company wants to purchase it from him in order to expand their project. Events happen and questions surface that make Alex begin to wonder if his business dealings and love life have become intimately intertwined.

The House of Dark Shadows is a slow burn. The first half of the novel is quite uneventful, simply following Alex’s day-to-day life as he negotiates his relationships and business deals. However, as secrets are revealed the pace picks up consistently, allowing one to breeze through the last one hundred fifty pages as the reader will feel the urge to need to know what happens next. The end’s twists will leave the reader reeling in shock and awe. The only issue with Cartwright’s novel is it doesn’t cleanly tie up some of the final plot points. There are some questions that are never fully addressed by the book’s close, nevertheless, this is an interesting read.


The Versailles Conspiracy

With a seasoned style and a complex protagonist, The Versailles Conspiracy by Robert ‘Digger’ Cartwright is a thrilling story of municipal corruption and one detective’s quest to find the truth. After losing his wife and son to a horrific car accident, hard-nosed Lieutenant Wickland begins an investigation into the death of a South Carolina city planner and a Russian business owner who may or may not be connected. Looming above the usual suspects is a mysterious Mr. Grey, a man of extraordinary power, but perhaps a man with flaws like everybody else. While discovering the shocking truth about the community’s dark underworld, Wickland learns that he may be a target just like several of his witnesses.

Exceptionally written from beginning to end, The Versailles Conspiracy transcends the usual thriller. Cartwright’s acute understanding of city politics is obvious early on and the complex characters jump from the page. While many first-time authors deter the reader away with run-on sentences, Cartwright’s literary acumen conveys what it means to be a pro. Each sentence snaps with conviction and the author’s attention to detail becomes utterly unbelievable at times. While the character dialogue isn’t sensational, Cartwright’s ability to convey a setting is outstanding. One particular scene has Lieutenant Wickland visiting a nervous witness and Cartwright’s build-up to the meeting reads like classic literature. It’s simply magical. Despite the tight structure, the storytelling becomes too guided at times with the narrator restating the obvious, but all in all, there’s not much to pick apart in The Versailles Conspiracy.


The Maynarings

Carson City in the 1800s was a legendary place and the perfect backdrop for a story about the Wild West, as several westerns have established. Once again, thanks to Digger Cartwright, we find ourselves planted at a cattle ranch outside this city in the newly formed state of Nevada. Following the stories of the Maynwaring family and their power struggles in this western frontier town, Cartwright weaves an affective web of danger, politics, and intrigue. Barron Maynwaring is the patriarch of a prominent Carson City family. His cattle ranch is the largest one in the area, as he serves as U.S. Senator for the new state of Nevada, and his family members are all respected members of the community. The family is generally known to have wealth, power, and honor with a fantastic work ethic. Barron helped to build Carson City from its founding. Essentially, the Maynwarings are the perfect western frontier family. Until a mysterious, high powered business man rides into town, buying up real estate left and right, and threatening the power structure in Carson City. The Maynwarings are faced with the challenge to retain their good name and assets, and rid the town of this menacing stranger and his men.

The Maynwarings: A Game of Chance is filled with plenty of horse riding, cattle driving, gun fights, and saloon drinking for the quintessential Western lover, but it’s also extremely well written. While most of the time the characters and situations border on clichéd Western frontier scenarios, there is no denying the talent that Cartwright has for telling a story. He possesses the perfect balance between descriptive detail and historical accuracy. While the character profiles were a bit tired, the reader will find the interpersonal relationships very entertaining.


Conversations On The Bench

Digger Cartwright’s Conversations on the Bench starts very slow and quite dry. This fictional story, based on actual events, kicks off in a fancy country club where Mr. Cartwright had been invited to a symposium. The reader is left to wonder what this is all about and just where the plot is headed. The two men, who invited Cartwright to the symposium, wanted to make a difference in the world.  Eventually, after a continued rendition of their visit and a round of golf, one man, Robbie, asked Cartwright to write a motivational book about the other man, Sebastian’s life lessons. He wanted the wisdom of those lessons to be captured and shared with the hope it would help someone else. This particular conversation was the initial spark for Conversations on the Bench.

This book is cleanly written, but leaves the reader without much motivation to turn the page even at the point of being a third of the way through the book. There seems to be little substance to the story, and the majority of it is simply dialogue between the characters. However, if the reader can hang on he/she just might finally discover the motivation that Robbie wanted to come through the pages as his conversations with Sebastian are recounted. Sometimes, you, the reader, must be patient if you want to find a diamond in the rough. Cartwright’s Conversations on the Bench just might be one of those moments, and one of those stories.



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