Day: September 7, 2018

Book Review: Suspects – A Northwest Murder Mystery by Ken Haynes

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I won Suspects: A Northwest Murder Mystery written in 2017 by Ted Haynes through a Goodreads Giveaway contest. It’s a mystery / suspense thriller written in a very methodical manner and focusing on different characters in alternating chapters.

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Candy’s husband is found nearly dead on their back porch. Friend and neighbor Dan had stopped by but he finds Ken with a wound and is uncertain how it happened. Hours later, Ken dies and both Candy and Dan are suspects. As chapters proceed, we hear from members of Dan’s family, the police, and a few other characters. Each character attempts to tell us what they know and clarify if they’re a suspect. Dan, a lawyer but not the criminal kinda, presents as many potential suspects as possible to clear both him and Candy of the crime. As the book progresses, we learn more about the deceased’s life and former family, as well as who actually killed him. There’s a small love/romance story woven in the pages, and there’s a good twist in the end, too.

This is written in a very different manner than I’m used to. It’s procedural, almost explained as someone thinks or talks. There’s narrative and dialog, as well as side stories about different things going on in everyone’s lives, but it’s an atypical read for me. That said, parts were fantastic. Others were a little light or weak for me. But on the whole, it deserves a solid 4 stars. I liked Dan and suspected him of being a misleading narrator, but in the end, I realized why he acted the way he did. I won’t give away if he’s the murderer or not, but he’s a likable guy.

I’m curious to see what else the author publishes and if it’s as procedural as this, meaning it’s his style, or this was done as a one-time style opportunity. I’m glad I took a chance. It has a lot of potential.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: The Anchor is Key by Linda Anthony Hill

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I belong to a cozy mystery group which offered me the opportunity to read a copy of this book. Since I review all books I read, today’s latest review is for The Anchor is the Key by Linda Anthony Hill. The author is new to me, but she’s written several other books before publishing this one in 2017. It might be part of a new series, but so far this is the only one. I would be interested in reading more in the future.

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In this book, we spend a few weeks with Celeste, a psychic, whose business is suddenly beginning to expand with an influx of clients. She’s meeting spirits with trouble passing over to the next world and learning someone was either murdered or forced to commit suicide. As Celeste tries to clear a business and warehouse from both evil and good ghosts, she finds herself falling for a few new guys and meeting religious people who question what she’s doing. Little does she know, someone is orchestrating a lot more of her life from a hidden position. It’s curious why she can’t figure it out on her own, but we soon learn what’s been blocking her.

At first, I was concerned about the book. It was very simple and meandered all over the place. By about 20%, it started to gel… this is the life of a psychic. It’s how we should read and understand the book. I then began to really like the format and approach. There are a few areas that were too open-ended, and the book ended with a lot of questions and areas where we are left to wonder what actually happened. If there’s an upcoming sequel, I’m good with the way this one ended. If this is the end, I’m a little unsure why it didn’t wrap things up in a better manner. It felt rushed otherwise and somewhat incomplete.

That said, I came to like the author’s style and find myself on the edge of the couch wondering what each new spirit could contribute to the on-going mystery. I like the author’s setting and Celeste is quite a character. She’s too direct to be someone I’d like in real life, but as a primary character, I enjoyed her ability to get things accomplished.

I’m curious to see where this one goes. I’d give it 3.5 stars… possibly more depending on what happens in the next book, e.g. if it becomes a series with more answered questions. Kudos to the author for creating a very interesting narrative and cast of characters.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Double Fudge Brownie Murder by Joanne Fluke

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The 18th cozy mystery in the Hannah Swensen series by Joanne Fluke is called Double Fudge Brownie Murder and was published in 2015. In this caper, Hannah travels to Las Vegas with her sisters for their mother’s surprise wedding. Hannah is also still waffling between Norman and Mike, but everything changes in this book. A special guest shows up and follows Hannah back to Minnesota where Hannah receives not one but three marriage proposals. She also finally makes a decision at the end of the book. Hallelujah!

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The mystery in this novel begins once Hannah returns to Lake Eden for her court date. In the last book, she accidentally hit someone with her car and was charged with vehicular manslaughter. But when the first day of jury selection arrives, it’s the judge whom Hannah finds dead. She and her friends try to solve the crime by investigating the judge’s current and former wife, children, colleagues, and political connections. When the culprit is finally revealed, Hannah’s about to become his/her second victim. Will she survive in order to marry…. oh yeah, right, you didn’t think I’d give away who she said yes to, did you?

This is a typical Joanne Fluke book, but nearly 400 pages this time. There are more recipes than usual, and the story content is largely based around Hannah’s decision to marry and her mother’s wedding. Always good fun, but it leaves less and less room for the mystery. This one started out good, but it petered away…. in the last 20 pages an unfamiliar perp shows up and we’re left going… ‘um, is this two different books?’

That said, I give it a 4 for the overall evolution of Hannah’s and Lake Eden’s inhabitant stories. We learn a lot about existing characters and feel that warm and wonderful cozy appeal.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.