Day: October 10, 2018

Book Review: A Very Mersey Murder by Brian L. Porter

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A Very Mersey Murder (Mersey Murder Mysteries Book 5)A Very Mersey Murder by Brian L. Porter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One thing’s for sure, I’m a fan of mystery series. When I find a new one I like, such as the Mersey Murder Mysteries, I have to devour them all. I usually read in order, but I found this one after several books had been published, so now I’m backtracking to catch up before #6 comes out soon. Today, I’m reviewing A Very Mersey Murder by Brian L. Porter.

The series focuses on a core group of British policemen and policewomen who handle special crimes–usually ones with complexity and longevity. In this edition, the first series of crimes happen in 1966 when three women were brutally attacked and killed. We read in the first few chapters what happens to one of the victims after she leaves a pub to walk home in a very quiet town. It’s not so quiet anymore. Then we jump 39 years later to when the murders start happening again in the same exact method and order. If what happened in the past rings true again, the third victim will be a policewoman. Will one of our beloved Mersey heroines say a final goodbye? Add in a few chapters where someone in the current time frame has found the killer’s old journal… and shares a little about the creepy nut’s imagination and emotional state. Is it the killer reading from the journal, or just someone else who found it? You’ll never guess until the very end!

Of the three I’ve read, this is by far my favorite in the series. Porter adeptly creates a believable and charismatic set of characters who work together to solve major crimes. Sometimes they fight, sometimes they bond. But they always try to find the killer in as little time as possible. When we meet some of the victims and her friends, colleagues and acquaintances, we feel a connection to the story and the lives being impacted by the crime. Add in some side stories with adoption, illegitimate children, gender identity issues, unrequited love, and friendship, the entire book is so well-rounded, I found it hard to put down.

At times, Porter’s story is visceral and graphic, but also tasteful. Some readers may shy away from the gory details and delicate topics being covered, but if you can handle them, you’ll be thrilled with how this comes together. Just when you think you’ve figured out who the culprit could be 39 years ago and who it is today, you’re thrown another curveball. Up until the very end, you’re not sure if it’s the same person, two different relatives, a copycat, or just a random series of events. That’s good writing, plot development, and suspense!

I encourage everyone to read Porter’s books, but I must say… I’m old-school and traditional — read them in order so you can cherish and enjoy all the little nuggets along the way. It’s not necessary, as each is a standalone mystery novel, but you’ll get to know the characters even better if you see them age and understand their relationships. Regardless, they’re well-drawn, complicated, and full of life. You know their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. Kudos to Porter for continuing to push his readers and deliver quality story with powerful messages and imagery. And if you just want a standalone murder mystery, this will still be a fantastic one to enjoy.

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and 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 –and multiple Readathons. 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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Braxton Campus Mysteries – Be a Beta Reader for Broken Heart Attack (Book 2)

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Broken Heart Attack, the second book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, a light investigative / cozy mystery series, is ready for a beta read. I’m looking for readers in this sub-genre who’ve read the first book or are interested in reading the first book (for free) and then being a beta reader on the second book over the next few weeks. It will be available on Fri 10/12 and I’d want to collect all feedback on Broken Heart Attack by Fri 10/26 so that I can revise and edit by November 1st for the next review round. If you’re interested, message me at jamesjcudney4@gmail.com. A description of the book’s plot is below as well as details on the first book which is available for purchase starting 10/15.

Broken Heart Attack

When an extra ticket becomes available to attend the dress rehearsal of Braxton’s King Lear production, Kellan tags along with Nana D and her buddies, sisters-in-law Eustacia and Gwendolyn Paddington, to show support for the rest of the Paddington family. When one of them appears to have a heart attack in the middle of the second act, Nana D raises her suspicions and asks Kellan to investigate who killed her friend. Amidst family members suddenly in debt, a potential long-lost relative, and a secret rendezvous between an unlikely pair, Kellan learns the Paddingtons might not be as clean-cut as everyone thinks. But did one of them commit murder for an inheritance? Kellan is back in his second adventure since returning home to Pennsylvania. With his personal life in upheaval and his new boss, Myriam, making life exorbitantly difficult, will he be able to find a killer or will he get caught up in his own complicated version of stage fright?

Academic-Curve-Ball-Main-File
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I’m excited to reveal the cover for the debut novel in my new Braxton Campus Mysteries series. The first book is called Academic Curveball and is available for pre-sale on Amazon as of today. The official publication date when you can download to Kindle is October 15th followed soon after by the physical printed copy. Stay tuned in the coming days for opportunities to get an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) to help with early reviews.  I’ll share quotes, samples, giveaways, and character bios. This is one cast of characters you won’t want to miss. Please share this post and news wherever you’d like… and tell me what you think of the cover and the story description!

Academic-Curve-Ball-Promo-Hardback-Ereader

Add to Goodreads                                                  Amazon Pre-Sale

***

Description of Book

When Kellan Ayrwick, a thirty-two-year-old single father, is forced to return home for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds the dead body of a professor in Diamond Hall’s stairwell. Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Then he finds a second body after discovering mysterious donations to the college’s athletic program, a nasty blog denouncing his father, and a criminal attempting to change student grades so the star baseball pitcher isn’t expelled.

Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana weeding through the clues, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. Fate has other plans. Kellan is close to discovering the killer’s identity just as someone he loves is put in grave danger of becoming victim number three. And if that’s not enough to wreak havoc on his family, everything comes crashing to a halt when his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever.

In this debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series, readers discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic, and nosy residents. Among the daily workings of Braxton College and the charming Ayrwick family, Kellan weighs his investigative talents against an opportunity to achieve a much sought-after dream. When this first book ends, the drama is set for the next adventure in Kellan’s future… and it’s one you won’t want to miss.

*** Below was also sent last week ***

As a quick teaser… here’s a little snapshot of a scene between the main character, Kellan, and his septuagenarian grandmother, Nana D. There’s a fine line between respect and fun banter in everything they do… but you’ll adore their charming relationship.

The sun disappeared as I pulled up to my parents’ house, parked the Jeep, and walked toward the trunk to get my bags. Given the temperature had slipped to single digits, and the icy snow wildly pelted my body, I tried my best to hurry to the front door. I’d left all my winter clothes in Braxton which didn’t help at the moment since they were inside the house. Unfortunately, fate opted for revenge over some past indiscretion to come back with the vengeance of a thousand plagues. Before long, I skated across a sheet of ice like an awkward ballerina wearing clown shoes and fell flat on my back.

I snapped a selfie while laughing on the frosty ground to let Nana D know I’d arrived. She loved getting pictures and seeing me make a fool of myself. I couldn’t decipher her immediate reply given my glasses had fogged over, and my vision was worse than that of a secret lovechild of Mr. Magoo’s. I searched for a piece of a flannel shirt untouched by the falling sleet or the embarrassing crash to the ground and wiped them dry. A glance at the picture I’d sent caused the loudest and most absurd guffaw to erupt from my throat. My usually clean-cut dark blond hair was littered with leaves, and the four days of stubble on my cheeks and chin was covered in mounds of white snow. I dusted myself off and rushed under the protection of a covered porch to read her text.

Nana D: Is that a dirty wet mop on your head? You’re dressed like a hooligan. Put on a coat, it’s cold out.

Me: Thanks, Captain Obvious. I fell on the walkway. You think I’m normally this much of a disaster?

Nana D: And you’re supposed to be the brilliant one? Have you given up on life, or did it give up on you?

Me: Keep it up, and I won’t visit this weekend. You’re supposed to be a sweet and loving grandma.

Nana D: If that’s what you want, go down to the old folks’ home and rent yourself a little biddy. Maybe you two can share some smashed peas, green Jell-O, and a tasty glass of Ovaltine. I’ll even pay.

Academic Curveball (Braxton Campus Mysteries #1)

Author news coming week of September 24th with the full cover reveal, launch date, and opportunities for joining the early release reading team. Stay tuned!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and 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 –and multiple Readathons. 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.