Book Review: Ashes in Venice by Gojan Nikolich

A psychopath with size 16 shoes, nursing home hookers and an irreverent Las Vegas homicide detective with a gambling habit set the tone for this off-beat tale of revenge and retribution.

Blackjack addict Frank Savic is deeply in debt and facing family problems when he’s asked to delay his retirement to catch a vigilante killer who murders other murderers in a manner the veteran cop has never seen.

While dead bodies stack up in quick succession, the motorcycle-riding policeman gets reluctantly involved with a desperate mother who will do anything to get justice for her dead son.

Savic, his investigation complicated by a suspected FBI coverup and a prison bribery scandal, is also unaware that the quirky murderer might also be the solution to his own financial and domestic dilemma.

Add the brooding backdrop of Venice, Italy…and a vengeful killer who reads Shakespeare, and you have a teasing psychological thriller where surgical bone saws and spiders are just tools of the trade.

Yes, there are spiders.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from Reedsy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Detective Savic is about to retire, and this is his last case. He’s looking for who he believes to be a vigilante killing murderers.

The two main characters are Savic and Colt, the murderer he is looking for. Both characters are well developed, and I was able to connect with both of them, even Colt.

Savic is dealing with a mountain of debt and a wife who is in a home because she is sick and losing her memory. His days are taken up with worry about his debt, his wife, and his case.

Colt is intelligent and methodical. He knows what he’s doing, and this is a mission for him. The way he kills his victims is quite different, and I had to cringe at what he did to his last victim, although he deserved it.

There are a lot of characters but they were easy to keep track of, especially since so many of them die along the way (that sounds horrible!). One character that I need to mention is Felicia Mendez, the mother of one of the murder victims, who is determined to find someone to kill her child’s murderer. She’s a bit “out there” and some of her antics were pretty bizarre. She wasn’t my favorite character, but I enjoyed reading about her.

This book needs proofreading. There were minor things throughout, but I have to recommend proofreading when something is distracting. In this case, mister in the lower case, such as “mister Jones” is used often rather than “Mr. Jones.”

Despite the need for proofreading, this was a good read. The description of The Venetian in Las Vegas was spot on, and the descriptions of Venice were great. Although I’ve never been there, I could picture it. There is a lot of suspense, and the murder descriptions are not for the faint of heart. The second half of the book was a page turner and difficult to put down.

About the Author

Gojan Nikolich is a former Chicago newspaper reporter, editor and public relations agency executive. He graduated with B.A. and M.A. degrees in English Literature from DePaul University, served as a U.S. Army sergeant and worked as a journalist in Korea and Japan. He lives in Colorado.

Book Review: Joanna Fields: The Culling by Wolfren Davis

If Joanna Fields can survive a post-apocalyptic wasteland, then keeping her two best friends from foolishly getting themselves killed should be easy. It’s not. Between kidnappers, a new type of undead, plans that all go awry, and a goat with a funny name, the trio might just be in over their heads. Are they prepared? No. Would literally anyone else be more qualified? Most definitely. Are they going to survive? Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from Reedsy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

It’s been 30 years since the apocalypse and friends Joanna, Ari, and Jeremiah are in their late teens so they know no other way of life. They are nomadic survivors traveling with a large group who are now on their way to Heaven-Blessed, a community where they can stay. Before they make it to Heaven-Blessed, Ari is kidnapped and taken to Red Valley where the annual Culling occurs when hundreds of undead are killed. Even though Ari is the badass of the group, Joanna and Jeremiah decide they have to save her.

For the first time, Joanna and Jeremiah are on their own when they leave the caravan. Luckily, they aren’t alone for long and have help or they’d never make it. Unfortunately, they’re discovered and end up in Red Valley as well. As I expected, Ari is not happy to see them because she could take care of herself, but now she has them to worry about.

The three main characters are well-developed, and I enjoyed how Joanna and Jeremiah grew in such a short amount of time. It was survive or die for the two of them and they not only survived but thrived. I also liked that they were far from perfect and even a little weird sometimes. There are quite a few other characters, and a list of characters at the beginning of the book would be helpful.

Although there are a lot of post-apocalyptic books out there, this one has its own little twists. Yes, there are undead, but there are also people who were bitten but didn’t die or turn.

This is a quick read that has a lot of excitement, some humor, and even a touch of romance. I enjoyed Joanna Fields: The Culling, and I’m hoping to read the next book, Joanna Fields: Heaven-Blessed, soon. I have to find out what happens next!

About the Author

Wolfren Davis, graduate of ENMU, was raised in beautiful Colorado amongst the colorful leaves of the abundant aspen trees. Despite all the fresh air and endless skyway, she spent all her time tucked into a dark corner with a good book. Her library teacher was heard saying she was relieved when the girl left for college because, on her last remaining days, she’d read all there was to offer. Now she resides in New Mexico with her beloved French Bulldog who, instead of barking like a normal dog, screeches like a seal suffering from the flu, her two cats whose sole purpose is to not let her sleep, and her amazing domestic partner.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wolfren-Davis-106069558415209/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DavisWolfren @DavisWolfren

Book Review & Giveaway: Song Girl: A Mystery in Two Verses by Keith Hirshland

Song Girl by Keith Hirshland

Song Girl: A Mystery in Two Verses by Keith Hirshland
Publisher:  Beacon Publishing Group (January 21, 2022)
Categories: Mystery Thriller, Detective/Police Procedural
Tour Dates April and May, 2022
ISBN: 978-1949472400
Available in Print and ebook, 388 pages

Song Girl

Description

Detective Marc Allen is ready to leave the Raleigh, North Carolina, Police Department. Two murders that happened on his watch have apparently been solved thanks to a suicide note confession written by a distraught father. But Allen isn’t buying it. He’s convinced that the man’s adopted daughter, Teri Hickox, is the one responsible for the heinous crimes. With his personal life a muddle and his professional career unsettled he decides the best thing for him is a change of scenery. The detective, now in Colorado Springs, is working new cases and making new friends. One of those friends is Hannah Hunt who, after suffering a freak accident, finds herself only able to speak in song titles. Another is a mysterious drifter who lives out of an old Dodge van and goes by “the champ”. But as Allen builds a new future, events unfold showing him that he can’t escape his past. Song Girl is… Part sequel to The Flower Girl Murder Part stand-alone mystery All entertaining

Guest Review by Sal

Author Keith Hirshland is back with a very singular mystery that has to be read to be believed.

The protagonist of this story, Detective Marc Allen, is a man with a problem. The problem is one Teri Hickox. See, Teri is the daughter of a man who recently confessed to the murder of two people in a case that Allen was investigating.

It all seemed to be pretty open and shut, but here is the hiccup: Allen doesn’t believe that Teri’s father, Hank was the real murderer. Allen believes that Teri was the one who committed the heinous crimes, but since Hank’s confession ends the official investigation, there is nothing that Allen can do to justify looking into it any further.

Frustrated with the lack of closure, Allen decides he needs a complete change of scenery, and ends up taking a job across the country in Colorado Springs at a different police department.

After settling in, Allen is given a case involving a young woman named Hannah Hunt who, after being involved in a strange ice-skating accident, is only capable of speaking in song titles. But was the accident really an accident? And what will the Detective’s reaction be when he discovers that Teri Hickox has actually followed him to Colorado Springs?

These are all questions that you will have to read the book to find out the answers to, and trust me, it’s definitely worth it.

‘Song Girl: A Mystery in Two Verses,’ is a reading experience unlike any other I’ve ever had. Hirshland’s story is one that keeps the reader guessing until the very last page—and makes you want to re-read to see how all of the answers were hinted at from the beginning of the book. This is a five star book that you can sink your teeth into!

About Keith HirshlandSong Girl by Keith Hirshland

Keith Hirshland is an Emmy Award–winning sports television producer with more than three decades of experience producing live and pre-recorded programs that aired on ESPN and ESPN2. Among the first forty people to be hired by the Golf Channel in 1994, Hirshland was in the middle of the action when that network debuted in 1995. He provided his talents for Golf Channel, as its live tournament producer, for two decades. Cover Me Boys, I’m Going In: Tales of the Tube from a Broadcast Brat is a memoir about his experiences in the television industry. Published by Beacon Publishing Group, Cover Me Boys was recognized as the Book Talk Radio Club Memoir of the Year. Hirshland’s second book, and first work of fiction, Big Flies, was published in 2016 and is the recipient of the New Apple Awards “Solo Medalist” in the True Crime Category. Hirshland followed that success with his third book, The Flower Girl Murder. In 2020 Beacon Publishing Group released Murphy Murphy and the Case of Serious Crisis, Hirshland’s third mystery novel. It was a Top Shelf Magazine First Place award winner and was named the Book Talk Radio Club Book of the Year for 2020. Song Girl Hirshland’s fifth book is the sequel to The Flower Girl Murder and was released in January of 2022. 

All five books are available at www.keithhirshland.com,  Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores.

Keith Hirshland lives in Colorado with his wife and their Pyredoodle Mac. Website: https://www.keithhirshland.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/khhauthor Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeithHirshlandAuthor/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/khhauthor/?hl=en

Buy Song Girl by Keith Hirshland

Amazon * Barnes&Noble * IndieBound

Giveaway

This giveaway is for 3 print copies. One for each of 3 winners.

This giveaway is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ends on June 1, 2022 midnight, pacific time.  Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Review: Damaged by Pat Herbert

The year is 1958, the place fashionable Chelsea, London. One famous film star commits suicide, and another famous star is run over. An eminent Harley Street plastic surgeon dies under suspicious circumstances.

When a fading film star decides to undergo plastic surgery to help revive her flagging career, it turns out to be the worst decision of her life, culminating in her eventual suicide.

When people close to her, including her former husband, begin to drop like flies, the plot thickens until all the strands come together in the best Agatha Christie tradition.

My Review

I have read several of Pat Herbert’s books and always enjoy reading them. One thing I’ve learned is not to try to figure out where a story is going.

Damaged started out with typical movie stars who had an image to maintain if at all possible. The characters were all so superficial! Lana, Leon Murray, and Victoria were all movie stars and didn’t seem to have any concerns other than what would further their careers.

Their egos led to some twisted relationships which I found interesting. And so many deaths!

There are several twists in this story. Just when you think you have something or someone figured out, you find out that you don’t. I definitely recommend Damaged for anyone who likes a mystery.

About the Author

Pat Herbert lives in London, England and works as an administrator and receptionist at a private health clinic. She worked previously as PA to the Managing Director of Thomson Books before they were taken over by Penguin.  Pat has written nineteen novels to date.

Other novels by Pat Herbert:

The Rev. Paltoquet supernatural mystery series:

The Bockhampton Road Murders
Haunted Christmas
The Possession of November Jones
The Witches of Wandsworth
So Long at the Fair
The Man Who Was Death
The Dark Side of the Mirror
Sleeping With the Dead
The Corpse Wore Red
Seeing Double

The Barney Carmichael Crime series:

Getting Away with Murder
The Murder in Weeping Lane
The Mop and Bucket Murders

Also by Pat Herbert:

Death Comes Gift Wrapped
The Long Shadow
Once You Kiss a Stranger
Hidden
UnOriginal Sin

“Damaged” by Pat Herbert is available in paperback from Amazon UK at:

This new thriller is also available to download in e-book format at:

Press/media Contact Details:

Darin Jewell (Pat Herbert’s literary agent)
Tel. 0208 292 5163
E-mail: darin@theinspiragroup.com

Audiobook Review: The Cabin Below by N.L. Hinkens

What happens on the water, stays on the water.

Or so they thought. Allison and her handsome, charismatic husband, Doug, are on a Caribbean cruise to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. But the steady stream of idyllic photos and happy hashtags they post online is hiding a dangerous rift in their relationship. Allison has long suspected that Doug is having an affair. Despite his impassioned denials and smooth-talking alibis, she’s unconvinced of his innocence and determined to dig for the truth, no matter the cost. And she’s not the only one delving into their secrets. The couple they’ve befriended on the cruise has been watching them. And they’ve come to a disturbing conclusion of their own. When Allison disappears the night before the ship docks back in Florida, they bring their terrifying suspicions to the police.

My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free audio copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I didn’t care for these relationships. Doug and Allison have a troubled marriage and although they are supposed to be on the cruise to celebrate their anniversary and to move on, it doesn’t seem that either of them truly believes that the cruise will help. Their new friends are also celebrating their anniversary. They profess to have a good marriage but all he does is drink. And then there was the head of security and his girlfriend…there’s not one good relationship!

It took me a little while to get into this book, but I’m glad I stuck with it. The second half was suspenseful with some twists.

The narrator did a good job with timing and pace. I was able to differentiate between men and women but not the specific person, but it worked out fine.

This is the second book I’ve read by this author, and I look forward to reading more.

About the Author

NYT and USA Today bestselling author Norma Hinkens writes psychological suspense thrillers in domestic settings, as well as fast-paced science fiction and fantasy about spunky heroines and epic adventures in dangerous worlds. She’s also a travel junkie, legend lover, and idea wrangler, in no particular order. She grew up in Ireland, land of make-believe and the original little green man. In her spare time she retreats to rural Idaho to hike, bike and boat, but mostly to eavesdrop on mountain men and prepare for the apocalypse. If you like heart-stopping sagas, gritty heroines, and twists you won’t see coming, then you’ll love her turbo-paced thrill-rides! Join her VIP Reader Club for hot new releases, stellar giveaways, exclusive content, behind the scenes and more!

Website

Book Review: Black Orchid Girls by Carolyn Arnold

The first rays of sun filter through the tall trees, casting a faint light on the girl lying at the water’s edge. Her tears have frozen on her pale face, a black orchid rests against her cold white skin.

When hikers find the body of a beautiful young girl on the banks of the Potomac River, Detective Amanda Steele is shaken and confused. What is the significance of the delicate flower resting on the girl’s torso? A sign of affection, or a twisted killer’s calling card?

The girl is Chloe Somner, a local nineteen-year-old ecology student well-known to the park rangers and loved by all her classmates. Searching Chloe’s home, Amanda can’t work out who could have tempted her to the water in the early hours of the morning, but a long night hunting through cold cases gives her a possible lead: twenty years ago another local girl was murdered, a red rose left on her body. But why would this killer strike again now?

Focused on the past, the last thing Amanda expects is the news that Chloe’s roommate has been found dead, another black orchid left. Terrified that more innocent victims will follow, can Amanda uncover the significance of the flowers and stop this cold-hearted killer before he returns for the next orchid girl…?

A totally compulsive crime thriller! Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Robert Dugoni and Rachel Caine.

Buy Links: 

Amazon:  https://geni.us/B09HMWKZ6Lsocial

Apple: http://ow.ly/LKrv50Gpp3m

Kobo: http://ow.ly/zeN450Gpp0u

Google: http://ow.ly/AZR950Gpp5d

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have read all of the books in the Amanda Steele series. When I read the first book, The Little Grave, I wasn’t too sure how I’d like the series because that first book was more about Amanda’s grief than the mystery she was working on. After reading the next three books including this one, however, she has become one of my favorite Carolyn Arnold characters.

Amanda and her partner, Trent, work well together. It’s a good thing because they spend a lot of hours working on this case. The girl who is murdered goes to school so there end up being a lot of possible suspects and the case has some twists along the way. In fact, once I got halfway through, I had to stay up late to finish the book. It had a surprising but good ending!

I definitely recommend this book and although it stands on its own, you’ll get more out of the story if you read the whole series.

About the Author

Carolyn Arnold was born in a small Canadian town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower. As an international bestselling and award-winning author, she has several continuing fiction series, including her popular Detective Madison Knight series. She offers readers nearly three dozen published books in genres ranging from crime thrillers and hard-boiled mysteries to cozy mysteries and action adventures. She currently lives north of London, Ontario, with her husband and two beagles.

Social Media

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Website: https://carolynarnold.net/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/authorcarolynarnold/

Book Review: Gateway: Destination DC by Jeff Dawson and Larry Welch

Muki, Abdul, Judith and Larry endured a harrowing thirteen days in the bowels of the Pioche Complex with Professor Leonoid Skorzenzy. Relieved they survived the adventure, will they be able to resume the summer vacation they originally started out on or will the events of the past continue to haunt them?

And what of Nathan Francisco? Will he allow the kids to leave the confines of Nevada unscathed or will he make sure they never enjoy their new found fortune?

Did the message Judith deliver to General McCulloch reach the appropriate authorities, or is there something more sinister infecting the US GOVERNMENT?

Strap yourselves in for the continuing adventures!

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I read the first book in the Gateway Series, Gateway: Pioche, and really liked it so I was looking forward to reading the second book.

Muki, Abdul, Larry and Judith were students at Stanford who are geniuses (geeks) and decided to go on vacation before starting work. They went Vegas and won a lot of money after learning to count cards from Larry. The mob is after them because they want that money back.

The characters are different and fairly well developed. Judith was not likeable at all in the first book, but she is getting better the more she’s with the other three. Abdul continues to put things in a Star Trek scenario but not nearly as much as in Gateway: Pioche, maybe because their situation is much more serious right now. Larry seemed to be the “normal” one but now that he’s time traveled twice, he has some mental issues including anger.

Destination DC kept my interest throughout. There was a lot of action and the graduates had mobsters following them as well others trying to kill them because they knew too much. It’s an edge of your seat page turner. I don’t recommend reading this book without reading the first book first.

The only issue I had was that it was hard to keep up with the conversations sometimes, who was talking to whom.

I am going to read the next book in the series, Destination DC, soon because I have to know what happens next!

About the Author

Mr. Dawson was involved in the road construction business for over twenty-five years. He endured great highs and lows: fathered three children, went through a divorce, two failed business ventures, bankruptcy, multiple surgeries and a reunification with his high school sweetheart, Debbie, who he would kiss goodbye for the last time seven months later.

His last surgery in 2010 forced him to temporarily exit the construction industry. With one career behind him, he ventured into a new one—writing. The first stories he wrote are real life scenarios dealing with losing loved ones to cancer: his partner, father and Debbie. These works are both honest and heart-warming. He holds nothing back as he allows readers to look deep into the psyche of one who has loved and lost so much.

He has also written books in the following genres: science/fiction, time travel, Baseball coaching manuals, horror, poetry, alternative history and erotica.

He currently lives in the DFW area spending time with friends and family.

Book Review: Gateway: Pioche by Jeff Dawson and Larry Welch

June 2016—Stanford, Ca. GRADUATION for Muki, Abdul, Larry and Judith. Six years of cramming for finals and pursuing double master’s degrees has finally paid off. It’s time for them to enjoy the fruits of their labor. A trip to Las Vegas and the blackjack tables before entering the word of commerce and research.

Their good fortune at the tables doesn’t go unnoticed by the local mob boss, Nathan Francisco, who decides, “What money comes to Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Instead of enjoying their winnings, the graduates become engaged in a hair-raising, life-threatening pursuit through the sleepy town of Pioche, Nevada. Eluding their pursuers, they wind up northeast of town at an abandoned military complex. Not wanting to tempt fate, they decide to stay put for a day and explore the complex.

What and who they find could unravel the truths surrounding the most debated conspiracies of the past—who shot John Fitzgerald Kennedy, what happened to Judas Iscariot after betraying Jesus, did America really land on the moon in 1969. And finally, will Judith Anderson be able to purge her family’s ties to the Third Reich when she comes face-to-face with her great-grand father Martin Bormann?

Prepare for the most riveting tale of time travel!

Note: This book contains strong language. Not recommended for children under 13.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Muki, Abdul, Larry and Judith are students at Stanford who are geniuses (geeks) and decide to go on vacation before starting work. They choose Vegas and learn how to count cards from Larry. They’re not just going to play blackjack, they’re going to win at blackjack. Unfortunately, they win enough money to get noticed by the mob and end up running from them and into an adventure like no other.

The characters are different and fairly well developed. Judith is not likeable at all, and I’m guessing that the only reason she hangs out with the geeks is that no one else wants to be around her. I wouldn’t be able to stand being around Abdul for very long. I like the old Star Trek but enough is enough! Muki and Larry seem closer to normal, although Muki does have a kickass side that is way better than normal.

It took me a while to get into this book, but there were many interesting and exciting parts such as each time the “graduates” traveled back in time. When they were being chased by the mob was intense. Unfortunately, there were a lot of slower moments in between including scientific information that was a little too in depth for me but that’s a personal preference.

I am going to read the next book in the series, Destination DC, soon because I have to know what happens next!

About the Author

Mr. Dawson was involved in the road construction business for over twenty-five years. He endured great highs and lows: fathered three children, went through a divorce, two failed business ventures, bankruptcy, multiple surgeries and a reunification with his high school sweetheart, Debbie, who he would kiss goodbye for the last time seven months later.

His last surgery in 2010 forced him to temporarily exit the construction industry. With one career behind him, he ventured into a new one—writing. The first stories he wrote are real life scenarios dealing with losing loved ones to cancer: his partner, father and Debbie. These works are both honest and heart-warming. He holds nothing back as he allows readers to look deep into the psyche of one who has loved and lost so much.

He has also written books in the following genres: science/fiction, time travel, Baseball coaching manuals, horror, poetry, alternative history and erotica.

He currently lives in the DFW area spending time with friends and family.

Book Review & Giveaway: Cut and Run by Annabelle Lewis

Book Title: Cut and Run by Annabelle Lewis
Category: Adult Fiction 18+, 234 pages
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: PePe Press
Release Date: August 2021
Content Rating: PG13 – Lots of cursing, and there are murders, but no graphic violence or graphic sexual content

Book Description:

Their story continues . . .

The four Boston clairvoyants, blessed—or cursed—with special powers, must fight a ruthless enemy and stop injustice. In Dead Cat, Run, the Sisters of Fate drove them together, but at what cost? The God Apollo wasn’t playing around. He’s still dead set on vengeance.

Sinister forces will have a wicked agenda. An energy grab, a mineral rights war, and deadly mercenaries create a mortally serious game. But the psychics’ sibylline abilities aside, they’re only human. At least three of them are. (What’s up with that?)

Can they stop the killers? And who will survive?

​An energetic contemporary thriller, Cut and Run will have you on the edge of your seat as the dance between good and evil resumes.

Buy The Book:
Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from iRead Book Tours. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This is the second book in a series. In the first book, four psychics in Boston found each other and have become a “family.” They truly would do anything for each other. There was a lot of character development in the first book so although Cut and Run does stand on its own, I would recommend reading Dead Cat, Run first for an even better experience.

I thought the first book started a little slowly but Cut and Run is non-stop from the first page. The psychics are good, moral people and know they need to help others, so they are constantly battling evil. Once again, they’re up against horrible people who don’t care how many people they murder. I was on the edge of my seat at times wondering if a young naive couple would survive and if an innocent man would be released from jail.

I like how seemingly unrelated events eventually tie together. If you’re looking for a good thriller, look no further. I hope there are more stories with this group in the future.

About the Author

Annabelle Lewis is a pseudonym for the author who lives in Minneapolis with her husband, children, and a wild thug of a dog who sleeps beside her. A multi-genre writer and publisher of 9 novels to date, her humorous mystery caper books have a theme – taking down the bad guy. Villains beware! She also writes a scathing blog and highly entertaining monthly newsletter. Sign up to follow at her website.

Connect with the Author:  

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~Instagram ~ Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter to win signed DEAD CAT RUN and CUT AND RUN by Annabelle Lewis (one winner/USA only)

Gleam

Follow the Tour

Oct 25 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of DEAD CAT, RUN / author interview / giveaway
Oct 25 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of DEAD CAT, RUN / giveaway
Oct 26 – Book Reviews by Shreya Vijay – book review of CUT AND RUN / author interview / giveaway
Oct 26 – Bound 4 Escape – book review of DEAD CAT, RUN / giveaway
Oct 27 – Splashes of Joy – book review of CUT AND RUN / giveaway
Oct 27 – @booking.with.janelle – book review of DEAD CAT, RUN
Oct 28 – @twilight_reader – book review of DEAD CAT, RUN
Oct 29 – Books for Books – book review of CUT AND RUN
Nov 1 – The Page Ladies – book review of DEAD CAT, RUN / giveaway
Nov 1 – @twilight_reader – book review of CUT AND RUN
Nov 1 – Kam’s Place – book spotlight of DEAD CAT, RUN
Nov 2 – Book Corner News and Reviews – review of DEAD CAT, RUN / giveaway
Nov 3 – @booking.with.janelle – book review of CUT AND RUN / author interview
Nov 3 – Kam’s Place – book spotlight / book excerpt of CUT AND RUN
Nov 3 – Book Corner News and Reviews – review of CUT AND RUN / giveaway
Nov 4 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of CUT AND RUN / giveaway
Nov 4 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review of DEAD CAT, RUN / giveaway
Nov 4 – Bound 4 Escape – book review of CUT AND RUN / giveaway
Nov 5 – Leels Loves Books – book review of DEAD CAT, RUN / giveaway
Nov 8 – The Page Ladies – book review of CUT AND RUN / giveaway
Nov 9 – Olio by Marilyn – book review of CUT AND RUN / giveaway
Nov 10 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review of CUT AND RUN / author interview / giveaway
Nov 12 – Leels Loves Books – book review of CUT AND RUN / giveaway

Book Review: Performing Murder by Joseph LeValley

The violent death of a famous actress rocks the rural Iowa town of Orney, where a Hollywood movie company is filming on location. Local newspaper reporter Tony Harrington is stunned by the murder, as he was one of the last people to see her alive. Tony finds himself further entwined in the case when it’s learned the actress was seen riding in his car on the night she was killed, and when her former lover attacks him and his best friend.

Soon Tony’s world view is shattered when someone he loves is officially charged with the murder, and the evidence collected by the authorities is indisputable. As Tony desperately seeks an alternative solution to the case, he finds it may have ties to a family secret from thirty years in the past.

As the investigation intensifies, so does the action, leaving a second person dead and a third lying on the ground with a bullet hole in his side. At the point where Tony is ready to give up and concede the unthinkable is true, a newfound love convinces him to dig deeper. Her strength, intelligence, and belief in Tony helps him cling to hope and begin to unravel the truth, right up until the murderer fights back, putting Tony in the greatest peril of his life.

Join Tony as he races against time to save an innocent man, win a woman’s heart, and stop a criminal genius from once again “performing murder.”

Pre-order on Amazon

My Review

This is the fourth Tony Harrington novel by Joseph LeValley, but it’s the first one I’ve read. It is definitely a standalone.

The small town of Orney, Iowa, was the site of the movie Murder Beyond Them directed by the famous Ramesh Bhatt and based on the novel by Charles Harrington. Tony Harrington, the son of Charles, was a reporter who lived in Orney and the reason that the movie was being shot there.

Soon after the shooting of the movie began, one of the female movie stars was murdered, and there was a lot of convincing evidence that Charles committed the murder. When all of the evidence was presented, I couldn’t imagine how he couldn’t be guilty. On the other hand, it was so obvious, I figured there had to be more to it. Tony felt the same way. He wanted to believe that his dad was innocent, but how could he? Then again, Tony knew that as a writer of murder mysteries, Charles wasn’t stupid enough to leave so much evidence behind. Maybe he was framed? But how?

Other than the murder, there was a lot going on in Performing Murder. Not only did Tony have the murder to investigate as a reporter and to help his dad, he had a blossoming relationship with Darcy, the other female lead from the movie. Tony’s best friend, Doug, another reporter, got shot. Tony was knocked out by someone they thought was paparazzi but obviously wasn’t. And that’s just some of what was going on! Once I got into the book, there was so much happening that it was difficult to put down.

The small-town feel was genuine. Everyone knew everyone else’s business. A good example of this, and something that tickled me, was when Tony got some information from Davis, a good friend of his who worked in law enforcement. Tony didn’t want to get his friend in trouble, so as a courtesy, he called the sheriff to get the information from him. The sheriff had left a note with his secretary to tell him that whatever Davis had told him was fine.

The author’s writing flows well. The book is exciting, and the characters are believable. I like that they’re not just good or bad; the good guys have flaws, and the bad guys have good qualities.

I recommend Performing Murder for anyone who likes a good murder mystery. It has suspense, danger, romance, and a touch of humor.

About the Author

Joseph “Joe” LeValley was fortunate to find success in three careers prior to becoming an author: journalism, health care, and music. He was a reporter-photographer for Iowa newspapers for seven years. During that time, Joe wrote articles ranging from breaking news to feature stories to personal columns. Subsequently, he served for more than 30 years as an executive in Iowa hospitals and its largest statewide health care network. During that time, he and his team won four national awards for communications excellence.

As a musician, Joe plays drums and guitar. He has performed with a number of groups and has written more than 40 songs. In 2016, he was inducted with the Mourning Glory Rock Band into the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.

A lifelong Iowan, Joe has a degree in journalism from Drake University in Des Moines and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Iowa. He and his wife Jane have six children and live in Dallas County, Iowa.

Website: https://www.josephlevalley.com/index.html

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