Mistaken Identity Crisis (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney
Cozy Mystery, 4th in Series
Published June 30, 2019 by Creativia
Digital Edition, 260 pages
A clever thief with a sinister calling card has invaded Braxton campus. A string of jewelry thefts continues to puzzle the sheriff, given they’re remarkably similar to an unsolved eight-year-old case, back when Gabriel vanished one stormy night.
When a missing ruby, and a body, are discovered at the campus, Kellan must investigate the killer’s motive to protect his brother. As if the latest murder isn’t enough to keep him busy, Kellan partners with April to end the Castigliano and Vargas crime family feud. What really happened to Francesca while all those postcards showed up in Braxton?
The mafia world is more calculating than Kellan realized. If he wants to move forward, he’ll have to make a few ruthless sacrifices. And as the summer heat begins to settle in Wharton County, a couple more surprises are also in store.
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The Braxton Campus Mysteries continue to entertain me with great characters, a wonderful setting and a mystery that is well-developed and plotted. I have read all the books in this series and even though they can be read as standalone stories, you will want to start at the beginning, as the main characters have developed as well as their relationships. There is also one mysterious storyline that runs throughout all the books.
There are a lot of things happening in this story and it takes until the end to find out how they all tie together. Kellan is teaching summer school and each morning he stops at the cable cars to talk to the electrician that is doing some rewiring. One morning Kellan approaches with their morning coffee for their regular visit and finds Quint, the electrician, dead. It appears he may have accidentally electrocuted himself, but when Kellan finds a black calla lily and a ruby near the body, he is sure it was not an accident. The storyline of Kellan’s wife and her parents continues through this story, with Francesca being kidnapped by the rival “family” and Kellan being recruited as the go between. Then, there are the thefts from the founding families. Eight years ago, each of the families was burgled, now it seems someone is reenacting those crimes. Sheriff Montague has a lot on her hands and Kellan would love to help her out once again.
The well-plotted mystery and complicated story keeps a steady pace throughout. There are some red herrings and twists that had me focusing on various characters in the story and I did not figure out who the murderer was until the final reveal. There was a lot to ruminate about. Did the murder have anything to do with the thefts? Are the thefts being committed by the same person who was responsible for the ones eight years ago? I love so many of the characters in this series. I know Kellan is the main character, but Nana D is my favourite. She is sassy, quick-witted, loving, bossy and loyal. She makes a great matriarch for the family and now has the opportunity to be a wonderful mayor. Kellan is a great dad who is trying to do the best for his precocious daughter Emma. She is sweet yet can also be sassy and she grounds Kellan. April, the sheriff, has grown on me. I did not like her much in the first book, but she has changed over the series and is now a well-developed and likable character. I definitely recommend this series to anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries with a bit more meat to them. I am looking forward to the next book in the series and a shift with the new developments in the life of Kellan and Emma. I received a copy of this book from the author to participate in the Great Escapes Blog Tour. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are more own.
About the Author: James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College. I spent fifteen years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow—all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.
When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. Come join in the fun!
List of Books
Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)
Father Figure (April 2018)
Braxton Campus Mysteries
Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)
Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)
Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)
Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)
Websites & Blog
Social Media Links