Published by Gumshoe – A Next Chapter, March 18, 2020
Genre: Cozy Mystery
About the Book, from Goodreads: A winter blizzard barrels toward Wharton County with a vengeance. Madam Zenya predicted the raging storm would change the course of Kellan’s life, but the famed seer never could’ve prepared him for all the collateral damage. Nana D disappears after visiting a patient at Willow Trees, leaving behind a trail of confusion. When the patient turns up dead, and second body is discovered beneath the snowbanks, Kellan must face his worst fears. What tragedy has befallen his beloved grandmother?
Kellan’s brother Hampton learns essential life lessons the hard way after his father-in-law accuses him of embezzlement. While trying to prove his innocence, Hampton digs himself a deeper hole that might lead to prison. Sheriff Montague wants to save him, but she receives the shock of her life as the past hurtles forward and complicates her future.
Between locating Nana D and solving the scandalous murder of another prominent Braxton citizen, Kellan and April’s worlds explode with more turmoil than they can handle. Too bad neither one of them knows what to do about the psychic’s latest premonition. The suspicious deaths happening around town aren’t ending anytime soon.
Once again, we have a convoluted mystery that Kellan ends up right in the middle of. Kellan’s brother Hampton is accused of embezzlement and is fired from his job, a retired judge is murdered, Nana D is missing and things are happening to cause everyone in the Ayrwick family to have problems. When Hampton is arrested for murder, Kellan disobeys the sheriff and investigates to clear his brother.
There is always a lot happening in this series. There are many red herrings, diverging plotlines and characters that we know and love, getting involved in the mystery. Kellan uses his interview skills from his days in television to ferret out information. Fortunately for him, his parents, daughter and cousin are in Florida so that gives him more time to sleuth. There is a complication in Kellan’s romance with April, the sheriff, that had me a bit annoyed. It has not been solved completely yet, but I am sure it will be in the next book. There is a cliffhanger, but not as much as the last book, so I can relax and not be too upset with James. As usual there is humour and sarcasm throughout the story. I continue to be impressed with the character development in this series and I have gotten to know the family and friends quite well. The story is well-written and James Cudney does a great job pulling all the storylines together to give us a wonderful conclusion. These books can be read as standalones as each mystery is contained in the story, but I definitely recommend you read this series in order to get to know the characters, their relationships and see their development. Bravo James, for penning another great mystery for us to enjoy. I received a copy of this book from Great Escapes Tours upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my 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’ve spent twenty 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. I can’t believe I’ve finished writing the sixth book in this series. Come join in the fun…
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Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney
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