Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cold Coffee Press Book Review for On The Hook: Smith and Westen Mysteries Volume 1 by Cindy Davis



 


A Picasso painting, worth a hundred million dollars, disappears en route from Chicago to New Hampshire. Literally-en route. The painting goes missing while the truck is moving. The painting is there, then it's not. It's gone, but it can't be. Kendra Jean Valentine, underwriting agent for the policy, is on the hook. She scrapes together enough to hire two women to work the case.

Westen Hughes owns a failing pet shop. With creditors phoning daily, she jumps at the chance to earn a bundle of easy money, even though the offer comes from her old nemesis KJ Valentine, who stole everything in high school: head cheerleader, homecoming queen and the star quarterback. KJ pairs her with Westen's total opposite: Phoebe Smith, a snake-loving, underwear-hating, tuba player with more baggage than Logan Airport.

Ten percent of a hundred million is...well, it's a lot so Smith and Westen join forces on a rollercoaster ride to find one of the world's most valuable paintings.


Transporting hundred million dollar valuables by vehicle presents many challenges as Kendra Jean Valentine, agent for NH Property and Casualty Insurance well knows. Her job requires that she covers all bases. This job was no different from the others. She chose the trucking company, interviewed the two truck drivers and handpicked four security guards to drive in two separate vehicles, one in front and one behind the truck to assist her in driving from Chicago to Buffalo and then non-stop from Buffalo to Concord, New Hampshire.

Arriving at their destination Kendra is relieved to arrive and more than happy to turn Picasso’s The Old Guitarist painting over to the curator, Henderson McGee. The painting was secured and padlocked in a six foot cube wooden crate. Only Kendra and the curator in Chicago had the keys. When the crate in opened the painting is not inside and Kendra is on the hook. Her exact thought “How was it possible for so many things to go wrong for one person at the same time? She must’ve done something really awful in a past life.”

With strong characters and good dialog the reader is submerged into a fast paced mystery that is led by two untrained, inexperienced and incompatible women named Smith and Weston. Out of their league these two sleuths find themselves in many situations. I quote one from page # 103 in my copy.
“Smith and Westen started up the walk side-by-side. Westen twisted  the  antique glass doorknob and they went in, footsteps thudding on the bare hardwood floor, stained by at least fifty years of shoes and boots. The place smelled like a combination of pine cleaner which obviously hadn’t been used in the hallway and vanilla scented candle. They climbed the steep stairs. Westen tried not to touch the railing. She hadn’t brought any hand sanitizer.”

Well written mystery by Author Cindy Davis that will keep you guessing until the end.

Cold Coffee Press Endorses On The Hook (Volume 1) in the Smith and Westen Mysteries. After you read On The Hook, Just Smashing (Volume 2) and Two Million Reasons (Volume 3) are waiting for you to solve. I reviewed this book from a Kindle/PDF format and the review was completed on September 29, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcofeepress.com


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 Four Other Selections
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Snake-lover Phoebe Smith and Susie-homemaker Westen Hughes, the Northeast’s most mismatched investigative team, is at it again. During the preliminary unveiling of a local college’s Egyptian exhibit, a vase worth $1.75 million disappears in front of seven people. Well, six people and the thief, because sure as shortcake has strawberries, the vase is there one minute; the next, it's gone.

Usually clues clog a case but this time secrets are causing more trouble than fifty Dennis the Menaces. Smith disappears for hours on end. Is she tired of Westen 24/7? Or is there a man in her life? Westen can't ask; she has a secret of her own: she's taking shooting lessons. Sergeant "Charlie" Bartowski’s secret: without that vase, her promotion will be squashed—again.

Somehow, nemesis Kendra Jean Valentine convinces them to take the case. KJ's secret: find the vase, collect the 10%. Nothing new there.

Will anyone find the vase? Will any secrets cause irreparable trouble?


************************
 


A mad king. An escaped slave. One warrior to save the realm... When Asherah, stripped of both her memory and her dignity, learns that King Sahlgren is responsible for her torment it nearly breaks her. Instead, she leads her fellow slaves to freedom. More prisons are scattered across Parthalan, and Asherah vows to burn them all.

Caol'nir, a warrior descended from the gods, is sworn to serve and defend the king. Then a priestess is murdered, and Caol'nir learns that Sahlgren is to blame. Determined to stop the king, sacred oath or no, Caol'nir joins Asherah's rebellion. What Caol'nir doesn't know is that Sahlgren has promised the demon lord a woman of rare and singular beauty, a woman whose abilities are rumored to rival the sun god’s themselves…a woman Caol’nir knows all too well.


************************
 


The first warning is swift and to the point, but bookstore owners Glenn and Lindsay Reade don’t ‘get it’ until their lives are threatened a second time. All they’ve done is read a young girl’s diary and attempt to locate the owner. Just because the journal describes the girl’s rape and subsequent murder of the rapist is no reason for anyone to want them dead, is it?

The book is obviously more than forty years old. Who in the tiny Berkshire town of Paris, Massachusetts could still care?

But someone does. And that someone is willing to kidnap and murder to protect their long buried secret.


************************
 


A day of fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee sounds like just the medicine for Angie’s overworked husband’s birthday. In spite of inherent seasickness, she happily goes on the tour with him. How is she to know that by the end of the day they’ll both be suspects in the boat owner’s death?

As police and the forensics team storm the boat, Angie comforts the distraught widow, who quickly becomes the chief suspect. Which makes sense; besides Valerie, why would any of the five strangers want the insensitive Nolan Little dead?

Fearful Val begs Angie to help clear her name. Angie says no, it’s too dangerous. But Val’s determined, and Angie goes along to keep her from getting killed—despite the fact that she just caught Will cheating; despite the fact that her brother-in-law has just run off with every penny of their money; despite the fact that black duffle bags are appearing and disappearing more often than Houdini.

She should, but doesn’t ask herself, “Could any of these events be related?”


************************


Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis is originally from the Cape Cod area of Massachusetts. In 1989, she and her family moved to the four season state of New Hampshire, amid the mountains, lakes and year-round views. She’s always enjoyed writing—even began her first novel at the age of 9. The book took place in Egypt and was titled “The Pyramid”. The experts say “Write what you know” and that’s probably why she never finished the story—until then, she’d never been further from home than Rhode Island!

When her second husband, Bob, encouraged her to go back to school, she enrolled in a Journalism & Short Story course. It's been a whirlwind since then. She wrote her first novel Final Masquerade--republished as Take the Money and Run, and never looked back. Now, after 14 novels and a number of non-fictions, she's still going strong. Cindy's just completed the sixth in her Angie Deacon mystery series set in upstate NH—Stone Cold Sober will be out before Christmas.

In 1998 she began freelance editing. That endeavor has spiraled into a full time business. She works mostly with fiction, but a lot of non-fiction also. She recently edited a memoir of a retired mafia don and, at the same time, a memoir of a retired dominatrix. Talk about diversion! She's edited for a number of publishing houses, but the freelance is her favorite because she can pick and choose the most interesting and unique stories to work on with the author.
July 1, Cindy took two life-altering trips. One to Italy where she soaked up the rays and the ambiance. Will a new book be forthcoming? Of course. The second lift-changing situation: she packed up and moved to Florida to soak up more rays and hike with her miniature Dachshund Montana.

************************

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Florida? Having only been here three months, I'm still settling in, but I look forward to writing some books based here. How I'll get Angie Deacon out of NH, I have no clue, but book seven in the series will surely be set here.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? My second husband. He encouraged me to do something I loved. I took a few courses and finished the first draft of Final Masquerade in three months. I typed THE END and burst into tears. Poor guy that was the moment he came home from work. Naturally he thought I'd crashed the car or something.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I think it was in the back of my mind when I began Final Masquerade. None of my family cares about reading so it wouldn't do any good sitting on the coffee table. LOL.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? No, I don't think so, but I believe bits of my past appear in each story. They DO say "write what you know".

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? Depends on the story. Some are a struggle even after the book is written like with Final Masquerade. I didn't know the title till the last sentence. With Rest in Pieces--I heard that phrase on an episode of The Sopranos and decided it would make a good mystery story. Mine's not about dismemberment though, the theme revolves around jigsaw puzzles.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Most of my books are mysteries. I cut my teeth on the Bobbsey Twins, graduated to Nancy Drew, then Agatha Christie, and never looked back. I love constructing complicated plots like in the Angie Deacon series, and making the reader work to solve them.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? I'll answer this for the book I'll be working n next because I've just finished the sixth in the Angie Deacon series. The next book, tentatively titled What Happens in Rome...was inspired by a vacation there back in June. I'm going to take one of my single titles A Lethal Dose of Love and use the characters for a romantic suspense that culminates in Rome.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I've had a lot of good things happen but I think it's the perpetual encouragement I got from my second husband Bob. He passed away a little over a year ago, but if I stop writing, I know he'll shoot lightning bolts at me.

Have you had a negative experience in your writing career? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? Definitely. More than one. I think the most memorable one was when I PAID an agent to take my book. At that time, I'd been shopping it myself and received a contract offer from a small publisher. He encouraged me to take the deal, which turned out really bad. It wasn't all his fault; the publisher was a crook. But I wanted him to shop it for a better deal and he didn't. Anyway, it's made me wary ever since.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? The kudos. The friends and followers of my books in New Hampshire. The positive book reviews.

Have you had a negative experience in your publishing journey? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? That would be the publisher mentioned above who had a 10 year contract that my agent encouraged I sign. Things were going okay for about two years, but then the publisher decided not to pay royalties any more. When asked, they said, they had some major business things and they had to pay a lawyer and used the royalties for it. I never received another penny from them. Finally convinced them after seven years to give me back the rights or I was suing them.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Never give up trying to improve your craft.

Who is your favorite author and why? So many. If I have to choose one--Ruth Rendell. She passed away last year but she had the best, deepest, most well developed characters I've ever seen. She had one story about a serial killer as told from his point of view. It was amazing to 'see' inside his head. You hated him but felt apathy for him at the same time.

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 Author Cindy Davis' Published Books

Women's Fiction:
Cold As Ice





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5 Featured Selections
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A Picasso painting, worth a hundred million dollars, disappears en route from Chicago to New Hampshire. Literally-en route. The painting goes missing while the truck is moving. The painting is there, then it's not. It's gone, but it can't be. Kendra Jean Valentine, underwriting agent for the policy, is on the hook. She scrapes together enough to hire two women to work the case.

Westen Hughes owns a failing pet shop. With creditors phoning daily, she jumps at the chance to earn a bundle of easy money, even though the offer comes from her old nemesis KJ Valentine, who stole everything in high school: head cheerleader, homecoming queen and the star quarterback. KJ pairs her with Westen's total opposite: Phoebe Smith, a snake-loving, underwear-hating, tuba player with more baggage than Logan Airport.

Ten percent of a hundred million is...well, it's a lot so Smith and Westen join forces on a rollercoaster ride to find one of the world's most valuable paintings.


Transporting hundred million dollar valuables by vehicle presents many challenges as Kendra Jean Valentine, agent for NH Property and Casualty Insurance well knows. Her job requires that she covers all bases. This job was no different from the others. She chose the trucking company, interviewed the two truck drivers and handpicked four security guards to drive in two separate vehicles, one in front and one behind the truck to assist her in driving from Chicago to Buffalo and then non-stop from Buffalo to Concord, New Hampshire.

Arriving at their destination Kendra is relieved to arrive and more than happy to turn Picasso’s The Old Guitarist painting over to the curator, Henderson McGee. The painting was secured and padlocked in a six foot cube wooden crate. Only Kendra and the curator in Chicago had the keys. When the crate in opened the painting is not inside and Kendra is on the hook. Her exact thought “How was it possible for so many things to go wrong for one person at the same time? She must’ve done something really awful in a past life.”

With strong characters and good dialog the reader is submerged into a fast paced mystery that is led by two untrained, inexperienced and incompatible women named Smith and Weston. Out of their league these two sleuths find themselves in many situations. I quote one from page # 103 in my copy.
“Smith and Westen started up the walk side-by-side. Westen twisted  the  antique glass doorknob and they went in, footsteps thudding on the bare hardwood floor, stained by at least fifty years of shoes and boots. The place smelled like a combination of pine cleaner which obviously hadn’t been used in the hallway and vanilla scented candle. They climbed the steep stairs. Westen tried not to touch the railing. She hadn’t brought any hand sanitizer.”

Well written mystery by Author Cindy Davis that will keep you guessing until the end.

Cold Coffee Press Endorses On The Hook (Volume 1) in the Smith and Westen Mysteries. After you read On The Hook, Just Smashing (Volume 2) and Two Million Reasons (Volume 3) are waiting for you to solve. I reviewed this book from a Kindle/PDF format and the review was completed on September 29, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcofeepress.com


*************************
 


Snake-lover Phoebe Smith and Susie-homemaker Westen Hughes, the Northeast’s most mismatched investigative team, is at it again. During the preliminary unveiling of a local college’s Egyptian exhibit, a vase worth $1.75 million disappears in front of seven people. Well, six people and the thief, because sure as shortcake has strawberries, the vase is there one minute; the next, it's gone.

Usually clues clog a case but this time secrets are causing more trouble than fifty Dennis the Menaces. Smith disappears for hours on end. Is she tired of Westen 24/7? Or is there a man in her life? Westen can't ask; she has a secret of her own: she's taking shooting lessons. Sergeant "Charlie" Bartowski’s secret: without that vase, her promotion will be squashed—again.

Somehow, nemesis Kendra Jean Valentine convinces them to take the case. KJ's secret: find the vase, collect the 10%. Nothing new there.

Will anyone find the vase? Will any secrets cause irreparable trouble?


************************
 


A mad king. An escaped slave. One warrior to save the realm... When Asherah, stripped of both her memory and her dignity, learns that King Sahlgren is responsible for her torment it nearly breaks her. Instead, she leads her fellow slaves to freedom. More prisons are scattered across Parthalan, and Asherah vows to burn them all.

Caol'nir, a warrior descended from the gods, is sworn to serve and defend the king. Then a priestess is murdered, and Caol'nir learns that Sahlgren is to blame. Determined to stop the king, sacred oath or no, Caol'nir joins Asherah's rebellion. What Caol'nir doesn't know is that Sahlgren has promised the demon lord a woman of rare and singular beauty, a woman whose abilities are rumored to rival the sun god’s themselves…a woman Caol’nir knows all too well.


************************
 


The first warning is swift and to the point, but bookstore owners Glenn and Lindsay Reade don’t ‘get it’ until their lives are threatened a second time. All they’ve done is read a young girl’s diary and attempt to locate the owner. Just because the journal describes the girl’s rape and subsequent murder of the rapist is no reason for anyone to want them dead, is it?

The book is obviously more than forty years old. Who in the tiny Berkshire town of Paris, Massachusetts could still care?

But someone does. And that someone is willing to kidnap and murder to protect their long buried secret.


************************
 


A day of fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee sounds like just the medicine for Angie’s overworked husband’s birthday. In spite of inherent seasickness, she happily goes on the tour with him. How is she to know that by the end of the day they’ll both be suspects in the boat owner’s death?

As police and the forensics team storm the boat, Angie comforts the distraught widow, who quickly becomes the chief suspect. Which makes sense; besides Valerie, why would any of the five strangers want the insensitive Nolan Little dead?

Fearful Val begs Angie to help clear her name. Angie says no, it’s too dangerous. But Val’s determined, and Angie goes along to keep her from getting killed—despite the fact that she just caught Will cheating; despite the fact that her brother-in-law has just run off with every penny of their money; despite the fact that black duffle bags are appearing and disappearing more often than Houdini.

She should, but doesn’t ask herself, “Could any of these events be related?”


************************


Friday, September 25, 2015

Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Mystery and Historical Fiction Author Susan Whitfield



Award-winning multi-genre author Susan Whitfield is a native of North Carolina, where she sets all of her novels. She is the author of The Logan Hunter Mystery series: Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck, Hell Swamp, Sin Creek, and Sticking Point. She also authored Killer Recipes, a unique cookbook that includes recipes from mystery writers around the country.  Slightly Cracked is her first women’s fiction, set in Wayne County where she lives with her husband. Their two sons live nearby with their families.

Susan’s a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Carolina Conspiracy, Coastal Carolina Mystery Writers, North Carolina Writers Network, and National Association of Baby Boomer Women.  Her books are available in print and eBook formats. Susan is currently researching a medieval ancestor for an historical mystery. Learn more at www.susanwhitfieldonline.com

About The Cover Design: Jason Penland is an avid self-taught photographer, with a focus on nature and landscapes. The product of generations of mountain folks, Jason's love of his western North Carolina home is evident in his beautiful work. He expresses a love of his heritage through playing banjo, dobro and guitar, and passes that love on to his two young sons. He also specializes in portraits, wedding photography, bridals, and family-oriented settings.

Susan’s an avid blogger and promotes authors at http://www.susanwhitfield.blogspot.com

Her website: http://www.susanwhitfieldonline.com

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Booktown.ning.com and http://www.trianglesinc.com

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Interview:

Tell us what makes you proud to be a writer from Dudley, NC? I have lived in North Carolina my entire life, visiting it from stem to stern, loving both the mountains and the sea. I’m proud to be the only mystery writer in my county. I enjoy being involved with Carolina Conspiracy and the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and other organizations around the country.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I guess it just came naturally when I was a child. Once I was a freshman in college and my English professor told me what a good writer I was, I began to believe that someday I could write and publish.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Only after I retired from my high school principal ship.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and why? It certainly contributed as far as setting my novels somewhere in the state. We have so many wonderful dialects, such beautiful scenery, and I have so many fond memories of going to the mountains once a year and to the beach much more often. We lived near a river, so that became a focus for a book as well.

Do you come up with your title (s) before or after you write the manuscript (s)? So far I have decided on the setting before I begin. Two of my titles, ‘Just North of Luck’ and ‘Hell Swamp’, have settings straight off a state map! I already had a story in mind for ‘Hell Swamp’, and when I found that name, I knew I’d found my title. The publisher loved it.

Tell us why you write the genre (s) that you write? I began as a mystery write, but now I’m considered multi-genre. I write mystery, women’s fiction, and also authored a cookbook. They say write what you loved to read and I love a good mystery and a good women’s fiction.

Tell us your most rewarding experience while in the writing process? That surreal feeling as words flow down my arms through my fingers and onto the screen. When I’m in that state of mind, nothing else matters but getting it down. Also, holding each “baby” in my arms for the first time is quite rewarding.

Tell us your most negative experience while in the writing process? Interruptions of any kind!

Tell us your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? I queried L&L Dreamspell with Hell Swamp and fifteen days later they offered me a contract. They picked up ‘Just North of Luck’ and ‘Genesis Beach’ and went on to publish ‘Sin Creek’. Unfortunately the publisher died and the company closed before ‘Sticking Point’ was released.

Tell us your most negative experience in your publishing journey? Rejections especially with the first book.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Persevere! And make certain that you hire a professional editor to get top quality work out there. Don’t settle for less than your best!

Who Is Your Favorite Author? James Patterson rocks with the Cross Series. I also love Gerrittsen, Scottoline, Sandford, Connally, and North Carolina’s Hart.

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Sprig of Broom is a coming-of-age novel about Geoffrey Plantagenet, a count, who at the age of 15 marries King Henry’s daughter, Empress Matilda, and fathers the dynasty of Plantagenet kings. The story begins with the count on his journey to Rouen in Normandy to become a Knight of the Bath. From Rouen, he and the king’s entourage travel to LeMans where Geoffrey is wed to Matilda. And the loathing begins . . . Sir Geoffrey Plantagenet has much to learn, and over the course of his life’s journey he develops a better understanding of himself, fathers a long line of kings, endures adversaries—especially his own wife—and boldly faces the world of chaos around him. Written by a lineal descendant of Sir Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Knighted, invested 1127 during the reign of Henry I, Knighthood of the Bath.

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Author Susan Whitfield’s exquisite storytelling will escort you back to medieval European history to the grand LeMans Cathedrale on June 10, 1127 where Henry Beauclerc, King of England and Duke of Normandy, gives his daughter Empress Matilda Maud Alice in betrothal to Sir Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Knight of the Order of the Bath and Count of Anjou, son of Fulk V, King of Jerusalem.

Fourteen year old Count Geoffrey finds himself in the bedchamber of his lady wife Matilda who had been married before and encounters a rigid, irritable woman who preys on his youthful innocence.
The count throws himself into his royal duties for the sake of the kingdom while the King insists on offspring and sends a young maid servant named Annique to teach him the fine art of love.

As reviewer it is my pleasure to whet your appetite with this quote from Count Geoffrey.

“The first day of winter roared in with a strong cold wind whipping trees and bushes and tents and merchant stands in town. Pastured horses ran briskly with tails high, some tagging others as they romped. I was thankful to have fine shelter and plenty of firewood, although more would be needed to keep fires burning throughout the castle before winter ended. Castle stores were filled with harvested crops, among them corn meal and flour, dried apples and other fruits, lard and herbs. Meats from hunts hung in smoke. We would fare better than most of the country’s people until planting season returned in spring.

Darkness crept in early and lingered long. The moon often hid itself from us. Loneliness accompanied me to my bed chamber at night. I found myself staying up late to play chess or throw darts alone or with anyone willing to pass time with me.

Daily jousting and warlike games of hunting amused me and kept me occupied away from Matilda and tempered thought of Annique. Some nights were spent besting fellow knights at chess or checkers. I welcomed distance and time spent with other knights outside dark cold castle walls when time allowed. I lost myself in preparing strategies to outwit the older and more experienced knights. My horse, Warrior,—the color of a cloud whitened by sun—was powerful and easily held me even in full armor.”

Let me tell you a funny story. Late last night, my husband and I were lying in bed talking before going to sleep and I started telling him the story, Sprig of Broom. I started at the beginning and was telling him all about it. Half way through my re-telling the story, he stopped me and said, "WAIT" don't tell me the end, let’s watch it together. I laughed and told him he would have to wait to see Sprig of Broom in movie format because for now it is Susan Whitfield’s historical fiction book. This is a testament to Susan’s great writing skills.

I invite you to relive the story of Count Geoffrey (later known as Geoffrey the Handsome) and step into his shoes as fate will determine if his lady wife Matilda will assume the throne upon her father’s death. Walk the royal Castle halls, smell the stench of common places, cross the English Channel, and observe a proud father as he swaddles his offspring with no knowledge of how history will write about the Plantagenet Kings of England.

Cold Coffee Press Endorses Sprig Of Broom by Susan Whitfield as a historical fiction woven with threads of history and story telling that draw the reader back to a harsh and mystical time in medieval European history where Kings, Queens, Emperors and Empresses rule, where Dukes, Duchess, Knights, Counts, Princes and Princesses are born and history is written. Sprig of Broom needs to be shared in movie format someday. We reviewed this book from a Kindle/PDF format and the review was completed on September 23, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcofeepress.com


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Sticking-Point-by-Susan-Whitfield 

Volume 5 In The Logan Hunter Mysteries Logan Hunter and Gabriel Farris “Crack” McCracken are both messed up, complicated SBI agents who can kick butt, but can Logan conquer grief and work alongside the gorgeous brooding agent she intends to despise forever?


Sticking Point by North Carolina Native Mystery Writer Susan Whitfield is her fifth and final book in her Logan Hunter Mysteries. Each book in stands alone, but starting at the beginning of the series will bring more clarity.

The author draws the reader into the mystery and into the lives of her well-developed characters. Reading Sticking Point will whet your appetite for more, however the author and I suggest that you read her entire series from start to finish.

North Carolina SBI Agent Logan Hunter is struggling to move forward after the death of her husband Chase and his child whom she was carrying. Work is the furthest thing on her mind when her supervisor Ken Poletti not only calls with a new assignment, but he teams her up with Agent Farris McCracken, “better known as Ass Crack”.

The investigation sends these two polar opposite agents to the small town of Beaufort, NC. It’s not just any case, it is the death of a high school teen named Bobby Purdew. Carteret County Coroner, Dr. Milton has ruled this a natural death and release his body for burial. Even though there is no evidence of foul play and the toxicology screen comes up clean, the agents not only wonder how this well-known school bully ends up dead.

It turns out that there are a lot of students, teachers, parents and members of the community who were uncomfortable and even afraid of Bobby. Then there is the whole issue of the punch dagger that Bobby wore around his neck and the Belladonna plant, sometimes called Nightshade.

I share with you a quote from the book to show the author’s writing style.

“I looked around the interior rooms on the first floor, taking my time to absorb porcelain antique dolls, many hats with gorgeous pins in them, doilies on the arms of every chair and sofa, and plenty of lace. No wonder McCracken was uncomfortable here. The only lace he’d ever been around was women’s panties, probably plenty of them. Women and panties. I took several deep breaths to calm my demeanor while noticing a young girl with a backpack overflowing with books, standing in the doorframe behind the woman. I followed Geraldine Moffatt-Gage to the stairs.
“Chelsea, why aren’t you studying?”
“I need some of Papa’s old medical journals for research, Gram.”
“Very well. Get them and don’t tarry.”
“Yes, ma’am.”
The proprietor focused her attention back on me. “Do you know Charity Grace Davis? She once owned The Carriage House a few blocks over.”
“Yes, she lives near me,” I answered.
“She and I were once rivals for tourists.” I detected a hint of terseness in her voice.
“She seems like a nice enough lady. I think she misses the bed-and-breakfast though.”
“I would imagine so. She had to tend to an elderly aunt, I believe, but she sold so quickly. Had she been more patient, she’d still own it. However, she was quite unsuited to direct a bed-and-breakfast, if you want my honest opinion.”
I didn’t. I had no intention of getting into Charity Grace’s business although she probably wouldn’t do the same for me.
“Agent McCracken is at the far end of the hallway, Agent Hunter. And again, I’m sorry for my bluntness.”
“Thank you.” I started up.
“Enjoy your meal,” she uttered with a slight wave of her hand.
I tapped on the door which was ajar, and eased it open enough to study the man at the bay window, his mind somewhere else, an empty glass tinkling in his hand. My breath clinched at his shirtless physique. The man was toned, tanned and….”

I invite you to join Agent Logan as she seeks answers in Bobby Purdew’s death and how to put her life back together. Will she find peace and perhaps love again?

Author Susan Whitfield is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Carolina Conspiracy, Coastal Carolina Mystery Writers, North Carolina Writers Network, and National Association of Baby Boomer Women. Susan’s historical fiction Sprig of Broom is due to be released in the Fall.

Cold Coffee Press Endorses Sticking Point by NC Native Mystery Writer Susan Whitfield. The Logan Hunter Mystery series: Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck, Hell Swamp, Sin Creek, and Sticking Point are all set in the beautiful state of North Carolina from the Ashville/Blue Ridge Mountains to the pristine beaches. She also authored Killer Recipes, a unique cookbook that includes recipes from mystery writers around the country. Slightly Cracked is her first women’s fiction, set in Wayne County where she lives with her husband.

This book was given to us to review in a PDF format. This review was completed on August 16, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcoffeepress.com


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300_Genesis_Beach_by_Susan_Whitfield 

SBI Agent Logan Hunter tracks a murderer at Genesis Beach, North Carolina. When the lifeless body of Rick Teater is discovered, Logan is thrust into a high-profile crime scene. The inexperienced intern needs to prove herself and embarks on a quest for justice. The search for Teater's killer is complicated by a hurricane and Logan's battle with personal demons. Her investigation comes to a frustrating standstill until her intense search leads to a shocking discovery.


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Just-North-Of-Luck-by-Susan-Whitfield 

SBI Agent Logan Hunter ends up just north of Luck, on the trail of a sociopath. Can she stop the bloody killing spree? In the mountains of North Carolina a high school custodian is found suffocated in plastic. A music teacher is beaten to death a few weeks later. Agent Hunter is already in the area working on another case when she’s assigned to help Madison County detective Chase Railey track down the killer. Logan rents a room in the home of art teacher Taryn Kosterman, in the community of Trust. Over the next few months she deals with quirky characters and frustrating dead ends. As she spends time getting to know Chase she also has a chance to experience some unusual local festivals, and her first taste of love. Murders of school system personnel continue and get increasingly gruesome. Evidence is hard to come by but soon Logan has enough to search the main suspect’s home. After a wild chase a mudslide dumps Logan and the killer into the French Broad River—only one of them will walk away…


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Hell-Swamp-by-Susan-Whitfield 

Agent Logan Hunter’s cast iron stomach and steeled nerves are put to the test in Hell Swamp, a place where snakes, skulls, and sinister secrets abound. Called back into action from her personal leave to track down a sadistic murderer, Logan travels to a location in the backwoods of North Carolina, not far from where she grew up. At Beatty’s Bridge, the familiar Greek revival mansion named, The Black River Plantation, now holds a crime scene beyond anyone’s worst nightmare: a gruesome mess with blood tracked everywhere and key evidence already obliterated. With the SBI seriously shorthanded, Agent Hunter has the daunting task of finding the killer on her own. She questions a strange assortment of suspects, including deer hunters, and soon discovers the seemingly harmless victim had numerous enemies. Which one committed the heinous crime?


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Sin-Creek-by-Susan-Whitfield 

A Gruesome murder leads Agent Hunter into wicked waters... The Cape Fear River snakes through eastern North Carolina, past the stunning port city of Wilmington. But there's a sliver of water called "Sin Creek" by some, where wickedness and decadence take precedence over decency. Logan Hunter battles evil on her quest to find a co-ed's killer and keep her marriage to another agent from falling apart. Even though she succeeds in finding the killer, the investigation changes her life in ways she never could have imagined.


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Slightly Cracked - by Susan Whitfield 

Sugar Babe Beanblossom and Daisy Marie Hazelhurst are lifelong friends, sharing happy and sad times, enjoying outrageous antics, and enduring hot flashes. When Daisy gets sick, Sugar Babe encourages and protects her friend, and DRIVING MISS DAISY takes on a whole new meaning.


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Killer Recipes - by Susan Whitfield (2nd Edition) 

Susan Whitfield joins with a variety of authors to offer Killer Recipes, a book of scrumptious recipes to help raise money for the American Cancer Society. From simple to elaborate, recipes range from Devilish Desserts, Insane Soups, Salads and Sauces, to Breads and Breakfasts to Die For, Criminal Bites, Dips and Beverages, Shameless Sides, Suck-ulent Main Dishes, and much more. Whip up Murderous Sour Cream Muffins, Meat Cleaver's Taco Dip, Evil Chocoholic's Pie, Illegally Easy Salad, Freaky Fried Apples, Perverted Pineapple Casserole, Guilty Greek Shrimp, Shotgun Chili, Murder by Potato, and more. A great gift for the cook who also loves mysteries. Recipes are delicious but not deadly.


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Susan Whitfield’s Published Books
Historical Fiction Novel
Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Women’s Fiction
Slightly Cracked
Cookbooks, Food & Wine
Killer Recipes