Category: Murder

Dead Down East by Carl Schmidt

Posted May 2, 2017 by karenbaron in Crime, Murder, Mystery, Review, Series / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dead Down East by Carl SchmidtDead Down East by Carl Schmidt
Series: Jesse Thorpe Mysteries #1
Series Rating: four-stars
Published by Carl Schmidt on 5/25/2016
Genres: Crime, Humor, Mystery
Pages: 268
Format: ebook

Dead Down East, a fictional murder mystery, is both detective noir and smart screwball comedy rolled into one. Jesse Thorpe, a young private investigator operating out of Augusta, Maine, receives a mysterious phone call from a former client, Cynthia Dumais. She begs to be rescued from an island south of Brunswick, within a mile of where William Lavoilette, the governor of Maine, was assassinated the night before. She insists that her life is in danger, but is unwilling to provide any further information. Reluctantly, Jesse goes to fetch her.

Within a week, Jesse has three separate clients, each with his, or her, own desperate need to have the murder solved. He assembles a motley team of compadres, including rock band members, a tie-dye psychic and his rousing girlfriend, Angele Boucher, to help him with the case. While the FBI and the Maine State Police investigate political motives, Jesse looks for the woman—Cherchez la Femme—as the trail draws him through the lives, and DNA, of the governor’s former mistresses.

Fresh, witty and loaded with eccentric characters, this first novel in the Jesse Thorpe Mystery Series is both clever and stylish. It’s an old-school private eye tale with inventive twists and local charm. If you enjoy a well-crafted and zesty narrative, lively banter, or take pleasure in the company of Mainers, you’ll love Dead Down East.

I really enjoyed this book, Dead Down East.

I thought in my mind that it was going to be like Jessica Fletcher meets Sam Spade. However, it was not and I was completely surprised. I love the story, the mystery, the characters and their witty banter.

Our main character is Jesse Thorpe. Jesse is many things. He is a carpenter, a bass player in a local band, a fly fisherman, and a private investigator. He seems to stay busy. Jesse has lots of friends and a likable personality. Jesse is someone I would be friends with.

Jesse’s fishing vacation is cut short by a plea for help from Cynthia Dumais. Cynthia needs Jesse to pick her up and locate who killed the Governor of Maine, William Lavoilette.  Jesse agrees to do this task, putting himself in physical and professional danger. Cynthia is nice enough. She is a real estate agent. However, Jesse ends up with three clients who all want the same thing, him to find who murdered the Governor. Jesse must go through the list of the Governor’s mistresses. There had to be a cliché, why not use the politician? I actually thought this was a great resource to use.

My favorite character though was Angele Boucher. I loved her wit, confidence, her ability to go with the punches. She is extremely verbal about her needs, wants and wishes. She works for a law firm and has a professional side, yet she still cracks jokes and shows her feminine side. She and Jesse have a fun, wonderful relationship.

I believe this will become one of my top mystery series. I loved the noir references and the old school sayings. The portrayal of Maine and its personalities. I loved the femme de fatale references and the way the truth came out. Jesse and his gang of friends are smart and brave. I loved the red herrings, especially the way his friends made bets on who the murderer was.

My rating for this book is 4 stars.

If you love good honest mysteries, check out this series: Jesse Thorpe Mysteries by Carl Schmidt. The second book is A Priestly Affair is now available.

**Where to find Dead Down East **

** Goodreads **

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen


About Carl Schmidt

Carl Schmidt graduated from Denver University with a degree in mathematics and physics. As a Woodrow Wilson Fellow he studied mathematics at Brown University.

Carl lived and traveled widely throughout Asia for seven years, including two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines and five years in Japan, where he taught English.

Carl has spent dozens of summers in Maine, on lakes and in the woods. He chose it as the setting for this novel because he loves its rugged natural beauty and the charming idiosyncrasies of Mainers. He has also written and recorded three musical albums. This, along with his formal education, proved invaluable when molding the persona and voice of Jesse Thorpe, the narrator of Dead Down East, and endowing him with both a creative eye for detail and a sense of humor.

Dead Down East is the first novel in the Jesse Thorpe Mystery Series, which includes A Priestly Affair and Redbone. In 2001, New Falcon Press published his non-fictional book, A Recipe for Bliss: Kriya Yoga for a New Millennium.

Currently, he is a freelance writer living in Sedona, Arizona with his lovely wife, Holly, and their faithful German shorthaired pointer, Alize.

The Death of Anyone by DJ Swykert

Posted September 8, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Crime, Death, Fiction, Murder, Mystery, Review, Urban / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Death of Anyone by DJ SwykertThe Death of Anyone by D.J. Swykert
on February 25th 2013
Genres: Crime, Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 221
Format: Kindle

Detroit homicide Detective Bonnie Benham has been transferred from narcotics for using more than arresting and is working the case of the killer of adolescent girls. CSI collects DNA evidence from the scene of the latest victim, which has not been detected on the other victims. But no suspect turns up in the FBI database. Due to the notoriety of the crimes a task force is put together with Bonnie as the lead detective, and she implores the D.A. to authorize an as yet unapproved type of a DNA Search in an effort to identify the killer. Homicide Detective Neil Jensen, with his own history of drug and alcohol problems, understands Bonnie’s frailty and the two detectives become inseparable as they track this killer of children.

My take on the book:               Great. The Death of Anyone by DJ Swykert was different than with what I imagined it to be. I was reading it pretty faster than I did with most books. Mostly because I wanted to know who had killed the person at the beginning of the story.

The book was a good read but totally not what I imagined. By that I mean by the cussing and the whole thing that the characters’ kind of repeat themselves. They don’t do it often but when they do repeat themselves it makes me feel sad as it takes me out of the book. I had an idea about who the killer was and I was actually surprised that I was right about him.

The book is written in third-person point of view and it follows Bonnie. It also follows a few other people but mostly it’s Bonnie Benham. Mr. Swykert does follow the police procedure for the book and the lawyer stuff. Or at least I think so from what I’ve seen on TV shows. I know TV shows aren’t that reliable but that is what I only have for connections with the book.

Overall The Death of Anyone by DJ Swykert is a good book. Good enough to keep me guessing and thinking about the book. I am giving this book a four stars review.

Anyways until the next time enjoy this book review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove.

**Where to find The Death of Anyone**

** Goodreads **






About D.J. Swykert

DJ Swykert is a former 911 operator, and wolf expert, living in Northern Kentucky, USA. His short fiction and poetry has been published in: The Tampa Review, Monarch Review, Sand Canyon Review, Zodiac Review, Scissors and Spackle, spittoon, Barbaric Yawp and BULL.

Dead Money Run by J. Frank James

Posted February 24, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Adventure, Death, Fiction, Murder, Mystery, Review, Series, Thriller / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dead Money Run by J. Frank JamesDead Money Run by J. Frank James
Series: Lou Malloy Crime #1
Series Rating: four-stars
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on August 26th 2013
Genres: Crime, Fiction, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 280
Format: Kindle

Lou Malloy has just maxed out on a fifteen year prison sentence for the theft of $15 million and just before leaving prison he learns that his sister is brutally killed. As he is leaving prison, he's told to keep his nose clean or he would soon be back. As far as Malloy is concerned all bets were off until he finds his sister's killer. In the meantime, he has to fight off predators trying to get their hands on the money he stole and keep from being sent back to prison trying to protect those dear to him. He catches a break when he meets up with Hilary Kelly, a private investigator with an agenda of her own, She has been hired by the insurance company that paid on the theft claim of the money stolen from the casino by Malloy. In the course of events, Malloy and Kelly become more than just friends and Kelly decides to throw in with Malloy. Together they work to uncover exactly what happened to Malloy's sister and why. Their search involves a vicious gang led by a vengeful old man and his crazy son who has his own problems keeping his hands off other women. To make matters worse, Malloy and Kelly's search is complicated by the fact that Malloy's sister was really a special agent with the Department of Home Land Security and she was working undercover when she was killed trying to locate the whereabouts of special plates to produce counterfeit currency that if the plates ended up in the wrong hands, whole banking systems of major foreign countries could collapse overnight. As Malloy and Kelly race to find the killer of Malloy's sister, they enlist the help of Crusher, a pro wrestler who served in the cell next to Malloy at the Atlanta Penitentiary. The decision is made for Malloy and company to hit the same casino again that Malloy robbed fifteen years ago by a special ops unit of the Department of Homeland Security. The plan is complicated by the fact that the ops unit is phony setup led by a former agent turned rouge who is backed by another vicious gang with international contacts intent on getting their hands on the missing money plates. Malloy decides to go through with the heist of the casino a second time, but on a different schedule than planned. If they don't make it they have no way to return to the real world. They are in a make or break it race. Read as they race to the finish line and learn if this where the run ends or the run begins....

My take on this book:   Dead Money Run by J. Frank James was not what I excepted it to be. Lou Malloy is quite the character as we start off the book with him in jail. Lou finds out that his sister was murdered and he wants to avenge his sister’s death.

Throughout the book we see it in Lou’s point-of-view until we start seeing it in third person point-of-view about some things that we wouldn’t be able to see in Lou’s point. Lou is in interesting character because he spent fifteen years in prison for a crime that he did commit but wouldn’t tell anyone anything about when they wanted to know. Lou also just wanted to be able to spend his time, not killing anyone, with his sister and spending the money. That changed when he found out that someone killed his sister and he wanted revenge.

Throughout Lou’s journey in the book he does a lot (like really a lot) of killing, he finds someone to care about (something he never thought would happen to him), he discovered a lot about his sister’s life in the past fifteen years, and he kind-of-sort-of has a job now.

This is the first book in the Lou Malloy series. I didn’t excepted so many killings to happen, or there to be so many details about it. I did figure out who killed his sister, I think, a little bit before Lou did which is kind of cool. Or at least I suspected who had a hand in it.

I am giving this book a four star rating. Dead Money Run by J. Frank James was a good book. However, it is totally different from what I normally read. I enjoyed reading out of my typical genres for this story. So, if you like action, and don’t mind a little gore this is a good book for you.

Anyways until next time enjoy this book review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove.

**Where to find this book**

** Goodreads **



About J. Frank James

Frank James is the author of crime thriller novels. His crime fiction books are gripping and suspenseful with readers being unable to put them down once they get into them. Jim has a passion for writing, and he certainly has the knowledge and experience to write realistic crime thriller novels, thanks to his extensive background in law. Jim attended law school, where he was a member of the law review. He even went on to pass the state bar and started his own law practice that specialized in complex litigation.

Jim’s experience in law helps lend credibility to his crime fiction books. Not only that, Jim has traveled extensively and gains inspiration for his crime thriller novels from his travels. Some of the countries that Jim has visited include Peru, Brazil, Italy, Greece and countless others. From observing other cultures and gaining new experiences, Jim is able to infuse new life into his books and develop believable characters that readers can identify with.

At present, Jim has published four crime thriller novels. All four of his novels have the elements necessary of good crime novels that keep readers glued to the pages from start to finish. Although Jim’s crime novels are fiction works, they are exciting to read because of their authentic nature. They are written with the backing of Jim’s experience in law, so they are believable situations that have the readers wanting to find out what happens next just like they would in any crime situation.

They offer the readers just enough information to keep them guessing and trying to solve the crimes until the end of the books when they are actually revealed. Jim’s books are also fresh and unique takes on crime as well, though. They are not the same whodunit type books that have been done over and over again. By infusing his personal travels into his books, Jim creates characters and atmospheres based on just enough truth to be relatable.

Plus, Jim’s books have everything in them from robbery to prison to family. They have hard and soft elements simultaneously to really capture the life of a hardened criminal who is still very human and struggles with the same human emotions as the rest of society. At the same time, Jim gives the reader perspectives from private investigators to balance out the story.

Jim’s books even have a hit of romance when his characters come to care for each other as more than just friends. Then, crime and love mixes to create a dynamic atmosphere that is even more complicated than ever before since characters care not only for each other but for their other family members as well. Jim has an amazing way of incorporating various elements into his latest crime novels to create thrillers that readers cannot get enough of, which is perhaps why all four of his books so far carry on one from the other to continue the same story concerning the hardened criminal who did 15 years in prison, Lou Malloy and who comes to be his partner, private investigator, Hilary Kelly. The two of them go it together to create gripping stories that keep readers coming back for more.

An Open Book GP

Posted December 31, 2015 by karenbaron in Cozy, Death, Murder, Mystery, Review, Short Stories / 0 Comments

An Open Book GPAn Open Book by Sheila Connolly
Published by Berkley Books on December 1st 2012
Genres: Cozy, Mystery
Format: Kindle

National bestselling author Sheila Connolly presents a stand-alone story, only available digitally... After part-time librarian Sarabeth Dodson discovers elderly Edith Hathaway dead in a snowdrift in small-town Strathmere, Pennsylvania, she enlists the help of Police Chief Vanessa Hutchins to get to the bottom of the mystery. With no footprints around the body and no purse, what was the retired school teacher doing out in the middle of nowhere in the snow? The answer may have something to do with the library book Edith failed to return... Includes a preview of the first book in Sheila Connolly's brand-new County Cork Mystery series--"Buried in a Bog." Also includes excerpts from the first book in the Orchard Mystery series--"One Bad Apple"--and the first book in the Museum Mystery series--"Fundraising the Dead."

My Thoughts:        A startling short story. 4 Stars

This short story kept me entertained from the beginning paragraph. What a way to suck you in, especially since my favorite color is blue. The characters are believable and a little eccentric. The death is tragic but the conclusion is not what you would expect.

I liked the main character, Sarabeth and her friend the Chief of Police, Vanessa they make a good team. Vanessa is a little more laid back and keeps things to herself, whereas Sarabeth is nosy. Only in a small town could the suspect sip tea and explain the story in their own way while sitting in a comfortable sitting room, instead of a dirty police interrogation room.

I like the small town setting. Ms. Connolly writes about life in small towns exactly the way I remember it, everyone knows everyone and their business. When someone dies in an unexpected way, the whole town is abuzz.

All in all, a great short story, worth the time. I definitely recommend this to my friends who like cozy mysteries.

This is Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review a book for your site. ~Jen

**Where to find this book**

** Goodreads **



About Sheila Connolly

Connolly was born in Rochester, New York, and since then has lived in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, and Massachusetts. In 1972 she graduated with honors from Wellesley College, then earned a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Harvard University. When art history jobs proved elusive, she obtained an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked as an art historian, a municipal financial advisor for U.S. cities and states, a non-profit fundraiser for institutions and two statewide political campaigns, and a professional genealogist. She has included elements of all of these in her mysteries.

Connolly is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime, and is also a member of the steering committee for the New England Crime Bake, an annual mystery conference.

Currently she lives in southeastern Massachusetts, with her husband, daughter, and three cats.

(Info above from Wikipedia)

One for the Money

Posted August 23, 2015 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Adventure, Book to Movie, Chick Lit, Comedy, Cozy, Crime, Fiction, Murder, Mystery, Review, Urban, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments


One for the MoneyOne for the Money

Plot Summary

She’s going to get her man. Stephanie Plum (Katherine Heigl) is a bright, attractive, confident woman whose entire life has just taken a sudden turn – in the totally wrong direction. Newly divorced and recently laid off, the only work she can scrape up is a dead-end job at her sleazy cousin’s bail bond office. But when her first big assignment involves tracking down an on-the-lam ex-flame (Jason O’Mara), this tough-as-nails lady bounty hunter will be redefining the meaning of hot pursuit in this thrill-packed action comedy.

My take on this movie: So this would be my fifth or so time watching this movie. See this movie is really good. So off the bat I will say that it gets a rating of five stars but it also has it’s flaws. Most of the cast that was casted for their roles I never suspected. The person for Lula is awesome and the same for Grandma Mazur. But Morelli, Ranger, and Stephanie were not how I pictured in my head. Don’t get me wrong I love Katherine Heigl as an actress I just didn’t think that she worked well as Stephanie. But then again she is the only one that willingly went into a dumpster I heard so that is good enough for me.

I thought that this movie did really well especially for the first book in the Plum series but of course they didn’t advertise it well enough. Like how some of the other movies are in your face, this one wasn’t given the advertising like that at all which kind of made me mad. I mean this movie was good and it should have sequels. To me the only person that tried to put it out there was Janet Evanovich.

Oh well. This whole movie from beginning to end made me laugh and it was just really good. They did change some parts in the book for the movie but that is okay for me. I am glad though that they kept in the part where Grandma M shot the turkey that was really good. Everything about this movie is soo good and I don’t want to spoil any of it. If you haven’t seen it yet you should so totally go buy One for the Money and watch it.