lunedì 23 novembre 2015

Review & Giveaway: Shadow in the Smoke by Jo A. Hiestand

by Jo A. Hiestand


GENRE:  British mystery



Janet Ennis tragically died five years ago in what the police labeled an accidental fire. But Janet’s mother, Nora, believes it to be murder and arson. And she’s hoping ex-cop Michael McLaren can prove it quickly, for she’s losing her memory to dementia.As McLaren pokes through the case details, he becomes emotionally involved with the dead woman. Yet, Janet isn’t the only person who threatens mental well-being. A series of arsons on his own property hint that he’s upset someone connected with this case.

Motives for Janet’s murder rise like the smoky tendrils of a fire. And, motive aside, the murder scene seems a bit too pat: a drought-stricken landscape eager to lap up flames, and a conveniently locked door barring Janet’s escape.

Will McLaren solve the case while Nora can still comprehend the resolution, or will Harvester’s plans see McLaren’s career go up in smoke?


My Review:

It 's a mystery really exciting, with so much suspense and action and a touch of romance. The story pulled me in from the beginning and I was definitely hooked.
Mrs. Ennis is desperate: five years ago she lost  her daughter, the investigation have argued that it was an accident but she is convinced it was murder. She went consistently at the local police station but no one has ever believed her. She knows that the former detective McLaren has reopened two cases of unsolved murders and solved them. Only he can help her. He would like to refuse, he is not a private investigator but eventually decides to help this old desperate woman. Investigations completely absorb him, can not abandon this case until has understood what really happened to Janet.
From the beginning I loved the detective McLaren: is likeable, smart, modest, thoughtful and very insistent, he does not give up easily.
This book was beautifully written, the pacing is smooth and even, the plot is intricate and full of suspense, the mystery is compelling and believable. A British mystery that recalls of the stories of Agatha Christie.
This was my first time reading a book by this author, and I can say with complete certainty that it will not be my last!
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a riveting story.



“So now you can pat yourself on the back, pleased that you rescued a little tearaway from a life of crime.”

“Oh, darling, it wasn’t that bad. You just took a wrong turn.”

“And you were there to keep me on the tarmac. Very obliging.”

“It wasn’t so hard. You always had the talent.” She took a sip of wine, watching Sean from over the rim of her glass.

It was hard to judge what was coming. It had been a risk, agreeing to talk to her in a public place, but the risk seemed less than meeting in a less frequented spot where they might be seen and remembered. And he didn’t want to go to her house or, worse yet, have her come to his. He eyed her, steeling himself, for even though he already felt manipulated, he had a suspicion she was about to drop a bomb.

Putting the glass down on the mat, she said, “All right. You want to know what this is all about. It’s simple enough. I’d like to know why you torched Janet’s artist studio right after you killed her.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jo A. Hiestand knew in grade school that she wanted to be a mystery writer.  But life got in the way: singing in a semi-pro folk group, traveling to New Zealand, working as a camp counselor, co-inventing P.I.R.A.T.E.S. (a mystery-solving treasure-hunting game), becoming a tour agent for a Scottish folk singing group, attending a citizen police academy and riding along with police officers…  But she needed to immerse herself in All Things British for her books.   England beckoned and she responded.

She bee-lined to Derbyshire, feeling it was the ‘home’ of her books.  Derbyshire also bestowed the essential English police contacts and transformed the St. Louisan into an Anglophile. 

She’s returned nearly a dozen times to Derbyshire, researching and photographing for her McLaren cold case detective novels.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis home.

Follow Jo and McLaren on these websites:



Jo A. Hiestand will award a McLaren-design tote bag AND a choice of a water bottle (McLaren designed) or a ceramic McLaren coaster tile (International giveaway) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 commenti:

  1. Good morning! Thank you so much for the nice review of my book, and thanks for hosting it today.

  2. Thanks for the day. I appreciate it.

  3. Great post! I really enjoyed reading the excerpt and your review! This book sounds like such an interesting, exciting, and intriguing read! I love a good mystery book and this one sounds like it fits the bill! Totally can't wait to read this book!


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