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Murder on Potrero Hill (Peyton Brooks' Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

M.L. Hamilton
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)

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The fifth book in the Clifton Chronicles series, Mightier than the Sword, makes its debut February 24. Those not familiar with Jeffrey Archer may find his psychological thriller and first novel, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, an illuminating introduction to his work. Learn more about Jeffrey Archer

Book Description

Peyton knows the first suspect is always the husband, but Jake Ryder isn’t acting like a typical suspect. Jake truly loved his wife. So what went wrong?

Stepping into the circle of the social elite, Peyton finds that things work differently when you’re at the top. And Jake Ryder seems to be caught in the epicenter.

Ultimately, Peyton finds that you never know what darkness lurks in the human mind and that some will murder to keep that darkness hidden.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ML Hamilton has been teaching high school English and journalism in Central California for the last 20 years. Teaching students to appreciate literature has made her career rewarding; however, she always dreamed of publishing her own novel. In 2010, the dream came true. Her first novel, Emerald, was published by Wild Wolf Publishing. The sequel to Emerald, The Heirs of Eldon, followed the next year. In the summer of 2011, she published her first contemporary fiction, Ravensong, and Potrero Hill is her first foray into the murder mystery genre. In addition to teaching and writing, she has three sons, three dogs, and two cats. If she isn’t writing, you can find her at a band concert, a baseball game, or running an agility course with her Golden Retrievers, Cricket and Comet. Visit ML Hamilton at her website:

Product Details

  • File Size: 2697 KB
  • Print Length: 246 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (November 24, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00738TGPC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,909 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
125 of 131 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Flawed by legal inaccuracies February 2, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found myself liking this book in spite of itself, mostly because of a good pace and some nice character development. However, the book is seriously flawed by unbelievable behavior on the part of the police officers.

Throughout the first third of the novel, the police consistently violate the constitutional rights of the main character, against whom they have no evidence. Based on the supposition that the husband is the guilty party ninety percent of the time when a wife is killed, the police department mounts a campaign to get the suspect to confess by ruining his life -- taking actions such as freezing his bank accounts and disabling his bus pass, all without warrants. During this part of the book, the "suspect" is never charged with anything related to the murder, yet the police manage to get him fired from his job and destitute. Still, he never even consults a lawyer. I found it maddening that the author was so careless about basic rights known to virtually all Americans and about normal human behavior when confronted with circumstances that involve the criminal justice system.

It became impossible for me to warm to the police characters as a result. While I'm sure that there are some homicide investigators who just want to charge someone -- anyone -- and move on, I don't believe most in this country are as clueless and gullible as these characters, nor do I believe that in most jursidictions the police can actually take such actions without warrants. That's too bad, because otherwise the book had some positive aspects.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Once again, ML Hamilton has proven herself as an author. I love her "World of Samar" epic fantasy series and was interested to see how well she changed genres.

The story had me from the get-go. When Jake Ryder's wife is murdered he becomes the prime suspect. He sets out to prove he didn't do it. Meanwhile, the detectives are doing everything they can to trigger a confession.

I will admit that I knew who the killer was early on. However, that did not detract from the journey to uncover the truth. In the end, the plot twists were quite unexpected. I found myself reading into the wee hours of the morning. I just couldn't find a good stopping place.

The author did a phenomenal job capturing Jake's emotion. Part of the reason she succeeds in evoking the response is her proficient flashbacks into Jake and Zoe's life. You believe him when he says he loves her. His pain is palpable especially as heartrending secrets are revealed. As the noose tightens, you can't help but feel sorry for him.

The detectives, Peyton and Marco are likable and believable. They competently work through the case to uncover the truth. Though they have their minds made up, they are never careless in their efforts.

I appreciated that the violence was not gratuitous or gory. Additionally, the language was appropriate to the circumstances but was not offensive.

Overall this was a quick, enjoyable read. I look forward to exploring Peyton's character further in book #2.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed May 10, 2014
By Debbie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As I started this book, I thought I was really going to enjoy it but it seems to veer off course a few times which distracted & irritated me. The constant flirting (not reciprocated) between Det. Marco & Abe got a bit tiresome. And I don't like mysteries in which the police begin with the premise that the spouse did it & look at nothing or no one else. And to deliberately ruin Jake Ryder personally& financially because someone in authority ordered it made it apparent Marco & Broooks don't think for themselves. But for the investigative work of the suspect to prove another guilty, Jake would have apparently been railroaded to life in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Less time spent dwelling on Marco' s great looks & Peyton' s curly hair would you have been nice too. Won't be reading any more books in this series.
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52 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Well written but the Protagonists aren't very good people February 10, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a perfect illustration of why people mis-trust the police. From the minute these inspectors got the case they honed in on 1 suspect. Sure, most of the time a family member does it but NOT every time. These inspectors had no open minds until their suspect got the evidence for them. I'm sorry I bought all 3 books in this series as I don't think I can wade thru another Peyton Brooks adventure.

They cut off his money, got him fired from his job, voided his bus pass, and she even shot at him when he was unarmed and not threatening in any way. Is this how San Francisco really is? What about the Constitution and Presumption of Innocence. What about Due Process. All were violated with only I'm sorry by way of apology. Give me a break.

However, I think the author is terrific. Her writing is very well done and the book itself flowed nicely. I'll make sure the next one isn't a Peyton Brooks mystery.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars do not waste money on this book January 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
No way to rate lower. Detectives appeared to be untrained and incapable of the simplest detctive work. I will not purchase any more of this author's work
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RUSH TO JUDGEMENT May 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story had likeable characters and was a quick read mystery with several twists and turns. If you like a mystery that moves at a good pace and keeps you guessing then this is a must read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book! Easy to read and keeps you engaged. The emotions play well with the situations.
Published 11 hours ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
A good read. Good characters, good plot, good pacing. Captures the feel of San Francisco in its many faces. Hard to put down.
Richard, Sausalito
Published 12 hours ago by Richard Pavek
5.0 out of 5 stars The usual suspect
A lovely young wife is murdered. A drug is found in her system normally used in stroke victims which caused her to hemorrhage. An autopsy finds she is 3 months pg. Read more
Published 16 hours ago by Dene
5.0 out of 5 stars Drama & suspense
Very well written and difficult to put down. I enjoyed all the twists and turns till the very end. Masterful!!
Published 2 days ago by Jeanne Proulx
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Paced
Fast paced and left me guessing to the end. Great beach reading. Definitely deserved five stars. Looking forward to another Peyton Brooks Book.
Published 3 days ago by GKG
3.0 out of 5 stars Good writing
The writers ability to write are without question but the plot was completely predictable. I figured out who the murderer was within the first few minutes. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars would recommend.
Good reading. Would recommend if you like mystery. Like to read books with clean language.
Published 4 days ago by Jol
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book. Interesting.
Published 5 days ago by Dave Branson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
enjoyed from start to finish
Published 5 days ago by LESALIE
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it
Published 6 days ago by angela
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More About the Author

ML Hamilton has been teaching high school English and journalism in Central California for the last 20 years. Teaching students to appreciate literature has made her career rewarding; however, she always dreamed of publishing her own novel.

That dream came true. Her first novel, Emerald, was published by Wild Wolf Publishing in 2010. In the summer of 2011, she published her first contemporary fiction, Ravensong, and six months later, launched the Peyton Brooks' series. The Avery Nolan Adventures and Peyton Brooks, FBI are two new series launched in 2014.

Between teaching and writing, she spends her free time walking her two Golden Retrievers and reading. Visit her at her websites: or for more information.

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