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A Pointed Death (Pointer Mystery Series) Paperback – August 24, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Reminiscent of the many mysteries featuring spunky female amateur sleuths that the New York houses used to churn out.


--Kirkus Discoveries

Russell has crafted a sharp, creative, and thoroughly-rounded character in Billingsley. --Foreword Clarion Reviews

This story is not just a murder mystery. It is one that wraps around business and the woes of a woman trying to move forward in this world. --Midwest Book Review

...a fun indulgent picaresque for a rainy weekend. --San Francisco Book Review

Nola is a refreshingly original sleuth: a woman who loves to shop almost as much as she likes to drink scotch, comfortable in her own skin, but haunted by her past, a feminist who embraces romance and sex. --Bostonia

From the Author

 I have tried to produce a good read for professional women to take along on those long, lonely flights. Although what I wrote is a light, irreverent story, it is set in a very serious industry that has produced enormous value, especially in the healthcare field.  A Pointed Death is intended as sort of a cockeyed tribute. I was privileged to work in biotechnology from the early days through a quarter century of amazing discovery and progress. Women were a part of this journey from the beginning, and it was not exactly a smooth road. I channeled these women when I created Nola Billingsley, and that is why she is spunky, witty, clever, persistent and unafraid. I want everyone in bioscience today to remember the pioneering females, not just the scientists, but the managers, bankers, venture capitalists, stock analysts, fund managers, journalists, lawyers, accountants, lobbyists and communicators who helped build a new industry.This book is dedicated to the entrepreneurial women of bioscience. While producing great value, you have kept your dignity and your sense of humor.
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Product Details

  • Series: Pointer Mystery Series
  • Paperback: 354 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1450563090
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450563093
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,617,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kath Russell is the mystery series pen name for Katharine A. Russell, who also has written a coming-of-age novel, DEED SO, and a children's book, BUDDY'S TAIL. The children's book was issued under the pen name, K. Anne Russell.

Russell enjoyed over thirty-five years in marketing and communications management in the biotechnology industry. She was an executive with Cetus Corporation, one of the first genetic engineering companies. Russell also was president of Russell-Welsh Strategic Life Science Communications, Inc., and founder and chief executive officer of an e-commerce company offering services for mature companion animals and veterinarians. Russell received her bachelor's degree from Northwestern University, her master's degree in journalism from Boston University, her master's of business administration from the Kellogg School of Management, and earned her certificate in creative writing from the UCLA Extension Writers' Program.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
A Pointed Death is a very well written, compelling mystery that brings together murder, corporate intrigue, bioscience, and one truly fine pointer dog named Skootch. In the interest of full disclosure, I must reveal that the author was kind enough to provide me with a copy of her book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I must also state that I have never given a five star rating to a first time author with a self published novel. This one is truly deserving.

I started this book with much trepidation. I know nothing about the biotechnology business or finance, two areas that play a large role in this story. For the first thirty pages or so, I was feeling a bit lost as the author seemed to be providing me with too much information. It wasn't long however until her characters of Nola, Janie Belle, and of course Skootch had me completely invested in the story. When Nola discovered a headless body that just happened to belong to a disgraced ex-employee, I was intrigued. When she met Harrison, fraud detective with caramel eyes, I was even more intrigued. When she started playing amateur sleuth and began discovering all the intricate threads that connected into a very ugly web of corporate and international crime I was totally hooked.

The author has a very readable writing style that flows well. She infuses her story with quite a bit of humour, often provided by Skootch the totally lovable dog. Nola is a fierce middle aged woman, often despairing of her current situations, but ever confident in her own abilities. She's a great character; a woman of intelligence and talent who steadfastly refuses to take herself too seriously. Her relationship with Harrison was very nicely portrayed in a way that added further unexpected depth to Nola's character.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Brennan on October 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
A Pointed Death is an entertaining caper with a unique peek into the world of biotech with San Francisco as the picture perfect location for Nola Billingsley and her pointer, Skootch, to hunt down the bad guys. Kath Russell takes us on a adventurous ride throughout the city's unique locations such as Fort Funston and Soma as she diabolically sets the stage for Nola to provide her unwelcome assistance in an on-going police investigation as she falls in lust with the investigating officer, Bob Harrison. As Bob continues to warn Nola not to interfere, Nola is intent on exposing the scheme of an internet company that is plotting to determine the future of China's population. Nicely paced, I couldn't wait to see what happened next. I live in San Francisco and work for a life sciences company so I really enjoyed the way Russell spun what could disastrously go wrong in the hands of people who want to play God. A must read for fans of the quick-witted thriller written by a welcome new writer to the genre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shirley Priscilla Johnson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
In this read we meet protagonist, Nola Billingsley. Nola is a very likeable woman, who lives in San Francisco with her adorable mother and her pointer dog, Skootch. Nola has had a bad run of luck with a business she tried to undertake. One of her employees embezzled large sums of money from her. As the story goes this same employee is found by Nola while walking Skootch one day in a park with her head cut off. What a way to start a day!
Nola is thrown deep into the investigation as the circumstances do seem rather strange that she would find the body. She meets and becomes romantically evolved with the detective on the case. Is that a good thing or a bad? You decide.
This story is not just a murder mystery. It is one that wraps around business and the woes of a woman trying to move forward in this world. Nola's business, social life, personal life with mom and dog, Skootch, and the murder are intertwined nicely. The author did an excellent job at blending all of these into the story. I liked the bits of humor and realism that the author adds. That made the characters touchable, if you will, and not just people on paper.The plot was well thought out and the locals very defined.
All in all a read I am sure you will enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By trainer on November 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoy mysteries and enjoy dogs. i wish there were more in this series. Sometimes the two together become dumb - dogs talking, etc. This had the dog being a dog. I loved it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen M. Charme HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 31, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
The author sent me a copy of this book at no cost to read as a top reviewer on Amazon. I am very glad that she did because this is one of the better debut novels that I have read.

The protagonist Nola Billingsley is a woman in her late forties living with her Southern belle mother in San Francisco, where she has been consulting for biotech companies before establishing her own dot.com venture. Her own business has recently failed, in part because of embezzlement by one of her employees, whose beheaded body she discovers in a park while walking her pointer dog Skootch. She develops a romantic relationship with the detective assigned to investigate the homicide, and bands together with an assortment of women and biotech geeks to discover why her employee was killed, and as the title suggests, also gets some help from Skootch.

If you think this turns out to be a silly story, you are dead wrong. The plot is creative, interesting and well structured. The story touches on timely scientific, business and political issues, and the ending will surprise you. The writing is fresh and crisp, filled with lots of wit and humor, and mercifully devoid of the clichés and sermonizing that often plague debut novels. The characters are real people who you get to know. The City of San Francisco comes alive with the author's skillful depiction of different places.

In many ways this novel reminded me of David Baldacci's Camel Club series and James Patterson's Women's Murder Club series. The reason that I gave it only four stars is because the novel tends to be a bit slow for a mystery thriller. Although it is informative, clever, and funny, the novel does not pay quite enough attention to developing the tension that is the hallmark of a good thriller. However, this author definitely has talent, and this novel does provide a good read. I look forward to reading the next novel in the Pointer Mystery Series
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