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The Sholes Key (An Evans and Blackwell Mystery Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Clarissa Draper
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.49
 
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Book Description

All across London, single mothers are vanishing. Margaret Hill, mother of two, walks out of her house and is never seen again. A month later, Carrie-Anne Morgans takes her two-year-old son for a walk in the park and disappears, leaving him alone in his stroller. Lorna McCauley leaves her London flat in the early hours of the morning to buy medicine for her sick child and does not return.

Newly-promoted Detective Inspector Theophilus Blackwell is assigned the case of Lorna McCauley that first appears to be a simple case of mid-life crisis and child abandonment. Elsewhere in London, MI5 analyst, Sophia Evans, is working undercover to catch an animal rights group responsible for targeted bombings. As Sophia's case (and her personal life) fall to pieces, she receives a strange envelope in the mail. It contains a picture of Lorna McCauley's lifeless face along with a daunting code.

Now the police and MI5 are forced to work together to stop the murders, and Sophia must find her way into the terrifying mind of a serial killer.

"Draper does a good job of balancing the heavy with the light...." ~How Mysterious!

"The characters are complex and I still don’t have Sophia totally figured out, but that’s okay because it makes for interesting reading. She sometimes does the unexpected and puts her foot in it, which is something many of us can relate to." ~The Reader's Suite

"After reading the first page of this mystery, I was immediately hooked, and I devoured the rest! Author Clarissa Draper has penned a wonderfully engrossing read with a fantastic cast of characters and a tightly plotted storyline. With plenty of twists and turns along the way, the novel kept me entertained until the very end." ~Marsha Moore, author 24 Hours London


Editorial Reviews

Review

I loved this book. I was hooked from the great prologue when we meet the killer. The characters are well drawn and thoroughly convincing, the writing is tight, the pacing is excellent, and the clever storyline kept me guessing right to the end. --British crime novelist Shirley Wells, Dead Calm

The Sholes Key is a no-business, take off running, kind of book. I don't think there is a single page wasted, a single word that is used incorrectly, and everything means something. You think a detail is extraneous and she comes back to it later and you think...damn, why didn't I see that? --Michael Offut, Slipstream

About the Author

Clarissa Draper was born and raised in Canada. She now lives in Mexico where she spends most of her time composing, planning, and writing code-based mysteries. Although she has written from an early age, she started writing full time in 2006 and is currently writing her third mystery in the Evans/Blackwell series.

Product Details

  • File Size: 463 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: WiDo Publishing (April 25, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007XU212K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,716 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sholes Key May 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Yesterday, having only just bought this book, I glanced at the first few pages - meaning to read it when I'd finished what I was in the middle of. I came up for breath three chapters later! My other books had to wait patiently as I dived back in.
What a ride! Clarissa has created such credible and interesting characters and a tightly wound, multi-layered plot featuring a spook, a detective, cryptic codes and several dead bodies.
Book one of the Evans and Blackwell mysteries, Sholes Key is set in present day London. As I read, it played out like a BBC series in my head and kept me guessing right up to the end.
I can't wait for the next book in the series.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Mystery Thriller That Kept Me Guessing May 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved the fast pace action and the characters. The clever code expert and the unhappy police inspector worked well together. Ms Draper kept throwing in a red-herring to keep me scratching my head. Scenes played out in my mind, and I felt frustrated when I had to put the book down.

A totally satisfying read.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent story, well-written, chilling May 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Crime fiction is one of my favorite genres, and this novel didn't disappoint me. I already knew that Clarissa Draper has a mind for crime details, and wasn't surprised the way she sustains the tension of the story through well-wrought characters and fascinating details of analysis and police investigation. The story is set in London where Sophia Evans, an analyst, is trying to decipher some cryptograms that is the key to stopping a serial killer. They all know he will strike again, and Sophia believes she might be his next target. With no time to lose, she has Detective Inspector Theophilis (Theo) Blackwell helping her. The characters are fascinating, the handling of multiple viewpoints excellent. The prologue is stunning, and sets the tone of the rest of the novel with its superb description and dialogue. Here is a brief example of the level of writing throughout the novel:

(The woman who is about to be murdered says) "I'm a good mother, I am. Taking care of Stevie alone is hard work. Never a break. Work and then home, no social life. I can't remember going to a movie above the rating of Universal." She laughed. "At least I have my books, eh?" She punched him in the arm. (The killer thinks) Why does she talk so much? Is she nervous? No need to feel nervous. Death isn't painful, only life is painful.

Superb description and dialogue propel the story forward. I was hooked from page one, and read obsessively as much as I could for two days. I was up until after midnight to get to the end. I highly recommend this book for lovers of crime fiction, and am so looking forward to this author's next Evans and Blackwell code-based mystery!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Wow! My head is still spinning and I'm totally creeped out by all the secret watching and spying. This was a great read. Fast paced and intense. I'm glad there will be more books with Blackwell and Evans because they reminded me of Anne Perry's Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series--just modern London instead of Victorian London--and I ate those up.

The characters were distinctive and believable. I felt for Blackwell and his loss and worried over Sophia's need to see the good in certain people. Draper unfolded the mystery at a perfect pace, but kept all the most important things a mystery until the end. Loved it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Key to a Great Read! June 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked everything about The Sholes Key, a solid, classic whodunnit with a modern twist by Clarissa Draper. The codes intrigued me. The interplay between the characters satisfied my emotional requirements. The author gives us several glimpses of both Blackwell and Evans, enough so we see them clearly for this story, yet leaves the door wide open for more with the next book in this series. For anyone who enjoys a good mystery, I recommend reading The Sholes Key.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
The Sholes Key is a real page turner. It's a book that reminds me of Whispers by Dean Koontz. I don't know if any of you read any Dean Koontz, but it has that same edge-of-your-seat thrill that I expect from one of his novels.

The Sholes Key takes place in London, and Clarissa immerses us in action pretty much from page one. Furthermore, I got so into the story that I actually felt like I was in Britain. The dialogue carries the accents that you'd expect to hear when visiting there from America. As a fan of James Bond movies, I really liked this. When I finished, I was so impressed with the book that I did a little research. I guess that this is a book that's part of a larger series, however, it easily stands on its own. I'm definitely going to pick up the others.

The Sholes Key is a cerebral read. Now as a reader, you might ask why would I say that? One of Clarissa's characters, Sophia, is a genius code-breaker. And the kind of code that she has to break in this novel is similar in difficulty to the stuff you see in Dan Brown's Davinci Code. And if she fails, the stakes are quite high. You see, there's a monstrous serial killer on the loose, and he's strangling and mutilating women. And just for your information, this book gets gory. If you don't like gore, you probably will be grossed out by the book. But it's written so well that you might want to chance it in order to read a thrilling novel.

As far as the mystery in the book goes, Clarissa is an incredible plotter, using numbers and codes, and hints to provide just enough information, that you feel compelled to try and figure out the puzzle. But when you can't (because it's hard) she does give you an answer at the end.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great edge-of-your-seat, mystery/suspense spy-thriller story.
There are lots of puzzles, twists and turns in this edge-of-your-seat, mystery/suspense spy-thriller story. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Michelle Wallace
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read
Enjoyed this book a lot kept your attention and so well written. You will enjoy reading this book. Give it a try. Darn good book

Penny Garrison
Published 2 months ago by Like this author
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good read.
Good book and really grabbed me with twists towards the end of the book. Enjoyed it. Will read more in this series.
Published 4 months ago by VIRGINIA CROWFOOT
5.0 out of 5 stars great story!
We'll told story and character development! Had a hard time putting this one down! Looking forward to reading more of this series.
Published 6 months ago by Drew P. Griffin
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid read
Enjoyable mystery with aspects of suspense. It took my mind off real world stress and allowed me to enter another realm.
Published 6 months ago by Pastor Kaos
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Wowed, but Recommended with Reservations
I was given this book as a gift, and have never read anything else by the author. Overall, I enjoyed the read, but there were a few things that stopped it from being a 5 star book... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars the Sholes Key
Interesting read….Wasn't sure where it was going… Had to keep going to find out who done it. Good filler book.
Published 8 months ago by Dove473
4.0 out of 5 stars Well crafted mystery set in London
Another well done mystery in the Blackwell and Evans series -- the first of that series I've read. Blackwell is a London DI and Evans works undercover for the Gov. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Sherry Landrum
3.0 out of 5 stars I really liked this book.
The mystery and characters were very well written and made this hard to put down. I'm going to look for the next in the series.tomorrow. Hope it is available now! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good characters; written well
A well-written book. The characters seem real and their stories are an interesting backdrop for the mystery. I would definitely recommend this book.
Published 9 months ago by Richard Bradley
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More About the Author

Clarissa Draper, a Canadian currently living in Mexico, spends most of her time composing, planning, and writing code-based mysteries. Although she has written from an early age, she started writing full time in 2006, and is currently writing her third mystery in the Draper/Blackwell series.

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