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A Splendid Little Murder: Death on La Tempestad (Ed Lane Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Henry Simpson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A congressman’s lovely executive assistant is murdered on La Tempestad Island. Federal police assign a seasoned veteran, Inspector Ed Lane, to investigate. On a whim, he picks novice detective Miranda Bell from the Fish and Game service to assist. Lane and Bell examine the crime scene, question possible witnesses, and try to identify a motive and suspects. They find the island a wild west balkanized among cattle ranchers, throwback vaqueros, hunters, a pot farmer, and Grateful Deadhead custodians of a nature sanctuary. Their investigation is complicated by Bell’s unbridled curiosity, Lane’s chronic motion sickness, a charismatic Mexican Mafia leader, a deceitful congressman, a DEA agent with a J. Edgar Hoover complex, and a meddling reporter chasing a Pulitzer.


Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Key Terms: murder, Shakespeare's Tempest, wild west, vaqueros, politics, ecology, Mexican Mafia, marijuana, military, Santa Barbara Channel Islands, survival, Teddy Roosevelt

About the Author

Henry Simpson is a California native who lives in Monterey. He has spent most of his career as a research psychologist, engineer, and writer, and has served in the Marine Corps.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4421 KB
  • Print Length: 249 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008J4IU2E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,477 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would be better if it weren't flawed... October 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book would have been a lot better if the author hadn't lost track of his investigators in the middle and screwed up who did what. I hate when authors do that. This is especially annoying because it was relevant to the solution of the mystery, which makes the flaw pretty serious.

Better characterization and differentiation of perspectives would certainly be an improvement. Maybe other readers don't even notice the error because the perspectives are so similar.

But it was a decent enough quick-read mystery other than that.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars review for A Splendid Little Murder September 20, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Henry Simpson's debut murder mystery, A Splendid Little Murder: Death on La Tempestad, occurs on an island off the California coast, where a killer takes the life of a visitor. La Tempestad is no ordinary island for it's part ranch, part hunting preserve, and part hideout for the powerful, who come to enjoy themselves in private. Neither is the murder ordinary. It's the most serious crime there in decades for it's the death of young Congressional aide, Gina Raines. Her mysterious death triggers the rest of the story and brings on stage two main law enforcement characters, Ed Lane and Miranda Bell, both from the Federal Police.
Who killed Gina Raines and why? The two set off to find out, and there are plenty of suspects.
Did Congressman Alonso Duncan, despite being married, have an affair with his attractive assistant, and did that somehow lead to her death?
Could Vito Garza, a charismatic farrier and Raines's island riding companion as well as a parole, somehow be the culprit?
Or could Duke Stockton, married playboy and the ranch's chief executive officer, based on the mainland, somehow sneak onto the island and do it?
Was there an accomplice?
Then there are drugs, a mysterious boat docking at night, loading, then leaving the island.
A further plot complication for the two investigators is the discovery of two leases, pertaining to the ranch. Does this discovery matter to the murder, or is it just an interesting local tidbit?
These issues and the twists of the story keep the reader turning the pages. For Gina Raines's death is a tangled business, as many a murder is, that Lane and Bell manage at the end to untangle, thereby solving the crime.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Little Mystery August 27, 2012
By Carol
Format:Kindle Edition
A quick read about a serious subject. The mystery creates few surprises, but there are a few interesting characters. I would have preferred more detail about these characters and their relationships to add depth to the narrative. Some of the interaction felt contrived and lacking in emotional substance. The story kept my interest, but it would have been helpful to have more information about the various characters, It was difficult to remember how everyone fit into these loosely woven groups. It was fun to follow the detectives as they interviewed the possible suspects, and then to read how they shared the information they each gathered to discover the discrepancies from the various 'persons of interest.' I would recommend this book to someone who loves mysteries, and is short on time to read. This book was given to me for an honest review. I hope this is helpful to future readers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading, at least once... August 19, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I recieved this book free to review. It reads relatively fast, only a few areas drag a little. Dialect of the characters was well represented without making it difficult to decipher. It had the mystery with action and adventure to go along with it! The characters are kept a little thin, but what the author put in what was needed for the characters to be believable. I was a little surprised at the secondary crime in the book, figuring we were only looking at one crime, but it added a little more depth to the island. All in all it was a good read, and enjoyable relaxing book to sit and enjoy. Definately worth reading once, and maybe even worth a second read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book was not as good as his others. May 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The characters were too predictable and wooden. The plot was very ordinary. This book did not keep my interest up as Henry Simpson's others. I did not become a fan of his main characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars La Tempestad Island August 20, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Instead of giving a synopsis of the whole book, I would like to focus on the writing style of the author. What I enjoyed the most was the realistic dialogue of all the characters. For me, this is the most important aspect of a story. Simpson has a keen intuition and insight into real life people, how they speak, and their mannerisms. The setting and sometimes even the plot will not ring true if the players are shallow, fake, or unrealistic. Great character development is key to any great story, especially mysteries like this one. I will read more from this author and look forward to his future works.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Mystery September 18, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I received this book free from Freebooksy for my willingness to write a truthful review.

When I received this book I had not read any books by Henry Simpson. As of late, when I read a murder mystery I usually have it figured out in the first 5 chapters, and it was a pleasant surprise when that did not happen this time. The overall length and writing style was good. It was an easy, but descriptive read.

There where two situations in which I found it hard to suspend my disbelief.

1. Going for a run from one end of the island to the other, after midnight, with a murderer on the loose.

2. Getting on a boat, when motion sickness was an issue, with a person who was believed to be involved with the murder.

Even with those two issues the book was enjoyable to read. I would recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
Simpson is a good read. He keeps you interested. A good flow.
Published 2 months ago by Mvyer
5.0 out of 5 stars I have read every book in the series- I was ...
I have read every book in the series- I was totally involved in the story line and I am waiting for the next book to appear!

Barbara
Published 3 months ago by Barbara Golstein
4.0 out of 5 stars A so so novel
This writer needs to learn how to incorporate suspense into his writing, it could have been a good story, but it was so obviousl.
Published 4 months ago by Tom Fairfield
4.0 out of 5 stars A mistery
A very good story that keeps you guessing until the end. Very interesting what can happen on a small island.
Published 5 months ago by Brian R Curtis
5.0 out of 5 stars A Retro Island Mystery
As usual splendid characters. An intriguing plot with just the right amount of twists and turns. And how clever to have the story's setting on an island caught in the past. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Claudette Cleveland
5.0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Little Murder
I really like your characters and would like to see Ed find a companion, lonely guy! Maybe someone who can stay and work with him.
Published 5 months ago by Beth A. Alden
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story
Quite a good book. Reasonably well-written and enough depth to keep you turning the pages. A little drawn out and a touch of pro-environmental superiority, but worth the . Read more
Published 11 months ago by Bun
3.0 out of 5 stars NICE, EASY READ
Nothing complicated to frustrate you while you're trying to relax. Easy to remember who the characters were. Just not too exciting or memorable to want to recommend it. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Sylvia Banschbach
2.0 out of 5 stars Skip it!
This is a very superficial story, with weak writing and predictable characters. Too bad, I've read a few books by Simppson. I thought he was better than this.
Published 13 months ago by S. A. Calta
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Plot
The style of the writer is not the type I would normally read. The story line is good just the presentation is not what I like
Published 16 months ago by bigpapa
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More About the Author

Henry Simpson's fiction is character-based and deals with the personal lives and experiences of law-enforcement personnel, criminals, and average citizens. Common themes are human psychology, morality, social class, power, love, addiction, and character. Simpson grew up in Southern California, lived for many years in Santa Barbara, and currently lives in Monterey. He has spent his career as a research psychologist, engineer, and writer, and has served in the Marine Corps.

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