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A View to Die For [Kindle Edition]

Richard Houston
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (367 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
You Save: $8.96 (69%)
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Book Description

A Best Selling Cozy Mystery and One month on Amazon's top 100 Mystery List

The story is not your typical murder mystery. The sleuth is not a detective, private eye, or lawyer. He's an ordinary guy with an extraordinary dog.

Jacob Martin is trying to make the best of a divorce and mid-life crisis when he gets a call at two o’clock Sunday morning from his mother. His sister has been arrested for the murder of her fourth husband, and his father is near death. Thus begins an adventure that takes Jake and his golden retriever from their Colorado retreat to a backwater town in the Missouri Ozarks where they search for cold-blooded killers, a cache of gold coins buried by Jesse James, and the love of a beautiful nurse.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard is working on his third career. His first was as a carpenter and roofer for twenty years while working his way through college. With a BS in Math he spent the next twenty-five years as a successful software engineer by working on the Space Shuttle at both Vandenberg AFB, and Johnson Space Center. He then went on to start Master Mind SofTools where he developed software for fortune 500 companies. After taking early retirement in 2007, he moved to Warsaw, Missouri and built a home on the water with a view to die for. Richard now devotes his time to raising his great-granddaughter and writing. He is currently working on the second novel in the Jacob Martin series.

Product Details

  • File Size: 570 KB
  • Print Length: 253 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009NNL8EC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,943 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
150 of 171 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A book I really don't look forward to finishing... February 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm more than halfway into this book and really starting to dislike it and get annoyed. The caracters seem to be described only by their bad habits and I don't find them in the least bit amusing. The main caracter is in his mid forties and it seems to be humorous to describe how he can't hold his bladder anymore because of his age. Really? At that young age? But then it could be because of his lifestyle, which involves a lot of alcohol, breakfast and dinner at McDonalds. The book almost seems to be sponsored by McDonalds.

McDonalds food is also what he feeds his dog, and this is what I find the least funny, to read how in fact someone mistreats the dog that he supposedly loves.
Everytime he goes to McDonalds he buys a couple of extra burgers, with cheese cause the more salt the better, to feed the dog. The fact that he's broke, makes this even more stupid. The sister didn't finish her meal, at said fast food joint, and yes it was fed to the dog.
The one time so far he did make his own breakfast he burned a bagel, and, naturally, fed it to the dog.
What's even worse, he's constantly giving the dog beer and his sister gave him wine!

Then he goes out and leaves the dog in a hot car where it almost suffocates, as he also tells his sister later when he explains why he's leaving the motor running this time. This way the airco can stay on when he leaves the dog in the car as they go for fast food. Is this moronic behaviour supposed to make the 'hero' of the book more likeable or so?? It made me wonder if the writer has a dog that he treats the same way....

Now I really like dogs, as you probably get by now, but why does it have to be in every scene? Not of any use to the story, not doing anything interesting or funny, yet his being there is described.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ozark Murder Mystery October 31, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This is an exceptional murder mystery, with an unlikely hero, a canine sidekick, a sister as murder suspect, an assortment of odd characters, and much local color. Protagonist Jake Martin (nickname Porky) is an unemployed software engineer and McDonalds regular who gets by on odd jobs, drinks an enormous amount of beer, and suffers from a shrinking bladder and failing eyesight. He's generous, well-mannered, an aspiring novelist, and obviously smart--not exactly the hard-boiled sleuth one might expect in a mystery. He does not work alone. Always with him is Fred, his beloved golden retriever, the smartest dog since Lassie, who serves as a sort of assistant detective, early warning system, clue-finder, and ice-breaker. Jake comes to his sister's aid as soon as learns she's in a jam, suspected of murdering her husband in a black widow insurance scam. In the course of his investigation Jake is stalked, run off the road, hospitalized, and loses his vehicle, money, and Visa card. The murder motive is connected with the Jesse James lost fortune myth. His investigative techniques include surveillance camera sabotage, illegal entry, computer hacking, and violation of federal laws concerning personal privacy. Jake's job is to put together all the pieces. The book is well written and edited, fully polished and professional. The dialogue is realistic and differentiated by character. Jake and Fred make a fine pair of detectives. No downers and much wry humor. Altogether, this is a fresh take on the mystery genre and a splendid novel. Highly recommended.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it beginning to end, an easy book to recommend! January 22, 2013
By MartyH
Format:Kindle Edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and honestly didn't realize it was the author's first. The plot kept me interested from the beginning - no skipping paragraphs, which is a bad habit I have - and guessing right to the end. This is a big deal for me because I'm an avid mystery buff and pride myself in trying to tag the bad guy early on. I liked the main characters, especially Jake Martin (aka Porky), and found his dry wit charming, even if his good intentions occasionally caused him grief. Though I must say, after awhile I found myself thinking - "What Jake, McDonalds - again?!" As a lover of all dogs, I especially appreciated the banter between Jake and his Golden Retriever Fred. The characters are realistic and the dialogue well done, and not at all contrived. All in all an easy book to recommend, in fact I already have.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic First Novel October 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
In his first novel, Mr. Houston has shown an amazing adept for three facets of writing many struggle their entire career with: setting up suspense, fully fleshed characters, and believable dialogue. The story is a mystery/suspense in the purest sense, but Mr. Houston doesn't give us true detectives to solve the case. Instead, he gives us ordinary people caught in an extraordinary situation, people who must solve the mystery while they themselves are the prime suspects.

All in all, it is an extraordinary first effort: well written, well plotted, with characters who could be real. Kudos to Mr. Houston.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story to Stay Up Late For December 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This was a great story layered with plenty of dynamic ingredients. I really enjoyed the POV (written in first person), and appreciated that he was just your normal guy caught in the midst of a complex mystery well over his head. The writing was humorous and proficient, the relationships well-defined and enjoyable. The mystery itself was illusive until the very end, and so it was hard to put down for any length of time. The atmosphere was one to get lost in, and this story definitely had its hooks in me from the outset. Loved the mention of the Knights of the Golden Circle! I'll be looking for more from Houston!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like mysteries you must read this.
This is a good who done it. The characters in the book came to life. They could've been my neighbors. Read more
Published 12 hours ago by Kathy Wright
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed it
Published 2 days ago by Lesley Joubert
5.0 out of 5 stars Super read
This was a great read, can't wait to see the movie
Published 3 days ago by Edna Simmons Lozosky
4.0 out of 5 stars Many twists and turns
good book for people who enjoy trying to figure out who dunnits.
couldn't put it down had to find out what happened next
Published 3 days ago by dianna taylor
3.0 out of 5 stars A ho hum read
The plot dragged on and on with too much detail that did not add to the story line. It seemed as though the reader was faced with too many beers or coffee sessions. Read more
Published 5 days ago by joan dittmer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
it was an interesting and funny quick read.
Published 5 days ago by Karen Pilcher
4.0 out of 5 stars this one was really good. I really liked the fact that it had ...
this one was really good. I really liked the fact that it had a dog in it although I thought the dog did not have enough play in the book. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Diane Nielsen
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read
Had a good time reading this book. Fun characters , entertaining story.
Looking forward to the next book in this series.
Published 6 days ago by kennel girl
5.0 out of 5 stars stimulates the mind
I love a mystery. Especially when a dog is involved. Very entertaining. I can't wait to read his next book.
Published 7 days ago by Bobbi
3.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful dog but who would give it a diet of ...
The story got a bit confusing as it jumped from one episode to another. A beautiful dog but who would give it a diet of McDonald's. I struggled to keep interested to the end.
Published 7 days ago by Sylvia S Wilson
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More About the Author

Richard Houston was as a carpenter for 20 years while working his way through college. After earning a bachelor's degree in math he spent the next 25 years as a successful software engineer. Although he found success in those professions, he always dreamed of someday writing a novel. He honed that craft by taking every creative writing class he could. Somehow his poems and short stories usually had a dog as a major character. One in particular, Begging Not for Love, was published by the Mendocino Review.

Richard now lives and writes at his lake home in Missouri where he and his wife are raising their granddaughter and two dachshunds.

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