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Sharpe Shooter (Maycroft Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition
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The heroine of Sharpe Shooter is Deena Sharpe who has been a teacher for thirty years and is ready for something new and exciting in her life. As she leaves teaching behind and begins looking for a new career, one finds her. When her uncle's skeleton is discovered in a police locker, after he has been missing for over fifty years, Deena is presented with a brand new opportunity. Deena's grandmother, aunt, and uncle call on her to search for clues and find out what happened so many years ago. Deena is faced with many twists, turns, and surprises. Her dead uncle is accused of being an assassin among other things. Deena now has to find his old friends and try to find out the details of her uncle's life. She and her husband, Gary, and brother, Russell, quickly find themselves in several scary situations. This is a book that must be read for itself because if I tell you more, I would be revealing way too much and ruining it for you!
Sharpe Shooter: Skeleton In the Closet (Maycroft Mysteries Book 1) is a different level of mystery sleuth story written by Lisa B. Thomas with humor, no gory violence or unnecessary sexual content. I found Sharpe Shooter to be an entertaining read; it was not too long and the action was continuous. The good guys had charm, humor, likability and good sense. The bad guys were annoying, evil and looking for trouble. Together they combined to make the perfect mystery story. Sharpe Shooter: Skeleton In the Closet is for fans of the mystery/sleuth genre, both young and old. Don't miss out on reading this book!
Winner of the 2019 Reader's Favorite Gold Medal for Mystery/Sleuth Books.
"Love, love, love this book. One of the best mysteries I've read all summer and I've read a lot of them."
"The characters are flawed and fun. The plot has many twists. I recommend it for readers who want a good mystery without a lot of gore!"
"I like this because it had more meat to it than most cozy mysteries."
From the Author
- ASIN : B00UZLDFYW
- Publisher : Cozy Stuff and Such, LLC; 2nd edition (March 19, 2015)
- Publication date : March 19, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 933 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 218 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #468,602 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I was disappointed.
In a good way.
Author Lisa B. Thomas has crafted an excellent mystery novel with a heroine "of a certain age" who is wondering just what to do with her life now that she has retired - not entirely voluntarily - from her job as a journalism teacher. She gets pulled into a web of intrigue when asked to help solve a long-standing family mystery; one involving an uncle who disappeared without a trace a half century earlier. What she learns along the way is sometimes shocking but she perseveres even though there are times when she feels unequal to the task and other times when she isn't sure that she really wants to know the truth.
In Deena Sharpe, Thomas has created a very intriguing heroine. Deena is not a brash youngster out to save the world but a Fifty-something woman who keeps pushing forward even when she'd rather not because her desire to do the right thing outweighs her private insecurities. She is happily married and devoted to both her husband and her brother, a veteran who never fully adjusted to life as a civilian. She can be funny and she can be fearless but she can also be frightened and stubborn. She is, in other words, a fully fledged character and not a one-dimensional one.
Thomas has surrounded Deena with some equally interesting characters: Her husband Gary, brother Russell, two aunts who want to know what happened to their missing kin before they pass on, and an author who specializes in conspiracy books all help to keep the narrative flowing smoothly.
That narrative is enlivened by the author's descriptions of social life in the Dallas suburbs: The gossip sessions at the beauty parlor, the courtesy-laden push-and-pull of conversations over afternoon tea, and church socials at which information can be gently pried out of people all read with a degree of authenticity that anyone who has ever lived south of the Mason-Dixon Line will recognize.
The plot revolves around two conspiracies - one local and one with national implications. I won't say more about that because doing so would be unfair to readers and to Thomas but I will say there are some very interesting twists and turns that kept me glued to the pages of this excellent story.
"Sharpe Shooter" lacks the cuteness of what we generally expect when we read a cozy mystery, but it is not lacking in humor. (I especially like the scenes in which Deena meets former students whose names she can't quite remember.)
In short, this is a warm, well-written book with wonderful characters and an interesting plot authored by a writer who has a fine eye for detail and atmosphere. I have no qualms about recommending it highly.
For a self-published cozy, the overall story isn't bad. It's not great. But I've certainly read worse.
Just when I was thinking, "Wow, this isn't plagued with all the errors you usually find in these things", a few popped up. When I then saw that she's a retired English/Journalism teacher... That was disappointing. In fact, many times, the writing was...stilted? It didn't flow. It felt like a student's paper, not an author's work. So, it's a decent draft, and could be good with some work. It just doesn't have a consistent flow.
/* EDIT (5/6/2018): I've been thinking more about this and I think I know what feels off: It's written more from the standpoint of a reporter than a storyteller. Those are very different styles of writing. The writing isn't bad, it's just not spun by a good storyteller who can just draw you in so that you aren't conscious that you're reading a book - you become part of it. I think that's what's missing. */
And then there's the familial relationship mess. It was painful to get through the book. She starts off introducing (I've already forgotten his name & I just finished the book 2 days ago!) the victim as her second cousin, but she calls him "uncle". Right there, that seems odd to me. Maybe her family was brought up that way. But for Deena to call him uncle is one thing, but then other people in town to call him that? NO... The guy's not her second cousin, either. He's her first cousin once removed. And her "great-aunt" is a grand-aunt. The siblings of your grandparents are your grand-aunts/uncles, not great. Great-aunts/uncles are the siblings of your great grandparents. (Yes, I've done a fair amount of genealogy over the years.) Your aunts/uncles are your parents' siblings. It's really not so difficult. And, I think it would have been much easier for many people to follow if she'd used the correct terminology. Even just calling him "cousin" would have been realistic. It just makes the whole book clunky and awkward.
I made it through the book and then gave up very early into the next one because the "uncle" nonsense continued. I'm not going to suffer through a whole series of that.
If she fixes things and releases updates, I'll be happy to give the series another shot.
Oh - it's also confusing because many of the books I'd gotten said something like "Cozy Suburbs" series & then some had "Maycroft" in the title. I was thinking it was two different series. Apparently not. The names were changed, but no update for the books has been released, that I can find. So, that's a bit disappointing.
So, I can't really recommend the series with the whole convoluted family relationship mess.
Top reviews from other countries
Take one new deputy (trying to make a name for himself) and the task of clearing out an old closet filled with old cases. Add a teacher who values her integrity (enough to get fired), a skeleton and old conspiracies floated by a popular writer. Result the skeleton turns up to be male and not female as catalogued and is the former teacher's uncle who went missing 50 years ago. Is the author right and was her uncle part of the plot to assassinate Kennedy or will she find out different? Watch as she and her family struggle to find the truth.
Believable characters, good pacing, good plot, a touch of suspense and a puzzle that gripped until the end. Well written, and a good read for a lazy Sunday.
Faults? Maybe just a touch too cosy, and maybe could have had a bit more sparkle. On the other hand it did grip me to the end and in a genre where many of the books don't deliver, this stands out as one of the good guys.
Happy to recommend it.
I do intend to read the next one in this cozy mystery series, having thoroughly engaged with the characters and believed in the story. I'm looking forward to it.