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

4.2 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Length: 336 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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: 699 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: WiDo Publishing (April 25, 2012)
  • Publication Date: April 25, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007XU212K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #684,126 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very good U.K. mystery that is tastefully done (you will see what I mean when you read the story). U.K mysteries are all story and no extra frills, which is why I love them. From start to finish you have the mystery. This book is even better than Poirot, in my opinion, as Poirot always has the side tidbits which have no use to the story.

The story is very well written. It is concise and easy to read and understand. It has many twists and turns, so you will be glued to the book from start to finish. Every time I thought I figured out who did it, next page, turned out I was wrong. I just love books like that. Police work must be a bit different in the UK because the different departments actually were getting along and being co-operative. Wow! Now that is a novelty compared to the U.S.

The characters are very believable. As the story unfolds, you will get to know them better and better. You will find yourself relating to each of them. My favorite is Detective Blackwell. He is a courageous and righteous man. When you read the story, you will see why.

This is a really great story. I can recommend it for mature teens on up. All will love it. No sex scenes, if this worries you. There are some murders, so I would put it to a mild violence level.

Hope you enjoy the book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was entertained by a different kind of heroine: a beautiful and brainy cryptanalyst-mathematician. Inspector Blackwell doesn't stand out though. However, I look forward to reading the next book in the series featuring Sophia.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are lots of puzzles, twists and turns in this edge-of-your-seat, mystery/suspense spy-thriller story.

The two main characters, a code breaker named Sophia Evans, who works as a cryptanalyst for M15, and an unhappy detective named Theo Blackwell, are thrown together during two different investigations. One deals with bombings which involve terrorists who belong to a violent animal rights group. The other deals with a serial killer who targets single mothers.

I love stories which contain coded numbers/words, but admit that for most of the story, the codes went over my head (I don't think I concentrated hard enough)
However, I enjoyed the details and the logic with regards to the manner in which Ms. Evans tries to break the codes. There's also an unexpected surprise at the end, when the reader learns that all along, our code breaker failed to recognise the code, which was part of her daily life.
I look forward to reading more of Ms. Draper's stories!
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