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A Village Shattered Paperback – November 13, 2008
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About the Author
Jean Henry Mead began her writing career as a news reporter/photographer in California, and later as a staff writer and correspondent for the statewide newspaper, the Casper Star-Tribune. She also served as editor of In Wyoming Magazine and Misty Mountain Press. While freelancing for the Denver Post's Empire Magazine, other articles were also published domestically as well as abroad. She has seven published nonfiction books, as well as two novels and has edited and ghostwritten a number of others. While serving as national publicity director for Western Writers of America, she established the Western Writers Hall of Fame, and wrote Maverick Writers, a book of interviews with famous authors, including Pulitzer Winner A. B. Guthrie, Jr.; Louis L'Amour; and Elmore Leonard. Visit her website: http://www.JeanHenryMead.com
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Top Customer Reviews
By Jean Henry Mead
Reviewed by Earl Staggs
This novel has everything amateur sleuth mystery readers want. First of all, there's no dilly-dallying around waiting for a crime to happen. A murder victim is discovered on the first page. When Dana and Sarah, two fifty-nine-year-old widows, arrive at their friend's house for a meeting of the Sew and So club in the Valley Retirement Village, the friend is dead. Real mystery readers also want protagonists they'd like to tag along with in the search for the killer. Dana and Sarah are like old friends of yours from the first chapter and you'll feel you're right there with them as they discover more Village victims, follow clues, and bicker as only bonded pals can do. You'll enjoy following the killer's trail hip to hip with them through each surprising twist and turn of this well-developed and smoothly written story.
Jean Henry Mead is one of those accomplished writers who can blend it all together - mystery, suspense, a compelling plot, real people, real situations, natural humor - in a story that will keep you guessing at the edge of your seat until the last page. . .and then leave you hoping there are more books with Dana and Sarah. Fortunately, there are two more in this excellent series: DIARY OF MURDER and MURDER ON THE INTERSTATE
"A Village Shattered" introduces Dana Logan and Sarah Cafferty, two spunky seniors who live in the Valley Retirement Village. Sounds peaceful, doesn't it? And it is until a serial killer begins to murder residents one by one and Dana and Sarah decide to try to find the killer before it's their turn.
Amateur sleuths Dana Logan and Sarah Cafferty take things into their own hands because in all likelihood, they're on the list and it won't be long before their numbers (or letters) are up. Newly appointed Sheriff Grayson doesn't seem to be getting anywhere in his investigation, and these two women know something has to break soon. Dana's daughter, Kerri, shows up and adds an extra degree of difficulty to the situation. The twists and turns in this story will keep you guessing until the very end. Who wants the members of the Sew and So Club dead, and what could these seniors have done to deserve this fate?
The characters in this story will endear themselves to you and you may wish you knew them in real life. The story is told with humor and heart, and I highly recommend A Village Shattered. I look forward to the next in this series.
This is what I did not like:
1) Unmarked transitions. One paragraph you're in the fog, in the next you're in the kitchen. At least put asterisks between transitions! Plus there are too many transitions, making the story jump around like a poorly edited film.
2)A thinly-veiled contempt for men. The men in the story are all despicable in one way or another, even the "good" ones.
3)A lack of knowledge of police procedure. A small town sheriff MAKING people double up in each others' homes? And a stretched police department assigning deputies to stay overnight in people's homes? There also seems to be no crime scene investigations.
4) People behaving stupidly. The story wouldn't have moved forward if all the characters didn't behave like blithering idiots and make completely illogical choices.
I was really hoping to like this story, and to find the San Joaquin valley in it. Instead I found a story where the fog was the only element of the San Joaquin valley that rang true. And even then, the residents didn't seem to know how to deal with it...believe me, when you live in fog four months of the year, you learn how to deal with it.
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