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Stacy Verdick Case

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A Grand Murder
by Stacy Verdick Case   

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Category: 

Mystery/Suspense

Publisher:  Before the Fall Books ISBN-10:  0983713707 Type: 
Pages: 

224

Copyright:  August 9, 2011 ISBN-13:  9780983713708
Fiction

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Stacy Verdick Case A Grand Murder Book Page

The first book in the Catherine O'Brien series.

  A Grand Murder is the first book in the Catherine O'Brien mystery series.

When a prominent local businessman and friend of the chief of police is murdered on the front steps of his posh Grand Avenue Hill home, Catherine O'Brien a pithy, vertically challenged, St. Paul, Minnesota, homicide detective with a monstrous coffee habit and her partner Louise are given two days to find his killer.

They soon discover their victim had a list of people with motives to murder him, including his fashion designer ex-wife, his mistress's husband, and the chief of police. The only evidence they have to go on is a missing cell phone, a stolen book, the victim's letter opener, and an ugly pair of Alpaca wool mittens.

Excerpt
Once again, we were in attendance at Stanley and Forster. After all the time we’d spent here in the last couple days, I was as comfortable in this office as I was in my own.

Even the ghost—pallid receptionist began to warm up a little. She greeted us with a cheery smile.

“Who do you need this time?”

“Philip Carter,” I said.

“You got it.”

She punched a couple keys and then said into her operator headset. “Mr. Carter, the cops are here for you.”

By how fast the operator ended the call, Philip Carter didn’t seem particularly surprised to hear that there were police waiting to see him. I think I might have asked what they wanted.

“Have a seat,” she said. “He’ll be down to see you in just a minute.”

“Thanks.”

“No problem.”

She retrieved a tube of lipstick from her purse and made fish faces in a compact mirror as she applied the diva—pink lipstick. Part of me wanted to know how much she got paid.

The waiting room was full of people who were now watching Louise and me like we’d just dropped our pants and peed on the floor. Cops are nobody’s friends until you need one.


Professional Reviews

TracyRiva.com
A Grand Murder a Kathy LaMee Review

A Grand Murder is a caffeine enhanced race through the upper-crust of St. Paul to find a killer. The story begins with the murder of a prominent business man on his own front lawn. At the bequest of their chief – a personal friend of the victim, Detectives Catherine O’Brien and Louise Montgomery are on the case. Armed with coffee and Louise’s distinct driving skills, they are on a mad dash to solve the case before the Chief comes unglued.
The story is fast paced, which I love and I never felt lost, which I love even more. Ms. Verdick Case has a fabulous ability to draw the scene and the characters at play in it. She made me laugh, cringe, get heart-ache, and want to shake someone – in all the right ways. I always had a clear picture of her characters and their reactions; Catherine’s cringing as Louise barreled her Prius through downtown St. Paul, for example. I fell in love with the characters and their personal lives as well. I was cheering all through the book for Catherine and her husband, hoping the job didn’t get in the way of their marriage. Mel, the security guard, was one of my favorite supporting roles. She has such a great sense of person and personality I found myself wishing she would pop up more often. Ms. Verdick Case also has a fabulous cast of suspects. She gives us reason to doubt or exonerate each one. The plot twists were well crafted and the red herrings dangled in all the right moments.
Overall I felt I knew too soon who the murderer was, basically because she was a little too helpful, which the detectives figure out toward the end. I will give Catherine this one though – they were under the gun, so to speak, to figure out the case. In future books I hope that she doesn’t fall so obviously for the helpful murderer trick. The plot was very familiar, which I don’t think is a bad thing necessarily, especially if you are looking to pick up a traditionally written women’s sleuthing mystery. I am a fan of getting what I expect. (As a side note, I also love Alpaca wool, and want a pair of the mittens!) I look forward to reading more Catherine O’Brien mysteries; I feel the characters and the author both have a bright future ahead.


Pearls Cast Before a McPig
A Grand Murder by Stacy Verdick Case

What is it about:
When a prominent local businessman and friend of the chief of police is murdered on the front steps of his posh Grand Avenue Hill home, Saint Paul homicide detective Catherine O'Brien a pithy, vertically challenged, St. Paul, Minnesota, homicide detective with a monstrous coffee habit and her partner Louise are given two days to find his killer.

They soon discover their victim had a list of people with motives to murder him, including his fashion designer ex-wife, his mistress's husband, and the chief of police. The only evidence they have to go on is a missing cell phone, a stolen book, the victim's letter opener, and an ugly pair of Alpaca wool mittens.

What did I think of it:
A very satisfying read.
The writing is decent and the plot engaging. It's got all the elements I like to see in a good murder mystery: a weird murder, lots of suspects with suspicious behaviour, red herrings, clues that are open to interpretation, and to top it all off, a quirky investigator who has to make sense of it all to catch the killer.
Catherine is a tough, but very likeable, lead character and her dry sense of humor makes this book not just a suspenseful read, but a funny one as well. Although the focus is mainly on solving the murder, Verdick Case manages to put in a small storyline that's about Catherine's personal life and that makes you root for her even more. All in all I really enjoyed this book and I'll certainly read more books in this series once released and if I can get my trotters on them.

Why should you read it:
It's a fun and suspenseful murder mystery.



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