Brilliant Disguise: A Charlie McClung Mystery (The Charlie McClung Mysteries Book 1)

  • Title: Brilliant Disguise: A Charlie McClung Mystery
  • Author: Mary Anne Edwards
  • Print Length: 333
  • Publication Date: January 18, 2014
  • Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Formats:  Kindle, Paperback
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery

Brilliant Disguise is the first of five mysteries in the Charlie McClung series.  Marian is a widow still trying to come to terms with her husband’s death some years before. As a result, there are very few people she allows to get close to her. One of them is Jodie and the other Dianne. One night, the neighborhood hears a loud commotion. Along with the rest of the neighbors, Marian goes to check. It doesn’t take long to learn that Dianne had been shot. Cause of death: suicide. Or is it?

Charlie McClung is a new detective in town and doubts the validity of the chief’s suicide claims. In fact, there are many things about the police department that are questionable. Being new, McClung doesn’t know who to trust, with the exception of a grieving widow next door to his victim. Together, McClung unofficially joins forces with Marian to figure out exactly what went wrong the night Dianne died.

Brilliant Disguise is a very light, fun read. It’s told in the omniscient point of view, which is my least favorite when reading. Personally, I prefer the third person and being inside the mind of one character at a time. It took some time for me to be OK with the first person, and I suppose after reading more omniscient POVs, I’ll get used to it. It just confused me at first, especially when the entire series is a “Charlie McClung Mystery.” But that’s just me. I still enjoyed the read. Because I tend to spend my time reading about (and writing) hard-boiled crimes and science fiction, this delightful cozy mystery was a refresher.

The characters are likable, although I disliked Dan, Dianne’s husband. I won’t say why in case I end up giving away too much to the plot. But Marian and McClung were fun to get to know. I felt Marian and McClung had great chemistry throughout the course of the book. There were a couple of parts in Marian’s grief of losing her husband that seemed to be too much for the purpose of the story. But I was glad to know a man entered her life to help her let go after ten years. And he’s Irish, at that, which scored major points in McClung’s favor. And a bit of jealous of Marian.

Above all, the story held at a steady pace. The mystery itself was sound. There was quite a bit of twisting and turning involved. I had no idea how it would end, although I had a few presumptions here and there.

Brilliant Disguise was aptly named. I recommend this book to anyone that’s a fan of mysteries and or clean romance. This is definitely one book I can see being played on the Hallmark mystery channel.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

*For more book reviews, click here.*

Biography

Mary Anne Edwards

Born in Mercedes, Texas, Mary Anne has lived in Georgia most of her life. A life-long fan of authors such as Agatha Christie, Anne Perry, Caroline Graham, and Elizabeth Peters, it wasn’t until a few years ago that Mary Anne decided to listen to the voices in her head and began writing her own series of traditional mysteries featuring Detective Charlie McClung.

The first book in the series, Brilliant Disguise, was released to critical acclaim in January of 2014. The next three in the series, A Good Girl, Criminal Kind, and Sins of my Youth were released soon afterward. The fifth book in the series, Flirting with Time, was released June 30, 2017. Mary Anne is currently working on the sixth book, Good To Be King, with at least four more to follow.

Mary Anne and her husband currently live in Smyrna, GA with an ill-tempered Tuxedo cat named Gertrude. Mary Anne is active in the Sisters in Crime Atlanta Chapter and sits on the advisory board of Rockdale Cares, a non-profit advocacy group for the developmentally challenged.

Interview with Steven James @readstevenjames

stevenjames-netI had the honor of interviewing national bestselling author, Steven James. He is known as the “master of storytelling,” and for a very good reason. Ever since I happened upon The Rook, book two of his Patrick Bowers Files, he’s been my favorite author.

I’d like to thank Mr. James from the bottom of my heart for taking his time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions.

*Originally posted on the other blog I’m affiliated with, Lit World Interviews*

1) What did you enjoy most about writing Curse?
In Curse, several new characters are introduced into the series. For me, since I don’t outline my books, it’s always exciting to see who shows up on the page and what they’re like. In this book, maybe my favorite character ended up being a girl who was blind. I consulted with a girl who’d been born blind, asking her what her nightmares are like since she has never seen anything. That journey and what I ended up including in the book was fascinating to me.

2) What do you like to read in your free time?
Even though I like to write thrillers, I tend to read more literary fiction, philosophy, and poetry, as well as books on the craft of writing. I still love suspenseful and scary stories, but lately I’ve tended to watch these in film instead of read them in books.

3) What are your hobbies?
I live near the Appalachian mountains, and so I love to get out to trail run or even play disc golf. Besides eating Cheetos, drinking coffee, and binge-watching on weekends, I like to play basketball with my friends and moonlighting writing poetry that will probably never end up in print.

4) Do you have a ritual you use while writing? (During commercials, certain music, etc)
I almost always write standing up. I tend to listen to trance or EDM. I do best working in long stretches, rather than working at a project here and there throughout the day. Give me ten hours in a row over 5 hours spread out throughout the day and I’ll be happy.

5) What is your writing space like?
My basement.

6) Do you have a favorite book you’ve written?
As far as novels, I think my favorite might be The Rook or Checkmate. I also wrote some inspirational nonfiction books, and I believe my favorite of those is called Story: Recapture the Mystery.

7) Where do you get your inspiration?
From everything. I’m always thinking of ideas, jotting down thoughts of dialogue on scraps of paper, receipts, notebooks. Typically at the end of the day, I have far too many ideas to write the next day, and it sort of keeps cascading like that. I keep thinking someday I’ll catch up, but at this rate, that won’t happen for another two or three hundred years.

https://i1.wp.com/breatheconference.com/home/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Steven-James.jpgBiography

Steven James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding thrillers continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base.

Suspense Magazine, who named Steven’s book THE BISHOP their Book of the Year, says that he “sets the new standard in suspense writing.” Publishers Weekly calls him a “master storyteller at the peak of his game.” And RT Book Reviews promises, “the nail-biting suspense will rivet you.”

Equipped with a unique Master’s Degree in Storytelling, Steven has taught writing and storytelling on four continents over the past two decades, speaking more than two thousand times at events spanning the globe.

Steven’s groundbreaking book on the art of fiction writing, STORY TRUMPS STRUCTURE, won a Storytelling World award. Widely-recognized for his story crafting expertise, he has twice served as a Master CraftFest instructor at ThrillerFest, North America’s premier training event for suspense writers.

Respected by some of the top thriller writers in the world, Steven deftly weaves intense stories of psychological suspense with deep philosophical insights. As critically-acclaimed novelist Ann Tatlock put it, “Steven James gives us a captivating look at the fine line between good and evil in the human heart.”

After consulting with a former undercover FBI agent and doing extensive research on cybercrimes, Steven wrote his latest thriller, EVERY CROOKED PATH—a taut, twist-filled page turner that is available now wherever books are sold.

If you’ve never met environmental criminologist and geospatial investigator Patrick Bowers, EVERY CROOKED PATH is the perfect chance to dive into the series and find out what fans and critics everywhere are raving about.

 

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