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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Book Tour and Review: The Eggstone Murders by Herb Smith



Title: The Eggstone Murders
Author: Herb Smith
Cozy Mystery

About the book: A thick-headed sheriff, a young, unsure, wannabe detective, and a savvy older criminal-turned-investigator, are only the beginning of the cast of characters included in this story of small-town life in southwestern Iowa, set in 1952.

Enjoy the storms, the intrigues and the mid-western hospitality – including the wonderful food – of Hillville, Iowa as its down-to-earth folks work their way through the dailyness of their quiet lives.  There are the murders, of course, which cause dismay, but the con-man turned detective, Guy, is able to resolve them after a few bumps, and the guilty are punished – or, as is sometimes Guy’s choice, forgiven.

As a whole, it’s a pleasant outing on an Iowa summer’s day.

My thoughts: I read this book in two sittings and it definitely fits the Cozy Mystery genre.  My first thought when reading it, was it reminded me a little of Agatha Christie - now keep in mind, I have only read And Then There Were None, so that is what I am comparing it to!  

It has a fairly large cast of characters, the first being Guy LaFevre.  This is not his real name, as he spent time in prison and upon getting out created a new identity for himself.  He then embezzled money from a company that was doing it's own embezzling and disappeared again before they were on to him.  So now he is Guy and living in a boarding house in Iowa.  He becomes friends with Caleb, a taxi driver who wants to be a detective.  Together they start an agency and before long are called in to go over the books at Eggstone Farms. Gordon Eggstone thinks someone is embezzling from him.  They do find a curious entry, but it is explained away.  Guy thinks there is more to it, but before they can explore it someone is murdered on the farm.  

Things get convoluted from there with the Sheriff asking for their help, but he may be involved with some of the suspects in ways that he doesn't want to come out.  Before it is over, the murders do get solved, and Guy does some creative justice of his own.

This was a nice change from the books that I usually read.  It doesn't have a lot of action, but there is a lot of studying human nature and just watching for things out of the ordinary.  If you like cozy mysteries, then definitely give this one a try.



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About the author: It has been my good fortune to live and work in schools and universities around the world. I started teaching in the California State University system more than thirty years ago, after a time working in secondary schools;  went on to Egypt and the Middle East, and finally to Argentina. It has been a fascinating series of events, from one adventure to another, and I loved nearly every minute of it.  (A few of the minutes were not quite so lovable for various reasons.)
Life as an expat lecturer and instructor led me into some unique and sometimes difficult situations, but my appraisal of the whole is one of  amazement that I was able to get to so many wonderful places and enjoy the life of the people there.  I taught English courses to students who had already developed strong skills in the language and was always happy to tell them about life in the U.S., as well as my appreciation of the life I led in their home countries.  I would gladly do it all again with only slight changes here and there.
A sustaining hobby throughout my life is music.  I am a pianist, organist, and composer with many years of experience in church music.  I found that wherever I went in the world, with the exception of Argentina, I was almost immediately working with a church, playing the services (usually on Fridays in the Middle East) regularly.  Music is one of my fondest dreams as well as a ‘forever’ joy.
I now live in Oregon with my wife of fifty years, Glenda, and we love the beauties that surround us here.  I will never tire of reliving the past, of course, either through writing or actually traveling, and any time I have an opportunity to return to Cairo or Doha or La Rioja, I am excited to go once again. (info from author's website)

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