Monday, February 11, 2019

Photo Shoot Review Tour

Michael McLaren returns home from working a cold case in Cumbria to learn that he’s missed his uncle’s wedding in Scotland.  Angry and fearful that his absence has re-opened the family rift just as it’s healed, he drives to the ancestral home, hoping his appearance and explanation will be accepted. He’s more than welcomed. His uncle asks him to investigate the murder of his first

Fiona Lennox was found in a rowboat on a Scottish loch, shot to death during a late night photo shoot. Why would she rent a boat after dark? Did she take it out to photograph the moonlight on the water? She could’ve done, being a professional photographer, but she was also a proponent of civic and environmental causes, which she documented with her camera. Did someone linked to one of her crusades kill her, or was the motive personal?

As McLaren uncovers layers of Fiona’s life and the reason for her nocturnal outing, he and his family are targets of intensifying attacks. But it’s not until he races against a kidnapper’s deadline and the threat of a loved one’s watery death that he realizes who killed Fionaimplications that are as deep and dark as the Scottish loch.

Water runoff coursed over the stones and soil, throwing back the light from his torch. His shoe came down on a slick patch of moss and he nearly fell. He righted himself and grabbed onto branches and boulders as he pulled himself upward, calling his grandfather’s name. A pine bough bounced as he gripped it, and showered him with its collected raindrops. He shook his head and panned the light along both sides of the trail.

He paused near the summit, and called his grandfather’s name. His breath scratched his throat and exhaled in white puffs that quickly dissipated in the wind. The air held the odors of sodden leaves, pine, and wet stone but brought no sound to him other than the rain striking the ground and the rustle of the trees. Some other day, some other occasion, he would’ve stopped to enjoy it, but this was not the time. He trudged ahead.

As he neared the summit, a flash of lightning pulled the clan monument out of the darkness, silhouetting it against the night sky. He nearly jumped, for he had no idea how far he’d hiked. A second flash seemed to prod him up the last few yards, and he stepped onto the hilltop.

He swung the torch beam over the ground as he walked around the area. He cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled again for his grandfather. A sound answered. McLaren stood still, trying to hear above the thunder and wind.

My Review:
4 stars

While this book is the 9th in the series, it works as a standalone as well, though after reading this one, I want to read the remaining books in the series. 

This was a fun mystery that kept me guessing until the end. I enjoyed the characters, and McLaren in particular was a fun protagonist. In addition, I loved the author’s descriptive writing style. I felt like I was in Scotland while reading this, even though I’ve never been. All in all, if you’re looking for a good mystery read with plenty of intrigue, I recommend giving this series a try.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British.  Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folksinging stint.  This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Peak District mysteries and the McLaren mystery series.

 Jo’s insistence for accuracy--from police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the area--has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research.  These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis-area home.

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  1. Good morning! Thank you for hosting the tour today, and thank you for such a nice book review for PHOTO SHOOT. I appreciate both!

  2. Sounds like a great read.

    1. Hi, Rita. I hope it is a great read, ha ha! ;-) Good luck with the raffle drawing.

  3. I love the excerpt, thanks for sharing :)

    1. Hi, Victoria. I'm glad you like the excerpt. It's a dark and stormy night and McLaren's searching for his grandfather... Thanks for your comment!

  4. I shall slip away to slumberland now. Thanks to Emily for hosting the tour stop today and thanks for a lovely book review. Also, I thank all who stopped and commented -- good luck on the raffle drawing!

  5. Thanks so much for the review!


  6. Congratulations on this great review! The synopsis and excerpt are intriguing and I'm looking forward to reading this story.