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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Summons from a Stranger by Debra Diaz

Blurb: Lindsey Sims is staying with her older sister's best friend, Rachel, while her parents are away on a trip to the Bahamas. Rachel Evans has received a mysterious letter from a man she's never met, but who is - in a way - part of her family. Lindsey accompanies Rachel as she reluctantly answers the summons, and is caught in a grown-up world of greed, jealousy, and attempted murder. It's more than she bargained for, but Lindsey is up to the challenge...and to discovering who is responsible for all the mischief. 

Reviewed by Dale

I'm back from a nasty cold and with some time to enjoy and share another great book. 

This time I wanted something very different. So delving through the shelves of freebies on offer I found this little gem. Summons from a Stranger by Debra Diaz.  A mystery in a classic Agatha Christie style setting. 

A large manor house, a butler (he didn't do it, but I did suspect him) the maid, and the vulgar rich. All bundled together in a claustrophobic house with a dying, bitter, patriarch.  A washed out bridge, electric storms and a pea soup fog all combine to build tension in the scene.

The writing is good, very evidently written by a women and not a man as the attention to details in some of the narrative parts are clearly more a women's taste than a mans. I know I need to know someone sat on a sofa, not how deep the stitching was or the upholstery clashed with someones french polish. None of this detracts from the book of course and if anything I would compare Ms Diaz's style to some of the Sidney Sheldon novels I have read. Much of this narrative does a great job in making you feel as though you were some silent observer standing in the shadows, watching, and listening to the events as they unfold.

The plot is well crafted, it takes a while to boil up but once the 'scream' starts of the adventure the pace is dramatic enough. Lots of red herrings and false clues make it difficult to piece together the best suspect. Always a sign of a well thought out structure. Again I take my hat of to mystery writers, its a challenging genre.

I kept thinking as I read that this story would sit equally well outside the Young Adult section if the main character were eighteen instead of fifteen perhaps. There is certainly no pandering to a younger reader here. So for all you boys and girls reading above your age go download a copy. For the eight to twelves of you out there, it might be a challenge managing all those characters and motives in your head. I found it difficult keeping them all straight in mine. So dont delay, its FREE so go add it to your library today!

Format: eBook
Available from Smashwords
Link to Download: Here
Price: FREE (at time of review)
Wordcount: 38,000 (appx)
Debra Diaz

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