I can’t recall reading a series and I don’t tend to read a lot of mysteries so I thought I’d better remedy it. I’d seen this book across my social media networks and have read an earlier book by this author, Watching Glass Shatter (see my earlier review https://sckarakaltsas.com/2018/08/24/book-review-watching-glass-shatter-by-james-j-cudney/)
Academic Curveball is the first of the Braxton Campus Mysteries and is set at Braxton College in Pennsylvania. Single father, Kellan Ayrwick returns home to dutifully attend his father’s retirement function. Both of his parents work at his old college, and he discovers his father is embroiled in some political issues on the eve of his retirement. After the dinner on campus, Kellan discovers a dead body and reluctantly gets involved in trying to solve the murder. Throw in his feisty and cheeky, grandmother, an ex- girlfriend and another murder along the way and things get very interesting.
It’s a very enjoyable read with great pace. The murderer was not who I expected it to be and the twists and turns kept me guessing. The end was left on a high with a cliff hanger and of course, I just have to get the next book in the series to find out what happens. I’m glad I picked this one up and look forward to getting into the next one.
I’d heard about this book and the author, and when I saw it the other day, I just had to buy it. And no, it’s not on my list for 2018.
It’s another crime novel for me, (remember I only started reading this genre a few months ago) set in a fictitious town in coastal Victoria, Australia. I’m really getting into some truly wonderful stories. Resurrection Bay is no exception.
Caleb Zelic is a deaf man whose insights into people’s behaviour allow him to pick up clues when on the hunt for the killer of his childhood friend. As a private security investigator he works with his partner, ex-cop Frankie who has her own demons. All they have is the text message to Caleb from his dying friend. Caleb uses lip reading and facial expressions to communicate and is a master with body language. But he fails to see what’s going on behind his back as he stumbles headlong into danger. Along the way, he learns unpleasant truths not just about the people around him but himself as well.
From the first paragraph to the last, I was gripped by the authors writing. It’s fast paced and I found I had to slow down my reading to keep up with the many minor characters in the story. I loved the main characters particularly Caleb who refuses to allow his deafness to dominate his life. This is handled extremely well and gave a lot of insight into how deaf people deal with their environment. There’s a lot to like about Caleb and his vulnerability. I found myself flinching as I almost yelled out loud telling him to watch out. Luckily, I was in the privacy of my own lounge room.
No wonder it’s won lots of awards. It’s well written and a quick and easy read. Give it a go. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
Courtesy of Andrew Richards – Hamilton Island
Do you ever wonder where books go after purchase?
Some stay in their wrapping tucked away waiting to be read. Some sit on a bedside table or bookshelf in company with others. But a book can be lucky to travel to far off places.
Readers are letting me know that ‘Climbing the Coconut Tree’ is getting around and since publication earlier this year has travelled around the world.
The drink of the day in the late 1940’s in the tropics was gin and tonic. Readers in the Whitsunday’s certainly got into the ‘spirit’.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Richards -Whitsundays
Set in the Central Pacific, this historical fiction revisited ghosts of the past in Fiji where the murderer was tried and executed in 1950.
Last month it enjoyed the magnificent sights and sounds of Bali before relaxing on the beach. What a perfect location for reading about life in the tropics?
Courtesy of Sandra Goding- Bali
It made it to Byron Bay, too late for the Writers Festival but relaxed instead by the pool.
Courtesy of Susan Richards – Byron Bay
I’ve heard from sources that it’s been sighted in most capital cities in Australia, Colorado,Paris, London, Italy, Canada and Majorca.
If you would like to share a photo with me feel free to send it via my contact details.
Last night, nine ladies came together on a cold rainy night to discuss my novel, “Climbing the Coconut Tree”. As the author, I accepted the invitation to attend. I stood tentatively on the threshold of the house in Carnegie wondering what response I would get; if they had liked it; what sort of questions they might ask or even if they had read the book. Then I heard their animated chatter and laughter – it reminded me of my own book group of which I have been a member for almost twenty years. We meet every month and read books that we might never have chosen ourselves. There’s nothing better than talking about a book with others.
I was warmly welcomed and introductions were made. Penelope told me that she knew Jody a mutual friend and the ice was broken. The coffee table was covered with wine glasses, and a generous cheese and biscuit platter. The host, Lynnie had thoughtfully scattered bowls of coconut M&Ms (who knew they existed) and Bounties to provide a thematic background for the novel. Her only regret was she was unable to serve an appropriate cocktail like Pina Colada. But she made amends with a generous serve of hummingbird cake covered with cream cheese icing – delicious.
After glasses were filled and nibbles munched, the catch up chatter quickly turned to what we were all there for. Most had finished the book and were armed with great questions. Thankfully, I could answer them all. Here are sample few-:
Q. What is phosphate used for?
A. It is used as a component in fertiliser and after the second world war, demand by Australian and New Zealand farmers was high.
Q. Who lives on Ocean Island now?
A. Ocean Island is now known as Banaba and apart from a couple of hundred indigenous Banabans, it lies abandoned. It belongs to Kiribati which is the poorest nation in the world and itself suffers from rising sea levels creating ecological refugees for parts of their population. They are a two-day boat trip away from the capital of Kiribati, Tarawa and since there is only one supply boat a year they must be self-reliant.
Q. When did the mining stop and what happened to the infrastructure on the island?
A. Mining stopped in 1979 and the roads and buildings now lay in ruin. Many buildings contained asbestos so this now adds to the ecological problems of the island.
Q. Do you think that the person accused of the murder was rightly convicted?
A. Initially I had my doubts but after reading the murder file and examining the evidence, I was satisfied they caught the right person.
Q. What drove you to write this story?
A. After reading my father’s letters recounting his life there, I realised that this was a part of Australia’s untold history. But I was even more compelled when I discovered a letter written by one of the murder victims. It was almost as if the victim was reaching out to me from the grave to tell this story.
Q. Will you write another novel?
A. Yes. I am still continuing to learn the craft of writing and am presently working on a collection of short stories. I am also conducting research on another historic novel.
I asked for feedback and we discussed the characters, life for women in 1948, mental health; the racial and industrial issues and so much more. Thankfully they had all enjoyed the book. Of course there were many more questions and the evening flew by.
Just after ten o’clock, Melinda announced that she had to go – a tap was leaking and a flood crisis needed to be averted. Dates were agreed for the next get together and farewells and thanks were made. Then I ducked out into the rain.