Legally Blind Luck (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
7th in Series
Independently published (April 15, 2021)
Gumshoe – A Next Chapter Imprint
Paperback: 295 pages
Digital ASIN: B08R347N84
Surprising new family members. A hidden talisman. Deadly curses. Murder. Months after tragically losing a loved one, Kellan learns his relative’s death wasn’t an accident.
Someone has discovered a cursed talisman, and a rogue government agent will stop at nothing to retrieve the heirloom. Unfortunately, it has already changed hands and found its way on campus. Moments before Braxton’s controversial art exhibition opens, Kellan stumbles upon another murder victim, and it appears he might be next on the avenger’s list.
Can Kellan protect the talisman’s true heir and prevent the killer’s nefarious plan? Given all the suspects have ties to prominent Braxton citizens, he’s uncertain whom to trust. Together, Kellan and Sheriff April are determined to solve the mystery – via legal means or blind luck.
I received an ARC as part of the blog tour and I am voluntarily leaving a review
This is part of James Cudney’s Braxton mystery series which are set on a campus. This is a prolific no. 7. I’ve read the first book in the series, Academic Curveball and must confess I haven’t caught up with all the others. That’s no reflection on James Cudney, (his writing is ace – that’s just because of my busy life.) I’ve also had the pleasure of reading all the books in his Perception of Glass series which I thoroughly enjoyed too.
James Cudney has a talent for writing family/murder mysteries, with wonderfully engaging dialogue, great characters, (my favourite is Nana D!) Nana D reminds me of my mother-in-law, a gutsy, energetic lady, who I remember still standing up swinging with gusto on the swings in her seventies. My mother-in-law has slowed down a bit now that she is in her nineties! Elderly folk are so interesting, they have so much back story, they make awesome characters and James Cudney captures that so well.
This is a little different from the first mystery I read as Kellan is sleuthing in the midst of a curse, (oh how I love a curse, ) which brings death in its wake. There’s the loss of Kellan’s uncle who has died in mysterious circumstances. Fortunately Kellen has help from Sheriff April (their relationship has become a romantic one,) to try to solve this case.
There is a lot going on in this book, a fair amount of detail about the curse and the talisman, new characters, so it’s one to keep focused on. This is fine to read as a standalone, but it is recommended to read the whole series to get a deeper insight and connection to all the characters. I enjoyed the dashes of humour and pacing which keep this tale fresh and engaging. It is choc full of well written dialogue and there is great conclusion at the end!
My recommendation: highly recommended for mystery fans. My rating: 4.5 stars
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About James J. Cudney
James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.
Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, mind, and body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels, and suspense thrillers. I conjure characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.
Reader & Reviewer
Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies, or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read two books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review, and post it on all my sites and platforms.
Websites & Blog
Next Chapter: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney
Spiritual Sisters: https://www.facebook.com/5SpiritualSisters