Sunday, December 29, 2013

Book Review: Sketcher In The Rye

Sketcher in the Rye:
(A Portrait of Crime Mystery)

4th in Series
InterMix (December 17, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
E-Book Only

In her new job as a private eye, former police sketch artist Rory McCain has a spirited partner: Old West marshal Zeke Drummond. He may be a ghost, but when these two combine their skills, they reap justice…

Trouble has sprouted at Harper Farms. Top secret info has been leaked to the competition, and now there’s serious sabotage cropping up. So the farm’s beleaguered owner, Gil Harper, has called on Rory to dig up some dirt. But what Rory discovers raises a new field of questions…

Someone shucked Harper’s accountant and left his body in the farm’s corn maze. While Gil is quick to hire Rory to solve now not one but two crimes, the sketching sleuth isn’t so sure why the farmer wants her to focus her attention on his own family.

Regardless, Rory and Zeke will need to put their hands to the plow and solve this case before someone else is planted six feet under…

Review: There are too many reasons to love Sharon Pape's Sketcher In The Rye. It is a cozy mystery with a paranormal twist, and it is that paranormal side that really makes this book so fantastic.

It could be just like any other cozy mystery, with a female PI trying to solve a murder and the mystery of who is sabotaging Harper Farms. That would make for a fun cozy any day. But in this series, our heroine, Rory McCain, has a little help from a ghost named Zeke Drummond.

Sharon nicely blends the here and now mystery with flashbacks into Zeke's life for a fabulous read. Zeke really seems to be the star of the show with his antics at sleuthing and trying to protect Rory from harm, or at least from any guy she might try to date. I loved how the story pulled his past and Rory's present together towards the end.

The mystery was at times a bit slow, but the characters more than made up for it. I liked getting to know Rory's aunt Helene and I hope that Aaron might stick around as a love interest for Rory in upcoming books.

Overall, this was a nice light mystery. It is the 4th book in the series, but it can be read as a stand alone.

Rating: 5 flowers

sharonFrom Sharon’s Webpage:

I started writing stories as soon as I learned how to put letters together to form words. From that day forward, writing has been a part of my life whether it was my first attempt at a novel in seventh grade or the little plays I wrote for my friends to perform for neighbors and family. After college, when I was busy teaching French and Spanish to high school students, I was also writing poetry — some of it in French.

After several years, I left teaching to be a full time mom, and when my two children started school, I went back to writing. To my delight I found that the muse was still there, still waiting patiently for me to come around. My first novel, Ghostfire, was published at that time. It went on to be condensed in Redbook magazine (the first paperback original the magazine had ever condensed.) Then came The God Children and The Portal. Redbook also published my first short story, which was subsequently sold to several foreign magazines. With two great kids, a golden retriever and a loving, supportive husband (whom I’d met at the beach when I was fourteen — but that’s a story for another day), I felt like I was exactly where I was meant to be in my life. But fate had another plan for me, and it went by the name of “breast cancer.”

Looking back, I realize how fortunate I was that the cancer was discovered at such an early stage, but at the time it was all very overwhelming. Once I was back on my feet, I wanted to help other women who were newly diagnosed, worried and afraid. I became a Reach to Recovery volunteer for the American Cancer Society and went on to run the program for Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. A number of years later, with the help of my surgical oncologist and two other volunteers, I started Lean On Me, a nonprofit organization that provides peer support and information to breast cancer patients. When Lean On Me celebrated its tenth anniversary it no longer required as much of my time, and I once again found myself free to pursue my first love — writing.

Find out more about Sharon and her books here:

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Evelyn Cullet said...

Hi Sharon. Your novel looks interesting. I love to read cozy mysteries, and the ghost is a nice touch. Congratulations on the "Superb" rating.

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