Frozen Stiff Drink marks Book #6 in James J. Cudney’s Braxton Campus Mysteries—a series I (and many others) are quite fond of.
Before providing a taste of this delightful whodunit page-turner, I feel compelled to compliment Jay on his progression as an author. His writing style—first-rate to begin with—keeps improving with every book. The wry humor is wonderful. Descriptions/details are enough not to overwhelm (or bore) and enable readers to vividly visualize persons and places. And the repartee between characters is also deserving of praise.
In Frozen, Kellan Ayrwick, the protagonist, deals with a newcomer on the security scene, an arrogant fellow—the not-yet-ex of April, the woman he’s dating—named “Fox” (and he certainly seems as wily as one). Meanwhile, the not-too-well-liked Hiram Grey is murdered. Once again, there’s an assortment of suspects and, to complicate things, Grey’s murder is but the first. Hampton, Kellan’s brother, falls under suspicion when his father-in-law (and founder of the firm where he works) also enters the realm of the deceased. The intriguing plot has numerous [fun] twists and turns that has us surmising throughout.
Oh, let’s not forget our favorite granny, the sometimes biting but lovable Nana D, who also happens to be mayor of Wharton County. She goes missing during a fierce snowstorm and Kellan, understandably frantic, attempts to find her. Does he? You’ll have to pick up Frozen Stiff Drink to find out.
Kellan’s adorable eight-year-old daughter, Emma, and his ward, Ulan, travel to Disney Land with Kellan’s parents. Enter ex-wife Francesca, a woman with ties to the mob (you’ll have to read the other Braxton Campus mysteries to learn more), wants her daughter back. So not good.
If you’ve been following the series, you’ll find several familiar characters—some likable, some not. Hey, that’s life. And if you’ve not yet had an opportunity to read any of Jay’s books, I recommend starting from the beginning, because it’s always nice to see how characters, and writers, develop.
The entertaining, keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat Frozen Stiff Drink deserves a five out of five. Park up your feet, grab a beverage of choice (a glass of a lush, full-bodied rioja would be an ideal choice), sit back . . . and savor!
For those who don’t yet know Jay, he is a truly amazing and industrious soul (who also happens to be an awesome, supportive person). With a technology and business ops background under his belt, Jay not only serves as author, but blogger, reader and reviewer, and genealogist and researcher. Impressive, to say the least.
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