Cover Image: Jack of Hearts

Jack of Hearts

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Member Reviews

I've read several books by this author and have always enjoyed everything I've read, so I was looking forward to reading this book. I must say it didn't disappoint. This book was easy to read and fast paced and kept me wanting to read more. I highly recommend this book.
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I am so late to this party. I had forgotten that I downloaded this book and just came across it on my kindle.
This is not my first Jack Stratton book but I do think it’s my favorite!  Here we find Jack, his girlfriend (hopefully soon to be fiancée) Alice and their dog Lady visiting Jack’s parents in Florida.  Naturally...because it’s Jack...something happens and Jack investigates to discover who is behind the thefts in his parents retirement community.  Once you start this book, you’ll find it hard to put down!  Definitely another fantastic read from Christopher Greyson!
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This is the sixth book in the Jack Stratton series. It is hilarious. A great plot and plenty of action to keep you entertained.
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The blurb for this says while it is book 6 it is also a stand alone. As much as I enjoyed it I think I did need to have read the previous books. Or maybe some background in America policing. The title says Detective, he used to work as a Sheriff; there's talk he's out of the game after being shot but yet everyone still calls him a policeman despite me reading that he wished he still was a policeman. So who on earth is he? Probably I'd find out if I'd read the previous books so I don't think it works as a stand alone. 

Apart from that though I really enjoyed this book. It's more cosier than I expected from the title and there's a lot of humour in the story as Jack helps his parents solve a string of crimes in their retirement home. It's fast paced. The characters are a lot of fun especially the old folks. I loved the sub plot in tracking down the details of Alice's parents death. It's an enjoyable romp and I really enjoyed it.
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Detective work, mystery, crime with an added flavor of humor makes this a great feel good novel. At times this reminded me of a slap stick comedy. Jack and Alice go to Florida to visit Jack's parents. The geriatric community is filled with a load of busybodies that will try anything to solve a crime. I highly recommend this light hearted novel.
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Part of the Jack Stratton series, this newest installment doesn't disappoint !
It is a stand alone novel that will make you want to read more about Jack.
He is forced to find a killer to save his family and girlfriend.  Action and Adventure.
Winning combination for all !
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This is book six in a series. I have a few of the others in my e-reading device, but this is the first one I have read. It's something I'd been missing! Amazing dog, fast pacing, and the story just sucks you right in. The struggle between good and evil had the right ending for me. This works as a stand alone, but I'm sure it's even better as a series! I can't wait to read more. 

My copy came from Net Galley. My thoughts and opinions are my own. This review is left of my own free volition.
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When I couldn't sleep last night, I picked up JACK OF HEARTS, the latest Jack Stratton mystery by Christopher Greyson. Though it was the first of the series I've read, it won't be the last.

Do yourself a favor. If you haven't read any books in the series, start with Book 1. Though the author provides all the necessary information to keep the reader informed on what's happened in the past, this series is truly serial in nature and events in this book build upon events in the previous books. That's not a bad thing. I just found myself wanting to know more fully how Jack and the rest of the cast of characters found themselves at this point in their lives. Whenever I find myself invested in characters to that level, it's a good thing. These are people you'd enjoy having a cup of coffee or spending an evening with at home or on the town.

Greyson crafts a satisfying mystery that takes place in the gated community where Jack Stratton's parents, Ted and Laura, live. Mysterious burglaries have taken place while Ted and Laura were in the Bahamas on a cruise they won playing bingo at the community center. Jack, his girlfriend Alice, and their dog Lucy arrive for a visit when Jack's parents arrive back home and immediately find themselves trying to solve the case. At the same time, Jack continues to track down information about the deaths of Alice's family that took place when she was young.

I received a copy of the book from the author through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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While an entertaining read, Jack of Hearts did not have quite the impact I was expecting.  It seemed more like an amusing interlude between his other stories than a solid mystery or thriller.  The 'thrill' was rather lacking through most of the story as it focused on Jack's romantic missteps and the elderly members of his parents' retirement community's bumbling attempt to solve a string of petty thefts.  It's not until near the end that the story seems to remember that it's supposed to be a mystery thriller and suddenly turns serious.  The sudden switch from comedy to sudden danger is a bit jarring.  Still, it is an amusing quick read.
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A fun who-done-it by Christopher Greyson. This is the first "Jack" book I've read and am glad I did. Jack, his girlfriend Alice and their dog Lady head to Florida to introduce Alice to Jack's parents. There's something not quite right in the retirement village where Ted and Laura live. Things are disappearing and people are mysteriously dying. Can Jack save the day as well as his parents?
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Jack of Hearts by Christopher Greyson is a mystery set in a Florida community.  Detective Jack Stratton takes his girlfriend to meet his parents in Florida. What starts as a vacation quickly turns to a case as his mom asks him to solve the mystery of the missing garden gnomes in their community.  Jack obliges and soon finds himself wrapped up in a much larger case.  This is the first book that I have read in this series and I found it difficult to understand the relevance of the story as a result. I believe I would have enjoyed this book much more if I had read the rest of the series.  I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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Excellent! I had not read the earlier books in this series, but will go back and remedy that now. The book feels a little like a "cozy," but with some very serious events. There is drama, emotion and humor, and I enjoyed this one very much.
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This book was not what I was expecting. I actually put reading it off for a bit because I wanted to read something a little lighthearted and I wasn't in the mood for a dark mystery, thriller type book. This book was very easy to get into and it was NOT a heavy, dark mystery. It reminded me more of a cozy mystery type book. Jack, his girlfriend Alice and their dog Lady head to Florida for a visit with his parents. They find themselves in the middle of a humorous mystery in which they are unwittingly drawn in. The characters are all likable, especially the dog! Even though there is some violence it still feel more like a lighthearted read than a dark and violent story. I did not know I was reading a book that belonged in a series; Christopher Greyson did a good job helping the reader get to know the characters and informing us about their back stories. I will most likely put the earlier books in the series on my reading list. Easy, quick and humorous read. (With a mystery thrown in.)
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Finally, a cozy mystery series with a male lead character. Jack of Hearts, by Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Christopher Greyson, is a cozy mystery that's not quite as cozy as usual. This was a quick, easy read with an intriguing mystery, some good laughs, and just a little romance that kept me turning pages on my e-reader late into the night. Jack of Hearts, published August 14, 2017, is the 10th book in this wildly popular series. I will definitely be reading the whole series as soon as possible.
 
Jack Stratton, a former police officer, and his almost-fiance, Alice, along with Jack's huge police dog, Lady, have flown to visit his parents in their small Florida retirement community. Expecting a relaxing vacation in the sunshine state, they quickly learn the timing of the visit is perfect for Jack to assist in solving a neighborhood crime spree -- and having Lady along is a big plus.
 
The crime events reveal one more method used to  scam retirees, but not to get their life savings. This one had an administrative employee connected to drug dealers and a small-time thief. The residents have named him The Orange Blossom Cove Bandit.
 
Along with a compelling story, Greyson introduces important topics such as the reason soldiers seem standoffish. When Jack has a close call he realizes the trauma experienced by soldiers seeing their friends and fellow soldiers die in combat, and reminds them at a deep level how fragile life is. He understands that becoming romantically involved with someone can mean emotional devastation if something happens to that person.
 
Through his characters, Greyson also touched on public health issues such as Jack's father's heart disease and the leathery appearance human skin takes on after too much exposure to the sun. As a public health educator, I find this method of disseminating information in every way possible to be brilliant. Kudos to Greyson for subtly slipping this into his narrative.

I loved this book. Cozy mystery lovers everywhere will love it, too.
 
 What Makes This Book Reviewer Grumpy?
  
Greyson's comments about retirement communities were a bit off the mark. Not everyone in these communities is elderly; many are active, healthy adults. Jack's father told him that one never knows whether a neighbor will be exiting his home alive. Also, Jack mentioned old men in bathrobes, and old women in hairnets gathering in front of one home after a break-in. Does anyone other than restaurant kitchen staff wear hairnets?
 
Also, the usual split infinitives, and Improper word usage:  loan vs. lend.

You can find me online as The Grumpy Book Reviewer.
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It is my first time reading a Jack Stratton mystery. I enjoyed the cozy nature of the story and I thought the characters were great. A little pinch of romance was included and makes this a book for multiple audiences. Lady, the dog, provided charm, chaos and humor to the entire situation. This was almost a one sitting read for me and it was a nice diversion.
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Well, it seems as if I've jumped into the middle of a series again. I have found that with most continuing series, the characters have gotten to know each other over time and there is a lot of background and insider knowledge that you might not get as a first-time reader. Rather like joining a sorority as a senior when all the rest of the girls have been together since their freshman year. You are just not going to get some of the jokes. 

        The question then arises, does this affect the story? Not in this case. Curiosity about the earlier volumes is certainly there but the tale itself hangs on its own. And I am certain that they all hang together! Feel free to criticize me for my bad pun. 

        This particular cozy mystery involves a not very gated retirement community in Florida. We know from the outset that a villain is on the loose and killing people. We know that he enjoys killing people and looks for excuses to do so. We also know he is under the iron thumb of his aunt. The main protagonists, however, know none of this and we get to watch them starting with a blank slate, trying to solve the mystery. I can see a separate string of mysteries featuring the book club detectives may be in our future.

         Things start out fairly calmly and cozily but toward the end the tension escalates dramatically. 
 Be prepared for swamps and 'gators, dogs and geriatrics (no children!), guns and garden gnomes.  And bingo.

Disclaimer:  I found a copy of this book on Netgalley and voluntarily chose to read and review it.
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An enjoyable light mystery novel that could easily be read in an afternoon. The characters were realistic and the storyline moved along without any hesitation. This is the first time I have read a Jack Stratton novel and after reading the brief descriptions of prior novels, at the end, I feel I would have had a better feel for the characters if I had read the entire series. This is not a criticism only an observation for my own benefit as the novel easily had a beginning, middle and ending.

I have rated this book 4 stars.

I obtained an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.
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Big thanks to Netgalley and the author, Christopher Greyson, for the advanced ebook copy in exchange for my honest review.

Do you like your thrillers with a side of comedy? Well, if you do, then Christopher Greyson's JACK OF HEARTS is the novel for you. Book 7 in the Jack Stratton series, but it does read well as a standalone.  However, I think the relationships between the characters (and more of Jack's background) would be fun to learn more about from previous novels.

Jack Stratton, former police detective, is heading south to Florida with his girlfriend, Alice, and unfortunately they're giant King Shepard, Lady. Not only does he have to deal with the stress of introducing Alice to his parents, but he's also anxiously waiting for her response to his marriage proposal. While visiting, his mother her neighborhood book club members ask for his expertise in catching a thief known as the "Orange Blossom Cove Bandit". His crime? He's been stealing the garden gnomes in the retirement community - and their peace of mind.

What seemed like an easy case to solve, has now taken a deadly turn. Jack now finds himself trying to catch a killer all while keeping his family safe, dealing with a disgruntled dog, nosy book club members, AND trying to win the hand of Alice. Will he be able to do it all and not have his heart broken?

This book definitely had a lot going on. That being said, it wasn't a bad thing. It didn't feel too cluttered as you were reading it. Sometimes authors try to pack too much into a story or plot and they lose the reader, but that's not the case with JACK OF HEARTS. Even though I'm behind a few books in this series, Greyson does a great job still developing the characters. If you aren't a fan of humor with your murder mysteries, then you'll probably want to keep moving. After reading a couple of these genre hybrids (TEN DEAD COMEDIANS and THE DRIVER) I've come to really enjoy them!

So, if you want a good murder mystery and comedy combined, then I'd highly recommend picking up JACK OF HEARTS, or any of the Jack Stratton series.

I give this one 4.5/5 stars!
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Jack Stratton Solves Thefts in a Florida Retirement Community

Jack Stratton is visiting his parents in the Orange Blossom Cove Retirement Community in Florida to introduce Alice to them. Jack proposed marriage before they left, but with Alice things never go as planned. 

When Jack, Alice, and Lady, their enormous dog, arrive in Florida the community is bedeviled by a series of thefts. Nothing of serious value has been taken, although the prologue hints at something darker. The residents are concerned and have formed a committee to catch the thief, known as the Orange Blossom Cove Bandit. Laura, Jack’s mother is so proud of him she told the committee that he will help solve the mystery. This generous offer leads to unforeseen complications. 

Jack’s parents, Laura and Ted, are impressive characters. They love each other and are very proud of their son. They’re also involved with the community and enjoy their amusing neighbors. The retirement community is peopled by a series of zany seniors. They are stereotypical of what people think of as elders, but they’re fun and add a light touch to the novel. 

The romance between Alice and Jack seems destined to go on forever as a never completed action. However, this book may surprise you. The atmosphere of love and caring surrounding Jack’s parents opens the door for a rather different ending. 

I enjoyed the book. The pace is fast; the retirement community scenes, well done; and the plot is full of twists. If you like Jack Stratton mysteries, this is one of the best. If you’re new to the series, it’s not a bad place to start. 

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.
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Jack of Hearts is marketed as part of a "Mystery Thriller Series", but to me this book is far more of a cozy mystery. We have the silly humor typical of that genre, along with characters whose behavior tends toward outrageous. I was expecting the touted "thriller", and so the silliness of the content threw me off.

The writing is good and the story moves along quickly. We're immersed in Jack's parents' world, with an aging cast of wannabe detectives. We go along with Jack as he investigates, untangling the mess and sorting the clues.

Honestly, I couldn't take much of this story seriously. I found myself doing the eye roll thing at some of the antics. Yes, there are humorous moments, such as an episode with an alligator, but it all seemed pushed to the extreme of plausibility. Much of the time I felt like I was chasing around wayward adolescents. 

Jack and Alice's dog, Lady, plays a big roll in this story. I love dogs, but, again, this was a little too much. Lady is enormous and, apparently, untrained. Jack and Alice, a professional couple, have a 120-pound dog yanking them around at will. Humorous, yes, but I wanted more maturity and responsibility from Jack and Alice. Take the dog to a trainer already.

Jack and Alice are supposed to be deeply in love, yet I felt nothing from them. Not a hint of romance, until one scene at the end. And absolutely no physical interest in one another. Are they ever intimate? I don't know, but they seemed to have a hands-off policy.

The villains in this story are too ridiculous to terrorize. I have no idea how they managed to get by as long as they did. The mystery behind what they were doing was really no mystery at all. Why they chose to do it the way they did was a mystery, and still is to me. 

So, yeah, I'm complaining. As you can tell, I'm not much of a fan of goofy cozy mysteries. Given the rave reviews, this series is much-loved, and this is just my subjective opinion.

I have not read the other books in this series, and this one reads fine as a stand-alone.
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