Just A STILL LIFE
by J. Ivanel Johnson
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Pub Date 22 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 29 Sep 2022
In the simpler times of 1971, Inspector Philip Steele, recently transferred to Fredericton, takes a well-deserved holiday visiting his beloved, elderly godmother in her quaint village nestled in the gently-rolling Appalachians of Atlantic Canada. But when a bank robbery and the murder of a teenage boy initiate a string of even more shocking events which wreak panic in the quiet community, Phil must return to long days of investigation with his oft-misquoting, black sergeant Zareb Woodbridge, who struggles with questioning some of the more racist locals.
While Phil's godmother, P.J., secretly prepares her annual Harvest Moon Ritual to be used as a trap for the murderer, he himself has fallen in love with the accused: watercolorist Beth Grimball, enjoying new-found 'freedom' albeit in a jail cell. Phil finds he is not only urgently compelled to solve the crimes because it's his job, but to save the lives of those he has always loved. And those he has just begun to.
A Note From the Publisher
Her most recently-published fiction includes 2019's Iron Bone, a short story about coping with disability in the groundbreaking Nothing Without Us anthology by Renaissance Press, as well as works in other literary journals and anthologies.
"Just A STILL LIFE" is her debut novel, first outlined 75 years ago by her Ontario author-grandmother.
"Warm up the apple crisp and cozy up to a detective mystery that has been 75 years in the making." –BestThrillers.com
"She knows exactly how to tell a story with flair, humor and a whole lot of heart." –Phil Mellor, poet/author of The Dark Places of Lost Things
"A small-town murder mystery done up in style with fascinating characters and a twisty plot." –A.J. McCarthy, award-winning mystery author
"A rich, charming whodunnit with delightful characters." –Leigh Turner, British Diplomat-turned-spy/thriller novelist
"I was impressed at how the author skillfully includes issues of equality and discrimination as an ordinary yet unwelcome occurrence of the time and place, and includes a cast of effortlessly diverse characters. A lovely book, ticking all the boxes expected from the cosy genre." –Jinny Alexander, author of A Diet of Death and Dear Isabel
"This bold debut is a satisfyingly cosy crime and yet written with elegance and wit that elevates it above many others...The story flows at a fast pace and the high death toll does not disappoint the more gore-hungry reader, but as with the traditional golden age style, things don’t become too grisly." –Mairi Chong, author of The Dr Cathy Moreland Mystery Series
Average rating from 4 members
It’s 1970 in Victoria Canada and consulting national detective Philip Steele is taking a well-deserved break due to burn out. He goes to stay with the only family he has left and that’s his godmother .J.F. The ones quiet village has shut Anderson the local constable running around like a chicken with its head cut off no matter how hard Philip choice to stay out of it the powers that be insist he get involved. First it starts with the bank robbery then the local teen bully Oliver is found shot in the heart in the murders don’t stop there but what does stop his leads and Philip doesn’t know which way to go. They do however arrest a local teacher for suspicion of murder and after Philip reads her diary instead of thinking she’s guilty he thinks her funny can’t help but be attracted to her and his day only gets worse from there. I loved this book I hope they have more books with Detective Phillip Steele in them I love his partner Woody, his godmother in so many other characters they were wonderful and I am not a big crime mystery fan but I would definitely read the second book if this became a series. I love a mystery book with old fashion detective work and that’s exactly what this is and I highly recommend it. I received this book from net galley and the publisher but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.
This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, from Black Rose Writing and #NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity to preview and review. Opinions expressed are completely my own..
Great mystery with likable characters.