Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: A Welcome Murder

Summary: Sent to prison for seven years, he is finally released in 1991. All he wants to do is return to his hometown of Steubenville, retrieve the drug money he stashed before he went to jail, and start a new life where no one has ever heard of Johnny Earl.

However, before he can leave town with his money, Johnny is picked up for questioning in the murder of Rayce Daubner, the FBI informant who had set him up on drug charges in the first place. Then his former prison cellmate shows up—a white supremacist who wants the drug money to help fund an Aryan nation in the wilds of Idaho.

Five memorable characters, each with a separate agenda, come together in this layered tale of murder, deceit, and political intrigue. -- Seventh Street Books

I just love it when I discover a new-to-me author. It opens up a whole new world for me -- I think avid readers totally "get" what I'm saying, right? I recently read the novel A WELCOME MURDER by Robin Yocum, and boy oh boy is it ever good! It probably is one of the best mysteries that I've read in quite awhile, and I'm not the only one who thinks this. A WELCOME MURDER has received starred reviews from Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus. So if my opinion doesn't quite get you there, then maybe those reviews will!

A WELCOME MURDER tells the story of Johnny Earl, a small Ohio town high school sports star. Unfortunately, those years were probably the best of Earl's life. He thought he'd end up a professional baseball player and certainly not the drug dealer he ended up becoming. He has now served his time and just wants to collect the money he hid before he went to jail... and start a new life.

However (and this is a big one), Earl is a suspect in the death of Rayce Dauber, the man who squealed about Earl to the FBI. It seems like Earl's plan will be delayed, and things get even more interesting when Earl's former cellmate (and white supremacist) wants Earl's drug money to help start a new Aryan nation!

A WELCOME MURDER is more than just Johnny Earl's story; however, the mystery of who killed Rayce is really the heart of the novel. There are four characters besides Earl who actually tell this story in alternating chapters, and they are all fantastic (and truly memorable) characters. This novel has it all -- mystery, intrigue, and humor; and the writing is just terrific!

I loved A WELCOME MURDER... and will be checking out Mr. Yocum's other books. I was definitely impressed with his writing style. It's sharp, smart and totally hilarious at times; and I appreciated how he captured the essence of each character's voice. The characters told their version of events, and it was especially funny when their versions was directly at odds with each other.

One of the best things about A WELCOME MURDER were the characters. Oh my gosh! These characters were horrible -- one more despicable than the next. They were all pretty selfish and certainly had motives for wanting Rayce dead. I just had to laugh at the complete moral depravity of most of them. Everyone seemed to have an angle, and some just played it better than others!

A WELCOME MURDER was primarily a mystery and a very good one at that. The story revolved about the death of Rayce, and I honestly had no idea who was responsible for the murder. There were lots of twists and turns and a very clever ending. In addition, the pacing of the book was outstanding -- it was pretty much "unputdownable!" I truly appreciated that things weren't exactly resolved at the end of the book. I don't want to give too much away, but let's just say that not everyone ends up figuring out the truth. This little town certainly has its fair share of secrets!

In conclusion, I loved A WELCOME MURDER. It's mystery writing at its finest. I highly recommend this book to fans of mysteries!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

Wow, I can tell how much you loved this book!