Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Deadly Row by Casey Mayes

A Deadly Row may be the first in a new mystery series, "A Mystery by the Numbers," but it's obvious that author Casey Mayes has written mysteries before.  And, I won't give away any secrets, but if you think about cozy mysteries and North Carolina, then check the copyright page, it's probably no longer a secret as to who Casey Mayes is.  No matter what name is used on this new series, though, it marks the introduction of two wonderful characters, Savannah Stone and her husband, Zach. 

Savannah quit teaching math to create number and logic puzzles, a job she loves.  And, she and Zach retired to a nice little place in the mountains of North Carolina.  But, Zach wasn't as ready as Savannah to settle in.  He was forced to retire from his job as police chief of Charlotte, after he was shot in the line of duty, and unable to work.  He's too young to sit at home so he frequently takes jobs as a consultant when police departments need help.  The chance to return to Charlotte and help in a murder investigation might have sounded interesting, but two people were killed, and it looks as if the mayor, the man who introduced Savannah and Jack, is the next target.  But, when the police department hired Zach, they didn't know Savannah's skills would be just as useful.

The killer has sent notes about the crimes, and on the back of the notes are numbers that seem familiar to Savannah.  And, when a picture of Savannah arrives, it only serves to make Zach and Savannah even more determined to investigate.  Who could get close enough to take that picture, unless it was someone the couple already knew? 

This first mystery has everything going for it.  Savannah and Zach Stone are an attractive couple who work well together as sleuths.  It's not far-fetched to have a professional in Zach, accompanied by his wife when he's on a consulting job.  At the moment, the series is set in North Carolina, but the job of consultant presents great opportunities for cases in other locations.  And, the side story about Savannah's family was an extra treat. 

I hope A Deadly Row marks the start of a series that will flourish, allowing Savannah and Zach to take consulting jobs for years.

Casey Mayes' website is http://www.caseymayes.com/

A Deadly Row by Casey Mayes.  Berkley Prime Crime, ©2010. ISBN 9780425236413 (paperback), 304p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - I have copies from both the author and the publisher.  They sent them in hopes I would review this book.

13 comments:

Kaye Barley said...

Lesa, I too enjoyed this one. And, really like Savannah and Zach. I look forward to more in the series. I seem to have a soft spot for mysteries set in North Carolina!

bermudaonion said...

Sounds interesting - this is set in my part of the country!

Lesa said...

Well, Kaye, I don't know why in the world you'd have a soft spot for mysteries set in North Carolina.

Probably the same reason I at least check out mysteries set in Ohio, Florida and Arizona, even if I don't read them all.

I liked Savannah, Zach & Savannah's family. (See, didn't even want to give anything away in the comments!) Liked this one, Kaye.

Lesa said...

And, Kathy? The author uses some actual locations, including a pizza place, in Charlotte. So, if you're familiar with Charlotte, I'm sure you'll recognize some of the places.

Sharon said...

Sounds like my kind of book!

Lesa said...

I hope you get a chance to read it, Sharon. I enjoyed it.

jenny milchman said...

What a great concept! It's hard to work in a novel profession in a mystery (the big 3, medicine, law, and psych are great but something original is a treat)!

Bev Stephans said...

My TBR pile grows ever higher, but I really want to read this book. I hope I'm not disappointed.

Lesa said...

And, this one worked well, Jenny, since she could accompany her husband on his trips.

Lesa said...

I don't think you'll be disappointed, Bev. And, it won't take long to read, so you can then go on to the next book on the top of the TBR pile.

Kris said...

Oh boy..another good cozy mystery series! I'll have to get my hands on a copy of this one. I have a feeling I know who the author is....I'll have to check out the website and see if I'm right.

Lesa said...

I'm sure you're probably right, Kris. And, it does mark the beginning of another good series, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

I cannot agree on this one. I would not recommend this book and will not read another in this series. I actually began to dislike Savannah and Zach early on in the book. Both are far too smug and self-congratulatory for my taste. Plus, the story is weak - too many things just pulled from thin air.