Tribute Books: “A Sporting Murder” by Lesley A. Diehl Book Review/Giveaway

By Ruth on July 23, 2015 in blog tour, book, giveaway, review
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banner3578Lesley A. Diehl’s Bio:

Lesley A. Diehl retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida–cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office. Back north, she devotes her afternoons to writing and, when the sun sets, relaxing on the bank of her trout stream, sipping tea or a local microbrew.
EXCERPT

When I arrived at Sammy’s airboat business, I saw the boat was gone. The parking area was filled with cars and women stood in line in front of the tiki hut. Grandfather Egret was behind the counter, holding court with stories from the past that the women seemed to find entertaining.

I waved at him as I got out of the car. He returned the wave but continued on with his story. I walked close enough to hear. Ah, he was telling about the time he captured a couple of kidnappers. I smiled. I’d been in on that caper. The version he was telling his audience was a bit exaggerated.

“There she is,” he said, pointing to me, “the woman who helped me take down those bad guys.”

In the distance I heard the airboat. As Sammy turned the boat toward the landing I could see it was full. Something was going on. Business was booming.

The women waiting to take the tour turned their attention to the boat’s arrival. I overheard one of them say to another, “Wow, he’s even more handsome than we heard. Look at those muscles.”

Grandfather Egret came out from behind the counter.

“What’s going on here? I couldn’t get through to Sammy’s cell, and it looks as if you’re chock-a-block full with customers,” I said.

“It’s your doing. You sent us that group of women from the coast yesterday, and word has spread through West Palm, it seems. We’re all the rage with your wealthy lady friends.” Grandfather’s impish smile said he liked being surrounded by all these women as much as he liked taking their money for tickets.

Grandfather addressed the waiting customers. “If you’ll just step to one side and let them off the boat, you can find your seats, and we’ll be off again.” He directed them down the path toward the landing, where Sammy was refueling the boat. Sammy looked up and saw me and waved. He set the gas cans down and started up the path. When he got to where I stood, he put his arms around me and hugged me close. The women watching swooned in envy, and I almost lost my footing as he lifted me off the ground and spun me around. Wow.

“I haven’t seen you much lately.” He set me back on my feet and held me at arm’s length. “You look good.”

“Is he your boyfriend?” asked one of the women.

Before I could answer, Sammy nodded.

“Sammy,” I said so only he could hear. “What are you saying?”

“You could be my girlfriend, you know.” He gave me a roguish grin.

“Alex might protest.”

“Yeah, but he’s not my worry. You are.”

Sammy was in a mood I’d never seen before—flirtatious, something I didn’t know he did.

“What’s got into you?” I asked.

“Oh, I don’t know.” He looked around him, at the sky and then the river beyond the landing. “It’s a beautiful day, and I’ve got more customers than I can handle.”

“Oh, I get it. All this money is making you horny.”

The words had leaped out of my mouth. It was the kind of sassy, sexual teasing I might say to some of my cowboy friends from the Burnt Biscuit, but I’d always been careful around Sammy. We’d spent a night alone in the swamps, and had never talked about the feelings that had developed out there. It seemed to make us both self-conscious. Besides, Alex and I were a couple.

“Sorry, Sammy. I didn’t mean that.”

He gave me one of his soul-searching looks. “Didn’t you? Too bad for me.”

Both of us stared at the ground; then the uncomfortable moment passed. Sammy broke the spell.

“Well, you did us right, woman. Sending all these folks our way. I may be able to buy a new shirt for the first time in five years.”

“Keep that one. It looks great.” I liked Sammy’s understated handsome looks and rugged style—the faded pink and turquoise Miccosukee-pattern long-sleeved shirt, which pulled tightly across his broad chest, and the jeans bleached almost white from too many washings. The clothes did not make the man. Not in this case, anyway. This man—tall, dark-skinned, with long black hair—made the clothes. On anyone else they would just look worn. On him, they looked like a very attractive second skin.

“So if there’s anything I can do to repay you, let me know,” he said.

Boy, was this easy. “As a matter of fact, there is. Can you help Madeleine and me move out of our shop?” I explained to him about the loss of our lease, David’s arrest, and Alex’s job in Miami.

“So I’m what, third best in your choice of movers?” His black eyes twinkled with good humor.

“Yeah, something like that.” Good. Sammy and I were once more on familiar, friends-only footing. I was relieved and he seemed to be at ease as well, the earlier discomfort gone.

“And before you get a big head, I wondered if you could bring along some of your good-looking cousins to help out. We can’t afford to pay them, but we could provide pizza and beer afterward.”

“You know you’re not supposed to give firewater to Indians,” he said. Yep, Sammy was in a good mood.

“When are you free?” If all this activity continued, Sammy might not be able to help us for a while.

“It will have to be tomorrow evening. I can’t do it during the day, as you can see, and I’ve got tribal meetings the rest of the week. You say you have to be out by Saturday?”

I nodded.

“Where are you moving to?” he asked.

I had no idea.


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A Sporting Murder Book Summary:

It’s smooth sailing for Eve Appel and her friend Madeleine, owners of Second to None Consignment Shop in rural Florida’s Sabal Bay, land of swamps, cowboys, and lots and lots of ‘gators. Eve and her detective boyfriend Alex have joined Madeleine and her new beau David Wilson for a pleasure cruise on his boat. But cloudy, dangerous waters lie ahead. A near fatal encounter with Blake Reed, David’s supremely nasty neighbor, is soon followed by a shooting death on the dividing line between David and Blake’s land. Both men run sport-hunting reserves, but Blake imports “exotics” from Africa and promotes gator killing, while David stays within the law, pointing clients toward the abundant quail and turkey as well as the wild pigs that ravage the landscape. Nevertheless, when a mutual client is killed, it is David who is arrested and charged with murder.

Blake’s nastiness is only exceeded by that of his wife, Elvira, who forces Eve and Madeleine out of their shop, intending to replace it with a consignment shop of her own. It seems that bad luck looms over them all, even Eve’s brawny and hard-to-resist Miccosukee Indian friend Sammy, whose nephew has disappeared. As the case against David grows stronger and his friends’ misfortunes multiply, Eve and her strange and diverse group of friends, including her ex, a mobster, her grandma, and Sammy’s extended family, band together to take on the bad guys. But the waters are getting muddier and more troubled, and Eve and Madeleine may end up inundated in every sense of the word.
A Sporting MurderA Sporting Murder by Lesley A. Diehl

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I began reading this mystery, I was not certain what I thought about it. While the profanity is very mild and there are no bedroom scenes or anything else inappropriate, I didn’t find myself connecting with the characters. I wasn’t sure why, but it just wasn’t happening. The author’s writing style was easy to read, and I was reading through the book with no problem, but I feared having to give this book a 3-star rating.

Then within the final pages of the book, things suddenly “heated up,” and I was on the edge of my seat. This is why I go into books with an open mind. I would have liked more excitement in the beginning, but the author certainly laid an excellent framework so that when the action accelerated, I was ready for it. So I say that even though the book may be slow in the beginning, the action does build to an explosive climax. As far as cozy mysteries go, I applaud the author’s efforts.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated in any way and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

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Price/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $13.95 paperback
Genre:
Cozy Murder Mystery
Pages:
250
Publisher:
Camel Press
Release:
July 15, 2015
ISBN:
9781603819398

Amazon buy link:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1603819398?tag=tributebooks-20

Barnes & Noble buy link:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-sporting-murder-lesley-a-diehl/1121863863?ean=9781603819398

Lesley A. Diehl’s Web Site:
http://www.lesleyadiehl.com/

Lesley A. Diehl’s Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/lesley.diehl.1?fref=ts

Lesley A. Diehl’s Twitter:
https://twitter.com/LesleyDiehl

Lesley A. Diehl’s Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3414925.Lesley_A_Diehl

Lesley A. Diehl’s Blog:
http://lesleyadiehl.com/blog/

A Sporting Murder Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25506068-a-sporting-murder

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tribute-Books-Blog-Tours/242431245775186

A Sporting Murder blog tour site:
http://asportingmurder.blogspot.com

$25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
42-year-old single mother of an active 13-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

4 Comments

  1. Tribute Books Blog Tours July 24, 2015 Reply

    Ruth, I’m so glad that Lesley delivered big time for you. Thanks for reviewing her latest cozy mystery novel.

  2. Cathy French July 24, 2015 Reply

    Even though the review isn’t necessarily favorable until the end of the book I find the synopsis interesting and love a good murder mystery

  3. Fee Roberts July 24, 2015 Reply

    I think it’s an unusual concept of being about hunting and people’s different views of hunting, and what could possibly happen when such views are expressed.

  4. Amy Green July 30, 2015 Reply

    I like the Florida setting, and the idea of blending a murder mystery with animals!

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