Blog Tour: Murder On The Rocks by J.S. Strange #bookreview @JackSamStrange @PantherPubs

When PI Jordan Jenner returns to work following the death of his mother, his first case involves a murdered writer…
James Fairview has been killed. As a member of a prestigious writing group hosted by bestselling author Joseph Gordon in the heart of Cardiff, Jordan not only has to cope with solving the mystery, but also deal with press attention. 
As Jordan investigates, he discovers his mother’s death may not have been so simple. And when another writer is murdered, Jordan realises the killer could strike again… 
A murdered writer, a mysterious death, and a group with jealousy at its heart, this is Jenner’s toughest case yet. 

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Every once in a while you take a chance on someone, in this instance on a new publisher you know very little about, only that they seem to share your love for cats, if their name and logo are anything to go by, and on an author you’ve never heard about. And every once in a while that chance you took turns out to be very rewarding and you discover a novel that you end up enjoying, and that you might have missed otherwise.

Reading a novel by an author I don’t know, and promising to do a review is always risky, even a tad stressful to me. What if I don’t like the writing style, what if it’s not for me, what if I hate the characters I’m supposed to like? In this case, however, I knew after a few pages I could sit back and relax and enjoy the ride because I realised very early in the story that Jordan Jenner, PI, and I would become firm friends.

This novel is marketed as a Welsh cosy murder mystery and, well, that is exactly what you get. I loved the Welsh setting and Jack Strange was clearly channelling his inner Agatha Christie when writing this, no doubt about it. Jordan holds himself like a modern-day Hercule Poirot, but without referring to his little grey cells every two sentences.

What happens in this story is that a man is murdered at a writing club meeting, his drink was poisoned, and the police ask Jordan to step in and help with the investigation. So Jordan goes and investigates the members of this writing club and I got nervous every single time he accepted a drink from them. For someone who’s fairly certain one of the authors is guilty of poisoning their peer, he seems very at ease and way less suspicious in their company than I was reading about it!

It gets personal when it turns out that Jordan’s mother knew the group and even more so when it seems her death might be related in some way. It gets even more personal when Jordan gets threatened and when there’s an attempt to poison someone very close to him.

Many little twists and turns later, we come to a very satisfying finale, when the murderer is apprehended. In mysteries such as this one the number of suspects is limited, and a large part of the fun is joining the search for the culprit and trying to find out whodunnit. By the time I’d reached the end I was wary of nearly everyone and I didn’t know who to put my money on.

Although the murder case is neatly wrapped up in the end, and all the loose ends have been properly tied up, the novel does end with a bit of a cliffhanger in Jordan’s personal life. I’m guessing that this will become the basis of Jordan’s next adventure, in a second instalment of what is to become the Jordan Jenner series, and I’m already looking forward to reading that one.

Recommended!

Many thanks to Panther Publishing and J. S. Strange for sending me a free e-ARC of this lovely mystery! This is an honest and unbiased review and I was not paid for it.

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