Review

Empty Handed by Jo A Hiestand

Empty Handed by Jo A Hiestand


Empty Handed by Jo A Hiestand
Rating:five-stars
Empty Handed by Jo A Hiestand
Series: The McLaren Mysteries #10
Genres: British Mystery

One dark night artist Craig Saxton went missing from his village. His body was found thirty-two hours later in the river, floating like a bobber on a fishing line. Rumors swell like tidal waves: did his ex-wife or his fiancée’s father kill this likeable young man? Or was it simply a case of jealousy by the village’s other artist? Now, two years later, Craig’s fiancée hopes ex-police detective Michael McLaren can find out. From speaking to villagers, McLaren quickly realizes that what appears to be a straightforward investigation is fast becoming as tangled as fishing lines. Are the fish poaching incidents, the reappearance of the local ghost, and assaults on him merely to muddy the investigative waters, or are they connected to Craig’s death? McLaren has his hands full. They become even fuller when a nemesis from his past appears one night, bent on revenge. And the inevitable struggle opens a new future for one man…and leaves the other empty handed.

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I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive a small commission should you purchase using those links. All opinions expressed are my own. I receive no compensation for reviews.


I am actually a day late getting this posted due to being the hospital. So for that I must apologize to the author. This was my first book by her and since I love British Mystery I knew it was right up my alley. Now this is book ten in a series but I will tell you that I had no problems with it. You don’t need to read the previous books in order to read this one.

We find ourselves following along with former Inspector Michael McLaren as he takes on a cold case. Even though he is still dealing with the death of his fiancé, he takes on the Craig Saxton’s case when the latter’s fiancé asks him to investigate his murder. I will say that what is suppose to be a sleepy town is anything but sleepy. That one of the things I love about British Mystery it takes what we think we know and turns us on our heads.

This was a well written book that I am so thrilled to have had the chance to read. There is plenty of mystery and when I thought I had figured out who the murderer was I was proven wrong.

The man frowned and seemed to tower above her. He took an eternity to answer. “Why are you inquiring?”

“I met him the other day. I’d heard about him before that. He impressed me with his knowledge. I’d like to know more of his background.”

“Why not ask Mr. McLaren?”

Victoria gave a tight-lipped smile and shrugged. Her thumb stroked the back of her ring. The gem had let her down. Moonstone was linked to feminine energy. It brought healing, nourishing the wearer and returning her to her complete self. It was the moon’s gem and imparted the curative water. She needed McLaren in her life and needed the benefits of the moonstone. How would she survive without either of them? She coughed and slid her fingertip onto the stone. “I did ask him. But he’s too modest. He wouldn’t tell me anything.”

“Well, I’d take that as a strong hint, wouldn’t you? Mr. McLaren obviously doesn’t want to talk about himself. You’d be best to drop it.”

“I just thought that you might know him and could—“

“I’m sorry. Even if I did know him, I wouldn’t give out private information. It’s nothing to do with you personally, please understand.”

“Sure. Department policy. Sorry to bother you.” She stepped out of the van, aware of the thud of her heart and the tears in her eyes. One good thing: it was nearly dark. No one could see her crying.

Jo A Hiestand will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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About Jo A Hiestand

A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British. Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folk singing stint. This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Peak District mysteries and the McLaren cold case mystery series.

Jo’s insistence for accuracy, from police methods and location layout to the general feel of the area, has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research. These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English. She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her cat Tennyson shares her St. Louis home.

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