Friday, March 9, 2018

Book Review: Cry Fowl by Sandy Dengler (Valley of the Sun #5)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Two good stories with old friends
Cons: Not much connects the two stories
The Bottom Line:
Joe, Tommy travel
Still find myst’ry and mayhem
Engaging stories

Murder Across the Pond

I have finally caved.  For years, I have resisted buying ebooks, but I just bought my first one (not counting freebies I’ve downloaded).  But you see, I had to read Cry Fowl by Sandy Dengler.  Sandy Dengler has long been a favorite author, and this continues a series that I first enjoyed 25 years ago, so I needed to know what Joe and Tommy are up to now.

For those who haven’t met them, Joe Rodriguez and Tommy Flaherty are homicide detectives in the Phoenix Police Department.  However, this book takes them away from that familiar setting as they go to the UK to visit family.

In Joe’s case, it’s actually his late wife’s parents.  His two kids are in tow as they finally get to meet their grandparents.  However, the day they arrive, Joe’s father-in-law is called to his office because his business partner has been found murdered.  The murder seems to be related to the business, but what is happening?

Tommy, meanwhile, isn’t finding things any easier in Ireland.  Visiting his father is still awkward, and someone seems determined to kill Tommy’s uncle.  Can he get the local police to listen to him before it is too late?

Instead of one mystery, this book is really too novellas connected by the series’ two main characters visiting family.  Tommy’s story is introduced early in the book, but it really doesn’t get much development until the second half.  By that point, Joe’s mystery has been solved, and he is able to go help Tommy.

Both stories are entertaining with plenty to keep you engaged.  There are complications, action, and surprises before things are resolved.

Joe is really the main character of the series.  Even though he is out of town, there are some developments in his personal life.  I’m actually perfectly okay with one of them, the other still needs to grow on me, but it could happen.

Yes, I missed some of the gang back in Phoenix, but we get some fine new characters to replace them.  I enjoyed getting to meet them and see different sides of Joe and Tommy.  There’s a Tommy story here that will definitely make you smile if not laugh, and we learn quite a bit about his past.

I’m still not ready to jump fully into the ebook revolution, but buying Cry Fowl was definitely worth it for me.  I was glad to get to spend more time with Joe and Tommy.

Visit Joe and Tommy in their native habitat with the rest of the Valley of the Sun mysteries.

This review is part of this week's Friday's Forgotten Books.

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