No Known Address
by Jo A Hiestand
GENRE: British mystery
The man seemed not to hear the continuous whine of the phone receiver lying on his lap. He sat upright, stiff-backed, in a wooden kitchen chair that, like the house, had seen better days. As he had also seen better days, he reminded himself, glancing at the calendar on the wall. A date circled in black ink smirked at him, the remaining days of the month X-ed out. As though he was counting down to something. But the dates were three years old.
The discrepancy didn’t bother him. He had never flipped over the rest of the months. They didn’t intrigue him; it didn’t upset him that he had stared at January for more than a thousand days. If he flipped over the page it would signal that the search needed to continue into another month. And possibly another. And another. The consequence was too terrible to comprehend.
“Is that a threat, McLaren?”
“Just big brother advice, Phil. I’d hate for you to make a big mistake.”
“Looks like you made a few mistakes yourself, mate. You get those bruises and that bloody eye shakin’ hands with a snowman?” He laughed and snuggled into the corner of the sofa.
“I’d say you should see the other bloke, but you wouldn’t believe me.”
“You’re damned right.” Philip angled his wrist so he could see his watch. “You’re beginnin’ to bore me. You about finished?”
A knock on the door interrupted him. Philip called, “Come on in,” but remained seated. “You know, McLaren,” he said, keeping McLaren’s attention on him, “you just might be right. Maybe I’ve been too hasty about all this. Maybe I should tell you the whole thing. Don’t they say confession is good for the soul?” He smiled, laying his arms along the top of the sofa, and spoke very slowly. “You see, it was like this, McLaren. Luke and I—“
That was the last thing McLaren remembered before waking up in the dark, the feeling of cold and the panic of imprisonment in a small space nearly crippling him.
I have to admit that this is my first book from Ms. Hiestand. It’s also my first book featuring Mr. McLaren. I really fell in love with him. My only wish is that I knew more about him. I realize that I might need to read the other books in the series but I felt like something was missing in terms of “my” understanding of him. Regardless, I really liked him. He is different and unique.
I love a good mystery and this book is one for the ages. There were times that I just couldn’t wrap my head around everything that was going on but for me, that’s the mark of a great mystery writer. I don’t like reading a straight mystery novel and figure everything out within the first half of the book. Boring…then, I’m just waiting for the others in the book to catch up. Ugh!
Another thing, Ms. Hiestand really knows her Britain. It shows in everything that she writes in the book. I felt like I was really there and experiencing the mystery itself. Also, her music influence throughout the book is marvelous. She never hits you over the head with it but it is nicely woven into the plot. The plotting and pacing of the book is superb. I was shocked when it was over. I was so engrossed and I didn’t want it to end.
That said, the ending for me was just too sad. I really need to write the book before this one to understand McLaren a bit more. His interactions with the police and secondary characters were great but at times I felt like I needed to read the other books to get a better sense of just who McLaren is now and was before.
Overall, if you are looking for a well crafted mystery, then this book is for you. I loved it and you will, too.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Books, Girl Scouts and music filled Jo A. Hiestand’s childhood. She discovered the magic of words and the worlds they create: mysteries, English medieval history, the natural world. She explored the joys of the outdoors through Girl Scout camping trips and summers as a canoeing instructor and camp counselor. Brought up on classical, big band and baroque music, she was groomed as a concert pianist until forsaking the piano for the harpsichord. She also plays a Martin guitar and has sung in a semi-professional folkgroup in the US and as a soloist in England.
This mixture formed the foundation for her writing. A true Anglophile, Jo wanted to create a mystery series that featured a British police detective who left the Force over an injustice and now investigates cold cases on his own. The result is the McLaren Mysteries, featuring ex-police detective Michael McLaren.
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. 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.
She has employed her love of writing, board games and music in other ways by co-inventing a mystery-solving game, P.I.R.A.T.E.S., which uses maps, graphics, song lyrics, and other clues to lead the players to the lost treasure.
Jo founded the Greater St. Louis Chapter of Sisters in Crime, serving as its first president. Besides her love of mysteries and early music, she also enjoys photography, reading, crewel embroidery, and her backyard wildlife.
Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis-area home.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Jo A Hiestand will be awarding a $40 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
24 thoughts on “ARC Review of No Know Address (a McLaren Mystery) by Jo A Hiestand w/a rafflecopter giveaway!”
Thank you for a wonderful article I had not put this book on my TBR till after I read this!
Peggy, that’s great that No Known Address is going on your list. Hope you like it — and thanks for stopping by!
Hi, Nicole. Thank you. I think Harlie gave my book a superb review — that certainly added 99% to the post! 😉
I’ve enjoyed following the tour for No Known Address and I’m looking forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing all of the excerpts along the way 🙂
Thanks, Victoria. I hope you like the book. Thanks for participating!
Harlie, thank you again for the book review and for hosting the tour stop. I’m calling it a night now — tired from planting bushes! I hope there’s another review and stop with you in the future. Thanks.
The cover seems like a perfect fit.
That’s the cover artist, Angela Anderson. I gave her some ideas, but luckily she ignored them and came up with this atmospheric piece of art. I think it sets up the mood of the story very well. She’s very talented — she’s done all the covers for my McLaren novels.
Thank you for the great giveaway!
You’re welcome, Danielle. Good luck with the raffle drawing!
The story sounds very intriguing.
Hi, Rita == thanks for stopping by!
I love British mysteries, and this sounds wonderful.
Kathleen, thank you for that nice comment, tho I’m sure it’s due to the superb review. Good luck with the raffle drawing!
Thank you for your review and recommendation! My question for Ms. Hiestand is what drew you to writing mysteries?
I think it’s a mix of things: I read Sherlock Holmes stories as a kid, never outgrew my love of moody atmospheres like in “Jane Eyre,” I love British history, and I love the villages and landscapes and folk music. It all sort of came together in the McLaren mystery novels, I think! Thanks for asking!
I think you do need to read all about McLaren. I’m in love with him even though I’ve never met him 🙂 I think a great part of the reason I feel that way about Jo Hiestand’s books is her ability to build characters that we can almost see and feel. I am a reader who often reads the next book an author writes because I found the characters in the book so interesting and Jo has kept me reading on & on.
Thanks for your good and insightful review on her books.
Kathy, thank you for the wonderful comment about McLaren. I kinda like him, too! 😉 Hope you like “No Known Address” and the future books in the series.
Harlie, thank you so much for hosting my book today…and for the lovely review!
Thanks for hosting!