Broken Heart Attack
by James J. Cudney
The best way for me to describe the beginning of Broken Heart Attack is “hyperactive,” a label which is meant to be descriptive, not positive or negative. Author James J. Cudney packs a lot into the first several chapters as he brings readers up to speed on the events in the first book of the series and introduces a complex plot with a lot of characters.
The main mystery of Broken Heart Attack centers around the Paddington family, murder, and a missing will. Unfortunately, the Paddington family is quite dysfunctional, and there is not one member of the family that I could relate to or invest myself in. In other words, by the end of the book, I really didn’t care who the murderer was.
A side issue to the murder is a paternity case. Other stories that affect the main character, Kellan, continue from the first book but make little progress: the reappearance of a presumed dead wife, conflict with co-worker Myriam, a potential love triangle involving friends Connor and Maggie, and a possible softening in his relationship with Sheriff Montague.
I purchased this book; it was not an advance copy. Therefore, I was surprised to see a number of errors. Some were obviously a case of autocorrect gone wrong, some were spelling, and some were, more egregiously, pronoun usage. This is particularly startling because the author rarely has errors in his posted book reviews.
On the positive side, Nana D continues to provide humor and Kellan is a likeable character. Would I read another book in this cozy mystery series? Absolutely! I would particularly like to see what happens as Kellan is pressured by his wife’s mob family, the Castiglianos. I would urge the author to write the next book at a less frenetic pace with more character development. He has the beginnings of a good series with interesting plots and a college setting that provides a background with multiple possibilities. The Braxton Campus Mystery Series definitely has a lot of potential.
Notes: #2 in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series. It could be read as a standalone, but would be more fun in sequence.
Publication: November 25, 2018—Creativia
I loved my nana, but her friends were harder to handle than standing upside down catching a greasy pig in a mud slide.
Eustacia and Nana D had some sort of symbiotic relationship where they often couldn’t stand to be around one another but if ever two days went by without time for tea or gossip, the world might’ve come to an end.
I woke up Thursday morning with a hangover so painful my head had put out a foreclosure sign.