on March 7, 2013 :
The Quill King gets better and better. I'm not going to hash over the story with you. I will tell you that I think that the series gets better and better the more you are familiarized with the main charactors, which Michael has done very well in his 2nd book. Easy to read and always has a bit of a learning surprise in each book, I can hardly wait to read another. Thumbs up on your medical research, Michael. You keep me wanting more!
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
on April 6, 2012 :
Marcie's Murder by Michael J. McCann takes place a short time after the previous book, Blood Passage. Homicide Detective Lieutenant Hank Donaghue is on a much needed vacation after the previous case that he and his partner Detective Karen Stainer solved. Wherever the road takes him is where he goes and when he decides to stop in a small town in Virginia, he finds himself in trouble. He checks into his motel room but he can't sleep so goes to a bar for a beer or two. He sees a woman on his way into the bar but other than a glance at her he does not pay her a lot of attention. He has his drink and heads back to the motel, goes to sleep but is awakened by the local police. They proceed to take him to the jail after they have roughed him up. The police chief is one of the ones who had a hand in beating him and even though he tells them he has had nothing to do with the murder of a woman they do not believe him and keep him locked up. It turns out that the murdered woman is the police chief's wife and the woman that Hank saw at the bar. She was found behind the bar strangled. Hank finally gets his phone call and calls his no nonsense partner Karen Stainer. There the story really gets going. Getting the police to believe that Hank had nothing to do with the murder with Karen's help is not an easy task but they finally do let him go. Both Hank and Karen are asked to help with the investigation, they are reluctant at first in the light of how Hank was treated but they eventually agree. That is all I am going to say about the story other than the fact is that you absolutely have to read this authors work. This can be read as a stand alone novel but I would recommend that you read Blood Passage first so you do not miss out on getting to know Hank and Karen. A thoroughly enjoyable novel and I eagerly await the next installment in the Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel Series. I give it 5 stars!!
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)
A Book Vacation
on April 6, 2012 :
Donaghue and Stainer are back in McCann’s latest crime novel, expertly unraveling the mystery surrounding Marcie Askew’s murder, the police chief’s wife. A woman with many secrets, Donaghue and Stainer have their work cut out for them as the scour the town for answers, interview reluctant witnesses, and dealing with a small town police division set in their ways.
I really enjoyed watching this novel unfold, especially as Donaghue and Stainer are the perfect team and their witty remarks make for a very fun read. There is an art to writing crime novels, and McCann has perfected it, giving the reader just enough insight to allow him/her to make educated conclusions about the murder, only to throw new information into the mix, changing the pathway of the novel completely.
Donaghue and Stainer are also fleshed out more in this second novel of the series, giving the reader more background information, especially about Stainer and her love for guns. While there is a little more technical talk about guns and police business than I am interested in, it is blatantly obvious that McCann knows his material and has really done his research, adding validity to his story, and his characters, as the novel unfolds. I definitely recommend this novel. Four stars.
(reviewed 18 days after purchase)
on March 29, 2012 :
Marcie’s Murder is the second book, in author Michael J. McCann’s, Donaghue and Stainer Crime Fiction novels and my first time reading his work. I found this to be an entertaining crime novel, with likable characters.
The tale begins when Donaghue is awakened in the middle of the night, beaten and handcuffed. Despite his cries of being a police officer, he is dragged down to the station. His vacation stop in Harmony quickly turns into a nightmare as he is accused of murdering the chief-of-police’s wife. When he gets his phone call, he calls his partner from the Maryland PD, the snarky Detective Karen Stainer. Stainer quickly gets Donaghue released and they end up assisting the local police department. Small town politics and secrets make this tale interesting as they work to solve the case.
Town folk are reluctant to share but Donaghue and Stainer begin putting the pieces together. McCann’s depiction of the small town and the characters residing there was colorful. The story is told in third person, and we are provided information regarding the murder and suspects as they are revealed to the detectives. Clues helped me piece together the information before it was revealed, but I enjoyed the climactic capture of the murderer.
I liked both Detective Donaghue and Stainer. They are bright, intelligent and witty. They seem to work well together. Donaghue, for having been beaten and held in prison has a well tempered personality. He is quiet and calm; she is loud and in your face. We learn more about Detective Stainer and her background. She is engaged, but hasn’t completely opened up to her fiancé about family matters and her fears. She is haunted by an old case and confesses this to one of the townsfolk. We learn of her affection for guns. This woman knows her weapons. She is a tough cop and doesn’t take any crap. McCann creates a unique set of characters for the town of Harmony, each with their own history. This made the murder; the town and the story feel genuine. He completely captured the politics associated with living in a small town.
Fans of weapons will love the detailed description of weapons throughout the novel. We also get an in-depth look at Indian ancestry from a friend of the victim. This occurs when Donaghue interviews her. I felt both topics were not necessary to the plot, and slowed the pace. I did find the information interesting and it was well researched. This was a good story, but the overall plot wasn’t as fast paced and intense, as I prefer in a crime novel. The pace was fast in the beginning, fell flat in the middle, and moved at a maddening pace towards the end.
I recommend Marcie’s Murder to fans of crime novels and small towns. Fans of the Agatha Raisin series and Cozy Mysteries should find this delightful.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)