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Leon Shure has published seven mysteries, all taking place in the wealthy and diverse North Shore suburbs of Chicago. These are "Fatal Sisters," "The Baba Yaga, a Dr. Adam Karl Mystery," and "Screams and Bleeds, a Vanek Mystery," "Think Fast, Detective Vanek," “The Search for Hanson Sted, a Cal Hodges Mystery,” and two Kate Wehring mysteries. Another of his books, a free collection of his Twitter tweets "#Conversationstopers: Puns, Non Sequitur, Impossible Scenarios" became a ebook best seller, with almost 30,000 downloads and a second collection of his #Conversationstoppers has been published. Shure is completing second drafts of a Baba Yaga sequel and a Cal Hodges sequel
Shure is a life-long resident of the Chicago area, and has lived both in the city and in the North and Northwest suburbs. A bachelors and masters graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Shure worked for the Lerner Newspapers (a chain of weeklies in the city); the Day Newspapers, a suburban daily newspaper chain owned by Field Enterprises, now the Chicago Sun-Times;, and Paddock Publications, a chain of daily newspapers in the Northwest suburbs, where he worked as a police reporter. He received the Jacob Sher Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting.
Shure also served as an attorney for a Federal Ageny and has held elective office in local governments. He is married and has two children.
on March 31, 2011 :
I was a little confused when I began reading this book as it starts with a character that isn't mentioned in the book. Once I got over the 'eh? Is this the right book' moment I quickly fell into the story. The author is a good writer, I am in no way disputing that. His characters are likable and believable and the situation (at first) is darn clever. At the end of chapter 2 I was doing my best evil chuckle at the predicament of a pair of bumbling idiots (not giving spoilers away ;p you'll have to buy or read sample) and had to tell my Hubby all about it. He did his thoughtful nodding while rattling off the titles of a couple of movie plots it reminded him of. Not having seen any of them I shrugged and continued to read. The first frustrating thing I noticed (in the first few pages too) is that the author over describes EVERYTHING. I ended up skimming pages due to his characters internal ramblings (and wow can they ramble!) or his five descriptions of one thing. He literally explains jokes after saying them.. way to kill the humour much.
I liked when he stuck to 'his' voice. A masculine (as to be expected) simple voice. However I'm going to guess someone told him they felt it was too simple and needed more descriptions. If I ever meet that person I'll be tempted to smack them.. Simple English is surprisingly hard to do and honestly if someone calls your book an 'easy' read you should be flattered! Don't start cramming in extra flowery 'feminine' words to try and 'fix' it. So yes I did a lot of skim reading and rolling of eyes in sections where he insistently over described things. As a beta reader I was itching to cross sections out as they really were just fluff that did nothing but annoy a reader trying to get on with the story. Which really was good, a little cliché for sure but what story isn't?
Until the last ten percent. Sure there were a couple of moments in the plot where I thought 'loophole! Would never happen or work' but that would have been fine (or at least acceptable). Until he threw in an annoying and unnecessary twist. Sigh.
Which suddenly brought the story and murder down to a 'honour' killing, finish (or rather that's what it felt like) and left me furious. A character I liked and respected just went down the dunny and I'm left wailing 'whhhyyyyyy?' It was one of those moments we've all seen before. The person you least suspected turns out to be the killer! Except it was so ridiculously left field that it just felt as though he decided to do it on a whim five minutes before publishing. A very disappointing end to a read I almost enjoyed.. *sigh*
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Nov. 14, 2010 :
I downloaded the book, expecting to read a little each day, and instead I was compelled to finish it in one sitting. The plot was fresh and the characters were well-developed. The style of writing made me feel like an insider, with the storyteller giving us intimate asides as he related his tale. I would definitely read other works by the author and look forward to the experience.
(reviewed long after purchase)