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The Quinn Moosebroker Mysteries, Book Review

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Author of fiction novels, short stories, book reviews and other online content, Peggy Cole has been writing articles on HubPages since 2009.

An odd name for an odd man, Quinn Moosebroker is a faithful, observant, former cop who delves into the mystery of murder and intrigue while venturing into the murky depths of understanding women. In Quinn's case, it's one particular woman, a widow, Betty Atwood, who through the encouragement of his daughter, Quinn finds himself courting. His career as a police officer is in the past, but the call to unravel long-unsolved mysteries remains. Together, he and his new-found companion travel internationally, getting to know one another while chasing down clues.

Betty, Quinn's sidekick, is a widow who finds a way to overcome the loss of her mate by falling in love and solving mysteries of blackmail, stolen artwork, precious gems and murder. The unlikely couple turns a friendship into a relationship that grows with adventures of shared danger and good times.

Each story is rich with twists, turns, danger and a splash of romance along with original poetry, artwork, and good old- fashioned values from their creator. His faithful readers that follow his work on the Emerald Wells Café series will discover a new source of entertainment in this book.


2nd Street Playhouse Theater

Quinn and Betty's first date takes them to the coffee shop near the 2nd Street Playhouse where Quinn sees a man accost a woman, slapping her across the face. His detective brain takes note of the scene before they cross the street to watch the play written by a local bookshop owner and playwright friend of Quinn's. The coffee shop is owned by Millie, who, together with Brad, a photographer, sources the props for the theater at thrift stores in the city. Both Brad and Millie, active in the community, were the featured Key players in tonight's "Thin, Red and Deadly."

Next, the reader meets Mary Helen, who plays Morgan, the art gallery owner and Gladys, the set's hairdresser. The mystery begins with the quiet clicking of a hidden camera as Mary dons her costume and puts on makeup in the dressing room.

There's also Jasmine, the tech, watching from the rafters in the control panel booth above the stage, and Pepper Bishop, Master of Ceremonies of the production.

Soon, a mysterious figure dressed in black, breaks into the business of Brad Jensen, photographer, removing certain files before taking off in a VW bug. The mystery deepens as the reader learns of a blackmail extortion that is being foiled by the intruder.

We see signs of Betty's pluckiness as stirrings of trouble come from backstage. The rest of the audience scrambles toward the exit as sirens begin to wail. Betty refuses to leave the scene.

Blake Knightly is taken aback when he discovers images of scantily clad women he recognizes in copies of "Detective Confidential" magazine. Clear that he could not sell these items in his bookstore, he sets out to find out the source of the photos.

A host of new characters enter the story as a tangled web of intrigue, blackmail and murder come into play. Through the sleuthing efforts of Quinn and Betty, the mystery is unraveled, cementing their new bond of friendship with accomplishment.

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Night of the Falling

When Big Jim Brady turns up dead, book collectors are scrambling to grab his collection of one-of-a-kind first editions. One particular piece, "The Night of the Falling," is missing, a desirable manuscript in high demand, likely to bring a price of nearly $30,000 at auction.

Detective DeLaMonte of the Clearview Police Department is stunned at the "crime wave" with two murders occurring in as many weeks in the small town. When he arrives at the scene, he discovers Eleanor Pennyworth, Big Jim Brady's significant other, already there. While packing her things in a rush to beat the arrival of Brady's greedy sons, she finds the contact information for Quinn Moosebroker, with a note "trusted" beside the info. She contacts the Private Detective for his help knowing that DeLaMonte likely would pursue the theft with little enthusiasm.

The siege for the rare books begins with prospective buyers coming out of nowhere like buzzards while the homicide investigation smolders.

1946 Town and Country Sedan

1946 Town and Country Sedan

In "He Dreamt of Murder" Quinn and Betty become entangled in a mystery inspired from a ghostly dream that is overheard from a stranger at the barber shop. Later, Betty is haunted by a similar dream that inspires the duo to investigate the origins of the shared murderous images.

As they make the road trip returning from North Carolina, in the "Radio Players Club Mystery" story, an unexpected radio broadcast gives the reader details about the night Quinn was shot and his former partner, Clark, was killed.

"The Case of the Chocolate Girl" takes off following the discovery of an oil painting at a second-hand store. Betty and Quinn seek out the origins of the painting and its value is shared by those who wish to steal it. Their quest to determine the authenticity of the ancient painting leads them into associations with nefarious characters like Major Garrity who shares insight along with a desire to own the treasure. As they track out the painting's origins, they discover that the Major isn't the only one who wants it.

Uncovering clues in the age-old heist sends Betty and Quinn into foreign countries where they mingle with castle dwellers, Lords and Ladies. While attending a costume party, the couple narrowly escapes the nefarious motives of guests at the castle. Their journey takes them down scenic country roads and into the hands of gangsters who attempt to thwart the investigation with kidnapping and thievery. An encounter with the owner of a country school and her dedicated students provides a glimpse into European culture and the ideal venue for a wedding.

1946 - 1948 Chrysler Town and Country

1946 - 1948 Chrysler Town and Country

5 Stories in One Volume

  • 2nd Street Playhouse Mystery
  • The Night of the Falling
  • He Dreamt of Murder
  • Radio Players Club Mystery
  • The Case of the Chocolate Girl

Clowns, vagrants, gangsters, artists, thieves, murderers, actors, playwrights and book store owners number among the memorable characters who bring these stories to life. Peppered with engaging plots and quirky characters, they incorporate life lessons woven between the lines as the protagonist and his woman delve into crime solving while their relationship evolves. As a bonus, there’s even a stray dog rescue.

A mixture of reality and fantasy, the reader will be captivated by the down-to-earth nature of characters who make this book enjoyable and memorable.

© 2021 Peg Cole

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