Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sylvia Cochran reviews The Surest Poison

Sylvia Cochran did a great review of The Marathon Murders for Roundtable Reviews a couple of years ago. When I contacted Tracy Farnsworth, who runs Roundtable, about my new book, she said she was so swamped with review requests that she wasn't accepting any more. So I wrote Sylvia and asked if she'd like an Advance Review Copy.

I received the following today, which can be found at the Associated Content website. I couldn't resist posting it here.

By Sylvia Cochran

THE SUREST POISON is the fifth book penned by octogenarian mystery writer Chester D. Campbell. Proving that you don't have to be in your 30s or 40s to write a heart stopping, action packed whodunit, this former journalist, magazine editor, public relations genius, and political speechwriter is finally channeling his love for the written word into the kind of fiction writing that those with a penchant for Lawrence Block can enjoy.

THE SUREST POISON is the start of a new series. Loyal mystery readers may know that thus far Mr. Campbell is renowned for his Greg McKenzie series. The Sid Chance mystery presents a foray into the world of a former small town police chief falsely accused of bribery who, after a long hiatus from society, comes back as a private investigator to chase criminals on the private payroll rather than at the taxpayer's behest.

THE SUREST POISON pits Sid Chance and his indomitable sometimes-sidekick Jaz LeMieux against a small town shyster, a former auto parts shop that seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth - except for the sickening pollution left behind - and several dead bodies that seem to be piling up quite rapidly because of the old business.

The cast of characters is reminiscent of John Sturges' "Magnificent Seven" or the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but without the capes and transformations. Chester Campbell succeeds in crafting a solid "good versus bad," "law versus lawlessness," and "little guy taking on the machinations of scheming lawyers" mystery that has more twists and turns than your average rollercoaster. Ex cops, detectives, a judge, journalists and others form a loosely knit poker round where the case is discussed and solutions suggested.

The result is a happy ending - albeit with a fly in the ointment! - that can be squarely traced back to solid investigative work. As an avid mystery reader, I am in awe at the writing skill of Mr. Campbell who can make even a records search sound interesting on paper -- no deus ex machina for this writer!

Mystery readers who like solid whodunits without clich├ęs, easy answers, and stereotypical female characters will love Chester D. Campbell's THE SUREST POISON!

Now, if he could only write faster and release the next few installments in this new Sid Chance Mystery series ...

End of review. I hasten to add that the book won't be out until April but is now available at BarnesandNoble.com for pre-order. It should also be available on Amazon.com in the next couple of weeks.

9 comments:

Helen Ginger said...

First off, congratulations on the wonderful review!

I wanted to let you know that I'm passing on to you the "When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade" Award. I hope you'll pass it on to 10 other deserving blogs! Yours is such a fun blog.

Helen
http://straightfromhel.blogspot.com/

Jim Overturf said...

Excellent review. I saw the cooling towers at Hartville on your site. What part of Nashville do you live in? North, South, East or West.

I went to Barnes and Noble and bought a copy of "The Marathon Murders," but couldn't find a copy of "The Secret of the Scrolls". Do you have any squirreled away?

Jim

Christina E. Rodriguez said...

Nice, solid review. Congratulations!

Chester Campbell said...

Thanks for the award, Helen. I'll try to be deserving of it. I like my lemonade sweet so I'll try to be nice.

Chester Campbell said...

Hi, Jim, I live in Madison, on the northeast side of town. I have plenty of copies of Secret of the Scroll. Barnes & Noble at Opry Mills did have a copy, but they probably sold it. It is officially out of print, but I sell them through my website.

Chester Campbell said...

Thanks for the congrats, Christina. I thought she did a good job with a snippet of the plot.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

What a great review. Congratulations!

Jane Kennedy Sutton
http://janekennedysutton.blogspot.com/

Krista said...

Great! I went to your website and read the whole interview about you there. Very interesting...

Chester Campbell said...

I'm not sure which interview, Krista. There are several on the site, but thanks for taking a look.