Book Review: The Cover Story

17 Jul

A bizarre hit-and-run brings Branigan Powers back to the crime-solving beat.

A fatal crash involving two college students heading home for the holidays seems like an unfortunate accident. But when the surviving girl wakens, she tells a curious story of the vehicle that forced them off the road–an old-fashioned, 1950s-style hearse.

Reporter Branigan Powers delves into the mystery that takes her to the college campus, and leads her into dangerous fraternity and sorority pledge parties.

Reunited with the homeless Malachi Martin, who is so adept at seeing what isn’t there rather than what is, Branigan must uncover what is really going on at the college before other students are put in danger.

This second installment in the author’s first cozy mystery series delves into the world of newspapers and life on the streets — both of which the author knows well.

Deb Richardson-Moore was a reporter for The Greenville (SC) News for 27 years before earning a Master of Divinity degree and becoming pastor of the Triune Mercy Center, a non-denominational mission church with outreach to Greenville’s homeless population.

Her first book, The Weight of Mercy, chronicled her first three turbulent years among her homeless congregants.
When her publisher (Lion Hudson LLC in England) asked for a second book, Deb pivoted to fiction and wrote a murder mystery that has a homeless encampment as a backdrop. The Cantaloupe Thief is a puzzling whodunit that explores what happens when an entire group of people is unseen, unheard, unrecognized.

Deb is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Erskine Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Vince, have three grown children, and live in Greenville, SC.

My Impressions:

The Cover Story is the second installment in Deb Richardson-Moore’s Braningan Powers Mystery series. Combining a small town setting with real-life issues of homelessness, this novel has a depth that is not always found in the cozy genre. It is, of course, first and foremost a mystery, and a puzzling one at that. I did not see the ending coming despite the clues revealed by the author. An investigative reporter and a police detective are two characters on the case, something fairly standard in a mystery novel. But the addition of a homeless man as investigator, someone invisible to most regular people, is genius. The Cover Story is a great addition to your mystery library, and one I can recommend.

The story opens with a hit and run that leaves one college coed dead and another seriously injured. The facts of the case seem unbelievable, until the vague memories of the surviving victim are revealed over time. There are suspects galore, and the questions concerning the case are seemingly unanswerable. But with the main characters investigating in their specific worlds — newspaper reporter, policeman, and homeless man — they, and the readers discover just whodunit. Appearances are truely deceiving.

Author Richardson-Moore has vast experience with the homeless, and her passion and compassion are revealed within the pages of The Cover Story. Malachi Martin, a veteran living on the streets, is a very intriguing character. Street smart and intelligent, he is able to uncover things because of his invisibility. Either inadvertently or by choice, those living a normal life don’t see him. But his unique position allows for him to see things many wish to hide.

I really enjoyed this unusual and engaging mystery. It is the second in a series, but can be read as a standalone. But I recommend starting at the beginning with The Cantaloupe Thief, another excellent mystery novel.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Kregel and Lion Hudson for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

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5 Responses to “Book Review: The Cover Story”

  1. thepowerofwords2016 July 17, 2017 at 9:06 am #

    Just now started this one, Beckie. The Cantaloupe Thief was one of my favorites and I already suspect this will be just as good. I really like Malachi.

    Like

    • rbclibrary July 17, 2017 at 9:50 am #

      You are going to love this one. Malachi is a great character. I’m impressed with how Richardson-Moore is developing him. Enjoy!!

      Like

  2. Michele Morin July 22, 2017 at 7:39 am #

    Intrigued by the book, but absolutely fascinated by this author’s story. Thanks for a great and thorough review.

    Like

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  1. Book Review: The Cover Story by Deb Richardson-Moore - Reading Is My SuperPower - July 21, 2017

    […] start by saying that I really just want to copy and paste By The Book’s review of this book because she covered everything so beautifully! Plagiarism is generally frowned upon […]

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