5 out of 5 stars
I knew going into this that I was likely going to enjoy it. I’ve really come to love the way that Parr writes his books – and this series, while a step away from his main characters, wasn’t really a step away from the things that make his books great. They each have a concise plot and a main character who isn’t your normal detective, but still is able to piece together the plot of the crime(s) given enough time and evidence.
Jack Ryder, an author, and now part-time helper for the police is thrown into three different cases here. I won’t dive too deep into each one because, even though they were three different stories – they all built on what the last one had, allowing both Ryder but also the stories to grow and mature in front of my eyes. The first story was the most intriguing, I loved the idea of someone committing a murder that was so spot on to a book that an author wrote that the author is now being questioned about it. It’s what caused Jack and Logan to start working together. This first story builds not only who Jack Ryder is, but how he approaches a case and how he was able to help out the police in solving a crime that he only committed in his story.
The second story had the old-school Agatha Christie feel to it and it’s mentioned numerous times throughout. Each time you think you know who the killer is the story changes a bit. I know that Parr is able to throw in more and more as the story progresses, but it really feels like your helping Ryder solve the crimes as he’s solving them. You’re right there with him as he walks Logan through what he’s thinking and why he comes to the conclusions that he does.
The third story, similar to the second, has that Agatha Christie feel to it, but was throw into a modern day hotel during the COVID-19 pandemic. This added some nice realistic touches (quarantine, no one could leave, etc), while not making any stances for or against it. The plot line and murder in this one was crazy and the final scenes where the admission of the crimes happens was crazy. Such a great payoff. Oh, and I forgot to mention that all of this was happening while a hurricane was bearing down on them.
Overall, I really enjoyed this series – I love Parr’s books and I loved the “new” character. His Beagle is also a fun addition along with the back and forth that he has with Logan. I hope that there are more stories like these and while I love the full-length books, I loved the bite-sized pieces that these novellas were too. Add in the great narration by Randy McCarten and you have one of the best mystery novellas (or series of them) that I’ve read in 2021.
Three of a kind cozy murder mysteries.
Novella 1 – A presumed Russian spy is found tortured and shot in the face in his high-rise condominium in South Beach, Florida. Incredibly, the perpetrators of the gruesome murder correctly copied the manner in which the victim was killed, as described in best-selling author, Jack Ryder’s last novel. Jack is a 40-year-old divorcee, and a Wall Street retired financial analyst turned crime mystery writer. His new lifestyle does not include alarm clocks, suits, or ties. He’s living carefree aboard a 40-four-foot yacht with his beagle Max, enjoying the peace of South Beach, and the clubs and ladies that abound the area. Logan Robert, former Army Special Forces and now homicide detective for the Miami Beach Police Department, gives Jack a choice: either be under suspicion for the murder or help solve this crime. But, there’s a condition – because of the Feds hovering around the MBPD station like flies on molasses, waiting to see what the MBPD uncovers, the murder investigation must be conducted from Jack’s boat, the Easy Ryder, docked at the Miami Beach Marina, while a bogus parallel investigation continues from the police station for the benefit of the Feds.
Jack wants no part of this. However, his choice of being embroiled in a murder inquiry with the Feds or helping solve the crime, especially one in which he feels plagiarized and violated, makes the decision obvious. Multi-award-winning author and master storyteller, Owen Parr, has a new hit series: Jack Ryder, Logan Robert Crime Mysteries. The Case of the Dead Russian Spy is book one in the novella series.
Novella 2 – On the first night of a private famly cruise, billionaire and family patriarch Gustav Inglenorth is found dead in his cabin, stabbed three times. This was supposed to be a private family cruise on the maiden voyage of The Majestic, a luxurious private yacht. Mr. Inglenorth was to reveal the content and distribution of the family trust to 15 members of the family traveling aboard the yacht. Also, aboard the cruise is an author and sometimes consultant to the Miami Beach Police, Jack Ryder, MBPD Detective Logan Robert, and their dates for the cruise. Without a doubt, one of his family members is the murderer. Forced to take refuge from a hurricane in the Port of Havana, Jack Ryder and Logan Robert must find the killer among the 15 members of the family, before the Cuban authorities interfere in their investigation and hold the family indefinitely.
Jack is a 40-year-old divorcee and retired Wall Street financial analyst recently turned crime mystery writer. His keen eye for detail in writing crime mysteries has made him an invaluable consultant to the Miami Beach Police Major Crimes Division. Logan Robert, former Army Special Forces and now homicide detective for the Miami Beach Police Department, has relied on Jack’s deduction abilities to solve murder cases.
Novella 3 – Quarantined due to a virus and trapped because of an approaching hurricane. Miami Beach Police consultant Jack Ryder and his buddy Detective Robert Logan are back for their third murder mystery. Two victims lay dead at the Beach Cove Hotel in Miami Beach’s Art Deco hotel strip. Only 10 guests occupy the hotel, plus a small staff of four. Two of the guests are suspiciously murdered in the early hours of the morning. Everyone becomes a suspect, and is up to Jack and Detective Logan to find the offender before they strike again. Hurricane winds are wreaking havoc as they approach the coast of South Florida.
Jack Ryder Mystery Novellas, Vol. 1-3 by Owen Parr
Narrator: Randy McCarten
Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
Series: Jack Ryder Mystery Novellas #1
Published by Self Published on February 23rd 2021
Genres: Mystery, Suspense
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Also by this author: The Dead Have Secrets, A Murder on Wall Street, A Murder on Long Island (A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery #2), The Manhattan Red Ribbon Killer