Thursday, June 27, 2019

Mistaken Identity Crisis by James J. Cudney | Blog Tour with Excerpt, Review, and Giveaway

The Blurb

A clever thief with a sinister calling card has invaded Braxton campus. A string of jewelry thefts continues to puzzle the sheriff, given they’re remarkably similar to an unsolved eight-year-old case, back when Gabriel vanished one stormy night.

When a missing ruby, and a body, are discovered at the campus, Kellan must investigate the killer's motive to protect his brother. As if the latest murder isn’t enough to keep him busy, Kellan partners with April to end the Castigliano and Vargas crime family feud. What really happened to Francesca while all those postcards showed up in Braxton?

The mafia world is more calculating than Kellan realized. If he wants to move forward, he’ll have to make a few ruthless sacrifices. And as the summer heat begins to settle in Wharton County, a couple more surprises are also in store.

Mistaken Identity Crisis by James J. Cudney
Series: Braxton Campus Mystery, #4
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Academic Mystery
Publication Date: June 30, 2019
Publisher: Creativia 
Paperback: 277 pages
ISBN-10: 1072282968
ISBN-13: 978-1072282969
Digital ASIN: B07Q6YSTPN
Add to Goodreads

The Excerpt

Kellan confront his in-laws over their involvement in his life

Ten minutes later, I opened my front door to the sound of three distinct laughs. Nana D’s garrulous and all-encompassing guffaw, Cecilia’s pompous and high-pitched chortle, and Vincenzo’s single grunt. Yes, that was his way of laughing, like a snorting pig searching for food in his empty trough. “You’re extremely early,” I said, tossing my keys on a nearby table. “What’s so funny?”
Vincenzo’s shiny bald head seemed to grow exponentially as he aged, and the salt-and-pepper goatee that insisted upon clinging to his chin in despair left me embarrassed for him. Nonetheless, his eerily calm tone and menacing, stocky body shape frightened most people to no end, including me. “I’ve missed this face. Hopefully, we can keep it this way. You need to visit more often, especially once everything is back to normal.” He immediately greeted me with a big hug, then kissed both my cheeks.
Hmmm… had I entered The Twilight Zone? When he pulled away, I felt his fingerprints still etched into my back and shoulders. “I trust you had a safe flight.” I directed my gaze at him, then turned to Cecilia. She stared at me coldly and offered no embrace, which was a relief after Vincenzo’s salutation. Cecilia, willowy and gaunt, though pretty in the right light with her striking blonde coiffure, matched her husband in height — neither had ever needed a stepstool to change a lightbulb in a ceiling fixture, not that they’d deign to do that kind of chore themselves.
She ungritted her teeth. “Let’s skate past the small stuff, Kellan. We’re not here to partake in afternoon tea. If Seraphina hadn’t won her recent mayoral election, I would’ve suspected she poisoned our cocktails. Alas, she can’t afford a scandal right now, so I trust you are following our orders?”
Orders! Everyone wanted me to follow their orders. All Cecilia and Vincenzo had instructed was not to speak with the police or the Vargas family. I was strictly encouraged to leave the negotiations to them. I wouldn’t tell them that Cristiano had visited me earlier that day. I also couldn’t reveal April’s involvement in a secret investigation. “I’m aware of your directives. I intend to follow them to the best of my ability. Please cut me some slack, the world of ominous crime families is new to me.”

Nana D cleared her throat. “For your information, Don Castigliano, or whatever you ridiculous mafia types call yourselves… I wouldn’t poison you. I’d arrange for my sons to take you on a little trip into the Saddlebrooke National Forest to monitor our famous grizzly bears coming out of hibernation. Though I’m not so sure they’d relish the taste of rancid meat.” She downed the rest of her cocktail.

The Review


I just finished another amazing book by James J. Cudney, y'all — Mistaken Identity Crisis. Let me tell you about it. 

Mistaken Identity Crisis is the delightful fourth entry in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, following Academic Curveball (Book One, reviewed here), Broken Heart Attack (Book Two, reviewed here), and Flower Power Trip (Book Three, reviewed here).

I thoroughly enjoyed both mystery storylines in Mistaken Identity Crisis — the jewelry thefts (eight years ago and present-day) and murder, as well as the long story arc about Francesca. The original jewelry thefts ended about the time that Kellan's brother Gabriel disappeared from Braxton. Now Gabriel has returned  — and the jewelry thefts have resumed. Kellan doesn't want to believe the worst about his little brother, but it looks pretty bad for Gabriel. 

Ever since the end of Academic CurveballKellan has been trying to figure out what happened to Francesca. That long story arc comes to a thrilling climax in Mistaken Identity Crisis. I was flabbergasted to learn the identities of some of those involved.

The mysteries are resolved with some clever sleuthing and nosy snooping, which result in secrets revealed and red herrings cleared.  All this makes Mistaken Identity Crisis an engaging page-turner, one that I didn't want to put down.

I absolutely love Mistaken Identity Crisis by James J. Cudney, and highly recommend it as a wonderful, fun, and fast-paced academic cozy. I, therefore, bestow upon Mistaken Identity Crisis the highest rating of Five Kitties.

Five out of five kitties
Note: I received a complimentary copy of Mistaken Identity Crisis,
and voluntarily reviewed it. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

The Author

About James J. Cudney 

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College with a degree in English literature. I spent fifteen years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing for far too long. I’m a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I’m an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries. I frequently blog and publish book reviews on everything I read at ThisIsMyTruthNow via WordPress.

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind, and my body. I decided to pursue my passion by dusting off the creativity inside my head and drafting outlines for several novels. I quickly realized I was back in my element growing happier and more excited with life each day. My goal in writing is to connect with readers who want to be part of great stories and who enjoy interacting with authors. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow — all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.

When I completed the first book, Watching Glass Shatter, I knew I’d stumbled upon my passion again, suddenly dreaming up characters, plots, and settings all day long. I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It is with my third book, Academic Curveball, the first in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, where I immersed myself in a college campus full of so much activity, I could hardly stop thinking about new murder scenes or character relationships to finish writing the current story. Come join in the fun!

List of Books
Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)
Father Figure (April 2018)
Braxton Campus Mysteries
Academic Curveball - #1 (October 2018)
Broken Heart Attack - #2 (November 2018)
Flower Power Trip - #3 (March 2019)
Mistaken Identity Crisis - #4 (June 2019)

Websites & Blog

Social Media Links
Purchase Links - Amazon

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