Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Fatal Puzzle by Catherine Shepherd

Fatal Puzzle
Zons Crime Book One
Author: Catherine Shepherd
Translator: Julia Knobloch
Publisher: AmazonCrossing
ISBN: 9781477826508
Paperback: 154 pages

About the Book:
1495: In the peaceful medieval city of Zons, on the banks of the Rhine, a young woman is found hanging from a parapet, raped and mutilated. A month later, another maiden falls prey. Bastian Mühlenberg, head of the City Guard, is determined to decipher the murderer’s gruesome code, unaware that he and the woman he loves are in the killer’s sights. With the help of an old psychic, a priest, and the stars above, Mühlenberg must solve the “fatal puzzle” before it’s too late.

Present day: Journalist Emily Richter is thrilled when she’s assigned a series of articles about the historic Zons killings. However, right before her stories are to be published, a young woman’s body is found hanging from a city tower—grossly maimed and wearing a linen gown, like her medieval predecessors. Detective Oliver Bergmann leads the investigation, tapping the knowledge of the attractive young journalist. Working together—and using Mühlenberg’s old notes—they race to stay one step ahead of the copycat killer.

About the Author:

Thriller author Catherine Shepherd lives with her family in the medieval town of Zons, Germany, the setting of Fatal Puzzle. Since leaving her successful career as a project manager at a major German bank, Shepherd has devoted herself to writing full-time. Fatal Puzzle, the first book in the Zons series, hit number one on Amazon's bestseller list in Germany.

My Thoughts:

This mystery thriller is definitely worth taking notice of. From the beginning, I was really taken in by the shifting of time frames and how the story unfolded. In the late 1400's we are introduced to a serial killer and the detective that "hunts" him. In the present day, we are introduced to a journalist who is researching that killer. As she researches why the killer did what he did, and the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, there is a real life serial murder going on that mimics the 500 year old murder mystery.

As I read more and more translated novels, I'm finding that I love the fresh take on story telling they provide. This story was no exception! Full of suspense and a some red herrings, I really didn't figure out who did it until close to the end when it was revealed. I love stories that keep me guessing and I love the fact that there was a puzzle involved where you learned along with the main character.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of Catherine Shepherd's work translated into English. The translator (Julia Knobloch) for "Fatal Puzzle" did a superb job and there was no awkward feel to sentence structure or any misunderstanding in what was being said.

This is a great mystery/thriller to settle in with. It's not very long and the characters are fleshed out enough to really enjoy them. If you enjoy translated works, a good thriller or mystery or just like a well told story, then this is a must to add to your reading list!!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley courtesy of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

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