The Jack Stenhouse Mysteries by Frank A. Ruffolo is a murder mystery novel containing to novellas. In the first story, The Shadow of Death, we meet Jack, a detective with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. He’s gruff, prickly, and loves women. He is called in to investigate the discovery of the body of a woman found on the beach. The victim was killed with Black Mamba venom, which is incredibly rare. As more bodies begin to turn up, Jack finds himself dealing with a conspiracy with far reaching implications. In the second story, The Saturnalian Affect, Jack & DiDi have hit the Big Apple. In order to get his feet wet with the New York police, Jack is given a pair of cold cases. However, they may not be a cold as everyone thought. Before he knows it, he’s on the hunt for a killer obsessed with Greek mythology and only kills during the Feast of Saturnalin.
The copy I received was an ARC copy, so there will probably be some changes to the final, published copy. Both stories were relatively quick reads, each taking me about a day or so a piece. The Shadow of Death was the shorter of the two, with 26 chapters (The Saturnalian Affect has 48 with an epilogue). All the chapters were short, concise, and to the point. The plot for both stories were great, and all the characterizations were excellent. The Saturnalian Affect was the rougher of the two stores, but since it was an ARC copy I know that the few issues I saw will be fixed.
Jack is definitely a very interesting character. He’s a bit of pig at times, ogling women and whatnot, but his true affections lay with his girlfriend (and later fiancé) DiDi. I am also very envious of the car he drives around in, a ’68 Hemi Roadrunner. It’s a very macho car and fits him well.
Overall, I really loved the book. It’s well written and very enjoyable. I look forward to see if Mr. Ruffolo write more stories featuring Jack. The book is available on Amazon & Goodreads. Mr. Ruffolo has written several other books as well, which you can check out on his website.
I received an ARC copy of the book to help facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% my own.
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