Characters Welcome!

Here’s a review from Alexia Boesen who really liked Too Much Blood, except for one thing. Read on.

Author: Jane Bennett Munro Published: 2012 Available: in both paperback & Kindle varieties.Available at Barnes & Noble in paperback & Nook varieties.
Synopsis: Pathologist Toni Day receives a call in the middle of the night informing her that a local attorney by the name of Jay Braithwaite Burke has been found dead in his Mercedes. This attorney was known because of his elaborate hedge fund that he had managed to get the entire hospital to invest in. The only ones who didn’t invest were Toni and her husband Hal.Jay disappeared shortly after it was discovered that his hedge fund was actually a Ponzi scheme.
When Toni discovers that Jay bled to death,she’s ready to rule this as a homicide.Before she can do that,his partner Lance dies in similar circumstances. This is quickly followed by a series of house fires that leave both Jay & Lance’s wives and children homeless.
Toni is already dealing with some personal issues of her own.Her marriage is on the rocks. She fears that the emotional distance that she is experiencing with her husband could lead him to an affair. Her suspicions only grow when she sees him with a young,blond twenty-something woman.
However,concerns about her husband’s faithfulness must be put aside as a mysterious illness begins to threaten the lives of those she knows and loves. Can she solve the mystery in time?
Review: Despite seeing that this book had some not so great reviews, I was elated when I got a copy from the author and the following day I dove head first into the book.Mystery books have always been a favorite of mine so I had high expectations for this book.
My expectations were definitely met.This book was an awesome book. Yes there were some issues mainly surrounding the HIPPA laws that I know are in place to protect the patient. As someone who has spent a ton of time in hospitals,I was expecting to be bothered by the violations of HIPPA but I found myself not even caring. That’s how engaging I found the book.
This book kept me guessing the entire time. I really liked Toni and she seemed to have everything all put together even though her personal life was unraveling. I wish I had a better feeling about Hal but I don’t feel like his character was developed as much as I was hoping.Then there was Bambi who I didn’t like initially but I grew to absolutely adore her. Let’s not forget the awesomeness that was Toni’s mother,Fiona. She was full of spunk that was so similar to Toni.
The finale scene with Ruthie and Toni was pure perfection. My heart was racing as I read the pages.It was so suspenseful that I could barely wait to read the next page and the next one.
I would give this book 4 stars. The only reason it’s not getting a full five stars is that I don’t feel like I got to know all of the supporting characters as well as I wanted to. I think she could have tapped into them a bit more,especially Hal.

Posted by at8:00 AM

I’ve received other reviews that made the same criticism. I think I made the mistake of assuming that everyone who reads Too Much Blood has already met my characters in Murder Under the Microscope. Not necessarily! Of course I’ve gotten the same comment about Murder Under the Microscope too.
It’s too late for me to make any changes to either of those books. Luckily I got some of those criticisms before finishing my third Toni Day mystery, Grievous Bodily Harm. I did go back and flesh out the characters more in that one.
I’m a beginner here. Every book, every critique, is a learning experience. Thanks, one and all, for your reviews. They’re just going to make me a better author.

It’s about time

Finally, my publisher has assigned me publicists. Too Much Blood has been out since last July and I got my publicists just last month. To be fair about it, I’m just now getting around to posting the posts they recommended for me, and here goes the first one, entitled How does Too Much Blood build on Murder Under the Microscope?

It was always my intention to create a cast of characters and stick with them, like Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy Sayers. I created Toni Day in my own image, so to speak, and made her even better. I’ve always thought having a Jewish husband would be really neat (think of all the holidays!) so I created one for Toni, Hal Shapiro. I created best friends/next-door neighbors, because in small towns like Twin, people know their neighbors. I gave Toni and Hal a friend who’s a policeman, Pete Vincent. That gives Toni an “in” with the police. I didn’t give Toni children because I don’t have children, and I didn’t think I could write about being a mother convincingly. I gave Toni a British mother because my own mother was British, although she emigrated when she was only 3 years old. So I had Toni do that.

Although my Toni Day mysteries are a series, each one stands alone, with regard to plot. You don’t have to read the first one to understand what’s going on in the second one. Blood contains references to things that happened in Murder, but only in passing. Grievous will contain references to what happened in Blood, and so on.

With each new Toni Day mystery,Toni encounters a completely new situation with which she must cope, amd also acquires new people in her life. While she goes about doing her daily job as a pathologist, coping with whatever problems I decide to throw at her, life goes on. Things happen to Hal, to Pete, to Toni’s mother, which distract her. Like so many women, she must multitask.

So, in Murder, I introduced Toni, Hal, Jodi and Elliott, and Mum. Toni was confronted with the murder of another doctor, one who had given her nothing but grief. Toni was forced to solve that murder to keep herself out of jail. She had to establish credibility with the police. She also had to deal with an old boyfriend who stalked her and threatened Hal.

In Blood, Toni deals with an entirely new problem. The difference is that Toni now has a reputation and some standing with the police. They actually listen to her now. The adversaries she had in Murder are gone. The stalker went to prison. Toni  has acquired a partner, so the workload is at least manageable. In Murder, Hal was Toni’s staunchest ally. In Blood, he’s part of the problem.

As the years go by, and the books keep coming, Toni and Hal will grow older and more mature. Toni’s reputation both as a pathologist and as a crime-solver will continue to grow. New people will enter her life. Some will stay, some will go. At some point, I’ll have to have Toni solve a mystery somewhere other than Twin Falls, which will require some on-site research. A cruise, for example. A trip to England to meet her mother’s family. At some point, Toni will retire from pathology. She may even become a writer.The possibilities are endless!