Fatal Puzzle by Catherine Shepherd

Posted January 25, 2015 in Book Review / 2 Comments

Fatal Puzzle by Catherine ShepherdFatal Puzzle by Catherine Shepherd
Series: Zons Crime #1
Published by AmazonCrossing on January 1st 2015
Genres: Adult fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 155
Format: eBook
Source: Amazon
Buy on Amazon

1495: In the peaceful medieval city of Zons, on the banks of the Rhine, a young woman is found hanging from a parapet, assaulted 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.

Main Points
The plot was pretty exciting. It was cool how well the two stories- the one historical and the one in present day- were woven together. Sometimes events in one would foreshadow events in the other. And the final piece of the puzzle was one that I was able to guess towards the beginning (although I wasn’t positive) even though the present-day killer was not someone you could guess (easily). It got pretty tense towards the end. Things started to come together even while the danger grew. But there were certainly several things left unsolved and a tragedy prevented a happily ever after. But it’s a series, so of course some things had to be left open. I’m not entirely sure I want to continue. Well, I kinda do, but it’s not a priority.
Good vs. Bad
  • mystery
  • plot
  • setting
  • characters
  • writing
Less than perfect:
  • ending a little unsatisfying
Bottom Line
This was a pretty suspenseful mystery that wove together past and present really well. It was short but efficient even though it left a few things unsatisfying in the end. Would I read more by this author? Maybe. Would I recommend this to others? Sure, I guess.

About Catherine Shepherd

Bestselling German author Catherine Shepherd lives with her family in the small town of Zons on the river Rhine. She originally moved to Zons to be near her place of work at a major German bank in Düsseldorf. However, the medieval atmosphere of the town and the advent of self-publishing soon combined to stir the writing spirit that had lain dormant in her for many years. She began to write again, weaving together the threads of medieval and present time. The result? A series of four crime novels set in Zons, each a mixture of an exciting thriller and a mysterious story from the Middle Ages. The first (“Der Puzzlemörder von Zons”) as well as the third (“Kalter Zwilling”) and fourth (“Auf den Flügeln der Angst”) hit #1 on the German Kindle charts.

Overall: three-stars


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2 Comments on "Fatal Puzzle by Catherine Shepherd"

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Stormi Johnson

This sounds like an interesting one, so to bad it left things a bit unsatisfied in the end.