Pub Date 28 Nov 2018
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Volume 12 of the Stan Turner Mysteries, a legal thriller set in Dallas, Texas in the 1980s.
Dallas attorney Stan Turner gets an unexpected appointment as the attorney-ad-litem for a teenager who is caught in the middle of an ugly divorce suit. Melody Monroe, who lost her parents in a tragic auto accident, is thrilled when she is finally adopted by a wealthy middle-aged couple Frank and Marjorie Monroe until she discovers they have ulterior motives for the adoption. When Frank is later found dead, Melody is accused of his murder and insists Stan defend her. Stan reluctantly takes the case but soon finds himself entangled in a web of lies, deception, and deceit.
BOOK REVIEW - Kirkus Reviews
"Readers’ blood may run cold while enjoying this taut murder mystery."
"A Texas attorney defends a 16-year-old cheerleader accused of patricide. This 12th installment of Manchee’s (Deadly Dining, 2014, etc.) mystery series boomerangs to near the beginning of Stan Turner’s legal career in the early 1980s, when he worked as a solo litigator. Stan goes to court for a restraining order that Marjorie Monroe filed to keep her alcoholic husband, Frank, a successful real estate developer, away from their adoptive teenage daughter, Melody. Frank allegedly injured the girl during a fight he was having with Marjorie, who wants to leave him. Before divorce papers can be served to Frank, he ends up dead in his garage, but not from carbon monoxide, as was first assumed. Someone switched Frank’s blood thinner medication, which resulted in his death. Arrows point to Melody, the heir to Frank’s fortune. Marjorie also had motive and opportunity, as did Frank’s sister, Natalie, who barely tolerated him and with whom he shared a multimillion-dollar trust. Frank also recently screwed over the head of a rival building company. After Melody is charged with the killing, Stan agrees to represent her, despite his limited experience defending murder suspects. This thriller succeeds far better than the previous book in the series, in large part due to the concentration on a single case—although not a singular murder. The author’s experience as an attorney helps make the trial scenes both realistic and tense. But too much of the tale takes place in a courtroom; more action away from the legal proceedings would have been welcome in this disturbing story about a troubled family. And at over 400 pages, the book could have benefited from some streamlining. Many characters range from unlikable to unconscionable, but in Manchee’s Texas, women are universally attractive, which suits Stan, who is a bit of a horndog. He muses about a fellow attorney: “She was a very attractive woman and there was dangerous chemistry between us. If I hadn’t been married, we’d have been lovers.”
Readers’ blood may run cold while enjoying this taut murder mystery."
Marketing will include author book signings, library events, trade show appearances. Deadly Blood will also be included in IBPA's catalogs, Kirkus Review's email campaigns and promoted through direct mail to libraries and booksellers.
As part of Top Publications 20th Anniversary TOP is publishing a special library edition of the Stan Turner Mysteries that will be marketed to libraries all across the country through direct mail, email, and by author appearances at library conferences and events.
Currently, William Manchee is scheduled to make appearances at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington DC, June 20-26, 2019 and at Bouchercon's 50th Anniversary in Dallas, Texas October 31-Nov 3 2019.