Delighted to review the first book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, Academic Curveball by James J. Cudney
About Academic Curveball
When Kellan Ayrwick returns home for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds a dead body in Diamond Hall’s stairwell.
Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Soon after, the college’s athletic program receives mysterious donations, a nasty blog denounces his father and someone attempts to change students’ grades.
Someone is playing games on campus, but none of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. And if that wasn’t enough already, his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever.
In the debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mysteries Series, you’ll discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic and nosy residents.
My review for Academic Curveball
An intelligent and well written whodunnit with strong characters and enough twists and turns to keep you intrigued to the end.
It is great to read a mystery that does not telegraph its intentions. So many lead you by the hand, with obvious clues that have you identifying the culprit early on in the story. A bit like television dramas whose suspect has to be the one famous name in the cast!. James Cudney does an excellent job in keeping the suspense going until the end of the book and in creating characters that are flawed but also believable.
Kellan Ayrwick leads the cast and is ably supported by his fiesty grandmother who is a loving meddler. Being a small town everybody knows everyone else’s secrets or think they do and this adds missteps in the investigation of the initial murder. Kellan Ayrwick is a modern Miss Marple, insinuating himself annoyingly into the mysterious events as far as the sheriff is concerned, putting him at loggerheads with both her and his father who is trying to avoid any further scandal to the college.
His family and the other main characters have secrets that are wheedled out over the course of the story and add more surprises. Kellan also revisits unresolved issues from his years growing up in the town with his best friend and the girl he left behind.
The ending is not predictable and that is a mark of a very good mystery. I am looking forward to reading the other books in the series.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HMYSQFH
Also by James J. Cudney
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M
And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M
Read more reviews and follow James on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney
About James J. Cudney
James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island and currently live in New York City, but I’ve traveled all across the US (and various parts of the world). After college, I spent 15 years working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Although I enjoyed my job, I left in 2016 to focus on my passion: telling stories and connecting people through words. My debut novel is ‘Watching Glass Shatter,’ a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor and romance. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com
What do I do outside of writing: I’m an avid genealogist (discovered 2K family members going back about 250 years) and cook (I find it so hard to follow a recipe). I love to read; between Goodreads and my blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, I have over 500 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I started the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dog has a weekly segment called “Ryder’s Rants” where he complains about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real and show how I live every day.
A bit of humor: Everything doubles as something else when you live in NYC. For me, it’s the dining room, my favorite space in the apartment, where more than just my cooking is on display! As I look out the windows onto a 12th floor terrace, various parts of nature (trees, bushes, flowers, bugs & animals) inspire me to write. Ryder, my 10-year old shiba inu, usually lays on my feet, growling when I shift positions too many times or when I forget to share my food! Although he’s only 20 pounds, he’s quite strong and pushy. But how else can you pen the best story possible without these things by your side?
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Thanks for dropping in and it would be great if you could spread the word about James and his books as far as possible. Thanks Sally