Legally Blind Luck (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney
About Legally Blind Luck
Legally Blind Luck (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
7th in Series
Gumshoe – A Next Chapter Imprint (April 15, 2021)
Paperback: 295 pages
Digital ASIN: B08R347N84
Surprising new family members. A hidden talisman. Deadly curses. Murder. Months after tragically losing a loved one, Kellan learns his relative’s death wasn’t an accident.
Someone has discovered a cursed talisman, and a rogue government agent will stop at nothing to retrieve the heirloom. Unfortunately, it has already changed hands and found its way on campus. Moments before Braxton’s controversial art exhibition opens, Kellan stumbles upon another murder victim, and it appears he might be next on the avenger’s list.
Can Kellan protect the talisman’s true heir and prevent the killer’s nefarious plan? Given all the suspects have ties to prominent Braxton citizens, he’s uncertain whom to trust. Together, Kellan and Sheriff April are determined to solve the mystery – via legal means or blind luck.
Kellan has his hands full with his work at the college, preparing for the next term and helping to oversee that an exhibit of South African Art goes off without a hitch. An exhibit that connects to his recently deceased uncle and a hidden talisman and a curse. Before the event even starts another dead body is found on the Braxton Campus. People are starting to worry. There has been a great influx of murders since Kellan returned home. Especially because he gets so involved in their investigations. Being romantically involved with the Sheriff should help him get all the details but that isn’t always the case. This time it is going to take both of their intellect and prowess to solve this crime.
This one started a little slow for me. With the cliffhanger at the end of Frozen Stiff Drink, I expected this story to pick right up where that story left off but several months seem to have passed. I felt I had a lot of information to absorb before the story really got going. I also appreciated the cast list at the beginning of the book because we meet a lot of new characters and at times it was hard to keep all the characters and their connections straight.
As I read further into the story I found the James J. Cudney rhythm I am used to. The intricate plotlines evolved and again Kellan is in the middle of everything that happens. Because of the death of his uncle, we meet several characters connected to him and now connected to the college. They are brought together in search of a talisman many believe could now be at the college or with Kellan. The backstory of this artifact and its curse was very interesting but its entanglements did get a little confusing at times.
I really enjoyed the way Kellan and April’s romance is progressing buy I think they made a huge mistake when a key piece of evidence is found. Not handling its security immediately as most law enforcement professionals would have instigated did allow some future events but to me, this part was just not believable.
The mystery had several twists but I focused on one character almost from the moment they were introduced. I was still completed entertained with the way all was revealed. While I wasn’t surprised most of the characters definitely were.
The uniqueness of Kellan’s family is what originally drew me into this series, the mob connections, protecting his daughter, and the formidable presence of Nana D. always kept my attention and the pages flying. With his ex-wife’s story basically wrapped the author had to move these characters in a new direction and he has done a great job at that. We are getting to know some other of the key characters better. Kellan has also opened his home and his heart. Sadly Nana D. had a much smaller role in this book and I really missed the humor she usually brings. There was some but I can never get enough of that lady. We were introduced to another over-the-top character but she couldn’t fill Nana D.’s shoes.
I was happy that the main mystery was wrapped and I wouldn’t say this book ended with Mr. Cudney’s typical cliffhanger. Instead, it looks like Kellan has several options in his future. It sets up what could be a very compelling plot.
Legally Blind Luck, boy that title really fits, was an intriguing read with captivating characters, old and new. It’s always exciting to see what this author has in store for his characters.
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About James J. Cudney
James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media, hospitality, and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote short stories, poems, and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I committed to focusing my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing, and publishing.
Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, mind, and body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels, and suspense thrillers. I conjure characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.
Reader & Reviewer
Reading has also never left my side. Whether it was children’s books, young adult novels, college textbooks, biographies, or my ultimate love, fiction, it’s ever present in my day. I read two books per week and I’m on a quest to update every book I’ve ever read on Goodreads, write up a review, and post it on all my sites and platforms.
Blogger & Thinker
I have combined my passions into a single platform where I share reviews, write a blog and publish tons of content: TRUTH. I started my 365 Daily Challenge, where I post about a word that has some meaning to me and 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 dogs have had weekly segments called “Ryder’s Rants” or “Baxter’s Barks,” where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real. And that’s why they are me.
Genealogist & Researcher
I love history and research, finding myself often reaching back into the past to understand why someone made the choice he or she did and what were the subsequent consequences. I enjoy studying the activities and culture from hundreds of years ago to trace the roots and find the puzzle of my own history. I wish I could watch my ancestors from a secret place to learn how they interacted with others, and maybe I’ll comprehend why I do things the way I do.
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Great Escapes Praise for Legally Blind Luck (Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney
The author writes cozies that are fun to read, and this one is no exception. Full of mystery, twists and turns… it keeps one guessing who the murderer is.
As always James is able to intertwine details, braiding them together flawlessly and revealing one shock after another . . . this is one of my absolute favorites! 5 stars, and I’ll be holding my breath for book 8!
~Author Didi Oviatt
I loved the storyline in this installment – the cursed object gives the story a slightly darker feel while managing to remain “cozy”, and it was a fun change.
~The Book’s the Thing
The mystery in this one was quite twisty and I enjoyed the history and story about the curse. It added a lot of enjoyment to the story, especially for this history buff.
~Carla Loves To Read
James Cudney has a talent for writing family/murder mysteries, with wonderfully engaging dialogue, great characters, (my favourite is Nana D!)
~M J MALLON AUTHOR – Kyrosmagica
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”