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Dead Week (A Cassandra Sato Mystery) by Kelly Brakenhoff #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @inBrakenVille

Dead Week (A Cassandra Sato Mystery)
by Kelly Brakenhoff

About Dead Week


Dead Week (A Cassandra Sato Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Nebraska
Publisher: Emerald Prairie Press (December 7, 2019)
Paperback: 322 pages
ISBN-10: 1733742425
ISBN-13: 978-1733742429
Digital ASIN: B07ZHN2SMS

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Will Dead Week kill Cassandra’s career?

VP of Student Affairs Cassandra Sato has a desk full of problems and it’s not even Thanksgiving break.

A student’s injury and a deaf advocacy project brings national media attention to underfunded Morton College.

Cassandra’s new boss talks to her dead husband. Cassandra’s mentor thinks he’s a superhero in a senior citizen’s body. And Cassandra, recently moved from Hawai’i, can’t crack the code of what to wear during November in Nebraska.

Is there more to the Vietnam-era story of a student’s death? Cassandra’s search for the long-buried truth stirs up the wrath of those who want to keep the past forgotten.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Dead Week – The last full week of classes before final exams, a period of substantial and predictable quiet study time for undergraduate students.  

With Dead Week quickly approaching Student Affairs VP Cassandra Sato is juggling student issues, a deaf advocacy project, a new college President, and a Nebraska Winter. Her Diversity Council is barely underway when a student is injured. A student that had a mission of her own. When her injury gets national media attention her story gets out drawing unwanted attention to Morton College and the new President may pull the plug on Cassandra’s project completely. There is something going on with her mentor so she is unsure how much help he will be but Cassandra delves in to try to find the truth bringing the ire of even more people.

As with the first book in this series, Death by Dissertation, Ms. Brakenhoff gives readers a wonderfully detailed story featuring characters that are rich and unique.

Cassandra Sato knows some basic American Sign Language to converse with the deaf students at the college, some who work for her.  Her friend Meg is an ASL interpreter at Morton College and helps Cassandra when needed. Be it signing and interpreting or helping Cassandra with her clothing and footwear choices, dating advice or just being a sounding board Meg is a great friend. Cassandra also pitches in to help Meg and her family too. It is hard being so far away from her family but slowly she is feeling more at home in Nebraska. Something happens at the end of the story that just may make that easier.

The author is an ASL interpreter herself, so she is writing what she knows and she does an excellent job. She has opened my eyes to so many things regarding the struggles hearing impaired people face not only at college but in daily life. Within this story, we see two sides, the things the deaf students need, which would also benefit hearing students and the college side dealing with budget constraints.

The author also delivers a mystery the not only deals with who hurt the student and continues to torment them but an incident that happened several years ago at the college. The incidents are definitely connected, it is just a matter of splicing all the clues together and a little bit of digging. I did find myself drawn to the right person early in the story but as the story evolved and more information came out it my theory was firmed up in an almost heartbreaking way. There was also a very interesting twist.

The college community gives the book a small-town feel. While Cassandra is new to the college many people on staff have been there for years. All the interactions between the characters felt very realistic.

I really enjoyed Cassandra’s reaction to snow and the November Nebraska weather. Coming from Hawaii it is quite an adjustment. It provided a few giggles. I also enjoyed her unique Hawaiian phrases of speech thrown in here and there. You can take the girl out of Hawaii but you can’t take Hawaii out of the girl.

Dead Week is a strong follow up to Death by Dissertation. I am looking forward to the next semester at Morton College. You know Cassandra will be in the middle of another mystery or two.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Death by Dissertation here

 

About Kelly Brakenhoff

KELLY BRAKENHOFF is an American Sign Language Interpreter whose motivation for learning ASL began in high school when she wanted to converse with her deaf friends. Her first novel, Death by Dissertation, kicked off the Cassandra Sato Mystery Series. She also wrote Never Mind, first in a children’s picture book series featuring Duke the Deaf Dog. She serves on the Board of Editors for the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf publication, VIEWs. The mother of four young adults and two dogs, Kelly and her husband call Nebraska home.

Her first mystery, Death by Dissertation, released April 22, 2019.

Author Links

Website Amazon Twitter BookBub GoodReads

Instagram –  @kellybrak

Purchase Link – Amazon 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS – Please visit all the stops. 
January 20 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 20 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
January 21 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
January 22 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT
January 22 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 22 – The Layaway Dragon – REVIEW
January 23 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 23 – Brooke Blogs– SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
January 23 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
January 24 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 24 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
January 25 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
January 25 – Baroness’ Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT
January 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
January 26 – Diane Reviews Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 27 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
January 27 – Laura`s Interests  – SPOTLIGHT
January 28 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
January 28 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 29 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
January 29 – My Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE  
January 29 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW
January 29 – Reading Authors Network – REVIEW

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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.”

Posted in Craving For Cozies Cruisin Thru Cozies E-Book Challenge Giveaways Great Escapes Book Tours Literary Escapes Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Death by Dissertation (Cassandra Sato) by Kelly Brakenhoff – Great Escapes Book Tour – #Review / #Giveaway @inBrakenVille

 

About the Book


Death by Dissertation (Cassandra Sato)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Nebraska
Emerald Prairie Press (April 17, 2019)
Paperback: 355 pages
ISBN-10: 1733742409
ISBN-13: 978-1733742405
Digital ASIN: B07PKRD658

Ambitious Cassandra Sato traded her life in Hawai’i for a dream position as Student Affairs VP at Morton College in tiny Carson, Nebraska. She expected the Midwestern church casseroles, land-locked cornfields, and face-freezing winters would be her biggest challenges, but it’s her job that’s rapidly becoming a nightmare.

A deaf student is dead and the investigation reveals a complicated trail of connections between campus food service, a local farmer’s beef, and the science lab’s cancer research. Together with her few allies, Cassandra must protect the students caught up in the entanglement.

Dealing with homesickness, vandalism, and a stalker, Cassandra is trapped in a public relations disaster that could cost her job, or more. No one said college was easy.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

There are many cozy mystery series set on college campuses, so authors have to work hard to make their stories unique. In Death by Dissertation, our protagonist Cassandra Soto have left Hawai’i for a job in Carson, Nebraska. I know winter there is milder than in the Upper Midwest where I live, but come on Hawai’i!!! It was that hook that first caught my attention.

As Student Affairs VP at Morton College, I am sure Cassandra can handle the weather and cornfields instead of the ocean, but I bet she never imagined finding one of her students dead. A deaf student that was working in a science lab doing cancer research.

His death is suspicious and Cassandra finds herself in the middle of the investigation while trying to do her job and her boss’s job because he has traveled to China and stay on top of all the homecoming week festivities. Worried that she could lose her position she keeps pushing forward but is put to a real test as she tries to discover who killed her student and why.

Cassandra Sato waded through everything that was thrown at her like a rockstar. To take the job of Student Affairs VP it is a given that she is ambitious and smart, but she is having a hard time fitting in in small-town Nebraska. She looks different than anyone else in town and she dresses more formally. Her home is vandalized and she is threatened and told to go back where she came from. But she handles it because this is her dream job and if she is ever going to be a college president she needs to stay calm and deal with all types of people.

Meg O’Brien is Cassandra’s longtime friend and an ASL interpreter at Morton College. My daughter uses American Sign Language at work, in fact, my grandsons can sign and understand many words too, although it is not part of their daily lives. I have always been interested in it. The author is an ASL interpreter herself and I like the way she puts that part of herself into the story and the character of Meg while raising an understanding of what deaf students encounter in college and going into the workforce.

I did enjoy some of the unique phrases of speech used by Cassandra, some were easily translated but some left me scratching my head. The interactions between Meg and Cassandra were realistic and some were laugh out loud funny. Their shopping trip to get Cassandra proper clothing for Nebraska was full of humor.

Ms. Brakenhoff is a very detailed writer which I felt was very necessary for this story due to the scientific theme. Many parts of the college and community are connected and play into solving the mystery with a wide variety of suspects. Her details also helped me to get a clear picture of all the characters. The pace she sets is relaxed until it starts to ramp up as more and more clues start to fall into place,

This series is off to a marvelous start. I can’t believe this is Kelly Brankenhoff’s first novel. She is an author to watch.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About Kelly Brankenhoff

 

Kelly Brakenhoff is an American Sign Language Interpreter whose motivation for learning ASL began in high school when she wanted to converse with her deaf friends. As an American Sign Language Interpreter with more than twenty years of experience, Kelly’s worked in college classrooms for fifteen different majors. From traipsing across muddy farm fields to stomach-churning medical procedures, and stage interpreting for famous figures, Kelly’s community interpreting interactions number in the thousands. Unfortunately, once she’s stepped away from the job, she usually forgets 90% of what happened. Which helps her keep confidential information safe, but also makes it really hard to grocery shop for more than 5 items without a written list.

Kelly wants to live in a world filled with peace, love, and joy, where people who can hear learn enough sign language to include deaf people in everyday conversations and work. Where every deaf child has early access to language and books with characters like them, and dark chocolate is cheap and plentiful.

When she’s not interpreting or writing, you can find Kelly cheering for her favorite Husker teams or training for half-marathons because she really likes dessert.

Her first mystery, Death by Dissertation, released April 22, 2019.

Author Links

Website Amazon Twitter

Purchase Link – Amazon

Amazon  June 25 – 30 – Just $1.99!!

Praise forDeath by Dissertation (Cassandra Sato)
by Kelly Brakenhoff

Death by Dissertation is a great start for a debut author and I can’t wait to see what other adventures await Cassandra Sato.
~Only By Grace Reviews

Death by Dissertation was so great!!! I love cozies but I’m always looking for something different that stands out. Death by Dissertation didn’t disappoint in any sense.
~The Layaway Dragon

If you’ve ever struggled to fit in at a new job, or if you just enjoy a wry and compelling mystery, pick up Death By Dissertation. The academic personalities were so recognizable that I couldn’t help but laugh (and cringe). I can’t wait for the next installment!
~Island Confidential

Death by Dissertation has collegiate spirit, a complex crime, scientific exploration, an avaricious killer, and a gifted gumshoe.
~The Avid Reader

Death by Dissertation is an engaging mystery with puzzling clues that introduces readers to a plucky protagonist . . . Author Kelly Brakenhoff is to be commended for her insider observations and realistic portrayal of campus politics and life in a small college town.
~Book Club Librarian

Find yourself caught up in this heartwarming academic cozy mystery featuring a strong and determined female sleuth.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies

This story is engaging and keeps you a bit on the edge of your seat as you watch for clues and try to figure out just what was up.
~My Reading Journeys

This book is very detailed and I thought the author did a good job on character development and providing just enough information to keep the reader engaged but not so much detail that a reader might lose interest.
~Storeybook Reviews

Wow! What a brilliant start to what I hope will be a long series! Kelly Brakenhoff pulled out the Cozy stops and wrote a page-turner and a half.
~A Wytch’s Book Review Blog

 

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS
June 17 – The Layaway Dragon – REVIEW
June 17 – Only By Grace Reviews – REVIEW
June 18 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
June 18 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – Island Confidential – REVIEW
June 20 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 20 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
June 21 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW  
June 21 – That’s What She’s Reading – GUEST POST
June 22 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
June 22 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 23 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 25 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
June 25 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 26 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
June 27 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST
June 28 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
June 29 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, GUEST POST
June 30 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

 

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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.”