Posted in Reviews 2013

Review: Hero’s Journey by J.J. Cook

Hero’s Journey (Novella)
(A Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade)

1.5 in the Series
Cozy Mystery
E-Book File Size: 1031 KB
Print Length: 79 pages
Publisher: Berkley (December 3, 2013)




A hot dog and a hot head are on the loose in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee, and it’s up to Fire Chief Stella Griffin to collar them both...

We met Stella Griffin in That Old Flame of Mine, the first installment of this series, back in April. Stella accepted a temporary position in Sweet Pepper to train the local residents to be firefighters. The former fire chief had passed away and she needed to get out of Chicago and away from her cheating boyfriend. She starts to think maybe Chicago was better than one of her current roommates, a dalmatian puppy named Hero,  and the ghost of Eric Gamlyn, the former fire chief. She loves Hero but living with a ghost is a major adjustment.

In this novella, Hero disappears and while everyone is searching for him they also have to deal with a string of fires and burglaries. The strange thing is Hero been seen at these fires but is gone by the time Stella and the other firefighters arrive. The fires also appear to be deliberately set.  So now Stella is not just looking for her lost dog but an arsonist too.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Being a daughter of a Fire Chief these stories just capture my heart. This novella was just what I needed to tide me over until Playing with Fire comes out January 7.

We never had a dalmatian, even though I begged for one for years. Hero is a truly special dog and has earned his name.  Stella is feeling more at home in Sweet Pepper and her relationship with a certain police officer seems to be growing. I continue to be drawn to Chief Gamlyn. I tend to forget he is ghost.  He reminds me a lot of my dad who I miss each and every day. These authors know how to write characters readers love and root for, characters that engage us and pull us right into the story.

Time to light the fire in the fireplace and curl up with this short cozy mystery. Enjoy!!

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About This Author
Joyce Lavene, and her husband/partner, Jim, write the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries as J.J. Cook. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family. Visit them at or plus on

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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.”