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The 5 Manners of Death

The Five Manners of Death: Darden North

My thoughts:
What would you do if you were a construction worker and found and you unearthed a human skull on a university campus? What is this skull dated back to the 1960’s? What is this skull was meant to stay buried and never revealed? Within this novel readers will learn to understand the five manners of death, which I will define in detail and then link to the complex and intrigue plot of this novel. Everyone ages and dies at one time or another caused by getting older or a disease. That would be a natural death. If you are in a car or plane crash, you are accidentally walking across the street and get hit by a car and die or even have an allergic reaction to a medicine or overdoes on drugs. This would be labeled an accidental death. You are depressed, unhappy and want to end your life and your do. That is called suicide. This type of death is intentional. When someone takes a gun and shoots you or strangles you or killers you that’s called A Homicide. The next is more difficult as the police or ME have trouble defining the course of death. It could be one of the other four. This death is labeled Undetermined.

What happens when a well- known surgeon seems to be surrounded with dead bodies and not the ones she operates on in the hospital? But, instead her close friend Key Martin, the Police Chief enlists her help to solve the murders as she has done before he when he was a detective on the force. Carvel Eves is found dead with a note near his body. A pharmacist commits suicide. A woman goes into a bank and is shot. Her husband stands by with no emotional reaction. Randy Reynolds’s body is found after 50 years but not before his sister finds her way to the police station and the officer in charge of the investigation to learn his identity gives him information to help solve the case. So, who wanted her dead? Any way to find the connection between all of these murders is the reason why Martin does not mind allowing Diana to help him. But, things spiral out of control when the author shares Phoebe’s past and we learn about her connection to Winston Ivy, Marzel, Eves, Reynolds and someone close to all of them hiding in plain sight. Added in she has to deal with Kelsey her teenage outspoken daughter whose attitude at times has her worried and whose personality mirrors her aunts in many ways.

Sharing Diana and Brad her partner’s time in the operating room leads you to believe that there is more to their friendship than just being surgeons. The author revisits the events that happened in 1965 and we realize that her aunt is hiding something, her relationships with some of all of the victims and is worried that her world is going to crash down on her.
Lies, fear, betrayals, hidden truths and a killer that is elusive and a group of friends from the past whose realities and truths are about to be uncovered but not before more murders. Phoebe is adapt at lying and claims that she did not know Rusty but an unusual piece of evidence that Diana finds will show the entire complexion of this murder case and possibly link her aunt to all of the murders. A yearbook from Ole Miss is in her aunt’s belongings and the pictures within it reveal much more than Diana expected. Learning from the yearbook that her aunt and the victims and others that are still alive were friends from college, what is she hiding? Why deny she knows them and why pretend when she sees Winston that she hardly knew him?

What I love is the banter between Diana and her daughter and Diana and her aunt. Teens tend to be blunt and straightforward and Kelsey often takes her to task and when using poor language, well you have to read or hear her response as she sides with Phoebe in many ways.
Being a doctor or surgeon requires that Diana is not always available for her daughter and this tends to take its toll on her in many ways and shown in many scenes. At times she seems more concerned as Chief Martin implies with police work and less with her surgical duties and her daughter. Each character is unique and has his/her own personality and qualities but Mrs. Drusilla Minton and her attitude towards the police, Phoebe and people in general is priceless as she is asked to show a renter’s lodgings in order for Officer Corey Myers to work with Martin in solving the murder of Rusty Reynolds’s sister.

Alex Bratton’s wife is another victim of this killer as he brings her to the hospital where his ex Diana works hoping that he saves the mother to be. Thinking she has a problem with her gallbladder she sends her off for tests only to be called and she is the next victim. Was it the previous doctor that misdiagnosed or failed to diagnose her real issue? Was it murder?

Sylvia Deloach was the murdered sister of Rusty Reynolds, Carvel Eaves the first victim found with a note detailing the five manners of death near his body. The second was the young female pharmacist who they stated committed suicide, the third Dewey Marzel the English teacher died from bee stings and bee venom. The fourth the human remains of Rusty that was found in Oxford. Mr. Eaves was holding a crumpled noted: Five Manners of Death. Officer Myers came to assist Martin and is a really strong character as is Martin. Both play an important role in solving the case. Phoebe is clever and was asked what she knew about been allergies and EpiPens when Marzel was found with one that was useless. Winston Ivy, Carvel Eaves, Dewey Marzel and Phoebe what was their connection in the past?

Phoebe is clever, resourceful, convincing and even manages to fool the hospital personnel and manages to leave without anyone stopping or noticing her. She is also very fashion conscious and is definitely has high standards when it comes to decorating her new home, dealing with those that do not fit the mold of properly suited or kitted out, she is a force to be reckoned with.

The author cleverly and with much skill weaves all of the fragmented pieces together as we learn just how he knits and pearls the mosaic picture of what happened to each of the victims slowly, carefully and methodically. Who was the mastermind behind killing Rusty? You won’t believe the reason why? Why is Phoebe linked to the murders and who wants her and the rest of the picture?
Sylvia went to see Officer Myers in Oxford and explained that her brother disappeared when she was child and her parents covered up the truth behind his disappearance why?

A college yearbook, photos, a simple note, websites, articles, links, a useless EpiPen and a laptop that would reveal it all. Who is the mastermind that thinks he/she will get away with performing THE FIVE MANNERS OF DEATH? Read it to find out. Filled with mystery, intrigue, twists, surprises and an ending that might mirror an Agatha Christie novel think about what would happen if AND THEN THERE WERE NONE? Will there be a sequel? Will Diana and Brad hook up or what about Key Martin? Let’s hope the author pens a sequel and make sure you bring back Aunt Phoebe.

Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine

 

About Just Reviews by:gabina49:

author educator book reviewer for authors reading and writing staff developer Book reviewer for manic readers, ijustfinished.com book pleasures and authors upon request blog tours on my blog and interviews with authors I am the author of five published books. I wrote three children's books in my Bertha Series and Two on Alzheimer's. Radio show talk host on Red River Radio/Blog Talk Radio Book Discussion with Fran Lewis the third Wed. of every month at one eastern. I interview 2 authors each month feature their latest releases. I review books for authors upon request and my latest book Sharp As A Tack or Scrambled Eggs Which Describes Your Brain? Is an E book, Kindle and on Xlibris.com Some of the proceeds from this last book will go to fund research in the area of Brain Traumatic Injury in memory of my sister Marcia who died in July.

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