Monday, December 7, 2015


 by Robert Williamson

The book Chaos Theory is a teen mystery drama written by M. Evonne Dobson. This book’s protagonist is a high school student girl named Kami. Kami is a nosy, curious girl who sees people as data and nothing more. Kami gets interested when a new student (whom she nicknames “Drug Guy”) comes to her school. According to Kami’s friend, Sandy, “Drug Guy” had killed his sister by letting her steal his drugs and she overdosed. So naturally, Kami stalks this new student and finds out the truth about his sister. Kami helps “Drug Guy” solve the mystery surrounding his sister with the help of her friends, Sandy and Sam the Boy of 100 Nicknames.

Personally, I think this was an okay book. There were a few good parts, but there were also parts I did not like. I did not feel any attachment to any of the characters, nor do I remember getting surprised by any upcoming events. There weren’t many plot twists as far as I remember, so the story was pretty predictable. I don’t think a book in the mystery genre should be as predictable as this one was. One more thing I found annoying was the unnecessary plot details. There were certain moments in the book where I just thought to myself “What is the purpose of this being in the book? It is not essential to the plot and is put in only for more trouble to show up.” Maybe if some of these issues were not there, this book may very well have been a really good and interesting book. These issues could have been avoided in a few ways:

1. Making the characters more relatable. The characters were not very relatable, therefore, I did not connect to them as much as I would have liked. Having more relatable characters tends to lead to a book being more entertaining for the readers. An example of a unrelatable character was Daniel. It felt like at times M. Dobson wanted us to feel sorry for Daniel and his predicament. However, I did not feel sorry for him.

2. Making the book's plot points less obvious. If a book is in the mystery genre, the characters shouldn’t be the only ones to be questioning the mystery. The readers themselves should be trying to figure out the mystery. In the case with this book, the BIG bad was not introduced at the beginning, making the mystery not much of a mystery of who did it.

3. Taking out or edit the unnecessary moments. Like I said above, there are moments that make me question why they are in the book in the first place. These moments do nothing or close to nothing to further the plot. The only reason these parts of the story was put in was for some extra drama. Maybe editing them to the point where they have some relevance with the plot would help. One of the unnecessary moments was the love triangle. The love triangle was not helpful to the plot whatsoever.

While these issues were not bad enough to make the book terrible, they were still issues I had that interfered with my liking it as much as I could have. Should these issues have been avoided, I believe the book would be better and a more enjoyable read.

REVIEW TIME: Wabanaki Blues by Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel

Wabanaki Blues is the story of Mona Lisa LaPierre, a New Hampshire girl of Indian heritage who is trying to make her life as a Blues musician. She planned to start her career after her high school graduation, but her parents have different plans. Her mom and dad are going away to Russia for a month to study ancient bear sacrifices, and they have decided to make her isolated from all civilization with her Mohegan grandfather, Grumps. Grumps is an Indian that is stuck in the past, who lives in a cabin with little to no electricity, and almost no modern conveniences.

Mona expects life up in rural Vermont to be dull and boring due to this revelation, but she surprises even herself when she becomes friends with a college kid named Del. Del and Mona get along nicely until she notices that Del’s dad is the owner of a green-flamed motorcycle, the motorcycle that was seen driving away from her very own school when a student named Mia Delaney disappeared forever. This disappearance was one that always haunted Mona’s mom. Alongside with Biliki, Mona’s dead Abenaki grandmother who gives her guidance, Mona is determined to solve the disappearance of Mia Delaney once and for all.

This book surprised, in a very good way. My first impression of Mona and the book as a whole was that this book was another “misunderstood teenager in high school attempts to solve mystery that the police can’t,” but this book developed into something distinctly different than that later on.

While the book’s main mystery is the mystery of Mia Delaney, intertwined in the story is the Secret of Wabanaki, something she learns more and more about through her Indian relatives. In my opinion this book tries to mix a modern mystery with Indian traditions and stories, which it does with moderate success.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Solution

All four suspects had motives, as Seamus McCree explained. It was means and opportunity that implicated the murderer.

Payton Olliver couldn't have done it -- our "artist" had her hands covered in shaving cream, which stickified everything she touched. The bourbon bottle had fingerprints, but no shaving cream, which that it hadn't been wiped down . . . which meant she couldn't have put the nuts in it.

Ray Vuss Wordum couldn't have done it -- at the time the dargon nuts were being stolen, he was being snatched by hotel security.

Fran Van Helsing couldn't have done it -- when the murder occurred, she was being evicted from the hotel by hotel security.

That leaves only Helen Bvtzchknn with means (the nuts), motive (getting banned from the EWW) and opportunity (right there in the bar).

When arrested, Helen said . . . well, nobody understood what she said because it made no sense. Regardless, justice was served!

Dee T. Ective's First Homicide Mystery: Winners

The mystery has been solved! Thanks to all who participated -- we really appreciate your time, effort, and support for our little blog. We spent a lot of time and energy creating and staging this interactive mystery, and we really grew to love the characters (criminals though they may be).

We would like to thank Reavis Wortham for being our wonderful victim, Jim Jackson and Seamus McCree for their enlightening insights, Tai Randolph for her helpful commentary, and the lovely rulers of Bouchercon for allowing us to commit all sorts of tom-foolery. Oh, and Sisters in Crime for paying our way. Thanks, you guys.

Most of all, however, thank you to hotel security for NOT kicking us out when you found a group of teenagers huddled out by the bathrooms taking pictures of themselves with lampshades on their heads.

We hope you had just as much fun as we did.

Now, the time has come to announce the winner...

*drum roll*


She correctly deduced the identity of the perpetrator and won the drawing for a $25 giftcard! We also gave away five $5 runner-up prizes.

For those who are still left wondering about the culprit, don't worry. We'll clue you in -- for the solution, click HERE!

Monday, October 12, 2015


Well folks, I'm stumped. Surely somewhere in those clues is the solution to the mystery of who killed Reavis Wortham. One of our four suspects had means, motive AND opportunity, but dang if I can decide which one. Neither can Junebug (although he swears he's closer than I am).

What do you think? Who's the killer? Fran the Fan Girl? Helen the Edditer? Payton the "artist"? Or Ray Vuss the lampshade impersonator? And what evidence do you have proving their guilt?

Review the Cast of Characters HERE.

Go through the story again starting with the first chapter HERE.

E-mail your guess (tell us both the guilty party and the evidence establishing his/her guilt) to Low Country Sisters in Crime at lowcountrysinc at gmail dot com with the phrase "CCAT Mystery Contest" in the subject line. Only one guess per participant. On October 30 at midnight, we'll choose one winner at random from all the correct guesses. The winner will be announced Halloween Day.

What does the winner win? A $25 gift card/certificate to either Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Poisoned Pen Press -- winner's choice.

That's an awful lot of winning, don't you think? Don't you want to be a part of it?

Of course you do!

Get your solution to us before midnight October 30th! And that gift card could be yours!

PS: We will also have some prizes for Most Original Guess, and the One We Wish We'd Come Up With,and any other prizes we feel like awarding. 

The fine print: No purchase is necessary. You must be at least 16 years old to enter. The winners will be chosen randomly from all correct entries and notified by email. The CCAT YA Book Club and its agents are not responsible for transmission failures, computer glitches or lost, late, damaged or returned email. The prize must be claimed within 7 days or it will be forfeited.

CHAPTER 14: A Few Thoughts From Amateur Sleuth and Gun Shop Owner Tai Randolph

Look, if there's one thing I've discovered, it's that anybody can kill. We're all just dogs one meal away from turning into wolves. Of course, some people start out wolves. And maybe that's what we're looking at with our pool of suspects – a pack of ravening, bloodthirsty predators.

But . . . I doubt it. This bunch is strictly amateur hour.

In my experience, motive is the least important of the means/motive/opportunity triple threat. Motives rise and fall like the tide. And – as Seamus McCree has pointed out – all four of these suspects have good ones. Well, not good ones especially. Not the kind that reasonable people like you or I would consider good, but good enough for people like Fran and Ray Vuss and Helen and Payton.

This is the part where Trey would explain that a simple graph – or perhaps a nice series of cluster maps – would illuminate the mystery. He's probably right (he usually is). Trey and I have different ways of doing things, true enough, but there's one thing we can agree on – in most killings, it's not a matter of figuring out who could have done it; it's all about finding out who couldn't.

That's what I told Detective Ective. And that's what I'll tell you. And now if y'all will excuse me, I have to get back to the shop. There's a shipment of circa-1865 undergarments I have to sort through.


CHAPTER 13: So THAT Was The Commotion!

No wonder Brutus the bartender went to see what all the noise was -- it was hotel security dragging Fran Helsing out of the hotel lobby. Apparently she was in violation of a restraining order that Reavis Wortham had taken out against her. She didn't go willingly, or quietly -- the crime scene techs found claw marks in the carpet. But she did go . . . and they didn't let her back in the hotel.

Oh, the humanity!

Photograph Courtesy of Paparazzi #1
Photograph Courtesy of Paparazzi #2
Go to Chapter 14!