The Fruitcake Murders  -     By: Ace Collins
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The Fruitcake Murders

Abingdon Press / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

As Christmas 1946 draws near, thirty-something marine officer-turned-homicide detective, Lane Walker, has his hands full. Three men with seemingly no relationship to each other have been murdered, including the powerful District Attorney. The only connection between the crimes? The weapons: twenty-year-old unopened fruitcake tins manufactured by a company that is no longer in business.

While some foods may be "to die for", fruitcake isn't one of them! This heaping helping of murder will be no easy task for Walker, and he certainly doesn't need the determined and feisty Betsy Clayton, the political reporter for The Chicago Herald, getting in the way.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 (inches)
ISBN: 1426771894
ISBN-13: 9781426771897

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Publisher's Description

As Christmas 1946 draws near, thirty-something marine officer-turned-homicide detective Lane Walker has his hands full. Three men with seemingly no relationship to each other have been murdered, including the powerful District Attorney. The only connection between the crimes? The weapons: twenty-year-old unopened fruitcake tins manufactured by a company that is no longer in business.

While some foods may be to die for, fruitcake isn't one of them! This heaping helping of murder will be no easy task for Walker, and he certainly doesn't need the determined and feisty Tiffany Clayton, the political reporter for The Chicago Star, getting in the way.

Employing witty dialogue and historical accuracy, The Fruitcake Murders offers equal parts murder, mystery, and mayhem in a perplexing whodunit set in the days just after World War II.


Author Bio

Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. He has authored more than sixty books that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, children’s works as well as books on history, culture and faith. He has also been the featured speaker at the National Archives Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted a network television special and does college basketball play-by-play. Ace lives in Arkansas. Learn more about him by visiting AceCollins.com. 

Product Reviews

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4.5 out Of 5
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83%
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  1. Covina, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Delicious Read
    November 30, 2015
    Favorite Christian Books
    Covina, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This was my first Ace Collins book and I absolutely LOVED it! The characters were charming, funny, and endearing. This comedy/whodunit was an enjoyable read from start to finish. Although the author labels it as a comedy, he does bring some seriousness to the story as we see into the heart of the Lane Walker as he deals with events from World War II.

    From the opening pages this was a fun story to read. All three of the main characters had personality traits that made them fun to watch, especially when they were together. The banter between the characters had just enough snarkiness to it to be realistic and entertaining. I think the author gave enough clues throughout the story for one to figure out whodunit but I was too busy enjoying the story to pick up on all of them.

    I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a lighthearted mystery laced with down to earth problems that people face today. Ive not read Mr. Collins before so I dont know if this is like any of his other stories, but I plan to read more.

    Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased and honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
  2. Dunedin, FL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Disappointing novel!
    October 16, 2015
    The Avid Reader
    Dunedin, FL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    This review was written for The Fruitcake Murders - eBook.
    The Fruitcake Murders by Ace Collins is set in 1926 and 1946. In the opening Jan Lewandowski is a candy maker who is heading to his factory to get a present he had hidden there for his daughter. On the way he sees a man leaving Geno Lombardis grocery with paper sacks full of items. Jan notices that his fruitcakes are not in the window as Geno promised. Jan goes into the store to speak with Geno and finds him with a knife in his back. Jan, in a bad move, takes the knife out of his back and holds it. He then checks the cash register getting blood on the money. Then in walks a cop who accuses Jan of murder.

    It is near Christmas in 1946. Lt. Lane Walker is an ex-marine turned homicide cop. He is at the house of Ethan Elrod, the district attorney who was found dead at his desk with a knife in his back. The knife did not kill him. He was actually killed with a blow to head from a tin of fruitcake (I guess that is one use for it). Ethan Elrod was a notorious good guy. Who wanted him dead? Tiffany Clayton is a reporter with The Chicago Star. Tiffany and Lane have a history (they kept making dates and Lane kept not showing up for them). Tiffany was to interview Ethan that evening for a story. Now Tiffany has a bigger story. Two more people are killed in the same manner. Will Lane and Tiffany be able to solve the case? Who wants them dead and where did they get the old fruitcake (I bet you can guess whose fruitcake it is).

    The Fruitcake Murders is a book that is trying too hard to a book from the 40s. There is a lot of 40s lingo thrown in like dame and doll (it was just overkill). I found The Fruitcake Murders to be a slow paced book. Besides what I mentioned above there is also a Santa scam and a mob boss. I give The Fruitcake Murders 2.75 out of 5 stars. I think the story had potential, but the execution was lacking. I think with a little more editing, the book could have been better (that is just one persons humble opinion). The mystery was easy to solve (as well as figuring out what happened to Jans children). One thing that I found odd was instead of staying Lane said it would read the cop. It was just strange, and it was sprinkled generously throughout the book.

    I received a complimentary copy of The Fruitcake Murders from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
  3. Salinas, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    An incredibly well crafted cozy mystery!
    October 10, 2015
    Debbie Wilder
    Salinas, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I was fascinated with the variety of personalities in the three main characters: Lane Walker, Tiffany Clayton, and Bret Garner. There was some overlapping of traits amongst them as well as many differences. I especially liked the way Tiffany was able to put both of the men in their places at times. It was apparent to me that even though there was friction between each pair there was a lot of respect also.

    The mystery itself was so well developed and slowly unfolded that I was quickly caught up in it. I was feverishly trying to sort the clues out so I could solve the case before the unveiling of the solution. There were a number of humorous situations and verbal put downs interspersed throughout the story.

    I was captivated by all of the details about life in 1946 that were included. I really enjoyed the description of how cars were started at that time. I wish my parents were still alive so I could have them read it and confirm the accuracy of it.

    I received a free eBook copy of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
  4. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Nostalgic police detective mystery
    October 7, 2015
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I grew up reading the 1940s style detective mysteries so reading this book was an experience in nostalgia. Collins has done a good job of recreating postwar Chicago with its gangsters, a crack newspaper reporter, a romantic private investigator and a police detective struggling with his war memories.

    The plot is a little complex, involving a murder committed twenty years ago. We know from the outset that the wrong man was arrested for that murder. Now, years later, three men are killed and the murder weapons are fruitcakes in cans heavy enough to crack a skull with a deadly blow. The mystery that needs to be unraveled is how the old fruitcakes, made by the company owned by the wrongfully accused killer of twenty years ago, tie the three men together and sealed their fate.

    The strength of this novel is the historical setting. Collins is a master at witty dialog and exact descriptions of historical places and events. The feel of the novel is really that of authors of the 1940s. I thoroughly enjoyed that. I felt like I was reading a classic detective novel from years ago.

    I loved the characters. Tiffany is a crack newspaper reporter. She has a nose for getting the facts. Her relationship with Lane, the police detective is a riot. Their dialog is classic. Collins brings in a private detective, an old war buddy of Lane's, who has eyes for Tiffany, challenging Lane's unspoken but deeply felt affection for her. That little bit of a relationship triangle brought added interest to the plot.

    I did feel the plot was a little too complex. It takes a lengthy explanation to tie all the murder victims together. I would have liked to see something a little more straight forward without so many hidden elements. Granted, they are all revealed in the end but many of the necessary facts are hidden from readers so we don't have the challenge and joy of trying to uncover the mystery ourselves.

    One of the issues of the novel is a person wrongly convicted of a crime and ultimately executed for it. The discussion guide at the end helps readers think through that event.

    I enjoyed the novel and recommend it to those who like the 1940s style detective mystery.

    I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
  5. Upstate NY
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Fruitcake is better with age
    September 28, 2015
    Floyd Johnson
    Upstate NY
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Fruitcake Murders - eBook.
    The first murder occurred in December 1926 - and they convicted and executed the man caught with the murder weapon in his hand.

    But then the murders started again in December 1946. They were connected - the victims had been drugged and then clobbered with a heavy, full fruitcake can. But there were differences - they came from different cultural groups: the district attorney, the homeless, a hooker. And it would take a newspaper reporter, a police detective, and a private eye to collect the pieces of the puzzle that would bring all the pieces together into a complete picture that gave meaning to the deaths that spanned two decades.

    The book brings together the right amount of mystery, history, and romance, to make an interesting story that had to be read quickly to maximize its enjoyment. I wanted to pick the book up every free moment I had - I had to finish it.

    For the reader looking for an early winter read, The Fruitcake Murders might just fill the need.

    ______________

    This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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