Thursday, September 24, 2015


The mystery genre has never really been something that I sought after, I typically go for science fiction, romance, or fantasy titles. But, we should all try to step out of our comfort zones every once in a while, right? I was first introduced to author C.M. Albrecht when he had reached out to me about doing a spotlight and review on another of his titles, The Sand Bluff MurdersSo, when he was excited about his upcoming new release of The Kid Who Wasn't There Murders, I was just as happy to review his latest composition. Don't worry, even though it is the third installment of the Jonas McCleary Mysteries, you don't necessarily need to read any of the previous titles to know what is going on in this one.

The Kid Who Wasn't There Murders follows the legendary Jonas McCleary, a private investigator looking for his next case. Then, in walks Mr. Zaretsky; or as I like to call him (in my head), Mr. Z. My two favorite characters were Mr. & Mrs. Z; Russian and aged just right. I could also relate to Mr. & Mrs. Z because I too lost my only son. However, in this story Mr. Z hired Jonas McCleary to investigate the mysterious death of his son, David. Mysterious because even the police have given up on solving the case. So, it is left to Mr. McCleary to solve David's murder, and give Mr. & Mrs. Z some peace.

The story was a slow-burn for me, it's not fast paced, but had a lot of interesting characters; which I liked. I think the story also did a great job of unraveling the investigators process and leading you down the path of the proverbial "who done it" questioning. Although, I had my suspicions from the start, and once a particular person was interviewed and I read a seemingly slight detail; I knew it had to be that person... and I was right! The slow-burn fades way to reveal the other side of the investigators life; his family. I thought it was nicely tied in and worked well with the rest of the story. Once the ball was rolling, as they say, I had to finish it! 

Overall, The Kid Who Wasn't There Murders, is a good read and I would recommend it if you are looking for a nice clean mystery. The only adverse reaction for me would be the use of a particular word that I was taught not to use, and some of the depictions and descriptions of people with unique abilities (David), or as some would describe them as disabilities. I worked in the Special Education field for over 20 years, and my son was disabled too; so I may be more sensitive than others. However, I do not believe it takes away from the story. It probes the mind about societies treatment of others. You'll read and discover how someone who everyone would describe as a "kid who wasn't there" was actually a unique-grown individual, who in the end shared his gifts with the world for their benefit. 

About the Author

"People say I've got attitude. Attitude they don't like. I get that a lot. The cops and me? We work toward the same end, but we're like water and electricity. They think I cramp their style. They hat that I don't have to play by their rules."
"I usually end up needing a lawyer. I had one. He fell off the back of an ambulance full of mesothelioma patients and got run over by a speeding Cooper. I'm alone and on my own. It's a mean life. I'm used to it."

This is part of the charm that C. M. Albrecht embodies, a clever wit that is actually mild-mannered who loves his mysteries and detectives. He not only writes mysteries, he's a private eye in real life. "When my casebook's empty - and it's empty a lot - I write books."
He sits at his desk and drinks coffee and daydreams. 
He lives in Sacramento, CA where he proclaims to "wear a dark fedora and trench coat even when it's a hundred and five" outside." Mr. Albrecht is happily married to his beautiful wife Irma since 1967. While his head may be in the clouds, she helps keep his feet firmly on ground.

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