Too Much Peace of Mind by Joshua Cejka

Minneapolis Homicide Detective Megan “Meg” Brown has been a lot of places but still hates to fly. Now on her way to Phoenix to take down a bogus alibi that will lock up a not so innocent man she has to deal with nosy passengers, a not-so-funny partner, and a case file involving murder by vegetable. If only she could get an in-flight drink but someone with a secret is standing in her way.

The second of the Meg Brown Short Mysteries this is a lean, mean, and thoroughly fun 13 pager at 5800 words for all those horrible waiting at the bus stop, sitting on the train moments when you just need a good quick whodunit to pull you through.

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Cejka has done it again. This time, the murder scene is on a plane, up in the clouds. The murder weapon: a vegetable. Unusual? Yes. But it is done in such a way that it makes sense with the story and characters Again, I loved the succinct and easy to read story, because it left me wanting more in exactly the same way a good novel can. Slowly, through each consecutive story, we are introduced to Meg’s vulnerabilities, and here, it is her hatred of flying the audience is exposed to. Though Meg is determined to avoid nosy passengers, and small talk, she is sucked into discovering who killed a passenger with a vegetable, while on her way to Phoenix for a take down.
I was on the edge of my seat with laughter as I read this tasty treat. Neatly tied up within thirteen pages, the second Meg Brown mystery furthers the reader’s understanding of Meg as a character. I felt her reluctance and hatred to fly as though it was my own hatred and fear of spiders trying to attack me in the shower, her frustration at nosy passengers and her confusion at why someone would use a vegetable to kill someone and how – I shared this confusion, but enjoyed it: it was something different to the usual stabby stabby or bullet through the head or various other body parts and vital organs that most murder novels employ (amongst other less savoury and more sadistic methods). It is this humour and Cejka’s deletion of unnecessary deaths to contribute a sometimes unnecessary shock value to his plot, that will keep me coming back.

This book is available through Amazon

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The Short Man by Joshua L Cejka

The world of Detective Megan Brown of Minneapolis has become one that I love and look forward to reading more on with each passing book. Written by a good friend I met through an online writing group, Joshua L Cejka, the series begins with a short story entitled, The Short Man.

Synopsis: Someone is paying their parking tickets the wrong way – by offing the Parking Enforcement Officers around a small college. Minneapolis Homicide Detective Meg Brown needs to know who it is and fast – before he decides to do worse.

It’s a race against the class bell to find out who the assassin is and stop them in this short but action packed mystery/thriller, the first of the Meg Brown series of mystery shorts. If you like your mystery sleuths plucky, brainy, and witty you’ll enjoy Meg.

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From page one, I was hooked. It didn’t take me long to devour the short story that lay before me on the screen of my Kindle. From the first to the last page, I was engrossed in the case of the deadly parking ticket. Each page revealed a new plot twist to keep readers on their toes, and the humour infused into Meg and her partner, Riggins flew in delight from the page.
As I read, the characters jumped off the page and sat beside me whilst I read, the crime unfolding before my eyes. The characters had the humour of Castle, with the brains of Sherlock Holmes yet their own distinct personalities and histories that are slowly revealed across the series, so after finishing The Short Man, we are treated to more of Meg’s humour and wit throughout the series, and more intriguing cases.
I couldn’t fault many things with this short story, because it wrapped everything up nicely and kept it succinct yet gave the reader enough detail and information to keep them interested. Though only nineteen pages, Cejka includes enough plot twists and turns to keep one guessing as they might in any other crime novel or television show. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a good whodunnit injected with humour and sometimes strange yet fascinating cases…much like Castle.

These books are available as ebooks through Amazon.