Choking on the Splinters by Jim Lively

A tangled tale that is both engrossing and illuminating…

Charles Sanders Pierce, Lively’s retired attorney protagonist, gets entangled in a sinister web of dangerous conspiracy in this page-turning mystery. It’s been four years since Sander’s wife died, and his fifty-fifth birthday is just around the corner. Determined to begin afresh, Sanders decides to enter the dating scene once again and joins an internet dating website. When he meets a quirky, enigmatic woman Kat, a hospice worker, the two form an easy friendship. But Kat’s extravagant lifestyle makes Sanders suspicious that she’s stealing from her clients. Meanwhile, strange figures are showing up at Sanders’s studio in the core district in Richardson, including a woman Sara who claims to be a public relation personal. When the local police suddenly show up at the studio, Sanders knows he must investigate the strange happenings, unaware the danger is lurking just around the corner. Engrossing right from the beginning, the narrative and plot quickly darken and deepen. Lively guides the reader skillfully through Sander’s journey to finding the truth of the matter, and the tension stays high throughout. The unsavory happenings in Sanders’s life are casually revealed through a series of strange events in the art gallery. There’s a long wait for a break in the case, and Crafty readers will sense the women’s peculiar behavior long before Sanders does. But that doesn’t stop them from turning the pages nonstop.  Though Sanders’s leisurely life as a retired attorney pursuing his passion for art offers plenty of intrigue, when the action moves to Kat and Sara, their individual stories make a complex tapestry, woven of intricate threads of secrets and lies. Lively has an eye for detail and his atmospheric setting brings the art studio to life. But what sets this novel apart is Lively’s fully fleshed-out 50-something hero, who is trying to begin afresh after his long period of widowerhood: Sanders has both sharp intellect and integrity, as well as enough wit to do the math and come up with the right answer. It’s another matter that he has this affinity for always attracting the wrong kind of people. Sara and Kat hold on their own. From the pitch-perfect opening paragraph to the exhilarating final twist, the narrative unravels layers of revelation, skillfully ratcheting up the tension to the satisfying finale. The result is one of those cozy mysteries that will keep you reading all night, particularly if you pack it to take on your next beach-side vacation.

Choking on the Splinters

By Jim Lively

Coming soon



Categories: Mystery

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