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Reviews

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Death of the Dancing Doll by D.E. Ring transports readers to the enchanting world of Barrachois, Nova Scotia, where mysteries lurk beneath the surface of idyllic autumn days. This third installment in the Urquhart & MacDonald Mystery Series has an irresistible appeal to fans of murder and mystery. The story opens with the installation of a new bronze plaque, a tribute to the city's Second World War heroes. But when a chain snaps, a mummified corpse, elegantly clad in a lawyer's gown, emerges from within the cenotaph. The shocking discovery sets the stage for a gripping investigation led by the unflagging Inspector Jimmy Urquhart and the relentless journalist Notepad MacDonald.

The plot in the Death of the Dancing Doll is stunningly imagined and skillfully executed.  The discovery of a mummified corpse constitutes a strong premise for the narrative. Still, the clues left on the body by the killer create a sense of mystery that haunts the investigators twenty years later.  Why would someone leave deliberate clues on a murdered body? As the story progresses, secrets from the past resurface, long-buried wounds are laid bare, and a shocking murder heightens the tension. Ring's writing is evocative, and he offers dazzling images of the setting in Barrachois in 1948, with its lazy autumn days and sun-drenched landscapes. The characters are multi-dimensional and relatable; readers will enjoy the captivating dialogue.

Death of the Dancing Doll by D.E. Ring is a tale that is as much about unraveling a mystery as it is about unraveling the intricacies of human nature. With its unique premise and nuanced characters, this novel offers the kind of entertainment readers hope to find in mystery thrillers and intriguing crime novels. I read it straight through the night.

 

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for The Book Commentary

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Death in the Offing by D.E. Ring is the second book in the Urquhart & MacDonald Murder Mysteries, a perfect read for fans of murder mystery.

Inspector Jimmy Urquhart and Sandy (Notepad) MacDonald are the new couple in town and they head to Manhattan for their honeymoon. Jimmy is worried about Sandy's familiarity not only with the city but with some of the well-known people. They go back to Barrachois for the final week of their honeymoon as guests to the opening of a new hotel. It is a private event and Jimmy and Notepad are making the best of it until a blizzard blocks the road, cutting off power and other forms of communication. The fun is ended when a body of a woman is found, sitting in a chair in her room, with snow on her bare foot. Will she be the last and who is behind the murder?

The story begins with the preparations of the wedding and introduces readers to the key characters and the setting. The circle of friends of Jimmy and Notepad are beautifully explored. Then comes the mystery and the many questions related to the deaths. It is a heady, gripping, and page-turning story that is written in exquisite prose and that features engaging dialogues. I loved the drama, the gorgeously written characters, and the mystery that transforms the story into a propulsive tale. Death in the Offing is the perfect meld of a thrilling detective story and an unforgettable narrative with sophisticated characters, and Ring’s descriptions are detailed capturing elements of the setting as well as the inner worlds of the characters with clarity.

Matthew Novak for The Book Commentary

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Death of the Limping Man by D.E. Ring is an excellent audiobook. It is set in the not-so-small town of Barrachois. Barrachois is often considered to be at the edge of the world. In this town where everyone knows one another, a murder occurs, and the new inspector in town is tasked with bringing the perpetrator(s) to book.

Urquhart, the new inspector in the town of Barrachois (the city at the edge of the world), is given the herculean task of finding the killer of the limping man, a man who was supposedly liked and adored by all. Just like the loose thread concept talked about in the second movie of Enola Holmes, Urquhart soon finds a loose thread. As he keeps pulling on it, more shocking discoveries are made, and at the end of it all, the killer is discovered, and it turns out to be an unexpected one.

I loved everything about the book. The author delivered well on the suspense. The mystery was also such that it could keep one glued to their phone whilst listening. It was such that it could keep one on their toes with speculations as to who the murderer could be. It was also quite realistic; we see this realism explored at the ending part after the killer had been found out and Urquhart said, "This just stinks, if this is winning, then I don't like winning" because even after the killer was found, he was unhappy because of the tragedy that it would cause in the subsequent future.

This audiobook is a spectacular one, one that I enjoyed from the very beginning. I recommend it to just anyone and everyone who likes to read but, most importantly, for lovers of crime, murder, mystery, and suspense.

This book was well presented and was also done in simple diction such that any listener would be able to easily comprehend and enjoy it; therefore, I give this book five out of five stars. It would be a crime if I deduct any stars from my rating, as I did not find any reason to. I did not find any errors while listening to the audiobook.

Chiwelite Obioma Mgbeoji for Online Book Club

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Jack the Lad, the first book in the Scandalous Memoirs of General John Torrance series by D.E. Ring, is a tale set in 1880, following the journey of Jack Torrance, a twenty-year-old military cadet. The story begins when Jack encounters the most influential couple in the country, an event that propels him into a world of intrigue, high stakes, and shifting political ambitions. As he rescues a prominent public figure, Jack finds himself drawn into a world where few rules govern the high society he now navigates.

Ring expertly crafts Jack Torrance as a young, inexperienced protagonist, grappling with a world where his plans are ridiculed and his aspirations met with skepticism. The characterization of Jack is compelling, presenting a young man teetering on the edge of both adulthood and naivety. The supporting cast adds depth and intrigue to the narrative, creating a rich tapestry of relationships, each contributing to the complex world Jack finds himself in.

The plot is intriguing, blending historical fiction with espionage and political maneuvers. Ring vividly portrays a time when the world was small, yet the ambitions and stakes were immeasurably high. The setting of 1880 is vividly drawn, providing a lush backdrop against which the characters evolve; it is a world rife with espionage, intrigue, and political machinations. Readers will want to see how Jack fits into this world that is filled with danger.

 

This immersive story features characters that are unforgettable and a world of espionage that is intriguing. Readers who enjoy historical fiction with espionage elements might find this book akin to works by Ken Follett or John le Carré, particularly The Spy Who Came in from the Cold or Follett's The Man from St. Petersburg, both of which explore similar themes of espionage, political intricacies, and the impact of historical events on individuals. D.E. Ring is a gifted storyteller whose beautiful prose and ability to create suspense had me turning the pages. 

Romuald Dzemo for The Book Commentary

 

Character should always drive plot.

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