Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway: Landscape for Murder by Joyce T. Strand


NEW RELEASE.....

A friend’s murder. An unconnected cast of suspects, including the victim’s missing adult daughter. As if that wasn’t enough, Brynn Bancroft’s winery has been broken into. Can she deal with her co-owner ex and help the police find her friend’s murder so she can finally overcome her own troubled past and enjoy family life with her teenage ward?



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About Brynn Bancroft
Brynn Bancroft evolved from the Jillian Hillcrest mysteries where she served as Jillian’s manager while Chief Financial Officer of Harmonia Therapeutics in Silicon Valley. A shapely blonde with a MENSA IQ, she had an affair with the CEO of the company.

Unfortunately for Brynn, the CEO’s wife figured out that the two were involved and asked Brynn to leave the company, which she agreed to do.

In the meantime, her husband, Liam—not unfamiliar with extramarital affairs himself but also understanding that Brynn grew up in an abusive household- grew tired of waiting for Brynn to commit to their relationship and asked for a divorce. At the same time, he solicited her assistance in developing his new winery in Sonoma County, Calif.

Much like Jillian--who does appear in the Brynn Bancroft mysteries--Brynn, too, attracts mystery and murders as she grows to enjoy life at her ex-husband’s Hilltop Sunset Winery.

Book Review
Landscape for Murder is a mystery that intrigued me when I read this phrase on the cover "Inspired by actual events". Promising a mystery that had some reality as its base, I then loved the cover which is very beautiful and was intrigued further by the title and blurb. A die hard fan of mysteries, I could not help myself from picking up the book to read!

This is the first book by Joyce T. Strand that I have read and I enjoyed her style of writing. She writes simply, is able to express the surroundings as well as the emotional upheaval of the characters with ease. I could easily visualize the peaceful beauty of the winery. 

The plot is admirably conceived and executed. The author keeps the interest and mystery alive right till the end. I started out with this book with no preconceived notions and was pleasantly surprised. Later on, I came to know that this book featuring Brynn Bancroft has had previous companions but still I didnt feel as if I was missing anything. So, this book can be read as a standalone.

The characters are beautifully sketched and developed and play their roles well. Brynn is a painter and only wants to leave behind her traumatic past to live happily with her ward but is lost in murder and some mysterious events that has her chasing to save the day.

The story is well paced and had me entertained right till the end. After reading this book, I am now very intrigued and eager to checkout the other books in this mystery series.

All in all, Landscape for Murder is a very entertaining and lovely mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed. 4 out of 5 to it and recommended to all lovers of mystery. Joyce is a talented writer and I would be checking out her other books too.


I received the book from the author and the tour organizers and I am very thankful to them. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.



Also Available
Hilltop Sunset: A Brynn Bancroft Mystery

A mystery set in wine country pitting financial exec Brynn Bancroft against a determined stalker, a troubled love interest, and career clashes.

Brynn Bancroft learns that a former employee who beat her nearly to death has returned to stalk her and her friend, Jillian Hillcrest, also a former victim.

Recently divorced, Brynn turns to a new love interest only to encounter additional unwelcome issues. Meanwhile, short-timer Brynn, who has resigned from her Silicon Valley company, becomes bored fulfilling her remaining responsibilities there. She begins to prefer supporting the launch of her ex-husband’s new hilltop winery while waiting to move to her next position. Between her stalker and her new love interest, Brynn faces a series of life-changing events.


Book available from....


About the Author

Joyce T. Strand is the author of who-done-it mysteries set in the San Francisco Silicon Valley and Napa-Sonoma wine regions of California.

Her most recent novel, Landscape for Murder, follows Hilltop Sunset which was the first of a new series featuring protagonist Brynn Bancroft, a financial guru in transition to winemaker from corporate executive. Brynn Bancroft is a minor character in Strand's novels On Message, Open Meetings, and Fair Disclosure--three mysteries solved by Jillian Hillcrest, a publicist whose boss was Chief Financial Officer Brynn Bancroft.

Much like her protagonist Jillian Hillcrest, Joyce Strand headed corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in California's Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder in her career. She focused on writing by-lined articles, press releases, white papers, and brochures to publicize her companies and their products.

Strand has been a mystery fan since she read her first Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy stories as a teenager. She admits that in between reading Agatha Christie, Ian Fleming, Erle Stanley Gardner, and John McDonald in her youth, she also checked out Tolstoy, Steinbeck, Faulkner, and Dostoyevsky, but her love of the “puzzle” always drew her back to the latest fictional detective. Today she favors John Grisham, Louise Penney, Linwood Barclay, Michael Connelly, and Stieg Larsson. She has always enjoyed the challenge of following clues to solve the puzzle of a mystery before it is revealed.

Joyce lives with her two cats and collection of cow statuary in Southern California, and seeks out and attends as many Broadway musicals and other stage plays as possible.

She received her Ph.D. from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.


Find the author on the following sites....



Follow the book tour
I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
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