Magic, Mystery, a little Whisky, and a Cat

A Tasty British Murder Mystery for a Wintry Day

Novel Magic and Goddess Fish Promotions present: Arrested Flight by Jo Hiestand


It’s my pleasure to highlight a wonderful British mystery series by an author I’ve actually met in person! Arrested Flight is the latest McLaren Mystery by Jo Hiestand.  Now this is cool in a couple of ways. First, I did meet Jo at a Scottish festival in St. Louis a couple of years ago, and Second, my husband’s clan is McLaren. Not only that, but I’ve sort of fallen in love with Jo’s series so when I saw her on the list at Goddess Fish, I had to join the tour.

Trouble is this is a review tour–meaning I was going to have to write a review. And post it. For people to see.

I have no trouble writing my own stuff and foisting it on an unsuspecting public, but there is a reason I don’t write many reviews. What is that reason? Because I suck at reviews. Other people–almost anyone who can string words together, in fact–can write a more useful review than I can. But, like so many things I’ve been told not to do, I did it anyway. It’s here and on Amazon (God help me).

But don’t let my inability to write reviews ruin this entire post. Here is what you need to know about Arrested Flight.

BTW–Jo is offering a $25 Gift Card to one lucky winner. Enter the contest below.

Ex-police detective Michael McLaren is determined to have a peaceful holiday after the fiasco of his first attempt at Windermere, so he stops at a bed-and-breakfast in Moorton, a village in Cumbria.  But mystery and murder seek him out, and he soon succumbs to the B&B owner’s plea to investigate the year-old death of her daughter’s fiancé, a young musician.


The Lake District parish seems peaceful, but a rival  musician’s jealousy and a business partner’s anger boil beneath the façade.  Mix that with ‘Barmy Barry’s’ sightings of fairy lights  at the castle, references to Uther Pendragon’s return and the secrets in the woods, and McLaren finds his sanity shaky.


When the vicar is attacked and Barry disappears, McLaren sets a trap for the killer.  But as it plays out, his concern shifts from the potential capture to praying he and his friend can escape with their lives.


An Excerpt:

“Lilwen and Jack saw Hadley alive at eleven-thirty, and Stuart closed the pub a half hour later and found him at one. Where’d Hadley go in those ninety minutes?”


“Less than that, Mrs. Deakyn. Hadley had to walk or drive somewhere, be killed, and then found.”


“The police and Stuart said his car was in the pub’s car park, so he either had to walk or get a lift with someone. I know that doesn’t help much.”


“I suppose nothing suggested itself from the search of Hadley’s car. No fingerprints, strange DNA or the like.”


“I never heard, and I think the police would’ve said.”


McLaren nodded and mumbled that he was running out of ideas. “Is it possible someone killed him close to the beck and then dumped his body into it, as a good way to get rid of the evidence?”


Gemma made a sound halfway between a choke and a sob before she said, “The police couldn’t come up with any reason to murder him in the wood, for instance, and then transport his body to the stream. They found it odd that someone would add that chance of being caught with…a body. They said it would’ve made more sense to leave it where the…murder happened.”


“So, where’s a spot near the stream where no one would hear a gun shot?”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:


A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British.  Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folksinging stint.  This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Taylor & Graham mysteries and the McLaren mystery series.

Jo’s insistence for accuracyfrom police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the areahas driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research.  These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis home.


Jo’s Website

Grab a Copy of Arrested Flight

Jo’s Page on GoodReads

The McLaren Mystery Series Page on GoodReads


Jo A. Hiestand will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Be sure to comment at every stop on the tour to improve your chances of winning.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find the other stops on the tour HERE. Comment on them all to increase your chances of winning.

And here’s my review. Since I am so bad at it, I kept it short.

Jo Hiestand’s McLaren Mystery Series is a fine example of all things British with enough Scottish thrown in to make me even happier. The series revolves around McLaren, a police detective for much of the series but in this episode he finds himself out of a job and mourning the death of his fiancee. His only goal is to find peace in a quiet holiday. But McLaren can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a –well, something else dead. His holiday goes south when a cold case heats up.


First, be assured each book in the series is a treat all by itself. You can easily start in the middle of the series, but I bet you’ll want to go back and explore the story from the start. The McLaren series is perfect for a quiet read. We have murder, mystery, red herrings, a little romance, and some lovely descriptions of the British countryside.


Arrested Flight makes for a perfect bedtime read and I highly recommend the series.


(Yes, that’s it. And if it weren’t that I know how nice it is to read reviews, I would just post stars and a hearty “good job.” Jo, I enjoyed your book immensely and even though I like to think I’m a decent writer, reviews are not my cup of tea. I think all the years writing comments on student papers tainted my enjoyment of this kind of writing. So, with this pitiful attempt which does not do justice to a very good book, I bid adieu.)


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