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Brilliant Disguise: A Charlie McClung Mystery (The Charlie McClung Mysteries Book 1) by [Edwards, Mary Anne]
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Brilliant Disguise: A Charlie McClung Mystery (The Charlie McClung Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Length: 304 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

Product Description

Detective Charlie McClung no longer finds his job fulfilling and has given up finding that "someone" his granny promised he would find. So he leaves behind the big city and his close-knit family and takes a job in a small town police department in Georgia, resigned to live a quiet life in solitude.

Things change when he meets Marian Selby while investigating the mysterious death of her best friend. But Marian swore never to love again after the death of her husband 11 years ago. What seems to be a suicide turns into a tangled web of deceit, corruption, and complicated shadows.

Can the two of them come to grips with their feelings for each other before the killer closes in on them?

"Brilliant Disguise is first-rate mystery that harkens you back to the days of Agatha Christie. You’ll feel a sense of nostalgia as you immerse yourself in the story, investigating alongside Det. McClung and eagerly awaiting clues at every turn. It’s an edge-of-your-seat whodunit!” –Monique Michelle Mason, Author of Moving at the Speed of Single

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1901 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Sellem Books; 1 edition (18 January 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #354,220 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 92 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful beginning to a new series, Well written Who-Dunnit 4 November 2014
By DogsMom - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Tired of the stress in a big city police job, and having ended his latest attempt at romance, Detective Charlie McClung takes a position in a much smaller community. He is the "new guy" at the police station and the only one who is not from the area. This story takes place before digital cameras and cell phones.

Marian Selby is a young, retired widow who is satisfied with her life, even though she has few close friends.
She has suffered loss, including the deaths of her parents and her pilot husband, and is afraid to open her heart to any relationship that could possibly end in that much pain again. She does not even want a pet.

She is home, minding her own business, when she hears a loud noice, perhaps a gunshot, followed by screaming.
All the noise is coming from next door, the home of one of her dear friends. Before she can get outside, a crowd has formed and the police are on the scene. Being frantic, Marian pushes towards the police banner and ambulance.
She discovers it is indeed her dear friend Dianne who is being taken away.

A detective is canvassing the crowd, asking if anyone heard or saw anything that could be useful in the investigation. Marian speaks to him and invites him back to her house after he has spoken with the others.
Marian is an avid reader and amateur sleuth. She also wants to know if he learned anything after speaking to everyone else. This meeting is not for romance, but from the start we notice an energy that seems to be calling these two together. Sadly, when he does arrive and calls the hospital for an update, we learn Dianne has died.

A well written mystery with enough characters holding secrets that we are not sure until very near the end who the best suspects are. Along with the mystery and the budding romance between McClung and Marian, there is a foodie element to this book. Something for everyone. I also liked the secondary characters and hope we meet them again in future books in this series.

I was given an ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
I look forward to reading more in this series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Suspense book lovers. 26 August 2015
By Teri Caiazzo - Published on
Verified Purchase
Mirian Francis Selby, is a widow of 11 years, her husband was an airplane pilot who died in a plane crash, she lives in the same house she shared with her husband Lee. She made friends with a woman who lived next door to her, Dianne Pannell, who she baked cookies for after giving a week to get settled. Though Dianne, and her daughter Katie were always friendly, Dianne's husband Dan, seemed to keep Diane on a short leash, not wanting Dianne to go anywhere without him, not even grocery shopping. As of late, through the the thin walls that divided their homes, Marian heard Dan and Dianne fighting a lot, and their daughter Katie was being very disrespectful to her mother, she was only 6 years old, and Marian heard her tell her mother that she wished she was dead! Of all things for a child at any age to tell their mother but a six year old? This was unheard of! Marian and Dianne became very close, and Dianne was like a younger sister to Marian, she was always vague about what her husband did for a living, and Marian never pushed it, figuring if she wanted her to know one day Dianne would tell her. One night as Marian was watching a baseball game, she heard a loud noise coming from Dianne's house, followed by Katie's loud screams, and sirens coming closer. Marian went outside, hoping her friend didn't just have enough of her husband and did something foolish to her husband. She went outside and walked down the cul-de-sac where other neighbors had gathered and where her best friend Joan lived. She tried to listen to what the other neighbors were saying, hoping to find out what happened, when her friend Joan called out her name, and they began talking when she seen paramedics come and rush into Dianne's house. Marian told Joan to stay there and she would see what was going on alone, because she lived next door she was most likely to get information if she was alone.

Marian saw a police officer standing by her house, and explained that she lived next door and would like to know what happened, the officer looked like he just graduated from high school was the first thought that popped into Marian's head. He told her to stay there, and called to another young looking officer to go get the detective. He began asking Marin what she heard, and asking questions the usual questions, when all of a sudden the door to Marian's house slammed open, and Marian seen the paramedics carrying out Dianne, an oxygen mask on her face, and an IV in her arm. Marian was dumb struck, she couldn't believe her eyes, only hours ago she was speaking to Dianne young, and vibrant, and now laid beneath a bloody sheet, looking pale. Her husband ran to the doors as the paramedics were putting Dianne in the back of the ambulance, asking where they were taking them, and one shouted back what hospital she would be airlifted to, and then she heard a police officer's voice call him back in telling him they would get him to the hospital as soon as he finished answering questions. As the police officer looked back at Marian he noticed she was pale, and looked shaky, he took her by the elbow and told her to lean against the patrol car.

Detective Charlie McClug, was only on the police force in Georgia for two weeks, he was from Virginia, but felt he needed a smaller town to be a police officer, and a slower pace. He had a lot of stress on his job in Virginia, but now all his thoughts about life being easier in a small town were shattered with this new case. A uniform officer came over to him, and told him he was wanted by another officer who was speaking to the neighbor. He approached, and seen a beautiful woman, who the police officer who came to get him, pointed out was the neighbor, Marian noticed him walking over, and he introduced himself as Detective McClug. The uniform officer told him the information he had so far, which wasn't much, since Marian was so shaken. He was going to start questioning her when he noticed she looked chilled, even though it was a warm night, and how pale and shaky she was on her feet. He offered to finish the questioning in the patrol car, but she refused, asking if they could just go in her house, and he said he had a lot more neighbors to question, she said he could come in to question her anytime, he told her it would probably late by the time she finished, and she said it would be fine. She whispered to him if Dianne was going to be alright, he tugged on his ear, not really allowed to give that kind of information out, but he whispered it didn't look good. Marian said she had to get in her house now, and he escorted her to her door, and asked again if it was alright if he came later this night, or should he wait till tomorrow, what about her family? She told him she was a widow with no children he wouldn't be disturbing anyone.

He finally arrived hours later, after Marian called the hospital, and was told that Dianne was in surgery, Marian found new hope, figuring if Dianne was in surgery than she there was hope, and she felt positive that she would be alright. McClug asked her all the necessary questions, as she poured him a cup of coffee, there was something that wasn't sitting right with Marian, he told her it was an attempted suicide and Marian knew Diane's feeling about suicide since she had a friend that committed suicide just a month ago. She insisted she wouldn't have done that, the hour was growing late and she asked the detective if he would call the hospital before he left. She handed him the cordless phone, and told him to just press redial, and he did, the nurse told him that Dianne passed away on the operating table. Now he had to tell Marian, and he did as gently as he could. She sobbed, and made him promise that he would call her the minute he found out what really happened, and he promised him he would.

There was something about this case that really bothered McClug, and he had tot agree that he didn't think this was a suicide attempt either, so he he rushed over to the hospital to speak to the surgeon to see what his thoughts were on the case, but when he asked the nurse at the desk, she said the surgeon was still in surgery with another surgeon, and if he would like to stay he was welcome, but if he wanted to go to the morgue that was where Dianne's body was now. He chose to go to the morgue, he met the doctor doing the autopsy, and he confirmed McClug's gut feelings, there was no way Dianne could have killed herself this was murder all the way through.

This novel is suspenseful and will keep you at the edge of your seat, from beginning to end. I urge you if you love suspense novels to purchase this book, you won't be disappointed. Please leave an honest review if you do purchase it, as readers it's just another way to help our favorite authors keep writing. Happy reading.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By M. Gray - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story has it all. Murder, mystery, crime, drama, love and a great whodunit. I absolutely love reading a great whodunit and Mary Anne has achieved that in this book. This is a clean murder mystery with romance. I enjoyed reading about the main characters Charlie and Marian. They are characters both in their 40s. Charlie is a big city detective that moves to a small Georgia town to find solace and relax. There he meets Marian. Marian is a widow. Charlie investigates the death of Marian's neighbor which looks to be apparent suicide. I loved this cozy mystery. I read it all in one evening. This story was so intriguing. I couldn't stop reading. This is a must read. Mary Anne did a great job keeping me guessing. This book contained twists and turns, suspense and kept me wanting to read until I was finished. It was refreshing to read a book that I could relate to. I loved watching Moonlighting, Remington Steele and Scarecrow and Mrs. King. This story reminded me of those TV programs. I'm a huge mystery buff. I laughed, was puzzled, cheered on Charlie and Marian and can't wait to read the next book in this series. If you enjoy a good whodunit, mystery, suspense, touch of romance, clean read, you'll absolutely love this mystery. Kudos to Mary Anne and her brilliant storytelling!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very fun cozy mystery! 7 May 2016
By Jane Firebaugh - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Brilliant Disguise is a great start to a really good cozy mystery series. I actually read the third book first, but they seem to all work as stand-alones too. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Marian and Charlie, and became quickly engrossed in the mystery as well. I highly recommend this book, and the whole series.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clean dialogue, solid mystery, romantic sparks, and the bad guys getting what they deserve at the end. Enjoyable read! 8 November 2014
By Ginny - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Brilliant Disguise is book 1 in the Charlie McClung Mysteries series by Mary Anne Edwards.

This was a different kind of mystery than I'm used to reading due to the fact that the main characters are more mature...they're in their late 40's. Which as someone that is approaching that "maturity level" I can appreciate. Although they acted so much like grown ups that I questioned my own maturity a couple of times but then I just accepted that I'm immature for my age and moved on.

I think that featuring main characters that are a little older allowed the author to add a bit of depth and perspective to the story. Life experience counts for a lot and both the main characters were able to draw on theirs to help solve the mystery. So, yay for "older" characters.

Charlie McClung is the detective. I liked him from the start. He has charisma and shows respect towards others. Two points that score high on my "what a guy!" rating scale. He's burned out from working the big crime scenes in the city so he moves to Georgia and accepts a position as a detective in a small town police department.

Mirian is 47 years old, widowed, and trying to move forward without the love of her life. She enjoys a great mystery and can't help but think that something is amiss when her young next door neighbor suddenly dies. It took me a little while to warm up to Mirian because she came across as prim, proper, and a little stiff but as the story progressed she grew on me. Her spunk started to show and I enjoyed her analytical way of thinking.

The story is told in 3rd person narration with shifting points of view. This gives the reader an opportunity to get a birds eye view of the crime elements but at the same time learn more about Charlie and Mirian as they explore their relationship.

This next sentence is going to give you a hint at where I fall on that 40's age group scale so don't be shocked.

I was a HUGE fan of Scarecrow and Mrs. King: Season 1, Hart to Hart - The Complete First Season, and my favorite Remington Steele: Season 1 (sigh). Brilliant Disguise has a similar feel as those type of mystery/romance TV shows. I think the combination of clean dialogue, solid mystery, romantic sparks, and the bad guys getting what they deserve at the end is what makes Brilliant Disguise an enjoyable and satisfying read.

Overall: Brilliant Disguise was an enjoyable read with plenty of heart. Mirian is learning to move on with her life after eleven years of widowhood. There is acceptance and growth mixed in with action and intrigue. I hope to be able to read A Good Girl: A Charlie McClung Mystery (The Charlie McClung Mysteries Book 2) in the series soon.