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Publisher's Summary

Caleb Jacobs is a man with a past. After serving on a failed dark ops assignment in Afghanistan, he leaves Marine Corps Intelligence to try to build a new life in Philadelphia as a homicide police detective.

Jacobs is happy for a time, until he is assigned to solve the murder of Shannon Faraday. During the investigation, he is convinced the evidence points to him as the killer. He knows it is only a matter of time before other investigators see the same. He has no alibi, and the clock is counting down. 

Behind his partner’s back, Jacobs hires a private investigator named Lawrence Holmes. The PI is an irritation to the police, but he is unmistakably brilliant. And, many powerful people in the city owe him favors. 

Holmes is a bit odd. He insists on calling Jacobs Watson, but claims to never have heard the name Sherlock. Jacobs can live with this kind of crazy as long as, together, they find the real killer. They quickly link the murder to a series of seemingly unrelated crimes occurring throughout Philadelphia, and Jacobs becomes convinced the murder is related to the truth of what had happened during his time in Afghanistan. Old secrets have come back to haunt him.

©2020 David Siegel Bernstein (P)2020 Intrigue Publishing

What listeners say about Poisoned Pawn

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

In true Sherlock Holmes style!

Well-written. Held my attention throughout with clues to keep you guessing.

R. E. Harter did a great job narrating.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Leaves you guessing

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Very good story. There are lots of twists and turns. Follows a true rendering of what Sherlock Holmes would actually do. This is a Sherlock Holmes modern day story and I enjoyed it. I personally did not like how many times the “f-word” was used but at least it wasn’t excessive. There is also one seductive part but it doesn’t last long nor go beyond that. All in all a well written story. If you are a Sherlock Holmes fan like myself you will enjoy this book.

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High expectations not quite met

This was a complex mystery with a plot that was so complicated I found it difficult to grasp. I also struggled to keep all of the characters straight despite the outstanding performance by R. E. Harter. I appreciated his efforts at giving distinctive voices to the characters, but there were points in the narration where I was confused about who was speaking or whether the words were spoken aloud or just the character's thoughts.

The author's use of vagaries to build suspense and mystery simply served to add to my confusion. And I felt somewhat unsatisfied by the ending of the story. While much of the mystery was solved, the story seemed incomplete. I was just a little disappointed overall.

NOTE: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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True to the Holmesian style

Really liked this book. It is one of those mysteries that gives you little clues, then leads up to a big reveal you’d not really expect. Action, interesting characters that are a bit like the originals and maybe a bit not... set in modern times in America.

The narrator did a great job of keeping me immersed in the narrative. The pace was a bit slow for me, but it ramped up nicely and in proportion at 1.2x.

Recommended to all fans of BBC Sherlock.

I received this audiobook for free in exchange for a review.

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  • Norma Miles
  • 06-02-20

A Big Jigsaw Puzzle.

After so many years of reading, not many books surprise this reader any more. This one did.
Told in the first person by one of the main protagonists, it has the affectation of a modern Sherlock Holmes story with all that this implies, plus several murders, well written characters, a background history and a convoluted plot, a shifting sands of 'lies inside deceptions'.

Poisoned Pawn is not a casual read. Full concentration is required as the story progresses, with multiple protagonists bursting into the text, sometimes at very unexpected moments. it might seem bland at the beginning but soon shifts up into more treacherous developments. It is a detective, P.I., murder mystery, buddy, spy, modern Holmes and Watson thriller, well written and superbly read by R.E.Harter, who narrated it with the restrained personal and intimate delivery similar to George Kuch. His individual voicings are good, too, but with so many apparent changes of direction, even who says what can sometimes be momentarily confusing. I am not even going to attempt a brief resume.

My deep thanks to the rights holder of The Poisoned Pawn, who, at my request freely gifted me with a complimentary copy via Audiobook Boom. This has been a difficult brief review to write, even more so to rate. Did I enjoy the book? Most definitely. If there is a successor, will I want to read it? Absolutely. Can I recommend it? Ah, now, that depends on the potential reader not minding twists and turns, confusion and an ending which, though completing the story, still leaves unanswered questions. Or perhaps that's just a lack of concentration on my part - though I don't think so