BOOK REVIEW: Fatal Puzzle by Catherine Shepherd

ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):

1495: In the peaceful medieval city of Zons, on the banks of the Rhine, a young woman is found hanging from a parapet, assaulted and mutilated. A month later, another maiden falls prey. Bastian Mühlenberg, head of the City Guard, is determined to decipher the murderer’s gruesome code, unaware that he and the woman he loves are in the killer’s sights. With the help of an old psychic, a priest, and the stars above, Mühlenberg must solve the “fatal puzzle” before it’s too late.

Present day: Journalist Emily Richter is thrilled when she’s assigned a series of articles about the historic Zons killings. However, right before her stories are to be published, a young woman’s body is found hanging from a city tower—grossly maimed and wearing a linen gown, like her medieval predecessors. Detective Oliver Bergmann leads the investigation, tapping the knowledge of the attractive young journalist. Working together—and using Mühlenberg’s old notes—they race to stay one step ahead of the copycat killer.


This was another Kindle First selection, but I didn’t like it nearly as much as Miramont’s Ghost.

First of all, this book is translated from German, so there are some oddities in the language at times (albeit very minor).  It’s actually an Amazon bestseller in Germany!  On the plus side, the book is only 155 pages, so it’s a very quick read; however, what is lacking in the content is the overall character development.

The story itself is interesting — it’s a double murder mystery in the town of Zons. One storyline is a series of murders that happened 500 years ago which then crosses over with a present-day series of murders.  What I didn’t like about the book was the brutality of the murders.  I mean, I get it — it’s murder, and murder isn’t pretty, but these murders involve rape and overall gruesomeness that I just personally didn’t enjoy reading about.

Honestly, I can’t really think of anyone I would recommend this book to, so there you have it…

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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