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Deadly Catch: A Mac McClellan Mystery (Mac Mcclellan Mysteries) [Kindle Edition]

E. Michael Helms
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“The first cast of the day turned my dream vacation into a nightmare. . . .”
 
After twenty-four years in the U.S. Marines, recently retired Mac McClellan is happy to be a civilian again. He is enjoying a leisurely fishing vacation in the Florida panhandle when he hooks a badly decomposed body.
Then, when a bag of rare marijuana is discovered stashed aboard his rental boat, he realizes someone is setting him up to take the fall for murder and drug smuggling. Mac’s plans for a more laid-back life must be put on hold while he works to clear his name as the number one suspect.
Mac launches an investigation with the help of Kate Bell, a feisty saleslady at the local marina with whom he has struck up a promising relationship. Along the way he must butt heads and match wits with local law enforcement officials, shady politicians, and strong-armed thugs from the Eastern Seaboard to sniff out and bring the real smuggler and killer to justice.




From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1176 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Seventh Street Books (12 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CVRYK9M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,127,938 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars! Great mystery! 17 April 2014
By Detra Fitch VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
After twenty-four years in the U.S. Marines, recently retired Mac McClellan is finally a civilian again. Mac travels to the Florida panhandle to relax and do some leisurely fishing before deciding on what he wants to do with the rest of his life. On his first cast of the day, Mac manages to hook a badly decomposed body. Shortly thereafter, a bag of rare marijuana is discovered stashed aboard his rental boat and Mac realizes that someone is setting him up to take the fall for murder and drug smuggling.

With the help of Kate Bell, a feisty saleslady at the local marina, Mac launches an investigation. Along the way Mac must deal with local law enforcement officials, shady politicians, and strong-armed thugs. But he also finds allies in the strangest places and strikes up a romance with Kate. The beginning of this new chapter in Mac’s life is very turbulent and, if he survives, Mac may just get to enjoy it.

***** FOUR AND A HALF STARS! Much of my synopsis comes from the back cover of the book and I have used it with the author’s permission. This story follows Mac and is told in the First Person. As the reader, I am with Mac as he gathers clues, ponders suspicions, and – basically – just tries to survive. Almost everyone in the story is a suspect and danger seems to lurk around every corner. With so much going on, you will not find yourself getting bored.

The author writes with a smooth pattern. There is no jumping around from topic-to-topic or person-to-person or flashback-to-flashback. If the reader needs to know something about Mac’s past, Mac will briefly recall an event – but the reader will not have a lot of unneeded information dumped on him.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good mystery. 27 Dec. 2014
By Jo-Anne
Format:Kindle Edition
Mac McClellan is a recently retired Marine who decides to go fishing in Florida for his vacation. His vacation doesn't start out the best when he "catches" a decomposed body. It turns out that the sheriff, Bo, is the uncle of the dead girl so he decides Mac is the prime suspect for the girl's murder. When a bag of rare marijuana is found on Mac's boat, he starts to look really guilty. Mac becomes friendly with a local salesperson, Kate, and they decide to solve the murder and figure out who is trying to set Mac up so they can get Mac off the hook.

I enjoyed the story line and didn't have any idea who the killer was. I liked being completely surprised when I learned the culprit's identity. The author had the small town descriptions down pat in the way residents know everything about everybody. I thought the descriptions ran on and were too detailed. I prefer a faster pace. This wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't for me.

I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great new mystery author! 3 Jan. 2014
By col2910
Format:Kindle Edition
Helms is another new author for me. Previously his Vietnam memoir, The Proud Bastards was originally published back in 1990 and has been reprinted at various times over the years. He has also authored a novel about the Civil War called Of Blood and Brothers.

Deadly Catch is a mystery novel set in Florida. Mac McClellan, our main man is a likeable, capable ex-marine on vacation. Divorced with a couple of grown up children, he's doing a spot of fishing whilst deciding what to do with the rest of his life. Snagging a dead body isn't part of his vacation planning and after a brusque encounter with the resident sheriff Bo Pickron, another veteran and war hero Mac's life gets a little bit complicated. When the corpse is subsequently found to be the sheriff's niece and murdered to boot, Mac fits the bill as number one suspect.

Subsequent events do little to ease him back into civilian life and holiday mode..... a stash of dope is found on his chartered boat and then his trailer burns down. His developing friendship with Kate, who dismissed the spiky sheriff's amorous attentions, previously, does little initially to calm the situation. Throw the feisty City police chief Merritt into the mix as well as some small town intrigue in the form of a long-time feud between two prominent families, one of which has just suffered the bereavement of the murder victim and top it off with some dope smuggling and the situation escalates for McClellan.

McClellan teaming up with an unlikely ally, digs deeper into the family feud and the town's recent history to try and get himself out from under the frame that's been clumsily assembled around him.

Overall verdict.......enjoyable, well written, decent pace, interesting and believable characters, satisfying conclusion.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS ONE'S A KEEPER! 15 Nov. 2013
By Brie Edison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is E. Michael Helms' debut novel in the thriller/murder mystery genre. It is written in the charming voice of Mac McClellan, a tough, young U.S. Marine who has recently retired from the services. Trying to decide what he wants to do for the rest of his life, Mac decides to take a fishing vacation in Florida to rest and relax. Instead of catching a fish, Mac is unfortunate enough to hook a decaying corpse; a teenage heiress known by Maddie. Suspicion falls on our hero when his knife is found next to the dead body. The sheriff, who is Maddie's uncle, believes Mac is mixed up to his eyeballs in the murder, but offers him a proposal, giving Mac the chance to clear his name. Although Mac doesn't trust the Sheriff, he agrees to go undercover to find out who killed the Sheriff's niece, but his real aim is to find out who framed him for the murder and drug dealing. (Weed was found on the boat he had rented.) The plot becomes more complicated when another body is found and turns out to be the fiance of the murdered girl. Twists and turns are everywhere, and the action sequences are exhilarating. The local color is described in such a way that it can be seen vividly in your mind. I think Mac McClellan is a keeper; I look forward to reading the next book in the series. Superb job!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good first in a series! 19 Nov. 2013
By Moira M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great debut for the Mac McClellan Mystery series. As I got introduced to Mac and grew to know him, I really liked him. The story is multi-layered and holds your interest until the end. I can't wait to see the next in the series and see what will be coming for him in the future. Romance, suspense, mystery and danger.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars! Great mystery! 17 April 2014
By Detra Fitch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After twenty-four years in the U.S. Marines, recently retired Mac McClellan is finally a civilian again. Mac travels to the Florida panhandle to relax and do some leisurely fishing before deciding on what he wants to do with the rest of his life. On his first cast of the day, Mac manages to hook a badly decomposed body. Shortly thereafter, a bag of rare marijuana is discovered stashed aboard his rental boat and Mac realizes that someone is setting him up to take the fall for murder and drug smuggling.

With the help of Kate Bell, a feisty saleslady at the local marina, Mac launches an investigation. Along the way Mac must deal with local law enforcement officials, shady politicians, and strong-armed thugs. But he also finds allies in the strangest places and strikes up a romance with Kate. The beginning of this new chapter in Mac’s life is very turbulent and, if he survives, Mac may just get to enjoy it.

***** FOUR AND A HALF STARS! Much of my synopsis comes from the back cover of the book and I have used it with the author’s permission. This story follows Mac and is told in the First Person. As the reader, I am with Mac as he gathers clues, ponders suspicions, and – basically – just tries to survive. Almost everyone in the story is a suspect and danger seems to lurk around every corner. With so much going on, you will not find yourself getting bored.

The author writes with a smooth pattern. There is no jumping around from topic-to-topic or person-to-person or flashback-to-flashback. If the reader needs to know something about Mac’s past, Mac will briefly recall an event – but the reader will not have a lot of unneeded information dumped on him. There is little in the story that does not need to be there in order to further the plot or plant a seed of suspicion and/or clue. In fact, the only things I remember that did not have to deal directly to the story in some way was when the author would tell me exactly what foods Mac ordered at a restaurant or what types of clothing he purchased at a store. (The names of the restaurants and clothing stores are provided too.) This does not distract from the tale, I only mention it so that you will understand when I say that E. Michael Helms is a very detailed writer.

This is the first Mac McClellan Mystery and E. Michael Helms has done an excellent job of introducing the main characters to the reader. This mystery series has awesome potential and I look forward to Helms’s next installment. *****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great new mystery author! 3 Jan. 2014
By col2910 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Helms is another new author for me. Previously his Vietnam memoir, The Proud Bastards was originally published back in 1990 and has been reprinted at various times over the years. He has also authored a novel about the Civil War called Of Blood and Brothers.

Deadly Catch is a mystery novel set in Florida. Mac McClellan, our main man is a likeable, capable ex-marine on vacation. Divorced with a couple of grown up children, he’s doing a spot of fishing whilst deciding what to do with the rest of his life. Snagging a dead body isn’t part of his vacation planning and after a brusque encounter with the resident sheriff Bo Pickron, another veteran and war hero Mac’s life gets a little bit complicated. When the corpse is subsequently found to be the sheriff’s niece and murdered to boot, Mac fits the bill as number one suspect.

Subsequent events do little to ease him back into civilian life and holiday mode..... a stash of dope is found on his chartered boat and then his trailer burns down. His developing friendship with Kate, who dismissed the spiky sheriff’s amorous attentions, previously, does little initially to calm the situation. Throw the feisty City police chief Merritt into the mix as well as some small town intrigue in the form of a long-time feud between two prominent families, one of which has just suffered the bereavement of the murder victim and top it off with some dope smuggling and the situation escalates for McClellan.

McClellan teaming up with an unlikely ally, digs deeper into the family feud and the town’s recent history to try and get himself out from under the frame that’s been clumsily assembled around him.

Overall verdict.......enjoyable, well written, decent pace, interesting and believable characters, satisfying conclusion.

Only one minor, itsybitsy, wee gripe from me.........Kate, Mac’s friend and confidant has an irritating habit of saying the annoying word........ DANG! And not just on one occasion either. The irrational part of my brain had me half hoping she was kidnapped and bound and gagged as a sudden plot twist - just so she couldn’t speak! I would hazard that the word is part of the local dialect, but for some inexplicable reason it just grated on me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced and hard to put down 6 Jan. 2014
By Mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
“The first cast of the day turned my dream vacation into a nightmare.”

Mac McClellan is looking forward to a relaxing vacation. A recently retired US Marine, he heads to the Florida panhandle where he plans to do some fishing.

What he doesn’t anticipate is hooking a dead body on the end of his line. Or having a stash of marijuana planted on his boat. Clearly, someone is trying to frame him, and the only way to clear his name is to unravel the mystery surrounding the crimes.

Mac enlists the help of Kate Bell, a woman who works at the local marina, as together they uncover a local drug smuggling ring protected by the local law enforcement and dirty politicians.

In order to get the answers they need, they must get to the bottom of a long-standing feud between two local families, but someone’s trying to send Mac a clear message to stay out of it.

Deadly Catch is fast-paced and hard to put down, and even though it’s a relatively short book (only 206 pages), it really packs a punch with a well-developed plot and likable characters. The author’s casual writing style makes for an enjoyable read, with a little humor and a touch of romance thrown into the mix. If you’re looking for a good mystery, this book is a sure-fire win.
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