Game-playing Turns Deadly in Stratagem

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Deb’s Dozen: Game-playing leads to the murder of the creator’s ex-wife—he killed her?

Stratagem by Robin Caroll intrigued me from the start. First, the book takes place in New Orleans—one of my fave locations. Second, the main character, Grayson Thibodeaux, a game-playing expert, not only has a wonderful name but has engaging charm. His ex-wife, who left him to move up her corporate ladder, takes delightfully nastiness to another level.

Grayson’s company creates elaborate games that help corporations vet their employees for promotions and important positions. Grayson’s experience as a psychologist and former consultant for the police department makes him not only a good game creator, but the prime suspect when the game he created for his ex-wife’s company apparently leads to her murder.

One of the detectives on the case is a good buddy—the other is sure he’s the perp, and she’s the lead detective. Although Grayson is not guilty, he was out of town playing golf, he has great difficulty proving his innocence. And off we go to find out what actually happened during the game. Caroll deftly manipulates our minds as we hear from witness after witness. We never quite know who is telling the truth and who is lying. As a result, she keeps us from guessing the identity of the murder until the end of the book, something I greatly appreciate. Four stars!

StratagemRobin Caroll is a bestselling author of what she calls Southern-style romantic mystery/suspense. Perhaps her writing can best be summed up by this statement she made about herself: “I love boxing, I love Hallmark movies, I love fishing, I love scrapbooking. Nope, I’ve never fit into the boxes people want to put me in.” I’ve not read her books previously, but you can be sure I’ll go hunting for them now!

Barbour Publishing gave me a complimentary copy of Stratagem, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.

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