Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Review Tour & #Giveaway for An Unfolding Trap by Jo. A. Hiestand

Welcome to my stop on the Review Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for An Unfolding Trap by Jo A. Hiestand.  Please leave a comment or question for Jo to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway, where Jo will be awarding an international giveaway of a Union Jack tea towel and oven mitt, along with a McLaren-themed gel mousepad to one (1) randomly chosen commenter, by filling out the rafflecopter form below.  you may follow all of the stops on Jo’s tour by clicking on the banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.  

An Unfolding Trap
By Jo A. Hiestand
The MacLaren Mysteries, Book 5

Publisher:  The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Release Date: March 9, 2016
Genre: Traditional British Mystery
Format: eBook
Length: 217 Pages
ISBN: 9781509205882


Buy Links:  Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Wild Rose

About the book:

Since his infancy, Michael McLaren has been the target of his paternal grandfather’s anger. So when the patriarch sends an invitation to heal the rift, McLaren travels to Scotland, eager to meet and finally end the feud. But the welcome never happens. If Grandfather hadn’t invited him, who had?  And why?

In Edinburgh, a man standing beside McLaren in a bus queue is killed in a hit-and-run accident. After an attack leaves McLaren for dead on a wintry moor, he’s convinced someone from his past is trying to murder him.

As McLaren trails the hit-and-run driver from the medieval ‘underground city’ of Edinburgh to the Boar’s Rock  the MacLaren Clan’s ancestral meeting place the assaults intensify, and he’s plunged into a very personal hunt for a World War II treasure. The puzzle is fascinating; he just has to stay alive to solve it.


Ross leaned forward, closing the distance between them. “You’re sure you didn’t get angry when you found him this afternoon?”

“Of course I got angry!  Who the hell wouldn’t? The bloody git killed a man, frightened a dozen others who were there, kidnapped Miss Skene, held her hostage  McLaren stopped before saying Lanny had knocked him on the head and left him for dead in the marshland along the loch, or that he was a threat to Neill McLaren. He took a deep breath. But I didnt kill him. I tied him up so he wouldn’t escape, then phoned you when I could.”

“An hour later.” The voice was flat, unimpressed.

“Yes. An hour later. Maybe ninety minutes. I didn’t write down the time, but I phoned here, in the village.”

“Why wait so long to ring us?”

“Pardon?” The suspicion that things were turning horribly wrong whispered to McLaren.

“Why didn’t you phone right then? Did you want to put some space between you and the killing so you could establish an alibi?”

 AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British.  Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folk singing stint.  This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Taylor & Graham mysteries and the McLaren cold case mystery series.

Jo’s insistence for accuracy, from police methods and location layout to the general feel of the area, has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research.  These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her cat Tennyson shares her St. Louis home.


Website:  www.johiestand.com
Series Website: www.Mclaren-mysteries.com

A possible family reunion, a hit and run accident and an unexpected attack and a hunt for missing treasure take center stage in Jo Hiestand’s Un Unfolding Trap, the fifth book in the McLaren Mystery series.  A well-developed hero, colorful secondary characters and a good mystery kept me turning the pages from start to finish.  While a part of a series, this is a book which can be enjoyed on its own.

While I personally prefer to books in a mystery series in order, I was able to read and enjoy An Unfolding Trap on its own.  Ms. Hiestand’s primary character, former police detective turned private investigator, Michael McLaren, is well developed and fit my idea of what a British cop turned P.I. would be like; intelligent, suspicious, and tenacious.  Traveling from England to Edinburgh to reunite with his estranged grandfather, Michael discovers nothing is what it seems.  His grandfather insists he never invited him and has no interest in establishing a relationship.  As Michael tries to figure out who wanted him in Edinburgh and why – he finds himself getting drawn into a mystery that involves the “underground city” and a hunt for treasure.  He just needs to manage to stay ahead of a killer and solve the mystery first.

The mystery is well written, takes several twists and turns and is well paced.  The secondary characters were interesting and colorful.  Michael’s grandfather is cranky, very stubborn and I could just see him dressed in his traditional Scottish garb.  The descriptions of Edinburgh made me feel as if I was there walking alongside Michael as he gets to know the city and plays the part of “tourist”.

Will Michael discover who wanted him in Edinburgh and why they wanted him there?  Will he solve the mystery of the missing treasure?  Will he manage to stay one step ahead of the killer?  You’ll have to read An Unfolding Trap to find out.  I enjoyed it and plan to read more of the books in this series.

My Rating:  3.5 out of 5 Crowns

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for the review and for hosting my book today!

  2. I liked the excerpt, thank you.

  3. I'm glad you did, Rita. That means a lot to me. Thanks!

  4. This mystery sounds intriguing, unique and captivating and I like the story, the characters, the locale and the World War 11 aspect. What a talented author. Thanks for this fascinating feature and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. HI, Traveler. Thanks for the comment. I hope you like the book if you decide to read it.

  5. What is Union Jack? Sorry never heard of the series before, otherwise maybe I would know. It looks like a great mystery. And the cover seems to sync with it perfectly.

    1. Now that you've heard of the series, I hope you'll read a book! ;-)
      The Union Jack is the flag that is used to designate the United Kingdom -- the blue background with the red and white crosses over the blue field. England has it's own flag (white background and red perpendicular cross), Scotland has the Saltire flag (blue background and white diagonal cross), and Ireland's flag is white background with red diagonal cross. So the Union Jack is the flag that combines the three countries into the one flag, denoting the United Kingdom. It dates from 1606 when King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England. A bit of history you probably didn't want to know! ;-)

  6. I'll sign off now and get my beauty rest! ;-) Thanks for hosting my book review today.

  7. How did I not know of this series? This sounds wonderful and I am excited to read it. And thank you for the giveaway chance.

    1. Hi, Wendy. I'm a bit late replying, but thank you for your comment. I hope you like An Unfolding Trap -- or any of the other McLaren mysteries -- and good luck with the raffle drawing! ;-)