Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mystery Book Review: The Brimstone Murders by Jeff Sherratt

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of The Brimstone Murders by Jeff Sherratt. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

The Brimstone Murders by Jeff SherrattBuy from

The Brimstone Murders by
A Jimmy O'Brien Mystery

Echelon Press (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1-59080-552-6 (1590805526)
ISBN-13: 978-1-59080-552-7 (9781590805527)
Publication Date: February 2008
List Price: $12.99

Synopsis (from the publisher): Robbie Farris stabbed his junior college professor twenty-seven times.

At his arraignment, Robbie pulls a gun and escapes. After his mother is found murdered in her shabby house trailer, Robbie's lawyer, Jimmy O'Brien, is led into the seemingly unrelated worlds of high-profile, religious evangelism and old-fashioned Mojave Desert borax mining.

Jimmy fights the clock, the cops, and the DA in his effort to find and return Robbie before he himself is charged with Section 187-murder in the first degree.

Review: Former Los Angeles police officer and now fledgling lawyer Jimmy O'Brien accepts the seemingly impossible defense of a young student who killed his professor in The Brimstone Murders, the third mystery in this series by Jeff Sherratt.

“Why?” Jimmy asks when he first meets his client, Robbie. "Because God told me to,” is the reply. Jimmy decides his only defense is mental illness and needs time to possibly set it up before Robbie is convicted of murder one. But before Jimmy can finish his plea with the judge, Robbie grabs a gun from a guard and escapes. Jimmy starts on a tempestuous journey to find Robbie and bring him back to court. During his search he meets Robbie’s alcoholic and nasty mother, the minister who was supposed to help Robbie, a number of corrupt officials, and the money men giving orders for illegal operations in the city. Jimmy faces death at more than one turn before he can begin to understand what is going on in the city, the Mojave Desert and an abandoned borax mine.

Complicating his investigation is the subsequent murder of Robbie's mother with a gun of the same caliber that he stole from the courtroom. And then there's the strange young woman he meets at a restaurant, a girl that was said to have been killed and buried ten years ago along with her parents. The FBI supposedly verified her identity through fingerprints. Jimmy is determined not stop her search until he finds Robbie, dead or alive, and to find the answer to the question of the young girl, alive, but who was supposed to be dead, and who killed Robbie's mother but is framing him.

There is much to The Brimstone Murders that is appealing for the mystery reader. The situations in which Jimmy finds himself are, collectively, quite unique but credible in the context of his investigation. Then there are the references to musicians, television shows, and movies of the 1970s that add an unexpected, and certainly entertaining, aspect to the story. Readers will no doubt look forward to Jimmy's next case in this series.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of for contributing her review of The Brimstone Murders and to Breakthrough Promotions for providing a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

For more visit Mysterious Reviews, a partner with the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books which is committed to providing readers and collectors of with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

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