Murder Miscalculated By Andrew MacRae

Jul 19, 2014 | 2014 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

Details on how to enter to win a copy of Murder Miscalculated at the end of this review along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL.

Gregory Smith, aka The Kid, used to be a professional pickpocket. He’s given up that life for a fresh start with his bride, Lynn, at their bookstore. He doesn’t miss picking pockets. Much.

The Kid got involved with the FBI not so long ago with some scary results so even if he does miss it just a little, it’s not worth putting Lynn and his friends in jeopardy just for the excitement of lifting a wallet or watch with the owner none the wiser.

That plan went well until the arrival of FBI agent Lawrence Talbot. Even Junior, the bookstore cat, knew Talbot was trouble. It seems that Agent Cochran, who proved to be a true friend, needs to learn to pick pockets. Who better to teach him than The Kid? Agent Riley, usually the lead in such cases, is at Quantico, teaching a class and perhaps learning a lesson of his own. Talbot is no Riley when it comes to persuasion techniques. He sees it as “my way or else” which means The Kid can be paid to teach Cochran or Talbot will go after Barbara, the former bookstore owner and landlord, part of The Kid and Lynn’s family of choice. murdermiscalculated

Barbara is a former hippie so there were protests and arrests, activists and actions. Talbot says Barbara once harbored a fugitive and took money to do it. Of course after all this time, it would be hard to prove but time-consuming and expensive to disprove. In the meantime, the bookstore could be confiscated as part of the investigation.

Even Lynn has to agree, The Kid’s in no position to bargain. Cochran’s lessons begin but he’s no Kid. He’d get caught with his hand still in the mark’s pocket. There’s nothing left to do but let The Kid do the job himself.
It seemed simple enough. Information is coming in via courier on a certain day. Lift the wallet, hand it over and get paid. Of course, it’s never that easy.

First there was Chad. He’s a pickpocket/enforcer for Doris, an ex-hugger-mugger (she rolled drunks). She’s organizing a pickpocket union of sorts with one rule—they all work for her, no freelancers. Since part of The Kid’s cover is that he’s back on the street, he has to dodge not only the mark and the police but Chad and his sidekicks too.

Then there’s the bigger complication of what happened to the courier just as The Kid lifted his wallet. The information went missing and it’s not just the FBI who thinks maybe The Kid took it.

Of course, there’s still the bookstore to run. Books have to be ordered, paperwork filed, and special events carried out. That includes Max, the egotistical cowboy author, and the nervous April who shepherds him from signing to signing. His disappearance doesn’t help and his reappearance at the Pink Poodle strip joint has complications of its own when he mistakes a lap dance for unwanted attention directed at the dancer by, unfortunately, a mobster.

Mel, Kid’s police officer friend, Tom the part-time help in the store, Candy former stripper and now stripper-teacher, and Junior the cat are at their best as The Kid and Lynn work their way through plots and sub-plots to get to the truth and find their way back to their own lives. Usually a book with this many layers of characters and storylines would be hard to follow but MacRae does a masterful job of creating likeable characters (except Talbot who we love to hate), real settings, and a story that’s both suspenseful and humorous.

In a review of the first book, Murder Misdirected, I hoped it would be a series so I could read more about The Kid, his friends and the bookstore. The arrival of Murder Miscalculated was like getting a long, newsy letter from someone you’ve missed. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

To enter to win a copy of Murder Miscalculated, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Murder,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 26, 2014. U.S. residents only.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

Use this link to purchase the book and a portion goes to help support KRL:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her new one Bananas Foster.


  1. I recently read this and loved it! I found the information about the pickpocketing methods especially intriguing. 🙂

  2. This sounds like a great book. I’ll put it on my list.

  3. This sounds like a really good read! Thanks for all the information, I guess I never thought there were pickpockets around any more!

  4. Lots going on here. I want to read this pickpocket mystery.

  5. Sounds like good reading, thanks for opportunity!

  6. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher



  1. Best Books of 2014 | Kings River Life Magazine - […] Murder Miscalculated by Andrew MacRae This is the second book of the series. The Kid is back and in…

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