Medium Dead By Kate Thornton: Review/Giveaway

Nov 13, 2021 | 2021 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and a link to order it from Amazon.

Finally able to leave her less-than-appealing tiny LA apartment and move into her beloved, honeymooning Uncle Horace’s home in Loma Vista, Toni Carey is looking forward to living in the place of some of her favorite childhood memories. She’s still packing up the boxes when she is visited by the somewhat pretentious Henry Smith, who has been referred to her by San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department Detective Peter Martin. While their budding romance seemed to have withered away from distance and distractions, Peter seems to have been impressed enough through their previous criminally intertwined interactions. Henry fears that his sister Irma is being sucked into the cult-like Church of the Inner Circle of Light, a church that he believes is stealing away all of her money. While Henry grudgingly admits that at fifty-two years of age Irma is old enough to do what she wants with her funds, he also fears that she may soon suffer the fate of her best friend. Delia Baxter was the one who first introduced Irma to the church, and now neither her neighbors nor her daughter have any clue as to her whereabouts. Since legally no crime has yet been committed and Irma is definitely a grown adult, Peter suggested that Henry ask Toni to poke around since both she and the church are now in Loma Vista.

Having cashed out on her software invention money and successfully freelances as a magazine writer, Toni is willing to do what she can to help a woman who society may have already shuffled into the middle-aged, spinster category that often renders women invisible. If it also forces her into the path of a frustratingly incommunicative certain detective, all the better. It’s not like Toni is eager to rush down the aisle herself, and as much as her mother might despair over her daughter’s single status, Toni is quite happy living alone with her stuff and her aggressively unpleasant cat. That doesn’t mean she still wouldn’t like an occasional romantic companion, though, it’s just too bad that it took the news of Henry’s murder in his workplace to bring Detective Peter Martin back into her life so quickly. Henry Smith was a lead researcher for the Plato Institute think tank, and Toni begins to wonder if it was his work or his interest in the Inner Circle of Light that may have gotten him bashed in the head.

This second in the series allows Toni to use her connections within the software community, as her then-teenaged genius hacker partner Manny Halverson is now a twenty-one-year-old full genius computer guru. Offering demonstrations of software designs to the Plato Institute, Toni is able to learn about Henry’s inroads into dreaming, conscious dreaming, and eye/vision studies. It also allows her to study one Jack Cavanaugh, whose brain is as appealing as his forearms. When not dodging a creepy head of security or attempting to finally complete a date with Peter, Toni meets the Inner Circle of Light’s Mr. Collins and his assistant Jo Angelo in their motel. While the blond bombshell Jo and her brash personality may fit the stereotype of someone who lives in a motel, Mr. Collins may actually have a connection with those on The Other Side. Toni’s ability to humorously relate with both the psychic medium and the intellectual think-tankers is why she is so charming and fun as a heroine. Her practical good sense and innate intelligence help her to get out of dire situations, or avoid them in the first place. Toni is not an amateur detective who acts rashly or is Too Stupid To Live, fortunate as the plot of this exciting mystery never goes in expected directions. Toni’s best friends and young former coworker provide the banter and quick dialogue to match Toni’s, delivering a fun ride for readers looking for a funny, romantic, caper of a mystery.

To enter to win either an ebook or print copy of Medium Dead (winner’s choice), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “medium,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 20, 2021. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE SURE TO STATE IF YOU WANT PRINT OR EBOOK.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  2. Medium Dead sounds like a book that is interesting, engaging, and would keep me up reading past my bedtime!

  3. New author to me. Would really like to read. I prefer a print copy.

  4. I love the thought of a mystery that doesn’t go in the expected directions and your review!

  5. The first in series, BUZZ KILL, is on sale in ebook format through December!

  6. We have a winner!


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