Tuesday Book Review: “Pretty Blue Death”

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:

pretty blue death dan blair


Pretty Blue Death

by Dan Blair

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478788393


A twisted psychopath targets a group of friends. A page-turning thriller from page one! Mark and Daly Ford are living the good life in the San Fernando Valley of southern California. Busy building their security company, they are shocked when a long-time friend drowns unexpectedly in his pool, shaking their world. With no foul play or reason for the drowning indicated, they, along with their neighborhood poker group, are baffled. Just as the alarm of losing a good friend begins to subside, another friend from their group dies of a massive heart attack while working at a food bank.

Both deaths appear to be innocent enough, but Daly’s instincts from her years with the L.A.P.D.’s Behavioral Analysis Unit cause her to question if the deaths could be linked. But what is the common thread explaining the murders, if that’s what they are? Mark and Daly thrust themselves into investigating if their friends’ deaths could be more than coincidence … and perhaps a deadly vendetta being carried out against their close-knit group. Worse yet, could the person behind these deaths be someone from within their group of friends?

Mark and Daly plunge headlong into solving the mystery, joining forces with an eccentric scientist friend from their poker group with strong analytical skills. As bodies continue to pile up, they’re joined by a police detective from Scotland Yard, Sean McClarey, on loan to Santa Monica PD. Still mourning the loss of his wife during childbirth, Sergeant McClarey throws himself into the case, bringing his respectful yet penetrating style to his interrogations. Will this band of friends be able to unravel the twisted intentions driving the serial killings in time? How many of their friends may die while they’re piecing the puzzle together? Will Mark and Daly be next on the killer’s list? Enjoy the twists and turns of this non-stop thriller leading to a surprising climax, punctuated by a psychopath’s obsessions

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Pretty Blue Death” by Dan Blair is one of the most unique suspense thrillers I have read in a while. The characters are so down to earth one can imagine playing poker with them and socializing on a daily basis.

Mark and Daly Ford run their own security company, while some of their friends hold work in the food conglomerate business, a hospital and in real estate. All are successful in what they do and are devoted to their families.

The mystery begins when their friend Tommy is found dead in his pool, discovered by his wife, Pat. Given that Tommy was an avid swimmer and swam on a daily basis, this stumps them all. After Tommy’s funeral, another friend suddenly dies, with no clues as to why. The big question is, is someone targeting this group or is it just a coincidence?

As Mark and Daly investigate the possibility of foul play, Sergeant Sean McClary, on loan from Scotland Yard, gets the feeling all is not what it seems. As more members of the close knit group die, readers get snippets of dialogue from a couple of women characters that have anger and revenge on their mind. The ending however, regardless of your sleuthing skills, will shock you.

The characters are well-developed; the plot is well thought out and researched. This read will keep you guessing as to motive, and who did it, and just when you think you have it all figured out, another twist puts you on an entirely different trail. I thought the method of killing was unique and how the perpetrator accomplishes it was brilliant.

The author provides a fast-paced, engrossing read that challenges you to the end. He provides a detailed knowledge of personal interaction and perfect revenge even if it is only in their minds. I found myself looking up specific plants mentioned in the plot and how they are used and possible potential hazards to a person. If you like books that put you in the action, have a great plot and keeps you searching for clues, “Pretty Blue Death” by Dan Blair is the book for you.

– reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views

Other Reviews

Intriguing plot and personal relationships make this a good book to read. The mystery keeps you interested in the plot while the characters personal and inter personal relationships keep you reading to know more about them. I am pleasantly surprised when the author surprises me with a characters humorous personal faux pax or interpersonal revelation.

– Amazon reviewer Frank Gruber

Just finished this book and I have to say it was a great read! The characters are well thought out, the plot twists were exciting and unexpected each time. I couldn’t put it down! I would highly recommend it to anyone and hope Dan is underway with book #2!

– Amazon reviewer Sally


tuesday book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space!

Self Publishing Advisor


Does Offering An Online Preview of Your Book Devalue It?

Earlier today, I was reading through old emails, and I found one sentence from an author that intrigued me. She said, “Sharing too much minimizes the impact of my book.” This ignited many thoughts, but mainly I thought about content marketing and how effective it can be (and has been for many people). I also began to wonder why authors feel the need to hold out on “free” content to get book sales. The author’s book is available online only, and she was expressing concerns about her book’s availability on Amazon’s Search Inside the Book. I was trying to show her the value of that extra visibility, and she was fighting me tooth and nail on it.

Here a few key reasons why every author should consider making their book available for online preview:

  1. Your reader may not know you. Unless your book has been recommended to them, what reason do readers have to trust you? This is especially true if you are a new self-published author.
  2. The reader may know you but may not be too sure about the content of your book. In your eyes, your book is gold. You know you’ve created the perfect book that everyone should want to read. The question is, will everyone feel the same way? Or worse yet, how will they know what to think of your book if they can’t at least take a peek.
  3. The “real” bookstore experience is lost online. People can’t skim the pages of a book to see if they may enjoy its content – unless you have a preview for your book. Giving readers the option to glance over your book’s content first helps them get a feel for your work and can work to ease the pain of opening the pocketbook.

So, with all of these benefits, why was she so opposed to Search Inside? She was afraid that people wouldn’t buy her book because the preview would reveal too much. She felt her written word was as good as gold, and as such, people should pay a fair price for access. It’s good that she takes pride in her work, but this line of thinking can turn buyers away – especially in the case of nonfiction books.

Think of it this way – would you buy an item from a store that doesn’t have a return policy if their price was comparable to a store that does have a return policy? Possibly – but more often that not, most people will put more trust in the store that does offer a return policy. Consider offering a return policy for your book so that you can instill a little bit of faith. I assure you that unless you share the entire book online, people will still buy your book after reading the preview if they’re interested. Remember – you can’t go wrong with content marketing.

What are your thoughts on sharing your book with readers before they commit to buying it?

Elise works as the Manager of Author Support of Outskirts Press.  She also contributes to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com. Elise and a group of talented book marketing experts assist not only published Outskirts Press authors, but also all authors and professionals who are interested in getting the best possible exposure for their book.