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Quiet Evil: A Promise McNeal Mystery (Promise McNeal Mysteries Book 5)

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Tarot cards, a trapeze artist who doesn’t age, and a magician who really can disappear… In the fifth Promise McNeal mystery, set in the Western North Carolina Mountains, Promise’s psychic abilities prickle when Little People of America’s past president, Dick Jest, stocks up on Cuban cigars and drives his Winnebago from Florida to build an academy for circus performers on Tarot cards, a trapeze artist who doesn’t age, and a magician who really can disappear… In the fifth Promise McNeal mystery, set in the Western North Carolina Mountains, Promise’s psychic abilities prickle when Little People of America’s past president, Dick Jest, stocks up on Cuban cigars and drives his Winnebago from Florida to build an academy for circus performers on the site of an abandoned amusement park. When the magician’s assistant is murdered in a dilapidated tram car, the dramatic, Czech trapeze artist, Ruta, draws Promise into the mystery with a strange Tarot Card deck---which she insists she’s held for Promise since 1939---and a bizarre story of the magician Reznik and the Old Towne Clock in Prague. Promise’s husband, Perry County Sheriff Daniel Allen, is determined to go with the facts of the case, but when they meet the other members of Jest’s circus family, Daniel realizes no one is who they seem, and the facts are masked in past violence and lies. Though, as the murder goes unsolved, Promise is haunted by nightmares and struggles with an elusive illness, she and Daniel are determined to bring the murderer to justice. Fact by fact, they narrow the field of suspects until another death at the academy forces them to reconsider Ruta’s wild stories and think like the killer, if they are to catch him before he disappears for good.


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Tarot cards, a trapeze artist who doesn’t age, and a magician who really can disappear… In the fifth Promise McNeal mystery, set in the Western North Carolina Mountains, Promise’s psychic abilities prickle when Little People of America’s past president, Dick Jest, stocks up on Cuban cigars and drives his Winnebago from Florida to build an academy for circus performers on Tarot cards, a trapeze artist who doesn’t age, and a magician who really can disappear… In the fifth Promise McNeal mystery, set in the Western North Carolina Mountains, Promise’s psychic abilities prickle when Little People of America’s past president, Dick Jest, stocks up on Cuban cigars and drives his Winnebago from Florida to build an academy for circus performers on the site of an abandoned amusement park. When the magician’s assistant is murdered in a dilapidated tram car, the dramatic, Czech trapeze artist, Ruta, draws Promise into the mystery with a strange Tarot Card deck---which she insists she’s held for Promise since 1939---and a bizarre story of the magician Reznik and the Old Towne Clock in Prague. Promise’s husband, Perry County Sheriff Daniel Allen, is determined to go with the facts of the case, but when they meet the other members of Jest’s circus family, Daniel realizes no one is who they seem, and the facts are masked in past violence and lies. Though, as the murder goes unsolved, Promise is haunted by nightmares and struggles with an elusive illness, she and Daniel are determined to bring the murderer to justice. Fact by fact, they narrow the field of suspects until another death at the academy forces them to reconsider Ruta’s wild stories and think like the killer, if they are to catch him before he disappears for good.

30 review for Quiet Evil: A Promise McNeal Mystery (Promise McNeal Mysteries Book 5)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I have enjoyed every book of this series. I hope Ms. James continues it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    A most excellent 5 star read! Awwww nuts, it's the last one. For now...:) A most excellent 5 star read! Awwww nuts, it's the last one. For now...:)

  3. 5 out of 5

    IslandRiverScribe

    I thoroughly enjoyed the first four books of the Promise McNeal series. But this book bothered me. It wasn't the murder mystery part of the story that bothered me - that was a pretty complicated plot line and well laid out. And it wasn't the paranormal subplot that bothered me either. That part of the novel was fascinating and, in my opinion, particularly well-written. A small part of the "bother" was the fact that there were far too many typographical errors - missing words, words inserted that m I thoroughly enjoyed the first four books of the Promise McNeal series. But this book bothered me. It wasn't the murder mystery part of the story that bothered me - that was a pretty complicated plot line and well laid out. And it wasn't the paranormal subplot that bothered me either. That part of the novel was fascinating and, in my opinion, particularly well-written. A small part of the "bother" was the fact that there were far too many typographical errors - missing words, words inserted that made no sense, and subject/verb/tense mis-constructions. And these errors were glaring enough in their contextual placement that they pulled me out of the story every single time. However, the biggest part of the "bother," and more important to me is that I was seriously uncomfortable with the tack the author took concerning Promise McNeal's life-altering, but not life-threatening, physical illness. And that tack is not only to have the main character lie about that illness to all and sundry - even to, and especially to, her husband - but to give the reader the impression that this is a totally appropriate and acceptable way to handle such a situation. Since the story is from Promise's POV, we are privy to her inner thoughts as well as her public dialogue. And, not once does she show any hesitation or any remorse over the lies she tells her husband. She lies about the nature of her latest doctor's appointment; she lies about the fact that she has been given a diagnosis; she lies about the treatment options she has been given. And she does it all with a straight face, no hitch in her voice and no excuses. Now, couple this plot tactic with the fact that, through four novels, the author has cast Dr. McNeal as a reputable, career clinical psychologist who has practiced for several decades. Since a character of this background has presumably counseled thousands of patients on the consequences of lying and denial, this sudden do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do attitude does not sit well. As a prolific mystery reader, I expect the main character in a novel to be flawed and these flaws often lend tension and humor to the various plots. But, warts and all, the main character has to inspire in the reader a sense of consistency, a modicum of trust and, at the least, a grudging respect for him or her. However, in Promise McNeal's actions and dialogue, I feel that the author implies that the situational ethics concepts of "the ends justify the means" and "the rules don't apply to me" are perfectly acceptable in the realm of a clinical psychologist. Thus, I lost the ability to believe in or trust any words or actions that emanated from the main character, which cast a cloud over her solutions to both the murder mystery and the paranormal mystery. As a result, this will probably be the last Promise McNeal book that I will purchase.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dawn LaBonte

    Like family I am an avid reader of many genres. This series began with a long slow introduction. I set the book aside and read a few others but the main character drew me back. The deep and interesting plots, human emotions, the reality of facing life challenges, illness and losing loved ones makes this a suspense mystery series that left me feeling like a relative I deeply adore is leaving for a while. I can’t wait for the next installment. Promise and her family have attached to me in a way i h Like family I am an avid reader of many genres. This series began with a long slow introduction. I set the book aside and read a few others but the main character drew me back. The deep and interesting plots, human emotions, the reality of facing life challenges, illness and losing loved ones makes this a suspense mystery series that left me feeling like a relative I deeply adore is leaving for a while. I can’t wait for the next installment. Promise and her family have attached to me in a way i have not experienced in a series in a very long time. Morgan’s writing stays deep and consistent as well. Many writers get sloppy as the series progress with simple plots and no depth. No so with the Promise McNeal series. They get deeper as the characters grow and evolve and age. Fabulous read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Judi

    This is the 5th in the series of Promise McNeal. I really loved this one and you will to if you like paranormal, mystery, and throw in Promises' dreams that come true! This one she is helping Daniel, her husband and Sheriff, on a case that involves an old friend. One of his circus performers is found dead. Promise had met the owner of the circus in investigating another mystery. But now, not only this performer is found dead, another one is found. The man they think might be involved in the killin This is the 5th in the series of Promise McNeal. I really loved this one and you will to if you like paranormal, mystery, and throw in Promises' dreams that come true! This one she is helping Daniel, her husband and Sheriff, on a case that involves an old friend. One of his circus performers is found dead. Promise had met the owner of the circus in investigating another mystery. But now, not only this performer is found dead, another one is found. The man they think might be involved in the killing, well he lived too many years ago, as a magician in 1939, but he is young! So how can that be? Also, Promise has been given a deck of Tarot cards, with all pictures relating to her life and even some showing her face, and these are dated 1939. I can't wait until hopefully the next book comes out..I know there is more to learn about this case, plus more about Promise!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    Mysteries never end Promise McNeal is a fascinating enigma. Level headed and smart, yet sometimes in denial of her own frailties. Her relationship with her husband changes every minute. Always loving, but frequently frustrating. They are a good crime fighting team, but they need to listen to each other better. The story takes many twists and turns, but it stays on course to the end...which will lead inevitably to the next mystery.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ellen White

    Cable car hanging as though in mid air, yet murder had happened. The place is where the Little People of America live. Rita stops Promise telling her of the tarot reading for her. Perry, Promises husband as sheriff he deals in facts. These people are not want they seem to be. The list is long, and tedious of searching for the guilty. Another good story in this series, and keeps one puzzled of who and why murder was done.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Evelyn Grabas

    To say I was disappointed would be putting it mildly indeed. I have read the other Promise McNeal books and they started out very enjoyable, but have gone downhill since then. This one was way too long (I stopped reading it), was weird and convoluted. This business about a set of Tarot cards that came from afar which had Promise's likeness thereon was creepy and quite unbelievable. All in all, I had no interest in finishing it or of reading any further Promise McNeal books. To say I was disappointed would be putting it mildly indeed. I have read the other Promise McNeal books and they started out very enjoyable, but have gone downhill since then. This one was way too long (I stopped reading it), was weird and convoluted. This business about a set of Tarot cards that came from afar which had Promise's likeness thereon was creepy and quite unbelievable. All in all, I had no interest in finishing it or of reading any further Promise McNeal books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael Brunson

    It is good enough for a summer read. I liked the story line and I like the characters. She refers to points in past books a little too much for my taste and comes across like advertisements for past books in the series. They are not graceful in their execution. If you like cozy mysteries mingled with Appalachian mythology. I recommend this series.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kim Casey

    Great read until...... It started to get a little strange regarding (maybe) time travel. I simply adored the main character Promise. I may have enjoyed it a bit more if I was a circus person who loves when "magic" is performed. I will definitely try another book in the series by this author & hopefully it will be a little more realistic. Great read until...... It started to get a little strange regarding (maybe) time travel. I simply adored the main character Promise. I may have enjoyed it a bit more if I was a circus person who loves when "magic" is performed. I will definitely try another book in the series by this author & hopefully it will be a little more realistic.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carol Lewis

    Well written I liked the characters, mostly. You had to suspend your beliefs about reality but I knew that would be the case after I read the brief summary of the book. I would recommend this author and book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bothenjs

    Was good book Got a little thrown off by tarot cards and time travel at end of book , but was thoroughly entertaining read all together. Like that they have what people who consider 60 to be old as the solvers of the crime

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Leach

    Just one complaint here... it's Sydney, Australia not Sidney. Just one complaint here... it's Sydney, Australia not Sidney.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lisbeth Wallace

    Promise of mystery The moving and intertwining of events is like a song. Listen to the end and all will be revealed. Enjoyable.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Britton

    Great entertainment Another win in the Promise McNeal series. Excellent atmospheric Southern mystery, with strong characters. Warning: a bit of a cliffhanger...

  16. 5 out of 5

    vickie

    Doable The writer did a good job!. I found no errors... Got to love old Fletcher, and puppy hound dog.kudos to you all

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Olson

    Unusual Loved this unusual story and the setting. Combining mystery and magic with science fiction in a delightfully scary way. Great characters.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Mccammon

    From the very first book in this series, you are completely brought into the story. With modern law enforcement along with mountain lore, it keeps you attention. It has both humor and sorrow.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michele bookloverforever

    Spooky. 2 murders. Ley lines and time travel?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

  21. 5 out of 5

    Deneise Synstelien

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Stevenson

  23. 4 out of 5

    Janet Steinberg

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marlene Spencer

  25. 5 out of 5

    Maria Elena Jaquez

  26. 4 out of 5

    Donna L. Stone

  27. 4 out of 5

    Irina J. Yershov

  28. 4 out of 5

    Peg

  29. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rhondda Bick

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