Book Review – The Case of the Yellow Diamond by Carl Brookins

Yellow Diamond CoverThe Case of the Yellow Diamond

(Sean Sean Mystery)

Carl Brookins

File Size: 1532 KB

Print Length: 176 pages

Publisher: North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc. (September 15, 2015)

Publication Date: September 15, 2015


BOOK BLURB: A dead man on the floor of his office in Minneapolis won’t lead P.I. Sean Sean to journey to Yap Island to protect his new client. Bombs in lawyers’ cars only jostle him. This short investigator knows the value of research and asking questions in the right places. World War II, Asian diamonds and concrete in Des Moines combine to almost destroy a Minnesota family. In the end, Sean detects flaws in the plans and brings down a criminal enterprise.

REVIEW: Sean Sean is a terrific character, self-deprecating at times, but the bad guys shouldn’t take that, or his short stature, as a sign of ineptness. Sean is a tenacious investigator, and he won’t let a mystery rest until he solves it.

The narrative has a bit of a noir feel, and reading it I was reminded at times of the private eye novels of the 1940’s. The story opens with, “The guy sprawled on my office floor was dead. I didn’t need my years of experience as a private snoop to know that. The big bloody hole in his bare chest clued me in.”

From that opening, the reader steps back a few weeks to when Sean Sean was hired by Josie and Tod Bartelme to help them find out what happened to her granduncle in 1944. A US bomber pilot, the granduncle was reported missing in action after being shot down over Yap Island in the Pacific, but his plane was never found. The family had enlisted help to finance trips to Yap Island to look for the lost aircraft in the area of the ocean where it was assumed the plane, and two others in his squadron went down. Josie and Tod are experienced SCUBA divers, and they have made several dives and think they are close to finding the aircraft.

Now, for some reason, the family’s efforts to put together another trip are sabotaged by vandalism and ‘accidents’ that turn out to be murder.

It was intriguing to see how the present-day mystery connected to the one in the 40s. During his investigation, Sean Sean discovers that the military was investigating a potential smuggling during WWII. Was the granduncle part of that?

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and they are also a smugglers best friend. Easy to hide. Easy to transport, and sometimes in the rough they can appear to be just another pebble.

This is a quick, easy read from a terrific mystery writer. I was hooked from that opening, and stayed hooked as the story went through a maze until working its way back to the dead guy in Sean Sean’s office.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Before he became a mystery writer and reviewer, Brookins was a freelance photographer, a Public Television program director, a Cable TV administrator, and a counselor and faculty member at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Private Eye Writers of America. He can frequently be found touring bookstores and libraries with his companions-in-crime, The Minnesota Crime Wave. He is married with two grown daughters and lives with his wife, Jean, a retired publisher and editor in Roseville, Minnesota.

Visit his WEBSITE for more information on his books and anything else you might want to know about him.

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