Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Codebook Murders by Leslie Nagel

The Codebook Murders:

The Oakwood Book Club Mystery Series
by Leslie Nagel

About the Book

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Alibi (May 21, 2019)
Print Length: 250 pages

Amateur sleuth Charley Carpenter discovers a coded journal that could crack her small town’s most infamous cold case wide open in this charming cozy mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of The Book Club Murders.

As the owner of Old Hat Vintage Fashions, Charley Carpenter supplies retro apparel to the residents of Oakwood, Ohio, but she’s been known to set business aside to play detective when a mystery rears its head. And there’s no bigger mystery in Oakwood than the murder of Regan Fletcher—a case that’s haunted the town for decades.

Regan’s boyfriend, Carter, did time for the crime—until another man’s confession freed him. But did the “real killer” really do it? Or did Carter walk away with blood on his hands? When Charley stumbles on an old journal written in code, it only complicates the case by revealing a blackmail scheme that targeted dozens of Oakwood’s citizens, giving them all a motive for murder.
Now, with a spate of new suspects to pursue, plus a fresh murder and the abduction of her sleuthing partner, Charley must dig deeper still into the past—even as she risks being buried by her shadowy prey. Joining forces with Detective Marcus Trenault and the newly formed Oakwood Mystery Book Club, Charley turns to a classic whodunit for clues on catching a killer—before more lives are lost, and the truth dies with them.

Leslie Nagel’s delightful The Oakwood Mystery novels can be enjoyed together or separately:

About the Author

Leslie Nagel is a writer and teacher of writing at a local community college. Her debut novel, “The Book Club Murders”, is the first in the Oakwood Mystery Series. Leslie lives in the all too real city of Oakwood, Ohio, where murders are rare but great stories lie thick on the ground. After the written word, her passions include her husband, her son, and daughter, hiking, tennis and strong black coffee, not necessarily in that order.

Author Links

Oakwood Mystery

My Book Summary

The Codebook Murders by Leslie Nagel returns us to Oakwood, Ohio.  Charley Carpenter is on her way home from the wine store, when the siren rings out notifying residents of a twister.  Charley sees Katie O’Malley walking in the rain, picks her up and heads for shelter at the nearby school complex.  Merritt Vance, the Oakwood High School janitor, hustles them into the underground tunnel just before the tornado touches down.  When Charley drops her phone, she discovers a backpack with a journal inside.  Charley later learns the book belonged to Regan Fletcher who was murdered in the late 1970s.  Regan’s death still plagues the town’s detectives.  Carter Magellan, Regan’s boyfriend, did time for the crime until another man confessed.  But then he recanted before passing away.  Charley is hoping Regan’s journal will provide clues that will finally solve this mystery, but first they must decode it.  With the able assistance of the Park Avenue Irregulars, they learn that Regan collected secrets and then exacted payment from her victims.  Charley along with the newly formed Oakwood Mystery Club set out to question their new list of suspects and solve this twisty whodunit.  Things get hairy when the journal is stolen, the Carpenter home is ransacked and one of Charley’s sleuthing partners disappears.  Charley intends to get answers once and for all so this crime can finally put to rest.
The Codebook Murders: The Oakwood Mystery Series (Oakwood Book Club Mystery 4) by [Nagel, Leslie]

My Thoughts

The Codebook Murders is the fourth novel in The Oakwood Mystery series.  It can be read as a standalone if you have not read the previous books in this series.  Charley loves a good mystery and is looking forward to the first book club meeting of the Oakwood Mystery Club that evening.  Then a twister leaves devastation in its path and Charley finds herself with a real mystery on her hands.  She found the journal of Reagan Fletcher who was murdered forty years ago after the high school homecoming game.  The group is excited to solve the crime and are fortunate to get extensive records from reporter, Berkeley Dye.  The mystery was multifaceted with plenty of suspects and good clues.  New information keeps popping up during Charley’s investigation enhancing this complex conundrum.  The police do not mind that Charley and the gang dig into the case as long as they pass along any pertinent information.  I like the Nancy Drew references throughout the book including the mention of the old TV series (there was Hardy Boys show too).   There is a large cast of characters that include Charley, her boyfriend, her father, the father’s caretaker and his girlfriend, the book club plus their significant others, teachers, a janitor, neighbors, shopkeepers, police, and a couple of eager teens (whew).  I would have preferred a faster pace plus less duplication of case details and a smaller amount of speculation (these little tweaks would have elevated this cozy mystery).  The Codebook Murders has a special ending that will please readers.  My favorite phrase from the story is “. . . house isn’t a home unless there is love at its heart” (that is so sweet).  Cozy mystery readers will rejoice at the perplexing puzzle in The Codebook Murders. 
The Codebook Murders is available at Amazon, B&NKobo, and Google Play.  Thank you for joining me today. Please visit the other stops on the tour for author interviews, guest posts, spotlights and reviews (schedule below). I will be reviewing A Store at War by Joanna Toye.  Thank you for stopping by today.  I hope you have a blissful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

May 20 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 20 – I'm All About Books – GUEST POST


May 22 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

May 23 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

May 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

May 24 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

May 25 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

May 26 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW

May 27 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW

May 28 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 29 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

May 30 – The Book Diva's Reads – SPOTLIGHT  

May 31 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 1 – Elizabeth McKenna’s Blog – SPOTLIGHT

June 2 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

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Malie Baehr


  1. Thank you for your review on "The Codebook Murders" by Leslie Nagel and for being part of the book tour.

    Sounds like a wonderful book. On my TBR list and can't wait for the opportunity to read. Great cover!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. Oh - I had not yet discovered this series. Something to look forward to.