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Reviewed by Justine Reyes for Readers' Favorite
I have been seeing the covers of James J. Cudney's Braxton Campus Mysteries for some time now. I was lucky enough to snag Academic Curveball. Not only is it the first book of the series, but it is a well-structured sleuth novel that holds promise for the rest of the series to come. The story follows Kellan Ayrwick as he heads home for his father's retirement from Braxton College. One thing leads to another and a professor's dead body is found. Not only does Kellan have a connection to the victim, but so does his family. This raises the age-old question: whodunit?
I cannot say I regret not reading Academic Curveball sooner, but I am disappointed by the fact that there are only two books in the Braxton Campus series. At least as of now, there is only Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. This is James J. Cudney's first entry into his mystery series, and it was just absolutely refreshing. There is something very authentic when it comes to first-person narrations, especially when the main character has a sense of humor. In this case, Kellan Ayrwick is the source of the humor and wit. Kellan is both relatable and realistic to the extent of, at the very least, television sleuth personalities. The mystery itself falls under the umbrella of the cozy mystery genre but delivers familiar and, to a further extent, traditional tropes of a classic whodunit mystery. Readers looking for a solid murder mystery should look no further than Academic Curveball.