Cold Case No. 99-5219

A Samantha Church Mystery Series Book 4

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
276 Pages
Reviewed on 01/14/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Betta Ferrendelli has been an award-winning journalist since 1989, having worked at newspapers in Denver, Seattle and Albuquerque. She is also the author of The Friday Edition, Revenge is Sweet, Dead Wrong and Cold Case No. 99-5219, the award-winning mystery series featuring reporter Samantha Church. Betta also has two award-winning books in contemporary fiction, An Invincible Summer and Last Things.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite

Cold Case No. 99-5219 is the fourth book in the Samantha Church Mystery Series by Betta Ferrendelli. When she visited her sister's grave, Sam found another grave with a very peculiar headstone. The inscription on the headstone did not say anything about the real name of the child who was buried there; instead, it called her "Baby Hope" and had an appeal to the general public to call the given number if they knew anything about the infant. Sam was deeply touched by Baby Hope and decided to dig more to discover something that might help solve this cold case. She talked to her friend and the owner of Perspective, (the place where she worked as a reporter) Wilson, and convinced him that there might be a story here. Although he wasn't happy with the idea, she got the go-ahead from Wilson and started digging around. Amidst this very important murder investigation, she was also dealing with her personal troubles. Earlier Sam had had a problem with alcohol and was unfit to raise her daughter, April. Given this scenario, April had been living with her grandmother, Esther. The relationship between Sam and Esther was very bitter since Esther held Sam responsible for the suicide of her son. To get April back, Sam started going to the AA meetings and soon she would have to stand in front of a judge to get full custody of her daughter.

I thoroughly enjoyed Baby Hope's murder investigation. The author has included so many emotional tidbits in the plot that only a stony-hearted reader could remain detached. When I started reading about the cops finding a baby's corpse in a dumpster and then never being able to solve the case, I wasn't instantly glued, but then the author worked her magic wand and I was hooked to everything related to the case. The subplot involving Sam missing her daughter was quite emotional, too. Her intense feeling in hearing April's voice and her helplessness in getting hold of April on special occasions - due to Esther's resentment towards her - added an extra emotional factor to the already emotional murder mystery. The romance was sprinkled into the plot -- only sprinkled-- but it neither took center stage nor got any vocal acknowledgment from the characters. Every character is very much relatable and the events are quite practical. Nothing miraculous happened which might take away from the plausibility of the plot. Everything from the characters to the intrigue of the murder mystery is well executed. To rate Cold Case No. 99-5219 by Betta Ferrendelli anything less than 5 stars would be an injustice. Readers who like an emotional, turmoil-packed murder mystery will be highly pleased with this heartfelt work.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Sam is a reporter. She views everything in life with that reporter’s careful, analytical eye. She seeks the truth, the depth of the story, the heart of the story, but ultimately, she seeks the answers that others struggle to understand. When visiting her sister's grave, Sam notices another tombstone with the name Baby Hope. The name leads to an unsolved murder, a cold case from twelve years past. It’s a challenge Sam can’t resist. And she’s always up to a challenge. While she’s fighting her own battles against alcoholism and a court battle to regain custody of her own daughter, Sam dives into this murder mystery with vigor and finds herself in some pretty precarious situations. As the truth about Baby Hope unravels, so do the truths about her own struggles and hopes, as a parent, primarily, but also as a good reporter.

Betta Ferrendelli’s mystery novel, Cold Case No. 99-5219: A Samantha Church Mystery Series Book 4, doesn’t have a very auspicious title, but the power of her writing draws the reader in from the very beginning. There are references in the novel to previous Samantha Church mysteries, but this story certainly stands well enough on its own. The characterization is constructed with distinctive insight into real life people. Both good and evil, the reader easily distinguishes between the protagonists and the antagonists. The plot develops at a steady pace, allowing the reader to digest each character’s role as the story unfolds. The author makes powerful use of descriptive passages and the fast-paced, action-filled scenes carry the story along effectively. A very enjoyable mystery.

Susan Sewell

The grave of an unknown baby lies in a Denver cemetery with an eight-hundred number engraved on its headstone, asking for information on the interred infant's murder in the thrilling sleuth murder mystery, Cold Case 99-5219 (A Samantha Church Mysteries Series Book 4) by Betta Ferrendelli. Sam is a journalist and a recovering alcoholic who is fighting to retain her rights to raise her daughter. Despite the challenges of life after her sister's murder, her husband's suicide, and her daughter's absence, Sam is an extraordinary reporter. While visiting her sister's grave, Sam came across the burial site of Baby Hope, a victim of a twelve-year-old unsolved murder. Intrigued, Sam convinces a police detective to reopen the case, even though they only have the dubious witness statement of a psychic. Together Sam and Wilson, the newspaper's owner, collaborate with Detective Page to bring Baby Hope's story before the public in the hopes of jogging long forgotten memories that will help to bring the murderer to justice. Can they make a difference, or will the unidentified infant's murder remain a mystery?

Cold Case 99-5219 (A Samantha Church Mysteries Series Book 4) by Betta Ferrendelli is a riveting sleuth mystery that delves into a twelve-year-old murder of an abandoned baby. It is a gripping story with an intricate plot containing several strands of subplots, each one touching the heart. With all the exciting subplots, the reader is kept on tenterhooks until all the threads are brought together and complete the story line in a brilliant finish. Sam is a complicated protagonist with a lot of personal issues, giving her a persona that is real and genuine, making her character relatable. This is the fourth novel in a fascinating mystery series, and with compelling plots and engaging characters, it will delight anyone and everyone who has a penchant for sleuthing.