The Book of Judges

A Maura Garrison Mystery

Fiction - Mystery - General
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 04/08/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

When not writing, Traci knits socks, and accompanies her mandolin playing husband on the spoons.

She's the author of the Maura Garrison Mysteries, the Tillgiven Romantic Mysteries, the Plain Jane Mysteries, and the Mitzy Neuhaus Mysteries. She was the Mystery/Suspense Category winner for the 2012 Christian Writers of the West Phoenix Rattler Contest, and has a Drammy from the Portland Civic Theatre Guild. She's an active member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Oregon Christian Writers.
When not writing, Traci knits socks, and accompanies her mandolin playing husband on the spoons.

She's the author of the Tillgiven Romantic Mysteries, the Plain Jane Mysteries, and the Mitzy Neuhaus Mysteries. She was the Mystery/Suspense Category winner for the 2012 Christian Writers of the West Phoenix Rattler Contest, and has a Drammy from the Portland Civic Theatre Guild. She served as the Vice President of the Portland chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association for two terms.

She has a degree in history from Portland State University and still lives in the rainiest part of the Pacific Northwest with her goofy family.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

The Book of Judges by Traci Tyne Hilton is a Maura Garrison Mystery. No one believed Maura Garrison when she suspected her husband Rick of cheating, but when her fears are confirmed she takes refuge in her office and grabs his cat as collateral. The last thing Maura wants to do is to see him, but with her private investigator business desperately needing money, she takes a case from Linda Smith to solve the murder of Adam Demarcus before the press can tear apart the organization they created. The same organization of which Rick is a part. As Maura digs further into Adam's life, she's brought into a world of religion and well-mannered do-gooders. Only one problem. Everyone seemed to love him, but someone wanted him dead and she might be next.

Traci Tyne Hilton introduces Maura's story with quite the dramatic moment as Maura discovers her husband is cheating with his intern, which sets the tone for the rest of the story. Hilton strikes a balance with Maura's emotional personal journey and the murder mystery that brings her deeper into danger. Maura's voice is honest and genuine with her emotional state reflecting how the case progresses. Maura reacts to each situation with a realistic blend of anger and hurt, wit and sleuthing brilliance. Hilton gives her a sincere voice that allows you to get angry with her as she works the case and through the pain from her marriage. Maura is understandably bitter and angry, but pushes through her own pain in order to take this case and though she remains suspicious of everyone, she gives a certain amount of sympathy and compassion to each suspect.

A majority of the story is rooted in lies and has most of the characters hiding something that Maura slowly uncovers. Many of the characters are perceived in a certain light due to their religion or beliefs, but Hilton twists these perceptions and shows a more layered aspect to the characters' personalities. Maura's husband is a bit of an enigma as he charms and persuades people through the church, but then Hilton flips this by showing another side to him. Hilton opens up a thought-provoking mystery in The Book of Judges, exploring the idea of forgiveness and belief through Maura's personal relationships. A must-read for mystery lovers!

Pam Martin

This brand-new series serves up cozy mystery fun with a side of insight. Maura doesn't let the killer get away with murder or Christians to get away with hypocrisy or complacency. This one is a definite "don't miss"!

Tammy Casado

I just finished The Book of Judges and I can’t wait to read the second book in the series! Once I started reading it, I didn’t want to put it down. One of the main things that I look for in a suspense novel is, “how long did it take me to figure out who is the culprit?”. In the Book of Judges, I didn’t figure it out until I was told! The main characters were well presented, and I was able to relate to them. I also like that it wasn’t a cliffhanger but at the same time, it was! To clarify, enough questions were answered that I was content with the ending, but there were enough unanswered questions that I want to read the next book. I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Great start to new series

In the first book of the series, Maura is a great character. It was great watching her develop in both her personal and professional life. The mystery is so well written, I could not put it down. And when I found out who "did it" I could not believe I missed it. I can't wait for the next book. Please hurry!

Stephanie C

I am always looking for a good read and The Book of Judges does not disappoint. This book is full of twists and turns and keeps you guessing throughout. Nothing is more disappointing then guessing the ending 5 minutes into a book. Every time I thought I had it down the plot would twist and I once again found myself wondering! I received a free copy of this book and am so blessed to have gotten it! I started reading one afternoon and suddenly it was 2am and I was finished!! I cannot wait to see what the rest of this trilogy holds for Maura!

Deborah Rolman

Maura Garrison, Private I, is one tough lady. So when she finds another woman in her bed, she leaves and takes her husband's cat with her. That would be great if she wasn't allergic to cats. She temporarily moves into her office hoping to get a case to make some money. Most of her business is suspicious husbands and/or wives but what gets dropped in her lap is a murder, a very gruesome murder.Things don’t get any better during the investigation because she is also dealing with an unreasonable landlord, another murder, and she still needs to figure out what to do about her marriage.

This book was hard to put down and the ending blew me away. I am so excited that a sequel is coming.

I received a free e-book in exchange for this honest review.

Stephanie D

I really enjoyed this book. The book opens as the main character, Maura, catches her husband cheating on her. The author then does a good job of portraying the roller coaster of emotions and indecision that follows such a stressful event. The tension caused by her need to work and hold onto the only things that were hers alone, coupled with the stress of dealing with him to accomplish that, felt very real. The ending was well hidden, which is always a good thing in any mystery!

Darlene Szilard

Gutsy Female lead

Darlene Szilard

The opening chapter of The Book of Judges introduces Maura Garrison, whose suspicions about her cheating husband are confirmed when she finds his lover in their bedroom. She takes the cat (even though she's allergic) to even things out and moves into her PI office. Soon this gutsy, no nonsense private investigator is hired to solve a gruesome murder straight from the book of Judges. While investigating Maura slowly uncovers many secrets and lies of the many characters in this story and in turn puts herself in a dangerous position. The mystery is gripping, made more interesting with the parallels from the bible. The twist at the end surprised me. I received a copy of the book for my honest review and highly recommend this to mystery fans who love clean stories and strong female protagonists. Looking forward to Book 2

Amy Fordham

I received a free book but I am freely writing this review.
Excellent book that kept you intrigued until the very end. The characters were well planned and thought out, though there were so many that I got them confused several times, but that’s not unusual for me. Lol! The plot was excellent and I loved the main character Maura. She was very likable and was very “real”. I loved how she wasn’t afraid to be the one to ask the tough questions. She just went after the truth no matter what. She’s a person that you would want on your side through anything. Looking forward to reading the next book in this series. Would definitely encourage anyone to read it! It also made me go back and read Judges in my Bible. Excellent!

Helen Connell

I highly recommend this book; The Book of Judges which I received as a review copy. Maura Garrison is a clever private investigator who can carry lots of threads in her head. She's a fallible human being like all of us. Amid a personal crisis she's asked to look into a gruesome murder.

I really liked Maura and connected with many of her dilemmas. The story is well-written and gripping. Once I started, I found it hard if not impossible to put down. I didn't work out who did it. I can't wait to read the next instalment.


I loved this book. I can't wait for the next one!!! The main character has plenty of sass and makes me laugh with her smart comments. I thought I had it figured out as to "who did it" but changed my mind a few times and was surprised at the end. I had a hard time getting anything done because I didn't want to put the book down

Deborah Beat

Do you love a good book? What about a killer mystery?
Traci Tyne Hilton has written the first book in her new series: The Book of Judges (Maura Garrison #1), which is just to die for, seriously it is that good. I was fortunate to receive an e-book copy of this new title for an honest review.
I have enjoyed reading several of her cozy mysteries, but The Book of Judges is much edgier and has plot twists that are intriguing until the very end. Maura, the main character, will have you riding the emotional roller coaster of her life as she navigates through a rocky marriage, her career as a private investigator, and learning to understand what she believes.
The story is written as first-person through Maura's eyes with her sarcastic coping and quirky inner narrative the reader is allowed insight to the PI's investigative process, as well as, her struggles with life. I liked the detail of the characters and the development of the setting, but the most enjoyable part was reading the interactions of the characters as Maura sought a killer while trying to keep her life from falling apart.
The author has done an excellent job of holding the reader's interest as she moves through Maura's inner dialogue and the entertaining interactions with other characters. Right from the start, there is a little surprise then just as you settle into solving the mystery *BAM* she hits you with a "didn't see that coming" plot twist. I can't wait until the second book in the series is released since there are still questions to be answered!


I have read most of the books by this author and have enjoyed them. I love the fact that this is set in Portland because it is familiar. I was given an advanced electronic copy of this book and find that it is my favorite. Maura Garrison is a flawed human being that is an excellent private investigator. She is hired to investigate a murder of a member of group of homeless advocates. While she is conducting this investigation, she is also dealing with the infidelity of her husband, a pastor/counselor. Maura struggles with her spiritual life and constantly questions. Aspects of the murder point to the Book of Judges in the Bible. I like Maura's honesty and humanity and appreciate her struggles. She is far from perfect and knows it. The ending took me completely by surprise. I look forward to the next book in this series.

Chris Perkins

I absolutely loved this book! It drew me in from the very beginning & kept me hooked! I couldn't wait to get to the next chapter. There were so many twists & turns, I was anxious to get to the next plot twist. But I have to say, I never saw this ending coming! I was also curious, so after I finished the book, I read the entire book of Judges in the bible. I can't wait for the 2nd & 3rd books to come out! I've already pre-ordered books #2! Good writing Traci!