Written Off

Forensic Handwriting Mystery Book 7

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
265 Pages
Reviewed on 11/11/2017
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruth Castleberry for Readers' Favorite

In Written Off by Sheila Lowe, forensic handwriting analyst Claudia Rose travels to Maine to conduct a final interview with a female serial killer. The interview is needed so the ex-husband of a murdered author, Professor Madeline Maynard, can complete her unfinished manuscript for publication. Professor Maynard taught criminal psychology, studied female serial killers and their histories, and chose five grad students to work on a special project each year. Claudia also has to find the manuscript and is conveniently put up in the professor's house for her stay. Naturally this allows Claudia to search for the manuscript and to spend time exploring Professor Maynard's environment and reviewing personal and professional items she finds.

Over the course of four days, Claudia is exposed to college faculty politics, the sudden appearance of an unexpected heir to the professor's estate with a new handwritten will, the emotional relationships among the five graduate students known as Maynard's Maniacs and the police chief's request to assist with validating the new will. The professor's housekeeper, Melva, and attorney, Jim Spencer, also provide insight and perspective on the professor's life as they interact with Claudia. Sheila Lowe's background as an actual forensic handwriting expert with a Master's Degree in Psychology is quite evident in the way she uses her knowledge and experience to generate details about female serial killers and the psychological profiles she paints of certain characters. The final scenes involving the mystery are played out in the professor's big house, complete with hidden passages, and the small cabin where the professor's body was found.

Sheila Lowe's Forensic Handwriting mysteries are a joy to read. Written Off, the seventh adventure, is well conceived, intelligent and complex. Ms. Lowe combines her skill as a writer with her professional background and experience to create rich characters and relationships. I am impressed with Ms. Lowe's effective use of narration and exposition to keep the story moving. The pace, while thoughtful, never seems too slow. Dialogue flows naturally and is realistic. I also found myself learning more about female serial killers due to Ms. Lowe's ability to weave the information into the story line in meaningful ways. The book's dedication provides a clue to how strongly Ms. Lowe feels about the subject matter of her work in Written Off, and the reason behind the title. When I finished Written Off, I felt that I had just read a story created with a lot of heart.