The milieu is fascinating and established with striking detail, like paying for local eggs with twoonie coins, or the powerfully evoked sense of loss—“Loss of resources, loss of culture, loss of identity”—Kate feels visiting the land of the T’sawout First Nation. A hint of romance is welcome, too, though readers should keep on their toes when it comes to the mystery: following the plot’s many twists and turns as Kate sets off on her journey for truth and justice demands attentive reading. Still, readers who enjoy skewed, twisty plots will appreciate the threads of quirky characters and doubt Shapiro has carefully woven together. Fans of small-town cozy mysteries will enjoy this action-packed yet character-driven story.
- BookLife/Publishers Weekly
"Shapiro, a former print and broadcast journalist in Canada, creates a vivid world on Wynter Island, and it’s one that’s full of quirky characters—from bitter hotel manager Bob Corker, who’s certain that his daughter should have gotten Kate’s job, to kind Shea Porter, an animal rescuer and librarian, and elderly Vera Schmidt, whose reputation for the best eggs on the island starts events in motion that put Kate’s life in danger. Although the novel can’t accurately be called a cozy mystery—certain details are simply too graphic and frightening for that subgenre—the small-town environment is inherently comforting, with enough genuine goodwill that readers will be able to see Kate’s future as a happy one—provided she gets through the next few weeks alive.
A suspenseful blend of cozy and thrilling mystery elements."
- Kirkus Reviews
Kate, a journalist with a troubled past and a cheating ex, moves to enchanting Wynter Island seeking a fresh start. But when she becomes the prime suspect in her ex's murder, Kate must delve into the town's dark secrets in order to clear her name.
Kim Herdman Shapiro’s THE RAVEN’S CRY, which kicks off her Wynter Island series of cozy mystery novels, is a quintessential example of the genre, from its enchanting setting—Wynter Island, a picturesque little spot off the coast of British Columbia—to its redoubtable protagonist, Kate Zoë Thomas, a newcomer who becomes embroiled in the island’s hidden secrets. A journalist fleeing a traumatic past (as well as an unfaithful ex) covering the war in Afghanistan, Kate comes to Wynter Island seeking a fresh start in the small town’s tight-knit community. She meets with Gwen Wynter, a descendant of the town’s founder, who has launched a television station, and before long, Kate has a new job as Wynter Island Television’s station manager. Kate finds solace in the beauty of Wynter Island and the companionship of new friends. Kate’s past comes crashing back into her new life, however, when she discovers a body on a beach, which turns out to be her ex, Daniel. As the prime suspect in his death, Kate is desperate to prove her innocence, and her search for the actual killer leads her into the treacherous waters of the island’s dark history—and a confrontation with her own past demons.
As a small-town murder mystery, THE RAVEN’S CRY doesn’t stray far from the cozy formula, but the author brings Wynter Island to vivid life, tapping into the rich pleasures of the genre with a charming narrative voice and an imaginatively rendered milieu. Following Kate as she gets to know Wynter Island’s residents and history—including the T’sawout people, an indigenous community from whom she learns of a long-lost sacred artifact, the Raven’s Cry, believed to hold immense power—is as compelling as the mystery itself, which Shapiro unreels with brisk pacing and plenty of dramatic turns. And Kate’s inner conflict, as she walks a precarious line between loyalty to her new friends—the most delightful of which is Jupiter, a scruffy stray dog with whom Kate forms an intimate bond—and her desire to uncover the truth about her new home, gives her character complexity and depth that elevates her beyond the genre’s standard amateur sleuth protagonist.
With THE RAVEN’S CRY, Kim Herdman Shapiro tells a deeply immersive, evocative tale against an enticing backdrop of characters and plot threads that will leave cozy mystery fans eager to explore in future installments.
The story was full of action, and there was never a dull moment. The chapters flowed into each other and it was a pleasure to read. The characters were excellently developed with unique attributes and personalities. Each person contributed their part to making Wynter Island flourish. It was easy to fall in love with the role players, but there were a few I did not like. The mystery surrounding Daniel's death deepened as the story progressed, and more people became suspects. This story was well-written and exceeded my expectations by far.
- Alma Boucher, Reader's Favorite
Overall, The Raven’s Cry was a quick, cozy small-town mystery with a diverse cast of characters and an intriguing murder case. It’s a great read for any fans of the genre! I would give this book 4/5 stars!
- Book Nerdection
It was not the whodunit story I expected; The Raven’s Cry was far better than my expectations. Wynter Island was a mystery, and I knew something was fishy about the place before Kate realized it. Kim Herdman Shapiro does a great job of creating a small-town environment. From Fish Bingo to gossip, Shapiro nails it all perfectly. I love how smart Kate is; she quickly picks up on things. She is observant, that’s for sure, and it works perfectly for her in the end. The mystery behind Daniel’s murder is electric. All my guesses as to what happened were wrong, and I had to wait until the end, where Shapiro explains everything. I loved Jupiter, the dog, and his connection with Kate. He was her only source of comfort, and their bond was terrific. The narrative style is fantastic and flowed gorgeously. The pace is perfect, and the scenes were descriptive enough to transport me right next to Kate as she solved the murder. Highly recommended!
- Rabia Tanveer, Readers' Favorite.
The Raven’s Cry will have you on your toes after encountering cleverly imagined stakes, surprises, and tidbits by the experienced journalist and author, Kim Herdman Shapiro. It is a must-read mystery that brims with exciting cliffhangers which will adeptly build anticipation for the second part of this new series.
- The Feathered Quill