‘The Branson Beauty’ Harbors Deadly Secrets [REVIEW]


When an old showboat crashes on an Ozark mountain lake, Sheriff Hank Worth doesn’t expect to find a body trapped inside. (Photo by Honey Bunny, Flickr)

Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, Branson, Missouri shines like a beacon for retired folks everywhere with its scenic majesty, countless theaters, and plenty of lakefront property. But what happens when one of these attractions becomes a tragic crime scene? Find out in Claire Booth’s debut mystery, The Branson Beauty. 


Minotaur Books

Sheriff Hank Worth is among the first on the scene after an old showboat crashes in the middle of Table Rock Lake. With more than a hundred passengers on board, not to mention entertainers and the crew, Worth has to think fast about how to transport people to shore, especially since most of the passengers are senior citizens and several of them are in wheelchairs.

The company that owns the boat doesn’t want the incident to become a PR nightmare and will go to great lengths to minimize the scandal. But Worth can’t worry about that now, he has people to rescue. When he finally does board the boat, he soon discovers the body of a local high school track star locked in the captain’s private dining room, and suddenly a rescue mission becomes a murder investigation. The deeper Worth digs into the case, he realizes his small town is filled with far more secrets than he ever realized.

As an author, Claire Booth is a welcome addition to the mystery genre. A former reporter, she knows how to assemble a crafty, absorbing story that slyly lures readers in. She writes authoritatively, with a strong voice peppered with humor, and she pays keen attention to detail without getting bogged down in it. This evident skill keeps readers compulsively turning pages, eager to find out who the villain is in this smart whodunnit.

Booth has also struck gold with Worth’s character. Here is a sheriff that is new to the job, who has to learn to navigate politics if he wishes to keep his position, all while trying to please the commissioner while he works to find out who the killer is. He has a lot on his plate, yet he is irresistible because he is snarky and shrewd, hilarious and prudent. He is a character readers quickly come to adore, because he is authentic and genuine, and strives to live life on his own terms.

Readers who like traditional mysteries and crime fiction are sure to celebrate the arrival of Claire Booth and Hank Worth. They do for the Ozarks what Craig Johnson and Walt Longmire have done for Wyoming. They shine a light on the drama, secrets, scandals and violence that lurk just below the surface of rural America. Best of all, Booth leaves readers wanting more Worth, and fortunately, we won’t have to wait very long. Start your new addiction with the this glorious debut, The Branson Beauty. 


Claire Booth

Claire Booth

Claire Booth is the author of the Sheriff Hank Worth mystery series and the non-fiction book, The False Prophet: Conspiracy, Extortion and Murder in the Name of God

A former crime reporter and ghostwriter, her work has been featured in numerous newspapers, including the Miami Herald, San Jose Mercury News, Philadelphia Enquirer and Contra Costa Times.

After working in Missouri, Washington, DC, South Florida, and Seattle, she now resides in California. Visit her home on the Web at ClaireBooth.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

By Claire Booth
320 pgs. Minotaur Books. $25.99

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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