Blind Side (Connor Westphal Series #5)

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Overview


DEAF GOLD COUNTRY JOURNALIST INVESTIGATES

With a colorful cast of characters, a quick-paced plot, and a resourceful heroine whos as unusual as she is appealing, Penny Warner delivers another winner. Blind Side is lively entertainment that both surprises and satisfies.—Jonnie Jacobs, author of Murder Among...
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Overview


DEAF GOLD COUNTRY JOURNALIST INVESTIGATES

With a colorful cast of characters, a quick-paced plot, and a resourceful heroine whos as unusual as she is appealing, Penny Warner delivers another winner. Blind Side is lively entertainment that both surprises and satisfies.—Jonnie Jacobs, author of Murder Among Strangers and Witness for the Defense

Buford the Bullfrog is dead. And thats only the beginning...

Connor Westphal, the feisty deaf publisher of the weekly Eureka! jumps into the annual Jubilee festivities when her sidekick and main squeeze, private eye Dan Smith, is retained by Bufords jockey to find the murderer. With the help of Sheriff Elvis Mercer and the eccentric denizens of Flat Skunk, Connor and Dan think itll be a snap, until the sheriffs son Jeremiah comes under suspicion—and a human body surfaces in Critters Creek, along with a lot more dead frogs. Connor knows her assistant, Miah Mercer, is innocent, and with the aid of a new blind friend, sets about finding out who is killing the frogs—and people—of Calaveras County.

Blind Side is Connor Westphals fifth adventure. In this book and in Dead Body Language, Sign of Foul Play, Right to Remain Silent, and A Quiet Undertaking the intrepid deaf sleuth has investigated the mortuary business, family secrets, mining, the construction trade, overdevelopment, health care scams, and other ills of small-town life in the Gold Country. Warner has many devoted deaf fans, and her hearing readers have learned much about the deaf world. Blind Side similarly explores the world of the unsighted. But the most valuable lesson of the series is Connors fierce determination not to lether disability rob her of the fullest possible life.
Praise for Penny Warners Connor Westphal Mystery Series

Dead Body Language (Bantam, 1997)
Penny Warners Dead Body Language features an unconventional female sleuth, Connor Westphal, an ex-Chronicle reporter who now publishes her own small Gold Country newspaper, lives and works in Flat Skunk. What raises the book above the ordinary is its heroine, deaf since an attack of meningitis when she was four. Connors disability doesn't keep her down one bit. From Connor we learn about lip reading, sign language, and writing styles on the TTY. The novel is enlivened by some nice twists, an unexpected villain, a harrowing mortuary scene, its Gold Country locale, and fascinating perspective on a little known subculture.
—San Francisco Chronicle 6/97

Sign of Foul Play (Bantam, 1998)
Connor Westphal, deaf journalist/sleuth, is caught up once again in the more lethal happenings of Flat Skunk, Calif. After her successful first outing in Dead Body Language, the wisecracking, thirty-something Connor continues to search for any story other than the local frog-racing contest that will give her newspaper, the Eureka!, an edge over the competition. Through Connors spunky first-person narrative, Warner, a sign-language/special ed teacher, perfectly conveys all the ways a deaf person perceives and communicates. As in the first Connor mystery, it is not wise to read the last chapters before bedtime. This is delicious, with a fun, irreverent protagonist.
—Publishers Weekly 11/97

Right to Remain Silent (Bantam, 1998)
The best mysteries employ credibility of plot and originality of character, strictures not lost on novelist Penny Warner. Right to Remain Silent, Warners third novel featuring Connor Westphal, a deaf journalist, fulfills both requirements admirably. The plot is that of a classically executed whodunit, but beyond that, it spotlights, without being condescending or obvious, the methods used by a person with a hearing loss in tracking a murder. You grow so accustomed to Westphals whimsical first-person narrative that you occasionally forget her deafness.
—Chicago Sun-Times 1/99

Quiet Undertaking (Bantam, z2000)
This is the fourth in the Connor Westphal series. Westphal is a deaf journalist and publisher of a small weekly newspaper in Flat Skunk, part of the gold country of California. Westphal has recently joined a paint ball war game group. After her team has won she follows the sheriff to a storage facility where the owner has received a complaint about a rental space. When the owner opened the door she found many small boxes of ashes, apparently cremations....I like this series. I like the characters. I like Westphal and learning about how she copes with being deaf. She can read lips and manages pretty well in the hearing biased world, but Warner also points out the hazards and frustrations. One of the suspects is a man in a wheelchair, and I like the way Westphal occasionally underestimates a person with a different disability.
—Mystery News 4/00

Author Biography: Penny Warner is the author of over twenty-five books, including five in the Connor Westphal series. Dead Body Language was nominated for an Agatha award and won a Macavity award for Best First Mystery. Warner teaches child development and sign language at local colleges. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She lives and writes in Danville, California.

Croaked in Calaveras
Buford the Bullfrog is dead.
And thats only the beginning.

Connor Westphal, the feisty deaf publisher of the weekly Eureka! jumps into the annual Jubilee festivities when her sidekick and main squeeze, private eye Dan Smith, is retained by Bufords jockey to find the murderer. With the help of Sheriff Elvis Mercer and the eccentric denizens of Flat Skunk, Connor and Dan think itll be a snap, until the sheriffs son Jeremiah comes under suspicion—and a human body surfaces in Critters Creek, along with a lot more dead frogs. Connor knows Jeremiah is innocent, and with the aid of a new blind friend, sets about finding out who is killing the frogs—and people—of Calaveras County.

Advance Praise for Blind Side

Hurrah for Connor Westphal, the warmest, funniest, and most likable amateur sleuth in mystery writing today! Every trip back to Penny Warners town of Flat Skunk is always worth the price of admission, but Blind Side is my favorite so far. With an amazing cast of colorful characters, laugh-out-loud humor, chili-covered frogs, and the best literary treatment of a jumping amphibian festival since 1867, this book has it all. Mark Twain would be proud!
—Rick Riordan, Edgar winner and author of The Last King of Texas

With a colorful cast of characters, a quick-paced plot, and a resourceful heroine whos as unusual as she is appealing, Penny Warner delivers another winner. Blind Side is lively entertainment that both surprises and satisfies.
—Jonnie Jacobs, author of Murder Among Strangers
and Witness for the Defense



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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It's Jumping Frog Jubilee season, and Connor Westphal's PI boyfriend, Dan Smith, is investigating prized amphibian Buford's death. The next victim is human, and our heroine, deaf editor of a local paper, navigates illegal toxic-waste dumping, frantic frog owners, abominable poetry and the drug trade in Blind Side, the latest Connor Westphal mystery by Penny Warner. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In little Flat Skunk, CA, deaf newspaperwoman Connor Westphal (Dead Body Language) reports on events in the latest Jumping Frog Jubilee, which pulls in tourist dollars and inspires heady frog training competition. Unfortunately, the contest's previous winner is found murdered just before the jubilee opens and the prime suspect turns out to be the sheriff's son and Connor's good buddy. Connor and boyfriend Dan, a former cop-turned-private investigator, pick through a variety of additional suspects, uncovering hospital corruption and a multitude of family secrets. A sprightly, full-fledged heroine, small-town conniptions, frequent humor, and clever plotting makes this a strongly recommended purchase for most collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
In Calaveras County, California everyone expects Dakota Webster to again win the annual Jumping Frog Jubilee except perhaps rival Jeremiah "Miah" Mercer. Dakota's frogs are so good at the event he has become the most famous participant since Mark Twain placed Angels Camp on the map.However, this year a new champion will be crowned as someone murders Dakota's top gun, Buford the Bullfrog. An outraged Dakota hires private investigator Dan Smith to uncover the identity of the dastardly culprit. Preliminary evidence points towards Miah, who works for Dan's girlfriend, Flat Skunk newspaper publisher Connor Westphal. Back in high school Miah and Dakota were friends, but a falling out has turned them into bitter competitors. Though not quite as serious to the participants and fans as the murder of a champion jumping frog in Calaveras County, a human homicide follows and that brings the law into the investigation. Dan, realizing that Miah is the prime suspect, reevaluates who killed Buford, why, and the link to the other homicide.The Westphal-Smith mysteries are great tales that are worth reading by genre fans. The latest entry, Blind Side, is exciting and brings to life the leaping contest that makes the county so famous. The recurring cast of eccentric characters are warm, real, and witty. Connor is a great heroine who refuses to allow her deafness to stop her from publishing a newspaper. Dan is a hunk with a brain. The story line is humorous with a serious undertone that will leave fans vocally shouting and in ALS sign "Eureka" in response to the news that Penny Warner has written another winner.
Kirkus Reviews
The citizens of Calaveras County, California, are ready to hold their annual "Jumping Frog Jubilee," a tradition begun 144 years ago by that celebrated expert on things amphibian, Mark Twain. Suddenly, though, plans are put on hold when the event's redoubtable champion and odds-on favorite to five-peat, Buford the Bullfrog, is found dead in Critter's Creek-"croaked!"-with foul play suspected. Worse is to follow: Soon thereafter, it's Dakota Webster, Buford's owner-trainer, who turns up dead in the water-drugged, dragged, dumped, and drowned. No one really cared for arrogant, double-dealing Dakota (good with frogs, bad with people), but as everyone in Flat Skunk knows, Jeremiah Mercer, the sheriff's son, cared for him least of all-in part because his frogs so often finished second to Dakota's. But clever Connor Westphal, heroine of this quintessentially cozy series (the paperback A Quiet Undertaking, etc.) knows better than to trust conventional wisdom. Connor, a deaf journalist with a nose for news and nuance, rules out young Mercer on the basis of what her instincts tell her-that he's far too nice to be a murderer. Mean-spirited Janet Macavity and fanatical frog-defender Carrie Yates are, in Connie's view, much likelier suspects. She's right, of course, though when the killer is at length unmasked (literally), the result owes more to happenstance than to the heroine's skimpy detecting. Connie's lively and plucky, but when it comes down to hard-core sleuthing, she clearly hasn't a clue.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781880284421
  • Publisher: Daniel, John & Company, Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Series: Connor Westphal Series , #5
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 984,525
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 0.54 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Eureka! Great Westphal-Smith mystery

    In Calaveras County, California everyone expects Dakota Webster to again win the annual Jumping Frog Jubilee except perhaps rival Jeremiah ¿Miah¿ Mercer. Dakota¿s frogs are so good at the event he has become the most famous participant since Mark Twain placed Angels Camp on the map. <P>However, this year a new champion will be crowned as someone murders Dakota¿s top gun, Buford the Bullfrog. An outraged Dakota hires private investigator Dan Smith to uncover the identity of the dastardly culprit. Preliminary evidence points towards Miah, who works for Dan¿s girlfriend, Flat Skunk newspaper publisher Connor Westphal. Back in high school Miah and Dakota were friends, but a falling out has turned them into bitter competitors. Though not quite as serious to the participants and fans as the murder of a champion jumping frog in Calaveras County, a human homicide follows and that brings the law into the investigation. Dan, realizing that Miah is the prime suspect, reevaluates who killed Buford, why, and the link to the other homicide. <P> The Westphal-Smith mysteries are great tales that are worth reading by genre fans. The latest entry, BLIND SIDE, is exciting and brings to life the leaping contest that makes the county so famous. The recurring cast of eccentric characters are warm, real, and witty. Connor is a great heroine who refuses to allow her deafness to stop her from publishing a newspaper. Dan is a hunk with a brain. The story line is humorous with a serious undertone that will leave fans vocally shouting and in ALS sign ¿Eureka¿ in response to the news that Penny Warner has written another winner. <P>Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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