Category Archives: ME Browning

Review: Mercy Creek by M.E. Browning

Title: Mercy Creek by M.E. Browning
A Jo Wyatt Mystery Book Two
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 288 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


In an idyllic Colorado town, a young girl goes missing—and the trail leads into the heart and mind of a remorseless killer.

The late summer heat in Echo Valley, Colorado turns lush greenery into a tinder dry landscape. When a young girl mysteriously disappears, long buried grudges rekindle. Of the two Flores girls, Marisa was the one people pegged for trouble. Her younger sister, Lena, was the quiet daughter, dutiful and diligent—right until the moment she vanished.

Detective Jo Wyatt is convinced the eleven-year-old girl didn’t run away and that a more sinister reason lurks behind her disappearance.  For Jo, the case is personal, reaching far back into her past.  But as she mines Lena’s fractured family life, she unearths a cache of secrets and half-lies that paints a darker picture.

As the evidence mounts, so do the suspects, and when a witness steps forward with a shocking new revelation, Jo is forced to confront her doubts, and her worst fears. Now, it’s just a matter of time before the truth is revealed—or the killer makes another deadly move.


Mercy Creek by M.E. Browning is an enthralling mystery. Although this newest release is the second Jo Wyatt Mystery, it can be read as a standalone.

It is late summer in Echo Valley, CO and the fair is in town. Fifteen-year-old Marisa and her eleven-year-old sister Lena are at the fair together, but the two girls could not be more different. Marisa is a social media influencer with plenty of business savvy and a dream for her future. Lena is a tomboy who loves spending time with animals and in the outdoors. Although her older sister is outgoing and popular, Lena is quiet and keeps to herself.

When Lena fails to show up at the 4H barn the following morning, her mother Tilda Marquet is worried because her daughter is reliable and dedicated to her animals. Her ex-husband Lucero Flores denies their daughter is with him and Marisa insists they arrived home together from the fair. Detective Jo Wyatt does not believe Lena wandered off on her own and she, along with her partner Squint MacAllister, begin their investigation. Jo has a bit of history with Tilda and Lucero but she would never allow personal feelings to get in the way of her job. With few clues to go on, will she and Squint locate Lena before she comes to harm?

Jo is tenacious as she works long hours in hopes of finding Lena alive and well. Tilda’s alibi is easy to confirm and she is fully co-operative with the investigation. Jo soon discovers that Lucero is not as forthcoming as his former wife and he makes no effort to hide his animosity toward Jo. With a little girl’s life on the line, Jo is unwilling to antagonize him, but she knows he is hiding something from her. Why would Lucero not be completely honest with her? And why  do some his answers to her questions feel a bit off to Jo? She finds it hard to believe Lucero would harm his daughter, but why else would he be evasive and impede their investigation?

Mercy Creek is a riveting small-town mystery with a fast-moving storyline. Jo is an intelligent woman with sharp investigative instincts. She is a consummate professional who puts all of her energy into locating Lena. She meticulously follows every piece of evidence in hopes of finding answers about what happened to the missing pre-teen. With stunning twists and turns, M.E. Browning brings this clever police procedural to an edge-of-the seat, dramatic conclusion. I highly recommend this outstanding Jo Wyatt Mystery to fans of the genre.


Filed under A Jo Wyatt Mystery, Contemporary, Crooked Lane Books, ME Browning, Mercy Creek, Mystery, Rated B+, Review

Review: Shadow Ridge by M.E. Browning

Title: Shadow Ridge by M.E. Browning
A Jo Wyatt Mystery Book One
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 395 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Death is one click away when a string of murders rocks a small Colorado town in the first mesmerizing novel in M. E. Browning’s A Jo Wyatt Mystery series.

Echo Valley, Colorado, is a place where the natural beauty of a stunning river valley meets a budding hipster urbanity. But when an internet stalker is revealed to be a cold-blooded killer in real life the peaceful community is rocked to its core.

It should have been an open-and-shut case: the suicide of Tye Horton, the designer of a cutting-edge video game. But Detective Jo Wyatt is immediately suspicious of Quinn Kirkwood, who reported the death. When Quinn reveals an internet stalker is terrorizing her, Jo is skeptical. Doubts aside, she delves into the claim and uncovers a link that ties Quinn to a small group of beta-testers who had worked with Horton. When a second member of the group dies in a car accident, Jo’s investigation leads her to the father of a young man who had killed himself a year earlier. But there’s more to this case than a suicide, and as Jo unearths the layers, a more sinister pattern begins to emerge–one driven by desperation, shame, and a single-minded drive for revenge.

As Jo closes in, she edges ever closer to the shattering truth–and a deadly showdown that will put her to the ultimate test.


The first installment in A Jo Wyatt Mystery series, Shadow Ridge by M.E. Browning is a suspenseful, atmospheric mystery.

Echo Valley, CO Detective Jo Wyatt is not certain college student Tye Horton’s death is a suicide.  She and fellow detective Jessup “Squint” MacAllister work the case as a homicide until the official cause of death is announced.  Jo gets off on the wrong foot with Quinn Kirkwood, the young woman who discovered Tye’s body.  Before his untimely death, Tye was a college student who also developed games.  The previous year, Quinn and Ronny Buck a beta tested one of Tye’s games.  Quinn, Ronny and Tye are also working together on their final assignment for one of their classes.  Jo is certain that Quinn is holding something back, but will she be able to convince the young woman to co-operate with her?

Jo is the daughter of a retired police officer and due to some personal issues, she is currently living with father. She is a twelve year veteran of the department and she works well with her co-workers. Despite her stellar work over the years, she appears to have hit the glass ceiling as she is passed over for a promotion by another officer with less experience and time on the job. Jo keeps her disappointment to herself and plans to try again when a sergeant position becomes available.

Jo is working long hours as she tries to learn the truth about Tye’s death. She and Squint locate his landlord who just happens to be District Attorney Zachary Walsenberg and his wife Alice. Jo also opens an investigation to find out who is internet stalking Quinn. She is hindered in the stalking case since she has little training in computer crimes. Jo also questions Ronny Buck about his relationship with the deceased but their conversation yields no new details. The investigation takes on new focus when Jo discovers another person helped test Tye’s game.  An earlier suicide and the shocking death of someone in the present provide added urgency to solve the case. And Quinn’s internet stalker begins doing more than just sending threatening emails.

Shadow Ridge is an intriguing mystery with a multi-layered storyline. Jo is a well-rounded, vibrantly developed character who immensely appealing. The dual investigations are interesting and move at a steady pace. Following a stunning revelation from an unexpected source, M.E. Browning brings this clever mystery to an action-packed conclusion.  I absolutely loved and highly recommend this outstanding introduction to the A Jo Wyatt Mystery series to readers of police procedurals.

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Filed under A Jo Wyatt Mystery, Contemporary, Crooked Lane Books, ME Browning, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Shadow Ridge, Suspense