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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Empty Handed by Jo A. Hiestand - Book Tour - Book Trailer - Book Review - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hey, lovelies!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Jo A. Hiestand and her new book, “Empty Handed”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Jo and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

Empty Handed
by Jo A. Hiestand


GENRE: British Mystery



One dark night artist Craig Saxton went missing from his village.  His body was found thirty-two hours later in the river, floating like a bobber on a fishing line. Rumors swell like tidal waves: did his ex-wife or his fiancée’s father kill this likeable young man? Or was it simply a case of jealousy by the village’s other artist? Now, two years later, Craig’s fiancée hopes ex-police detective Michael McLaren can find out. From speaking to villagers, McLaren quickly realizes that what appears to be a straightforward investigation is fast becoming as tangled as fishing lines. Are the fish poaching incidents, the reappearance of the local ghost, and assaults on him merely to muddy the investigative waters, or are they connected to Craig’s death? McLaren has his hands full. They become even fuller when a nemesis from his past appears one night, bent on revenge. And the inevitable struggle opens a new future for one man…and leaves the other empty handed.



The man frowned and seemed to tower above her. He took an eternity to answer. “Why are you inquiring?”

“I met him the other day. I’d heard about him before that. He impressed me with his knowledge. I’d like to know more of his background.”

“Why not ask Mr. McLaren?”

Victoria gave a tight-lipped smile and shrugged. Her thumb stroked the back of her ring. The gem had let her down. Moonstone was linked to feminine energy. It brought healing, nourishing the wearer and returning her to her complete self. It was the moon’s gem and imparted the curative water. She needed McLaren in her life and needed the benefits of the moonstone. How would she survive without either of them? She coughed and slid her fingertip onto the stone. “I did ask him. But he’s too modest. He wouldn’t tell me anything.”

“Well, I’d take that as a strong hint, wouldn’t you? Mr. McLaren obviously doesn’t want to talk about himself. You’d be best to drop it.”

“I just thought that you might know him and could—“

“I’m sorry. Even if I did know him, I wouldn’t give out private information. It’s nothing to do with you personally, please understand.”

“Sure. Department policy. Sorry to bother you.” She stepped out of the van, aware of the thud of her heart and the tears in her eyes. One good thing: it was nearly dark. No one could see her crying.





This book is such an interesting, intriguing, suspenseful, British mystery!

I enjoyed teaming back up again with one of my favorite English Investigators, McLaren!

This is the third book I’ve read from the accomplished author, Jo A. Hiestand.  Last year, I had previously read and enjoyed Jo’s other book, “An Unwilling Suspect,” which is Book Seven in the McLaren Mysteries Book Series and then just a few months ago I read her other book, “Photo Shoot,” which is Book Nine in the same book series. So, I was thrilled to get the chance to read her latest work – which also happens to be part of the same series.  “Empty Handed,” is Book Ten in the McLaren Mysteries Book Series.

Jo’s writing only continues to improve and grow with each book!  I know she will be an author I will continue to read over the years!

This book focuses mostly on the main character, Michael McLaren, an English investigator and the cold case of local village artist, Craig Saxton.

McLaren is still reeling from the loss of his fiancé and wants to just keep busy at home.  But after he receives a plea from a woman, Victoria, begging for him to come and investigate her fiancé’s murder, he can’t help but grapple with the echoing resemblance and the feelings of losing the one you were about to spend the rest of your life with.  McLaren agrees to take on Victoria’s fiancé, Craig Saxton’s case.  Unfortunately, this supposedly small, sleepy village seems anything but when McLaren discovers poachers, a mysterious ghost story with similarities to the current case, lots of crazy drama, and he is physically attacked multiple times while on the hunt to find the killer!  McLaren’s simple case just got complicated!

It was great catching back up with McLaren!  He is kind, charming, intelligent, compassionate, and sincere.  It is obvious he is still heartbroken and going through the five stages of grief over the recent loss of his fiancé, Dena.  I think taking this case felt like he was reconnecting with Dena.  When Victoria called and left a message on McLaren’s answering machine saying she loved her fiancé, McLaren couldn’t help but draw the parallel lines and reflect on the similarities of their two shared circumstances.  It’s not hard to see why McLaren was so passionate about solving this case and wanting to bring justice and answers for Victoria.

Ms. Hiestand’s skilled knowledge of the mystery and crime solving discipline continues to shine through in her elegant and detailed scenes.

There are some predictable scenes.  However, there are still a few unexpected twists and turns that you won’t see coming!

This book is book ten of the McLaren Mysteries Book Series.  Regardless, of having some insight to this book series it can still easily be read on its own without any confusion.  However, having read three books in this book series now, I am an even bigger fan of McLaren and would recommend checking out the entire series – not because you need to read them for the books to make sense, but because you’ll want to read them, because of how intriguing and entertaining they are!

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book and would absolutely recommend it!  I think all mystery and crime thriller fans will like this book too!  So, add it to your TBR List and get to reading - you won't be disappointed!

**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book and have voluntarily provided an honest, and unbiased review in accordance with FTC regulations.**



A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British.  Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folksinging stint.  This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Peak District mysteries and the McLaren mystery series.

 Jo’s insistence for accuracy--from police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the area--has driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research.  These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.

In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English.  She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.

Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis-area home.



Jo’s super adorable kitty, Tennyson
PC – IG @joahiestand









BookBub Author Page:

BookBub Book Page:

Goodreads Author Page:

Goodreads Book Page:

Amazon Author Page:

Jo’s cute raccoon munching on cat food (top pic); Jo’s silly groundhog, Humphrey scarfing down a melon (bottom pic)
PC – IG @joahiestand



Amazon Kindle eBook:

Amazon Paperback:

Barnes and Noble Nook eBook:

Kobo eBook:

The Book Depository Paperback:

BAM! Books-A-Million Paperback:



Jo will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Jo ~ Good morning! Welcome back! It is so great to have you here again! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour! I really enjoyed reading and reviewing your book, thanks for providing the copy! :)

  2. Ally, thank you for the lovely review! I'm honored you like the book and especially McLaren so much! Thanks for providing the stop of the tour. I appreciate it and the review! jo

  3. Always fun to hear about another new great book. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for logging onto Ally's site, James. Good luck with the drawing!

  4. Replies
    1. Hi, Rita. Thanks for dropping in. Good luck to you with the raffle drawing.

  5. Thanks for sharing and for the awesome giveaway :)

  6. Victoria, thank you for coming to Ally's site today. I wish you luck with the drawing.

  7. I'll bid everyone good night. And I thank Ally again for providing this week's stop on the review tour...and for the very nice book review. I am very grateful.

  8. I appreciate the review!