The New Book Review

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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Carolyn Wilhelm Reviews Entire Charlene Tess Series of Mysteries

Reviewer Carolyn Wilhelm makes it easy on those who love mystery series by submitting all three in the Chance O'Brien Suspense Trilogy written by Charlene Tess and Judi Thompson under the penance of Tess Thompson.  Learn more at Tess's blog,

Book One: 

When an Angel Whispers (A Chance O'Brien Mystery Book 1)

  • ISBN-10: 1985725029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1985725027
  • 346 pages
  • Available on Amazon

  • This is a compelling read I couldn't put down. There is a serial killer on the loose, and that is one scary thread throughout the book. Then the sparks are flying towards the end with a few situations, and only one ends badly. I so like a book with a satisfying ending and this has one (although I thought it would from the author's previous books). Chance's grandmother although dying in the hospital reveals information to a few of the characters that help them through the mystery. Chance (the hero) is a great guy and loves his family and is respected by coworkers. In the beginning it looks as though he may remain single and he does for many years, and of course I worried about that when the perfect girl left for another city. Although I figured out early on who the bad guy was, I couldn't see how it would be revealed or how there could possibly be an ending I would like---the twists and turns of the stories within the story were surprising, which I like in a book. I couldn't imagine all that happened and I liked that it was partly predictable and yet was amazing because I couldn't see how it would all resolve. When I thought I had it figured out there were unexpected events that kept me on the edge of my seat. Great read!

    Oh, and with the flooding in Houston and seeing the bayous on TV recently, it was all the more vivid! 
Book Two:

Student Body (Chance O'Brien Mystery Series) (Volume 2)

  • ISBN-10: 1985724839
  • ISBN-13: 978-1985724839
348 pages
Purchase on Amazon 

I like it that Chance O'Brian and his wife are back! I like to read a mystery series.
From page one the gripping beginning of the mystery draws the reader in and you won't want to put this book down. I like the Chance O'Brian mysteries as they have familiar characters in new situations so the reader feels like an insider to the details of the case. I like the restaurant and bakery scenes, too, mmmmmmm. Until the surprising end of the book, the twists and turns are clever and appreciated as they keep the reader engaged. The family loss(es) will tug at your heartstrings. The school microphone announcement of a homicide will also cause you to recall recent news events and worries, and as a teacher I can imagine the reaction of students and people in the school. Keeps you guessing! 

Book Three: 

The Devil Makes the Rules: A Chance O'Brien Mystery (Chance O'Brien Mystery Series Book 3)

  • ISBN-10: 1985277441
  • ISBN-13: 978-1985277441
236 pages

Purchase on Amazon

This is book 3 in the Chance O'Brien mystery series and the plots and characters are getting more and more interesting and complex. I recommend reading books 1 and 2 before 3 as the story is a continuation of life events, personalities, and the interwoven story threads. I thought I had the ending figured out only to be surprised a few times toward the end. I read this in one sitting and stayed up late to finish the story as I just had to read it through to completion.

We learn more about the reasons the characters behave the way they do and also understand why events evolve as they do. There are points in the story where characters have conversations and reveal their motivations and reasons for their behavior. Every time the scene changed I wasn't quite ready. I think these books should be made into movies! Very interesting. I do not know how the authors figured all this out and wrote it so well. 

Charlene Tess Series of Mysteries

Carolyn Wilhelm
Curriculum Writer and Blogger, Wise Owl Factory


 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Of particular interest to readers of this blog is her most recent How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically ( ) that covers 325 jam-packed pages covering everithing from Amazon vine to writing reviews for profit and promotion. Reviewers will have a special interest in the chapter on how to make reviewing pay, either as way to market their own books or as a career path--ethically!

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Jams and Books said...

Thank you so very much for hosting this book review service and information. It is very informative and helpful.

Simple Steps to Sentence Sense by Charlene Tess said...

Charlene Tess and Judi Thompson combined our two last names into the pen name Tess Thompson when we started writing books together in 2002. We just completed our seventh novel to be released in October, and we have a pretty good plan for book number eight. We really appreciate the opportunity to be featured on Carolyn Howard Johnson's popular book review site, and we especially thank Carolyn Wilhelm for writing the reviews and creating the graphic images.