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Murder Among Friends

Our Book Discussion on: "The Blood Whisperer" by Zoe Sharp

Author Zoe Sharp & Blood Whisperer Cover

For those who braved our people-sicle weather on Thursday night, MAF achieved a special technical milestone, with one of our favorite authors: we Skyped Zoe Sharp! From England to the U.S. no less. At 1:30 a.m. her time. And she let us put her on video – along with Treacle the cat. We’re still talking about Zoe’s incredible generosity and this latest evidence of her spirit of adventure.

She joined our discussion of her first stand-alone mystery, The Blood Whisperer. We all enjoyed Kelly Jacks, heroine of the story, and the way Zoe creatively uses her skill at wall climbing at different points in the story. Everyone commented on the fast pacing of the story and the number of story threads there were to follow. We had a question on one of the threads in particular, and when we asked Zoe about it, she promised to email us a specific answer to it. A woman of her word, I got the email yesterday, so here is her response:

I managed to find my original outline and looked up why I'd had Warwick meet with Grogan at the training gallops. Basically, it was to interweave the relationship between the characters a little further, to increase the uncertainty surrounding the legality of Harry Grogan's activities, and to hint that Myshka had a plan in place so that Warwick would not have to pay for the 'goods' Grogan was importing for him. I hoped the reader might suspect these goods were illegal rather than perfectly innocuous, and perhaps even that Grogan was involved in human trafficking -- which Myshka hints to Kelly is how she met Warwick. I needed the reader to think that Grogan was more of a bad guy than he eventually turned out to be.

Hope this makes sense!

             Thank you again for inviting me to take part. It was a lot of fun :)

We also told Zoe that while we agreed that this stand-alone fully completes its story – maybe we could squeak in another visit with Kelly if Zoe does a prequel novella or short story?… then she told us about all the current projects she has in the works and the ones to come. She is finishing up a new stand-alone, working on a paranormal story involving a supernatural being who will exact revenge for you in exchange for your soul, the next Charlie Fox book, and a short story for a collection. Frankly I don’t know how she squeezes little things like sleep and eating into her schedule, so we’re just going to make re-reading The Blood Whisperer our chance for another visit with Kelly. Zoe also mentioned that her novella Absence of Light is one way to update yourself on what Charlie is up to after the events in Die Easy.  We have both in our mystery collection – just click on either title to go to it in our catalog. A nice holdover till the next Charlie novel!

In our wrap-up after Zoe’s Skype, we used the MAF Book Rating Scale on The Blood Whisperer which garnered the group’s first perfect score and more of 5.1! It was a very nice way to end the evening.


I have read all of Zoe Sharpes books and just finished The Blood Whisperer. The story seemed discombobulated. Not as crisp and sharp as her Charlie Fox works. I don't understand the high praise this book has received (not many reviews, so I'm wondering if 'family & friends' only rated it). My thought's after just finishing the book: did she write this book before the Charlie Fox books? Did it not get published then? Did she hang on to it and is releasing it now - after she's achieved some fame? The book was-not-good.

Hi Roslyn!

Thanks for visiting our blog and taking the time to share your thoughts on this book. In answer to your first question, this group is a patron-based discussion group at the public Lisle Library. -- so "no family & friends" rating here! We have become friends with Zoe, because it is impossible not to -- but believe me each book gets outspoken commentary from our group. The group really did enjoy this novel, but not every book is for every reader.

I too am a fan of her Charlie Fox books, as are a number of our patrons, and I can tell you that The Blood Whisperer is not a book that Zoe held back, it is her first foray into stand-alone crime novels. There are more in the works, so hopefully you'll find the next one more to your liking!

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