Friday, June 21, 2019

Great Escapes Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway: Death by Dissertation by Kelly Brakenhoff

Today I'm participating in the Death by Dissertation Blog Tour.  In this post you'll find book and author information along with my review.  And don't forget to enter the giveaway via the link in this post.  

About the book . . . 
Death by Dissertation (A Cassandra Sato Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Nebraska
Emerald Prairie Press (April 17, 2019)
Paperback: 355 pages
ISBN-10: 1733742409
ISBN-13: 978-1733742405
Digital ASIN: B07PKRD658

Synopsis . . .  Ambitious Cassandra Sato traded her life in Hawai’i for a dream position as Student Affairs VP at Morton College in tiny Carson, Nebraska. She expected the Midwestern church casseroles, land-locked cornfields, and face-freezing winters would be her biggest challenges, but it’s her job that’s rapidly becoming a nightmare.

A deaf student is dead and the investigation reveals a complicated trail of connections between campus food service, a local farmer’s beef, and the science lab’s cancer research. Together with her few allies, Cassandra must protect the students caught up in the entanglement.

Dealing with homesickness, vandalism, and a stalker, Cassandra is trapped in a public relations disaster that could cost her job, or more. No one said college was easy.

My review . . .  As Vice President of Student Affairs, Cassandra's main duties are disciplining undergraduate students and mentoring thesis candidates.  When she is tapped to fill in for the college president while he travels abroad creating partnerships with foreign universities, Cassandra imagines an opportunity to showcase her administrative talents and advance her career goal of one day becoming a college president herself.  As it turns out, the experience will not only test her leadership abilities, it will endanger her own safety and that of several students.

Endless meetings and arrangements for Homecoming are somewhat stressful, but pale in comparison with the unfolding developments after the death of a student worker at the college laboratory where groundbreaking cancer research is being conducted.  Cassandra must put her own career on the line to protect the students and the school's reputation.  Will her actions earn her the respect and support of the college president and board of directors, or will she lose her dream job and the chance to realize her career aspirations?

Death by Dissertation is an engaging mystery with puzzling clues that introduces readers to a plucky protagonist.  Cassandra is a highly motivated, talented young woman determined to make her mark in the field of higher education.  Leaving her home and family in Hawai'i and adapting to life in Nebraska is challenging--both in terms of physical weather and cultural climate--but Cassandra's combination of natural grace and assertiveness serve her well.  A core group of campus friends stands by her, and together they form relationships that readers will be able to follow in subsequent books in the series.

Author Kelly Brakenhoff is to be commended for her insider observations and realistic portrayal of campus politics and life in a small college town.  These elements, along with the personable cast of characters, are a promising start to the series.  I look forward to following the further adventures of Dr. Cassandra Sato and her friends and colleagues.

Giveaway . . . Enter the Death by Dissertation contest by clicking on this link. 

About the author . . .  Kelly Brakenhoff is an American Sign Language Interpreter whose motivation for learning ASL began in high school when she wanted to converse with her deaf friends. As an American Sign Language Interpreter with more than twenty years of experience, Kelly’s worked in college classrooms for fifteen different majors. From traipsing across muddy farm fields to stomach-churning medical procedures, and stage interpreting for famous figures, Kelly’s community interpreting interactions number in the thousands. Unfortunately, once she’s stepped away from the job, she usually forgets 90% of what happened. Which helps her keep confidential information safe, but also makes it really hard to grocery shop for more than 5 items without a written list.  
Kelly wants to live in a world filled with peace, love, and joy, where people who can hear learn enough sign language to include deaf people in everyday conversations and work. Where every deaf child has early access to language and books with characters like them, and dark chocolate is cheap and plentiful.

When she’s not interpreting or writing, you can find Kelly cheering for her favorite Husker teams or training for half-marathons because she really likes dessert.

Her first mystery, Death by Dissertation, released April 22, 2019.

Purchase link . . .  Amazon  June 22 – 30 – Just $0.99!!

Blog Tours 

Tour Participants . . . 
June 17 – The Layaway Dragon – REVIEW
June 17 – Only By Grace Reviews – REVIEW
June 18 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
June 18 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – Island Confidential – REVIEW
June 20 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 20 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
June 21 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW  
June 21 – That’s What She’s Reading – GUEST POST
June 22 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
June 22 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 23 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 25 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
June 25 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 26 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 26 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  
June 27 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST
June 28 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
June 29 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, GUEST POST
June 30 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Note . . . I received a complimentary copy of Death by Dissertation from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the Book Club Librarian blog.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Sharing this original post on Twitter and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated. 




  1. Thanks for the opportunity! Looks like a fun read to me!

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