Dr. Altman and the Concubines gets a 5-star Rating Book Review
Title: Dr. Altman and the Concubines
Page count: 213 pages
Publisher: Archway Publishing
Publication date: Nov. 15, 2021
Dr. Altman and the Concubines by Jacqueline Shortell-McSweeney is a well-written noir mystery that follows Sigourney Madigan as she opens her own detective agency and takes on her first client, Jennifer Palmer. Palmer a psychotherapist who made a sex tape with her colleague, Dr. Altman, is being blackmailed by someone who claims to have the intimate tape. While working on Palmer’s case, things become tense when Palmer seemingly disappears with no trace and Dr. Altman is murdered. Madigan must use her wits to crack the case and solve the mystery. Set in the 1980s, Dr. Altman and the Concubines is a true whodunit-style mystery with a classic feel. In a thrilling rush, this story grabs readers instantly. Mystery and thriller fans will rejoice over Dr. Altman and the Concubines.
Shortell-McSweeney’s writing is engaging and detailed. Shortell-McSweeney’s real talent lies in her character and plot development. Sigourney Madigan, in particular, is a complex character with clear internal and external conflicts. Sigourney goes through clear growth as well. She is a unique character as she doesn’t fit the traditional male detective stereotype that readers typically find in noir mysteries. She is a clearly strong female
lead and uses her knowledge and wits to investigate crimes.
The plot also develops clearly and in a logical manner. It is both realistic and believable which makes the story engaging and entertaining for readers. Whodunit mysteries are usually defined by their plot driven detective story but Shortell-McSweeney somehow creates a story through her character and plot development that is both character and plot driven making Dr. Altman and the Concubines an interesting and creative take on the whodunit/noir mystery genre.
The setting is also well written. Shortell-McSweeney does an excellent job at staying true to the time period that she set Dr. Altman and the Concubines in. The actions of the characters and the setting are well developed. The author’s use of imagery and descriptions are also excellent. The reader feels as if they are
right there along with Sigourney Madigan trying to solve the mystery of Palmer’s disappearance and Dr. Altman’s murder.
The plot becomes a mystery pretty early on and is wrought with twists and unexpected events right up until the end. The action begins early on in the novel and this makes for excellent pacing. Action or pertinent information is divulged every few pages which keeps the readers engaged throughout the entire novel. Dr.
Altman and the Concubines is almost possible to put down once the action starts. It is a novel that fans of mysteries and thrillers will love.
The manuscript is clean with no grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. It has been well-proofread. ShortellMcSweeney uses a very mature vocabulary in her writing as well which avid readers will appreciate but may be difficult for young readers or non-avid readers to understand. The vocabulary fits the characters
appropriately and the setting and plot of the novel as well.
Some of the content, such as pornography references, murder, and blackmail, would also not be appropriate for younger readers. The intended audience for Dr. Altman and the Concubines appears to be adult readers who prefer thrillers and mysteries. It is clear that Shortell-McSweeney understands her ideal audience and knows how to write a well-developed novel that appeals to her audience.
Dr. Altman and the Concubines comes highly recommended for readers who love mysteries and thrillers. The fast pace, detailed plot, excellent character development, and true whodunit style mystery makes it a hit for those that are fans of this genre. Dr. Altman and the Concubines would also be a great first choice for those just starting to read within this genre. With mature content, this mystery novel is best suited for adult readers.
Shortell-McSweeney’s outstanding writing and work on character and plot development creates a fast-paced thriller that is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining to read. It also earns this book a 5 out of 5 rating. The story alone is fantastic but the setting and characters really take this mystery to the next level. Readers will find themselves invested quickly and unable to put down Dr. Altman and the Concubines.
GOLD SEAL OF EXCELLENCE
– PA BOOK REVIEW