Dead Reckoning by Lea O’Harra Book Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway! {Ends 2/1/23}

Jan 5, 2023 | 1 comment

’With her deep knowledge of Japanese culture, superb writing, and sensitivity to human foibles. O’Harra has crafted a cross-cultural whodunnit sure to please Japanophiles and mystery lovers alike.”-Suzanne Kamata, author of Losing Kei

Book Details:

Dead Reckoning by Lea O’Harra

Publisher: Sharpe Books-UK (Sept 29, 2022)
Category: Crime Fiction, Family Life, Kidnapping
Tour dates: January 5-31, 2023
ISBN: 979-8361831937                                    ASIN: B0BGYG3HGX
Available in Print and ebook, 289 pages

Book Description:

Indiana, January 2010.

It’s a hot summer’s day in 1984 when twelve-year-old Gilly and her friend Sally find a dead new-born in a shoebox in the cemetery of their tiny town. Deciding to keep their discovery a secret, they bury the body in Gilly’s yard.

The results are disastrous. Flowers are mysteriously left on strollers. Two local children disappear and end up dead. A suspect is arrested and confesses, blaming the deaths on the girls’ having taken the dead baby.

Gilly grows up but is haunted by what’s happened. As a young woman, she flees the town and its memories, going all the way to Japan.
Returning with her Japanese husband Toshi to attend her mother’s funeral, Gilly finds the past is not past. She’s threatened, and someone is putting flowers on strollers again.

When another child is abducted, Gilly knows she must discover the truth about what happened all those years ago before more lives are lost.

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Review By LAWonder10:

Dead Reckoning is a creative, suspenseful murder mystery. It begins with two close friends; very different in personalities.

Sally was the more aggressive one and Gilly was the more reserved, timid, deep-thinking one. Against Gilly’s protests, the 12-year-old girls went into the local cemetery one night. What they discovered, and even took home was shocking! It was their very well-kept secret for years to come.

Now an adult, successful Gilly returns home with her husband, Toshi, to attend her mother’s funeral. he hadn’t seen her mother in a few years since she was married to a Japanese Man and working at the University there. The distance was not the only reason she hadn’t returned home. The town was full of bad memories and her family had been close, yet dysfunctional. Her marriage was not as she had hoped it would be. Her mostly quiet husband was grumbing constantly.

The past began to open up into the present. One must eventually face the past, then put it behind. Gilly’s life will never be the same.

This is a, mostly, well-written book. The only concern I had with it is, occasionally it was not immediately clear if it was a past scenario or the present. Otherwise, it kept the reader on the “edge of his/her seat” awaiting the next scene. t was somewhat predictable but had enough twists so the reader was not sure until the very end.

The Title and the Cover image were both simple,  yet, clever and very fitting.

The individuals felt like actual people and the reader was successfully “brought into” the story.

I offer a Four and a Half Stars rating.

This book was gifted me with no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review.

Guest Post:

In what ways has writing affected aspects of your life?
For me, being a reader is a prerequisite to being a writer. I was a shy child, invariably described as having my nose buried in a book. I grew up in a tiny town – population five hundred – in the northeast corner of Indiana, and I vividly recall the thrill I experienced on learning to read at the age of six. My horizons dramatically expanded as it became apparent that books represented a passport to the rest of the world. I could not only visit other countries through reading about them but also travel in time, learning of customs past and marveling at futures imagined.
I suppose any avid reader harbors, whether consciously or not, a wish to put pen to paper. That was certainly true of me from an early age. I tried writing a first novel when I was ten. I wrote short stories in school. I had to write a BA honors thesis for my undergraduate degree, followed by an MA and a doctoral thesis.
On getting my PhD from Edinburgh University, I was employed by a university in Japan – and I worked full-time as a professor of English language and literature for the following 36 years.
It was at this time I began to write for publication. At first, I confined myself to academic topics. My PhD thesis had been on the letters written and published by Alexander Pope – England’s foremost poet of the early eighteenth century, and I often wrote, in those early years in Japan, on matters related to Pope or to other so called ‘Augustan’ authors. Then I branched into nineteenth and twentieth-century English and Japanese literature (in translation) and wrote lots of book reviews.
In addition, I began to compose creative non-fiction articles about my life as an American woman working as a university professor in Japan while married to a Japanese farmer and the mother of three sons. But I soon grew tired of writing about myself and my own life. My Inspector Inoue murder mystery series grew out of the boredom of focusing on “me, me, me”. I wanted to step into someone else’s shoes. Kenji Inoue, a burly, abrupt Japanese police officer in his forties, couldn’t have been more unlike me: different sex, different nationality, a very different occupation.
It was a relief, a welcome challenge t enter another consciousness: to inhabit or imagine the thoughts and actions and feelings of someone else. Also, I was exhilarated by writing about something new: crime instead of academic research or faintly disguised autobiography.
I have published three Inspector Inoue mysteries – Imperfect Strangers (2015); Progeny (2016); and Lady First (2017) – all set in present-day rural Japan, and I have recently published a standalone murder mystery entitled Dead Reckoning (2022) that is set in small-town America. I think a virtue of the Inoue series is that, as a long-term resident of Japan, I can ‘explain’ this mysterious country to the Western world. Because it voluntarily isolated itself from the outside world for over two centuries, Japan developed its own unique culture and customs, and I think it remains the most ‘foreign’ country many of us can ever hope to visit.
Now that I have retired, I naturally continue to write. In the past two and a half years I have composed essays and articles and a book review or two. I also worked on completing the story I have just had published in late September – Dead Reckoning (Sharpe Books).
While reading is an unqualified blessing, I think the urge to write can also be a kind of curse. For the person who identifies as a writer, it becomes a compulsion, an itch that needs to be scratched, a jealous mistress impatient of time and effort expended on other activities.
There is no escape. Writing can be done at anytime and anywhere. Failing to write can inspire feelings of guilt, of inadequacy, of despair.
Still, I know myself fortunate to be so fond of reading and writing. Both pursuits have immeasurably enriched my life.

Meet the Author:

Lea O’Harra has published three crime fiction novels set in rural modern-day Japan: Imperfect Strangers (2015); Progeny (2016); and Lady First (2017). These comprise the so-called ‘Inspector Inoue Murder Mystery’ series originally published by Endeavour Press (UK). She has also had a story included in Best Asian Crime Fiction published by Kitaab Press (Singapore) in 2020.
In the spring of 2022 Sharpe Books reissued the Inoue mystery series and, in September 2022, published Lea O’Harra’s fourth novel, Dead Reckoning, a stand-alone set in her tiny hometown in the American Midwest.

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The Tour Schedule :

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Jan 4 Kickoff & Interview
Lu Ann Rockin’ Book Reviews Jan 5 Review & Guest Post
Bookgirl Amazon & Goodreads Jan 6 Review
Mark Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Jan 9 Guest Review
Becky Life as Rog Jan 11 Review
Kari From the TBR Pile Jan 12 Review & Excerpt
Jody Amazon & Goodreads Jan 16 Review
Sal Bound 4 Escape Jan 17 Guest Review
Denise Amazon & Goodreads Jan 18 Review
Lisa’s Writopia Jan 19 Guest Post
Lynelle Inspire to Read Jan 20 & Excerpt
Leslie Storeybook Reviews Jan 23 Review
Ruth Media From the Heart Jan 24 Review & Excerpt
DTChantel Amazon & Goodreads Jan 25 Review
Laura Lee Celticlady’s Reviews Jan 26 Guest Review & Guest Post
Lisa’s Writopia Jan 27 Review
Amy Locks, Hooks and Books Jan 30 Review & Excerpt
Bee Book Pleasures Jan 31 Review

Giveaway Details:

This giveaway is for 3 print copies and is open worldwide. This giveaway ends on February 1, 2023 midnight, pacific time. Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.

To Enter the Giveaway click on the Rafflecopter link below:

a Rafflecopter Giveaway

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1 Comment
  1. Teddy Rose

    I am so glad you enjoyed ‘Dead Reckoning’! Thanks so much for hosting Lea!

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