LSBBT BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Covey and JayJay Get Educated by Shelton L. Williams (Mystery)

Shelton L. Williams

Genre: Murder Mystery / Social Thriller / Amateur Sleuth
Publication Date: September 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 209 pages 

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Amateur detectives, Covey Jencks and JayJay Qualls, are drawn into a triple murder on the campus of Baker College in West Waverly in the Texas Hill Country. Both end up taking positions at the college: Covey as an adjunct instructor and JayJay as a visiting actor. 

Initially they believe that money is the motive for the murders, but over time they learn that the college is a cauldron of political and social intrigue. The college’s new president and his beautiful wife, various staff members, a prominent trustee, and parties not associated with the college have the motives, opportunities, and wacky agendas that might implicate them in the murders. It turns out that a white nationalist group may be using a college house for its nefarious activities, but are they more talk than action?

The West Waverly police are little to no help in the investigation, and Covey himself has to depart the college to deal with his father’s death. JayJay takes over and makes a critical breakthrough. Upon Covey’s return, the couple must rely on deception, a bit of luck, and martial arts skills to solve the crimes and to try to prevent a high-profile assassination.

I received a copy of this book for free. This is my honest and thoughtful review.

I was incredibly intrigued by this series after promoting the first book last year entitled COVEY JENCKS. As the saying goes, too many books, too little time, but I was glad that this year I had space in my schedule in which to start reading.
“‘What is it with you, Covey Jencks? Does everyone you know get murdered?'”

Though this is the second book, I never felt that I was missing anything. The author has created a richly drawn cast of characters that truly come to life off the page. Whether you end up liking them or not, each character is so well developed that personalities and idiosyncrasies shine through. Alternating chapters give readers insight into both Covey and JayJay’s frame of minds, while adding many layers to the evolving mystery surrounding multiple murders. Offering perspectives of life within Odessa in the 1990s, a wealthy liberal arts college on the cusp of welcoming diversity is certainly at odds with much of the small-mindedness and extremism found in its rural West Texas residents. But as the author reminds us, universities are not ivory towers, and they are also ripe with negativity within their own spheres of influence. It was entertaining to see just how corrupt and damaging these forces became and definitely not something that I saw coming!

“‘Bitter almonds, Covey. Bitter almonds! It’s like a friggin’ Agatha Christie novel. Can you believe it?'”

The author’s storytelling paints a vivid tale that is both compelling and relevant, yet calls to mind the classic murder mysteries that it references. So many interesting twists shift the direction of the case and provide Covey and JayJay with the ability to use their strengths to home in on making the connections that lead them to such surprising revelations. While their passionate pursuit to solve these cases drives the story, this is very much an engaging character study focusing on a time not too far removed from our own social and political climate. 

Though I am not one who is overly bothered by editing and formatting issues, I would be remiss to not mention that the print edition failed to provide distinction to a few chapter headings as the novel came to completion. Even the table of contents provided at the beginning makes these same mistakes. While I can look past this even within a final copy, this will definitely be a problem for other readers, which I can appreciate and understand. 

Overall, this is a tightly woven tale that packs a powerful punch and highlights just how much our past is often our future. 

Shelton L. Williams (Shelly) is founder and president of the Osgood Center for International Studies in Washington, DC. He holds a PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and he taught for nearly 40 years at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He has served in the US Government on 4 occasions and he has written books and articles on nuclear proliferation. In 2004 he began a new career of writing books on crime and society. Those books are Washed in the Blood, Summer of 66, and now Covey Jencks. All firmly prove that he is still a Texan at heart.


GRAND PRIZE: signed copy of each of the author’s books
SECOND PRIZE: signed copy of both Covey Jencks and Covey and JayJay Get Educated
THIRD PRIZE: Audio book of Covey and JayJay Get Educated
FOURTH PRIZE: Kindle version of Covey and JayJay Get Educated
DECEMBER 10-20, 2019
(U.S. Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway  Best of luck!

Many thanks to Lone Star Book Tours and the author! It was a pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!


Notable Quotable
Notable Quotable
Author Interview
Excerpt Part I
Excerpt Part II
Notable Quotable
Scrapbook Page

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