About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Devil by the Tail (A Garnick & Paschal Mystery) by Jeanne Matthews: Review & Giveaway with #HFVBT

Devil by the Tail: A Garnick & Paschal Mystery by Jeanne Matthews

Publication Date: July 20, 2021
D X Varos, Ltd

Genre: Historical Mystery

What’s a 20-something Union war widow to do in 1867? Start up her own detective agency with a former Reb P.O.W. of course!

Quinn Sinclair, who uses the name Mrs. Paschal professionally, and her wryly observant partner Garnick get two cases on the same day - one to help a man prove he didn't kill his wife, another to help a lawyer find reasonable doubt that his client killed her ex-lover's new bride. As the detectives dig deeper, they unearth facts that tie the cases together in disturbing ways.

This tantalizing tale of 19th Century Chicago comes complete with corrupt politicians, yellow-press reporters, gambling parlors, and colorful bawdyhouse madams. At every turn in the investigation, Quinn discovers more suspects and more secret motives for murder.

Not least among her worries, someone seems intent on murdering her!


Devil by the Tail
is a historical mystery set in Chicago in 1867, two years after the end of the Civil War, and author Jeanne Matthews gives readers an intriguing look at the post-war activity that occurred during that time. In this story, crime is rampant and young private investigator Quinn Sinclair finds herself involved in murder, dirty politics, and two apparently different cases that may actually be connected. Quinn, also known as Mrs. Paschal, is aided by Garnick, a former Rebel prisoner of war, and it appears that their business partnership is about to take on a more personal element. 

Matthews teases readers with clever hints and clues, as she challenges us to solve the mystery ourselves. We are also shown that preconceived notions can color our thinking about people and their professions. Devil by the Tail is an entertaining story with engaging characters, a thought-provoking plot, and just enough romance to make it alluring!

I received a copy of this book from the author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. There was no expectation of a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 


“Sorry to keep you waiting, Chez,” said Garnick.  “What’s eating you?”

“Garnick and Paschal, detectives, that’s what’s eating me.”  He took a card off his desk and waved it in front of their noses.

“Give me a squint.”  Garnick took it out of his hand.  “It’s ours, all right.  You find a misspelled word?”

“What I found is a dead man.  That card was in his pocket.”

“I surmise this ain’t a case of natural expiry?”

“None of your jokes, Garnick.  The muggins was shot in the head.  Twice for good measure.”

Quinn did a quick inventory of the people she’d given the card to.  The young desk clerk at the Tremont, the obnoxious hotel manager, Annie Stafford’s bouncer, Josabeth Allbright.  Moses’ horns, had Josabeth passed it on to Burk Bayer?  “Who is he?” she asked.  “What’s the dead man’s name?”

“He had no wallet,” said Chesterton.  “No cash, no papers.  Nothing but your damn…I beg your pardon, ma’am, nothing but that calling card you’re holding in your hand, Garnick.”

“We’ve been handing them out since April,” said Quinn.  “They’re advertising.”

“I know what it is.  Maybe you’ll recall if the gent on a slab down the hall is one you pitched your services to.  Let’s go, detectives.”

“There’s no cause to be snide,” she said with an edge of defiance.  “Are you going to renege on your promise to let us see Miss Jackson?”

Garnick was quick with a softener.  “I’ve known the captain long enough to know he’s a man of his word.  Sounds like there’s been a turn-up that wants our two bits worth.  Let’s have a look at this deceased gent, Chez.  He ain’t so unsightly he’ll unnerve the lady, is he?”

“Not if she’s got a strong stomach.”


Jeanne Matthews graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism and has worked as a copywriter, a high school English and Drama teacher, and a paralegal. An avid traveler and crime fiction reader, she is the author of the Dinah Pelerin international mystery series. She currently lives in Washington State with her husband, who is a law professor, and a Norwich terrier named Jack Reacher.


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Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 20

Guest Post at Novels Alive
Review at Booking With Janelle

Wednesday, July 21
Review at Bibliostatic
Feature at Books, Ramblings, and Tea

Thursday, July 22
Review at Michelle the PA Loves to Read

Friday, July 23
Excerpt at Passages to the Past

Saturday, July 24
Review + Excerpt at Older & Smarter

Monday, July 26
Review at Amy's Booket List

Tuesday, July 27
Review + Interview at Books & Benches

Wednesday, July 28
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Thursday, July 29
Review at Novels Alive

Friday, July 30

Review at The Enchanted Shelf
Review + Excerpt at Elodie’s Reading Corner


Enter to win a paperback copy of Devil by the Tail by Jeanne Matthews! We have 2 copies up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on July 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Devil by the Tail


  1. Thank you for helping me introduce my new novel to your readers, Connie, and thanks for the thoughtful review!

  2. Thank you for the great review + blog tour support, Connie!

    HF Virtual Book Tours