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Kindle Edition Digital Ebook Purchas Details
  • 03/2023
  • 978-1-68512-304-8 (eb) B0BWPL7Q6W
  • 301 pages
  • $5.99
Kim Herdman Shapiro
The Raven's Cry: A Wynter Island Mystery
TV producer Kate Zoë Thomas, fleeing an abduction in Afghanistan and heartbreak in Boston, accepts the first job that gives her a fresh start: station manager at a tiny community channel on Wynter Island in the Canadian Gulf Islands. But, try as she may, Kate cannot outrun her bad luck. On a moonlit walk to a local beach, Kate spots a body bobbing in the surf. In shock, she recognizes the lifeless face and realizes there is only one person on the island with a motive for his murder. Herself. Will she manage to solve the mystery before the murderer stops her?
After a devastating breakup, TV producer Kate Zoe Thomas moves to Wynter Island on Canada’s Gulf Coast to take on the role of station manager at the derelict CWYN television station. Determined to escape New England and past traumatic events, Kate does her best to become acclimated to the small island and its colorful inhabitants. However, everything changes when her ex-boyfriend Daniel Apollinar, a reporter with the Associated Press, is found dead on the island. As the prime suspect, Kate is thrust into the center of a murder investigation. Still new to this isolated place, and unsure of whom she can trust, Kate sets off in search of the truth in the hopes of “finding whoever killed Daniel and making sure they pay for it” in Shapiro’s mystery debut, the polished first entry in a series.

Shapiro keeps the story moving at a fast pace with short, almost episodic chapters. Although Kate is a recent transplant, she has some local enemies and unknown connections to the island that don’t become apparent until the end, which Shapiro somehow manages to weave into a pleasantly surprising whodunit that will keep readers guessing until the last pages. Shapiro takes the story places you wouldn’t expect: Chinese triads, IEDs, international drug trading, post-traumatic stress, and the deserts of Afghanistan. This all makes for action-packed, emotional scenes that move the story forward while adding layers of uncertainty about what’s truly going on.

The milieu is fascinating and established with striking detail, like paying for local eggs with twoonie coins, or the powerfully evoked sense of loss—“Loss of resources, loss of culture, loss of identity”—Kate feels visiting the land of the T’sawout First Nation. A hint of romance is welcome, too, though readers should keep on their toes when it comes to the mystery: following the plot’s many twists and turns as Kate sets off on her journey for truth and justice demands attentive reading. Still, readers who enjoy skewed, twisty plots will appreciate the threads of quirky characters and doubt Shapiro has carefully woven together. Fans of small-town cozy mysteries will enjoy this action-packed yet character-driven story.

Takeaway: Fans of small-town mysteries will enjoy this story and action-packed whodunit.

Comparable Titles: Pat Nichols’s The Trouble in Willow Falls, Allen Eskens’s The Shadows We Hide.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A-
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A-

Book Nerdection

Overall, The Raven’s Cry was a quick, cozy small-town mystery with a diverse cast of characters and an intriguing murder case. It’s a great read for any fans of the genre! I would give this book 4/5 stars!


4.7/5 stars - Kate, a journalist with a troubled past and a cheating ex, moves to enchanting Wynter Island seeking a fresh start. But when she becomes the prime suspect in her ex's murder, Kate must delve into the town's dark secrets in order to clear her name.

Kim Herdman Shapiro’s THE RAVEN’S CRY, which kicks off her Wynter Island series of cozy mystery novels, is a quintessential example of the genre, from its enchanting setting—Wynter Island, a picturesque little spot off the coast of British Columbia—to its redoubtable protagonist, Kate Zoë Thomas, a newcomer who becomes embroiled in the island’s hidden secrets. A journalist fleeing a traumatic past (as well as an unfaithful ex) covering the war in Afghanistan, Kate comes to Wynter Island seeking a fresh start in the small town’s tight-knit community. She meets with Gwen Wynter, a descendant of the town’s founder, who has launched a television station, and before long, Kate has a new job as Wynter Island Television’s station manager. Kate finds solace in the beauty of Wynter Island and the companionship of new friends. Kate’s past comes crashing back into her new life, however, when she discovers a body on a beach, which turns out to be her ex, Daniel. As the prime suspect in his death, Kate is desperate to prove her innocence, and her search for the actual killer leads her into the treacherous waters of the island’s dark history—and a confrontation with her own past demons.

As a small-town murder mystery, THE RAVEN’S CRY doesn’t stray far from the cozy formula, but the author brings Wynter Island to vivid life, tapping into the rich pleasures of the genre with a charming narrative voice and an imaginatively rendered milieu. Following Kate as she gets to know Wynter Island’s residents and history—including the T’sawout people, an indigenous community from whom she learns of a long-lost sacred artifact, the Raven’s Cry, believed to hold immense power—is as compelling as the mystery itself, which Shapiro unreels with brisk pacing and plenty of dramatic turns. And Kate’s inner conflict, as she walks a precarious line between loyalty to her new friends—the most delightful of which is Jupiter, a scruffy stray dog with whom Kate forms an intimate bond—and her desire to uncover the truth about her new home, gives her character complexity and depth that elevates her beyond the genre’s standard amateur sleuth protagonist.

With THE RAVEN’S CRY, Kim Herdman Shapiro tells a deeply immersive, evocative tale against an enticing backdrop of characters and plot threads that will leave cozy mystery fans eager to explore in future installments.

Kirkus Reviews

In Shapiro’s series-starting whodunit, a new resident on a remote island must solve her ex-boyfriend’s murder.

Once a successful news producer in Boston, 32-year-old Kate Zoë Thomas has relocated to Wynter Island, a remote location off the western coast of her native Canada, to launch the island’s very first TV station. Kate’s running from her past, including a stint in Afghanistan that resulted in a terrifying abduction by the Taliban and a major betrayal by her journalist ex, Daniel Apollinar. The people of Wynter Island are friendly and welcoming, for the most part, but only a few days into Kate’s stay, she makes a terrifying discovery: Daniel’s dead body, apparently drowned. Just like that, Kate goes from new girl in town to possible murder suspect despite having no idea why her ex—whom she’d largely cut out of her life—would be on Wynter Island in the first place or why he’s now deceased. After it’s clear that he was actually a victim of foul play, Kate begins to investigate. Along the way, she holds “Fish Bingo” events for island residents on a YouTube livestream; harbors a crush on her married lawyer landlord Michael Rossino; and adopts a stray dog named Jupiter. Shapiro, a former print and broadcast journalist in Canada, creates a vivid world on Wynter Island, and it’s one that’s full of quirky characters—from bitter hotel manager Bob Corker, who’s certain that his daughter should have gotten Kate’s job, to kind Shea Porter, an animal rescuer and librarian, and elderly Vera Schmidt, whose reputation for the best eggs on the island starts events in motion that put Kate’s life in danger. Although the novel can’t accurately be called a cozy mystery—certain details are simply too graphic and frightening for that subgenre—the small-town environment is inherently comforting, with enough genuine goodwill that readers will be able to see Kate’s future as a happy one—provided she gets through the next few weeks alive.

A suspenseful blend of cozy and thrilling mystery elements.

Rabia Tanveer, Readers' Favorite

5/5 stars!  It was not the whodunit story I expected; The Raven’s Cry was far better than my expectations. Wynter Island was a mystery, and I knew something was fishy about the place before Kate realized it. Kim Herdman Shapiro does a great job of creating a small-town environment. From Fish Bingo to gossip, Shapiro nails it all perfectly. I love how smart Kate is; she quickly picks up on things. She is observant, that’s for sure, and it works perfectly for her in the end. The mystery behind Daniel’s murder is electric. All my guesses as to what happened were wrong, and I had to wait until the end, where Shapiro explains everything. I loved Jupiter, the dog, and his connection with Kate. He was her only source of comfort, and their bond was terrific. The narrative style is fantastic and flowed gorgeously. The pace is perfect, and the scenes were descriptive enough to transport me right next to Kate as she solved the murder. Highly recommended!​

The Feathered Quill

The Raven’s Cry will have you on your toes after encountering cleverly imagined stakes, surprises, and tidbits by the experienced journalist and author, Kim Herdman Shapiro. It is a must-read mystery that brims with exciting cliffhangers which will adeptly build anticipation for the second part of this new series.

Kindle Edition Digital Ebook Purchas Details
  • 03/2023
  • 978-1-68512-304-8 (eb) B0BWPL7Q6W
  • 301 pages
  • $5.99