Reviews/endorsements Wayne Zurl books
FROM NEW YORK TO THE SMOKIES
Masterful plots, penetrating psychology, rich background and intriguing, diverse characters –let’s face it – this series is addictive. You read one, you want more.
Wayne Zurl is a wonderful writer, whose books should not be missed! Five stars!
Ilil R. Arbel, author & researcher
Every story in this collection will hold your attention and y’all will be learning jes’ how them folks in the mountains of Tennessee chat! Great writing, well edited, exhilarating stories.
Nancy L. Silk, author & reviewer
Wayne Zurl writes detective novels with authority. His writing style is in-depth character development, vivid scene settings, and weaving just the right twists and turns to keep his readers captivated.
[The main character] Chief Jenkins reminds me of Robert B. Parker’s ‘Chief Jesse Stone’.
Any of Wayne Zurl’s novels could easily be turned into blockbuster feature films or ‘made-for-television’ movies. FIVE STARS.
Michael Phelps, author & private investigator
The stories, written in the first person, are funny, deep, sad – every aspect of human life is covered – and I thoroughly enjoyed every one.
Diana M. Hockley, author
This anthology collection is perfect for readers who have not had a chance to meet the charming main character, Sam Jenkins. Sam is a sarcastic guy who has no problem saying exactly what he’s thinking: his quick wit, sense of humor, friendly banter and sweet flirty side keeps the reader laughing out loud as every story unfolds.
Zurl has a knack for weaving intriguing police procedural tales with a witty mixture of humor, intrigue, drama and suspense. He utilizes his prior extensive knowledge and experience of police procedure to create a series that diehard mystery / detective fans will crave to read.
So take it from a Sam Jenkins groupie and read From New York To The Smokies. I guarantee that once you read the collection, you will get hooked on all of the Sam Jenkins Mystery series. It is simply an addicting whodunit mystery series that will turn mystery fans into Sam Jenkins fans!
Kathleen Anderson, book reviewer
Zurl is a natural born storyteller! He recounts these crime-solving tales with such ease, you’ll actually feel like your mind is being smoothly caressed. With memorable characters and vivid detail, these are the kind of stories you’d love to hear conveyed around an evening’s campfire.
There are a few seriously laugh-out-loud moments at our hero’s witty and clever sarcasm…a charming and delightful character.
Kat McCarthy, author, blogger, reviewer
…detailed stories with fascinating characters…fast-paced and enjoyable. Don’t miss these.
Marianne Spitzer, author
PIGEON RIVER BLUES
Sam Jenkins’ police work is the propelling motion of this fast pace read. Sometimes comical and witty, his style works on the written page. If you like TV police dramas, this book will be as intense, but more enjoyable because of Wayne Zurl’s spiffy character, Sam.
Roy Murry, author and reviewer
…Zurl does an excellent job of writing believable characters with their own special traits. Each is unique. [His] knowledge of police work and the military brings reality to Sam Jenkins’s character as he uses both to solve this mystery.
Marianne Spitzer, author
[Zurl] created a clever, hilarious, sometimes-over-the top character in Sam Jenkins. [He] is what makes this series one-of-a-kind. But it’s not all about Sam … The secondary characters in this novel are fantastic … complex, and though some are thoroughly unlikable, they are all unique … A fun, fast-paced, intelligent read.
Tricia Drammeh, author
I have always liked the small city police chief stories that used to be quite popular but seem to have been cast aside. Mr. Zurl has rescued this genre, given us new stories and a new chief [in] Sam Jenkins. This is quite a plot that Mr. Zurl has given us as protecting singer C.J. Profitt is not going to be easy. However if it were easy then we probably would not read this story. Sam Jenkins is a wonderful character that will keep you entertained as you enjoy this new adventure.
Victor Gentile: Vic’s Media Room
I loved the mystery and the relationships between the characters. I loved reading this story. It was written so well and kept me turning the pages.
Arlene Mullen, reviewer
Sam is one of those characters that has many sides to him. He’s lovable but can get the answers from a criminal when needed. He’s always full of surprises.
All the characters are deep and you have some you can’t stand but they each have their own qualities, good and bad. The book is a fast paced read and keeps you on your toes from the front cover to the last page. The bad thing is, you’re left wanting more.
Gayle Pace: Books, Reviews, Etc.
Pigeon River Blues brings to light many current issues that are front and center in the news today … This novel will keep you riveted to the printed page … with an ending you won’t expect and a Police Chief who won’t give up until the gnawing feeling in the pit of his stomach is soothed by solving the case.
Fran Lewis: Just Reviews
… Zurl weaves another intriguing tale of mystery and suspense that keeps the reader guessing as they follow Sam [Jenkins] on his latest madcap adventure. Zurl engages the reader with a story that has a mixture of humor, intrigue, drama and suspense. His use of the local southern dialect stays true to the setting in the story; the reader feels like they are transported to the town of Prospect.
I loved the fun banter that makes up the dialogue in this story. You can’t help but get drawn in as the characters come to life. With a quirky cast, rich descriptions of the area … and a suspenseful storyline full of intriguing twists and turns, Pigeon River Blues is an exciting continuation of the thrilling adventures found in the Sam Jenkins Mystery series!
Pigeon River Blues and the Sam Jenkins mysteries are simply an addicting whodunit series that will turn mystery/detective fans into Sam Jenkins fans!
Kathleen Anderson: Jersey Girl Book Reviews
This full-size novel is one of Wayne Zurl’s best! This is an amusing, fun read as the characters are all well defined and there are no holds barred in what they think and say. This is a crime thriller which will make you chuckle and also keep you reading till late into the night. I could not put this book down and I’m amazed how well a former NY detective writes in perfect southern-speak in this captivating novel.
Nancy Silk, author
‘PIGEON RIVER BLUES’ is perfect with unique characters in a setting that fits like a glove with its Southern language. [It] is as intriguing as The Game, as thrilling as Ransom, and as entertaining as ‘Good Will Hunting.’ Highly recommended to all readers who enjoy a clever mystery, with a blend of intellectual thrills, and humor.
Geraldine Ahearn, reviewer
… Jenkins is one of those “tough-but-fair” lawmen who also display a well defined sense of ethics and personal integrity, while at the same time possessing a keen sense of humor and a generous dose of personal charm.
The supporting characters are also well rounded and completely defined, as opposed to the cardboard cutouts found in many series in this genre. I particularly liked the way he portrayed the Lesbian country star and her bigoted antagonists as real people rather than stereotypes or caricatures. That might have been an easy trap for an author to fall into, but Zurl avoids it deftly.
“Pigeon River Blues” is a more complex work than it appears to be on the surface. As in the works of authors like James Lee Burke and the late Robert B. Parker, there are moral and ethical questions clearly presented without losing sight of the fact that the main purpose of this type of novel is to entertain and entertain it does, hugely.
Bob Dunbar, author
Five stars to Wayne Zurl and his latest Sam Jemkins novel, “Pigeon River Blues.” The multi-faceted plot is driven by prejudice and hatred…[Jenkins’] demeanor while on the job is not what one might expect from a small town, southern police chief. His tactics are interesting, to say the least. As might be expected, the “real” antagonist is a surprise.
Larry Webb, author
Pigeon River Blues by Wayne Zurl is a fast-paced, intrigue-filled detective mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
I enjoyed the way the author developed his storyline and the background information. This made the story easy to follow and relate to. The author’s story telling style made the tale flow and it never bogs down. I found it easy to get into the story and hard to put it down.
Larry B. Gray, author
… there is much, much more to Sam Jenkins than just being an excellent police chief and an attractive guy. The character is complete, three-dimensional, and entirely human. He becomes a friend, whom you like, and you feel you know him well after a book or two—but just like your real-life friends, he can, and does, surprise you every so often. You think you know how he functions at work, at home, with his friends, his employees, his wife, and the criminals, but trust me, you don’t. In this book in particular I was utterly surprised by some of the things he said and did—but they fitted perfectly well with his personality. Mr. Zurl makes no mistakes.
I admire and respect Mr. Zurl’s complete absence of bigotry, prejudice, or preconception of anything, anyone, anywhere. There is, obviously, not an ageist bone in his body. His take on race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation (which is very important in Pigeon River Blues) is based on the jaded and sophisticated acceptance that the human race may be stupid and annoying, but stupidity and annoyance is spread across the entire world with no relation to who and what you are. As a result, the book displays the kind of gentle humor that is born of wisdom.
As for the plot – it is both brilliant and well crafted. Twists and turns and surprises happen again and again, but they are so well orchestrated as to make them entirely believable. You sometimes want to punch Sam’s nose – and the sentiment is certainly shared by some of the characters – but everything he does is inevitable to the plot and characters. This is a beautiful book that will keep you up and force you to go on until you finish. Enjoyable, intelligent, and fun – don’t miss it!
Ilil Arbel, author
Zurl’s mystery novels are well-written, character-driven, and the plot keeps the reader wondering. In his latest, ‘Pigeon River Blues’, the plot is tight, the good and bad characters are excellent…the dialogue is realistic and humorous. Oh, and the new character, John [Gallagher,] has a language all his own … and it’s a hoot.
The ending is tight; all ends are tied up, and just as you think it’s over…hang on…here comes another blast.
Lee Carey, author
HEROES & LOVERS
I just finished HEROES AND LOVERS…really an enjoyable read. Hell, if I was a cop, I would BE Sam Jenkins…Great writing Wayne. I’m looking forward to more.
Dirk Western, Amazon customer
Wayne Zurl is a fantastic author that grabs the reader from the first page and doesn’t let go… His characters are fully developed and realistic. His descriptions of the Great Smoky Mountains area makes one want to leave on vacation. His story-line is full of twists and turns mixed into everyday life…Then there is the main character Sam Jenkins, the kind of man who can steal a woman’s heart with a smile [and] who will not take “no” as an answer when he is trying to…find his kidnapped friend. If this is the first Sam Jenkins mystery you pick up, it won’t be your last.
Marianne Spitzer, author
This story takes you on twists and turns that are unexpected, making the book hard to put down. Another great job by Wayne Zurl!
Margaret Millmore, author
Sure, Heroes & Lovers had a good-old-fashioned mystery at the heart of the book. But, this book also delved into who Sam Jenkins is as a person. It’s the human connection that speaks to me… This book is so much more than a mystery or a detective novel. The author tackles some very serious issues…with humor and compassion. He’s created flawed, but likable characters…And all was redeemed in the end. Zurl ties up his loose ends superbly. The book was a pleasure to read from beginning to end, and that’s why I’ll be back for more Sam Jenkins books.
Tricia Darmmeh, author
Zurl captures the regional southeast flavor in his characters’ individual dialects, in his descriptive writing, and in his obvious affection for the locals. In this entry Sam has to solve the kidnapping of his friend, a local TV anchorwoman, and the assault of her cameraman… Mix in a crooked car repairman, an active drug trade, political interference, and a lot of colorful characters and you have the makings for an entertaining story. I especially appreciated the satisfying ending, where several loose ends from the complex plot are all brought together. I liked this book a lot. Highly recommended.
Jerold Last, author
The reader will mentally view a superb story unfold, aided by excellent characters who do their jobs perfectly. Zurl uses descriptions of his characters and their surroundings with skill. The dialogue is perfect and realistic.
Lee Carey, author
My uncle Lou used the word spiffy to infer that an individual had class, was cool, and had his act together… it describes Sam Jenkins…Sam is a hero with pizzazz.
Roy L. Murry, author
I love Sam’s wit and humor along with his ability to see what other’s may not. He is charming and lovable and of course the ladies all love him and I like that in spite of his charm he is faithful to his wife Katherine, who may have a smaller role in the story but definitely not a minor role in Sam’s life.
Kathleen Kelley, reviwer
I really enjoyed reading this book. It…kept my attention from start to finish. I wasn’t expecting it to end the way that it did. Always a good sign!
Melissa Waldron, reviewer
Every once in a while a really good crime / police mystery comes along that just grabs your attention and doesn’t let go until the end. And that is what Heroes & Lovers has done for me! This is the first Sam Jenkins Mystery novel that I have read, but it will not be the last. Author Wayne Zurl weaves an intriguing tale that is just a plain good ol’ fashion mystery that could only be told by a person with years of prior police experience. I really enjoyed the author’s writing style: the mixture of humor, intrigue and romantic drama engages the reader, while the story has enough twists and turns [to] keep the reader guessing what will happen next. With rich descriptions and details of the Great Smoky Mountains and rural Tennessee setting and dialect, to Sam’s sarcastic personality and the witty banter between the characters, Heroes & Lovers is an entertaining story that crime/police mystery fans will thoroughly enjoy.
Kathleen Anderson, reviewer
A LEPRECHAUN’S LAMENT
The plot is sound and interesting. The author’s characters are likeable and believable.
The author has taken an assortment of characters from all over the country and the world and woven them into a thoroughly enjoyable mystery. I look forward to the next installment of the ‘Sam Jenkins Mystery Series’.
Paul J. for Readers Favorite
Wayne Zurl’s writing, with its home grown Tennessee humor mixed with New York sarcasm, will have you laughing. But when it comes to police procedure, his writing is on spot—according to me, a police TV series nut case.
Roy Murry, author & reviewer
We travel along on a page turning read....really wild and entertaining. The way things turn out is nothing less than amazing. I loved it. I for one will be reading more of Chief Sam Jenkins mysteries!!
Maureen, Amazon customer
Zurl has a wonderful way with words and [a] hardy imagination. He's so creative, his main character Sam Jenkins is really someone I would love to know, [and] especially work with. I just don't think I would want to commit a crime with him around. Sam is brilliant. His sense of humor, witty comments, and all around knowledge make reading these mysteries that much more entertaining.
Patricia Foltz, Way2Kool Reviews
Absolutely superb. I was groused in by page one. This was the real stuff. The best aspect of this book is the incredible authenticity of police work. The details and the glimpses into what "real" police life is like, fueled by Wayne Zurl's experience as a cop, [are] remarkably refreshing. If more detective/cop books were like this, I would seek [out] this genre more frequently. Parts of the book made me feel as if someone had grabbed and twisted my guts.
In terms of its craft, one of the best books I've read in years. For me, a delightful read well worth the effort.
Tracy Shew, Amazon customer.