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Fact and Fiction (Parker City Mystery, #3) by Justin M. Kiska 

Compelling dual-timeline plotting and engaging investigators in both past and present cases. 

When Detective Ben Winters and his partner Tommy Mason are called to the scene of a homicide at historic St. Paul's, the initial impression is that the priest was the unfortunate victim of a break-in gone very, very wrong. But a day later, when a popular morning radio talk show host is murdered under similar circumstances, they begin to doubt this too-simple explanation. 

When they uncover unforeseen common interests between the two victims, further investigation links the murders to Parker City’s past and secrets that have been hidden for over 100 years. 

Fact and Fiction is the third book in author Justin M. Kiska’s imaginative and impressive Parker City Mystery series. Like the previous novels, it perfectly combines past and present. The story unfolds through the eyes of modern-day Parker City police detective Ben Winters during the fall of 1984 and Deputy Sheriff Caleb Post, a predecessor in law enforcement in Parker County, in 1862. Both are young, barely into their 30s, and already have developed good reputations within their circles as forward-thinking investigators. 

The author’s writing style is easy-to-read, and I was thrust into both storylines from the beginning. The story switched from past to present and back in alternating chapters, but I had no difficulty keeping both tales in their own lanes. 

One of my favorite aspects of the more recent storyline was the relationship between Ben Winters and his long-time friend and partner, Tommy Mason. Their banter flowed naturally, and I was convinced these two characters actually knew each other from childhood, making them a great match as an investigative team. 

In the older case, the author established a palpable rigidity between the social classes presented in the story. In this, I was somewhat reminded of the social attitudes and consequences that Anne Perry’s characters contended with in her London-set Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series. I could almost feel the disapproval of the leading families and their staff that I was even reading about their being approached to answer questions. 

No matter which storyline I was currently reading, though, I was equally and immediately absorbed into the events. Secrets from the past have ramifications for the present, and I didn’t want to put the book down until I knew why. 

With its compelling dual-timeline plotting and engaging investigators in both the past and the present, I recommend FACT AND FICTION to historical mystery readers who enjoy stories with political intrigue, a Civil War era timeframe, and fans of the previous book in the series. 

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from the author through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours.

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