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Telephone: (703) 870-9611
Detailed Book Review
Sleuth Slayer         
Sleuth Slayer
By Jeffrey B. Burton
ISBN: 978-1-929763-32-0
Price: $17.95
Shipping: $4.00
The father and son writing team of Bruce W. Burton and Jeffrey B. Burton join forces in Sleuth Slayer.

America's leading mystery writers are being brutally murdered. Third-tier author Guy Davitt—a would-be Dashiell Hammett—stumbles upon the killer’s bizarre M.O. (the deaths are lifted from mystery novels). But Davitt cannot convince deeply skeptical police a "Sleuth Slayer" actually exists.

Through a dark labyrinth of film studio power brokers, publishing industry politics, a decadent family's wealthy influence, police immorality—as well as the dawning realization that he himself is on the killer's list—Davitt pursues the truth.

Sleuth Slayer is also available as an ebook on Amazon.com for the Kindle.

Book Review Details:
Reviewed Appeared In: This Week Live (Burnsville, MN)
Reviewed By: Andrew Miller
Text Of Review: Murder makes the heart grow fonder

Apple Valley writer and his father co-author mystery novel ‘Sleuth Slayer’

Apple Valley author Jeffrey Burton has published dozens of mystery, horror and science-fiction stories since he took up writing as a hobby about a dozen years ago.

When he got around to writing his first novel – a crime thriller about a serial killer who preys on mystery writers – he realized a collaboration with another writer might be in order, someone who could nail the nitty-gritty details of police investigations, court hearings and true crime.

He didn’t have to look far. “Sleuth Slayer,” published this spring by Pocol Press, is co-authored by Burton and his father, Bruce.

They split the writing duties about 50-50, Jeffrey said. And each brought something different to the table.

Bruce, a semiretired law professor and former dean of William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, brought his legal expertise to a plot that involves an estate battle and court proceedings.

This was Bruce’s first real stab at writing fiction. Though he has written scads of articles for legal journals and even a three-act play about a second-century heresy trial that was published in the Gonzaga Law Review, it was his son’s background in fiction writing that helped drive the plot, he said.

“The kid taught me a lot of tricks,” Bruce said. “My whole background was law – I was very formalistic, very stiff. I would have people speaking like they were at a deposition. Jeff loosened me up and humanized the characters.”

Bruce said he also appreciated the “Dostoevskyan darkness” his son brought to the novel.

“Jeff has a much deeper understanding of human nature than I’d ever expected,” he said. “He did things that were layers of psychological complexity.”

Though a few minor quibbles arose throughout the writing process, the partnership didn’t cause any major rifts.

“The running joke has been: By the fifth time my dad wrote me out of his will, the book was done,” Jeffrey said.

And both approached the project as a labor of love, rather than a financial investment.

“On this one, we figure we’ll make enough to pay for the ink jet,” Bruce said with a laugh.

Which is about par for the course, according to Jeffrey.

The most he’s ever received for a short story he has written is $25. Only the really big names of genre fiction – the Stephen Kings, Anne Rices and the like – can earn a living as writers, he said.

A computer-based training-course designer for HealthPartners, Jeffrey is content with keeping writing as his hobby.

“Sleuth Slayer” is Jeffrey’s second book of fiction. He published “Shadow Play,” a short-story collection, in 2005.

“Sleuth Slayer” is available for $17.95 at online bookstores, including Amazon.com and Borders, and directly from Pocol Press at www.pocolpress.com. More information about the authors is available at www.somehack.com.

Date Reviewed: 05/17/2008
Link To Web Site:    
Author Appearances: June 17, 2008 - 11:30 to 1:30 pm - Red Rock Center for the Arts - 222 E. Blue Earth Ave, Fairmont, MN 56031

June 22, 2008 - 1:30 to 4:30 pm - Brit's Pub - Nicollet Mall - Minneapolis, MN 55403

October 11, 2008 - 10:00 am -5:00 pm - Twin Cities Book Festival, Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Contact Author: Email Author

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