REviews

Sherry Knowlton is the author of the award-winning Alexa Williams suspense series and upcoming non-fiction travel memoirs, Beyond the Sunset: Vol I & II.

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DEAD OF AUTUMN

S.I. Ellis on DEAD OF AUTUMN

Author of the Cassie Cruise Mysteries

“I recommend this book to all who enjoy a well told mystery." 

 

Heidi Ruby Miller on DEAD OF AUTUMN

Author of the Ambassador Series

“A captivating mystery with roots in the past and a courageous hero in Alexa Williams. Sherry Knowlton beautifully engages the reader with her easy style and Pennsylvania setting as she seamlessly threads in historical details as well as current issues about crimes against women. Very courageous in its undertaking and very important in today's social climate, DEAD OF AUTUMN remains true to the mystery and detective genres as it entertains and thrills. I already have the next one in the series!” 

 

Library Journal on DEAD OF AUTUMN

Thrillerfest

“Sherry Knowlton’s Dead Autumn (Sunbury) features a dead body harkening back to the crimes of an earlier era—there are conventions in genre writing that fans appreciate.” 

 

Val Muller on DEAD OF AUTUMN

Author of the Faulkners Apprentice and the Corgi Capers

“I recommend this book to anyone who loves mysteries or rural Pennsylvania.” 

 
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DEAD OF SUMMER

Melissa F. Miller on DEAD OF SUMMER

USA TODAY bestselling author of legal thrillers and romantic comedic mysteries

“Fans of Sherry Knowlton's "Dead of Autumn," will find summer to be an equally deadly season. "Dead of Summer" is a riveting, suspenseful read as it crosses time and space while Alexa unravels a murder. Residents of Central Pennsylvania will particularly enjoy the authentic, local touches.” 

 

 

Heidi Ruby Miller on DEAD OF SUMMER

Author of the Ambasadora series

“Sherry Knowlton's follow-up book is just as edgy and engaging as Dead of Autumn. Continuing with the seasonal theme, Dead of Summer captures the season in multiple times and places, especially present day southcentral Pennsylvania, where the people are intriguing and real. Alexa Williams reprises her role as lawyer/amateur sleuth/women's rights activist and reminds us that smart women can still have emotions without sacrificing strength. The plot issues concerning human trafficking were powerful. I look forward to seeing what Sherry does with the next installments of the series.”

 

Mark Leggatt on DEAD OF SUMMER

Author of International Thriller 'Names of the Dead'

“I enjoyed this immensely, it’s an atmospheric, twisting tale of deceit and discovery, in evocative Americana settings. The main character is drawn into a murky world of sex-trafficking, charismatic characters, both young and old, where the good and bad are hard to define, until the chilling resolution. Highly recommended.  An atmospheric, twisting tale of deceit and discovery, in evocative Americana settings.”

 

 
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DEAD OF SPRING

Kirkus Reviews on DEAD OF SPRING

Book reviews and recommendations from the most trusted voice in book discovery.

"A lawyer who yearns for the quiet life proves a magnet for murder."... in a "mystery/thriller/romance with a complex heroine."

Midwest Book Review (Reviewer: Alma Bond) on DEAD OF SPRING

An organization committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing

"Dead of Spring is a highly readable book which captures the reader's interest immediately and swiftly carries him or her through a story which is always captivating and full of suspense.  In this suspenseful tale of corruption and criminal greed, Alexa Williams proves once again that she’s a formidable heroine. The ins and outs of the book will keep will keep you glued to your seat.  It is a valuable book, which I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a good mystery and wishes to learn about an important neglected subject in American fiction."

 

Mark Leggatt on DEAD OF SPRING

Best-selling Author of International Thriller 'Names of the Dead'

"Knowlton weaves a compelling tale, and the threads become tighter as the plot progresses. A suspicious suicide of a powerful politician takes on new meaning when Alexa Williams’s investigations uncover corruption at the heart of the fracking industry.  And when she becomes the target, the tension ramps up to a thrilling climax. Highly recommended."

 

Kay Kendall on DEAD OF SPRING

Award-winning author of historical mysteries

"DEAD OF SPRING combines legislative corruption with corporate greed that ends in deadly violence. Heroine Alexa Williams resists intimidation to battle evil at the highest levels of Pennsylvania government and commerce. Spurring her on is a love for the environment and for a friend whose daughter's cancer is caused by fracking. Here is a spellbinding yarn jerked straight from today's frightening headlines."

 
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DEAD OF WINTER

Gayle Lynds on DEAD OF WINTER

New York Times best-selling author of The Assassins

“With riveting suspense and vivid details, Dead of Winter by Sherry Knowlton brings the towns and forests of Southcentral Pennsylvania to vivid life as cultures and beliefs clash in a searing tale of murder, love, and communal fear.  From flying drones to police investigations and legal wrangling, Dead of Winter will keep you guessing and glued raptly to your reading chair.” 

 

Midwest Book Review by Alma Bonds on DEAD OF WINTER

An organization committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing

“Ms. Knowlton is a fine writer, who writes beautiful prose as good as that of much of our finest fiction … The book is an intriguing, suspenseful story which grabs the attention of the reader from the very first page … Alexa Williams again proves a formidable heroine in this suspenseful tale of international corruption and hatred.”

 

J. J. Hensley on DEAD OF WINTER

Author of Bolt Action Remedy and Record Scratch

“Sherry Knowlton brilliantly weaves contemporary issues into a riveting mystery that will stick with you long after the last page is turned. In Dead of Winter, the reader can sense a fuse has been lit and is burning closer to a rural Pennsylvania town that is on the brink after a series of deaths appear to lead back to the normally tranquil setting. While addressing xenophobia, racism, and America’s complicated history, Dead of Winter is the novel we need and the story we want.”

Author Matty Dalrymple on DEAD OF WINTER

Author of the Lizzy Ballard Thrillers and the Ann Kinnear Suspense Novels and Shorts

“In Dead of Winter, Sherry Knowlton examines the explosive combination of ignorance and fear that results in hate and violence.

 

Knowlton uses her familiarity with both small town South Central Pennsylvania and the wilds of Africa to good advantage in her fourth Alexa Williams novel. Her use of drone technology to set up the discovery of the crime in which Alexa will find herself caught up is clever.

 

Knowlton skillfully weaves together two story lines. One involves the flight north of two Virginia slaves in the years leading up to the Civil War, with Pennsylvania representing the land of freedom and equality. One involves current-day racial tensions, where the same ground is the site of racially motivated intimidation tactics and terroristic threats.

 

A thought-provoking novel dealing with issues that are as important now as they were at the time of the Underground Railroad."

 
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DEAD ON THE DELTA

Michael Niemann on DEAD ON THE DELTA

Award-winning Author of Valentin Vermeulen Thrillers

“Dead on the Delta is a gripping new adventure for Alexa Williams. Set against the backdrop of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, Alexa faces brutal poachers and a frightening conspiracy that reaches all the way to the top of Botswana’s elite. The situation comes to a head in a terrifying confrontation that requires all of Alexa’s strength as she fights for her own survival. A satisfying read set in a gorgeous landscape.”

 

MICHAEL STANLEY on DEAD ON THE DELTA

Award-winning Authors of Detective Kubu Series

“Every page of Dead on the Delta radiates Knowlton’s love and knowledge of this unique part of our planet and highlights its potential for disaster. Knowlton’s suspenseful book sets the beauty of the Okavango against the dangers that lurk there.”

 

SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW on DEAD ON THE DELTA

by Susan Miller

Star Rating: 5 / 5  “great cast of characters and a fantastic female lead.”

Alexa Williams has accompanied her boyfriend Reese, to Botswana, where he's filling in for an Africa Trust colleague, a group dedicated to wildlife research. Alexa is thrilled to be helping out in the bush with the lion study and, she's also participating in a commission dedicated to creating better anti-poaching legislation. Her law background and work on sex trafficking enforcement have given her access to some interesting Botswana personalities as a result. Everything is going well until poachers begin targeting Botswana's elephant population. At Noka Camp, where Alexa and Reese are working, they get a first-hand look at the devastation the poachers are causing, making Alexa more determined to help the commission pass appropriate laws to curb such violence. But Botswana politics may not be as straightforward as they appear, leaving Alexa vulnerable to unseen forces.

 

Dead on the Delta presents an accomplished female character who is professional, curious, and passionate about her work, and at the same time vulnerable in a way that made me want to get to know her. I found myself rooting for her the whole way through this story. I also loved the fact that the author examined lots of social and environmental issues and the challenges African nations, especially Botswana, face trying to balance the needs of its people and its wildlife treasures. And to make it all the more exciting, she was able to incorporate adventure and a bit of romance to make this a fascinating, well-layered story. The landscape descriptions were marvelous and so well written that I felt I was almost there. In fact, that was one of the things I appreciated most about this book. I was right there in the thick of things, not just with Alexa and Reese but with the other characters as well.

 

I think chapters twenty-two and twenty-three made this book really work for me. By the time I had read this far, I was starting to wonder if Alexa and Reese would discover anything about the real poachers, although I was having my own suspicions by this point. But, the unexpected events that happened in these chapters propelled the story forward and made my heart beat a little faster. The further unexpected twists and turns that came with two of the main characters were simply icing on the cake for me. I have to say that one of the main reasons I was drawn to the book was for the African setting. The fact that it had a great cast of characters and a fantastic female lead meant that I not only loved it but, now I want to read the other books in the Alexa Williams series as well, even if they aren't set in Africa.

 

Manhattan Book Review on DEAD ON THE DELTA

by Kristi Elizabeth

Star Rating: 4 / 5  “full of action, adventure, politics, and, of course, animals”

Dead on the Delta is a fascinating book that will transport readers to the safaris of the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Alexa Williams is an attorney from Pennsylvania who loves her little cabin in the woods and her dog, Scout. Her boyfriend, Reese Michaels, gets called to do a job in Botswana doing research on the big cats. Alexa is hired by the Africa Trust as a temporary employee so that she can go with Reese to Botswana. During their excursions with various guides, Alexa and Reese delve into the beautiful wildlife of the country. Lions, elephants, hippos, jackals, and many other animals are resident in their beautiful surroundings.

The story picks up as the group finds out that there are poachers killing elephants and stealing their ivory tusks. The Botswana Defence Force, or BDF, desperately wants to find the poachers that are killing the wildlife. Meanwhile, Alexa meets "Mama," a celebrity to the local people. Mama has done a lot of work with HIV/AIDS foundations and has a vested interest in the local laws concerning poaching. Among the cast of characters are Nick and Emma, who manage the Noka Camp, and guides Mo and Henry. There are times in the book where the characters are running for their lives from either animals or the "bad guys."

 

Author Sherry Knowlton shows that she has done her research through the various details that are inserted into her writing in Dead on the Delta. This book is written with such care that I didn't want to miss anything while I was reading. There are so many important parts to this book and all of the pieces come together in the end to create an "a-ha" moment.

 

My favorite part of the book was the descriptions of the animals and their behaviors. The way the author described the lions, for example, with their markings to identify them and how the groups kept track of the males, females, and babies and knew if one or more of them were missing from the pride is extremely interesting. And the fact that hippos account for most of the deaths in the area is astounding! As someone who loves nature shows, I absolutely loved every part where the characters were observing or encountering the various animals.

The plot of the story was well done and even had a bit of romance and a love triangle in it. This book was full of action, adventure, politics, and, of course, animals.

 

Independent Book Review on DEAD ON THE DELTA

By Steph Huddleston

A well-balanced and intelligent thriller…Suspense and thriller fiction fans have plenty to look forward to with Dead on the Delta.  
 

The fifth installment in the Alexa Williams series, Dead on the Delta sees lawyer Alexa Williams travel with her boyfriend Reese to Botswana to participate in four months of lion research. But when Alexa and Reese witness the poaching of a herd of elephants near their research site, they soon become embroiled in the complexity (and, in this case, danger) of conservation politics. The depth of research undertaken in the writing of this book is admirable and adds a-whole-nother level of credibility, effectiveness, and engagement to the story. But what sets it apart is Knowlton’s ability to incorporate important information into such a plot-driven narrative. It results in a well-balanced and intelligent thriller.

 

Though this is a part of a larger series, it can be read as a stand-alone. Knowlton provides enough background information for us to understand the history of Williams’s character and to engage both new readers and those returning to the series. But readers seeking to know Alexa on a deeper level may find that reading the other books before this one could be helpful. The story is engaging enough to keep our attention, but I did long for more out of our characters and wished they would have been more proactive rather than reactive overall. In Dead on the Delta, the characters battle not just the issue of poaching itself, but the ingrained attitudes toward conservation of the nation. The narrative does not present a simplistic answer to a complex problem, for which the author should be commended. Instead, the myriad of cultural and socio-economic issues that must be considered when it comes to conservation are discussed with grace and intelligence here. Such a complex political discussion could easily make for dry reading, but Knowlton’s prose and thrilling plot enlivens the discussion. Some readers may find the descriptions of animal violence distressing and may wish to approach this book with caution. While Knowlton does not shy away from these events, be assured that the author does not write the violence in a way that seems gratuitous. The author’s approach seems well balanced and thoughtfully researched, but of course, it is possible I missed something that readers of different backgrounds might not have. Dead on the Delta hits all the expected beats of a good suspense thriller. Readers of the genre will be satisfied with the level of pay-off in the conclusion and appreciate the insight which pulls back the curtain on bureaucracy. Suspense and thriller fiction fans have plenty to look forward to with Dead on the Delta.

Pat Lamarche on DEAD ON THE DELTA

Author of Magic Diary and Left Out In America

Sherry Knowlton has outdone herself. Dead on the Delta has perched itself in the top tier of my favorite mystery novels. Knowlton’s brilliance starts with her calm delivery, seductive settings, powerful character development and colorful imagery. Once hooked,

Knowlton shocks the reader from the safe world in which she’d so masterfully – if briefly – secured them. 

 

Knowlton moves her courageous, savvy and lovable heroine halfway across the world and takes her faithful readers along for the trip. I’ve wanted to go to sub-Saharan Africa for such a long time. Knowlton’s descriptions of the terrain are masterful and in some

ways sated my curiosity – but not completely. Dead on the Delta makes me even more anxious to get to Africa – as long as I don’t have to go alone!