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Beneath the Surface

Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series, Book 3
Narrated by: Francis G. Kearney
Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

Beneath the Surface is the third book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series set in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada.

Sgt. Windflower is back, and as usual, he’s loving life on the East Coast. He may be a long way from his home in Northern Alberta, but he has been adopted by the locals as almost one of their own.

He has a good life, good work with the RCMP, and a good woman that he has grown closer to in his years on the southeast coast of Newfoundland.

But trouble is brewing just beneath the surface of this calm and charm-filled existence.

©2014 Mike Martin (P)2020 Mike Martin

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    2 out of 5 stars

A very interesting cook book...

*I was provided a copy of this book free of charge for the purpose of providing an unbiased review* I like crime stories, always have, from the Midsomer Murders and Joanthan Creek of the 90s back to the Canadian adventures of Benton Fraser in the 80s Due South series I've always enjoyed the cop shows. I've not experienced a lot of Crime dramas in books and what I have read usually revolves around the more shocking ones like those of Thomas Harris and Jeffrey Deaver and so I came into this tale, third in a series, somewhat blind. My initial feeling was that there was a pleasant familiarity when compared with Due South and the mannerism and conversational tone of the characters and within 2 chapters I'd really taken to Windflower. With the introduction of, what appeared to be prophetic dreams pretty early on, and Windflower's Uncle Frank as a pseudo medicine-man really drew me in. Then something happened; I found that I was 20 chapters into the 50 chapter book and absolutely nothing was happening. And so it went on, standard procedure of police investigation (most of it being actioned by 3rd parties off-screen as it where) and Windflower gets told about it while the dream mystery again feels very much a side-story to what the overall book appears to be about. And the real subject of the story is....food. Pretty much every chapter, the main character has eats. And the book tells you in.minute.detail.all.the.steps.of.cooking. I'm not sure how many different recipes and cooking instructions are provided here but I really do think the author secretly harbours a desire to release a cookery book. During the last 1/4 of the book, I asked my wife to listen to the book on speaker with me while we cooked our own meal and then did some arranging around the house and, in that time, we heard distinct descriptions of around 3 different meals. And worse of all, they all sounded better than what we were cooking! I'm sorry, I really wanted to enjoy the book as much as I liked the cast but even with such a good narrator I was just very very bored.

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  • Wild Horses Flying
  • 10-10-20

I like this book!

It's definitely a "cozy" -- full of friendly chitchat among friends and colleagues. But it is NOT inane! - rather, the detail makes you feel you're there, part of the family and place. It's slow-moving in the sense that the plot is embedded in the characters just 'living' - walking to work in the rain, enjoying a delicious meal . . . but in this book it works. I'm not sure why. I guess it's bcz it's so descriptive of locale and weather and the culture of the place - white and native - also bcz of historical info and views into Native American thinking and ways bcz the main character is native. The dynamics of the story are in happy and challenging human relations and in crimes to be solved. I hope Martin writes more in this series.

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  • Leah Brock
  • 29-07-20

Life of an RCMP Sergeant in Newfoundland

I received a free copy of this audiobook, at my request, and am now writing a voluntary review. What first piqued my interest in this book is that it's set in Newfoundland, Canada, about a sergeant with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Also of interest is that the main character is from an indigenous tribe of Canada. Both aspects offer the reader something a little different to explore. This book is the 3rd of the series. I haven't read the previous two, but didn't feel I was missing too much of what occurred before this one. The story centers around the daily life of Sgt Winston Windflower of the RCMP. He becomes interested in the murder case of a young girl from the same town as him, although he is never actively investigating this case. He is assigned to look into human trafficking going on on the island. Maybe a spoiler: it all ties together at the end. I thought this might be more of a police procedural than what it turns out to be. Windflower doesn't really do much investigating. Most of the leg-work is done by colleagues. The story is more about the daily life of an RMCP officer than any case they're working on. We see more of what Winflower eats on a daily basis than any investigative work. He has a solid, if odd, relationship with his girlfriend. The story ends up being a nice character study of a First Nations RCMP sergeant and the environment in which he lives and works. The incorporation of native Cree rituals and customs and the history of the natives of Newfoundland are woven into the story. A subplot has Windflower seeking help with some recurring dreams he suddenly starts having. His uncle is a dreamweaver who assists in interpreting the drams. I enjoyed learning about this and other aspects of native peoples beliefs about life and nature. Narration by Francis G Kearney was good. It did take a while to get used to the over-enthusiastic tone that was chosen for this book. I don't know, maybe a lot of Canadians speak in a loud and very dramatic fashion? I'm not Canadian, so cannot speak to that.

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  • Yolanda
  • 20-07-20

Beneath the Surface

Decent mystery installment - moved a little slow but still entertaining with good narration. Foodies will certainly appreciate all the delectable meal descriptions😉

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  • Jocelyne
  • 12-07-20

Great Series!

This is the third book in the Sgt. Windflower Mysteries Series. I have listened to the second book in the Series, and I enjoyed it. The story is set in Grand Bank, Newfoundland, Canada. Windflower is a wonderful and fun character. Sheila, his beloved, is sweet and lovely. The investigation is well built, and intriguing. The storyline is slow paced, fun, and filled with twists and turns. The story isn't only centered on the mystery itself, but also on Windflower's personal life, which is great. The cast of supporting characters is impressive, and intriguing. I like the family bonds in this Series. Francis G. Kearney did a great job with the narration. He has the perfect voice for this Series, and he has a great range of voices. I enjoyed it. Looking forward for more in this Series.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lelia T
  • 24-06-20

Mounties!

The Newfoundland Mounties have returned and I’m so glad they have! Mike Martin’s series featuring Sgt. Winston Windflower, who is part First Nation, specifically Cree, as you can tell by his last name, has become one of my favorites over the past few years and I’m always happy to welcome Windflower back along with his girlfriend, Sheila Hillier, close friend Herb Stoodly, and colleagues Corporal Eddie Tizzard and Betsy Molloy. Sidenote: Are Canadians as enamored with the Mounties as so many Americans are? The suspicious death of a rower, a university student in St. Johns, doesn’t actively involve Windflower in his temporary Marystown post but his interest is piqued because she grew up in Grand Bank, Eddie’s territory. Sheila knew and liked Amy Parsons, another reason for Windflower to want to look into the incident but, before he can, he’s surprised to find his Uncle Frank ensconced in his house, unannounced but clearly settled in, even wearing Windflower’s own longjohns. This is a problem in all sorts of ways but takes a backseat to what Windflower begins to learn about Amy’s murder, especially a possible connection to human trafficking. It was nice, as always, to learn a little about life in Newfoundland and Winston’s Cree background and everything was enhanced by Mr. Kearney’s performance. His narration has been growing on me with each audiobook and I particularly enjoy his accents, which sound authentic to me. Once again, an appealing story with engaging narration, just what I like.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jan
  • 20-06-20

Super!

procedural, Canada, RCMP, family, friendship, murder, investigation, trafficking, Newfoundland, Cree, cultural-exploration This one has ALL the bad actors in opposition to Sgt Windflower and the RCMP! There's the Russian mob trafficking girls and kind of smuggling Chinese nationals as well as murdering whomever displeases them. Then there's the dirty cops and politicians including Windflower's superior who is so not with the program on women in law enforcement! Windflower's home life is something of a roller coaster as well what with his beloved finally coming home from rehab after a horrible auto accident last year, his constable being harassed by their superior, recurring bad dreams of a warning nature, and more. I think it's a great book and I love learning about another while being entertained with a law enforcement mystery from a country near my own. I absolutely loved it! Francis G. Kearney is wonderful as narrator/audio performer.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amy C
  • 20-06-20

Beneath the Surface

Beneath the Surface is the third installment from Mike Martin’s Sgt Windflower Mystery series. I have enjoyed the first two books in this series and this one does not disappoint. I was entertained from start to finish. I wanted to keep reading until the end to find out what would happen next. I had the pleasure of listening to the audio version of Beneath the Surface. Like the other books in the series, Francis G. Kearney once again does a superb performance. He has the best voice on reading the story. I love hearing him. I am Beneath the Surface giving four and a half stars. I recommend this book for readers who love to read a fun filled mystery. I am hoping there will be more coming to this series in the future. I received the audio version of this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Carla the Reader
  • 15-06-20

An interesting mystery and police procedural

In this book, Windflower has returned to his home of Grand Bank on the southeast coast of Newfoundland. When the body of Amy Parsons, a champion rower, is found, the quiet, serene atmosphere of the Newfoundland town is shattered. With the help of Corporal Eddie Tizzard and Herb Stoodley, a former Crown Attorney, Windflower sets out to solve the crime. As he investigates, he finds that this crime might be part of an interprovincial crime group involving trafficking and the sex trade. It seems some people do not want this case investigated, who is involved in this scandal? There were several interesting storylines to this book. I enjoyed the mystery and seeing how the investigation played out. There were just enough clues, with a few red herrings to keep me invested in the story. I pretty much figured out what was happening as far as the crime, but who was involved, how deep did it go and how was it all going to work out had the story flowing well. I was quite interested in the stories relating to the Indigenous People. There were dreams that had to be interpreted and other information about how the indigenous people lived and how their lives had changed over the years. There is also a personal storyline involving Windflower and his girlfriend, Sheila Hilliard, which adds the human element to the story. There were other secondary characters in the story that also added to the story and moved the plot along. This was a slow building mystery, not action packed and dramatic, but still very interesting. This story is about community, policing, with a large dose of Canadian culture. If you have never been to Newfoundland, you will definitely want to go after reading this one, as the descriptions were wonderful. This is the only province in Canada that I have not been to, and I really hope to remedy that soon. An enjoyable book that I recommend to those who want to read a mystery that takes place in another country. The audiobook is narrated by Francis G. Kearney. I had a bit of a hard time getting used to his voice. It was loud and at times I felt like he was shouting at me. However, once I got into the story, I grew accustomed to this style and kept the volume a bit lower. I did enjoy his accents and voices. As most of the characters were male, he was able to give them individual voices. The pacing was also well done. Overall, he did a good job with this story and I now have a picture of Windflower, Tizzard and Stoodley in my head. I received a copy of this book from Audiobookworm upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Marisia Robus
  • 13-06-20

Boring, slow

If they left out all the food and eating, the book would have been 1/4 of the length. All the making and eating and referring to food made it very boring, as the food played no role other than to fill up the book. The plot was very predictable. I didn't enjoy it at all I received a review copy at my request and voluntarily reviewed

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • BT
  • 01-06-20

no mystery, lots of food.

I received a free copy of this audio book, at my request, and am voluntary leaving this unbiased review. This is book 3 in the series but the first book in this series I've read/listened to, but as a Newfoundlander I had to pick it up when I saw it. I liked this book, despite its shortcomings. Unfortunately it had many shortcomings. For starters, this is not a mystery. It's barely a police procedural story. It takes the death of a girl, which our main character is not trying to solve, and buries it in the minutia of the life of a police Sgt. However, the plot isn't about the police work either. The police work described is paper work and phone calls to other police, whom are actually doing work. There literally is no mystery, the only murder is essentially solved by other people, and relayed to the main character after the fact. The other crimes are solved before they know the crimes are even committed and questioning and charges are done by other police in other provinces. So, what is this book? Well, its just a slow story of a guy, who happens to be a cop. His day to day life and his troubles at work. No mystery, no intrigue, no suspense, just a boring story which is more about Newfoundland food than police work. Now, on that count, the book does well. The food and preparation is described in painstaking detail. In what I assume is a nod to the idea to make a "mystery" so much about food, the main character reads mysteries which food plays an important role. This was a nice touch. However, this kind of limits the books appeal to Newfoundlanders and people who have an interest in Newfoundland. Cause if one doesn't have an interest in Newfoundland (which there are some people out there), they will likely not enjoy a 10 hour advertisement for Newfoundland. In the end, this is all this is. As I've previously mentioned, there is no mystery or police work. It is just a story of a police officer who works and lives in Newfoundland. Not being born there, he has fallen in love with the island and its people. He is awed by the things that Newfoundlanders take for granted. The book also has some of the most unnatural and awkward dialog I've read. I've never met people who talk to one another the way these people do, and absolutely NEVER in Newfoundland. Part of the issue is the narrator, which I will address later. There is little "newfinese", and it is all explained, but there should have been much, much more. Especially where the story takes place. The accents and slang increase the closer you get to the coast. The audio book was narrated by Francis G. Kearney. The audio quality was not great. There is a background static throughout the book. The narrator also has an odd style of almost shouting the whole thing. Everything. He also doesn't spend much time on differentiating voices and basically doesn't bother with trying to do a female voice. He has an upwards inflection on basically every sentence, which combined with his shout talking almost makes every line sound like its supposed to prove someone wrong. There is no tender moments, no ribbing with other characters, no warmth in his narration. This makes the already awkward dialog even worse, cringe worthy. He DOES, however, pronounce almost every newfie word correctly. There was a couple incidence where he didn't quite get it, but it was very rare. The other thing with this book is the lack of world building. I get jumped into book 3 of a series, and I assume book 1 would have set up the setting. However, most series (and I've read a few) will take a couple lines in each book and bring the reader up to speed on important things, incase they are new or have forgotten, as there is usually a year or 2 between books and a lot of people don't read a series all at once. So, I was until the end of the book with no idea what year the book was set in. I still don't know specifically. There is a throw away line at the end of the book about a 2014 Jeep, so I assume the story is set around that time, but it is never actually established. It was almost half way through the book before someone mentions a cell phone and no one, not ever, sends a text or goes on social media, so I was more than a little confused. The age of the characters is also never addressed. I assumed that the characters where older, maybe 40's or so, but it is never brought up. The girl friend, Shelia (excuse the spelling, audiobook), says she remembers a time before the Avalon Mall, the mall was built in 1967. Assuming she was 7 when she was in St. John's before the mall, that would make her mid 50's (assuming a 2014 story timeline). This would fit the character and fit the story, as I understood it. However, ***minor spoilers*** as the main character suddenly decides he wants kids, this could be a issue. It is never addressed how a mid 50's woman is going to have a child, or if the author got the info on the mall wrong and Sheila is supposed to be in her 30's, or anything. I also want to point out that the 2 have just the most bizarre relationship. They don't live together, but often sleep in the same bed. However, at some ungodly time in the morning 1 the guest will wake up and leave without saying goodbye or sending a text or, well anything. So, basically night they go to sleep and the next morning one of them just wakes up alone. Like basically every day. That's just messed up. The common courtesy thing to do would be to give your partner a kiss and tell them you're heading out. It's like they are permanently having a one night stand. The main character is Cree and a large part of the first half of the book explores his day to day connection with his beliefs and customs. It is also a story line which basically goes nowhere. While it does pay homage to a rich history of a proud people and does so with great respect and care, it doesn't really pay off in the plot. There are 2 dreams the main character has and tries so decipher. 1 leads to, well nothing related to the plot. The other to ***minor spoilers*** first being told he has to learn about the Beothuk, then when he learns a little about that, he's told that the same dream is actually telling him he should have kids. Then in the end, it suggests he should get married. Honestly, the whole dream part was not well done. It was inconsistent and really was meaningless, except to show off the native heritage of the main character. It should have either had some deeper meaning to the story, or have been replaced with something else. It almost seemed like there was 2 separate plots in the story, the dream stuff and everything else. So, if all that's wrong with the book, why 3 stars? Well, cause I enjoyed it. The characters were fun. There was 0 stakes in the story, so I could just listen to some guy shout a story to me about my home province, with food I've eaten (some of which I still do), places I've been and the people I love. While this is an unbiased review of this book, regarding the author and narrator, I AM biased about Newfoundland. This is a book for people who love Newfoundland. If you want a story about Newfoundland and it's people, then this is a good book to go with. If you want a mystery or police procedural, then there are much better examples out there.