Checking The Traps by Joan Livingston – Book Review



Checking the Traps

Isabel Long is a bit banged up from her last case with a broken collarbone and her arm in a sling. But that doesn’t stop her from pouring beer at the Rooster Bar or taking her third case with Gary Beaumont, a local drug dealer who once terrorised her. Gary is convinced his brother didn’t jump off a bridge known for suicides. Somebody pushed him.

Gary’s brother was a boozer who drove for a highway crew. But what interests Isabel and her ‘Watson’ — her 93-year-old mother who lives with her — is that the man wrote poetry.

The chief suspects are one of Gary’s business associates and a famous poet who plagiarised his brother’s poetry for an award-winning book. Yes, he was that good.

As a journalist, Isabel did regular meet-ups with her sources for stories. She called it checking the traps. She does the same as a private investigator, and this time, she’ll make sure she doesn’t get caught in one.



Isabel is still recovering from her ‘accident’, her arms in a sling due to a broken collarbone…..will that stop her…..No is the answer!

Her business partner, is her 93 year old mother, sharp and with a heavy foot in her new red car.

Isabel takes on a new case involving the death of Cary, his brother, Gary Beaumont is the client. He doesn’t believe Cary would have jumped off that cliff !

The case involves a famous poet, a local drug dealer, and of course the well informed ‘Old Farts’.

There’s a bit of humour, tension, and some romance for Isabel and Jack in this clever whodunnit. The characters are realistic and believable, I really liked Isabel’s humour and that she’s no youngster but a mature, feisty and independent woman…… and her mum, Maria, is a sweetheart….a very shrewd lady.

Isabel does get herself into some scrapes again…..and amidst claims of murder, plagiarism, drugs and alcohol problems, she finds the solution in a tension and tears filled ending. Marvellously engaging writing by Joan Livingston….I will be looking for more in the series now!

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook and this is my honest, unbiased review.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK

Amazon USA


Author Bio


Joan Livingston is the author of novels for adult and young readers. Checking the Traps, published by Crooked Cat Books, is the third in the mystery series featuring Isabel Long, a longtime journalist who becomes an amateur P.I. The first two are Chasing the Case and Redneck’s Revenge.

An award-winning journalist, she started as a reporter covering the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. She was an editor, columnist, and the managing editor of The Taos News, which won numerous state and national awards during her tenure.

After eleven years in Northern New Mexico, she returned to rural Western Massachusetts, which is the setting of much of her adult fiction, including the Isabel Long mystery series.

Social Media Links –



Twitter: @joanlivingston 







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