Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Review: Forgotten Creek (Winston Radhauser Mystery #10) by Susan Clayton-Goldner @SusanCGoldner

Forgotten Creek

A Winston Radhauser Mystery #10

by Susan Clayton-Goldner

Published: May 18, 2021

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller


When the murder of a fourteen-year-old homeless boy rocks the small town of Ashland, Oregon, Detective Winston Radhauser is desperate to make an arrest. The boy, Tadeas Phan, is found on a bench near the pond in Lithia Park, stabbed through the heart. One week earlier, another victim, also stabbed, was found in the Shakespeare theater courtyard. Both had empty Starbucks coffee cups beside them. The press has already dubbed them the Starbucks murders.

Maxine McBride, Radhauser’s partner, discovers a homeless man, crouching behind the park restroom. His clothing is blood soaked and he clutches a knife in his hand. She is convinced the man, Michael Cornelius, is the Starbucks killer.

Cornelius, known as Corndog, is a former police officer, a Vietnam vet who suffers from PTSD. He is a hero, having received both a purple heart and a bronze star for his service. The evidence against Corndog is daunting, but no matter how hard Radhauser tries to make the pieces fit, he can’t find a motive for the killings. His boss, pressured by the mayor, wants the case closed and insists Corndog be arrested.

The case is officially closed, but Radhauser can’t let it go. He risks everything, even his job, to investigate further. The closer he gets to the truth, the harder it is to believe. Will he find the real killer, free Corndog, and reunite him with the family he left behind?

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My Review:

Detective Radhauser has just arrived home from having to deal with some very heart-wrenching family issues. Upon his arrival a fourteen-year-old homeless boy is found dead and he is immediately called to the scene.

In his absence, the body of a homeless man was found by his partner, Maxine McBride was then given the case but after Radhauser’s return he is given the lead on both cases which he takes reluctantly as he is a very kind-hearted man and doesn’t want to overstep his partner.

At the scene of the fourteen-year-old boy, Maxine discovers a homeless man scrunched downing hiding behind the restroom, with the murder weapon in his hand and he is covered in blood. The man tries to explain to them that he didn’t kill the boy as he was his friend with him and that he was just trying to make sure the boy was safe when he found him lying there with a knife sticking out of him.

Maxine sees all the evidence she needs right there in front of her with the murder weapon in his hand, that she needs to convict this homeless man. Her attitude is like, forget all the other evidence we may find if we keep investigating the scene. She believes the homeless man to be lying when he tries to explain why he is holding the knife.

Detective Radhauser is a very detailed man. He likes to have a good look at the scene of a crime before making the call to convict. He likes to let the dead talk to him so to speak, well, and the crime scene too. As the saying goes sometimes the eyes can be deceiving. He likes to dig deep into a case and interview as many people as he can. He also likes to follow all the clues and not just the ones at the scene of the crime.

I love these Winston Radhauser Mystery stories. I love Detective Radhauser. He is a very kind-hearted man. He is what every woman or a lot of women are looking for in a husband and the father of her children. I love his outlook on life and the way he feels about people.

You know that sometimes in the book world we are asked if we have a book boyfriend. Well, Detective Winston Radhauser is mine. There was this one scene in the book where Radhauser was at the scene of the crime questioning an officer about a group of people who were at the park that day.

Radhauser asks Officer Perkins:

“What were they protesting?” The officer answered “The homeless are pissed off and think we should have made an arrest by now. Like we should drop everything for that...that...lowlife.”

Radhauser started at him, the silence between them growing thick. “Every murder matters and deserves our attention.”

I can just imagine what was going on in his mind with that look.

That look and Radhauser’s response did it for me right there and then. That scene right there showed me just the kind of man and person Radhauser is and where his heart is. I can’t wait to read more about Detective Winston Radhauser in the next book of the Winston Radhauser Mysteries as always.

Susan Clayton-Goldner has knocked another one out of the ballpark. Each and every one of the Radhauser books just seem to get better and better. The Winston Radhauser Mysteries are like a bottle of wine they just get better with time, book after book.

I hope the Winston Radhauser Mysteries never stop. I love the mystery and suspense that Susan adds to all her books. She draws you in from the first page and knows how to keep you hanging on page after page as you are slammed in the face with clue after clue until the killer is finally revealed.

Who killed this poor innocent fourteen-year-old boy? Is the homeless man guilty or innocent? Who is right? Is it Maxine McBride or Detective Winston Radhauser? Want to find out? Well, then I would suggest that you pick up a copy of Forgotten Creek today if you would like to know whodunit so to speak.


Susan Clayton-Goldner was born in New Castle, Delaware and grew up with four brothers along the banks of the Delaware River. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona's Creative Writing Program and has been writing most of her life. Her novels have been finalists for The Hemingway Award, the Heeken Foundation Fellowship, the Writers Foundation and the Publishing On-line Contest. Susan won the National Writers' Association Novel Award twice for unpublished novels and her poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies including Animals as Teachers and Healers, published by Ballantine Books, Our Mothers/Ourselves, by the Greenwood Publishing Group, The Hawaii Pacific Review-Best of a Decade, and New Millennium Writings. A collection of her poems, A Question of Mortality was released in 2014 by Wellstone Press. Prior to writing full time, Susan worked as the Director of Corporate Relations for University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. 

Susan shares a life in Grants Pass, Oregon with her husband, Andreas, her fictional characters, and more books than one person could count. 

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