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The Sholes Key (Evans and Blackwell Mystery #1)
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The Sholes Key (Evans and Blackwell #1)

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3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  219 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
All across London, single mothers are vanishing. Margaret Hill, mother of two, walked out of her house two months before, and was never seen again. A month later, Carrie-Anne Morgans takes her two-year-old son for a walk in the park and disappears leaving him alone in his stroller. Lorna McCauley leaves her London flat in the early hours of the morning to buy medicine for ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by WiDo Publishing (first published April 25th 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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DL Hammons
Jun 30, 2012 DL Hammons rated it really liked it
In any genre, the characters have to come alive in order to ensnare the reader into the authors world, and not only do her two main characters achieve that goal, but her supporting cast do a fine job of rounding out the interactions and making them all believable. She deftly handles the sprinkling of humor amongst the heavier emotions and never stumbles with the multiple POV's. You care what happens to Sophia and Theo, and that is key (sorry for the pun).

However, in the mystery world characters
...more
Karen
Apr 23, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
If you like thrillers, mysteries, crime novels and suspense, you will love The Sholes Key. Not to mention getting introduced to the budding crime-solving team of Sophie Evans and Theo Blackwell. She's a code-breaker who feels uncomfortable in dangerous situations, he's a detective who feels uncomfortable with a beautiful woman as a (sort-of) partner. But they've got to work together to solve the murders that just keep happening. Five hearty stars for The Sholes Key, and I look forward to the nex ...more
Pat
Jan 18, 2017 Pat rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. It was written in a kind of quirky tome that I found appealing, others of course might not. There are two plots going on which kept things interesting throughout.

Sophia works for MI5 and a code breaker/cryptologist. She is currently undercover posing as the girlfriend of a suspected animal rights terrorist while actually looking for the "key" to encrypted email communications in order to prevent a suspected forthcoming attack. Theo Blackwell is a cop investigating the disa
...more
Mason
May 28, 2012 Mason rated it it was amazing
When a story keeps you thinking about it after you put the book down, then you know you’re hooked.

THE SHOLES KEY was such a book for me. Author Clarissa Draper has created 2 intriguing protagonist with a storyline that will not only keep you guessing, but will also have you trying to decode the cryptic messages.

When Lorna McCauley leaves her young son home sick, Detective Inspector Theophilus “Theo” Blackwell is called in to investigate. At first it appears to be a woman who has run away. Howeve
...more
Patty
Jan 27, 2013 Patty rated it it was amazing
The Sholes Key
By
Clarissa Draper

My "in a nutshell" summary...

This book is all about a mysterious serial killer and two fascinating detectives...Sophia and Theo.

My thoughts after reading this book...

Single moms are missing and someone really creepy is taking them...some remain missing...some turn up very dead. Sophia seems connected to these murders but in a weird way. From what I understand Sophia is a "spook". In London that is a sort of spy. Her specialty is cracking codes but she is also worki
...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Dec 04, 2012 Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews rated it really liked it
The cover pulled me in, the characters kept me reading, and the plot had me guessing until the end.

Two types of murder investigations were going on at once...one was an investigation of serial killings of single mothers and then a married author, and the other investigation was one dealing with a terrorist ring blowing up sites. The murders of young, single mothers who loved to read seemed to be the main theme.

Lots of twists and turns that will keep you guessing as to who the killer really is. B
...more
Kathy
Feb 12, 2013 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Sophia only trained to do a desk job - a safe desk job, she tells herself. Well, it's decoding for the secret service and it rapidly changes from a safe career choice to a terrifyingly, dangerous occupation. Sophia is smart and scared to death. The plot gets thicker and thicker until the serial killer is discovered, living an invisible existence right under her nose. Under the radar, too. This is a page turner. I recommend it!
Carol Kilgore
Jun 06, 2012 Carol Kilgore rated it it was amazing
I liked everything about The Sholes Key, a solid, classic whodunnit with a modern twist by Clarissa Draper. The codes intrigued me. The interplay between the characters satisfied my emotional requirements. The author gives us several glimpses of both Blackwell and Evans, enough so we see them clearly for this story, yet leaves the door wide open for more with the next book in this series. For anyone who enjoys a good mystery, I recommend reading The Sholes Key.
A.M.
Sep 27, 2016 A.M. rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-own, e-books
Sophia Evans and Theo Blackwell are the titular investigators.
Someone sends MI5 code cracker Sophia a dead woman’s photo. The back of it is covered in numbers. It’s delivered to her home address and under her name.
A number of women, all single mothers, have disappeared. Now the bodies start turning up and Theo is investigating that case.
Sophia is trying to stop radical animal liberation terrorists from setting off another bomb.
***
I’ve started this book too many times. It loses me in the prologue
...more
J.L. Campbell
May 08, 2012 J.L. Campbell rated it it was amazing
When we meet her, Sophia Evans is working for the MI5 in an attempt to stop an animal rights group from wreaking having with bombs. When a serial killer begins his work around London, Sophia is dragged into the case. Her job is to decode the messages being left by the killer on the bodies of his victims.

PLAYERS: Sophia Evans is brilliant at solving codes, but her work conflicts with her love life. Working with Theophilus Blackwell adds to that conflict, but she’s forced to function amid the chal
...more
Michael Offutt
May 01, 2012 Michael Offutt rated it it was amazing
The Sholes Key is a real page turner. It's a book that reminds me of Whispers by Dean Koontz. I don't know if any of you read any Dean Koontz, but it has that same edge-of-your-seat thrill that I expect from one of his novels.

The Sholes Key takes place in London, and Clarissa immerses us in action pretty much from page one. Furthermore, I got so into the story that I actually felt like I was in Britain. The dialogue carries the accents that you'd expect to hear when visiting there from America.
...more
Cherie
May 01, 2012 Cherie rated it really liked it
Clarissa Draper’s THE SHOLES KEY cracks the code on a thrilling mystery novel.

In London, Detective Inspector Theophilus Blackwell is searching for missing women while MI5 analyst Sophia Evans is working undercover to catch a bomber. When a strange code on the back of a photograph of a previously assumed missing person shows up in Sophia’s mailbox, Sophia is thrust from her undercover case into a murder mystery. Theo’s missing women’s case has become Sophia’s own, and the two must work together t
...more
Douglas Cook
Sep 01, 2013 Douglas Cook rated it it was amazing
I did not expect this book to be as good as it is. I downloaded it to my Kindle because it was an inexpensive mystery. I was delighted with the characters and with the complex plot.
I hope the author writes more in a hurry.

First paragraphs
Chapter 1 Sophia Evans darted into the forest. The looming trees surrounded her, casting shadows across her path. Only ten or twenty more steps, she was close. Arms out in front, she pushed the foliage away from her face and ran faster. Her heart pounded in her
...more
The Haunted Reading Room 2017 - Year of Lovecraft
Review of The Sholes Key by Clarissa Draper
Evans & Blackwell #1
5 stars

In this first of the Sophia Evans and Detective Inspector Theo Blackwell series, young single mothers are being targeted for abduction and subsequent killing. Blackwell understands it’s a serial killer involved, but the puzzling numerical and later, alphabetic, codes left with the victims make no sense; until he meets a government-employed cryptanalyst, the brilliant, and beautiful, Sophie Evans, whose current personal lif
...more
Gwyn
Mar 08, 2013 Gwyn rated it really liked it
While laid up with a broken arm, I discovered the world of free kindle books. Some were uneven and I wondered why I even kept reading, except that I just didn't have a lot of other recreational options at the time. This was not one of those. While the proofing was a bit lacking, as I've discovered is a bit typical, it was an enjoyable read that kept my interest through to the end. While some authors in the mystery genre lay out enough clues to help the reader begin to solve the "whodunnit," this ...more
Michelle
Dec 01, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
There are lots of puzzles, twists and turns in this edge-of-your-seat, mystery/suspense spy-thriller story.

The two main characters, a code breaker named Sophia Evans, who works as a cryptanalyst for M15, and an unhappy detective named Theo Blackwell, are thrown together during two different investigations. One deals with bombings which involve terrorists who belong to a violent animal rights group. The other deals with a serial killer who targets single mothers.

I love stories which contain code
...more
Lynda Young
May 01, 2012 Lynda Young rated it really liked it
Clarissa Draper's The Shole Key is a classic code cracking story, the type of story I love and it didn't disappoint. The two plot lines in the story had me intrigued from the start. The story followed Sophia Evans, the M15 analyst working undercover to catch an animal rights group responsible for bombings in London, and Theo Blackwell, a detective inspector on the case of a serial killer. Both characters were interesting and well-rounded and their stories merged nicely. The fast, yet comfortable ...more
Ann
May 19, 2013 Ann rated it liked it
The story is about Sophia Evans, an analyst, who is trying to decipher some cryptograms that are the key to stopping a serial killer. She is working on a case to trap a man who is behind bombings of animal shelters in the area when she is called in to assist in deciphering codes that appear at the scene of some ghastly murders of single mothers in the area. Detective Inspector Theophilis (Theo) Blackwell has enlisted her help and is helping her to solve both cases. This was a fast moving, excel ...more
Karen
Apr 28, 2013 Karen rated it liked it
I would have given this book four stars save for one thing: the whole sub-story with Marc. What was the purpose of that? I thought it detracted from the whole story. If the author wanted to give Theo and Sophia an opportunity to meet, there would have been easier, less awkward ways of doing that. I would have preferred to see the entire Marc/bombing story deleted and a blooming interest between Theo and Sophia develop throughout the story. There would have been plenty of emotional conflict given ...more
Michelle Jones
This book was a solid 3 stars, meaning I don't plan on reading it again, but would read this author again, especially as this is a first novel. Overall, the writing was fine, but the dialogue often felt stilted and some of the descriptions could have been better. While it took me awhile to warm up to the protagonists, by around halfway through the book I did start to become interested in them. I guess I just never felt fully absorbed by the book. It was fascinating enough, but never felt fully r ...more
Alysia
Mar 07, 2013 Alysia rated it liked it
I was kind of concerned about the tone the book would have when it started out with the rather dark imagery and tone of the killer. But that quickly went away and delved into the life of Sophia Evans. I ended up liking her, and rooting for her through the book. I felt the character development was nice and enjoyed the plot. I don't recall reading a book with the reasonings behind the killings being this way. It almost felt like "Criminal Minds" in some places. (one of my favorite shows.) I'd rec ...more
Sheryl
Jun 28, 2013 Sheryl rated it really liked it
There is more than one case going on at once in this book. Both are interesting. I got a little lost when Sophia was explaining about breaking a code for one of the cases. For the most part, the writing is good. A few times the writing felt awkward but not enough to dampen my overall interest in the story. I wish I had gotten more details about the two main characters of Sophia and Theo but I am assuming we will get more details in future books. I borrowed this book from Amazon for free from the ...more
Natascha
Mar 19, 2013 Natascha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charity Bradford
Jun 18, 2012 Charity Bradford rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-novels
Wow! My head is still spinning and I'm totally creeped out by all the secret watching and spying. This was a great read. Fast paced and intense. I'm glad there will be more books with Blackwell and Evans because they reminded me of Anne Perry's Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series--just modern London instead of Victorian London--and I ate those up.

The characters were distinctive and believable. I felt for Blackwell and his loss and worried over Sophia's need to see the good in certain people. Drape
...more
Kat Davis
Dec 21, 2014 Kat Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great mystery

Haven't read a really good British mystery in a while. This one was amazing! I thought the characters (except for the killer of course) were very relatable. Sophie was my favorite! A female version of Sherlock Holmes. The pacing and incredible brilliance were dead giveaways. It's a very smart British police procedural with a.storyline and characters that make sense and you can see being played out. I wouldn't definitely read anything more this author wrote, especially if these chara
...more
Kyra
May 02, 2012 Kyra rated it really liked it
The Sholes Key is a very interesting crime thriller, that will keep you turning the pages, even when you're so tired that you're fighting sleep!

My biggest criticism with the story overall was that there were a few times when the dialogue seemed a little unusual. The use of Britishisms were occasionally too incorrect for me to ignore, but for the most part, it flowed well.

That said, The Sholes Key is a very enjoyable read and I found it really hard to put down! I would certainly recommend it.
Becky
Aug 12, 2013 Becky rated it it was ok
It was good till Evens and Blackwell started to figure out who the killer was on info the writer had not shared with the reader. I like to figure it out with the investigator, match wits and test my skills of discovery. The writer took that privilege and fun away in the last few chapters. Almost like they did not know how to wrap it up with the clues they had given so far. It felt like she threw a bunch of new things together so as to be able to finish the book.
Glynis Smy
May 01, 2012 Glynis Smy rated it it was amazing
Loved the fast pace action and the characters. The clever code expert and the unhappy police inspector worked well together. Ms Draper kept throwing in a red-herring to keep me scratching my head. Scenes played out in my mind, and I felt frustrated when I had to put the book down.

A totally satisfying read.
Carol
Sep 03, 2012 Carol rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book (a freebie on my Kindle), the plot and storyline were intriguing, but, I must admit, there were a few places where I found some comments a bit confusing and unrelated to the story.

A good read for a free one, and I would try another by Clarissa Draper, but not in my top 10!
Sherry
Feb 02, 2014 Sherry rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2014
Another well done mystery in the Blackwell and Evans series -- the first of that series I've read. Blackwell is a London DI and Evans works undercover for the Gov. They both become involved in each other's work when a serial Killer targets Evans, communicating through a code left on the victims post mortem. I enjoy the story world of London.
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