Fighting depression in a Toronto psychiatric ward, Cordi must throw herself back into harm's way when another patient dies. Was it murder?
Struggling to escape the sticky blackness of clinical depression, zoologist Cordi O’Callaghan is admitted to a psychiatric ward in Toronto. As she slowly recovers, one of the patients dies. Cordi must convince a skeptical medical staff that the woman has been murdered, while healing her own mind at the same time. Her suspects include medical personnel and patients suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, OCD, and panic disorder. Martha, Cordi’s lab technician, tries in dramatic fashion to help Cordi solve the murder, while Jacques, a recovering alcoholic, helps out and steals Cordi’s heart along the way.
Suzanne F. Kingsmill has a B.A. in English literature, a B.Sc. in biology, and a M.Sc. in zoology. She is the author of four murder mysteries starring Cordi O'Callaghan and four non-fiction books and has written numerous magazine articles. She lives in Toronto.
Psychiatric wards are such a great place to set a mystery, holds such a flavor of the unknown. This is where Cordy finds herself, committed by her brother after falling prey to a debilitating depression. When she finds one of her roommates dead, she begins to believe strange things are going on and secrets are being kept. She also believes she may be the next victim.
Didn't notice this was a fourth book in the series when I requested it but believe I would have had a more in depth understanding of Cordy, her friends and family situation. Found this book to be interesting, not knowing who was on the level or not, seems all these seriously ill people had secrets of some sort or another. Was interesting to read about the various groups provided in situations such as these and the book did keep me reading. The ending, I felt was somewhat abrupt after the long drawn out storyline to get is there, though it was a surprise. At least for me.
Zoologist Cordi O’Callaghan, after having almost died solving a previous case, finds herself immersed in depression. She has suffered with this before, but her brother finally had to get her out of bed and checked into a psychiatric ward at a Toronto hospital.
As she is recovering and joining the world again, one of the other patients dies, in the bed next Cordi. Cordi sees her lying there with her eyes open and a silk scarf around her neck.
Almost before she knows it, the girl is whisked away and no one believes her. Her suspects include a dubious medical staff, other patients who are suffering from a myriad of mental illnesses … schizophrenia, Bipolarism, Alcoholism, Panic Disorder, Paranoia. And even her own brother is acting suspiciously.
She then meets Jacques, hospitalized for alcoholism, who seems to be the only person who believes her. But when several attempts on her life occur, she’s not sure she can trust him. Is he really who he says he is? Is anything the way it seems?
This was a surprising read for me. With a new author, one never knows what they’ll get. This was a well-written book. Cordi is a strong character, even when she’s fighting her depression. There are lots of interesting suspects … after a while I thought they were all guilty. The ending really took me by surprise!
I would like to go back and read the first 3 books in this series. Without peeking, I bet her backstory is terrific.
Many thanks to the author / Dundurn / NetGalley who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Crazy Dead is the fourth book in the Cordi O'Callaghan Mystery series, but it works fine as a stand-alone. I didn't have any problems following the story although I haven't read any of the previous books. Struggling with severe depression, Cordi becomes an in-patient on a psychiatric ward at a Toronto hospital. One morning, she discovers one of her roommates dead in bed. Cordi believes Mavis was murdered. But the staff tell her she has it all wrong, Mavis isn't dead at all, just sick and has been moved. But Cordi knows. She starts investigating her fellow patients as well as doctors and nurses to find out why someone would have wanted Mavis dead. I enjoyed the mystery aspect of the plot. The author did a fantastic job of keeping the reader guessing right to the end. It was impossible to know whom Cordi could trust. I even started doubting her brother Ryan. I was really intrigued by the rather unusual setting of a mental health facility as a backdrop for a cozy mystery, which is why I picked this book up in the first place. I know zilch about mental health provision in Canada, so as my questions accumulated, I decided I had to simply accept several things that I found a little difficult to believe. The story kept me engaged. It's a good read if you enjoy being mystified. 3.5 stars. I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I received a copy of Crazy Dead by Suzanne F. Kingsmill through NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you to Dundurn Publishing and to Ms. Kingsmill for the opportunity.
Suzanne F. Kingsmill takes you along the endless, winding hallways of a mental health hospital through her main character, Cordi O'Callaghan. Cordi has suffered under the clutches of depression since she was a child. She lays on her bed staring up at the ceiling trying to make sense of a seagull-shaped stain she finds there. Confusion seems to be her bed partner. How did it come to this? Cordi by profession is a zoology professor at the University of Toronto. That in itself is driven by high-performing cognitive abilities, but Cordi is emotionally under-performing at the moment.
We are introduced to an array of roommates and fellow members of this "new society" that Cordi finds herself a citizen of. She picks up on the quirks and questionable behaviors of each while trying to make sense of her own confusions. And those confusions are cogs in this giant wheel turning round and round at arm's length of Cordi. She awakens to find the woman in the next bed, Mavis, dead with a red scarf tied around her neck. In a panic, Cordi flies out the door seeking help. But Cordi is told by the nurse that Mavis is not dead as they quickly wheel Mavis out. But Cordi knows better......
And the elusive cat and mouse game begins. Kingsmill made me feel like a card-carrying member of this society myself standing in line waiting for my own meds. What exactly is real here? What did Cordi see in her room in the wee hours of that ominous morning? And why does everyone negate what Cordi saw?
Kingsmill presents an eerie storyline with her characters handing off droplets of information that you hold out your hands for. A convoluted reality or otherwise? I enjoyed Crazy Dead because it was fast-paced and not bulky heavy-lifting. Cordi may just hold some of the missing cards from that mysterious deck placed near your own elbow.
Crazy Dead!!! First things first: I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley. The book comes out june 25th and it's worth checking out.
So when I decided to start reading this book, I actually found out that this is the 4th book in a series. I haven't read the others but I didn't feel like it mattered. I got into the story really quick and found some really likeable characters really fast.
The story is about Cordi O’Callaghan, who finds herself in a psychiatric ward in Toronto. As she slowly recovers, one of the patients dies. Cordi must convince a skeptical medical staff that the woman has been murdered, while healing her own mind at the same time. Her suspects include medical personnel and patients suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, OCD, and panic disorder. Martha, Cordi’s lab technician, tries in dramatic fashion to help Cordi solve the murder, while Jacques, a recovering alcoholic, helps out and steals Cordi’s heart along the way. (x)
Cordi turned really quickly in one of those characters that I wanted to take out of the story and put her under a blanket and drink tea with her, so things would stop happening to her. The side characters were really great too (I love Martha and her friendship with Cordi so much).
I think that all the mental stuff was really well researched and written. And the mystery. It was so great and kept me guessing throughout the book. And then the last chapter happens and I was so frustrated and excited at the same time. I didn't think that the story would go there.
Because I really love Cordi as a character, I'm actually going to read the other books in the series that came before this one.
The premise of the story is what caught my attention, and the reason I requested it. Solving a murder at a psych ward while being a patient seemed right up my alley.
Cordi, the main character, did not set well with me. I couldn't tune into her story. I didn't realize this was a book in a series (totally my bad). Had I paid attention to this, I probably would have skipped it. I suppose the character development takes place in the previous books. I was intrigued by the story, but my annoyance with the character grew by the page.
The discussions on CBT were too clinical (and I'm a CBT therapist!), I felt as if I had stumbled into an educational vignette during some passages of the story. I think the focus on Scientology was distracting and odd. I didn't know what to do with all that information. I predicted the end about half way through the book.
I wanted to like this book a bit more, but I couldn't. I give it three stars because it kept me interested and engaged even when I rolled my eyes a few times toward the end.
I received an ARC through NetGalley and Dundurn Publishers in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
I really wasn't feeling this one. The plot-outline sounds great. The setting of a psychiatric ward was unique and sounded like it would make for an interesting story. But it didn't. And it bums me out. The pacing felt all over the place. Certain mundane sections would drag on needlessly, yet the climax felt rushed. The characters felt one dimensional and I ended up not really caring about what happened to them. My biggest issue, though, was the writing style. This was like, a hard-core first person narrative. For this review, I just flipped to a random page of the book for a random sampling. The word "I", in its various forms (I, I'm, I'd etc) was used 17 times on that page (page 13 on my pdf). It just got a bit much. I found it really took me out of the story and made the whole thing feel clunky.
**I received this copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Dundurn! What a scary book. I don't mean the murder, the suspects or the setting as much as the main subject: mental illness. I am lucky enough not to have suffered from it, but people close to me have been clinically depressed and I know it's not a question of "pulling up your socks," as one of the characters says. When the enemy is an "other," someone else you can fight against, things are arguably easier than when you're fighting your own mind. Now, the author could have chosen to have the main character be a journalist or an undercover cop. That would have been easier - a "sane," reliable person. But Kingsmill makes the gutsy decision to make the lead an actual mental patient. She suffers from crippling depression but she is getting better. Finding one of her roommates dead in her bed is a shock but, will it wake her up or set her back? Being that she is sick and she knows it, how much can she rely on her own mind? I can't say much more other than I never saw this coming. It is a great story.
Cordi has suffered with mental illness for so long her brother was forced to put her in a mental institution. While there, she wakes up only to find her roommate dead. Or is she? While no one believes her, Cordi sets out to prove them wrong , or are they? While on her quest to find the killer Cordi's life is threatened several times. She also unraveled some interesting things about other patients, doctors and nurses. You will not be disappointed with this book nor, do I believe you will figure out the ending. A wonderful book that keeps you mystified! I also loved the way Suzanne Kingsmill made me feel like I was right there with Cordi. She has an excellent gift for writing!
Thank you NetGalley and Dundurn for allowing me to read this book. It's the first I've read by Suzanne Kingsmill and definitely won't be the last!
Cordi has suffered with mental illness for so long her brother was forced to put her in a mental institution. This book was interesting, fun and some parts confusing yet fun. While in the institution she not only questions everyone and everything but she finds her roommate dead or is she? While on her quest to find the killer Cordi's life is threatened several times. She also unraveled some interesting things about other patients, doctors and nurses. You will not be disappointed with this book nor, do I believe you will figure out the ending. I am very lucky to have gotten a chance to read this book before it comes out thank you NetGalley the author for writing such a book and Dundurn.
Interesting setting and a well written character in Cordi made this an intriguing, if confusing, mystery. Small details bothered me a bit - clearly inpatients in Canadian mental health facilities have far more latitude to leave the hospital (and where did Cordi get money to buy coffee etc.?) and I wondered how Martha managed to get herself into the exact position she did, even if she did it unwisely to help Cordi (or did she?) You will finish this book with as many questions as you started with. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Recommend this if you enjoy twisty mysteries that make you question your assumptions.
The overall story is good. It gives ideas of what patients in a mental hospital feel about being there. The main character Is well written out… The only thing about the book is I felt like it dragged out a lot. Like the author was figuring what else to add to the novel. That is the reason why it took me so long to finish it. Don’t get me wrong the story line is great and the ending really surprises you. It just takes a bit to get there.
I liked the story and definitely became confused in the story who was crazy and confused, who was the murderer. I like the character ofs Cordi and jaque.. full of twist and turns. It is easy to see how clinical depression and medication can cause an individual to feel lost and confused..
Struggling to escape the sticky blackness of clinical depression, zoologist Cordi O’Callaghan is admitted to a psychiatric ward in Toronto. As she slowly recovers, one of the patients dies. Cordi must convince a skeptical medical staff that the woman has been murdered, while healing her own mind at the same time. Her suspects include medical personnel and patients suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, OCD, and panic disorder. Martha, Cordi’s lab technician, tries in dramatic fashion to help Cordi solve the murder, while Jacques, a recovering alcoholic, helps out and steals Cordi’s heart along the way."
CRAZY DEAD a terrific book! The fact Cordi is left defenseless by her depression is unnerving. You will feel the need to try and guide her to the right path. This book intrigued me because the setting is in Canada. Also, the brave subject of mental health. T couldn't possibly name all the developed characters. Each contains a mini story of their own. Cordi's brother Ryan is the one who dropped her off at the psychiatric hospital. She felt emotionless and non-existent. Therapy and medicine aided her to begin a daily routine in the hospital. The employees at the hospital are tantalizing and complex. They become woven into the drama and tale. The mention of ECT and Scientology also had my attention. Cordi experiences many events. The twist is we are not certain if they are real, or delusions. Delusions are believable! As long as the main event is plausible. Put yourself in the scenario along with the patient, and all the facts and events become real!Everything is obvious! Why doesn't everyone else see! Everyone else is wrong! How do we know if someone if delusional when they seem so normal. We begin to question ourselves on the facts surrounding Cordi. The author wrote an outstanding book for us to read and decipher. I feel as if I missed out on the obvious, and should reread the book! I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I give this book five stars. Kris
From the cover: Fighting depression in a Toronto psychiatric ward, Cordi must throw herself back into harm's way when another patient dies. Was it murder? Struggling to escape the sticky blackness of clinical depression, zoologist Cordi O Callaghan is admitted to a psychiatric ward in Toronto. As she slowly recovers, one of the patients dies. Cordi must convince a skeptical medical staff that the woman has been murdered, while healing her own mind at the same time. Her suspects include medical personnel and patients suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, OCD, and panic disorder. Martha, Cordi s lab technician, tries in dramatic fashion to help Cordi solve the murder, while Jacques, a recovering alcoholic, helps out and steals Cordi s heart along the way."
This is the fourth book in the series, but the first one I have read. It is a good stand-alone book. I haven’t read many books where the setting is a psychiatric ward. Cordi, main character, is strong-yes she’s in a psych ward, but as she starts to come out of her depression the reader can determine that she is strong, capable and is used to being independent. The book was quite interesting to me. I really couldn’t figure out who was really being the ‘bad’ person in the book. The story was a little drawn out but I did not lose interest in reading the book. The ending was a bit of a surprise to me.
I received the book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.
The book begins with Cordi being returned to the psychiatric ward in Toronto by her brother, Ryan. She has not been committed and can leave the ward whenever she desires. Her doctor, Dr. Osborn, does request she stay in the ward a couple times, for her own safety. She wakes up one morning to discover her roommate has been murdered. She knows Mavis was murdered. The doctors and nurses tell everyone it is a mistake, Mavis is not dead, she got sick and was taken to the hospital. Cordi begins to search for the truth, was Mavis really dead? Is she in danger herself? Who can she trust? Did Ella, the nurse missing one finger, do something to Mavis? Is Ella now trying to hurt Cordi? Suzanne made me feel like I was a part of the group living with Cordi. I found myself questioning then believing her. I found myself pulling for her every time she found a clue as to who killed Mavis. I felt her comfortableness when she was with Ryan and the family and trying to get others to understand her. Once I began reading, I fought having to put it down for work, sleep, driving. I did put it down for driving, but it was a challenge. I have to go back and read the first few books and hope there are more in the future! I was offered the opportunity to read Crazy Dead by Suzanne F. Kingsmill- by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
2.5/5 - I don't usually start with book 4 of a mystery series but the plot of this one just sounded too good to pass on. Unfortunately, it didn't meet my expectations.The whole plot and the characters were too far-fetched and just not plausible. I just can't imagine real people reacting the way these characters did. The ending is very weird and totally unsatisfying. I'm not sure if it is a "too be continued" or it signifies the end of the series.I kind of feel like I might be more clued in if I'd read the first books, but on the other hand, the book read well, not ever hardly mentioning the previous plots or characters. The whole book is a bit of a mess, really. Though something tells me that if I happened upon the first book in this series I'd probably read it just to make sure it wasn't because I starting in the wrong place with the books.
Crazy Dead was Crazy Good! Wow, the ending was jaw dropping fantabulous! I sped through this book. It was a little slow at the very beginning until everything got introduced. Here's your exit doors, here's the lights leading to the exit doors and here's your masks, blah, blah, blah. And then, wow we were poised and ready for take off. What a ride! I truly enjoyed it. I went back and forth trying to decide if this girl was nuts or was she really caught up in some coverup. The things they do to her to make her forget the murder are crazy.
I really liked this book a lot. Huge thanks to Dundurn and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
Cordi O'Callaghan is working her way out of major depression in a psych ward. She sees another patient, one of her roommates, dead, but the staff insists the woman was merely ill and had to be moved. Hmmm. Cordi doesn't know who she can trust and who might have killed the woman, who was healthy other than her mental illness. It gets worse when someone tries to kill Cordi--more than once.
The book was strange, but that can be expected when the protagonist is mentally ill, as are many of the other main characters. And I can't say anything more, without spoiling elements of the plot.
Really enjoyed this. It takes place in Toronto which I always enjoy. Most of the action takes place inside a Toronto mental hospital and I found the discussions of various illnesses very interesting and sometimes illuminating.