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Brain Storm

(Angela Richman, Death Investigator #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  694 ratings  ·  123 reviews

The ultrawealthy families of Chouteau Forest may look down on a woman like death investigator Angela Richman, but they also rely on her. When a horrific car crash kills a Forest teenager, Angela is among the first on the scene. Her investigation is hardly underway, however, when she suffers a series of crippling strokes. Misdiagnosed by the resident neurologist, Dr. Gravoi

Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by Thomas & Mercer
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  694 ratings  ·  123 reviews

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3.5 stars

I wish to thank Goodreads Giveaways, Net Galley, Thomas & Mercer and Ms. Elaine Viets for the gift of a copy of Brain Storm in exchange for an unbiased review.

I went into Brain Storm knowing very little about the story. I did know that Ms. Viets has written a number of cozy mysteries, but that this one was a bit darker than her previous works. Only after I finished did I see in the author’s notes that parts of the book are based on her real life! Apparently Ms. Viets sought help at an e
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
Brain Storm (Death Investigator Angela Richman #1) by Elaine Viets is a great start to a new proposed series!

Angela Richman has to overcome her near death medical conditions to solve the murder of Dr. Gravois, loved by all in the hospital, but not Angela because he misdiagnosed and almost killed her. She wants to save the brilliant, but arrogant and gauche Dr. Jeb Travis Tritt, who saved her life and now could end up on Death Row. There is also an Angel of Death nurse working the wards in the ho
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Elaine Viets has penned another great new series. This one is quite different than her other series. The protagonist Angela Richman is a Death Investigator whom Ms. Viets has incorporated her own personal history too. Angela suffers from several strokes at the beginning of the book and has major brain surgery the same as Ms.Viets suffered from several years ago.
Angela is working hard at getting back to where she was before she had the strokes but it’s taking a bit of time and effort to get the
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, kindle
3.5 stars

I've had this book on my Kindle for a long time and decided to read some backlog of books. This is a cozy novel which I did not realize when I purchased this book. Good book but not what I was expecting. I did however appreciate the author's courage and honesty in describing the character's (and the author's) experience with a true brain storm (massive stroke). Recommend to those who like cozy mysteries with a little more gruesome details.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The start of the Death Investigator series. This book is set in a small town located in Missouri. It is called Forest and the first families control the town and it has two class distinction. Angela Richman's parents had served the first family their entire life. Angela was trained as the town death investigator. The story begins as she has been called to investigate the death on one of it first children in a drag race. All involved are members of the elite.
Angela has blinding headaches. On a vi
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
One thing's for sure: The title couldn't be any more perfect. And although I'm a bit less enthusiastic about the rest of the book, it's a solid launch for what I expect to be a series. I'm a huge fan of medically induced dramas (characters like Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta, Tess Gerritsen's Maura Isles and yes, even James Patterson's Claire Washburn (she of the Women's Murder Club series) are among my favorites), and this one introduced me to a whole new profession: Death investigator. It i ...more
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Angela Richman is a Death Investigator whose life is upended when she suffers a series of strokes after being misdiagnosed and sent home by Dr. Gravois. While she is recovering in the hospital, he is murdered and the chief suspect is Dr. Tritt who is the surgeon who saved her life after Dr. Gravois' misdiagnosis. Everyone at the hospital despises Tritt because he is not part of the tight knit society that Gravois was.

Angela is determined to find the real killer and clear Tritt's name despite th
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another new to me author. I am actually glad that Angela had to cope with her situation. It brought me closer to her and made me see her as a real person and not just a character in a story. There were a few stumbling blocks along the way with Angela as she did not always come off as confident in her skills and knowledge. Yet, she is able to keep a clear head. I expect that in the next book I will see Angela grow stronger.

If you like a good mystery story with good characters and writing than yo
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
I’m a fan of Elaine Viets’ Dead End Job series and was looking forward to this new series featuring Angela Richman, a death investigator in Missouri. The book started out well with Angela investigating two deaths while battling what she thinks are severe migraines. Angela lands in the hospital having suffered multiple strokes. The majority of the story takes place while she is recuperating. I thought it was drawn out too long wit repetitive scenes. It was particularly hard to believe that the ne ...more
Linda Baker
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Angela Richman is a Death Investigator in a small affluent Missouri community known as the "Forest". Even though she is a life-long resident she is not one of the insiders. Her parents worked on one of the estates but Angela is not one of the old money pedigreed families. Despite that she is a well regarded, award winning member of the local police force. She is at a very difficult scene, one in which one teenager is killed and another severely injured. Drinking, pot and texting are involved. By ...more
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Angela Richman is a death investigator in the southern town of Chouteau Forest, MIssouri when strange deaths start showing up at Sisters of Soul hospital. Her friend Katie , one of the medical examiners reports to Angela about the deaths. Too many to be a coincidence. But before Angela and Katie can team up to try to sort it out, Angela has a massive stroke that should have killed her. She is saved by the brilliant Dr Tritt, but she almost died because of the lack of treatment by Dr Gravois.
Tricia Douglas
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
This is my first book by Viets. It was recommended to me by someone on Goodreads. I liked Angela Richman, a death investigator, and how she works around a couple of cases even though she is laid up in the hospital due to a series of small strokes. I will continue the series with the next book which is listed at a higher rating than this one. I thought this was a good book with enough entertainment value to keep me occupied for a couple of days!
Patricia Gulley
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it
I wondered if the medical side of this book had to do with the author's illness, it read like a personal journey. Mystery was interesting, but it took a back seat to the medical issue and all the side stories that were a bit interesting got ended as if an after thought. ...more
Sep 06, 2016 rated it liked it
#1 in the Angela Richman series. I'll start by saying that I have read the previous 29 novels in author Viets other three series and enjoyed them all. I'm of two minds about this book. I found it to have an inconsistent focus. On the one hand there are the medical issues which befall the protagonist, and are taken from the author's personal experience. These are treated seriously and with rage about the faulty diagnosis which lead to the series of strokes. There are also issues with the protagon ...more
Laura Salas
Aug 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
I was intrigued by the premise of this book, but I didn't get very far into it before giving up. There was so much jumping around in chronology that I felt both disoriented and apathetic. I didn't ever have a chance to really get into the main character's head and situation because the narrator constantly jumps in to tell us something from the past or future. For instance, on Sunday:

"Angela faked it on the phone and managed to sound alert, but she was too dizzy and heartsick to enjoy her tiny tr
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Super start to a new series

I haven't read any other of author Viets' books, which I understand are cozy mysteries, but I sure enjoyed this first book in the Angela Richman series.

Angela Richman, the protagonist of this story, lives in Chouteau County, Missouri, a predominately wealthy enclave, and is a death investigator for the county. She investigates all the deaths in the county— murders, accidents, and overdoses— that don’t happen under a doctor’s care. She's 41 years old and has been doing
Sheila Beaumont
The first in a promising new series by Elaine Viets, Brain Storm introduces death investigator Angela Richman, who suffers a series of six strokes after a misdiagnosis in the emergency room. She was told that she was too young and too fit to have a stroke. After the arrogant doctor responsible for the misdiagnosis is murdered in the hospital cafeteria, the socially inept surgeon who saved Angela's life is arrested for the murder. It's up to Angela, who is still recovering from the strokes and ex ...more
Paula Adams
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This book was quite different from the cozy mysteries she usually writes. Angela is a death investigator who suffers from horrible headaches. She goes to the ER and they send her home. During the night the attacks begins. She has to have emergency brain surgery by a very unpopular surgeon but very talented. She is put in a medically induced coma for 3 weeks and when she comes out of it her life is so different. She has to face the facts with the help of her friend Katie, the ME. Everyday she get ...more
Sarah Monsma
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was intrigued by the premise of this book because Angela, the main character, is a death investigator, working with the police department and the medical examiner to be eyes and ears at the scene of a death. The tail quickly becomes a medical mystery as well as early forties and fit Angela suffers a series of strokes and nearly dies. As Angela struggles to regain her facilities after 19 days in a medically induced coma, she also tries to solve a hospital mystery.

I've not read Elaine Viet's mys
Marisa Young
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A death investigator is misdiagnosed at the hospital and she ends up having several strokes. A surgeon saves her life. She then discovers that the doctor who did the misdiagnosis is murdered and her surgeon is believed to be the one responsible.. She uses her skills to try and clear the surgeon.

The interesting fact is the author uses her real life misdiagnosis and strokes in developing this book.

Great characters - great story.
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Tightly written murder mystery. Be sure to read beginning of the Acknowledgements at the end after you finish. Better than Evanovich or Grafton.
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
So I read Brain Storm since it was the first book in Ms. Viets current series (our book club is planning to read book two for our October meeting and I don't like to read out of order). Sadly it was a disappointment.

There were some nice nuances reminiscent of Ms. Viets time in St. Louis that are still true today: plenty of old-moneyed families who only trust their "own", many actual local names dropped into character names for effect (Dr. Gravois, Chouteau Forest, Emily Hanley Du Pres), and
May 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I am so behind on reading Elaine Viets' books. This has been on my "Want to read" shelf for years. I have enjoyed her Dead End and Mystery Shopper series. This one is a little darker, but still exudes her signature writing style. You know this is a Viets book right away. And the shocker is reading the author's afterward and discovering that this book is based on her personal experience. Congratulations, Elaine, on surviving and thriving after a massive stroke.

I finished this in one day. Reading
Jeannie L. Stuckey
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was interesting, but rather slow-reading. I didn't know if it was supposed to be a medical story, or a murder mystery. It tried to be both, but I don't think it succeeded very well in making the medical problem very believable, for trying to present the problem of an ncompetent Dr. who was subsequently murdered. There was another who sounds like a country boob, but is portrayed as a skilled surgeon and life-saver. These were some problems I had with the book, but still I felt it was worth r ...more
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I've read All of Elaine Viet's Cozies and loved them. I couldn't wait to read this and I was not disappointed.

It's is not a cozy in any way shape or form, if that is what you're looking for it's not this book.
If you are looking for a book with fantastic characters and a heroine who is not afraid to stand for what she thinks is right. Mystery and suspense that will keep you reading, then this is your book.
One warning, don't start it at bedtime, especially if you have to work the next day. You may
Joan Cochran
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well, I've read and giggled through quite a few of Viets' dead end job mysteries. I'd heard she was planning to take another direction but was still surprised by this novel. It's a fascinating study of an individual's encounter with a massive stroke (and horrible doctor) and what amazed me was her ability to superimpose a mystery over that -- or maybe weave a mystery around the events of a stroke. What was interesting and clever was how the stroke gave Angela access to so many of the clues to th ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dang, this book has it all! Multiple murders, lots of interesting CSI and forensics information, dangerous situations, devious criminals, numerous crimes in progress... a whole slew of characters for misdirection... I found the whole plot fascinating, and the title perfect! I couldn't put it down, even if the main character was a bit excessively off-her-rocker a few times (with good excuse, at least, though I feel it was an unnecessary inclusion). I'm going to have to request my library acquire ...more
Micki Hughes-zitar
May 30, 2019 rated it liked it
A good mystery where I didn’t know who the killer was till the end. However I felt like it took forever to get to the murder. We, as the readers, do need backstory of the main character and the person being murdered but I felt like it took more then half way to get to the actual murder. And I didn’t really like the death investigators best friend. She got in my nerves and I felt was pretty rude at times. This was very well researched on brain trauma and the effects afterwards though. A different ...more
Crystal Toller
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brain Storm

This was a very good book. Angela Richman has six strokes and undergoes brain surgery after being misdiagnosed in the ER. The story of her recovery also includes the death of the doctor who misdiagnosed her and a billing scam. When she confronts the murderer she almost dies too. Another great book by Elaine Viets told from her own personal experience. Highly recommend this book.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I had not read any of this author's previous books but the premise of this sounded interesting. It was very drawn out and repetitive. Way too much of the recuperating and not enough of the mystery for me. I felt a little bad when I ready the author's personal story and found that she had suffered the multiple strokes described in the novel. No wonder she wrote about it in such detail. However, I was looking for a good read and found this slow and not easy to get through. ...more
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As a young girl, Elaine Viets was taught the virtues of South St. Louis: the importance of hard work, housecleaning, and paying cash. She managed to forget almost everything she learned, which is why she turned to mystery writing.

Living in South Florida has not improved her character. But it has given her the bestselling Dead-End Job series. Like her amateur detective, Helen Hawthorne, Elaine actu

Other books in the series

Angela Richman, Death Investigator (4 books)
  • Fire and Ashes (Angela Richman, Death Investigator #2)
  • Ice Blonde (Angela Richman, Death Investigator #3)
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