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Molten Mud Murder

(Alexa Glock Mysteries #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Is the past better left undisturbed, or unearthed?

When a body is found half-submerged in a molten mud pot in one of Rotorua's famous geothermal wonderlands, forensics expert Alexa Glock spots a way to prolong her stay in New Zealand, which she has been visiting for work. Teeth are her expertise, and the investigation needs her help, as other ways of identifying the body may
Published March 5th 2019 by Poisoned Pen Press
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  64 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book reacquainted me with one of my favourite places, Rotorua, New Zealand. The author vividly describes. Its geothermal activity, the geysers, bubbling, boiling mud pools, and nearly magical cave where glow worms light up the walls and ceilings. We are also introduced to Maori culture, traditions and artwork. About 36% of this small city is of Maori origin.

Forensic expert, Alexis Glock, an American, has been teaching at a university in N.Z. Her contract has ended and she wants to stay in
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery, arc
Molten Mud Murder by Sara E. Johnson is the first book in a new mystery series that proved to be entertaining.

Alexa Glock is from the United States and has been in New Zealand working at university but her class is now finished and she's at loose ends. She's fiercely independent but facing a crossroads in her personal life which often entered her thoughts throughout the book. The mystery is smoothly paced and there were few suspects to consider. Ms. Johnson's descriptive writing of N
Aug 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The scene for the first Alexa Glock mystery fascinates. A body discovered in a New Zealand mud pot, similar to the ones found in Yellowstone National Park, provides an opportunity for North Carolina forensics expert Alexa Glock to assist the local police with their investigation. Although the boiled corpse leaves few clues, Alexa carefully uncovers a couple which assist the investigation. Maori customs and culture plays a part in the investigation. Glock inserts herself into the investigation, o ...more
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, cozy-mystery, e-books
The first book of the Alexa Glock series takes yoi to New Zealand and to about some the customs of the Maori people. Alexa is a forensic expert who worked for the North Carolina Investigation Bureau. She has been teaching a class about forensics in Zealand and now planning on a visit to Rotorua for a funeral of a closed friend. While there an unidentified man is found in one of the mudpots. Detective Inspector Bruce Horne hires Alexa for help in identifying the victim and forensic evidence on th ...more
Megan Leprich
Thank you so much to Author Marketing Experts and Sara Johnson for sending me a free copy of this book for my review.

I ended up DNFing this book at about the 180 page mark. I think I’ve finally realized that mystery books that deal with different culture’s politics and detective work just isn’t my thing. I don’t understand the names of the characters or their language and that’s one thing with these books that kind of bugs me, I like to be able to have all of the information and be able to pron
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Molten Mud Murder, despite the alliterative title, is not a cozy mystery, more along the lines of a police procedural. Alexa is an American Forensic Odontologist with a work visa, who finds herself between jobs in New Zealand. She becomes attached to a police department investigating a murder involving a man being murdered and dumped in boiling mud. The case needs to handled with cultural sensitivity as it involves trespasses onto protected Maori lands, the handling of remains, and the thefts of ...more
It's always fun to discover a debut author who writes an atmospheric mystery with an interesting sleuth. Sara E. Johnson takes readers to New Zealand in Molten Mud Murder. I hope readers appreciate the descriptions of the country, and the details of the culture of the Maoris. The debut mystery is rich in such details.

Rotorua, New Zealand is famous for the geothermal lands, similar to Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. The thermal activity has created mud pots, and there's an unide
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.25 Stars

This is the first book in the Alexa Glock mystery series by Sara E. Johnson.

This story is set in New Zealand which I thought was fascinating. Alexa pretty much forces herself into the investigation in the beginning of this. A great bright spot in this book was the character of Detective Inspector Bruce Horne. He really great on me as the book progressed and honestly was the aspect that really kept me reading.

Maybe it was just me but every time they s
November Is Nyarlathotep The Haunted Reading Room
MOLTEN MUD MURDER is an engrossing murder mystery set in beautifully scenic New Zealand's North Island. At once a police procedural, a narrative of forensics, a romantic suspense, and an unfolding mystery set against a backdrop of divergent cultures and an often ugly history, this novel kept me riveted. Forensic odontologist Alexa Glock is a strong protagonist, despite her tragic past, determined to persevere in unraveling this puzzling case. I hope her adventures (North Carolinian temporarily t ...more
I chose to read this book based on the location being in Rotorua, New Zealand and the setting is definitely the highlight here. The author gives us a great sense of place and does an outstanding job sharing the Maori culture of the area. However, that was its only strength for me. I thoroughly disliked the main character, finding her pushy, arrogant and self-centered. Do this one get 5 stars for location and culture but only 2 stars for the rest of the book, giving it 3 stars overall.

I received
Becky B
Alexa Glocke is a forensics expert who specializes in odontology. Originally from North Carolina, she has just finished a semester at a university in New Zealand when she hears about a bizarre murder. A man has been found with his head boiled in one of the Rotorua mud pots. Alexa is looking for a way to stay in New Zealand a little longer, so she volunteers her services to the local police force working on the murders. She soon learns that the case is a tricky one. Rotorua has a high Maori popul ...more
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Alexa Glock is a forensic expert and has finished her work placement for her second degree in forensic odontology. The good friend she made, from New Zealand, had offered to show her around the island when she finished her placement, but instead Alexa has been given the bad news of her friend’s sudden death. On her way to see her friend’s family and to attend the funeral, she reads of an unusual case. A man’s body has been found head down in a geothermal mud pit, in Rotorua, where her friends fa ...more
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

Molten Mud Murder is the first book in a new forensic crime series by Sara E. Johnson. Set in New Zealand, main character Alexa Glock has to navigate differing cultures (both aboriginal and white) and try to find her place in a murder investigation in which she has inserted herself as a needed professional in forensic odontology.

Released 3rd Sept 2019 by Poisoned Pen Press, it's 320 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats.

This is a stron
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
While this was a satisfying mystery, the draw for me wasn't so much the character of Alexa or the murder mystery she set out to solve. The draw was the location and the Maori culture. One day I might just get to visit New Zealand but, until I do pack my bags and go, this will fill in nicely.
Alex is an American teaching a university class in Rotoua and she has fallen in love with it. Her visitor status is at its conclusion and she wants to figure out how to stay longer. Her speciality is odontol
Grace Koshida
Alexa Glock is an American forensics expert specializing in odontology. Her fellowship in New Zealand has ended but she wants to extend her stay. Then Alexa reads about a man's body submerged in a molten mud pot near Lake Rotorua. Coincidentally, Alexa is going to Rotorua to attend the funeral of her friend Mary, so she offers her forensic expertise to the local police. Fortunately for Alexa, the Auckland forensic expert has to return home for a family emergency so Detective Inspector Bruce Horn ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Received this book from Sara Johnson and Poison Pen Press in the Giveaways.
I really enjoyed this book especially since I have been to New Zealand in the area in which the story was set. The author incorporated the beautiful setting along with Maori traditions & culture, not too much technical forensics and a good mystery.
The story centers around a young woman, Alexa Glock, who is attending a friend's funeral and gets interested in a murder in Rotorua. She in only in New
joyce w. laudon
Molten Mud Murder is published by the excellent Poisoned Pen Press, a small press that is dedicated to mystery fiction. This is author Johnson's first novel and the first in a projected series.

American protagonist, Alexa, is a forensics examiner whose specialty is teeth. She has come to New Zealand on a fellowship, falls in love with the country and wants to stay longer. She manages to insert herself into the murder case involving a city counselor.

What I struggled with a little: Ale
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fine whodunit with insights into the Maori culture still thriving in New Zealand🔎

🔍I love a good novel set in New Zealand and a compelling murder mystery with a smart female lead. Author Sara Johnson provided both in this tale of clashing cultures and greed set in New Zealand's thermal heartland.

The writing is good and heroine Alexa Glock, an American temporarily living in New Zealand, learns along with the read a good bit about Maori culture. The trail to the murderer is long, and e
Cathy Cole
Sara E. Johnson's first Alexa Glock mystery has a superb setting. New Zealand is visually stunning to begin with, and Johnson does a fantastic job of weaving Maori culture and Kiwi slang into her story. In fact, the setting was my favorite part of the book.

However, other parts of Molten Mud Murder didn't match the strength of the setting. Take the main character's name, for instance. Alexa is a name that seems to be the flavor of the month lately. I can't turn around without bumping
Oct 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book esp as a debut outing. The author does a great job of describing dental forensics and the subject of forensics in general - and making it not only understandable to a layperson, but also interesting. She also effectively evokes New Zealand locales and cultures to readers which was fascinating in itself.

A few quibbles however: the main character Alexa Glock is an extremely intelligent and skilled investigator in her field of expertise. But there are certain situations where s
I thoroughly enjoyed this trip through real and imagined parts of New Zealand in this first book in the Alexa Glock series by Sara E Johnson as a twisted tale of murder, betrayal, dishonor unfolded to the reader from the fist page to the very last. It was also a slow developing potential love story which I'm sure will be further explored in future books in the series. In addition to learning much about the ancient New Zealand tribes along the way, the plot of the book continued in a smooth and m ...more
I found this book both disturbing and utterly fascinating! Disturbed because I didn't realize how in-depth forensic science really is and what they're able to uncover. Not only that but the descriptions were enough to shock me. But it was incredibly enlighting as well. Alexa is trying to figure out how to extend her stay in New Zealand and enjoy the surroundings when she learns about a body in the mud. Being the forensic expert she is, she instantly wanted in. What she finds is more than she bar ...more
Susan Becker
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery

Molten Mud Murder is the first book in a new mystery by Sara E. Johnson. This series is going to keep you on your toes.

Alexa Glock has left the Stares to teach at a University in New Zealand. She is a strong independent woman and successful in her field. Alexa is a forensics expert and proves to be help to the local police with their investigation of the body found in the New Zealand mud pot. Alexa's past bring up her own issues but she doesn't let this phase her in helping to solve this case.
Kathleen Gray
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Alexa is a forensic odontologist- how cool is that?- at loose ends following the conclusion of a teaching stint at a university in New Zealand when she more or less inserts herself into the investigation of the murder of a local politician in a mud pot in Rotorua. Whew! This winds Maori history and culture into an intriguing mystery with good characters. Who wanted Paul Koppel dead, and why? Who wanted the (no spoilers) the next victim dead? Alexa is, to put it mildly, a dynamo. DI Bruce Horne, ...more
***** As an exploratory into Maori customs and the lack of respect from non-Maori locals and tourists I found it to be quite well done. As an introduction to forensic sciences I felt it was also quite well done. As a cosy mystery I really enjoyed it! Lots of misdirection, plot twists, and red herrings along with some really great imagery of a land I will never be able to visit. Personally, I could have done with less romantic obsessing by forensic odontologist Alexa over Senior Constable Horne b ...more
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A strong first installment in a murder mystery series

This reminds me favorably of the Bones series, with a forensic anthropologist solving crimes. I liked that the story takes place in New Zealand, outside the US. This the first book I've read about the Maori, something new and exciting. Alexa Glock has to tread carefully around their social conventions and taboos. The plot is engaging, and Johnson writes Alexa as a strong and interesting woman.
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good start for a new series, it's gripping and entertaining.
I liked the well written cast of characters, the unusual setting, and the mystery, full of twists and turns, that kept me guessing.
What I found really interesting was the New Zealand description and the part about the culture of Maori.
I look forward to reading other books in this series.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Jun 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a murder mystery set in New Zealand. I loved the setting and descriptions. It really brought the place alive for me. I did find it a little odd how the main character inserted herself into the investigation and I didn't really warm to her at all. The story was interesting and a solid police procedural
Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you to Hidden Gems for providing a free digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

3.5 stars...Molten Mud Murder is a thriller by Sara E. Johnson. Over all the book was well written, I just found it a little boring. It started to pick up towards the end, but I felt let down at the ending.
Charlotte mann
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting story of the clash of traditional Maori culture and modern greed, with good characterizations of the people and their beliefs. The writing is good, but with a few phrase grammar glitches.
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Sara E. Johnson is a mystery writer who spent nine months exploring wondrous New Zealand. Everywhere she snooped, there was a mystery that needed writing.
Molten Mud Murder, Sara's debut novel, will be published September, 2019 by Poisoned Pen Press. It is the first in the Alexa Glock Mystery series set in New Zealand.
Sara lives in Durham, North Carolina with her husband Forrest and gol