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Braxton Campus Mysteries #7

Legally Blind Luck

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Surprising new family members. A hidden talisman. Deadly curses. Horrific murder. Months after tragically losing a loved one, Kellan learns his relative’s death wasn’t an accident.

Someone discovered Queen Tessa’s cursed talisman, and a rogue government agent will stop at nothing to retrieve the heirloom. Too bad it changed hands during an anonymous auction and found its way on campus. Moments before Braxton’s controversial art exhibition opens, Kellan stumbles upon another murder victim. It appears he might be next on the avenger’s list too.

Will Kellan protect Tessa’s true heir and prevent a killer’s nefarious plan from ending the curse? Given all the suspects have ties to prominent Braxton citizens, he’s uncertain whom to trust. Together, Kellan and Sheriff April are determined to solve the mystery via legal means or purely through blind luck.

270 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 15, 2021

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About the author

James J. Cudney

17 books3,483 followers
James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island and currently live in Connecticut, but I've traveled all across the US and various parts of the world. After college, I accepted roles working in technology, program management, and business operations in the retail, sports, entertainment, and media industries. Although I enjoy my career, I began to focus on other passions in 2016: telling stories and connecting people through words. My debut novel is 'Watching Glass Shatter,' a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor, and romance. From there, I've written other family dramas and an eight-book mystery series. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com

I'm an avid genealogist (discovered 2K family members going back about 250 years) and cook (I find it so hard to follow a recipe). I love to read; between Goodreads and my blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, I have ~1500 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, I started the 365 Daily Challenge, where I post a word each day that has some meaning to me, then converse with everyone about life. There is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice, and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have segments where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real and show how I live every day.

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Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews
Profile Image for James.
Author 17 books3,483 followers
December 24, 2021
Since this is my own book, I'm not going to write a review. I'm using this space to let you know when there are discounts or marketing promotions, as well as share some thoughts on how the book came to be.

Legally Blind Luck is my tenth novel, also the seventh in the Braxton Campus Mysteries series. The series follows typical cozies in that it doesn't contain graphic violence, sexual content, or vulgar language; however, I've turned the genre upside down by focusing on a young male protagonist who is a single father and relies on his wit, connections, and intelligence to solve crimes, all while he's teaching, working at film company, and trying to keep his eccentric nana under control.

To buy this book, please visit Amazon where it's available for purchase as a Kindle, physical paperback and large print. If you're not convinced yet, check out the blog tour for this book where you can see each blogger's posts with author Q&A, special features, videos, and future release information. You can visit my author page for more details. Thank you for considering my work.
Profile Image for SA Krishnan.
Author 35 books150 followers
July 29, 2021
Entertaining read.

Kellan is one of the most hilarious detectives I have read about in recent times. His supporting cast deserve a special mention and Nana D and April, stand out of the crowd. 

Among the others, what surprised me is the complex relationships between the people.

Fox is really something. I nearly laughed out aloud when I came to know his real name.

The mystery about Queen Tessa and the missing figurine and Uncle Zach's death all came together as an intricate puzzle and the way Kellan gets about solving the pieces was an enjoyable read.

The cosy mystery was thoroughly entertaining at all levels.
Profile Image for Candace Robinson.
Author 45 books972 followers
February 12, 2021
Another fantastic book in the series! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this would make an awesome Netflix show! Kellan finds himself entwined in another mystery, this being one of my favorites thus far! I also loved seeing his relationship with April grow stronger and the characters feeling even more like my family since I’ve been with them through multiple books. Nana D is still one of my top side characters ever because she’s freaking hilarious! Yes, it does end on a cliffhanger and I’m so stoked for this next mystery already!
Profile Image for Didi Oviatt.
Author 20 books189 followers
April 10, 2021
Book number 7 of the Braxton Campus Mysteries! Just when you think it's impossible for Kellan’s adventures to keep getting more and more intense, and dangerous, and utterly mind blowing… James J. Cudney comes out with a story like this! Kellan has been a professor at Braxton Campus since book one when his dad encouraged him to take the job and move back home. Each and every story in this series brings about a challenge involving some sort of death and mayhem that Kellan is somehow intertwined in.

One book after another Kellan’s family dynamics grow deeper. His love life goes from escaping a mob family that was his in laws, to dating the local law enforcement of Wharton county. Also, Kellan’s knack for solving murderous mysteries grows to impressive new heights! In Legally Blind Luck the thrill ride that is Braxton Campus only excels.

You see, there is a curse, an ancient artifact that has been wreaking deadly havoc for centuries. The talisman is a fairly small statue that is long sought after by many, and it’s gone missing. Kellan’s uncle suffered a very tragic death, but the details of his explossion just don’t quite add up. He was dating a woman at the time, a woman with secrets of her own involving the talisman. Also, the bag he had on the flight prior to his untimely death somehow wound up in the hands of a flight attendant and wasn’t destroyed along with his other belongings.

Kellan knows that things aren’t quite right, especially since the school has been planning to open up a new exhibit which has brought some very interesting characters to Wharton county. Characters that are a bit too attached to Kellan’s dead uncle and the talisman that he was involved with before his death. Kellan fearlessly dives into the mystery, determined to solve what really happened to his uncle along with bringing to light the mystery of this talisman!

This curse is one of a kind, and completely unforgettable. So are the characters, both new and familiar to the Braxton Campus books. As always James is able to intertwine details, braiding them together flawlessly and revealing one shock after another. I know that I say it with every Braxton book, but nonetheless, this is one of my absolute favorites! 5 stars, and I’ll be holding my breath for book 8!
Profile Image for Bernard Jan.
Author 9 books212 followers
May 2, 2021
From book number one to book number seven, I just love this series! Braxton Campus Mysteries became like a parallel life to me, life I observe through the eyes of a curious and eager reader and a devoted fan.

What I love most about it? The mystery behind at least one murder James J. Cudney throws in front of our feet in each of his books? Check! Intrigue and complexity of relationships that lead to the unexpected discoveries which turn Kellan into a murder detector? Check! Realistic characters with intelligent dialogues spiced with drops of natural humor that make us burst into a spontaneous laughter and chuckle? Check! Or the impressive use of strong words which raises Cudney’s writing above the usual expectations from cozy mystery novels? Check!

A quest for hidden talisman with its deadly curses is in the focus of Legally Blind Luck and the events which lead to a horrific murder and losing a relative. Cozy mystery fans will love the addition of historical and adventure elements. But let’s not forget to appreciate the amazing, unforgettable and epic Nana D and her hilarious dialogues with her brilliant one as we follow Kellan in his new suspenseful investigation.

I can and will never get enough of Jay’s humor. Especially when he throws Nana D and Kellan in their verbal ring. This is where he wins all my sympathies!

“Put your underwear on too tight again? Must cut off the circulation to your brain. Answer my question, please. Are you free to meet her, or is this just useless obstinance, brilliant one?”

“Answer my question, you crafty miniature Elf-on-the-Shelf.”

I blinked my baby blues like a naughty puppy begging for clemency.

What were these madcap women forcing me to do now?

Love it! A new instant Braxton Campus Mysteries success!

BJ
www.bernardjan.com

Follow me on Twitter.
Profile Image for LORI CASWELL.
2,352 reviews269 followers
May 1, 2021
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kellan has his hands full with his work at the college, preparing for the next term and helping to oversee that an exhibit of South African Art goes off without a hitch. An exhibit that connects to his recently deceased uncle and a hidden talisman and a curse. Before the event even starts another dead body is found on the Braxton Campus. People are starting to worry. There has been a great influx of murders since Kellan returned home. Especially because he gets so involved in their investigations. Being romantically involved with the Sheriff should help him get all the details but that isn’t always the case. This time it is going to take both of their intellect and prowess to solve this crime.

This one started a little slow for me. With the cliffhanger at the end of Frozen Stiff Drink, I expected this story to pick right up where that story left off but several months seem to have passed. I felt I had a lot of information to absorb before the story really got going. I also appreciated the cast list at the beginning of the book because we meet a lot of new characters and at times it was hard to keep all the characters and their connections straight.

As I read further into the story I found the James J. Cudney rhythm I am used to. The intricate plotlines evolved and again Kellan is in the middle of everything that happens. Because of the death of his uncle, we meet several characters connected to him and now connected to the college. They are brought together in search of a talisman many believe could now be at the college or with Kellan. The backstory of this artifact and its curse was very interesting but its entanglements did get a little confusing at times.

I really enjoyed the way Kellan and April’s romance is progressing buy I think they made a huge mistake when a key piece of evidence is found. Not handling its security immediately as most law enforcement professionals would have instigated did allow some future events but to me, this part was just not believable.

The mystery had several twists but I focused on one character almost from the moment they were introduced. I was still completed entertained with the way all was revealed. While I wasn’t surprised most of the characters definitely were.

The uniqueness of Kellan’s family is what originally drew me into this series, the mob connections, protecting his daughter, and the formidable presence of Nana D. always kept my attention and the pages flying. With his ex-wife’s story basically wrapped the author had to move these characters in a new direction and he has done a great job at that. We are getting to know some other of the key characters better. Kellan has also opened his home and his heart. Sadly Nana D. had a much smaller role in this book and I really missed the humor she usually brings. There was some but I can never get enough of that lady. We were introduced to another over-the-top character but she couldn’t fill Nana D.’s shoes.

I was happy that the main mystery was wrapped and I wouldn’t say this book ended with Mr. Cudney’s typical cliffhanger. Instead, it looks like Kellan has several options in his future. It sets up what could be a very compelling plot.

Legally Blind Luck, boy that title really fits, was an intriguing read with captivating characters, old and new. It’s always exciting to see what this author has in store for his characters.
Profile Image for M.J. Mallon.
Author 15 books183 followers
April 26, 2021
4.5 stars

I received an ARC as part of the blog tour and I am voluntarily leaving a review

This is part of James Cudney’s Braxton mystery series which are set on a campus. This is a prolific no. 7. I’ve read the first book in the series, Academic Curveball and must confess I haven’t caught up with all the others. That’s no reflection on James Cudney, (his writing is ace – that’s just because of my busy life.) I’ve also had the pleasure of reading all the books in his Perception of Glass series which I thoroughly enjoyed too.

James Cudney has a talent for writing family/murder mysteries, with wonderfully engaging dialogue, great characters, (my favourite is Nana D!) Nana D reminds me of my mother-in-law, a gutsy, energetic lady, who I remember still standing up swinging with gusto on the swings in her seventies. My mother-in-law has slowed down a bit now that she is in her nineties! Elderly folk are so interesting, they have so much back story, they make awesome characters and James Cudney captures that so well.

There is a lot going on in this book, a fair amount of detail about the curse and the talisman, new characters, so it’s one to keep focused on. This is fine to read as a standalone, but it is recommended to read the whole series to get a deeper insight and connection to all the characters. I enjoyed the dashes of humour and pacing which keep this tale fresh and engaging. It is choc full of well written dialogue and there is a great conclusion at the end!

My recommendation: highly recommended for mystery fans.
Profile Image for Mary Deal.
Author 42 books103 followers
August 31, 2021
An Ancient Artifact with a Curse

From Book 1 to Book 7, James Cudney’s cozies paint vivid characters all interacting in and around the Braxton College Campus. Each story is a stand-alone, but the characters carry forward. I love that idea. Each time we read farther and farther into the series, we come to know the characters well, with their public faces and private ones, along with their idiosyncrasies. And each character is always suspect.

Legally Blind Luck pits varying characters against one another in an effort to find a historical item that carries a curse. The curse is made real as people begin to die according to the ancient lore. At times I wondered if Cudney would try to cut one of his main characters by making them the culprit who secretly absconded with the artifact. Such was not the case. In each new story, a few new characters are worked in seamlessly, so that the regular characters we come to appreciate and love or hate remain for another sequel. But let me not be a spoiler. The twists and turns in this plot casts suspicious on almost everyone and had me giving up on who the culprit might be. I love a story I can’t second guess. That is Cudney’s storytelling ability; great reads that cause a reader to jump in and forget everything else.

I might add that though Legally Blind Luck is in an on-going series, Cudney has other books as well, that are just as twisted and shocking. Great reads!
758 reviews31 followers
April 17, 2021
What a fantastic addition to my favorite cozy mystery series! James has outdone himself with this book. Gosh! When I finished reading Frozen Stiff Drink, I never imagined Legally Blind Luck would have something to do with curses and bloodbath.

Excellent storytelling, well-portrayed characters and a mystery to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. (Yep, this one's not so 'cozy')

Highly recommended!
312 reviews3 followers
February 18, 2021
Another fantastic addition to James Cudney's Braxton Campus mysteries. This time Kellan finds himself embroiled in a centuries (or at least, decades) old curse, bringing ruin and death to all who possess it. And there is another little recent murder, too, which Kellan feels compelled to solve because he had become obsessed with meeting and talking to the victim before he died. However, Kellan has more official help than usual this time, as April has been handling these cases personally and as she and Kellan are now together. she reveals information to which Kellan might not normally have been privy to.

This one has a more complicated than usual plot, full of twists and turns but that is all to the good. If you like sophisticated mysteries with heavy doses of humor and heart, do yourself a favor and give the Braxton Campus mysteries a go. You'll be glad you did.
1,153 reviews17 followers
February 12, 2021
Each one of the books in this series is better than the last and this one is my favorite to date. Filled with ancient curses, a talisman, and creepy connections between characters, the mysteries just keep on coming! I did have to take some notes as characters I once thought were solid held secrets and there were so many surprises that the book certainly kept me on my toes! Kellen's family is unique and Nana D keeps me laughing every time. And just when you think you've figured it out, there's a cliffhanger ending! So let's hope Cudney is starting on the sequel soon!
1,167 reviews6 followers
April 28, 2021
Another fun mystery

I love this series. It’s a fast read and always entertaining. I am always amazed at how convoluted the storylines are! Waiting for the next installment!
Profile Image for Carla.
5,726 reviews121 followers
April 24, 2021
4.5 stars rounded up. Once again, James J. Cudney has penned a cozy mystery that had me reading long after I should have gone to bed. In the seventh book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries we meet up with our intrepid sleuth Kellan Ayrewick and his family and friends. Kellan has found himself in the middle of another murder mystery, as well as having suspicions that the death of a family member might somehow have not been an accident. How such a small town can have so many murders, and how Kellan seems to be in the middle of them is one of the things that makes this series so interesting.

Kellan has been a professor at Braxton Campus since book one when his dad encouraged him to take the job and move back home. He has an interesting relationship with his boss, but there seems to be some thawing in this book. I liked that we learned a bit about Miriam's life and background in this book, it made her more likable. Nana D, one of my favourite characters, didn't play as much of a role in this book, but that's okay, there were others that made up for it. I enjoy Kellan's family's antics, but I also liked the new characters that appeared in this book. The mystery in this one was quite twisty and I enjoyed the history and story about the curse. It added a lot of enjoyment to the story, especially for this history buff. The plot was well-developed and with its many red herrings, I wasn't sure who the culprit was. When the reveal came, it did not surprise me as it was one of my suspects, however the showdown was quite exciting. Now, you might wonder why only 4.5 stars. Jay's books usually end with a cliffhanger or something to get the reader thinking about the next book. The cliffhanger in the last book has me quite anxious to see what happened and although the information was there, it was doled out in a way that had me wondering for sure what had happened in the last book. The ending of this one sets up a plot for the next story, but it was not really a cliffhanger, which I liked. The story has a great conclusion and all is tied up well. I definitely recommend this one to lovers of mystery, especially cozy mysteries. I was gifted a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
42 reviews
April 16, 2021
This is continuation of the Braxton Campus Mysteries. What happens when a college professor (Kellan) is tasked to make sure the major exhibition coordinated by another department head runs smoothly, required to provide escort to the best friends of the college President, is working through a family death, is figuring out of to be the best guardian of his young cousin following the death of his Dad, deal with his Grandma, mayor of the town, maintain the burning embers of love for the local police sheriff as well as the various demands of his family not including stumbling on a African curse that is responsible for long string of deaths? An adventure not to be missed.

This is the 7th book in the series and, while you could read the preceding books, the author provides brief explanations as you move through the story/participants to keep you up with their background without taking away from the main story. The events start and finish in a very short period of time so the action is fast paced and even Kellan is surprised by the who actually done it.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Emily Pennington.
15.6k reviews187 followers
April 15, 2021
The Evil Artifact . . .

Events circle around a cursed ancient artifact that everyone wants to get their hands on. The artifact seems to be missing. Then it makes its way onto the Braxton campus, drawing evil with it. Kellan finds a dead body. While Kellan is grieving over the death of his uncle, it’s starting to look like it may not have been natural causes! Can Kellan and Sheriff April track down the killer?

There is so much going on in this story line which is filled with twists and turns that ramp up the excitement. Lots of new characters keep things interesting and add new dimension to the overall plot. Grab your copy and enjoy a well-written story that will capture your attention as you try to work out the solution with Kellan.
Profile Image for Mary.
311 reviews17 followers
April 11, 2021
This was a well-written cozy mystery. Well, it could be, if the story was completed. Why do Authors leave us with cliffhangers? I'm sure it's some marketing ploy to get us to buy the next book. Is it too much to ask for a few more chapters to complete the story? If we enjoyed the story, true fans will automatically get the next book in the series.

Aside from the faux paus of leaving us with a cliff-hanger, the story was really good. I didn't want the book to end. The characters were enlightening and entertaining, and I could see this as a Netflix series (where it would be appropriate to have a cliffhanger). Despite this being a book with an ending, it can be read as a stand alone, without one getting lost.

The author writes cozies that are fun to read, and this one is no exception. Full of mystery, twists and turns... it keeps one guessing who the murderer is.
7 reviews
February 12, 2021
A very unique plot with shocking surprises !!

The author keeps this series fresh with a new set of characters that are intriguing, fun and ruthless.

The grief of Kellan and his family as they cope with the loss of a family member is written with compassion and is very moving.

The author provides a wonderful balance of new storylines while continuing to give us fans plenty of interaction with our favorite recurring characters in Kellan's circle of family, friends and frenemies.

Another great read in the Braxton Campus Mysteries Series !!



February 13, 2021
This is a very well written book. This one could be a stand alone, and the reader wouldn't get lost. The characters have added depth. I noticed that in these books. I became better acquainted with the characters. These Braxton College cozy mysteries are like a fine wine. This one is richer.

I thank the author for having written this book and am looking forward to the next one. There's a cliffhanger at the end of this book and am anxious to read the next one.
4,267 reviews25 followers
April 22, 2021
Kellan discovers an array of twisted connections and family relationships in the wake of the death of his uncle.

A centuries old curse involves multiple families catches his uncle, cousin, himself, a few family friends and a bevy of new acquaintances .

Can they solve the puzzle? Who will survive? What other mysteries or connections might be revealed?

Intense drama and action

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Cecilia.
88 reviews1 follower
April 28, 2021
I love the series and this one too. I thought I had some pieces put together but I was wrong and I got surprised as always. I like the characters -except Myriam and Fox- and I like the relationship between Kellan and April. I hope Myriam gets a bit less annoying in further books now that Kellan has helped her. Nana D is also a favorite. This book was just to show us that we can all be connected to one and other somehow. Great plot and I’m waiting for the next in the series
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
3 reviews1 follower
February 11, 2021
These books get better with each new edition. Longer review to come soon.... just finished it. Got ARC from booksite. WOWZA. that curse is intense.
Profile Image for Lghiggins.
744 reviews9 followers
December 27, 2021
The discoveries, surprises, and twists just keep coming in the seventh novel in James J. Cudney’s cozy mystery series. In Legally Blind Luck there are a number of mysterious new characters including a blind woman with a bodyguard. Kellan, the main character, discovers a murder victim just as an art exhibit is scheduled to open on campus. An art treasure, supposedly bearing a curse, disappears. Kellan’s uncle who died a few months prior to the exhibit might have been involved. These events seem to be tied into South Africa’s history of apartheid. Kellan and his girlfriend April, a sheriff, have to search out the murderer and untangle relationship webs to keep Kellan and his family safe.

The many characters in the book are described in great detail. The plot moves quickly enough, but it is easy for me to get bogged down as I try to recall the characters as they reappear. Fortunately, the author, recognizing that this could be a problem, includes a descriptive character list at the beginning of the book. As usual, Kellan’s Nana D plays a role in providing humor as she and her grandson lovingly tease each other. The conclusion of the book holds many surprises that I absolutely did not see coming as well as some major hooks to draw the reader into the next book in the series.

I would like to extend my thanks to author James J. Cudney and to Gumshoe (Next Chapter) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Misty's Book Space.
682 reviews36 followers
February 15, 2021
4.5 stars

Jay has done it again!! I say this every time I read one of his books but I just love everything he writes. I do want to say I beta read this book for Jay but that doesn't affect my opinion on the book whatsoever. Of course Kellan has found himself in the middle of another murder mystery. How someone can be so unlucky to keep finding dead bodies is beyond me. Once again I was stumped on who the killer was. Jay does a great job of making you suspect everyone. I've never been able to guess who the culprit was in any of his books. The reason I docked a half star is because in the last book we are left with this crazy cliffhanger and I was expecting this book to start of basically where we left off in the last book but that's not the case. It's been a while since I read the book so I can't remember exactly how much time has passed since the ending of the last book but it has been several weeks. We get told the outcome of that book in this book in a nonchalant way which was a little bit of a let down for me personally but I totally understand why the author did it this way. Of course this book just like all of the previous books in this series leaves off on a little bit of a cliffhanger and I can't wait to see what Kellan gets up to in the next book. I can pretty much guarantee you he will find more dead bodies. These books can be read as standalones but I recommend you reading them in the order they were released because there are side stories that grow more in each book.
Profile Image for Mari.
Author 27 books63 followers
September 29, 2021
I’ve read several books by this author and he never disappoints. Once again murder strikes at the Braxton Campus and Kellan begins his search for the murderer. As usual, everything is complicated by family members. Kellan’s Uncle Zack was murdered by an auto exploding and Nana D is in absolute misery. Kellan has Uncle Zack’s son Ulan and is raising him along with his daughter. The African talisman is missing. It has a curse, but someone really wants it and wants to destroy it and the family members it belongs to. They have to do this or die at the age of 50. It is sort of a puzzle how a talisman from South African can have so many people in New England involved with it is a mystery in itself, but don’t let that spoil your fun. Kellan’s love is the local law, but the F. B. I. may be taking over. Who is the mystery woman with the dark glasses? And the finish comes down to Kellan trying to protect the mystery woman and his cousin from South Africa. Then a man thought to be long dead shows up.
Profile Image for Tam Sesto.
362 reviews7 followers
November 14, 2021
I had a hard time connecting with this book. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t read the other books in the series, or if it was harder to connect via an audio book. The story was ok. I didn’t care for the protagonist, Kellan, and his Nana D got on my nerves. The person who read the audiobook was terrible, and I do think that contributed to my not enjoying the book.

My review is voluntary and all comments and opinions expressed are my own.
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