Not Just Another Capital Murder

Bruce Von Stiers

Kris Calvin studied at Stanford and UC Berkeley. She was an elected official in California and has been honored by the Governor's office and the state assembly for her work in advocacy for children.

Kris has taken her knowledge of political infrastructure and her love of a good murder mystery and written her own murder mystery. It is the debut novel in what promises to be a very good mystery series. The title of this first novel is One Murder More.

The book is hard covered and has 375 pages. It was published by Inkshares.

As the book opens, the reader meets Maren Kane. She is a lobbyist, in fact the chief lobbyist, for a company called Ecobabe. The company makes eco-friendly products for toddlers. On a rural highway, Maren comes across a devastating car wreck. With the help of a man who happened upon the scene at the same time, they were able to save two children from the wreck. But not the older woman who apparently was the driver of the car. The man helping out was a freshly minted state Senator.

Then the story takes Maren to the state capital building in Sacramento. She is there to work on getting a bill passed that would eliminate all cell phone usage while driving. California laws allow for hands-free cell phone usage while driving for adults. A chance meeting with a former assistant and a strange, vague admittance by a former Governor aide causes a disruption. That disruption is furthered when Maren later comes across this former aide in the women's restroom. And the young woman is dead, apparently murdered.

Things get quickly out of hand when Maren's former assistant, who is also a good friend and a former tenant of hers, is named the number one suspect. Maren can't believe that Sean Verston had anything to do with the murder of Tamara Barnes. But Sean and Tamara supposedly had a romantic involvement that ended, so was this a murder of passion, of jealous rage, or something else entirely?

That is the essence of the novel. Maren tries to find the answer to who killed Tamara Barnes. Mixed in with hunting for clues are Maren's interactions with her brother and members of the state government and legislative bodies. The more things go along, the guiltier Sean looks. But the author throws in quite a few clues and does a lot of miss-direction. So just when you think that you've got it figured out, something else comes to light that might just change that opinion.

As I mentioned earlier, there are current and former officials that are plot elements. And there are corporate types and other lobbyists thrown in. Just how much are each involved in the mystery and how the author plays things out makes this more than just a political story with a touch of murder thrown in.

When I first started reading the book, I thought that it would end up being more of a romance than a mystery. But the author surprised me. She did add a tiny sliver of a romantic angle for Maren, but didn't let that detract from the main thrust of the novel. Which was for Maren to play detective and determine who actually killed Tamara Barnes.

For a first time novelist, I think that Kris Calvin did a great job. She used her inside knowledge of lobbyists and the inner workings of the California legislature to create a terrific backdrop for the story.

You can grab a copy of One Murder More from and other online and traditional book retailers.

To find out more about One Murder More and its author, visit

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© 2016 Bruce E Von Stiers