#30authors – Guest Review from J.J. Hensley: Peter Pan Must Die -John Verdon

For me, the only thing better than a good whodunit novel is one that is also a HOWdunit.  If there is one crime novelist I admire for his ability to design crimes that baffle readers until the final pages, it is John Verdon.  Around the time I was seeking blurbs for my first novel, Resolve, I had recently finished Verdon’s brilliant debut mystery Think of a Number.  I immediately contacted Verdon and asked him to look over my manuscript and, if he was willing, provide a blurb for the book jacket (which he did graciously provide).

Verdon’s latest book, the forth in a series, has possibly one of the best… titles… EVER.  It’s called Peter Pan Must Die.

Not Peter Pan Might Be Punched.

Not Peter Pan Should Be Maimed.

No.  It’s Peter Pan Must Die.

I mean, if you are going to go after a character beloved by children all over the world, then go all out!

Of course, this incarnation of Peter Pan is a little (pun intended) different.  Verdon’s Peter Pan is an incredibly skilled and elusive assassin who has a spooky childlike appearance.  He is cold.  He is calculating.  He is violent.  In sum, he would be a pretty terrible role model for children.

Of course when you think about it, the original Peter Pan used to sneak into the rooms of children and teach them to “fly” by giving them magical “fairy dust”, so that dude was a little creepy too.

As with Verdon’s first novel, the best part of this book is the challenge of figuring out how the crime occurred.  Verdon’s protagonist Dave Gurney uses his keen analytical skills while attempting to prove the innocence of a woman convicted of killing her husband.  The cerebral nature of Dave Gurney will be attractive to mystery readers who tire of superficial characters who rely on brawn more than brains.

Additionally, readers can pick up and enjoy Peter Pan Must Die even if they have not read any of Verdon’s previous works as he does a wonderful job of writing each book in the series as a stand-alone story.

If you like crime novels that stand out from the rest, be sure to read Peter Pan Must Die.  If nothing else, you can leave the book on your coffee table, as the title is a great conversation starter!

(Unless you have small children in the house who will read the title and subsequently question your bizarre murderous intentions.  In that case, it may be better to keep the book out of their sight.)


J.J. HENSLEY is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service who has drawn upon his experiences in law enforcement to write stories full of suspense and insight. Hensley, who is originally from Huntington, WV, graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in Administration of Justice and has a M.S. degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia Southern University. The author lives with his wife and daughter near Pittsburgh, PA.

Mr. Hensley’s novel RESOLVE was named one of the BEST BOOKS OF 2013 by Suspense Magazine and was a finalist for Best First Novel at the 2014 Thriller Awards.  He is a member of the International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.

Website:  www.hensley-books.com

Blog:  https://hensleybooks.wordpress.com

Twitter: @JJHensleyauthor

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hensleybooks

Email:  contact.hensleybooks@gmail.com

Purchase links:

Amazon:  amazon.com/author/hensleybooks

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22J.%20J.%20Hensley%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall

IndieBound:  http://www.indiebound.org/search/book?searchfor=J.+J.+Hensley


Author site: http://www.johnverdon.net/pages/more_peter.php

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Peter-Pan-Must-Dave-Gurney/dp/0385348401

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18630554-peter-pan-must-die

4 thoughts on “#30authors – Guest Review from J.J. Hensley: Peter Pan Must Die -John Verdon

  1. Well, that certainly is an interesting and attention-getting title! It sounds like an interesting premise, too. Thanks very much, both.


  2. Thanks Margot! I actually thought I had it, but that’s Snow White Must Die! The book sounds rather good – as do J.J.’s! Follow this September-long event using #30authors – I think you may cross a few names you recognise! It’s a fabulous idea!


  3. I think it’s a different author, and must admit John Verdon is a name that’s new to me, although I shall have to investigate him. It’s certainly a persuasive review (you’re good at them too!)


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