Tag Team Review and Giveaway ~ Deadly Catch by E. Michael Helms

Posted: August 23, 2016 in giveaways, Mystery, reviews
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This is a Tag Team Event hosted by myself and Sherry.

Read on to learn how you can win some great prizes!

After reading my review, head on over to Sherry’s blog at fundinmental. Check out her review and leave a comment for an additional entry!


Deadly Catch

A Mac McClellan Mystery #1

by E. Michael Helms



Genre: Mystery / Thriller

My Review

Take a dip into southern waters. And watch out for dead bodies.

Mac McClellan has just retired after 24 years as a U.S. Marine . He hits the road, next stop the Florida panhandle, figuring to drop a line in the water and see what he’ll catch. What he doesn’t expect is a dead body on the end of the hook.

This puts him on the suspect list. Years in the military help Mac maintain his cool, but then a bag of marijuana is found on his boat. Now they add drug smuggling to his crimes and he’s hard pressed to explain it. The local authorities don’t take his claim of being framed too seriously. Looks like Mac will have to do his own digging to get to the bottom of it and clear his name before more bodies pile up, including his own.

Mac has easily found a spot on my list of favorite characters. He’s smart, yet he fumbles with the females. Tough, yet he has a soft side. I bet he cries at sad endings in movies. Intuitive, probably from all those years in service. Charming, without realizing he is. And dedicated. He will not stop when injustice stares him in the face.

This has everything you want in a good mystery. A character at loose ends who finds a purpose and can easily move into and around the law. A potential romance with fun and snarky encounters. The good cop/bad cop thing going on. It seems the law enforcement officials switch roles as needed.

And last but not least, some darn good writing. The author puts you on the southern coast. You’ll smell the fishy odor of the wind off the ocean. Squint your eyes from the suns glare off the placid surface of the water. And feel the sweltering humidity that’s so heavy the air is hazy with moisture.

Any mystery lover will enjoy this one. And there’s two more adventures with Mac. Also, a little birdie told me there’s more coming. Get started now so you’ll be ready.

  5 Stars



“The first cast of the day turned my dream vacation into a nightmare. . . .”

After twenty-four years in the U.S. Marines, recently retired Mac McClellan is happy to be a civilian again. He is enjoying a leisurely fishing vacation in the Florida panhandle when he hooks a badly decomposed body.
Then, when a bag of rare marijuana is discovered stashed aboard his rental boat, he realizes someone is setting him up to take the fall for murder and drug smuggling. Mac’s plans for a more laid-back life must be put on hold while he works to clear his name as the number one suspect.
Mac launches an investigation with the help of Kate Bell, a feisty saleslady at the local marina with whom he has struck up a promising relationship. Along the way he must butt heads and match wits with local law enforcement officials, shady politicians, and strong-armed thugs from the Eastern Seaboard to sniff out and bring the real smuggler and killer to justice.



Author E. Michael Helms

E.Michael Helms

I was born in Georgia way back in the last century but grew up and lived most of my life on the Gulf Coast of Florida in Panama City (beautiful beaches, girls galore–ah, the memories!). In 2004 my wife and I moved to the Upstate region of South Carolina in the shadows of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, a land of stunning vistas and numerous waterfalls.
I’ve been traditionally published since 1990 when my Vietnam War memoir, The Proud Bastards, launched. TPB chronicles my time as a combat U.S. Marine in 1967-68. It’s still in print after all these years, currently with Simon & Schuster/Pocket. I’ve since written a few novels in different genres. I’m also working on a collection of “Dinger, PI” short stories that are being published on Motive Means Opportunity, a crime/mystery blog I share with two other writers of the same ilk. Currently I’m writing the Mac McClellan Mystery series which is set along the coast of the Florida Panhandle where I grew up.


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E. Michael Helms has a fantastic giveaway for you!
A $20 Amazon Gift Card (International, where allowed)
Four pdf eBook copies of Deadly Catch (International)
and two print copies of Deadly Catch (US ONLY)
All you need to do to enter is answer the question below, also let us know if you are US or International, and leave your email so I can contact you if you win.
“Do you read books because of the setting?”

Giveaway will run from 8/23/16 – 8/31/16

This is a Tag Team Event hosted by myself and Sherry at fundinmental.

Now hop on over and check out Sherry’s review and leave a comment for an additional entry  HERE.


Other Books by E. Michael Helms

20819729  27400409  20972482

319249  17239254  18007062


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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways click on the lucky horseshoe below!

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  1. Mary Preston says:

    No, but I do enjoy the setting once I begin to read.


    • fuonlyknew says:

      We get to travel to places we probably never will get to in real life. Makes it fun:)

    • MJ Payne says:

      I usually look at the story first and that’s the most important thing to me, but some settings are interesting enough to draw me in.

    • MJ Payne says:

      I love the color and the savor and the new things I can explore with settings. But most of all I love the protagonists. I could read a book with no setting and love it for the characters. I really could and I really do.

  2. Sometimes I do. I seem to enjoy books that have traveling or road trips. They are always an adventure to read.

  3. debby236 says:

    I cannot think of a time I have ever read a book based on setting. But I could have and not remembered.

  4. Peggy says:

    I don’t think I’ve read a book based on setting.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I can go either way. It’s fun to see if I recognize places in a book but also fun to learn about new ones.

  5. You know how you get a book and then it just sits there on your kindle. This is one such book! Sounds like it must be pretty good and I should read it…lol.

    Even if I love the setting I still have to want to read it. So if it’s a type of book I would normally read and it’s in a southern setting I might be inclined to pick it up. :)

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Yep. I know you’d like this one, Stormi. I don’t grab every book with a southern setting, but I have tried some new authors because of it.

  6. darby says:

    I do! If it takes place in my home state I am much more likely to read it.

  7. Anita Yancey says:

    Yes, I do read books because of the setting. I like to read ones that are written about the state I grew up in.


  8. Laura, thanks for hosting, and for your wonderful review! I’ve often read books because of the setting. As a kid it would be for the faraway lands of adventure I could experience vicariously through the pages (“Treasure Island” comes to mind, and “Journey to the Center of the Earth”). I especially enjoy locales where I’ve visited or lived. That’s the reason I had Mac McClellan “retire” to the Florida panhandle coast. Mac gets to see and experience things (not sleuthing!) I enjoyed for years.
    Best of luck to all who’ve entered! :-)

    • I loved that you mentioned the stingray shuffle. LOL I have done a lot of things Mac has and still do. :-)

      • Yep, the stingray shuffle does come in handy at times. I’ve seen a few tourists heading for the emergency room either because they didn’t know about it, or didn’t heed someone’s sound advice.
        Forgot to thank you for the wonderful review, Sherry! :-)

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Oh the places we will see….in a book!
      I’m with Sherry. We do the stingray shuffle. Curious if you are a Parrothead, Michael?

  9. Linda Herold says:

    To be honest, I choose a book because of the author, genre, and the cover of the book!

  10. Col says:

    Sometimes but not always,

    col2910 (at) gmail.com

  11. Joanna says:

    i honestly dont read books because of the setting, ’cause it adds spice to the actual story!

    joanna (dot) balasbas (at) gmail (dot) com

  12. Ben Davidheiser says:

    Yes. Typically I read books because of the setting. This way of searching for material is how I found out about TPB, one of my all time favorite reads. My favorite types of books are primarily ones published within settings from generally any US war or conflict after the Revolutionary war, and before any of the modern day wars/conflicts, so I would say between the 1800’s and then up to the end of the 1970’s. (US) bendavidheiser(at)yahoo(dot)com

  13. Maggie Thom says:

    Setting is something that is so important and I do like to know where a book is set. To be honest I don’t think I have chosen a book based on setting, although in some cases it has for sure added to my wanting to read it. Great review Laura. I agree, damn good writing. Love this author’s writing. This book is on my TBR.

  14. You betcha! All I have do is look at E Michael Helm’s covers and I know I want them. Reading the blurb is just a bonus. I love and live on the Gulf Coast and I spent two years living on Panama City Beach in the early nineties. It was so gorgeous then and not overgrown like it is now. I am a beach bum and think it all belongs to me so you need my permission to visit. LOL

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I adored you little piece of paradise in Panama City Beach! So glad you guys finally moved back to the coast!

  15. babyblue7299 says:

    I don’t consciously choose a book for its setting, but, give me sun and sand or another realm and I’m there!

  16. Well, I do play a little guitar (50+ years), and do enjoy a Jimmy Buffet song now and then! ( :-( — wanting for JB’s talent!).

    • fuonlyknew says:

      If you know what a Parrothead is, I’d say you are one! LOL I noticed you played guitar so I had to share your photo:)

  17. miduhadi says:

    I haven’t yet. Do you? lol Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. Tracy Falbe says:

    I sometimes read a book because of its setting. I read Shogun because I was interested in historical Japan.

  19. Freya D says:

    Of course, it’s a great way to get taken away to a different life without having to leave your own behind or to make the impossible seem a little more realistic.

  20. SheilaDeeth says:

    Rarely, unless it’s a setting I’m familiar with that’s rarely used in which case I will at least pick the book up to see how it’s treated.

  21. janice perry says:

    No, I read books based on the synopsis mostly, the setting is never a deciding factor.

  22. The setting is a plus, but I don’t make my decisions based on that. God forbid if someone was interested in mine but didn’t read it because they don’t like the Old west.

  23. Sometimes. For fantasy, oh yes. Setting is a huge factor. Other genres not so much unless I’m looking to expand my horizons.


  24. Karen says:

    The only books I ever read because of the setting are Wilbur Smith’s, being South African, but I read his books for the story really. The setting is like an added bonus 😉



  25. fallxnrobin says:

    Usually, no. Sometimes it can be a huge selling point. It’s tiring how most books seem to be based in the USA. But if the author decides to write a book in, say Japan, but doesn’t do sufficient research, I would gladly just read books set in the USA for the rest of my life.

  26. I read books because of the story, not the setting.

  27. Gloria says:

    I don’t necessarily choose a book for its setting, but it can certainly add to my enjoyment. US

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I feel the same, but when I do spot a familiar setting it can cause me to explore the authors books.

  28. Pamela says:

    I dont really choose one for the setting. I choose one for the author, genre, what the book is about. p_dewolfe at yahoo .ca

  29. joab4424 says:

    No I don’t read books because of the setting. I look for books with alpha heroes like cowboys, firefighters, military men.

    I live in Canada so international.

  30. Ica's World says:

    Sounds like a good story

  31. Mae Clair says:

    This sounds like a wonderful mystery, and yes, sometimes I will pick up a book because of the setting. It isn’t the main draw but if the setting calls to me, that’s a huge plus. I love books set in small towns, especially seaside.

    I’m in the US at maeclair (at) maeclair (dot) com

  32. jmcgarryxx says:

    Sometimes I do read because of the setting. It depends on the setting. jmcgarry2011@yahoo.com

  33. Denise Van Plew says:

    Yes for the most part I do if the blurb or the expert is intriguing enough on what is going on or to happen in my interest range US

  34. Meredith Miller says:

    I have chosen a few books because of the setting.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I have. I do need to have a desire to read the story though, and usually read the excerpt on Amazon.

  35. eisahvakohler says:

    I do like certain settings, but I think the premise os what draws me in the most.to begin with. Then it’s usually whether or not I like the characters that keeps me invested.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I get that too. And I’m huge on character driven stories, even if I don’t always like some of them. LOL

  36. MJ Payne says:

    I like mysteries, I like different kinds. I like noir. I like writing that is consistent and has a changing touch from one to another like shifting the gears in a sports car. In short, I like E. Michael Helms.

  37. Sandra Balfanz says:

    Yes, often. A lifetime mystery addict, Britain was an early fave. (Who can resist Conan Doyle, Dame Agatha, Ruth Rendell, Antonia Fraser’s settings?). But IMHO, “the South” has given us more fantastic writers per capita than any other region. Harper Lee, Wm. Faulkner, Eudora Welty–and E. Michael Helms. A product of the beautiful Florida Panhandle myself, I guarantee you: he nails it! Mac & Co. are also guaranteed to be one of your favorite new series characters.

  38. The setting is very important to me. That’s why I like to use titles in my short stories, such as “Missing on Hatteras Island.” Susan Parker Rosen