Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Body of the Crime by Jennifer Chase (VBT: Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Publicity Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Body of the Crime by Jennifer Chase!

Author Guest Post

When is a Crime Scene Staged?

For anyone who loves writing murder mysteries or reading them. Have you ever wondered when is a crime scene staged? There are many reasons.  

The most difficult task is to recognize some of the subtle appearances to indicate that a crime scene has been staged. Fires are an example of a type of potential staged crime scene; it’s usually to cover up a previous crime that had been committed such as murder or insurance purposes for profit.

Every detective or forensic investigator must use their own subjective skills along with experience to determine if a crime scene has been staged. It’s important to preserve all evidence and document everything in proper order. Notes, sketches, and photographs are extremely helpful to help determine staged crime scenes.    

These signs from burglary and/or homicide investigations should alert detectives that something is potentially suspicious: 

No sign of a forced entry
Forced entry is clearly evident
No search for any valuables is apparent
No items have been stolen
Only one particular item has been stolen
Drawers have been pulled out and dumped to make it look like a “ransacked” (out of ordinary) appearance
Drawers have been pulled out carefully and neatly stacked in order to protect certain items
The victim had life insurance   
Victim’s death was profitable for family members other than life insurance

To simply illustrate what a staged crime looks like, investigators must look for any evidence that appears as if it doesn’t belong.

Points of Entry

This is the most common staged crime scene element, usually an open or broken window.  Examine these areas closely and determine whether or not it’s plausible or if there are other trace evidence such as blood, fingerprints, broken glass, etc.

Weapons Left or Removed

A firearm is the most common staged crime scene weapon. Was this weapon left initially? Did it cause the injury? What’s its purpose?

Movement of Body

One of the least common staged elements is the movement of the body to a secondary crime scene. Examine the clothing, shoes, bloodstains, and hair of the victim to determine if the body has been moved and why. Rigor mortis (stiffening of joints), livor mortis (pooling of blood), blood and trace evidence, along with any type of drag marks can help assist the investigator to determine if the body has been moved.

About The Author

Jennifer Chase is a multi-award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists. 

Her latest book is the mystery suspense, Body of the Crime.

Author Website
Author Amazon Page

Book Review

Body of the Crime by Jennifer Chase
Book 1: Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery Series
Publisher: JEC Press
Publication Date: May 20, 2016
Format: eBook - 397 pages
               Kindle - 1230 KB
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller

Purchase Link:
Amazon - Free on Kindle Unlimited 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Publicity Tours.

Book Description:

Three grisly murders linked to five old cold cases, dubbed the Flower Girl Murders, pushes detectives to their limit to find a clever and extremely brutal serial killer, leaving a California town demanding justice. The District Attorney’s Serial Special Task Force retains the help of the reclusive Dr. Chip Palmer, a forensic expert and criminal profiler, to steer them in the right direction. 

Palmer is known for his astute academic interpretations of serial and predatory crimes, along with his unconventional tactics that goes against general police procedures. He is partnered with the tough and beautiful D.A. Inspector Kate Rawlins, a homicide detective transplanted from Phoenix, and the chemistry ignites between the team—turbulent and deadly. 

The Flower Girl Murders leaves three homicides, five cold cases, two seasoned detectives, three suspects, and one serial killer calling all the shots. The investigation must rely on one eccentric forensic scientist to unravel the clues to solve the case. But at what cost?

Book Excerpt:

I HATED THE CURIOUS AND often skeptical looks, which came from the audience in the gallery. I gently eased my body into the chair and faced them directly. It felt more like I was a participating target in a firing squad than a courtroom proceeding.
Shifting from side to side in the cushioned seat, I fidgeted with my tie. It was the only thing I could do under the circumstances.
I waited patiently trying not to nervously tap my fingers.
At least the chair was comfortable as I rested my forearms and hands on the armrest. It was not easy to avoid looking at the two burly sheriff deputy bailiffs stationed at the back corners of the room. They watched everyone with an extreme somber, statue-like presence. I was not even sure if they actually blinked or not.
All eyes in the courtroom fixated on me.
The room fell into complete silence. The audience readied themselves waiting for the show to begin. At least that was what I had imagined in my own mind.
I realized when the prosecutor had finally called my name to testify and the bailiff escorted me into the courtroom that I had forgotten to change my shoes. Dirt and mud had affixed deep into the crevices of the heavy-duty rubber soles, which donated little chunks of dried soil as I walked from the back of the courtroom to the witness area. There were little piles of mountain soil left behind with every stride. It looked like I had stolen shoes from a homeless person.
It was only yesterday that I had taken an extra-long walk down a wooded path that was barely passable even for the native wildlife, but I did not let the rugged terrain scare me out of adding another specimen to my collection of California sediment. In the process, my shoes sunk deep into the mud. At one point my foot had slipped from the left shoe and then plunged my sock-clad foot directly into the sticky muck.
I was all too aware of how disheveled I looked only two months before my fortieth birthday. It was not appealing. My appearance did not give the impression that I was an expert at anything, but somehow I managed to muddle through with an air of authority.
Crime scenes never lied, and it was my job to explain the scientific facts to the non-scientific community; but in the end, it was up to the jury to make the right choice of guilt or innocence. Twelve good people ultimately shouldered the justice burden, and I was just the messenger of facts—good or bad.

My Book Review:

In Body of the Crime, Dr. Chip Palmer, a forensic expert and criminal profiler is brought in to help the District Attorney’s Serial Special Task Force investigate three murders with possible ties to a series of five cold case serial killings dubbed the Flower Girl Murders. Chip is partnered with D.A. Inspector Kate Rawlins, a homicide detective transplanted from Phoenix, to solve the murders and bring justice that the Monterey County community is demanding.

Body of the Crime is a fast-paced chilling mystery suspense thriller that will captivate the reader's attention and leave them sitting on the edge of their seat. The author weaves a complex and multi-storyline tale that is well written and interspersed with a first-person narrative from the Flower Girl serial killer that is very intriguing and keeps the reader guessing what will happen next with every clue and gripping twist and turn. The attention to detail in regard to the criminal investigation is first rate, the author utilizes her experience in the criminology and forensic areas to provide a story that diehard crime thriller fans crave. The characters are realistic, their complex personalities and interactions with each other gave the story depth and made it that much more powerful and compelling. I loved Chip and Kate's characters, their strong personalities and dedication to solving the serial killings had me cheering for them as the investigation progressed.

As a fan of mystery suspense thrillers, Body of the Crime satisfied everything that I expect to find in a really good suspense thriller. It gave me goosebumps, it made me gasp and cringe, it made me hold my breath, and most importantly it drew me into the investigations along with Chip and Kate, and left me wanting more. I look forward to reading the next installment of the Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery Series!


Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

Monday, March 5
Book Feature & Tour Kick Off at PUYB Virtual Book Club
Book Teaser Featured at PUYB Book Teasers
Tuesday, March 6
Guest Blogging at Lynchburg Mama
Wednesday, March 7
Book Featured at C.A. Milson’s Author Blog
Thursday, March 8
Interview at The Writer’s Life
Friday, March 9
Guest Blogging at Sheila’s Guests and Reviews


Monday, March 12
Book Featured at La libreria di Beppe
Tuesday, March 13
Book Featured at Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!
Wednesday, March 14
Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Thursday, March 15
Interview at The Pulp and Mystery Shelf
Friday, March 16
Book Review & Guest Blogging at Jersey Girl Book Reviews


Monday, March 19
Book Featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Tuesday, March 20
Book Featured at Bound 2 Escape
Wednesday, March 21
Book Review at Books for Books
Thursday, March 22
Book Review at Sefina Hawke’s Books
Friday, March 23
Book Featured at Book Bloggin’ Princess


Monday, March 26
Book Review & Interview at tfaulc Book Reviews
Tuesday, March 27
Book Review at Rainy Day Reviews
Wednesday, March 28
Book Review & Guest Blogging at That’s What She’s Reading
Thursday, March 29
Book Review at Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’
Friday, March 30
Book Review at Books Are Love


  1. Wow thank you for your fantastic review, Kathleen!

    1. Hi Dorothy! Thank you for the opportunity to host the VBT event.

  2. Thank you for the amazing review and hosting Body of the Crime! :)

    1. Hi Jennifer! Thank you for the opportunity to feature Body of the Crime on my blog. That was an amazing story, and I can't wait to read the next installment in the series. :)