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The Serpent's Teeth

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

5 Star Review

Book Description

Detective Jane Rieger-Franklin, her wife, Anna, and their two adopted daughters, Felicity and Khaleesi, form a loving family unit. In contrast, the Kings, headed by matriarch Emma, include four grown children whose enmity for one another and their mother—and hers for them—is the stuff of Greek tragedy.

So when Emma King turns up murdered, suspects abound. But as Jane delves into their lives, the Kings’ shared animosity tears at her psyche, bringing old fears to the surface and inciting new ones, threatening to tear the idyllic Franklin family apart. Their precocious daughters’ teenage angst, Jane’s unresolved grief over her father’s passing, and Anna’s innocent flirtation with a beautiful woman have already created cracks in the Franklin family infrastructure.

As the investigation proceeds, the fissures enlarge, and Jane finds her once untroubled home life teetering on the edge of an abyss. But, just as she discovers the disturbing truth about Emma King’s death, another murder brings to question everything the detective thought was true. And, in a tense, Agatha Christie-like climax, Jane must risk her life to bring a monster to justice—and heal her inner turmoil.

Book Editorial Review

by Melinda Butler

The Serpent's Teeth by Stephen Kronwith is a murder mystery that keeps you guessing. The story is about two families that are as different as they are alike. One day, a woman named Emma was murdered, and this sets in motion the non-stop action and mystery. The story is immersive and keeps you in the story and you don’t want to stop reading. The characters are well-developed, and you connect with them. The plot is well thought out and keeps you guessing from the beginning. The twists and turns are plenty and they don’t disappoint. The reader is left with no loose ends, and that makes this story much more compelling. The author gives us two families, one loving and one dysfunctional, which both are described beautifully, and the reader feels like they are there with the families trying to figure out what happened. The story unfolds brilliantly and gives the reader a sense of closure by the end.

Detective Jane Rieger-Franklin is the main character of this story. She is featured in several other books by Kronwith. She is married to Anne, and they have two adopted daughters, which creates a loving family. She is the one investigating the murder of Emma King. She is a well-developed character that the reader can connect with and wants to help solve the mystery along with her. Kronwith does a great job of creating a character that is relatable and one that you will root for until the very end.

The book is well-written, and it keeps the reader on their toes throughout the entire book. The reader will not want to put the book down until they find out what happened to Emma King. The author has written several other books and if they are like this book; they are worth the read. If you like mysteries or who-dun-it, this is the book for you. I highly recommend anyone to read this book, because the author did such a great job combining the mystery with the familial feel. The reader will root for the characters, go on an emotional journey, and even try to figure out what happened all on their own. This is one of the better mysteries in the genre.

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About Stephen Kronwith M.D.

Born in Brooklyn (1952), I attended SUNY Stony Brook, undergrad and grad-school, earning a PhD in mathematics. Taught 3 years at St. John’s University, Queens (taking a year off to work for IBM), then attended University of Miami where I received my MD. Returned home, interned in pediatrics, then studied ophthalmology and finally spent a year in pediatric ophthalmology training at Children’s Hospital, Philadelphia. Since then I’ve been in private practice (31 years) until retiring, July 2020, spending the last six months pre-occupied with examining patients while hoping to avoid us all becoming statistics in the early COVID crises.

I’d thought about writing a novel since college but, as you can see, I’ve been a bit busy since then. Finally, I started writing in late 2019 and finished August 2020. I’d been considering a thriller with some of Lover Boy’s elements, but I’m happy I decided upon a comedy – with COVID still raging at publication, I think we can all use a few laughs.


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