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During the final days of the Second World War Ben Kalninsh would search an abandoned coal mine tunnel for stolen guns the soldiers hid inside Unfortunately for him by entering the tunnel he sets into motion events which will follow him into his adult life Ben travels to America with his veterinarian father Edwards and beautiful Latvian mother Agnes along with his two younger brothers where they settle in the Nordic friendly town of Forks Minnesota Ben is 14 tall shy and often the brunt of the cruelty of his peers The initial poverty of his family doesn't help During his teen years Ben decides upon boxing as a way to achieve the wealth he's determined to acuire By the age of 20 he's managed to go from amateur to Pro making money than even he dreamt of but his trainer claims he lacks the uality for championship determination and the killer instinct Ben knows better and intends to prove it And he does just that during a fight with Europe's Swede champion Author Ned Stevens has a knack for dialect and his characters come alive vividly enhancing this fast paced novel of intrigue buried under even deeper intrigue festering and about to erupt Ben's excitement over beating the Swede is short lived when FBI agents approach him with news of the murder of his father His practical mother advises them not to tell Ben until after the fight Special Agent Miriam Dokes and Agent Book are assigned to the case which includes the torture and murder of Edwards' Doctor turned farmer friend Karlis Goulbis The agents uestion his shaken widow in particular about a page from a notebook with ' RIGA' written in red and attached to Karl's body Edwards and Agnes had lived near Riga during the war the only connection to the deaths of the two men so far The agents take the relatives of the two slain men into protective custody giving them new identities Ben realizes it must be Karlis they are after killing his father when he walked in on their torturous attempt to get information from his friend When Ben decides not to leave his mother gives him an envelope his father left for him in the event of his death It is sealed FBI agents Tom Mansfield and John Holt speculate that Edwards and Karlis were killed for information and that there is a third man yet unknown Allegedly around the end of the war in 1945 a Russian bank was robbed of an impressive amount of gold gold they want back and aren't too fastidious as to how they get it FBI manager Sawyer has a hunch there's something much valuable than gold stolen as well Due to so many secret projects and so many years gone by it's become the proverbial needle in a haystack In order to find it John needs to go back to where it all started in Riga

10 thoughts on “A Suitcase Mystery

  1. says:

    Please note Both this book A Suitcase Mystery and its follow up A Suitcase Mystery Nemesis were donated to The Magnolia Blossom Review after Mr NedeltonNed Stevens reuested a review by the site After the review appeared Mr Nedelton chose to go on the attack against me the author of the review who also happens to own the review site stating that among other things I do not have the competence to review books However his review is but one of MANY that I and my volunteer staff have completed using the rubric I designed based on several years of looking at the things agents and publishing houses use to determine whether or not to pick up an authortitle As the books reviewed at The MBR are independently authored andor published by very small publishing houses it is the aim of The MBR to help IAs realize the spots they may want to focus on with their next project There was never any ill will intended towards Mr Nedelton as can easily be noted in the review which follows It should be noted that after Mr Nedelton decided to rant about me my competence and my review site I learned that the books I reviewed were actually a retitlerecoveredreissued version of another book entitled 'Tunnel The Lost Diary' which may be found here at Goodreads That having been said I stand behind my review of this book 100%Thank you L Avery Brown1 Book Title 3 of 5 For the Reviewer Did it grab your attention right away? 5 Was it ho hum? 3 Would you glance at it and then forget it? 1 What do you think the author might consider for future book titles? You should have plenty of space for each item on the form as I think I set it up for the boxes to 'grow'Actually when I read it the first time I thought 'is this going to be like The Boxcar Children mysteries?' because the title is so very plain I looked to see if there was to the title ie a subtitle but no such luck The second book in the two part series at least has something a bit than 'A Suitcase Mystery' in that it has the word 'Nemesis' added to it Incidentally when I think of the phrase 'A Suitcase Mystery' it draws to mind something that is compact sort of like something you could whip out of your suitcase while on vacation and read somewhat leisurely Book 1 at nearly 77000 is NOT a uick read Book 2 at about 61000 is likewise not something that is anywhere near a speedy tale2 Book Cover 4 of 5 For the Reviewer Use this space to writer your impression of the book's cover Did it grab your attention? 5 Was it ho hum? 3 Did it look like it was haphazardly thrown together? 1 What do you think the author might consider for future book covers? Did it help make the title effective?Book 1 Again I get sort of a nostalgic vibe from the cover to Part I which is simply called 'A Suit Case Mystery' It doesn't entice me to want to read the book Book 2 It's a bit interesting however there is no cohesion between the two stories aside from the fact that the words 'A Suitcase Mystery' What's there aren't ANY suitcases ANYWHERE on either book cover odd3 Book Blurb 10 of 10 For the Reviewer Now that you've finished the book please take a moment to look back over the blurb How effective do you think the blurb will be to potential readers? Did the author write a blurb that was enticing and went along with the story? 10 Was the blurb lacking? 5 Was it entirely too long or too short? 1 Do you have any suggestions for the author to make it effective?The blurb itself is very interesting and wholly engaging It was a tad bit long but then again I can understand why the author chose to present it as such because by pointing out how something that was done sort of my accident as a child getting hold of Soviet secrets wound up taking a deadly toll on Ben's life and the lives of his family and friends4 First 500 6 of 10 For the Reviewer Thinking of the first 500 usually about 2 pages words of the book do you think the author provided enough incentive to urge the reader to continue? What stood out to you the most? Were you captivated after a couple of paragraphs? Did the 1st sentence grab you? Did you get to around the 500 word mark and didn't have a clue where the story was going?First 558 words Okay I was confused As I read the first sentence of the first paragraph it clearly says 'He was a young boy back in old Latvia when it all happened' So I thought the action was taking place in Latvia But somehow a few paragraphs later and with no indication as to how they wound up there I read 'After all this was not the America where you got a lawyer and a uick divorce just ‘cause your love chose a tough luck job' Wait they're not in Latvia they're in the US? And then there's the talk about a tunnel which is actually part of a coal mine my grandmother's family owned a coal mine in TennesseeWest Virginia I know a wee bit about them but as I said I thought it was in Latvia since that's what the indication is in the first seven paragraphs However as I read the 8th paragraph I read the part about America I went back and reread the entire section just to make sure I didn't miss something about moving from Latvia to America I didn'tIncidentally the lengthy discussion about how horrible and deadly the 'tunnel' was went a bit overboard P1 It's actually about a war what war? It didn't say anywhere in the 1st chapter nowhere There are references to an AWOL soldier and 'the last days of the war' so I'm going to assume that it's the end of WWII but readers ought never have to assume something integral to the progression of the story and a chronological reference IS integral FYI the issue of 'when' is answered in a weird wordy roundabout way in the first sentence of Ch2P2 'the coal mine crumbled trapping all the miners in for good’P3 'christened the ‘Death Trap Hill'P4 'damned hell holecursed it in the mornings while their men were leaving their homes They cursed it in the eveningsP5 They cursed their blackened shirts blotchy skin and muddy saliva spotted with frothy scarlet drops—misery a man wasn’t born for BTW that's the whole paragraphP6 They cursed their hard and raspy incessant cough as though their lungs had been raked out a warning that Black Betty had already breathed down their lungs licked their insides and got them before alcohol burned out their guts and shriveled their brains'P7 'when the Man in Black with a sickle arrived'P8 NO reference to the horror of the tunnelP9 'the mine collapsed and became the death trap'P10 'That was the tunnel he knew he would always remember for its gloom for its choking dusty moldy air as if it were the entrance to Hell' That's JUST from the first 558 words We get it coal mining dangerous deadly All in all I was not enticed to continue reading There was no air of mystery There wasn't even an inkling that there was ever going to be a thrilling mystery eventually to follow5 Age RecommendationGenre Classification 10 of 10 For the ReviewerAge Recommendation If the book is entirely too youngjuvenile for the intended age group? Is it entirely too mature? Please take into account swearingsexual scenesdrug use etc Genre Classification Was the book listed as a thrill ride of a read but was of a bumper car ride sort of all over the place? Was it listed as a mystery and you simply had to turn the page to find out 'who did it'? Please rank this from 1 5 then add that to the AGE RECOMMENDATION then put the total in the 'bubble spots' belowIt's a book intended for older readers not that it might not appeal to high level reading young adults but it seems most geared for people who had some tie to either WWII or the Cold War in general Much like folks in my age demographic 40 45 having lived through the 70s 80s and 90s and having experienced that dread of 'what will those Soviets do?' 5 points On the reuest for review it's listed as a suspense story It does have moments of suspense I've looked around online and found that it's also listed as an espionagespy thriller elsewhere 5 points6 PresentationFormat 8 of 10 For the Reviewer Did the 'innards' of the book follow a clear concise standard format throughout the book? Or did you have a hard time keeping up with paragraphs or dialogue? Were multiple fonts used? Were they distracting?All in all it's a well put together story ASM does have a lot of twists and turns and demands a lot of attention from readers as too does the 2nd part of the mysterythrillerespionagesuspense story ASM Nemesis There are a few moments when the reader must stop and process what has just happened because the continuity gets a bit skewed Not so much that it's terribly distracting but I got the impression that there was no storyboard or outline that was strictly followed in spot7 ThemeOriginality 7 of 10 For the Reviewer Was this book something you'd never read? Or was it formulaic and a 'rehash' of a popular talecurrent 'pop' genre? If it was a retelling did the author make it feel fresh and just different enough that it kept you involved?It's a espionagesuspensemysterythriller about a fairly good guy who winds up in a whirlwind of chaos because of something he did when he was a child Soviets could have been changed for Nazis The gold and the book of Soviet secrets could've been changed to jewels and microfiche The setting could've been in Ohio instead of Minnesota The heart of ASM isn't laced with enough originality to carve out a niche as a book other writers want to mimic Honestly I'm not even really sure why there's a second book With some much needed whittling both books could have been easily halved to create one much solid and engaging tale8 DescriptionEnhancement 8 of 10 For the Reviewer Did the author use descriptive language and 'all those extra little things' to make it the best it could be? Did you feel it was too sparse in description? Did the author go OVER board with the description?There were some pure neat and tidy moments where NedeltonStevens didn't go overboard on the description And for those moments I applaud him However there was so much 'wasted verbiage' that it became tedious at times Again with a deep edit not that there were grammatical issues I'm referring to substantial elimination of wordiness wherein books 1 2 are merged I think this is a book that would be enjoyable to a much larger audience9 Intrigue 4 of 10  For the Reviewer Did you want to turn the next page because it was SO good? 10 Was it interesting but you didn't uite have an urge to keep reading? 5 Did you think 'I wonder if we have Twinkies in the pantry? Mmmmm Twinkies' while you read? 1Not really Sorry I've read SO many spy stories and have seen so many movies with the same basic format I wasn't all that enthused to keep reading But as I was tasked to read the book from cover to cover I did so I would like to point out that for those folks who simply adore this sort of tale it might be the absolute cat's meow However as for myself I was stuck somewhere between being slightly engaged and wondering if there were Twinkies in my 10 GrammarMechanics 10 of 10 For the Reviewer Was the book pretty darn flawless? 10 Did you see that 5 or 10 'jump out' at you mistakes in grammar or the actual mechanics verb tense nounpronoun agreement misued words ? 5 Did you feel it was a chore to read because it was riddled with errors? 1 Grammatically there are just a issues I have with part 1 and part 2 of ASM11 Overall Impression  7 of 10 For the Reviewer When all is said in done did you enjoy the book? Would you recommend it to others?Probably not Aside from not being enthralled with those vital opening pages I wasn't impressed with the initial setup of the AWOL soldiers and how Ben comes into possession of the valise and the items that'll eventually cause his father to be murdered which puts the protagonist on a journey to figure out just what's going on with the help of the FBI which actually would've been pushed completely aside in lieu of the CIA wholly taking over the case as it dealt with Soviet intel yes even though the murder of Ben's father happens in Minnestoa it's the result of the Soviet ties thus taking the case completely out of FBI territory But logistical technicalities aside as there were a few others I simply didn't find the books to be a 'dog ear the page so I can immediately jump back into the story' sort of taleIS THERE ANYTHING ELSE ABOUT THE BOOK THAT YOU'D LIKE TO MENTION?Okay there is one thing that simply ate at me while I read the book It was in the first paragraph of Chapter 2 Ben―or Bendiks Kalninsh to be precise arrived in America with his mother father and two younger brothers in the forties right after the second world head on and slaughter Long before “Blue Velvet” premiered The two events unrelated except by madness and butchery 'Long before Blue Velvet premiered' is one of the 2 sticklers I'm pretty darn sure NedeltonStevens meant to say 'NATIONAL Velvet' starring Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney which is one of my FAVORITE films the movie was released in 1944 the book by Enid Bagnold in 1935 There is a movie called 'BLUE Velvet' which was released in 1986 and starred Kyle MacLachlan and Isabella Rossellini now it does fall into the 'film noire' genre but if this is the movie to which the author is referring the reference makes NO sense at all Nope Nadda It's considered one of the best films made even though practically no one has heard of it I've seen it and it's different And the reason I know of the film Blue Velvet is that I was raised in North Carolina where the movie was filmed and actually have relatives IN Lumberton NC where it's supposed to take place Sure it's an odd thing to harp on but being that it was SO early in the story it made me really uestion the research and there should always be research into an era specific novel done prior to writing the bookThe Bestowing of the Blossoms After all the points have been totaled Steven Nedelton's two part espionage tale 'A Suitcase Mystery' and 'A Suitcase Mystery Nemesis' has earned a total of 76 points putting it suarely on the scale at 35 blossoms This is a book that is definitely tailored to a specific demographic those who like complex involved espionagethriller tales While it does have a few issues that the author may want to address one day should he opt to do an updated edition it is nonetheless a story worthy of a couple of sunny days on the porch or perhaps a few afternoons of sitting cozy on a couch We wish Mr Nedelton the very best as he goes forward with his Indie writing careerOne last note Mr Nedelton did not read the review policy at The Magnolia Blossom Review wherein an author may reuest that The Magnolia Blossom Review NOT post the review to outside venues within 2 days after the review appears on the site His review appeared on October 16 and the first outside review appeared at com nearly 2 weeks later giving him ample time to reuest that the review not be posted elsewhere Thank you

  2. says:

    What started out for a young boy as an innocent search for old guns left behind or hidden in a cave in Latvia at the end of WWII turns into a nightmare that will haunt him for the rest of his life Traversing not only time but continents what young Ben found in the depths of that cave become the focus of some of the deadliest entities around The secrets held within an old suitcase are invaluable to those who are still searching for it No one connected to Ben are safe government agents will stop at nothing to find its contents who can be trusted? Who else will die? How far will these faceless demons go to secure the “prize?”A Suitcase Mystery by Steven Nedleton builds at a steady pace as the tension rises and a web of deceit and intrigue unfold Filled with intensely detailed scenes the world Mr Nedleton has built is gritty frightening and cloaked in mistrust For those who favor a good old fashioned thriller filled with intrigue and suspense a mix of realistic characters against incredible odds written with a heavy pen A Suitcase Mystery might fill the billI received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest reviewPublication Date November 15 2012Publisher Steven NedeltonISBN 1481015850Page Count 366Genre Adult MysteryIntrigueAvailable from Barnes Noble For reviews check out Tome Tender's Book Blog or find us on Facebook

  3. says:

    REVIEWMr Nedelton wrote a novel that is full of suspense unsolved murders deception and double lives What a combination You get it all in one book The book covers several generations The author writes of the background when Ben and his family came to Minnesota At the end of WWII young Ben begins to explore an abandoned mine tunnel in search of guns that soldiers had hidden inside This is the beginning of his life story It is also the setting of mysterious relationships The story has many plots that are centered around Ben and his family Some of the plots involve other countries government agents and yes the mob and FBI The author has his own distinctive style of writing where he makes the characters real like they could be people in your own town The author put in great descriptions and information concerning World War IIBen his father Edwards and his Latvian mother Agnes go to Forks MN along with his two younger brothers Ben begins a promising future as a At the age of 20 he went from amateur to pro but his trainer doesn't think he has championship ualities He feels that Ben doesn't have the killer instinctBen seeks out to prove the trainer wrong and he does just thatThe author throws you for a loop when Ben's father and neighbor are murdered Somehow the tunnel incident has something to do with the murders This is where the FBI enters The author keeps you interested with the suspense and the twists and turns You can't wait to turn the page because you're in a hurry to see what's next The novel is very fast paced and the author keeps you riveted to the story so you don't miss a word I would recommend this book to everyone who loves mystery suspense murders WWII I could keep going but I'll leave that to you Pick up a copy and follow Ben through his extraordinary life You won't be disappointedI would give this book 4 STARSI was given a complimentary e copy of this book A SUITCASE MYSTERY from the author Steven Nedelton for my unbiased opinion

  4. says:

    I'm a sucker for a historic thriller and A Suitcase Mystery got me right from the get goPicture Latvia I've never been there but I know it's way up there on the Baltic Coast I imagine it must be very cold there don't you? Picture this tiny country during the final days of WWII The Soviets have annexed it; the Germans have overrun it Then picture a young boy inuisitive as children are apt to be and set him down into an abandoned coalmine Watch him enter a tunnel Is he lost? Is he playing? What's he looking for? What did he find?Fabulous beginning The boy's name is Ben Kalninsh and what he finds follows him like a noose around his neck for the rest of his life Or the rest of this book as this is only part 1 of Steven Nedelton's Suitcase Mystery The venue changes as we leave Latvia to its fate and find Ben all grown up in Minnesota Before you know it bodies pile up and Ben has to leave his home once again in order to solve the suitcase mystery A Suitcase Mystery is the type of expansive fast paced thriller with great dialogue I would like to see of But then there is of it So on I go to find the answer to the suitcase mystery in Nemesis A Suitcase Mystery Part II

  5. says:

    A Suitcase Mystery by Ned Stevens is a Cold War espionage thriller that rattles along at a good rate of knots The story starts in Latvia as WWII is closing down Russians invade and take over where the Germans left off in much the same style Young Ben investigates the local coal mine now used to store gold and other precious items stolen by the new invaders Although he is caught he manages to wheedle his way out with a suitcaseThe reader is propelled to the early sixties when Blue Velvet by Bobby Vinton is released Ben grows up and becomes a boxer His poverty days have been left behind but that suitcase comes back to haunt him Secret agents want what is inside that case something that looks harmless but is in fact a time bomb of information and the clock has run its courseBen's family suffer greatly as a result of this much coveted item Spies pop out of the woodwork and do what spies do best Now the FBI get involved in this complicate case full of twists to satisfy all spy novel enthusiasts5 Stars and highly recommended

  6. says:

    Here we have a murder mystery packed with many clues in the dialogue and clues hidden in a suitcase But is there than one suitcase? We see not one suitcase not two suitcases but three cases as well as a special briefcase Did Jack the Ripper leave behind an evil relative? The murder mystery gradually unfolds to a large degree through an investigative type of dialogue and a mystery type of narrative It almost has the feel of a James Bond mission but the killer is unknown It almost has a dialogue driven style like Law Order but there is no courtroom Follow the various conversations interrogations and suitcases and you will find several murders Mature content language For ages 18 and upWith a well rounded number of characters several murders and a suitcase full of mystery this book is packed with a good old fashioned murder mystery

  7. says:

    Just completed reading Ned Stevens' A Suitcase Mystery It kept me entertained and interested I can see why the author has a following His work is well paced complex and riveting As others have noted it spans nearly two decades and two continents The case begins during WW II when a young boy Ben notices that soldiers are stashing suitcases in a cave Ben finds it and the implications are dire over the long run After his family moves to the US and settles down for a few years life gets ugly for the young boy and his family He's picked up something in the suitcase that's than what it appears to be The FBI and other agents get involved Life and death issues are at stake It's an entertaining and well plotted novel

  8. says:

    50 out of 5 stars Intrigue December 8 2014By KAREN INGALLSVerified PurchaseWhat's this?This review is from A SUITCASE MYSTERY PART I Kindle EditionA story about suitcases with money and a mysterious notebook that was stolen from the Russians by some Latvians shortly after World War II There are several characters that the author did a very good job keeping me aware of who is who Mr Stevens also an excellent job in going from one event to the next without losing the flow of the plot What will the notebook reveal? What will happen to it and the money?Ready to read Part II to find out what happens next

  9. says:

    It all started in World War 2 when a young boy accidentally saw something he shouldn’t have seen and being a curious creature as he was he went to check things out closely By doing so he started a snowball effect making one thing to lead to another and so on until he and his family were entangled to a spy game beyond their imaginationThis engaging thriller was full of twists and turns and I absolutely loved the plot line It is so well developed and created with such care that the story flowed easily from one scene to another making it a pleasure to read it I think readers of Tom Clancy would love this story Highly recommended

  10. says:

    A mystery revolving around a suitcase stolen from Latvia during the Stalin regime An intriguing story with action taking place in Minnesota Chicago and Switzerland Original characters and locations and a central mystery that holds your interest