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The Mad Hatter's Son


Book 1 of 3, An Annie Collins Mystery series

About The Mad Hatter's Son, by Helen Starbuck

"...The mystery is creative, nicely paced and features well-developed characters...readers will find this an engaging, rewarding novel." —BlueInk Review

ISBN: 978-0-9992461-0-8

Trim: 6" x 9", Pages: 306

Published by: Routt Street Press

Wholesaler discounts available. Email orders to wholesale@helenstarbuck.com

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WINNER 2018 National Indie Excellence
Awards for Mystery


The Mad Hatter's Son is a gripping tale of love, friendship, betrayal, and unexpected twists and turns that leave you unable to pull away. Annie Collins is an OR nurse who is used to caring for others—both inside the operating room, and in her own personal life. So it isn't a surprise when she is drawn—albeit unwillingly—into the chaos that is her long-time friend Libby Crowder's life. The friendship between Annie and Libby began deteriorating after Libby met the cold and wealthy Edward Matheisen, and quickly ended after she married him.It's been four years since Annie and Libby parted ways.


But now she's back and seeking Annie's help. With puzzling symptoms and a plea for help, Annie can't help but wonder: Is Libby really ill or is there more to the story than what Libby is saying? Annie's suspicions heighten when Libby's close friend is severely beaten and dies. Faced with Libby's own apparent suicide, Annie is beside herself with guilt and unable to stop asking questions to uncover the truth. But the answers to these questions don't come without a price. Annie finds herself drawn into a life that has derailed, and pursuing the mystery of Libby's illness threatens to derail her own life as well.


Friends change, love betrays, and the end results are never what you anticipate.

Available as a paperback, audio book, and ebook.

Image by Annie Spratt


BookLife Prize - 2018

The Mad Hatter's Son an Annie Collins Mystery

Helen Starbuck, author


Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10

Originality: 10 out of 10

Prose: 10 out of 10

Character/Execution: 10 out of 10

Overall: 10.00 out of 10


Plot: The plot unfolds steadily, at a purposeful pace that provides the perfect balance of background, detail, and action.


Prose: Artfully written with polished prose, this story flows beautifully. Starbuck is a gifted writer with a strong knack for storytelling.


Originality: While mysteries can be fairly formulaic by nature, Starbuck does an admirable job of making her work distinctive. Her heroine is not connected with any law enforcement group but is instead a nurse, a regular person who is drawn into what becomes a dangerous situation as she learns the truth about her friend's illness.


Character Development: Starbuck does an excellent job of character development. Her heroine, Annie Collins, is sharp, likable, and rational. Readers will find her believable as a nurse turned medical detective, and she is sure to develop a league of faithful followers.


Blurb: Suspenseful and entertaining, this absorbing mystery captivates readers from the very beginning. An outstanding debut!

Date Submitted: April 23, 2018

A good mystery is a lot like poker; the element of suspense is crucial. With The Mad Hatter’s Son, Helen Starbuck deals readers a compelling story. The novel focuses on narrator Annie Collins, a Denver OR nurse whose self-deprecating tone provides humor and endears her to readers. Annie makes for a fun protagonist and the novel has many rewards: The characters are genuine, as are Starbuck’s descriptions of the Mile High City and its environs. The mystery is creative, nicely paced and features well-developed characters...readers will find this an engaging, rewarding novel.  BlueInk Review (Reviewed: December 2017)

The writing is crisp and humorous, never allowing itself to get bogged down with too much medical jargon or police procedure. Befitting a book about an artist, the book’s cover design is lovely and boasts a clever title that holds onto its mystery until the end.


Verdict: The engaging writing style and well-developed characters in THE MAD HATTER’S SON will keep readers interested throughout. Carol Michaels for IndieReader