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John Lamb

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Detective John Lamb, Oceanside Police Department (ret.), "was a street cop, a hostage negotiator, a CSI, a homicide investigator, a detective sergeant, and the hostage negotiation team leader. John was considered one of the premier homicide detectives of San Diego County and earned frequent praise from the District Attorney's office. He also possesses in excess of 700 hours in specialized training in such varied subjects as bomb scene investigation, clandestine laboratory investigations, psychological profiling, and link analysis. Finally, John was cited numerous times for superior performance and bravery in the line of duty.  John Lamb is the author of the A Bear Collectors Mystery Series which includes The Treacherous Teddy, The Mournful Teddy, The Crafty Teddy, The False-Hearted Teddy and The Clockwork Teddy.  John Lamb is also the author of San Diego Specters."

One reader of The Crafty Teddy said, "When Brad Lyon wakes up in the middle of the night to hear someone downstairs, he's not happy. This ex-cop enjoys the peace and quiet of his new life in Virginia. Going downstairs to investigate, he finds that someone has stolen the Farnell Alpha bear from their collection. Despite hard work from the police, no clues turn up. The police have pretty much given up on ever recovering the bear when Brad spots some Japanese gangsters in the area asking for directions to the local museum. Since even the locals don't visit the museum, Brad smells something funny. Stopping by an hour later, he discovers the museum director dead. But when his wife Ashleigh spots some counterfeit teddies on display, his curiosity is really aroused. What is happening in their little town? This series has quickly shot to the top of my favorites list, and this is a perfect example as to why. The story combines elements of the police procedural genre with the cozy genre for a fun new mix. The story moves swiftly from one suspect and red herring to another, sprinkling in clues as it goes along. And I absolutely love the characters. Brad's humor always makes me laugh, and I love his relationship with Ashleigh. In the first two books, the first chapter was slow and dry, but here it is entertaining, giving us the introductions we need without stopping the story. This is another delightful entry in a fun series. I can't wait to visit the Lyons again soon."


One reader of the The Treacherous Teddy said, "it  is about the murder of a farmer with a hunting arrow just as a teddy bear show is about to open. I won't say more so that none of the book's delights are given away. On the surface, being able to combine the characteristics of traditional "cozy" and "police procedural" mysteries in the same book seems unlikely, but John Lamb has now done it with great success in five "Bear Collector's Mysteries." The "cozy" element is mostly in making and collecting teddy bears by the narrator and his wife, and the "police procedural" element is in solving the crime. Lamb knows both fields personally: he and his wife collect artist teddy bears, and he was a homicide detective for many years in San Diego County, California. He has translated his experiences into highly readable and entertaining novels. Lamb's ability to write gripping action sequences is shown on his website in the excerpt from his debut novel, "Echoes of the Lost Order," but I was somewhat disappointed in the novel as a whole. The problems were just those of a beginning writer. It has since been rewarding to follow Lamb's development as a writer through the five "Bear Collector" books. His first few pages are no longer loaded with somewhat clunky exposition. Exposition is still there, of course, but now it's integrated into the narrative and the action gets going promptly. The books are paced better, and Lamb's prose style has grown both smoother and less diffuse. He has really "hit his stride" as a plotter and writer of engaging and absorbing mysteries, the kind that keep you reading past your bus stop or bedtime because you are caught up in the story and because of the easy flow of the writing."


According to the book description of The False-Hearted Teddy, "Passions-and tempers-run high at a big-time bear show. And when a Cheery Cherub Bear designer is accused of stealing an idea-and later dies-Brad and Ashleigh Lyon's suspicions take wing."


According to the book description of The Clockwork Teddy, "When Brad and Ashleigh Lyon re-visit San Francisco, a cutting-edge robot teddy bear is found at a murder scene. Now the bear-making couple must try their crafty hands at fur-ensics." 


According to the book description of San Diego Specters "it is an entertaining investigation into haunted sites-some famous and others obscure-throughout San Diego County. Fresh witness accounts are combined with genuine historical research on each of the suspected haunted places. Haunted sites examined include the Hotel Del Coronado, the world-renowned Whaley House and other historic buildings in Old Town San Diego. Firsthand reports of ghost and poltergeist phenomena are blended with historic data to provide an unorthodox and engaging portrait of spectral San Diego. All haunted locations listed in the book have been thoroughly checked by the author, John Lamb, a trained detective with 22 years of law enforcement experience."

About the Oceanside Police Department

Oceanside is a beach community located 45 miles north of San Diego in California. The Police Department serves Oceanside's population of more than 170,000. The department has 174 sworn and 90 non-sworn employees and handles approximately 120,000 calls for service each year.


Their motto, "Service With Pride", speaks to their focus of quality customer service and efficient service. According to their website, “We are committed to public safety and to implementing innovative crime prevention techniques to ensure a safe and healthy community. Our proven success is evident in the continuing decline of the city's crime rate, which hit a 10-year low in 2000, and in the positive customer satisfaction survey results.”




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