FeaturedMystery & Crime

Windfall: A Henry Lysyk Mystery

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Loved it! 😍

Smith ups the excitement in this mystery with a favorite unsolved case and a few delightfully nerdy references.

Fans of Buzzfeed's Unsolved series will love this mystery - in fact, I hope Ryan Bergara himself will happen upon it. Smith doesn't offer a real-life suspect and theory here, but the scenario is plausible, interesting, and exciting. The fun and captivation of unsolved cases is wound up in its status - it keeps people hanging on for an answer even though having one would make them quickly move on. Thus, books such as this are something of a dream for true crime fanatics: it offers an alternate reality with a soothing answer but doesn't rob them of the fascination in their own reality.


Windfall gives us a curious trio headed by Henry, though his beloved niece and new neighbor hardly make it seem like he's in charge. Henry has already proven himself to be a vigilante hero against corporate greed and misdeeds at the opening, a role he seems fated to fulfill as he finds himself chasing leads the cops won't take seriously. The resulting story is filled with compassion and a lot of nerdy references that significantly upped my interest.


When it comes to mysteries, an obvious ending can ruin a reader's experience. In this case, Smith includes the appropriate amount of hints without giving too much away. I found myself satisfied with a basic idea of what could come, without realizing the full story until the big reveal. He also includes at least five suspenseful and high stakes moments, and established the risks and worries the characters faced throughout the book. In addition, his effective development of the characters and their likability adds to the success of the suspense. Above all, creating characters that readers have a strong reaction to is vital for a good storyteller and Smith is clearly more than capable.


I would love to see more from this author and his characters, but I am a little apprehensive about the next book. The notoriety of this cold case gave this story something of a "wow" factor and it would be less believable for the trio to happen upon anything like it again. However, the ending of Windfall left the characters with a lot of room to grow and things to experience - another thing I must praise him for. Given Smith's talent, I'm certain I would enjoy to see more of their bonds and goals, and I remain hopeful about what he can accomplish.

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I fell in love with reading when I was eight years old, and after that it was hard to get my nose out of a book. I review a variety of genres, but gravitate most towards historical fiction. Nothing beats the excitement of a new adventure, and I love connecting others with theirs!

About the author

Byron TD Smith lives on Vancouver Island. He writes mysteries when he isn’t accounting, motorcycling, or rambling in the coastal forest. He loves the smell of old books and coffee, and the sound of new wave music from 1987. The location of his secret underwater base remains undiscovered to this day. view profile

Published on January 18, 2021

80000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

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Genre: Mystery & Crime

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