"Death of a Wandering Wolf" By Julia Buckley: Review/Giveaway

by Sandra Murphy

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review and links to purchase it.

Hana works at her family’s Hungarian tea house. They host family parties, afternoon teas, and special events. The pastry chef creates imaginative tasty treats to accompany a variety of tea blends. If customers are lucky, Hana’s grandmother, Juliana, will read their tea leaves and predict the future.

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Image Source Berkley
Hana is a collector of beautiful things. At a garage sale she finds a large number of underpriced paintings and a valuable wolf figurine priced at five dollars, worth five hundred. When she tells the seller its value, he says he just wants it out of his house and insists it’s hers. The seller is William Kodaly (KO-dye), a Hungarian who knows Hana’s mother and grandmother. Two paintings, the wolf, and a sweater later, Hana is leaving when a man pulls into her parking spot and looks puzzled to see her leave.

Hana’s boyfriend is Erik Wolf, police detective. With erratic hours, meeting him for breakfast is a treat. She shows him the wolf and is shocked to find there’s a GPS tracker hidden inside. They decide to question Kodaly about it and return to the sale in time to see a frantic woman run out of the house. Kodaly is dead, shot.

In the Hungarian community, it’s not unusual to find connections, whether to the tea house, or those that date as far back to life in Hungary. In addition, the women in Hana’s family are sensitive, intuitive, and maybe outright psychic. It’s a hard adjustment, not only for friends and family but themselves.

Although Kodaly had many lovers over the years, he always maintained a good relationship with them after their breakups. A list of suspects for his murder is almost non-existent. The more Wolf and Hana find out about Kodaly, the more puzzles there are to solve. When Hana’s questions lead her too close to the truth, it puts her life in danger.

This is the second book in the series. Death in a Budapest Butterfly was reviewed here. While Hungarian phrases are used throughout the book, either the meaning is clear from the context or someone explains the phrase to Hana who speaks little Hungarian. Meeting Erik’s sisters, forces of nature, is a treat.

The plot is complex, the mystery intriguing, and the writing some of the most beautiful I’ve read.

At the back of the book, Hana shares her recipe for Haluska (HOLL-ooshka), a heart-warming dish made with onion, cabbage, butter, sour cream, and egg noodles. Juliana’s recipe for Palacsinta (pahla-cheenta) (crepes) and cheese filling will leave you drooling.

To enter to win a copy of Death of a Wandering Wolf, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "wolf,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 25, 2020. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. BE AWARE THAT DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS THERE MAY BE A DELAY IN SHIPPING THE WINNING BOOK. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up last week.

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won't see coming.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Thanks for the chance. It sounds like a cute read. I like the cover.

  2. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  3. I’d love to read this. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  4. New series to me. Would really like to read.

  5. Another new author for me, sounds like a good one! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  6. I would love to read and review Death of a Wandering Wolf. Thank you for the chance. lamonicaks (at) gmail (dot)com

  7. Definitely going to check out this book and the series. Thank you for the heads up!!

  8. I really enjoy this author. I need to read this new series.

  9. She is such a wonderful author - sure would love to own this book - thanks for the chance - trwilliams69(at)msn(dot)com


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