Book Review: Hilltop Sunset by Joyce T. Strand

Hilltop Sunset
Brynn Bancroft Mysteries # 1
By: Joyce T. Strand
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: McCloughan and Schmeltz Publishing, November 2014
296 pages
Book Source: Author

A mystery set in wine country pitting financial exec Brynn Bancroft against a determined stalker, a troubled love interest, and career clashes.

Brynn Bancroft learns that a former employee who beat her nearly to death has returned to stalk her and her friend, Jillian Hillcrest, also a former victim.  Recently divorced, Brynn turns to a new love interest only to encounter additional unwelcome issues. Meanwhile, short-timer Brynn, who has resigned from her Silicon Valley company, becomes bored fulfilling her remaining responsibilities there. She begins to prefer supporting the launch of her ex-husband’s new hilltop winery while waiting to move to her next position. Between her stalker and her new love interest, Brynn faces a series of life-changing events.

While Brynn bothered me at first- I thought she could have benefited with some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy- she grew on me and despite her issues I found her to be a resourceful, intelligent protagonist. I also liked how she grew during the novel. The book was a thrilling read and kept me on the edge of my seat at times. I look forward to more of Brynn's adventures. So, I'm giving it...



About the author:

oyce T. Strand is the author of who-done-it mysteries set in the San Francisco Silicon Valley and Napa-Sonoma wine regions of California.

Her most recent novel, HILLTOP SUNSET, is the first of a new series featuring protagonist Brynn Bancroft, a financial guru in transition to winemaker from corporate executive. Brynn Bancroft is a minor character in Strand’s novels ON MESSAGE, OPEN MEETINGS, and FAIR DISCLOSURE—three mysteries solved by Jillian Hillcrest, a publicist whose boss was Chief Financial Officer Brynn Bancroft.

Much like her protagonist Jillian Hillcrest, Strand headed corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in California’s Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder in her career. She focused on writing by-lined articles, press releases, white papers, and brochures to publicize her companies and their products.

Strand lives with her two cats and collection of cow statuary in Southern California, and seeks out and attends as many Broadway musicals and other stage plays as possible.

She received her Ph.D. from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.

Some author links:

Buy Hilltop Sunset here:

Check out the Jillian Hillcrest Mysteries, too

 The author is also hosting a giveaway. The Prizes are:

1st prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card plus autographed copy of Hilltop Sunset
2nd prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card plus autographed copy of Hilltop Sunset
3rd prize: Autographed copy of Hilltop Sunset

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check 'em out,



  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review Hilltop Sunset. Brynn was a challenging protagonist to portray, and I suspect some of her less likable characteristics will return in her next mystery. Regardless, I really appreciate your comments and commitment to readers and authors alike. Thank you.

  2. Hello Lisa,

    Further to Joyce's comment above, on behalf of Joyce Strand and Book Marketing Services, I would like to thank you for hosting Joyce today on I Feel So Unnecessary. Your review and comments are appreciated. If anyone has any questions and/or comments they would like to share, please leave them in the comment box. Joyce will be by again later in the day to respond.

    Joyce is having a giveaway during her tour. 1st prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card, and an autographed copy of Hilltop Sunset; 2nd prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card, and an autographed copy of Hilltop Sunset; and 3rd prize: an autographed copy of Hilltop Sunset. Click here to enter:

    Please join Joyce tomorrow, Thursday, November 13th for a live online interview with the Literary Diva at 1:00p.m. ET. The interview will be recorded and available on Joyce’s website later in the day


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