Book Review + Author Interview: Restorations



by Charles Strickler
Release Date: April 20, 2019
Koehler Books

Restorations Icons


Meet Miles West, a jack-of-all-trades kind of young man who recently moved back to his family’s farm after being widowed and orphaned. To take his mind off things, he wins his dream car at a local auction: a 1928 Stutz Black Hawk Boattail Roadster. Purchased for $66,000, he calls Wic, his mechanically-inclined friend, to help him restore it. 

The Silent Camera

They discover secret chambers filled with diamonds, gold coins, rusty nails, extra gas cans, and a journal written in code language. Presuming it must have been some type of getaway car, and a fast one at that, Bramley—a young and fetching auctioneer—joins the team to research the Stutz’s history. When they find ties between the antique roadster and Maximilian “Lefty” Webber, a notorious bank robber from the 1920’s, they are intrigued and go on an adventure to dig into the past. 

Carlo Bello—third generation head honcho to the Italian Mafia—has been buying every Stutz that has come on the market for years hoping to find Lefty’s suped-up roadster. He is looking for a journal that contains information which would ensure his domination of the American Mafia syndicate. The Stutz that Miles bought slipped through Carlo’s fingers and now he will do whatever it takes to get it back… 

Will West unravel the decades old mystery, rescue his friend, and help a man restore his family name? Or will he simply become another victim of the Roadster’s murky history? Back Cover

Restorations is an adventure worth taking. It is an absolutely thrilling, action-packed read. Right off the bat you get a bank robbery and high-speed car chase with bullets flying. Talk about grabbing the reader’s attention! With solid writing, nostalgic vibes, and a clear appreciation for antique cars, Strickler artfully depicts the setting, creating vivid imagery and making readers feel as if they are truly there. The well-developed characters will win your hearts over. While we would have liked more from the ending, we highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an adrenaline-fueled experience with an homage to antique cars and the 1920’s! 

Keep reading for an interview with the author himself!

BvB Rating:

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Thank you Smith Publicity for sending an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!


Author Interview: Charles Strickler

Question: How did the idea for Restorations take shape?

Charles Strickler: I have always enjoyed writing.  Over the years I have collected a lot of ideas for different stories. I would tell my wife, “one of these days I have to write a novel about…” About two years ago while I was helping my son with one of his automotive restoration projects, I decided that I needed to get started on that wild idea. That’s when the storyline behind Restorations began to come together.

Question: Where did you get the inspiration for Miles, Bramley, and the rest of your dynamic characters?

CS: They say to write what you know. So, like other writers, I take observations about people I have run across during my life and adapt them to fictional characters. Undoubtedly, some of the aspects of my characters have been influenced by experiences in my life. The characters were designed to have their own unique identities that would set them apart from characters in other books. I appreciate wit and humor and have a punny sense of humor, and readers will definitely see an element of that in this novel.  Hopefully the mystery is also written so that readers will find a few satisfying twists and surprises.

Question: How much research went into this story as it spans several different timelines?

CS: Research was a very important part of the process. Even though I am writing fiction, I want the stories to have authenticity. For instance, in Restorations I researched what 1930 Decatur looked like, what businesses were there, even the buildings and streets.  I had fun learning about mine-cut and European-cut diamonds and Double Eagle gold coins and all the interesting attributes of the old Stutz that are featured in the book. It’s an opportunity to share something new with readers as part of a fun story.

Connect with Strickler on his website, Facebook, and Instagram


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