Title: Blood Ties

Series: Cedric O’Toole Mystery

By: Barbara Fradkin

ISBN: 9781459818255

Website: barbarafradkin(.)com

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra                   


Country handyman Cedric O’Toole finds his life turned upside down when a stranger named Steve shows up at his farm, claiming to be his brother. Steve believes they have the same father, and he is on a quest to find him, as Cedric’s unwed mother took the secret of their father’s identity to her grave.

Together Steve and Cedric embark on a hunt for answers. At every turn, people seem to have secrets: the police officer who investigated a suspicious death years ago and who is now the chief near retirement, Cedric’s aunt Penny, who knows all the gossip in the town but claims to know nothing about the death and, most alarming of all, Cedric’s own grandparents and uncle, who insist no good will come of his questions.

What are they all hiding? And does Cedric really want to know the answers? (Goodreads)


From Ms. Fradkin’s website: The Cedric O’Toole short novels are part of Orca Book Publishers’ Rapid Reads series designed for the reluctant or emerging reader. Fast paced and easy to read, they have adult content and adult themes, so they are also perfect for someone looking for a quick and entertaining read for the airplane, doctor’s office or just a lazy afternoon.

Blood Ties is the fourth book in the Cedric O’Toole series by Barbara Fradkin. I am jumping into this series at book four, with no difficulty whatsoever. There was sufficient background information that it was easy to jump into Cedric O’Toole’s life at this point in time. And I must say – I love the writing of Canadian author Barbara Fradkin.

Cedric Elvis O’Toole (known as Rick) is living peacefully on his farm in eastern Ontario (Lake Madrid to be exact) when out of the blue a stranger arrives (Steve Lilley) and declares himself as Rick’s brother…well… stepbrother that is. Steve wants answers – do they share the same father? As Steve and Rick begin to uncover the truth regarding their kinship, Rick must come to terms with what is discovered and delve into areas of his life that he has essentially ignored for a very long time. He must also react at times to save Steve as Steve tends to act without always thinking things through (not necessarily a good trait). 

While I am not usually a fan of short stories (160 pages), I did find that the story was fulsome enough that I was not left wanting, other than to read the previous books in the series so that I have the complete story of Cedric. If you have a few hours to spare and are looking for an entertaining, and easy to read story, then might I suggest picking up Blood Ties by Barbara Fradkin. You will enjoy the read!