Reviewed by Shweta Shankar for Readers’ Favorite

“Red Tape” is a tale of love, loss, human tragedy and above all, the human spirit enduring in the face of catastrophe! Chelsey Alton is a single mom who has to balance a baby girl, family and work as a municipal clerk in the cozy, relaxed town of Sunshine. Soon Chelsey finds herself broiled in one controversy after another. Maybe Sunshine is not that cozy after all! Chelsey and her assistant Bonnie are soon caught between an irate, unbalanced resident and a sinister, deadly mayor! Everything turns upside down when Sunshine is hit by a powerful cyclone that leaves massive destruction in its wake! Is there anyone Chelsey Alton can still turn to for help anymore?

Michele Lynn Seigfried has woven a tale that evokes a range of emotions in the reader: admiration for protagonist Chelsey Alton’s personality, fear for her life, suspense about the evil Mayor’s scheming and sadness at the ravaged town of Sunshine in the aftermath of a killer cyclone. The author’s style is fast and riveting and holds the reader’s interest throughout the book. The plot develops well, building up the suspense until the reader is hooked! It is a gripping, gritty novel that leads the reader through a maze of events and emotions, electrifying drama in one page to love and compassion in the next! This book is a compelling page turner that revolves around a single mom’s difficult journey through a natural calamity and, worse still, an unreasonable, insane resident with murder on his mind – Chelsey’s murder!

Book Reviews from

Red Tape
By: Michele Lynn Seigfried

5.0 out of 5 stars A good mystery,
September 8, 2013 By  lynn
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A very good mystery. Takes u by surprise with the who dunnit. Keep the title in mind it makes sense as u progress . A thrilling read. Feel for the characters. And wen u reach the end you wish u hadn’t . The main character finally gets some happiness her way and we don’t know if it happens lol. but I like them that way where you can use it own mind to decide if they finally live happily ever after .
I won’t get into details and am vague for a reason. If u want to know u have to read it. One hint you would never dream how exciting a clerk’s office can be.
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining through to the end!,
September 4, 2013 By Wendy Francis Simpson “Grammy Wendy” (SLC, Utah)
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I enjoyed this book and would like to read more from this author. She kept me entertained up through the end of the book. Kudos!!

5.0 out of 5 stars good book
August 14, 2013 By Gerald Timmons (Rock Hill, SC USA)
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There were a couple of places I literally LOL’ed….always a good thing…..definitely will look for more by this particular author

5.0 out of 5 stars Red tape
August 12, 2013 By Diane
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One of the best books I have read lately,it has a little o everything in it ,can’t wait to read some more of her books

5.0 out of 5 stars Red Tape review.
August 13, 2013 By patriciaSee all my reviews
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Red tape was a surprise ,the I really enjoyed the book once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down!

5.0 out of 5 stars Give this one a try….you won’t be disappointed,
April 18, 2013 By Beth Rinyu
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What an excellent debut novel from this author! It grabbed my attention from the first page and just kept on going. You will love Bonnie’s off color comments and the way that her and Chelsey interact with one another. You will also be hanging on the edge of your seat with suspense. All around great read! I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

5.0 out of 5 stars She nailed it!!!
June 5, 2013 By linda hayes
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This author’s debut novel and she nailed it. Grabbed your attention from page 1 until the last page. Looking forward to reading her next book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you work in local government you will enjoy this book
May 29, 2013 By Dennis J. Huber
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Easy read, great story line especially if you work in municipal government, however everyone who likes a mystery will enjoy.

5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and Fun!
May 25, 2013 By Beth Brothman
This book is a fast and exciting read that I found hard to put down. The author did a great job of going into the minds of the characters and their feelings while weaving a thrilling storyline with a background of local government. Already wishing the book had a follow up with these characters…I am looking forward to this authors next novel.

5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
May 22, 2013 By Maryanne
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I loved this book, I saved it until Mother’s Day, so that once I started it I wouldn’t have to put it down. Good thing I did because, I wouldn’t have been able to stop reading to cook, clean or anything else. I really thought I knew where the ending was going. I was ready for gullt and a law suit. Not so!!!. I won’t spoil it for anyone else, but this is an easy read with a great finish.I am wondering where Chelsey is going next? It’s a great book to take down the shore, and read on the beach.

5.0 out of 5 stars The book of the year!!!
May 15, 2013 By Al A
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I do not read books very often; however, I picked up a copy if Red Tape. Oh for God’s sake, it was amazing. I could not put it down. Definitely, the book of the year!!

5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down
May 5, 2013 By Suzanne McCabe
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As someone who usually listens to books on the go, I thoroughly enjoyed taking the time to read this gem. I loved how the story kept you guessing who Chelsey should trust or not and had me fooled many times on which way the plot would turn. Great first book for Michele Lynn Seigfried and look forward to many more. I am sure readers would love to follow more of Chelsey’s life in the future.

5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must read!!!
April 30, 2013 By DebbieB
I absolutely loved this book…I just could not put it down until I finished it! A great action packed mystery with a lot of suspense right up until the very end of the book. The setting takes place in the beautiful town of “Sunshine” at the New Jersey shore. Who couldn’t relate to a book about the New Jersey shore and the mysterious events that occur within and outside of the town’s municipal government offices as told by Township Clerk, Chelsey Alton? Deputy Clerk, Bonnie is quite the character and certainly adds a taste of humor to the book. All around great read. Really looking forward to another book from this author!

5.0 out of 5 stars A lot of fun and suspense!
April 30, 2013 By Charlie G
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Fun read, I felt sucked into the drama even though I don’t work in government. I really enjoyed it and you can’t help but to root for Chelsey!

5.0 out of 5 stars Ready for Book #2
April 30, 2013 By PattiH
Being from Jersey it was nice to read a book about our shores with some many familiar places. As a Government Employee for 20+ years, I was able to relate to the book. I think this author did a great job and have recommended it to my friends and look forward to book #2. Loved, loved loved it! Keep them coming!

4.0 out of 5 stars Red Tape Review,
September 4, 2013 By  luv2read
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Easy reading, suspenseful, a little predictable, had a bit too much detail on how a court clerk’s job works but it kept my interest thru to the end.
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of Surprises
September 3, 2013 By  Moo-Cow
I really enjoyed this book. It’s told from the point of view of Chelsey Alton, a single working mom who is surprisingly real. Her actions and reactions to the events and situations in the book mirrored my own in a way that made me feel connected to her. I found myself cheering for her and at one point I wanted to go into the book to give Chelsey a high-five! The author also takes the time to build the supporting characters around her without drawing away from the story. The villains of the story are written extremely well, again often making me wish I could go into the book and just shake them, lol!
The suspense built up and kept me guessing throughout the first two thirds of the book. I don’t want to give anything away, but after appearing to wrap up nicely, the third act seemingly turns a one-eighty which left me pleasantly confused until a light went on in my head and gave me an “Ohhhhh!” moment as the pieces fell into place.
The book describes the funny moments just as well as the heartbreaking scenes that take place. What starts as a light read slowly grows deeper, exploring the value of the things that really matter in life and how tragedy can bring us to appreciate them. I especially liked how the author took time to show that it is not always an easy lesson to recover from.
I’m quite looking forward to the next book and to spending more time with these characters.
4.0 out of 5 stars smooth reading,
August 21, 2013 By anne
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Smooth and Easy to read. Soft reading with a little suspense along the way. Kept my attention and enjoyed reading it.
4.0 out of 5 stars RedTape,
August 16, 2013 By
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A good read, based on current events that make it more or less plausible. This starts with a Maberry type setting, but turns into a pleasant surprise of mystery and excitement.
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Red Tape, August 15, 2013
 Amazon Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this story. As a city council member of a small town in Iowa at one time, I could connect with the story. It was well written and very believable as it recounted the horrors of a horrible storm, that being Sandy. Good job, Michelle.

4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read
August 11, 2013 By RuthAnn Martin “Rammy” (Port Richey, FL)
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I enjoyed this book. It was well written with enough action to keep my interest. It also emphasized family and friendship connections.

4.0 out of 5 stars Red Tape
June 3, 2013 By TexasBookNook “Bailey Ember” (Texas, USA)
This was a quick read with plenty of suspense and mystery. I liked that there was a build up of tension throughout the story. It kept me flipping pages. I’m not sure how I felt about the ending of this book. It almost felt like the author just stopped writing. While the problem was solved, it just seemed like it ended too quickly after. Maybe there should have been a bit more of a (after).
I found the characters to be likable, well developed, and charismatic.
The plot was multi-deminsional and kept me on the edge of my seat. *I received a Complimentary Copy in Exchange for my Honest Review*

4.0 out of 5 stars A tension filled & emotional ride
May 25, 2013 By Ali’s Books
Red Tape was a thrilling ride through the small town of Sunshine, New Jersey. Chelsey works for the town helping with town meetings, helping people file for marriage licenses, death certificates, etc., among other tasks like working the polls during elections. As the story starts, Chelsey is just coming back to work after maternity leave. She’s a single mom, newly split from her fiance, but loving her life, nonetheless. But, things quickly change after she heads back to work. Robert Triggers wants some dunes installed at the end of his street to prevent his home from being destroyed in a storm. He determines to push the issue as far as he can, and he’s particularly out to get the mayor. Questions start forming in Chelsey’s mind when the office she works in is vandalized and safety papers (forms for vital statistics) are discovered missing. Before long Chelsey becomes a target. She finds herself battling more than one kind of storm.

This was an easy and enjoyable read for me. The characters were all well-described, and their unique personalities shined. I could easily see myself being friends with Chelsey. She’s a strong and independent lady; she’s not weak like so many protagonists today. She doesn’t just lay down and become a victim, and I really appreciated that. There were a couple times I did wonder how she wouldn’t be more freaked out than she was.

The plot was always intriguing, and as the plot thickened the tension was palpable. The scenes were gripping, and some really pulled on my heart strings. I balled my way through one heart-wrenching scene. Let me note here that there’s some strong language in some of the scenes that may be found offensive to some.

The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the ending. It just felt very abrupt, and I have found myself struggling to remember exactly how it ended. I think it just lacked a little of the punch the rest of the book delivered. Overall, I’d rate it a solid 4 stars with its gripping scenes, and the strong emotions it evoked. I read mysteries from time to time, but I wouldn’t by any means say they’re my favorite genre. The fact that I look forward to reading more from Michele Seigfried should say a lot!!
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

4.0 out of 5 stars Descriptive Mystery
May 14, 2013 By Bob (UK)
I received this book free to read and review.
When I started reading this book I thought it was almost going to be the autobiography of a “Town Clerk” where there was plenty of fine descriptions and plenty of character development but very little happened. I was however very wrong and although written in a “gentle” style by the end of the book there had been, fraud a number of attempted murders and a murder not to mention a disastrous flood . This is not one of those books where the central character suddenly becomes a super sleuth, in fact she does not actually solve anything, it just happens around her. So although not the sort of book I would call an exciting page turner it certainly has a lot going for it. I particularly liked the portrayal of Mr Triggers who was continually harassing the clerk to have dunes built (Sea defenses) by the end I was feeling quite sorry for him until there was another complete twist to the story. Well worth a read.

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