Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Flashback Friday Giveaways TBR Pile Challenge The Backlist Reader Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

#FlashbackFriday – Ladies of the Lake by Ken Corday #Review / #Giveaway

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Ladies of the Lake
Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Beaufort Books (July 22, 2015)
Hardcover: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 0825307848
ISBN-13: 978-0825307843
Kindle ASIN: B084JLGJSP

Getting away with murder. Seems unlikely, but in the gated community of Avalon it’s what’s in style.

 

It all starts with Hudson’s accidental decapitation. It was a terrible accident. He was drunk and in the middle of a fight with his second wife. They both pressed the garage door button at the same time. The LAPD didn’t give it a second thought. Instead of grieving, his wife breathes free air again. She is a rich woman with freedom. The other wives secretly envy her.

 

From the outside, Avalon seems like the ideal place to live; full of rich men and beautiful women. Six couples form a close-knit friendship; the men all golf together, the women all shop together, and their six children all skip school together. But the wives begin to resent feeling like possessions and realize that the men become crueler every day.

 

When more husbands start dying, the so-called “Ladies of the Lake” find themselves under suspicion from the LAPD and their own children.

 

The six children try to uncover their parents’ secrets before the handsome Detective Daniels can discover what is truly going on behind closed gates.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I watch Days of Our Lives every day but I just recently found this book on my Kindle. I can’t believe I didn’t read it sooner. It has a real soap opera feel which should be no surprise based on the author.

The rich and beautiful people of Los Angeles have their own set of issues but the “Ladies of the Lake” take things to the extreme as their husbands start to die off one by one. Granted the husbands weren’t real prizes beyond their money but how many freak accidents are the police going to believe. Even the “Ladies” children are asking questions.

_____________

Told from multiple points of view this story introduces six elite women and the detective trying to get to the bottom of their husband’s deaths. Like a true soap opera, he even gets involved with one of them. This method allows readers to meet all the characters and enables them to get to know the woman enough to see their tormented sides behind their socialite facades.

I found this book to be a fun escape filled with drama and some romance too. The author’s soapy writing style is very apparent as he twists murder up with some humor. There isn’t really a mystery because the readers know most of what is going on. It is just the community, the good detective, and the children who are in the dark. I did like the surprise ending.

The book was made into a short 4 episode series with some of my favorite Days of Our Lives stars. I hope to watch it soon.

Ladies of the Lake is a great read for soap opera fans and those who like a fast, entertaining read with some twists.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Ken Corday was only a teenager when his parents, Ted and Betty Corday, first created NBC’s daytime drama Days of our Lives in 1965. A year after the show’s inception, Ted passed away, and it was up to Betty to carry on the show. Ken became his mother’s support system as she taught him everything he would need to know to continue the family legacy.

Ken received his bachelor of arts in music from the University of California, Santa Cruz, before receiving a master’s degree in music from San Jose State University.

Prior to taking over Days of our Lives as executive producer in 1985, Ken worked on the show for almost ten years, first as a composer, then as an assistant producer, and finally as a producer.

He has received two Emmy Awards for Music. He has also received eight nominations for an Emmy Award for Best Daytime Drama. Days of our Lives won the Emmy Award for Best Daytime Drama in 1978 and 2013, and Ted and Betty Corday received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award in 1995.

Ken Corday lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.

I am giving 1 Kindle copy away!
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Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Cold Wind: A Mystery (Alaska Wild Series) by Paige Shelton #Review@MinotaurBooks

This book will be released on December 8, 2020.


Cold Wind: A Mystery (Alaska Wild Series)
Suspense/Mystery – Some Explicit Language
2nd in Series
Setting – Alaska
Publisher: Minotaur Books (December 8, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1250295319
ISBN-13: 978-1250295316
Kindle ASIN: B084M26ST6

Beth Rivers is still in Alaska. The unidentified man who kidnapped her in her home of St. Louis hasn’t been found yet, so she’s not ready to go back.

 

But as October comes to a close, Benedict is feeling more and more like her new home. Beth has been working on herself: She’s managed to get back to writing, and she’s enjoying these beautiful months between summer and winter in Alaska.

 

Then, everything in Benedict changes after a mudslide exposes a world that had been hidden for years. Two mud-covered, silent girls appear, and a secret trapper’s house is found in the woods. The biggest surprise, though, is a dead and frozen woman’s body in the trapper’s shed. No one knows who she is, but the man who runs the mercantile, Randy, seems to be in the middle of all the mysteries.

 

Unable to escape her journalistic roots, Beth is determined to answer the questions that keep arising: Are the mysterious girls and the frozen body connected? Can Randy possibly be involved? And―most importantly―can she solve this mystery before the cold wind sweeping over the town and the townspeople descends for good?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Beth Rivers is still hiding out in Alaska because the man who kidnapped her has yet to be apprehended. She is getting more comfortable in her surroundings and is writing again.

There was a recent mudslide that has shaken the town up a bit. Two young girls are found. They can hear but they don’t talk. Their mud-covered state leads everyone to believe they have been out in the elements awhile. The mudslide also opened up a path to reveal a house in the woods and a shack with a dead body. The woman is frozen stiff and while it is chilly in Alaska it is not cold enough to freeze a body solid and keep it frozen.

Is there a connection between the woman and the girls? or just crazy incidents happening at the same time? Beth is very drawn to the girls and needs answers, so she inserts herself into another investigation that could make living in the lower 48 staying a step ahead of a kidnapper safer than the wild winds blowing through Benedict Alaska.


I was thrilled to receive an early copy of the first book in this series, Thin Ice, and have been waiting somewhat impatiently for this book but let me tell you it was worth the wait.

Just like Thin Ice, Cold Wind grabbed me right away and the book was impossible to put down. Many authors have a descriptive writing style but Ms. Shelton’s is unique in that she takes us on the scene like we are watching a movie. She is able to paint pictures with her words without getting overly wordy. The scenes came alive in my mind in living color and the story just flowed. There are several suspenseful scenes intermixed with some milder ones but the pages seemed to fly at breakneck speed. I had to know what was going to happen next.

I was very impressed with the way Beth is evolving as she remembers more about the trauma she survived that had her landing in Alaska. She really is a strong woman because life in Alaska isn’t easy especially after all she has been through. She is surrounded by a very interesting group of supporting characters. We met several more in this story. Some who escaped to Alaska for their own reasons.

Cold Wind actually gave me shivers and chills. Beth Rivers is a powerful character and I am so enthusiastic about this series and to see her story continue.

To really appreciate this story you should read Thin Ice first to understand Beth’s journey, plus it is an awesome story too! Look for Cold Wind on my Best Reads of 2020 list.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review of Thin Ice here.

About The Author

PAIGE SHELTON had a nomadic childhood as her father’s job as a football coach took the family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City where she thought she’d only stay a few years, but she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After a couple of decades in Utah, she and her family recently moved to Arizona. She also writes the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series.

Paige Shelton is also the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived in lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Literary Escapes New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money (The Poppy Fields Adventures) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense
6th in Series
Setting – Cayman Islands
Publisher: Independently published (September 24, 2020)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8690016531
Kindle ASIN: B0867JSW64

Poppy Fields, social influencer and secret spy, is on Grand Cayman. Her mission? Maid of honor at her mother’s wedding to Russian billionaire Yurgi Prokorhov. No surprise, Chariss Carlton is a difficult and demanding bride.

 

When Poppy witnesses a murder, her days change from irritating to dangerous. She and her partner Thor (real name Mark Stone—but a dead-ringer for a Norse god) are tasked with catching a killer and shuttering a billion dollar money laundering scheme.

 

Between bombs, bridal showers, high-speed car chases, a missing wedding planner, and a femme fatale with her eye on Thor, it will be a miracle if Poppy makes it to the church on time.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Bombs, bullets, a famous bridezilla, and more! Can Poppy handle it all?

Set on Grand Cayman, Poppy, and Thor, I mean Mark, have arrived for her mom’s wedding and all the pre-wedding festivities. But it isn’t long before Poppy finds herself in hot water. Soon Mr. Brown is involved and in addition to all her bridal duties, she and Mark are on a case chasing down a huge money-laundering scheme and trying to catch a murderer. Oh, and the wedding planner has been abducted. You know, just a normal week in the life of Poppy Fields.


I have loved this entire series but Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money has to be my favorite.

Chariss and Yurgi are getting married and guests are arriving from Hollywood and Russia to celebrate the big event. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones arriving on Grand Cayman Island.  Drug dealers, money launderers, and a murderer have joined the party.

The author has continued the fantastic character development of the core characters while introducing great characters readers love to hate.  Poppy is getting more confident and the powers that be, start to notice. Her relationship with her Thor is heating up. I just hope they get some real alone time together soon. Yurgi was my favorite character this time. An incredibly wealthy, strong, patient man, that truly loves Chariss and all her drama while becoming a true friend to Poppy. He covers for her with her mother and spares no expense to keep her safe.

Again, the story is action-packed and impossible to put down. It is a roller coaster ride from start to finish.

Set in the idyllic Cayman Islands, this story made for a wonderful virtual vacation as the weather here gets brisk and windy. I curled up with a blanket and took off on another entertaining adventure with Poppy and her family, friends, and enemies.

Julie Mulhern is a terrific storyteller. Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money and this whole series are must-reads for me. Each book can be read on its own but I recommend you read the series from the start in order for maximum enjoyment.

Look for this book on my Best Reads of 2020. It receives my Paradise Rating, just like every other book in this series. You truly can’t go wrong with a book by this author.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

Read my reviews of  Fields’ Guide to Assassins
here,  
Fields’ Guide to Voodoo here,
Fields’ Guide to Fog hereFields’ Guide to Abduction here,
and Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs here.

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 

Book 1 – Fields’ Guide to Abduction – Is available for FREE!!!

Also by Julie Mulhern


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Finish The Series Challenge Literary Escapes You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs (The Poppy Fields Adventures) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense
5th in Series
Setting – Egypt
Publisher: J & M Press (March 31, 2020)
Paperback: 238 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8632308649
Kindle ASIN: B082Z9FLFX

Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl and super-secret spy, travels to Egypt looking for answers.

 

But amidst assassination attempts, money launderers, and missing treasure, answers are hard to come by.

 

Poppy must trust new allies, forgive old wrongs, and find a forgotten pharaoh or the next tomb she enters may be her own.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Usually, trouble finds Poppy Fields but this time she goes looking for trouble. To get the answers she needs she flies off to Egypt by herself. Mark aka Thor can’t go with her but he hooks her up with Ethan Alexander from the C.I.A. Poppy isn’t sure if she can trust him but when bullets start to she realizes she doesn’t have a choice.


This story is a little different because all the normal supporting characters, Mark, Mia, Chariss, Yurgi, and even Consuela are not around to assist Poppy through all her trials and tribulations. Okay, some do show up in the nick of time near the end of the book, but Poppy really had to hold her own before that with just a couple of surprising assists.

She was there on her own private personal mission but she runs into someone that her boss, Mr. Brown is very interested in. He puts her on the case of surveilling his target until he can send another agent to help.  This adds a nice twist but also puts a huge target on her back. The action is truly non-stop with the perfect amount of Julie Mulhern’s signature humor.

I really enjoyed the way the author describes everywhere Poppy travels, from the hotels, the ship on the Nile, the desert, the temples, the tombs, the marketplace, and everywhere in between. Of course, Poppy wasn’t on your typical vacay but it was an incredibly fun virtual trip to the home of the Pharaohs.

Like every other book in this series, the book was just impossible to put down. I would have read the entire thing in one evening but my breast cancer therapy had my eyes slamming sooner than I would have liked.

I absolutely loved this Poppy Fields adventure. Julie Mulhern never disappoints. Like the 4 previous books, Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs receives my Paradise rating. To get know Poppy and all the other characters I recommend reading them all in order and enjoy all their adventures! You can thank me later 😀

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

I am reading Fields’ Guide to Dirty Money right now.
Watch for my review next week!

Read my reviews of  Fields’ Guide to Assassins
here, 
Fields’ Guide to Voodoo here,
Fields’ Guide to Fog here. Field’s Guide to Abduction here

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 

Also by Julie Mulhern



*This book is in my private collection, purchased from Amazon.
Posted in Flashback Friday

#FlashbackFriday – #FreeBook – Fields’ Guide to Abduction (A Poppy Fields Adventure) by Julie Mulhern @juliemulhern

Real-life has been playing havoc with my reading schedule and I wasn’t able to read a book from my HUGE TBR Stacks this week. So, I started to think about books that may give your mind an escape from all the drama that has entered our lives due to this Coronavirus. The Poppy Fields Adventure Series is one of my favorites. They are full of suspense and humor. Every book has made my year-end Best Reads List.

Ms. Mulhern has kept the 1st book in the series FREE!

There are 4 books in this series available today. Book 5 –Fields’ Guide to Pharaohs will be released next Tuesday, March 31. 

Below you will find my review for Fields’ Guide to Abduction (including its new cover!) followed by links to reviews fo the next 3 books. Be sure to download your Free Copy of Book 1 today!

Fields’ Guide to Abduction (A Poppy Fields Adventure)
Mystery/Suspense
1st Book in Series
Setting – Mexico
J&M Press (May 28, 2018)
Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN-10: 1720872201
ISBN-13: 978-1720872207
Kindle ASIN: B07D4R881K

Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl extraordinaire, agreed to a week at the newest, most luxurious resort in Cabo. After all, what’s better than the beach when a girl is feeling blue? When Poppy is abducted, she’ll need all her smarts, all her charm, and a killer Chihuahua, to save herself. 

 

Dead body #1 found in bed, with me. That was a shock.
Dead body #2 found in bed, not with me. That was a relief.
Dead body #3 died telling me I’m a lousy actress.
I already knew that.
Dead body #4 died trying to kill me.
Dead body #5 died kidnapping me.
Dead body #6 died guarding me.
Dead body #7 was a really bad man.
Dead body #8 was an even worse man.

 

That’s a lot of dead bodies for a girl looking for a week’s relaxation in Cabo. And, I’m probably leaving a few out–math isn’t my thing. Unless I can escape the cartel, I might be the next dead body.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Wow, Wow, Wow! I sat down to start this book last Monday evening and I didn’t look away until I finished the whole thing.

This is not a cozy mystery. This is a wild ride of action and suspense.

Poppy Fields escapes to Mexico after enduring a harrowing event. She plans to lie on the beach, make one public appearance and relax. Well, that didn’t happen. The dead bodies start to pile up at a rapid pace and then she is abducted. And then there are even more dead bodies!

Full of crazy twists and turns poor Poppy finds herself in all kinds of dangerous situations. I love Poppy, that girl needs to think on her feet and she does for the most part, but there are some situations you just need to let happen and hope and pray there will be another way out.

Ms. Mulhern has topped herself and knocked this way out of the park! She partners suspense with humor in a way I believe only she can. She has created a fantastic protagonist. I was cheering for Poppy the whole way. The pace was fast, the plot was fabulous, and the dialogue was fluid. Such as exciting read!

This story has moved to the top of my Best Reads of 2018. I can’t wait for the next installment! Bring on more Poppy Fields as soon as possible!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my reviews of  Fields’ Guide to Assassins here, 

Fields’ Guide to Voodoo here, Fields’ Guide to Fog here

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

 


Also by Julie Mulhern



*This book is in my private collection, purchased from Amazon.
Posted in 2020 Reviews Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes New Release Challenge Read The Printed Word Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Evil Men Do (A P.T. Marsh Novel) by John McMahon #Review / #Giveaway


The Evil Men Do (A P.T. Marsh Novel)
Suspense/Thriller
Police Procedural
Setting – Georgia
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (March 3, 2020)
Hardcover: 368 pages
ISBN-10: 052553556X
ISBN-13: 978-0525535560
Kindle ASIN: B07SZQP2C5

What if the one good thing you did in your life doomed you to die?

 

A hard-nosed real estate baron is dead, and detectives P.T. Marsh and Remy Morgan learn there’s a long list of suspects. Mason Falls, Georgia, may be a small town, but Ennis Fultz had filled it with professional rivals, angry neighbors, and a wronged ex-wife. And when Marsh realizes that this potential murder might be the least of his troubles, he begins to see what happens when ordinary people become capable of evil.

 

As Marsh and Morgan dig into the case, it becomes clear that Fultz’s death was not an isolated case of revenge. It may be part of a dark web of crimes connected to an accident that up-ended Marsh’s life a couple years earlier–and that now threatens the life of a young child. Marsh veers dangerously off track as his search for clues becomes personal..and brings him to a place where a man’s good deeds turn out to be more dangerous than his worst crimes.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

My first experience with P.T. Marsh was gripping and this one was even more so.

Swarmy Ennis Fultz is dead and he left plenty of suspects behind. A very observant little girl plays a major role and P.T. uncovers more evil than he ever could have imagined. The deeper he digs veers him in a direction that appears to be personal. A direction that could cost him his job and maybe even his life.


Mr. McMahon has created complicated characters and puts them in complex situations. I ended my review of The Good Detective saying John McMahon is now an author to watch, and I was right.  I thought P.T. Marsh had turned a corner. He did but as far as I thought. He is still hurting and raw. He is smart, determined, and flawed and still trying to come to grips with the loss of his wife and son in a freaky hit and run accident. P.T. is also embroiled in a civil suit along with the police department for excessive use of force on a previous case. He doesn’t believe he did anything wrong and that could come back to bite him financially. He is trying to stay sober and do his job but it isn’t easy. His partner, Detective Remy Morgan, an African American woman is getting frustrated with P.T. but hopes when push comes to shove he has her back. P.T. has started a relationship with Medical Examiner Sarah Raines but he is clearly still in mourning. He tries to hold tight to the relationship with his father-in-law but something always seems to get in the way.

So much happens within the covers of this book. The author has cleverly plotted this story with several tentacles all entwined together. The book opens with “The little girl knew things.” but transitions to P.T.’s life quickly in Chapter 2. We continue to have visits from the little girl between many of the chapters. This process really drew me in from the start. Soon, it truly became impossible to put the book down. P.T. was continually pulled in several directions. Sometimes he followed the clues in a logical manner but sometimes he goes off on tangents that were dangerous for both him and his partner.

McMahon has delivered a compelling story that will have readers glued to the pages. I wanted P.T. to succeed, get the answers he needs and catch the bad guys, but sometimes I wanted to reach into the pages and grab him to protect him from some of his risky decisions.

The Evil Men Do is a  riveting gritty suspense-filled thriller. P.T. Marsh is a character you become invested in quickly. His life is a wild ride that doesn’t let go. All the strings are not wrapped up at the conclusion of this book either so readers are left excitedly waiting for book #3. Well done, Mr. McMahon! This was a PERFECT ESCAPE!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Read my review for The Good Detective here

About the Author

John McMahon studied Creative Writing at The University of Arizona. In his role as an ad agency creative director, his work has won a Gold Clio for Fiat, and he’s written a Superbowl spot for Alfa Romeo. He currently lives in Southern California with his family and two rescue animals. He’s hard at work on another P.T. Marsh book and dreams of splitting his time between Cabo San Lucas and Lake Lanier, Georgia.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in 2020 Reviews Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge New Release Challenge You Read How Many Books Challenge

The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben – Early Review

Release Date – March 17, 2020


The Boy from the Woods
Suspense Thriller
Setting – New Jersey
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 17, 2020)
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-10: 1538748142
ISBN-13: 978-1538748145
Kindle ASIN: B07TYBQJBM

A man with a mysterious past must find a missing teenage girl in this shocking thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away.

 

Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.

 

No one seems to take Naomi Pine’s disappearance seriously, not even her father-with one exception. Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney, knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school. Hester asks Wilde-with whom she shares a tragic connection-to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.

 

Wilde can’t ignore an outcast in trouble, but in order to find Naomi he must venture back into the community where he has never fit in, a place where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions . . . secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I find out the release date for a new Harlan Coben book I rush to my reading calendar and make sure I keep a date open to review it. Then I anxiously wait for the book to pop up for review. Coben is my favorite author when it comes to suspense and he never disappoints.

The story starts out with Naomi Pine being bullied and soon after the teenager disappears. No one seems to care that the girl is missing except a classmate who feels guilty for not stepping up to defend her and even played along with some of the pranks played on her. He is worried so he reaches out to his grandmother, Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney. Hester then reaches out to Wilde, a man who was found in the woods near her home 30 years ago and was befriended by her son. Wilde feels he has things in common with Naomi and immediately begins his search. A search that could cost him. A search that could hurt others. A search that will reveal secrets that could destroy lives.


This story is absolutely fabulous!

If you have read other Coben thrillers the name Hester Crimstein may be familiar. She is a woman who is tough as nails but we now see she has a soft spot for her grandson. Until now she has been a supporting character that pops up here and there. Through this story, we finally get to know more about this sassy broad who comes to town to see what her grandson Matthew really knows about a girl he says is missing.

We also meet Wilde, a boy found living in the woods about 30 years ago when he was between 6-8 years old. He spoke English but didn’t know his name or anything about where he came from. He soon became known as Wilde. No family ever claimed him so he was placed in foster care and he excelled in school. Upon graduation, he joined the military excelling there as well.  That led to a post-military career in security and investigation.  But the man is clearly a loner and is happiest living in the woods that will always be his home.

The thing Mr. Coben really does well is create characters with many layers. Some like Hester’s are revealed over time. Other’s like Wilde, Naomi, and Matthew are peeled back over the course of the story but I always feel like he holds just a bit back in case he wants to revisit them again in the future. All the characters are interesting and held my attention and I wanted to know more.

He has wrapped these characters into a story that starts as a missing person case and quickly becomes so much more. Wilde truly was all in when it came to finding Naomi and went to great lengths to get answers. He runs into roadblocks but pushes through, literally at times, to get in people’s faces to find out what the know or what they did. A surprising twist changes the game and ratchets up the suspense and takes us in new directions.

Coben blends social and political themes, really highlighting how far the rich will go to keep their secrets. We are immersed in the dark side seeing people who have created a great public facade but who truly have no morals or ethics. It made my cringe in places.

Mr. Coben also shows us a softer side as characters deal with loss and grief while trying to move forward. Grieving the loss of a loved one is something I am very familiar with and he captured and told this part of the story in a heartwarming and believable way.  It was a nice little subplot alongside all the action and suspense.

As I said, this story is fabulous, it is filled with twists and thrills. I totally escaped into every aspect of the story. Well-plotted and written, with a perfect pace. The ending was a complete surprise, The Boy From The Woods is a complex story that was so compelling.  I loved it! My world completely stopped when I started reading. In fact, Harlan Coben is responsible for my latest book hangover because I stayed up until the early morning hours to finish this book.

The Boy From The Woods deserves more than 5 stars. It earns my Paradise Rating and a place on my Best Reads of 2020.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Harlan Coben and his book on his webpage here.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Giveaways Spotlights

Death in the Family (A Shana Merchant Novel) by Tessa Wegert #Spotlight / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery @tessawegert

DEATH IN THE FAMILY
Death in the Family (A Shana Merchant Novel)
Traditional Detective Mysteries/ Suspense
1st in Series
Publisher: Berkley (February 18, 2020)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0593097890
ISBN-13: 978-0593097892
Kindle ASIN: B07RZGJB86

A storm-struck island. A blood-soaked bed. A missing man. In this captivating mystery that’s perfect for fans of Knives Out, Senior Investigator Shana Merchant discovers that murder is a family affair.

 

Thirteen months ago, former NYPD detective Shana Merchant barely survived being abducted by a serial killer. Now hoping to leave grisly murder cases behind, she’s taken a job in her fiancé’s sleepy hometown in the Thousand Islands region of Upstate New York.

 

But as a nor’easter bears down on her new territory, Shana and fellow investigator Tim Wellington receive a call about a man missing on a private island. Shana and Tim travel to the isolated island owned by the wealthy Sinclair family to question the witnesses. They arrive to find blood on the scene and a house full of Sinclair family and friends on edge.

While Tim guesses they’re dealing with a runaway case, Shana is convinced that they have a murder on their hands. As the gale intensifies outside, she starts conducting interviews and discovers the Sinclairs and their guests are crawling with dark and dangerous secrets.

 

Trapped on the island by the raging storm with only Tim whose reliability is thrown into question, the increasingly restless suspects, and her own trauma-fueled flashbacks for company, Shana will have to trust the one person her abduction destroyed her faith in—herself. But time is ticking down, because if Shana’s right, a killer is in their midst and as the pressure mounts, so do the odds that they’ll strike again.

 

About Tessa Wegert

DEATH IN THRE FAMILY TESSA WEGRET

Tessa Wegert is a Canadian expat, journalist, and former digital media strategist. Her business and marketing articles have appeared in such publications as Forbes, the Huffington Post, Adweek, and The Economist. Death in the Family is her first novel.

Callie Beaulieu has been an actress for several decades. Classically trained, she is predominantly a theater actress, and her work has been seen around the country. Callie recently returned to the US after spending nearly a decade living in the Caribbean. She is a proud member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.

Author Links – Website – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 7, 2020, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

Fields’ Guide to Fog (The Poppy Fields Adventures) by Julie Mulhern #Review


Fields’ Guide to Fog (The Poppy Fields Adventures)
Mystery/Suspense (Humorous)
4th in Series
Setting – London, England
Publisher: Independently published (September 30, 2019)
Paperback: 266 pages
ISBN-10: 1698265018
ISBN-13: 978-1698265018
Kindle ASIN: B07XZB4TYT

It isn’t easy having Hollywood’s biggest, brightest star for a mother—especially when her Russian oligarch boyfriend has been kidnapped. When Poppy Fields flies to London to be with her mother, she finds nothing but fog, danger, and phenomenal shopping.Too bad half the city wants Poppy dead, and she has no idea why.The odds against her are high, the menace is real, and if she doesn’t find answers quickly, a dirty bomb will send global financial markets plummeting. Poppy will need charm, smarts, and a killer Chihuahua if she wants to save the world (and snag those boots she spotted at Harrods).

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Poppy Fields’ is back and she and “Thor” are fighting crime across the pond and her feisty Chihuahua is along for the ride too. When Poppy receives a call from her mother telling her that her rich Russian oligarch boyfriend, Yurgi has been abducted she wastes no time getting there.  Yurgi’s son Vincent is handling the money issues if a ransom demand comes through. Chariss wants her daughter Poppy on hand to do what she is quickly becoming famous for – catching the criminals. They barely touchdown in the foggy city and bullets are flying. Can she do it again? Can she catch a killer and live to tell the tale?

___

This is another fantastic book for Julie Mulhern. The action starts quickly and goes full throttle until the very end. Bullets flying, a rolling fog, bombs exploding, a building collapses, more bullets fly, the masked motorcycle rider returns, and Poppy makes a surprising discovery. Amongst all that, Thor (Mark) starts to push a little harder for a relationship or even just one dance. Mr. Brown’s boss Jane Doe is also introduced and Poppy learns driving on the wrong side of the road is harder than it looks. Chariss wants her man back and is somewhat oblivious to everything else going on around her. Thankfully Poppy knows how to deal with her mother.

So much happens in this story it is impossible to put down. Ms. Mulhern’s characters are fully developed and jump off the page. Again, the drama and suspense in laced with plenty of humor. I absolutely love everything about the way she writes a story.  The pace is fast, the dialogue is crisp, and the characters are fabulous. Poppy Fields is an awesome protagonist and I just can’t get enough. This time there is one surprise that was just amazing and I am anxious and excited to see how that subplot continues.

I always mention planning accordingly when picking up a book in this series because once you start reading you will not want to stop until you reach the end.

Each Poppy Fields adventure is terrific! Fields’ Guide to Fog, like the 3 previous books, receives my Paradise rating. I recommend reading them all in order so you really get to know Poppy and the other characters and enjoy all their adventures!

 

You can read my review of Fields’ Guide to Abduction here. 

You can read my review of Fields’ Guide to Assassins here. 

You can read my review of Fields’ Guide to VooDoo here.

Book 1 is free right now!

About the Author

Julie Mulhern is the USA Today bestselling author of The Country Club Murders and the Poppy Fields Adventures She is a Kansas City native who grew up on a steady diet of Agatha Christie. She spends her spare time whipping up gourmet meals for her family, working out at the gym and finding new ways to keep her house spotlessly clean–and she’s got an active imagination. Truth is–she’s an expert at calling for take-out, she grumbles about walking the dog and the dust bunnies under the bed have grown into dust lions.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted in Cloak and Dagger Challenge E-Book Challenge Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2019 You Read How Many Books Challenge

A Woman of Two Minds by Bourne Morris #Review / #Giveaway @BourneMorris

To Be Released Tuesday, November 9, 2019

A Woman of Two Minds
Medical Thriller/Suspense
Setting – Nevada
Black Opal Books (November 9, 2019)
Paperback: 300 pages
ISBN-10: 1644371677
ISBN-13: 978-1644371671
Kindle ASIN: B07WDD56PL

Kit Mackenzie, a brilliant young CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation, is on trial for the murder of her mother. Was it self-defense or homicide? After the prosecutor discovers a secret brain operation in her past, he believes Kit has a strong motive for murder. His discovery begins one of the most unusual trials in American history. Media from all over the world descend on the courtroom to cover a story they find too astonishing to believe. Mackenzie must depend on her renowned attorney and the insights of a skilled neuro-scientist in the fight to prove her innocence and gain the acceptance of a man she has always wanted.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This was a powerful read. I am going to try to write this review carefully not to give too much away because to enjoy this story you need to read and discover all the bits and pieces on your own.

Kit Mackenzie was in a dark place, dark enough that she tried to take her own life. She did survive but her life is dramatically changed forever. A change the prosecutor believes led her to kill her mother. Her fate plays out over the pages of this story.

When I accepted this book for review I was not aware of the suicide element to the story, but I became so engrossed in Kit’s story there was no way I was going to put this book down. For this gripping story, I pushed down the uncomfortable moments.

The trial takes place in 2018 but we travel back in time to follow Kit’s journey before she tried to take her life and then through the trial date to get her perspective and the perspective of those around her.

The medical aspect of this story was profound and very interesting. New medical discoveries are made every day but it takes some true bravery and sacrifice to submit to the operation in this story.

The author set a perfect pace. As it got later into the evening I was saying to myself, just one more chapter and continued to read two or three more and then repeated the process. I finally had to stop because my eyes just wouldn’t stay open. Speaking of eyes, I went to the optometrist the next morning and my Kindle went with me. Even after my eyes were dilated for the exam, I just increased the font size so I could keep reading while my husband had his exam. I quickly finished the book after we got home.

Ms. Morris does keep her readers on their toes too, right up until the very last page . . . what a moment!

Well-written and plotted, this story blew me away. If medical thrillers or bold thought-provoking stories are your thing you will enjoy A Woman of Two Minds.  This book has earned a place on my Best Reads of 2019 list!

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

 

  Bourne Morris is also the author of the Red Solaris Mysteries. You can read my review of The Red Queen’s Run here, The Rise of the Red Queen here, and The Red Queen Rules here

Find out more about Bourne Morris and her books on her website here, Facebook and Twitter too.



I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Follow Bourne Morris on Twitter for 2 Bonus Entries!

LIKE Bourne Morris on Facebook for 2 Bonus Entries!

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you share the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End November 21, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”