May 262018
 


43 Missing (Detective Emilia Cruz)
Suspense/Mystery/Police Procedural
6th in Series
Laurel & Croton (December 14, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0999712207
Kindle ASIN: B07793QCD7

43 MISSING is based on the true events of September 2014,when 43 male students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College went missing in Iguala, Guerrero and have yet to be found.

Given the choice between resigning from the squadroom in Acapulco or taking a new assignment, Detective Emilia Cruz finds herself on a national task force examining Mexico’s most notorious crime.

After 18 months and three inconclusive investigations, the task force is the Mexican government’s last attempt to discover what happened to 43 students who disappeared after being seized by police in a small southern city.

Comprised of cops from across Mexico, the task force lacks technical tools, organized case files, and reliable witnesses. It’s a perfect scenario for failure.

Despite its problems, the task force gives Emilia the opportunity to search for the rapist and murderer known as El Acólito, with whom she has an agonizing family tie. Digging into his past life in Mexico City, she’ll learn a shocking truth about the man she’s determined to kill.

As the task force digs up confusing new leads, a diplomat from the United States embassy offers Emilia $50,000 to end the investigation. It’s a tempting offer that would shift Emilia’s hunt for El Acólito into high gear.

But is the diplomat really who he claims to be?

Does it matter?

When the task force heads to the scene of the crime, Emilia knows her loyalty, conscience, and very future will be put to the test.

About the Author

With a CIA career in her rearview mirror, Carmen Amato is the author of the Detective Emilia Cruz police procedural series set in Acapulco and optioned for television by a US network studio. Emilia Cruz is the first female detective on the Acapulco police force, confronting Mexico’s drug cartels, legendary government corruption and culture of machismo. Kirkus Reviews has called the books “consistently exciting,” with “danger and betrayal never more than a page away.”

Carmen’s books reflect her travels around the world, as well as her expertise in international negotiations and intelligence collection, translation, and analysis. She is a recipient of both the National Intelligence Award and the Career Intelligence Medal.

Originally from upstate New York, Carmen was educated there as well as in Virginia and Paris, France. Her family tree includes a mayor, a Mensa genius, and the first homicide in the state of Connecticut with an automatic weapon. The perpetrator, her great-grandfather, eluded a state-wide manhunt after killing two people–one of whom was his wife. He was never brought to justice. *

Visit Carmen’s website at http://carmenamato.net to get a free copy of the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library. With two novellas, the first chapters of the first 3 novels in the series. 

*From Amazon

The Detective Emilia Cruz Series
Dollycas

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May 252018
 

39 Winks (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)Medical Mystery/Thriller
2nd in Series 
Setting – Midwest, United States
Henery Press (May 22, 2018)
Print Length 298 Pages
Digital ASIN: B07B9M3VZ7

 

 

Former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is losing sleep. Her boyfriend Constantine’s aunt is a multitasking sleepwalker who, in addition to wandering her stately home, prepares meals, folds laundry and, one winter night, stumbles across her husband with his throat slit.

It’s a rude and gruesome awakening that’s upsetting to Aunt Polly. And interesting to the police.

Maggie and Constantine work to uncover who killed the cosmetic surgery mogul and why. As they dig into the lives of those who knew him best, they discover that the truth is only skin deep and doctoring perception is a treatment with deadly side effects.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Maggie O’Malley is back and she is selling ladies lingerie?? Well, she is when the story begins. She lost her pharmaceutical job after all the drama she was involved in and she has bills to pay. She stands up to her boss and ends up unemployed again, but that is fine with her. Now she can go help her boyfriend, Constantine with his aunt and a murder she may have committed.  She has a little sleepwalking problem and she happened to find her husband dead at the table with his throat slit. She has no idea what happened but she is covered in blood and the police’s prime suspect. There are many other people that may have killed the cosmetic surgeon.  To prove Aunt Polly’s innocence Maggie and Constantine work to find the real killer. They find the deceased doc had a huge secret that could have led to his demise. Now they just have to make the police believe it.

In this follow up to Protocol, Kathleen Valenti again wraps pharmaceuticals into the story. Constantine’s Aunt Polly is battling Parkinson’s and Maggie thinks one of her medications is bringing on her sleepwalking. So while not only trying to find a murderer, Maggie is striving to help Polly find answers about her health. Her knowledge of drugs and medical procedures comes in handy in solving this mystery.  I really enjoy the way the relationship between Maggie and Constantine has moved forward. They are learning to trust each other. Maggie still is unsure about being in a relationship. A little jealousy pops up when Constantine learns that Maggie and Detective Austin dated in the past. They do work well together and taking things slow is a good thing.

The author has created characters that are true to life and she has put them in stunning situations. The dialogue flows well and the imagery created takes readers right into the story.

This plot is very complex. Many threads need to be woven together. Greed, revenge, and vanity played major parts. A detective trying to settle a score, a patient unhappy with her surgery outcome, a doctor on the take, and the corruption goes deeper than could be imagined.  Twists and turns kept me guessing and I was surprised by the amazing ending. This book would make a wonderful television movie.

The story ends with Maggie accepting a new job! I am excited to read book #3. Hope we do not have to wait too long.

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About the Author

 

When Kathleen Valenti isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. 39 Winks is the second of the Maggie O’Malley mystery series and follows her debut mystery, Protocol. Kathleen lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running.

Learn more at www.kathleenvalenti.com.

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Praise for 39 Winks (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
by Kathleen Valenti

In short, my kind of read! 39 Winks is another prime example of Valenti’s skill in weaving together complex threads into an entertaining and fully engaging story.
~Reading is My SuperPower

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May 14 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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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.”

May 242018
 

About the Book 


Don’t Believe ItMystery/Crime/Suspense
Setting – St. Lucia
Kensington (May 29, 2018)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496713803
Digital ASIN: B075CBLSDX
Audio ASIN: B079VRWSRY

 

 

The Girl of Sugar Beach is the most watched documentary in television history—a riveting, true-life mystery that unfolds over twelve weeks and centers on a fascinating question: Did Grace Sebold murder her boyfriend, Julian, while on a Spring Break vacation, or is she a victim of circumstance and poor police work? Grace has spent the last ten years in a St. Lucian prison and reaches out to filmmaker Sidney Ryan in a last, desperate attempt to prove her innocence.

As Sidney begins researching, she uncovers startling evidence, additional suspects, and timeline issues that were all overlooked during the original investigation. Before the series even finishes filming, public outcry leads officials to reopen the case. But as the show surges towards its final episodes, Sidney receives a letter saying that she got it badly, terribly wrong.

Sidney has just convinced the world that Grace is innocent. Now she wonders if she has helped to free a ruthless killer. Delving into Grace’s past, she peels away layer after layer of deception. But as Sidney edges closer to the real heart of the story, she must decide if finding the truth is worth risking her newfound fame, her career . . . even her life.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Filmmaker Sidney Ryan feels she has found the perfect subject for her new documentary. Grace Sebold has been in prison in St. Lucia for the past 10 years. Found guilty of killing her boyfriend while on Spring Break. A crime she says she didn’t commit. She had reached out to Grace to tell her story and hopefully prove she didn’t kill anyone.

Sidney starts investigating and quickly sees many inconsistencies in the previous investigation. She sells the story to television, pitching a 10 episode series that she will do almost in real time as she digs into the case.

The series premiers with good ratings and grows with each episode.  A public outcry gets the attention of the U.S. government and they realize one of its citizens may be in prison in a foreign country for a crime she didn’t commit. At the same time, Sidney receives a letter telling her that her docudrama is wrong and that Grace has to be guilty.  Before she can put together the final episodes she takes her investigation in a different direction and by doing that she risks everything.

This story could be ripped from the headlines. True Crime dramas are hot right now. They are all over television, even have channels dedicated to this type of program. This one also delves into the police procedures and the courts in St. Lucia, an island where tourists are their bed and butter.

Most of the story is told from Sidney Ryan’s point of view and she plans and investigates. Interspersed between are interviews Sidney has with people connected to the case. The fact that she was creating the episodes almost in real time, sometimes just a day or two before it aired, including all the behind the scenes drama was so interesting.  It kept the pace of the story at a high level.

The author does an excellent job of giving us readers an intense story. I was sucked in right from the start. The story has twists that changed my thinking several times. Was Grace really innocent? If she was, who killed Julian? I had a clear thought of another suspect and then another and then back to Grace. I don’t want to say too much to ruin the story but the ending took a turn I never imagined.

After reading The Girl Who Was Taken last summer, I did not even read the synopsis for this book before reading it. I just knew it was written by Charlie Donlea and I had to read it. I am glad I did that. This is a book you just need to jump into and let it take you away. This story is well written, very detailed, and much more than it originally seems. A totally entertaining story that I had a hard time putting down.

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Check out my review of The Girl Who Was Taken here

About the Author

Credit – Carrianne Photography

USA Today bestselling author Charlie Donlea was born and raised in Chicago. He now lives in the suburbs with his wife and two young children. Readers can find him online at http://charliedonlea.com

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Also by Charlie Donlea

Praise for Don’t Believe It
by Charlie Donlea

Donlea’s use of the documentary format helped build and maintain suspense. He tapped into the American passion for true crime to write the story and it worked well.
~Bea’s Book Nook

Charlie Donlea is definitely an author to watch out for. Five stars is not enough praise for this story.
~Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews

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May 21 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW
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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.”

May 222018
 

 

About the Book


The Face on the Other Side (Thomas O’Shea Mysteries)
Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
3rd in Series
Setting – Iowa
FPS (February 10, 2018)
Paperback: 340 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1945338946

 

 

He’d promised Sheriff Payne that he wouldn’t take any more matters into his own hands. So, when on a leisurely morning drive, SEAL-trained Thomas O’Shea sees two girls attacking a boy on a sidewalk, he opts not to intervene. When the boy is later murdered in the local hospital, though, all promises are off. What seems at the start to be a simple case of gang activity turns out to be far more. Even O’Shea, who has seen more than his share of evil, could not have guessed what is about to transpire…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I am so excited to tell you about this book. I reviewed the 2nd book in this series back in 2015 and have been waiting for this next story.

Thomas O’Shea is a special man, a Christian man, and ex-Navy Seal. He has been caught in some dangerous situations in the past and has vowed to stay out of trouble. When he witnesses two girls beating the heck out of a boy on the sidewalk just outside the school grounds he tries to do the right thing by contacting the police. He quickly sees they are not going to arrive in time and has to step in. The boy survives the beating but is later killed in the hospital. Mr. O’Shea feels he owes the boy justice and he convinces the sheriff to let him help with the case. Neither one ever imagined the evil they were going to face.

This story is not for the faint of heart. This is riveting, gritty, suspense-filled story that you will not be able to put down. The author has created a small Iowa town and brought big-city problems up close and personal.

Thomas O’Shea and his schoolteacher girlfriend are taking things slow, his choice, not hers. He wants to get married but she is afraid of getting that call that he has been hurt or killed. These characters and all the rest including the sheriff and O’Shea’s friend Lunatic Mooning, are so well crafted. It is so easy to picture them so clearly and be drawn in by them.

I saw in the last book that the author’s very descriptive way of telling a story made it feel as if you were watching a movie. That is even more evident in this story. It is fast paced and full of intensity.  Every time a door was opened or Thomas tracked down a suspect I was almost fearful of what was going to happen next. I knew Thomas’ heart was always in the right place but his head puts him in some dire situations. The action and drama build up to a scene that had my heart racing. I was holding my breath the whole time to see how the scene would play out.  When it ended I had to set the book down and take a few deep breaths before I could read the final chapters. Wow!! What a story!

I want to stress you do not need the previous books in this series to enjoy this story. Each book can stand on their own. If you enjoy books by Harlan Coben, David Burnsworth or Greg Iles, I know you will enjoy this book/series.

In my opinion, this story deserves more than 5 stars. It is a story I will not forget!

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About the Author

John Carenen, a native of Clinton, Iowa, graduated with an M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from the prestigious University of Iowa Writers Workshop and has been writing ever since. His work has appeared numerous times in Reader’s Digest (including a First Person Award), McCall’s, Dynamic Years, and other periodicals. He has been a featured columnist in newspapers in Morganton, North Carolina and Clinton, South Carolina. His fiction has appeared in regional literary magazines. A novel, Son-up, Son-down, was published by the National Institute of Mental Health. He is happily married to (long-suffering) Elisabeth, and they have two grown daughters, Caitlin and Rowe. When he isn’t writing, he thinks about getting in shape, cheers for the Iowa Hawkeyes and Boston Red Sox, and takes frequent naps. He has traveled extensively, having visited 43 states and 23 countries. He is a USAF veteran, having served in the Philippines and Massachusetts. A retired an English professor at Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina, he is hard at work on another novel.

Author Links

Purchase Links

Amazon

Praise for The Face on the Other Side (Thomas O’Shea Mysteries)
by John Carenen

What I liked about this story are characterization and the narration . . . I loved the suspense and guessing on the culprit till the end.
~Fantastic Feathers

The characters are well rounded and well developed. The author creates characters that will stay with you long after you have finished the book.
~MJB Reviewers

Wow, what a ride you are about to embark on as you begin turning the pages of this book.
~Maureen’s Musings

. . . this one had me on the edge of my seat and turning the pages until the end.
~My Reading Journeys

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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.”

May 042018
 

Honor Kills (Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries)
Hard-Boiled Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Wisconsin
Dark Chocolate Press LLC (May 1, 2018)
Paperback: 284 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0998755748
Kindle ASIN: B07BH61872

A missing husband. A suspicious obituary. She’s not the only one hunting down a dead man’s footsteps.

As a divorcee, Angelina Bonaparte knows firsthand the lengths some men will go to escape responsibility. When a worried mother wants the private investigator to track down her missing husband, she’s eager to bring the deadbeat dad to justice. But even after she discovers the man’s obituary, she refuses to believe it until she sees the body. Tracking down the nurse who last saw him alive could be the missing puzzle piece to her client’s broken family.

But as she digs deeper, she realizes there’s something darker at play than dodging child support payments. And she may not be the only one hunting the man down. To close the case and reunite her client’s family, she must track down the missing husband without falling prey to the same ruthless hunter.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The long-awaited 3rd installment of this series is here!

Angie Bo-nah-par-tay is back and has new information on an old case. Marcy Wagner hired her six years ago to find her husband, a school teacher that just disappeared. She has been doing the usual checks with no success but now the man’s obituary has shown up in a Steven’s Point newspaper. Angie gets a copy of the death certificate and it states he was “Never Married”. She breaks all this news to Marcy gently but Angie is convinced there is more to the story. Marcy would like more answers too, What has her husband been doing for these six years? In a story that takes us from Milwaukee to Steven’s Point readers follow Angie and her assistant in a quest to get those answers. Surprisingly Angie even finds herself asking her Papa for help. Her investigation may get her killed, but to keep Marcy and her children safe she has to find the truth.

Nanci Rathbun takes us on a wild ride in Honor Kills. I love that this story takes place close to where I live and that an exciting event takes place at Holy HillRoman Catholic shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I have not been there in years, it is not very handicap accessible, but the author’s descriptions brought back a rush of memories. Of course, our visits there were never even close to exciting as Angie’s were.

Angie is such a strong protagonist. She is tough as nails, cares about her clients, sometimes too much, and a woman that won’t back down even in the line of fire. She has a quick wit and loves hard. A sixty-something woman who is a fast thinker and a classy dresser. The clothing descriptions entered a T.M.I. (too much information) situation for me. We know she is in a relationship with Milwaukee Homicide Detective Ted Wukowski, who might find the descriptions delightful but for me, the unmentionables should stay unmentioned or not mentioned every time Angie changes outfits.

I found the entire story suspenseful and intriguing. Marcy’s husband Hank was not who he appeared to be and as each new piece of information was revealed we come to understand more about the man he truly is/was. We also find out that the local police are not happy with Angie’s involvement in the case or with her relationship with her detective boyfriend and they make a drastic request. How this plays out really had me full of emotions.

Well written and well plotted, Ms. Rathbun has another fantastic story on her hands. The edge of the seat moments tempered by Angie’s chaotic life that at times made me laugh out loud kept me up reading late into the night. Honor Kills is part of the Angelina Bonaparte Mystery Series but it most definitely can be read on it own.  An excellent story!

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Nanci Rathbun is a lifelong reader of mysteries – historical, contemporary, futuristic, paranormal, hard-boiled, cozy … you can find them all on her bookshelves.  She brings logic and planning to her writing from a background as an IT project manager, and attention to characters and dialog from her second career as a Congregationalist minister.

Nanci grew up an Army brat, living in Germany, France, and Korea, as well as several states in the U.S. After her dad retired from the service, the family settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There, Nanci raised her daughter and son, while working at AT&T. She never expected to move, but when her second grandchild was on the way, she wanted to be closer. One of her greatest joys is hearing her three granddaughters shout ‘Nana’ when she comes in their front door in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Nanci’s Maltipoo, Teeny, and she now live in Wellington, Colorado. No matter where she makes her home, she will always be a Packers fan.

Author Links

Website     Facebook     Twitter: @nancirathbun

I am giving my signed review copy away! 

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Will Return Next Week! 

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.”

May 032018
 

Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller)
by Gerry Schmitt

About the Book


Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller)

Suspense/Thriller
2nd in Series
Setting – Minnesota
Berkley

Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425281789
Paperback: 320 pages (May 1, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-0425281796
Kindle ASIN: B01MXHV6CL

The brutal murder of a business tycoon leaves Afton Tangler and the Twin Cities reeling, but that’s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree…

Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can’t save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.

Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case. As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again—and succeeds—in a brazen hospital room attack.

The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person—and she’s not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage…

I was privileged to read and review the hardcover edition of this book!

Dollycas’s Thoughts

In this follow up to Little Girl Gone we find Afton Tangler tangled up in another police investigation. Something she loves as she hopes to become a full-fledged detective instead of a family liaison officer.

A helicopter bringing a donor heart from Madison, Wisconsin is shot down out of the sky crashing down on a college campus. Afton and Detective Max Montgomery were nearby for a neighborhood meeting so they become some of the first responders.  Deputy Chief Gerald Thacker assigns Afton to work with Max on this difficult case.

Mom Chao Cherry ordered the hit on the helicopter. She is out for revenge but the police know nothing about her or even that she and her team plan to keep terrorizing the victims she chooses.

Ms. Schmitt takes us into the story from various characters points of view to drag us deep into the gritty and at times terrifying story.  This story involves many more people than the first book but I had no trouble following. I really enjoyed following the investigation to its conclusion. It grabbed my attention right away and held it to the very end.

I found both Afton and Max to be very engaging in the first book and they have grown to be very comfortable working together in this one. All the officers working on the case and the Deputy Chief realize Afton has talents to bring to the table. She doesn’t always follow Max’s orders but when she doesn’t she seems to have a good reason.

The content of the story was very well written and researched. This series brings a totally different type of story than I have seen from her alter ego Laura Childs. The language and events are raw and rough at times but ring true for these characters in this setting. It is fun to see this author bring us this thrilling story and a darker side of life while still giving us characters to root for.

Warning  – do not start this book late in the day. The author writes in a short chapter format that will have you saying “just one more chapter” several times until you realize you have read the whole darn book.

This book is part of a series but can be read on its own. To really know Afton and Max you should start with Little Girl Gone. I am already looking forward to the next Afton Tangler Thriller.

Dollycas

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About The Author

Gerry Schmitt is the author of the Afton Tangler Thrillers, and, writing under the pseudonym Laura Childs, the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty-five novels, the Tea Shop, Scrapbooking, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. She is the former CEO of her own marketing firm, has won TV and radio awards, and produced two reality TV shows. She and her professor husband enjoy collecting art, travel, and their two Shar-Pei dogs.

Author Links –
Website – Facebook 

To find books written as Laura Childs click here.

 

Praise for Shadow Girl

I enjoyed the characters a lot. Max and Afton seem to play off of each other well as far as figuring things out.
~Valerie’s Musings

This is one of those books where the bad men are really bad, and everyone in the case is hiding something to have a money profit…
~Varietats

Afton was a likable character for me. She seemed in tune with some of the other characters. She is good at her job.
~A. Holland Reads

Shadow Girl by Gerry Schmitt is one of the most gripping and chilling books I’ve read this year.
~Back Porchervations

The mystery and suspense aspect of this book was great. This was a definite page-turner.
~Bookworm Cafe

Can I just say Wow! It’s been awhile since I sat and read a book that terrified me with precision action that intrigued me so much it was impossible to put the book down.
~Texas Book-aholic

It starts off with a bang (literally) and the suspense never lets up. I love stories that grip you right from the start and this thriller fits the bill.
~Brooke Blogs

This is a serious thriller with a lot going on. There’s surface to air missiles, conspiracies to kill no matter who gets hurt and what has to be done, and characters with some seriously shady backstories.
~I Wish I Lived In a Library

From page 1 I was engaged in a thrilling and suspenseful ride!
~My Reading Journeys

As the chapters unfold we get a good look at things from both the good guys’ and the bad guys’ perspectives. This gives you a first-hand understanding of the killer’s motives, but in no way takes away from the suspense or the desire to see Afton and Max bring her to justice.
~The Book’s the Thing

A page turner like you never read before, Shadow Girl is a deeply rooted thriller in the art of murder, mystery, and revenge.
~Bibliophile Reviews

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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.”

Apr 272018
 

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.


Unnatural Causes: A Dr. Katie LeClair Mystery
Mystery/ Amateur Sleuth
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
Crooked Lane Books (December 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683313137
Digital ASIN: B0767G2XLL

 

 

Katie LeClair has finally settled down as the new doctor in Baxter, MI. After years of moving, schooling, and training, she wants nothing more than to find a place she can call home, and a small town outside of Ann Arbor seemed perfect.

Katie quickly gets to work on building a life for herself in Baxter, and beyond reviving her love life, she also finds a pair of business partners in a team of father and son family practitioners. But that idyllic dream is immediately shattered when one of her patients is found dead. That wouldn’t be the worst thing, except the death is ruled a suicide, and as evidence has it, the suicide was a result of the medication Katie had prescribed. But she doesn’t remember writing it.

When a closer investigation reveals it was murder, Katie is catapulted into an off-the-books investigation that leads her down a dark path of past secrets. But someone is willing to kill to keep part of the town’s history in the shadows, and Katie must race to find out who before it’s too late in nationally bestselling author Dawn Eastman’s riveting series debut Unnatural Causes.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I originally stayed away from this book because of the suicide theme, but now that the holidays, anniversary of my son’s birth and death have passed I was able to read and enjoy the story.

Katie LeClair fresh out of residency has taken a job at a clinic in Baxter, Michigan. She has only been there a few months when one of her patients dies in the emergency room. Her death has been ruled a suicide by overdose. An overdose of a drug that was prescribed by Katie. The problem is Katie doesn’t remember writing a script for the woman. There is also no record of it in the patient’s file.

When the autopsy comes in it contains a couple of surprises, including that the patient was actually murdered. Due to the original suicide ruling evidence has been lost so Katie starts investigating on her own with some shocking discoveries. Discoveries that put Katie in danger. This unusual death could claim one more victim.

Katie LeClair is a dedicated physician that wants to give her patients the best possible care. Her partners are a father and son and together they share clinic and hospital duties. She meets a diverse group of people at the clinic needing all different types of care.  She lives with her younger brother, a real computer genius. Together they are still dealing with the loss of their mother several years ago. Katie also meets another young doctor that could lead to a romantic relationship. Due to a freak event, she is also close to the Baxter police chief.  All of these characters come together naturally and are very well written.

Ms. Eastman gives readers a very suspenseful story. There is a lot going on and the suspects were tangled together in so many ways. I think the police really made a blunder my labeling the death as a suicide before they had the autopsy report. Thankfully Katie was doing some digging initially on her own. Clues were dropped nicely for us readers to follow but I was still juggling suspects when the killer was revealed.

A subplot deals with a very relevant 2018 topic. I was impressed by the way this was handled.

I am a huge fan of Dawn Eastman’s stories.  This story had a darker feel than her Family Fortune Mysteries, but I enjoyed it just a much. I love the way she tells a story.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent


About the Author

National bestselling author Dawn Eastman was a family medicine physician in Michigan. Now she lives in Iowa with her husband, son, and daughter. When not writing, she keeps busy catering to the whims of a bossy bichon-shih tzu mix who wants to rule the world. This is her first Dr. Katie LeClair mystery. She is also the author of THE FAMILY FORTUNE MYSTERIES.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook – Goodreads

Twitter – @DawnAEastman

I am giving away my review copy!
The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

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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.”

 

 

 

Apr 032018
 

Deadly Reception (Tawnee Mountain Mysteries)
by Karen Randau

Deadly Reception (Tawnee Mountain Mysteries)
Suspense – Thriller – Mystery
Setting – New Jersey
Self Published (April 16, 2018)
Paperback: 138 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1984380807
Digital ASIN: B079DGBW37

 

 

Deadly Reception is a part of the Tawnee Mountain Mysteries series, a collection of seven brand new mysteries, from seven award-winning and bestselling authors, taking place at the same final destination, the Tawnee Mountain Resort.

Deadly Reception features characters from Karen Randau’s Rim Country Mysteries series.

 

A severed head. A philandering husband. A skeleton in the basement. This was not the perfect wedding Rita Avery planned for her daughter Zoe!

Rita Avery and her detective husband Cliff arrive at New Jersey’s Tawnee Mountain Resort prepared to greet Zoe’s wedding guests in just three hours. Who would have expected to find a man’s torso in their closet?

Things explode into high gear when the victim’s head shows up at the golf equipment shack. A good look at his social media makes Rita wonder if a wife murdered her husband as revenge for infidelity. Or did a secret admirer decide to liberate the wife from her scoundrel husband?
Worse, is Zoe in life-threatening danger . . . again?
And will Rita and Cliff escape the trap in which the murderer snares them?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Rita Avery and her husband Cliff have traveled to the Tawnee Mountain Resort for their daughter’s wedding. They get to their room right after a maid makes a gruesome discovery, a man’s torso. That’s right, no arms, no legs, just a torso. It isn’t long before the head is found. The wedding party is moved to other accommodations but body parts continue to be found. Is this murder connected to their family in some way? or have they just become part of a murderer’s macabre plan? Cliff is determined to find out but he may need Rita’s special skills.

The novella is a lightning fast read. Non-stop surprises all as we hope the bride and her groom make it to the altar.

Karen Randau has packed so much in these 138 pages that is impossible to put this book down. I had jumped into this series last year when I read and reviewed the 3rd book in the Rim County Mysteries, Deadly Choices, so I was familiar with the characters and the author’s writing style. She brought all her talents to this novella, descriptions that put the reader right at the scene, characters that you root for with spot-on dialogues, and suspense that grabs your attention.

Rita is a great character that you can get behind and feel sorrow that her daughter’s special day is tainted by a murder.

The major twist to this story was unexpected and social media played a key role to solving the mystery. Rita’s talents are something that would give Mark Zuckerberg nightmares.

I really need to go back and read the two installments to this series.

Your Great Escapes Travel Agent

 

 

About the Author

 

Karen Randau is the author of the Rim Country Mystery series. Her fast-paced novels include Deadly DeceitDeadly Inheritance, and Deadly Choices, each with intricate plots and lots of action and told from the point of view of protagonist Rita Avery.

Author Links

Website Facebook   Amazon Author Page 

Purchase Link – Amazon

Each book in this multi-author series is a standalone novella, and the series can be read in any order.
The Tawnee Mountain Mysteries series includes:

Leona’s Last Resort by Karen M. Bryson
Dark Side of the Mountain by R.J. Rosatte
Deadly Reception by Karen Randau
Black Diamond Graves by Wendy Fallon
Deadly Misfire by Laurie Fagen
Cassidy’s Deadly Exit by Marla J. Hayes
The Quinnipiac Disappearance by Lee Tidball

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Jan 302018
 

Killer Choice
Berkley (January 30, 2018)
Suspense Thriller
Setting – Michigan
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399586408
Kindle ASIN: B0722TJD9G

 

 

The electrifying debut thriller that asks the question: To save the one you love, is there any price you wouldn’t pay?
 
His wife is sick.
He needs $200,000 to save her.
A mysterious man offers to give him the money with just one catch: He has to murder someone to get it.
 
Gary Foster’s life is finally heading in the right direction. After years of trying, his wife, Beth, is pregnant, and he recently opened a business with his brother. But one phone call changes everything…

After collapsing suddenly, Beth has been rushed to the hospital. Tests reveal a devastating diagnosis: an inoperable brain tumor. Their only hope is an expensive experimental treatment available abroad, with a cost that’s out of their reach. And Beth’s time is running out…

Then a strange man approaches Gary and offers the money he needs, on one condition: that he kill someone, no questions asked. End one life to save another.

In this nail-biting debut novel of domestic suspense, one man makes a choice that forces him to confront the darkest reaches of his soul and betray those closest to him. As he’s swept up in a nightmare of escalating violence, he must question his own morality—and determine just how far he’s willing to go to save the woman he loves.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Beth has glioblastoma, the same kind of cancer as John McCain has and Beau Biden had. But for Beth there is a cure, she just needs to have her baby, fly to Germany and have $200,000 to pay for the clinical trial care and other expenses. Beth and her friends start a funding page and calling friends and family. Her husband Gary receives a phone call offering him the full amount but he has to kill someone. Yes, it is a Killer Choice, but he decides to do it.

There was something just really off to me about Gary. Yes, he wanted to do anything to save his wife, and clearly, he was not thinking straight, but the way he accepted the offer and carried the act out just didn’t hold water for me. He came across to me as a very weak individual. He rubbed me the wrong way from the start and by the finish I really disliked this character.

The plot follows the murder and the aftermath.  The viewpoint shifts between Gary and Otto, the drug dealer. After a slow start, the story picks up the pace but to me, some of it was pretty predictable. There was one moment I was totally shocked by an occurrence and near the end, things got pretty exciting.

Beth’s part is the story was minimal and never really delved into her treatment or the birth of her child. There could have been added drama here. She never became real to me. Maybe as a woman reading this story I need more of this to become engaged by her character.

Hunt has been compared to Harlan Coben, I am a huge fan of Harlan Coben, so I truly expected to love this story, but for me, it just missed the mark.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.”

Nov 172017
 

The Mayor’s Son
Mystery/Crime/Suspense
Setting – Wisconsin
Self Published (August 29, 2017)
Paperback: 254 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0996619578
Kindle ASIN: B0758JN3FT

 

 

 

It’s summer time, 1957. Early on a Sunday morning, a young woman is found dead in the street. She’s been murdered and thrown away like a sack of garbage. Hours later, a second woman is pulled out of the Crawfish River, another victim of a brutal killing.

Chief Augie Austin, Columbus’ top cop, suspects that he may be dealing with a serial killer. But, when the clues send him in two different directions, he realizes that is dealing with two murderers, not one.

Austin’s peaceful world is turned upside down, as he realizes that Columbus is not the unspoiled, perfect little town he thought it was. As he interviews witnesses and friends of the deceased, he finds himself up against one road block after another. People aren’t talking and he wants to know why.

As the evidence builds, Austin recognizes that it is pointing to one of his own officers. Already suspicious that this cop has been bending the rules for personal gain, Austin realizes that he may have a murderer patrolling his streets.

Knowing he must tread carefully, Austin sets out to build a rock solid case against Officer Drollstrom – the Mayor’s son.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

A mystery set in your small home town can be unnerving. This story takes place almost exactly 4 years before I was born. With all the real places, businesses, streets, homes and character names similar to their real ones or descriptions clear enough to recognize who they were based on had me thinking parts of the story could come from actual events, I mean I wasn’t around . . . but the real mayor’s son at the time has assured everyone it is purely fiction.

When a young woman is found dead near the town’s only set of stop and go lights “the four corners” and a second woman is pulled from the river Police Chief Augie Austin fears Columbus may have a serial killer. Trying to find a link between the women is tough because no one will answer his questions. Like him, most residents of this small Columbia County town can’t believe this happened in their close knit community. The investigation starts to move forward when the results on evidence from the crime lab start to come in and they are pointing to one of his own officers. The guy is lazy as they come and doesn’t respect Austin’s authority, but a murderer. . .

This is my first book by this author and clearly it will not be the last. She knows how to set a scene and has created unique characters. I love that in 1957 she has a capable and well trained woman on the police force. All the characters are realistic and their dialogues are believable. Her descriptions make it so easy to picture everything clearly even if you have never set foot in the city.

Murder, prostitution, and small town politics, all come together in a suspenseful mystery with amazing twists and an ending you will never see coming. There is also a fair amount of humor woven throughout the story.

I love my home town.  Taking a step back in time was a pleasure. From the city hall, to Earl’s Cafe (where both my mother and sister worked), to the Fireman’s Tavern, the Stokely canning factory, the popcorn wagon, the Crawfish River and more brought back so many memories. I grew up there and still don’t live too far away. My dad was a milkman, a school bus driver and later the Fire Chief. My mom worked not only at Earl’s Cafe but at the garment factory and later owned a tavern with my dad. Heck, I was runner up to Miss Columbus in 1979. Life there wasn’t perfect but I wouldn’t change a thing.

I admire the author’s imagination and the drama she brought to life in her book. The characters are well crafted and the story really flowed well. I look forward to reading another of her books that hopefully don’t hit quite so close to home 🙂

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can find out about Susan and her webpage here.

More Books by Susan Pare’


I am giving away 1 Kindle Copy.
Book will be sent directly from Amazon
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
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Click Here For Entry Form

Photo of a painting by Columbus resident Susan Stare

*This book was from my private collection.

A Soufflé of Suspicion: A French Bistro Mystery by Daryl Wood Gerber (7/10)Pre - Order Your Copy Today!
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