NetGalley #BookReview Death in the Margins (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #7) by Victoria Gilbert #Cozy #Mystery

Death in the Margins

Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #7

by Victoria Gilbert 

Release date: December 6th, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Death in the Margins (Blue Ridge Library Mysteries #7) by Victoria Gilbert from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

… as always, the author penned a fast-paced mystery, with an abundance of twists and turns and a cast of unique and quirky characters. A fantastic and fun cozy mystery read which I definitely recommend. …  

Library director Amy Muir is back again this time supporting her famous dancer/choreographer, husband Richard with his new youth theatre production. Richard’s first step towards his dream of opening a program for youth. The Folklore Suite is due to open in a neighboring town and features in the lead role Richard’s struggling nasty ex-fiancée, Meredith Fox. Unfortunately, Meredith has managed to insult and alienate the rest of the cast and crew with her constant berating and horrible disposition.  
While preparing for opening night Amy volunteers to work behind the scenes to help Richard and his business partner Karla’s production runs smoothly. While going into the deep recesses of the theatre on break Amy does what she does best, she stumbles upon one of the young dancers, knife in hand, standing over Meredith’s dead body pleading he was trying to save her.  

While the neighboring town’s Sheriff’s Department who has authority, believes the young dancer is guilty Amy, Richard Karla and their hometown Sheriff Brad do not agree. Amy does what she always does and takes up the charge to prove his innocence. While investigating Amy puts herself in the crosshairs of the real killer and this time around, she has much more to lose. 
 
A fan of the series Death in the Margins is an excellent entry and as always, the author penned a fast-paced mystery, with an abundance of twists and turns and a cast of unique and quirky characters. A fantastic and fun cozy mystery read which I definitely recommend.

#NetGalley #BookReview Exit Interview an a.k.a. Jayne novel by Dana Cameron #Thriller #Adventure 

Exit Interview

(An a.k.a. Jayne novel)

by Dana Cameron

Release date: December 6th, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Exit Interview an a.k.a. Jayne novel by Dana Cameron from NetGalley , DCLE Publishing LLC in order to read and give an honest review.  

 A well-written, fast-paced, action-packed thriller that takes the reader on a journey like no other.

A huge fan of author, Dana Cameron’s Emma Fielding series her newest release does not disappoint. In this new series we get a feisty, fast paced thriller with three unique kickass women. 

The death of arms dealer Anton Kola in front of reporter Amy Lindstrom sets off a chain of events like no other. While attending a function hosted by the Kola’s Amy watches as Anton Kola drops dead at her feet after asking her to meet with him. When Amy is abducted after the event, her life is about to change for ever, especially when she learns that it is not her abductor she needs to worry about. Jayne Rogers, former agent of “the Department” was at the event and is set up to take the fall for Kola’s murder. On the run Jayne learns she is not only being sought after by the police but also being hunted by agents she once called colleagues. When Amy realizes she is also in the Department’s crosshairs it is safer to work with Jayne to ensure her safety and the safety of those she loved. When Jayne learns more about a deadly culling set to happen from her former colleague, tech wizard Nicole Bradley, they team up to stop the bloodshed in its tracks.  

 A well-written, fast-paced, action-packed thriller that takes the reader on a journey like no other. I loved the strong, smart, multifaceted, and diverse women all of whom drive the plot at a relentless pace. Although well-written I found the shifting POV’s took a while to get used to but then it worked with the overall plot. This is a bloody and violent novel so those who are expecting another Emma Fielding type novel, be warned. Despite the violence there are some touching and often funny moments in the story leading to an ending that really worked. I highly recommend giving it a read.

#NetGalley #BookReview of A Hard Day for a Hangover Sunshine Vicram #3 by Darynda Jones #Mystery #Romance #Humour

Book Review

A Hard Day for a Hangover

Sunshine Vicram #3

by Darynda Jones

 Release date: December 6th, 2022

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of A Hard Day for a Hangover, Sunshine Vicram #3, by Darynda Jones from Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press in order to read and give an honest review.

…This series has it all mystery, intrigue, family, drama, dark humour an incredibly quirky cast of characters, and a hot romance. It contained all “the feels” you look for in a good series, I laughed (a lot), cried, yelled, and even resorted to biting my fingernails lol….

The third and final book (sadly) in the Sunshine Vicram Series by Darynda Jones takes place just a few days after book two, A Good Day for Chardonnay. In my opinion, this book is not a stand-alone although the author does give a bit of backstory but not enough to really grasp the character’s history…and what a history it is.

Sheriff Sunshine Vicram’s life has been turned upside down since arriving at Del Sol New Mexico as has her teenage daughter Aurora aka Auri. In book two there were big revelations about Sunshine and Levi’s history but book three is where the questions about Sunshine’s past, the town’s secret society as well as the Ravinder family are all answered. Auri’s love interest Cruz is recovering from the events of Book Two and Deputy Quincy is trying to adjust to being a guardian.

Book three begins with Sunshine dealing with the aftermath of book two and trying to function with a huge hangover, desperately trying to catch her breath but that does not seem to be in the cards especially with a full day of cases and the sheriff’s office being commandeered by Randy the Racoon.

Sunshine has multiple cases to deal with, one being when Doug the harmless town flasher, is stabbed in the neck with a knitting needle, and he swears up and down a gang jumped him. The second call is a new case revolving around a young brutally assaulted Jane Doe is found discarded on the side of a cliff, clinging to life. When a pattern emerges, Sunshine realizes she might have a serial killer in Del Sol. When Auri, who has inherited her mother’s inquisitive and fiery disposition, remembers overhearing a conversation at school she believes she knows who the unresponsive victim might be. As usual Auri is determined to help her mom solve the case and does a bit of snooping herself ending up in the cross hairs of the killer.

Suffering from a hangover myself…a book hangover, I have to say I loved this series, and I am so sad that this is the end. I am hoping for Ms. Jones to take pity on her fans and shoot us a few more even in the form of a spin-off.

This series has it all mystery, intrigue, family, drama, dark humour, an incredibly quirky cast of characters, and a hot romance. It contained all “the feels” you look for in a good series, I laughed (a lot), cried, yelled, and even resorted to biting my fingernails lol. I read in almost every genre, but this series was just an incredibly fun read, it does however have dark humour, graphic sex and contains some triggers such as assault and in this book a mass shooting involving children. The only complaints I have are one, I wish there would have been an epilogue, just a bit more of Sunshine, Levi, Auri, and Cruz and two, I want MORE!!!!

Net Galley #BookReview On Spine of Death, By the Book Mysteries #2 by Tamara Berry #cozy #mystery

On Spine of Death

By the Book Mysteries #2

by Tamara Berry

Release date: November 29th, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of On Spine of Death, By the Book Mysteries #2 by Tamara Berry from Net Galley and Poisoned Pen Press in order to read and give an honest review.
… fun, fast-paced mystery, filled with crazy red herrings, quirky characters, a touch of romance and some humour …  
The second installment in Tamara Berry’s “By the Book series” continues where best-selling mystery author Tess Harrow and her teenage daughter, Gertrude leaves off in book one of the series, Buried in a Good Book. Deciding to make a permanent move to Winthrop, WA. Tess fixes up the rustic cabin she inherited from her grandfather along with his old, dilapidated hardware store. Tess decides to convert the store into Winthrop’s first bookstore despite it being in the middle of an area that the powerful and corrupt Mason wants to develop. Although the store is a disaster, the project goes ahead requiring a complete renovation which uncovers hacked human bones, decades old, not only putting the town on edge but with all fingers pointing to her dead grandfather. When the case appears to point to a thirty-year-old cold case with ties to a wildly accurate mystery novel written by an author using a pseudonym and that Tess unknowingly wrote a blurb for.  As the clues unravel an even bigger mystery that has personal ties to the local Sheriff, Victor Boyd puts pressure on Tess to get to the bottom of it to help her friend and clear her grandfather’s name. On the Spine of Death is a fun, fast-paced mystery, filled with crazy red herrings, quirky characters, a touch of romance and some humour. On the Spine of Death in my opinion is a fantastic and fun cozy and I can’t wait to read more in the series. I highly recommend it.

#NetGalley #BookReview Egypt’s Golden Couple; When Akhenaten and Nefertiti Were Gods on Earth by John and Colleen Darnell #AncientEgypt #Egyptology

Book Review

Egypt’s Golden Couple
by John & Colleen Darnell
Release date: November 1st, 2022
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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Egypt’s Golden Couple; When Akhenaten and Nefertiti Were Gods on Earth by John and Colleen Darnell from Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press to read and give an honest review.

…Definitely a labor of love, the authors’ passion for the subject evident in every sentence…

I’ve always been interested in Egyptology and always strive to learn more. Authors John and Colleen Darnell well established in the field, have crafted this well written and extensively researched book about Akhenaten and Nefertiti who reigned in Egypt during the Eighteenth Dynasty from 1352-1336 BCE .

Every chapter contains vignettes recreating dramatic scenes gleaned from artifacts from the time of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, offering the Darnell’s interpretations of translations in the form of fiction-like vignettes on Akhenaten’s unique place in Ancient Egyptian history. The book seems somewhat chronological, starting with the reign of Amenhotep III, Akhenaten’s father, and ends with the death of his son Tutankhamun.

All encompassing, the Darnell’s discus various aspects of Egyptian life including culture, death, rituals, religion, art and family. Akhenaten boldly changed the polytheistic Egyptian religion to a monotheistic one that making an indelible mark in Egyptian society.

I enjoyed this book and will definitely be rereading it as it was such an intensive dive into Akhenaten and Nefertiti ‘s reign. Definitely a labor of love, the authors’ passion for the subject evident in every sentence. My main issue with Egypt’s Golden Couple was that I often found the fiction like narrative a bit distracting from the archaeological evidence.

Net Galley #BookReview Treachery on Tenth Street Gilded Gotham Mystery #3 by Kate Belli #Historical #Mystery

 Review

Treachery on Tenth Street

(A Gilded Gotham Mystery #3)

by 

Kate Belli

Release date: October 11th, 2022

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Treachery on Tenth Street (A Gilded Gotham Mystery) by Kate Belli from Net Galley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.

…An intriguing, well-written, fast-paced mystery, Belli brilliantly creates compelling characters, intriguing plotlines and rich historical details that transport you back to New York City in the late 1800’s. Treachery on Tenth is a page-turning historical mystery that keeps the reader engaged and I cannot wait to read more of Genevieve and Daniel’s adventures….

This is the third book in the A Gilded Gotham Mystery series by Kate Belli and Treachery on Tenth Street does not disappoint.  
 
After narrowly surviving the harrowing events of the previous novel, Betrayal on the Bowery, Reporter and socialite Genevieve Stewart and her friend Daniel McCaffrey are looking forward to escaping New York’s brutal summer for the coastal weather in Newport. Connecting with their dear friends Esme and her husband Rupert at a function welcoming home her brother Gavin from Egypt. At the function, a strange event occurs, when Daniel witnesses an altercation between a man and a woman on a beach below but there is no sign of them when he manages to get to the beach. Genevieve is surprised when a long-lost friend Callie returns after a self-imposed exile. Disappearing after being caught up in a scandal resulting in the loss of her family fortune, Callie is at a loss having to make ends meet and becomes an artist’s model. Callie begs for Genevieve’s assistance when her dear friend and fellow model, Bea, is found dead. Although Genevieve and Daniel’s nemesis Detective Longstreet, is calling Bea’s death a suicide Callie knows it was murder believing it difficult to slit one’s own throat. Genevieve and Daniel begin their investigation in the Tenth Street Building, which houses the artist’s studio where Bea worked. When they stumble across the body of, yet another model suffers a similar fate, her reporter’s instincts take over. In order to avoid panic, Detective Longstreet reluctantly agrees to work with Genevieve and Daniel if she keeps the rumors of Jack the Ripper on the run and hunting his victims in New York out of the papers. When they realize the models are posed like paintings, they begin chasing leads which take them all over the city and when the murder claims a third victim closer to home the race is on before another model is killed.  

An intriguing, well-written, fast-paced mystery, Belli brilliantly creates compelling characters, intriguing plotlines and rich historical details that transport you back to New York City in the late 1800’s. Treachery on Tenth is a page-turning historical mystery that keeps the reader engaged and I cannot wait

#NetGalley #BookReview A Crime for the Books A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery #3 by Kate Young #Mystery #Cozy #CrookedLaneBooks

A Crime for the Books

A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery #3

by Kate Young

Release date: October 11th, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of A Crime for the Books (A Jane Doe Book Club Mystery #3) by Kate Young from Net Galley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

brilliantly crafted characters and intriguing clever plotlines that will keep you turning pages

Having read the first two Jane Doe mysteries On Borrowed Crime and Reading Between the Crimes, I must share that by far this is my favorite for so many reasons. In A Crime for the Books an estranged relative of the Elaine is murdered at a Jane Doe book club event, an Agatha Christie Murder Mystery Party hosted at Elaine’s B&B. When another book club member, the currently acting police chief Rosa arrests Elaine, the town, PI Lyla Moody along with the rest of the book club are enraged. Lyla makes it her mission to get to the bottom of it before Elaine is falsely convicted and their Jane Doe book club family is destroyed. When rumors begin circulating about Rosa and her erratic behavior everyone turns on her, she is not only suspended, but becomes a target when an announcement similar to the book clubs current read Agatha Christie’s A Murder is Announced begins to circulate announcing another murder will take place. When a second body is found, and evidence starts to point to Rosa, Laya battles the evidence and the opinions of friends to help her. Laya’s friendships and her relationship with her law-enforcement boyfriend Brad are put to the test.  

This book really delved into the characters this time around highlighting the relationships, both friendships and romance. The author created characters with real challenges and genuine responses. The plot is clever and intricately woven filled with red herrings, suspense, heartbreak, and a touch of humor. A wonderfully complex whodunit that will keep you reading to the wee hours of the morning.  I would really recommend A Crime for the Books as well, all are fantastic reads, and I am looking forward to reading future books in this series! 

Author, Kate Young has done it again, brilliantly crafted characters and intriguing, clever plotlines that will keep you turning pages and if you’re like me…losing sleep. I really enjoyed Crime for the Books and although it is the third in the series, it works well as a stand-alone, however, I would really recommend reading all three and I am looking forward to reading future books in this series! 

#NetGalley #BookReview Live and Let Grind (Coffee Lover’s Mystery series #3) by Tara Lush #Cozy #Mystery

Live and Let Grind

Coffee Lover’s Mystery series #3

by Tara Lush

Release date: October 11th, 2022  

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Live and Let Grind (Coffee Lover’s Mystery series #3) by Tara Lush from Net Galley and Crooked Lane Books in order to read and give an honest review.  

… a fun, fast-paced mystery, filled with an abundance of red herrings, quirky characters, and fun dialogue …  

In this third entry in the Coffee Lover’s Mystery series, we continue to see Lana adjust to life back in her hometown after leaving her ex-husband and high-profile journalism job in Miami. As the owner/manager of her family’s coffee shop Perkatory in Devil’s Beach, Florida, as well as a freelance reporter, Lana Lewis has been thrust into the role of amateur detective since returning home. When Lana’s ornery neighbor Gus insists on using his leaf blower excessively and at all hours, he gets into arguments with everyone in the neighborhood including Lana’s roommate and best friend Erica. When Gus is blown up by said blower after it has been rigged to explode those near and dear become suspects with Erica being a prime suspect. Her inner circle is small, other than Erica the three main loves of her life are her widowed hippy father, her boyfriend Police Chief Noah Garcia and her pup named Stanley. When Lana hopes to write a story to clear her friend’s name, Chief Garcia tries to block her from writing the story in an attempt to protect her. While her romantic relationship hits a bit of a rough patch, Lana will not back down and continues to work with Erica and find the real murderer. Gus was involved in some shady business practices and enemies seemed to be in abundance. When a second attempted murder points directly to Erica, Lana is under the gun to solve the case placing her and Erica in the cross hairs of the real murderer.

I enjoy the series as a whole and although not my favorite entry in the series to date Live and Let Grind is a fun, fast-paced mystery, filled with an abundance of red herrings, quirky characters, and fun dialogue. Live and Let Grind in my opinion is a fantastic and fun cozy mystery read which I definitely recommend.  

#NetGalley #BookReview the Medici Murders (The Venetian Murders #1) by David Hewson #Historical #Mystery 

REVIEW

The Medici Murders

THE VENETIAN MYSTERY SERIES #1

by David Hewson

Release date: October 4th, 2022

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Medici Murders, The Venetian Murders #1 by David Hewson from NetGalley and Severn House in order to read and give an honest review.

” … Hewson’s writing is brilliant, his descriptions of Venice are rich and atmospheric, his prose beautiful, his cast of characters authentic, it has an intelligent complex plot that seamlessly blends historical fiction and fact …”

Recently widowed and retired archivist Arnold Clover keeps his recently deceased wife’s wishes to move to Venice. When his friend Luca entices him to assist with a freelance job for famed television historian Marmaduke Godolphin (Duke) his leisurely retirement becomes more than he bargained for. Arnold remembers Godolphin who once a renowned academic of his alma mater traded his ethics for the spotlight. Brash and Duke and his entourage, also known as the Gilded Circle from back in the day descend on Venice to solve of a historical mystery that Duke hopes will reinvigorate his fledging career. A mysterious benefactor has bequeathed documents that contain the secret, but nothing is as it seems. The Gilded circle consists of some of Arnold’s former classmates making it a reunion of sorts.
When the body of Godolphin is found floating in a Venice canal, the retired archivist is asked to assist the Carabinieri to offer a concise view of what happened. At the police station Capitano Valentina Fabbri questions Arnold for hours using his version as the truth to measure against the multiple suspects. The story unfolds as Arnold tells his version of events to Capitano Fabbri.

This book is somewhat difficult to review, there was so much to love about this book. Hewson’s writing is brilliant, his descriptions of Venice are rich and atmospheric, his prose beautiful, his cast of characters authentic, it has an intelligent complex plot that seamlessly blends historical fiction and fact. My one complaint is that it was marred by almost too much historical detail that could have been toned down a bit. You can tell the author is passionate about history and the book is thoroughly researched but I almost abandoned it in the beginning as it moved too slowly for me, but I am glad I did not it turned out to be an intriguing mystery with a twist at the end that makes it worth the read. I will definitely read any further books in the series, and I recommend it to lovers of classic whodunits with a historical bend.

#NetGalley #BookReview of Fatal Rounds by Carrie Rubin #Thriller #Medical #Psychological

Review

Fatal Rounds

by Carrie Rubin

Release date: September 20, 2022

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Fatal Rounds by Carrie Rubin from NetGalley and Indigo Dot Press in order to read and give an honest review.

…Well-written, cleverly plotted with interesting and multifaceted characters, author Carrie Rubin gives you a brilliantly executed, clever, page-turning psychological medical thriller…

Being a fan of Carrie Rubin’s Dr. Benjamin Oris series I was thrilled to get to read and review the first of her new series, Fatal Rounds.

When first year medical student Liza Larkin embarks on her journey to be a pathologist, she has her reasons. Diagnosed with a schizoid personality and having her schizophrenic mother in an institution, Liza is determined not to be defined by the label. Liza also has another motive, while putting together a photo album together for her mother she sees a stranger hovering in several of her photos. Two pictures, one at her father’s funeral and another at her graduation, convince her that her family is being stalked, making her determined to get some answers. When she figures out who the stranger is she changes her residency to Titus McCall hospital where the famed trauma surgeon Sam Donavan works and thus the stalker becomes the stalked. Preferring her introverted life with a close-knit circle, Liza struggles to bond with her colleagues but she has a mission, and she will do what she can to get answers. When she starts uncovering secrets about Sam, secrets that point to her father’s death Liza is drawn into a cat and mouse game that pushes her both physically and mentally to the edge. Well-written, cleverly plotted with interesting and multifaceted characters, author Carrie Rubin gives you a brilliantly executed, clever, page-turning psychological medical thriller. I cannot wait to read the next in the series. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it!