Category: Mystery & Thrillers

Book Giveaway of Blood Highway
August 17th, 2018 by diane92345

Enter this book giveaway to grab a free paperback copy of Blood Highway by Gina Wohlsdorf.

My review is here and now you have a chance to win this great book for yourself.

Giveaway begins August 17, 2018, at 12:01 A.M. PDT and ends August 24, 2018, at 11:59 P.M. PDT.

How To Enter
Complete the entry form below.
Enter once daily (optional).

Giveaway Rules
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.
Open to residents of Canada and the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older.
Winners will be selected at random on or about August 25, 2018.
Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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Posted in Giveaways, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with:

Blood Highway
August 16th, 2018 by diane92345

Rainy is forced onto Blood Highway in this unique kidnapping thriller.

Rainy has a tough life. Her mom is paranoid at best and legally insane at worst. Her father is completely missing from her life. To support herself, she pretends to be a server and bags delicious leftovers for herself. She snatches up unclaimed drinks from Starbucks and picks pockets for cash. She is also a senior in high school.

After finding her mother dead by suicide, Rainy meets policeman Blaine. Rainy and Blaine have a lot in common. When Rainy’s dad escapes from prison and takes her on a cross-country road trip, only Blaine can save Rainy from her father’s wrath.

Blood Highway is a propulsive thriller where the tension never lets up. Before beginning this compulsive read make sure you clear your calendar as you won’t want to stop until the surprising conclusion. 4 stars!

Thanks to Algonquin Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy. There is a giveaway of a paperback copy of this book beginning August 17, 2018 at 12:01 a.m. PDT and ending Friday, August 24, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers

Whatever's Been Going On at Mumblesby?
August 15th, 2018 by diane92345

Trust the rich to make Whatever’s Been Going on at Mumblesby? an intricate braintwister of a cozy mystery.

It’s 1981 and Flaxborough’s upper class neighboring town, Mumblesby, is in an uproar. First, solicitor Richard installed Zoe Claypole, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, in his house as his common law wife. Second, Richard died leaving his estate to Zoe. Finally, someone hatched an elaborate plan to burn down Richard’s house with Zoe in it. What about the expensive antiques with questionable provenance throughout Richard’s house? If you thought Flaxborough had some bizarre crimes, wait until you see Whatever’s Been Going on at Mumblesby?

It’s sad to think this is the last book in the Flaxborough series. I’ll miss this zany take-off on the Miss Marple type British village cozy mystery. However, Whatever’s Been Going on at Mumblesby? is an excellent end to the series. It is an intriguing puzzle sure to enchant all armchair detectives, myself included. 4 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, Farrago, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: , ,

Jane Doe
August 15th, 2018 by diane92345

Jane Doe is smart, sarcastic and a sociopath. When her only friend, Meg, kills herself over a bad romance with Steven, Jane doesn’t have enough human feeling to cry. Instead she hatches a complex plan to make Steven pay for Meg’s death.

Jane Doe is a deliciously deep dive into the cool calculating brain of a sociopath. The author’s use of first person narrative makes the reader feel just as crazy as Jane. It is a fun compelling ride that is highly recommended for thriller fans. 5 stars!

Be aware that there are many sexual situations in Jane Doe making this book recommended for adults only.

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for a copy.

Posted in Audiobooks, Kindle Unlimited, Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: ,

Feared
August 14th, 2018 by diane92345

In the sixth Rosato and DiNunzio book, the firm is sued directly by Mary’s archnemesis, Nick Machiavelli. Three male plantiffs are alleging gender hiring discrimination and using the words of the firm’s sole male attorney against them. Hiring Roger Vitez to defend them, the firm is shocked to discover a murder. Now rushing to save their firm and find a killer, Bennie, Mary and Judy makes some strange bedfellows in Feared.

Mary’s Tony-filled family is always a treat. Her pragnancy issues are played mostly for laughs. However, there are plenty of twists for thriller fans. A good entry to the series with no spoilers to earlier books, Feared is highly recommended to thriller and Lisa Scottoline fans. 4 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: ,

Toucan Keep a Secret
August 13th, 2018 by diane92345

Toucan Keep a Secret about a thirty-year-old robbery and murder.

By all accounts, Junius Hagley was not a nice man. Frustrated by the paperwork to disintern his wife’s cremated remains, he took matters, and a crowbar, into his own hands to rectify the situation. When someone interrupts, and then murders him, Meg investigates for Pastor Robin, who is on pregnancy bedrest.

It’s always a pleasure to return to Meg’s world. After 23 books, her family and friends feel like my friends too. I would have liked more time with Michael and the boys—even with her ironwork—which were much more prevalent in the early entries in the series. Still Toucan Keep a Secret is a good cozy mystery worth 4 stars.

Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

Paradise
August 13th, 2018 by diane92345

Paradise is a concise thrill ride well worth the reader’s time.

Michael Quinn is forced by a vicious storm to stay overnight in the Paradise Motor Court in rural central California. He meets an old friend and Trouble.

It is amazing how the author can fit so much plot into a single short story without sacrificing atmosphere, dialog or characterization. I cannot think of a single thing I would change.

Paradise is highly recommended for thriller lovers who want an hour of rip-roaring entertainment. 5 stars!

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. I also have a giveaway of a paperback copy going on now until Thursday, August 16 at 11:59 p.m. PDT here.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with:

Book Giveaway: Paradise by Kevin Scott Olson
August 10th, 2018 by diane92345

Enter this book giveaway to grab a free paperback copy of Paradise by Kevin Scott Olson.

My review is here but you have a chance to win this great book for yourself.

Giveaway begins August 10, 2018, at 12:01 A.M. PDT and ends August 17, 2018, at 11:59 P.M. PDT.

How To Enter
Complete the entry form below.
Enter once daily (optional).

Giveaway Rules
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.
Open to residents of Canada and the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older.
Winners will be selected at random on or about August 18, 2018.
Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Giveaways, Kindle Unlimited, Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with:

Our House
August 9th, 2018 by diane92345

Can a soon-to-be ex-husband sell Our House without warning?

Bram and Fi are a typical London family with two young sons and most of their money tied up in their house. When Fi throws Bram out for adultery in their kids’ playhouse, Bram moves in with his mother until their finances are divided equally between them. When Fi pushes to keep the house “for the boys’ sake”, Fi and Bram decide to alternately stay in the house with their sons and in a separate small London flat. Fi comes home early from a business trip to find strangers moving into her house. Bram has sold the house to them and absconded with the 2 million selling price. Using alternating chapters with a podcast for Fi and Word documents for Bram, the real reason for the sale and the marriage dissolution is slowly revealed.

Despite having absolutely no empathy for either main character, I enjoyed this twisty tale of their lives. Stripping off the clothes of propriety shows some amazingly ugly truths. There are crimes both committed by and done to both Fi and Bram up to and including murder. Though the book drags a bit in the middle, the finale is well worth sticking with it. This book is highly recommended for readers who like a multitude of unexpected twists and turns in plot. As long as character likeability and a uniformly fast pace is not a requirement, Our House is worth 4 stars.

Thanks to the publisher, Berkeley, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

Weekend at Thrackley
August 8th, 2018 by diane92345

Jim Henderson, unemployed for three years since WWI, gets an invitation from a friend of his father for a free Weekend at Thrackley. The mysterious owner, Edwin Carson, has something rather different planned than a typical country house weekend.

The residents are Mr. Carson’s daughter, Mary; his butler, Jacobson; and four other burly male servants. The guests are Freddie, Jim’s rich club mate; Lady Stone, a wealthy socialite; Raoul, a beautiful female entertainer; and finally poor—but still maintaining the facade—twins, Marilyn and Henry.

Weekend at Thrackley is a British debut mystery originally published in 1934. At the time, it was a best seller. It hasn’t held up as well as the Christie canon unfortunately. There are many long and irrelevant descriptions of people, places and bridge games that can safely be skimmed with no impact to the main plot. The biggest issue is that the plot itself has been remade a countless number of times since 1934. Think of the movies Clue and Murder by Death without the humor. Overall, even though I adore British golden age mysteries, I can’t recommend Weekend at Thrackley. 2 stars.

Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

An Unwanted Guest
August 8th, 2018 by diane92345

A blizzard traps 9 guests, the owner and his son in this homage to And Then There Were None mixed with a bit of the Shining. The guests in An Unwanted Guest include:

  • Gwen Delaney in corporate public relations despite having a journalism degree and
  • Her college buddy, Riley Shuter, who suffers from PTSD from her work as an embedded journalist in Afghanistan
  • David Paley, New York criminal defense lawyer visiting alone
  • Ian Beeton, businessman staying with
  • Lauren Day, his girlfriend
  • Beverly Sullivan, working on her marriage to
  • Henry, who doesn’t love Beverly anymore
  • Dana Hart, drop-dead gorgeous fiancée to
  • Matthew Hutchinson, heir to a large New England fortune
  • Bradley, clerk and son of
  • James Harwood, the hotel’s owner and chef
  • Candice White, an author writing her next book

The Unwanted Guest is an excellent traditional mystery but with many twists and turns. Excellent misdirection and red herrings makes the conclusion rate up there with some of Dame Agatha’s finest. Perfect for armchair detectives up for a challenge. 5 stars! I can’t recommend this book highly enough! I loved it!

Thanks to the publisher, Pamela Dorman Books, and Edelweiss+ for an advanced copy.

Posted in Diane's Favorites, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with:

Undead Messiah 1
August 7th, 2018 by diane92345

A pregnant Brazilian lands in an airport in Switzerland. She calls the police because an assassin is hunting her. When the police fail to stop the killer, a young girl appears saying she just wants the lady’s fetus. So begins Undead Messiah 1, an exciting thriller wrapped within a horror manga.

Who hasn’t been entranced by a video game, movie or book and after it’s over you still feel like it has leached into your real life? Tim loves ZAC, a zombie video game, and the Walking Dead television show. He begins to see zombie threats everywhere. However, just because he’s paranoid, doesn’t mean there aren’t zombies running amok.

I loved the innovative plot. Unfortunately, I can’t describe my favorite part since it will spoil the surprise. As a huge fan of the Walking Dead comics, I thought this book would be perfect for me. And it was. Nerdy gamer thinks he can kill real zombies until he meets one. If only there was a wireless controller for real life (heavy sigh…). The art, especially the chapter titles, perfectly set the mood and clearly illustrated the plot.

Undead Messiah 1 has elements of horror, mystery, fantasy, post-apocalyptic thriller and even romance. I can’t wait for the second volume, which comes out November 6, 2018. It is highly recommended for all manga fans looking for something different. 4 stars!

Thanks to ToykoPop and Edelweiss+ for an advanced copy.

Posted in Graphic Novel, Horror, Mystery & Thrillers, Paranormal, Romance Tagged with: ,

Butterfly Conspiracy
August 6th, 2018 by diane92345

What Butterfly Conspiracy results in a woman’s death after a rare butterfly lands on her arm?

Merula is left by her mother at her family’s house as a baby five years after her mother’s escape from the rigid Victorian house’s rules. Luckily, Merula’s fascination with butterflies is supported by her Uncle Rupert.

In those sexist times, Merula’s rare butterfly, Attacus Atlas, must be displayed at a house party by the Royal Zoological Society as her Uncle’s work. When rich Lady Sophia drops dead after handling the rare butterfly, Uncle Rupert is arrested for murder. Merula is helped to escape the house party by Lord Raven Royston known for the public failure of his investments. The two search for the real how and why of Lady Sophia’s death while trying to stay one step before the police. The characters they meet are a treat.

Set in the same world as the Veronica Speedwell series, I enjoyed the self-effacing Merula’s world much better. The Butterfly Conspiracy is completely G rated which is more appropriate for the setting. Plus the mystery and the subtle romantic feeling between Merula and Royston seem more organic. I loved the twists leading up to the conclusion. I can’t wait for the next book in the Merriweather and Royston series.

This book is recommended for Veronica Speedwell fans as well as historical fiction fans that enjoy a good mystery or vice versa. 4 stars!

Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

Posted in Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: , ,

Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom
August 5th, 2018 by diane92345

Not much of a mystery, more of a history, is found in Aunt Dimity and the King’s Ransom.

Lori is trapped by flooding rains in rural England in Shepney when she meets former Bishop Christopher. When only a supposed haunted attic room is the only area left to sleep, Lori makes the best of it. Her mother’s deceased friend Aunt Dimity contacts Lori by automatic writing in a blank blue notebook. Dimity states there is no ghost in the attic but tells of several in different areas of the King’s Ransom Inn, where Lori is staying. Christopher and Lori hunt for the ghost story’s origin as well as that of the inn’s name.

I’ve never read any books in the Aunt Dimity series before and was disappointed by her extremely small role in this book. I verified that this is marketed as a cozy mystery though the mysteries also seem rather scant. There are no present day crimes in Aunt Dimity and the King’s Ransom at all. It is all smugglers’ gold and 1700’s English history. To be honest, it reminded me of the books and cartoons of my youth like Scooby Doo, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. While the plot wasn’t to my taste, those interested in British history or looking for a non-violent mystery might find it interesting. 3 stars.

Thanks to Viking Books and NetGalley for a copy.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: , , ,

Poppy Harmon Investigates
August 4th, 2018 by diane92345

Poppy Harmon Investigates is great fun for fans of madcap stories like those featuring Stephanie Plum and Serge Storms!

Poppy discovers soon after her husband’s death that he has gambled away their life saving and over-mortgaged the house. Poppy, a 62-year-old former C-level actress, must find some way to support herself. Her most famous television role as a private detective’s ditzy secretary makes her decide to open her own detective agency in her hometown of Palm Springs. Poppy’s daughter Heather feels her mother is wasting her time pursuing detective work. However, Poppy hires her daughter’s actor boyfriend Matt as the young and handsome face of the agency along with her two retired friends, blunt Iris and shy Violet, and Violet’s techie 12-year-old grandson Wyatt. Poppy soon gets her first case—a burglary of an elderly, still somewhat famous singer (think Doris Day) Shirley Fox. Shirley’s gated retirement community has been victim to a rash of these crimes. When a body is found by Poppy, the game suddenly gets real.

Poppy Harmon Investigates is a hilarious look at how aging is viewed in our society. I absolutely loved the characters in this book! It is hard not to see myself in Poppy’s desire to be a private eye and solve mysteries like the ones in the books she has been solving all her life. You have to admire her chutzpah in getting her California PI license and setting up her agency. When life gives her lemons, Poppy buys some vodka and makes a Vodka Collins! Heather, Matt, Iris and Violet are all characters ripe for exploration in future entries in this series.

Poppy Harmon Investigates is perfect for mystery readers of a certain age but others will also be amused by the gang’s shenanigans. It’s as if Stephanie Plum has aged 20 years, opened a detective agency but kept her zany wit. I can’t wait for the next book in the series. 5 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, Kensington Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

Paradox
August 3rd, 2018 by diane92345

This time it’s personal for Sherlock and Savich in Paradox, the latest book in the FBI Thriller series.

Sherlock and Savich awake to an attempted kidnapping of their five-year-old son, Sean. Concurrently, Chief Ty witnesses a murder on a lake.  When the lake is dragged for the victim, many old bones are found along with the new body. A old belt buckle is found with the victims that links the case to another in Sherlock and Savich’s history. The three stories intertwine as the plot plays out.

Regardless of which series I’m reading, Catherine Coulter never fails to keep me entertained. Even in the 22nd book in this series, the suspense is kept at a fever pace. Paradox begins with a breathless adrenaline rush and finishes with a twisty but not ultimately surprising finale.  I liked Enigma, the immediately prior book in the series, more (review here) than this one but that was because of the science in that book. Still this book is highly recommended for thriller fans. 4 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, Gallery Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.

 

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