Category Archives: Mystery

The Assassin’s Mark by David Ebsworth

The Assassin's MarkA Christie-esque thriller set on a battlefield tour bus towards the end of the Spanish Civil War.

September 1938. Spain’s Civil War has been raging for two years, the outcome still in the balance. But rebel General Franco is so confident of winning that he has opened up battlefield tourism along the country’s north coast.

Jack Telford, a left-wing reporter, finds himself with an eccentric group of tourists on one of the War Route’s yellow Chrysler buses. Driven by his passion for peace, Telford attempts to uncover the hidden truths beneath the conflict.

But Jack must contend first with his own gullibility, the tragic death of a fellow passenger, capture by Republican guerrilleros, a final showdown at Spain’s most holy shrine and the possibility that he has been badly betrayed. Betrayed and in serious danger.

This book was the first one for me to review this year. I was thrilled when the author asked me to read his story and I am glad that I agreed!

From opening the first page, I walked through the door into a world  I knew nothing about; or rather it has been years since I’d thought about – the Spanish War. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember anything from school about this particular event. Yet thanks to the author, I felt like I was there. I found myself googling titbits to get more information because I wanted to know more (and this is great!) I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat,  I took my e-reader to places it shouldn’t have been – thanks to this story. It was hard to put down!

The Assassin’s Mark a well written read that included a healthy dose of mystery, intrigue, mystery, suspense and sex. As a reporter, it was extra special to be able to connect with the lead character Jack Telford.

I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a great mystery set during a part of history that very few people know or talk about. Cudos to the author for wetting my appetite and making me want to know more.

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The Book of Secrets by Elizabeth Joy Arnold

After more than twenty years of marriage, Chloe Sinclair comes home one night to find that her husband, Nate, is gone. All he has left behind is a cryptic note explaining that he’s returned to their childhood town of Redbridge, California—a place Chloe never wants to see again.

Tending to their small bookstore while trying to reach Nate, Chloe stumbles upon a notebook tucked inside his antique copy of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Written in a code that Nate and his sisters created as kids, the pages contain long-buried secrets from her and Nate’s past, and clues to why he went back to Redbridge after all these years. As Chloe struggles to decipher the notebook’s hidden messages, she revisits the seminal moments of their youth: the day she met the enigmatic Sinclair children, their increasingly dangerous games a magical escape from their troubled childhoods; the first time Nate kissed her, camped out on the beach like Robinson Crusoe; the elaborate plan she and Nate devised, inspired by Romeo and Juliet, to break away from from his oppressive father, and how the thwarted attempt upended their lives forever. As the reason for Nate’s absence comes to light, the truth will shatter everything Chloe knows—about her husband, his family, and herself.

There are so many things about this book that I enjoyed; I loved the puzzle that Chloe had to find; piece by piece; as she sorted through her past. It was very sad, how this family’s life was controlled by the father; there too, I could relate as my own mother was deeply religious and used it in a similar fashion. Based on my own abusive past, I actually found myself questioning the depths of my own mother’s insanity based on some of the story within this book!

In short, it may have been hard to read at times (because I could relate) but at the same time, it is a very well written story that keeps you turning page after page as you breathlessly work your way to finding out the truth, along with Chloe.

Just what kind of mother are you? by Paula Daly

A searing and sinister thriller for readers who liked Gone Girl.

What if your best friend’s child disappears? And it was all your fault.

A searing and sinister thriller for readers who liked Gone Girl.What if your best friend’s child disappears? And it was all your fault. This is exactly what happens to Lisa Kallisto, overwhelmed working mother of three, one freezing December in the English Lake District. She takes her eye off the ball for just a moment and her whole world descends into the stuff of nightmares. Because, not only is thirteen-year-old Lucinda missing, and not only is it all Lisa’s fault, but she’s the second teenage girl to disappear within this small tightknit community over two weeks. The first girl turned up stripped bare, dumped on a busy high street, after suffering from a terrifying ordeal.

Wracked with guilt over her mistake and after being publicly blamed by Lucinda’s family, Lisa sets out to right the wrong. But as she begins peeling away the layers surrounding Lucinda’s disappearance, Lisa learns that the small, posh, quiet town she lives in isn’t what she thought it was, and her friends may not be who they appear, either.

 

What a heartbreaking story! Written as fiction, I could totally see this being a sordid news story that reporters would want to sink their teeth into. The levels of betrayal and heartbreak are vividly portrayed in this story and I was left gasping at several points as the plot made some surprising turns. Who would have ever thought that the mother was behind the entire appearance and did not care how she destroyed her best friend. Such sickening deception, but unfortunately is also something that some people think they will actually get away with. It makes one ask the question, how far would you go and who’s lives would you destroy to selfishly get what you want?

Over the Edge by Suzanne Carroll

Over the EdgeIn six weeks Zoe Harper will marry Dan Costi in an over-the-top Sydney society wedding, complete with fire-eaters and belly dancers. But when she receives an unexpected gift from her future mother-in-law, Zoe realises she’s making a huge mistake. In a blazing sidewalk argument, she breaks up with her fiance, and his mother–who has joined the fight via conference call.

What starts as dancing lessons, slowly becomes something more. Angus begins to let down his guard and open his heart, even when his past makes an unexpected and unwelcome return. As Zoe discovers the real man behind the headlines, she questions where her new choices are taking her. Her goals look good on paper, but are they what she really wants? And by the time she realises where her heart lies, will it be too late?

I had the pleasure of reviewing this book, and I am glad that I asked for it. I really enjoyed the story for several reasons. First, being Canadian with a secret love for anything Australian, it was nice to read a book from that part of the world. The story itself was very sweet – I love how the love story evolved throughout and how the couple help each other heal in the end. I can’t wait to see what else the author comes up with!

 

AVAILABLE MAY 2013

Die for Me by Cynthia Eden

She thought her fiancé was the perfect man—until he turned out to be the perfect killer…

Katherine Cole is running for her life, desperate to escape the Valentine Killer—so-called because he stabs his victims through the heart and leaves them holding a telltale single red rose. Still he tracks her to New Orleans and begins carving a bloody path to her door. But this time, Katherine refuses to run any farther. This time, she’ll do anything to stop the madman she once loved, even trust the sexy cop promising to keep her safe…

Detective Dane Black never lets his emotions interfere with his job, even as the Valentine Killer surfaces in New Orleans to stalk his prey. But when Dane agrees to protect the killer’s ex-fiancée, Katherine Cole, he can’t ignore the passion kindling between them. After a single unforgettable night binds them body and soul, Dane knows he won’t rest until Katherine is safe in his arms—and the Valentine Killer is dead. Dark and intensely sexy, this romantic suspense novel from USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Eden is sure to leave readers breathless.

I am just starting to re-visit my love for books with a good mystery combined with a believable romance and this books plays both very well. I found myself holding my breathe during several chapters and could  not wait to see what happens next. This is a very well done book with a great story!

The Tease by Nikki Pill

Anna Zendel is your average 32-year-old therapist, stressing about clinical exams and struggling to recover from an abusive relationship. But at night she transforms herself into the saucy burlesque dancer Velvet Crush, enchanting Chicago audiences with the art of the tease. As Anna struggles to keep the therapy and burlesque worlds separate and get over her crush on the troupe’s emcee, a new danger threatens women across the city. The papers have dubbed him the Darling Killer, because after strangling his victims, he scrawls the word “darling” on their skin. When one of Anna’s fellow dancers is murdered in the dressing room, she realizes that Darling Killer could be closer than she thought. Could Max, Anna’s new therapy client who confessed to fantasizing about dead girls and obsessing over the Darling Killer, have anything to do with the murders? As more women are murdered, and Anna begins receiving mysterious gifts, this burlesque dancer pits feathers and sequins against foul play in the deadliest dance of all.

I have a friend who introduced me to the world of burlesque and I have always been fascinated with the art form; so much so that I have considered taking classes so that I could do private performances for my partner. I think that is the main reason I got this book – it  melds two very separate lifestyles into one that works. I too have done something similar to this. Having a high stress job sometimes makes one do something that is so opposite, just to be able to finally get away from that stress and well, what a greater way to challenge one’self that to practice burlesque. I really enjoyed kicking back and reading this book

A Family Affair by Mary Campisi

When Christine Blacksworth’s larger-than-life father is killed on an icy road in Magdalena, New York, a hundred miles from the ‘getaway’ cabin he visited every month, she discovers a secret that threatens everything she’s always held to be true. Her father has another family which includes a mistress and a daughter. Determined to uncover the truth behind her father’s secret life, Christine heads to Magdalena, prepared to hate the people who have caused her to question everything she thought she knew about her father. But what she finds is a woman who understands her, a half sister who cherishes her, and a man who could love her if she’ll let him. The longer she’s around them, the more she questions which family is the real one. . . Note: This book contains sexual content and profanity. While the author believes these situations are handled in good taste, she acknowledges some readers will choose to pass on this book. Look for A Family Affair: Spring – coming late 2013.

There was something about this story that makes it so believable. In this day and age something like this can really happen (and I am sure that it has unfortunately); I also have to say, as a mom of four, this is why I have lead my life like an open book. For me, I’ve already seen how my decisions in life have affected my children and to think that there is some possibility that they will find something out about me after I am gone, that they will have to deal with, just breaks my heart. It does not seem fair at all. My heart breaks for this family – the father for feeling he had to lie all his life, the children, who never got 100% of their dad. Yep – it was a great story! Thank you

Front Page Fatality by LynDee Walker

Front Page Fatality (A Nichelle Clarke Headlines in Heels Mystery)Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke’s days can flip from macabre to comical with a beep of her police scanner. Then an ordinary accident story turns extraordinary when evidence goes missing, a prosecutor vanishes, and a sexy Mafia boss shows up with the headline tip of a lifetime. As Nichelle gets closer to the truth, her story gets more dangerous. Armed with a notebook, a hunch, and her favorite stilettos, Nichelle races to splash these shady dealings across the front page before this deadline becomes her last.

Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you’ll probably like them all! Front Page Fatality is the first book in the Nichelle Clarke Headlines in Heels humorous mystery series. Bonus: Includes book club discussion questions.

As a newspaper reporter I found this book very entertaining. I do everything – police coverage to political news and feature pieces; my skills have me writing everything for our paper (and I am the only writer that will take on everything).

In some ways, this book made me very jealous. The author’s descriptions of her newsroom and the events that took place, combined with the added competition from other media makes it sound like the kind of newsroom I would want to be working in. For me, it is very fascinating to read about other reporters, fiction or otherwise. It is a world that I fit in and I understand.

I really enjoyed this book! Thank you

A CutThroat Business, by Jenna Bennett

A Cutthroat Business (Savannah Martin Mystery 1)

Everyone has warned new-minted realtor Savannah Martin that real estate is a cutthroat business. But Savannah doesn’t think she’s supposed to take the warning literally … until an early morning phone call sends her to an empty house on the ‘bad’ side of town, where she finds herself standing over the butchered body of a competitor, face to face with the boy her mother always warned her about.

Rafe Collier is six feet three inches of testosterone and trouble; tall, dark, and dangerous, with a murky past and no future–not the kind of guy a perfect Southern Belle should want to tangle with. In any way. But wherever Savannah turns, there he is, and making no bones about what he wants from her.

Now Savannah must figure out who killed real estate queen Brenda Puckett, make a success of her new career, and avoid getting killed–or kissed–by Rafe, all before the money in her savings account runs out and she has to go back to selling make-up at the mall.

What an enjoyable little story!!! I loved the heroine – strong yet witty; she reminded me of someone I know. It has been over twenty years since I walked away from my addiction of romance series (I loved romantic trilogies), but I enjoyed this one so much, I am looking for “Hot Property” because I cant wait to see what happens with Savannah and Rafe.