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Book Review

Good Girls Don’t Die by Christina Henry [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Good Girls Don’t Die

Author: Christina Henry

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: November 14, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

Good Girls Don't Die by Christina Henry

BOOK BLURB

Celia wakes up in a house that’s supposed to be hers. There’s a little girl who claims to be her daughter and a man who claims to be her husband, but Celia knows this family—and this life—is not hers…

Allie is supposed to be on a fun weekend trip—but then her friend’s boyfriend unexpectedly invites the group to a remote cabin in the woods. No one else believes Allie, but she is sure that something about this trip is very, very wrong…

Maggie just wants to be home with her daughter, but she’s in a dangerous situation and she doesn’t know who put her there or why. She’ll have to fight with everything she has to survive…

Three women. Three stories. Only one way out. This captivating novel will keep readers guessing until the very end.


Good Girls Don't Die by Christina Henry

MY REVIEW

Three stories of women with individual frightening experiences that eventually interconnect into one disturbing experience.

Good Girls Don’t Die has four parts – one for each of the three women, and the final part, where the stories come together. I enjoyed the individual parts more than the final part. While I found the ending to be a bit of a disappointment, I still was entertained by the book.

A fast-paced and suspenseful thriller. Recommended for fans of mixed genres and strong female leads.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review

The Strangers Upstairs by Lisa M. Matlin [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: The Strangers Upstairs

Author: Lisa M. Matlin

Publisher: Bantam

Publish Date: September 12, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

The Stranger Upstairs by Lisa M. Matlin

BOOK BLURB

A therapist and self-help writer with all the answers, Sarah Slade has just bought a gorgeous Victorian in the community of her dreams. Turns out, you can get a killer deal on a house where someone was murdered. Plus, renovating Black Wood House makes for great blog content and a decent distraction from her failing marriage. Good thing nobody knows that her past is just as filthy as the bloodstain on her bedroom floor.

But the renovations are fast becoming a nightmare. Sarah imagined custom avocado wallpaper, massive profits, and an appreciative husband who wants to share her bed again. Instead, the neighbors hate her guts and her husband still sleeps on the couch. And though the builders attempt to cover up Black Wood’s horrifying past, a series of bizarre accidents, threatening notes, and unexplained footsteps in the attic only confirms for Sarah what the rest of the town already knew: Something is very wrong in that house.

With every passing moment, Sarah’s life spirals further out of control—and with it, her sense of reality. But as she peels back the curling wallpaper and discovers the house’s secrets, she realizes that the deadly legacy of Black Wood House has only just begun.


The Stranger Upstairs by Lisa M. Matlin

MY REVIEW

A successful influencer moves into a “murder house” to fix it up and blog about it. She’s hoping the new house and remodel will also help improve her marriage. Unfortunately, things do not go as she had hoped.

The Stranger Upstairs is a story with secrets and drama. Shifting timelines are used, though I found it to be somewhat disjointed. This is a slow burning novel that picks up during the second half.

An atmospheric, creepy, and dark thriller. The Stranger Upstairs is an enjoyable debut novel. Good for readers who enjoy dark thrillers with unlikable and unreliable narrators.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review

Sniffing Out Murder by Kallie E. Benjamin [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Sniffing Out Murder

Author: Kallie E. Benjamin

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: December 5, 2023

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Bailey the Bloodhound Mystery #1

My Rating: 3/5

Sniffing Out Murder by Kallie E. Benjamin

BOOK BLURB

When a murder unleashes a widespread investigation through Crosbyville, children’s book author Pris and her trusty bloodhound, Bailey, must sniff out the truth before the whole town goes to the dogs.

After deciding that life as a teacher wasn’t right for her, Priscilla found inspiration for her first children’s book in her three-year-old bloodhound’s nose for truth, and so The Adventures of Bailey the Bloodhound was born. After the book’s massively pawsitive response led Pris to move back to her hometown of Crosbyville, Indiana, to continue the series, she’s surprised by how things have changed in the town, but even more so how they haven’t.

Pris is frustrated to discover that newly elected school board trustee Whitney Kelley—a former high school mean girl—is intent on making Crosbyville more competitive by eliminating “frivolous spending” on the arts and social programs, including Pris and Bailey’s beloved pet-assisted reading program. A minor altercation between them isn’t anything unusual, but after Bailey sniffs out Whitney’s body in a bed of begonias, locals start hounding Pris and Bailey as suspects for the crime.

With Bailey’s sharp senses and Pris’s hometown know-how, can they prove to the community that they’re all barking up the wrong tree?


Sniffing Out Murder by Kallie E. Benjamin

MY REVIEW

Sniffing Out Murder is the first book in the Bailey the Bloodhound mystery series. Pris, a children’s book author, and her dog, Bailey, help solve a murder. Pris and the deceased did not get along, so Pris is a suspect, but there is a long list of suspects.

A diverse group of characters in a quaint, small town. This is a delightful new cozy mystery series. Recommended for fans of cozies that have dogs as a main character.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Bailey the Bloodhound mystery series:
  1. Sniffing Out Murder
Book Review

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord by Celeste Connally [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord

Author: Celeste Connally

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publish Date: November 14, 2023

Genre: Historical Mystery

Series: Lady Petra Inquires #1

My Rating: 3/5

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord by Celeste Connally

BOOK BLURB

London, 1815. Lady Petra Forsyth, daughter of the Earl of Holbrook, has made a shocking proclamation. After losing her beloved fiancé in an accident three years earlier, she announces in front of London’s loosest lips that she will never marry. A woman of independent means―and rather independent ways―Petra sees no reason to cede her wealth and freedom to any man now that the love of her life is gone. Instead, she plans to continue enjoying the best of society without any expectations.

But when ballroom gossip suggests that a longtime friend has died of a fit due to her “melancholia” while in the care of a questionable physician, Petra vows to use her status to dig deeper―uncovering a private asylum where men pay to have their wives and daughters locked away, or worse. Just as Petra has reason to believe her friend is alive, a shocking murder proves more danger is afoot than she thought. And the more determined Lady Petra becomes in uncovering the truth, the more her own headstrong actions and desire for independence are used against her, putting her own freedom―and possibly her life―in jeopardy.


Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord by Celeste Connally

MY REVIEW

Lady Petra vows to never marry after her fiancé dies. She uses her title to enjoy the best of society. When she hears a friend has died, she decides to look into the mysterious death.

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord is the first book in the Lady Petra Inquires series. Petra is a smart, strong protagonist. The cast of characters is interesting. and the setting is lovely. This was a great start to a new series.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Lady Petra Inquires series:
  1. Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord
Book Review

Perfect Shot by Steve Urszenyi [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Perfect Shot

Author: Steve Urszenyi

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publish Date: November 14, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: Special Agent Alexandra Martel #1

My Rating: 3/5

Perfect Shot by Steve Urszenyi

BOOK BLURB

Special Agent Alexandra Martel has put her days on the battlefield behind her. Charming and disarming, relentless and lethal, she earned a reputation as one of the most renowned and decorated Army snipers in the service before stepping away. But when Alex, now an FBI special agent on loan to Interpol, learns that an old friend, an MI5 officer, has been killed under mysterious circumstances, she’s pulled back into the dangerous world she left behind: a world where some people fear her, some want to recruit her, and everyone seems to want her dead.

Following a trail of clues left behind by the dead woman, Alex pieces together a terrifying conspiracy that only escalates when a nuclear warhead goes missing. Dodging death at every turn, she reluctantly joins forces with a CIA officer, but he has plans of his own for her―and will stop at nothing to achieve them.

Chasing the truth through the streets of London and bustling Turkish markets to the underbelly of Paris, Alex is unrelenting in her pursuit of justice. But as the clock ticks down and the world edges closer to doom, she must fall back on her Special Ops skills to stop the unthinkable. She thought her life as a sniper was over―but with stakes this high, she must use whatever means necessary to render the world safe.


Perfect Shot by Steve Urszenyi

MY REVIEW

When Alex learns a friend has been killed, she’s pulled back into the dangerous world of espionage.

Perfect Shot is the first book in the Special Agent Alexandra Martel series. Alex is charming, lethal, a sniper, and a special agent with the FBI.

This book is action packed, and takes place all over the world. A fast-paced read recommended for fans of spy thrillers with female protagonists.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Special Agent Alexandra Martel series:
  1. Perfect Shot
Book Review

The Beautiful and the Wild by Peggy Townsend [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Beautiful and the Wild

Author: Peggy Townsend

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: November 7, 2023

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

The Beautiful and the Wild by Peggy Townsend

BOOK BLURB

The dangers of Alaska aren’t limited to storms, starvation, and grizzly bears. Sometimes the most dangerous thing is the person you love.

It’s summer in Alaska and the light surrounding the shipping-container-turned-storage shed where Liv Russo is being held prisoner is fuzzy and gray. Around her is thick forest and jagged mountains. In front of her, across a clearing, is a low-slung cabin with a single window that spills a wash of yellow light onto bare ground. Illuminated in that light is the father of her child, a man she once loved. A man who is now her jailor. Liv vows to do anything to escape.  

Carrying her own secrets and a fierce need to protect her young son, Liv must navigate a new world where extreme weather, starvation, and dangerous wildlife are not the only threats she faces. With winter’s arrival imminent, she knows she must reckon with her past and the choices that brought her to the unforgiving Alaskan landscape if she is ever going to make it out alive.


The Beautiful and the Wild by Peggy Townsend

MY REVIEW

Liv travels to Alaska to locate the man she once loved. When she arrives, she realizes he is not letting her leave. To protect herself and her son, she must survive the dangers of an Alaskan winter.

The Beautiful and the Wild is told from Liv’s point of view. She is a strong, yet flawed protagonist. She makes for a character that is easy to root for her.

An intriguing story with an interesting cast of characters. Recommended for fans of mysteries with harsh environments and strong female leads.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review

Snow Place for Murder by Diane Kelly [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Snow Place for Murder

Author: Diane Kelly

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Publish Date: October 24, 2023

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Mountain Lodge #3

My Rating: 4/5

Snow Place for Murder by Diane Kelly

BOOK BLURB

International resort developer Nigel Goodwin has traveled all the way from London, England to Misty Murphy’s little corner of North Carolina and bought out the Mountaintop Lodge for the week prior to Christmas. Their intention? To pitch an exclusive new resort concept to wealthy American investors.

But locals are at odds over the idea, and when a group comes to the lodge to express their worries to Mr. Goodwin and the potential investors, a blizzard hits Beech Mountain. Like the weather outside, things quickly get frosty, and Misty has to call local police to intervene. Handyman Rocky Crowder plows the lodge’s drive and, in an attempt to regain a jovial holiday atmosphere, smooths the snow pile into a makeshift sledding hill for the guests to enjoy.

Misty’s boys have finished their exams and are “home” from college for the winter break, planning to spend most of their time snowboarding at the ski resort. While taking a few runs down Rocky’s sledding hill, they discover a funny-looking, nose-shaped rock. Only it’s not a rock. It’s the frozen nose of Nigel Goodwin, who’s found dead and buried under the mound of snow.

Who put the developer on ice and why?


Snow Place for Murder by Diane Kelly

MY REVIEW

Misty Murphy runs the Mountain Top Lodge in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A developer is staying at the Lodge with plans to present a resort idea to investors. Locals are not happy with idea.

Snow Place for Murder is the third book in Mountain Lodge mystery series. This book can be read as a standalone, but I suggest starting with the first book in the series, Getaway With Murder.

Snow Place for Murder is a charming cozy mystery with likable characters and a lovely setting.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Mountain Lodge series:
  1. Getaway With Murder
  2. A Trip With Trouble
  3. Snow Place for Murder
Book Review

The Last Close Call by Laura Griffin [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Last Close Call

Author: Laura Griffin

Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: October 24, 2023

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

The Last Close Call by Laura Griffin

BOOK BLURB

Forensic genealogist Rowan Healy has made a name for herself by helping investigators trace the family trees of violent criminals who have eluded justice for years. But the pressure of police cases left her burned out, and she’s shifted her focus to helping adoptees find their biological parents. 

Austin detective Jack Bruner has spent his career successfully tracking down vicious criminals—with the notable exception of the West Campus Rapist, a meticulous offender in Texas who has never been identified. When the latest two victims come to light, Jack sees his target is escalating his violent behavior—and only with Rowan’s help does he stand a chance of cracking this case.

Moved by Jack’s dedication and the brutal details of the attacks he lays out, Rowan agrees to help. When her ground-breaking DNA research sheds new light on the criminal’s background and helps them zero in on a search radius, Rowan and Jack must race against the clock to find a ruthless killer who’s growing bolder the longer he evades the law.


The Last Close Call by Laura Griffin

MY REVIEW

A Texas detective wants to solve a cold case. A genealogist is brought in to help. They work together to locate a ruthless killer.

The Last Close Call is told using the alternating points of view of Rowan and Jack. Rowan prefers to use her genealogist skills to help adoptees find their biological families. She is hesitant to work with the police, but Jack convinces her to help. Jack is haunted by the case of a serial rapist that he believes is back, and now killing his victims.

Likable and interesting characters and an intriguing mystery. Recommended for fans of romantic suspense and dark mysteries.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by Laura Griffin:
  1. Far Gone
  2. Last Seen Alone
  3. Vanishing Hour
  4. The Last Close Call
Book Review

The Intern by Michele Campbell [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Intern

Author: Michele Campbell

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publish Date: October 3, 2023

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

The Intern by Michele Campbell

BOOK BLURB

A young Harvard law student falls under the spell of a charismatic judge in this timely and thrilling novel about class, ambition, family and murder.

Madison Rivera lands the internship of a lifetime working for Judge Kathryn Conroy. But Madison has a secret that could destroy her career. Her troubled younger brother Danny has been arrested, and Conroy is the judge on his case.

When Danny goes missing after accusing the judge of corruption, Madison’s quest for answers brings her deep into the judge’s glamorous world. Is Kathryn Conroy a mentor, a victim, or a criminal? Is she trying to help Madison or use her as a pawn? And why is somebody trying to kill her?

As the two women circle each other in a dangerous cat-and-mouse game, will they save each other, or will betrayal leave one of them dead?


The Intern by Michele Campbell

MY REVIEW

Madison is a law student who gets an internship for a popular judge. During the interview, Madison left out a few details about her family, like that her brother is in prison.

The Intern is told using the points of view of Madison and Kathryn. Madison is a law student with pressure from her family to help her brother. He’s in prison for a crime he says he didn’t commit. Kathryn is the judge Madison interns for, and also the judge on Madison’s brother’s case. Madison hopes Kathryn will be a mentor, but their relationship becomes more complicated.

Complex characters in a intriguing mystery. Recommended for fans of legal thrillers.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by Michele Campbell:
  1. It’s Always the Husband
  2. She Was the Quiet One
  3. A Stranger on the Beach
  4. The Wife Who Knew Too Much
  5. The Intern
Book Review

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels

Author: Janice Hallett

Publisher: Atria Books

Publish Date: January 23, 2024

Genre: Amateur Sleuth

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett

BOOK BLURB

Everyone knows the story of the Alperton Angels: the cult who brainwashed a teenage girl into believing her baby was the anti-Christ. When the girl came to her senses and called the police, the Angels committed suicide and mother and baby disappeared.

Now, true crime author Amanda Bailey is looking to revive her career by writing a book on the case. The Alperton baby has turned eighteen; finding them will be the scoop of the year. But rival author Oliver Menzies is just as smart, better connected, and also on the baby’s trail.

As Amanda and Oliver are forced to collaborate, they realize that the truth about the Angels is much darker and stranger than they’d ever imagined, and in pursuit of the story they risk becoming part of it.


The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett

MY REVIEW

Amanda is a true crime author looking for a scoop. She researches an old case of a dangerous cult where the surviving members were a teenage girl and her baby. The baby would now be 18 years old, and Amanda hopes to locate them for her book.

The story is told using emails, text messages, letters, and other documents. I really enjoy this writing style, and this author does it well.

A clever, multi-layered mystery. Recommended for fans of true crime and epistolary novels.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review

The Christmas Appeal by Janice Hallett [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: The Christmas Appeal

Author: Janice Hallett

Publisher: Atria Books

Publish Date: October 24, 2023

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: The Appeal #1.5

My Rating: 4/5

The Christmas Appeal by Janice Hallett

BOOK BLURB

The Christmas season has arrived in Lower Lockwood, and the Fairway Players are busy rehearsing their festive holiday production of Jack and the Beanstalk to raise money for a new church roof. But despite the season, goodwill is distinctly lacking among the amateur theater enthusiasts with petty rivalries, a possibly asbestos-filled beanstalk, and some perennially absent players behind the scenes.

Of course, there’s also the matter of the dead body onstage. Who could possibly have had the victim on their naughty list? Join lawyers Femi and Charlotte as they investigate Christmas letters, examine emails, and pore over police transcripts to identify both the victim and killer before the curtain closes on their holiday production—for good.


The Christmas Appeal by Janice Hallett

MY REVIEW

The Christmas Appeal is a novella in The Appeal series. A group of theater enthusiasts are looking to raise money for the church roof. It’s Christmas time, and they are hoping for a giving community to raise the funds. The dead Santa does dampen the Christmas spirit though.

This is a quick and entertaining mystery. The Christmas Appeal is part of a series, but it can be read as a standalone. I recommend reading the first book in the series, The Appeal. It’s a good book, and the same characters are in both books.

The Christmas Appeal is a light and fun mystery. Recommended for fans of epistolary novels and armchair sleuths.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Books in The Appeal series:
  1. The Appeal
  2. The Christmas Appeal
Book Review

Death Writes by Andrea Carter [Book Review]

The Well of Ice by Andrea Carter

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy.


BOOK INFO

Title: Death Writes

Author: Andrea Carter

Publisher: Oceanview Publishing

Publish Date: December 5, 2023

Genre: Amateur Investigator

Series: Inishowen Mysteries #6

My Rating: 4/5

Death Writes by Andrea Carter

BOOK BLURB

A local author dies on stage at a literary festival. Ben O’Keeffe has to sort through his complicated estate—and find his murderer while she’s at it.

Solicitor Benedicta “Ben” O’Keeffe and her boyfriend Police Sergeant Tom Molloy race to Dublin after hearing that some strangers had moved in with Ben’s parents. When they arrive, only Ben’s parents and their strange lodger remain, but come morning the lodger has left. Not wanting to leave them alone, Ben persuades her parents to come and stay with her in Inishowen.

In Glendara, preparations are underway for Glenfest, Glendara’s literary festival. Phyllis Kettle, the local bookshop owner, is especially pleased to have persuaded Gavin Featherstone, the local best-selling recluse writer, to take part.

The festival begins, and an eager crowd awaits Featherstone’s appearance on stage. He is unexpectedly engaging, but when he stands to read from his new book, he stumbles and keels over on the platform.

Ben discovers that she holds Featherstone’s will at the office, drafted by her predecessor. Soon, she’s drawn into a complicated legal wrangle over the man’s estate involving his family and the assistant who lived with him.

But nothing can yet be resolved, as a killer cannot inherit from their victim—and Gavin Featherstone’s death was a murder.


Death Writes by Andrea Carter

MY REVIEW

Death Writes is the sixth book in the Inishowen mysteries series. Benedicta (Ben) O’Keeffe is a local attorney in Glendara, a small town in northern Ireland. She has been involved with solving a few murder mysteries, and is drawn into a new one.

I recommend reading this series in order. While the mystery is new, the recurring characters have a history that progresses between books. This series has a charming small town setting, quirky characters, and an amateur sleuth.

Death Writes is an atmospheric mystery with a vivid setting.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Inishowen Mysteries series:
  1. Death at Whitewater Church
  2. Treacherous Strand
  3. The Well of Ice
  4. Murder at Greysbridge
  5. The Body Falls
  6. Death Writes