Posted in reviews

The Girl Who Died: A Novel by Ragnar Jónasson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young woman looking to find work as a teacher in 1980’s Iceland finds herself in an isolated fishing village and surrounded by darkness, nightmares of young girls in white dresses and a shocking secret that keeps her isolated from the few locals inhabiting the area in author Ragnar Jónasson’s “The Girl Who Died”.  

Advertisements

The Synopsis

Teacher Wanted At the Edge of the World

Una wants nothing more than to teach, but she has been unable to secure steady employment in Reykjavík. Her savings are depleted, her love life is nonexistent, and she cannot face another winter staring at the four walls of her shabby apartment. Celebrating Christmas and ringing in 1986 in the remote fishing hamlet of Skálar seems like a small price to pay for a chance to earn some teaching credentials and get her life back on track.

But Skálar isn’t just one of Iceland’s most isolated villages, it is home to less than a dozen people. Una’s only students are two girls aged seven and nine. Teaching them only occupies so many hours in a day and the few adults she interacts with are civil but distant. She only seems to connect with Thór, a man she shares an attraction with but who is determined to keep her at arm’s length.

As darkness descends throughout the bleak winter, Una finds herself more often than not in her rented attic space – the site of a local legendary haunting – drinking her loneliness away. She is plagued by nightmares of a little girl in a white dress singing a lullaby. And when a sudden tragedy echoes an event long buried in Skálar’s past, the villagers become even more guarded, leaving a suspicious Una seeking to uncover a shocking truth that’s been kept secret for generations.

The Review

A truly incredible blend of rich culture and history within Iceland with the chilling suspense that readers have come to expect from the author with a brilliant supernatural twist, THE GIRL WHO DIED is a fantastic nail-bitter of a thriller. The author does a fantastic job of making the setting of the novel such an integral part of the narrative that it feels like the small community feels like a character all its own, hiding its own secrets and becoming just as mysterious as the people living within it.

What stands out to this reader especially is just how incredibly written the narrative is. The mystery of this local legend and the level of secrecy the townspeople have are powerful motivators for the protagonist’s search for the truth. Yet it is the cast of characters that really make this thriller a standout, as the setting is such a small community with only a handful of citizens adds importance to the narrative and the pacing of the story, making their involvement in the overall plot super important.

The Verdict

A mesmerizing, haunting, and gripping thriller, author Ragnar Jónasson’s “The Girl Who Died” is a must-read novel. The twists and turns of the story will keep readers glued to the edge of their seats, while the final pages will be remembered forever by the readers who delve into this novel. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Ragnar Jonasson is author of the award winning and international bestselling Dark Iceland series.

His debut Snowblind, first in the Dark Iceland series, went to number one in the Amazon Kindle charts shortly after publication. The book was also a no. 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in Australia. Snowblind has been a paperback bestseller in France.

Nightblind won the Dead Good Reader Award 2016 for Most Captivating Crime in Translation.

Snowblind was called a “classically crafted whodunit” by THE NEW YORK TIMES, and it was selected by The Independent as one of the best crime novels of 2015 in the UK.

Rights to the Dark Iceland series have been sold to UK, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Australia, Poland, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Morocco, Portugal, Croatia, Armenia and Iceland.

Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he works as a writer and a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV-news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.

He is also the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir.

From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic.

Ragnar has also had short stories published internationally, including in the distinguished Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in the US, the first stories by an Icelandic author in that magazine.

He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik.

http://www.ragnarjonasson.com/

Posted in reviews

Crossroads (Providence Island #4) by Dianna Wilkes Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Two people seeking to escape their pasts, their family legacies and the small town life itself must contend with finding love with one another and facing off against a dangerous threat that could expose their secrets in author Dianna Wilkes’s “Crossroads”, the fourth in the Providence Island series. 

Advertisements

The Synopsis

He’s tired of running. She’s looking for an escape. Can they find a home together?

Joshua Canfield spent the last year hiding from killers. He’s done things he can never confess, especially not to the loved ones he was protecting. All he wants now is to reunite with his family and live a peaceful life.

Lila Grainger has one goal in life. To earn enough money to leave Providence Island and a family with no regard for the law far behind. She never expected to meet someone like Joshua. He’s the finest man she’s ever known, and he sees her as a woman, not as a Grainger. But she can’t expect him to leave his family to follow her.

Neither of them knows that a new threat lingers on Providence Island. One that puts Lila in danger and could expose Joshua’s past.

The Review

Another stellar entry into the Providence Island series! The author has once more balanced the romance and mystery genres in a way that feels both natural and engaging to the reader. New protagonists Josh and Lila are great additions to the series. While not necessarily new to the overall series, this narrative really allows these characters to shine brightly. 

Both Josh and Lila’s greatest chemistry resides not only in their budding romance in the author’s signature slow-burn yet satisfying narrative but in their similar backgrounds. Both come from complex and heartbreaking families that have skirted the line between lawful and lawlessness and have struggled to put their pasts behind them. The author also does a great job of revisiting the previous books by incorporating the large cast of characters tied to the series narratives and the new protagonists themselves. 

The Verdict

A fantastic, entertaining, and emotional yet investing read, author Dianna Wilkes’s “Crossroads” is a must-read romance mystery novel. The new protagonists bring freshness and romantic build-up that fans of the genre will love, while the overarching narrative and mystery that has driven much of the series gets deeper and more complex, really fleshing out the mythos of the author’s world. With new relationships, shocking revelations connecting characters even more, and the promise of a new book on the horizon, author Dianna Wilkes has expertly crafted a romantic mystery and suspense series that gets better and better as time goes on. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Dianna Wilkes is an award winning contemporary romance author, known for the Providence Island mystery series.

Reading has always been an important part of her life. “I learned how to read when I was four years old,” she said. “Writing my own stories seemed a natural progression.”

Dianna holds a B.A.in Visual Communication and a M.Ed.in Instructional Technology. She worked as an Education Consultant for a medical technology company before leaving the corporate world. Despite all that nerdy stuff, she loves creating stories of romance and mystery with touches of humor.

When she isn’t writing or working, Dianna is deep in researching various twigs and branches on her family tree or fulfilling entries on her travel bucket list.

Website: www.diannawilkes.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DiannaWilkesAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dwilkesauthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/diannawilkesauthor

Posted in reviews

South Pointe (Providence Island #3) by Dianna Wilkes Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A woman must deal with loss, love and family as she takes custody of her goddaughter, seeks love in the arms of the local sheriff and must navigate a dangerous and volatile town as a killer walks amongst their midst in author Dianna Wilkes’s “South Pointe”, the third novel in the Providence Island mystery and romance series.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

She’s the girl next door. He’s a man of law and order. Can the love of an orphaned child bring them together?

Paige Carson never expected that both a handsome sheriff and a charismatic newcomer would be vying for her affections. The choice isn’t an easy one as she’s now responsible for raising her orphaned goddaughter, Jess.

Sheriff Sam Wallace didn’t lose at love. He got kicked to the curb. Hopeful that courting the feisty Paige will end differently, he can’t help but feel suspicious about his romantic rival. Is Ben Hampshire the man he seems—or is Sam’s jealousy clouding his perspective?

Sam’s determined to win Paige’s and Jess’s love, but he also has to keep Providence Island safe. More than just Sam’s heart is at risk if he fails to find the killer who walks the streets of PI—a killer with more than one agenda.

If you like small-town settings and high-stakes crime, you’ll love this thrilling tale of romance and mystery.

The Review

What an incredibly engaging read! Having reviewed the second book in this series previously, I was so amazed at how connected and intimate the large cast of characters and Providence Island itself felt. The author has delivered the perfect balance of budding romance, strong relationships, and deep-seated mystery both for the characters and overarching within the narrative itself. 

The thing that truly sticks out for this incredible read is the characters themselves. The cast of characters is both consistent from previous novels and thoughtful in the ever-shifting and complex narrative the author has implemented. Books such as this are always great, as readers are treated to multiple perspectives from multiple characters, getting to see the events of the book from different angles. This allows readers to get into the new story while also getting other characters involved that help piece together more clues and build upon previous relationships from the previous books in the series, making this a truly entertaining and emotional read.

The Verdict

A masterpiece of romance fiction with the perfect balance of mystery and intrigue, author Dianna Wilkes’s “South Pointe” is a must-read novel. The author delivers a great story in a lengthy read that will keep readers hooked from the first chapter. Beautiful imagery that brings the island town to life and emotionally-driven dialogue that helps the narrative flow smoothly, this is not a book to be missed. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Dianna Wilkes is an award winning contemporary romance author, known for the Providence Island mystery series.

Reading has always been an important part of her life. “I learned how to read when I was four years old,” she said. “Writing my own stories seemed a natural progression.”

Dianna holds a B.A.in Visual Communication and a M.Ed.in Instructional Technology. She worked as an Education Consultant for a medical technology company before leaving the corporate world. Despite all that nerdy stuff, she loves creating stories of romance and mystery with touches of humor.

When she isn’t writing or working, Dianna is deep in researching various twigs and branches on her family tree or fulfilling entries on her travel bucket list.

Website: www.diannawilkes.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DiannaWilkesAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dwilkesauthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/diannawilkesauthor

Posted in reviews

To Kill a King (A Hollystone Mystery #4) by W.L. Hawkin Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A leader and high priest of a powerful coven, Sandolino Estrada must travel to Iron Age Ireland to find and save his friend Sorcha from powerful Druids while still grieving the loss of his beloved lover in author W.L. Hawkin’s “To Kill a King”, the fourth novel in the Hollystone Mystery series.

Advertisements

The Synopsis

“Sorcha’s fingers flew to the fey butterfly tattooed on the back of her neck. Sometimes the butterfly brought her joy; other times, inspiration, but always a sense of hope. And she needed all three in this moment for her heart was breaking to see her man so broken.”

Sorcha just wanted to warn Ruairí of his fate until she saw him and fell in love. How could she leave him to be ritually murdered and cast in a bog to cure for two thousand years?

Though he’s lost and grieving the loss of his lover, when Estrada realizes his friend, Sorcha, is trapped in Iron Age Ireland, he demands that Cernunnos take him and Dylan back through time to rescue her. The Horned God states the rules: you cannot change history or develop bonds with anyone. How can Sorcha, the spirited archaeologist, survive this prehistoric warrior culture? Assuming she’s fey, Ruairí’s unscrupulous rival wants her power; but worse still, Ruairí’s lover, the wicked Crow Queen, wants her dead.

Can Estrada use his Wiccan powers and skills to defeat Iron Age Druids and bring his friends home?

A spin-off of To Sleep with Stones, book four tells the story of archaeologist Sorcha O’Hallorhan’s deepest desire. Buy this romantic, time-traveling, prehistoric thriller today and find out what it takes To Kill a King.

The Review

A wonderful blend of fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and mystery, author W.L. Hawkin does a marvelous job of crafting a narrative that speaks to the reader and eloquently paces the story so that not everything is revealed at once. The author explores historical fiction as well in this narrative, taking readers into a turbulent and fascinating period of history with the Iron Age of Ireland. The setting becomes just as much a character in the narrative as anyone else, making a memorable and insightful journey for both the reader and the cast of characters.

The protagonist, Estrada, really is the heart of this tale. While readers are able to delve into the hearts and minds of characters like Sorcha and Dylan, and how they evolve and grow in this novel, it is Estrada that provides the bulk of the emotional and creative aspects of the novel and its themes. The pain of loss and the need to make amends drives Estrada through much of this novel, and his complexity and compelling nature draw the reader in immediately, marking an invigorating protagonist in this memorable series. 

The Verdict

An entertaining, genre-defying, and lengthy yet memorable read, author W.L. Hawkin’s “To Kill a King” is a fantastic spin-off and next chapter in the Hollystone Mystery series. While knowing the history and events of the past books is helpful to newcomers, it is not always necessary as the author writes in a way that speaks to new and existing fans of this heart-pounding series, and makes for a mesmerizing read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today! 

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

W. L. Hawkin writes edgy urban fantasy with a twist of murder. Described as “intoxicating, lush, magically-edgy, page-turners,” her Hollystone Mysteries series features a coven of local witches who solve murders using their wits and ritual magic with a little help from the gods. Wendy is also a published blogger, book reviewer, Indie publisher, and poet, with a background in Indigenous Studies and English literature. She loves myth and magic, so when she’s not writing, she’s studying Druidry, shamanism, and mediumship. Although she is an introvert, in each book, her characters go on a journey where she has traveled herself.

https://bluehavenpress.com/

Posted in reviews

Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T.A. Willberg Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A twist on the locked room murder tests a new investigative heroine in author T.A. Willberg’s historical fiction/thriller, “Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis 

The letter was short. A name, a time, a place.

Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder plunges readers into the heart of London, to the secret tunnels that exist far beneath the city streets. There, a mysterious group of detectives recruited for Miss Brickett’s Investigations & Inquiries use their cunning and gadgets to solve crimes that have stumped Scotland Yard.

Late one night in April 1958, a filing assistant at Miss Brickett’s receives a letter of warning, detailing a name, a time, and a place. She goes to investigate but finds the room empty. At the stroke of midnight, she is murdered by a killer she can’t see―her death the only sign she wasn’t alone. It becomes chillingly clear that the person responsible must also work for Miss Brickett’s, making everyone a suspect.

Marion Lane, a first-year Inquirer-in-training, finds herself drawn ever deeper into the investigation. When her friend and colleague is framed for the crime, to clear his name she must sort through the hidden alliances at Miss Brickett’s and secrets dating back to WWII. Masterful, clever and deliciously suspenseful, Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder is a fresh take on the Agatha Christie-style locked-room murder mystery, with an exciting new heroine detective.

The Review

It’s Sherlock Holmes meets James Bond with a heroine at the center in this explosive historical fiction thriller. The author does a great job of layering the narrative enough to weave together a complex mystery that will have readers analyzing every detail of the case and exploring this fully realized world themselves. 

Marion Lane is such a fantastic new heroine in detective mystery thrillers. The character’s growth over the course of the narrative is as equally exciting as the mystery itself, which delves into the heart of London’s underground scene and the vast mythology of this secret organization. The setting and tone play perfectly with the genre and story, as the city itself becomes as alive and memorable and the cast of characters. 

The Verdict

A gripping, suspenseful, and intriguing read, author T.A. Willberg’s “Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder” is a must-read narrative. The balance of character development, mystery, and setting help to elevate this historical fiction read to new heights and puts a unique spin on the classic whodunit style, closed room murder thriller storyline. With the hope that more stories within this universe will be told, this is not a book to be missed, so be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 8/10

Advertisements

About the Author

T.A. Willberg was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and holds a chiropractic masters degree from Durban University of Technology. MARION LANE AND THE MIDNIGHT MURDER is her debut novel and launch of her detective series. She currently lives in Malta with her partner.

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Bookshop

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Indigo

Books-A-Million

Target

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Libro.Fm

Kobo

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @Tess_Amy_

Facebook: @tawillberg

Instagram: @ta_willberg

Posted in reviews

Scorpion Scheme: Death and Danger on the Nile (Hope Sze Medical Mystery Book 8) by Melissa Yi Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A chance at studying the ancient history and culture of the Egyptians leads Dr. Hope Sze and her fiancé to Egypt, where they become embroiled in a shocking mystery as they search for fabled treasure and must outwit a dangerous criminal mastermind in author Melissa Yi’s “Scorpion Scheme: Death and Danger on the Nile”, the eighth book in the Hope Sze Medical Mystery series. 

Advertisements

The Synopsis

PHARAOHS’ TOMBS. ANCIENT MYTHS. MODERN-DAY MURDER

Dr. Hope Sze doesn’t need a free trip to Egypt.

She can’t afford the flight to Cairo, or the cruise down the Nile, so she’d keep studying in Canada—except her fiancé, Dr. John Tucker, yearns to patrol the pyramids and confront the curse on King Tutankhamun’s tomb.

So when a company offers them both a free stay in Cairo in exchange for a month’s work in an emergency department, Tucker lobbies for a pre-honeymoon in the Valley of Kings and Queens, investigating the windswept temple of Hatshepsut, or scuba diving in the Red Sea.

Instead, within 90 minutes of arrival, Hope drops to her knees outside the Grand Egyptian Museum, desperate to save a now-comatose 87-year-old Johannesburg man who’d raved about Kruger and treasure after receiving a nail through his skull.

Tucker fixates on their one chance at the legendary Kruger Millions, a rumored fortune that many believe lies secretly stowed somewhere in South Africa.

Since their combined student debt load totals half a million dollars, Tucker can’t pass up the possibility of a treasure trove in buried gold.

Hope launches into her first mystery based in a birthplace of human civilization.

Where the evil god Set battled righteous Horus and Isis in an 80-year war.

Where wealth and power clash with political revolution.

Where Antony fell in love with Cleopatra.

Where Hope and Tucker must outwit, or fall prey, to a ruthless criminal mastermind.

The Review

A fantastic blend of medical drama and an action-packed mystery like no other, this novel was a massive draw for this reader, especially as a fan of Indiana Jones and his films. The author does a great job of bringing their own authenticity to Hope’s character as the author is also a medical doctor, and from the book’s first chapters readers are treated to the protagonist’s heroic call to action to help others with her skills.

The big draw of course is the amazing historical mystery and action-packed heroics against this criminal mastermind. The author does a fantastic job of not only making this book accessible to both newcomers and fans of the series alike, but of crafting a character that feels authentic and brings history and its many mysteries to life, especially in such a short read.

The Verdict

A masterful, entertaining and engaging medical drama and action & adventure novel, author Melissa Yi’s “Scorpion Scheme” is a must-read novel! The motivations behind the characters are very reminiscent of classic mystery adventure novels, while the action keeps readers on the edge of their seats as the thrilling conclusion comes full circle. Be sure to grab your copy of this wonderful read today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

I read, therefore I am. I’ve been reading since my parents used to abandon me at the library.

When I was ten years old, we moved to Frankfurt, Germany, to a relative dearth of English books, and I started writing stories instead.

We moved back to Canada, and I started reading voraciously again, abandoning my pen and word processor for a few years before picking them up again. Nowadays, I read and write whenever I can, although my day/night jobs of emergency medicine and motherhood whisk me away regularly. 

http://melissayuaninnes.com/

Posted in reviews

Goddess of Justice: A Brad Coulter Thriller by Dwayne Clayden Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

In the fifth book in author Dwayne Clayden’s “Brad Coulter Thriller” series, Detective Brad Coulter finds himself being hunted by his own police department as a brutal killer begins pointing evidence towards the infamous detective in the upcoming novel, “Goddess of Justice”.

Advertisements

The Synopsis 

Goddess of Justice

A series of seemingly unrelated deaths have occurred around the city. When one is an obvious homicide, Detective Brad Coulter gets the case.

Coulter has barely started investigating when more murders take place. It is clear that the killer not only understands Crime Scene Unit protocols but also has special forces military skills—or training in some sort of Tactical Unit.

During the investigation, Detective Coulter realizes he has a connection to some of the victims. Then the Crime Scene Unit discovers evidence that points to Coulter as the murderer.

Now hunted by his own police service, he has to clear his name.

But the killer has other plans.

The Review

Another powerful entry in the Brad Coulter series, author Dwayne Clayden has expertly crafted a perfect thriller. Combining classic whodunnit style storytelling with intriguing character growth and a brilliantly suspenseful narrative, the novel takes readers through so many twists and turns that the big reveal will take some readers by surprise. 

The author perfectly balances the action and mystery elements of the narrative with the important character development and drama that comes with Brad’s framing for crimes he hasn’t committed. The heart of this story is Brad of course and the relationships he’s built with his amazing cast of supporting characters. Readers will be shocked to discover who has Brad’s back when he is framed, and who turns on him when the evidence begins to pile up. 

The Verdict

Entertaining, mysterious, and action-driven, author Dwayne Clayden’s “Goddess of Justice” is a must-read thriller. The author’s own expertise in the field is evident in every chapter, bringing that special authenticity most thrillers are hard-pressed to find. The writing is brilliantly done, drawing the reader in with steady pacing and fantastic characters, including a shocking new killer. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Author portraits for use on books and book proposals, as well as on LinkedIn, portfolio websites, and other online marketing tools. ©2015, Sean Phillips http://www.RiverwoodPhotography.com

DWAYNE combines his knowledge and experience as a police officer and paramedic to write realistic crime thrillers.

CRISIS POINT, Dwayne’s first novel, was a finalist for the 2015 Crime Writers of Canada, Arthur Ellis Awards.

OUTLAWMC is the second in the Brad Coulter Series.

WOLFMAN IS BACK, is the third in the Brad Coulter Series.

In his 40 year career, Dwayne has served as a police officer, paramedic, tactical paramedic, firefighter, emergency medical services (EMS) chief, educator, and academic chair.

Dwayne is a popular speaker at conferences and to writing groups presenting on realistic police, medical, and paramedic procedures.

The co-author of four paramedic textbooks, he has spoken internationally at EMS conferences for the past three decades.

DwayneClayden.com

Posted in reviews

The Light Tower by Laurie Lisa Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman must take a journey to discover not only herself but the mother she never knew after she was born under tragic circumstances in author Laurie Lisa’s mystery novel, “The Light Tower”. 

Advertisements

The Synopsis

In this dramatic mystery, a daughter returns to Chicago to find the truth about a mother she never knew–and her tragic death. Will her journey bring answers or more questions?

Thirty years ago in Chicago, a troubled, full-term pregnant woman escapes from the maternity ward of a hospital and climbs to the top of a 100-foot light tower in an abandoned railway yard. Melody Arnold is convinced that her baby is dead, and neither reassurances from her doctor nor the fact that she is a nurse can convince her otherwise. She jumps. Melody doesn’t survive, but miraculously, when the paramedics arrive, a tiny foot protrudes from the woman’s stomach, twitching.

Now, Kat Flowers is living in Arizona and celebrating her thirtieth birthday. Stuck in a rut of dead-end jobs and a failed relationship, she receives a cryptic birthday card from a father she ran away from fourteen years ago. Desperate for answers, Kat takes a journey back to Illinois—to see a family she left behind and learn the truth about a mother she never knew.

Kat shares the journey with the charismatic Zen, who has his own reasons for returning home. There, Kat tries to solve the complicated mystery of her mother’s identity . . . and then understand why she made that tragic leap.

A compelling novel about a mother’s dark secrets, The Light Tower explores the lasting connection between a mother and her daughter, even when they never knew each other. This story about one family’s hidden past is a riveting must-read for your book club.

The Review

This was a truly powerful, emotionally-driven narrative. Author Laurie Lisa once again shines through with this incredibly tragic yet real and loving story of a mother and her daughter, whose lives were tragically torn apart one fateful day. As Kat works to solve the mystery of why her mother Melody met such a tragic fate, readers are given a glimpse into some powerful storytelling that touches on the struggles so many faces in our world today.

From mental health and addiction to family and love, the author does a brilliant job of bringing these themes to life within the core story. The best and most engaging aspect of this novel however is the characters, as their arcs and the slow unraveling of the mystery surrounding this horrific event are heightened by the growth they undergo as time goes on. The anger and pain Kat feels at her mother’s fate and Melody’s despair and helplessness as time goes on are all traits so many people can identify with, and allows the reader to feel these emotions as the story progresses. 

The Verdict

A moving, evenly-paced, and emotionally-driven narrative, author Laurie Lisa’s “The Light Tower” is a must-read mystery and drama read of 2021. The depth of character development the author presents and the heartfelt emotions that are poured into the themes of this narrative are truly engaging on every level. If you haven’t yet, preorder or grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Laurie was born and raised in Southern Illinois. She obtained her B.S. in English Education from the University of Illinois (Champaign), where she also met and then married her husband Steve Lisa. Laurie earned both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English from Arizona State University (20th Century American Literature), where she also taught literature and composition. After her time spent in Academia and raising her three children (Anthony, Michelle, and Caitlin), Laurie returned to her passion for writing fiction.

Laurie is a prolific writer and has completed eight novels in the genre of literary women’s fiction. Each of her books follows its own distinct and sophisticated plot with well-developed characters. In addition to her novels, Laurie has published two academic books, several short stories and poems, and edited other’s works. Laurie resides with her husband, Steve, in Paradise Valley and Flagstaff, Arizona.

You can read more about Laurie and her novels at her website, LaurieLisa.com

Posted in reviews

Finn-agled: A Finn’s Finds Mystery by Kristine Raymond Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A mysterious box with an even more mysterious secret code sends a young woman and a novelist on a dangerous quest to unravel its secrets in author Kristine Raymond’s “Finn-agled: A Finn’s Finds Mystery”. 

Advertisements

The Synopsis

A secret message hidden inside of an antique wooden box, an unidentified dead body, and a mother determined to marry her off to the high school crush whom she hasn’t seen since…well…high school. There’s no doubt about it; Finn Bartusiak’s life in the seaside town of Port New is about to get interesting.

Coming into possession of a 19th-century, bronze and mahogany writing box under somewhat suspicious circumstances, Finn’s accidental discovery of a coded note leads her and Spencer Dane, bestselling novelist and love of her life (though he doesn’t know it yet), on a quest to unravel the mystery behind the jumble of letters. But they’re not the only ones interested in the cryptic message. There’s a con man on their trail, and he’ll stop at nothing, including murder, to claim the ‘treasure’ for himself.

The Review

This was a perfect blend of quirky characters and suspense. The author does a fantastic job of creating a grand mystery set within a very self-contained community within this narrative. The pacing is incredible and the tone maintains that lightness yet suspense one expects from a cozy mystery. 

The star of the novel of course was the protagonist, Finn. Her journey sees her struggling with everything from her dog, her nosy mother, a high school crush returned to throw some unexpected romance into her life, and a dangerous individual and con man who will stop at nothing to get his prize. Yet her quirky demeanor is evenly matched by strength and determination that makes her interactions with family and everyone else fiery and entertaining. 

The Verdict

Memorable, engaging, and short yet enthralling all at once, author Kristine Raymond’s “Finn-agled: A Finn’s Finds Mystery” is the perfect winter cozy mystery. A heartwarming cast of characters that are both humorous and close-knit combine with a strong and resilient protagonist and an entertaining mystery that will keep readers invested until the book’s end, and leaves this reviewer hoping for more stories within this series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of this amazing story today!

Rating: 10/10

Advertisements

About the Author

Kristine Raymond didn’t figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up until later in life. You guessed it! It’s being an author. Since writing and publishing her first book in 2013, she’s gone on to complete two romance series – one historical western and one contemporary; a humorous non-fiction story; a collection of seasonally-themed short stories; and a contemporary erotic drama. She also hosts a podcast called Word Play with Kristine Raymond.

When not writing, she’s navigating the publishing and promotional side of the business. When not doing that, she enjoys spending time with her husband and furry family, reading, gardening, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.

Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Book + Main, and BookBub. You can also visit her website at www.kristineraymond.com to keep up with her latest news.