Tag Archives: mystery

Gaslight Paradise by Walrus Review

Three people discover how far they would go to live forever as they discover the sinister motivations behind an innocent seeming party in author Walrus’s “Gaslight Paradise”.

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The Synopsis

What would you do to live forever? Three very different people contemplate this question after it is posed to them at a lavish party where everything is more sinister than it seems.

The Review

This was the perfect fusion of otherworldly fantasy, historically-driven sci-fi, and old-time mystery thriller horror stories all in one delicious literary bite. The authors known as Walrus have perfectly captured both a humorous tone amongst the cast of characters and their interactions with one another and a haunting note of terror in the spine-chilling behavior of the “party hosts”. 

The mystery of the doors that take the trio of protagonists to this “party” is inviting and entertaining, to say the least. The author’s ability to translate fantasy, horror, and sci-fi in a mature and adult way was great to see, as so many stories delve into the YA world for these genres that getting a more adult turn in this genre was a breath of fresh air. 

The Verdict

A heart-pounding, chilling, and engaging sci-fi and fantasy read, authors Walrus and their book, “Gaslight Paradise” is a must-read novel. The story is invigorating and does a great job of adding a new twist on the class thriller-mystery genre. The shocking revelation of this party’s origin will stay with readers long after the book’s end, and the cliffhanger of an ending is open-ended enough for fans to want more but mysterious enough to be a brilliant conclusion as well. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Walrus was once believed to be an urban legend. Very little is known other than Walrus is said to sleep very little, eat very much, and write far more than is healthy for the normal mind.

To bestow a great story on the world is Walrus’ only wish.

https://mindofwalrus.weebly.com/

Loser Baby by Jason Bovberg Review

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

A brother must search for his sister after a wild night at an Orange County house party leads to his sister’s disappearance, and a dangerous man prowling the streets of the O.C. looking for her in author Jason Bovberg’s “Loser Baby”.

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The Synopsis

Jasmine Frank is missing.

It’s a humid summer morning in Santa Ana, California, and her twin brother Jordan abruptly finds himself on a desperate search—fearing the worst. The party last night got way out of hand, and his brain is still chemically fried. But this is Jasmine’s story. She’s awakened far from home to her own mystery: She’s unwittingly stolen something from the most dangerous person she’s ever known. Tommy Strafe. And now Tommy is raging through the sunbaked streets, gathering illicit forces to seek brutal retribution. But all Jasmine really wants is to get out of Orange County, escape her past, and find a measure of redemption.

LOSER BABY is a propulsive blast through the streets of the SoCal melting pot, a breakneck dark-comic neo-noir populated by misfits and malefactors, criminals and innocents, down-and-outers and spun-out dreamers. Prepare yourself for an adrenaline rush of rat-a-tat he-said-she-said narrative twists—all in service of a giddily slam-bang shock ending. 

The Review

A gritty and surreal look into the various facets of life in Orange County, author Jason Bovberg does an incredible job of capturing the atmosphere and culture of the O.C. area and those living in it. As someone who grew up in Southern California and has family from Orange County, it was fascinating to see the setting and atmosphere come to life like that, as the O.C. has so many different layers and cultures bubbling within it, and this book really brought that to life.

Yet it was the layered approach to the book’s mystery that kept the suspense and thriller genre alive in this novel. The story really elevates the narrative by taking the original premise and mystery and flipping it on its head. The shocking twists and turns the narrative takes, and the really nuanced characters that gave this story the emotional depth that it employed, was so engaging that I was hard-pressed to put this book down.

The Verdict

A remarkable, chilling, and emotional roller coaster, author Jason Bovberg’s “Loser Baby” is a must-read novel of 2021! The mystery and intrigue the story takes plays well against the dark and seedy undertones of both the criminal elements of the area and the average people caught up in the madness the day becomes, making this story really engrossing to read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jason Bovberg is the author of Loser Baby, the Blood trilogy (Blood Red, Draw Blood, and Blood Dawn) and The Naked Dame, a pulp noir novel. He is the founder of Dark Highway Press, which published Robert Devereaux’s controversial Santa Steps Out, as well as the highly acclaimed weird-western anthology Skull Full of Spurs. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with his wife Barb, his daughters Harper and Sophie, and his canines Rocky and Rango. You can find him online at www.jasonbovberg.com.

Unfurling: A Tale of Friendship, Love, Mystery & Mayhem by Tia Ray Dhar Review

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

A medical graduate settling into her life working in residency and feeling the lack of a zest for life finds her world rocked when a new friend is found murdered. With suspicion falling on her as they attended a conference together, she must find a way to discover what happened to her friend and clear her name in the process in author Tia Ray Dhar’s “Unfurling: A Tale of Friendship, Love, Mystery & Mayhem”. 

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The Synopsis

Can an unexpected turn of events, including a mystery, guide you towards a sense of purpose in your life?

Mandira Sharma (Mandy) is a recent medical graduate, feeling extremely jubilant that she will no longer have to study diligently for exams and can now start earning. She is not passionate about her residency in internal medicine and feels devoid of a general sense of purpose in life. Currently, her happiness revolves around making new friends and spending time with them, be it at her place of work or outdoor venues.

Her general sense of isolation and disinterest in her medicine residency accentuates when her two close friends go overseas, and someone she loves and cares deeply about decides to part ways.

Trying to cope with the current painful scenario — she navigates through her daily routine devoid of zest or enthusiasm.

During an endocrinology key opinion leader profiling assignment, Mandy meets Latika, a psychology Master’s Student. A friendship develops between the two ladies, stemming from shared interests. Latika invites Mandy to attend a workshop titled “What’s Your Attachment Style,” which piques Mandy’s interest. However, tragedy strikes again, when during a desolate blackout at the workshop venue, two attendees find Latika’s body floating in a pool on the premises. Inspector Geetika and her team launch an investigation into the crime’s motive and modus operandi, and the cohort of meeting attendees, including Mandy, come under the lens of suspicion.

Mandy confronts the grief of yet another loss. She decides to endeavor to assist the inspector in unraveling the solution to the mystery and bringing her friend’s killer to justice.

The plot of this novel is an amalgam of elements of friendship, love, mystery, suspense, and the unfurling of finding solace and fulfillment in a purpose or goal.

The Review

A truly unique and heart-pounding thriller, author Tia Ray Dhar has crafted a wholly original story that blends themes of isolation and loneliness with the mystery and suspense genres. The author does a great job of establishing character growth not only for the protagonist but those she builds bonds with along the journey. The themes of loneliness, depression, and sadness that so many people struggle with for a lot of different reasons felt so relevant and needed, not only to reflect the need for mental health awareness overall but to showcase the depth of the protagonist overall and their struggle to find purpose and meaning in life. 

The mystery and the clues that unravel that mystery little by little were so engaging and entertaining. The shock at the criminal’s identity will be a pleasant surprise for those who enjoy comfy mysteries, and the unique setting and character roster really brought a new level of culture and inventiveness to the narrative. The only suggestion I’d have for the author would be pacing, as the background being established felt like it took up more than half of the book, which made the mystery feel a bit rushed at certain points. Allowing for more time to let the suspense and mystery grow will greatly increase the already staggering heights of creativity the author achieves in this fantastic read.

The Verdict

A remarkable, inviting, and heartfelt mystery and drama, author Tia Ray Dhar’s “Unfurling” is a must-read novel. The suspense the author builds and the effortless way the author delves into these important themes to build their character’s growth was fun to see unfold and will have readers truly invested in Mandy’s journey as a protagonist. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

Tia Ray Dhar grew up in Canberra, Australia, and Toronto, Canada, and has over 15 years of experience in content creation for biomedical and healthcare communications across India, the US, and New Zealand. The mystery and suspense genre has always enthralled her. She started her fiction reading journey with novels by renowned authors like Mary Higgins Clark, Agatha Christie, Stephen King, Shari Lapena, Alafair Burke, Ruth Ware, and CL Taylor, to name a few. After years of reading, she decided to embark on a fiction writing journey of her own! 

She is a Goodreads author and has two published books in two different genres: A murder mystery novel titled “Unfurling: A Tale of Friendship, Love, Mystery & Mayhem” and a short self-help book called “Don’t Let Your Break-Up be Your Break-Down.” 

Her upcoming plans include publishing a romance novella, followed by few novellas and short stories in the mystery and suspense genre.

She has just started her writing journey and knows that there’s a long way to go. The creative landscape of writing is a space where we continually aspire to learn, engage, enthrall, entertain, and motivate the reader audience. 

Besides being an avid fiction reader, she loves public speaking, photography, rock music (especially from the 80s and 90s), films, theatre, and world history. One of her favorite places anywhere in the world is sitting at a window-side table in a cafe and sipping an Americano, long black, or flat white coffee while reading or writing. 

She enjoys connecting with other readers and writers and participating in social and cultural events for all age groups. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tia.ray.1848

https://www.instagram.com/tia_writer1980/

Headlines, Deadlines, and Lies by Stephanie LaVigne Review

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

A single mother struggling to find her footing as a writer finds herself uncovering more secrets than she could have imagined while investigating genealogy studies in author Stephanie LaVigne’s “Headlines, Deadlines, and Lies”. 

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The Synopsis

“It’s all in the genes, darling!” A witty quip…or a clue?

Piper Harrington is determined to find out.

As a single mom living back in her quaint hometown nestled along Florida’s Gulf Coast, Piper has all but abandoned her dream of ever becoming a professional writer. So when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity opens up at the small beach town paper where she works, she has to make a split-second decision: Go for it (even if it requires a little fib) or give up a shot at her lifelong goal.

To complicate things, in waltzes a worldly crime reporter who is easy to talk to and even easier on the eyes. Add in a demanding editor, alongside a theatrical best friend, a lively family, and co-workers who run the gamut from supportive to conniving, and things start getting tricky.

Scrambling for a topic that could keep readers hooked, Piper dives into the world of genealogy…something she knows absolutely nothing about. When her investigation turns up more questions than answers, her findings threaten to open up a Pandora’s box that can’t be closed.

A story about friendship, family, finding your passion…and the lengths we go to protect those we love.

•••

What do Bogie & Bacall, a goldfish, and a never-ending mountain of laundry have in common? There’s only one way to find out! If you love a fun, beachy read with a lovable female amateur sleuth, then you will have a blast with Headlines Deadlines and Lies; a Florida twist on a cozy mystery!

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The Review

This was a truly marvelous mystery! The author perfectly captures the warmth and wit that the cozy mystery genre often has. The relationship between the protagonist and the cast of characters felt real and relatable all at once. Getting an intimate look into the protagonist’s life as a single mother and aspiring writer was emotional and heartfelt, and the author really captured the author’s mental and physical journey as she underwent this adventure. 

The real defining moment or aspect of this novel had to be the setting of the novel. The cozy mystery novel typically conjures up a cold, wintery setting in some small New England or English town. Yet the author has flipped the script in the best way possible, taking readers to a sunny destination like Florida and still keeping the theme and tone of coziness and suspense that the genre is known for.

The Verdict

A masterful, expertly crafted, and engaging read, author Stephanie LaVigne’s “Headlines, Deadlines, and Lies” is a must-read and satisfying read. The characters immediately draw the reader in with their authenticity and charm, and the evolving mystery keeps readers invested in this narrative wholeheartedly. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Stephanie LaVigne comes from a long line of mystery lovers. Her books combine quirkiness, intrigue, and adventure…plus a healthy dose of humor and wit.

She has published over 50 popular novels under her pen names in both romance and mystery, and is a regular Amazon Bestseller.

After spending years in the NYC film industry, then as a professional photographer, she eventually traded in her cameras to pursue life as a full-time writer. From hopping trains across the US to crewing a sailboat on a trans-Atlantic crossing, from mushing dogs on a Canadian dogsled to unwittingly hiking Mount Washington, she’s seen a few things and lived to tell about them. If nothing else, her life has never been dull.

She currently lives in her favorite South Florida neighborhood surrounded by palm trees, peacocks, a few wild kids, one wild husband, and a handful of incredible family members and friends. 

https://stephanielavigne.com/

https://www.bookbub.com/books/headlines-deadlines-and-lies-the-sunshine-state-cozy-crime-by-stephanie-lavigne

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”.  

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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

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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/

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. 

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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

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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

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.

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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

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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

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.

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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

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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/

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”.

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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

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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: 

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Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @Tess_Amy_

Facebook: @tawillberg

Instagram: @ta_willberg