Prepublication Reviews and Expertly Selected Title Lists

Archive for the tag “Mystery”

The Disappearance of Emily H. by Barrie Summy

The Disappearance of Emily HHaving just moved from Detroit to New York, we meet Raine as she is preparing to register for 8th grade.  Raine has a special gift; she collects people’s sparkles, which is a glimpse of a person’s memory.

Growing up, Raine lived with her grandmother, but after she died, Raine’s mother began taking care of her.  Raine’s grandmother also had the ability to read sparkles.

Raine is quick to learn who the mean girls in the school are, but unfortunately two of them are in cross-country with her.  While walking her dog, Raine sees a missing sign for Emily Huvar.  Emily is a 13-year-old girl who disappeared a few months ago.  Raine learns that she and her mother moved into Emily’s house.

As Raine delves into people’s memories, she learns enough to make her want to solve the case of Emily’s disappearance.  Will she get to the bottom of the mystery or is there more to this case than just a missing girl?

I highly recommend this book.  I was immediately drawn in and was enthralled until the end.  This was a great mystery with plenty of twists and turns.  The bullying throughout broke my heart a little, but unfortunately, it’s a harsh reality of what people go through in today’s society.

– Amanda

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Skies of Ash by Rachel Howzell Hall

Skies of AshThis is the second book with Homicide detective Lou Norton and her partner Colin.

When Norton and Colin are called out to a fire, which has killed a mother and her two children, they must determine if it’s a murder suicide or did someone else cause this deadly fire?

Their investigation takes them all over the place with many potential suspects, including the husband and the couples’ best friends.

At the same time, Lou is dealing with the hurt of a cheating husband and her marriage is on the rocks. Can Lou keep it together long enough to close this case? Will they ever figure out the truth of what happened that night?

This book had just enough twists and turns to keep me guessing all the way to the end. I look forward to more books by this author.

– Tina

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You Can Trust Me by Sophie McKenzie

You Can Trust MeLivy Jackson is a stay at home mom with a hormonal tween and a doting son.

She and the kids head out to her best friend Julia’s house for lunch and are devastated to discover that Julia is dead, an apparent suicide. Livy refuses to believe that her best friend would ever kill herself, but her attempts to convince anyone else of that are fruitless.

Soon after, Livy meets Julia’s secret boyfriend, who also refuses to believe that she killed herself. Together they start to investigate Julia’s last days. Julia’s diary leads them on a chase looking for a killer who is so much closer than they realize. Too late, they discover how much danger they are in and that they may be the next victims.

This was a twisted suspenseful thriller and I really enjoyed it.

– Tina

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The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell

The Fifth GospelI can honestly say that I was leery in reading this novel for a couple of reasons.  First being that I didn’t read the author’s first novel, The Rule of Four, and second, I’m not very big on religious reads.  The outcome was pleasantly surprising.

Alex Andreou is a Greek Catholic priest who lives inside the Vatican as a single parent with his five-year-old son.  Simon, Alex’s brother, has moved into the main Catholic Church and is a priest in the Vatican Secretariat.

Simon calls Alex and begs him to pick him up at the Castel Gandolfo.  When Alex arrives, he sees his friend Ugo, curator of a groundbreaking exhibit, dead.    Ugo was set to disprove the scientific evidence based on scriptural and historical documentation of the Shroud of Turin, which has been a symbol of Christianity for centuries, but it was recently proven to be a fake dating back to the Middle Ages.

Simon is being implicated in Ugo’s murder and Alex’s only hope to save him is to reconstruct Ugo’s secret.    This secret is about the four Christian gospels and the fifth gospel named the Diatessaron, which reveals information about the Church’s most controversial holy relic.

Can Alex uncover the mystery and save his brother?  Pick up a copy and find out for yourself.

  • Amanda

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Someone is Watching by Joy Fielding

Someone is WatchingBailey Carpenter is a private investigator who is very good at her job. But late one night, while watching a house, she is brutally beaten and raped. Devastated, and with her whole life turned upside down, Bailey refuses to leave her apartment and is suffering from PTSD and panic attacks. When her estranged half-sister, Claire, and her daughter start coming around to help take care of her, Bailey begins to get her strength back and decides to start investigating the attack herself.

After several false alarms thinking she’s seen her rapist the cops are not taking her seriously anymore. When Bailey begins spying on her male neighbor and sees alarming things happening, she reports them to the police who are threatening to arrest her for harassment and stalking. Is Bailey losing her mind or is someone close to her messing with her head? Her attacker may be closer than she thinks.

I really enjoyed this suspense thriller by Fielding. It moved along at a fast pace and keeps you guessing right to the very last page.

– Tina

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Fractured by Kate Watterson

FracturedHomicide detective Ellie MacIntosh and her partner Jason Santiago are investigating a couple of very gruesome homicides.  They aren’t having much luck finding any leads. When the murderer strikes again they start to feel the pressure to find a possible serial killer.

Ellie and Jason are both seeing the same court appointed therapist, Georgia, who also happens to be treating a disturbed young woman who is having issues with her roommate. When this young woman starts insinuating that there may be connections between the murders and her roommate, Georgia must make a choice between informing Ellie and Jason or keeping patient/client confidentiality.

This is the 3rd installment in this series with Ellie as the main character. Jason was introduced in the 2nd book. This was the first book I’ve read by this author and it flowed fairly well, although I was very disappointed by the ending. It seems to just stop abruptly and I felt like there were chunks of the story missing. All in all, this was a good thriller with a good story line.

– Tina

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The Third Twin by C.J. Omololu

The Third TwinBefore readers meet the identical twins, Alexa, aka Lexi, and Ava, the book opens with what could be one of a girl’s worst nightmares.  We then learn the back story of Alicia, the third sister that the girls made up when they were little.

Now, seniors in high school, they only use Alicia to amp up their courage and sex appeal when dealing with attracting men.  Things quickly turn deadly and strange things begin happening that can’t be explained.

Before you know it, DNA evidence and surveillance photos don’t bode well for Ava and Lexi.  If neither one of them have committed the murders of boys they we’re linked to, then who is responsible and why are they framing the twins or are they?

Fast paced and engaging, this is a great read for fans of who-done-its.  The Third Twin keeps you guessing, right up until just about the end.  When you think you might know, you have no idea….

– Amanda

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The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford

The Case of the Missing MoonstoneSet in the year 1826, this book proposes what it would be like if Mary Shelley (creator of Frankenstein) and Ada Lovelace (known as the world’s first computer programmer) met as young girls and formed a detective agency!

Although Jordan Stratford takes some literary liberties with the ages of her main characters, they seem to work for this book as the girls turn into fine young detectives and become good friends.

First we start with Ada (Lady Ada Byron), a somewhat neglected child who has learned very few of the social graces of her time period. She is a mathematical and engineering genius but basically lives on her own, cared for by servants as her mother has left to be at their country house.

The second young lady we meet is Mary Godwin. She is the daughter of the famous feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft and political philosopher William Godwin. She joins Ada as the girls are to be tutored at Ada’s home by none other than (renowned poet), Percy Bysshe Shelley. He finds it difficult to tutor Ada but Mary is a very willing pupil. We must also mention the young man who delivers and retrieves messages and mail for the girls, Charles Dickens. It is however the chemistry that Jordan Stratford creates between the girls that lead to some very surprising and hilarious solutions for the Wollstonecraft Detective Agency.

Fans of Sherlock Holmes style mysteries will love this series where girls use science, math and clever thinking to solve crimes and the mixing in of historically real figures is an intriguing bonus.

– Ellen

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The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel

The Forgotten GirlsLouise Rick is in her second week as commander of Denmark’s Missing Persons Agency, a newly established unit in the police department. Her first case is a woman who was found dead in the forest. The unknown woman should be easy to identify as the side of her face was covered by a large scar.

When no one comes forward to report a missing person, Louise releases a photo to the media in hopes that this would lead to some answers. An elderly woman comes forward to say that she recognized the person in the photo as a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. The dead woman’s name was Lisemette and she had been abandoned by her family at a young age.  Like other children at the institution, she was thought of as one of the “forgotten girls”.

Upon talking with Lisemette’s father, Louise is informed of some shocking news.  Many years ago, the father had been told that Lisemette and her twin sister had both died from pneumonia. The girls had been living in an institution after their mother had died after a difficult childbirth. Now the greater mystery is where have they been all this time and where is the other twin?

As Louise gets closer to solving this mystery, she uncovers more hidden crimes as well as links to her own past and memories of love and heartbreak.

– Ellen

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Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz

Trust No OneGrace Elland tries to live a very positive life. She works for a motivational speaker who she has helped get to the top of his game. When her boss fails to show up for work she goes to his house to check on him and finds him murdered in his bed. A disturbing clue at the scene of the murder causes Grace to flashback to when she was 16 years old and had to kill someone to save herself and a young boy.

When she meets Julius she tries to keep some distance between them, but there are sparks immediately.

As it becomes clear that Grace has a stalker and her boss’ murder is related to the past, she and Julius start investigating to find the killer. Will they figure it out before it’s too late or will the murderer get away? Grace is in great danger and the killer is closer than she could ever imagine.

This was a great suspense thriller that kept me guessing the whole way.

– Tina

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