Source: Minotaur Books

#BookReview An Extravagant Death by Charles Finch @CharlesFinch @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #AnExtravagantDeath #CharlesFinch

#BookReview An Extravagant Death by Charles Finch @CharlesFinch @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #AnExtravagantDeath #CharlesFinch Title: An Extravagant Death

Author: Charles Finch

Series: Charles Lenox Mysteries #11

Published by: Minotaur Books on Feb. 16, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: Hardcover

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

In what promises to be a breakout in Charles Finch’s bestselling series, An Extravagant Death finds Sir Charles Lenox traveling to Gilded Age Newport and New York to investigate the death of a beautiful socialite.

London, 1878. With faith in Scotland Yard shattered after a damning corruption investigation, Charles Lenox’s detective agency is rapidly expanding. The gentleman sleuth has all the work he can handle, two children, and an intriguing new murder case.

But when a letter arrives with an unexpected invitation, he’s unable to resist the call of an old, unfulfilled yearning: to travel to America. Arriving in New York, he begins to receive introductions into both its old Knickerbocker society and its new robber baron splendor. Then, a shock: the suicide of the season’s most beautiful debutante, who has thrown herself from a cliff. Or was it a suicide? Her closest friend doesn’t think so, and Lenox, sacrificing his plans, travels to the family’s magnificent Newport mansion in the guise of an idle English gentleman. What ensues is a fiendsh game of cat and mouse.

Witty, complex, and tender, An Extravagant Death is Charles Finch’s triumphant return to the main storyline of his beloved Charles Lenox series–a devilish mystery, a social drama, and an unforgettable first trip for an Englishman coming to America.


Review:

Dramatic, devious, and engaging!

In this latest novel by Finch, An Extravagant Death, we head back to 1878 and into the life of detective Charles Lenox as he reluctantly heads to America and finds himself acquiring an unforeseen sidekick, Theodore Blaine, and helping in the investigation of a murdered woman found on the beaches of Newport that has a list of suspects that reads like the who’s who of Manhattan royalty.

The prose is intricate and tight. The characters are intelligent, resourceful, and witty. And the plot is a methodical, compelling whodunit full of red herrings, suspects, deduction, deception, corruption, power, secrets, violence, and murder.

An Extravagant Death is the eleventh book in the Charles Lenox Mysteries, and if you enjoy historical mysteries, this novel won’t disappoint. It’s a compelling, intriguing, delightfully entertaining tale by Finch that’s another fantastic addition to this USA Today bestselling series and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Charles Finch

Charles Finch is the USA Today bestselling author of the Charles Lenox mysteries, including The Vanishing Man. His first contemporary novel, The Last Enchantments, is also available from St. Martin's Press. Finch received the 2017 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle. His essays and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Washington Post, and elsewhere. He lives in Los Angeles.

Photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

#BookReview A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #APeculiarCombination #AshleyWeaver #ElectraMcDonnellSeries

#BookReview A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #APeculiarCombination #AshleyWeaver #ElectraMcDonnellSeries Title: A Peculiar Combination

Author: Ashley Weaver

Series: Electra McDonnell #1

Published by: Minotaur Books, Montlake Romance on May 25, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 9/10

Electra McDonnell has always known that the way she and her family earn their living is slightly outside of the law. Breaking into the homes of the rich and picking the locks on their safes may not be condoned by British law enforcement, but World War II is in full swing, Ellie’s cousins Colm and Toby are off fighting against Hitler, and Uncle Mick’s more honorable business as a locksmith can’t pay the bills any more.

So when Uncle Mick receives a tip about a safe full of jewels in the empty house of a wealthy family, he and Ellie can’t resist. All goes as planned–until the pair are caught redhanded. Ellie expects them to be taken straight to prison, but instead they are delivered to a large townhouse, where government official Major Ramsey is waiting with an offer: either Ellie agrees to help him break into a safe and retrieve blueprints that will be critical to the British war effort, before they can be delivered to a German spy, or he turns her over to the police.

Ellie doesn’t care for the Major’s imperious manner, but she has no choice, and besides, she’s eager to do her bit for king and country. She may be a thief, but she’s no coward. When she and the Major break into the house in question, they find instead the purported German spy dead on the floor, the safe already open and empty. Soon, Ellie and Major Ramsey are forced to put aside their differences to unmask the double-agent, as they try to stop allied plans falling into German hands.


Review:

Clever, mysterious, and witty!

A Peculiar Combination is an immersive, suspenseful tale set in London during WWII that takes you into the life of Electra McDonnell, a part-time, talented safecracker who is recruited by the broodily handsome Major Ramsey to use her exceptional skills to help king and country retrieve some documents of a fragile nature before they can possibly be passed into enemy hands.

The prose is rich and polished. The characters are plucky, resourceful, and intriguing. And the plot is a well-paced, intriguing mystery full of suspects, deduction, red herrings, familial dynamics, espionage, duty, friendship, flirtation, secrets, and duplicity.

Overall, A Peculiar Combination is a vivid, atmospheric, highly entertaining tale by Weaver that is not only a fantastic start to the Electra McDonnell series but, in my opinion, the perfect choice for anyone who loves a lighthearted, amusing, historical mystery.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ashley Weaver

ASHLEY WEAVER is the Technical Services Coordinator for the Allen Parish Libraries in Louisiana. Weaver has worked in libraries since she was 14; she was a page and then a clerk before obtaining her MLIS from Louisiana State University. She lives in Oakdale, Louisiana.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #ThePhotographer #MaryDixieCarter

#BookReview The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #ThePhotographer #MaryDixieCarter Title: The Photographer

Author: Mary Dixie Carter

Published by: Minotaur Books on May 25, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 7.5/10

WHEN PERFECT IMAGES

As a photographer, Delta Dawn observes the seemingly perfect lives of New York City’s elite: snapping photos of their children’s birthday parties, transforming images of stiff hugs and tearstained faces into visions of pure joy, and creating moments these parents long for.

ARE MADE OF BEAUTIFUL LIES

But when Delta is hired for Natalie Straub’s eleventh birthday, she finds herself wishing she wasn’t behind the lens but a part of the scene―in the Straub family’s gorgeous home and elegant life.

THE TRUTH WILL BE EXPOSED

That’s when Delta puts her plan in place, by babysitting for Natalie; befriending her mother, Amelia; finding chances to listen to her father, Fritz. Soon she’s bathing in the master bathtub, drinking their expensive wine, and eyeing the beautifully finished garden apartment in their townhouse. It seems she can never get close enough, until she discovers that photos aren’t all she can manipulate.


Review:

Ominous, crafty, and compelling!

The Photographer is a cunning, intense thrill ride that highlights just how quickly life can spin out of control when you are lonely and starved for affection, tend to engage in destructive behaviour, are driven by uncontrollable, obsessive tendencies, share in other people’s special moments, and often have easy access to their personal property.

The prose is eerie and dark. The characters are manipulative, deceitful, and consumed. And the plot is a simmering, engrossing tale of power, betrayal, control, obsession, malice, seduction, desire, and jealousy.

Overall, The Photographer is a taut, sinister, solid debut for Carter, and with this kind of imagination, I’m extremely excited to read whatever utterly disturbing tale she manages to come up with next.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Mary Dixie Carter

MARY DIXIE CARTER’s writing has appeared in TIME, The Economist, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Sun, The New York Observer and other print and online publications. She worked at The Observer for five years, where she served as the publishing director. In addition to writing, she also has a background as a professional actor. Mary Dixie graduated from Harvard College with an honors degree in English Literature and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young children. The Photographer is her first novel.

Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.

#BookReview The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jónasson @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #TheGirlWhoDied #RagnarJonasson

#BookReview The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jónasson @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #TheGirlWhoDied #RagnarJonasson Title: The Girl Who Died

Author: Ragnar Jónasson

Published by: Minotaur Books on May 4, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 7.5/10

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.


Review:

Dark, intense, and creepy!

The Girl Who Died is a menacing, haunted thriller that sweeps you away to the secluded hamlet of Skálar and into the life of Una, a young teacher who after recently relocating from Reykjavík, struggles to feel comfortable, safe, and able to integrate herself into this community of ten residents that seem to be extremely insular and have something they’re determined to protect and hide at all costs.

The prose is eerie and tight. The characters are multilayered, aloof, and secretive, with the setting being a character itself with its desolation, claustrophobic environment, and isolation. And the plot is a simmering, ominous tale of familial drama, tension, desperation, violence, and death, all interwoven with a sliver of the supernatural.

Overall, The Girl Who Died is a taut, unsettling, atmospheric mystery by Jónasson that has all the qualities you typically look for in a Nordic Noir tale, and even though I thought it could have had a slighter quicker pace, it was nevertheless still an entertaining read from start to finish.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ragnar Jónasson

RAGNAR JONASSON is an international number one bestselling author who has sold over two million books in thirty-two countries worldwide. His books include the Dark Iceland series and the Hulda series. Jonasson was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he also works as an investment banker and teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University. He has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, and, since the age of seventeen, has translated fourteen of Agatha Christie's novels. Ragnar is the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir. His critically acclaimed international bestseller The Darkness is soon to be a major TV series. Jonasson lives in Reykjavik with his wife and two daughters.

Photo by Bill Waters

#BookReview Every Waking Hour (Ellery Hathaway #4) by Joanna Schaffhausen @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #EveryWakingHour #JoannaSchaffhausen #ElleryHathawaySeries

#BookReview Every Waking Hour (Ellery Hathaway #4) by Joanna Schaffhausen @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #EveryWakingHour #JoannaSchaffhausen #ElleryHathawaySeries Title: Every Waking Hour

Author: Joanna Schaffhausen

Series: Ellery Hathaway #4

Published by: Minotaur Books on Jan. 26, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 9/10

The fourth book in Joanna Schaffhausen’s heartpounding Ellery Hathaway mystery series.

After surviving a serial killer’s abduction as a young teenager, Ellery Hathaway is finally attempting a normal life. She has a new job as a rookie Boston detective and a fledgling relationship with Reed Markham, the FBI agent who rescued her years ago. But when a twelve-year-old girl disappears on Ellery’s watch, the troubling case opens deep wounds that never fully healed.

Chloe Lockhart walked away from a busy street fair and vanished into the crowd. Maybe she was fleeing the suffocating surveillance her parents put on her from the time she was born, or maybe the evil from her parents’ past finally caught up to her. For Chloe, as Ellery learns, is not the first child Teresa Lockhart has lost.
Ellery knows what it’s like to have the past stalk you, to hold your breath around every corner. Sending one kidnapped girl to find another could be Chloe’s only hope or an unmitigated disaster that dooms them both. Ellery must untangle the labyrinth of secrets inside the Lockhart household—secrets that have already murdered one child. Each second that ticks by reminds her of her own lost hours, how close she came to death, and how near it still remains.


Review:

Intricate, sinister, and twisty!

In this fourth instalment in the Ellery Hathaway series, Every Waking Hour, Detective Hathaway and Agent Markham find themselves inadvertently working together once again when a child goes missing, a kidnapper seems to have a targeted agenda, and the family has way too many skeletons hiding in their closet.

The writing is sharp and sophisticated. The characterization is spot on with all the usual gang back, including the scarred and stubborn Ellery Hathaway, whose greatest struggles involve her own emotional demons and her apprehension at the growing intimacy between herself and Markham. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel quickly into a gripping tale of life, loss, family, friendship, deception, manipulation, jealousy, violence, and murder.

Overall, Every Waking Hour is another addictive, propulsive, thrilling addition to one of my favourite series with its flawed characters, great pace, and consistent sense of urgency that I can never get enough of.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Joanna Schaffhausen

JOANNA SCHAFFHAUSEN wields a mean scalpel, skills developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain—how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked for ABC News, writing for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter. She is also the author of The Vanishing Season and No Mercy.

#BookReview Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano @ElleCosimano @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #FinlayDonovanIsKillingIt #ElleCosimano

#BookReview Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano @ElleCosimano @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #FinlayDonovanIsKillingIt #ElleCosimano Title: Finlay Donovan Is Killing It

Author: Elle Cosimano

Published by: Minotaur Books on Feb. 2, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 9/10

IT’S MURDER BEING A HIT-MOM

“Getting the job done” for one single mom takes on a whole new meaning in Finlay Donovan is Killing It, a deliciously witty adult debut―the first in a brilliant new series from YA Edgar Award nominee Elle Cosimano.

Finlay Donovan is killing it . . . except, she’s really not. She’s a stressed-out single-mom of two and struggling novelist, Finlay’s life is in chaos: the new book she promised her literary agent isn’t written, her ex-husband fired the nanny without telling her, and this morning she had to send her four-year-old to school with hair duct-taped to her head after an incident with scissors.

When Finlay is overheard discussing the plot of her new suspense novel with her agent over lunch, she’s mistaken for a contract killer, and inadvertently accepts an offer to dispose of a problem husband in order to make ends meet . . . Soon, Finlay discovers that crime in real life is a lot more difficult than its fictional counterpart, as she becomes tangled in a real-life murder investigation.

Fast-paced, deliciously witty, and wholeheartedly authentic in depicting the frustrations and triumphs of motherhood in all its messiness, hilarity, and heartfelt moments, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is the first in a brilliant new series from award-winning author Elle Cosimano.


Review:

Suspenseful, quirky, and outrageously funny!

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is a humorous, compelling read that transports you to the suburbs of Virginia and into the life of Finlay Donovan, a struggling romantic suspense author, recent divorcee, mother of two, whose life is about to get even more chaotic when a woman mistakenly confuses her for a hitman, the husband she never actually intended to kill ends up dead in her minivan, her former nanny willingly becomes a confident and sidekick, and the detective investigating the case is a little too handsome for his own good.

The prose is sharp and witty. The characters are unique, affable, and multilayered. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel quickly into a riotous, yet thrilling tale filled with life, love, family, friendship, secrets, deception, spirited hijinks, hilarious mishaps, mystique, and murder.

Overall, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is a fresh, charming, laugh-out-loud funny mystery that kept me amused and entertained from the very first page. It’s the first novel I’ve read by Cosimano, but based on this fantastic, creative start to what could definitely turn out to be one of my favourite series of all time, I can guarantee you it won’t be my last.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

               

 

 

Thank you to Minotaur – St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elle Cosimano

ELLE COSIMANO is an award-winning author. Her YA debut, Nearly Gone, was an Edgar Award finalist and winner of the International Thriller Award. Her novel Holding Smoke was a finalist for the International Thriller Award and the Bram Stoker Award. Her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post and Time. Elle lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her husband, two sons, and her dog. Finlay Donovan Is Killing It is her adult debut.

Photo by Powell Woulfe Photography.

#BookReview Under Pressure (Lucas Page #2) by Robert Pobi @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #UnderPressure #LucasPageSeries

#BookReview Under Pressure (Lucas Page #2) by Robert Pobi @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #UnderPressure #LucasPageSeries Title: Under Pressure

Author: Robert Pobi

Series: Lucas Page #2

Published by: Minotaur Books on Aug. 4, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 9/10

A series of deadly explosions rock the city of New York and with too many victims and no known motive, the FBI turns once again to Dr. Lucas Page in Robert Pobi’s Under Pressure.

On a beautiful October evening, New York City’s iconic Guggenheim Museum is closed for a tech company’s private gala. Until an explosion rocks the night, instantly killing 702 people, including every single attendee—yet the damage to the building itself was minimal.

An explosion of that precision was no accident and, in response, the FBI mobilizes its entire team — but the sheer number of victims strains their resources. Were all 702 victims in the wrong place at the wrong time, or was there only one target and 701 unlucky bystanders? That many victim files is a staggering amount of data to sort through and Brett Kehoe, Special Agent in Charge of Manhattan, decides that he can’t do this without more computational power.

Dr. Lucas Page, astrophysicist, university professor, and former FBI agent, is uniquely gifted for the task at hand—he can visualize a crime scene as if he was a bystander and can break down any set of data at a glance. Even though Page wants nothing to do with the FBI, with his city under attack and his family at risk, he steps in to find a killer in a haystack before they strike again.


Review:

Explosive, intelligent, and exceptionally gripping!

Under Pressure is an adrenaline-pumping, police procedural that has astrophysicist and former FBI agent, Dr. Lucas Page begrudgingly working once again with his former employer to help them track down a bomber who seems intent on creating panic, mass destruction, and an ever-growing body count.

The prose is sharp and tight. The characters are astute, scarred, and tenacious. And the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat with its short, intense chapters that submerge you, page after page, into a world full of twists, turns, action, intrigue, indulgence, greed, power, duplicity, revenge, and murder.

Overall, Under Pressure is an intricately woven, meticulous, sinister tale by Pobi that is made extra special by the protagonist being such a unique, flawed, extraordinary character.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Robert Pobi

Robert Pobi is the author of several novels, including the international bestsellers Bloodman and Harvest, as well as the Lucas Page thrillers, which begin with City of Windows. He lives in Canada.

Photograph by Chris Snow.

#BookReview Cut to the Bone by Ellison Cooper @ECooperAuthor @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #CuttotheBone

#BookReview Cut to the Bone by Ellison Cooper @ECooperAuthor @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #CuttotheBone Title: Cut to the Bone

Author: Ellison Cooper

Series: Agent Sayer Altair #3

Published by: Minotaur Books on Jul. 14, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A bus full of high school students has disappeared from Washington D.C. and FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair must hunt down the culprit who has a link to her own past.

After grieving the death of her fiancé and almost losing her job, Agent Sayer Altair is finally starting to rebuild her life. Her research into the minds of psychopaths is breaking new ground and her strange little family is thriving. But Sayer’s newfound happiness is threatened when she is called in to investigate a girl’s body left inside a circle of animal figurines below a cryptic message written in blood. When they discover that the dead girl is one of twenty-four missing high school students, Sayer quickly realizes that nothing in this case is what it seems.

As the investigation draws her in to a tangled web of fake identities and false leads, the trail soon begins to point directly to her own life. Now, Sayer must confront her painful past to uncover her connection to the deranged killer if she hopes to save the missing teens and protect everything that she loves.


Review:

Chilling, suspenseful, and fast-paced!

In this riveting third installment in the Agent Sayer Altair series, Cut to the Bone, Cooper has written an unpredictable, sharp, sinuous thriller that takes you on a hunt for a dangerous, mass kidnapper and deranged serial killer who seems to have a fascination with Ancient Egypt, the afterlife, and Washington architecture.

The prose is crisp and precise. The characters are bold, intelligent, and driven. And the plot is an absorbing, tortuous tale full of twists, turns, intrigue, surprises, misinformation, cosmogony, symbolic references, red herrings, violence, and murder.

Overall, Cut to the Bone is a sharp, engrossing, intricate tale that keeps you guessing from the very first page and leaves you unsettled, entertained, and highly satisfied.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

              

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ellison Cooper

Ellison Cooper has a Ph.D. in anthropology from UCLA, with a background in archaeology, cultural neuroscience, ancient religion, colonialism, and human rights. She has conducted fieldwork in Central America, West Africa, Micronesia, and Western Europe. She has worked as a murder investigator in Washington DC, and is a certified K9 Search and Rescue Federal Disaster Worker. She now lives in the Bay Area with her husband and son.

Ellison is the author of Caged.

Photograph by Michael Soo.

#BookReview Muzzled (Andy Carpenter #21) by David Rosenfelt @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #Muzzled

#BookReview Muzzled (Andy Carpenter #21) by David Rosenfelt @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #Muzzled Title: Muzzled

Author: David Rosenfelt

Series: Andy Carpenter #21

Published by: Minotaur Books on Jul. 7, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Minotaur Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

In David Rosenfelt’s newest Andy Carpenter mystery, Muzzled, Andy and his beloved golden retriever, Tara, are back on the case as a favor to a friend.

Andy Carpenter is a lawyer who would rather not practice law. He’d rather spend his time working with the Tara Foundation, his dog rescue organization, and being with his family and his two dogs, Tara and Sebastian. But when a friend asks him for a favor that involves both dogs and his lawyerly expertise, he can’t say no.

Andy’s friend Beth has found a stray that seems to have belonged to a murder victim–in fact, the man and two of his colleagues died in an explosion a few weeks ago. But when the murdered man contacts Beth, asking for his dog back, Andy knows there must be more to the story. The man claims his life is in danger, and that’s why he disappeared. As much as Andy doesn’t want to get involved–anything to avoid a new case–he can’t help but come to the rescue of a man who’d risk everything, even his life, to reunite with his dog.


Review:

Intricate, fresh, and outrageously funny!

Muzzled is an absorbing, humorous mystery that transports you to Patterson, N.J. where Alex Vogel, one of three men supposedly killed in a boat explosion is arrested for murder when he reappears to claim his dog from the Tara Foundation causing the happily retired, defense attorney Andy Carpenter to once again come out of retirement to defend someone in need.

The prose is witty and crisp. The characters are multilayered, unique, and amusing. And the plot is a funny yet thrilling tale full of twists, turns, mayhem, corruption, coercion, red herrings, deduction, violence, greed, danger, and murder.

Overall, Muzzled is a clever, quirky, suspenseful mystery that kept me absorbed, entertained and laughing out loud from the very first page. It’s hard to believe that this is the first novel I’ve read by Rosenfelt, but I can guarantee it won’t be my last.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

               

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About David Rosenfelt

DAVID ROSENFELT is the Edgar-nominated and Shamus Award-winning author of more than twenty Andy Carpenter novels, including One Dog Night, Collared, and Deck the Hounds; its spinoff series, The K-Team; the Doug Brock thriller series, which starts with Fade to Black; and stand-alone thrillers including Heart of a Killer and On Borrowed Time.

Rosenfelt and his wife live in Maine with an ever-changing pack of rescue dogs. Their epic cross-country move with 25 of these dogs, culminating in the creation of the Tara Foundation, is chronicled in Dogtripping.

Photo by Brandy Allen.

#BookReview Hard Cash Valley by Brian Panowich @BPanowich @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #HardCashValley

#BookReview Hard Cash Valley by Brian Panowich @BPanowich @MinotaurBooks @StMartinsPress #MinotaurInfluencers #HardCashValley Title: Hard Cash Valley

Author: Brian Panowich

Series: Bull Mountain #3

Published by: Minotaur Books on May 5, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Minotaur Books

Book Rating: 9/10

Return to McFalls County and Bull Mountain in Hard Cash Valley, where Brian Panowich weaves another masterful tale of Southern Noir.

Dane Kirby is a broken man and no stranger to tragedy. As a life-long resident and ex-arson investigator for McFalls County, Dane has lived his life in one of the most chaotic and crime-ridden regions of the south. When he gets called in to consult on a brutal murder in a Jacksonville, Florida, motel room, he and his FBI counterpart, Special Agent Roselita Velasquez, begin an investigation that leads them back to the criminal circles of his own backyard.

Arnie Blackwell’s murder in Jacksonville is only the beginning – and Dane and Roselita seem to be one step behind. For someone is hacking a bloody trail throughout the Southeast looking for Arnie’s younger brother, a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome who possesses an unusual skill with numbers that could make a lot of money and that has already gotten a lot of people killed―and has even more of the deadliest people alive willing to do anything it takes to exploit him.

As Dane joins in the hunt to find the boy, it swiftly becomes a race against the clock that has Dane entangled in a web of secrets involving everyone from the Filipino Mafia to distrusting federal agents to some of hardest southern outlaws he’s ever known.


Review:

Gritty, pacey, and suspenseful!

Hard Cash Valley is a chilling, action-packed thriller that sees GBI consultant, Dane Kirby, working with the FBI when the brutal murder of a man in Florida leads back to McFalls County where bodies begin piling up, a young boy is missing, and The Farm which recently hosted the largest illegal cockfighting match in the US seems to be at the centre of it all.

The prose is precise and crisp. The characters are relentless, callous, and impulsive. And the plot is a fast-paced, riveting tale full of twists, turns, intrigue, action, greed, power, corruption, duplicity, violence, and murder.

Overall, Hard Cash Valley is an edgy, engrossing, sinister tale that highlights just how fine the line between right and wrong truly is and reminds us that messing with the criminal underworld is never a wise decision.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

               

 

 

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Brian Panowich

Brian Panowich is an award winning author, a Georgia firefighter, and a father to four incredible children. His first novel, Bull Mountain, was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist, ITW Thriller Award winner for Best First Novel, Southern Book Prize winner, and a finalist for both the Anthony and the Barry Awards. He lives in Georgia with his family.

Photograph by David Kernaghan.

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