Source: Poisoned Pen Press

#BookReview When All Light Fails by Randall Silvis @randallsilvis @PPPress #WhenAllLightFails #RandallSilvis #RyanDeMarcoMystery #inkedinpoison

#BookReview When All Light Fails by Randall Silvis @randallsilvis @PPPress #WhenAllLightFails #RandallSilvis #RyanDeMarcoMystery #inkedinpoison Title: When All Light Fails

Author: Randall Silvis

Series: Ryan DeMarco Mystery #5

Published by: Poisoned Pen Press on Aug. 3, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Poisoned Pen Press

Book Rating: 8/10

A new mystery from Randall Silvis, critically acclaimed master of crime fiction

When powerful men pull strings to get what they want… someone almost always ends up dead

There’s not much that would convince retired police sergeant Ryan DeMarco to take on another private investigation case, but he can’t refuse a nine-year-old Michigan girl begging for help finding her biological father. The road trip to the Upper Peninsula promises DeMarco and his partner, Jayme, a chance to heal from their last case, which ended in a traumatic brush with death for DeMarco. But things aren’t as they first appear in the woods of Michigan, and the seemingly simple paternity investigation soon morphs into something deadly.

The deeper DeMarco, Jayme, and the rest of their team dig, the more ugly truths they reveal, all while doing their best to keep one member of their team, from falling prey to her own kind of darkness. This investigation just might be the most emotionally troubling one DeMarco and Jayme have yet encountered, for there are plenty of people who will do whatever it takes to shut them down before the truth comes to light.


Review:

Menacing, compelling, and sly!

When All Light Fails is a sinister, engaging police procedural that takes you back to Pennsylvania, where after recovering from an almost fatal altercation with a former adversary PI Ryan DeMarco and his partner, Jayme Matson, find themselves immersed in an investigation that seems at the start to be a simple case of confirming the paternity of a little girl but which quickly escalates into a tragic, multiple murder in at least two jurisdictions.

The writing is crafty and intense. The characters are ruthless, determined, and impulsive. And the plot is a suspenseful tale full of twists, turns, manipulation, desperation, duplicity, corruption, intrigue, self-reflection, violence, and murder.

Overall, When All Light Fails is a shrewd, pacey, action-packed fifth novel in the Ryan DeMarco series by Silvis, and even though it can be easily enjoyed as a standalone story, I highly recommend reading the first four novels in the series to truly appreciate the continuity of the storyline and the depth in characterization.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Randall Silvis

Randall Silvis is the internationally acclaimed author of over a dozen novels, one story
collection, and one book of narrative nonfiction. Also a prize-winning playwright, a
produced screenwriter, and a prolific essayist, he has been published and produced in
virtually every field and genre of creative writing. His numerous essays, articles, poems and short stories have appeared in the Discovery Channel magazines, The Writer, Prism International, Short Story International, Manoa, and numerous other online and print magazines. His work has been translated into 10 languages.

Silvis’s many literary awards include two writing fellowships from the National
Endowment for the Arts, the prestigious Drue Heinz Literature Prize, a Fulbright Senior Scholar Research Award, six fellowships for his fiction, drama, and screenwriting from the Pennsylvania Council On the Arts, and an honorary Doctor of Letters degree awarded for “distinguished literary achievement.”

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview It Takes Two to Mango by Carrie Doyle @carriedoylek @PPPress #ItTakesTwotoMango #CarrieDoyle #TroubleinParadise #inkedinpoison

#BookReview It Takes Two to Mango by Carrie Doyle @carriedoylek @PPPress #ItTakesTwotoMango #CarrieDoyle #TroubleinParadise #inkedinpoison Title: It Takes Two to Mango

Author: Carrie Doyle

Series: Trouble in Paradise #1

Published by: Poisoned Pen Press on Jun. 29, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 360

Format: Paperback

Source: Poisoned Pen Press

Book Rating: 8/10

It’s all fun in the sun until someone turns up dead

After Plum Lockhart’s job as a travel magazine editor is eliminated in corporate cuts, she decides she’s sick of cold winters in NYC and fruitless swiping on dating apps—what she needs is a dramatic change of scenery. On a whim, she accepts a job as a villa broker and moves to a beautiful Caribbean island.

However, paradise isn’t as perfect as it seems: the slow pace of island life, the language barrier, and a cutthroat office rival make Plum question leaving her old life behind. But when a client is found dead in the jacuzzi of Casa Mango—a property Plum manages—she knows she’s really in a jam. With a killer loose on the island Plum will have to deal with a stonewalling police chief, a string of baffling clues, and a handsome Director of Security to solve this deadly case!


Review:

Atmospheric, witty, and highly entertaining!

It Takes Two to Mango is a cosy murder mystery set on a beautiful island in the Caribbean that features Plum Lockhart, a magazine editor who, after losing her coveted job in NYC, heads to Paraiso to work as a villa broker at a luxurious resort. But things don’t go as smoothly as she would have liked, and after one of her first renters dies under mysterious circumstances, she will have to join together with the patient, hunky Director of Security, Juan Kevin Muñoz, to try and solve the case as quickly as possible.

The writing style is light and whimsical. The characters are sharp, quirky, and impulsive. And the plot is a pacey whodunit full of amateur sleuthing, red herrings, deduction, attraction, suspects, island living, and new beginnings.

It Takes Two to Mango is the first book in the Trouble in Paradise! series, and if you enjoy a charming mystery with idyllic settings, unique characters, and a touch of romance, then this novel is definitely the perfect choice. It’s a fun, quick, enjoyable read, and I am definitely looking forward to reading whatever Doyle decides to cook up for these characters next.

 

This novel is available on June 29, 2021.

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

 

       

 

 

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Carrie Doyle

Carrie Doyle is the best selling author of multiple novels and screenplays that span many genres, ranging from cozy mysteries to chick lit to comedies to Young Adult.

A born and bred New Yorker, Carrie has spent most of her life in Manhattan, with the exception of a six-year stint in Europe (Russia; France; England) and five years in Los Angeles. A former Editor-in-Chief of the Russian edition of Marie Claire, Carrie has written dozens of articles for various magazines, including countless celebrity profiles. She is also a screenwriter, and her movie Intern (co-written with Jill Kargman) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Carrie has three books that will be published in 2021: Death on Bull Path (the fourth book of the Hamptons Murder Mystery Series); The Murder Game; and It Takes Two to Mango (the first book of the Trouble in Paradise Series.)

Carrie currently splits her time between New York and Long Island, with her husband and two teenage sons.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Silenced Women by Frederick Weisel @PPPress #TheSilencedWomen #ViolentCrimeInvestigationsTeamSeries #FrederickWeisel #inkedinpoison

#BookReview The Silenced Women by Frederick Weisel @PPPress #TheSilencedWomen #ViolentCrimeInvestigationsTeamSeries #FrederickWeisel #inkedinpoison Title: The Silenced Women

Author: Frederick Weisel

Series: Violent Crime Investigations Team #1

Published by: Poisoned Pen Press on Feb. 2, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Poisoned Pen Press

Book Rating: 7.5/10

Who will speak for those who no longer can?

When a young woman is found strangled to death and left on a park bench in Santa Rosa, California, Detective Eddie Mahler and his Violent Crime Investigations (VCI) Team are called to the scene. The crime immediately thrusts Mahler back to two unsolved homicides–young women who were also strangled–at this same location a couple of years earlier. His inability to find evidence against the man he knows was responsible for their deaths has haunted him since.

Now suffering from chronic migraines that affect his vision, Mahler has secretly lost faith in the investigation process, and must rely more than ever on his team. Its newest member, Eden Somers, is a former FBI analyst whose ability to completely immerse herself in the evidence of a case proves both a gift and a curse. While Eden dives deep into the cold case evidence, the rest of the team chase leads to identify the latest victim, and discover that her death might be the work of a different killer altogether. Now Mahler and his team are fighting on two fronts to discover who stole the very breath from these women, and to stop the killer before he silences another victim.


Review:

Gritty, sinister, and meticulous!

The Silenced Women is a complex, ominous police procedural that takes us to Santa Rosa, California, where Detective Eddie Mahler and the VCI team find themselves immersed in the investigation of a potential serial killer when a new case involving a murdered young woman left dumped in a park holds an eerie similarity to two unsolved cold cases.

The writing is sharp and intense. The characters are ruthless, flawed, and troubled. And the plot unfolds and unravels quickly into a suspenseful tale full of twists, turns, manipulation, deception, desperation, police politics, arrogance, violence, murder, and a sliver of the supernatural.

Overall, The Silenced Women is a complex, tense, solid first novel in this VCI Team series by Weisel with its intriguing characters, nice sense of urgency, and satisfying conclusion.

 

This book is available now.

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

          

 

 

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Frederick Weisel

Frederick Weisel has been a writer and editor for more than 30 years. He graduated from Antioch College and has an MA in Victorian Literature and History from the University of Leicester in England. His short stories were awarded an Artists Fellowship from the Massachusetts Arts and Humanities Foundation, and his articles have appeared in the Boston Globe, Washington Post, and Christian Science Monitor.

The Silenced Women is his debut novel. He is currently at work on the third novel in the VCI series. He lives with his wife in Santa Rosa, California, and shares a birthday with his favorite author, Raymond Chandler.

Photo by Rob Martel.

#BookReview A Deadly Twist by Jeffrey Siger @PPPress #ADeadlyTwist #JeffreySiger #AndreasKaldis #inkedinpoison

#BookReview A Deadly Twist by Jeffrey Siger @PPPress #ADeadlyTwist #JeffreySiger #AndreasKaldis #inkedinpoison Title: A Deadly Twist

Author: Jeffrey Siger

Series: Andreas Kaldis #11

Published by: Poisoned Pen Press on Apr. 6, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: Poisoned Pen Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

When Athens journalist Nikoletta Elia disappears while on assignment on the island of Naxos, her editor calls on Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis to investigate. The reporter, assigned to report on the effects of rampant tourism on Naxos’ culture and agrarian lifestyle, is approached by a fan who takes credit for several suspicious deaths she had written about in the past and suspected to be murders. The assassin claims to have changed his evil ways, but wants Nikoletta to write a series of articles about him and his myriad hits. Kaldis sends his deputy, Yianni, to investigate; then a body (not the journalist’s) is found at the base of a cliff.

Leads turn into more dead bodies–and finally, threats–before Kaldis finally solves the deadly puzzle.


Review:

Menacing, atmospheric, and engaging!

In this simmering, eleventh instalment in the Andreas Kaldis series, A Deadly Twist, Siger has written a sinister police procedural that will have CI Andreas Kaldis and his team heading to Naxos to investigate the sudden disappearance of a crime reporter with a story to tell, a body found dead with no identification, and a killer with a lack of conscience and a fascination with antiquities.

The prose is crisp and rich. The characters are intelligent, resourceful, and endearing. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel seamlessly into a mysterious tale of mischief, mayhem, corruption, coercion, criminal behaviour, dangerous endeavours, deduction, lies, and murder.

Overall, A Deadly Twist is a solid, absorbing, highly enjoyable tale by Siger that was so much better than I ever expected with a wonderful cast of characters I can’t wait to get to know better and an idyllic setting that left me yearning for my cancelled trip to the Greek islands even more.

 

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jeffrey Siger

Jeffrey Siger was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, practiced law at a major Wall Street law firm, and later established his own New York City law firm where he continued as one of its name partners until giving it all up to write full-time among the people, life, and politics of his beloved Mykonos. The Mykonos Mob is the tenth novel in his internationally best-selling and award nominated Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis series, following up on An Aegean April, Santorini Caesars, Devil in Delphi, Sons of Sparta, Mykonos After Midnight, Target: Tinos, Prey on Patmos, Assassins of Athens, and Murder in Mykonos.

The New York Times described Jeffrey Siger’s novels as “thoughtful police procedurals set in picturesque but not untroubled Greek locales,” and named him as Greece’s thriller writer of record. The Greek Press called his work “prophetic,” Eurocrime described him as a “very gifted American author…on a par with other American authors such as Joseph Wambaugh or Ed McBain,” and the City of San Francisco awarded him its Certificate of Honor citing that his “acclaimed books have not only explored modern Greek society and its ancient roots but have inspired political change in Greece.” He now lives in Greece.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Laying Bones by Reavis Z. Wortham @ReavisZWortham @PPPress #LayingBones #ReavisZWortham #TexasRedRiverMysteries #inkedinpoison

#BookReview Laying Bones by Reavis Z. Wortham @ReavisZWortham @PPPress #LayingBones #ReavisZWortham #TexasRedRiverMysteries #inkedinpoison Title: Laying Bones

Author: Reavis Z. Wortham

Series: Texas Red River Mysteries #8

Published by: Poisoned Pen Press on Jan. 12, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Poisoned Pen Press

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The stakes don’t get much higher than murder…

It’s January 1969 in the small rural community of Center Springs, Texas. Constable Ned Parker is looking into the seemingly accidental death of his nephew, R. B., who was found in his overturned pickup near Sanders Creek Bridge.

Eventually, the investigation leads Parker back to the Starlite Club, a dangerous honky-tonk recently constructed in a no-man’s-land on the Lone Star side of the Red River. Although Ned’s investigation uncovers suspicious characters, drugs, and gambling, the series of murders that eliminated any potential witnesses to what happened to R. B. on that cold January night is the most troubling. As he works his way to the coroner’s office, Constable Parker finds himself involved in a high-stakes game of consequences with no good end in sight.


Review:

Suspenseful, pacey, and unpredictable!

Laying Bones is an engrossing, gritty novel that takes us to Center Springs, Texas in 1969, where Constable Ned Parker suddenly finds himself mixed up in a complex investigation involving drug smuggling, illegal gambling, corruption, and multiple murder when the suspicious death of his cousin leads back to the honky-tonk club recently built on the banks of the Red River.

The prose is authentic and rich. The characters are sensible, intelligent, and tenacious. And the plot unfolds and unravels quickly into a compelling tale full of family, community, intrigue, drama, greed, deception, power, manipulation, mayhem, violence, and murder.

Overall, Laying Bones is an ominous, pacey, immersive thriller by Wortham that may be the first time I’ve visited Lamar County but certainly won’t be my last.

 

This novel is available now.

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

       

 

 

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Reavis Z. Wortham

Spur Award winner Reavis Z. Wortham retired in 2011 and now works harder than before as the author of the critically acclaimed Red River historical mystery series. Kirkus Reviews listed his first novel, The Rock Hole, as one of their Top 12 Mysteries of 2011. True West Magazine included Dark Places as one of 2015’s Top 12 Modern Westerns. The Providence Journal writes, “This year’s Unraveled is a hidden gem of a book that reads like Craig Johnson’s Longmire on steroids.” Wortham’s new high octane contemporary western series from Kensington Publishing featuring Texas Ranger Sonny Hawke kicked off in 2017 with the publication of Hawke’s Prey. The fourth Sonny Hawke thriller, Hawke’s Fury, was published in June 2020. In 2019, the Western Writers Association presented Hawke’s War with the Spur Award in the WWA Best Mass Market Paperback category. The next Red River Mystery, Laying Bones, will be published in January 2021.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Closely Harbored Secrets by Bree Baker @BreeBakerBooks @PPPress #CloselyHarboredSecrets #BreeBaker #inkedinpoison

#BookReview Closely Harbored Secrets by Bree Baker @BreeBakerBooks @PPPress #CloselyHarboredSecrets #BreeBaker #inkedinpoison Title: Closely Harbored Secrets

Author: Bree Baker

Series: Seaside Café Mystery #5

Published by: Poisoned Pen Press on Dec. 29, 2020

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Poisoned Pen Press

Book Rating: 8/10

Could this be the bitter end for Everly?

It’s almost Halloween, and the small island of Charm, North Carolina is decked out for the festivities. When Everly Swan agrees to close her iced tea shop early to help her aunts host their annual haunted historic walking tour, she expects some good-natured spooks. But the night turns grave when one of the ghostly actors is found dead. To complicate matters, the victim scratched Everly’s name into the ground before she died, making her a key suspect.

The murder mystery heats up when Everly’s potential boo, Detective Grady, takes the case―and he definitely doesn’t want her getting involved. Will their seaside romance be threatened by all the ghostly drama? But when a phantom sailor straight out of local legend starts leaving Everly threatening messages, she has to get involved… With a local election under way, ghosts on the loose, and a search for long-lost buried treasure, Everly can’t help but stir the pot!

The fifth book in Bree Baker’s acclaimed Seaside Café Mystery series, Closely Harbored Secrets is a frighteningly fun read!


Review:

Cosy, entertaining, and atmospheric!

Closely Harbored Secrets is a whimsical, murder mystery set in Charm, North Carolina that features Everly Swan, a tea shop owner who after stumbling upon a murder victim lying on the sand during the annual historic haunted walk joins together with the handsome, reluctant, Detective Hays to try and solve this baffling case that seems to revolve around ancient maps, old legends, and long-lost treasure.

The writing style is light and witty. The characters are unique, impulsive, and endearing. And the plot is a well-paced whodunit full of amateur sleuthing, red herrings, suspects, deduction, attraction, community, scrumptious treats, and small-town living.

Closely Harbored Secrets is the fifth book in the Seaside Café Mystery series, and if you love cosy mysteries with a touch of romance this novel won’t disappoint. It is a quirky, enjoyable, fun read that is the first novel I’ve read by Baker but undoubtedly won’t be my last.

 

This novel is available now.

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

 

       

 

 

Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Bree Baker

Bree Baker is a Midwestern writer obsessed with small-town hijinks, sweet tea, and the sea. She’s been telling stories to her friends, family, and strangers for as long as she can remember, and more often than not, those stories feature a warm ocean breeze and a recipe she’s sure to ruin. Now she’s working on those fancy cooking skills and dreaming up adventures for the Seaside Café mysteries. Bree is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Romance Writers of America.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

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