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Read and Buried by Eva Gates | Blog Tour 

@EvaGates @GreatEscapesBookTours #ReadandBuried

Read and Buried (A Lighthouse Library Mystery) by Eva Gates

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Read and Buried by Eva Gates today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the wonderful review copy!

About Read and Buried

Read and Buried: A Lighthouse Library Mystery
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Crooked Lane Books (October 15, 2019)
Hardcover: 325 Pages
ISBN-10: 1643852337
ISBN-13: 978-1643852331
Digital ASIN: B07P9MQV3F

Librarian Lucy Richardson unearths a mysterious map dating back to the Civil War. But if she can’t crack its code, she may end up read and buried.

The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library Classic Novel Book Club is reading Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne while workers dig into the earth to repair the Lighthouse Library’s foundations. The digging halts when Lucy pulls a battered tin box containing a Civil War-era diary from the pit. Tucked inside is a hand-drawn map of the Outer Banks accompanied by a page written in an indecipherable code.

The library is overrun by people clamoring to see the artifact. Later that night, Lucy and Connor McNeil find the body of historical society member Jeremy Hughes inside the library. Clearly Jeremy was not the only one who broke into the library–the map and the coded page are missing.

Lucy’s nemesis, Louise Jane McKaughnan, confesses to entering the library after closing to sneak a peek but denies seeing Jeremy–or his killer. When Lucy discovers that fellow-librarian Charlene had a past with Jeremy, she’s forced to do what she vowed not to do–get involved in the case. Meanwhile, the entire library staff and community become obsessed with trying to decode the page. But when the library has a second break in, it becomes clear that someone is determined to solve that code.

I Thought…

As a lover of cozy mysteries, I knew I would be onto a winner with this sixth book in ‘A Lighthouse Library Mystery’ series! Read and Buried ticked all the right boxes before I had even started reading.

The setting – a library in a lighthouse, no less – and an eye-catching front cover – all the makings of a great read for me. The concept of a library in a lighthouse is incredibly alluring and the thought of living and working there even more so. This location is particularly enticing for me as I live on the coast near a lighthouse!

I have only read one of the earlier books in the series – ‘Something Read, Something Dead’ but I didn’t feel as though I had missed out as it wasn’t particularly difficult to catch up with the characters and their roles.

Best-selling author, Eva Gates has drawn a lot of fun characters in this fabulous cozy mystery. Likeable Lucy is a librarian who recently moved to the Outer banks and she had a lot going on in this book. Protagonist Lucy had the necessary attributes of any great sleuth – intelligence, curiosity and keenness.

There was an incredible number of characters in Read and Buried but I think I just about managed to keep track of all of them without being overwhelmed! Apart from Lucy herself, I wasn’t especially fond of any of the others and the victim, Jeremy Hughes, was pretty despicable, too, but it only made a fabulous story even greater.Charlie, the library cat, was, of course, an ever-present favourite.

There aren’t many settings as perfect as a library located within a lighthouse and Eva Gates made great use of this. Outer Banks, North Carolina is a fine coastal town, with a real sense of community and a general feeling of nostalgia. I could really feel its wild beauty and this, as well as a town full of secrets, made it a brilliant backdrop for a murder investigation.

Another of my favourite aspects of this novel was the fluidity of the writing. The details of the plot were very well executed and every chapter left me with a compelling need to read on.

The author did a brilliant job of balancing a few different story-lines and different events jumbled matters up somewhat, making figuring out the identity of the perpetrator more challenging. There was a sense of increasing danger as the story progressed, which definitely helped to keep my interest.

Reading Read and Buried has cemented my discovery of another  favourite author to add to my ever-growing list.

I very much look forward to returning to the Outer Banks, North Carolina with Lucy on a future occasion and reading the earlier books in the series, too! So entertaining and engaging, Read and Buried is definitely well worth the time invested.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel through Great Escapes Book Tours at my own request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About Eva Gates

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty books:  clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea By The Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library books for Crooked Lane.

Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It crime writing festival. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

Author Links

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October 7 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW

October 7 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT – Sapphyria’s Books

October 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 8 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

October 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

October 9 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST

October 9 – eBook Addicts – RECIPE POST

October 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

October 10 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

October 10 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 10 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 11 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW

October 11 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

October 11 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

October 11 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

October 12 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

October 12 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

October 12 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

October 13 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

October 14 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

October 14 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  

October 15 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 15 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

October 16 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

October 16 – Diane Reviews Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 17 – Curling up by the Fire – REVIEW

October 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 17 – Ascroft, eh? – GUEST POST

October 18 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

October 18 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIW

October 18 – Reading Authors – REVIEW

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A Curio Killing by Mary Ellen Hughes | Blog Tour 

@MaryEllenHughes @GreatEscapesBookTours #ACurioKilling

A Curio Killing (A Keepsake Cove Mystery) by Mary Ellen Hughes

I am delighted to join the blog tour for A Curio Killing by Mary Ellen Hughes today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the wonderful review copy!

A Curio Killing (A Keepsake Cove Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Maryland
Midnight Ink (September 8, 2019)
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 0738752266
ISBN-13: 978-0738752266
Digital ASIN: B07KMX5QY4

About A Curio Killing

Callie finds treble in Keepsake Cove when her ex-boyfriend is framed for murder . . . 

Callie Reed is looking forward to her first Keepsake Cove spring festival. But her excitement dims considerably when she learns that her ex-boyfriend, Hank, will be performing with one of the hired country-western bands. Callie vows to keep her distance, but that changes when the band’s manager, Bobby Linville, is found dead, killed with the music box Hank bought at Callie’s shop.

Hank is soon singing a sad tune in a detention center with Callie his only lifeline. Though thoroughly aware of his many faults, she knows violence and murder aren’t in his blood. But that means one of her fellow Keepsake Cove residents must be hiding a dark secret—something Callie desperately needs to uncover.

I Thought…

A great mystery which is surprisingly dark for a cozy, A Curio Killing is book three in the  ‘Keepsake Cove Mystery’ series.

Cassie Reed is going about her life making ends meet and running her shop, House of Melody, selling unusual music boxes, alongside all of the other collectables businesses in her little town, including Shake It Up! – a shop selling salt & pepper shakers. Keepsake Cove, Maryland is a wonderful, quaint little place and the townsfolk regularly hold events for business promotion. This time, it is the weekend of the Spring Festival with various entertainments on offer for the event-goers such as a band, fancy dress photography, craft stalls and line-dancing. During the festivities, a dead body is found. A previous beau of Callie’s, Hank, the hired band’s guest singer, is considered to be the main suspect but he maintains that he is not the perpetrator. Callie turns amateur-sleuth but will she able to find out the truth before she is next on the hit list?

I loved down-to-earth and inquisitive Callie although she did have a tendency towards procrastination. A few of the other characters were difficult to warm to, however, I was rather fond of kindhearted Delia. Some of the stronger secondary characters provided further depth and richness to the story – such as part-time assistant Tabitha, Callie’s significant other, Brian and her fiction writer friend, Lyssa.

I really appreciated the author, Mary Ellen Hughes’ easy-going style of writing. With its interesting dialogue and red herrings, there was never a dull moment in this thrilling cozy mystery.

There was plenty of opportunity to play armchair detective alongside Cassie whilst I tried to guess the identity of the killer. Swiping through the pages on my e-reader, I finished A Curio Killing in only a few hours!

A fantastic and engaging read which was well worth the time invested and totally deserves my five stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel through Great Escapes Book Tours at my own request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About Mary Ellen Hughes

Mary Ellen Hughes is the bestselling author of the Pickled and Preserved Mysteries, the Craft Corner Mysteries, and the Maggie Olenski Mysteries, along with several short stories. The Keepsake Cove series begins with A Fatal Collection and continues with A VINTAGE DEATH and A CURIO KILLING.

Author Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MaryEllenHughesauthor

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/mehughes13/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/mehughesauthor

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/402922.Mary_Ellen_Hughes

Purchase Links – Amazon    B&N  Midnight Ink     Mystery Love Company Booksellers    BAM    IndieBound

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Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

September 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

September 6 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

September 7 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

September 7 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

September 7 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

September 8 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

September 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 9 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

September 9 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

September 10 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 11 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 12 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

September 12 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

September 13 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 13 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW, RECIPE

September 14 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

September 16 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

September 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 18 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

September 19 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW

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Christmas Trifle by Heather Haven | Blog Tour 

@HeatherHaven @GreatEscapesTours #Christmas Trifle

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Christmas Trifle by Heather Haven today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Book Tours for the chance to join and the wonderful review copy!

Christmas Trifle (A  Snow Lake Romantic Suspense Mystery) by Heather Haven

About the Book 

When chefs Charly and Cliff Harding divorce, she gets custody of their upscale restaurant and its namesake, Felix, the cat.  He gets custody of their dog, Oscar.  What they both still have custody of is each other’s heart. But they seem to be the only two people in the small ski resort town of Snow Lake, Nevada, that don’t know it.

When Cliff opens his own restaurant in direct competition with Charly, bad things start to happen. Death threats, accidents, and murder are now on the menu. Their ‘if-you-can’t-take-the-heat-then-get-out-of-the-kitchen’ battles are backfiring, and regrets consume the two of them. But can they find their way back to each other?  Or is it too late? Because they just might spend the rest of their lives in prison unjustly accused of killing someone. Or can love triumph over even murder?

Christmas Trifle (A  Snow Lake Romantic Suspense Mystery)

1st in Series
Wives of Bath Press (September 1, 2019)
• Number of Pages – 322
ASIN: B07THD2XT2

I Thought…

This is the first book in the new ‘Snow Lake Romantic Suspense Mystery’ series by Heather Haven. Although I haven’t read any other books by this author, I had no problem getting stuck in and I was really thrilled with the story!

Even though the Christmas-time prominence was lower than anticipated, it was still a very enjoyable, sweet and lovely romantic suspense story that was right up my street! With its well drawn characters, exciting plot and wonderful setting, I was especially fond of the hardworking and solidly dependable Charly. Cliff on the other hand, was quite the enigma – seemly foolish and self-centred, though I warmed to him as the story unfolded. I loved Cliff’s sister, Julia, who seemed to have been blessed with such a good nature that she was able to get along with just about anyone!

I really appreciated some of the musical references in this tale, however, the icing on the cake was the author, Heather Haven’s superb plot-line. This novel was certainly no twee, cute romance story – not that there would have been anything amiss with that. This was also a cleverly written tale of suspense and mystery, with strange goings-on, death-threats and accidents. Christmas Trifle was so well-paced and certainly never boring. The comedic aspect to the story was also very pleasing, allowing me many laugh-out-loud moments.

A fabulous beginning to a fresh and exciting series and I can’t wait to read the next instalment. Highly recommended!

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Great Escapes Book Tours at my own request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About Heather Haven

Heather Haven, in the midst of writing her fourteenth novel, has also written short stories, comedy acts, television treatments, ad copy, commercials, and plays. She has won numerous awards for her Silicon Valley-based Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries; Manhattan-based WWII Persephone Cole Vintage Mysteries; Ringling Brothers’ Circus mystery noir, Death of a Clown; and Corliss and Other Award-Winning Stories. She has two romantic suspense series: Love Can be Murder Mystery Novellas with Lee Alvarez and Gurn Hanson, the Nick and Nora Charles of Silicon Valley, and the new Snow Lake Romantic Suspense Novels, of which Christmas Trifle is Book One.

She and her husband of thirty-four years are allowed to live with their two cats, Ellie and Yulie, in the foothills of San Jose, California.

Author Links

Website –http://www.heatherhavenstories.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HeatherHavenStories

Twitter – @HeatherHaven

Purchase Link – Amazon    

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Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

August 26 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

August 26 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

August 27 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 28 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW, GUEST POST

August 28 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW

August 29 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

August 30 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

August 31 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 31 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

September 1 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 2 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

September 3 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 5 – eBook addicts – REVIEW

September 5 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

September 7 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 8 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW

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Love, Lies and Azure Eyes by Janis Thornton | Blog Tour 

@JanisThornton @GreatEscapeTours #LoveLiesAndAzureEyes

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Love, Lies and Azure Eyes by Janis Thornton today! My thanks to Lori at Great Escapes Tours for the chance to join and the wonderful review copy!

Love, Lies and Azure Eyes by Janis Thornton

About the Book 

Love, Lies, and Azure Eyes Paranormal Romantic Suspense Soul Mate Publishing, LLC (June 12, 2019) Print Length: 267 pages ASIN: B07PRV6VZC

Elated by Annie’s response, Johnny caved to his impulse and pressed his mouth to her sweet lips, sparking a surge of electricity that ricocheted through his entire body, and for one glorious moment swept him up in a wave of emotion that meteorically whisked him to the edge of the universe, past swirling spirals of brightly burning stars — white dwarfs, red giants, entire galaxies. Caught in the rapture, he shed his cocoon of darkness and experienced the light — the wonderful, warm, life-affirming light. He reveled in it, felt alive. He almost believed he was. Almost.

* * *

West Coast journalist Annie Sinclair’s career, not to mention her love life, has been on the skids far too long, when she returns to Logan Point, her small, Indiana hometown. She’s back to make amends with her elderly father, and to delve into the 25-year-old, unsolved murder of her high school classmate for a writing gig with a national tabloid.

Annie’s plans soon go awry, and her mettle is tested — first when her father warns her against digging into the past; and again, when she meets the Logan Point Ledger’s handsome, but exasperating, new editor; and again still, when she reconnects with her first love, who clearly wants to rekindle what once was.

But Annie’s most arduous test appears in the form of the earthbound spirit of a boy she once knew — the boy with the azure eyes accused of the murder she is looking into. He needs her to prove his innocence, so he can break the ties that bind him to the darkness. In exchange, he will set Annie free to realize that the love she yearns for is just within her reach … if only she will open her heart.

About the Author

Janis Thornton is the author of a true crime/oral history/memoir, Too Good a Girl, as well as two cozy mysteries, Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies and Dead Air & Double Dares. She also is the author of two local history books and contributor to Undeniably Indiana. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Authors Guild, and the Indianapolis Writers Center. She lives in her Indiana hometown in the same house where she grew up.

Author Links

Website: www.janis-thornton.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janisthorntonauthor Twitter: https://twitter.com/JanisThornton Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6482161.Janis_Thornton

Purchase Link Amazon

My Thoughts…

I loved this engrossing and fast-paced suspense novel!

Although I had reservations about reading it because of the paranormal element, I had no need to be concerned because in the end, I think this considerably enhanced the story.

The author, Janis Thornton, created some fabulous characters for this great tale. I loved that Annie was so down-to-earth, determined and feisty. Even the bad guys played a great part and they all contributed to the story in their individual ways.

I loved that Scott Wayne, Logan Point’s handsome and intrepid new editor at ‘The Ledger’ was always one step ahead of Annie, though this must have been extremely frustrating for her.

The snippets of romance in this thriller were a lovely addition and really complemented the story, overall. The mystery itself was a definite page-turner and I was desperate to find out how events would eventually be concluded. There was plenty of opportunity to play armchair detective in the novel though I didn’t guess the outcome before the big reveal.

The writing style of Janis Thornton was great for me. There was a good combination of descriptive passages to dialogue.

Love, Lies and Azure Eyes is worth each one of it’s five stars and I highly recommend it!

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Great Escape Tours at my own request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

June 12 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

June 13 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 13 – ⒾⓃⓉⓇⓄⓈⓅⒺⒸⓉⒾⓋⒺ ⓅⓇⒺⓈⓈ – SPOTLIGHT

June 14 – Defining Ways – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 15 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 16 – 4covert2overt A Place In The Spotlight  – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

June 17 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

June 18 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

June 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 19 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

June 19 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

June 20 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

June 21 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST  

June 22 – Brianne’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

June 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

June 23 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

June 24 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

June 25 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

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You Fit The Pattern by Jane Haseldene | Review

About The Book

In this gritty, riveting new novel, Detroit reporter Julia Gooden tracks down a serial killer—only to realize she has become his obsession . . .

Crime writer Julia Gooden has just completed the most important story of her life—a book about her beloved brother’s childhood abduction and how she found his killer after thirty years. But that hasn’t taken her focus off her day job—especially with what looks to be a serial killer terrorizing the city. Female runners are being snatched off jogging trails, then slaughtered in abandoned churches.

As Julia begins investigating, with help from Detective Raymond Navarro, she realizes just how personal this case has become. The murders, planned and executed with uncanny precision, are of women who share traits with Julia. Now he’s contacting her directly, insisting things will get much worse unless Julia makes him famous through her writing.

But no matter how skillfully she plays along, her opponent’s ultimate goal is clear. And only by unravelling the threads that link a killer’s twisted mind to her own dark past can Julia prevent herself from becoming his final victim . . .

My Thoughts

Author, Jane Haseldine, has added to her ‘Julia Gooden Mystery’ series with this book – “You Fit The Pattern”. I have not read the first three books in this series, ‘The Last Time She Saw Him’, ‘Duplicity’, and ‘Worth Killing For,’ so I didn’t really know what to expect here, however I needn’t have worried as I thought it was a fantastic read and I was so glad it had caught my attention!

I did not feel disadvantaged in any way not having read the other three books first as it was a perfectly fine read as a stand-alone story, though it would have been preferable to me if I had read them in their intended sequence. 

“You Fit the Pattern” is a creepy, suspenseful and extremely chilling psychological thriller, set in Detroit.

For me, Julia Gooden as the protagonist worked well in this extremely well-paced thriller and the author Jane Haseldine has drawn a great character in this gutsy crime-writer. I really invested in this character and I wanted her to succeed. The other characters were also brilliantly drawn and were well portrayed as being very strong and real, if not without faults and added depth to the story. I particularly liked Detective Navarro.

Jane Haseldine’s writing style is really engaging and it was a good, fast-paced read with more than one false lead that threw me off the scent.

Full of so many twists and gripping tension, this was a thrilling and compulsive read from the offset and there was even an element of romance!

The conclusion was a very fulfilling ending to a wonderful book that regularly had me looking over my shoulder and was, all-in-all, a very worthwhile and well-balanced read. 

Thanks to NetGalley, Kensington Books and the author, Jane Haseldine, for my free ARC of You Fit The Pattern. My honest review was completely voluntary.

#NetGalley #YouFitThePattern

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!

The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine | Review

About The Book

The internationally best-selling author of The Last Mrs Parrish follows that success with an addictive novel filled with shocking twists about the aftermath of a brutal high-society murder.

Kate English’s mother, Lily Michaels, is dead, the victim of a terrifying attack in her tony suburban Baltimore home. Barely keeping it together for the sake of her family, Kate is surprised and grateful to see Blaire Barrington, her old high school BFF, at the funeral.

Thick as thieves from middle school through college graduation, the girls fell out on the morning of Kate’s wedding to the confident, arrogant Simon English nearly fifteen years before. Almost instantly the years of separation fall away, and Kate and Blaire slip comfortably back into their old roles. Kate, now a prominent heart surgeon, is the accomplished, anxious achiever, while Blaire, a best-selling mystery author, serves as her fierce defender against all enemies.

And now more than ever, Kate needs Blaire’s loving protection. Lily’s killer is still out there . . . and has begun taunting Kate with threatening notes sometimes accompanied by gruesome clues. Without any solid leads, the police investigation has stalled. As the messages become increasingly macabre, Blaire decides to take matters into her own hands, alienating friends and relatives with her relentless, almost accusatory questions.

As Blaire pushes further, the danger for those around her—including the increasingly unstable Kate—grows. But will her relentless quest for the truth push her—and Kate—over the edge?

In this second novel, told with the lightning pace of The Last Mrs Parrish, Liv Constantine raises the stakes, creating an exquisitely tension-filled and absorbing tale of psychological suspense in which innocent lives—and one woman’s sanity—hang in the balance.

My Thoughts

This new novel by international best-seller Liv Constantine was incredibly creepy and intense!  

I went into The Last Time I Saw You with much enthusiasm, having read ‘The Last Mrs Parrish’. I was not disappointed as this novel was also an absolute treat. For me, it was another best read of the year.

The murder of Blaire’s mother reunites estranged friends Kate and Blaire. As the two women, now a successful author and a surgeon respectively, grow closer, Blaire begins to notice that Kate is becoming increasingly unstable. With the murderer still on the loose, Blaire vows to find justice for her mother even as her childhood friend’s behaviour becomes more and more erratic.

The Last Time I Saw You was cleverly told from different perspectives resulting in the reader not knowing who was reliable, nor who could be trusted.

This book was jam-packed with drama and deceit and there were many twists and turns throughout this hugely suspenseful story. Kate was a really unreliable narrator, forcing me to ask myself what was real and imagined. There were so many secrets and the pacing of the many twists and turns was excellent.

I can’t say that I particularly warmed to any of the characters created by Liv Constantine in this thrilling novel, but they still lent a great deal to the story and I believe that was the intention.

The emotional complexity of the story was definitely one of the highlights of this book and I loved Liv Constantine’s particular writing style. It had everything for me, from secrets and friendship to suspicion, tragedy and fear.

I thought that Liv Constantine presented a very comprehensive and fulfilling conclusion to a complex mystery and an extremely delightful story.

All in all, I found this book to be a fantastic and very worthwhile read and I look forward to reading more from Liv Constantine.

Thanks to Edelweiss, HarperCollins and the author, Liv Constantine for my complimentary ARC of The Last Time I Saw You. My honest review is entirely voluntary.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!

The Better Sister by Alafair Burke | Review

About The Book

From Alafair Burke – New York Times bestselling author of the runaway hit, The Wife – comes another twisty tale of domestic noir. When a prominent Manhattan lawyer is murdered, two estranged sisters – one the dead man’s widow, the other his ex – must set aside mistrust and old resentments . . . but can they escape their past?

Though Hannah was the younger of the two Taylor sisters, she always seemed to be in charge. She was the honor roll student with big dreams and an even bigger work ethic. Nicole was always restless . . . and more than a little reckless – the opposite of her ambitious little sister. She floated from job to job and man to man, and stayed close to home in Cleveland.

For a while, it seemed like both sisters had found happiness. Hannah earned a scholarship to an Ivy League school and moved to New York City, where she landed a coveted publishing job. Nicole married promising young attorney Graham McIntosh, and gave birth to a baby boy they named Ian. The Taylor sisters became virtual strangers.

Now, more than fifteen years later, their lives are drastically different – and Hannah is married to Graham. When he’s murdered by a masked intruder at the couple’s East Hampton beach house, Hannah reluctantly allows her teenaged stepson’s biological mother – her estranged sister, Nicole – back into her life. But when the police begin to treat Ian as a suspect in his father’s death, the two sisters are forced to unite . . . and to confront the truth behind family secrets they have tried to bury in the past.

My Thoughts

I have both seen and heard so many great reviews about the author, Alafair Burke, particularly with reference to ‘The Wife’.

I couldn’t believe I hadn’t picked up anything by her before – until recently! I was therefore ecstatic to receive a copy of THE BETTER SISTER. The premise of this was pretty exciting, too, as a keen mystery and thriller reader.

The suspense and intriguing story-line immediately grabbed my attention from the start, planting me firmly into the lives of the two sisters, Chloe and Nicky.

With perfect pacing and many twists and turns, I was totally absorbed all the way through, until the fulfilling and very strong conclusion. The author’s writing style was very appealing, brilliantly encapsulating the core of the scenes that I was visualising whilst reading. The characterisation was also pretty impressive, particularly with regard to the interaction of the different characters.

Although the plot is one that that has been tried and tested before, Alafair Burke’s special way with the narrative made this complex and compelling tale quite distinct.

Overall, THE BETTER SISTER is a very worthwhile read with a side of courtroom drama and lots of family dynamics to unearth. If you’re a fan of the domestic thrillers, you should really read this book!

Thanks to Edelweiss, HarperCollins and the author, Alafair Burke for my free ARC of The Better Sister. My honest review is entirely voluntary.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

Happy Reading!