Merry Wynter has returned to her inherited castle in Autumn Vale, New York after an extended visit to Europe to visit the mother and brother of her laMerry Wynter has returned to her inherited castle in Autumn Vale, New York after an extended visit to Europe to visit the mother and brother of her late husband. Merry is glad to be home, but finds everyone is treating her differently. To make things worse, her dear friend Pish has moved an old rival, opera singer Roma Toscano, to stay in her home. When a killer strikes, Merry soon finds herself in the unexpected position of coming to Roma's defense against a charge of murder by getting involved in the search to determine who really committed murder.
I enjoy the castle setting of this book, as well as the light tone of the writing. The book is rounded out with two muffin recipes since baking delicious muffins is Merry's specialty. There are plenty of suspects in the murder of unpleasant postmistress Minnie Urqhart and the main plot of the story remains interesting from the beginning to the end.
I've really enjoyed the prior books in this series, so I was already familiar with the main characters, but the author gives enough background about Merry and her friends that new readers will quickly catch up. I like a cozy mystery that has a little romance mixed in, so I was pleased to see things progressing between Merry and her boyfriend Virgil. Although Merry is still getting over her husband Miguel's death and Virgil has his own issues with his ex-wife Kelly, things are looking promising for the likeable couple. There wasn’t as much investigation in this installment of the series, but it’s still an interesting mystery.
I thought both Merry and some of her friends' actions in this installment of the Merry Muffin series seemed out of character. Staying away from the castle for so long with limited contact with her friends doesn't seem like something she would do. Merry’s best friend Shilo's evasiveness seemed off, and I was surprised Pish let his support of murder suspect Roma so to such extremes, it almost comes between his friendship. This also seemed out of character for Pish, who is usually so devoted to Merry. However, things improved as the story progressed, and overall the book is entertaining and fun to read.
This review was originally written for Smitten by Books site and blog. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review....more
Jenna Hart is preparing her bookstore, Cookbook Nook, for the Wild West festival that is coming to town by featuring several barbecue-related cookbookJenna Hart is preparing her bookstore, Cookbook Nook, for the Wild West festival that is coming to town by featuring several barbecue-related cookbooks. Jenna and the whole town of Crystal Cove, California are looking forward to the good food and good fun of the event, and Jenna is also hoping sales of her grilling and barbecue cookbooks will help add to her store’s bottom line. The only thing putting a damper on her excitement is a dispute between her father and other neighbors with the outspoken Sylvia Gump over her use of her neighbors’ properties without their permission. However, things get worse when Sylvia is murdered and her body is left smoldering on a bonfire. Sylvia made so many people angry with the property issue, there are many suspects. Unfortunately, Jenna’s father Cary is among them and doesn’t have an alibi, but Jenna knows her father didn’t do it, so it’s up to her to prove her father’s innocence.
This is an enjoyable series with books that are nice, light reads for those who enjoy a good cozy mystery. Jenna is smart and funny and is a likeable main character. A flaw in some cozies is that it often makes no sense for the main character to be involved in an investigation that should be handled by the police. However, in this case, since one of the main suspects is Jenna’s dad, it makes sense that she would be invested in the case. This is especially true since the investigating officer, her dad’s protégé Cinnamon doesn’t seem up for the job. Cinnamon has never been my favorite character in this series, and even though she cares about Cary and really doesn’t believe him capable of murder, she seems to single-minded and rigid to find the true killer, in this book and in prior installments in the series. Jenna’s dad is lucky to have her on his side! In spite of the direction Cinnamon’s investigation appears to be headed, there are many other viable suspects. Sylvia gave so many people a reason to dislike her, the reader is kept guessing as to who the real killer is as Jenna searches for evidence to clear her dad’s name.
As with most of my favorite cozy series, there is a bit of romance mixed in with the detecting, and that part is well-done in this book. Things have been moving slow for Jenna and her love interest, Rhett, but there is an interesting twist in this book that should help things progress as the series continues. I enjoyed the book and look forward to more by Daryl Wood Gerber.
This review was originally written for Smitten by Books site and blog. (3.5 stars) The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review....more
Widow Shelby McDonald has a busy life working on her farm in rural Lovett, Michigan, writing a cooking blog, and raising two children. She's not quiteWidow Shelby McDonald has a busy life working on her farm in rural Lovett, Michigan, writing a cooking blog, and raising two children. She's not quite ready to date, but is happy with her life on Love Blossom Farm. Shelby agrees to host a fundraiser for the local church and is shocked when the minister's wife is murdered. Shelby is trying to get over this terrible event, but then her best friend, veterinarian Kelly Thacker becomes the prime suspect in the murder, Shelby adds "catch a killer" to her already full to-do list.
This book is the first in a new series and there are things I really liked about the book and think the series has promise. However, with a few minor changes, future books could be a lot more enjoyable. Shelby writes a blog with recipes and stories about her life on the farm, reminiscent of television's and cookbook author "The Pioneer Woman." Including the blog entries is a nice touch and the descriptions of Shelby's everyday farm chores, from feeding the chickens to tending her crops, are excellent and make Shelby come alive as a character. However, I was often confused over the things written as blog entries and wondered if they were really supposed to represent what Shelby posted online for the whole world to see. On day she mentioned how her friend Kelly was acting strange and later when she is investigating Prudence's death, she speculates on the various murder suspects on what seems to be her blog.
The investigation is another part of the book that is well-done. Kelly mentions that people confide in Shelby, so once she starts digging, she is able to get a lot of information about Prudence, who isn't the innocent pastor's wife she first appears. Unfortunately, Kelly does too good of a job and discovers a major clue, but doesn't share this information with the authorities, which puts her life in danger.
There are a few inconsistencies in the narrative, such as stating she had been riding horses since she was a young girl and then turning right around and saying she didn't know anything about them), but those I could overlook. One of my major complaints about the book is how Shelby's not quite thirteen-year-old daughter behaves and how Shelby reacts. Amelia repeatedly lies and sneaks off to meet a boy and nobody seems to think there is anything wrong with this. In fact, some accuse Shelby of over-reacting when she becomes concerned. When she finally addresses the situation by grounding her daughter, Amelia leaves the house anyway. The situation with Amelia became so irritating, it distracted me from the main plot of the mystery and what Prudence had done to make so many enemies. I was able to guess part of the solution of the murder, but there were still some surprises, which was good. Overall, this is a good cozy mystery that could be the start of a new fun series.
This review was originally written for Smitten by Books site and blog. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review....more
Detective Billy Able and his new partner Frankie Malone are assigned to an unusual case of a would-be bride found dead dressed in her wedding gown atDetective Billy Able and his new partner Frankie Malone are assigned to an unusual case of a would-be bride found dead dressed in her wedding gown at an isolated animal refuge. If this isn't strange enough, the case gets even more complicated when Billy discovers he has a personal connection to the victim, high-society attorney Caroline Lee. Although Billy had known Caroline and her family for years, he tries to remain objective while seeking justice for Caroline. Frankie is just as determined to solve the case even though she didn't know Caroline, but she does have hopes that doing a good job on the investigation will help advance her career. The two detectives must learn to trust each other while solving a difficult, high-profile case involving the secrets of a wealthy, powerful Memphis family.
This is the first time I've read anything by author Lisa Turner, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I found the book to be well-written and intriguing. I enjoyed the Memphis setting and getting a glimpse of modern society there and seeing how the old South still plays a part of what goes on in that area. The characters have depth and the plot is more complex than it originally appears, as the victim’s personal and professional life come to play in the case. While the investigation moves forward at a steady pace throughout the book, the central questions of the investigation, why was Caroline wearing her wedding gown and who murdered her, remain unanswered until the end. This keeps the tension level high until the very end. When the killer is finally revealed, it isn't who I was expecting and I enjoyed being surprised.
I like both Billy and Frankie as main characters. They have different backgrounds and are at different stages in their careers, but both are good people and good detectives, and their partnership works. In the beginning, I thought Billy could have given more credit to Frankie, but I was glad to see he seems to appreciate her more by the end of the book and could see how good of a team they could be. The characters, plot, and steady pace combine for an interesting novel that will appeal to a wide range of readers. I would definitely love to read more by this author.
This review was originally written for Smitten by Books site and blog. (4.5 stars) The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review....more
Joanna Brady loves her job, but it's not an easy one. She is sheriff of Conchise County, Arizona and must balance her often dangerous job with the neeJoanna Brady loves her job, but it's not an easy one. She is sheriff of Conchise County, Arizona and must balance her often dangerous job with the needs of her growing family. Joanna already has a daughter in college and a son in kindergarten, and now has a baby girl on the way. She is also dealing with a devastating personal loss, but her job isn’t on that can be put on hold. Joanna must put aside her grief to solve a case. It’s unclear if two women have died as a result of a murder/suicide or if both were murdered by an unknown person. Soon, Joanna is on the trail of a killer. The case takes an unexpected twist and both Joanna and her unborn baby are in grave danger.
J.A. Jance has a talent at creating interesting stories featuring likeable, relatable characters. Joanna's job is different than most people’s, but the everyday situations she faces in her life and her challenges in balancing career and family are something to which almost anyone can relate. Joanna sometimes frustrates me because she overextends herself out of fear people will think she's not up to the job of sheriff. However, I admire her dedication and how hard she works for the people of Conchise County. She uses her intelligence to solve difficult cases, and she's not afraid to face dangerous situations to get the job done.
Parts of "Downfall" read like a police procedural, mixed with details of Joanna's family life, which is typical of other books in this series. However, the last part of the book is so filled with tension and excitement, it becomes a nail-biting suspense novel as Joanna comes face-to-face with a murderer. I have read most of the books in this series, and the author has outdone herself this time. I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next and was truly fearful for Joanna and her baby as she fought for justice for the victims.
I have read most of the books in the Joanna Brady series and this is one of my favorites. It's well-written and suspenseful, but true to the main characters of Joanna and her devoted husband Butch. "Downfall" is sure to please longtime fans of the series, as well as new readers.
This review was originally written for Smitten by Books. (4.5 stars) The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Amy-Faye Johnson’s book group, the Readaholics, is reading the classic mystery Rebecca which is fitting since Amy-Faye is currently responsible for coAmy-Faye Johnson’s book group, the Readaholics, is reading the classic mystery Rebecca which is fitting since Amy-Faye is currently responsible for coordinating a gothic novel festival in her hometown of Heaven, Colorado. Amy-Faye is an event planner and this one seems perfect for a booklover like Amy-Faye, but although the festival gets off to a good start, things go downhill quickly. What should have been a perfect part of the weekend’s festivities turns ugly when a body is found at the gothic-themed costume party Amy-Faye had coordinated. Now it’s up to Amy-Faye and her friends to find the real killer before there are any more victims.
Amy-Faye and her fellow book club members make a good team when they work together to find the killer. Amy-Faye and her friends are each very different, but have the love of reading in common and are always there for each other. It’s fun to see a group of friends come together for each other and to solve the latest crime that happens in their small town. The investigation into the murder is interesting, especially with the added fun of the Gothic festival, and I wasn’t able to guess the real killer. I also enjoyed their discussion of the book Rebecca. It’s definitely not necessary to have read that classic mystery to enjoy this novel, but you will appreciate the book club’s discussion if you have.
I like the author’s writing style and had enjoyed her previous Mall Cop series as well. The book is filled with plenty of humor, but also intelligent discussions on books, and great writing to tell the story of the murder of a man unknown to the people of Heaven. I hope this isn’t the last of Amy-Faye’s adventures. Fans of Erika Chase or Kylie Logan will enjoy the latest in Laura DiSilverio’s Readaholics series.
This review was originally written for Smitten by Books. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review....more
Charlene "Charlie" Moreau was tied to a headstone and left in an old Louisiana cemetery as part of a high school club hazing. However, being left help Charlene "Charlie" Moreau was tied to a headstone and left in an old Louisiana cemetery as part of a high school club hazing. However, being left helpless in the cemetery, it's not the dead Charlie fears, but the living since there have been several recent murders of young women in the area. Older, popular Ethan Delaney comes to her rescue, with guidance from the spirit of a Confederate Calvary officer. Ten years later, Charlie is an actress and during the filming of a movie, finds a dead body in the same cemetery. Charlie is understandably upset, and things get worse when her dad becomes one of the prime suspects. Charlie once again turns to Ethan for help and the two find romance in spite of the danger all around them.
I enjoy Heather Graham's Krewe of Hunters romantic suspense series. The Krewe is a special group of FBI agents who use their paranormal abilities to help them solve cases. Each book features a different agent, so it's not necessary to have read any of the others to enjoy any given book in the series. Some characters, such as the agent in charge and the assistant director, have appeared in all of the Krewe books I've read, so those who follow the series will like the consistency. This book is also part of a series within the overall Krewe series that deals with various ships. In this book, Charlie’s dad is a guide on the “Journey”, a historic paddle wheeler that's sponsoring a civil war reenactment. Charlie's friends Clara Avery and Alexi Cromwell and fellow actresses make an appearance and were featured in prior books in this ship-themed trilogy.
Graham handles the paranormal parts of this book and others in the series in a way that seems believable. A historical event in which soldiers on both sides of the Civil War come together provides a backdrop for the book and plays a part in the current events. Charlie and Ethan are a cute couple and even though they are investigating a murder, they find time to reconnect. Their romance doesn’t seem forced or rushed since the two did have a history in high school. The love scenes are both romantic and passionate and fans of Graham won't be disappointed by Charlie and Ethan's love story.
The mystery is a bit lacking, however, and the transitions from scenes on the boat, the civil war reenactments, and other current events are a little choppy. There are some great scenes between Charlie and Ethan and Charlie and her friends, but some parts of the story drag out too long, only to be resolved by an ending that was a bit rushed. Because of this, "Darkest Journey" isn't my favorite by Graham, but I liked the characters of Charlie and Ethan as well as the history that plays such an important part of the story.
This review was originally written for Smitten by Books. (3.5 stars) The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Lander, Wyoming attorney Vicky Holden is asked by Clint Hopkins, an attorney specializing in adoptions, to consult on a complicated case involving a cLander, Wyoming attorney Vicky Holden is asked by Clint Hopkins, an attorney specializing in adoptions, to consult on a complicated case involving a couple living on the Arapaho reservation and wanting to adopt a white child. Clint gives Vicky a file with cryptic notes, but before he can make good on the promised meeting with Vicky to explain the details of the case, he is struck by a car and killed. The authorities think it's an accident, but Vicky thinks it's deliberate and tied to the adoption case. Meanwhile, Jesuit priest Father John O'Malley is helping his niece Shannon make contacts on the Wind River Arapaho reservation to help with her college dissertation about two sisters captured by the Cheyenne's in the 19th century. This long ago event has surprising parallels to recent events and though they have recently put some distance in their friendship, Vicky and Father John end up working together again on the adoption as well as a robbery case.
"Winter’s Child" is part of the long-running Wind River mysteries. I've read only a few of them and have never had a problem following the backstories of the main characters. Those books I have read are always well researched and eloquently written, and "Winter's Child" is no exception. The author excels at combining history, tradition, and modern events. It is amazing how the author is able to connect the life of Lizzie Brokenhorn, who was abducted at age two and came to marry an Arapaho and also think of herself as an Arapaho, to a current case on the Wind River Reservation.
Vicky and Father John are also working on a case involving a missing alcoholic Arapaho wanted for robbery and again it's amazing how the author is able to tie this to the adoption case in an unexpected way. This book has a very bittersweet tone. Both of the cases are heartbreaking and Vicky and Father John's wonderful friendship is filled with anguish as well. The story the author tells is dramatic but without pat, happy endings, which makes it more realistic.
The character of Father John's niece, Shannon, slowly grows on me and her unexpected love story is among the lighter moments of the book. I can see Shannon turning up in a future book, which would be good since I enjoyed the scenes with her and her uncle. This also gives the reader the chance to learn about the Arapaho people and their traditions along with Shannon. The fate of the St. Francis mission where Father John is assigned is uncertain, so it will be interesting to see what happens next in this unique series.
This review was originally written for "Smitten by Books". The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Maggie Crozat is living in Pelican, Louisiana helping her family run their bed-and-breakfast. The inn has been struggling, but things seem to be lookiMaggie Crozat is living in Pelican, Louisiana helping her family run their bed-and-breakfast. The inn has been struggling, but things seem to be looking up. Maggie’s biggest worry now is how she is going to get through her maid-of-honor duties for the upcoming wedding of her co-worker and bridezilla Vanessa Fleer and Police Chief Rufus Durand, who has made no secret of the contempt he has for Maggie and her family. Then Vanessa’s high maintenance cousin Ginger arrives in town, stirs up some trouble, and is murdered. Maggie’s maid-of-honor duties now include finding the real murderer so the bride-to-be doesn’t end up in prison for a crime she didn’t commit.
I loved this Southern mystery. It is an excellent follow-up to the author’s “Plantation Shudders”, the first in the Cajun Country mysteries. It has the same unique characters, with Maggie a fun, intelligent lead character and plenty of humor. The more Maggie learns about Ginger, the more motives and suspects for the murder she finds, and I enjoyed reading how this determined amateur sleuth solves the case.
Maggie’s nemesis, Rufus, is still annoying and still has bitter feelings toward the Crozat family, but things that about him that seemed like a caricature in the first book have been toned down to a more realistic, believable person. Rufus’s cousin, Detective Bo Durand, is nothing like him. He is handsome and kind and makes a great love interest for Maggie. There is just enough romance included in the mystery to make this a wonderfully well-rounded novel. The book can be considered a cozy, but there is a depth of character and plot now always found in this type of mystery. Ellen Byron’s “Cajun Country” mysteries have become new favorites and I am already looking forward to the reading the next one.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ...more
I think “Seinfeldia” is a great book for those who enjoy watching “Seinfeld” but don’t know a lot of the background, as well as for very dedicated fan I think “Seinfeldia” is a great book for those who enjoy watching “Seinfeld” but don’t know a lot of the background, as well as for very dedicated fans that want to devour every possible morsel they can about the show. I enjoyed the show during the original airing and now watch my favorite episodes over and over through the re-runs that are still running regularly.
I have a moderate knowledge of some of the background of the show and some of the individual episodes, so I was familiar with some of the stories, such as John O’Hurley’s ties to the real J. Peterman catalog, but it was still fun to reminisce. There were still several tidbits in this book that I didn’t know about before this. I was especially interested in the description of the writing process, how it began for the show, and how it changed after Larry David left the show.
More from the main characters would have been a plus, but there were several funny quotes from Jason Alexander that gave insights into some of the episodes and actors on the show. I was also unaware of the lengths that some diehard fans will go to celebrate the show, so it was interesting to read that section of book. There is enough variety in the material in this book that fans of the “show about nothing” will find something to enjoy about Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s “Seinfeldia.”
I received this book from NetGalley through the courtesy of Simon and Schuster. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Agatha Raisin doesn’t regret leaving her London PR company behind for village life in the Cotswolds, but her detective agency’s latest case is becominAgatha Raisin doesn’t regret leaving her London PR company behind for village life in the Cotswolds, but her detective agency’s latest case is becoming tough to solve, as well as dangerous. Lord Bellington has plans to develop land currently being used as a community garden and doesn’t care how many of the local villagers don’t like it. Therefore, there are plenty of suspects the arrogant man is murdered and it’s up to Agatha and her agency who have been hired by Belllington’s son to solve the case. However, as the case grows more complex, Agatha finds herself in over her head and wondering if she will be able to find the real killer.
New readers to this series will quickly learn Agatha Raisin isn’t the typical “cozy” private detective. Agatha is middle-aged, man-crazy, and full of opinions. Her outspoken ways during the course of an investigation often make enemies out of many, but she is often her own worst enemy. Agatha can be abrasive, but she is a loyal friend. In turn, Agatha’s fellow detectives and friends would do anything for her, but she doesn’t see that. Her self-esteem due to being raised in poverty gets in the way, so Agatha makes hasty and questionable decisions, especially when it comes to her love life. This has never been more true than in “Pushing Up Daisies.”
Agatha is clever and resourceful with a long record of solving crimes. In spite of some of Agatha’s ill-advised choices, she continues with the investigation even when things look grim and I was interested to see how things would turn out.
Long-time readers won’t be surprised that Agatha’s relationship with Sir Charles Fraith is one again filled with misunderstandings and missed opportunities. I wish things would work out for them or even if that’s not in the cards, that someday Agatha gets the happy ending she’s looking for.
“Pushing up Daisies” isn’t a complex book, but it is a quick, fun read that fans of M.C. Beaton or those who enjoy a unique private detective in a cozy, English setting will enjoy.
I received this book from NetGalley, through the courtesy of St. Martin’s press. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Lo Blacklock has been given the chance of a lifetime. Since her boss can’t go, Lo receives a free trip on a luxury cruise to cover the ship’s maiden vLo Blacklock has been given the chance of a lifetime. Since her boss can’t go, Lo receives a free trip on a luxury cruise to cover the ship’s maiden voyage. A scary break-in at her flat right before the trip leaves Lo shaken, but she is determined to make the most of this trip, which could be just what her journalism career needs. Making the right contacts and proving herself as a competent professional, while enjoying all the luxuries on a cruise she could never afford on her own, is something she can’t pass up. The cruise has its ups and downs for Lo, but then a chance encounter with the “woman in cabin 10” changes the course of Lo’s trip and may even cost Lo her life!
"The Woman in Cabin 10" is a fast-paced, exciting thriller. I love the determination of the main character, Lo. Even when others on the cruise don’t believe her story of seeing a woman in the neighboring cabin being thrown overboard, Lo will not give up. She will not stop investigating the woman’s identity and who is responsible for her death, even when others start to doubt her sanity. Lo is not perfect and doesn’t always make the best decisions, which makes her a more complex, believable character. She gets drunk at the welcoming cocktail dinner, which hurts her credibility when trying to convince her fellow passengers that a murder has occurred. The reader can’t help but sympathize and root for Lo to succeed in her investigation and outsmart a murderer. Some of the events seem a little unrealistic, but I was able to suspend disbelief for the sake of a well-told story.
Lo doesn’t know who on the ship she can trust, which adds to the suspense of the book. The story takes a few different unexpected and thrilling twists. Some exciting thrillers end up fading out with a weak ending, but author Ruth Ware doesn’t disappoint with this one! The conclusion is just as strong and satisfying as the rest of the book. I highly recommend the book for fans of "The Woman on the Train" or "The Bones of You." Readers who enjoyed Ruth Ware’s debut thriller "In a Dark, Dark Wood" will definitely want to read her second stand-alone thriller.
This review was originally written for Smitten by Books. (4.5 stars) The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Charley Carpenter loves running her own clothing store, Old Hat Vintage Fashions, and she loves reading mysteries. She decides to join the Agathas BooCharley Carpenter loves running her own clothing store, Old Hat Vintage Fashions, and she loves reading mysteries. She decides to join the Agathas Book Club to network among the wealthy residents of her town and hopefully have fun discussing various books along the way. The meetings aren’t as fun as she had hoped since most of the women are not friendly to those they consider outside small circle of friends, but Charley keeps with it for the sake of her business. Then, a murderer strikes and Charley figures out the crime have been committed in ways that have been described in two of the books on the club’s reading list. Soon, Charley finds herself assisting her nemesis Detective Marcus Trenault to solve the murders.
I love the premise of the book and found the tie-in between the crimes and the reading list books to be well-done. However, knowing a reading group was at the center of the book, I had expected a group of friends getting together to discuss books, socialize, and maybe do some crime-solving on the side. I wasn’t prepared that Charley didn’t care for most of the members and with a couple of exceptions, the other women didn’t like Charley, who was considered an outsider, or each other! Some of the woman were so pretentious and judgmental, it was hard to enjoy the exchanges between these catty women. Once the investigations of the murders began, the book get much better.
Charley’s relationship with Marc starts out as contentious and their interactions immature, but things improve once the two are able to put past grievances aside. In fact, there are a couple difference scenes between the two that were very romantic. Charley’s best friends Frankie and Dmitri are also likeable and help make up for the unappealing Agathas. There was a twist at the end that I actually saw coming. I was disappointed that Charley, an avid mystery reader and fan of Agatha Christie ended up in a dangerous situation because she overlooked an important clue that should have been obvious to her. Nevertheless, once I made it through the slow-starting beginning, I did become invested in the story and interesting to find out what would happen next. Overall, the book is light, entertaining read for mystery fans. (3.5 stars)
I received this book from NetGalley, through the courtesy of Alibi. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review. ...more
I have been a fan of Lisa Scottoline’s Rosato and DiNunzio novels for years and was thrilled when the author recently started writing new books in thiI have been a fan of Lisa Scottoline’s Rosato and DiNunzio novels for years and was thrilled when the author recently started writing new books in this wonderful series. The newer books have been even better because they show how much the main characters Bennie, Mary, and Judy have grown since some of the first books.
“Damaged” features Mary DiNunzio who is my favorite of all the characters in this series. She is intelligent, soft-hearted, and kind to everyone, but still a fierce opponent in the courtroom. Her wedding is right around the corner and she has many last minute details to see through, but work is getting in the way. Mary has become personally involved in her latest case in which she is helping a special needs boy named Patrick O’Brien get the services he needs to be able to succeed in school. Things become more and more complicated, and Mary has nothing but her client’s best interests at heart, but her good intentions could be putting her relationship with Anthony and even her life in danger.
There is a mystery element at the center of the book, but the story also gives and enlightening look at special education laws and those who fight to make sure special needs children are receiving the best possible education for their individual circumstances. There are many tense moments in the book as things begin to spiral out of control and the situation looks more and more bleak for Patrick. At times, I wasn’t sure what direction the story would take and I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what would happen next! Mary shows what it means to do what’s right and stand by your values, even in the face of doubt and opposition. I love seeing Mary’s friends and family support her in the important decision she makes. Mary’s friendship with Judy is a great part of this series, so it was a little disappointing that there weren’t more scenes with the two of them together. However, it was nice to see Mary form a special connection with John, a new associate at the firm and someone Mary had previously dismissed as self-centered and shallow. The book is both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time and I recommend the book for fans of the series and to new readers looking for an intelligent and touching story.
I received this book from NetGalley, through the courtesy of St. Martin’s Press. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review. ...more