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(The Sydney Rye Mysteries #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  3,106 ratings  ·  393 reviews
Librarian's note: This is an Alternate Cover Edition for ASIN: B004XDWJ18.


The Sydney Rye series of mysteries features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. This series is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to ment
Kindle Edition, 367 pages
Published June 27th 2011 (first published April 19th 2011)
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,106 ratings  ·  393 reviews

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Kirsten #EnoughIsEnough
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book really surprised me! I guess I really didn't realize what kind of book this was until I started reading it. (That's what happens when you buy a book because a dog is on the cover!)

At first, I really thought this was a cozy mystery. It was funny and had interesting characters and - hey! dog! But, was I wrong and pleasantly so!

The mystery was very well crafted and I was really engaged in the characters. It made me laugh and - surprise! - it made me cry too! Though, I wouldn't call it noi
Oct 24, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this less than one star, I would. It was free on iBooks, and I got what I paid for. The characters in this book seemed like they weren't well thought out, and I could never get involved in the book or the storyline. I'm surprised at how many positive ratings this book has, but to each his or her own! I shouldn't let the little things frustrate me, but in this book they really got to me.

Example #1 - if I read about a character biting their lip one more time, I'm going to bite min
Nov 06, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
Life is too short to read a mystery surrounding dogs and the bad dog owner who sucks. This is unfinished.
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was another free book I received from This is the first book that I have received from them in a while that I really didn't like. I almost stopped reading it in the first few pages, because Kimelman starts the book by telling you the main character's dog has died. Not today but when the series ends, it ends with her dog's death. Yes, the one on the cover. I hate books like this. That's really depressing and leaves nothing to look forward to in the series. On top of that you ...more
Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this on first-reads.
This book surprised me. I expected some Nancy Drew with a pinch of dog. Instead I got a novel that pushs boundaries, a heroine with a taste for breaking the law, and a whole lot of people who are not as they seem. Joy is not the girl next door, she has an ex-drunk uber religious mother,a gay brother, and a huge-ass dog. She goes to lesbian bars, doesn't do customer service, and is wild in bed(according to the men in the book). An interesting mix of personalities for a d
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I gave this two stars because I did finish it, but that feels too generous to me. As other reviewers have noted, the protagonist drinks a lot. At first it didn't bother me since I suspect most women in their 20's have a period where they go out and drink too much. As the book went on it became more apparent that even with that taken into account she was bordering alcoholic. Another character even tells her she doesn't want to be an alcoholic. In the end the alcohol seemed to me like the author w ...more
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Unleashed by Emily Kimelman was not the book I expected, a soft cozy type mystery with a main character who is also a dog lover. What I found was Joy, a strong young woman who is a bit of a square peg but doesn't want or worry about trying to fit into the round hole. Not afraid to explore life, she enjoys her liquor (at times) and knows what she does and doesn't like.

After finding a dead body, Joy is not able to forget and let go of the traumatic event. As a dog walker Joy keeps finding curious
Sherry Fundin
Sydney Rye is a tough as nails, strong female character that has a few flaws, yet her biggest strength when it comes to solving mysteries is no fear. She’s kind of a mess, impulsive. When she splits from her boyfriend, she immediately goes out and gets a dog…a big dog…and names him Blue. I love that her brother comes over to help her choose what to wear, do her makeup and clean the dog hair off her clothes for those all important moments.

She gets in deep water when she buys a dog walking busines
Michelle (Michelle's Book Ends) Shealy
"He was tall and very skinny. I could see his ribs under his thick fur coat. With the snout of a collie, the markings of a Siberian Husky, and the body of a wolf, with one blue eye and one brown, he was a very unique mutt. It occurred to me that I knew nothing about this dog, Our history barely 12 hours old. I'd basically moved a large, hairy stranger into my house.".........

This hard boiled vigilante series features tough girl Sydney Rye, and her rescue dog, Blue. Taking place in NYC, this is t
Tyson Adams
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summary: 4.5 stars, a great read!

I had some feedback from my sister about how all the books I read have the same covers. I am blessed with siblings, a sister and brother, who are both smart and are not afraid to speak the truth. I think it comes from being raised upon a farm. Farmers and their families tend to be a bullshit free zone because you see life all around you. We all still laugh when we hear someone talk about how they became vegetarian when they realised that animals were made out of
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book! I have read many mysteries (it's my favorite genre), so I have a lot to compare it to. The story is interesting and unique. The mystery really hooks you and the main character is well developed - you can envision her as a real person walking around the streets of New York. She is funny and human and is definitely someone I hope to see again in future stories.
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at Reading Reality

I’m still trying to figure this one out. That’s not a bad thing--I pretty much read it in one sitting. The story does take the reader on a very crazy trip through both the upside and the downside of New York City--but it never lets go once it has you in its grip. Or Blue’s grip, as the case might be.

Unleashed is “the making of the heroine” story for Sydney Rye, who does not start out the story being named Sydney Rye. Unleashed is how she gets her life messe
Robyn McIntyre
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Robyn McIntyre by:
In this first installment of the Sydney Rye mysteries, we learn how a murder leads dog-walker Joy into becoming private investigator Sydney. It's not an easy tale because Joy is not an easy person. Her life is pretty much a mess and she has no motivation to fix it. She's easily overcome by things and depends heavily on the emotional support of her brother James and his partner Hugh. She's impulsive, which leads her to make one of the best decisions of her life, replacing her boyfriend with a dog ...more
After mouthing off to a customer and then compounding the error by making a rude comment to her smarmy boss Joy Humbolt is fired. It’s been a tumultuous few days for Joy who had just broken up with her loser boyfriend the night before, then decided to buy companionship in the form of an enormous dog named Blue. When an opportunity is presented to take over a dog-walking business for upper-crust clients, it seems too good to be true. Turns out it really is. Joy gets caught up in a murder investig ...more
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, a-z-authors
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Thomas
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been wanting to read Unleashed for a while now. The cover art for the book caught my eye and the blurb reeled me in.

I really connected with Joy (later to be known as Sydney Rye). I may be quite a bit older than her, but I’m still not sure what I want to do. If I could find a dog walking business where I only had three clients and made $1200 a week, I’d be sitting pretty for now. She’s like a young girl lost, no idea what she wants to do, but working on figuring it out. Her amateur sleuthing
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed by: A Simple Taste For Reading

Huge thank you to the author for sending me her book for review! I found Emily on and the cover art of this book really caught my eye. Emily will be featured in the month of August and I will be doing an interview with her, so keep an eye out!

Like I said, the cover caught my eye right in the beginning. I don’t typically judge books by their covers, but do have to say, if the cover catches my eye, I’m go
Lis Carey
Feb 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, dogs, mystery
Joy Humboldt is going through rather a challenging patch in life. She's finally broken up with her manipulative jerk of a boyfriend. The next morning, she heads off to the pound to adopt a dog--a huge mixed breed she names Blue--but later that day, at her job at a barista at a coffee shop that's not Starbucks, she mouths off to a customer she thinks is being unreasonable. It's really quite reasonable, given her behavior, when her boss fires her on the spot.

But then a neighbor connects her with a
Jaidis Shaw
Jul 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unleashed is the page turning debut novel by Emily Kimelman. The main character Joy Humbolt, who recently broke up with her boyfriend and lost her job, makes the rushed decision to adopt a dog from the pound for company. Little did she know that adopting the large husky mix named Blue would change her life forever.

Soon a dog walking business is thrown in her lap and she decides to give it a shot since there is a lot of money to be made. On her first day learning the ropes of being a professional
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Adults, Adults
Recommended to Emily by: First Reads/Giveaway
4.5-4.75 stars

First Reads

I won this book in a giveaway.


Now, when is A SYDNEY RYE NOVEL, #2 coming out???

Kimelman has done an amazing job with this novel. From the first page to the last, she held my attention. There were a few things that I wasn't crazy about (mainly the profanity); but as a whole, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I will be highly disappointed if the series is not continued.

I loved the protagonist, Joy, and even her dog Blue. Along with developing the character o
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
A roller coaster ride that ends up with a few dead, but our heroine on a completely different career path. The twists and turns were fun to follow, while you chase after Joy as she hunts down a killer. Through an undercover NYC S&M club to a few gay and lesbian bars - this story took the reader through every neighborhood in New York City.

I loved the peaks and valleys of the story, from high intensity chase scenes in underground tunnels to the slow moments where she is trying to figure out he
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joy Humbolt has just dumped her boyfriend, lost her job and adopted a huge mutt named Blue. As a new career choice Joy buys a dog walking route from a friend of a friend. When she finds the body of one of her employers her life take a turn for the more interesting. The cops say she should let it go but things about her employers’ murder just don’t add up. She investigates at first out of curiosity but she continues out of righteous anger. There is treasure, hidden passages and treasure. Can Joy ...more
Rachel Cotterill
The premise of Unleashed sounds like typical cozy mystery fare: young woman with an unusual job (in this case, a dog-walker) happens upon a body and sets out to investigate. But from the heroine's liberal swearing and hard drinking, to the bondage sex scenes and deep-rooted corruption, you couldn't get much less cozy than this.

And that, in a nutshell, is the charm of this novel. It manages to feel like a light read, with plenty of fun moments, while keeping a darker edge and avoiding the too-con
Valerie Kempker
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unleashed kept my interest all the way through and now I will be reading the next book in the series, DEATH IN THE DARK. I want to find out what will happen as Joy Humbolt becomes Sydney Rye. I also think that Joy is harboring romantic feelings toward Detective Mulberry. I am interested to see if my hunch is correct.

Unleashed was a captivating book especially because of Joy's persistent personality and sarcasm. The author describes the other characters in the book well, which gave me a glimpse
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised by this book. I enjoyed it so much! Joy, our main character grows and develops as she handles or doesn't handle a variety of extremely challenging situations. I didn't always agree with or like how she dealt with things but the author's choices are fascinating. I enjoyed watching how the author changes Joy into Sydney through her experiences and mistakes. I also enjoyed the other characters in this book. Some I liked and some I didn't but the emotions elicited as their stories de ...more
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z2016
I really hate when thrillers pretend that any person off the street can be a detective. It's one thing if the MC is doing their own investigation, but when the police help them in the unofficial investigation, that's when I check out. I hate the fact that we find out who the murderer is, but everyone else refuses to believe it. I just can't.
May 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Looking forward to the next in the series.
Definately a page turner.
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This story is all over the place, but with the continual presence of dogs, I'll give it an extra star.
Susan Procini
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really good read by an author who lives in Philadelphia.
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Emily Kimelman not only writes adventure, she lives it every day. Embodying the true meaning of wanderlust, she's written her Sydney Rye mysteries from all over the world. From the jungles of Costa Rica to the mountains of Spain, she finds inspiration for her stories in her own life.

While living under communist rule in the former Soviet Union, the KGB sprinkled her with "spy dust", a radioactive c

Other books in the series

The Sydney Rye Mysteries (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Death In The Dark (The Sydney Rye Mysteries #2)
  • Insatiable (The Sydney Rye Mysteries #3)
  • Strings of Glass (The Sydney Rye Mysteries #4)
  • The Devil's Breath (The Sydney Rye Mysteries #5)
  • Inviting Fire (The Sydney Rye Mysteries #6)
  • Shadow Harvest (The Sydney Rye Mysteries #7)
  • The Girl With The Gun (The Sydney Rye Mysteries #8)
  • In Sheep's Clothing (The Sydney Rye Mysteries #9)
  • Flock of Wolves (The Sydney Rye Mysteries #10)
  • Betray the Lie (The Sydney Rye Mysteries #11)
“Joanne Sanders, a broad woman in her forties, posed with friends, family, and Snowball in photographs displayed on the mantel of the fake fireplace. She had shoulder-length brown hair and bangs teased high above her brow. I could picture her behind ten inches of bulletproof glass sneering at me with gloss-encased lips for filling out my deposit slip incorrectly. I fed Snowball half a cup of kibble and a spoonful of wet food as my envelope of information directed. She ate it quickly while making funny little squeaking noises. Once she had licked her bowl to a bright sheen, we headed out for my first walk as a dog-walker. I steered us off of East End Avenue and onto the esplanade that runs along the river. The water reflected the sun in bright silver glints. I smelled oil and brine. We reached Carl Schurz Park and turned into the dog run for small dogs. The gate leading into the run reached only to my knees, as did the rest of the fence designed to keep small dogs in and big ones out. A sign on the gate read, "Dogs over 25 pounds not permitted." Ten dogs under 25 pounds, and one who was probably a little over, played together in the pen. Their owners, in groups of three or four, sat on worn wooden benches and talked about dogs. Snowball ran to join a poodle growling at a puppy. They intimidated it behind its owner's calves. Then the poodle, a miniature gray curly thing with long ears, mounted Snowball. I turned to the river and watched a giant barge inch by.” 1 likes
“I am a man, and therefore have all devils in my heart. –Father Brown” 0 likes
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