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Russian Dolls

(Neve & Egan Cases)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  128 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Alexandra Neve is a student at University College London whose world suddenly falls apart. When her best friend jumps from the university’s rooftop, she can’t stop herself from asking, ‘Why?’ The police rule her friend’s death a suicide and for them the case is closed — so whom can she turn to for help?

Sometimes the person you need the most is the one you least expect to f
Paperback, 308 pages
Published March 8th 2013 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published January 1st 2013)
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4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  128 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dang ..... this was so damn good I just flew through the book in record speed! I absolutely love this author's style of writing, it clicked with me straight away for both her Neve and Egan book and her Redemption Road series. These are two series I'm definitely going to follow.

I suppose the novel qualifies as a "cosy" mystery in that there are no graphic descriptions of sex and both antagonists are amateur sleuths, but it couldn't be farther from the truth. There is a grittiness to the plot and
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I like crime stories. I like them a lot. When I was a teen I read nothing else. Yet "crime story" is a much too general category. There are crime stories which (to me) are completely void of stronger emotions. Reading Sherlock Holmes I marvel at the sheer "analyticalness", the atmosphere and the language. It is a "classic" after all. Then, there are the works of MC Beaton (Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin) which leave me with a very fuzzy happy feeling. Although being crime/mystery stories, they ...more
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
Originally posted at:

Welcome to a new detective team. This first book in The Neve&Egan Cases introduces us to an unlikely duo in the annals of detective fiction – a blind professor and his student. Comby makes it work.

The characters are the most interesting part of this book–to see the growth of Alexandra Neve as she plays off the steadier Ash Egan is interesting. She’s determined to prove that her friend did not commit suicide. Egan is steadier and p
Billy Buttons
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was recently entered and was a finalist in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. this is what our readers thought:


Author: Ms Cristelle Comby
Title: Russian Dolls

COVER: 10/10
The readers thought the cover was excellent. They liked the strong, central image and the 1920s feel of the title lettering. They felt the cover was uncluttered and many of them commented positively on the blurb. They felt it was well-written and enticing.

All the readers enjoyed this crime novel very muc
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
I was surprised by this book. I wasn't sure that it would be one that I would get into and enjoy. The subject matter seemed like it would be a hard one to dive into. I was surprised by the writing and plot. Both were well done.

Alexandra is a young college student mourning the death of her best friend. The clues left by her friend do not add up to a suicide. She begins to question and research to find out what really happened. She is lead down an unlikely path, with the help of her blind professo
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the first part of this book and thought the partnership of a British college student and her blind history professor was interesting. The deeper I got into the book, however the more thoughtless and reckless the college student becomes. She endangers her own life and the life of her partner and even so, at the end of the book she is praised by a member of police force for her work and encouraged to continue! To be fair she does get to the bottom of a murder the police thought was suici ...more
I don't think I'd list this as 'thriller' its got the twists and turns that make it almost a thriller but at no point did I feel scared...

This book however is really good, and I really enjoyed it. Its even amusing, earning a few smirks or even chuckles from me while reading this. I found myself unable to put it down.

This was a random find and it was really lucky I found it. Probably a favourite read of the year!!
Merry Chapman
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Two misfit characters with problems of their own, one a blind professor, Ashford Egan and one a student, Alexandra Neve find a common bond and a growing friendship while they try to solve the mystery of the questionable suicide of Alexandra's only real friend in school, Irania and involving the Russian mofia, human trafficking, and weapons while trying to stay alive doing so. Alexandra's problem is she has a hard time listening when she could get hurt and diving head first into what could be her ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Alexandra Neve is a student at UCL, London. Her blind History professor is pretty much a loner, and has an extremely sharp tongue when his students does something he doesn't like.
When Irina, Alexa's best and pretty much only friend is found dead, the police rule it a suicide. Alexa determines to find the truth of the matter, and prove she was murdered. Due to a strange set of circumstances, Alexa and professor Asford Egan team up, and discover they are like minded in finding the truth, and form
Linda Hine
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow talk about an interesting who done it.. totally enjoyed the story line and unlikely pair of detectives. Hopefully the continued books come in a set be cause I can’t wait to read the further adventures.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Allow a full day for this brilliant thriller introducing Alexandra Neve and Ashland Egan. I read an ARC and this voluntary review is my own opinion.
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review. I rated it 4.5 out of 5.

I found myself connecting with Cristelle Comby's Russian Dolls in a way I didn't expect, like her main character I'm somewhat quiet and keep to myself. I felt as if "Lexa" was a real person and someone I knew . While I tend to read more romantic suspense than just plain mystery, I really fell in love with Ms. Comby's characters and found myself staying up late a
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Playing Jokers Blog: all suits of genres and bookish news

I’ve never read a book that was specifically marketed as ‘New Adult’. I fall squarely within the intended audience of this new marketing phenomenon but I still am not quite sure I understand it. I’ve read my fair share of young adult and adult books, so it was definitely interesting to read something that was perhaps a bit more in-between.

Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan are definitely not your typical sleuth pair. Similar to Dark Lie, wher
Ruth Hill
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, 2013-reads
This may be the fifth book about human sex trafficking that I have read in the past five months, and it never ceases to completely blow me away! This book leaves the familiar Mexican/Hispanic tie-in and tackles another area I never thought about--Russia.

Let's tackle the first thing. This book is almost completely free of profanity (the minor instances don't really bother me), and sex is only talked about. Morality is high, and justice is served. This is the first book in the series, and the endi
Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Book review originally published here:

Russian Dolls reminded me of a mature, gritty version of Veronica Mars. Alexandra Neve, our main character, doesn’t want to become your typical mystery-solving sleuth, but she’s forced into the role after her best friend commits suicide by jumping off a school building. When Alexandra finds a note with a list of names hidden in her best friend’s bedroom, she realizes there may be more going on than just a suicide. She
J. Quantaman
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
1st-card of Tarot Deck

"Russian Dolls" by Cristelle Conby is a mystery-detective tale. A duo of unlikely sleuths sets this narrative apart from others. On one hand you have "Ash" Egan, an introverted history professor and blind to boot. On the other hand, you have "Lexa" Neve, a fearless, determined yet very naïve university student. These two amateurs don't seem to have necessary skills to confront a vortex of organized crime. It's a tribute to the author that she manages to pull it off with apl
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
When Alexandra's friend Irina dies suddenly, she refuses to believe the police when they rule it suicide and close the case. Finding a list of names and cities in Irina's room, she begins to investigate with the help of her history professor, Egan Ashford. They stumble into a human trafficking ring run by the Russian Mafia.

"Russian Dolls" is an absorbing mystery novel with a unique detective duo. While they are amateurs, a popular device in many series, they are different from most. Alexandra (
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When an unexpected death hits close to home, Neve is overcome with denial. She doesn't want to believe that her friend who loved life and always had a smile on her face has committed suicide, but the police cannot find any evidence to prove otherwise. So Neve decides to conduct her own investigation as she is certain that Irina didn't commit suicide but that Irina was well in fact murdered. Along with the help of her professor she goes on a hunt to find out the truth behind Irina's murder.

A five
Cathy Geha
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Alexandra has lost her best friend but does not believe the conclusion of the police that her friend committed suicide. While paying condolences are her friend’s house she finds a clue that she must follow and the hunt for Irina’s killer is begun. Involving her blind history professor seems a fluke but the two seem to balance one another out and as the sleuthing continues the two become better and better friends. The book is action packed and filled with twists and turns. At times I wished that ...more
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I registered a book at!

I received this book as a review copy through earlier this year, but only got around to reading it recently.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. The detective duo combination of a university student (Neve) and her blind history professor (Egan) is very good, and the way their relationship develops while investigating the suicide of one of Neve's friends is believable and interesting.

Throw in th
Cheryl Malandrinos
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In 2014, I read the third book in The Neve & Egan Cases, Danse Macabre. At the time, it didn't feel like I missed much starting partway into the series. The book drew me in right away and this crime-fighting duo were characters I enjoyed getting to know.

Having read Russian Dolls, however, definitely made me appreciate the third book more.

This novel is just as much about how Neve and Egan learn to work together as it is about the case they are determined to solve. It cements the personalities
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
It 's a short but very exciting, realistic mystery.
Alexandra Neve is a student at University College London. She's a very lonely girl, doesn't make friends easily. Instead she is attuned with Irina since their first meeting and immediately she becomes her best friend. When Irina died by falling from the roof of the University, the police thinks it's a suicide but Alexandra disagrees. She finds a list of names in Irina's room and with the help of a blind professor of history will try to find out
Gail Ofterdinger-Ledgister
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This new detective team from Ms. Comby's first in a series is an outrageously unlikely pair. A ditsy female university student and her blind, older, male professor and their adventures to solve the death (murder or suicide?) of the young lady's friend is a quick read. I had real trouble believing some of the things that came out of this student's mouth. Some of her actions were risky behaviors or down-right dangerous. Her dialogue was sometimes silly and naive. But then I had a full stop and sai ...more
The Book
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Alexandra Neve is a student at University College London, when her world tragically falls apart. In a bizarre turn of events Alexandra's best friend jumps from the university’s rooftop and the police automatically assume her friend’s death was a suicide and close the case. Alexandra can't stop asking "Why”? And teams up with an unlikely ally named Ashford Egan to find the answers she desperately needs. I really enjoyed the storyline, and think that there's a little something that any reader woul ...more
Book Him Danno
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A modern day English murder mystery with two very unusual amateur detectives. One is a retiring shy female (Neve) university student. Her partner (Egan) is a middle aged blind professor who is disliked by both students and faculty. They are able to take on all comers while investigating the death of Neve's friend. This is a book which will peak your interest early on and it will not flag as the story progresses.

I have rated this book 4.5 stars.

I obtained this book from Amazon in Kindle format.
Gina's Library
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
This book grips your attention from the very beginning until the end. Alexandra does not believe her friends death is a suicide. She takes it upon herself to find the truth.

Alexandra finds an unlikely ally in her search. Her History professor Ashford Egan is helping her. Not only is it unlikely a college professor would help, Ashford Egan is blind!

As the search goes on they find out they unwillingly got involved with the murder, mafia, and Russian mail order brides.

This book is book 1 in the Ne
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
Cristelle pens "Russian Dolls" in a plot filled with mystery, suspense, crime and the Russian Mafia. With well developed, believable characters this book will keep you reading till the end. I was totally engrossed with the book and highly recommend it to all crime, mystery fans.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for an honest review.
Katrina Leaney
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
At the start, this felt like it would be really dull- I even debated giving up, but as it was part of a book group, I persevered, and am glad I did- I found myself sucked into both the story, and the emerging friendship between Neve & Egan. I would recommend this to anyone, and will definitely be reading more of this series
Karen Moore
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

Adults because of language . Alexa and Egan are awesome partners, looking for the mean Russian mob that is responsible for her friend's death. That's true friends! Alexa knew from start in her heart, but confirmed in the end, you'll have to read to find out the way!
Janet Evans
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.

From beginning to end this book had me , i didn't want to put it down!!
Looking forward to the next one! I love a good mystery/thriller!!
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Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

She is the author of the Neve & Egan Cases series, which features an unlikely duo of private detectiv

Other books in the series

Neve & Egan Cases (4 books)
  • Ruby Heart (The Neve & Egan cases, #2)
  • Danse Macabre (The Neve & Egan cases, #3)
  • Blind Chess (The Neve & Egan cases, #4)
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“When a man is standing at the top of a cliff, it isn’t fear of falling that keeps him rooted to the edge — it’s the fear of not being able to resist the desire to jump, just to see what falling feels like.” 2 likes
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