Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “No Saving Throw” as Want to Read:
No Saving Throw
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

No Saving Throw

(A Ten Again Mystery #1)

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  50 reviews
A supremely geeky murder mystery perfect for Whovians, gamers, and Muggles alike.

Autumn has everything she could possibly want: Loving friends, a successful business, and a gaggle of nerds in her store every day.

Welcome to Ten Again, a tabletop gaming store that attracts nerds of every kind and fosters a community Autumn’s pretty proud of—a community that also keeps busi
Paperback, 266 pages
Published May 19th 2019 by Diversion Books (first published May 2019)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about No Saving Throw, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about No Saving Throw

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  132 ratings  ·  50 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of No Saving Throw
Mark Baker
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, 2020
Autumn is happy running Ten Again, the gaming store she owns in the small Wisconsin college town where she grew up. Things are going well until one of the regular gamers in the store dies in the mall. Things quickly turn on Autumn and the rest of the gamers, with some of them in particular in the police’s spotlight. But Autumn doesn’t think her gamers, who have become her friends, could really be killers. Can she prove it?

While I’m not much of a gamer, this book still sounded like lots of fun, a
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
All through this book, I kept thinking to myself: "This book is missing something".

The whole book just felt very disconnected, but at the same time, there was a lot of detail so it was strange why I was feeling that way about it.

The writing kind of flowed (flowed in a good way but that also became boring) in paragraphs like "I got to the store...", "I walked up the sidewalk...", "I dug in my bag..." "I fished out the card...".

Now thinking about it more, I feel like the author wasn't brave enou
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, netgalley
When I saw this book on Netgalley I immediately wanted to read it. The main character owns and runs a gaming store, and there were lots of nerd references in many genres. (I personally really like that it's a female too, and that both males and females are represented as loving to play.)

No Saving Throw has a lot of the familiar cozy mystery elements, but instead of tons of references to food, or quilts we get references to nerd culture.

When a customer is murdered during a gaming event, Autumn w
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such an enjoyable audiobook! I’m fairly new to cosy mysteries, always thinking they’re a bit lame in plot, characters and setting but actually this was excellent. Autumn was such a great character, I really liked her and could imagine being friends with her. I loved her dedication to her shop ‘Ten Again’ and how she saw the gamers as her friends and family. She was a bright and friendly businesswoman but also also quite snarky, especially towards certain characters. Her best friend Jord ...more
Seema Rao
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hilarious ~ Compelling ~ Charming

tl; dr: Gaming store own gets herself in a game she didn't want to play, one that's about life and death.

This mystery novel is for the game nerd in all of us (well, maybe just me). Autumn is an irreverent game shop owner with quirky friends and some surprising problems. As the problems get worse, she has to get solving. This book winks at many, many nerd franchises, like D & D and Veronica Mars. The storyline is fast-paced, and any nerd/ nerd-adjacent person wil
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Dungeons & Dragons Death
Triple D's!
See what i did there?

Drizzt Do'Urden vs Harry Potter. Who wins? I'm a proud nerd.

Some books all it takes is a page or two to connect with the main character. A chapter or two to connect with the story. This unfortunately is missing that something something.
Maybe i could cast a spell to change that.

Murder at a Dungeons and Dragons get together.
The participants will "Scooby it up" to solve the case.

If you don't get that Scooby Doo reference, don't know who
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a delightful, amusing and unique little tale “No Saving Throw” by Kristin McFarland was! It is a cozy mystery novel with a difference - it is set in the world of gaming.

‘Ten Again’ is a tabletop gaming store that attracts nerds of every kind and nurtures a community that the owner, Autumn is pretty proud of—a community that also keeps her business afloat. And now that Autumn is in contention for a grant, ‘Ten Again’s’ future is looking brighter. However, audacious Autumn has some quirky fri
Cynthia Moore
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this new release, Autumn owns a gaming store. This store is located in an indoor mall. During a game night sponsored by the store, one of the young people is found dead. The police arrest some of the store employees and Autumn sets out to prove that they didn't do it. We then taken through several days of sneaking around and searching for proof. I found this book very interesting. I think I am older than most people who LARP for fun. I did, however catch every TV or movie geeky reference to s ...more
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'm unhappy giving a 2 star review to a book, especially one I got as a free ARC, and especially since, reading the author's blog, she seems like a cool geeky person who has had an absolutely horrible last year or so, and I hate to pile on to that. Sorry, Kristin. But if I'm honest, the only reason I finished this book was because I felt honor-bound to finish the ARC I'd received. I was so excited, initially, to see this book offered on Netgalley, because I can never get too much geek representa ...more
Lelia Taylor
May 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: full-reviews
3.5 stars

I surprised myself by wanting to read this book because I’m about as far from being a gamer as I could possibly be but a couple of things drew me to it. First, I’m really overdone with the crafty and culinary cozies and, while I’ll certainly keep reading some of those, I appreciate the thought of something just a little bit different. Secondly, I may not be a gamer but my grandson is and I’ve at least picked up some of the jargon when he tells me about campaigns and so forth. Besides, w
Ashley Reyes
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

I’m a huge nerd. Let’s just put that out there first. I’ve LARPed, I do tabletop, I do video games, and I play consoles. That doesn’t include my deep knowledge of all things sci fi and fantasy either. So, when I say I know this culture, I really do. I loved this story. The small business aspect of owning a local game store was great, the mystery was wonderful, and the references were fun without being too obscure. I would be int
Matthew Galloway
Sep 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: gamer, mystery, cozy
I’m definitely interesting in reading the next book in the series, though I thought some aspects of this one were a little rough. For instance, one of the police officers was far too antagonistic and accusatory for me to believe they’d be any good at their job. There were, strangely enough, maybe a few too many geeky references and I did figure out the killer fairly early on. (Though there was a twist I missed!). Still, it was fun and the characters were charming. I also lived a reference to how ...more
Felicia's Bookshelf
Apr 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was looking forward to this new series being a Tabletop Board gamer myself. But, when I started reading, I was highly disappointed.
The writing was off, no character development. I didn’t care for any of the characters. The reason why the killer killed someone made no sense.
I wish the author took more time with character development and did more research on nerds in the gaming community.
Thank you goes out to Netgalley and Diversion Books for providing me with an advanced digital read. The op
ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ
This was good, but not great. I put it down to go to bed 83% of the way in and just couldn't get back into it. Too many college kids were recruited to help her investigate. Too much confrontation with the would-be murderers. I'm a geek through and through and read a lot of mysteries... the author was good at throwing you off the real suspect, but there was too many things happening. Too many people involved. I'd read another Ten Again mystery ...but I wouldn't pay for it. This was NOT worth the ...more
Fraser Sherman
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I'm not a cozy mystery fan so if you are, you might rate this higher. Then again, I do like some cozies, and I don't think this one's in their league.
The big thing I liked about it was the gaming-store setting. McFarland gets the gaming stuff right, and that's a plus.
The mystery? Meh. Competent but I honestly didn't buy that protagonist Autumn felt the need to investigate instead of trusting to the cops. Even less convincing, her bestie is a cop and when Autumn decides to crack the case herself,
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader.

No Saving Throw is the first book in a new cozy mystery series by Kristin McFarland. Released 19th May 2019 by Diversion books, it's 266 pages and available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats.

The setup is similar to a bunch of other lovely cozy mystery series. The protagonist is the owner of a specialty niche retail shop, dealing with the stress of making rent, applying for grants, keeping the staff and customers in order and generally li
Coralee Hicks
In book One of the Ten Again Series, McFarland introduces the reader to the world of gaming. Autumn speaks to us in first person, sharing her insights as a gaming shop owner in White Lake, a town in rural Wisconsin.

The book opens with a frenzied scene, involving LARP's, RPG vampires, a draft for Spellcasters, a shop filled with a hundred preteens plus a creepy guy in a suit brandishing a letter opener. Presenting a calming influence is Jordan, Autumn's best friend since elementary school. She i
Mar 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
No Saving Throw by Kristin McFarland was an okay murder mystery featuring an annoying, rather immature main character, Autumn. That made it kind of difficult to enjoy solving the actual "mystery".
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is a shorter young adult book that teen gamers will love. Autumn runs a game store called Ten Again that caters to nerdy kids and adults that like role playing card games and online team challenges. When one of the gamers is killed she helps police officer Jordon realize it’s not a simple open and shut murder. This is book 1 in the new Ten Again series. I received a copy of this arc in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great first book in a series. The setting, a gaming store in a mall, was new and interesting. The characters are fun and people you can imagine owning the stores and being involved in their careers in the "non-fiction" workers. The murder was creative and the case to catch the murderer was fun.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a fun twist on the usual cozy mystery, this one is set in the gaming world of nerds and geeks. Autumn has returned to her hometown after earning her MBA and has opened a gaming store, specializing in Live Action Role Playing games (LARPs). Returning home, she has also returned to old grudges from high school...and old friends. Things are going great until a young role player is murdered in the mall. Was it his fellow gamers? Or is more involved? If you like Dr. Who, Scooby Doo, and games, giv ...more
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure what the title has to do with the story but I enjoyed the story. It's different than most cozy mysteries in the settings and the characters and that definitely made it a pleasure to read . #NoSavingThrow #NetGalley
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very good cozy! I enjoyed the unusual setting, the cast of characters and the plot.
The book is well written, the character fleshed out and the mystery keep you guessing till the end.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Mar 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-in-reader
No Saving Throw by Kristin McFarland is the story of Autumn, owner f a new gaming store and her struggle to fit into her old hometown, solve a murder and corral a group of teen sleuths whose help doesn't always... help.
I really wanted to like this book. I wanted a fun romp of a cozy with gamers as characters, but unfortunately the characters just seemed two-dimensional. As a long-time gamer, both video and D&D, I hope McFarland will try again, but breathe some life into her players.
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: advanced-read
I received an ARC copy of this book through NetGalley.
Autumn's tabletop gaming store is doing well, until one of her LARPers is murdered, his friends are suspected and a rival wants to see her thrown out of a grant competition and the mall.
So many nerd culture references. I enjoyed almost everything about this book. The mystery is well plotted, the characters are people I would (mostly) like to get to know better. Highly recommended for anyone interested in gaming and roleplay.
Apr 17, 2019 marked it as to-read
This was a really fun hobby cozy. I was attracted to reading it because it featured a different kind of hobby that I normally don’t see a mystery written about. It’s everything you want a cozy mystery to be!
Anna K. Amendolare
Jul 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
This is book #1? I say that, because, I didn't really get a lot of exposition from the story/ I felt like I was missing ... more depth? Though, that can be said for the entire book. This weak ass Scooby murder mystery was just lame. No depth, no character development, no caring whatsoever. Skip it.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it liked it
The cozy mystery genre almost entirely ignores geek culture and STEM careers/hobbies. So, while this doesn't involve STEM, it does center on geek culture, which was a refreshing change of pace. Don't get me wrong; I love a good bakery and book shop, too (one can love both the humanities and STEM in equal measures), but it was wonderful to finally see a book centered on a different set of hobbies and interests. My husband and I are huge European-style board gamers (although not LARPers), and the ...more
Oct 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was really excited for this book because of the setting (gaming store) and the geek culture but it just didn't pan out.
Kate Welsh
The gaming store murder mystery concept was fun but unfortunately neither the plot nor the characters really grabbed me here.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Tide and Punishment (Seaside Café Mystery, #3)
  • Apple Cider Slaying (A Cider Shop Mystery #1)
  • Can't Judge a Book By Its Murder (Main Street Book Club Mysteries #1)
  • Wed, Read & Dead (Mystery Bookshop, #4)
  • Hems and Homicide (Apron Shop #1)
  • Needled to Death (A Helping Hands Mystery, #1)
  • Nacho Average Murder (Country Store Mysteries #7)
  • The Skeleton Stuffs a Stocking (Family Skeleton Mystery #6)
  • From Beer to Eternity (Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery #1)
  • Death by Dumpling (A Noodle Shop Mystery, #1)
  • Out of the Picture: A Shepherd Sisters Mystery from Hallmark Publishing
  • Death in Dark Blue (A Writer's Apprentice Mystery, #2)
  • Survival of the Fritters (Deputy Donut Mystery #1)
  • Belinda Blake and the Snake in the Grass (Exotic Pet-Sitter #1)
  • A Deadly Inside Scoop (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery #1)
  • This Is How You Lose the Time War
  • Penne Dreadful (Italian Chef Mysteries #1)
  • Checked Out (The Village Library Mysteries, #1)
See similar books…
Kristin McFarland has a Master of Arts in Journalism from Indiana University, which launched her on a short-lived but very exciting career as a newspaper reporter. After graduate school, she worked for five different newspapers around the country, writing about politics, crime, arts, environmental issues, crack addicts, prostitutes, and parades. She eventually wised up and decided that making up p ...more

Related Articles

It’s time to turn your attention to something dark and twisty, to a story (or two or three) so engaging, the pages just fly by. In short, it’s...
68 likes · 12 comments