The highly anticipated third novel in the award-winning Ellery Hathaway mystery series.
FBI agent Reed Markham is haunted by one painful unsolved mystery: who murdered his mother? Camilla was brutally stabbed to death more than forty years ago while baby Reed lay in his crib mere steps away. The trail went so cold that the Las Vegas Police Department has given up hope of solving the case. But then a shattering family secret changes everything Reed knows about his origins, his murdered mother, and his powerful adoptive father, state senator Angus Markham. Now Reed has to wonder if his mother's killer is uncomfortably close to home.
Unable to trust his family with the details of his personal investigation, Reed enlists his friend, suspended cop Ellery Hathaway, to join his quest in Vegas. Ellery has experience with both troubled families and diabolical murderers, having narrowly escaped from each of them. She's eager to skip town, too, because her own father, who abandoned her years ago, is suddenly desperate to get back in contact. He also has a secret that could change her life forever, if Ellery will let him close enough to hear it.
Far from home and relying only on each other, Reed and Ellery discover young Camilla had snared the attention of dangerous men, any of whom might have wanted to shut her up for good. They start tracing his twisted family history, knowing the path leads back to a vicious killer―one who has been hiding in plain sight for forty years and isn't about to give up now.
Joanna Schaffhausen wields a mean scalpel, skills she developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain―how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked as a scientific editor in the field of drug development. Prior to that, she was an editorial producer for ABC News, writing for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband, daughter, and an obstreperous basset hound.
All the Best Lies, the third book in the Ellery Hathaway series, has Ellery and FBI agent, Reed Markham, investigating the murder of Reed's biological mom, Camilla, forty-two years ago. Thanks to a DNA test, Reed now knows the identity of his father and he feels compelled to find out if his father murdered his mother. Ellery is still suspended from the police force and is required to attend private and group therapy sessions in Boston, so she's more than happy to blow that town and fly to Las Vegas to act as an "impartial observer" in Reed's investigations. Back in Boston, Ellery's Basset Hound, Speed Bump, is getting to hang out with Ellery's neighbor and her Dachshund so we get treated to hearing Speed Bump "woof" at Ellery, over the phone.
In Las Vegas, it's obvious that many things have been swept under the rug when it came to investigating Camilla's grisly murder. Could it be connected with another murder a year earlier? Reed thinks not but when Ellery realizes that the earlier murder was barely looked into at all, she's determined to not let that case lie fallow any longer. Of course, Ellery has no right to be investigating anything while suspended but rules and authority have never stopped Ellery.
These stories are never cut and dried, never black and white and this third book leaves us with as many questions as it answers. That means another Ellery Hathaway book will be coming next year.
Pub February 11th 2020.
Thank you to St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books and NetGalley for this ARC.
Are you all set to take a heart throbbing, exciting journey to Sin City by reading an amazing, captivating crime thriller story? If your answer is YES, join me and buckle up! We will have thrillingly fantastic time! Thanks to Reading Insiders Club of Macmillan Publishers, as a lucky redhead cow I got my ARC COPY as you may see my know-it-all , cocky smile on my face:
Well, I proudly announce that I found another series to be addicted and hit my forehead several times not to discover them for too long but let’s say better late than never.
Two complex characters coming from different backgrounds, traumatic experiences they endured made them who they are right now, having hard time to adapt into regular daily routines and their works always come to first because by digging some mysterious and bringing out the truth, they gather their own broken pieces and heal their own souls.
FBI Agent Reed Markham works on his most challenging case: his birth murder’s brutal murder, a cold case which occurred at 40 years ago in Las Vegas, Nevada. And one of the heart-wrenching fact about the murder: Reed was in his crib, just a little baby at the crime scene. Later then the incident he was adopted by Virginian politician Angus Markham. His wife and three daughters gave Reed the sweet and safe home environment he needed and now they don’t want him dig into his past, let the bygones be bygones. But Reed is determined enough to find the killer of her mother, Camilia Flores, a young Puerto Rican woman. And he teamed up with her friend, suspended cop Ellery Hathaway who also fights with her inner demons.
Ellery’s past is completely darker than Reed who at least had been protected by his foster family. At the age of 14, she became survivor to be raped, tortured by a serial killer. And guess what she got his attention two times and she survived again and again. (Her story reminded me Michael Robotham’s “Good Girl Bad Girl” heroine Evie, wow, even the names are so close) When Reed was only a rookie police officer, he found young Ellery hiding in the closet and brought her back to her family but some parts of Ellery stay connected with that closet and she never become the same person after her surviving experience and after that she losses her brother to a fatal disease.
Now Reed is divorced man, wanting to make things right with daughter but at first he needed his closure with his birth mom. And he can only trust Ellery to finish what he started. I loved those characters and their compatibility and chemistry. They have different perspectives and methods to solve the crimes which are essential to give a direct look to see the bigger picture. Their story hooked me up from the beginning and I wanted to read more. It’s remarkable journey with its well-rounded characters, intriguing plot and of course bright and shiny lights of Sin City views.
I already added the previous books to my reading list and definitely impressed by smart, capturing, refined writing of Joanna Schauffhausen. Those characters and their stories already stole my heart and I want more and more.
I received a free ARC of “All the Best Lies” by Joanna Schauffsen from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.
What can I say when somebody gives you early Christmas gift? Yay! Hooray! Yabadabadoo!
This is the third book in the Ellery Hathaway series. It was a hidden gem because I never heard of this series before and I am now excited. Lucky lucky me, I now have two more books in this series to read. This book was so good and I bet the other two books are gems too. It is a thriller and a mystery and can be read as a stand alone.
I was hooked straight from the beginning to the very end. I kept flipping the pages to see what was going to happen next. It was a page turner. I had so many thoughts and I couldn't stop thinking of this book. I kept guessing and guessing and was wrong every time. I loved the premise of this book and I did something that I never did before. I started discussing this book with my husband which I never do because he isn't a reader like me. I was shocked because he was actually listening to me and he was actually intrigued as I was. He had lots of questions like I did and even asked me how the book ended when I finished it. He usually doesn't want anything to do with my books and he loved the ending too.
If you decide to read this book, get ready for the twists that you don't see coming. This book has lots of surprises. It definitely isn't a predictable read. I loved the characters and felt like they were very well done. I felt like I really knew FBI Agent Reed Markham and cop, Ellery Hathaway, even though she was suspended in this one. I am ecstatic to get to know them more in the first two books in this series.
I just loved the twists at the end and the jaw dropping moments. I just can't believe that I haven't head of this series. I though this was a clever story that kept me captivated and it was very entertaining. It was an addictive read. I strongly recommend it.
I want to thank the publisher, Macmillan for the free arc of All The Best Lies in exchange for an honest review.
4.5* This is book three of an unputdownable series. Easily standing on its own, I would still suggest starting with book one The Vanishing Season to truly get the full scope of these complex characters.
FBI agent Reed Markham just un-covered something quite shocking. There may have been a great deal more to his upbringing and family life! Tracing his roots to Las Vegas, he’s discovered his actual birth mother, Camilla. Tragically she was murdered some time ago and Reed is now committed to bringing in the killer to face justice for her death. During his hunt, he’s acutely aware of the consequences his findings may bring, and its potential lasting effects on his family.
Just to complicate things even further, he needs to do all this on his own. That means no assistance what so ever from the FBI. But Reed does know one person he can rely on to help... Ellery Hathaway. A young woman he’s known since she was a frightened teen he came across in his early days on the force.
Like any true friend, and with no second thoughts, Ellery is right by his side, ready to help any way she can. And besides, she doesn’t exactly have a job to go to right now. Seems our dear Ms. Ellery is currently suspended from the police force. Oops!
The chemistry between these two flawed characters is palpable, electric! Will Reed be able to break down Ellerys’ defensive walls? Can Ellery ever hope to trust a man again…or for that matter…herself?
One of my favorite series that I just cannot get enough of! So looking forward I to see where Joanna Schaffhausen takes these characters next! You know I’ll be right there waiting!
A buddy read with Susanne!
Thank you to Minotaur Books for an ARC to read and review.
We left off in book two of the series, with FBI profiler, Reed Markham discovering new information about his birth mother, who was brutally stabbed to death 40 years ago, while he lay in his crib, just steps away.
Ellery Hathaway, a young girl he rescued from a serial killer, years prior, and then wrote about in a book, has since become a friend, and the two have teamed up to solve a number of cases .
Since she is still suspended from the Police force, as they investigate a shooting she was involved in- and her own father, who left his family behind years prior, is trying to reconnect with her, much to her chagrin, nothing sounds better to her, than to assist Reed in Las Vegas as he tries to solve this very personal, very COLD CASE.
Just like in book ONE, I suspected the perpetrator early on, and I was correct BOTH times!
If I had started with book one in this series when it was new-I probably wouldn’t have continued but I am committed to reading the series through book 5, which releases in January. Partly because they have been a bit predictable and partly because I don’t care for the romance which is developing between Reed and Ellery-I find myself MUCH more partial to her new series, which begins with GONE FOR GOOD-Detective Annalisa Vega.
I can definitely see why so many of my Goodreads friends, really love this series though-there is no doubt that the stories are engaging and easy to read and I did enjoy one surprising revelation at the end of this installment.
I am buddy reading the series with DeAnn, who just may be one of those friends who are more enamored with these characters than I am….Be sure to check out her thoughts in her wonderful review!
This is the first of the Ellery Hathaway series I have read. It is a light mystery and easy to read. A book you can get hooked on and fly through in a couple of days.
FBI agent Reed Markham decides to look into his birth mother’s murder 40 years ago. He enlists his friend, suspended policewoman, Ellery Hathaway, to join him on his quest to Las Vegas to get some answers. There are many unanswered questions that surround Camilla’s death. Her connection to Reed’s father for one. State Senator Angus Markham adopted Reed after his mother’s horrific murder. Reed decides he needs to know more about the circumstances. Could his father be involved, or Camilla’s boyfriend back then, or the drug dealer that lived next door?
What didn’t seem plausible to me was that Reed Markham was able to drop his duties in the FBI and take time off. He recently was promoted, and in the real world that is when you need to be putting in the hours, not looking into a cold case.
All the Best Lies has some juicy secrets and entertaining twists and turns. The ending was unexpected and a delight. Many that enjoy a light mystery will love this book.
3.5 out of 5 stars
I received a free ARC of All the Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.
Peril awaits Markham and Hathaway in the City that Never Sleeps.
The day that FBI Agent Reed Markham asks suspended cop Ellery Hathaway for help, she of course, says yes. After all, he’s helped her on numerous occasions, and has even saved her life a few times.
Trying to find out who killed Markham’s birth mother, Camilla, forty (40) years earlier in the City of Las Vegas, sounds like an impossible task, but that was before Markham and Hathaway were assigned the case.
Trying to solve Markham’s birth mother’s murder becomes a game of Cat and Mouse and boy is it one helluva dangerous game! Even for two seasoned Veterans.
This was a fabulous installment in the Ellery Hathaway series and it kept Kaceey and I glued to the pages right up until the very end. The danger was palpable and it kept my heart racing.
I love the complicated relationship between Hathaway and Markham which is admittedly, one of the main reasons why I tune in to this series! I love the character of Ellery Hathaway - including her tough exterior, her vulnerability and the trepidation she feels around Reed Markham. I also adore how kind and caring Markham is and appreciate how he doesn’t always do the right thing, but continues to try. I like how their story is progressing and can’t wait to see where it goes.
This was another awesome buddy read with Kaceey who got me into this fabulous series!
Thank you to Minotaur Books and to Joanna Schaffhausen for the arc.
In this third book to the series Ellery and Agent Reed are on a more personal investigation. Reed was just a baby when his biological mother was murdered. Now Reed and Ellery are in Las Vegas looking for answers to who killed her. Family secrets start to come out and we see more into Reed's family as Ellery supports him.
The heart of the series here for me is Ellery and Reed and their growing relationship. I love the strong bond they have between them both as partners working together to solve a crime and their friendship and with their growing feelings for each other. Joanna Schaffhausen sensitively explores Ellery's traumatic past and how that affects her relationship with Reed. Now Ellery needs no hero as she is her own but Reed fits the title with his caring ways. There is some exciting tension here and their chemistry is sweet with some heat. They go together like sweet chocolate and chilli peppers.
I didn't find the mystery here in the story all that compelling but that final twist was so dang good!! The ending wrapped up so well!! I highly recommend this series.
Tolstoy wrote happy families are all alike. Until they aren’t. In All the Best Lies FBI Special Agent Reed Markham is going three for three. His birth mother, the young Puerto Rican, Camilla Flores was brutally murdered forty years ago in Las Vegas, while he lay in a crib in the next room. He is recently divorced from his wife and desperately missing his daughter. Finally, Reed is about to implode his very loving adoptive family thanks to some information he recently discovered. Who better to assist Reed in a good old fashioned implosion than suspended cop Ellie Hathaway? Ellery’s background can exceed even Reed’s. What was the rest of Tolstoy’s quote? “Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Ellie’s father left her family when she was a small child leaving no trace behind. Now he is desperately trying to contact Ellery. Ellie wants no part of him, not even an explanation. When Ellie was 14 she survived a serial killer’s tender ministrations of rape, torture, and mutilation. Actually she escaped a serial killer’s attention twice. The first time, Markham, a newly minted FBI agent discovered Ellery in the killer’s closet. Recently Reed has begun to think he has never brought Ellie all the way home; part of Ellery may always be living in the closet. Ellery experienced a third tragedy with her brother dying in his teens from leukemia soon after she was returned to her family. Ellery always felt partially responsible as she was not a bone marrow match. Ellery grew up desperately poor. Reed did not. Powerful Virginia politician Angus Markham adopted Reed soon after his mother was murdered. Markham’s wife and their three daughters completely embraced Reed, thrilled to finally have a son and brother. With the new information, Reed has decided to put his analytical, profiling skills to work and discover his mother’s killer. Reed realizes he needs the support of a friend and someone who won’t always let rules stop her. Who better than Ellery? Ellery and Reed experience tremendous growth. Both are forced to learn lessons in trust; sometimes with each other, sometimes with others. They are amply rewarded for their efforts. Reed has always wondered about his might have been life, but now he has the glimmerings of the far different ways his life might have played out. A life very different from his Virginia upbringing. The plot is superb, it never bogs down, it never bores, nor does it ever leave you rolling your eyes in disbelief. All the Best Lies will leave you guessing, then second guessing yourself. Ellery and Reed travel to Las Vegas, quickly finding the dark side. Yet they are never dismissive of its strange neon beauty. Author Joanna Schaffhausen does an outstanding job writing her secondary characters. Schaffhausen brings Reed’s mother Cammie slowly to life. Her friends and enemies have no problem remembering Reed’s vivacious and loving mother, dead for more than forty years. Reed’s Virginia parents are strongly present, coming from Virginia trying to turn Reed from his impossible task, while still offering their full love and support. Can his sisters be far behind? Reed and Ellery go down a white rabbit hole of an investigation. No one, even 40 years later wants to tell the truth. They persist, proving once again Shakespeare had it right with his “truth will out.” All truths. I count the Ellery Hathaway series as being in my top five favorite series. There are two prior books that should not be missed. easy to catch up the series. However, All the Best Lies stands perfectly fine as a standalone. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange of a fair and honest review.
Ever since I read the ending of "No Mercy" , I’ve been waiting for the next book in this series. FBI agent Reed Markham got some news that left us all pretty gobsmacked so if you haven’t read that one…*clears throat*…POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD. Duty done. Proceed at your peril.
When it comes to Reed’s career, he’ll probably be remembered as the man who rescued a young kidnap victim named Ellery Hathaway. But there’s another case that has always haunted him…the unsolved murder of his biological mother in 1975. It went cold decades ago but there’s been a new development. In a shocking twist, Reed recently learned the identity of his real father & he has to wonder. Is this man the killer?
It’s time to face his past. His adoptive parents are less than thrilled as Reed makes plans to return to Vegas, the scene of the crime. Now all he needs is a partner.
Ellery Hathaway endured unimaginable horrors after she was kidnapped by a psychopath as a teenager. She’s always had a strong bond with Reed & grew up to become a cop. Unfortunately, her last case resulted in her being suspended so when Reed asks her to accompany him to Vegas, she’s all in. There are a couple of good reasons to leave town. First, she has way too much time on her hands. Second, her estranged father has suddenly reappeared & wants to talk. Yup, Vegas sounds like a great idea.
And they’re off. What follows is a twisty story full of all the challenges that go with trying to solve a cold case. Digging up old dirt, tracking down those involved & connecting with local law enforcement are just some of the difficulties they face. Cooperation is hard to come by & they’re forced to get creative. Meanwhile, Reed & Ellery continue to deal with (or dodge) interference from their respective families.
There are some great new characters in this outing. But it’s the further development of a few returning characters that makes things really interesting. In particular, we get to see a whole new side of Reed’s adoptive mother & it made me reassess my opinion of her.
One thing I noticed was the significant amount of time spent detailing Ellery’s history. I think it’s a hard call for authors writing a series…..just how much of the past do you include in subsequent books? For readers like me who’ve been following along, it yanks you out of the present & slows the pace as it’s ground that’s already been covered extensively. It’s a matter of personal taste but the good news is you’ll have no problem picking up the overall story line if you’re jumping in here.
This is equal parts family drama & cold case mystery. The pace ramps up to a pulse pounding finish but not everything is neatly resolved. Through all the adventures & respective personal issues, Reed & Ellery continue to circle each other as they try to define their relationship. There are sparks but also some big roadblocks so it will be interesting to see where the author takes them in the next instalment.
ALL THE BEST LIES by Joanna Schaffhausen is a crime thriller, a police procedural and the third book in the Ellery Hathaway mystery series. It is set mostly in Nevada and worked for me as a standalone novel.
The main characters are FBI agent Reed Markham and a suspended police officer Ellery Hathaway. Reed decides to pursue a cold case; the unsolved murder of his birth mother. He enlists the help of Ellery and they head to Las Vegas, the site of the murder. I don’t want to say any more about the story details because that would detract from a reader’s enjoyment of the book.
The characters are compelling, fascinating, and felt three-dimensional. There was enough at stake to keep me engaged throughout the story. The world-building was absolutely fantastic and gave a clear sense of place. The different thought processes and methods of the two main characters lent a fresh perspective to the story. Their strong connection adds to the story line without detracting from the main case. While I was able to determine the villain, there were a lot of twists and one reveal that completely surprised me. A variety of themes are woven into this novel including murder, friendship, the relationships between local police departments and the FBI, family relationships, how past events impact our current lives, emotional healing, DNA testing, and much more.
Overall, the plot was creative, absorbing and well-paced. I would recommend it to those that enjoy police procedurals and crime thrillers. I look forward to reading the next book in this series as well as checking out the earlier books in this series.
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Press and Joanna Schaffhausen for a digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley and the opportunity to provide an honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
I rolled the dice with this one because I hadn't read the first 2 books in the series. Thankfully my gamble paid off and I really enjoyed this one. I liked the characters so much I'm motivated to go read the other books just so I can learn more about them.
FBI agent Reed Markham's mother Camilla was stabbed to death years ago when Reed was a baby. The Las Vegas Police Department eventually gave up on solving the case and Reed has decided now is the time to find his mother's killer once and for all. Ellery Hathaway has been suspended from her job as a cop but she has a close relationship with Reed and he asks for her help in chasing down leads. However as he digs for the truth he might find it comes at a terrible price for both him and his loved ones.
Even though this is the third book in the series, it was super easy to just jump right in without knowing anything and this definitely can be read as a standalone novel. The bits of backstory about both Reed and Ellery that were provided by the author are intriguing and I thought they were both fascinating characters. I am also quite interested to find out what future books might have in store for Reed and Ellery.
As for the mystery element of the story, I thought it was well-done. Early on I did have a bit of a theory and for the most part it turned out to be true. Notice I said for the most part. The story does take an unexpected turn that I thought was pretty awesome.
Overall, I thought this was a satisfying mystery led by a fantastic duo of characters. I read police detective novels quite often and it's pretty rare for me to connect this much with the lead characters. Highly recommend giving this one a look, regardless of whether or not you are familiar with the series.
I received a free copy of this book from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.
All the Best Lies is getting a 5 star from me because it is still a few months away from publication, but when I gave it a quick peek last evening, I just couldn't stop reading. Ellery Hatheway is still on suspension, but when Reed drops by and asks her to follow him to Las Vegas to cover the cold case of his birth mother's murder, she cannot help but jump at the chance to do some investigating. But Ellery is going to have to deal with her own family problems along the way. Add to that the feelings between the two are getting more complicated and I just fell in insta love with this series all over again.
I am not sure that a person needs to read the whole series to enjoy the book, but once they do, they'll definitely be reaching for them anyway.
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review
This book is an excellent read! The detectives are once again awesome with no nonsense attitude. I like their observation skills and attention to details when they question someone. I enjoy their banter and humor. There are lots of family secrets in this story. The characters are likable and well developed. I love strategy discussions and Reed/Ellery didn't disappoint me. I love those unexpected twists!
This book started with Cammie, 19, Vegas 1974, told in the third person point of view, as she filled in for her friend Angie to dance at a hotel room for a bunch of men. One man harassed her and another man rescued her and invited her into his room to calm down. Then the story began with Detective Reed Markham, 40. He came to visit Ellery and to tell her of a new cold case that he wanted to crack. This case is of an unsolved murder of his birth mother. The alternating view is Ellery. Ellery is under reviewed for shooting a person from book 2 and could potentially be removed from her job. While waiting, she joined Reed on his case in Las Vegas. Ellery has a surprise visit from someone she hasn't heard in a long time.
All the Best Lies is very well written. This story is suspenseful with multiple characters that could be the killer. I love that I could not guess who it is and the wait is excruciating, especially when I read past 1AM and I'm hesitating whether I should read on to find out or sleep! I like how realistic Ellery's thinking are when someone from her past ask for her help. My thought exactly at all of her bitter feelings and immediate response. I enjoyed Reed/Ellery's conversations. They always have a comeback that's either funny or good. A fantastic series and I highly recommend readers to read all 3 books!
xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details ***Many thanks to Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.
All the Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen is the third instalment in the Ellery Hathaway series but it reads well as a stand-alone mystery. Forty years ago, FBI agent Reed Markham’s mother Camilla was brutally murdered while her infant son slept in his crib in the next room. He was subsequently adopted by a prominent family and, till now, the murder case was never solved. Due to new and surprising family information, Reed wants to re-investigate the crime and enlists the aid of suspended cop Ellery Hathaway. The pair go to Las Vegas and begin digging into the history of numerous suspects who had been in Camilla’s life at the time of her death. The pair are also experiencing respective family issues and lean on each other as their relationship becomes more and more serious. This is a tense mystery with an original plot and plenty of clues that will keep the reader focused till the conclusion. Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
All the Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen is the third book of the thrilling Ellery Hathaway series. This series follows Ellery Hathaway who is now a police officer but Ellery wasn’t her original name, she changed her name and became the person she is today thanks to once being the victim herself.
Years ago Ellery Hathaway became victim number seventeen of serial killer Francis Michael Coben when she was abducted and held captive. Ellery was lucky enough that FBI Agent Reed Markham saw something other investigators hadn’t and followed clues to Coben’s home where he managed to rescue Ellery and put Coben behind bars making Ellery the one that survived.
When people began disappearing from Woodbury, MA where Ellery is an officer on a date significant to her she ended up working with Reed Markham to solve the case. Now Ellery and Reed have established a relationship together working on a crimes so Reed enlists Ellery’s help in the one case that has always plagued him, the murder of his own mother.
I have followed the Ellery Hathaway series from the beginning and have liked each book just a bit more as I’ve read them. Really with all the character building in these the books are best read in order and get more exciting as they go along. What I’ve found in these is a small town vibe with a flawed main character that has taken her tortured past and turned into one heck of a strong female lead. Then there is a bit of romance with bringing in her rescuer and now working with him as her still wants to protect her. This has been my favorite thrilling ride of the series and I’ll continue to follow this series to see what comes next.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
Although this is book 3 in Ellery Hathaway series by Joanna Schaffhausen, this thriller/police procedural works perfectly fine as a standalone. There is enough information and background, both factual and emotional, to understand both the past and the present of the protagonists. The previous books are The Vanishing Season and No Mercy.
In All the Best Lies Agent Reed Markham makes an accidental discovery about his family that makes him question his relationship to his parents and his sisters. It also makes him re-visit a 40-year-old cold case of a brutal murder of Camilla Flores who died of multiple stabbing wounds while her baby was nearby in his crib. Baby Joe Flores was adopted by Senator Angus Markham, became Reed Markham and grew up in a loving family that provided the best possible care and opportunities privilege can buy.
Ellery Hathaway couldn't have come from a more different background. Her father left his wife and two children and stopped answering his messages. When Ellery was abducted by a serial killer Francis Coben, John Hathaway chose to stay away. When Ellery's brother Daniel died of leukaemia, John even come to his funeral. Now he is trying to get in contact with Ellery who is keen to avoid seeing him at all costs. Ellery doesn't think twice. She is going to help Reed try to discover who exactly killed his mother, and she is going to stand by him, because the case is bound to be impossibly hard to investigate.
The plot is intriguing and although I had my suspicions as far as the identity of the killer was concerned, there were some twists I didn't anticipate. Joanna Schaffhausen's writing is superb. She created complex, well-rounded characters who keep evolving as they face new life challenges and make new choices.
The relationship between Reed and Ellery is complicated. He keeps thinking about the moment when he found fourteen-year-old Ellery and knows in some respects he was too late. 'He'd re-entered her life expecting gratitude and instead found himself hoping for forgiveness'. Ellery and Reed's understanding of each other's strengths and vulnerabilities and their desire to be there for each other is so powerful and rare.
Joanna Schaffhausen touches on family relationships, lies, secrets, and choices to hide the truth. She also gives her characters plenty of second chances and opportunities for healing and building a new life.
I am very glad to have discovered this compelling series with its fascinating characters. Highly recommended for all lovers of mystery/crime genre. Thank you to Edelweiss and Minotaur Books for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
Update - 2/15/20 As I continue to reflect on this story, it is closer to five stars, thus I have changed my rating.
I'm new to Joanna Schaffhausen's work and I enjoyed this story immensely. It is third in the Ellery Hathaway series but it definitely can be read as a standalone story. All the background needed is layered into the story as it progresses, so no need to search for and read the previous two stories prior. However, it did make me want to read the first two in the series!
FBI Agent Reed Markham and his love interest, officer Ellery Hathaway who joins him by providing him with moral support and a second set of eyes, leave the North East to investigate a 40 year old murder in Las Vegas. They soon discover that the city's tag line, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas is more true than they hope and misleading clues and Sheriff, who doesn't embrace outside help causes more problems than solutions. Soon, things appear as a dead-end but Markham has much at stake in this case and he isn't going to let a few threats and angry words stop him from getting to the truth. Even if he has to take a bullet or two. You see this is personal, his birth mother was the woman murdered!
I enjoyed the pacing of the story and the suspense and tension that built deeper into the story. The reader feels empathy for the trauma both Reed and Ellery have experienced in the past and present. On top of the mystery, there is a sexual tension between Reed and Ellery while not lurid was a bit to detailed for moi. I felt that I was reading a PG-13 or R rated romance, which is not a bonus in my eyes. I prize the value of keeping certain details private, though I realize I am an outlier. There is also some violence that was a little intense but for readers of this genre is very tame comparison to most books published today.
Reed and Ellery were developed enough that you can visualize them physically and emotionally. They would be people, you would wave to on the street and someone you would be pleased to have for a neighbor (although, trouble seems to find them), um, so maybe you would like them on the next street over instead. The story's mystery is resolved and ending left the door open for another adventure, so I will await it's next installment.
Thank you to Joanna Schaffhausen, the author of this intriguing mystery, Minotaur Books, the publisher and Goodreads for giving me an advanced copy of this story in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts and comments are my own.
Joanna Schaffhausen delivers another labyrinthian racer of a police procedural, complete with stunning revelations, police corruption, close calls, and family drama.
Set primarily in Vegas, this third installment of the Ellery Hathaway series centers around the 44-year-old murder of 18-year-old Camilla Flores.
The novel opens from Camilla, Cammie, Flores’s point of view.
It’s 1975, and Camilla’s best friend Angela is sick and needs Cammie to cover for her. All she has to do is show up at a fancy hotel room, shake her scantily clad butt for a couple of drunk and moneyed jerks, and collect 300 dollars.
The party's over and Cammie is ready to leave, but when one of the"guests" decides she’s not, Angus Markham runs to her rescue and right into bed with her.
Months later, Cammie is butchered in front of their resulting baby boy.
That boy is FBI profiler Reed Markham, and he wants answers.
Cut to present day and officer Ellery Hathaway remains in limbo; her decision to neutralize the vicious serial killer who terrorized her small Massachusetts town had profound and far-reaching professional consequences that she is still paying.
This is why she has more than enough time to accompany Reed to Vegas and aid him in solving his mother’s murder.
But Ellery has her very own family crisis to contend with. She isn’t in Vegas very long before she gets a call from Her neighbor/dog sitter. Apparently, a strange man, one claiming to be her father, is frantic to find her: "it’s a matter of life and death” (Schaffhausen).
What is this matter? Well, you’ll have to read and see. Suffice it to say that while you won’t think any better of John Hathaway than Ellery does, you’ll likely think much better of Ellery.
Meanwhile, Reed’s parents and his father’s “fixer”/campaign manager want him to drop the matter of Cammie’s death and come home. Sure, they may have lied to him his entire life or, even worse, had a hand in the brutal murder of his biological mother, but hadn’t they given him the best upbringing that money, power, and influence could buy?
The book closes with a surprise gut punch that will have you questioning everything you’d been told or thought you’d guessed about what really happened all those decades ago.
Now, the paranoid reader was in full force here. This time, though, I asked my pal, the analytical reader, to tag along on this journey.
Things that bugged me /things I picked up on in this third installment:
1. Ellery operates at a disadvantage because she is still suspended. This means that authority wise, she and Reed are unequal. This puts her in the role of junior officer when it is her series.
2. Ellery’s employment status= dependence on Reed for food and shelter. 3. Ellery’s employment status=no gun= dependence on Reed for physical safety.
4. The Cinderella story’esque feel to all of this reminds me, not so fondly, of another series featuring a female cop protagonist and her much wealthier alpha male love interest.
5. Things get really romantic in this one, which means the usual clichés and tropes made their invariable appearance. Sigh.
All the above gripes aside, this was yet another excellent read; four stars.
FBI agent Reed Markham has saved more than a few lives, including Ellery Hathaway's, but there is one person whose death has haunted him for decades. Camilla Flores was just a poor waitress when someone brutally murdered her in front of her four-month-old son. Forty years later, the Las Vegas PD wants to lay the case to rest but Reed isn't ready to forget about it—not until he finds his birth mother's killer, anyway. With Ellery's help, he sets out to unravel the mystery of Camilla's past. It's not his first attempt to solve the crime but he's determined that it will be his last, even if finding the murderer means destroying the lives of everyone he loves.
All the Best Lies is the third—and best--novel in Joanna Schaffhausen's series. I loved the first book for its fast-paced plot as well as its complex characters, and the second for the developing relationship between Reed and Ellery. The third book surpasses the first two, both in terms of plot and character. Reed's race to find his mother's killer is compelling with plenty of twists right up until the last pages of the book. The evolving romance between Reed and Ellery is just as good. It's far from an easy relationship because of Ellery's past, but the connection is strong enough that I wanted them to keep pushing forward. I liked that Schaffhausen didn't simply throw them into bed together at the appropriate chapter—the one-step-forward, one-step-back progression is convincing and emotionally loaded, even if it is frustrating at times. I don't want to mention any spoilers but I will say that my favorite scene involved Ellery's struggle to find a dress for a “date” eating take-out pizza in a hotel room. This is first and foremost a mystery, but the book also has a lot to say about family and about healing.
I enjoyed the settings in the first two books, and the Las Vegas locale works just as well, if not better. Schaffhausen captures the city's glitz but she shows its darker side too. I'm guessing there will be more books in the series and look forward to new locations, as well as old secrets. I'd also like to see how Ellery and Reed's relationship continues to change.
Much thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
One small act could alter the whole interwoven tapestry and you could sew it back up, but it would never look quite the same.
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But for the FBI Agent Reed Markham, his mother’s brutal murder forty years ago in the City of Lights is still fresh and painful. So much so that he is determined to find the killer, even if his trail is forty years cold. And who better to ask for help than Ellery Hathaway, his friend and confidante.
The third book in the Ellery Hathaway series finds FBI Agent Reed Markham taking on a particularly personal case--his birth mother's murder. His mother, Camilla, was stabbed to death over forty years ago while baby Reed was nearby in his crib. Her killer was never found. It's a cold case now for the Las Vegas Police Department. Reed asks for Ellery's help and the two travel together to Las Vegas to search for answers. But Reed soon learns something shocking about his past, leading him to add someone incredibly close to him to his list of suspects. In Vegas, that list soon grows, and they realize that the killer--even after all these years--isn't happy with Reed and Ellery stirring things up.
This was another stellar entry in this series. I absolutely love Ellery and Reed, and it was great seeing Reed work on a case that meant so much to him. It reminded me of an early Harry Bosch in Michael Connelly's books, when he tries to track down his own mother's killer. Both Reed and Ellery deal with family issues in the book. As always, there is sizzling chemistry between the two. Their relationship just gets better and better, as each struggles with their own problems, and they grow closer and closer.
There's a lot of focus on Reed here, of course, as we learn more about both his mother and his adopted family, the Markhams (Reed was adopted by Senator Angus Markham from Virginia). His mother's case is mesmerizing, and there is no shortage of suspects, including lowlife drug dealer Billy Thorndike; her cop boyfriend, David; and more. Schaffhausen does an excellent job portraying Camilla's life forty years ago, and she comes to life easily.
As always, there are some wonderful twists and turns, and the book is easy-to-read. The pages turn quickly, between Reed and Ellery's excellent magnetism and the well-paced, absorbing mystery. This may be my favorite one so far, and that's saying a lot! 4.5 stars.
I received a free ARC of All the Best Lies from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. It is available 2/11/2020.
uses her detective skills to help the FBI agent who rescued her. Watching her struggle to reinvent and accept herself is a poignant experience. This tale peels back some of the sorrowful history that haunts Ellery and the twisty tale turns constantly with terrifying or delightful surprises.
Here are characters we can believe in, the trauma of terror that never really goes away and secrets that creep out from their graves. A page turner that kept me up till Three AM and I loved each minute. Can’t wait to read book Four!
Book three in the Ellery Hathaway series built on every good thing in the previous two books, to end up with an absolutely fantastic, entirely absorbing novel.
I'm pretty invested in this series now - enough that it's gained it's own rating system, rather than me trying to maintain objectivity, so do be aware of that if you're considering this book; though they all do stand alone, I'd highly recommend building up to this one, because this investment really pays off.
See, this time it's personal - well, it always was, but this time Reed is the one with the connection to the crime. It's a cold one, some forty years in the waiting, and if the technical details are a little thin on the ground, that's because they usually are in these situations. The emotional and investigative sides of things are as strong as ever though, along with a continuing of the overall narrative that balances nicely with the case at hand.
Probably my favourite in the series so far, with the author comfortable with the characters and their actions, and me as invested as I was. Definitely looking forward to the next!
Ellery Hathaway, a police officer, and FBI Agent, Reed Markham have a complicated past. Years ago, Reed saved fourteen-year-old Ellery from the clutches of a deranged serial killer, something that left a mark on them both.
In Vanishing Season (book one), Ellery, asks for Reed’s help with a case, and they’ve been sort of attached since. Solving cases is the excuse that brings them together, but they’re drawn to each other, and while the mysteries they investigate are thrilling, I’ve been more fascinated with their evolving relationship. As I said, their relationship is complicated since Ellery went through a horrific event: kidnapped, and held for three days before Reed found her, so even though years have gone by she’s still dealing with the emotional fallout. Reed initially feels a lot of guilt over his attraction, since Ellery was a victim, and she’s several years younger. As the story progresses Reed has come to terms with the fact that Ellery is no longer the child he rescued, but a grown woman and survivor. Strong, intelligent, but with a determination that gets her into trouble at times. Reed has his own troubles: work, a failed marriage, and the struggles of joint custody. Not a fan of his ex-wife. I sense a “dog in the manger” sort of situation on her end. No worries, she’s a very minor side character.
In this current installment Reed is the one asking for help with a case: the grisly murder of his birth mother, forty-years ago. The case has gone cold, and about to be closed for good. Reed needs someone objective since new DNA evidence makes him question everything he thought he knew about his family and the past.
I had strong suspicions which turned out to be right on some things, but I was captivated by every new development! Trying to piece together a mystery from forty-years ago was not an easy feat, especially with all the lies they had to deal with. There were tense moments from unpleasant revelations, especially for Reed, but I think I felt worse for Ellery. The situation with her dad was heartbreaking, and I was so outraged for her!
Through it all, Ellery and Reed are there for each other, and I was soooo thrilled! Their relationship has been tentative, slow going with setbacks from misunderstandings, and the baggage of the past, but I have been so hopeful; hanging on every interaction, feeling the passion simmering beneath the surface! I’ve been inpatiently waiting for these two to realize it’s only a matter of when not if, and finally we’re getting somewhere!
All the Best Lies was soooo good! I devoured it in one day, and now I can’t wait for the next one! There was a little happy/bittersweet twist at the end that I wondered about before it was revealed. While All the Best Liescould be read as a standalone, I wouldn’t recommend it. The books are best read in order. A copy was kindly provided by Minotaur Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
All the Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen is the third book in the Ellery Hathaway series but can be easily enjoyed as a standalone. I haven't read the previous two books, but that did not in any way hinder with my enjoyment of this one.
A mix between crime thriller and police procedural, this was a quick and engaging read with well rounded characters, a suspenseful plot and perfectly placed twists and turns.
Why does a four decade old unsolved murder mystery has FBI Agent Reed Markham's attention now? The answer is - it's personal. The victim in that unsolved decades old case was none other than Reed's birth mother herself, who was stabbed to death while he was a baby and lying just a few feet away in his crib. Reed recently uncovered some new and disturbing leads and is now determined to find her mother's killer.
Assisting him in this unofficial investigation is Ellery, a suspended cop whom he's known since his early days on the force. There's some great chemistry between these two characters and and as I always appreciate a whiff of romance in my thrillers, this was a treat. The mystery portion of the story was also very well done and I did not see that final reveal coming. It was a pretty good story with a satisfying ending that tied up all loose ends perfectly.
All in all, I very much enjoyed this and am definitely going to catch up on the the two previous books and will also keep an eye out for upcoming ones in the series.
“I received a free ARC of All the Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.”
I would have liked this book better if I had read the first two books. Although it can be read as a stand alone as I did, the reader knows they are missing a great deal. The author gives dibs and drabs of background as you go along but it's not enough to ever feel fully included in the story. FBI agent, Reed Markham, apparently freed Boston cop, Ellery Hathaway, from a horrific captive situation when she was 13.
Now years later, Markham decides to investigate the murder of his mother 40 years ago in Las Vegas. He was adopted after the murder by U.S. Senator Angus Markham and his wife. After his adopted sister suggests a DNA test for "fun", everything changes for him. He flies to Las Vegas to discover what really happened to his birth mom with the help of Ellery, who is suspended by the Boston police for some reason.
Ellery and Markham are exploring a romantic relationship which I found creepy. Again, perhaps if I had read the first two books I would be more supportive of the romance but to me it was just uncomfortable. Here he rescued a young girl (13) and now wants to bed her. I know they are older now but it still seems wrong. Perhaps if I could have seen the relationship grow naturally I would be more supportive.
As he explores his biological mother's murder it has major impacts on his adoptive family as you would expect. The ramifications were not particularly surprising but there were plenty of twists and turns to keep it interesting. I think this would be a great series but just remember to read the books in order and you will have a better experience.
The Ellery/Reed story continues in this one, #3 in the series, as Reed investigates the mystery surrounding the unsolved murder of his mother. It’s a very cold case, 40 years ago in Las Vegas Camilla was stabbed to death. Reed was adopted by a wealthy family, his adopted father now a state senator. DNA results have shaken up all that Reed believed about his life.
Ellery is still under suspension, so it’s easy for her to accompany Reed to Las Vegas as he digs into the case. This one has lots of red herrings and I fell for a few of them. I did guess correctly on one key part, but still enjoyed the story.
Ellery and Reed are both complicated people and they have a complicated relationship. I’m not sure about the love story in this one, but they seem to be committed to giving it a shot (no pun intended!).
As Reed makes some progress in the case, he’s clearly riled up some shady characters when attention gets personal. Should he let sleeping dogs lie and give up the case? I did like the Vegas setting of this one.
You could read this as a stand-alone, but I always like starting with the first in a series. These are quick reads and I’m committed to the series now! Although I do like the new series by this author – featuring Annalisa Vega – a tad bit more.
A fun buddy read with Jayme, one more to go before we read the newest one!
In this latest novel in the Ellery Hathaway series, All the Best Lies, Hathaway and Markham head to Las Vegas, Nevada to delve into the emotional, heinous cold case of FBI agent Reed’s slaughtered mother from 1975 in the hope of finally capturing her murderer and unravelling all the lies, secrets and deception surrounding his birth and true parentage.
The writing is tight and crisp. The characters are vulnerable, flawed, and resilient. And the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat as it submerges you in an ominous tale full of twists, turns, mayhem, corruption, coercion, jealousy, deduction, attraction, violence, and murder.
Overall, All the Best Lies is a sharp, engrossing, gritty tale by Schaffhausen that has exceptional character development and palpable chemistry that bleeds off the page, and is definitely, in my opinion, one book/series you don’t want to miss.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Joanna Schaffhausen’s All the Best Lies was another intriguing psychological mystery thriller in the Ellery Hathaway series. This time the focus was primarily placed on Reed Markham’x search to discover what really happened to his birth mother over forty years ago. Although Reed was adopted as an infant, he had always been haunted by the knowledge that his birth mother had been brutally stabbed to death as he remained untouched and unharmed in his crib. Determined to open this cold case and finally find out what really happened all those years ago, Reed asked Ellery to accompany him to Las Vegas where it had all happened so many years ago. A recent DNA family history that his older sister initiated, gave Reed even more incentive to open this case. Ellery was on leave from her job as police officer, so Reed felt that with her instincts and fresh look at things, she would be an asset to help him figure out what really happened.
This third installment of the Ellery Hathaway series was fast paced and included lots of twists and turns. All the Best Lies allowed glimpses into both Reed’s and Ellery’s personal lives, family histories, and the family secrets that had lied dormant and hidden for so long. I listened to the audiobook on Overdrive and enjoyed the production very much. All the Best Lies kept me guessing until the surprising ending. I do not want this series to end. There is only one more book left for me to read in this series. I hope Joanna Schaffhausen keeps writing future books in this series. I am truly invested in Reed’s and Ellery’s characters. I highly recommend this book.