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Desolate Shores (An Aspen Adams Novel of Suspense Book 1)

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  79 ratings  ·  68 reviews
A chilling murder, an elusive killer, and a family mystery that hits too close to home . . .

After finding the body of her best friend on the icy shores of Lake Tahoe, Aspen Adams refuses to stand by and watch as the local sheriff’s department begins their search for the killer. Launching her own investigation, she’s soon confronted with a growing array of secrets—both abou
Kindle Edition, 239 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by Beyond the Page
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4.52  · 
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 ·  79 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Desolate Shores is a new mystery novel published in 2019 and written by Daryl Wood Gerber. I've read and loved several of the author's cozy mystery books, but this was a more suspenseful and darker novel than her normal tales. I like when an author stretches her boundaries and writes 'out-of-genre' because it provides an opportunity for readers to truly understand how her mind works. I enjoyed this book and saw how it was several layers deeper or more complex than the cozies. All the great compo ...more
Desolate Shores is the first novel in An Aspen Adams Novel of Suspense. I enjoy Daryl Wood Gerber’s engaging writing style and the story proceeded at a peppy pace. Aspen Adams does not trust police after they failed to catch the man who killed her parents. She trained to become a licensed therapist and worked with teens until one of them took his own life. This caused Aspen emotional distress and led to her decision to make a big change. Aspen has been working at her aunt’s PI firm for the last ...more
This is a page turning mystery that held my interest and kept me guessing from the beginning to the end. Aspen Adams is on her morning run when she discovers her best friend's body on the shore of Lake Tahoe. Upset and determined to find the killer, she uses her instinct and resources working at her her aunt's investigation agency to check out all of the possible suspects and clues that she uncovers. Handsome and interesting Detective Sergeant Shaper is always around as she works-sometimes frust ...more
Aug 07, 2019 added it
Aspen Adams has started her life over and is working as a P.I. for Aunt in Tahoe, she needed to make a change and so far things are looking up. While enjoying her morning job she comes across a body, the sad part is it turns out to be her best friend. Who would want to murder such a bright and sunny young woman and why? Aspen couldn't think of any enemies that her friend might have had and she is truly puzzled as to why someone would have hurt her much less kill her. Aspen doesn't have any faith ...more
Barbara Tobey
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Shed a few tears throughout. Several surprises. Thrilled to see that this is book 1, as I look forward to more of Aspen Adams adventures. Enjoyed reading about the snow during the summer. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy via NetGalley.
Desolate Shores are the first book that I have read by Daryl Wood Gerber, but it is a truly engaging novel. The author gives readers a young woman who has moved to Lake Tahoe, changed her job to take a step away from her past, and is looking to make a new path in life for herself. The one thing that she doesn't expect is to discover the body of her best friend early in the morning on the shore. Now, the question is...who killed her and why?
Desolate Shores is an intriguing novel that digs deep in
Desolate Shores takes the reader to the Lake
Tahoe region. Description is deftly woven into
the story. The reader will feel as if they are right
there in the midst of the action.
Aspen Adams is living in Lake Tahoe. She had
been a psychology therapist but has given up
that job to work for in her Aunt’s detective
agency as a process server.
Aspen goes out for her morning jog. As she hits
the beach, she finds a dead body laying there.
It is the body of her best friend.
Under her Aunt’s tutelage to become
"Desolate Shores" by Daryl Wood Gerber is an absolutely amazing start to a new suspense series! This book has everything I look for in a reading experience:

1. Great characters! Aspen, our heroine, is wonderful. She simultaneously comes across as likable, intelligent, brave (but not stupidly so), and honorable. Her fledgling role as a PI-in-training at her aunt's detective agency fits perfectly with the story. Combined with her past career as a psychologist, Aspen has all the tools to unravel mys
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have to admit I was a little worried about just how much of a suspense book this would be, but it turned out to be a good surprise. I love the cozy mystery series by this author, and after reading a Goodreads friend's review, I decided to get the ARC, and I'm really glad I did! I loved the character of Aspen, aunt Max and Aspen's niece Candace who was thirteen. I just knew that Aspen would want to take Candace under her wing since Candace's mother was a druggie, and I was really happy with the ...more
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

This is the first book in a new suspense series by Daryl Wood Gerber featuring Aspen Adams.

Aspen Adams finds the dead body of her good friend, Vickie and spies a design the deceased has written in the snow. Unfortunately, she only gets a glimpse of the design before she loses her balance and destroys the delicate impression. She begins her own search for the killer since her own parent’s deaths weren’t investigated to her own satisfaction. Aspen doesn’t trust the police to do a good eno
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Desolate Shores by Daryl Wood Gerber is the first book in an Aspen Adams Novel of suspense series, and it is off to a great start. Aspen Adams lives in Lake Tahoe, working for her aunt Max. One morning while running her daily run she sees her best friend laying on the icy shores, and rushes to help her. The problem is she is dead. Aspen is determined to solve the murder, and the murderer was a big surprise, at least for me. Aspen's estranged sister, who is also a drug user, dropped off her teen ...more
Micky Cox
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fantastic character development that has created a strong female lead in the PI in training, Aspen Adams with an interesting assortment of supporting characters to help enhance the storylines as there are multiple story arcs interwoven here. The book had great depth as it dealt with real life issues such as addiction, bulimia, grief, adoption and more in a manner that kept the mystery fluid and the focus of the book. I am really hoping that this will turn into a series as I think that Aspen, her ...more
Julia David
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very good story. I really liked Aspen and how she tried to do right by everyone, especially her niece. When Aspen finds her friend dead, she knows that she must find the murderer herself. When her parents died, she didn't push the police to find the killer, so she wasn't going to let that happen again. While she is investigating, she finds that her friend held a lot of secrets. The more she finds out, the more she realizes that she never knew her friend. During all of this, Aspen's sister dumps ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read, mysteries
If you are a fan of the cozy mystery series of Daryl Wood Gerber/Avery Aames, this is not a cozy, but a more gritty mystery story. The main character, Aspen Adams, left her therapy practice and returned to Lake Tahoe to work with her aunt as a process server. When she finds her best friend murdered, she realizes she has to help solve this crime. But then family problems intervene, and she finds herself the unexpected caretaker of her niece. Feeling like her life is spiraling out of control, Aspe ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Desolate Shores is a great start to a new series by Daryl Wood Gerber.

I enjoyed getting to know the characters, their stories, and the troubles they face or have faced in their lives, which makes for relatable characters and storyline. I liked the interactions with Aspen and Nick and the tension and snarkiness between them. The author does a good job with scene descriptions, and I can see myself in the settings.

The characters were well developed and likable, and the setting and premise of the
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
This is the first book in An Aspen Adams Novel of Suspense Book by Daryl Wood Gerber. I absolutely loved this book!! So looking forward to the next book in this series. This book totally captivated me from the start! Aspen Adams is starting over working for her Aunt Max. She finds the body of her best friend. With the way her parents Death was handled by the police, she can’t sit back and watch. She needs to get involved and find closure for her friend as well as herself. Secrets, suspects and d ...more
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Aspen Adams works as a process server for her aunt's detective agency in Lake Tahoe, but she longs to be a private investigator. She is given a chance to work on a case under her Aunt Max's supervision, but the opportunity is bittersweet. Aspen finds the dead body of her best friend Vikki Carmichael in the snow and Vikki's death is quickly determined to be a murder. While taking on the difficult task of investigating her close friend's murder, Aspen also has the responsibility of caring for her ...more
K.A. Davis
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
DESOLATE SHORES, the first book in the Aspen Adams Novel of Suspense, by Daryl Wood Gerber is a captivating, edge-of-your-seat read. In addition to a suspenseful story, the author has created a multi-faceted protagonist in Aspen Adams. Each turn of the page reveals deeper insight into her character and as the reader connects, the anticipation of what will happen next ramps up the emotional involvement. Aspen Adams, psychology therapist turned process server, works for her aunt in Lake Tahoe. Whe ...more
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Family isn't always a direct relation
How true this is. You can choose your friends but not family. Family almost always betrays their own.
I enjoyed this novel and it helped to pass my Sunday afternoon because this book has some awesome twists and turns and it certainly left me guessing. Let me say it isn't the person you think it is.
The characters are quite wonderful and she touches nicely on alcohol, Bulimia and gambling are all mixed in.
Might I say the cover of this book is gorgeous, mysteriou
Lisa Morin
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are times I enjoy reading a book that's not a cozy mystery.
When I read the description for Desolate Shores and saw that it was by an author I enjoy, I knew I had to try it.
Aspen Adams is a private investigator in Lake Tahoe.
She reminds me of another character in one of my favorite series, so I was looking forward to becoming lost in this story.
Upon discovering the dead body of her best friend, Aspen sets out to find the answers, despite the craziness going on in her own personal life.
The s
Abby Fabian
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aspen has been through the ringer. Her parents were murdered when she was barely an adult, her sister is a drug addict, she recently left her career as a psychologist, she lost a patient at the previously mentioned job, and now, to top it all off, her best friend has been murdered too. That's enough to make anyone go a little nuts. Yet, Aspen is tenacious and caring and wants justice. She is one of those characters that you can't help but admire. Sure she falls apart sometimes, but she gets up a ...more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
DESOLATE SHORES is a nice departure from Daryl Wood Gerber’s cozy mysteries, meatier than the typical cozy but not as dark and heavy as many thrillers. Complicated characters and a complex murder mystery come together to make a really satisfactory read.

Aspen Adams has had more than her share of heartache. Upon leaving her psychology practice after a patient’s death, she relocates to Lake Tahoe to work for her aunt’s PI firm. When she finds the body of her best friend Vikki on the lake shore, wit
Kara Marks
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this suspense novel. I've read most of the cozies written by the author and have loved them, but this was the first suspense novel by her I've read. Her voice really transfers and I enjoyed the book very much. The setting in a Lake Tahoe ski area was new for me. The story was a little grittier than a cozy mystery, but it was clean and not depressing at all, as some gritty thrillers can be. I loved the main character of Aspen and am so glad there will be a sequel; I'm interested in knowin ...more
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
The worst thing I can say about this book is that I don't like the main character's name. She sounds like the girl in high school who would have perfectly feathered hair, the newest Guess jeans and glittery eye makeup. Thankfully, I am well out of school and Ms. Adams is nothing like my visual assumption! Aspen is a former therapist turned process server and private investigator in training, who likes to take care of those around her, which includes solving the murder mystery of a friend. I like ...more
Toni Nyman
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of Daryl Wood Gerber for quite a while now and must say this is a departure for her.
It was darker than her "cozies" but I absolutely loved it. Could not put it down. Aspen Adams is working for here Aunt's detective agency after leaving her previous job, town and ex-husband. One morning she finds her best friend murdered on the shore line near her home. She tries to help with the investigation. Aspen's parents were killed and she doesn't think the police did all they could and she
Margaret Yelton
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.

I believe that this was the frist book by Daryl Wood Gerber that I have read, I found it to be a very interesting read. I believe this is the first book in a new series, so I will have to read more to find out how this storyline continues. I enjoyed the chemistry between Aspen and Sergeant Shaper so look forward to seeing where they go in the future. This storyline contained so many different issues,
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Desolate shores is the first book in a new series by this author. It is very well written with good characters that draw you into their lives and problems. It is a smooth and interesting read with a well designed mystery I found that I had to keep reading to find out what would happen.! Aspen finds her friends body and tries to investigate her murder as she doesn't trust the police to get it right. she finds that her friend isn't the person she thought she was as secrets come to light.I will loo ...more
Julie Van de Meulebroecke
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Desolate Shores is the first book in a new suspense mystery series by Daryl Wood Gerber. Aspen Adams is a former family therapist who moves to Lake Tahoe to work for her aunt's detective agency as a process server after one of her patients dies. She wants to become a private investigator and is apprenticing with her aunt. As she is out for a run one morning, she discovers the dead body of her close friend, Vicki, on the shore. Aspen doesn't trust the police because her parents were murdered and ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love Gerber's suspense stories. This was a well plotted and engrossing tale. Using her past psychologist experience Aspen digs into her dead friends life and finds secrets and the hidden truth. The storyline has several sub plots but Gerber deftly ties all the ends together to make a tidy, edge of your seat ending.
Anneliese Grassi
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a page turning, keep you wondering, easy read kinda book. From the first page it took you on a twist and turn story making you question who you thought may have done it. Aspen, the therapist turned P.I., does a better job than the cops in solving the case of who murdered her best friend, all the while dealing with a personal family dilemma. The characters are believable and relatable. The story is not a surface story and gives you some depth into the who and why. I also liked the last c ...more
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Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the brand new French Bistro Mysteries as well as the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries.

As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. A DEADLY ÊCLAIR, the first French Bistro Mystery, comes out November 2017.

Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAY OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN.

Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared