Crossing Lines: A Spellbinding CIA Romantic Suspense Thriller by Adrienne Giordano – #BookReview – #domesticthrillers – #tuesdaybookblog

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

 Book Blurb:

CIA operative Elizabeth Aiken is on her own. After a rescue operation in Venezuela goes south and her cover is blown, Elizabeth barely escapes the country with her life. Set adrift by the Agency and with a price on her head, she seeks out the only person who can help her disappear.

Viper.

Crossing Lines by Adrienne GiordanoUnfortunately, the devastatingly attractive former operative wants nothing to do with her or the cartel-backed Venezuelan president who wants her dead. Worse still, if Elizabeth’s not careful, she’ll end up losing her heart instead of watching her back…and there’s no room for mistakes with assassins hot on her trail.

Helping her could destroy everything he’s worked for.

  • Former Marine-turned-CIA operative.
  • Current bar owner.
  • All-around badass.

Shane “Viper” Quinn has spent years constructing the perfect cover, and he’s not about to sacrifice it for a woman he barely knows. Even if she is strong and beautiful and makes him long for sultry nights that could destroy his carefully crafted life.
Still, Shane is forced to fight his growing attraction to the fearsome ex-agent while keeping her in one piece. Elizabeth’s enemies are now his enemies—and they aren’t going to stop until everyone who stands against them is eliminated. Will having the deadly Viper by her side be enough to save her?

His Review:

Killing, even in self-defense, is not always an acceptable activity. When the father of the victim is the president of a South American country, running and anonymity is the only answer. Elizabeth Aiken has changed her name and gone underground. A world class assassin is on her trail with a large bounty for her demise. Once made, an operative is no longer useful and the CIA has left her on her own!

Crossing Lines by Adrienne GiordanoShane Quinn is an ex-CIA operative in basically the same position. He started a business in Chicago and is staying below the radar to survive. He takes a liking to Elizabeth and decides to help her. She is a small but hardly diminutive woman who has spent her life in self-supporting roles. Her dark eyes captivate this blue-eyed hunk of a man. Yes, he tries to shake her, but desperation keeps her around like a dirty shirt on a camping trip.

The South American dictator knew his son was a psychopathic killer and enjoyed torturing his captives, but is that any reason to kill him? One of his life’s goals is to capture this bitch and inflict a slow and painful death and running can only get an ex- agent so far. The paychecks are no longer coming from the government and Liz is on her own. Surely it is only a matter of time before her painful death will be gratifyingly completed.

The author builds a budding romance between Shane and Liz. Thrown together by the desperate need of the young woman and her Sir Galahad, this story is very entertaining and brisk. Shane tries every trick in the book to conceal Liz’s whereabouts and save her from a painful death. His background and history make this a very dangerous endeavor. Can he save her, be her knight in shining armor, and keep her alive?CE Williams

This well-developed story is very entertaining and will keep you on the edge of your seat–-or sofa. There are no dragging chapters and I feel this author will become one of your favorites as well. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Domestic Thrillers, Political Thrillers & Suspense, Women’s Adventure Fiction
Publisher: ALG Publishing
ASIN: B099X99MXY
Print Length: 376 pages
Publication Date: To be released September 14, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Crossing Lines [Amazon] 
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Adrienne Giordano - authorThe Author: Adrienne Giordano is a USA Today bestselling author of over thirty romantic suspense and mystery novels. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her ultimate supporter of a husband, sports-obsessed son and Elliot, a snuggle-happy rescue. Having grown up near the ocean, Adrienne enjoys paddleboarding, a nice float in a kayak and lounging on the beach with a good book. For more information on Adrienne’s books, please visit www.AdrienneGiordano.com.

 

©CE Williams – V Williams V Williams

Target Churchill: A Gripping Historical Crime Thriller by Warren Adler and James C Humes – #BookReview – #biographicalfiction

Book Blurb:

As Great Britain and the United States celebrate a victorious end to WWII, Joseph Stalin’s relentless Soviet Union is creeping across Eastern Europe leaving a trail of devastation and murder in its wake.

Target Churchill by Warren AdlerWinston Churchill, the cigar-puffing icon of the British fighting spirit, embarks on a crusade to lift the veil of secrecy that hangs over Stalin’s mission.

Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri sets the diplomatic stage upon which the world’s political players grapple for supremacy as Churchill delivers his fated Iron Curtain speech on March 5th, 1946.

Soviet operatives have infiltrated British and American governments at the highest level. As Churchill prepares to launch the Cold War, Stalin unleashes his trained mole, an American Nazi who served in Hitler’s SS.

His mission: assassinate Winston Churchill.

Churchill travels with a lone bodyguard, W.H. Thompson, a former British police officer who protected Churchill faithfully through the turbulent years of war. Thompson alone senses danger, but will his trained instincts and vigilance be enough to protect the former Prime Minister from a ruthless killer?

In this gripping historical thriller, battles are fought not on the beaches, on the landing grounds, in the fields, on the streets, or in the hills, but behind closed doors in the shadows of espionage.

His Review:

Truman has invited Winston Churchill to give a talk at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Churchill has been voted out of office and is miserable in his reduced role in parliament and basic semi-retirement. In the days after the war, one of the chief architects of the victory of the war is sidelined!

Target Churchill by Warren AdlerRussia still enjoys its’ reputation and respect after helping win WW II. Josef Stalin has masterfully orchestrated the division of countries near the end of the war. Most of Eastern Europe was now under soviet rule. The authors cite the relationship of Josef and Winston as respectful allies who are working with a nearly inept Franklin Roosevelt. Although Winston liked Franklin, he felt he was incapable of adequately representing the United States during the end of his life.

Harry Truman is portrayed as nothing more than a poor replacement for Roosevelt at the end of the war and is tolerated by Stalin and Churchill. His role is reduced to a figurehead for the United States in the peace talks. Meanwhile he has made the very difficult decisions to end the war in the Pacific by the use of the worlds’ most powerful bombs.

A plot is hatched to assassinate Churchill during the speech in this small town. A former SS officer who was born in the United States is chosen for the task. Beria, the head of the secret service in Russia has recruited the killer. The killer hates all Jews and also deeply detests Churchill. The intrigue is well written and exhibits many twist machinations.

Weaknesses are shown in the procedures set up to protect both Truman and the former Prime Minister. The U.S. Secret Service is portrayed as a loose knit group of dunderheads. One wonders how they could ever protect a president or other political official with their haphazard procedures. Thank God there is a close confidant of Churchill who accompanies him on his travels and speaking tours. Without this former British bodyguard the outcome would have been different. CE Williams

I found the book interesting but aggravating. Surely, our Secret Service and institutions cannot be as ineffectual as portrayed by these writers. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Russian Fiction, Biographical Fiction, Historical Biographical Fiction
Publisher: Stonehouse Press

  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1953959016
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1953959010

ASIN: B08LZPFCYB
Print Length: 362 pages
Publication Date: November 17, 2020
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Links: Target Churchill [Amazon]
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Warren Adler - authorAuthor: Warren Adler is best known for “The War of the Roses”, his masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated dark comedy hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. In addition to the success of the stage adaptation of his iconic novel on the perils of divorce, Adler has optioned and sold film rights to more than a dozen of his novels and short stories to Hollywood and major television networks. “Random Hearts” (starring Harrison Ford and Kristen Scott Thomas), “The Sunset Gang” (starring Jerry Stiller, Uta Hagen, Harold Gould and Doris Roberts), “Private Lies”, “Funny Boys”, “Madeline’s Miracles”, “Trans-Siberian Express” and his Fiona Fitzgerald mystery series are only a few titles that have forever left Adler’s mark on contemporary American authorship from page to stage to screen. Learn more about Warren Adler at www.warrenadler.com.

Author: James C. Humes

©2021 V Williams V Williams

The Ghost Camper’s Tall Tales: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series by Elizabeth Pantley #BlogTour #Bookreview #Giveaway

The Ghost Camper's Tall Tales
I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for The Ghost Camper’s Tall Tales by Elizabeth Pantley on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.
Scroll down to enter your chance to win the Giveaway!

Book Details:

The Ghost Camper’s Tall Tales: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic Series
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Independently Published (August 2, 2021)
Digital Print Length ‏ 312Pages
ASIN: B095177BFG

Book Blurb:

A ghost, a witch, a sassy cat, and a mystery. Hayden’s adventures in Destiny Falls continue when a mysterious old man keeps popping up to tell her a series of tall tales. Who is he? And is he actually glowing? Are his stories fiction, or is he telling her the history of her family, the enchanted islands, and the witch? And why did a dead body show up . . . of someone who is already dead? Can Hayden and her brave, quirky sidekick, Latifa unscramble this mystery before someone else turns up dead?

My Review:

It’s the third in the series and my first, but most of my followers know at this point that I enjoy witchy, (in this case, dark) magic tales. This one describes Destiny Falls as a pretty, weather sculpted area complete with it’s antithesis, Gladstone Island; the dark to Destiny Falls light.

The Ghost Camper's Tall TalesIn this installment, there are several discoveries, not the first of which is the murder of a man who was already supposed to have died in a fiery car crash more than a month ago. And there is a scary link to which protagonist Hayden must discover that includes her mother.

The support characters take on a profile of their own (particularly Latifa), adding to the atmosphere of the area and the enchanted house, and there is a mysterious ghost who manifests at (mostly) inopportune times who slowly reveals little tidbits along the way that will color the present.

The conclusion and the discovery of the bad guy came quietly into the conclusion, but it was then the little twist hit. The main plot resolved, the sub-plot came to the fore. It’s a gotcha cliff-hanger and one many will tune in to pick up on in the next episode.

The cozy shined with humor, romance, and magic—a very interesting take on the latter and stirs up a fun read.

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Giveaway

Sign up for your chance to win one Prize Package – includes Set of ebooks: Book 1, 2, and 3 … PLUS a coffee mug & plush kitty in the Rafflecopter giveaway  

 

Elizabeth Pantley - authorAbout The Author: Elizabeth Pantley is the international bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and eight other books in the No-Cry Solution series of books for parents. Her books have been published in over twenty languages. She is also the author of the well-received magical cozy mystery series, The Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic books. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Author Links

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/24811.Elizabeth_Pantley
Website:  https://www.nocrysolution.com/books/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethPantleyNoCryAuthor
Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/elizabethpantley/
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/nocrysolution/_saved/
Blog:  https://elizabethpantley.com/

Purchase Link:   Amazon

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

August 2 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT  

August 2 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

August 3 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST

August 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

August 4 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 4 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 5 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, GUEST POST

August 6 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW

August 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

August 8 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

August 9 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

August 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

August 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – CHARACTER GUEST POST

August 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 12 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT

August 13 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – SPOTLIGHT

August 14 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

August 15 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT Great Escapes Book Tours

 Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©V Williams V Williams

Murder in Connemara (A Home to Ireland Mystery Book 2) by Carlene O’Connor – #sundayselfie

#sundayselfie

Yes! I’m a winner! I recently won this beautiful book on Goodreads. Murder in Connemara by Carlene O’Connor. Thank you to the author and the publisher, Kensington Books!

Book Blurb

The bestselling author of the Irish Village mysteries sets her new series in Galway County, where former New York interior designer Tara Meehan finds murder in the ruins. 

Murder in Connemara by Carlene O'ConnorFormer New Yorker and interior designer Tara Meehan is eagerly anticipating the grand opening of her architectural salvage shop Renewals in her newly adopted home of Galway. She’s in the midst of preparations when heiress Veronica O’Farrell bursts in to announce she’s ready for some renewal of her own. To celebrate one year of sobriety, she’s invited seven people she wronged in her drinking days to historic Ballynahinch Castle Hotel in neighboring Connemara to make amends in style.

But perhaps one among them is not so eager to pardon her past misdeeds. Veronica is found lying in the ruins of manor house Clifden Castle with an antique Tara Brooch buried in her heart—the same brooch Tara Meehan admired in her shop the day before, posting a photo with the caption: #Killerbrooch. Now she’s a prime suspect, along with Veronica’s guests, all of whom had motives to stab the heiress. It’s up to Tara to pin down the guilty party . . .

AUTHOR LINKS

Website

Goodreads

About the Author

Carlene O'Connor - authorCarlene O’Connor comes from a long line of Irish storytellers. Her great-grandmother emigrated from Ireland to America during the Troubles, and the stories have been flowing ever since. Of all the places across the pond she’s wandered, she fell most in love with a walled town in County Limerick and was inspired to create the town of Kilbane, County Cork. Carlene currently divides her time between New York and the Emerald Isle.

Book Details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MBF7RJQ
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington Books
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 27, 2021
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 283 pages
  • Genre: International Mystery & Crime, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries

Buy Links

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

I haven’t read from Book 1 but enjoyed several others in the series, including Murder in an Irish Cottage, Murder in an Irish Pub, Murder in an Irish Bookshop, and Murder in an Irish Christmas and have enjoyed them all. If you’ve missed this atmospheric series, now is the time to check them out. This novel currently on pre-order. My review on Tuesday, July 20.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Judgment at Alcatraz: A Danya Biton Novel by Dave Edlund – #BookReview – Native American Literature

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars  5 stars

Book Blurb:

Fans of Jon Land’s Caitlin Strong series and of James Rollin’s Seichan will identify with and devour the Danya Biton series.

Judgment at Alcatraz by Dave EdlundCapitalizing on a peaceful protest for Native American rights, a small, extremist militia swiftly seizes Alcatraz Island and holds more than 200 people hostage. Their demand: return all lands taken from Indigenous Peoples through broken treaties, or an armada of drones will render the San Francisco Bay Area a glowing ruin, uninhabitable for decades.

Former Mossad assassin Danya Biton and her friend Toby Riddle are thrown headlong into the conflict. As the authorities debate the cost of acquiescing to the demands versus the loss of civilian lives, Danya—on the run from agencies on both sides of the Atlantic—offers the only hope for rescuing the hostages and preventing an unprecedented disaster… but she may have to sacrifice herself to save the others.

His Review:

The plight and poverty of Native American’s is well documented. Broken treaties and population displacement abound. Promises are made during election years and discarded as soon as the election is over. When the United States leaves a property that was taken from the natives, the land is to reverted to them. The island of Alcatraz is one such example.

Judgment at Alcatraz by Dave EdlundDanya is an ex-Mossad operative who now works for the highest bidder. She is well trained, very physically fit, and an expert marksman. She can be very selective who she works for because her skills are very hard to come by. Two gun-runners have employed her to assist in delivering a mule train full of automatic rifles. The gun store owner and his nephew are way out of their league. The delivery goes sideways and Danya saves their lives.

Leonard White Cloud and Sacheen Crow Dog are Native Americans who have lived in poverty their whole lives. All of their ancestral lands have been taken by the whites and promises of reparations have never been fulfilled. De-commissioned military bases and other abandoned U.S. Government properties lie idle while their people still linger on the most arid land in the country.

It is time for the indigenous people to be compensated. Occupying Alcatraz might be a good start to that recompense. However, the U.S. Park service has turned the property into a tourist destination. No longer being used as a prison it should by rights go back to the natives that it was stolen from. Getting the property returned by peaceful means seems out of the question. The government could care less about the plight of the original people who developed this country.

Dave Edlund has developed a very entertaining tale of broken promises and reasons for the poverty indigenous people live in. He cites many reasons for the poverty and the military control of the natives. This entire book is a good example of governmental promises broken and population suppression. Currently on pre-order. 5 stars – CE Williams

 FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from publisher through NetGalley. These are my honest opinions. 

Book Details:

Genre: Native American Literature, Political Thrillers & Suspense
Publisher: Light Messages Publishing
ISBN : 1611533848
ASIN: B08SJJGY45
Print Length: 284 pages
Publication Date: April 27, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Judgment at Alcatraz
Also find the book at these locations:
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

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Dave Edlund - authorThe Author: Dave Edlund is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Peter Savage thrillers (all novels stand alone, read in any order). A member of the International Thriller Writers, Edlund writes action-political thrillers often compared to the Sigma Series novels by James Rollins, and the Jack Ryan novels by Tom Clancy.

Edlund’s latest thriller, GUARDING SAVAGE, was awarded the Silver Medal by IBPA for best popular fiction and has become a bestseller. LETHAL SAVAGE will be released October 22, 2019.

James Rollins, New York Times bestseller of The Demon Crown proclaims “GUARDING SAVAGE fuses the authenticity of Tom Clancy with the world-hopping adventure of Clive Cussler” and “Both topical and suspenseful, here is a book that belongs on the shelf with the best military fiction out there.”

Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of the Caitlin Strong series, writes: “Equal parts military and political thriller, Dave Edlund’s Guarding Savage is a top-notch action-adventure tale that rivals the best of Brad Thor and Brad Taylor.”

Edlund’s award-winning debut, CROSSING SAVAGE, was followed by RELENTLESS SAVAGE and the critically acclaimed DEADLY SAVAGE. He lives with his family and four dogs in Central Oregon. A graduate of the University of Oregon (Ph.D. in chemistry), he has dedicated his professional career to developing new technology to support the hydrogen economy. “I strive to bring cutting-edge science and technology into my stories, and then to extrapolate that innovation beyond what is presently known, but is plausible,” Edlund explains.

An avid outdoorsman, you are likely to find the author in the deep woods far away from other people when he is not writing. To connect with Dave Edlund or to request a Skype visit, contact him at dedlund@lightmessages.com.

©2021 V Williams –

 

The French Paradox (A Wine Country mystery Book 11) by Ellen Crosby – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

“According to Napoleon, in victory you deserve champagne, in defeat you need it.”

 Book Blurb:

Lucie Montgomery’s discovery of her grandfather’s Parisian romance unlocks a series of shocking secrets in the gripping new Wine Country mystery.

In 1949, during her junior year abroad in Paris, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis The French Paradox by Ellen Crosbybought several inexpensive paintings of Marie-Antoinette by a little-known 18th century female artist. She also had a romantic relationship with Virginia vineyard owner Lucie Montgomery’s French grandfather – until recently, a well-kept secret.

Seventy years later, Cricket Delacroix, Lucie’s neighbor and Jackie’s schoolfriend, is donating the now priceless paintings to a Washington, DC museum. And Lucie’s grandfather is flying to Virginia for Cricket’s 90th birthday party, hosted by her daughter Harriet. A washed-up journalist, Harriet is rewriting a manuscript Jackie left behind about Marie-Antoinette and her portraitist. She’s also adding tell-all details about Jackie, sure to make the book a bestseller.

Then on the eve of the party a world-famous landscape designer who also knew Jackie is found dead in Lucie’s vineyard. Did someone make good on the death threats he’d received because of his controversial book on climate change? Or was his murder tied to Jackie, the paintings, and Lucie’s beloved grandfather?

My Review:

I always enjoy these entries to the wine country mysteries, as I’m assured of learning new facts about viticulture and the historical areas of Virginia. In this episode, protagonist Lucie Montgomery (owner with her family of the Montgomery Estate Vineyard) discovers a DB (dead body) in her fields—the guy she was supposed to have met to consult about problems with her sickly grapes.

The French Paradox by Ellen CrosbyHer winemaker-fiancé Quinn is quick to provide support, but it’s just one of several threads and I’m still trying to decide whether or not I like the Jackie Kennedy inclusion. She is also anticipating the arrival of her 93 year old French grandfather for a birthday celebration with a local friend. There are enlightening discussions on the impact of climate change to certain grapes and a comparison of GMOs with hybrids. Additionally, a major sub-plot involves the daughter of her birthday friend and the big reveal regarding her book and the early women art masters tied into the mystery of Jackie O.

The well-plotted narrative delves deeply into the family drama anticipation of a mini-family reunion with her beloved grandfather and her artistic sister’s commission for the art exhibition that will feature renown paintings tied to the books’ announcement.

I really loved The Angel’s Share and Harvest of Secrets but the pacing of this series entry was a bit slow for me and my attention waned. I suppose in the end, part of my enthusiasm this time was the Jackie thread. Not a lot of elements of a cozy, listed as a traditional detective mystery—but didn’t feel that vibe either. Still, these can all be considered standalone and I’ll be looking forward to the next one.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Detective Mysteries, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher: Severn House Publishers

  • ASIN : B08QNF14TD

Print Length: 243 pages
Publication Date: Happy Release Day! April 6, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Ellen Crosby - authorThe Author: Ellen Crosby is the author of the Virginia wine country mysteries, two mysteries featuring international photojournalist Sophie Medina and MOSCOW NIGHTS, a standalone. THE FRENCH PARADOX, the 11th book in the wine country series will be out 1/29/21 in the UK, 4/6/21 in the US and 3/1/21 as an ebook. Before writing fiction, Crosby–who has lived in England, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the former Soviet Union–worked as a freelance reporter for The Washington Post, an economist at the US Senate, and Moscow reporter for ABC Radio News. Visit her website at http://www.ellencrosby.com and follow her (very) occasionally on Facebook at EllenCrosbyBooks, sometimes on Twitter at @ellencrosby–but mostly on Instagram at ellencrosbyauthor. She also writes an erratic (but interesting) newsletter.

©V Williams

Spring Upon a Crime (A Seattle Wilderness Mystery Book 2) by ML Erdahl – a #BookReview – #cozymystery

 Roxie—“The hostess lacked certain social filters and either enjoyed pushing boundaries or didn’t recognize what they were…”

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Spring Upon a Crime by ML ErdahlWilderness guide Crystal Rainey leads a group of college students to a private campground amidst the awe-inspiring Olympic Rain Forest. The excursion is ruined when the charming hostess Roxie is discovered standing over the land owner’s body, murder weapon in hand.

Enlisted to investigate the crime to absolve her friend, Crystal descends on the quiet city of Forks to find loggers, developers, and eco-protesters circling the property, intent on either exploiting or protecting the bastion of old-growth forest. The list of suspects is intimidating. Can Crystal find answers in a community determined to keep her in the dark?

My Review:

Author Erdahl has embraced the cozy mystery genre and produced a sweet, clean mystery that is fun, confident reading. Protagonist Crystal is still faking her way through her wilderness guide gig finding gorgeous new backdrops in the Pacific Northwest of Washington and she is holding her own weight (and good-naturedly the initiations into mountain hiking). (My motorcycle buddy used to refer to the Pacific Northwest as the Great Northwet—she lived near Seattle and saw her share of rainfall.)

Spring Upon a Crime by ML ErdahlIn this episode, we see Crystal has put in sufficient time under her belt that she is becoming more secure in her role as wilderness guide. She’s a quick study and can hold her own with the more seasoned guides, this time into the Olympic Rain Forest. Unfortunately, once arrived with her college students at the private campground where they’ll spend several days, she discovers her friend and hostess Roxie at the scene of a very fresh murder. Not good.

The power struggle for land between loggers and developers is a very real one that has been in the news off and on for decades. Years ago, riding our motorcycles south after leaving Victoria Island down the Olympic Peninsula, we came across miles of clear cut forest. The stumps and devastation was depressing to witness. Of course, logging is a gargantuan business, and the fight between the two attracts environmentalists, “tree huggers.” So the storyline hit close to home and was a familiar one.

The characters are becoming more developed, more human, complete with foibles and strong suits, and the mystery progressed at a steady pace, bringing in descriptions of the scenic area, information about the mountains, and some history with it. Easy to smell that clean mountain pine scent and revel in the blue sky (when it makes an appearance).

It’s a clever and immersive story, bits of back story eased in, this can work as a standalone. (Read my review of Book 1, Winter Takes All.) There is a building of tension and twists, scrutiny of possible perps, and I must admit I didn’t guess whodunit going into the conclusion. A great follow up to the first in the series, just the right amount of atmosphere, romance, snappy dialogue, and mystery. And while Crystal doesn’t have a dog, she has a cat named ELF (an acronism), who is becoming an integral part of the engaging characters.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts. Now available at your favorite retailer.

N.B. The author just posted receipt of a Five Star Award for Spring Upon a Crime from @readersfavoritecom.

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Book Details:

Genre: #cozymystery #AmateurSleuths #WomenSleuths
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press Inc

  • ASIN : B08P87F6J1

Print Length: 213 pages
Publication Date: January 13, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

ML Erdahl - authorThe Author: Award-winning author ML Erdahl lives amidst the trees of the Pacific Northwest, where he pens humorous cozy mystery novels set in the wilderness he has spent his lifetime exploring. The only thing slowing him down is when his adorable rescue dogs, Skip and Daisy, demand to be petted and cuddled on his lap while he types. When he’s not wandering the mountains, you can find him gardening, reading, or searching for the best coffee in Seattle with his wife, Emily.

©2021 V Williams