Review: Stone Cold Fox by Rachel Koller Croft

Normally I don’t like reading books with swindler female leads. I read Pretty Things a few years ago and I didn’t love it. Since then I have been a little gun shy when it comes to books featuring female swindlers but something about this book just kept nudging me to pick it up. Maybe it was the cute title, maybe it was tiger sexy looking cover. Who knows by I finally decided to take a chance and read this one. After all, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover or by other books that might be entirely different than what the current book promises to be.

This is also a debut novel and sometimes those are the best. There are no other works to be compared to, no other expectations to maintain or hit. Just the single book to win readers over and for me there is a certain excitement in that and I was eager to see if Rachel Koller Croft would be a hit for me as a debut novel.

Honestly I wasn’t sure what I was in store for based on the summary. Would it be a murder mystery? A thriller? A psychological thriller? Women’s fiction? Suspense? The beautiful cover suggests a thriller but will it include a murder? I am already intrigued by this book and I have only read the summary and seen the cover—clearly my curiosity was peaked so naturally I had to add this one to my review calendar. I couldn’t wait to see what I uncovered in this one.


A compelling debut novel about an ambitious woman who, after a lifetime of conning alongside her mother, wants to leave her dark past behind and marry the heir to one of the country’s wealthiest families.

Like any enterprising woman, Bea knows what she’s worth and is determined to get all she deserves—it just so happens that what she deserves is to marry rich. After a lifetime of forced instruction in the art of swindling men by her mother, Bea wants nothing more than to escape her shadow, close the door on their sordid past, and disappear safely into old-money domesticity. 

When Bea finds her final mark in the perfectly dull blue-blooded Collin, she’s ready to deploy all her tricks one last time. The challenge isn’t getting the ring, but rather the approval of Collin’s family and everyone else in their tax bracket, particularly his childhood best friend Gale. Going toe-to-toe with Gale isn’t a threat to an expert like Bea, but what begins as an amusing cat-and-mouse game quickly develops into a dangerous chase. As the truth of Bea’s past threatens to come roaring out, she finds herself racing against the clock to pass the finish line before everything is exposed. (summary from Goodreads)


I went into this one intrigued but oddly enough, but also not expecting much. Like I was hopeful that I would like it, and I was hopeful that it would be good, but Pretty Things left such a bad taste in my mouth and this book just sounded like a knock off of that one, and I didn’t actually have the confidence that I was trying to sell myself on. As the time got closer and closer to start reading, I was like ‘ugh I’m not ready for that one’. Then the day came when it was like ok now or never. When I picked this one up, I had zero idea how much I would end up loving this book. While a little slow at the beginning, this book was full of things to enjoy.

I did have a hard time with Bea’s childhood and the extremely dysfunctional relationship she had with her mother, but I thought it really added to her overall character and story. I really didn’t think I would connect with her based on the fact that she truly was the anti-hero and had this cold hardness about her that I worried I would never get through and connect with her. But as we start to really explore her background, we start to understand why she is the way she is. While I didn’t necessarily sympathize with her in a traditional, manner, I could understand why she was the way she was and I felt like her background and how the story shifts between her childhood and the present, readers will understand and in some ways sympathize with her character. It’s difficult to describe Bea she is not a nice person but at the same time she is the hero of this book, so all I can say is READ THE BOOK. It’s a very good character study and well written.

For me this book was more suspense than thriller. It was fast paced like a thriller but it had more drama than a thriller if that makes sense. Suspense is more about the build up where as thrillers are more action driven for me, this book read like a thriller with a lot of things happening but the drama and build up was more in the suspense category for me. This one was very unique and stood out as one of the first big reads that I have read this year. It fully held my interest and really had a lot of unexpected things to enjoy and love. I can fully say this book was dynamite and I cannot wait to see what’s this author comes up if this is her debut!

Book Info and Rating

Format 368 pages, Hardcover

Expected publication February 14, 2023 by Berkley Books

ISBN 9780593547502 (ISBN10: 0593547500)

Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

Rating: 5 stars

Genre: Thriller, suspense


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