Review: The Devil You Know (Detective Margaret Nolan #3) by P. J. Tracy

A couple of years ago, I picked up one of P. J. Nolan’s books that was part of the Monkeewrench series which I thought was pretty good. I liked Nolan’s writing style and thought the series was fast paced with a to to enjoy. I hadn’t read any of the other books in the series before and I felt mostly orientated in the series and that it could have been read as a standalone novel without issue. P. J. Nolan is a pseudonym for a mother-daughter writing duo and while sometimes it can be hard with two writers, writing one book, I think in this case it was seamless.

Nolan has been an established author with a large fan base, especially surrounding the Monkeewrench series which is ten books in. I love that they have branched out into a new series featuring Margaret Nolan. While this book is part of a series, I think that Nolan does a great job orientating readers within the story and from the early reviews, most feel that this can also be read as a standalone.

For me the thing that grabbed me about this one was the mix of grit (murder) and glamour (Los Angeles). For me I get a very noir feeling from this book summary. LA has long been associated with glitz and glamour, and this book features the murder of a celebrity. When that world of glitz and glamour comes together to meet with a disturbing homicide, I think it gives the reader a sense of unease which is ripe for a thriller. I love when I am caught off guard and hooked on a story that has this contrasting image of glamour and murder. I think a lot of readers and fans of thrillers/mysteries will find a lot to enjoy in this one, especially under the pen of two talented and proven authors!

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Review: The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes

When I was first pitched this book, one thing stood out that made me not pass on it—-Guatemala. My husband is Guatemalan and there really aren’t books out there that feature his culture. Trust me I am always on the look out too! So when I saw that this book would have a Central American theme in it, I was totally on board to not only feature it but also review it!

I have been really loving thrillers and mysteries lately, and I have a special place in my heart for psychological thrillers with unreliable narrators. I featured this one back in early January and couldn’t wait to start reading it. In fact I rearranged some of my review calendar for this book so that should tell you how excited I was for this one. I wasn’t sure how much the Guatemalan angle would play in the story but just seeing it in the summary was enough to make me jump for this one!

This book was also selected as Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club pick for January so clearly it must be worth reading! Reese’s Book Club usually has some great reads. I know I have found quite a few thrillers thanks to her book club that I wouldn’t normally pick up to read. Since this book made her book club, a lot of readers have been hailing it as the thriller to set the tone for the new year. Obviously a lot of hype around this book though for me it was less about the hype and more about what the book promised to deliver—-and did it?

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Special Feature: River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer

In honor of Black History Month beginning today, I wanted to share an up and coming novel from a debut author that promises to be moving, emotional, unique, and beautiful. Author Eleanor Shearer is a mixed race author with roots in the Caribbean. She has been drawn to Caribbean history and her love of Caribbean history is evident in this hot new release!

Many Black history books focus on the slavery happening in the South, but this book promises to look at a new region and a new approach too the topic by beginning at the end. In this book the Emancipation Act of 1834 has been signed and implanted, but a mother is still searching for her stolen children. I love the sound of this story. Not only are we beginning at the end, we are also traveling throughout the Caribbean with this mother searching for answers. That was the big thing that drew me to this book—-the new approach to history and a history that isn’t always looked at. As I said a lot of books focus on slavery in the south but looking at how slavery impacted other regions like the Caribbean as well as how things changed (or didn’t) once the Emancipation Act as signed.

There are so many stunning books out there that feature Black history and with Black History month here, I know there will be lists full of choice reading and I sure hope this book is on your TBR list. It sounds so wonderful and unique and I think readers will get a lot out of it so if you haven’t done so already be sure to get this one on your TBR list. It’s on mine and I cannot wait to start reading it!

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Review: Love in the Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson (Audible Edition)

When I saw this book, I absolutely knew I needed to read it! I thought the title was catchy and I couldn’t pass on it. I even downloaded a copy for Audible as well as ordering a hard copy. I was hat sure I would be devouring this book in a matter of days. In today’s modern world, so many women are fascinated by murder mysteries. I know for a fact that in my office of 10 women, 8 listen to murder podcasts while working or working out/cardio. Myself included! I love a good murder mystery.

It really is the ‘time of serial killers’ and I thought that having a romance where the main character is sure her neighbor is a serial killer, really hooked me, I mean when I was pregnant and a new mom, I was up in the middle of the night feeding my baby and our neighbor was constantly coming and going in the middle of the night (he is a teacher so I knew it wasn’t his job that took him away from home). I was convinced he was up to something nefarious. So this book sounded so appealing to me!

When this one came out, I was knee deep in all my Laura Griffin books so reading something light and romantic featuring serial killers sounded right up my alley. The book makes a note that there isn’t actually murder in the books so readers know they are getting an actual romance instead of a murder but I think that should have been implied by the summary, but I was thankful for the reminder as a reader anyway.

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Review: Hearts of Steel (The Blackstone Legacy #3) by Elizabeth Camden

When this book came up for review, I almost passed on it. I could see it was part of a series and I just wasn’t sure how it would go jumping into an established series with established characters. But it sounded so good, plus I loved the cover, that I just couldn’t pass on this one! Often times, I also find that romances tend to be more standalone even if they are part of a series, so in the end I decided to give this one a shot and dive into a series already three books in.

To my delight, I found that all that worry was for not. This book could easily be read as a standalone and while it’s part of a larger series, the story/stories are uniquely their own. The other supporting characters (in this book) I believe have their own books in the series but overall I didn’t feel like I needed to read the other books to enjoy this one.

If you are a fan of historical fiction with some romance (clean romance that is) I think you will find a lot to enjoy in this book. This book has a ton of history and details that I enjoyed. This is my first Elizabeth Camden book but ti certainly won’t be my last—in fact I did order the other books in this series because I enjoyed this one so much! I reviewed this book as part of a book tour and there are other reviewers on this tour so be sure to check them out too if you want to see what they thought too!

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