Review: Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

If I had to describe this one, I would say it’s a Golden Girls meets James Bond mashup that you never knew you needed. Deanna Raybourn has been a beloved author of mine for YEARS! Her characters are charming, witty, and smart. I have read almost all of her books and never pass on anything she has written. She is truly a talented writer and I am just so thrilled that she has come out with a new standalone book! Raybourn has such a great prose with humor, charm, and boldness that is rare to find and I absolutely love when she comes out with a new book as I am almost SURE to love it.

When I saw this one was coming out, it sounded a little different from her usual books. Raybourn usually writes more historical fiction and this one sounded more like spies and espionage. But I have full faith in Raybourn’s writing talents and I knew that she would craft something that I would simply love and adore! In so many books, the main characters are young hot talented women, but we all grow up and age—I love seeing more representation of older badass women!

This book was also selected as a Book of the Month pick so if you need anymore endorsement, this is it! Raybourn’s writing mixed with this unique story really made it shine an I can totally see why it was a BOTM selection. You should be able to add this one onto your next book box if you missed it for September. This book really shows that just because you are retired—-doesn’t mean you can’t still be interesting.

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Review: A Certain Darkness (Verity Kent #6) by Anna Lee Huber

Anna Lee Huber is one of my most favorite historical mystery writers! I have read all of her books and called in love with her different characters and series. I cannot tell you how comforting it is to pick up a book and know that you are going to enjoy it. Perhaps some books more than others but overall, each of the books she has written have been entertaining, engaging and I have no problem escaping into them each time a new Huber book is released.

The Verity Kent series has been an interesting series for me. It’s a bit of a break in her usual style of heroine and historical setting. Her Lady Darby books are set in a different time period with the heroine being strong and independent but she still fits the traditional gender norms of the period that the book is set in. Her other series is a Gothic mystery series, also set in a similar period as the Lady Darby books. So reading the Verity Kent books takes us to a new time period, again with a heroine who fits the gender norms of the period but also stands out as brave and complex.

When series’ are in their early stages, it’s easier for readers to jump in without having to read the other books. But eventually, you reach a certain point where new readers miss larger parts of the story. For me, this is the book where this happened. This book opens with a back story already established from an earlier book and I would say if you are a new to the series, I would pause and go back to read the others first and then enjoy this one! If you are interested in the series, be sure to check my Instagram later today for a chance to win the entire set of this series!

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Review: The Key to Deceit (Electra McDonnell #2) by Ashley Weaver

This series captured my heart last year with it’s debut! I have read other books and series by Ashley Weaver but this is the series that has captured my attention the absolute most! After book one I was so eager to see what happened with Ellie next! Did she go back to safe cracking and stealing or did she keep on the straight and narrow?

I grabbed this book as soon as it was released and since it was on the shorter side (under 300 pages) I basically read it in one sitting—on my flight to Cabo. It was a super quick read and I found that the magic and allure of the book and characters didn’t change for me from book one to two and I am once again eagerly awaiting the next book in the series! If you are a historical mystery fan you need this book series. The first and second books are short and can be read in one or two sittings. I would recommend starting with the first book so you can enjoy all the character relationships rather than diving in with this one first.

But if you do decide to dive in with the second book and not start with the first one, not a huge big deal as the author keeps you fully abreast of events of the previous book and the character relationships. Ellie is a lovely modern character with wit and charm but also an edge. If you love authors like Anna Lee Huber and Deanna Raybourn then you will no doubt find a winner with Electra “Ellie” McDonnell!

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Special Feature: Local Gone Missing by Fiona Barton

Fiona Barton is a fairly well known thriller/mystery writer. She is probably most known for her Kate Waters series which has been on the New York Times Best Seller List. With this latest book, she steps away from her well known protagonist and creates a standalone book begging to make it’s way into your beach bag this year! I know some people like reading romance or ‘beach reads’ while on vacation but I gotta say there is something about a thriller that scream beach read for me!

I haven’t read anything by Barton before so I am eager to check this one out. I love books about missing people and dark, buried secrets and this book sounds like it’s going to be full of twists turns, missing persons, and dark secrets! I cannot wait to start this one especially since it has been receiving rave early reviews! I especially like that this one is set in a small seaside town, I think it will make great reading for the summer and vacation reading!

This book is out today and just in time for summer. If you love twisty mysteries with a smart protagonist and a plot full of intrigue from an established author then you definitely want to get this one on your radar for the summer! I love that this is a standalone book and not a series so that I can read it quickly and not have to worry that I would be missing out on some larger narratives etc. Anyway, I am so excited to check this one out a little later this summer and of course share a review with you guys as soon as I am done!

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Review: The Night Shift by Alex Finlay

I had this book sitting on my TBR shelf forever. While I was on vacation I knew I wanted to read a fast paced thriller/murder mystery but I didn’t really have any idea what I wanted to read or what might fit the bill. But this one kept coming up on my recommended lists in Goodreads and on Audible. Finally I gave in and picked it up on the plane ride down to Salt Lake City.

This book was an absolute perfect fit for me. It was fast paced with short chapters that advanced the plot nicely. I loved the characters and the mystery so overall it was a solid read and a good choice for a vacation read for those that prefer murder over beach reads while on vacation. Author Alex Finlay is a seasoned writer with quite a few well received thrillers under his belt and while this is my first book by him, it will NOT be my last!

I think the biggest thing that appealed to me about this book was the nostalgia factor (the original murders are set in 1999 in a video store) mixed with the now modern day copy cat murder. I knew this would be a book that I could get into quick but also set down if I needed to for something and come back to without feeling lost and that’s exactly what I got. A well written thriller that held my attention but that I could get through quickly.

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