Book Review: Garden of Lamentations by Deborah Crombie


Garden of Lamentations

by Deborah Crombie




 Barnes & Noble 

 Paperback: 448 pages
 Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (November 14, 2017)

Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are drawn into separate investigations that hold disturbing—and deadly—complications for their own lives in this powerful mystery in the bestselling series.

On a beautiful morning in mid-May, the body of a young woman is found in one of Notting Hill’s private gardens. To passersby, the pretty girl in the white dress looks as if she’s sleeping. But Reagan Keating has been murdered, and the lead detective, DI Kerry Boatman, turns to Gemma James for help. She and Gemma worked together on a previous investigation, and Gemma has a personal connection to the case: Reagan was the nanny of a child who attends the same dance studio as Toby, Gemma and Kincaid’s son.

Gemma soon discovers that Reagan’s death is the second tragedy in this exclusive London park; a few months before, a young boy died in a tragic accident. But when still another of the garden residents meets a violent end, it becomes clear that there are more sinister forces at play. Boatman and Gemma must stop the killer before another innocent life is taken.

While his wife is consumed with her new case, Kincaid finds himself plagued by disturbing questions about several previous—and seemingly unrelated—cases involving members of the force. If his suspicions are correct and the crimes are linked, are his family and friends in mortal danger as well? Kincaid’s hunch turns to certainty when a Metropolitan Police officer close to him is brutally attacked. There’s a traitor in the ranks, and now Kincaid wonders if he can trust anyone.

As Gemma begins to see a solution to her case, she realizes she holds a child’s fate in her hands. Can she do the right thing? And can Kincaid rely on his friends, both inside and outside the Scotland Yard force, to stand beside him as he faces the deadliest challenge of his career?

My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:


Pathologists are insatiably curious. That’s why we do it, most of us. Although maybe there are some who just like really bad smells and have no people skills.

Don’t say you don’t want to speak ill of the dead. The dead are dead and it won’t hurt them.

 Lisa Su, Gemma decided, might have been pretty if not for what seemed a perpetually angry expression. Her eyes protruded slightly, as if pushed out from the pressure within.


My Review:


I was stunned when I noticed I was reading an author for the first while picking up book number seventeen in a series. I had not contemplated such a vast amount of books in one series since my Nancy Drew years.   While I am certain I would have had an easier time beginning the tale had I read the previous books, prior experience was not necessary as the story was more than steady on strong dancers legs and quite capable to stand-alone. The plot was complex, ingenious, and brilliantly crafted. Ms. Crombie must be wicked smart and at least a tad twisted to have such a profound facility for evil genius lurking about her headspace. I doubt her neighbors ever fully relax or dare to disturb her peace. Her writing was hypnotic, packed with peculiar and intriguing characters, and densely detailed with a treasure trove of fascinating and multi-faceted story threads knitting themselves into vivid imagery. I covet her mad skills.   I was provided with a review copy of this extraordinary book by HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours.

About Deborah Crombie

Deborah Crombie is a New York Times bestselling author and a native Texan who has lived in both England and Scotland. She now lives in McKinney, Texas, sharing a house that is more than one hundred years old with her husband, three cats, and two German shepherds.

Connect with her through her websiteFacebook, or follow her on Twitter.


Book Review: A Devil of a Date (Supernatural Dating Agency Book 2) by Andie M. Long

A Devil of a Date

(Supernatural Dating Agency Book 2)

by Andie M. Long




My best friend made a deal with the Devil… 

I now run The Supernatural Dating Agency, a discreet section of Withernsea’s finest matchmaking service. Yeah, I’ll do all the work while Shelley makes babies with her gorgeous vampire husband. 

It’s not like I’ve anything better to do anyway. My ex is now a newly-turned vamp struggling to accept he can no longer admire his own reflection, and I don’t care what Ebony ‘sees’, Kim is not about to date a wolf; he has better hair than I do.
Then Lucy Fir, fresh from the gates of guarding Hell, decides she wants me to find her a boyfriend. He’ll need to be a Knight in shining inflammable armour with her temper. Can I find her a date, or is my new career damned before it’s even started?
Welcome to Withernsea and the Supernatural Dating Agency, for readers of Michelle Rowen, Gerry Bartlett and Michele Bardsley who like their humour to have bite. 

Buy A Devil of a Date if you like your romance…HOT.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:


I’d kept up with certain things in Hell. We had computers though the internet was limited to what Satan felt we needed to know… Fashion was easy to keep up with as the new residents came fully dressed and I gained an envied designer wardrobe from the many rich wives who’d killed their cheating husbands. That’s how my love of Louboutins had started.


Well, I thought he couldn’t shock me any more than the day he brutally murdered me, but it seems he’s doing his dang best to try. No one wants to hear their child shouting about how much they love pussy unless there’s a family pet.


I need to see this neighbour if he looks like Jason Momoa. Do we need any sugar?


My Review:


After escaping hell, the transition from demon back to human wasn’t going smoothly for the disgruntled and exasperated Lucy Fir, she still had 2 small horns (hidden by colorful headbands) and was prone to spark flames from her fingertips when riled, which proved hazardous to an annoyingly flatulent roommate. Kim, the supernatural dating specialist wasn’t fairing much better despite having access to and taking creative liberties with, the large dating database. I always enjoy Andie M. Long’s sly humor and creative imagination (naming a demon Lucy Fir – come on – say it aloud if you need to). Yet I was a bit out of sorts with this installment, as I didn’t find the characters as endearing or engaging as I had with Shelly and Theo from the first in the series, although I was warming to them by the end of the tale. Multiple species presented unique concerns and received cameo appearances – angels, demons, vampires, werewolves and werecats, witches, mere people, pixies, fairies, seers, brownies, Satan (of course), and even an incubus, all clearly living among us oblivious humans. I particularly enjoyed Lucy’s spectacular dating failures with my favorite being the new angel who could not fold his wings close enough to fit through a door – smirk – brilliant.

About The Author 

After twenty+ years of thinking about it, at the age of forty, I decided it was time to finally WRITE THE BOOK or forget about it. I studied two Open University Courses in Creative Writing and finally wrote my first novel. I’ve now written a ton of novels and have the ideas for so many more!

 I live in Sheffield with my son and long-suffering partner. We now have a beautiful fur-baby called Bella. When not being a partner, mother, employee (I also work for the NHS) or writer I can usually be found on Facebook or Pinterest.


Stalk Andie:


Book Review: The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White

The Promise Between Us

by Barbara Claypole White


  Barnes & Noble

Paperback Publisher: Lake Union

Publishing (January 16, 2018)

From the bestselling author of The Perfect Son comes a hopeful tale of redemption, renewal, and the promise of love.

Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?

To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

 My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:


You might have been blinded by love and lust, but Katelyn was always wound tighter than a dollar store watch.


How did this happen? Two PhDs between them, and they couldn’t figure out contraception.


I’m a welder who works in a helmet decorated with Power Girl stickers.


Why were these horrid thoughts taking up a whole room in her brain? No, multiple rooms!


Still as predictable as ever. Takes a small pair of balls to intimidate a small woman.


‘’Cause I feel as if I’ve been skinny-dipping with snapping turtles. And oh, Lordy’—he tossed out an expression that reminded her of Robin Williams playing Mrs. Doubtfire—‘you know how much I value my body parts.’


Delaney had once complained that it was impossible to make Patrick jealous, but the look he gave Jake was, surely, reserved for muggers of little old ladies.

 My Review:


This book should be required reading for all medical and psychological graduate students and interns.   Written from five viewpoints The Promise Between Us was smartly written and endlessly fascinating, yet surprisingly easy to follow. I was quickly mesmerized and completely embedded within the craniums of these peculiar and cringe-worthy characters and have yet to fully resurface. I have a strong suspicion that these singularly unique yet fully formed individuals will be residing with me for quite some time.   The storyline was tragic and heartbreaking while the characters were deeply flawed, fractured, and somewhat repellent, yet oddly compelling and endearing for their efforts. But the writing, oh the writing, it was stellar, superb, well-crafted, tantalizing, heartrending, poignant, painfully insightful, sharply honed, and exquisitely observant with unexpected yet perfectly pitched twists of levity, primarily from the most under-appreciated characters. I adore this author and would worship at an altar laden with her works.  I was provided with a review copy of this engrossing book by  TLC Book Tours.  

About Barbara Claypole White 

Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White creates hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina where she lives with her beloved OCD family. Her novels include The Unfinished Garden, The In-Between Hour, The Perfect Son, and Echoes of Family. The Promise Between Us, a story of redemption, sacrifice, and OCD, has a publication date of January 16th, 2018. She is also an OCD Advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity.
To connect with Barbara, please visit, or follow her on Facebook. She’s always on Facebook.

Spotlight: After Care by L.B. Dunbar

After Care

By L.B. Dunbar

Contemporary Rom-Com for Gen X


Releasing 1.31.18





Breast cancer survivor Edie Williams is ready to live.

Divorced. Mother of two.

She’s planned the vacation of a lifetime for a reboot,

only to encounter an awakening adventure—Tommy Carrigan.

Manager of the band Collision, Tommy Carrigan has his plate full.

Independent. Carefree.

He’s on an annual holiday with his band family,

when the unexpected happens—Edie Williams.

Love might be just what the doctor prescribed,

but can it survive the world of rock-n-roll?


If you enjoyed The Sex Education of M.E., you’ll love After Care, another romance for the over-forty from L.B. Dunbar. Continue the adventure previously published in Love Notes, the newsletter of L.B. Dunbar.


Book Review: Into the Night by Cynthia Eden


Into the Night

 by Cynthia Eden


Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages


Publisher: HQN (December 26, 2017)


Two FBI agents are caught in a merciless vigilante’s crosshairs in New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden’s electric Killer Instinct series Sheltered in the shadows of the Smoky Mountains is the suspect who’s summoned FBI agent Macey Night’s fears to the surface. Every day that the “Profiler,” a vigilante serial killer, escapes justice is another day she’s reminded of what it is to be a ruthless predator’s prey.  Capturing him is a craving deeper than anything she’s felt in a long time. But Agent Bowen Murphy, equal parts sexy and volatile, seems hell-bent on changing that. Working together—needing, living and breathing each other—they’re entwined to distraction.
Bowen’s used to operating on impulse: act, don’t feel. Now Macey and the controlled terror behind her beautiful eyes have him rethinking everything, including his rule to never get close to a colleague. He’s willing to fight for a future with Macey, but the consequences of love could be deadly.

My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:


She felt as if she’d shattered into a million pieces and then been put together all wrong.


I just want to fall asleep in your arms and know that, for a few moments, I’m safe. Because that’s what you are to me, Bowen… You’re my safety in a storm.


My Review:


I fell right into this intense and intriguing story during its extremely powerful and harrowing prologue. I felt gripped by my hair and the tension in my neck did not relent until the last chapter. This was my first time reading Cynthia Eden and had no idea what to expect, I now expect to be reading her crafty tales quite often.   The premise was interesting and the writing was well paced, wily, and compelling. Although the FBI didn’t like the idea of a killer besting them and taunting them with it, I rather fancied the idea of a killer killing off loathsome predators and wondered – why not let him be – until I realized there was collateral damage to innocents as well since killers aren’t all that discriminating… silly me for not thinking that through. And in the midst of all that hunting and chasing and slicing and dicing, a sweet and steamy love story blossomed – oh yeah… I liked that… I really like that a lot.   

About Cynthia Eden
Cynthia Eden is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She writes dark tales of romantic suspense and paranormal romance. Her books have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, and was named a 2013 RITA® finalist for best romantic suspense. Cynthia lives in the Deep South, loves horror movies, and has an addiction to chocolate. More information about Cynthia may be found at

Connect with Cynthia


Book Review: Saturdays at Sweeney’s (Sweeney Sisters #5) by Ashley Farley 

Saturdays at Sweeney’s

(Sweeney Sisters #5)

by Ashley Farley 




Members of the Sweeney family, young and old, chart their courses for the future in this final installment of the bestselling Sweeney Sisters Series.

When the seafood business Lovie Sweeney established sixty years ago is destroyed by fire, she finds herself at the center of an arson investigation. What really happened that night? Is Lovie responsible for starting the fire or is her family under attack from a sworn enemy?

The loss of their family business leaves the Sweeney clan in flux. Samantha faces the challenges of rebuilding the market while her son, Jamie, on track to graduate from college in six months, must decide whether to make his permanent home in Prospect or move to Charleston where a new special someone resides. At age forty-five, Faith, who has never fully recovered from an abusive marriage, is on a quest to find her true passion? Jackie is distraught when her son, Sean, flunks out of college and struggles to find direction in his life without his twin brother to guide him. A medical diagnosis brings the sisters closer together and threatens to change family dynamics forever.

The Sweeney women remind us that it’s never too late to begin a new endeavor and to never stop chasing your dreams until you draw your last breath.


My Rating:


Favorite Quote:


Did you fail sharing time in kindergarten?

My Review:


I have enjoyed this relevant and engaging series featuring three divergently different Lowcountry sisters and their addled yet feisty mother.  Throughout the series, the sisters have faced a great deal of dispiriting hardships and challenges.  This fifth and final installment of the series was fraught with tension from the beginning as it started with a fire to the family business that brought on a truckload of trouble and opened a channel for either a complete loss or a new opportunity.  Each household, although while also blessed in many ways, was struggling with significant and overwhelming issues as well as the overriding critical element of the swift deterioration their elderly mother’s mental faculties.  This concern was hitting close to home for me there is a rapidly ticking clock, and not an if but a when, until I will be facing this same despicable dilemma.  Ms. Farley’s insightful narrative captured their inner conflict and turmoil with sensitivity and occasional hits of amusing levity which I fully appreciated as I’ve always found it preferable to laugh than to cry.  I will miss the Sweeney sisters but was more than satisfied with their swan song.


About the Author  

Ashley Farley writes books about women for women. Her characters are mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives facing real-life issues. Her goal is to keep you turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning. If her story stays with you long after you’ve read the last word, then she’s done her job.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save.

Ashley is a wife and mother of two young adult children. While she’s lived in Richmond, Virginia for the past 21 years, part of her heart remains in the salty marshes of the South Carolina Lowcountry where she grew up. Through the eyes of her characters, she’s able to experience the moss-draped trees, delectable cuisine, and kind-hearted folks with lazy drawls that make the area so unique.

Visit her website at for more information. Or sign up for her newsletter using this link:…

Book Review: JUST BETWEEN US by Rebecca Drake


by Rebecca Drake







Four suburban mothers conspire to cover up a deadly crime in Just Between Us, a heart-stopping novel of suspense by Rebecca Drake.

Alison, Julie, Sarah, Heather. Four friends living the suburban ideal. Their jobs are steady, their kids are healthy. They’re as beautiful as their houses. But each of them has a dirty little secret, and hidden behind the veneer of their perfect lives is a crime and a mystery that will consume them all.

Everything starts to unravel when Alison spots a nasty bruise on Heather’s wrist. She shares her suspicions with Julie and Sarah, compelling all three to investigate what looks like an increasingly violent marriage. As mysterious injuries and erratic behavior mount, Heather can no longer deny the abuse, but she refuses to leave her husband. Desperate to save her, Alison and the others dread the phone call telling them that she’s been killed. But when that call finally comes, it’s not Heather who’s dead. In a moment they’ll come to regret, the women must decide what lengths they’ll go to in order to help a friend.

Just Between Us is a thrilling glimpse into the underbelly of suburbia, where not all neighbors can be trusted, and even the closest friends keep dangerous secrets. You never really know what goes on in another person’s mind, or in their marriage.


My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:


The strange thing about a secret is it longs to be told. Someone can confide personal news —a terminal illness, having lied on a job application, even an indiscretion with a stranger— and you might simply focus on the story itself, the details and the implications, but if they add that caveat—“ don’t tell”— then suddenly that’s all you can think about doing.


…her small, probably fixed, ferrety nose sniffing the air while she darted beady-eyed looks about the room. I doubted she’d ever been in Heather’s house before—she was an acquaintance rather than a friend, one of those women who believed that personal power came from the collection, and distribution, of gossip.


The coffin was a huge, satin-padded mahogany box, Viktor tucked into its folds like a piece of expensive mail-order fruit that got delayed somewhere in transit, polished and presentable, hiding a rotting core.


It was the sort of death he might have appreciated, high-intensity and cinematic, crashing through a guardrail and plunging thirty feet into the river. A swift end to a short life, but people like that seem destined to die young.


My Review:


I seem to have been a suspense junket lately, and I’ve surprised myself with how much I’ve enjoyed them, but it has also cost me greatly as I am now sleep deprived. My lack of somnolence came not only from being enthralled and unable to put my Kindle down but from also ruminating about the characters and storylines once I finally closed my eyes. Just Between Us presented such a conundrum. It was well plotted, full of creative and unimagined twists and turns, and terribly hard to put down. The primary and as well as many secondary characters were well fleshed out and knowable, but not all at once, as shocking surprises were in store from each household.


The four women were uniquely unsuited to be friends. This wily author presented them in a cunning and intriguing manner, tantalizing me with unpredictable and questionable behaviors and thoughts, as well as making them annoyingly realistic and significantly flawed once the layers of civility were removed. Not a one of them were as I had expected or as they had presented themselves, to anyone.   Each had dark and shameful secrets hidden in their histories, which were compounded by the new clandestine activities they had been caught up with. They had pulled together with the united purpose of assisting one of their own then became ensnared and saw no choice but to press forward with riskier and outright illicit behaviors. It is so true to form that when in the midst of a crisis options appear limited or nonexistent, but a day or so later all the alternatives of should have and could have, will flood the mind. The storylines heated up and boiled over as the four ladies began to unravel from the guilt and stress with panic attacks, paranoia, resentments, distrust, and destructive bad habits that frayed and fractures their ties. But I never saw this ending coming, it was cleverly devised and craftily enacted, yet oddly disquieting as well.



About the Author

Rebecca Drake is the author of the novels Don’t Be Afraid, The Next Killing, The Dead Place, which was an IMBA bestseller, and Only Ever You, as well as the short story “Loaded,” which was featured in Pittsburgh Noir. A graduate of Penn State University and former journalist, she is currently an instructor in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction M.F.A. program. Rebecca lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with her husband and two children.






Book Review: The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor

The Chalk Man

by C. J. Tudor

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Hardcover: 288 pages

Publisher: Crown (January 9, 2018)

The must-read thriller of 2018, this riveting and relentlessly compelling psychological suspense debut weaves a mystery about a childhood game gone dangerously awry that will keep readers guessing right up to the shocking ending

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy little English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code; little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead.

That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

Expertly alternating between flashbacks and the present day, The Chalk Man is the very best kind of suspense novel, one where every character is wonderfully fleshed out and compelling, where every mystery has a satisfying payoff, and where the twists will shock even the savviest reader.

“Readers will undoubtedly be reminded of the kids of Stand by Me and even IT…[the] first-person narration alternates between past and present, taking full advantage of chapter-ending cliffhangers. A swift, cleverly plotted debut novel that ably captures the insular, slightly sinister feel of a small village. Children of the 1980s will enjoy the nostalgia.”—Kirkus

“I haven’t had a sleepless night due to a book for a long time. The Chalk Man changed that.” —Fiona Barton, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow


My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:


My hair is still thick and mostly dark, but my laughter lines lost their sense of humour some time ago.


Many of the kids I teach at Anderbury Academy are what we call “challenging.” In my day, they would have been called “a bunch of little shits.”   Some days, I need to mentally prepare myself to deal with them. Other days, the only preparation that helps is a shot of vodka in my morning coffee.


I knew she didn’t really like Fat Gav’s mum and dad. I heard her once tell Dad that they were “often-contagious.” When I got older, I realized she’d actually said “ostentatious,” but for years I thought she meant that they harboured some strange disease.


None of it was true, but rumors are like germs. They spread and multiply almost in a breath and, before you know it, everyone is contaminated.


BEING AN ADULT is only an illusion. When it comes down to it I’m not sure any of us ever really grow up. We simply grow taller and hairier. Sometimes, I still feel amazed that I am allowed to drive a car, or that I have not been found out for drinking in the pub.


No one ever found any answers at the bottom of a bottle. Not the point, of course. The point of reaching the bottom of the bottle is generally to forget the questions.


My Review:


The Chalk Man was a brilliantly paced and multi-layered tale with gripping storylines dripping with intrigue, and a riveting plot packed with odd and compelling characters. What more could you ask for? Not a damn thing says my stunned and addled brain. I was quickly sucked into the vortex of this enthralling story and had an extremely difficult time putting my Kindle down. Peculiar and distressing incidents, gruesome nightmares, and mysterious events were observed and cataloged by a sticky-fingered pre-teen which continued to haunt the forty-two-year-old man thirty years later. I devised theories I hoped would be incorrect as it would have hurt my heart, but I never saw this ending coming. I am awestruck with the knowledge this ingeniously crafted and insightfully written book was the author’s first. She must be an evil genius and her family should be advised to count the empties, sleep with one eye open, and always remain in her good graces.


About C. J. Tudor

C. J. TUDOR lives in Nottingham, England, with her partner and three-year-old daughter. Over the years she has worked as a copywriter, television presenter, voice-over, and dog walker. She is now thrilled to be able to write full-time and doesn’t miss chasing wet dogs through muddy fields all that much. The Chalk Man is her first novel.

Connect with C. J.
Facebook | Twitter


Book Review: For Better or Worse (The Ginger Barnes Main Line Mysteries Book 8) by Donna Huston Murray


For Better or Worse 

(The Ginger Barnes Main Line Mysteries Book 8)

by Donna Huston Murray 




Men have once again become an issue for amateur sleuth Ginger Barnes–men who mistreat their wives, men suspected of murder, and men who ask her out.
While working on a DIY project at her newlywed daughter’s house, a bag of bricks is thrown from the neighboring third-story window. Next, pops that sound like muffled gunshots have Gin racing for her phone. Eric, who lives in the house with his grandmother, claims she’s obsessed with mystery novels. Yet after the septuagenarian falls down a flight of stairs, she’s so frantic to keep Eric away that Gin must intervene. Was the fall actually attempted murder?

In her husband’s eyes, Cissie Voight can’t do anything right. Gin occasionally helps the frazzled young mother, and when she needs a dresser carried upstairs, Gin brings Eric along. Bad move! The electricity between the two new acquaintances sparks a chilling premonition. This time Gin’s good intentions will produce grave consequences–for everyone involved.
Recommended for fans of Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich.

My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:


A transparent haze of colorless hair exposed the shape of the tiny woman’s skull while sagging puffs of flesh made her appear to be melting.


Photographs were snapped as if baby Jack were the reincarnation of Elvis.


‘My mother doesn’t cook,’ Chelsea tried to explain. ‘She makes food.’


My Review:


I could kick myself for not noticing this series until it reached the eighth installment, but while prior knowledge was not necessary as the book stood well on its own, I am sure I would have gleaned great delight in having also read the first seven as well.   I was well pleased and reveled in this engaging and cleverly crafted mystery that was chock-full of quirky and intriguing characters. Written primarily from a first person POV, I adored the tactless and curious Ginger, her inner musings and insightful observations were ceaselessly amusing and entertaining. Ms. Murray’s writing and storylines were interesting, pleasantly delivered, easy to follow, well-paced, and often delectably humorous. Each character was colorfully detailed in a knowable manner. I enjoyed every page and greedily want to read all her words.

About the Author



Donna Huston Murray’s eight cozy


mysteries feature a woman much like herself, a DIY headmaster’s wife with a troubling interest in crime. FINAL ARRANGEMENTS, set at Philadelphia’s world-famous flower show, achieved #1 on the Kindle-store list for both Mysteries and Female Sleuths. The first in Murray’s new mystery/crime series, WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU, garnered Honorable Mention in the 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.

At home, she assumes she can fix anything until proven wrong, calls trash-picking recycling, and, although she should probably know better, adores Irish setters.

Donna and husband, Hench, live in the greater Philadelphia, PA, area.

Book Review: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

The Wife Between Us

by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen


AmazonBarnes & Noble


A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.
You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.
You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.

Assume nothing.

Discover the next blockbuster novel of suspense, and get ready for the read of your life.


My Rating:

Favorite Quotes:


Nick had waited tables alongside Nellie for a year, until he moved to Seattle with his band. Slick Nick, they’d all called him, although a few heartbroken women in his wake had modified it to Nick the Prick. He was the hottest guy Nellie had ever dated— although “dated” wasn’t an accurate description of their encounters, since most took place in a bedroom.


Nellie’s favorite part of the day was show-and-tell, which was predictably unpredictable. Once Annie had brought in a miniature Frisbee she’d found in the medicine cabinet. Nellie had returned the diaphragm to Annie’s mother at pickup. “At least it wasn’t my vibrator,” the mother had joked, instantly endearing her to Nellie.


I was happy, I think, but I wonder now if my memory is playing tricks on me. If it is giving me the gift of an illusion. We all layer them over our remembrances; the filters through which we want to see our lives.


My Review:


The Wife Between Us was brilliantly crafted, ingeniously written, and diabolically clever. I was instantly sucked into the hypnotic vortex of the narrator and remained enthralled with my Kindle while taut with tension, intensely curious, and helplessly intrigued.   These frighteningly talented authors lured me into several traps and forced me to see the main characters under a completely different lens multiple times. My opinions were constantly shifting and I was frequently conflicted and challenged. I couldn’t decide whether to pity, admire, or revile the main narrator, nor could I tell if she was depressed, crazy, a vulnerable fool, or fiendishly devious. It was perfection. I am in awe of the stellar wordcraft and have an intense yearning to reread and savor this stunning tale one more time.



Greer Hendricks spent over two decades as an editor. Her writing has been published in The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. The Wife Between Us is her first novel.

Sarah Pekkanen is the mother of three young boys, which explains why she writes part of her novels at Chuck E. Cheese. Sarah penned her first book, Miscellaneous Tales and Poems, at the age of 10. When publishers failed to jump upon this literary masterpiece (hey, all the poems rhymed!) Sarah followed up by sending them a sternly-worded letter on Raggedy Ann stationery. Sarah still has that letter, and carries it to New York every time she has meetings with her publisher, as a reminder that dreams do come true.

Her website is and please find her on Facebook Instagram and Twitter @sarahpekkanen!