Review: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder ClubThe Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Thursday Murder Club is a bloody brilliant start to a Cozy Mystery series. I’m in, hook, line and sinker.

This one features an interesting mystery, fantastic characters and the audibook narration was perfection.

I feel like one of the last remaining people on Earth to have read this delightful Mystery, but I’m so happy to be joining the party, late or not.

I really wanted to listen to the audio, because I had heard great things about the narration by Marian Keyes and Lesley Manville. They weren’t wrong. It was well worth the over year wait for my library hold to come through.

If you aren’t aware, this book follows a charming group of septuagenarians, mainly Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, who live in a retirement village known as Cooper’s Chase.

This fearsome-foursome meet up once a week to discuss and dig into cold cases. They also have a local DS they befriend and consult regarding their cases of interest.

In this book specifically, a property developer involved in the creation of Cooper’s Chase is found murdered. A case of utmost interest to our friends.

The mystery was cleverly-plotted. I enjoyed the many people of interest we came across along the way. There’s a lot of drama going on surrounding this little community.

The members of the Murder Club all got on so well. I loved their moments together and witty dialogue. The narration had me giggling many times, picturing everything perfectly.

There were some great suspects and lots of motives for potentially killing our victim. Not much got past the Murder Club though. They were on it.

In addition to the great mystery, there was also some thoughtful and emotional moments reflecting on aging and issues that may arise later in life.

In fact, there was one scene that had me in tears. It took me by surprise how much I was moved by many of these characters personal journeys.

I’m really looking forward to continuing on with this series. I’ve heard it just keeps getting better and better.

I’m already attached to these characters and am so excited to join in the investigations and solve some more cases!

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Review: Jackal by Erin E. Adams

JackalJackal by Erin E. Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars**

Even though she is returning to her hometown of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, as a successful adult, Liz Rocher is still filled with trepidation. Her memories of her time there fill her with anxiety.

Growing up a bit of an outcast, the one person she could always rely on was her best friend, Mel. Now Mel is getting married and has asked Liz to be part of her special day.

Mel and Liz have remained close over the years and Liz is even the godmother to Mel’s daughter, Caroline. When it comes to visits though, it’s always them going to see Liz in the city; same with Liz’s Mom.

It’s her turn to show up this time, so she does. It feels strange to be back; doesn’t seem like a lot has changed. Her Mom is certainly full of the critiques straight away.

At the wedding, Liz is discomforted by the woodsy venue. The local woods, the subject of dark legends and a frequent player in Liz’s nightmares, are part of her worst memories from Johnstown.

In spite of the location, Liz is enjoying spending quality time with Caroline. It’s sort of on her to keep an eye on the girl while Mel and her new husband entertain at the reception.

Sometime between dessert, dancing and dodging awkward conversations, Liz loses site of Caroline. She begins searching, asking everyone if they have seen the little girl, but no one has. Starting to panic, Liz enters the edge of the woods. She’s scared.

After finding a frightening bit of evidence, Liz comes to the conclusion that Caroline is gone. She needs help. A full search party is assembled.

Liz is devastated. How could this happen? The incident is reminiscent of another horrible night back when Liz was in high school. A night when another girl went missing in the woods from a party; Keisha Woodson.

Even though she had only planned to stay in town for a couple of days, Liz can’t leave now. She has to stay until Caroline is found. Whatever the outcome, she needs to help. She needs to be here.

In an effort to help find the girl, Liz begins asking around regarding Keisha’s disappearance. Perhaps the two cases are related. What she finds is that Keisha wasn’t the first. She also finds a very distinct pattern, all black girls, missing from the woods, directly around the summer solstice.

Will Liz be able to figure out who, or what, is taking the girls, and find Caroline before it’s too late?

Jackal impressed me. It’s hard to define, it’s quite unique. I would describe it as a thoughtful work of Dark Fiction with heavy Social Horror components. The writing style has a stream of consciousness quality to it, that honestly, I’m not normally crazy about, but it really fit here.

It’s not a super straight-forward story, it does require some effort on the part of the Reader, but I feel like for those who are willing to put in some energy, it will leave a mark.

Liz was a well-developed character. It took time to get to know her, but it would be hard not to feel for her and her experiences. I also felt like her character growth was paced well throughout.

The overall tone reminded me of The Other Black Girl, in that the entire build-up of the story is laced with a certain uneasiness; like you know something sinister is going on just beyond your line of sight.

I love that feeling. The ominous feeling of the developing mystery and the building of tension as the conclusion approaches.

It did sort of lose me a bit towards the end. I’m still a little confused on a couple of things and maybe in those instances would have preferred a more definitive outcome. However, this is 100% personal preference.

I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys Social Horror, or Dark Fiction in general. The topics explored, the over-arching mystery and compelling main character, all combine to make Jackal a stirring debut.

Thank you to the publisher, Bantam, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’m really looking forward to reading more from Erin E. Adams!

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Review: White Horse by Erika T. Wurth

White HorseWhite Horse by Erika T. Wurth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


**A NOVEMBER 2022 BOOK OF THE MONTH SELECTION**

Kari James has a bit of a dark past. There’s her missing mother, her father, who suffered a brain injury in an accident and is unable to care for himself, as well as a best friend lost to their lifestyle choices.

Now in her 30s, living back in her hometown of Denver, Colorado, Kari works, takes care of her Dad and in her downtime, enjoys reading, or having a few beers at the White Horse, her favorite local watering hole.

Kari’s cousin, Debby, is her closest friend. The person she can count on the most. The two spend quite a bit of time together, but would probably be together even more if it wasn’t for Debby’s overbearing husband.

One night while Kari is drinking at the White Horse, Debby arrives. As they chat, Debby presents her with a bracelet that she found while doing some cleaning. It used to belong to Kari’s Mom.

As soon as Kari lays hands on the antique, traditionally-engraved bracelet, she feels a unique energy course through her. This is something powerful.

Kari begins being plagued by dreams and visions, of her mother, of her past, of something dark and dangerous lurking just outside her vision. She’s haunted.

Kari, not unlike myself, has always been a fan of just keeping the past buried. Some events are too painful to dwell upon; they’re best dealt with if they’re not.

Kari had always been told her mother left them. Now she’s not as sure that was the case. She begins to dig. She feels compelled to finally find the truth. Is her mother still alive, is she dead?

Kari’s also sort of forced to deal with her own past, life choices and the loss of her best friend, Jamie. Kari needs to overcome her own guilt, in addition to her grief, in order to move forward with her life.

White Horse is a beautifully-told story. I loved the dark and gritty tone of it all. I could picture everything Kari was experiencing, but it was like watching a Horror movie where the setting is always kind of dark. Where you feel like you are squinting because you’re trying so hard not to miss what’s happening.

I also really enjoyed the themes explored. It was layered, emotional, powerful, and the Indigenous lore and concepts involved in the story were fantastic.

There’s quite a bit of mystery surrounding Kari’s family and early-life. I liked how Wurth gradually revealed the truth. It was done slowly, but in a way that kept me interested from the very start.

The pace and tension continues to build as you learn more. By the end, I was so freaking invested. I had to know the truth!

There were some things that I wasn’t crazy about, but not many. For example, Debby’s husband’s presence occasionally kicked me out of the story, he was so terrible.

Also, some aspects did become a little muddled for me personally, particularly surrounding the focus on The Shining. I think I get it, but I’m not a hundred on it. I may need to read it again to clear up some things.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time with this story; investigating the long-held family secrets within this one Urban Indigenous family. I listened to the audiobook and would definitely recommend that format. It was well-done and just a great story to sit and listen to.

The texture of the grief, the guilt, I felt it. I connected with Kari. Wurth did a great job developing her character. I am definitely looking forward to reading more from this author.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I am going to remember this one for a long time.

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Review: Ophie’s Ghost by Justina Ireland

Ophie's GhostsOphie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

💙🖤👻🖤💙👻💙🖤👻🖤💙👻💙🖤👻🖤💙🖤👻🖤💙

On the night that Ophelia’s father is killed, and their Georgian home burned to the ground, she sees her first ghost. She takes it in like a child would, with surprise and wonder, but then she keeps it to herself. She knows it wouldn’t be considered normal.

Fleeing Georgia, Ophie and her mother head for the city of Pittsburgh to live with some of her father’s relatives.

For Ophie, this is a big change and it’s definitely difficult living with all her cousins and aunties. Adding to this stressful situation is the ghost thing.

It seems like now that Ophie has seen one, the flood gates have opened. She’s encountering them everywhere. Sometimes it seems like they need something from her. It can be tiring.

Ophie’s Mom is stressed too. She’s doesn’t want to be relying on these relatives forever, but it’s expensive to get a place in Pittsburgh. They need to save up.

Thus, her Mom pulls Ophie from school. She needs to go to work in order for them to make enough money to get their own place.

Without a choice, Ophie does as she is told and begins attending work each day with her Mom at Daffodil Manor as domestic help.

The Caruthers family, the long-time owners of Daffodil Manor, are very wealthy and have a rich history within the walls of the house. Some of the ghosts of the past remain, all too evident to Ophie.

The ghosts learn that Ophie can see them and they begin interacting with her on a regular basis. Soon Ophie finds herself investigating an old mystery, trying to find the truth of one of their deaths.

Having read previous YA-works from Justina Ireland, I knew that I was very interested in picking up her Middle Grade debut. I’ve always enjoyed her writing style, particularly how she seamlessly blends historical fiction with other genres, like horror.

This book does exactly that. The historical piece is so well done. I was transported to the early-1920s while reading. You can tell that a lot of research goes into her work and that she really cares about accuracy.

Ophie was a great main character to follow. Her strength throughout was inspiring. It starts off with a real tragedy and doesn’t get much easier for our young heroine over the course of the story.

I also appreciated the relationship that Ophie had with her mother. Her mother is obviously a strong woman, to go through what she did and be able to move her and her daughter to a new city, a completely different world really than what they were used to, and to still work hard and push on, it shows real perseverance.

It’s no surprise that Ophie would show the same strength of character in the face of challenges. While their relationship wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows, the bond felt very realistic and I liked that.

Another aspect that I really enjoyed were the short chapters about the different places. For example, The Attic, and then it will give a bit about the attic of Daffodil Manor, it’s history, what it has seen, how it feels. I love this.

I always enjoy when an author can thoughtfully create a true sense of place, making the places feel almost like characters unto themselves. Ireland definitely has a gift for that!

Overall, while this is fairly serious for a Middle Grade, there’s a ton of important topics explored and I enjoyed the characters a lot. I am definitely used to more humor in my MG, but this was a nice change of pace.

I would certainly recommend this one to all Middle Grade Readers, particularly the audiobook narrated by the always fantastic, Bahni Turpin. It’s a perfect little mystery for the Spooky Season. Get your ghost on!!

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Review: Lavender House by Lev AC Rosen

Lavender HouseLavender House by Lev AC Rosen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Set in 1952-San Francisco, Lavender House follows disgraced former-police officer, Evander ‘Andy’ Mills. Andy was recently fired from the SFPD after being caught in a compromising position during a raid on a gay bar.

Without steady work and shamed by former acquaintances, Andy is floundering, so when he is approached by an older woman named Pearl with a proposition, he readily accepts.

Pearl needs an experienced investigator to look into the death of her wife, soap magnate, Irene Lamontaine. Even though Irene’s death appears to be an accident, Pearl has her doubts. She needs the truth.

Thus, she invites Andy to their estate, Lavender House, to look into the incident. It seems like a simple, yet interesting assignment, and may be exactly what Andy needs to get his life back on track.

Arriving at Lavender House, Andy discovers something he has never experienced before. A safe haven filled with a found-family of Queer people.

Andy is astounded by how comfortable everyone is with just being themselves. There is no need to hide, no risk of hateful repercussions. How could any violence come to this place?

Before long, as Andy gets to know the individuals living within the gated estate, he begins to think that maybe Pearl is onto something after all. Perhaps Irene did fall at the hands of another, but was it a stranger, or someone the women consider family?

Lavender House was such a delightful change of pace for me. I’m not quite sure I have ever read a Queer Historical Murder Mystery before, but I sure would like more!!

I absolutely adored the setting and tone of this novel. Rosen brought a real film noir quality to it, which fit so perfectly with a 1950s-detective story, enhanced even more by the wonderful narration from Vikas Adam.

The themes and topics explored within were handled so tactfully and blended perfectly with the overall mystery. I liked how neither aspect was heavy-handed; they each contributed evenly to the overall course of the story.

I enjoyed all of the characters and loved the idea of this safe space set amidst a very unsafe world.

My one slight critique would be that the mystery felt almost too simple. The linear narrative and minimalist investigation left me wanting more. I do understand that there is something to be said for sticking to the basics and nailing what you do. I do get that.

I just feel like Rosen definitely has the talent to push this even further.

It sort of felt like driving a performance car on the highway. It’s comfortable and enjoyable, but you definitely miss the exciting twists and turns of a back-country road.

I just wish this could have been built out a little more. However, with this being said, can we talk about this ending!? This has to be the start of a series, right?

I mean, there could not have been a more perfect set-up for the continuation of this story. I really hope it happens, because I feel like there is a big need in the market for this type of story.

I would absolutely, 100%, no doubt in my mind, pick up the next book if there ever is one. I feel like I have so much to learn about Andy and I would love to tag along with him as he solves more mysteries!!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Forge Books and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I will be keeping my fingers crossed that I get to see more of Andy Mills!

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Review: Found Object by Anne Frasier

Found ObjectFound Object by Anne Frasier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Jupiter Bellarose is an investigative journalist whose last project ended in tragedy. She feels responsible for the way things turned out and struggles to move past it.

She spends some time in a mental health hospital during her recovery and upon her release, her boss, Bennett, suggests that she take a break from her life in Minneapolis. He further suggests that perhaps it would be a good time to go home to Savannah, visit her father and work on an easy story.

Jupiter has avoided Savannah for a long time. As a place, it holds a lot of dark memories for her. Her mother, Marie Nova, a world-famous actress was actually murdered there when Jupiter was a teenager.

Jupiter, unfortunately, along with her father, stumbled upon the very gruesome crime scene, including her mother’s decapitated head, shortly after the police did. It was a scene that continues to haunt her.

It’s a real testament to how shaken up she was by the last assignment that she actually agrees to go back. Her new project is a fluff piece regarding the Lumet family and their cosmetics empire, Luminescent.

Jupiter’s mother was once the face of Luminescent cosmetics, so Jupiter already has a bit of knowledge, including first-hand experiences, with the family. She can get this done.

In Savannah, Jupiter is hit in the face with her past. The sudden overflow of memories makes her curious. Some things about that tragic night long ago don’t add up.

Jupiter begins to do what she does best, she digs and she digs, coming ever closer to the answers she seeks. Will she be able to find the truth, or will she be taken out before she can? There’s only one way to find out…

Found Object definitely surprised me with its ability to draw me in. I wasn’t sure if I would end up liking this or not, truth be told, but oh my word, once I started, I couldn’t put it down.

Some aspects of it were a bit ridiculous, but I didn’t even care. I was so intrigued by the horrifying story of Jupiter’s mother. I had to know what the truth was.

Jupiter was a great main character. She was well fleshed out and I felt like over the course of the story, I really came to understand her. She had a complicated history and her personality definitely matched that.

There were also some great side characters, Ian, a local police officer, and Poppy, his sweet and smart little niece, definitely stick out in my mind.

For me, the mystery was fun. I love the examination of long ago cases and this one didn’t disappoint.

Additionally, I liked watching Jupiter go about her investigation. Being an investigative reporter, it made sense that she would be as resourceful as she was. Having Ian as a friend during her time in Savannah definitely helped as well.

This concluded in a place that definitely left it open for a continuation of Jupiter and Ian’s story. I would absolutely, one hundred percent, no doubt in my mind pick up a second book if one were published.

No pressure, Anne Frasier, but when can I get it?

Thank you so much to the publisher, Thomas Mercer, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I truly had fun with this story.

Found Object releases this Tuesday, October 18th!!!

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Review: The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy: A Novel in CluesThe Last Equation of Isaac Severy: A Novel in Clues by Nova Jacobs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked up The Last Equation of Isaac Severy as book #4 for my TBR-Haul Project. I hauled this book in May 2018 as a Book of the Month selection. I was super excited for it initially, but then it fell off my radar.

Described as a Literary Mystery, it just sounded like something I would enjoy. Unfortunately, the reviews weren’t drawing me to it, even though I frequently find myself in the minority opinion on ratings.

This story takes place after the apparent suicide of mathematician, and eccentric family patriarch, Isaac Severy. After his death, Isaac’s granddaughter, Hazel, receives a strange letter from him in the mail.

The letter claims that a secret organization is after his final, reportedly dangerous, equation and he charges Hazel with delivering it to a colleague of his for safe keeping. But first, she needs to find it.

In L.A. for Isaac’s funeral, it becomes clear that Hazel isn’t the only one with her sights set on Isaac’s missing equation.

The entire Severy family is in attendance actually and oh boy, are they interesting. A family full of barely functioning geniuses left spiraling by Isaac’s sudden death. What could go wrong?

In the midst of all the family drama, Hazel must follow the clues left for her in her favorite novel by Isaac in order to find the equation before it’s too late. Will she be able to pull it off alone?

Y’all, I really enjoyed this; what a pleasant surprise! I’m glad I ignored the overall rating and made time for it. It’s honestly like a Wes Anderson film come to the page.

I devoured this once I started. The quirky characters, Hazel’s bizarre mission, it was all so much fun. I did end up listening to the audiobook and I felt it was really well done.

The writing actually reminded me a lot of some of Kate Racculia’s work, particularly Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts, which is definitely a bonus. It’s very smart, witty and darkly engaging. It’s different from pretty much everything else.

I definitely recommend this one for a change of pace. Ignore the ratings, dive in and enjoy the ride!

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Review: Shed No Tears (Cat Kinsella #3) by Caz Frear

Shed No Tears (Cat Kinsella, #3)Shed No Tears by Caz Frear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

I was truly surprised by how much I enjoyed the first two books in this series. I’m not sure why, maybe because I rarely hear anyone talking about it.

I love the detective duo featured in this series, Cat Kinsella and Luigi Parnell. Basically, sign me up for any case they’re ever on. Thus, I knew when I had a long road-trip coming up, this would be the perfect book to listen to as I drove.

And it absolutely was. In fact, this has been my highest rated book in the series thus far!

In this installment, we follow Cat and Luigi as they work a case related to infamous local serial killer, Christopher Masters, who was convicted of kidnapping and murdering several women in 2012.

When human remains are discovered, they are positively identified as Holly Kemp, Masters alleged final victim. Holly was the only one whose body hadn’t been found and the only one that Masters never owned up to killing.

It was only due to solid eye-witness testimony that she was considered as one of his victims. Six-years have now passed and it seems like with Holly’s remains found, they will finally be able to put closure on the case.

As they examine the evidence however, there appears to be some glaring discrepancies with the case. Cat and Luigi can’t put it to bed until they know it’s the truth; not our heroes.

Thus, they begin digging in, turning over rocks that have long been settled. As they inch closer and closer to the truth, the dangers escalate to heights even they couldn’t have guessed.

As mentioned in my reviews for the first two books of this series, Sweet Little Lies and Stone Cold Heart, this is a fantastic Police Procedural series with a lot of depth in addition to the mysteries.

The characters are well-fleshed out and believable. I love how there are storylines in the background that continue on throughout the books, as far as Cat’s personal life goes. I feel like I am getting to know her, like a new friend, and I’m loving every minute of it.

One of my favorite aspects of these books has been the exploration of Cat’s complicated family situation. In this one, I felt like the interactions weren’t quite as in your face as in the earlier books, but we do get to see more of the internal struggle Cat is going through in regards to her family.

There are things she has done to protect the ones she loves that are ethically an issue for her. She plays her cards close to her chest, but I like that she is the type of character who these choices would weigh on.

She’s a good egg, our Cat. Regardless of how she feels about herself sometimes.

This mystery gets quite intense and just as complex as the earlier cases. Some people can really bring the drama. You’ll find it all on display here.

In my opinion, this series just keeps getting better and more twisted. We love to see it; character growth on point!

The conclusion to this…oh my word! I really need a book 4 and I need it ASAP!!

If you have yet to start this series, and you love a solid Police Procedural with strong, intelligent characters, you absolutely need to check it out.

Don’t delay, start today!!!

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Review: Stone Cold Heart (Cat Kinsella #2) by Caz Frear

Stone Cold Heart (Cat Kinsella, #2)Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars**

After picking up the first book in this series, Sweet Little Lies, in early-September as part of my TBR-Haul Project, I could not stop thinking about DC Cat Kinsella.

That’s a great sign when it comes to a mystery series. I knew I needed to go on another case with her ASAP. Luckily for me, there are currently 3-novels released in this series.

In this installment, a young Australian woman, Naomi Lockhart, is found dead after attending a party. As the investigation begins, Cat discovers that one of the other attendees was Joseph Madden, a man she tangentially knows.

Joseph, in all honestly, sort of gives Cat the creeps. He runs a coffee shop by the station and she’s had a few run-ins with him. Including a time that he cornered her to ask for advice regarding his allegedly abusive wife.

It really wasn’t that he was accusing his wife of abuse, it was just the whole way he went about it. The way he phrased it. The way his body language was towards Cat while doing so.

The whole interaction, and others before it, have stuck in her mind. That’s why when Joseph’s name comes up during the course of the investigation, she’s intrigued and digs further.

It turns out the party was hosted by Joseph’s sister-in-law, who is also Naomi’s new boss.

Upon questioning, Joseph vows that his wife, Rachel, can attest to his whereabouts for that night at the time in question; he was home with her.

Rachel, however, disagrees, claiming she was home alone. The couple’s behavior doubles Cat’s earlier suspicions. Someone is lying and she’s going to find out who.

As Cat and her partner, Luigi Parnell, get closer to the truth, they uncover layer upon layer of lies and deceit amongst the cast of people who were part of Naomi’s life. With associates like these, this girl didn’t stand a chance.

I really enjoyed my time with this one. In addition to the overriding mystery, we also got more backstory and insight into Cat’s life. She’s a super interesting main character, so I appreciate the content Frear included here in that regard.

Cat has a fairly new relationship with a man named, Aidan. Unbeknownst to him, it’s slightly complicated. I had fun watching that evolve as well and can’t wait to see where it goes in the future.

There’s also Cat’s complicated relationship with her family, particularly her Dad. I have enjoyed how Frear is keeping her family in the midst of these tales as an overarching storyline amongst the books.

Finally, I really enjoy Cat and Luigi’s work life. As a Police Procedural, the team that the main characters are involved with can really change how engaging a story turns out to be. I love the banter between these two, and with their other colleagues. It’s really well done.

I think it’s safe to say at this point that I will pick up any book that is released in this series. I’m hooked!

If you love Police Procedurals and are sleeping on this series like I was, until very recently, stop what you’re doing and pick them up now!!

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Review: Sweet Little Lies (Cat Kinsella #1) by Caz Frear

Sweet Little Lies (Cat Kinsella, #1)Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Twenty-six year old Cat Kinsella is a DC with the Metropolitan Police Force, her dream job. After a less than stellar childhood, Cat has made her own way in the world and tries to keep the past just there; in the past.

As we all know though, the past frequently comes back to haunt us and Cat’s about to learn that lesson the hard way.

When Cat gets called to work a murder scene very near the pub that her estranged father still runs, old memories get stirred up, throwing Cat’s brain into overdrive.

Additionally, the victim, a housewife named Alice turns out to be very much linked to Maryanne Doyle, a teenage girl who went missing from Ireland almost two decades ago. Is this a coincidence?

Cat’s family met Maryanne while they were vacationing in Ireland just before she went missing and Cat has never forgotten her. Maryanne could do that; make an impact.

But the biggest takeaway from that time for Cat, was that her father was a liar and perhaps worse. After Maryanne’s disappearance, he was questioned by police and lied to them.

He said he never met the girl and that wasn’t true. In fact, her father may have known Maryanne very well; certainly more than he should have.

Cat has always suspected he knew what happened to her and it definitely drove a wedge between them. Could he also be involved with this current case?

Cat has to solve this mystery now, or risk it continuing to haunt her forever. Thus, Cat and her team dig into the investigation. It goes deep and gets twisted.

Sweet Little Lies is the first book in Caz Frear’s Cat Kinsella Mystery series. Incidentally, this was a debut novel.

This was also the 7th-book that I picked up for my TBR Haul-Project. I hauled this back in August of 2018, when it was my BOTM pick for the month. I was originally so stoked for it and then it sort of fell off my radar.

I’ll admit it took me a little while to really get invested in the mystery, but Frear definitely brought it around in the second half. I think initially I had a hard time keeping track of who was who and what was happening.

Like the whole Alice / Maryanne thing, I’m not sure if I wasn’t paying well enough attention at first, but it took me a minute to get a grasp on that.

Once I started really focusing in on it, the investigation became gripping and intense. Cat’s personality, although dry to me initially, really began to grow on me. I’m sure she’ll continue to grow as a character in future installments.

I am definitely interested in moving on with this series. Overall, a I found this to be a compelling Police Procedural!

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