Tag Archives: Murder

A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell, #4) by Deanna Raybourn

A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4)A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: A Dangerous Collaboration
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Series: Veronica Speedwell, #4
Pages: 336
Publisher: Berkley
Date: March 12, 2019

Summary:

Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell is whisked off to a remote island off the tip of Cornwall when her natural historian colleague Stoker’s brother calls in a favor. On the pretext of wanting a companion to accompany him to Lord Malcolm Romilly’s house party, Tiberius persuades Veronica to pose as his fiancée–much to Stoker’s chagrin. But upon arriving, it becomes clear that the party is not as innocent as it had seemed. Every invited guest has a connection to Romilly’s wife, Rosamund, who disappeared on her wedding day three years ago, and a dramatic dinner proves she is very much on her husband’s mind.

As spectral figures, ghostly music, and mysterious threats begin to plague the partygoers, Veronica enlists Stoker’s help to discover the host’s true motivations. And as they investigate, it becomes clear that there are numerous mysteries surrounding the Romilly estate, and every person present has a motive to kill Rosamund…

Review:

The first time I read this book I didn’t particularly like it. There was too much stress between Veronica and Stoker. It wasn’t the normal disagreements and shouting matches, it was indifference. Even though I thought Stoker’s attitude was false, I wasn’t sure. And Veronica is never comfortable showing her softer feelings.

With the second reading, however, I was better able to see that even though it looked like they were drifting apart, they were really struggling to make a connection. I could breathe a sigh of relief.

Stoker’s eldest brother Tiberius is integral to the plot. Not only does he drag Veronica and Stoker into solving a murder, there are subplots as well. They grew up together as brothers, but Tiberius had always tormented Stoker. And Stoker being Stoker certainly returned the favor. Their relationship was explored and hopefully improved in this book. In addition, Tiberius strikes me as a man-whore and he definitely makes a play for Veronica. I am not sure how much is because he desires her or because he is getting back at Stoker. Either way, he doesn’t come across as very likable.

The murder case itself is three years old. The way they talk about it, it seems more like decades old. Anyway, I can’t really say Stoker and Veronica solve the case. It is more the murderer gives themselves away because they are afraid of being discovered. It all takes place on a island off England which is inhabited by mermaids, piskies, and those with the sight. There is a garden of poisons where even breathing the air is dangerous. All in all, not a comfortable place to live . . . or die.

My immediate reaction after finishing the book the first time was when is the next one due out? After the second reading, my reaction is “I want it now!” It’s definitely worth four stars and if I hadn’t spent most of the book worrying about Stoker’s and Veronica’s relationship, I would probably have given it five stars.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Filed under Historical, Humor, Mystery, Realistic

Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz

Secret SistersSecret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: Secret Sisters
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: n/a
Pages: 352
Publisher: Berkley
Date: December 8, 2015

Summary:

Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters—until a secret tore them apart. Now it might take them to their graves.

They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother’s hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn’t be bothering them anymore…ever. Still their lives would never be the same.

Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother’s mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel—a place she never wanted to see again—a dying man’s last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.

Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain’s new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts…and wants.

Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack’s brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth….

Review:

I have been a fan of Jayne Ann Krentz’s books since I discovered her as Stephanie James. People, we’re talking about the early 1980s, so I have been reading her books for over thirty years. In my world, release day is reading day and it does not matter what else is going on: another book, work, Christmas, nothing! If there is a new Jayne Ann Krentz book out, everything stops. I have to read it now.

So, why did I not jump on this book as soon as I received an advanced copy? I must have had it two or three weeks before I actually read it. Yes, I had other books I was reading, but that has never made a difference in the past. Why this time?
I’ll tell you why. The descriptions I read made it seem like she was trying something different with her writing and I did not want anything different. Krentz is a wonderful author whether she is writing historical, contemporary, science fiction . . .

or romantic suspense . . . which is definitely what Secret Sisters is described as being. I just had a really bad feeling that she was making a major change to her writing style and I couldn’t stand it.

And I was WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

The book is wonderful. Yes, it is romantic suspense and there is a strong mystery (or maybe more than one), but the romance is integral to the plot. It is more intense than some of her books, but it is not dark. It starts out with a bang and then jumps almost twenty years, but that’s okay. It works with this book.

Secret Sisters is primarily a murder mystery and involves the leading family of an isolated island in the Pacific Northwest. The family consists a possibly violent, arrogant, womanizing husband, his long suffering wife, two sons, and a daughter-in-law. Every time I was sure who the “bad guy” was, the plot took a twist. Nothing from left field, just nothing I expected.

In other words, the plot kept me engrossed. I never did figure out the end until the end.

The good guys were likable. The bad guys were NOT. Even the secondary characters felt well developed.

All of my fears were for nothing. Secret Sisters is a step above and beyond Krentz’s other writing and I did not think there was room for improvement.

My only problem is it appears to be a stand alone and I would have enjoyed learning more about the characters in this book. Maybe she’ll give us more of their story later on.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Filed under Contemporary, Mystery, Realistic, Romance