Tag Archives: private investigator

Copper Waters: A New Zealand Cottage Mystery: Annalisse Series, Book 4 by Marlene Bell (Book Review)

A rural New Zealand vacation turns poisonous.

Antiquities expert Annalisse Drury and tycoon Alec Zavos are at an impasse in their relationship when Alec refuses to clear up a paternity issue with an ex-lover.

Frustrated with his avoidance when their future is at stake, Annalisse accepts an invitation from an acquaintance to fly to New Zealand—hoping to escape the recent turbulence in her life.

But even Annalisse’s cottage idyll on the family sheep farm isn’t immune to intrigue.

Alec sends a mutual friend and detective, Bill Drake, to follow her, and a local resident who accompanies them from the Christchurch airport dies mysteriously soon after. A second violent death finds Annalisse and Bill at odds with the official investigations.

The local police want to close both cases as quickly as possible—without unearthing the town’s dirty secrets.

As she and Bill pursue their own leads at serious cost, the dual mysteries force Annalisse to question everything she thought she knew about family ties, politics, and the art of small-town betrayal.

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 


I received a complimentary copy of this book from R&R Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand. However, when I eventually get there, I hope I’m not surrounded by all the drama that Anna and Bill encountered. One dead body and one murder mystery are enough, but they found themselves in the middle of two murder investigations. Okay, it was terrible news for them but great news for us.

The suspect list was long. There were so many motives. There was also a sketchy politician and police officer. Who killed VICTIM ONE and why? Why did VICTIM TWO meet his maker? I thought I knew the answers—I was wrong. Hello, plot twist!

While the mystery aspect of the book was terrific, I was a bit lost at times when the author mentioned events from the past three books. It didn’t affect the mystery’s outcome, but reading the first three books would’ve given me a better understanding of what the characters have gone through the past couple of years.

Time to add more books to my TBR list!

On a side note: I love all the fun facts about sheep. For instance, when gauging a sheep’s age, know that sheep get two large teeth for every year. Fascinating!

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

Marlene M. Bell is an eclectic mystery writer, artist, photographer, and she raises sheep in beautiful East Texas with her husband, Gregg, three cats and a flock of horned Dorset sheep.

The Annalisse series has received numerous honors including the Independent Press Award for Best Mystery (Spent Identity,) and FAPA— Florida Author’s President’s Gold Award for two other installments, (Stolen Obsession and Scattered Legacy.) Her mysteries with a touch of romance are found at marlenembell.com. She also offers the first of her children’s picture books, Mia and Nattie: One Great Team! Based on true events from the Bell’s ranch. The simple text and illustrations are a touching tribute of compassion and love between a little girl and her lamb.

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The Wrong Side of Murder by Lauren Carr (Book Review)

THE WRONG SIDE OF MURDER (a Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr

 

One spring morning, Jodi Gibbons got up and went to school as she did every day. Her young life went sideways though when the police found that her mother had been brutally killed during the night.

Twenty years later, many in Pine Grove believe Jodi got away with murder. After all, how could she have possibly slept through her mother’s violent death in the very next room?

After decades of silence, Jodi accepts investigative journalist Nikki Bryant’s invitation to tell her side of the story. However, before the interview can take place, someone silences Jodi permanently.

Now it is up to Nikki Bryant and her friends to uncover the secret that Jodi Gibbons has been protecting—a secret someone believes it is worth killing to keep from being revealed.

 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

 
The Wrong Side of Murder had multiple murder cases to solve – past and present crimes. I was impressed at how well Lauren Carr connected the crimes. That’s no easy feat and demonstrates her skill as a storyteller.

 

Not all the murders were quick to solve. Not every motive popped off the pages in a clear picture, which was fantastic. Oh, how I love a mystery that isn’t wrapped up in the book’s first half. I will say that I solved 50% of the cases: suspects and motive. The other 50% left me guessing. I’m sure other readers will be baffled about who killed who and why. 

Even though The Wrong Side of Murder revolved around a not-so-funny topic, Lauren did sneak in some comedic scenes. For instance, Kathleen grounding her 36-year-old daughter. Another example is Elmo’s need to tidy up a messy home. Yup, the dog has OCD. Oh, and the flashback image of Harrison and Kathleen at their kids’ dance and doing the infamous lift from Dirty Dancing from the song, “Time of your Life.” If that had been my mom or dad, I would’ve switched schools the following day. 

 

Special Note: Like with Killer Deadline (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery Book 1), The Wrong Side of Murder is rated G for everyone! Nikki and Ryan are still together, but there’s only a smooch here and there. No hanky panky at all. The death scenes are not graphic; however, they do vary in causes. One involves a staged suicide. 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Lauren Carr and Sterling

​Selling over half a million books worldwide, Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Thorny Rose, Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, and Nikki Bryant Cozy Mysteries—thirty titles across five fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

 
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.
The owner of Acorn Book Services and iRead Book Tours, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, and virtual book tour coordinator for independent authors.  

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. 
She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

connect with the author: 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Grace Under Siege: Not a Love Story by René Voland (Book Review)

GRACE UNDER SIEGE: Not a Love Story by Rene Voland

 
​Grace, a newlywed in her 30’s, discovers that her new life isn’t exactly what she expected. Her husband Narcissus is a handsome, former special agent whose puzzling behavior follows a mysterious pattern. Despite Grace’s best efforts, she finds it incredibly difficult to build a happy life with him. The ultimate revelation leads to a showdown with Narcissus. Grace believes the well-being of others depend on what she must reveal.
 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 
Grace Under Siege: Not a Love Story by René Voland dealt with a very touchy subject that many individuals are facing currently or have faced in the past — domestic abuse. René Voland emphasizes domestic abuse is more than strikes to the body. Criticizing, controlling a person’s life, and name-calling are just a few examples of abuse Grace faced. At times, it’s a combination of any or all of the following three: mental, physical, and emotional abuse. Unfortunately, most people’s (like Grace) struggles don’t end when they walk away from the toxic relationship. Fear is always lurking, and so is their abuser. 


Grace Under Siege: Not a Love Story does talk extensively about narcissistic personality disorder. Since I love psychology, the discussions revolving around it were fascinating. If you love the psychobabble talk, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as well. 


If you aren’t a religious person, be warned this is a book of faith. If you are, then you’ll love and appreciate every mention of faith and the Lord. No matter your religious status, if you are in an abusive relationship, please get in touch with the National Domestic Violence listed in the book. (1-800-799-SAFE)


On a final note: René Voland added a feature to her book that I hadn’t seen before, and it’s worth noting. After the Epilogue, she listed Topics for Book Club Discussion. How ingenious! I hope many other authors will follow suit. 


On a final, final note: I loved your book’s cover! Those eyes drew me in like a moth to a flame. 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
GRACE UNDER SIEGE: Not a Love Story by Rene Voland
René is an author, playwright, poet and publisher/editor. She is a seasoned business owner, private coach and ministerial leader. Grace Under Siege is her debut novel. She and her spouse live in Georgia. She is a graduate of Georgia State University.

connect with the author: website ~ instagram

 
 
 

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