In this breakneck, race-against-the-clock thriller, a British spy has twelve hours to deliver her asset across London after Russia hacks the city’s security cameras. Can she make it without being spotted . . . or killed?

Nothing about Emma Makepeace is real. Not even her name.

A daughter of a Russian mother and father. She and her mother have fled to London and her father stays behind. All she has ever wanted is to be a spy. To make the Russians pay for what they did to him and her family.

Fresh from graduating basic, the former Army member is eager for her first assignment. And she gives it all she has.

This is a secret organization inside the CIA. But not everyone is trustworthy as Emma will soon find out. Rushing against time, Russian agents, and even some crooked CIA, she must be invisible in a city with cameras everywhere.

All she knows is she has to protect a valuable son of a dissident Russian scientist. But something isn’t right. When she calls for a pickup, no one shows. Where is her boss and who is this man running things now. A leak? A collaborator?

Trusting the cryptic message from her old boss, she goes running and ends up in a lot of nasty places. They are shot at, beaten, and not sure at all who is setting up who and why.

I loved the female spy. Emma was a most determined young lady and I hope we see more of her.

NetGalley/ August 2nd, 2022 by Bantam


This is a rather difficult review to write. There were so many things I had never heard of before.

The story of seven women. Living with generational trauma. We begin with Dorothy Moy. Washington’s one-time poet laureate. When her young daughter begins showing signs of the same type of behavior that plagues Dorothy, she decides to go for some experimental treatments that are thought to mitigate inherited trauma. That one I had to look up.

In doing so she connects with past generations of her own family. And in all of the scenarios, there is a man looking for her. So a painful and traumatic past isn’t the only thing she’s searching for answers for.

Her choice to end the cycle of pain may help her find her lost love or it may cost her something.

I enjoyed the women’s stories. How different and yet similar they were. Some of these things I had never heard about before and I am very glad I now understand them.

NetGalley/August 2nd, 2022 by Atria Books


A Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery

Hayley Powell is back writing her food and cocktails column in Bar Harbor, Maine and she is busy as ever. It’s always a pleasure to hop in and see what she is up to.

The last thing she and her friend Lydia, owner of Bar Harbor Ice Cream, expect to find in the freezer truck is a dead body. Especially not the dead body of Miranda, an employee!

Shocked and looking to protect Lydia, Hayley is doing her best to come up with suspects that don’t include Lydia or her husband who may or may not be cheating. Everyone is keeping secrets. Some are deadly and could make sure this is her last case! Hayley needs to untangle Miranda’s public and secret lives before anyone else is hurt. It won’t be easy.

Always a pleasure. Especially the recipes!

NetGalley/July 26, 2022, Kensington Books


Beth Bradford and her husband Mike have just dropped their last child off at college. They have a buyer for the large home they raised their children in and are downsizing. The cul-de-sac they have lived in will be getting a new neighbor and Beth is feeling sad.

But wait, things can always get worse! Turns out Mike is not moving in with Beth. He has a place of his own and wants a divorce. PIle on top of that her demotion as she calls it at the CIA. For fifteen years she has been chasing a terrorist who is known as The Neighbor. Recruiting in the states now. But she is nowhere close to solving this case and when she goes to work she is told she is being transferred to a teaching facility.

But Beth has had way too much piled on her this week. She begins spying on the couple that bought their house after she sees a message from The neighbor saying they have moved to a new cul-de-sac. There is something suspicious about the woman. Her story doesn’t check out. And the more she digs the more secrets she finds among the neighbors she once called friends.

Madeline has moved into Beth’s old house. She knows way too much about Beth and the neighbors. Beth thinks she may be the link to the neighbor.

Is she being paranoid? Almost all of the neighbors work for Langley, so secrets are the norm.

Beth isn’t a quitter and she isn’t giving up on this case. Even after she’s told to let it go and people are hinting she is unstable. But she isn’t letting it go. And neither is Madeline.

The ending was shocking and unexpected. I will be looking at my neighbors in a new light now.

NetGalley/July 26th, 2022 by Ballantine Books

Murder Spills the Tea by Vicki Delany

A Tea by the Sea Mystery #3

Lily Roberts is in a state. Busy in a good way with her fairly new business and helping her grandmother, Rose, with her B & B. Said Grandmother has entered Lily in a reality-themed cooking show, without her knowledge.

With this being the busy season, Lily’s plate is full, and filming a show is the last thing she wants. These show people are rude and loud, and just plain mean. Some of it is for the drama, but some of it is just people behaving badly.

When one of the judges turns up dead in her kitchen and her waitress is accused, Lily has another item on her plate. Find out who killed Tommy.

All of these people are sketchy. They all lie. And it isn’t just the show people. Some people in town are willing to kill to win this food contest.

The food in here is to die for. I know bad pun. But it is true. Glad we got a few recipes too!

NetGalley/July 26, 2022, Kensington

Mint Chocolate Murder by MERI ALLEN

An Ice Cream Shop Mystery #2

Riley Rhodes returns in the second delicious cozy set in a New England ice cream shop, Meri Allen’s Mint Chocolate Murder!

We are back in New England with Riley Rhodes of Udderly Delightful Ice Cream Shop, which she manages for her best friend.

Riley is surprised to be asked out to Peeniman’s Moy Mull Castle. The famous Maud Monaco, former supermodel, and wife of a very rich man. She has turned the castle and the extensive grounds into an art colony and she is hosting an art show and an ice cream social. Bitsy will be catering but Riley will provide the luscious fall flavors of ice cream she has dreamed up. And they sound dreamy!

The featured artist is photographer Adam Blasco. He has a rather dark reputation and sounds like a creep, so when he is found dead in a locked room, Riley ( a former CIA Librarian), figures out that more than one person had an ax to grind with Blasco and motives abound!

The biggest mystery is the locked room. How did someone kill him and get out without unlocking the door? Was it the famous Weeping Ghost? Or did this Scottish castle come with a secret as well as a ghost?

The food descriptions had my mouth watering! A book series about ice cream? Yes, please! I can’t wait for the next one.

NetGalley/ July 26, 2022, St. Martin’s Press


Rumi is one of the most beloved poets. His poems are about love and beauty with a lot of mystical and spiritual meanings. This book delves into those things. When put in the context of Islamic mysticism they become something deeper.

Emily Jane O’Dell has studied Sufism extensively at Harvard, Columbia, and the American University in Beirut. She also has done a lot of on-the-ground training from a Mevlevi master and even learns to twirl like a dervish in Istanbul. In other words, she knows a lot about what she is writing about.

What I took out of this book is a deeper and richer understanding of Rumi’s work. An understanding of his way of telling us Love is a religion and the only one that matters.

I was very impressed with this author!

NetGalley/July 26th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Essentials

THE FORCE OF SUCH BEAUTY by Barbara Bourland

Caroline is a former runner. Olympic level runner. She’s well-known and well-loved. Then she has an accident that stops her from running and ruins her career.

When she meets Finn, she doesn’t know he is the prince of a small and very backward country.

Her leash may be made of diamonds but it’s still a leash. Everything she does is carefully examined. Her children are not her children. They all belong to the country. And once she opens her eyes to the bargain she has made, she wants out. She isn’t getting out. Ever.

The concept was good but the execution was not. It felt rushed to me and I did not care for the abrupt ending.

NetGalley/ July 19, 2022, Penguin Random House/Dutton


19th Century in Mexico. Carlota Moreau is a young lady who has never been beyond her own home in the Yucatan peninsula. It is a large estate and there is much rebel conflict around them. Carlota is lonely and curious. Why do they never have company? Why must they hide?

Well her father is either a mad scientist or a genius. We all know what he is.

Her father has hired a new assistant, Montgomery Laughton, a man who has lost his way. His wife left him, his money is gone and he can’t stop drinking. Owing money to the landlord of the island, he will be working with the doctor with the hybrids.

Hybrids? Yes, mixing a little bit of this DNA and a little bit of that DNA and you have some seriously messed up ‘hybrids’. Bred for working the fields. Most are hideously deformed but two have come out fairly well. And those two become friends with Carlota.

They are living life the only way they know how to live it. And then, the owner’s son, Eduardo, shows up with his band of troublemakers, and from there everything goes south fast. Carlota has a lot of questions for her father and she is not going to like the answers. Risking her own life, she will help the hybrids and bring about an end to the madness.

Great historical and rather science fiction too.

NetGalley/ July 19, 2022 RHPG


Paris Peralta comes to on the bathroom floor covered in blood and holding a straight razor. Oh, yes, and her thirty-year older husband is dead in the tub. Then the police arrive and she is arrested.

Paris knows she didn’t kill her husband, but who did? She isn’t afraid of going to jail, she’s afraid of being in the media. Paris has secrets and she doesn’t want them coming out. She has worked very hard to create this life. And one person could ruin it all.

Ruby Reyes, the so-called Ice Queen, was convicted in Canada in the early nineties. She knows who Paris is and has no problem exploiting that knowledge. All from prison.

Meet Drew, who is doing a podcast and is still pining for the girl he loved. That girl died in a fire.
So they say.

With Drew helping her Paris may have to confront an ugly and traumatic past before she gets charged with two murders.

Hillier is a master of misdirection and women behaving badly. She is at her best here.

NetGalley/ July 19th, 2022 by Minotaur Books