THE LAST PARTY by CLARE MACKINTOSH

At midnight, one of them is dead.
By morning, all of them are suspects.

It’s a party to end all parties, but not everyone is here to celebrate.

So many layers to unpack with this one. It’s New Year’s Day and Ffion Morgan is looking at a dead body and a lot of suspects.

On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd is entertaining the neighbors and townsfolk on Mirror Lake. His vacation houses seem to be popular with the rich and not so much with the town folk. With everyone drinking champagne, who would guess that Rhys would end up floating dead in the lake.

There are so many secrets in this one. It is a small town but that means her neighbors are also suspects.

I am not sure any of these folks know what the truth is. And it turns out the question should be who did not kill him

This author is so good at red herrings and twisting us up in a really good tale!

NetGalley/November 8th, 2022 by Sourcebooks Landmark

THE NEW NEIGHBOR by KAREN CLEVELAND

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


THE LIES I TELL by JULIE CLARK

Never con a con. Ms. Clark has given us two narrators of their lives. Meg and whatever the last name she’s using at the moment, and Kat, struggling with her writing, her relationship, and blaming Meg for all of it. A woman she doesn’t even know. But ten years ago a phone call from Meg sent Kat out on a lead that led to a life-altering trauma.

Meg has many names and many plans. She’s the ultimate con artist. But why? That is what Kat is trying to figure out.

Told in both voices, they are both playing at being honest and yet trying to get to the truth. Both for different reasons. And when Kat finally figures it all out, Meg is gone and Kat has some decisions to make.

This was much like a pretzel. Twisty and good! It was hard to keep up with all of Meg’s motivations and her cons. And she was good. Some women are content to move on after trauma. These are not those women. These are the women who are going to use every resource to get justice.

Well Done!

NetGalley/June 21st, 2022 Source Books Landmark

Can’t Look Away by Carola Lovering

Can't Look Away

Told in two voices, Molly and Sabrina.

We begin in 2013. Molly is 23 and finishing up her MFA and dreaming of being a writer while she waits tables and has fun with her friends. One night they talk her into coming to a bar with live music. An up-and-coming band starring lead singer Jake Danner.

Molly and Jake lock eyes and before you know it they are living together and she is in love. The man wrote a song for her. Their only real hit. But Jake has a girlfriend he hasn’t let go of yet. As in she doesn’t know they are broken up. But she is a vengeful one!

Now it’s 2022 and Molly and her husband, Hunter and their daughter Stella are living in Flynn Cove, Connecticut. Molly feels unfulfilled at her Yoga job and just doesn’t jive with the country club set. Until a woman comes into her studio and she thinks she finally has made a friend.

But Sabrina is playing the long game. She hasn’t let go of her belief that Molly ruined her chance with Jake. Imagine her surprise when she and Hunter show up to dinner and Sabrina’s hubby is Jake! Shock all around.

This isn’t what I would call a suspenseful read. Sabrina told us all along what she was doing. More like a domestic drama. HIgh School behavior at best. Everything gets wrapped up nicely but I still want to know why one of them isn’t in jail!

NetGalley/ June 14th ,2022 by St. Martin’s Press



Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

A dazzling novel about a young black woman who walks the streets of Oakland and stumbles headlong into the failure of its justice system–the debut of a blazingly original voice that “bursts at the seams of every page and swallows you whole” (Tommy Orange, best-selling author of There There)

When I saw that the author wrote this at 17 and lived on the streets of Oakland, I was floored.

The language is what I would expect from a teenager. All the feels are there.

Kiara and her brother, Marcus, live in East Oakland. A roach-infested hovel. That is all they can afford and they honestly can’t afford that. While Marcus is pretending to make a rap record, Kiara is hustling all over the dirty streets of Oakland looking for money. Their family fell apart long ago when her mom went to prison. Just teenagers themselves, Kiara also looks out for the little boy next door whose mother is an addict and never home.

After one drunk misunderstanding with a man turns into a career on the streets called night crawling. And since the johns are the cops, she is in it until they say she isn’t.

But then her name is connected to an internal investigation in the police department. A huge scandal involving officers and prostitutes.

The last thing Kiara wants is to be in any kind of limelight. She just wants to live.

This book was not pretty to read. It was raw, ugly, and made me cry and cringe quite a bit. But I am glad I read it and I hope we hear from this author again!

NetGalley/  June 7th, 2022 by Knopf Publishing Group



THE FAVOR by NORA MURPHY

A gripping debut domestic suspense novel, The Favor explores with compassion and depth what can happen when women pushed to the limit take matters into their own hands.

Leah and McKenna have never met, though they have parallel lives. They are both accomplished in their fields and have married men who are abusive. Leah, a lawyer, and McKennna, a pediatrician. The only thing they have in common is the liquor store.

If you have seen or read Strangers on a train, you are up to date. Only with women. Educated women with their own resources but relegated to the house by their abusers. They could just drive away, but they don’t.

The first portion was interesting and the rest was not. Predictable would be a good word. The wife letting herself go because her husband is tracking her every movement. Not going to the police because no one would believe them.

It felt like so many other books in the same genre.

NetGalley/May 31st, 2022 by Minotaur Books

MY WIFE IS MISSING by D.J. PALMER

My Wife Is Missing

When a woman disappears with her two children, one husband will do anything to find them–even confront the secrets of his own past–in D. J. Palmer’s My Wife Is Missing, a twisty thriller from the author of The New Husband…

Michael is worried about his wife, Natalie. Her insomnia is getting worse. She isn’t sleeping at all. He thinks she’s paranoid and she thinks he is sleeping with one of her co-workers.

When said co-worker turns up dead, Natalie can barely function. She is sure her husband has killed the woman. On a trip to New York, Natalie suggests Michael run out for pizza. When he returns she and the children are gone.

Questioned by the police and released, Michael sets out to find his family only to have the detective on the case decide to ride along. Michael is pretty sure the guy thinks he has something to do with what is going on and Michael feels guilty for something he may or may not have done years ago.

Through Natalies’ voice, we hear about their past. How they met, and about his long-dead family. A past he never speaks about. Which now sounds suspicious.

I am not giving anything away here. If you are a fan of Palmer’s then you know you are going to have a long night trying to untie all the twists and turns of this excellent read!

NetGalley/ May 10th, 2022

MAGPIE by ELIZABETH DAY

She has almost everything. The rest she’ll take.

A story about a perfect couple and their perfect lodger. Until it isn’t.

From Marisa’s point of view, she and Jake are a perfect couple. In love and moving into their first home together. They are anxious to start a family. Marisa is a children’s book author and illustrator and not much money is coming in while they try IVF. Jake suggests a lodger help out with expenses.

Enter Kate, the perfect lodger. Although she does have some boundary issues in Marisa’s opinion. She is very familiar with Jake and for some reason thinks she is in charge. This is where we find out no one is perfect. Why does Kate seem so intimate with Jake? Who is she? As Marisa’s paranoia gets worse things come to a boil and oh my goodness, what a boil!

When Marisa gets suspicious that Kate and Jake are having an affair, she takes matters into her own hands. And what a shocker that was.

Twisty, thrilling, and emotional. And in the end, I was shocked! What a twist!

NetGalley/May 3rd, 2022 by Simon Schuster




THE CHANGE by KIRSTEN MILLER

Big Little Lies meets The Witches of Eastwick–a gloriously entertaining and knife-sharp feminist revenge fantasy about three women whose midlife crisis brings unexpected new powers–putting them on a collision course with the evil that lurks in their wealthy beach town.

Well, that certainly describes this book!

Mattauk is an oceanfront community, where three midlife women are about to make some noise!

Nessa James is alone now that her twin daughters are off to college. In her neat house close to the ocean. A nurse who also sees the dead. A gift inherited from her grandmother. The voices in her head are screaming for help and she has no idea what to do.

Harriett Osborne has had enough of men taking what she has worked hard for. Now her husband has left her for a younger woman and her career has imploded. She returns to her home in Mattauk, and finds her power.

Jo Levison has an 11-year-old daughter and a husband. She’s happy with both. But she is at war. With herself. Her body and what is happening to it. Hot flashes have taken on a whole new meaning.

When the voices Nessa hears lead her to a remote beach by an exclusive housing development for billionaires only, they are there when they find the first body. The police are not part of the solution, but the problem. And the normal rules don’t apply to the sick and fabulously wealthy men who have a lot of secrets.

So the women pool their talents and get to work. Women’s work. Cleaning up the mess of men.

What a thrill of a tale! I loved these women. A strong story of women who are tired of men getting away with murder and are about to turn the tables!

NetGalley/ May 3rd,2022 by William Morrow & Company






Our Little World by Karen Winn

Coming of age in the ’80s. So much angst. So many secrets and misunderstandings that go with having a sibling in your school who you think is so much more than you are. It’s a dangerous thing and can end in lifelong emotional trauma.

Bee and her sister Audrina are 12 and 11. A new family has just moved into their cul-de-sac with a cute boy named Max and a little sister who is four named Sally.

It’s July and it’s hot and the lake is the place to be. Someone’s mom is always willing to haul them to the club pool or to the lake.

When Sally goes missing while at the lake, everyone looks suspicious to Bee. And her relationship with her sister is going from close to really far apart.

I enjoyed reading about the complexities of being and having sisters. There is always one who feels less than and that would be Bee. In her mind, her sister is the star and she is the nobody.

There was so much emotional trauma and heartbreak in this book that it was hard to read. I didn’t have an issue with all of the darkness, but I would have appreciated some balance with light.

NetGalley/May 3rd, 2022 by Dutton Books