Book Review: Small Bones

Hey, everyone. I joined Net Galley a few years ago, but until recently hadn’t taken advantage of requesting many books until now.


If you can’t trust your father and you can’t trust the police, who can you trust

Sue Hearn is planting a herb garden on the site of her grandfather’s old greenhouse. She’s spent the morning digging up all sorts of odds and ends already. But she doesn’t expect this grisly find.

A skull.

Could it be the remains of her mother, Monica, who went missing thirty years ago?

Sue’s father, in hospital with dementia, insinuates that a police officer was involved in her mother’s disappearance. But can he be trusted?

So now Detectives Asha Harvey and Aaron Birch might be looking for a bent copper.

As they dig deeper into the past, Sue and Asha find secrets so dangerous it will put all their lives in danger.

My Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I always enjoy a good “who done it” story. After a friend recommended Small Bones, it sounded like it would deliver.

And it did.

Set in Belfast, this is the second book of Kerry Buchanan’s Harvey & Birch Mysteries. While I haven’t read the first one, this could easily be a stand-alone novel.

When Sue Hearn discovers a skeleton at the site where her grandfather’s greenhouse once stood, she fears someone in her family might have been responsible. It also brings back painful memories of her own mother’s disappearance thirty years earlier.

Detectives Asha Harvey and Aaron Birch are sent to investigate, but someone on the police force doesn’t want them to learn the truth. Whoever it is will stop at nothing to silence them.

Buchanan threw in plenty of breadcrumbs to keep readers guessing, and although the culprit’s identities are soon made known, it’s unclear who Asha and Aaron can trust. What’s more, the author left us with a twist at the end, the answer I hope will be explored in future books. I also enjoyed the relationship between Asha and Aaron—they make a great team.

A special thanks to Joffe Books at Net Galley for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review #An Unwanted Guest

Hey, everyone. It’s no secret I love a good, page-turning mystery. I scored big time with this one.

A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away


It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge wood-burning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in and try to make the best of it.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead–it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm–and one another.

My Review

I love it when I come across a book that I don’t want to put down. An Unwanted Guest is one of them. I read it in two days and the only reason I didn’t finish in one night was because I had to sleep.

It sounds like the perfect weekend getaway—a quaint old-fashioned hotel where there is no cell phone service and no Wi-fi to distract its guests. The registry isn’t computerized, and instead of magnetic cards, rooms are locked with an old-fashioned key.

To top it off, the guests arrive during the middle of a winter storm. It’s so bad, in fact, that some of the hotel staff aren’t able to make it to work and a few guests canceled their weekend plans.

Lucky them.

A power outage changes the atmosphere from pleasant to ominous. It’s not long before murder is afoul. First one victim, then two, then a third…

Each of the guests, as well as one staff member, has things from their past to hide. But aside from the companions they arrived with, none of them knew one another before coming to the hotel. Are the murders connected? If so, why?

Written in present tense from varying points of view, this book held my attention to the end. I had suspicions about several of the characters and kept hoping it wasn’t a particular character that I instantly liked. While I figured out the murderer’s identity, there was a totally unexpected jaw-dropping twist at the end.

Unquestionably five stars for this one!

Book Review ~ Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine #TuesdayBookBlog

Hey, y’all. I managed to do a little reading last week. Of course, I didn’t do a lot of writing, but that’s another story. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago friend and fellow author Staci Troilo posted a review of Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake Series. I’d had the first book on my reading list for a while, and decided to take the plunge. Today, I’d like to share my review of the first in the series, Stillhouse Lake.


Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.

My Review:

When her husband is convicted as a psychotic serial killer, Gina Royal has to recreate a new life for herself and her children. Because Gina was arrested and tried as a possible accomplice, numerous death threats were made against both her and her children.

After several moves, and new identities, she finally finds refuge on Stillhouse Lake near a small Tennessee town as Gwen Proctor. But just as she begins to feel comfortable, a woman’s body is found in the lake, and the crime is eerily reminiscent of her husband’s crimes.

I’m usually not a fan of first-person and certainly don’t care for present tense, but this author did it right so much that I was barely aware.

The book begins with a shocking opening, and for the most part, the action is fast-paced. I started to get bogged down in a couple of chapters, but I was intrigued enough to continue.

I was able to guess a couple of things about mid-way, but it isn’t often I don’t figure out a killer’s identity before the end of a book. However, the author threw in enough twists to leave me guessing if my assumption was correct.

While there is a solution to the Stillhouse Lake murders, the overall story arc is incomplete, which left me feeling unsatisfied. I don’t care for storylines that take several books for a resolution.

I’m undecided as to whether I will purchase and read the second book of the series, as I wasn’t captivated enough to care what happens next.

I’m rating this book three stars, but if 3.5 were allowed, I would give it that. If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, you’ll probably like this book.