I Eat Men Like Air by Alice Berman

Book Description:

Published: September 26, 2019


Stars: 5

A ferocious and compelling mystery-drama for the #MeToo era in the vein of The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

With the snow falling fast on a New Hampshire mansion, seven 20-somethings assemble to celebrate an upcoming marriage in a debaucherous weekend that will change their lives irrevocably. The lavish trip to celebrate Will and Jessica’s upcoming nuptials brings together a cast of characters who know each other from Ivy League schools and childhood Upper East Side haunts: Lulu, an LA-based Instagram influencer; Maxie, a former Park Avenue princess, now Midwestern housewife; Yael, an ER doctor from Ohio; Rob, a colorless Wall Street trader; Will, a morality-obsessed lawyer; Jessica, his perfectionist bride-to-be, and Alex Sable, a lawless bon vivant. Alex, son of a billionaire hedge-fund scion, was the sole witness against his classmate in a serial rape trial 15 years ago, which seems to follow Alex wherever he goes. 

By Will and Jessica’s wedding day, four months later, Alex Sable would be dead. In that same house, in a bathtub filled with his blood. 

Can Tyler, a well-known podcast reporter, pry his way into their closed-door world, and parse through the secrets that connect the seven like a web? As Tyler attempts to find the truth behind the months leading up to Alex Sable’s dramatic death, he follows the bridal party – whose lives have spiraled in wildly different directions – through the events that brought them to a fateful night. 

Told in dual timelines, the months leading up to the wedding and the investigation thereafter, I Eat Men Like Air is a riveting look at the unraveling of a friend group punctured by violence, and a chilling depiction of the rage that festers when it’s kept secret. 

Review –

This book is a dramatic, ensemble cast murder mystery. Sharply modern and intense in its interpersonal relationships, the story follows seven twenty-somethings on a disastrous path that leads one of them to a gruesome death.

Trying his best to solve the mystery is Tyler, a podcast reporter with a keen mind and a strong stomach, who weaves his way into the lives of the remaining friends to try to find out what led to the death of Alex, the billionaire’s son. The novel tells the events in two timelines before and after Alex’s death, as we gradually learn the reasons why his high-flying friends might have wanted him dead for many, many years now.

Set perfectly in the Me Too era with its own questions to ask and answer about rape culture and the nature of secrecy, this is an incredibly well-constructed plot which brings different strands together in startling and inventive ways.

Even though we already know the conclusion of Alex’s death, the secrets and surprises keep on coming. The author’s character work is also excellent, with a narrative style that allows us deep into their heads to draw our own conclusions, sitting on Tyler’s shoulder to work out the crimes and conspiracies along with him.

You may think you know who the murderer is, but trust me, you will be surprised in the end!

I Eat Men Like Air is a highly recommended read for fans of dramatic mystery.

Lying Next to Me by Gregg Olsen

Book Description:

Published: May 21, 2019


Stars: 5

No matter what you see, no matter what you’ve heard, assume nothing.

Adam and Sophie Warner and their three-year-old daughter are vacationing in Washington State’s Hood Canal for Memorial Day weekend. It’s the perfect getaway to unplug—and to calm an uneasy marriage. But on Adam’s first day out on the water, he sees Sophie abducted by a stranger. A hundred yards from shore, Adam can’t save her. And Sophie disappears.

In a nearby cabin is another couple, Kristen and Connor Moss. Unfortunately, beyond what they’ve heard in the news, they’re in the dark when it comes to Sophie’s disappearance. For Adam, at least there’s comfort in knowing that Mason County detective Lee Husemann is an old friend of his. She’ll do everything she can to help. She must.

But as Adam’s paranoia about his missing wife escalates, Lee puts together the pieces of a puzzle. The lives of the two couples are converging in unpredictable ways, and the picture is unsettling. Lee suspects that not everyone is telling the truth about what they know—or they have yet to reveal all the lies they’ve hidden from the strangers they married.

Review –

“The story begins on the day that Sophie went missing. It was like something right out of a horror movie. You see, Adam witnessed his wife being kidnapped. He was out on the water with his daughter, Aubrey and Sophie was on the beach. Suddenly, Adam sees Sophie getting hit and being carried off by a stranger. He tried hard to reach her but all he could do was paddle like his life depended on it. He couldn’t leave his little girl on the boat so he had to take her to the shore first and by then, Sophie was gone. What a nightmare, right?

This is a brilliant, masterfully narrated whodunit. Who would be brave enough to kidnap a woman in broad daylight? My mind started racing right from the start as I tried to solve the mystery.  I had no idea where the story was going until the halfway mark. Through the chapters, we get to follow the investigation but we also get to keep up with Adam in the aftermath of his wife’s death.

There are a lot of unlikable characters in this book; good thing is that they were quite entertaining to read about. I enjoyed Lee’s (the lead investigator) narrative through the investigation and I was also captivated by her back story. Other characters had me scratching my head as I tried to decide whether they were good or bad.

Lying Next to Me is suspenseful, well-written and quite captivating. ” ahavenforbooklovers.wordpress.com

This book was fantastic and kept me on the edge of my seat. It was so twisty that it made my head spin. Loved it!

Highly recommend.

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

Book Description:

Published: January 11, 2018


Stars: 5

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart. Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes. Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience?

Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy. Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth? 

Review –

A handsome British politician—also the prime minister’s oldest, closest friend—finds himself on trial for rape.

Sophie Whitehouse adores her husband, James, a junior minister in the British Home Office. Watching him leave with their son and daughter one Friday morning, “she feels a stab of love so fierce she pauses on the stairs just to drink in the tableau of the three of them together.”

But James is uncharacteristically late coming home that night, arriving only to confess—in advance of the tabloid headlines—that he’s had an affair with his assistant, Olivia. That would have been enough to shatter Sophie’s world, but 11 days later, he’s arrested; Olivia has filed charges of rape.

James’ trial brings together two formidable female barristers, one of them Kate Woodcroft, “a highly experienced specialist in prosecuting sexual crimes; forty-one years old; divorced; single; and childless,” and for the defense, Angela Regan, just as determined to see James go free as Kate is to see him found guilty. And both women know this depends far less on the truth than on their adversarial and persuasive skills.

As the trial proceeds, seen alternately from Kate’s, Sophie’s, and James’ points of view, a second storyline unfolds in the early 1990s featuring a character named Holly. Holly is studying English at Oxford, as was Sophie; James is there, too, and his friend Tom, the future prime minister. All of them are involved in a nasty series of events that is not revealed until the end of the book. When the secrets finally come out, there are a few jarring details, but the momentum of the story thunders over them. Because the author leaves room for readers to consider for themselves the issues of consent and intent in rape, particularly in partner rape, this novel is a strong choice for book clubs.

Former political correspondent Vaughan makes an impressive debut with this savvy, propulsive courtroom drama.”Kirkus Reviews

A fantastic book that I could not stopping listening. I highly recommend.

Butterfly Kills (Stonechild and Rouleau #2) by Brenda Chapman

Book Description:

Published: January 10, 2015


Stars: 4

Two separate crimes, two tragic outcomes. 

Jacques Rouleau has moved to Kingston to look after his father and take up the position of head of the town’s Criminal Investigations Division. One hot week in late September, university student Leah Sampson is murdered in her apartment. In another corner of the city, Della Munroe is raped by her husband. At first the crimes appear unrelated, but as Sergeant Rouleau and his new team of officers dig into the women’s pasts, they discover unsettling coincidences. When Kala Stonechild, one of Rouleau’s former officers from Ottawa, suddenly appears in Kingston, Rouleau enlists her to help.

Stonechild isn’t sure if she wants to stay in Kingston, but agrees to help Rouleau in the short term. While she struggles with trying to decide if she can make a life in this new town, a ghost from her past starts to haunt her.

As the detectives delve deeper into the cases, it seems more questions pop up than answers. Who murdered Leah Sampson? And why does Della Monroe’s name keep showing up in the murder investigation? Both women were hiding secrets that have unleashed a string of violence. Stonechild and Rouleau race to discover the truth before the violence rips more families apart. 

Review –

Kala Stonechild and Sgt. Jacques Rouleau, who first appeared in COLD MOURNING, here make their second appearance. Much has changed in their lives. Both have left the Ottawa police force. Rouleau has joined the Kingston force so he can be closer to his ailing father. Kala returned to her home on a First Nation Reservation in northern Ontario, but several personal disappointments have made her re-think her decision to return. She is on a somewhat aimless trip to think things over and drops into Kingston to see her old partner, who has been asking her to fill an opening on the Kingston police.

As they are visiting, a murder is reported and the pair are off to investigate. The victim is a Queens University student who works on a student help line, found savagely murdered in her apartment. It’s a crime that follows close on the heels of the reported rape of Della Monroe by her husband, a man who soon will himself be killed by his wife as he violates a protection order. Then another help-line worker is beaten so badly that there are fears for her life. It is a lot of crime for normally peaceable Kingston.

In addition to the university-centred crimes and their investigation, another story gradually comes to light. A young girl from a rigidly conservative Muslim family, Dalal Shahan, is desperate to save her younger and somewhat simple-minded sister from being married off to an elderly man. Her elder sister has already fled to escape the same fate. Dalal is also seeking some measure of Canadian freedom from the strict oversight of her family, especially her elder brother.

It is a sign of the strength of Chapman’s ability to construct a plot that all of these elements come together in an unforced sort of way. They are connected, but the connections are only slowly revealed and it takes some intuitive police work to make them.

The main theme of BUTTERFLY KILLS has to do with domestic and sexual violence, especially appropriate in view of Stonechild’s own personal history and against the backdrop of the missing and murdered Aboriginal women whose fates remain unresolved.

By the final chapter, the author has established the grounds for further installments in the series. Readers of crime fiction, especially Canadian ones who find local settings and concerns often hard to find in their favourite genre should be pleased.

Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah

Book Description:

Published: February 4, 2020


Stars: 5

All Beth has to do is drive her son to his Under-14s away match, watch him play, and bring him home.

Just because she knows her ex-best friend lives near the football ground, that doesn’t mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her. Why would Beth do that, and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn’t seen Flora for twelve years. She doesn’t want to see her today, or ever again.

But she can’t resist. She parks outside the open gates of Newnham House, watches from across the road as Flora and her children Thomas and Emily step out of the car. Except… There’s something terribly wrong. Flora looks the same, only older. As Beth would have expected. It’s the children. Twelve years ago, Thomas and Emily were five and three years old. Today, they look precisely as they did then. 

They are still five and three. They are Thomas and Emily without a doubt – Hilary hears Flora call them by their names – but they haven’t changed at all. 

They are no taller, no older… Why haven’t they grown? 

Review –

“A woman reunited with an estranged friend discovers that nothing about her has changed in 12 years—including the ages of her children—and can’t rest until she solves the mystery.

Beth Leeson has always wondered what happened to Flora Braid after their friendship fell apart. But the Braids moved away, and they lost touch.

Twelve years later, Beth decides to check on her and spies Flora coaxing her two small children, Thomas and Emily, ages 5 and 3, out of their car—which is crazy, because that’s how old the kids were when Beth knew them. By now they should be teenagers. And the Braids’ youngest child, Georgina, isn’t there at all. Beth isn’t crazy. She knows what she saw.

Her daughter, Zannah, serves as a precocious sounding board for her evolving, and sometimes outlandish, theories: “Even if a science genius invented a drug that stopped people aging, they wouldn’t freeze their kids in time at three and five. Those are pain-in-the-arse ages. You might freeze your kids at, like, nine and eleven,” Zannah says to refute the idea that Thomas and Emily were part of a genetic experiment. But the simplest explanation they can think of—that the children are Thomas and Emily’s younger siblings—doesn’t quite add up. Why would Flora give all her children the same names?

The question then becomes, how well did Beth really know the Braids? With a combination of social media stalking and amateur detective work, Beth tracks down Flora and her husband, Lewis, in both England and Florida and discovers that her old friends are leading double lives in more ways than one. Initially, the bond between the two women seems too weak to warrant such an intense search, but as Beth considers the problems that Flora might’ve been dealing with years ago that she hadn’t noticed, her curiosity thaws into genuine concern that turns her mission into a moral imperative.

Save a friendship, save a life—a surprising lesson for an unusual and absorbing thriller.” Kirkus Reviews

This is a fantastic story that keeps you guessing all the way to the end. It just goes to show that as well as you think you know someone, things may NOT be as they seem.

Excellent read and I highly recommend !

Cold Mourning (Stonechild and Rouleau #1) by Brenda Chapman

Book Description:

Published: February 10, 2014


Stars: 4

When murder stalks a family over Christmas, Kala Stonechild trusts her intuition to get results.

It’s a week before Christmas when wealthy businessman Tom Underwood disappears into thin air — with more than enough people wanting him dead. 

New police recruit Kala Stonechild, who has left her northern Ontario detachment to join a specialized Ottawa crime unit, is tasked with returning Underwood home in time for the holidays. Stonechild, who is from a First Nations reserve, is a lone wolf who is used to surviving on her wits. Her new boss, Detective Jacques Rouleau, has his hands full controlling her, his team, and an investigation that keeps threatening to go off track. 

Old betrayals and complicated family relationships brutally collide when love turns to hate and murder stalks a family.

Review –

The novel opens in 1995 in northern Canada where two young First Nations girls have accepted a lift from a stranger. An action which brings about tragic and traumatic consequences for them both.

Skip ahead to chapter one and Kala Stonechild has just accepted a position on a special task force of the Ottawa police. The reader/listener immediately assumes that Kala is one of the two girls mentioned in the prologue. Her name is apt. Stonechild, a loner, reveals little of herself.

The unit she is working for is headed by Jacques Rouleau. A fair man, likeable and plagued with torment in both his private and professional life. The others on her squad are wary of Kala at first but seem to develop a healthy respect for her as time goes by.

The first day on the job they are assigned a case of a missing Ottawa business man. Their goal is to find him and have him home in time for Christmas. Things are never as simple as they are at first glance and the squad are foiled at every turn. When the businessman’s body is found in the trunk of his car after he has frozen to death they have a plethora of suspects. A highly dysfunctional family, some murky business deals and even murkier business partners.

The author does a great job of slowly unravelling the secrets and lies of the people in Tom’s life and it’s easy for the reader/listener to flip flop while guessing who done it. Suspects include Tom’s slimy partner, his estranged son, the husband of a family friend and the much younger second wife. Characters are well developed with distinct voices & separate side plots that flesh out their lives.

But it’s Kala and Rouleau who really hold your attention. Good people and good cops, both are fallible human beings haunted by past mistakes. The pacing is perfect, drawing you in from the get go and it’s a quick read as the story lines unfold. Dialogue is sharp with a dry wit.
By the end, the murderer is revealed, Kala gets some closure for her past and Rouleau makes a big decision. 

If you’re a fan of smart, well plotted police procedurals, I highly recommend this novel.

Cold Mourning, the first in the Stonechild and Rouleau mystery series, is the first novel to employ a female First Nations sleuth in Canadian fiction! 

Baby & the Late Night Howlers (Sweet Omegaverse #1) by Kathryn Moon

Book Description:

Published: December 17, 2019


Stars: 5

Baby’s heat is coming…

After years of assuming she was a beta, discovering her omega designation in a biker bar surrounded by alphas isn’t exactly fulfilling any fantasies for Baby. She only wanted to get laid, not get knotted, bitten, and bonded. Now Baby’s entire life is about to turn upside down.

With the sexual frenzy of her heat on its way, she needs to find a pack, a nest, and alphas she can trust.

The Late Night Howlers have given up hope…

After years of waiting for an omega to choose them, this motorcycle club of alphas is ready to move on with their lives. Until one sweet woman takes a chance on them.

A rundown bar and apartment building is no place to spoil a new omega but the Howlers are determined to do right by Baby when she needs them. All they have to do is keep her satisfied while resisting the mouthwatering temptation to bite and bond her, permanently.

When a rival MC comes sniffing after Baby, her safety is put at risk and the Howlers may be torn apart forever. 

Review –

This book was recommended to me by my daughter(who reads everything under the sun) and I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it. I had never heard of Omegaverse genre books, BUT,I loved it! I loved the world, I loved the packs. I loved the alphas devoted to their omegas. I loved the bonds and true relationships that grow through it all. It was all so easy for me to fall in love with.

Baby (and that was her real name) was reasonable and kind in the midst of a surprise situation that changed the entire course of her life. Seth was a sweetheart. Jonah…also a sweetheart, but more of a hardheaded one. I enjoyed getting to know and love the rest of Baby’s alphas as the story progressed. And the pack in general–it was just all so GOOD.
The storyline was exactly my kind of thing. So basically what I’m trying to say here is that when I said I let this book take over my life, I meant it. I could barely take my eyes off this book. I FLEW through, reading it in every spare moment. 

That said, there was one teeny-tiny thing that I totally saw coming from a mile away, which I would have forgiven, but it kind of took the characters too long to see it, considering at least half of them were suspicious in the first place. This didn’t take away from reading for me but it made this book just short of perfect.

This book is exactly what the series title says–a sweet omegaverse. I kind of think about it as omegaverse-lite. It’s perfect for anyone who may be new to reading this type of book or who maybe find themselves not quite sure about how they feel about a full-on omegaverse. 

Overall, Baby & the Late Night Howlers was a pleasant surprise. I loved the world and the characters and the easy to love reverse harem romance that developed.

That being said, I jumped into the second and third books and was totally let down, so I’m done with the series. The books were just too OVER THE TOP for me.

If you have never heard of OMEGAVERSE, look it up on Wikipedia and be prepared to have your eyes opened!

The Surrogate (Brennan and Esposito #1) by Tina Carver

Book Description:

Published: September 17, 2009


Stars: 4

A sickening killer is on the loose. A killer like no other. This murderer targets heavily pregnant women, drugging them and brutally removing their unborn babies.

When DI Phil Brennan is called to the latest murder scene, he knows he has entered the world of the most depraved killer he had ever encountered. After a loveless, abusive childhood, Phil knows evil well. But nothing has prepared him for this.

And when criminal profiler Marina Esposito is brought in to help solve the case, she delivers a bombshell: she believes there is a woman involved in the killing, a woman desperate for children…

A shocking, gripping debut novel, The Surrogate is the perfect read for fans of Tess Gerritsen and Karin Slaughter. 

Review –

“Carver’s debut novel, a thriller with a decidedly British flair, isn’t for the squeamish or easily frightened.

Something’s decidedly not right in Colchester: Four women, three of them pregnant, have been brutally murdered. In the cases of the pregnant victims, the murderer cut the babies from their mothers’ wombs and police believe the last child is still alive.

The case falls to Detective Inspector Phil Brennan, chief investigating officer of the Major Incident Squad (the British equivalent of chief of detectives). Brennan and his officers, Anni Hepburn and Clayton Thompson, are trying to make sense of killings so brutal that even veteran officers find themselves sickened by the gory crime scenes. Colchester is unprepared for the homicides; it’s a peaceful, family-oriented place where homicides like these simply don’t happen

Officials, scrambling to solve the killings and find the missing baby, call in psychologist Marina Esposito. Marina is Phil’s former lover; they met over a case that turned sour and dangerous. Marina moved on and is, in fact, pregnant herself, although she’s not yet showing and doesn’t share her news. Soon, the investigation takes them to the last victim’s strapping former boyfriend and a woman with secret and deadly ties to police.

While Phil, Marina and other investigators race against time to save the life of the infant, the killer is out again, looking for another victim. Graphic violence may turn off readers who prefer their thrillers less bloody, but the action is both convincing and necessary to the narrative arc. What’s less convincing is the plodding pace at which the police move in this case, with Marina providing dubious expert input, but plenty of emotional conflict.

The book, a success in Europe, may also prove too heavily laden with English colloquialisms for American audiences. No attempt has been made to explain much of the slang, leaving those unfamiliar with the King’s English scratching their heads.A good premise that’s long on promise, but the choppy writing, dominated by melodramatic one-liners, and stilted repetition of phrases (no one simply drinks anything, instead they take mouthfuls of their drinks) prove more distracting than thrilling.” Kirkus Reviews

The Cleanup by Sean Doolittle

Book Description:

Published: November 2006


Stars: 3

Matthew Worth is a mess. Somewhere between a good cop and a bad screwup, he botched a marriage and a career. His fellow officers think he’s a joke. His commanders are tired of cutting him breaks. Even his wife has left him for a flashy homicide detective. Busted to night patrol at a robbery-prone Omaha supermarket, Worth is doing time, wearing his uniform and asking shoppers if they want paper or plastic. If that isn’t enough, he suspects he might be falling for Gwen, the shy checkout girl who may be an even bigger mess than he is. It couldn’t get any worse. Until it does.

When Gwen comes to him one night scared and desperate for help, Worth discovers just how far he’s willing to go to protect and serve. The next thing he knows, he’s driving a stolen car with a corpse in the trunk, a pistol in the glove box, and no way to turn back. Everything he doesn’t know could get them killed. And things haven’t even begun to get messy yet…. 

Review –

The Cleanup is a very competent screwball noir that is very tightly plotted.

The story rattles along with plenty of twists and turns. Worth and Gwen are nicely penned, surrounded by a set of somewhat stereotypical characters. The book has all the ingredients to be a five star read, but for some reason it just didn’t quite click that way for me. I think part of the problem was it all felt a little bit done by numbers – everything fitted together too neatly and slickly – and it lacked some darkly comic turns that would have given the narrative an added lift.

Also, I never really felt I was rooting for the main characters, they’re just too ordinary and plain, and Worth’s motivations are perhaps too fuzzy. There were also a couple of questions at the end that needed much more elaboration. This probably sounds more negative than the book deserves but for me, none of the characters had any appeal.

Hot to Trot (Agatha Raisin #31) by M.C. Beaton

Book Description:

Published: December 25, 2020


Stars: 4

When Private Investigator Agatha Raisin learns that her friend and one-time lover Charles Fraith is to be married to a mysterious socialite, Miss Mary Brown-Field, she sees it as her duty to find out what she can about the woman. Coming up empty, Agatha—out of selfless concern for Charles, of course—does the only sensible thing she can think of: she crashes their wedding, which ends in a public altercation. Nursing a hangover the next morning, she gets a phone call from Charles, with even more disturbing news: Mary has been murdered.

Agatha takes on the case, and quickly becomes entrenched in the competitive equestrian world, in which Mary had been enmeshed—as well as the victim’s surprisingly violent past. Agatha finds no shortage of motives among a wide range of characters, from Mary’s old riding competitors, to enemies from her schoolgirl days, to her surly father, who threatens Agatha to mind her own business. Meanwhile, the police department has its money on another suspect: Agatha. Will she track down the criminal in time, or end up behind bars herself? 

Review –

“A private detective brings her most underhanded skills to her attempted rescue of a longtime lover.

The irascible Agatha Raisin and her staff, who’ve taken on many an odd case, go all out when Agatha’s friend and sometime lover Sir Charles Fraith makes a disastrous mistake. Even Charles’ devoted servant, Gustav, who despises Agatha, is desperate to keep his boss from marrying the wealthy but all too well-named Mary Brown-Fields.

Agatha calls on her publicist friend Roy Silver to tap all his sources and find out what’s forcing Charles to agree to marry a woman so awful that only her parents could love her. When, between the wedding and the honeymoon, Gustav tells Charles what he’s found out about Mary’s nefarious plans for his beloved estate, Charles exclaims, “The bitch! I’ll kill her!”

Meanwhile, Agatha has a nasty public fight with Mary, who caught her sneaking into the wedding, but that doesn’t stop her from crashing a fancy-dress masked ball Mary throws herself for her birthday. As Charles is escorting an unmasked Agatha out of the party, they discover Mary hanging from a beam in the barn. The Chief Inspector, who’s always hated Agatha, has her arrested even though she and Charles have the perfect alibi.

Of course the arrest makes her even more determined to find the killer. She’s gratified to learn that Mary was hated by most of the show jumpers who competed with her in her favorite sport. Roy learns to ride; Agatha is attacked by mean-girl show jumpers; and Charles proves as faithless as ever.

The pseudonymous author, who died last year, displays her heroine’s finest qualities in a case packed with dark horses.” Kirkus Reviews

While listening to this book, tears came to my eyes because there would be no more adventures of the aggressive Agatha Raisin. I have read or listened to every book and have loved them all, some more than others, but this one ended the series just where it was meant to be. For the major characters, things seemed in their proper place, deserved or not(Sir Charles) but I wish some of the minor characters cloud have been dealt with better.

I think I’m right when I say the author had help finishing this book and I know it would have been an ungodly length if every character would have had it’s storyline tied up in a neat bow, but a reader/listener can only dream.

RIP M.C. Beaton and thanks for many happy memories.