Pretty Guilty Women

Author: Gina Lamanna
Publisher: Sourcebook Landmark
Genre: Mystery
Source:  Book Expo 2019

 

Goodreads:  Four Women. Four Confessions. One Murder.

Something has gone terribly wrong at the Banks wedding. A man is dead. Four different women rush to offer confessions, each insisting that they committed the crime — alone.

Ginger is holding her family together by a thread, and this wedding weekend is not the fabulous getaway she anticipated.

Kate has enough money to buy her way out of anything. Well, almost anything.

Emily can’t shake her reputation or her memories, and she’s planning to drown this whole vacation in a bottle.

Lulu’s got ex-husbands to spare, and another on the way — as soon as she figures out what the devil the current husband is up to behind her back.

Why would they confess to the same murder? Only they know — and they’re not telling. This page-turning novel explores the depths of friendship and the truths we love to ignore.

Ope’s Opinion: I picked this book up on a whim at the  Book Expo 2019.  I had not read this author before and didn’t know much about the book.  The synopsis sounded cute and thought it would be a fun read. 

The introduction to each character at the beginning of the book was clever.  It gave you insight to each person, their relationship to the wedding and a little background, so you could understand them.

There wasn’t a reliable narrator – which was frustrating.  Who was really telling the truth? The murder seemed to be a side story.  The relationships are at the center of this book.

The ending and epilogue left me with more questions then it answered – not really satisfying.

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The Birthday Girl

Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Publisher: Dutton
Genre: Mystery
Source: Book Expo 2019

 

Goodreads:  In the thrilling, suspenseful new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz, all of Ellie de Florent-Stinson’s secrets come to light in one eventful evening full of twists, turns, and surprises.

Before she became a glamorous fashion designer, Ellie de Florent-Stinson was a trailer-park teen about to turn sixteen. But a night of birthday celebration doesn’t go exactly as planned and descends into a night she’ll never be able to forget.

Now, on the cusp of her fortieth birthday, it appears Ellie has everything she ever wanted: a handsome husband; an accomplished, college-age stepdaughter; a beautiful ten-year-old girl; adorable and rambunctious six-year-old twin boys; lush, well-appointed homes in Los Angeles, Park City, and Palm Springs; a thriving career; and a dazzling circle of friends.

Except everything is not quite as perfect as it looks on the outside–Ellie is keeping many secrets. And hiding those skeletons has a cost, and it all comes to a head the night of her fabulous birthday party in the desert–where everyone who matters in her life shows up, invited or not. Old and new friends and frenemies, stepdaughters and business partners, ex-wives and ex-husbands congregate, and the glittering facade of Ellie’s life begins to crumble.

Beautifully paced and full of surprises, The Birthday Girl is an enthralling tale of a life lived in shadow and its unavoidable consequences.

Ope’s Opinion:  This might have been a 3.5, but you would have to take the “f” word out and put in more creative descriptions.  I almost quit reading this book a couple of times.  I read a couple of reviews and they encouraged me to keep reading.  I was glad I finished it in the long run.

It took a long time to get involved in the story.  Some of the background was needed to understand how everyone ended up where they did, but I wanted it get there faster.  Switching from past to present felt like two different stories until closed to the end when they collided and it was brought to a nice clean end.

Only Ever Her

Author: Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Mystery
Source:  Claire at Little Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  It was to be the perfect wedding—until the bride disappeared.

Annie Taft’s wedding is four days away, and it will be one of the grandest anyone can remember in her small South Carolina town. Preparations are in order. Friends and family are gathering in anticipation. Everything is going according to plan. Except that Annie herself has vanished. Did she have second thoughts? Or has something much worse happened to the bride-to-be?

While her loved ones frantically try to track her down, they’re forced to grapple with their own secrets—secrets with the power to reframe entire relationships, leaving each to wonder how well they really knew Annie and how well they know themselves.

Ope’s Opinion: I thought this was going to be an intense read about a missing person.  Instead it was a slow moving story about a small town with characters I had a hard time caring about and it was not intense at all.   Some of these characters were really strange. 

My biggest frustration in mystery books is when I can’t figure out who the guilty party is because they are not in the book until  the end.  If the guilty person isn’t someone you care about or doesn’t effects the other characters, it makes it hard to care. The ending of this story was not very satisfying.

 

Out Now

Do you enjoy reading a family drama
with a mystery at the core of it?
Then pick this one up today!

Goodreads:  Someone once told me that you have two families in your life – the one you are born into and the one you choose. Yes, you may get to choose your partner, but you don’t choose your mother-in-law. The cackling mercenaries of fate determine it all.

From the moment Lucy met Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana is exquisitely polite, but Lucy knows, even after marrying Oliver, that they’ll never have the closeness she’d been hoping for.

But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice, the matriarch of a loving family. Lucy had wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was ten years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, leaving a suicide note. But the autopsy reveals evidence of suffocation. And everyone in the family is hiding something…

From the bestselling author of The Family Next Door comes a new page-turner about that trickiest of relationships.

Thank you Kristin of Kritters Ramblings  for sharing this book with me.

 

Out Now

Do you want to read a mystery / thriller?
Do you like Heather Gudenkauf?
Then buy this today!

Goodreads:  A gripping thriller about three young girlfriends, a dark obsession and a chilling crime that shakes up a quiet Iowa town, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence .

For twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover–movies and Ouija and talking about boys. But when they decide to sneak out to go to the abandoned rail yard on the outskirts of town, little do they know that their innocent games will have dangerous consequences.

Later that night, Cora Landry is discovered on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends nowhere to be found. Soon their small rural town is thrust into a maelstrom. Who would want to hurt a young girl like Cora–and why? In an investigation that leaves no stone unturned, everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted–not even those closest to Cora.

Before She Was Found is a timely and gripping thriller about friendship and betrayal, about the power of social pressure and the price of needing to fit in. It is about the great lengths a parent will go to protect their child and keep them safe–even if that means burying the truth, no matter the cost.

Thank you Emer for sending this one to me. 

 

 

Girl Most Likely

Author: Max Allen Collins
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Mystery
Source:  Katie at Little Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  t’s never too late for revenge in this thrilling novel by New York Times bestselling and award-winning crime master Max Allan Collins.

In a small Midwest town, twenty-eight-year-old Krista Larson has made her mark as the youngest female police chief in the country. She’s learned from the best: her father, Keith, a decorated former detective. But as accustomed as they are to the relative quiet of their idyllic tourist town, things quickly turn with Krista’s ten-year high school reunion.

With the out-of-towners holed up in a lakefront lodge, it doesn’t take long to stir up old grudges and resentments. Now a successful TV host, Astrid Lund, voted the “Girl Most Likely to Succeed”—and then some—is back in town. Her reputation as a dogged reporter has made the stunning blonde famous. Her reputation among her former classmates and rivals has made her infamous. Astrid’s list of enemies is a long one. And as the reunion begins, so does a triple murder investigation.

Krista and her father are following leads and opening long-locked doors from their hometown to the Florida suburbs to Chicago’s underworld. They just never imagined what would be revealed: the secrets and scandals of Krista’s own past.

Ope’s Opinion: I feel like this was the beginning of a series for police chief Krista Larson.  Max All Collins introduced us to the town and a whole host of people who could show up in later books. 

At times I felt like there were a lot of things thrown in just to make you question who you thought did it.  I am not sure the author made that work, it was just kind of distracting.

The ending felt like the end of a CSI show.  It didn’t feel real, but it felt like it was setting us up for the next book.

Out Now

Up for a good mystery?
This is available today.

Goodreads:  It’s never too late for revenge in this thrilling novel by New York Times bestselling and award-winning crime master Max Allan Collins.

In a small Midwest town, twenty-eight-year-old Krista Larson has made her mark as the youngest female police chief in the country. She’s learned from the best: her father, Keith, a decorated former detective. But as accustomed as they are to the relative quiet of their idyllic tourist town, things quickly turn with Krista’s ten-year high school reunion.

With the out-of-towners holed up in a lakefront lodge, it doesn’t take long to stir up old grudges and resentments. Now a successful TV host, Astrid Lund, voted the “Girl Most Likely to Succeed”—and then some—is back in town. Her reputation as a dogged reporter has made the stunning blonde famous. Her reputation among her former classmates and rivals has made her infamous. Astrid’s list of enemies is a long one. And as the reunion begins, so does a triple murder investigation.

Krista and her father are following leads and opening long-locked doors from their hometown to the Florida suburbs to Chicago’s underworld. They just never imagined what would be revealed: the secrets and scandals of Krista’s own past.

Thank you Katie from Little Bird Publicity.