Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T.A. Willberg

The letter was short. A name, a time, a place.

Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder plunges readers into the heart of London, to the secret tunnels that exist far beneath the city streets. There, a mysterious group of detectives recruited for Miss Brickett’s Investigations & Inquiries use their cunning and gadgets to solve crimes that have stumped Scotland Yard.

Late one night in April 1958, a filing assistant for Miss Brickett’s named Michelle White receives a letter warning her that a heinous act is about to occur. She goes to investigate but finds the room empty. At the stroke of midnight, she is murdered by a killer she can’t see—her death the only sign she wasn’t alone. It becomes chillingly clear that the person responsible must also work for Miss Brickett’s, making everyone a suspect.

Almost unwillingly, Marion Lane, a first-year Inquirer-in-training, finds herself being drawn ever deeper into the investigation. When her friend and mentor is framed for the crime, to clear his name she must sort through the hidden alliances at Miss Brickett’s and secrets dating back to WWII. Masterful, clever and deliciously suspenseful, Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder is a fresh take on the Agatha Christie—style locked-room mystery with an exciting new heroine detective at the helm.

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Available today (December 29th)!

Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder reminded me so much of Harry Potter and it brought back so many amazing memories. Marion is an intern learning about the secret world of detectives in underground London. The gadgets reminded me of the spells in Harry Potter and the tunnels in the underground felt like the many passageways in Hogwarts. 

Unfortunately that is where the similarities ended. JK Rowling created a magical world where you remember traits about every single character, regardless how minor of a character they were. Even though I’m not a big fan of fantasy, the magical world wasn’t hard to understand and I could easily picture what was going on, even at a young age. 

In Marion Lane, it was hard to tell any of the characters apart. All of the professors/more experience professionals all blended together and same with the rookies. There were many times where I was questioning which character Marion was talking to and if I had previously been introduced to them. 

The mystery was lackluster and the whole time I was wondering what all of the other detectives were doing and why the murder of one of their own was left to be solved by a first year trainee. 

2 calculators out of a potential 5. I loved the memories of reading Harry Potter, but sadly that’s all I enjoyed about this novel. 

Thank you to Netgallery and HARLEQUIN – Trade Publishing (U.S. & Canada) for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.


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Wrong Alibi by Christina Dodd


Eighteen-year-old Evelyn Jones lands a job in small-town Alaska, working for a man in his isolated mountain home. But her bright hopes for the future are shattered when Donald White disappears, leaving her to face charges of theft, embezzlement—and a brutal double murder. Her protestations of innocence count for nothing. Convicted, she faces life in prison…until fate sends her on the run.


Evelyn’s escape leaves her scarred and in hiding, isolated from her family, working under an alias at a wilderness camp. Bent on vengeance, intent on recovering her life, she bides her time, patiently searching for the man who took everything from her.


At last, the day comes. Donald White has returned. Evelyn emerges from hiding; the fugitive becomes the hunter. But in her mind, she hears the whisper of other forces at work. Now Evelyn must untangle the threads of evidence before she’s once again found with blood on her hands: the blood of her own family…

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Available tomorrow (December 29th)!

Wrong Alibi took me a while to get into. The start of the novel just felt really choppy. First, Evie is alone during the winter time. Then it’s the summertime and she is assisting at a Alaskan hunting camp where there are some questionable visitors. Then we jump back in time, to see how she ended up at the hunting camp. I was really confused at the start, I had no idea what the novel was about and had a hard time seeing how realistic it was. 

So once Evie has one mistake (or ten), the novel really does start to get interesting. Putting aside all of her questionable actions, Evie does grow on you and you just want to the best for her and her family. I was super surprised by the mystery and who was behind everything. 

3 calculators out of a potential 5. Once you get past the beginning, it’s a great mystery!

Thank you to Netgallery and HARLEQUIN – Trade Publishing (U.S. & Canada) for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.


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The Last to See Her by Courtney Evan Tate

A woman disappears into the dark city night…

Gen is on the verge of a divorce from her cheating husband. When her sister, Meg, has a convention to attend in the Big Apple, she invites Gen along to celebrate her newly found freedom. But the perfect sisters’ getaway quickly goes awry when a tipsy Gen defiantly throws her wedding ring off the hotel room’s balcony. Then, wanting some fresh air, she decides to take a late-evening walk alone and vanishes without a trace.

The investigation that follows uncovers secrets—and betrayals—between sisters and spouses that will twist the truth in on itself until nothing is clear.

What really happened to Gen and who, besides Meg, was the last to see her? 

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Available today (December 15th)!

Secrets, secrets, secrets! I love reading books where you think that everything is normal, but it turns out that everyone has a secret and boy are they juicy secrets!

The Last to See Her hooked me in right away. The chapters alternated between the characters’ past and present and of course all of the secrets were revealed. I was curious on what had happened to Gen and what had happened in her past to have her disappear in the present.

I’m knocking the novel off a few stars because of the ending. I was highly disappointed. I was hoping for a great ending, but it just left me confused. I didn’t understand the motives of what some of the characters did. 

3 calculators out of a potential 5. Was hoping for a better ending after a great page turner!

Thank you to Netgallery and HARLEQUIN – Trade Publishing (U.S. & Canada) for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.


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Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

Be careful to whom you tell your darkest secrets…

Selena Murphy is commuting home from her job in the city when the train stalls out on the tracks. She strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat, and their connection is fast and easy. The woman introduces herself as Martha and confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.

But days later, Selena’s nanny disappears.

Soon Selena finds her once-perfect life upended. As she is pulled into the mystery of the missing nanny, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, Selena begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover.

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Available on October 6, 2020!

My early thoughts when reading Confessions on the 7:45 was wow there are a lot of characters. Normally I’m not too bad when it comes to lots of characters, but for this novel I actually had to keep notes in my phone on how the characters were connected and who is who. 

That being said, I really enjoyed the beginning of the novel and I was curious to know how all of the women (Selena, Geneva and Anne) would be connected. Then the novel went on and I started to get bored. I found that some of the mystery was revealed too early (who Anne was) and at the end it just wrapped up way too nicely. I was hoping to get more of a shocker of an ending or more of a thriller. 

3 calculators out of a potential 5. Some parts I enjoyed and some I didn’t. I would recommend for those looking for a book with twists and multiple storylines/characters. 

Thank you to Netgallery and HARLEQUIN – Trade Publishing (U.S. & Canada) for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.


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Q&A with Lisa Unger

Q: Please give the elevator pitch for Confessions on the 7:45

A: Selena Murphy is a young mother who is having a terrible day. When she gets on her commuter train home, it stalls, dying on the tracks. The beautiful stranger sitting next to her strikes up a conversation with a confession. Maybe it’s her awful day, or the drink she shouldn’t have had, or the dark of the train, but, whatever the reason, Selena shares a secret of her own. When the train comes back to life and Selena is finally headed home, she’s embarrassed. What would lead her to confess her darkest secret to a complete stranger? She hopes she’ll never see the mysterious woman from the train, ever again. But, of course, she will. 

Q: How do the ideas come to you for these bestsellers?

A: Every novel begins with a germ. A little zap of interest that starts me on an obsession for a particular topic. It could be a news story I read, or a sentence I hear or just an image that inspires me. One time it was even a piece of junk mail! Then, if that obsession connects to something larger that’s going on with me, I start to hear a voice or voices.I follow those voices, and they carry me through the narrative. 

Q: Can you explain the popularity of the psychological thriller genre?

A: People have a deep and abiding desire, a need even, to understand themselves and those around them. This includes having some insight into the darkest aspects of human nature. Crime fiction is the perfect place to explore some of the big questions people have about what makes people who they are. Also, in difficult times, crime fiction provides a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end where some type of justice is delivered. Not so with the real world. So I think there is some comfort to be found even in the darkest and most suspenseful novels.

Q: There are so many twists in the story.  Did you know the ending before you plotted all of the surprises?

A: When I sit down to write, I have no idea what’s going to happen, who’s going to show up or what they’re going to do day to day.  And I certainly have no idea how things will end.  It’s kind of a crazy way to write a book, but I’ve never done it any other way.  I write for the same reason that I read, because I want to know what’s going to happen.

Q:  What would you like to do if you were not an author?

A: I don’t know! I’ve never wanted to be anything other than an author. Psychology has always fascinated me, so maybe being a psychiatrist or counselor.

Q:  If Confessions on the 7:45 were made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the lead roles?

A: I would cast Scarlett Johansson as Selena and Gal Gadot as Martha. The supporting cast would be important, too, and Anne Hathaway would be perfect as Geneva and I’d love to see Bradley Cooper as Graham.

Q:  Which of your books would you like to see televised or produced by Hollywood as a movie?

A: Any of them! Currently, THE RED HUNTER and UNDER MY SKIN are under options. So fingers crossed there! If I had to choose some others, I’d pick FRAGILE or INK AND BONE. I’d love to see my fictional town The Hollows come to life on the big or small screen.

Q: Which came first: the characters or the plot line? 

A: The characters, always. My stories always begin for me with a voice, someone with a story to tell.

Q: Why do you love Selena and why should readers root for her?

A: As most of my characters are, Selena is imperfect. The pressures she experiences from the world around her are matched by those she places on herself. She is struggling, but she also knows she has reserves of strength from which to draw to overcome the obstacles she faces, some of which are catastrophic. I think we’re all stronger and braver than we believe ourselves to be, so when we’re rooting for Selena, we’re really rooting for the warrior within us all.

Q: How do you come up with your stories? Is anything based on or influenced by real life? 

A: Everything in fiction is autobiographical — and nothing is! If we’re writing from a deep and authentic place, then all of our experiences, our observations, the people we meet, the situations we observe, the conversations we have and overhear, inform our fiction. Sometimes inspiration comes from the news, from travel, from questions I have about people and the world. My fiction is always influenced by my real life but in really layered and mysterious ways. 

Q: What was your last 5-star read? 

A: I’ve read so many fantastic books recently! GOOD GIRLS LIE by JT Ellison, IF IT BLEEDS by Stephen King, and LITTLE SECRETS by Jennifer Hillier are some of my favorite recent reads.

Q: What is one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

A: I worked for a publisher before I became an author, so I was lucky to have a lot of insight into the business of publishing. So I suppose I’d like to share what I knew going in that a lot of writers don’t.  I knew that the book contract was not the end of the journey, but the beginning of the writing life. And that no matter where you are in your career — an aspiring writer, or a published writer just starting out, or a mega bestseller, it never stops being about the writing. What you do on the page is always the most important element of your career, so never stop trying to get better.

The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton



Marie Langham is devastated when her childhood friend, Nina, is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Before Nina passes away, she asks Marie to look out for her family–her son, daughter, and husband, Stuart. Marie would do anything for Nina, so of course she agrees.

Following Nina’s death, Marie gradually finds herself drawn into her friend’s life–her family, her large house in the countryside. But when Camilla, a mutual friend from their old art-college days, suddenly reappears, Marie begins to suspect that she has a hidden agenda. And this hunch proves correct when Marie discovers that Nina had long-buried secrets–secrets about a holiday in Ibiza the women took ten years previously, when Marie’s then-boyfriend went missing after a tragic accident and was later found dead.

Marie used to envy Nina’s beautiful life, but now she feels increasingly trapped in its ever-shrinking world. As she becomes more and more isolated, Marie must uncover what is true, what isn’t, and who she can trust–before the consequences of Nina’s secrets destroy her.

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Available on July 7, 2020!

I really enjoyed The Perfect Girlfriend by Hamilton, so I was thrilled to sign up for her newest novel, The Last Wife. Both books were similar – they had unreliable, unlikable narrators – but I just couldn’t connect with our main character. Marie was just too much for me. She was creepy and I hated the first part of the novel when she jumped right into her dead friend’s life.

Once Camilla (old friend) comes into the picture, the novel does pick up and I was curious on what really happened on a trip 10 years earlier. I did feel that the novel was a bit too long and some pages could of been cut.

3 calculators out of a potential 5. Definitely check this novel out if you are a fan of unlikable/unreliable characters!

Thank you to Netgallery and HARLEQUIN – Trade Publishing (U.S. & Canada) for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.


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