A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne- Feature and Review


Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, a contemporary and witty romance series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.

Alexis Morgan has spent the past six years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company, The Wedding Belles. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Not a part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. But Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.

Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable...until now. Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally clear that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect time to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets—and beneath the pinstripes and glasses lies a hot-blooded heartthrob. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan’s out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever...



To Love and to Cherish (The Wedding Belles, #3)To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne is a 2016 Pocket Books publication. I was provided a copy of this book as an XOXpert, the official street team of XOXO After Dark.

Enchanting cast of characters, poignant and deliciously sexy!!

Alexis has finally gotten her wedding planning business off and running and is basking in her success, when out of the blue her mother drops a bombshell on her, which has her contemplating the need to put a little effort into her own personal life now.

Logan, who is from across the pond, is here in America to build his own business interests. It’s been nearly ten years since he became a silent partner in ‘The Wedding Belles’, and nearly ten years since he fell in love with Alexis Morgan. But, with his father pressuring him to return home, he must decide if he has a reason to stay in America.

Can he finally get Alexis to notice him? Will Alexis be able to risk her heart again?

I have a hard time getting through series from start to finish sometimes. The books have to be really special in order for me to seek them out and make a concerted effort to read them in order. This has been one of those series. I loved every single book in the Wedding Belles series and I’m very sad to see it end.

But, if it must come to a conclusion, at least it went out on a high note.

Ladies, I think you will fall head over heels for Logan, especially if you like a guy with a sexy accent. He stole my heart!!

Alexis is good at what she does professionally, but her personal life is dry as a bone. But, once her story comes out, it’s understandable.

 Her fear is almost paralyzing and her heart is still tender and raw despite the passage of time, but I did get frustrated with her because she let fear rule her heart, which could cost her that elusive happily ever after… plus she was breaking poor Logan’s heart. Grrr!!

But, I seriously loved them both and enjoyed touching base with the characters from previous installments, as well.

Lauren Layne is an author I’ve followed for a while now, and with each new book, she gets better and better. This series, in particular, is super romantic and sensual, as well charming and witty, and superbly written.

Overall, I highly recommend this series to all lovers of romance!!





Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart--cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Shades of Wrath by Karen Rose Smith - Feature and Review


SHADES OF WRATH is book 6 in Karen Rose Smith's Caprice De Luca Home Staging cozy mystery series.  Between her booming business, her family, and her work rescuing stray animals, home stager Caprice De Luca's life is packed. But when a murder unsettles peaceful Kismet, Pennsylvania, she adds amateur sleuth to her resume. 

Thanks to a wealthy patron, Kismet's women's shelter, Sunshine Tomorrow, has inherited a run-down mansion. Now the shelter's director, Wendy Newcomb, wants Caprice's decorating expertise. Caprice is happy to help, but when she glimpses a few heated encounters between Wendy and some locals, she fears that Wendy may be in need of protection herself. 

When Wendy is found dead inside the old house, Caprice is compelled to poke around in her affairs--and discovers she had her share of enemies. Now, with countless clients, a TV gig that could make her a household name, and rumors of a marriage proposal on its way, Caprice must find time to design an investigation that will lure a crafty killer into the wide open--before someone else winds up in a state of permanent disrepair...


glitter-graphics.com Shades of Wrath (Caprice De Luca Mystery #6)Shades of Wrath by Karen Rose Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shades of Wrath by Karen Rose Smith is a 2016 Kensington publication.

The deeper into this series, we go, the better it gets!

This sixth installment in the Caprice De Luca series sees Caprice helping with the redecoration of a transition home for abused women.

But, before she gets too far along with her plans the proprietor, Wendy Newcomb is found murdered. Caprice is once more sucked into the investigation as she prepares for a competition and irons out her future with Gant.

I love this series! The decorations, the pets, Caprice’s large and loving family, and the added element of romance and realistic relationships has me eagerly awaiting an update on these wonderful characters.

The mystery is always compelling, too. With many cozies the mystery can sometimes seem rather thin, but not with this series. Caprice is a terrific and smart amateur sleuth, and her eye for details helps her notice things others might miss.

In this case, Wendy’s death draws attention to a very important issue and KRS did an amazing job of handling such an edgy topic. Domestic violence is still a troubling and oft hidden problem in our society and I applaud the author for centering a story around it.

Once again, Caprice impresses me with her faith, value system, and dogged determination to find the truth.

Overall, if you love cozy mysteries, this series is outstanding and I highly recommend it. Those who have been following along, I think you are going to love joining Caprice on her latest adventure!!


Hi!  I'm Karen Rose Smith.  I write mystery, romance and women's fiction. My 97th novel will be released in 2017.  Besides writing, my passion is caring for my four rescued cats--Zoie Joy, Halo, her daughter Paddy, senior London...and siblings--Bonnie & Clyde--who are strays who come twice a day at least for wet food.  My hobbies are gardening, cooking, watercolor painting and photography.  An only child, I've always delved into books as an escape.  But as part of a large Italian family, I had cousins and relatives around me often. Families are a strong theme in my novels, both mysteries and romances.  In my Caprice De Luca mystery series, my sleuth Caprice takes in stray cats and dogs and finds them homes.  I love to chat with readers so feel free to search my Facebook pages--lots of cat photos--and join in. 

SHADES OF WRATH is a special book to me for two reasons.  I tackled the subject of domestic violence.  I hope I did it in such a way that I brought an honest glimpse to this crisis for women.  I've interwoven this plotline with healthy relationships too to bring warmth and joy to the novel.  The second reason SHADES is heartfelt is the dedication to Sunnybud and his inclusion in the book. He was a yellow tabby that I befriended for 3 years.  He was a wanderer but he came to trust and depend on me and my husband.  We lost him last February to an FIV complicated infection.  But I'll never forget how he trusted me to feed him, warm him with heat bags in winter, and simply give him love. 

I hope you enjoy every bit of SHADES OF WRATH.  This novel was more than a mystery to me. It was a labor of love. 


In college, Karen began writing poetry and also met her husband to be. They both began married life as teachers, but when their son was born, Karen decided to try her hand at a home-decorating business. 

She returned to teaching for a while but changes in her life led her to writing relationship novels. Now she writes romances as well as mysteries full time. Her first book was published in 1992; her 80th novel will be published in 2013. A winner of New Jersey's Golden Leaf Award in Short Contemporary Romance, Colorado Romance Writers Award Of Excellence for short contemporary, as well as the Phoenix Desert Rose Chapter's Golden Quill for Traditional Romance, she has also been honored with Cataromance.com's award for Best Special Edition and Washington Romance Writers Career Achievement Award. Her romances have made both the USA TODAY list and the Amazon Romance and Contemporary Romance Bestseller lists. 

She has written for Meteor/Kismet, Kensington, Silhouette and Harlequin. Readers can contact Karen through her website, on Facebook (Karen Rose Smith Author) and on Twitter @ Karenrosesmith. They can also follow her monthly e-zine IN TOUCH with KAREN ROSE SMITH which has the latest news about her books, recipes and contests.

Social links:

Romance Website:  http://www.karenrosesmith.com/

Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt- Book Blitz + Review



Bold. Brave. Brutally handsome. Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, is the king's secret weapon. Sent to defeat the notorious Lords of Chaos, he is ambushed in a London alley—and rescued by an unlikely ally: a masked stranger with the unmistakable curves of a woman.


Cocky. Clever. Courageously independent. Alf has survived on the perilous streets of St. Giles by disguising her sex. By day she is a boy, dealing in information and secrets. By night she's the notorious Ghost of St. Giles, a masked vigilante. But as she saves Hugh from assassins, she finds herself succumbing to temptation.


When Hugh hires Alf to investigate the Lords of Chaos, her worlds collide. Once Hugh realizes that the boy and the Ghost are the same, will Alf find the courage to become the woman she needs to be—before the Lords of Chaos destroy them both?


  Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane, #11)Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt is a 2016 Grand Central Publication.

A delectable mix of danger and passion!

The eleventh installment in the Maiden Lane series finally gives fans the story they've been waitng for!

When Hugh, the Duke of Kyle is attacked, Alf saves him. He then commissions him/her to help him ferret out the members of the ‘Lords of Chaos.’

But, when Alf is injured, she moves in with Hugh to recuperate, and quickly becomes a favorite of Hugh’s children, Kit and Peter. But, living under the same roof with Hugh has the inevitable result, when he figures out that the Elfin boy he’s hired is a girl.

However, he still respects Alf's ability to help him, but not in a way Alf would ever have considered… until now. The scruffy boy everyone knows will soon be transformed into a beautiful and dangerously seductive woman, although she remains unaware of her power until Hugh awakens a longing in her she’s never experienced before…

This is one of the best books I’ve read in this series. While there is some disdain toward ‘Cinderella’ type stories these days, this one does have that ‘rags to riches’ trope going on in the background and frankly, I liked it.

But, have no fear, Alf remains the strong, independent character we know and love, while growing into a feminine young woman filled with passion and desire. I loved watching her blossom and receive all the good things in life she deserves!!

Hugh is a man I respect and admire. He never wavers in his faith in Alf, even after discovering her secret. He treats her as an equal, admires her courage and trust her in a way he unable to trust most anyone else. Through her, he learns to love again, and is able to become a better father and a better man.

This story is filled to overflowing with adventure, danger, and intrigue, but also with deliciously witty and seductive dialogue, with strong themes of faith and trust, and most importantly, hope.

Overall, this is a very, very solid outing for EH. I thoroughly enjoyed this historical romance, a genre I’ve been holding at arm’s length these days. So, if I’m giving it a thumbs up, it’s good…. Really good!


IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2cPHXtb

************SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT*****************

WICKED INTENTIONS is now FREE for a limited time!

The ebook edition of WICKED INTENTIONS, the first book in Elizabeth Hoyt’s bestselling Maiden Lane series will be FREE from November 28 through December 12!  This is a great opportunity to introduce friends to the series! On December 13 the price returns to $5.99.



Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series.Publishers Weekly has called her writing "mesmerizing." She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

Social Media Links:
Add Duke of Pleasure to your shelf on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2cPHOG4

Friday, November 25, 2016

A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward- Feature and Review


A man whose killer—his wife—was convicted 15 years ago is discovered freshly murdered in this rivetingly suspenseful mystery from critically acclaimed author Sarah Ward.

Lena Grey is found guilty of murdering her husband, who was found smothered in their bed. She offers no defense, and serves fourteen long years in prison. But within months of her release nearly two decades later, his body is found in a disused morgue, recently killed. Who was the man she killed before, and why did she lie about his identity?

Detective Inspector Francis Sadler and his Derbyshire team try to discover how such a well-orchestrated deception could have occurred. DC Connie Childs is convinced that something greater than marital strife caused the murders, but before Lena can be questioned further, she vanishes. Back in Lena’s childhood home, her sister Kat, a therapist, is shocked by her sister’s duplicity. When she begins to receive mysterious packages from a young man claiming to know her sister’s location, Kat is drawn into her own investigation of her family’s well-hidden secrets. As her inquiries begin to collide with the murder investigation, a link to the sisters’ teenage lives emerges, and the line between victim and perpetrator becomes blurred in this tightly-plotted, compelling novel perfect for fans of Deborah Crombie and Sharon Bolton.



  A Deadly Thaw (Inspector Francis Sadler #2)A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward is a 2016 Minotaur publication.

What an interesting set up. Sadler, Palmer and Connie have their hands full with this one, as the case loops back to 2004 and back again to 2016 in alternate turns.

I love British mysteries, and so have certain criteria I’ve come to expect from them. Ward does an amazing job at creating that atmosphere I love so much about the genre, but adds a very fresh and modern twist to it, which is nice to see.

This review is the copyrighted property of Night Owl Reviews. To read the entire review, click on this link:





Sarah Ward is the author of In Bitter Chill, which was published in 2015 to critical acclaim. On her blog, Crimepieces (www.crimepieces.com), she reviews the best of current crime fiction published around the world, and she has also reviewed for Euro Crime and Crimesquad. She is a judge for the Petrona Award for Scandinavian translated crime novels. She lives in Derbyshire, UK.

Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahrward1

Find her on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/SarahWardCrime

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday- Why I'm excited about The Rebel of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood + Giveaway


A Highland warrior battles to reclaim his birthright in the first of a new series filled with seduction, revenge, and soul-stirring passion…

They call him the Beast—a hardened mercenary whose heart seems as cold as his icy blue gaze. They do not know his true name: Niall Braewick, son of the Laird of Kincaid. It has been years since he escaped into the forest the night his father was murdered. Now he has returned, ablaze with a vengeful hunger. He will gain the MacClaren chief’s trust, gather his clan, and take back his lands. And take the MacClaren’s daughter as well…

Though he pulled her from the river, saving her life, Elspeth has been warned to keep her distance from her father’s hired warrior. He is a barbarian—a shame, as he is far more compelling than the lechers and fools competing for her dowry. Little does she know that, like the castle itself, she is a prize Niall intends to claimbut will he extract blood for blood and possess what is his, or will his enemy’s beautiful, innocent daughter tempt him to forsake his dream of conquest?


A few of the highlights of the The Beast of Clan Kincaid for me was the conflict between Elspeth and Naill, Both characters were bound by duty and it was hard to pick a side.  This story has all the earmarks of an epic love story with intrigue, sensuality and was most entertaining.

Click here for my review on Goodreads:






Since childhood, Magnus has been led to believe he is the Laird Alwyn’s bastard, and raised to hate the Clan Kincaid. But when he learns he is without a doubt the son of the murdered Laird Kincaid, his life as he has always known it is shattered. Now, hiding his knowledge and his fury, he returns to Burnbryde Castle, awaiting the chance to strike against the man whose treachery robbed him of his legacy. His first act of rebellion: to steal a kiss from the redheaded beauty who’s betrothed to the Alwyn’s eldest son and heir.

Since her arrival at Burnbryde, Tara Iverach has been confined to a tower to guard her virtue before she marries. But after a surprise embrace with a lean, bare-chested Highlander who claims to be the Alwyn’s oldest son, she can’t contain her excitement over her good fate. Unfortunately, he is the wrongeldest son, and she is set to marry his cruel and lecherous half brother, Hugh. Can Magnus conquer his rivals and claim his Kincaid destiny before the woman who’s captured his heart becomes his sworn enemy’s bride?

Since I loved the first book in the first book in the series,  I am so excited about the upcoming release of book two,  The Rebel of Clan Kincaid.   The synopsis alone makes my heart beat with anticipation! 

This book is a continuation of the The Beast of Clan Kincaid,  so be sure to read it first. ( LEAVE A COMMENT FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A FREE COPY!- US ONLY) 

I've been eagerly anticipating Magnus' story and can't wait to see how he claims what is rightfully his and saves Tara, the girl who has heart, from a lifetime of misery!! 

Lily Blackwood is  a talented author who respects the time period and creates memorable characters and wonderful, authentic stories around them.

What's not to love?








Monday, November 21, 2016

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne- Feature and Review


Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream jobBut the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.



The Hating GameThe Hating Game by Sally Thorne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne is a 2016 William Morrow publication.

Totally engaging, witty, and one of the most original enemies to lovers stories I’ve read in a long while.

For Lucy and Josh it’s a case of insta-hate, when they are forced to work together after their respective publishing houses merge.

Lucy is so nice and laugh out loud funny, as opposed to the cold hearted, straight laced, and ruthless, Josh.

The two play ‘games’ with each other all day with the express purpose of getting under each other’s skin. It’s deliciously fun!

But, things become very serious when they find themselves competing for the same promotion. The two very ambitious rivals begin the ultimate showdown, but the stakes are higher than they ever imagined! So, let the games begin!!

I saw so many positive ratings and rave reviews for this book, I just had to read it for myself. Thanks GR friends for bringing this book to my attention. I loved it!!

Enemies to Lovers tropes can be hard on the emotions sometimes, but this one was simply divine. Josh’s exterior and horrible reputation pitted against Lucy, the nice girl who deserves a nice guy is the perfect juxtaposition. Both characters give as good as they get, and both play dirty pool.

I could never tell who was edging ahead in the ‘or something’ game, and of course loved the way our girl Lucy showed some real character, risking it all, knowing she is fighting for her career and her heart.

Josh… well, despite first impressions, he’s is definitely the stuff ‘book boyfriends’ are made of. Your heart will melt right along with his. He’s is simply irresistible.

The dialogue is delightful!! Lucy’s wit and humor play perfectly against Josh’s straight man prose, making the friction sizzle between them all the more.

I read this book in one sitting, it was so good! If you enjoy contemporary romance that is just as fun as it is sexy, with two amazing protagonist you can cheer for, look no further.. You are going to love this one!





Sally Thorne lives in Canberra, Australia, and spends her days writing funding submissions and drafting contracts (yawn!) so it’s not surprising that after hours she climbs into colorful fictional worlds of her own creation. Sally believes that romance readers are always searching for intensity in their next favorite book—and it isn't always so easy to find. The Hating Game is her first novel.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

I Wish You Were Mine- An Oxford Novel- by Lauren Layne- ONLY $0.99 -FOR A LIMITED TIME

An Amazon Top 20 Romance of 2016 

Oxford #2
Lauren Layne
Released on February 2, 2016

Perfect for fans of Alice Clayton and Emma Chase, Lauren Layne’s Oxford series heats up in this story of forbidden desire as a brooding jock hoping for a comeback falls for a woman who’s strictly off-limits.

A year ago, Jackson Burke was married to the love of his life and playing quarterback for the Texas Redhawks. Now he’s retired, courtesy of the car accident that ruined his career—and single, after a nasty scandal torpedoed his marriage. Just as he’s starting to get used to his new life as a health and fitness columnist for Oxford magazine, his unpredictable ex shows up on his doorstep in Manhattan. Jackson should be thrilled. But he can’t stop thinking about the one person who’s always been there for him, the one girl he could never have: her younger sister.

Mollie Carrington can’t say no to Madison. After all, her older sister practically raised her. So when Madison begs for help in winning her ex-husband back, Mollie’s just glad she got over her own crush on Jackson ages ago—or so she thought. Because as Mollie reconnects with Jackson, she quickly forgets all her reasons to stay loyal to her sister. Tempted by Jackson’s mellow drawl and cowboy good looks, Mollie is sick and tired of coming in second place. But she can’t win if she doesn’t play the game.


Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart--cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!

Oxford Book One
Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | GooglePlay

Oxford Book Three
Coming December 6th
Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

Find out MORE about the STILETTO/OXFORD World here

Friday, November 18, 2016

Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart- Feature and Review



Girl Waits with Gun (Kopp Sisters, #1)Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart is a 2015 Mariner Books publication (e book- library edition)

Constance Kopp is my kind of heroine!

Based on the real -life adventures of Constance Kopp, this first book in the Kopp Sisters series has Constance doing battle with the owner of a silk factory after his car collides with her horse and buggy.

Determined to force the man into paying restitution for the damage he caused, Constance slowly emerges from the isolated life she’s been living, becoming more embolden when her family is threatened.

Finally, Constance can face her past and embrace a new chapter in her life, which would help pave the way for women to have a career in law enforcement and proving herself to be an inspiration, while showing compassion and determination in seeing justice done.

Constance harbors some shocking secrets by 1914 standards, and so has retreated to a quiet farm life, living with her sisters. The accident proves to be a catalyst for Constance as she rises to the occasion after receiving threats and being blackmailed.

This is no shrinking violet! Constance is my hero, but all the sisters are distinctive, and play a huge part in how things play out.

This is very cool historical mystery, which moves along at a good steady clip, has charm and character, wonderful dialogue and a fair amount of action and adventure to round things out. I enjoyed every minute of it!!




Amy Stewart is the New York Times bestselling author of eight books, including Girl Waits with Gun, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, The Drunken Botanist, and Wicked Plants. She lives in northern California, where she and her husband own an antiquarian bookstore called Eureka Books. She's written for the Washington Post, the New York Times, and many other national magazines and newspapers.

You can also find her all over the country speaking to audiences at bookstores, libraries, botanical gardens, corporate campuses, and university and museum lecture series. To find out if she's coming to your town, visit the Events page of her website.

She's online almost every week chatting with book clubs on Skype, so get in touch! 

Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah- Feature and Review


Hercule Poirot returns in another brilliant murder mystery that can be solved only by the eponymous Belgian detective and his 'little grey cells'.

'What I intend to say to you will come as a shock....'

Lady Athelinda Playford has planned a house party at her mansion in Clonakilty, County Cork, but it is no ordinary gathering. As guests arrive, Lady Playford summons her lawyer to make an urgent change to her will - one she intends to announce at dinner that night. She has decided to cut off her two children without a penny and leave her fortune to someone who has only weeks to live....

Among Lady Playford's guests are two men she has never met - the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard. Neither knows why he has been invited...until Poirot starts to wonder if Lady Playford expects a murderer to strike. But why does she seem so determined to provoke in the presence of a possible killer?

When the crime is committed in spite of Poirot's best efforts to stop it, and the victim is not who he expected it to be, will he be able to find the culprit and solve the mystery?

Following the phenomenal global success of The Monogram Murders, which was published to critical acclaim following a coordinated international launch in September 2014, international best-selling crime writer Sophie Hannah has been commissioned by Agatha Christie Limited to pen a second fully authorised Poirot novel. The new audiobook marks the centenary of the creation of Christie's world-famous detective, Hercule Poirot, introduced in her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.



Closed CasketClosed Casket by Sophie Hannah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah/ Agatha Christie is a 2016 William Morrow publication.

Lady Athelinda Playford gathers an eclectic group of people together when she decides to announce a major change to her will, a very controversial decision that could bring about terrible repercussions.

Inspector Edward Catchpool and the incomparable Hercule Poirot, may have been invited due to Playford’s suspicions that murder is on someone’s mind. However, a murder is committed right under the famous Belgian detective’s nose, prompting him to give those little grey cells some mandatory overtime.

This is the first Poirot mystery with Sophie Hannah writing as Agatha Christie that I’ve read. I must confess, the very idea of resurrecting one of my favorite detectives sounded like a marvelous idea… if we could resurrect Agatha along with him.

I was very skeptical of how this would work out, although, I have seen other long running and well loved series taken over by ghost writers work out quite well. I have also seen them crash and burn. So, with an odd mix of excitement and trepidation, I decided to give this book a fair chance.

Honestly, I enjoyed this mystery, if for no other reason than for the pleasure of reading the old tried and true whodunit format used in the golden age of detective novels.

The characters are well drawn, the dialogue is impressive, and there are plenty of interesting details and psychology involved.

While clever on many levels, it wasn’t too hard to guess who the culprit was, and Poirot is a not quite the same guy we’ve all come to know and love.

He’s not as vivid, and his arrogance and fussiness is only evident in one or two places, which are traits I always adored about him and made me chuckle.

Still, I thought the author did an admirable job considering the monumental shoes she had to fill. She makes Poirot her own and created a fun and easy mystery, while capturing the essence of a bygone era, and paying homage to it at the same time.

Overall, I had a pretty good time with this one. It makes a nice diversion from the stresses of life, and I think cozy mystery lovers would find this one to their liking as well.





Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensitive in 2011 and 2012. In 2004, Sophie won first prize in the Daphne Du Maurier Festival Short Story Competition for her suspense story The Octopus Nest, which is now published in her first collection of short stories, The Fantastic Book of Everybody’s Secrets.

Sophie has also published five collections of poetry. Her fifth, Pessimism for Beginners, was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. From 1997 to 1999 she was Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, and between 1999 and 2001 she was a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. She is forty-one and lives with her husband and children in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College. She is currently working on a new challenge for the little grey cells of Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famous detective.