A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Divorce is Murder by Elka Ray- Feature and Review


Toby Wong visits her quiet hometown in British Columbia, where nothing ever happens--until her old high school rival is found murdered. Shortly after returning to her sleepy hometown on Vancouver Island, Chinese-Canadian divorce lawyer Toby Wong runs into Josh Barton, who broke her heart as a teen at summer camp. Now a wealthy entrepreneur, Josh wants to divorce Tonya, the mean girl who made Toby's life hell all those years ago. Not long after Toby takes Josh's case, Tonya is found murdered. Josh is the prime suspect. Together with her fortune-teller mom and her pregnant best friend, Toby sets out to clear Josh, whom she still has a guilty crush on. While he seems equally smitten, can Toby trust him? The handsome cop charged with finding Tonya's killer doesn't think so. Since Tonya stayed in touch with everyone from that lousy summer camp, Toby keeps running into ex-campers she'd rather forget. Could one of Tonya's catty friends be her killer? Are Toby's old insecurities making her paranoid? Only too late does she realize that she really is in danger.



Divorce Is Murder: A Toby Wong NovelDivorce Is Murder: A Toby Wong Novel by Elka Ray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Divorce is Murder by Elka Ray is a 2019 Seventh Street Books publication.

Great start to a new mystery series!

Family law attorney, Toby Wong, is stunned to learn that her newest client is none other than Josh Barton, a guy she had a massive crush on as a teen. Josh and Toby met while attending a summer camp together, but Toby’s experience at the camp was marred by bullying, mainly from a group of girls whose ringleader, Tonya, ended up marrying Josh. Now Josh wants to divorce Tonya and needs a good attorney.

Although Josh threw Toby under the bus way back at summer camp, she still finds him attractive. Against her better judgment, she agrees to take his case. However, it seems Tonya has pulled a disappearing act. Their worst fears are finally confirmed when Tonya is found murdered. Now Josh is suspect number one and the evidence against him just keeps piling up. Toby joins forces with Josh’s criminal attorney hoping to clear him.

As Toby’s memories of that long -ago summer resurface, her feelings for Josh remain conflicted. However, Colin Destin, the detective working the case, might be the distraction she needs to get over her teenage crush. Meanwhile, Toby’s best friend and her fortune-telling mother offer help and advice, whether Toby wants it or not.

The further Toby digs into Tonya’s life, the murkier the case becomes, as shocking revelations come to light about Tonya, her friends, and possible lovers. Is Josh innocent or is Toby’s judgement clouded by her feelings for him? Could she be putting herself in danger?

This is a fun romantic mystery, packed with humor, zany characters, with just a small amount of poignancy, and a dollop of romance on top. While this is a solid whodunit, there is a gentle message about the lasting effects of bullying.

The story moves at a quick pace, with several interesting twists and curve balls tossed in, keeping me on my toes.

I think I’m going to really like Toby. I love the diversity in the book, and feel the series has a lot of potential. This book falls within the perimeters of the cozy mystery genre, but any fan of pure mysteries will enjoy this one. I’m interested in seeing how the series develops from here and what adventures Toby will encounter next!





Elka's next novel, the romantic mystery DIVORCE IS MURDER, is out from Seventh Street Books on August 20th, 2019. Elka's previous books are the thriller SAIGON DARK, a romantic mystery HANOI JANE, and a book of short crime stories, WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW - TALES OF OBSESSION, MYSTERY & MURDER IN SOUTHEAST ASIA.

Elka is Canadian and lives with her family in Central Vietnam.

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