THE SIXTH VICTIM by Tessa Harris (Audiobook)


Publisher: Kensington/Blackstone Audio
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Source: Review copies from the publisher
Rating: ★★★¾


London’s East End, 1888. When darkness falls, terror begins.

The foggy streets of London’s Whitechapel district have become a nocturnal hunting ground for Jack the Ripper, and no woman is safe. Flower girl Constance Piper is not immune to dread, but she is more preoccupied with her own strange experiences of late.

Clairvoyants seem to be everywhere these days. In desperation, even Scotland Yard has turned to them to help apprehend the Ripper. Her mother has found comfort in contacting her late father in a séance. But are such powers real? And could Constance really be possessed of second sight? She longs for the wise counsel of her mentor and champion of the poor, Emily Tindall, but the kind missionary has gone missing.

Following the latest grisly discovery, Constance is contacted by a high-born lady of means who fears the victim may be her missing sister. She implores Constance to use her clairvoyance to help solve the crime, which the press is calling “the Whitechapel Mystery”, attributing the murder to the Ripper.

As Constance becomes embroiled in intrigue far more sinister than she could have imagined, assistance comes in a startling manner that profoundly challenges her assumptions about the nature of reality. She’ll need all the help she can get – because there may be more than one depraved killer out there.


A poor flower girl named Constance with the gift of clairvoyance is searching for her missing teacher on the streets of Jack the Ripper’s London in Tessa Harris’ historical mystery THE SIXTH VICTIM. At the same time, an upper crust lady enlists Constance’s help in finding her missing sister, fearing she may be the sixth victim of the deranged murderer.

This was an audio/eBook combo read for me. I enjoy Victorian mysteries, and this was a good one, definitely pulls readers into the dark and grizzly happenings of the time. Confusing at first, the book took me a few chapters before I felt comfortable with the characters and story, though overall I liked it. Constance is an intriguing and sympathetic character, and the perfect heroine for this new series.

The audiobook was performed by two narrators, Fiona Hardingham and Gemma Dawson. Their accents and inflections for the many characters helped make this an entertaining story. Eerie and gruesome!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley (eBook) and the publisher (audiobook) in exchange for an honest review.

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EVERY LAST LIE by Mary Kubica


Publisher: Park Row Books
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Rating: ★★★¾


New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL Mary Kubica is back with another exhilarating thriller as a widow’s pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche.

Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon.

Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.

Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara’s investigation and Nick’s last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date — one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.


I do love Mary Kubica’s writing, and in EVERY LAST LIE she presents an engrossing tale of a young mother named Clara facing her husband Nick’s secrets and deceit just days after he dies in a car accident.

There was one witness to the crash, the couple’s 4-year old daughter Maisie, who was strapped in her car seat and luckily unhurt. Clara begins to doubt the wreck was simply an accident when Maisie starts having nightmares about a “bad man” being after them. As she digs for clues, Clara finds that Nick was hiding some unsettling secrets, but were they enough to get him killed?

The story is told in alternating perspectives – Nick, in the weeks leading up to the crash, and Clara, in the weeks after Nick’s death. I liked that readers got to hear both POVs, which added to the suspense of what Nick might reveal and what Clara might discover. Not only is Clara dealing with her husband’s suspicious death, she’s also now the sole caregiver of Maisie and newborn Felix. So many anxiety-inducing elements in this story! Clara made some very questionable choices throughout, and I’m sure teetering on the edge of sanity didn’t help.

I guess I have two niggling complaints with the book. First, there were some loose ends and questions that I wanted answers to, and secondly, I wasn’t thrilled with the ending. I read another mystery that had a similar ending, and while it worked there, it didn’t so much with EVERY LITTLE LIE. Nevertheless, I still think this was an intriguing and well-written book, as much a character study in grief as a novel of suspense.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

PLATINUM DOLL by Anne Girard

platinumdoll
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Rating: ★★★¾


Set against the dazzling backdrop of Golden Age Hollywood, novelist Anne Girard tells the enchanting story of Jean Harlow, one of the most iconic stars in the history of film.

It’s the Roaring Twenties and seventeen-year-old Harlean Carpenter McGrew has run off to Beverly Hills. She’s chasing a dream—to escape her small, Midwestern life and see her name in lights.

In California, Harlean has everything a girl could want—a rich husband, glamorous parties, socialite friends—except an outlet for her talent. But everything changes when a dare pushes her to embrace her true ambition—to be an actress on the silver screen. With her timeless beauty and striking shade of platinum-blond hair, Harlean becomes Jean Harlow. And as she’s thrust into the limelight, Jean learns that this new world of opportunity comes with its own set of burdens. Torn between her family and her passion to perform, Jean is forced to confront the difficult truth—that fame comes at a price, if only she’s willing to pay it.

Amid a glittering cast of ingenues and Hollywood titans—Clara Bow, Clark Gable, Laurel and Hardy, Howard Hughes—Platinum Doll introduces us to the star who would shine brighter than them all.


PLATINUM DOLL is a novel based on actress Jean Harlow’s rise to fame during the Golden Age of Hollywood. In the late 1920s, she goes to California as a teenage bride from the Midwest. The book follows her turbulent marriage to Chuck McGrew, and the struggles she had with her ruthless mother who pushed and pushed an acting career, not always having her best interest at heart.

I enjoy reading about this era, and this book presents an intriguing and well-researched “slice of life” of a promising Golden Age starlet. I liked the author’s portrayal of Jean Harlow – part blonde bombshell, part book nerd – though I wish she would’ve had more of a backbone when it came to her mother. It was fun watching the clips referenced in the book, especially the Laurel & Hardy short “Double Whoopee.” The pacing was slow in spots, but overall it was a “swell” read, as Jean would say.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

MASKING FOR TROUBLE by Diane Vallere

Masking for Trouble
MASKING FOR TROUBLE by Diane Vallere
My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars

I’m jumping into the Costume Shop Mystery series here at book two. What’s the best time of year for someone in the costume business? Halloween, of course!

Actually, Halloween is not only a big deal for Margo at Disguise DeLimit, it’s a major social event for the whole town. Unfortunately, this year a greedy venture capitalist has ripped through town threatening small businesses, including Margo’s. Things continue to go south for Margo when she finds the man dead at his own Halloween gala, and police put her at the top of the list of suspects.

MASKING FOR TROUBLE was a fun read, especially since I adore Halloween. It was nice to “meet” a group of people who appreciate it as much as I do! The cast of characters was delightful, and the mystery itself was pretty good. Margo did a great job coming up with potential culprits, though she had some not-so-smart moves that kept pointing the finger back at her.

Maybe this was addressed in the first book, but I didn’t understand the need for Margo and her boyfriend to keep their relationship a secret. First of all, they’re adults, and second, their families and friends seem like reasonable, understanding people, so what gives?

Overall, I thought this was a cute cozy mystery with a dash of romance and lots of Halloween fun.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.