Blog Tour Spotlight: Under the Bridge by Jack Byrne

Today I’m bringing attention to the book Under the Bridge by Jack Byrne. I’ll take you through the blurb, about the author, and a few tour excerpts! If you’d like to follow along with the tour, you can find the full tour schedule here.

Premise

Length: 360 Pages
Genre: Mystery

2004 – The discovery of a skeleton in the Liverpool docklands unearths long buried secrets. Reporter, Anne McCarthy, is keen to prove herself and dives into the case with abandon where she finds Michael, an old Irish caretaker who knows far more than he’s letting on and may have a connection to the body.

Meanwhile, Vinny Doyle, is starting a postgrad degree, researching Liverpool’s immigrant history and a burgeoning Scouse identity. But Vinny has been neglecting his own family history and stranger Michael might know about his father’s disappearance in the 70s.

1955 – Escaping violence in Ireland and fresh off the boat, Michael falls in with Wicklow boys Jack Power and Paddy Doyle, who smuggle contraband through the docks putting them at odds with unions while they rally the dock workers against the rackets and the strikebreakers. A story of corruption, secret police, and sectarianism slowly unravels. But will the truth out?

As the conflict heightens, Michael questions the life sprawling out ahead of him. In the present, Anne races to solve the mystery, but is she prepared for what she’ll find?

About the Author

I was born and raised in Speke Liverpool, (Paul McCartney lived in the street behind us for a while) although my parents first lived ‘Under The Bridge’ in Garston, and all my family goes back to Wicklow in Ireland.

The Liverpool Mystery Series will be four novels. Under The Bridge is the first. I am writing Fire Next time now, and The Wicklow Boys will follow next year. You can find The One Road prequel a collection of short stories on Amazon.

What readers have to say

Under the Bridge is a book that spans genres, combining a thriller with a murder mystery with historical fiction in a race to solve a murder that went unnoticed . . . and some people want to keep it that way.

The Bookwyrm’s Den

A walk through the history of Liverpool, the lives of Irish immigrants and a nice little lesson on the philosophy of “who we are”. If you are going through a rut of wondering “who I am” then I recommend this book to you since it’s a nice mixture of fiction and non fiction.

A Walk in a Book

If you want to learn all about the history of Liverpool while uncovering a twisty murder mystery with a diverse and engaging set of characters then this is definitely the book for you.

Lisa

Blog Tour Review: A Night to Die For by Lisa Schroeder

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Thrilling and captivating throughout, but the finale wasn’t what I expected.

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Lisa Schroeder for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary ARC and media kit!

Book Information

Genre: Young Adult Horror
Publishing Date: March 1, 2022

The Night Of meets Carrie when a boy finds a girl’s body in the ditch on prom night…and becomes the primary suspect in her murder.

All Mario wants is one normal night before he graduates. He’s spent most of high school riding solo and gaming with his only friend, Lucas. But when his mom asks him to take Elana Dexter to the prom as a favor to her father, his mother’s boss, he figures this might be his chance to be less of a loner.

Only, the night takes a turn quickly. First, Mario gets crowned Prom King alongside the school’s it-girl, Maribelle Starr. Which is weird enough. But what’s weirder is that when they put the crown on his head, hundreds of worms slither out of it and all over Mario. Just when Mario thought the night couldn’t get any worse, he sees something on the side of the road while driving Elana home. That something is Prom Queen Maribelle Starr—murdered and left for dead.

All Mario wanted was to go to prom…but somehow, he ended up in hell.

Underlined is a line of totally addictive romance, thriller, and horror paperback original titles coming to you fast and furious each month. Enjoy everything you want to read the way you want to read it.

Content and Trigger Warnings

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

About the Author

Once upon a time, Lisa Schroeder wanted to join Encyclopedia Brown on his fun adventures. Since that didn’t work out, she decided to be an author instead. Lisa’s written over twenty books for kids and teens including the popular verse novels for teens I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and CHASING BROOKLYN, and her most recent YA novels, THE BRIDGE FROM ME TO YOU and ALL WE HAVE IS NOW. She’s also the author of the middle grade novels IT’S RAINING CUPCAKES, MY SECRET GUIDE TO PARIS, SEE YOU ON A STARRY NIGHT and WISH ON ALL THE STARS. Her books have been translated into foreign languages and have been selected for state reading lists. Lisa is a native Oregonian and lives with her family outside of Portland.

Author Links:

Review (no spoilers)

If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.

Let me start off this review by saying I’m super confused about the book’s blurb. A majority of it is accurate, but the book is not a romance nor a horror. I have no idea why it’s tagged like that, because it is 100% a classic YA murder mystery/thriller novel (think Karen M. McManus, Diana Urban, etc.)

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about the book!

A Night to Die For is sure to pull you in with its intriguing premise and its eye-catching cover. I know that’s the main reason why I signed up for this tour! The book starts off with a boy named Mario (who happened to be prom king) finding the prom queen’s dead body in a ditch. Being the easiest–and maybe even the most suspicious–suspect, he’s quickly arrested while the police attempt to gather incriminating evidence. We then follow several characters (points of view change per chapter) as the events unfold.

Something that I really enjoyed that this novel did was the fact that it included adult POVs in the narrative. Often, mystery/thrillers like these only follow the POVs of the teenagers involved, and I felt like the addition of multiple adults (including parents and police) was a nice addition. I also really enjoyed the fact that each chapter was short, making the book feel even more fast-paced and suspenseful.

Unfortunately, this is where I have to explain why I rated it 3 starts. I was really enjoying the book for the first half (if not more). Around that point, I began to get a bit annoyed with the characters for keeping unnecessary secrets from each other and the police, and just overall being really sketch. Then I got to the 90% point and the plot kind of fell apart for me. I am used to authors making a small portion of the plot reliant on characters being shortsighted and foolish, but there was just too much of that in this one to make it believable for me.

If you’re into YA thriller/mystery novels, this is definitely one worth looking at if characters keeping secrets isn’t something that bother you too much. I know I tend to get annoyed with teenagers more often than other reviewers, so if you’re interested in this, definitely check it out as well as other reviews on this tour!

Blog Tour Review: A Nose for Mischief by K.T. Lee

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A surprisingly sophisticated cozy mystery that I enjoyed immensely.

Foreword

Thank you so much to Rachel at https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/ and K.T. Lee for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary ARC and blog tour media kit!

Purchase Links:

About the Author

K.T. Lee is a writer, mom, and engineer who grew up on a steady diet of books from a wide variety of genres. She’s the author of multiple books, including those in the Riverbend K-9 Series and The Calculated Series.

Find out more and get the latest updates (and a free prequel novella!) at https://ktleeauthor.com/ or follow K.T. on the social media sites below: https://www.instagram.com/ktleeauthor/ https://twitter.com/KTLeeWrites https://www.facebook.com/ktleewrites

Review

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise

When materials engineer Zoey Butler lands her dream job at Future State Energy, she believes her research in renewable energy will make headlines. Unfortunately for her, she’s right. Zoey is working on her latest experiment when FBI Special Agent Alexis Thompson and her K-9 partner, Waffle, raid Future State and arrest the head of the development for fraud. Zoey helps the FBI find answers in the aftermath, but she soon finds herself jobless and unemployable. Desperate and out of options, she reaches out to Alexis, the one person who knows Zoey was duped like everyone else.

Liam Graham is an FBI special agent and instructor at Riverbend K-9 Academy. When Alexis brings in a new recruit with an unusual background, Liam pairs her up with Tasha, a dog in need of a handler to stay in their competitive program. Zoey is thrilled to put her past behind her and give the mischievous rescue dog her own second chance. However, shortly after she arrives, the FBI realizes the Future State case is far from closed. And Zoey may be the key to solving it.

Zoey offers to go back to Future State to help the FBI end things once and for all. Only this time, she’ll have Liam and Tasha for backup. But, the problems at Future State are more explosive than any of them suspect.

Review (No Spoilers)

Welcome back to my blog everyone! Sorry that my posts kind of died at the end of last year/beginning of this year. I visited my partner’s family for Christmas and it seems that on one of our connecting flights we caught Omicron and have been isolating basically since January 1st.

Today’s post is a review of the fantastic cozy mystery A Nose for Mischief. I am a fan of cozy mysteries because I find that they aren’t as mentally taxing as books that are classified as standard mysteries. When I open a cozy mystery, I usually prepare myself for it to be fairly simple and straightforward, both in plot and writing-style . I am excited to say that A Nose for Mischief delivered more than I could have ever imagined. The writing and plot were both phenomenally sophisticated and detailed, despite incorporating the well-known tropes of cozies such as a non-law enforcement protagonist, a punny title, and an adorable fluffy sidekick.

Throughout the novel, you follow the main character, Zoey, as she struggles to find her place in life after being collateral damage in an FBI raid of her old company. Struggling with new unemployment, Zoey wiggles her way into a new position as a K-9 unit FBI intern. Once the FBI gets word that her old job may be up to its old tricks, Zoey goes back, undercover, to sniff out any secrets that the company may be hiding.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading this quick and fun novel. It is the first in a new series and you can bet your bottom that I will be continuing! Zoey and Liam were not only very likable as main characters, but they were also incredibly sensible. After reading so many novels where main (and side) characters love to make bad decisions for apparently no good reason, it was really nice to see people who were clearly well thought out and cleverly executed.

If you’re interested in hearing more about A Nose for Mischief, you can follow along with the tour below. If you’d like to purchase it, you can find it at the above pre-order links!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Blog Tour Review: Killer Content by Kiley Roache

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Another entertaining and thrilling YA mystery

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond and Kiley Roache for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary ARC and media kit!

Book Information

Genre: YA Mystery Thriller
Publishing Date: November 20, 2021

Knives Out meets One of Us is Lying! In this paperback original thriller a group of famous TikTokers find themselves turning on each other when one member of the group turns up dead at their beachfront Malibu mansion.

35 million followers. One dead body.

The six teenagers who make up the Hype House seem to have it all. A beach front Malibu mansion, millions of TikTok followers, model good looks, and sponsorship deals up to $30,000 per post. Everything’s pretty much a Gen-Z paradise. Except that one member of the house has just turned up dead in the infinity pool. And the rest of them are suspects.

When the group TikTok account starts posting cryptic messages about the murder, the police limit their investigation to the members of the house. Now old joke videos are filed as evidence and past rivalries start to look like motives.

As investigators dig into these influencers’ lives beyond their glossy internet personalities, they discover all five had reasons their lives would’ve been easier with Sydney Reynolds dead. But only one of them killed her.

Underlined is a line of totally addictive romance, thriller, and horror paperback original titles coming to you fast and furious each month. Enjoy everything you want to read the way you want to read it.

Content and Trigger Warnings

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

About the Author

Kiley Roache is the author of young adult novels FRAT GIRL and THE DATING GAME (HarperCollins / Inkyard Press) and the upcoming novel KILLER CONTENT, which will be published by Penguin Random House/ Underlined on Nov. 30, 2021. Kiley grew up in the Chicago-area, and has been writing since the 7th grade. She signed with a literary agent days before graduating high school.

She is a graduate of Stanford University where she studied Political Science and holds a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Kiley has also worked as a journalist, and her bylines are in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Businessweek among others. She was the 2018 Daniel Pearl Memorial Journalism Intern, reporting for The Wall Street Journal from the London bureau. She wrote an op-ed for The New York Times’s “On Campus” series entitled “The Future of Frats” arguing that fraternities should go co-ed. It was the lead story in the Times’s “The Edit” newsletter that week.

She now lives in Los Angeles in a house with three of her close friends. When she’s not writing she can be found justifying the purchase of cold brew coffee, reading at the beach, or singing karaoke without hitting a single note.

Review (no spoilers)

If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.

When I first saw the cover of this book, I was hooked. It is very reminiscent of Karen McManus’ covers, so you know right away what kind of story it’s going to be.

Killer Content was a very unique YA mystery for me, specifically because it is extremely modern. I mean, the main characters are a bunch of famous TikTok stars! This might have literally been the first book that I’ve ever read that even mentions TikTok! The story follows a group of social media influencers who all live in the same house in order to boost their engagement as much as possible. Things are going well for them until one of them shows up dead—now the rest of them are the main, and only, suspects.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading this book, which was particularly surprising because I honestly hated all of the characters. Most of them are spoiled, privileged, selfish, and often down-right mean. The comparison of this book to the comedy-mystery film Knives Out (a movie that I loved btw) made so much more sense to me after I started reading it. The characters are so thoroughly despicable, but I literally could not put the book down. Roache has a real talent when it comes to engaging writing. I was very impressed by her ability to not only capture my attention immediately, but to keep it throughout.

The biggest, and only, gripe that I had with the novel was that I guessed the big twist almost immediately. On top of that, it literally made no sense. I kept wanting my guess to be wrong, because I sincerely hoped that there was going to be a better and more believable explanation. Once it finally got revealed, I just dropped my hands to the side and basically said, “well, that was super fun to read anyways!”. I couldn’t even really be mad about it.

If you’re interested in reading Killer Content, definitely check it out! This book is perfect for fans of Karen McManus, Diana Urban, and Maureen Johnson! Grab your copy today!

#TheWriteReads #UltimateBlogTour Review: You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Another solid young adult mystery novel by Karen M. McManus.

Thank you so much to The Write Reads, Penguin, and Karen M. McManus, for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary eARC and media kit!

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

About the Author

Karen M. McManus is the #1 New York Times and international bestselling author of young adult thriller/mystery novels, including One of Us Is Lying, One of Us Is Next, Two Can Keep a Secret, and The Cousins. You’ll Be the Death of Me will be her next novel, publishing December 2021. Her work has been translated into more than 40 languages worldwide. Karen lives in Massachusetts and holds a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she mostly uses to draft fake news stories for her novels. For more information, visit www.karenmcmanus.com or @writerkmc on Twitter and Instagram.

Review

Book CWs

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise

From the author of One of Us Is Lying comes a brand new addictive thriller.

Ivy, Mateo and Cal used to be close – best friends back in middle school.

Now all they have in common is a bad day. So for old time’s sake they skip school together – one last time.

But when the trio spot Brian ‘Boney’ Mahoney ditching class too, they follow him – right into a murder scene.

They all have a connection to the victim. And they’re ALL hiding something.

When their day of freedom turns deadly, it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out . . .

It’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with murder, perfect for fans of One Of Us Is Lying and A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder. This explosive new thriller is impossible to put down.

Review (No Spoilers)

You’ll Be the Death of Me is another solid YA Mystery by Karen McManus. The story follows three ex-friends who decide to skip school on a whim and end up coming across the dead body of one of their classmates. With suspicions shrouding the three of them for being absent on this fateful day, they set out to uncover the truth behind what happened, all while trying to hide their own dark secrets.

I’ve read many books from Karen M. McManus (all of them possibly?) and I’m disappointed to say that while this was as readable and twisty as the rest of them, it was probably my least favorite of the group. In particular, I was terribly annoyed and disappointed by the ending. I’m not sure why mystery novels feel the need to leave things untied at the end when they are standalone novels (which I think this is). It’s possible that it’s a nod to the fact that real life isn’t so clean cut, but often it just makes me feel unsatisfied.

Something that I thought this novel handled well, however, was the miscommunication/unnecessary secrets trope. Typically this trope annoys me to no end, especially when teenagers in mystery novels often spend the entire novel not telling any adult for no good reason, but I thought McManus did a good job balancing this. Secrets were kept but for reasons that I found both believable and understandable. Relationships grew and fell apart naturally, though there were a few things at the end that I felt were a bit too convenient.

Overall, if you’re a plan of YA mystery novels like McManus’ previous books, Diana Urban, or Holly Jackson, I think this will be a fun ride for you. If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Book Review: Litani by Jess Lourey

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A chilling mystery, inspired by true horrors of our nation.

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

Premise (from Goodreads)

The Amazon Charts bestselling author of Unspeakable Things and Bloodline explores the darkness at the heart of the rural Midwest in a novel inspired by a chilling true crime.

In the summer of ’84, fourteen-year-old Frankie Jubilee is shuttled off to Litani, Minnesota, to live with her estranged mother, a county prosecutor she barely knows. From the start, Frankie senses something uneasy going on in the small town. The locals whisper about The Game, and her mother warns her to stay out of the woods and away from adults.

When a bullying gang of girls invites Frankie to The Game, she accepts, determined to find out what’s really going on in Litani. She’s not the only one becoming paranoid. Hysteria burns through the community. Dark secrets emerge. And Frankie fears that, even in the bright light of day, she might be living among monsters.

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

Review (No Spoilers)

Note: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Sabrina!

Let me start off this review by giving everyone a brief warning. Litani is inspired by the Satanic Panic that occurred during the 80s, so the main theme of the book has to do with the idea of an underground child sex ring. It does not shy away from topics about child abuse, including child sexual abuse. There are no real explicit details about what would happen to a child in these situations, but the implications are there. Please be safe when reading it! You can find a list of content/trigger warnings above.

Now that I’ve gotten that disclaimer out of the way, I want to say that the timing of me reading this book was perfect. I had literally never heard of Satanic Panic before a few weeks ago, when I listened to a podcast episode about it from You’re Wrong About. Side-note, that podcast and its hosts are great, and I’d definitely recommend it!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the phrase, Satanic Panic was a phenomena that started in the United States in the 1980s. Basically, there were a lot of unsubstantiated claims that there was a global child sex ring started by satanic cults/satan worshippers. Despite lack of solid evidence that this was the case (children may have been getting sexually assaulted, but there was no proof for the notion of an underground international satanic sex ring), it didn’t stop the hysteria and paranoia that followed as a result.

Litani follows the story of a 14 year old girl (note: I would not classify this as a YA. It is an adult novel through and through) who just experienced the loss of her father and is forced to move in with her estranged (and emotionally distant) mother. While she explores the town, she hears whispers about something called “The Game” and about children being molested and sometimes murdered in satanic rituals. She is consistently warned by multiple members of the community to not play with any adults. Not only that, but is there someone lurking outside her window at night?

Needless to say, this book is creepy. The copy that I have calls it a mystery on the back blurb, but for me, it definitely falls under the thriller category. It gets under your skin chapter after chapter. One of the things that I think it was particularly good at was making every single adult seem suspicious. Is there really a child sex ring in this town? How many adults and children are involved? What horrors lie in the town’s past and why won’t anyone talk about it?

Something that I was not expecting was to be educated on several types of plants. The main character, Frankie, has deep knowledge of botany, due to her dad’s expertise, and there are a bunch of fun facts sprinkled throughout the book about the properties of plants, both good and bad. I had (and still have) the urge to write all of these down somewhere. There are even some fun (but kind of creepy) sketches included of human-plant hybrids that Frankie draws to keep track of the people she meets.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style in the very beginning of the book, but it grew on me very quickly. Also, since it takes place in the 80s, I found myself noticing some phrases that I either haven’t heard in a long time or haven’t heard at all. The time-dated mentions of things like corded phones and VCR tapes often gave me intense feelings of nostalgia. Oh, how I miss my childhood.

If you’re into thrillers and can stomach the theme of child sexual abuse, I’d definitely recommend giving Litani a try. Its around 300 pages, and was a very quick read in my opinion. You likely won’t be able to put it down.


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Blog Tour Spotlight: As Good As Dead by Holly Jackson

Today I’m bringing attention to the YA Mystery/Thriller As Good As Dead by Holly Jackson. I’ll take you through the blurb, about the author, and a few tour excerpts! If you’d like to follow along with the tour, you can find the full tour schedule here!

Premise

The highly anticipated, edge-of-your-seat conclusion to the addictive A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series that reads like your favorite true crime podcast or show. By the end, you’ll never think the same of good girls again.

Pip’s good girl days are long behind her. After solving two murder cases and garnering internet fame from her crime podcast, she’s seen a lot.

But she’s still blindsided when it starts to feel like someone is watching her. It’s small things at first. A USB stick with footage recording her and the same anonymous source always asking her: who will look for you when you’re the one who disappears? It could be a harmless fan, but her gut is telling her danger is lurking.

When Pip starts to find connections between her possible stalker and a local serial killer, Pip knows that there is only one choice: find the person threatening her town including herself–or be as good as dead. Because maybe someone has been watching her all along…

Purchase Links:

About the Author

Holly Jackson started writing stories at a young age, completing her first (poor) attempt at a novel when she was fifteen. She graduated from the University of Nottingham, where she studied literary linguistics and creative writing, with a master’s degree in English. She enjoys playing video games and watching true-crime documentaries so she can pretend to be a detective. She lives in London. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is her debut novel.

What readers have to say

After Pip solved her most recent mystery, we had no idea what was in store for her in As Good As Dead. We can say that this is definitely the darkest and most shocking book of the trilogy. Pip is no longer the good girl who got in over her head. She makes some tough choices about if she should protect herself or face some serious consequences.

i’m all booked up

This is a the very best kind of book, the kind of book that keeps you up into the early hours even though you know you have to wake up in the morning but you just HAVE to keep reading. I would consider myself obsessed.

lousbookstuff.com

I found the book so hard to put down and read longer than normal to finish it. I needed to know what would happen.

Confessions of a YA Reader

It is incredibly rare for me to enjoy the last book in a trilogy. I could even say that I am notorious for hating them, but this book is phenomenal and whilst some readers didn’t enjoy the darker aspects of Pip’s journey, I relished in it.

HerBookishObsession

Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Blog Tour Review: The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Another amazing mystery novel by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond and Jennifer Lynn Barnes for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary eARC and media kit!

Book Information

Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Publishing Date: July 13, 2021

Intrigue, riches, and romance abound in this thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Inheritance Games perfect for fans of Karen McManus and Holly Jackson.

The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions – including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons.

Thanks to a DNA test, Avery knows that she’s not a Hawthorne by blood, but clues pile up hinting at a deeper connection to the family than she had ever imagined. As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture – by any means necessary.

With nonstop action, aspirational jet-setting, family intrigue, swoonworthy romance, and billions of dollars hanging in the balance, The Hawthorne Legacy will thrill Jennifer Lynn Barnes fans and new readers alike.

Purchase/Information Links:

Content and Trigger Warnings

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been, in turn, a competitive cheerleader, a volleyball player, a dancer, a debutante, a primate cognition researcher, a teen model, a comic book geek, and a lemur aficionado. She’s been writing for as long as she can remember, finished her first full book (which she now refers to as a “practice book” and which none of you will ever see) when she was still in high school, and then wrote Golden the summer after her freshman year in college, when she was nineteen.

Jen graduated high school in 2002, and from Yale University with a degree in cognitive science (the study of the brain and thought) in May of 2006. She’ll be spending the 2006-2007 school year abroad, doing autism research at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Review (no spoilers)

If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.

This book was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021, and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint! Its predecessor The Inheritance Games was one of the best YA mysteries (if not the best) that I’ve ever read. When I found out that TBR and Beyond Tours was doing a tour for this, I screamed all through the sign up process. If you want to read my review of The Inheritance Games, you can click here.

Since I loved The Inheritance Games so much, I couldn’t stop myself from comparing the two novels. Although I didn’t enjoy this novel as much, I remain incredibly impressed with Jennifer Lynn Barnes and her writing. Not only does she have a writing style that keeps me interested and compelled, but it is also clear just how much brain power goes into her stories. I read a fair amount of YA mysteries and something that usually bothers me about them is that the main characters almost always do something completely stupid for reasons I never understand. While the characters in The Hawthorne Legacy do frustrate me sometimes, it always because they were emotionally reacting to something in a way I didn’t like, not because they were being unnecessarily foolish.

I read a few reviews before sitting down to write this and some people have complained about the pacing of the story because a lot of the action happens at the very end. While I agree that pace at the end of the book picked up quite a lot, I was perfectly fine with the pacing of the rest of the novel. The reason I love Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ mysteries is because she keeps my brain churning in the most satisfying way throughout the novel, and there was no lack of that here. I never felt like the book was going “too slow” because my thoughts never stopped moving.

Something that I think I should mention in this review, just in case some of my readers are like me when it comes to tropes: this book was a love triangle going on. This was hinted at in the first book, but explore more in this installment. I’m someone who normally can’t stand love triangles, but somehow Jennifer Lynn Barnes made it work for me. I’ve never rooted for all sides of a love triangle before, yet that’s what I found myself doing here. I honestly think that no matter what the outcome of the triangle will be, I will be fine with it. It’s amazing that Jennifer Lynn Barnes was able to pull it off so well.

If you’re on the hunt for a thrilling YA mystery novel definitely check this series out. I’m very much looking forward to the next installment! The Hawthorne Legacy came out earlier this week, so you can pick up your copy today!

#TheWriteReads #UltimateBlogTour Review: Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A beautifully designed and executed thriller that will keep you guessing to the very end.

Thank you so much to The Write Reads, Penguin, and Carole Johnstone, for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary physical copy and media kit!

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

About the Author

Carole Johnstone is an award-winning writer from Scotland, whose short stories have been published all over the world. Mirrorland, a psychological suspense with a gothic twist, is her debut novel.

Having grown up in Lanarkshire, she now lives in the beautiful Argyll & Bute, and is currently working on her second novel: a very unusual murder-mystery, set in the equally beautiful Outer Hebrides.

Review

Book CWs

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise

Twelve years ago my life began again.

But it was a lie.

With the startling twists of Gone Girl and the haunting emotional power of Room, Mirrorland is the story of twin sisters, the man they both love, and the dark childhood they can’t leave behind.

Cat lives in Los Angeles, about as far away as she can get from her estranged twin sister El and No. 36 Westeryk Road, the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where they grew up. As girls, they invented Mirrorland, a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs full of pirates, witches, and clowns. These days Cat rarely thinks about their childhood home, or the fact that El now lives there with her husband Ross.

But when El mysteriously disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat is forced to return to the grand old house, which has scarcely changed in twenty years. No. 36 Westeryk Road is still full of shadowy, hidden corners, and at every turn Cat finds herself stumbling on long-held secrets and terrifying ghosts from the past. Because someone—El?—has left Cat clues all over the house: a treasure hunt that leads right back to Mirrorland, where she knows the truth lies crouched and waiting…

A sharply crafted mystery about love and betrayal, redemption and revenge, Mirrorland is a propulsive, page-turning debut about the power of imagination and the price of freedom. Perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Ruth Ware, and Daphne du Maurier.

Review (No Spoilers)

This book was fantastic! Though I received a complimentary hardcover for this tour, I initially started off listening to this on Audiobook so that I could continue doing work at the same time. Eventually, I switched to the physical, and then went back to audio to finish it up.

I would personally recommended reading it physically if you’re able. The main reason I suggest this is because the book moves back and forth between the present and the past, something that is very difficult to tell when you’re listening to the narration. When I first started the audiobook, I thought that my confusion was just due to the narrator having a Scottish accent, but I soon discovered (after grabbing my copy to look at) that the writing style just doesn’t transfer over to audio that great. If you do want to try the Audiobook (it’s available on Scribd), I would suggest following along with the book until you get used to the switches.

In regards to the plot, Mirrorland makes great use of the unreliable narrator trope. I know that a lot of people have grown tired of it nowadays, but I think Mirrorland did it justice. Instead of making our main character Cat a beaten down and depressed drunk whom no one trusts, Johnstone instead created a character that is both fragile and strong. Cat has dealt with severe trauma for a very long time, and I was so proud of how much she grew as a result. Sure, she struggles at times with panic attacks and memory loss, but I never stopped rooting for her. And I think she never stopped rooting for herself.

If there’s one thing that I would critique about Mirrorland, it’s that I think the book tried to do a bit too much. There was a point at around 85% where I thought “isn’t this book done? how is there more??”. I then remembered that someone in our blog tour chat group mentioned that they wanted the book to end around 85% in and I think I agree. I’m a bit noncommittal about it because the last chapters had some things that I really liked, but they also had things I felt didn’t work as well as the rest of the book. I’ll have to sit on it for a while longer.

I would definitely recommend Mirrorland if you’re into adult mystery/thriller novels. If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here!

My physical copy (from my bookstagram)

Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Subscription Spotlight: Sleuth Kings

Hello everyone! I’m trying something new today (hence me spending hours trying to make a new graphic and, as usual, still hating it). Today I’m going to bring light to one of the subscription boxes that my partner and I originally purchased back in 2019: Sleuth Kings.

What is Sleuth Kings?

You can visit their website for more info, but I’ll try to give you the basics here.

A typical Sleuth Kings box.

Sleuth Kings is a subscription service (US only, sadly) that sends you a package every month with its own individual mystery. Included in each box is the following:

  • Investigation Instructions
  • Investigation Report
  • 4 Main Clues
  • Side Clues/Items
  • Epilogue Letter

Each story revolves around a fake detective named Sullivan King as he tries to solve a new case. The Investigation Instructions, along with the introduction email they send you when you begin, provides you with all of the background information you’ll need. Your job is to then go through the four clues they’ve given you to figure out what information they provide.

While you make your way through the clues, you can email Sullivan at any time to ask for help. Usually he will give you one or two hints, and if you’re still stuck after that, he’ll solve the clue for you. The newer cases actually started including a website that you can go to for hints if you’d prefer not to do back and forth emails. Note: The Sullivan that you email during cases is just an email bot, so you’re not going to have to worry about having to wait for a real human to get your email and respond.

Each case usually has two main questions it wants you to answer (one is usually a location or password while the other is usually the identity of the culprit). Once you think you have the correct answer to one or both of these questions, all you have to do is email Sullivan to let him know. You’ll either get a response saying he doesn’t think you’re right and to try again, or you’ll get a positive response along the lines of “What?? You say ____ is the culprit? I don’t know how you figured that out! You’re so smart and awesome and I love you forever. You’re my favorite subscriber of all time.” (Okay, maybe I added a little to that last bit).

After the final emails are exchanged, you get to open the Epilogue Letter which will finally close the case. Each epilogue letter includes a fun item if you’re into that sort of thing. We’ve gotten a few key chains and small trinkets from them.

One of the cases we received and completed

Extra Info

There are two types of detective cases to choose from: Master Detective and Rookie Detective. The difference between the two is the level of difficulty. Rob and I have never tried a Rookie Detective case, but the website says they take around half as long to solve than the Master Detective cases.

One major thing to note if you’re interested in this subscription is that Brandon (the guy who runs Sleuth Kings) has recently taken a break from making new boxes, so all regular subscriptions were cancelled. What is currently being offered are two packages for mysteries that span 4 cases. This is something fairly recent that the company did and basically what is means is that each box still has its own individual mystery to solve, but all four boxes are connected with one larger overall mystery.

Another thing you can do is purchase archived boxes! These are cases from prior months that are available for individual sale online. Almost all of the old cases still have stock, and Brandon restocks them whenever they run out. There are a few cases that he had to retire due to his suppliers no longer providing certain items, but there are still 23 Master Detective cases available for purchase the last time I checked!

My Opinion

I’m not 100% sure about Rob, but I am a huge fan of Sleuth Kings. Some boxes can be more frustrating than others, but I’d definitely recommend this to anyone in the US who is a fan of puzzle solving. We have literally purchased every possible Master Detective case that we can. I’m even debating whether or not I want to dive into Rookie Detective cases because I don’t want to have to wait until the next box to comes out.

One of my favorite things about Sleuth Kings is that each case is it’s own little story. I’ve seen ads for other subscriptions like Hunt a Killer, but those all require you to wait several months before you can solve the mystery. Sleuth Kings, on the other hand, gives you a new case each month that will leave you satisfied (and with a clear answer) once you solve it.

All of our Sleuth Kings folders. Can you tell that I’m a fan?