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Contracts For Sale

The disappearance of a wealthy CEO, corporate murder, and a ‘stealth’ company Eradication Inc. that operates below the radar providing a sophisticated hitman service: all of this forms the crux of Edward Izzi’s latest crime novel Contracts for Sale. This story begins with a chillingly efficient disposal of a well-dressed corpse in a vat of hydrofluoric acid—the perfect crime that leaves no body, no witnesses, no DNA. Paul Crawford, a journalist, along with the Chicago P.D and a news anchor Chaz Rizzo, work in a friends-and-enemies dynamic to solve the cases of Eradication Inc.’s ‘Houdini Victims’ with no discernible links to each other disappearing throughout the city of Chicago.

The irresistible lure that power and money has, coupled with the desire for revenge and control, is made very clear and is brought out well in this gritty story. Despite the millions that each of the seven shareholders of Eradication Inc. receive every year from the company’s nefarious activities, personal motives compel some of them to put out contracts against their personal enemies—something that the company strictly forbids.

The author does a good job of holding the reader’s attention with his account of the company’s workings, proven in the fact that the reader knows Eradication Inc. to be responsible for the murders within the first few chapters and is still engrossed in the story. The worlds of reporting and policing are de-glamorized in this book, with Crawford and Detective Dorian working to deadlines, reporting to superiors, and playing by the rules, something that is rarely shown in most police thrillers.

Contracts for Sale by Edwrad Izzi expertly combines strong characters, knowledgeable descriptions of Chicago’s geography and its environment, with the various fields of journalism, detectives, the mob underworld, and upscale society to tell a grounded and realistic police procedural story that is thrilling and compelling.

Pages: 334 | ASIN: B0BK4VQ21V

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The Final Comeuppance

Amanda Conway is a successful author enjoying a good night’s sleep in her Brooklyn apartment when her phone goes off. On the other side of the call is her cousin, Detective Pablo Conway, requesting assistance in solving two homicides that strongly link with Amanda’s worst childhood memories. That time in her childhood which she had put entirely behind her. That time was horrible not just to her but to several of her friends and other kids. The headmaster and the most despicable teacher at Winslow-Kent have been murdered, and Amanda has to face her past to help her cousin and her hometown, the quiet town of Carlisle, and get the killer to justice. 

The Final Comeuppance by Carolyn Summer Quinn is a classic whodunnit mystery full of irresponsible adults, criminals thriving amid children, and innocent kids suffering from emotional and physical abuse. A private school hiding under the banner of prestige, Winslow-Kent houses some of the most nefarious characters who enjoy abusing children and money-minded misers who care less for the children and more about the fees they brought in.

Quinn has successfully built a playground of felonies and characters who have sold their humanity for a small amount of money. With a riveting plot of multiple suspects, Quinn creates enough doubt in the reader’s mind to consume the entire mystery in one sitting. The protagonist’s fear and hate towards the adults who failed her are conveyed powerfully.

The Final Comeuppance is a riveting police procedural novel with an amateur sleuth as the protagonist. Readers that enjoy reading about the bad guys getting what they deserve will be drawn into this compelling mystery while trying to figure out who the murderer is along with the characters.

Pages: 351 | ASIN : B0B7ZHYSQ2

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The Divine Travel Agency

The Divine Travel Agency by A Frank Corso Mystery is an exceptional supernatural fiction novel and the first book in the Frank Corso mystery series. The story revolves around a middle-aged bachelor named Frank Corso, who works on Wall Street and lives an extravagant bachelor life. He is comfortable with his life until he visits New Orleans on a business trip, and life takes an unexpected turn. In the weeks leading to Christmas, his ex-girlfriend asks him to find her young supernatural friend, who has disappeared. Corso dives deep into the rich culture of New Orleans and, in doing so, discovers some of the city’s darkest secrets and the mystery of “The divine travel agency.”

The author has written a gripping mystery story that is a page-turner. Frank Corso is a likable and intelligent character, and readers will enjoy getting to know him as the plot unfolds. The story is set in the heart of New Orleans, and the author’s research shows. Readers will be able to picture themselves in New Orleans as he vividly describes all the fantastic tourist spots and travel-worthy places. I found this book hard to put down once I started reading, and it was thanks to the author’s descriptive writing style I was transported into the culture of New Orleans.

Readers will take a deep dive into New Orleans’s rich history with a sprinkle of mystique throughout. The supernatural aspect of the story adds to the drama making this a mysterious read. Readers will feel as if they are part of the investigation, searching along with Frank as he tries to solve the mystery. The story moves at a smooth pace, and some unexpected twists in the story keep readers guessing till the end reveal.

The Divine Travel Agency is a must-read for those who enjoy New Orleans’s magic and a great mystery to solve. The supernatural elements are a great addition giving the traditional detective troupes a fresh take and readers a new experience.

Pages: 388 | ASIN : B09LHJXR67

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The Sting

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The Sting by Steve Powell is a complete genre mash-up. Stick Superman, Batman, James Bond, and an old-timey noir detective into a blender, and you’ll get The Sting’s protagonist, Dean.

Dean is the hero of The Sting, but throughout the book, we never find out too much about him. All we know is he’s a metahuman (he has powers), has a shady past, and is basically brilliant at anything he tries. Martial arts prowess? Check. Super strength? Check. Super Intelligence? Check. Puts James Bond to shame when it comes to the ladies? Check.

Everyone wants a piece of Dean. The good guys and the bad guys want to hire him. If they can’t hire him, they either wish him in a body bag or locked up in a lab to be experimented on. The Sting follows Dean as he pinballs from one adventure to another, constantly being pulled in different directions and never entirely sure who he can trust.

The Sting is an excellent pulpy holiday read. It’s a book about a cool guy doing extraordinary things. Dean is the kind of person, so many men daydream about being. But it would do the book a disservice to say that it’s all pulp with no depth.

Dean is an immensely likable character, and despite his brilliant nature, he is still relatable. This is because the only person who seems unsure what Dean should be is himself. Dean is no superhero. He’s just a gun for hire. At the beginning of the book, Dean seems a little lost and lonely. In some ways, the book is a journey of self-discovery for Dean, and it is only at the end of the book he decides who he wants to be.

Powell focuses on constantly pushing the story forward. The book moves at a breakneck pace and rarely slows to take a breath. Dean is essentially an enigma, and Powell doesn’t spend much time explaining things. While this is mainly for the book’s benefit, I wish Powell would slow down sometimes to add more explanation and description. The story moves so quickly that a momentary lapse in concentration in reading can leave you lost.

Powell leaves a lot of questions unanswered and a lot of elements unexplained. I expect this to keep us hooked and ready for the next book in the series. The Sting is a great easy read for a holiday or day off. I can’t wait to see what happens to Dean next.

Pages: 192 | ISBN: 9781737738299

Sultry

Papa Grand was involved in a scandalous affair with the beautiful woman “Sultry Glade.” It wasn’t the best-kept secret, most knew. What people didn’t know then, however, was how gravely it would come back to bite him. On August 7th, early morning, Gideon “Giddy” Fitzgerald was found murdered inside his vehicle. Unfortunately, their murderer was never caught. Years later, his granddaughter Dillyn Fitzgerald, a chief financial investment officer with a passion for investigating, would dive deep into the tangled web of mysteries and lies to finally catch his killer. With the help of her family and visions of “Sultry,” she begins to unravel the hidden secrets that were buried. But will she be able to solve his murder, or will it come back to haunt her forever?

Sultry, by Dr. Sandra Tanner, is a murder mystery tale filled with plot twists and delectable secrets that will have your mind racing. You are left at the edge of your seat from the turn of the first page to the end of the book because you desperately need to know the answers to your questions.

The reader follows Dillyn Fitzgerald as she sets out to investigate her grandfather’s scandal and find the killer. Dillyn’s character is one that I grew fond of because she is headstrong, loyal, and relatable, and I enjoyed following her along with her investigation. Dr. Tanner’s character development is one to applaud, and it’s hard not to like all the characters. The addition of paranormal activities sprinkled throughout the story was also a pleasant surprise, adding drama to the plot. The plot twist at the end was shocking but a nice surprise despite the ending feels rushed.

Sultry by Dr. Sandra Tanner is an intriguing murder mystery with interesting characters and many plot twists. This compelling book is a fast and exciting read, and I found myself unable to put it down.

Pages: 290 | ASIN : B09RN7Y9LK

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Shacklady

Shacklady by Keller Yeats is a mysterious tale set in Wales. It follows Alan, a man who has purchased an old building and some land. During his renovation, he discovers that his purchase has more to offer when his friend Gerry finds an old mine that was once owned by Silas Shacklady, who became rich from mining the cliffs many years ago but abandoned the project. Alan has his old friend and business partner Nick and his wife Wendy come to explore the mine further. They soon learn that this mine contains many secrets lurking in the dark.

The suspense and intrigue in this novel is created right from the beginning. The author starts by plunging readers straight into the mystery surrounding the mine. This is done through subtle suggestions at first, such as, why there are no tracks to get the train out of the mine shaft. Then the reader is left wondering what happened to Gerry. As the reader is given the information about Gerry’s return to the mine where the characters are not, this adds yet another layer of intrigue. I reveled in this deliberate buildup of the story as I felt it was laying the groundwork for a compelling, and at times eerie, supernatural thriller.

I had initially imagined that delving into a mine would not yield much in the way of fantastic imagery, so I was content with a claustrophobic story, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the author is able to create vivid imagery that blew away all my expectations. For example, by using phrases like ‘swallowed swiftly by the blackness’ and ‘the thicker the air became and the hotter it felt’ the author utilizes all of the senses while taking readers into the depths of the mine. This allowed me to perfectly visualize what was happening and imagine what the characters must be feeling.

Shacklady is a dark and suspenseful supernatural horror story with an intriguing backstory that gives this book surprising depth. With a captivating cast of characters, a compelling mystery at its core, and sharp writing this is a tense scary story that I highly recommend.

Pages: 346 | ASIN : B09XRG2YKN

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Kick Ball Slay

Evann Myrick is an aging, widowed detective with a special gift for solving crimes. When he begins to investigate a string of murders that has been plaguing the world of West Coast swing dancing, he finds himself thrown into a hostile environment full of treachery, deceit, and murder. Myrick finds himself locked in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a vicious killer that is closer than he thinks. As the body count rises and his investigation deepens, the killer’s attention turns to Myrick. With no witnesses, a long list of suspects and a world totally unknown to him, he must rely on all his skills as a detective to stop this murderer–before they stop him.

Kick Ball Slay, by Doug Dorsey, is a riveting murder mystery, set in the competitive world of West Coast swing Dancing. The story focuses on Evann Myrick, a brilliant detective that is tasked with solving these murders. Dorsey does a wonderful job of keeping readers in suspense and making it hard for us to guess the identity of the killer.

I enjoyed following Evann throughout the investigation as readers will be trying to put the pieces together with him. I am a fan of Dorsey’s style of writing. His language is descriptive and engaging. The author’s characters are well-developed and diverse, adding to the world of swing dancing. Dorsey has also done a great job of making all of the characters in the book seem like suspects, making it hard for the reader to pinpoint one person.

Kick Ball Slay is a fascinating whodunit crime thriller with a unique setting and a compelling cast of characters. With a compelling mystery at its core readers will be wrapped up in solving this spellbinding case.

Pages: 329 | ASIN: ‎ B09W921HLJ

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Ruby Roy and The Murder in the Falls

Ruby Roy and the Murder in the Falls follows Dr. Ruby Roy through her first real-life murder mystery. Ruby is a twenty-nine-year-old college professor at Baron University. She’s absent-minded, has an overactive imagination, and is a lover of mystery. As a junior professor, she wants to make sure she doesn’t rock the boat so she can make tenure, but when she finds her Chair dead, she fears for her life.

Author Rima Ray has given readers a female sleuth that they are sure to fall in love with. She’s sharp, quirky, absent-minded, and has an imagination that gets away from her. Ruby is the type of protagonist you root for and believe in, even when she is afraid of nearly everything. All of this makes her feel a little less heroic but she is so much more authentic and relatable because of it. She is someone you can imagine exists in real life, rather than someone who is larger than life. She doesn’t want to rock the boat so it takes her a while to start investigating the mystery, but whether delving into the mystery or living her life she is a character that is oh so charming and fun to follow.

The story moves quickly, as the author knows how to balance exposition and action, giving readers the right amount information in the beginning of the novel to keep us engaged and get to know Ruby before we begin our descent into the depths of this intriguing cozy-mystery.

I enjoyed how well developed the characters in the story were, especially the organic way they are introduced. Reading about Ruby’s character was so fascinating to me as she is so different from the usual protagonists we find in murder mystery stories. I love her quirkiness! I felt like I was a friend of Ruby’s alongside her on this scary but fascinating experience.

Rima Ray has created a memorable character that readers will love to follow as they descend into the depths of this puzzling mystery. I highly recommend this book to readers looking for a light and refreshing book that will make you smile while reading it.

Pages: 244 | ASIN: B09YCPX979

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