The Hack

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This isn’t a book for everyone, it deals with a lot of uncomfortable topics. So much so that I wouldn’t suggest this book to my mother, another avid reader, she to some aspects of this book. If you’re ok with being uncomfortable and reading about topics that the larger media would like to brush under the rug, then this is the book for you.

Kate O’Sullivan, a freelance reporter, is working on a piece about George Simms. However, when a serial killer in Thailand kills him she has a bigger story on her hands. With the groundwork that was already started on the story, she works together with a big newspaper to get more information. However, though this story was going to be the first step in her career, she didn’t really know that she was getting herself into.

There are a lot of things I liked about the book. The book was fast paced and the story was well built. We got to see the story from the point of view of multiple characters, and though that can be a little confusing, it was really interesting. Not only did you see the murders and the police point of view, we also see other character’s storylines. The story wouldn’t have been affected if they weren’t there, but it was a nice stylistic touch.

This book does deal heavily with child molestation as well as the common occurrence of sex tourism in Thailand. Some of the scenes are a little more graphic than others, however, they thankfully kept most of the scenes about the children very vague. We still got the idea of what was going on without the details.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, but it’s not for everyone.

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Thanksgiving Waffle Murder (Wicked Waffle Mystery #3)

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Thanksgiving is a time to be together with friends and family, and this season, everyone is coming to Sonja’s house to celebrate. Festivities are somewhat halted when a dead body is found in the manor. Sonja is determined to find out who killed the last minute guest she invited, all the while trying not to step on Frank’s toes during the investigation.

This was a simple book, and the character building was minimal. Though the murderer was obvious, we saw how loyal Sonja was and never suspected them. I will say that Sonja’s loyalty also bleeds into the reader’s bias and affects the way that the reader experiences the novel. The use of a premonition was really interesting, even though she realizes what it meant a little too late. I did really like how the mystery paralleled with the premonitions from early in the book. 

The relationship between Frank and Sonja this book was tense. Frank does point out a serious issue with their relationship that the readers could see from a mile away. In most cozy mysteries, the issue of the main character poking their nose into police business, while dating a cop always causes issues.  I’m just surprised how long it took, seeing how Frank is written to be a stickler for the rules. I know that in the idealistic world of cozy mysteries, nothing will happen, but I can dream. 

Overall, it was an interesting book and a good addition to the series.

Ana Rocha: Shadows of Justice

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Ana was 7 when her world was flipped on her head. Her older sister and protector was gunned down in a drive-by shooting on the soup kitchen where she volunteered. Now Ana became a cop, specifically one in the narcotics unit. Together, with her partner, they work to clean the streets up. All the while Ana is hoping to find even a tidbit of information about who called the hit which leads to her sister’s death.

This is an interesting look into the work of a police department that doesn’t really get represented in books very often. The characters are really what make the story. Since the entire book revolves around Ana, I’ll start with her. She is very much shaped by the loss of her sister. Her entire reason for becoming a cop was to try and stop anyone from having to go through what she did. This book allows us to watch as she’s her innocent worldview and idea of justice for reality. Though character, herself, believes that she lost that innocence at age 7, until you really work with the underbelly of the city, you never truly understand what’s going on.

Her partner, Bryan, is a veteran cop. He’s worked in the department for a long time and he thinks he’s seen it all. He’s dealt with a lot of lost, which I think affects his relationship with Ana at the beginning. He does begin to open up later in the book, and we can start to understand why he acted the way he did say the beginning. I enjoyed the chemistry between Ana and Bryan, they worked well together and quickly became friends. He does have a very jaded way of looking at life and the job, but only because it has been proved right so many times.

The storyline was interesting. Though slow to start, mainly due to character building, once it started rolling it was good. I really enjoyed the tie-in linked to her sister’s death, this link really made it feel like an origin story at the beginning of a series. There was a switch up of fast-paced scenes with calmer ones, which was very nicely used. It allowed the reader to really follow Ana’s journey.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, and if there is another book in this series I would definitely pick it up.


I received a copy of this book from the author via Voracious Readers Only.

Bacon Caramel Murder (Wicked Waffle Mystery #2)

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Halloween is a sacred time for Haunted Falls, and when a newcomer to town tries to remove three middle school’s Halloween party people are not happy. The principle is certain that someone is trying to scare him into re-implementing the party, but he will have none of it. However, when he’s found dead the next day, there may have been something behind the threat.

I will say that there are a few really annoying characters in this book, however, given the storyline it made sense. With the two new people in the comity moving the Halloween party and calling it a harvested part, tensions ran high in this book. The unlikable victim seems to be a comes trope in this series, however, this guy takes the cake. Though I understood the reason behind the murder, I found that it was really mundane. I expected something a little more interesting.

Frank actually asks Sonja to check for any paranormal activity surrounding this case. This book, similar to the last book is really focused on the normal mystery rather than the supernatural reasons. It was really fun to see the interaction between Sonja and the middle school kids that come to the eatery to play games. She is definitely the responsible adult, however, they also treat her like an older sister. We also get to see how frank acts around and it’s cute. Sonja even mentions that he will be the lenient dead when he has kids.

Overall, this was a really interesting book and I had fun reading it. I’m still interested in the rest of the series.

A Flurry of Lies (Bison Creek #4)

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Essie is enjoying the summer, however, her boyfriend Patrick is going a little insane without access to snow. All is peaceful for the pair until a tragedy happens on the main street when an actor in the shootout is killed. At first, everyone believes that it’s a horrible accident, however, when Essie’s brother-in-law’s gun is found missing and at the scene, things go from bad to worst. She’s no pulled in to try to figure out who would want the victim dead, and why would they want to frame Wayne for it.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s been quite some time since I read this book series. However, to be fair that last book was written in 2016 so it’s been 2 years. I really do love the characters in the book, however, I felt like Patrick was a little 2 dimensional in this book. I get it that he’s a retired snowboarder, however, he has to have more interests then snowboarding. I did feel like the camping trip really solidified Essie’s and Patrick’s relationship in this book. I find that they are a very cute couple and that they are still in their honeymoon phase because of it. I also enjoyed the readers to continue learning about Essie’s past and father, even though she, herself, doesn’t know about him.

The mystery in this book was actually quite interesting. Though she tries really hard to not get involves, Wayne’s possible conviction didn’t allow her the option. Though she didn’t really have to force anyone into giving her the answers, the information was given to her. She did, however, have to piece it together. I felt like it was a simple mystery, but given the fact that I felt like this book was very much focused on character development, that was ok.

All in all, I enjoyed this book.

Hot Buttered Murder (Wicked Waffle Mystery #1)

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Belinda has decided to leave Haunted Falls and has requested that Sonja moves into the manor to take care of it until she comes back. Though Frank has some qualms about it, Sonja assures him that this is only because Sonja was Belinda’s only friend in haunted falls. After a year of calm, another murder has been dropped on Sonja’s doorstep. When a woman is killed in front of the eatery, Sonja’s gears start turning, there is something going on again.

This is an excellent start of the series. As nothing in Sonja’s life is allowed to be easy, she has to go through some trials and tribulations just to fulfill a friend’s request. Sonja doesn’t find out until the end, however, Belinda ends up sending this poor woman to her death. As the person who was trying to kill Sonja accidentally killed this woman. I wonder how Belinda will feel about that when she finds out. I did enjoy the little breadcrumbs leading the readers to the murderer.

I really liked the relationship between frank and Sonja in this book. Though they are not working together, Sonja happens to fall into it like she normally does. It was also interesting to see their fight about her moving into Belinda’s manor, as it doesn’t seem right to him. All in all, he does come around to the idea off it comes to an understanding behind Belinda’s reasoning. The relationship is back to being a little flat, I was really hoping for the development that we saw that the end of the last series to carry over.

I really enjoyed this book and like forward to the new series.

Murder and Matrimony (Margot Durand #12)

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Margot and Adam are counting down the days ’till they get married. However, when Adam is accused of murdering a man, Margot is determined to right the wrong. She has to start digging into Adam’s work life as well as his past. With help from the local police department, Adam’s brother, and Dexter, she works to discover the truth.

Though Margot normally works hard on the cases throughout the books in this series, it’s nice to see her getting the full support of the police force. I enjoyed seeing Ben Jr. helping her throughout the book, however, you feel like he is always holding something back. He has become a very interesting and well-balanced character in the series. I think that due to the fact Margot is a little more interested in justice, she is willing to look the other way when either Ben or Dex are doing something that is not exactly legal. We get to know Adam’s brother really well in this book. Margot gets a lot of interesting information out of him in order to help Adam.

We get to see how much Adam trusts Margot in this book. Though we don’t get to see him very much, for obvious reasons, he still manages to get messages to Margot to encourage her throughout the case. I enjoyed how everyone just lets Margot do her thing without interfering. I also really enjoyed the ending of the book, I found it was very cute.

Thigh I feel like the overall plot is very common. In most cozy mysteries, right when the main characters are going to get wed, one of them is suspected of a murder. I can name many different books, but I would just waste some time.

I still really enjoyed this book, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.