Welcome! Assailants, Asphalt and Alibis by Tonya Kappes releases on August 27. It is the eighth book in A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery series. Chihuahua Conspiracy by Molly Fitz is out on August 29 and it is the sixth Pet Whisperer PI novel. Amish Front Porch Stories by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter and Richelle Brunstetter comes out October 1. It contains 18 short tales of simple faith and wisdom. I am looking forward to the 16th A New Orleans Scrapbooking Mystery titled Mumbo Gumbo Murder which also comes out on October 1. What book are you looking forward to being published?
Desolate Shores by Daryl Wood Gerber takes us to Lake Tahoe, California. Aspen Adams is completing her morning jog when she spots a body next to Lake Tahoe. She rushes over and discovers it is her best friend, Vikki Carmichael. Not trusting the Placer County Sheriff’s Office to find the guilty party, Aspen begins her own investigation with the aid of her aunt, Max Adams. Aspen left her life as a teen counselor to begin working at Maxine Adams Detective Agency where she has been serving subpoenas and other legal documents. As Aspen begins questioning Vikki’s friends, she realizes her friend had many secrets. Aspen needs to figure out which one of those secrets was Vikki’s undoing. Aspen is surprised one day when her drug addict sister, Rosie shows up and leaves her teenage daughter, Candace with her. Aspen enrolls Candace in ski classes while she continues her investigation. She knows she is getting close, but that final piece is eluding her. It does not help that the handsome Detective Sergeant Nick Shaper keeps popping up. Aspen comes across the final piece of the puzzle, but she may not be alive long enough to share it with the police.
Desolate Shores is the first novel in An Aspen Adams Novel of Suspense. I enjoy Daryl Wood Gerber’s engaging writing style and the story proceeded at a peppy pace. Aspen Adams does not trust police after they failed to catch the man who killed her parents. She trained to become a licensed therapist and worked with teens until one of them took his own life. This caused Aspen emotional distress and led to her decision to make a big change. Aspen has been working at her aunt’s PI firm for the last eighteen months where she is learning the business. When Aspen finds her friend dead while jogging, she is determined to unearth the killer. With her Aunt Max’s guidance, Aspen begins digging into Vikki’s life. She is surprised by the number of secrets that Vikki kept from her. The mystery had several suspects, misdirection and good clues. There is suspense as the killer tries to stop Aspen from investigating. The takedown scene is fraught with tension. I like that all the details of who, what, when and why were answered at the end (no speculation or supposition). I would have liked a good twist because the killer was not a surprise to me. I knew the identity of the killer by the time I was a quarter of the way through the book. Aspen needs to work on her questioning technique because she is blunt and pushy. I liked how she shared case details with the police, and, to my surprise, they shared information with her. DS Nick Shaper is the lead detective on the case and the romantic interest for Aspen. Sparks fly between Aspen and Nick from the start. She does not feel he is giving the case his all in the beginning, but he grows on her. He helps that he is quite handsome. Aspen’s niece, Candace comes to stay with Aspen while Rosie, Aspen’s sister, spends time with degenerate boyfriend. I liked that Candace was not a picture perfect teen. She has issues and needs Aspen’s love, care and guidance. The author took the time to develop the main characters and provided lovely descriptions of Lake Tahoe. Desolate Shores is an intriguing romantic suspense with a deceased friend, a dangerous killer, shady suspects, a captivating cop, killer clues, and an unseasoned detective.
Desolate Shores is available at Amazon. To find out more about Daryl Wood Gerber and her novels, visit her website. Thank you for visiting today. I plan on reviewing Spirits, Spells and Wedding Bells by Deanna Chase tomorrow. It is the fifth A Pyper Rayne Novel. It is an entertaining story (I laughed frequently while reading it). I hope you have a delightful day. Take care, stay cool, and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader