Tag Archives: Mystery

Tell the Truth by Katherine Howell. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Tell The Truth by Katherine Howell

Paramedic Rowan Wylie is heading into his granddaughter Amelia’s favorite play place when he notices a car that belongs to his friend and fellow paramedic Stacey Durham. When he can’t seem to find her anywhere he checks her car more closely and realizes the seat is covered in what looks like blood. When her husband arrives and they realize that it is in fact blood, they call the police.

When detectives Ella Marconi and Murray Shakespeare arrive and question everyone Ella is immediately suspicious of Stacey’s husband James but thinks there is also something off about Rowan’s answers as well. Murray doesn’t have as much suspicion of James and tells Ella several times that it isn’t always the husband. Not to mention, everyone has told them how much Stacey and James love each other and how happy they are together.

As the days progress and Ella and Murray chase one lead after another, both get somewhat frustrated. Ella because they seem to be getting nowhere fast and Murray because he’s worried that it will rain on his upcoming weekend wedding. Yep, Murray’s getting married. Meanwhile, Ella and Callum seem to be getting along very well, even with his mother’s antics to break them up and Aunt Adelina’s nosy and brash behavior.

On the paramedic’s side of the story, Stacey’s niece, Paris, is 6 weeks into the job and having a tough time getting things right. The fact that Rowan is her training partner and her Aunt Stacey’s good friend should help, but Paris has something bordering on panic attacks when she gets to a scene.

Paris’ mother, Marie, Stacey’s sister, is absolutely no help to Paris, is somewhat jealous of the close relationship Paris has with Stacey and is basically a very miserable person. Not to mention that Ella and Murray can’t seem to go to James’ house without Marie being there. Could there possibly be something going on between them?

The detectives are very anxious to find Stacey, hopefully alive, but with so much blood loss, that may not be possible. The only thing they know for certain is that someone is blaming James and sending texts that say that James needs to “Tell the truth” in order to keep Stacey alive.

I really enjoyed this book, just as I have all the books in this series: (you can see my reviews of the other books by clicking these links: reviewreview, review) and I was very saddened to hear at the end of the audiobook that Katherine Howell is putting aside her writing for a while and this may be the last of the series. When I heard that I felt like I was saying goodbye to a very good friend. I really have enjoyed the recurring characters and have loved listening to Caroline Lee’s narration. She is one of my 2 favorite narrators.

If you haven’t read any of the books in this series, I highly encourage you to do so. If you have, this is another great story in what you probably already know is a really great series.

Book Details:

Note: I was only able to find the audio version of this book on Amazon. I did find a couple of paperback copies on Alibris and Booktopia but I am not sure if they are still available. I will say, though that Caroline Lee is an amazing narrator and I listen when I am cleaning house, crafting, or driving. If you haven’t tried an audiobook, now may be just the time.

Have any of you read this series? What do you think about it?

Books in the Ella Marconi Series:

  1. Frantic
  2. The Darkest Hour
  3. Cold Justice
  4. Violent Exposure
  5. Silent Fear
  6. Web of Deceit
  7. Deserving Death
  8. Tell the Truth

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

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Secrets of the Dead by Carol Wyer. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Secrets of the Dead by Carol Wyer – Book Review

Detective Inspector Tom Shearer, arrogant and smug, transferred from Derbyshire into DI Robyn Carter’s district. His latest case was a man named Miles Ashbrook who was found dead of a heart attack in the sauna at Bromley Hall where Ashbrook was the manager. The case was closed with the death deemed non-suspicious, but someone Detective Inspector Robyn Carter knows asked her to look into the situation because she has reason to suspect foul play.

Robyn is more than happy to look into the case, as she would love to bring DI Shearer down a notch or two. He goes to their boss to complain, however, and Robyn is told to drop the pursuit of the case.

When a bartender is found murdered with a receipt in his hand stating that his $250,000 debt has been paid in full, Robyn and her team begin searching for any clues about what debt the man could have owed.

Several days later a woman, with seemingly no ties to the bartender, is found dead in her bathtub with the same message left behind.

When a connection is finally made, Bromley Hall is back in Robyn’s scope as past events there may very well be the link between her two murdered victims. She now has more reason than ever to wonder about Miles Ashbrook’s death.

The first book in the series, Little Girl Lost (click here for my review) DI Robyn Carter is just beginning to come to terms with the death of her fiancé and nearly a year later she is still having a tough go of it. She still keeps Ross Cunningham busy helping her out, and dealing with DI Shearer on a regular basis could try anyone’s nerves.

Another solidly good story by Carol Wyer and one that leaves me very interested in the next case that comes Carter’s way. I’ve actually already purchased them and they are hanging on my Kindle patiently waiting their turn!

Books in the Robyn Carter series

  1. Little Girl Lost
  2. Secrets of the Dead
  3. The Missing Girls
  4. The Silent Children

Book Details:

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all“Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer

You may think at some point when reading Little Girl Lost that you have this one figured out, but trust me, you probably won’t, not until Carol Wyer gives you one last turn of events.

Detective Inspector Robyn Carter has been on leave following the death of her fiancé and her miscarriage soon after. She has been working with her cousin Ross Cunningham, a retired DI who now owns a private investigation firm. Just before she is scheduled to return to work, she gets a missing persons case on a man named Lucas Matthews. His wife Mary doesn’t want to involve the police, but when Mary shows Robyn something incriminating on his computer, Robyn knows she has to take the case back to work with her. The more Robyn looks into the case, the more confusing it becomes and the less concrete the evidence becomes.

During the same time new mother Abigail Thorne is struggling somewhat. Her love for her new daughter, Izzy, is beyond what she could have ever imagined, but she is somewhat worn down by sleepless nights and very busy days. She is even too tired to deal with her husband, Jackson.

So when exhausted Abigail begins to receive threatening letters, texts, and emails about being truthful and not living a lie, her fear is quite irrational. When the messages begin to maker her believe that Jackson is having an affair she starts to mentally fall apart. There are also things from her past that she hasn’t told Jackson, so she doesn’t know if the lies the stalker is talking about are her omissions, or Jackson’s.

Through the course of the investigation Robyn and Jackson meet, but he will tell her nothing until Abigail finally tells him about the stalker. He then contacts Robyn who talks to Abigail and believes her to be dishonest.

With flashbacks to the past of a little girl who was brutally attacked at age 8 and then suffered at her drunken mother’s side until she grew up, you know someone has motive to kill. You just have no idea who the little girl grew up to be. But when the truth comes out chances are it won’t be who you thought it would be.

This very well-written book had me guessing (incorrectly) from start to finish and I was still a bit shocked when it was revealed. I found this book through this review of the 4th book in this series on the Clues and Reviews blog (which I love!) and my interest was piqued. I am so glad that I followed through with the author, Carol Wyer. I will certainly be reading more of Robyn Carter series.

Wyer does a tremendous job of getting into the mind of the seriously troubled girl as she grows up. Even though I knew the evil in her, I still felt so sorry for her and wanted someone to help her, though I am not entirely sure she could have been helped considering all she lived through.

DI Robyn Carter is also extremely likable, very broken-hearted, and although she does not let that rule her work, it does serious damage to her need to stop blaming herself. She is also quite brassy about going after leads and trusting her instincts, which is a character trait I appreciate. I highly recommend this book!

Book Details:

Books in the Robyn Carter series

  1. Little Girl Lost
  2. Secrets of the Dead
  3. The Missing Girls
  4. The Silent Children

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all“Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

With a nostalgia that lends itself to The Breakfast Club, the novel One Of Us Is Lying opens with a detention starring familiar stereotypes:

  • Bronwyn Rojas is the typical brain who is involved in everything from student government to prom committee.
  • Cooper Clay is the jock with college and pro baseball scouts hot on his trail that everyone, from students to teachers to parents, love. He is the all-American boy-next-door.
  • Addy Prentiss is the beautiful blonde homecoming queen with the super hot boyfriend.
  • Nate McAuley is the druggie of the group. You know, the one that no one wants to claim to know.
  • Simon Kelleher is the typical nerd. He is also the one who spreads all the juicy gossip, especially if it will hurt someone.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus. A Propensity to Discuss review.

All of the students in detention claim that they are there because they were framed. Someone slipped a phone into each of their backpacks to be found by a technophobic teacher everyone knows searches backpacks for phones, and they all still have their own phones. The story moves quickly to mayhem because before detention is even half over Simon is dead of an allergic reaction.

When the rest of the group is called in to answer a few questions from the police the mayhem begins to look like murder with Bronwyn, Cooper, Addy, and Nate all at the forefront of the list of suspects.

Simon, you see, had nasty gossip app called “About That” which he used to spread hurtful gossip about fellow Bayview High School students. Of the four suspects, only Nate has ever been called out on Simon’s app and that had to do with a drug arrest that is pretty much common knowledge. But they all have secrets that none of them would want to get out. Except the police don’t know about those, and if Simon had known, he surely would’ve used that against them already. Right?

So why in the world would any of them have murdered Simon? They have no motive, but that doesn’t stop the police from suspecting them. And since the police seem to have tunnel vision toward the four of them, Bronwyn knows they have to find out for themselves who really killed Simon, which may prove difficult since so many students who had been hurt by his gossip had plenty of reasons to hate him.

Karen McManus is quite the storyteller. She is a master of giving just enough information to lead you into the next twist only to bring you to the realization that you still don’t know the truth. For me, these leads and twists intensified my need to know the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the story.

While I would not classify this as a psychological thriller, it does play mind games with you as you try to figure it all out what actually happened. You may get close to figuring it out, but as the story is told through the alternating points of view of each of the suspects, you are left with only what each character wants you to know or believe and finding out the truth about who did it is quite a shock.

As YA (Young Adult) novels go, this one is a bit lengthy and there is quite a bit to keep up with, but I really came to like and admire the characters. They have so much depth to them and are far more than what meets the eye.  – which I find true to life. So many stereotypical people I have gotten to know I’ve truly crushed my initial idea of them from their stereotype. It is the human equivalent of not judging a book by its cover. Don’t judge a person by their stereotype, get to know them or you never know what you are missing out on!

I highly recommend this book, not only to young adults but also to adults. It is a well-written story that covers issues that we see today often in the real world. People are scapegoats and are “convicted” by the media, their peers, and public opinion without anyone having all the facts or arrests, much less officially in a court of law. It certainly leaves you with a lot to ponder.

Book Details

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I whole-heartedly recommend these linked products!

The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney

31 January 1976

Three kids watch as one of their friends is unceremoniously buried beneath an apple tree outside their window.

30th December 2014

Susan Sullivan goes to the cathedral across from the Ragmullen (Ireland) Garda (police) station to meet someone who has promised to give her answers about The Missing Ones. Instead, he kills her.

Detective inspector Lottie Parker and her partner Detective Sergeant Mark Boyd are called on to investigate the murder to which there is no evidence, no clues. To make matters even more difficult, Susan Sullivan seems to have no history, no friends or even acquaintances. She went to work, but no one there really knew her.

When another person from her office is found dead the detectives have to wonder if the two deaths are connected and if so, how? DI Parker suspects that it could have something to do with a land development deal but which one? And where is the proof?

With their somewhat incompetence superior, Superintendent Myles Corrigan on their backs about their interviews with his golf buddy, Parker has to tread carefully around those they believe to be involved so Corrigan doesn’t fire her.

Searching for answers to this case brings questions about a very old, very cold case that Parker appears to have a personal attachment to, and Parker comes face-to-face with personal demons that threaten to take her down.

In her debut novel, Patricia Gibney sets up what I think will be a really good career for Lottie Parker and for Ms. Gibney as well. As this was a really very good book I look forward to reading more of the Lottie Parker series which includes The Stolen Girls and The Lost Child. I do, however, have to say buyer beware. If you have a hard time with books that include harm coming to children, this one may not be for you, but just remember, this is a work of fiction.

Book Details:

Lottie Parker Series:

  1. The Missing Ones
  2. The Stolen Girls
  3. The Lost Child

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

Split Second by Catherine Coulter. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Split Second by Catherine Coulter

I decided to read a book from a series that I haven’t read in a while and it honestly is like meeting up with dear friends I haven’t seen in a while. What a welcome surprise! Split Second by Catherine Coulter is actually the 15th book in the FBI series, but I read the others before I started blogging and reviewing books.

Let me just say if you like murder mysteries and police procedure novels, these are all really, really good. They remind me so much of Criminal Minds and that is a good thing! FBI agent Dillon Savich is a computer whiz and when you add his skills in logic to the logic skills of his wife, FBI Agent Lacey Sherlock no criminal is safe.

The stories, though, go much deeper than just the crime fighting. You get to delve into the hearts and minds of so many of the characters in Coulter’s writing. She has a way with words that pulls you in and allows you to connect with Savich and Sherlock, as well as the other agents with whom they work.

In Split Second Savich stops a robbery in a convenience store close to his home, but something about the scene feels off to him. Meanwhile, there is a killer on the loose who meets women at bars, takes them home and then garrotes them with wire. All of this at the same time that Agent Lacy Carlyle’s father passed away, with an ominous message just before he died. Bringing all of these stories to full circle takes so much skill in writing and Coulter handles it all with the flourish that is a trademark of her writing.

This is a great addition to this series and one that I highly recommend!

Catherine Coulter’s FBI Series in order leading up to Split Second:

  1. The CoveA (1996)
  2. The MazeA (1997)
  3. The TargetB (1998)
  4. The EdgeB (1999)
  5. RiptideC (2000)
  6. Hemlock BayC (2001)
  7. Eleventh Hour (2002)
  8. Blindside (2003)
  9. Blowout (2004)
  10. Point Blank (2005)
  11. Double Take (2007)
  12. Tailspin (2008)
  13. KnockOut (2009)
  14. Whiplash (2010)
  15. Split Second (201)
  16. Backfire (2012)
  17. Bombshell (2013)
  18. Power Play (2014)
  19. Nemesis (2015)
  20. Insidious (2016)
  21. Enigma (2017)

Omnibus Editions:

  1. The Beginning. 2005. (containing The Cove & The Maze)
  2. Double Jeopardy. 2008. (containing The Target & The Edge)
  3. Twice Dead. 2011. (containing Riptide & Hemlock Bay)
  4. Second Shot. 2014. (containing Eleventh Hour & Blindside)

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

The Detective Ella Marconi Series

Ella Marconi is a no-nonsense, get-the-job-done homicide detective living and working in Sydney, Australia. Author Katherine Howell, a former paramedic, always gives Ella a run for her money with the cases that she puts before her and also with paramedics and their work calls thrown into the mix. So if you like mysteries and you like medical dramas, you’ll LOVE the Ella Marconi series. If you like one or the other, you’ll LOVE the Ella Marconi series.

I really like Howell’s writing style and I love that she uses her experience as a paramedic around which to base her secondary characters’ lives and stories. The series began in 2007 and is still going strong, with the last one published in 2015, and hopefully more to follow!

Frantic (Book 1) 

In an instant, life changed completely for Sophie Phillips – her police officer husband, Chris, is shot on their doorstep and their ten-month-old son, Lachlan, is abducted from his bed. While the police, led by Detective Ella Marconi search not only for their colleague’s child but also investigate the very strong possibility of police corruption, Sophie begins her own search for Lachlan.

Detective Ella Marconi Series. Propensity to Discuss reviews.

But through it all, Sophie has to wonder if a terrible mistake she made will mangle her hope and efforts at finding her child. And what about Chris, is he a part of the corruption, or is he the one who brought it to the attention of the news media? The longer Lachlan is missing, the more Ella and her team know they are working against the odds to find him.

The audio version of this book is performed by Caroline Lee, whose audiobook performances I always absolutely love! She is actually the reason I purchased this novel to begin with but the writing and the story brought me back to the series. For other Caroline Lee audiobook reviews, check out this post or this one.

Book Details:

Books in the Ella Marconi Series:

  1. Frantic
  2. The Darkest Hour
  3. Cold Justice
  4. Violent Exposure
  5. Silent Fear
  6. Web of Deceit
  7. Deserving Death
  8. Tell the Truth

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

The Darkest Hour (Book 2)

In the second Ella Marconi book, paramedic Lauren Yates finds herself alone in an alley helping a man that she knows all too well, Miles Werner. A man she knows to be angry, hateful, deceitful, and most of all, dangerous. All the while, another man lays dead in the same alley. When she begins to help Miles he threatens her life, her sister’s life and the life of her niece, Mile’s own daughter.

Detective Ella Marconi Series. Propensity to Discuss reviews.

Terrified of Werner’s threats, she lies to Detective Ella Marconi, to her sister and to her partner and sets into motion a trail that leads to even more victims. Lauren becomes desperate and has no idea how she will ever get out of this mess alive. Ella knows something is not right with Lauren’s testimony and knows that she must be hiding something. She will have to gain Lauren’s trust to get to the bottom of this case.

Unfortunately, there is no audio for this, but the book was a really good, pretty quick read and I really recommend this series.

Book Details:

Books in the Ella Marconi Series:

  1. Frantic
  2. The Darkest Hour
  3. Cold Justice
  4. Violent Exposure
  5. Silent Fear
  6. Web of Deceit
  7. Deserving Death
  8. Tell the Truth

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Cold Justice (Book 3)

After a very tumultuous ending to her last case in The Darkest Hour, Detective Ella Marconi is back at work, but she is now working in the Unsolved Unit looking into a 20-year-old murder case that has been brought back to the forefront by newly elected MP. Ella begins looking into the case and the teenage girl, Georgie, who found the body and 20 years later is now a paramedic.

Cold Justice (Book 3). A Propensity to Discuss review.

When things start happening to Georgie that scare and confuse her, she turns to Detective Marconi for help. After all, there is a man following her and her new partner is treating her with hot and cold emotions.

The fact that the murdered boy’s father, John, was the original detectives’ first and main suspect has not gone unnoticed by Ella, nor has the openly hostile attitude of the boy’s mother toward not only Ella but her husband John, as well.

And, as if that weren’t enough, Ella has a new fella, and with all that is right in the relationship, something seems to be worrying her.

This, for me, was another hit by Katherine Howell. An easy read, but with an ending I didn’t see coming until very close to the conclusion, Howell has once again successfully combined great, realistic paramedic scenes and a female detective who is not willing to buckle under pressure from those around her, even though she doesn’t always have self-confidence on her side. Ella is truly a likable person and very real in her struggles.

I’m ready for more…on to book four.

As with book 2, there is no audio for this title, but book 4 (Violent Exposure) is available as an audio version and read by Caroline Lee, one of my absolute favorites! I’ll be reading and listening to that one soon. I’ll keep you posted!

Book Details:

Books in the Ella Marconi Series:

  1. Frantic
  2. The Darkest Hour
  3. Cold Justice
  4. Violent Exposure
  5. Silent Fear
  6. Web of Deceit
  7. Deserving Death
  8. Tell the Truth

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”