Category: Romantic Suspense Review

Answer to #Mystery Author Whodunit Challenge 5

Did you recognize the mystery/suspense author from last week’s Whodunit Challenge #5Janet Evanovich was the author with the popular series mixing romance and mystery genres. You probably would have recognized her if we revealed the protagonist in the series is bounty hunter Stephanie Plum.

Janet Evanovich started out writing romance novels. She readily admits she collected rejection letters for 10 years prior to publication. In fact, she said she had filled a crate with them . One day she decided to burn the letters, give up, and got a job at a temp agency.  Fortunately for readers everywhere, one of her submissions that was still out caught the eye of an editor and soon she was able to quit the temp agency to write full time.

We were “counting down” to her newest novel because the books in the series all have a number in the title. For example Janet Evanovich’s most recent release in the series is Tricky Twenty-Two: A Stephanie Plum Novel.

If you have a few minutes, you can learn more mystery author Janet Evanovich and Tricky Twenty-two from this interview at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore on Livestream.

Series: Stephanie Plum
Publisher: Random House (November 17, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0385363230
ISBN-13: 978-0385363235

Newest Book:

The next in the series, Turbo Twenty-Three: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich, is due out November 15, 2016. According to Evanovich’s website, Stephanie goes undercover at an ice cream factory and someone gets their “just desserts.” (groan)

Publisher: Random House  (November 15, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0385363249

For Writers:

If you are a writer, you also might want to look for How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author by Janet Evanovich and Ina Yalof.

In the book Janet Evanovich reveals a highly personal view of all aspects of writing. Starting with writing tips, such as how to plot, she takes the reader through revising, publishing and has a whole section on what it is like to be a writer. She has an amazing ability to create quirky, believable, and relatable characters. It isn’t a surprise, therefore, that Part 1 of the book is dedicated to “Creating Great Characters.”

Whether you are a reader or a writer, our whodunit challenge mystery author Janet Evanovich has some sensational books for you.



@ShelleyCoriell’s The Apostles Series: The Blind

After a brief hiatus, today we’re going to discuss the third book in The Apostles series, The Blind by Shelley Coriell.


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In what has been described as the best of the series, The Blind features a strong female protagonist, FBI bomb specialist Evie Jimenez. Evie is thrown in with art expert Jack Elliott to solve a bizarre series of bombings where the killer poses people in real life replications of famous art works and then blows them up. Will Elliott be a major help or a major distraction? Will they catch the killer before Evie becomes his next victim?

How on earth does Coriell come up with these twisted serial killers? Her villains are certainly unique and complex, pulling off bizarre, one-of-a-kind crimes. You certainly won’t recognize these bad guys (and gals) from last week’s news.

Once again, Coriell gives us a wonderful behind the scenes look at the writing of this book on GoodReads. The story behind the book is as compelling as the book itself. For example, she revealed the title of the book was almost The Burned, but she thought that was too close to The Buried.

On a personal note, I was sad to finish the last page of The Blind because Shelley Coriell has indicated she has no plans for further books in The Apostles series at this time. They were so good, I suspect I will be rereading the series again soon. Plus, hopefully the Lottie King short stories will help stave off withdrawal symptoms.

If you are a fan of well-written romantic suspense that leans heavily toward suspense, then pick up Shelley Coriell’s The Blind today.


Book 1, The Broken Review

Book 2, The Buried Review


Series: The Apostles (Book 3)
Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Forever (July 28, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1455528471
ISBN-13: 978-1455528479



(Public Domain Photo via

Disclosure: This book was my personal copy. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.











@ShelleyCoriell’s The Apostles Series: The Buried

Today we are continuing with Shelley Coriell’s romantic suspense series The Apostles. The second book, The Buried, FBI Agent Theodore “Hatch” Hatcher and his state prosecutor ex-wife, Grace Courtemanche race to find a serial killer who buries victims alive.

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As a member of The Apostles, Hatch Hatcher specializes in crisis negotiations. His office is a sailboat where he retreats between jobs, ready to respond to a call on his satellite phone at a moments notice. When the call comes to tell him he has a son he didn’t know about, things start to tumble out of control. Running into his ex-wife who is chasing a serial killer further complicates matters. Can the two of them put their personal feelings aside long enough to catch the killer?

Because each book in The Apostles series features a different set of characters, they could be read as stand alone titles or in any order. In The Buried the romance side is less steamy and more of a slow burn than in book one. Once again, the suspense side is dark, complicated, and the author throws in a whopper of a plot twist at the end.

As with The Broken, the setting helps add to the atmosphere of the book. The Buried is set in Cypress Grove, a town in the Florida panhandle. The background oozes swamps and alligators, adding to the suspense.

At the workshop I attended, Shelley disclosed that she actually put off working on this novel for two years. It wasn’t until she added a teenage character did she find the right mix to move the plot forward. I would say the teenager was a brilliant touch because he adds backstory and conflict in a way that ignites Hatch as a character. She also revealed it was difficult to write about the killer, who has a complicated and painful/sad backstory. She talks more about writing the book on GoodReads.

This title won’t remain “buried” in your TBR pile. The Buried is a compelling story that will keep you hooked to the very end.

Related:  Review of The Broken by Shelley Coriell

Series: The Apostles (Book 2)
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Forever (October 28, 2014)
ISBN-10: 145552851X
ISBN-13: 978-1455528516


(Public domain photo via Visual hunt)

This review is based on my personal copy of the book.

@ShelleyCoriell’s The Apostles Series: The Broken

Having spent an inspiring day at the Arizona MysteryCon yesterday, I’m ready to review some of the mystery and romantic suspense novels I discovered.

Let’s start with Shelley Coriell’s romantic suspense series featuring members of a special FBI unit known as The Apostles. In book 1, The Broken, FBI Profiler Hayden Reed is trying to catch a serial killer who brutally stabs broadcasters. Hayden’s best lead might be a former broadcaster who went into hiding after she was attacked. Will he be able to find her?

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Romantic suspense can be a difficult genre to pin down. In this case, the suspense part is a dark, complicated mystery that will leave the reader guessing until the end. Without revealing too much, on the romantic side a relationship between Hayden Reed and victim Kate soon heats up.

The author introduces several characters who the reader will want to see again. Besides Hayden Reed, we meet other members of The Apostles, some of whom will be the main characters of later books in the series, as well as a feisty Sergeant named Lottie King. Once you encounter bighearted Lottie King and her outrageous shoes, you will see why she needed to be the protagonist of her own series of short stories (reviews coming).



The setting for the story roams throughout the West, with scenes in Colorado, Nevada and Tucson, Arizona. The wide open expanses add to the feeling of isolation in some of the scenes.

During her presentation, Shelley gave a heartrending account of how this novel was born from a tragic event in her life. Her father had a stroke and then an accident that nearly cost him his life. During his difficult recovery, Shelley began telling the story as a way to distract him from his health problems. Soon they were working out the details together. She told us her father is the model for one of the characters and helped her decide what he would do in a certain scene. More about how the book came to be is included in the back matter in a section called “The Dish:  Where Authors Give You the Inside Scoop.”

The Broken is an entertaining read with a complex and twisty plot, plus characters you will want to root for. Find out why Shelley Coriell is an award-winning author and pick up a copy today.


Book 2:  The Buried Review

Book 3:  The Blind Review

Series: The Apostles (Book 1)
Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Forever (April 29, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1455528498
ISBN-13: 978-1455528493


(This book is my personal copy)



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