FBI Special Agent Serena Jones arrives on Martha’s Vineyard with her family, ready for a little bit of R&R and a whole lot of reminiscing as they celebrate the engagement of an old family friend. But crime doesn’t take a vacation, and she’s soon entangled in an investigation of a suspicious death tied to an antiquities smuggling ring.
When her investigation propels her into danger, Serena must stay the course and solve this case before anyone else dies. But just how is she supposed to do that when the two men in her life arrive on the scene, bringing with them plenty of romantic complications–and even a secret or two?
my review – 5
I received an ARC of this book from INTERVIEWS AND REVIEWS in exchange for my review. (sorry this is so late, I got totally caught up in school. but it’s here now!)
I don’t normally do mysteries, but YOU GUYS. I literally got hooked the first page. Maybe it was her writing? Or Serena? Or maybe it was dinner… food can put me in certain moods. Whichever was the case, I could hardly put it down once I started it (which OF COURSE) I had to because I’m a senior and us seniors gots lots of thingies we need to take care of in school. *dramatic eye roll* Blast you, education and numbers. Blast you.
I’m kidding, really. I love school. School helped me learn how to read, praise the blessed Lord who has gifted the world with the written word and beautiful books.
Not you, algebra. I still blast you, churl.
Actually, I don’t blast you, because you showed me that I needed to befriend the smart kids in class, and now we (the smart kids and I) are really good friends and I blame you for forcing me into socializing with them, which ended up being a good thing. So thank you, algebra.
Now that that’s settled, we can continue with the review. Where was I going with all this…? Oh yeah! Mysteries are usually not my thing because normally, I am going to be completely honest, I get bored somewhere in the middle and end up just giving up. BUT NOT WITH THIS BOOK. This book has really changed my view on mystery novels. Bless you, Sandra Orchard. Bless you.
I actually finished this book on a Sunday morning, before church. Call me a heathen, but then I’d just respond with a swift: “But I was just 50 pages from finishing! And it was a whodunit mystery! And there was a love triangle that actually didn’t annoy me!” So you would have lost the argument, just sayin’.
Let’s see. Things I liked? Ohhh, girl. Serena is, like, my new favorite person. Literally, she was kick-butt-awesome. She was witty and fabulous and quirky and I just adored her so much (even without reading the previous two books!). The thing about this book was there was not too much of a character arc. These kind of action books are more focused on the plot, while the characters are amazing, they aren’t the most important part of the story. I GET THAT. And I am so pleased with how wonderful this book was even if Serena didn’t really have a development in the end. It was still amazing and she’s still amazing, so that’s pretty cool.
The side characters were also kick-butt-awesome, btw. I can’t even begin to say how much I enjoyed all the side characters. I don’t know how Mrs. Orchard did it, but she managed to incorporate distinct personalities, voices, and humor in each of the characters and I just LOVE how thoughtful they all were! None of them bored me when they spoke or did anything. I was drawn in by every aspect of the novel, including the barely-there people. They mattered, and Mrs. Orchard made sure of it. I get kind of annoyed whenever there are those characters that when you see their name on the page, you kind of inwardly cringe and try to brace yourself and force your way through that scene; it’s awful and I feel bad but honestly I suffer from those moments. But not in this book! There was a sense of equality here which I appreciate. Can I just say how much I loved both Tanner and Nate? So many things that I can’t mention, but these two guys are hilarious. I can’t tell you how many times they made me have to stop reading and shake my head, chuckling.
OH. And freakin’-Aunt Martha? She is so boss. Can I just be her when I grow up? Thanks.
Omg omg omg. The mystery in this book was phenomenal. I haven’t read a lot of whodunits, I’ll be honest, but I don’t think that would really matter; what matters is this book was so thrilling and exciting and I can’t wait to read all of Mrs. Orchards other books! There was so many things, so many problems, so many fingers pointed and questions unanswered that created this amazing novel. Everyone was a suspect and nobody was completely innocent. There was always some connection between characters and events and it made everything so complicated and mind-boggling but OH SO SATISFYING. It’s hard to read mysteries because I’m always scared I’m going to miss something, there’s going to be clues that I will pass over and ignore and hints that I won’t catch. But I’ll tell you what, it was so fun to follow along in this book, even if my mind was blown up partway through. IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH THE BRAIN DAMAGE. ’nuff said.
Just kidding, that was NOT enough said. Because now we come to all the romance! *internally screams (but in a good way hehe)* I will refrain from spoilers here because YES this is a LOVE TRIANGLE and I know that people that have read the previous book and not this one will not appreciate me just screaming what happens in this book in relation to the ship (if it’s a love triangle, it would be plural though, right? idk). Let’s just make things clear: it was clean and comical. And I love it and so should you, so go read this book right now. There ya go.
IN CONCLUSION TO THIS BLESSED PIECE OF LITERATURE:
This book is the perfect mixture of thrilling action, romance, humor, and all things lovely. Serena is such an awesome protagonist and I cannot wait to read more about her. As far as cleanliness goes, this book has zilch yuckies; the romance is *spot on* and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. The mystery is SO enthralling and… you need a good few hours to finish this because you’re not going to want to put it down! Once you start, you’ve emerged in this entire adventure and you never want to leave. After I finished it that Sunday morning, I just sat in bed, still as a rock, pondering all that my damaged brain couldn’t soak in.
This is a masterpiece that needs to be appreciated by everyone. So go add it to you tbr. After you read it, tell me how you liked it! OR have you already read this book? OR the other books from this series? If so, tell me in the comments below and we can talk about it over some virtual oreos and milkshakes. 🙂