Genre: Mystery


Friday, September 06, 2019

Hits All the Right Notes: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

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Hits All the Right Notes: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh
A Madness of Sunshine
Nalini Singh
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Suspense
Publication date: December 3rd, 2019
by Berkley

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Anahera Rawiri left New Zealand at twenty-one, fleeing small-town poverty and the ghosts of her childhood with no plans to look back. But eight years later, she returns, seeking familiarity as respite from the shattered remains of her new life. And despite the changes brought on by a bump in tourism--the shiny new welcome sign at the town line and a decidedly less shiny new police presence--Golden Cove appears much as it ever was: a small settlement on the savage West Coast of the South Island, populated by all the remembered faces and set against a backdrop of lush greenery, jagged cliffs, and crashing waves.

Detective Will Gallagher knows all about ghosts; his own chased him out of a promising career in Christchurch, landing him as the sole cop in a quaint town where his most pressing concerns are petty theft and the occasional drunk. When Golden Cove resident Miri Hinewai goes out for a run and fails to return, Will finds himself heading up a missing person's search that rapidly escalates into an official investigation after this case is connected with similar ones from the past. As an outsider, Will begins to rely on Anahera's knowledge of the area and its residents to help him delve into Golden Cove's secrets, and to determine whether it shelters something far more dangerous than just an unforgiving landscape.
-A copy was provided by Berkley for review-

It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything by Nalini Singh but when I saw she was venturing into the world of suspense, I knew I’d have to pick up A Madness of Sunshine. A Madness of Sunshine is exactly I want from a mystery. It has no flashy red herrings, but is still enticing. In fact, once I hit the 33% mark, I read the book in one sitting. Which, I read books in single sittings all the time, but I’ve been struggling a lot with reading lately and this just… it was what I needed. If you love small town mysteries, where secrets bubble underneath the surface, A Madness of Sunshine is exactly what you need too.

By the 20% mark in this book, I trusted no one because it was clear that everyone had secrets. I genuinely loved how information was slowly doled out and layers were peeled back so you could see the bigger picture. My favorite thing about the plot was that there weren’t really any red herrings designed to throw you off the scent. I don’t think that anyone will be shocked to find out whodunit but the way the mystery is presented is thoughtful and carefully laid out. 

Mysteries usually allow you to be easily sucked in by the plots while not really becoming invested in the characters themselves and that was absolutely not true for A Madness of Sunshine. From the main characters to the murder victim (who we only get to meet through people’s stories about her,) I found myself rooting for almost all the characters and wanting to protect at least half of them. 

To me, A Madness of Sunshine has just the right amount of romance – especially given the main characters. A series of unfortunate events have made both Will and Anahera angry, distrusting people who don’t really see the good in the world anymore. As they work together to solve the case, feelings obviously develop. Everything is such a slow burn and given how they both have gotten hurt in the past, I think the pace is just right. 

All these things thrown together with the small town setting make for a truly entertaining read and I am sad because I don’t know when I am going to come across a mystery that hits all the right notes for me like A Madness of Sunshine did. I realize December is still quite some time away, but given that it’s written by the great Nalini Singh, I am sure many people already have this book on their radar and it will 1000% be worth the wait for long time fans.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Best of Dogs and Humans: The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Best of Dogs and Humans: The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Posted by on 06/19/2019 • 0 Comments

I truly feel blessed anytime I finish a book by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Over the past year, she has quickly shot up to one of my favorite authors. Her talent for writing some of the best relationships to grace YA draws me in and I cannot help but finish any book I read by her with my mouth hanging open and desperate for a sequel. If flawed characters, found family, trauma handled well, the best of dogs and a bit of a mystery are your thing, The Lovely and the Lost is the book for you.

Kira does not trust many people except for her family. It took years after Cady rescued her for Kira to learn how to trust again and now she is following in Cady’s footsteps…

Review: Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge

Review: Dreaming Darkly by Caitlin Kittredge

Posted by on 04/08/2019 • 1 Comment

Gothic mystery novels are a favorite of mine, and Dreaming Darkly is an eerie novel that, albeit a bit predictable and dramatic at times, was an exciting read overall. 

After the death of Ivy’s mother, she’s sent back to her family’s old manor on a private island off the coast of Maine. When she gets there, she finds that not everything and everyone is at it seems, and strange dreams start feeling a bit too real. I found this story really intriguing from the very first page. Ivy’s life with her mom, her mom’s mysterious past, her family’s history are all really interesting. I found myself flying to the pages to find out every detail I could about this ominous family tree. This mystery aspect is done really well, with…

Review: City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

Review: City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

Posted by on 03/04/2019 • 0 Comments

I’ve always been a fan of Kelley Armstrong ever since her Women of the Underworld series. While this one isn’t paranormal, it still has an air of fantasy in it when we’re taken into this secluded town where people go to escape their tragic or criminal past. 

This town is hidden from the world, and as you can guess comes with a side of mystery and even horror. Casey is brought there to try and find out why their people are disappearing and coming up murdered. The whole seclusion aspect makes this story so compelling and eerie. It’s sort of like a post-apocalyptic world where you have limited supplies and every skill is put to good use, and wandering off a bit too far from the edge means you’re likely…

Another Worthy Addition to the Series: Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong

Another Worthy Addition to the Series: Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong

Posted by on 02/26/2019 • 0 Comments

I have been reading Kelley Armstrong’s books for over half a decade now so it’s safe to say I am a fan. From her YA to her adult, she never fails to deliver a series of characters I find myself immediately invested in and plots I am eager to watch unfold. Watcher in the Woods is the fourth book in a series and usually, by the fourth book of a series, my interest starts to wane but a fourth book in the hands of Kelley Armstrong??? Watcher in the Woods proves that it can be a very powerful thing.

If you haven’t read this series and are a fan of well-written mystery novels that don’t involve annoying dude detectives, you should probably get on it. If you’re already a…

Some Mystery and Bland Characters: The Lonely Dead by April Henry

Some Mystery and Bland Characters: The Lonely Dead by April Henry

Posted by on 12/14/2018 • 1 Comment

Ugh I don’t even know how to word as I write this review. I’ve written and deleted the first sentence about a 100 times. BUT. I guess. Here is the thing, I read an April Henry novel years ago, liked it, and read a BUNCH by her this year. Just looking at the books in the chronological order they were published, it seems that the books have gotten progressively worse? Which is to say, that her later books have lost that kick a lot of her earlier books had.

If you’ve been a fan for a while and coming to this book because you have come to expect some thrill and some mystery from April Henry, you should stay. If you want anything more than that, like character development and…

Extremely Addicting: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Extremely Addicting: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Posted by on 11/19/2018 • 5 Comments

Not to be extremely dramatic or anything but I’d kill to read the sequel to Little White Lies (and to The Long Game but that’s a whole other story.) This is probably an odd sentence to start a review with but honestly, that’s just how J Lynn Barnes’s books make me FEEL. Barnes has a knack for writing addicting novels that you cannot stop reading even if they are over 400 pages long. Little White Lies is not only addicting but it reads like a puzzle, clues dispersed everywhere that you need to connect to form the bigger picture.

Sawyer Taft’s life changes when her grandmother shows up on her doorstep and offers her a deal she is unable to resist. Soon she is drawn into the world of…

Giveaway: Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes

Giveaway: Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes

Posted by on 07/16/2018 • 10 Comments

Hi guys! We are huge fans of Paula Stokes over here so we’re really honored and excited to be bringing you a giveaway for Paula’s latest book! It’s a return to mystery and it sounds amazing! Turning over to Paula now!

Paula: Hi peeps 🙂 A big thank you to Rashika and Giselle for having me on Xpresso Reads to talk about my forthcoming mystery, HIDDEN PIECES, releasing on Aug 28. Of course there is a giveaway, but first here’s a little info about the book in case you’re unfamiliar.

Character Profiles

Embry:

Embry Woods is an 18-year-old girl who likes photography and the ocean, but isn’t sure what she’s going to do after she graduates from high school. Her mom is recovering from breast cancer, and even…