03 | Danse Macabre

What do book bloggers say about it…



The Neve & Egan Cases, book three

This is a fairly good mystery detective novel. Private investigators Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan are entangled in a series of crimes involving abduction and ritual killing of budding female music stars. They manage to score leads where the police cannot, but the police in charge nevertheless, would prefer they butt out of the investigation. This does not settle well with either PI, so they stay in and manage to find the only clues in the case the police or anyone else have. This was a very interesting book to read. The plot takes a great many twists and turns, so I never really knew what was going to happen next. How the author managed to put this mystery together in such a skillful way only underscored her wonderful writing skills and clever imagination. I have not read any other of her works but will definitely be looking for them after reading this book. This is a real keeper and a must read for the reader who enjoys a good crime mystery. Just how the two PI’s put the facts together, finding and tying together clues is fascinating and definitely held my interest from the very beginning. I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

20.10.2014 – KMT

Young Women go missing every year. Often they leave on their own, with differing agendas. Other times they disappear without a trace. As a parent, the vanishing women create a gap in their lives leaving them to think the very worst.

In Neve & Egan Cases, Danse Macabre by Christelle Comby we are introduced to a situation where a young ballerina has disappeared. Her mother has hired the Private investigators Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan to help solve the mystery of her missing girl. While the police are on the case, they believe it is a simple runaway, and are tied up in a grisly murder, not putting much into the missing dancer case. Her mother, Mrs. Doughton, believes the worst. She knows her daughter better than anyone, and is convinced she has been kidnapped.

As the sleuthing duo look into the background and question the young woman’s friends they begin to understand their client’s conviction. They also understand the difficulty of beginning a case already held by the police and must find a way to work together without causing interference. The police are only too happy to release the case to their care, for they are working on the gruesome murder of a choir member. They do not have the manpower necessary to tackle both cases at the same time.

When a murder case in another jurisdiction suddenly ties the murdered girl and the missing girl together, the police are no longer as happy to have the investigators aboard. Yet there is more going on behind the scenes that put the entire investigation in jeopardy. Can they work together to decipher the clues before another young woman disappears?

Comby has done a great job of giving us a murder mystery with characters that draw you in. The teams of individuals working together are a mix of dynamic, shuttered, and fun, yet the differences seem to round out the type of brain power needed to solve the case. There is something humble and yet fierce about Neve and Egan, and their working relationship is both interesting and interactive, but in a strange way. The flaws of each character make them human, and you find the peculiarities endearing.

The case itself is deep and muddy, with a macabre killer who has his own agenda. The killings are brutal and staged, and the killer does well staying under the radar. It is only the strange characteristics of the investigators that find the way to solve the mystery. The interplay between the police and investigators is often tinged with a bit of humor, taking a bit of the horror away, but there is no doubt that a twisted killer is on the loose.

If you enjoy mystery and romance you will enjoy this work. If you are interested in puzzles and enjoy a chance to develop your own thoughts you will enjoy the red herrings and twists and turns introduced throughout.

30.11.2014 – http://wrighton-time.blogspot.ch

Danse Macabre, Cristelle Comby’s latest mystery is the third in the Neve & Egan cases. The other two are Russian Dolls and Ruby Heart. Like the others, Danse Macabre is a good whodunit, solved by the unlikely, but successfully adept, private investigators, Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan. One is a young lady, and the other is a blind man.

The novel begins with a prologue to explain how Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan came to be private investigators. Just the fact that Egan is blind, will want the reader to read on to see how this unlikely pair can function at all, never mind be successful. That’s what intrigues me, in this mystery and in the entire series. How can this team of handicapped investigators solve these crimes? That’s what the reader wants to know.

Danse Macabre tells the story of a serial killer. At first it’s a pianist, then a ballerina, and then a singer. The story itself begins with a mother looking for her missing daughter. The police think the 24-year-old ballerina has simply taken off, especially since she took money and clothes. But this is uncharacteristic of her.

Then, a singer was found dead. The victim’s body was arranged in a grotesque position. Plus her eyes were stitched open. The tension and suspense mount, as the reader realizes that the missing ballerina may meet the same fate.

There are enough plot twists to surprise you and keep you turning the pages. Another missing person is reported. When more young artists are missing, the public is starting to think,“serial killer.” Scarier too—he’s committing strange ritualistic torture on the young ladies.

The characters, Neve and Egan are drawn well. Comby drew the killer so well, you’re terrified. The author also does a fine job of building suspense. I think young adults, as well as adult readers who love suspenseful thrillers, will be the target audience. Everyone who loves detective series will enjoy the Neve and Egan cases, especially Danse Macabre.

02.12.2014 – http://theonetruefaith-faith.blogspot.ch

Danse Macabre is an Neve and Egan mystery novel. They are hired by a mother whose daughter has disappeared. The police seem to be sure that she just ran off, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Our PIs decide that this disappearance may be in connection with 2 other killings that have happened recently. The two do some digging and seem to figure out the link between the girls who are missing and where they turn up dead. They find her – but are an hour or so too late and this really messes with Lexa.

With a serial killer still on the loose, Lexa and Ash are determined to figure out what is going on, although the police don’t really seem to want them butting in. Ash’s apartment is even broken into and a note left for him to stop looking.

I can’t really say what happens next, because I don’t want to give away the whole book! But it was very easy to just dive right in to this book and investigate along with these PIs. And be annoyed with how the police keep seeming to miss things and lie about their investigation.

There was a BIG twist at the end and I kind of need to know what happened and soon!

03.12.2014 – http://blog.concertkatie.com

From the outset, I have to tell you that of the three novels released thus far in the Neve & Egan Cases, Danse Macabre is my favorite. The characters have gelled together as a team and have each come into their own as individuals as they’ve faced their own demons. The case they find themselves on this time is also much deeper, darker, and more complex.

And we all know I like deep, dark, and complex.

Alexandra Neve (Lexa to her friends) and Ashford Egan (who has few friends) are coming to the close of their first year as a private investigative team with twenty-four solved cases. As winter sets in upon the streets of London, their most horrific and gruesome case comes home to roost.

A desperate mother has nowhere else to turn after the overworked Metropolitan Police Department classifies the case involving her missing daughter as a simple runaway. But why would a young twenty-something dancer, with the world waiting to worship at her talented and pointe-shoe clad feet, run away when everything is so right with her world? The mother is convinced something more sinister is afoot and hires Lexa and Ash to discover the truth and bring her daughter home.

When Lexa’s budding relationship with DS Matthew Stenson reveals connections to other kidnappings and murders, she realizes they have a serial killer on their hands – and her client’s daughter may just be the next victim. Thus our reluctant duo trudge through the snowdrifts of London and into the underbelly of life beneath the streets in search of a kidnapper, racing against the clock before time runs out on the life of a starlet.

All the while, they’ve got someone on the force working overtime to foil their efforts – and the Sorter reveals his hand once again.

In Danse Macabre we once again have a stand-alone novel of mystery and intrigue. The bringing forward of just enough information from the previous novels, and how Lexa and Ash developed the unlikely friendship of university student and professor turned PI team, provided appropriate background for any new readers coming into the series without bogging pacing down. However, I still recommend reading the Neve & Egan Cases from the start just because it is a wonderful little series (Russian Dolls, Ruby Heart). There is also a tiny thread woven as a continuum, hanging out along the periphery throughout the stories – the mysterious Sorter. Also, there is something that occurs at the end of this novel that will make you want to read the next – this was new to the series, but now I’m dying to know what transpired (though I have my suspicions already).

We also find out additional information in our characters’ backgrounds – particularly Ash, the cantankerous, middle-aged former university professor whose blindness becomes particularly useful for discerning the lies surrounding this case. With Ash having left the security of his university position in book two, he’s now much more involved in the day-to-day of each case – and I liked that because one of my complaints about book two was that there was little of Ash’s involvement with that case. Now that they’re both working the business full-time, it’s also added a new and fun layer to their interactions – a great repartee that adds some laugh-out-loud humor to this novel that was not present in the first two. This element was fabulous, refreshing, and added twinges of lighthearted moments necessary to keep this much darker case somewhat balanced.

Pacing moved along at a steady (heart-pounding at times) clip and, as mentioned above, these characters really came into their own within the pages of this particular novel. Good showing instead of telling, with first person point-of-view once again from Lexa’s continual perspective. There were only a few instances of missing small words, unnecessary commas, and one incorrect word used (rapport instead of report), but these were not enough to detract from the story.

Content warnings: There are few concerns with this series, usually just your typical few curse words, so it’s appropriate for all teens in that regard. However, this particular novel contained some particularly gruesome murder scene details that might cause a few nightmares. No sex, drug use, or anything else some might consider offensive.

Like I mentioned, Danse Macabre is my favorite thus far in this mystery series – for that I’ll give it a rare five stars.

04.12.2014 – http://dabalepublishing.blogspot.ch

What makes Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan a good private investigating team is what makes Cristelle Comby a good writer. They notice things—the things most people overlook, the little details that add up to form the big picture. Picking up a mystery novel is meant to be an interactive experience. The author drops clues throughout the narrative and the reader puts them together one by one, but what makes the journey satisfying is when the main characters reveal what makes them tick at the same time. When it comes to Neve and Egan, Comby does this brilliantly.

Neve is a born investigator, putting herself in someone else’s shoes comes easily to her. She’s a pro at finding common ground when it comes to getting to know a victim. In DANSE MACABRE, the killer is targeting young women in their twenties who are exceptionally talented in the creative arts. Neve is twenty-four. She, too, lives in East London, and is a former student of literature. The parallels are uncanny, bordering on unsettling. Neve can see traces of herself in the victims from the way their bedrooms are arranged to their singleminded focus when it comes to their careers.

Egan, on the flip side, has a hard time relating to people at all, and shields himself from getting emotionally involved in a case. It’s not until he learns that the killer sews open the eyes of his victims post mortem that he lowers his guard and allows himself to identify with their plight—because Egan, himself, is blind. His fierce independent streak is a means of coping with his condition. He holds everyone at arm’s length, but it only leads to a profound sense of guilt when one of the victims turns out to be a student of his and he doesn’t even remember her. When he realizes that he’s relegated others to nothing more than background noise, he knows that he can’t keep shutting people out. He needs to change.

But it’s how Neve and Egan interact with each other that makes their partnership zing. There’s something going on between them that remains tantalizing unexplored. Comby doesn’t come right out and say it, she just hints at their deepening relationship and what it could mean. The subtle way they dance around each other says more than if they declared their true feelings for each other. Theirs is an unconventional love story because it’s not rooted in fantasy, it’s grounded in real life. Their bond developed so naturally that it’s quite possible they’re not even aware of how close they’ve grown by working together.

They’re able to aid those in dire need of their help because they care about each other. Their expertise is enhanced by combining forces. It’s highly unlikely that they’d be as good at what they do, working alone. They each compliment each other to such a degree, that when Neve offers Egan her arm to cross a snow-covered street, it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. They’re two very special characters that mystery fans will have no problem figuring out are tailor made for each other, even if they haven’t figured it out for themselves yet.

05.12.2014 – http://thecharacterconnection.blogspot.ch

When the identity of the killer in Cristelle Comby’s DANSE MACABRE is revealed at the end of the novel, there’s an interesting bit of reflection by one of the characters. Alexandra Neve, one half of the investigating duo of Neve & Egan, finds herself relating to the perpetrator, understanding how this person’s mind worked. There are notes on the wall and pictures of the victims in the murderer’s dwelling place, and Alex immediately compares that methodology to the whiteboard she uses while on a case filled with her own scribblings and photos. The thought makes “her insides coil,” causing her to tell her partner, “I don’t want this job to drive me mad.”

When does dedication turn into fanaticism? When does “solving crimes, one sleepless night at a time” become an obsession instead of a profession? It’s a fascinating way to frame a mystery novel when one of the “good guys” knows just how easily the divide can be crossed into “bad guy” territory. It’s a dynamic that flows throughout the story when her partner Egan states, “Evil can wear many disguises.”

By continually drawing closer to the depraved heart of humanity, the two of them know the risk they are taking by immersing themselves in this world. Their insatiable curiosity plays a big role in why they are able to solve case after case, but it also exposes them to elements that the rest of society remains unaware of. They crawl down into the closed-off lines of the London Underground, encountering vagrants whose living conditions they cannot even begin to comprehend amid such squalor. They learn about unspeakable acts whose details remain etched in their minds, bodies tied up and mutilated, fingers purposely broken to remain on a piano’s keys long after death. Gruesome doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Encountering such scenes on a regular basis has a way of changing a person, and not for the better. Comby voices this concern for her characters as they descend deeper and deeper into the corruption and immorality on both sides of the law. They learn to live by their own set of rules, following no procedures, heeding no mandates. When they want to get in somewhere, they pick the lock, they don’t wait around for a search warrant. When they go on a stakeout, they don’t bring backup, they go it alone.

But they’re each on their own separate paths of self-discovery. Ashford Egan finds himself coming to terms with his blindness. He knows that he’s been living on the fringe of society, caring about no one but himself. It’s not until Alexandra enters his life that his soul begins to thaw. She breathes new life into him, getting him interested in the world outside his head. But the rush of emotions is a lot for him to deal with, he’s not used to feeling so much, and it scares him. He knows he has to stop being so self-absorbed because it’s not who he wants to be.

Over the course of their now twenty-four completed investigations, they’ve become a bit jaded, a tad cynical, and that scares Alex. As the book concludes on New Year’s Eve, she looks back at her life over the past year, and she’s not sure that she likes the person she’s become. It’s a difficult dilemma to solve. Their mission is to battle the negative elements in life, but a war like that usually has to be fought on enemy turf, and a person can’t help being affected by that, and Alexandra and Ashford certainly are, each in their own way.

09.12.2014 – http://theplotthickensbookblog.blogspot.ch

London, a few weeks before Christmas, and there’s a serial killer on the loose. Snow covers the sidewalks. Dampness settles in the bones. The wind is relentless. There aren’t enough hot cups of tea or layers of clothing to help ease the chill. But that doesn’t deter Cristelle Comby’s crime-solving duo in DANSE MACABRE. Hipster Alexandra Neve just trades her Converse sneakers for faux-fur boots, and her partner Ashford Egan gets up after falling on his ice-covered steps—ice he couldn’t see because he’s blind. A bout of nasty winter weather sure isn’t going to stop these two from tracking down a psychopath.

Alexandra may be British, but she’s of the millennial generation. She’s more likely to say, “Yo, wazzup?” or vent her frustrations in Italian than maintain the prim and proper demeanor of her more traditional colleague. Ashford’s baritone is rich and deep whenever he talks about his love of the city’s history and culture. He’s into opera and ballet, and she digs rock n’ roll. Alexandra teases Ashford about his blindness and he’s okay with it. He keeps her calm when she starts to freak out, especially after dropping a flashlight in a rat-infested subway tunnel. And he trusts her enough to lead him out of danger whenever they find themselves in a sticky situation like being held at gunpoint.

The affection they have for each other is truly touching. Alexandra knows that London isn’t an easy city to get around in. She understands how difficult it is for Ashford to navigate his way through life, never mind a crime scene. Yet, she always plays to his strengths. His ears become their secret weapon. He can detect when someone’s lying just by the sound of their voice. He’s like radar because he can always hear when someone’s coming up behind them even from good distance away.

They’re a well-balanced team, a team of equals. Ash’s intellectual nature jives with Alex’s go get’em attitude. He lives alone. She lives with her mother. They’d both love to have some office space of their own, but money’s tight. Ash envies the salaried pensioned positions of the police officers they work with and Alex is still getting comfortable telling people what she actually does for a living. The adjustment to private investigating isn’t an easy one for either of them. They know they’re capable of doing the job, but they still have their misgivings about the career path they’ve chosen.

Their goal now is to catch a killer before Christmas. Their quest leads them to abandoned theaters, half empty churches, reconverted dance studios and beyond. Even when Ash’s flat is broken into and a warning note is left, they don’t back down, they keep going. They sure don’t have the resources they need, but they have the raw talent and ability to bring the killer to justice. They’re out to save lives and grant victims’ families some healing and closure, and that’s exactly what they do.

London isn’t just a safer place with these two patrolling the streets, it’s a better one.

10.12.2014 – http://citygirlwholovestoread.blogspot.ch

A suspenseful, thrilling mystery awaits you in Danse Macabre, the third Neve and Egan Cases novel by Cristelle Comby.

Private investigators Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan are hired by a distraught mother to find her missing daughter. The mother is certain her talented ballerina wouldn’t simply run away like the police have suggested. Neve and Egan soon find they have a serial killer on their hands during one of the coldest winters in England.

Fascinating, intriguing, and filled with twists and turns, Danse Macabre is a fabulous mystery novel. It kept me guessing, and I wasn’t quite sure how things were going to turn out. I certainly wasn’t expecting that surprise at the end.

Comby is a masterful storyteller, slowly adding pieces to the puzzle that ultimately creates a page-turning novel. I loved the relationship between Neve and Egan as they battle their own demons while solving the case. And though I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s something you would pick up for a seasonal read, it is set in the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year’s.

There are some gruesome parts, but this novel is so well done I didn’t mind them at all. I would like to go back and read the previous novels in this series: Russian Dolls and Ruby Heart.

Murder mysteries don’t get better than this one.

10.12.2014 – http://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.ch

Egan and Neve are hired to find a missing ballerina. They are two detectives, one of which—Egan—is blind. Ritual killings of female music stars—pianists, choir soloists, reality show singers—have been happening throughout East London. This exciting page turner takes you deep below the streets of London in abandoned Underground tunnels searching for the heinous person responsible for these very disturbing murders. Neve fears for their lives as they grow closer to finding out who is responsible.

Comby’s thriller is ‘an edge of your seat, hold your breath’ kind of a book. It made my skin crawl with every perilous situation that Neve and Egan found themselves in. Anyone who likes a good, spine-tingling mystery won’t be disappointed in this gem. It’s packed with suspense, but also a lot of heart.

11.12.2014 – http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.ch

“I will always come and find you.”

That’s Alexandra Neve’s promise—to her blind investigating partner whenever he gets in trouble, to the kidnapped women she hopes to rescue, to the serial killer she has in her crosshairs. Yet, her doggedness turns her into a magnet for danger. Her life is threatened on more than one occasion, but she channels her fear, using it to fuel her passion for her life’s work because once she’s involved in a case, she can’t stop until she solves it. It drives her, consumes her. She views her job like a chess game, making strategic moves against an invisible opponent, one who’s determined to win at all costs.

But she has one weakness—the well being of her fellow investigator, Ashford Egan. He knew he was going to lose his sight before it happened, but he still wasn’t prepared for how alone it would make him feel. His mother was more concerned about finding an impossible cure than in helping him adjust to his condition. His father retreated into his work and virtually turned his back on him, so Ashford was left with no one, until Alexandra entered his life, changing it forever. She was his student at University College London and together they left academia and embarked on this new endeavor together, opening their own private eye agency.

Now they’re hunting a murderer who turns his victims into puppets made of flesh and bone, the horrid tableaus at the crime scenes eliciting nothing but wretched disgust in those unfortunate to witness them. Young girls are being mutilated for no reason—talented girls who excel in the performing arts from choir soloists and concert pianists to prima ballerinas and reality show singers. The killer’s after something in particular, Alexandra and Ashford just aren’t sure what.

But there’s one thing standing in their way—”the curse of the uniform.” Detective Matthew Stenson of London’s Metropolitan Police Force is more than a little interested in Alexandra. He helps them with the case, putting his job in jeopardy as he becomes more and more disillusioned with the blatant corruption in his department. Ashford doesn’t get in the way of their burgeoning relationship, but it’s worth noting that Alexandra spends the majority of her time with her partner and not with her copper boyfriend. She teases Ashford about being ‘Mr. No Social Life’ but she’s just as guilty when it comes to not making room in her life for romance. She’d rather work a case with Ashford than risk being stood up on dates that Stenson keeps canceling.

While it’s hard to schedule alone time with Stenson, Alexandra has no problem getting through to Ashford. She’s able to look past his anger, hurt and pain and really listen to him, knowing that what he’s really trying to say is, “Don’t leave me.” Ashford doesn’t want Alexandra to “mother-hen him,” viewing him as a child in constant need of her help and attention, yet somehow she always seems to know exactly what he needs from her, clearly making him her number one priority.

Their friendship is heartfelt, yet humorous. When they climb down a ladder and into the tube system, she tells him to stop looking at her bum, even though he certainly can’t see it. When she guides him through tight quarters placing his hands on her hips, the moment is likened to their dancing in a conga line. She helps him unzip his coat and he ribs her about always wanting to undress him. She gets back at him by encouraging him to order a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey in Braille, even though he has no clue what the book’s about. They ease the high stakes tension by joking around with each other, but there’s more to it than that. When they’re interrogating a witness and Ashford clenches his fist, he relaxes only at Alexandra’s touch. After his apartment is burglarized and he’s alone and bleeding, the first person he calls is Alexandra, and she drops everything to come to his aid.

Clearly, they’re two parts of the same whole, but sometimes Alexandra questions if their laid back approach is getting in the way of the job. She kicks herself when they miss the killer by mere minutes and instead discover the body of yet another victim. She regrets taking so many breaks, feeling like they’re not taking the case seriously enough, thinking they’re capable of doing more. But when Ashford’s eyes glaze over and become as dead as those of the victim they were too late to save, she knows something’s wrong, and that she needs to slow down, pull back and be there for him. They’re both dealing with a lot, but Alexandra knows that Ashford comes first, and always will, because that’s what she promised him, and she never goes back on her promises.

12.12.2014 – http://tributebooksreviews.blogspot.ch

What does a singer, dancer, and pianist have in common? Death. A gruesome death that seems to baffle the New Scotland Yard police force.

Once again, Neve and Egan are back in action with what appears to be a not-a-runaway investigation. When the police give Mrs. Doughton the brush off, she hires Alexandra and Ashford to find her missing daughter, an up and coming ballet dancer and ballet teacher. It’s winter time and their mystery soon turns in to something even more sinister when they find the poor girl recently murdered in a very gruesome manner. Her body is staged as if she were dancing and her eyes are sewed open. Just when things can’t get any worse, Ash’s apartment is ransacked, a threatening note left behind and another kidnapping is announced. The race is really on to find the killer before he gets to stage another Danse Macabre.

I love how Comby really pulls the reader into the story at the beginning and keeps you there. She has fleshed out more of the main characters, especially my favorite character in the book, Ash. He never ceases to amaze me. This is one page turner that any one who loves a good mystery will not want to put down. I must say, if you have trouble sleeping at night after reading something scary/gory (my standards of gory that is) then proceed with caution and read this in the day time 😀

18.12.2014 – http://www.worddiaries.blogspot.ch

Last weekend I finished reading Danse Macabre, the third novel in the Neve & Egan crime novels series. The author, Cristelle Comby is on a blog tour and I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. I’ve also read Russian Dolls and Ruby Heart, the previous books in the series, and reviewed the latter in December 2013. I enjoyed the previous novels’ upbeat, humorous approach to crime fiction so when I started the latest book I knew what to expect and was looking forward to it.

Dance Macabre coverHere’s how the author describes Danse Macabre: “Private investigators Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan are hired to succeed where the police have failed, to safely return home a missing ballerina. With no lead to pursue and no idea who could be behind the young woman’s kidnapping, they soon find themselves at a loss as to what to do.

To make matters worse, the heart of England seems to be caught in the middle of a little Ice Age. With snow endlessly falling and Tube lines either too cramped up to use or out of service, it is a pain to do any legwork in the huge metropolis.

Oh, and because trouble never comes alone, there may also be a serial killer on the loose in the streets of East London…”

The novel is aimed at the new adult market but, with its skilful use of humour, it sits well in the cosy mystery genre too. It has that upbeat feel to it and, even in the most gripping moments of the story, undercurrents of humour run through it. It isn’t sugar coated though. The gruesome details of the crimes are not glossed over but the author doesn’t dwell on them either. They provide a sense of reality to the story without overwhelming the reader.

The plot incorporates expected elements of the murder mystery while throwing in a couple unique twists, including the killer’s motivation for his crimes. Some developments in the storyline I saw coming but not all of them. But that wasn’t important as the increasing tension as the pair of private investigators got closer to solving the case kept me reading. When I was satisfied that everything had been neatly tied up at the end of the story I was surprised by the twist that brings about the cliffhanger ending. Generally I’m not a fan of such endings but, since I want to know what happens next, I’ll forgive the author as long as she releases the next book soon.

For me, the essence of these novels is the relationship between the main characters and their development from bumbling amateurs to professional investigators. Each story is told convincingly from Lexa’s point of view. She’s a young, spirited woman who is learning and maturing with each case she encounters. Her business partner, Ash, is older and more guarded about his thoughts and feelings than his vibrant partner but he is slowly revealing the depths of his character. With each snippet that he divulges, I want to know more. Lexa and Ash are each quirky in their own ways and form a strong partnership. I like the way they are gaining skill and confidence as investigators with each new case they tackle. The author depicts their tender yet respectful relationship through their subtle verbal and physical communication, using a minimum of dialogue. Detective Stenson, who is their ally and Lexa’s love interest, is the right balance of a man with a maverick streak and a tough cop. He is often the catalyst that gives the investigative duo access to information and evidence to help them solve cases. There are stereotypical elements to several of his police colleagues but, as minor characters, the way they are depicted fits the genre of the story.

Like the previous books in the series, Danse Macabre has a witty and feel good element that enervates the novel. Despite the grisly subject matter, it left me feeling uplifted. The novel is written in a simple but effective style. Since English isn’t her native tongue, I am impressed with the author’s command of the language. My one criticism of the novel relates to the prologue: I didn’t think it was necessary as the author fills in any background information that readers who have not read the previous books in the series will need as the story unfolds.

I see this novel as one that will appeal to a wider audience than the new adult market it is aimed at. Readers who enjoy cosy mysteries as well as general readers will also enjoy this story.

19.12.2014 – https://dianneascroft.wordpress.com

This is the second book I have read in the series. I started with book 2 which I liked. And this book is just as good.

The story takes place during the holiday winter season which fits for cozy reading this time of year.

The friendship relationship between the detective duo of Neve and Egan is the heart of this series that keeps me interested in shadowing their investigations. Their banter and funny shared moments are entertaining.

I liked that this story revealed some of Egan’s history especially in regards to his blindness which contributed to his character background.

This kidnapping mystery has an element of creepiness with the clues found that kept me engaged and wanting to find out why and most of all who?

23.12.2014 – http://vvb32reads.blogspot.ch

Simply wow! It’s been a pretty long time since I’ve managed to get my hands on a completely clean and decent heart-pounding thriller and mystery such as this! I loved it from end to end, and I have to laud the author for not having resorted to the stereo-typed elements of steamy romance, substance abuse or violence in her scenes. This was the first book I read in the Neva and Egan series, and I was in for a tremendous surprise as the characters stormed into my mind and now it’s really hard to shake them off.

This particular story revolves around a young and promising ballerina goes missing. Her mother, alone in her conviction that there’s more to her daughter’s disappearance than a teenager’s crankiness, and her quest to find out what happened to her daughter, turns to Neva and Egan desperately for help when she finds no aid from the legal system. As Neva and Egan step in, they find a lot of powerful dealings behind this one single disappearance, and the discovery of the ballerina’s brutal murder makes them realise they’re on to a serial killer. With the Winter being specifically torturous, Neva and Egan trudge along in their journey of seeking the truth and unraveling the sad mystery. Do they succeed, is what the book takes us through.

The unlikely friendship and business partnership of Neva and Egan is something I would love to get to the bottom of – I can’t wait to read the other stories now. Now that the team has become a formidable one, having solved 24 cases, and having crossed a year, they seem to be working in easy camaraderie and rhythm. Remarkable characters, both of them! The pace flows very briskly and the narrative is so engaging that at times the heart is almost in the mouth.

This was a brilliant piece of work and I recommend this to all lovers of thrillers and mysteries.

02.01.2015 – http://simpliread.blogspot.ch