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Russian Dolls (The Neve & Egan cases Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Cristelle Comby
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.99
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Book Description

Alexandra Neve is a student at University College London whose world suddenly falls apart. When her best friend jumps from the university’s rooftop, she can’t stop herself from asking, ‘Why?’ The police rule her friend’s death a suicide and for them the case is closed — so whom can she turn to for help?

Sometimes the person you need the most is the one you least expect to find, and in this case it’s none other than Ashford Egan, a blind middle-aged history professor, who’s more willing than most to listen to what she has to say.

Neve and Egan are as different as they come. She’s restless, careless at times, and fearless when the need arises, while he’s almost the complete opposite: a deep thinker with an analytical mind, a highly rational and collected individual.

As they enter the violent world of the Russian mafia, they must overcome their differences and learn to work together. It’s their only chance if they want to survive.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides. Thanks to her insatiable thirst for American and British action films and television dramas, her English is fluent. She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

Product Details

  • File Size: 428 KB
  • Print Length: 302 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 148203039X
  • Publisher: Cristelle Comby; 1 edition (March 8, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BRG0BQ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,805 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Brave Risk: Just Not My Cup of Tea March 16, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Russian Dolls is a murder/mystery investigation by an uncommon pair. The rookie sleuths are the tried and true polar opposites: ridiculed, middle-aged, blind, history professor Egan Ashford (Ash) and artsy, loner 23-year-old student Alexandra Neve (Lexa). The plot is interesting: investigating the death of Alexandra's unlikely best friend Irina lands Neve and Egan right smack in the middle of human-trafficking, gun-running, money laundering, kidnapping, and murder. Comby obviously put a great deal of effort into packing every punch possible into the pages. The author even clearly starts the sequel in her Epilogue.

Despite all of the author's planning and potential, however, Comby's giant gamble just didn't pay off in my case. I am referring to Comby's unusual use of first-person present-tense point-of-view. Alexandra narrates the book as if she is verbally reporting every single thing she does as she does it. It is truly a hard thing to explain. It felt as if I were being forced to tell the story to someone else out-loud as I went through an entire book stuck in someone else's shoes, and I honestly didn't like those shoes. I thought that Alexandra was, well... a brat. Lexa shows some growth through the book, and Comby tries desperately to use Ash's character as a buffer. Sadly, nothing that the author uses to create empathy for character of Alexandra works. I think, perhaps, if Comby had written in the past-tense first-person it would have been easier to separate myself from Lexa. In the traditional third-person past-tense point-of-view, I would even go as far as saying that the story might be able to squash the feelings of disdain Alexandra's verbal temper tantrums create.

In all fairness, I may not have liked the character because of my distaste for the point-of-view.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing November 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was a little slow to warm up to the characters and style, but once Comby hooked me into the plots and characters I couldn't stop reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Porca vacca April 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I've never read a book that was specifically marketed as `New Adult'. I fall squarely within the intended audience of this new marketing phenomenon but I still am not quite sure I understand it. I've read my fair share of young adult and adult books, so it was definitely interesting to read something that was perhaps a bit more in-between.

Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan are definitely not your typical sleuth pair. Similar to Dark Lie, where the main character suffered from Lupus, I enjoyed that the main characters are not extraordinarily beautiful or `perfect'. Egan's blindness offered an interesting element to the mystery.

I enjoyed Russian Dolls for its intrigue and unpredictability. I am never that good at guessing where a mystery is going in the first place, but I didn't find myself not wondering what was going to happen next, or what the resolution was going to be. The writing was at its strongest during the action scenes.

I did not give this book 5 stars because, Porca vacca! It could get a little repetitive. Alexandra started really bugging me in her inability to follow directions, particularly when the directions were coming from the police. I understand that it was imperative to have her be in the thick of it for the sake of there to be a story as it was written in first person, but her absolute refusal to follow directions, especially when they were important ones really bugged me. However, it could be said that that was strength of the character because she remains true to herself in that she is a very stubborn character and very well likely not have listened to her elders.

As far as whether this book fits within the New Adult category? I'd say yes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Amateur Sleuth story March 15, 2013
Format:Paperback
Alexandra Neve is a quiet recluse that spends her time doodling with sketches of ice cream cones. It is while studying at the University of London that her sketches catch the attention of the charming and witty Irina Anderson, the only daughter of a Russian mother and a wealthy British banker. From their first meeting an unlikely friendship begins but it tragically ends when Irina is found dead in a pool of her own blood. It is believed that she has jumped from a building. The book opens with Alexandra attending Irina's funeral. Whilst writing in the first person and in a particularly attractive style, the author allows Alexandra to describe the pain of losing her friend.

Following the funeral, everyone gathers at the Anderson home for drinks. Whilst still remembering her friend Alexandra walks away from the crowd and ends up in Irina's bedroom. It is here that she finds an interesting list of names. She takes the list with her and begins a few investigations. As time goes on Alexandra begins to unravel detail after detail that begins to uncover what might have really happened to Irina. Coupled with an unusual association with her history professor Ashford Egan, together as amateur sleuths they reveal a trail that leads all the way to the Russian mafia. This is a thoroughly enjoyable piece of mystery and crime.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Novel! March 14, 2013
Format:Paperback
This is a great crime novel that gets you hooked from the start! I am so glad I picked this book up! I love a crime novel, and the mystery and suspense in this book is well drawn out.

Cristelle Comby's writing is truly amazing. This story is gripping, I kept finding myself saying, "just one more paragraph, just one more" and before I knew it I'd be two more chapters into the book! It is a great book.

If you love a good crime novel then you will love this book!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A great new detective duo.
I received this book as a review copy through LibraryThing.com earlier this year, but only got around to reading it recently.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Davros-10
3.0 out of 5 stars Russian Dolls
I wanted to enjoy this book, but it was sadly disappointing. The two main characters are a couple of imp s, she is impatient and he is impaired. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Peter Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder or Suicide?
This new detective team from Ms. Comby's first in a series is an outrageously unlikely pair. A ditsy female university student and her blind, older, male professor and their... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Gail Ofterdinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Nonstop Action Book That Deals With a Sensitive But Real Topic
This may be the fifth book about human sex trafficking that I have read in the past five months, and it never ceases to completely blow me away! Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ruth A. Hill
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Mediocre
The plot is predictable and it's not really good literature. Very mediocre writing. Characters aren't very believable either, especially the blind guy
Published 15 months ago by Myra Bosch
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than good
This book read really well, I loved the plot, I loved the characters and their imperfections and the way the author worked within those, without making either character an abnormal... Read more
Published 16 months ago by JokerAtWork
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Start to Mystery Series
I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review. I rated it 4.5 out of 5. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Maria D.
4.0 out of 5 stars FIRST IN A NEW SERIES
When Alexandra's friend Irina dies suddenly, she refuses to believe the police when they rule it suicide and close the case. Read more
Published 16 months ago by THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Whodunit
I am not a mystery/suspense fan, but I could not put this book down.

The police have ruled Alexandra's best friend's death a tragic suicide but Alexandra refuses to... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Ani Koreh
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
Cristelle pens "Russian Dolls" in a plot filled with mystery, suspense, crime and the Russian Mafia. Read more
Published 17 months ago by My Cozie Corner {Book Reviews}
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More About the Author

Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides.

Thanks to her insatiable thirst for American and British action films and television dramas, her English is fluent.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

Russian Dolls is her first new-adult novel, and she's hard at work on the next titles in the series.

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