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Stunner: A Ronnie Lake Mystery (An Accidental Lady Detective, A Private Investigator Crime, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Niki Danforth
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.99
Kindle Price: $0.99
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Book Description

Beautiful. Bright. And possibly, deadly...
This is all Ronnie Lake knows about her potential sister-in-law, Juliana. But she’s determined to find out the truth about her wealthy brother’s new lover before he throws away his happiness, fortune, and quite possibly, his life. Who is this mysterious woman with two lives–and how deep does her deception go?

As a divorced, downsized, 50-something, Ronnie finds herself becoming an “accidental detective” in order to get to the bottom of things. There are unexplained hang-ups when the phone rings. A disturbing package and sketchy characters appear at her wealthy family’s estate outside New York City. It all pushes Ronnie to step out of her privileged life and into a sinister world where people will do just about anything to escape their past. Is Juliana the most desperate of them all?

Editorial Reviews


  • "This is a great first mystery to begin a series." -- Audiobook Monthly
  • "Just when I thought I had figured out the plot, the author threw in some intriguing twists & turns that kept me turning the pages....I liked Ronnie. She is a funny, nosy, cool woman who drives a Mustang, loves her family devotedly, & has a wonderful German shepherd sidekick called Warrior. I want a dog like that! This is a fast-paced, humorous, mystery romp." -- Library of Clean Reads    
  • "Fifty-something Ronnie Lake is full of grit & determination, a persistent amateur detective with a black belt. Ronnie is ever protective of her family, particularly her brother Frank, so when Frank brings home mysterious Juliana Wentworth, Ronnie's radar goes on high alert. As Ronnie digs deeply into Juliana's past, she finds herself getting into trouble at every turn, with every shift in Juliana's identity. As Ronnie follows the clues, narrator Judith West ratchets up the tension with subtle shifts in intonation and pacing." -- AudioFile magazine
  • "Danforth did a great job developing the main character, showing how Ronnie went from a very inexperienced investigator to a seasoned one making her very likeable to the reader as she messed up over & over but kept trying & improving herself. Danforth's writing style is impeccable & fun, making this adventure easy to read....A five star book--worth reading for sure!"  -- Reader Views
  • I'm not generally a mystery fan, but I was looking for something different for some beach reading. Well, gotta say that I tore right through this. There were lots of twists I didn't expect. I loved Ronnie Lake's character: a bad-ass woman of a certain age--very cool. Can't wait for the next one! -- Cindy Grogan, Author, "OK, So You're Dead..."

From the Author

Stunner: A Ronnie Lake Mystery is my debut novel as an author. With several decades of working in television production under my belt with talented teams of co-workers, I welcomed a new chapter of settling into the more solitary life of a writer. After two years of writing and creating mystery detective Ronnie Lake, I felt ready to publish. Because I so enjoy mystery and suspense, I knew from the start that would become Ronnie Lake's world.

One of the advantages of writing in mid-life is the wealth of experience we have to draw upon. In Stunner, Ronnie Lake is like many Babyboomers these days--a fifty-something, divorced empty-nester who was downsized out of her corporate career. She's trying to figure out her next act when her niece comes to her in a panic that her recently widowed father (Ronnie's brother) may want to marry again. It's not only that his intended is a much younger woman, but that strange events have been happening ever since they've come home. Her niece suggests they hire a private investigator, but Ronnie decides to see what she can find out first. After all, how hard can it be? Bottom line--this is a story with a universal theme of betrayal and family loyalty with a protagonist who is not afraid to jump into the new endeavor of amateur woman detective.
Whether it's as a Kindle eBook, paperback or audiobook, I hope you enjoy Stunner!

Product Details

  • File Size: 753 KB
  • Print Length: 381 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Pancora Press (August 31, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F029810
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,229 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspense November 8, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thought I had this one figured out several times only to find I was off the mark. One of those books you plan to read in short bursts only to get caught up in the suspense and screw up your time schedule. Author's description of male losers is classic. Highly recommend.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want this to be a series. November 1, 2013
By karen
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A mystery with a charactor that you actually would like to get to know. Wasn't sure if Terry,Julie etc was the good gal or not and had to keep reading till I found out. Looks like this will make a greatg series.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but with an annoyance factor February 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is certainly a well thought-out storyline, written with style and skill. I can understand why other reviewers have given it four or five stars. The heroine's relationship with her dog was entertaining, the martial arts aspects were interesting, and there was enough suspense to keep mystery readers happy.

However I just couldn't connect with the heroine who I found arrogant, overbearing and at times simply stupid. Many, many times I found myself muttering "just ask" when she wanted information and chose a convoluted path to minor characters in underhand sleuthing mode rather than simply asking one of the main characters first. Consequently marked down for annoyance factor.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My bedtime required reading! November 24, 2013
By foxes 1
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I made Stunner by late night treat, reading it each night before I went to sleep. I would put it down before nodding off but always turning over in my mind the new twists and turns in the chapters I had just read. I looked forward to picking up where I left off until, sadly, it came to an end. Very good first attempt at the mystery genre by the first time author. Can't wait to see what she writes next!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes for an interesting read! April 29, 2014
By Ikwo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found Niki Danforth's "Stunner" very interesting.. The introduction of Ronnie Lake as an ordinary woman turned private eye, the subtle pointers to her inquisitive-analytical mind, her beginner detective troubles and the maintenance of this role throughout the book was realistic, effective, fun and engaging. Ronnie is a loveable character people can relate to.
The story is original, flows smoothly, nice twists, good scenery/location descriptions, solid continuity, nice unusual ending. I did feel there was not enough obvious attraction from the dashing Will Benson towards Ronnie before they became an item but that's just my opinion. Overall "Stunner" is a really good read for lovers of detective fiction series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT January 21, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fast paced mystery with Ronnie Lake, an active 50 something heroine that with her faithful German Shepherd stops at nothing to protect her family. A must read!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun and fast read December 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's been ages since I picked up a good mystery novel. I started to read Stunner and before I knew it I had finished the whole thing. Stunner is a fun, light hearted and great to read while you're on vaca, going to bed, or just looking to relax with a good book. The only reason I give it a four and not a five is bc some of the martial arts descriptions went over my head.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read November 23, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very simply, a great read, especially for a first effort. It was captivating from the very beginning, exceptionally well written, creating strong images throughout. While written from a woman's perspective, there's enough action and suspense to appeal to men, even some martial arts detail. I also enjoyed the nuances and details which abound in geographical, entrepreneurial and even fashion contexts. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book.
I could hardly put this down - it is really well written with a lot of interesting characters. I loved the story.
Published 10 days ago by Olivia Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars New BFF!
Veronica Lake feels like a new BFF! The way Niki Danforth shared Ronnie's biography, gently, slowly, deliberately, page by page,was great fun. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Wile E's Mom
5.0 out of 5 stars a real page turner
The main character, Veronica Lake, had real depth. Its like you knew her. I will definitely read more from the author.
Published 23 days ago by lh
5.0 out of 5 stars A detective for the rest of us!
A really enjoyable read, the suspense builds steadily without any gruesome crime scenes. Kind of a hybrid between a crime novel and a cozy mystery, Stunner really hits home because... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alabama Teacher
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Well worth reading mystery and hard to put down
Published 2 months ago by Ann McKeown
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunner
Great adventure. Interesting characters especially Ronnie and her dog Warrior. Looking forward to the next book. Hoping the romance will continue between Ronnie and Will. NED
Published 4 months ago by Nancy Delano
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but not my favorite flavor.
The book definitely kept me reading and wondering, and it was well written. The final plot twist (no spoiler here) was just too much for me. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Freckles' mom
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting
This is a real page-turner. I don't usually pick-up mysteries, but I heard Stunner was a great summer read and took it with me on a recent trip. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Marion
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
This was a great read for this summers heat. Looking forward to the next book for the coming long winter evenings.
Published 8 months ago by Esther
2.0 out of 5 stars Too cutsey
A tedious snoop who thinks she is a PI combined with Miss perfect adds up to a really irritating story all which I could not finish but who needed to anyway since I could guess it.
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Niki Danforth, daughter of a Cold War covert intelligence officer, has the "thriller/adventure" gene in her DNA. After a career as a successful TV/video producer and director in New York, this empty-nester is picking up her first love of suspenseful mystery books and recreating herself as an author in the genre. Danforth lives in the New Jersey countryside with her husband and two drama-queen dogs. She is hard at work writing the next Ronnie Lake book, this time a murder mystery.

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