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A Season to Lie: A Detective Gemma Monroe Mystery (Detective Gemma Monroe Novels, 2) Hardcover – November 14, 2017
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Praise for A Season to Lie:
“Colorado author Emily Littlejohn follows up her successful “Inherit the Bones” mystery with a nicely written sequel about Cedar Valley detective Gemma Monroe.” Denver Post
“Lively…Readers will look forward to seeing more of this insightful and likable character.” Publishers Weekly
“For readers who crave eccentricity, there is much to enjoy in the interactions of oddball teachers who can’t get along, old friends whose relationship is a puzzle, even gangsters who land in the country and bring big-city headaches to Monroe’s backwoods jurisdiction. The ending includes an unpredictable twist.” Booklist
“Littlejohn revisits beloved characters… [and] she indicates clear potential for further development in Cedar Valley.” Kirkus Reviews
“A satisfying procedural with colorful supporting characters, Littlejohn’s second outing establishes her as a skilled plotter who keeps her story engaging.” LitHub (Five Crime Must-Reads November 2017)
"A Season to Lie features a variety of quirky, colorful characters. A second murder complicates the plot and keeps readers guessing to the very end." Mystery Scene
Praise for Inherit the Bones:
“In her well-crafted debut, Emily Littlejohn skillfully captures life in a small town―and the insidious secret keeping that can come with it. Inherit the Bones is the perfect fall page-turner.” Real Simple magazine
“Emily Littlejohn creates a colorful mix of circus lore, town intrigue, class privilege and police procedural. Add in a pregnant detective, always a favorite for me, and we have a definite winner.” Raleigh News & Observer
“Monroe, a fantastic, fallibly human and fierce protagonist, soon realizes the case may even have roots as far back as the unsolved Woodsman child murders that have haunted the town for decades. Here's hoping this excellent debut from Colorado writer Emily Littlejohn is the first of many.” Cleveland Plain-Dealer
“Littlejohn writes with assurance and skill. The story’s plotting is sure-footed, and the characters are well developed and believable…Highly recommended.” Library Journal (starred review, Debut of the Month)
“Engrossing…Littlejohn effectively captures the tensions of a community struggling with its demons while seeking to attract tourist dollars, and Gemma―six-months pregnant with her first child, uncertain of the future with her partner, and paired with a charming bad-boy cop she doesn’t trust―is a compelling lead.” Publishers Weekly
“If you read only one debut mystery this year, make it this one. Inherit the Bones is that good. Compelling writing, a stunning setting in a Colorado ski town, a plot that twists with surprises, and a police deputy who happens to be six-months pregnant―I loved all of it.” Margaret Coel, author of The Man Who Fell From the Sky
About the Author
- Publisher : Minotaur Books (November 14, 2017)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250089417
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250089410
- Item Weight : 1.06 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.4 x 1.07 x 9.59 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,270,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This very engaging police thriller was hard to put down. I just couldn't stop reading!
The night Gemma Monroe, a police officer in a small Colorado mountain community, returns to work from her maternity leave is not exactly boring. If she was hoping to ease back into work, she is in for a big disappointment. Shortly after her shift begins, she and her partner Finn are called out to check a report of a suspicious man prowling around a school. When they arrive, they quickly find a body of a dead man. Not just any man, this is a famous author, and no one knew he was in town. To add to the mystery, he was out in a blizzard with no coat and there was a strange message stuck in his mouth.
As Gemma and Finn start asking questions, there turn out to be an abundance potential suspects. AND there are several other 'situations' in town that seem to be coming to a boiling point. On top of all that, Gemma and her boyfriend Brody are adjusting to parenthood and the changes in creates in their relationship.
WHAT I LOVED
I loved the setting, a small Colorado mountain town in the winter. The cozy living rooms with fires in the fireplace, the expansive views and the snow storms made me miss Colorado so much! I can't wait to visit CO again.
The struggle Gemma was having adjusting to motherhood felt very authentic. While she loved her baby, she was tired, found juggling the work / mom thing difficult and felt guilty for loving her work so much. She was clearly overwhelmed.
The actual murder mystery was good. At one time or another, I suspected pretty much everyone except Gemma's baby. There were many interesting suspects with various motives to read about.
There was a lot going on with other characters in the small town and with Gemma's personal life. The book left several loose ends, creating an opening for book three.
WHAT I DIDN'T LOVE
Although I really liked most of this book, there were a few times it felt a bit like a Lifetime Movie. When it did, it dipped to down from 4 stars to 3. One example was when Gemma and Finn were interviewing the teachers at the school and the dialogue between the teachers was pretty unrealistic and annoying. There were times when Gemma and Finn missed some pretty obvious red flags, that kind of annoyed me too.
Very readable. I will definitely go back and read the first book in the series and will read number three when it comes out.
But there in the snow lies the savaged body of a man whose presence in town was meant to be a secret. And a disturbing message left by his killer promises more death to come.
This is only the beginning . . .
Nothing is as it seems in Cedar Valley and stories, both fact and fiction, ensnare Gemma as her investigation moves from the halls of an elite academy to the forests that surround Cedar Valley.
My Thoughts: On her first day back at work after her maternity leave, Gemma Monroe is eager to delve into whatever cases are presented to her. So, in the opening lines of A Season to Lie: A Detective Gemma Monroe Mystery (Detective Gemma Monroe Novels) , we find her heading out to Valley Academy in response to an anonymous tip. A prowler has been spotted. The situation seems simple enough, but before the night is done, Gemma and her partner Finn will be trying to solve a murder, and the victim is a well-known author. Someone who has slipped into town in disguise, hoping to have some quiet to write his memoirs…and do some guest lectures at the school.
The suspects range from students to teachers, from bullies to nefarious construction workers…and even a stalker called The Rabbit Man.
The author’s friend Lila Conway, who invited him to visit, suffers from extreme social anxiety, so she seems to have nothing to contribute. But is she keeping secrets? Is she telling lies? What is the truth behind her relationship to the author?
When Gemma grows closer to the answers, I was fascinated by the threads that led to many possibilities…and then seemingly nowhere. Until the final reveal. A captivating read. 4.5 stars.
This book takes you into a cold Colorado winter and holds you in its grip until the last page. The writing is beautiful and melodic while completely avoiding the cookie-cutter phrases that wear on the reader.
I cannot wait for the next one!
Top reviews from other countries
the character of Gemma is a well written character and so is her detective partner Finn. The author does creep you out several times in the book with her writing.
The story itself has many suspects and too many characters who only receive one line and then you have forgotton who they are if they are referred to again. I didn't guess or discover on my own who the culprit was, but when it was revealed by the author, it was sort of a dull reveal, as there was no drama to it other than what happens next.
All in all, I will definitely read the next in the series.