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on July 7, 2015
Think Murder offers a refreshing glimpse into the world of the mundane as it clashes with high stakes politics. Set in Washington, DC, the main character, Adina, is thrust into a police investigation that becomes more dangerous at every turn. She tries to maintain a sense of normalcy while the events around her seem anything but normal. This whodunnit kept me guessing until the end. There is just the right amount of romance to make the story sweet and believable. The novel is well-written and enjoyable to read. I am hoping for a sequel and look forward to reading more by this talented author.
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on September 3, 2015
Cozy style mysteries aren’t usually a go-to genre for me, but I am trying to expand my reading horizons. I decided to give Think Murder by Cassidy Salem a shot. I must say I was entertained!

Synopsis (from the author): Adina Donati came to Washington D.C. to find excitement, not a dead body.

When a friend is murdered, Adina is drawn into the middle of the police investigation. Tensions rise as the suspect list expands to include Adina, her friends, and colleagues at the prestigious think tank where she works. But every cloud has a silver lining. Between the nice detective, the hot new volunteer at the dog rescue center, and the newly available preppy ex-boyfriend, Adina's dating dry spell appears near its end. That is, if she doesn't become the next victim.

What I liked: The story was interesting and held my interest. Adina was a fresh take on the overworked (and underpaid) office minion. Her budding potential romance with the detective and the flirtations with another volunteer at the animal rescue shelter made for an interesting side story. The clues to the killer’s identity were nicely scattered throughout the story and did keep me guessing for a large part of the book.

What I didn’t like: Despite Adina’s likeability, I thought her reaction to the murder could have been more realistic. The budding relationships between Adina and her potential beaus as a predictable part of the book, too, and I thought Bruce (from the animal rescue center) would have made a great suspect.

Overall impression: Think Murder was a well-written and entertaining book. The plot could have been a bit more complex, but the book was an easy enjoyable read!

My Rating: 4 Stars
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on March 25, 2015
Think Murder is a well-written mystery with a smart, likable protagonist, Adina Donati. An administrative assistant at a Washington, D.C. think tank, Adina is handling many of the typical problems of daily life for a young, single, professional woman. That includes dealing with not-so-nice coworkers/bosses [one of the bosses ‘a real stickler’], managing relationships with friends and an intrusive mother, navigating big city life, taking care of her tiny apartment, etc. All of that gets cast into a whole new light when Adina’s coworker, Hilary, is killed. Who killed Hilary and why? Multiple motives for murder and plenty of suspects emerge, once Adina learns more about Hilary’s personal life, her work as a research assistant, political intrigue, and scandal. Her revelations soon take Adina down a path as a reluctant sleuth, and make her an unwitting target of bad guys! Adina’s not in it alone, however, as two interesting men enter her life while the mystery unfolds. A quick, entertaining read that will appeal to cozy mystery fans.
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on May 21, 2015
6 Stars! 7?

This book was a pleasure to read. It is well written and clean with a tightly focused narrative that is clear and direct, but not without color and emotion. I wish more books were written this way. At a hair over 200 pages, it had more plot and complexity than some 1,000 page tomes I’ve read. I really wish I’d started reading this book on the weekend because I didn’t want to put it down. Let’s just say I had a couple of very unproductive days at work. Don’t tell my boss.

I hesitate to give this book 5 stars because it will just get lost in the horde of other 5 star reviews, but it deserves every bit of the praise it’s gotten. This book might not be for everyone, but I have a hard time believing that anyone who likes a nice, tight murder mystery will be disappointed.

I absolutely can’t wait to read more from this author.
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on May 13, 2015
Think Murder by Cassidy Salem achieves its main purpose, as it had me wanting to know what happened to Hilary from the very beginning. The setup of the crime and how the story played out certainly felt like it could have been ripped from a real-life headline. I'm a big stickler for character, so a little more development for Adina might have made me feel like I was part of the story instead of watching from the sidelines, and I really wanted more detail in the action scenes so I could feel the main character's fright.

I might have had a hard time diving into the story, but I had a pleasant time watching from the lounge chair by the side of the pool. A solid debut that marks a promising start for Cassidy Salem.
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on January 29, 2016
This is an easy-to-read, well-written story that kept me turning the pages, keen for more. The author launches straight into the plot, a gripping mystery that sees a young woman murdered on an innocent night out and her colleague and good friend, Adina, left rattled and distraught. It doesn't help that Adina's work mates start pointing the finger her way. Set in Washington DC, at a 'prestigious think tank', what starts out as a relatively simple story begins to thicken as our 'amateur sleuth' starts digging. Along the way she meets several potential love interests but the romance doesn't get in the way of a good mystery, and the sense of foreboding builds as the story continues. Very soon you start looking at every character sideways. There's also some very cute dogs! It's a solid debut and I can easily imagine a sequel.
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on October 5, 2015
When Adina Donati goes for a drink with her friend Hilary she expects it to be like every other Wednesday night. She couldn't be more wrong -- Hilary ends up dead and Adina is thrust into the centre of a murder investigation. At first she is numbed by shock but over the next few days Adina has to deal with grief over the loss of her friend and the fear that she could be next. Understandably she jumps at shadows. But are they shadows? She's not sure who to trust. Detective Jonathan Saks is sturdy, stable and makes her feel safe. Bruce, handsome with a strong pair of arms, is new on the scene and ready to come to her rescue when the need arises. By the end of the story one mystery is solved but another one is about to begin... I hope that this is the first in a series; I'd love to find out whether Adina falls for Jonathan's stolid charms or succumbs to Bruce who sets her heartbeat racing.
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on October 16, 2016
Adina and Hilary are out for a drink of white wine and a small dish of chicken wings. What could go wrong? Right??? What was taking Hilary so long in the restroom? AND was that policeman cute? At least Adina has the Cutie Pie Puppy Rescue Center work to help her relax – except for the cute volunteer. What could happen there??? I enjoyed the story, the dogs, and the other story and would recommend this book.
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on June 25, 2015
The book had three strikes against it before I even started reading. (My personal bias that is...)
1. I rarely read books with female protagonists.
2. I am not a big fan of the 'Cozy Mystery' genre.
3. I have read everything ever written by some of the great murder mystery detective writers - Robert B. Parker, Dashiell Hammet and many others so my expectations in any variation of the mystery genre are quite high.

Nevertheless, I was surprised when I found myself caught up in what upon first glance starts out as a mundane 'girl's night out' story.

One can easily see themselves in a similar situation - a friend and co-worker has passed away under suspicious circumstances. Was it suicide or was it murder? If it was suicide one would want to know why, how did I fail this person as a friend? If it was murder, who did it and why?

Both the writing and the storyline was reminicent of another of my favorite writers, Jonathan Kellerman; the regular Joe (or in this case Jane) who turns semi-detective to solve the case is used effectively in this story.

There were a couple of moments where I had to 'suspend belief' - While I felt that a bit more graphic detail (blood and violence) might have made the story more believeable, it would then not have been true to genre.

I give the book four stars. If 1/2 stars were possible I would give it 3 1/2 stars for those who aren't cozy mystery fans and 4 1/2 stars who follow the genre. Overall, a pleasant surprise and a good read.
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on March 19, 2015
Think Murder introduces the world of think tanks, politics and life in the nation’s capital, all spun within a neat and cozy murder mystery. Adina is one talented woman and as I watched her move through danger and clues, I found myself rooting for her to find that special someone. The story introduces truly believable characters, even down to the office biddy whose self-appointed mission in life is to make Adina's life miserable. I even learned a new Hebrew word that I had to look up. I hope this is the first of many books from Cassidy Salem. There were some characters in this book that certainly have yet to be rewarded for their dastardly natures. I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble Adina gets into next. I am definitely adding Ms. Salem to my favorite author list.
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