Nerd Girl Loves Books

Book recommendations and short reviews just for you!



The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz

Rating: 3 out of 5.

3.5 stars

This was a dark mystery/thriller centered around five women’s attendance at a writing retreat with a famously reclusive writer. Once at the retreat location, they discover they need to complete an entirely new novel during their stay. They are given a strict writing schedule and seemingly impossible daily deadlines, but if they succeed, the winner will get a seven figure publishing deal and the mentor’s stamp of approval. It’s every woman for herself – until they start to die.

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A Dangerous Education by Megan Chance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this historical fiction mystery thriller set at a boarding school for troubled girls in the 1950s during the Cold War & McCarthy hearings. Rosemary is a teacher at the school & despite warnings from other teachers, & her own instincts, she gets close with a trio of cunning girls who run the school. Just before going to teach the girls, Rosemary discovers that one of the three girls is the daughter she was forced to give up when she was 17 years old. Everyone is damaged in one way or another, & the choices they make have devastating consequences.

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Shadows in the Aftermath by Marianne Scott


Genre: Suspense, Thriller

Pages: 336

Publisher: FriesenPress

I’m pleased to be part of the Love Book Tours book tour for this book.

Here is a synopsis:

Ruby Draker has found new strength, and is ready to move on after Felix Szabo devastated the Draker estate in Nice, France. Three Drakers are dead leaving Ruby in grief and with thoughts of revenge. The Drakers are a family built of survivors; each rescued from Felix Szabo, a psychopath, who sought to murder his former agents at the CIA whom he believed betrayed him. The Drakers’ sole mission is to stop Szabo from adding more victims to his list, and although he also perished during the invasion, his legacy continues to haunt them. When the Drakers learn that Robert Draker, presumed dead since the shoot-out at Robert’s farmhouse, may be alive and at a rehab clinic in Portland, Maine, the Drakers know it could be a set up, but they have no choice but to try to find him and bring Robert home.

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A Killing of Innocents (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #19) by Deborah Crombie

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a very good mystery/thriller set in London following the investigation of Scotland Yard detectives into the murder of a young medical resident. As they look into the victim’s personal life, another stabbing occurs, putting the City in a panic. This is the 19th book in the series, but can be read as a stand alone. I admit I was a bit lost on most of the character interplay and their personal lives, but there is enough back story that I got the basics of what was going on. Even though I wasn’t familiar with the characters, I still got caught up in what they were going through and liked them.

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Mission in Malmo (Inspector Anita Sundstrom #9) by Torquil MacLeod

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a pretty good mystery/thriller set in Sweden. It’s book 9 of a series, but can be read as a stand alone. I’m sure I missed some nuances regarding the characters and their interactions, but there was enough information to provide me a good idea of what was what. The story is told in two different time periods. The first part of the story is told in 2006 while the main character, Anita, is a detective in the Criminal Investigation Squad. As one of only two women in the unit, the women are thought of as less capable and are treated unequally, especially by Chief Inspector Erik Moberg. The team is tasked with tackling the aftermath of an armed robbery at a cash handling facility in Malmö. The raid left one security guard dead and there was no sign of the stolen millions. The team eventually thinks they’ve solved the crime, but aren’t able to convict who they believe is the mastermind of the operation.

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The Hunter by Jennifer Herrera

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a contemporary mystery/thriller with paranormal aspects. I was creeped out by the paranormal aspects of the book, but I’m a big chicken. I think readers that aren’t a big chicken like me will enjoy it. A great deal of the book is devoted to the private life of the main character and the family dynamics with her uncles and brother, as well as her estranged husband. I felt the family issues were distracting and took me out of the mystery elements of the book. A closer look at the book could tighten this part of the story up and make the transitions less jarring.

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Promise Boys by Nick Brooks

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this YA mystery/thriller set in an all-boys high school, Urban Promise Prep School, in Washington D.C. Principal Moore is an activist that started the school and based his strict program discipline, called the Principal Moore Method, claiming it turns boys into men. Principal Moore claims that almost all boys in his school go from trouble youth to college-bound men because of his method and school. But when Moore is murdered at school, his school and method come under strict scrutiny. Three boys serving detention that afternoon are targeted by the police as prime suspects. All three state that they are innocent, and it’s clear they need to band together to find the real killer before they are arrested and lost in the system.

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The Hiking Trip by Jenny Blackhurst

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a fun and twisty mystery/thriller set on the West Coast Trail in Canada. Maise lives an unhappy life in the UK. She plans a trip to hike in Canada, but her friend flakes on her. Maise goes anyway, and while waiting to board the bus to the trail, she meets brother and sister Ric and Sera. They instantly click and decide to hike the trail together. The first couple of days go well with lots of fun antics, but then things go bad. Really bad. Twenty-five years later a woman named Laura is shook when she hears a body was found near the trail and police suspect it’s Sera. Laura is afraid the secret she’s been keeping will come out, and odd things start happening making Laura suspect someone is determined to make her spill her secrets.

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The Club by Ellery Lloyd

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a fun and twisty mystery/thriller set in the glamorous world of an exclusive club for celebrities run by brothers Ned and Adam. The clubs are set up so that the celebrities can behave however they want inside them, with the assurance that nothing will ever get leaked to the press. The book is set over one weekend during the grand opening of the brother’s latest club located on an island off the coast of England.

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