Rating: 3 1/2 ♥’s
Published: October 17, 2023
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 322

Description: The glow from the fireplace throws an eerie light over the woman’s carefully arranged body, her lifeless eyes reflecting the flames that slowly burn the evidence of who did this to her…
When Detective Amanda Steele is called to the brutal murder scene of successful local author Felicity Kelley , her blood runs cold. Because Amanda not only knew the victim, but was the last person Felicity called moments before she was murdered. Plagued with guilt that she never answered, Amanda is left wondering whether she could have prevented the murder, and vows to catch the killer, no matter what.
Desperately searching the crime scene for clues, Amanda is shocked when she discovers a Queen of Hearts playing card, suggesting the murder could be an imitation of a scene from Felicity’s bestselling crime novel. Terrified that she is dealing with a crazed fan who could strike again, Amanda’s worst fears are confirmed when another innocent woman is viciously murdered, with the same chilling calling card left behind.
But when Amanda connects the murders with a cold case from fifteen years ago, a case that Felicity appears to have been researching for her next novel, she is forced to question if the killer’s motive is even more sinister than she first suspected. But the closer Amanda gets to unearthing this motive, the closer she gets to becoming the next victim…

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a good next book in the Detective Amanda Steele series. I have enjoyed reading this series and was excited to get to read the next one. Amanda always seems to get involved in the crazy cases and this one hits close to her since she knew the victim from a previous investigation! I like how some of her cases are intertwined, it keeps it interesting.

The plot of this one was fun, I enjoyed that the murders were actually based on Felicity’s book. It made it just a different type of case to solve and to figure out why someone would use the victims’ own story to conduct their killings. Of course, there was a possible connection to a cold case that the victim was not killed in the same way. However, you learn that this is what Felicity’s next book was going to be about and maybe she was just a little too good at her research. There were a lot of people who you are introduced to that you think could this be the murderer? I know that I guessed on a few different people before finding out who it was and I did not guess correctly. I like it when I am surprised at who the murderer is because I feel a lot of times you are able to figure it out.

I like that we are seeing a little more of Amanda and her relationship with Zoe and Logan. The one thing that I found slightly odd in this is how it keeps getting brought up about her and her partner, Trent, and how they kissed. It makes it seem like she still has a question about if things could happen with them, but she is in love with Logan and he lives with her and Zoe. I like the partner/friend dynamic that Trent and Amanda have and hope it stays on track and doesn’t get messed up because they work well together. It was nice to still see Malone being involved and helping with the case and of course all the usual people who have been around helping solve cases like the CSI’s and medial examiner.

This was a good continuation in the series and I enjoyed reading it. I am excited to see what crazy case Amanda will be involved in next.

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