Immagine dell'autore.

Mark de Castrique

Autore di Blackman's Coffin

28 opere 734 membri 70 recensioni 1 preferito



Opere di Mark de Castrique


Informazioni generali

Data di nascita
20th century
Luogo di nascita
Hendersonville, North Carolina, USA
Luogo di residenza
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Thomson, Melissa (offspring)



Sam and Nakayla are hired by an 80-year-old woman to investigate what she thought might be a suspicious death of her brother some 70 years ago. Although the woman was told it was a hiking accident, she doubted that because of her brother's familiarity with the trails. Every where they turn the official records seem to be gone so Sam suspects a cover-up. The brother was enrolled at Black Mountain College at the time of his death. The college's setting is now being used for a movie set in the 1940s based on a local writer's work. Could there be a connection between the two? When people connected to the movie begin turning up dead, Sam begins consulting with Newly the detective investigating the modern crimes. It all comes to a satisfying head, but the wrap-up in the final chapter was a little too straightforward and anticlimactic.… (altro)
thornton37814 | 2 altre recensioni | Feb 21, 2024 |
Book: 4.5⭐
Audio Narration: 3.5⭐

A botched mugging leaves one Supreme Court law clerk dead and another seriously injured. The murdered law clerk Robert Finley had been working for Supreme Court Chief Justice Clarissa Baxter who is scheduled to cast the deciding vote for the verdict in a controversial lithium mining case that has several influential people desperate to protect their own interests. Missing from the scene of the crime was Robert’s backpack with important notes on the case. The injured law clerk Brooke Chaplin is the niece of Detective Frank Mancini of the Arlington Police Department and a tenant at the boardinghouse for government employees run by Former FBI Agent Ethel Fiona Crestwater in Arlington, Virginia. Frank is a former boarder and friend of Ethel’s which prompts her to offer to help in the investigation. Joining Ethel in her efforts is her double-first-cousin-twice-removed, Jesse, who also resides in the same boarding house and is a university student.

Though retired, seventy-five-year-old Ethel is sharp and maintains a strong network of past and present highly ranked officers from different branches of law enforcement ( “Ethel’s Army” ). As the bodies continue to pile up, Ethel suspects that not only are people within the system involved, but also the Chief Justice just might be the next target. What follows is a complex web of murder, corruption and conspiracy and Ethel will leave no stone unturned to help unravel the mystery behind the attack and murder and identify the person/people who are targeting the Chief Justice.

With its interesting cast of characters, well-structured plot and plenty of humor, Dangerous Women by Mark de Castrique is an intriguing and entertaining read. I loved Ethel and her resourcefulness. Though there are several characters in the story, the plot is not difficult to follow and at no point did I lose interest. The author incorporates several relevant themes such as political corruption, climate change, clean energy, environmental protection and preservation of land into a tightly woven plot. The pacing does falter in parts but not so much that detracts from the overall reading experience. If you don’t mind a little suspension of disbelief, this is a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Overall, I thought this was a worthy addition to the Secret Lives Mysteries series. I can’t wait for the next in the series!

I combined my reading with the audiobook narrated by Patrick Lawlor, which made for a decent immersion reading experience. Given the large cast of characters, I did feel that the audio experience could have been enhanced had there been more than one narrator.

Please note that though this book is the second in a series, it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone.

Many thanks to Poisoned Pen Press, Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for the digital copy and ALC of this novel. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
… (altro)
srms.reads | 4 altre recensioni | Dec 1, 2023 |
Ethel, a retired FBI agent, and her relative, Jesse, are called to assist on a case where 2 Supreme Court Justice's clerk are hurt one night - one fatally. The other is in the hospital in a medically induced coma, and her uncle and Ethel confer about what happened. The Supreme Court Chief Justice is whisked away to safety after an attempt on her life. Ethel knows that something sinister must be going on, perhaps based on a pending ruling by the court. Ethel and her team need to track down those who want to harm the court, and they are dealing with some high profile politicians and CEOs, in the hunt for justice.
Ethel is a fun heroine!
… (altro)
rmarcin | 4 altre recensioni | Nov 20, 2023 |
I have never been disappointed by a book written by Mark de Castrique, and this continues to hold true for the second book in his new Secret Lives series, Dangerous Women. This is a fast-paced, intelligent political thriller filled with wit and a cast that makes me smile.

76-year-old Ethel Fiona Crestwater is the landlady of young FBI agents, and she has fierce maternal instincts when it comes to each and every one of her boarders. She swears by Ruth Bader Ginsberg's workout, and there's no end to the high-level contacts she's made over the years. In truth, she's a legend to people in the know. I'd say that Ethel's forgotten more than most of the current FBI agents will ever know... except that I don't think she's ever forgotten one single thing. Watching her work, and watching young Jesse learn from her, is a delight.

The environmental conundrum behind Dangerous Women is thought-provoking. "What environmental price do we pay to save the environment? What people do we harm in the process?" It is a question we inhabitants of Planet Earth will be forced to answer over and over again.

If you're in the mood for fast-paced excitement spear-headed by a brilliant mind, pick up Dangerous Women. I recommend reading the first book in the series, Secret Lives, because of the characters, but it's not strictly necessary in order for you to enjoy this second book.

(Review copy courtesy of the publisher and Net Galley)
… (altro)
cathyskye | Oct 22, 2023 |

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