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Secret Lives (2022)

di Mark De Castrique

Serie: Secret Lives (1)

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807334,913 (3.86)4
"Everybody has something to hide At 75-years-old, Ethel Fiona Crestwater is used to being underestimated. She looks like someone's grandma, though she's never married or had children; petite and a bit frail, she's not a threat to anyone. Or is she...? Ethel runs a boarding house for government agents, and when someone murders one of her boarders, she springs into action-much to the surprise of her distant cousin Jesse, who has recently come to stay with her while he attends university. As he watches her photograph the crime scene, conceal evidence, and speed-dial the Secret Service Director, Jesse realizes that there's much more to Ethel than appearances suggest. But when Jesse is assaulted and the gym bag full of cash Ethel had hidden is stolen from the basement, the pair decides it's time to launch their own unofficial investigation. With no one to trust but each other, these double-first-cousins-twice-removed form an unlikely bond, and learn that the only thing truly worth risking your life for is family"--… (altro)
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» Vedi le 4 citazioni

This is a fun romp and a reminder to not ignore little old ladies! Ethel runs a boarding house for all sorts of G-men, but they're not the only ones with skills. I enjoyed this immensely, and I'm going to add other titles by Mark de Castrique to my to-be-read list.

Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press for access to a digital ARC on NetGalley. ( )
  Spencer28 | Jul 24, 2023 |
I thought I would be tired of cozy-esque mysteries that feature an older, usually woman, protagonist with a younger sidekick/partner. But nope, keep them coming; this was good! I look forward to a second book! (please write another one) ( )
  ACLopez6 | Feb 25, 2023 |
Enjoyable crime novel about a near-octogenarian, Ethel Crestwater, and her distant cousin who is a student and their efforts to solve a mystery. Ethel is a former FBI Special Agent, and now runs a rooming house. When a Secret Service agent is found dead, Ethel recruits Jesse to help her find out who killed him, and what caused his death. They uncover a ring of thieves who planned to steal $20 million in cryptocoin, but their plans were disrupted.
The ways that Ethel is always one step ahead and is on the right side of the law are fun. An enjoyable and quick read, with a delightful main character. ( )
  rmarcin | Feb 4, 2023 |
There are more and more bad-ass elderly sleuths making their appearances in crime fiction, and I couldn't be more pleased. In Mark de Castrique's Secret Lives, readers make the acquaintance of my new favorite, Ethel Fiona Crestwater. Call this seventy-five-year-old a little old lady at your peril. At the age of eighteen, this woman tracked down her father's killer, and she's been going non-stop ever since. Her knowledge is wide-ranging and her contacts never-ending. She doesn't suffer fools, and those who know her know to stand back and let her do her thing.

Ethel's mantra is Integrity, Fairness, and Justice, and she's willing to bend a few rules to ensure those three things happen. How far will she bend rules? As she tells someone, "I'm so far off the books, I'm not even in the library." There's some laugh-out-loud humor in Secret Lives as Ethel and Jesse investigate-- like her response when a bad guy tells her to show her hands-- but you'll be happy to know that the story is every bit as interesting as its main character. I didn't know all that much about cryptocurrency when I began reading, but I feel a bit more comfortable with the subject now due to the skillful way de Castrique weaved the information into the story.

It was an absolute pleasure getting to know Ethel and Jesse in this series launch, and I'm certainly looking forward to their next case. More, please-- and quickly!

(Review copy courtesy of the publisher and Net Galley) ( )
  cathyskye | Oct 9, 2022 |
FBI, friendship, relationships, relatives, secrets, theft, greed, homicide, law-enforcement, trust-issues, verbal-humor, secret-service, pilots, counterfeit-money, boardinghouse, septuagenarian, cryptocurrency, detective, thriller*****

Retired my Aunt Nellie! Ethel and company are terrific!
United Flying Octogenarians is real!
The head of the Secret Service, the head of the FBI, and the Homicide Detective are all leagues behind the woman they know and respect as former agent Ethel Crestwater. Great fast-moving, addictive story that starts with murder of an agent and a gym bag full of counterfeit money!
I requested and received a free e-book copy from Poisoned Pen Press via NetGalley. Thank you! ( )
  jetangen4571 | Jun 26, 2022 |
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"Everybody has something to hide At 75-years-old, Ethel Fiona Crestwater is used to being underestimated. She looks like someone's grandma, though she's never married or had children; petite and a bit frail, she's not a threat to anyone. Or is she...? Ethel runs a boarding house for government agents, and when someone murders one of her boarders, she springs into action-much to the surprise of her distant cousin Jesse, who has recently come to stay with her while he attends university. As he watches her photograph the crime scene, conceal evidence, and speed-dial the Secret Service Director, Jesse realizes that there's much more to Ethel than appearances suggest. But when Jesse is assaulted and the gym bag full of cash Ethel had hidden is stolen from the basement, the pair decides it's time to launch their own unofficial investigation. With no one to trust but each other, these double-first-cousins-twice-removed form an unlikely bond, and learn that the only thing truly worth risking your life for is family"--

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