Dakota Diva Book Reviews


  • The Burning Girls  by C. J. Tudor
    MYSTERY , WOMEN'S FICTION / February 28, 2021

    I always grab C. J. Tudor's books. I loved the Chalk Man so much and always hope the author's latest effort will live up to the Chalk Man in elements of mystery and character. The Burning Girls is the story of Jack (yes, that's her name- Jack) and her daughter and their move to a small English village. A group of quirky, mean, and secretive characters greet Jack when she arrives and she quickly b....


  • Theater Nights are Murder  by Libby Klein
    FICTION , MYSTERY , ADVANCE READING COPY / December 01, 2019

    Theater Nights Are Murder is the latest mystery by Libby Klein. It is cute and quick. Nothing exceptional in this reviewer's opinion and in fact I found the murder almost uninteresting, instead finding Poppy's love triangle with Gia and Tim the best part of the plot. Still, readers of the "cozy" will probably enjoy the book.


  • Once Upon A River  by Diane Setterfield
    FICTION , MYSTERY , WOMEN'S FICTION / January 14, 2019

    This book is fascinating. The type of book that you want to read a second time. Like a river there are so many bends and runs, so many facets. This is a "story of stories" with family love at the center of three distinct families and their potential relationship with a mute girl who turns up in a small town. The characters of the novel are somewhat simple people. Some more or less educated than ot....


  • Broken River  by J. Robert Lennon
    FICTION , MYSTERY / May 01, 2018

    I just finished Broken River by J. Robert Lennon. The author uses a "POV" called the Observer throughout the novel. Some readers may have a problem with this as the Observer is not human, but instead it is a presence; a watching, moving, learning presence.  Otherwise the book is basically a fast moving, short, well-written crime novel. I liked the insights into human nature and relationships, whil....


  • The Advice Column Murders  by Leslie Nagel
    MYSTERY , ADVANCE READING COPY / March 07, 2018

    After talking about the subgenre "cozy mystery" with a co-worker I got curious and decided I had to read one.  So when The Advice Column Murders by Leslie Nagel came to my attention as an Advance Reading Copy I requested it immediately.  And I wasn't disappointed.  I feel it was a great introduction to the format of crime fiction with less emphasis on sex, violence, and gore. Charley Carpenter is ....


  • The Chalk Man  by C.J. Tudor
    FICTION , MYSTERY , WOMEN'S FICTION / February 21, 2018

    Years ago a girl was brutally murdered, dismembered, and her head placed in a backpack for unknown reasons. What the reader does know, is that the crime, although solved, is really probably unsolved. That is the beginning of The Chalk Man by new author C.J. Tudor. The novel uses a familiar pattern of past and present to engross the reader in the youth of Ed and his childhood buddies and Ed as a mi....


  • Let Me Lie  by Clare Mackintosh
    FICTION , MYSTERY , ADVANCE READING COPY , RECOMMENDED FOR BOOK CLUBS / January 16, 2018

    Anne is a young mother who has lived through the suicide of both her parents. Then she receives a note making her think it wasn't suicide at all. Were her parents really murdered? This book has many twists and turns, great secondary characters, and a plot that picks up speed as it goes, making it hard to put down. My only complaint is a bit of a glum final wrap up for the characters. Otherwise thi....


  • The Lying Game  by Ruth Ware
    MYSTERY , WOMEN'S FICTION / November 03, 2017

    The Lying Game by Ruth Ware turned out to be better than I expected. I guess I had let some mediocre reviews cloud my impression before I even started the book.  So the book is about four girls at a boarding school in England and the dark secret that forces them apart and ultimately back together years later. Of course there is plenty of suspense, and the author is skilled at writing characters wh....


  • The Late Show  by Michael Connelly
    MYSTERY / October 02, 2017

    This author has many books in our Mystery Section, so when I saw The Late Show was introducing a new Detective--Renee Ballard,  I decided it was a good time to give him a try. The Late Show refers to the night shift and Renee is stuck there because of past trouble between her and another cop. On the "Late Show" shift she responds to calls but then turns the case over to the day shift.  For me the ....


  • The Paris Librarian  by Mark Pryor
    MYSTERY / August 08, 2017

    The Paris Librarian came into my hands as I was shelving and I immediately thought Paris? Library? Wow, what a great combination! And truthfully, I probably enjoyed the comments about shelving and circulation a bit more than the average person, but hey, I like library stuff. The story is a "Hugo Marston" mystery, the first I've read, and I have to say it was a good, straightforward, enjoyable myst....