Book Review: A Child Lost by Michelle Cox

A Child Lost: Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel by Michelle Cox

Publisher:  She Writes Press (April 28, 2020)
Category: Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Tour dates: Feb-March, 2020
ISBN: 978-1631528361
Available in Print and ebook, 408 pages


A spiritualist, an insane asylum, a lost little girl . . .

When Clive, anxious to distract a depressed Henrietta, begs Sergeant Frank Davis for a case, he is assigned to investigating a seemingly boring affair: a spiritualist woman operating in an abandoned schoolhouse on the edge of town who is suspected of robbing people of their valuables. What begins as an open and shut case becomes more complicated, however, when Henrietta—much to Clive’s dismay—begins to believe the spiritualist’s strange ramblings.

Meanwhile, Elsie implores Clive and Henrietta to help her and the object of her budding love, Gunther, locate the whereabouts of one Liesel Klinkhammer, the German woman Gunther has traveled to America to find and the mother of the little girl, Anna, whom he has brought along with him. The search leads them to Dunning Asylum, where they discover some terrible truths about Liesel. When the child, Anna, is herself mistakenly admitted to the asylum after an epileptic fit, Clive and Henrietta return to Dunning to retrieve her. This time, however, Henrietta begins to suspect that something darker may be happening. When Clive doesn’t believe her, she decides to take matters into her own hands . . . with horrifying results.

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Guest Review by Sal

Wow! That’s all I have to say about this stunning novel from Michelle Cox. Take a dash of history, add some intrigue and mystery and splash in some romance and you get ‘A Child Lost,’ the most recent addition to Cox’s ‘Henrietta and Inspector Howard’ series.

What begins as a normal mystery for Clive and his wife Henrietta, develops into something much more sinister, and before the end of the novel, both characters begin to wonder if they will be able to solve this mystery with their safety intact.

But lets back things up to the beginning. This series is set in 1930’s Chicago, a time that we probably all associate with brutal mobsters, a rapidly industrializing city, and a tough life for many normal people.

Clive Howard is a private detective, a past a soldier, who is married to Henrietta, a woman who is his match in cleverness and curiosity. In the previous books in the series, the two have often solved crimes together in fun and interesting ways.  Although I haven’t read the other books in the series, I was able to enjoy this one as the author did an excellent job summarizing everything that you need to know as you go along.

This time, Henrietta and Clive are tasked with solving a mystery about a spiritualist who appears to be stealing from people. However, since Henrietta is in a delicate emotional state because of the recent loss of their unborn child, she quickly gets pulled in by the spiritualist’s routine and Clive begins to regret involving her in this case. Meanwhile, another case that a friend asks them to look into involves a mental institution, dark family secrets and an injustice that has permeated for years.

I recommend this to anyone that loves historical romance with a mystery. I had a great reading experience with this one and I think you will too! Now I have to back track and read all the books in the series! I highly recommend it and give it all 5 stars!

Praise for A Child Lost

“Michelle Cox’s delightful storytelling has a bewitching charm that will keep readers glued to their seats with a perfect blend of absorbing historical facts, intriguing mystery, and thrilling romance.” – Readers Favorite

A Child Lost is undoubtedly a novel that should not be missed—the story is genius, flawlessly written, and wildly entertaining!  A thrilling five stars!” — The Red Headed Book Lover

“Once again, Cox delivers the passion and intrigue of Henrietta and Clive with a story that leaps right off the page. A Child Lost is a true thrill… — Paperback Paris

“…vivid descriptive prose and historical accuracy – Publishers Weekly

““There is not a dull moment in this book. Cox’s characters are so well portrayed in their physical traits, their manner of speech, their actions, their personalities as well as through their dilemmas and moments of joy. Cox sure knows how to create characters that are memorable and distinct.” – Library of Clean Reads

About the Author

Michelle Cox is the author of the multiple award-winning Henrietta and Inspector Howard series as well as Novel Notes of Local Lore, a weekly blog dedicated to Chicago’s forgotten residents. She suspects she may have once lived in the 1930s and, having yet to discover a handy time machine lying around, has resorted to writing about the era as a way of getting herself back there. (Her books have been praised by Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and many others, so she might be on to something.)

Unbeknownst to most, Cox hoards board games she doesn’t have time to play and is, not surprisingly, addicted to period dramas and big band music. Also, marmalade.


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Book Review: Daring Summer by Elyse Douglas

Daring Summer

Publisher:  Broadback (May 1, 2019)
Category: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance
Tour dates: June 24-July 31, 2019
Available in Print and ebook, 285 pages


A hot summer beach—
A marriage gone wrong—
Daring eyes and daring love, betrayed by a secret passion.

Kim feels trapped in a loveless marriage to a jealous, wealthy older man. He blames her for crippling him in an auto accident that he himself caused. Kim strives to make the marriage work, despite her husband’s blame, verbal abuse, and bitterness. When she meets a wickedly handsome man on the beach, she fights not to want him, not to want a new life and not to fall in love.

But Derek is seductive and irresistible—a former soldier who has recently come to town to start a landscaping business. Kim falls hard for him, as he does to her. Although Kim wants a divorce, her husband finds out about their affair and devises a plot to destroy them both. They must struggle to survive a web of lies, deceit and dangerous passion.

Guest Review by Betty B.

It’s hard to define what makes ‘Daring Summer’ by Elyse Douglas so special. Is it the compelling plot? The complex character development? The beach setting? It seems to be that all of these things join together to make a story that is both captivating and provocative. A story that takes the reader on a journey that most of your average romantic suspense stories are not willing to take. I found that ‘Daring Summer’ had more depth and intrigue than most of the romances I have read.

This book pulled me in immediately with a scene of the heroine attempting to thwart the temper of her husband as he tries to run their car off the road in a fit of rage. From that exciting opening, the book evolves into a suspenseful story about finding love in unexpected places and whether or not that love has the ability to conquer almost impossible odds.

I zapped through reading this book in only a couple of days, and that was only because I had to force myself to put it down and deal with normal life at some points. Despite the Long Island setting and the quick-nature of the read, I hesitate to classify this as a “beach read.” It was too engaging for that. The plot came together like a puzzle where all the pieces were there originally but it wasn’t until the end that you could see how they all went together.

Reading this book was a rewarding experience all around. I would love to read more by this author team and see what else they have in store. ‘Daring Summer’ challenged my idea of an average romantic suspense novel. It truly shook up the genre and turned it on its head. I will be thinking about this one for a while. 5 out of 5 stars.

Praise for Other Side of Summer

“5 stars, another great, emotional read from this author!! I was hooked the minute I started reading it. Be warned you will need a box of tissues to read. I really love this author!”- Melissa Mendoza, Anne & Melissa’s Book Love

“I found this to be a satisfying, well developed warm and enriching read. It gave me a lot to think about. I will recommend it to readers of both genders, age high school and up, who like substance in their novels.”-Laura Reading, Laura’s Interests

“The book is more than just a contemporary romance – it’s a family saga, a book about the bonds of family, about love (not just between partners but between parents and children), about life and the choices we make. It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. The writing is hauntingly beautiful, and the author has a talent for crafting believable characters. An excellent book, and I look forward to reading more by this author.”- Majanka, I Heart Reading

“Great story, I give it five stars.  I thought the book was wonderful and emotional, and I loved the writing style and how the words flowed.  I was happy to fantasize about being there to watch the story unfold.  I loved this story; took me back to my young beach days.”-Diana’s Book Reviews

About Elyse Douglas

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the married writing team Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse grew up near the sea, roaming the beaches, reading and writing stories and poetry, receiving a master’s degree in English Literature.  She has enjoyed careers as an English teacher, an actress and a speech-language pathologist.

Douglas has worked as a graphic designer, a corporate manager and an equities trader.  He attended the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and played the piano professionally for many years.


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Book Review: Silent Sentry by Theresa Rizzo

fe6907eb-a064-4fc2-9053-372c90d14c7dTitleSilent Sentry

Author: Theresa Rizzo

Genre:   Romantic Suspense

Pages: 393pgs




Award-winning author Theresa Rizzo delivers a thrilling crime novel packed with suspense, romance, and redemption.

The Scarfilis and Donnatellis love deeply and protect fiercely. “Family takes care of family” is the code they live by.

So when a hacker threatens Gianna Donnatelli’s life, Dr. Joe Scarfili is determined to keep her safe, only he has no police or tech experience, and Gianna’s penchant for aiding Detroit’s underprivileged is the same kind of altruism that got his wife killed. Gianna protects Joe with the same unyielding resolve. 

Gianna pushes all his insecurity buttons. Joe tries her patience like no other. But together they’ll fight to save each other and their love… Or die trying.



My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review. I had read The Lives Between us by Theresa Rizzo and knew I like her writing, so I was happy to read another one of her novels.

Silent Sentry is romantic suspense but it’s more suspense than romance. Gianna Donnatelli has developed a program that could revolutionize medical care and make her and her partners billionaires. Now that it’s supposed to go on the market soon, there are break-ins and apparent attempts on Gianna’s life.

When she is in the hospital after the first break-in, Gianna runs into Joe Scarfili, a family friend who she had a crush on when she was a teen. He wants to protect her but she is a proud and strong-willed woman. Can they compromise?

The characters are well developed and Theresa Rizzo does a good job at conveying their emotions. Joe, in particular, has been through a lot and he’s afraid of being hurt again. He doesn’t think he can handle losing another woman who he loves.

Silent Sentry is suspenseful and full of twists, and Theresa Rizzo makes you think about morals. Is it always necessary to share everything you know with someone? What if it will hurt the one you love? I definitely recommend Silent Sentry and am looking forward to her next book!



Author Bio 

2016-04-03_10-21-24Theresa Rizzo is an award-winning author who writes romantic crime fiction and emotional stories that explore the complexity of relationships and families through real-life trials. 
Born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she currently lives outside of Boulder, Colorado with her husband of thirty-three years. After attaining a BS in Nursing, Theresa retired to raise four wonderful children and write.

Find Theresa on the web at, or connect with her on Facebooktwitter or and Goodreads.


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Book Review: Deceived by Irene Hannon

20665228Title: Deceived

Author: Irene Hannon

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: October 7, 2014

About the Book

For three years, Kate Marshall has been grieving the loss of her husband and their four-year-old son in a boating accident. But when she spots a familiar-looking child on an escalator in the mall, she is convinced it is the son she thought was dead. With police skeptical of her story, she turns to private investigator Connor Sullivan. The former Secret Service agent is dubious but agrees to investigate. Digging into the case he discovers that the incident may have been no accident at all. But if Kate’s son is alive, someone is intent on keeping him hidden–and may be willing to go to lethal lengths to protect a sinister secret.
As Irene Hannon’s many fans have come to expect, “Deceived “is filled with complex characters, unexpected twists, and a riveting plot line that accelerates to an explosive finish.

My Review

I received a free copy of this book.

Deceived is romantic suspense at its best. It grabbed my interest from the beginning when Kate Marshall thought she saw her dead son in a mall. Since the police don’t believe her, she hires a P.I., Connor Sullivan, and the sexual tension between them is almost palpable.

The characters are complex. Poor Kate has been through so much and now her world has been turned upside down. Connor, in m opinion, is just what she needs to help her get through this rough time.

This story is fast paced, full of suspense, and has several twists. I plan on reading the first two books in this series when I get a chance.