Sunday, January 31, 2016

Books We Didn't Finish January Edition

A Brief History of Seven Killings:  I usually really like any book that's on the Man Book Award list of nominees.  This one was the 2015 Winner so I figured it was going to be really good.  It was so complicated and hard to understand.  It had too many points of view and they just weren't coming together in a way I could understand.  That, and the Jamaican accent of the audiobook readers were so heavy at times I couldn't figure out a word they were saying.

The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen:  I might have to chalk this one up to the audiobook narrator.  I've heard his voice in quite a lot of Middle Grade and YA audiobooks that I equate it to more juvenile books.  It wasn't working for me in this more serious type book.  The story just wasn't holding my interest like Katherine Howe books normally do. (Kari didn't like this one either!)

Sea of Tranquility: I was hoping for a good YA romance.  Instead, I got an angsty mess.  I didn't like any of the characters.  The whole things was just too depressing that I gave up.

Shriver: This was a random audio library pick.  It has great reviews and was touted to be a humorous satire. I found nothing humorous about it.  I made it to the third disc and realized I was bored. I'm not sure I laughed once.  Maybe I just don't get satire.

Whistling Past the Graveyard: I found the main character of the book annoying.  After the first couple of chapters, I was bored.

Undertow: DNF at 30%. Not only did it take 5 chapters before I had an inkling what was going on, but then I still wasn't sure after 2 more chapters. Crappy world building! I knew it was going to go downhill fast when the Lyric said she was kind of dating a guy because he was hot. Did she mention he was hot? Yes, several times. Ugh.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

January Mini Musings

Starting Over: I thought this was a cute second chance story.  It's a quick read and worth checking out. Cameron was too cute. Although, I was a little frustrated with Vanessa, I could understand her reluctance to date again. The epilogue made up for that frustration.

The Hidden: The latest in the Krewe of Hunters series (#17) ended up being a fairly good read.  It has a good mystery with a second chance at love story.  I didn't really buy into the love story too much as they kind of got over their issues a little fast for me. The next one comes out in May and I look forward to it.

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief : After reading Leah Remini's book, Troublemaker, I watched the HBO documentary "Going Clear" that was made after this book was written.  This book expands on that documentary.  It's an interesting insight into the crazy  and often scary world of Scientology.  I highly recommend reading it to anyone curious about the "religion".

See How They Run:  A kind of disappointing sequel to the first book.  It seems to suffer like many second books in series often do with not much in the way of furthering the story arc.  There was not a lot answers to questions left over from the first book.  In the end, I was frustrated by more questions and another big cliffhanger.  Grace was also a lot more whiny in this one.  She finds out that she is a descendant of a secret society of women, but then there is no further training  or information.  I would have liked to see some of that.  I'm hoping #3 is a lot better.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Denton Little's Death Date by Lance Rubin

by:  Lance Rubin
published by:  Knopf Books for Young Readers
publish date:  April 14, 2015

Denton Little’s Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that’s in just two days—the day of his senior prom.
Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle—as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend’s hostile sister.  His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body.  And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton’s long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters. . . . Suddenly Denton’s life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

I had been wanting to read this book for quite awhile.  I was so happy to finally get around to it.  I was thrilled that this book was quirky and funny and such a good story.

Denton lives in a world where everyone knows when they will die.  The story starts 2 days before his deathdate.  Denton wakes up with a terrible hangover in his best friend's sisters bed.  He doesn't remember anything that has happened and he has to get ready for his funeral.  In this world, you go to your funeral while you're still alive to enjoy it.  That's when things start to get crazy because a stranger shows up claiming to have known his long dead mother and telling him to avoid anyone from the government.  Denton only has the time left on his Deathwatch day to figure out what's going on.

Lance Rubin is a great writer.  I really enjoyed his writing style.  He had great humor without being overly rude.  I would definitely recommend this book.  I'm looking forward to more from this writer in the future.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday: The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene

Author: Carolyn Keene
First published in 1930, revised in 1959 by Grosset & Dunlap

Nancy, unaided, seeks to find a missing will, and the search not only tests her keen mind but also leads her into a thrilling adventure.

In The Secret of the Old Clock, Nancy decides to try and track down a missing will to help a family collect their promised inheritance.  For me, there really wasn't a mystery as you kind of know ahead of time there is a the key to a will in an old clock.  You just go along for the ride as Nancy tries to find it.  

After reading Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey (my review), which made a lot of references to Nancy Drew, I decided to revisit an old favorite of mine.  I first read Nancy Drew mysteries when I was in middle school and I remember loving the books.  I'm not sure at a young age, I realized what a "Mary-Sue Sunshine" Nancy really is.  Not in a bad or annoying way, but definitely in a 50's, everything is sunshine and roses way.  It was fun to read a book in which the character solved a case with no internet, Google or smart phones. In fact it was kind of refreshing.

One interesting fact that I never knew (thank you Wikipedia) is that Carolyn Keene was a pseudonym for several different writers who all contributed to the series over the years.  If you haven't read a Nancy Drew mystery in a while, I encourage to pick this one up.  It's like visiting with an old friend.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Blog Tour: Review and Excerpt of Blood on the Bayou by Heather Graham

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Review/Excerpt Tour for BLOOD ON THE BAYOU by Heather Graham! BLOOD ON THE BAYOU is A Cafferty & Quinn Series Novella brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights. It is available now, so grab your copy of this sexy novella today!

Author: Heather Graham
Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts. Inc
Date of publication: January 2016

It's winter and a chill has settled over New Orleans, binding a stream of blood that leads a tourist to a dead man, face down in the bayou. 

The man has been done in by a vicious beating, so violent that his skull has been crashed in. 

It's barely a day before a second victim is found . . . once again so badly thrashed that the water runs red. The city becomes riddled with fear. 

An old family friend comes to Danni Cafferty, telling her that he's terrified, he's certain that he's received a message from the Blood Bayou killer--It's your turn to pay, blood on the bayou. 

The two quickly become involved, and--as they all begin to realize that a gruesome local history is being repeated--they find themselves in a fight to save not just a friend, but, perhaps, their very own lives.

Blood on the Bayou is a quick novella featuring the characters from the Cafferty & Quinn series.  I have read all of the books in this series and have enjoyed it.  Danni inherited her father's business along with his quest for evil objects in order to keep them from harming the innocent.  Quinn used to help her father on his quest and now helps Danni.  It's a bonus that they have a great relationship as well.  Taking place in the city of New Orleans, each story is filled with the rich history of the region. They are also filled with a great cast of characters that round out each mystery very nicely.

Blood on the Bayou is a great addition to the series. After a body is found in the swamp, locals are convinced a rougarou (wolfman) has returned to begin a killing spree like the one twenty years earlier.  Quinn and Danni quickly become involved on the case when it seems that there may be an evil artifact in the mix.  I though this was a great mystery, if a bit creepy.  But that added to the enjoyment of it.  I didn't solve it ahead of the characters, so that was a bonus.  

I think you probably could read this as a stand alone.  If anything, I think it will entice you to want to start with the first book, Let the Dead Sleep


“People in this area all know the legends about the rougarou. Someone out there might be using the legend. In this day and age, it’s quite possible to fake a monster.”
They both looked at him with huge eyes, seemingly wanting to trust in him.
“Sound like a plan?” Quinn asked Larue.
The detective nodded. “Let’s move, though. We have to get out to Honey Swamp. We’re going to help the task force with the investigation.”
Ten minutes later they were at the hotel where the young women were staying. Quinn inspected the balcony while they gathered their belongings together. The room sat on the second floor, but the balcony might have been easily accessed from the street. There was a heavy pipe near enough for someone to crawl up and gain a grip on one of the wrought iron rails. “How did someone walk through the French Quarter all dressed up without being noticed?”
“This is New Orleans,” Larue said. “Not far from Bourbon Street. Think about it, Quinn. Does anyone really notice crazy around here? I mean, there’s a lot of crazy.”
“Something like the rougarou? A giant man with a wolf’s head?”
“Somebody walked stark naked down Bourbon Street about two days ago, and it took that long for anyone to report it to the police,” Larue told him.
“That’s not a rougarou.”
Larue shrugged. “Okay. I’ll give you that.”
“To put a spin of logic on this, I’d say that it was more than possible for a man to dress up, then crawl up here to scare Jane and Lana. It’s also possible that whoever was here had nothing to do with the murder in the swamp, or maybe someone got wind of the situation and knew that the two young women had been on the tour and decided to scare them. They’re visitors, yes, but they know the city and they might have met a young man anxious to scare them. Then he comes along and offers his presence as protection against whatever has them frightened.”
Larue did not argue.
“At any rate,” Quinn said. “Let’s go meet your friends from Pearl River.”

About the author:

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Heather Graham majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write, working on short horror stories and romances. After some trial and error, she sold her first book, WHEN NEXT WE LOVE, in 1982 and since then, she has written over one hundred novels and novellas including category, romantic suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, and Christmas holiday fare. She wrote the launch books for the Dell’s Ecstasy Supreme line, Silhouette’s Shadows, and for Harlequin’s mainstream fiction imprint, Mira Books.

Heather was a founding member of the Florida Romance Writers chapter of RWA and, since 1999, has hosted the Romantic Times Vampire Ball, with all revenues going directly to children’s charity.

She is pleased to have been published in approximately twenty languages, and to have been honored with awards from Waldenbooks. B. Dalton, Georgia Romance Writers, Affaire de Coeur, Romantic Times, and more. She has had books selected for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild, and has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in such publications as The NationRedbookPeople, and USA Today and appeared on many newscasts including local television and Entertainment Tonight.

Heather Graham’s BLOOD ON THE BAYOU – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:
January 27th
Bea's Book Nook – Excerpt
From the TBR Pile – Review & Excerpt
Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt

January 28th
Books to Get Lost In – Excerpt
Deluged with Books Cafe – Review & Excerpt

January 29th
Brooke Blogs – Excerpt
Extreme Bookaholic's – Excerpt
Only One More Page – Review & Excerpt
Parajunkee's View – Excerpt

January 30th
Evermore Books – Excerpt
TMBA Corbett Tries to Write – Review & Excerpt
The Consummate Reader – Excerpt

January 31st
DayReader Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Us Girls & A Book – Review
Romeo &Roo Books – Review

February 1st
Moonlight Rendezvous – Review & Excerpt
BooksPieAndCoffee – Review
Book-o-Craze – Review & Excerpt

February 2nd
Write for Your Life! – Review & Excerpt
The Sassy Bookster – Review & Excerpt
Renee Entress's Blog – Excerpt
Books-n-Kisses – Review & Excerpt
February 3rd
Books Need TLC – Review
Liz's Reading Life – Excerpt
The Two Brains of Book Reviewers – Review & Excerpt

February 4th
Amazeballs Book Addicts – Review & Excerpt
DRC Promotions – Review
Fictional Reality – Excerpt
Indy Book Fairy – Excerpt

February 5th
alpha book club – Review & Excerpt

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Book Excerpt: Rogue Debutante by Maggie Dallen

Author:Maggie Dallen
Date of Publication: January 21, 2016

A rebellion is brewing and everyone must pick a side....even pirates and debutantes.

Delia Langley has been a prisoner all her life - a prisoner to high society and its conventions. A prisoner to her wealthy father's overprotective measures. A prisoner to a fiance-to-be in an arrangement made by her father to have a royal heir. In fact, the only time in her life that Delia ever felt free was when she was captured by the much-feared pirate Blackheart and his crew, and held for months while her father negotiated her ransom.

Now nineteen, the beautiful Delia is ready to leave another prison, the manmade "city in the sky," Beau Monde, where she's been tucked away, high above London all these many years. The plan is that after her debutante ball, her marriage to Lord Thaddeus Templeton will be announced, and the wheels will be set in motion for Delia to take her place as a proper society lady. Except she has other plans. Frustrated by the greed of the rich and the plight of the poor who live in the Shadowlands, a ghetto cast in darkness by the floating city of wealth above, Delia has been masquerading as Madame X, a French pirate, who has arranged to purchase her own pirate airship from the mysterious "Professor." Then there's Nicholas Crawley, the dashing, bachelor son of the family who have opened their home to Delia for her London visit. He's ruggedly handsome - and he's impossible. She doesn't expect to fall for him, but there's no denying the electricity that surges between them. A future with him would ruin everything, but her attraction to him is only one of many surprises poised to thwart her pirating plans in this charming steampunk tale.


The spires of London grew in the distance as Delia hurtled through the air, her petticoats and skirts flapping in the wind. Delia opened her mouth to scream but her cry was drowned out by the sound of air rushing past as she tumbled toward the earth.

A rough grip on her arm brought her to a sudden and painful stop. Her shoulder shrieked in agony as she dangled in midair. She latched onto the rope that swung in front of her face, but whoever was holding on to her arm didn't loosen his hold. She looked up to see who was keeping her from a grim and grotesque death.

She could only see her savior's dark form; his face was hidden in the shadow cast by the airship hovering overhead. She felt the rope hoisting her toward the vessel and she resisted the urge to look down. When at last she reached the airship, a strong hand reached out to help her overboard, and she was finally able to see the face of her rescuer.

Available From

About Maggie Dallen

Maggie Dallen is a big city girl living in Montana. She writes adult and young adult romantic comedies in a range of genres. An unapologetic addict of all things romance, she loves to connect with fellow avid readers on Facebook, Twitter or at

Find Maggie Dallen Online

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Blog Tour: No Promises by N. Raines

Author: N. Raines
Publisher: N. Raines, LLC
Date of publication: Janaury 2016

A new adult romance by multi published author Nona Raines writing as N. Raines
She never met a stray she didn't love…

In high school, Sam Pennywell had a massive crush on Rick Russo. But he was her cousin’s boyfriend and strictly off-limits. Meeting Rick again years later, she can hardly recognize the man he’s become.

As a paramedic, Rick’s career is all about helping others. But in the line of duty, he’s become one of the injured. He’s caught in a dark place he can’t escape on his own. He can't make Sam any promises of love. Promises are too easily broken. 

Sam spends her life taking care of sick and homeless animals. She's never met a stray she didn't love, and Rick is the most important rescue she'll ever make.

My thoughts:

In No Promises, Sam has had a crush on Rick since high school. When he gets too drunk to drive at her cousin's party, she can't help but offer to give him a place on her couch.  Rick is at a crossroads, trying to figure out what is next in his life.  Go back to his job, or try something new...Sam and her father might just be the friends he needs to help him figure that out.

No Promises was a pleasant surprise.  A lot of times with the New Adult genre, there is insta-love, and lot of angst..  That was pretty much to a minimum in this book. Don't get me wrong, Sam and Rick both have their demons, but they are able to help each other see their way to the other side.  Rick's story was heartbreaking. I was rooting for him to realize that he was meant to go back to his job, despite his experience.  I liked that there wasn't "insta-love", but they developed a friendship before acting on their feelings.  OK Sam did have a crush on Rick in high school, but the feeling wasn't mutual right away. I also loved how this one ended.  I thought it was perfect for their budding relationship.

I definitely recommend this NA book.  It was a quick and cute story that will make you smile when it's over.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

N. Raines (who also writes as Nona Raines) is a former librarian who lives in upstate New York with her many pets. She’s currently working on her next novel between walking the dog and shooing the cats off the laptop. Her erotic romances are published with The Wild  Rose Press and Loose Id. Her transgender romance His Kind of Woman was nominated for the 2014 DABWAHA sponsored by the Dear Author and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books review blogs.  Her most recent work is the romance novella Write to Me and the transgender romance Her Kind of Man.

Author links:

Book Spotlight: Journey Beyond the Trauma by Dr. J. Denee

Title: Journey Beyond the Trauma: Simple Practices of Resilence for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Author: Dr. J. Denee
Pages: 99
Genre: Self-Help

Journey Beyond the Trauma: Simple Practices of Resilience for Survivors of Sexual Abuse goes right to the heart of the issues related to abuse. It shares the impacts of abuse and offers simple, yet, practical strategies and information to help survivors reclaim and restore their lives. Dr. J. Denee' guides readers through a 30-day journey to jumpstart their innate resilience. Journey Beyond the Trauma helps survivors to:

· Take responsibility for your healing and your life

· Transform into your authentic self 

· Identify and manage triggers

· Turn emotional pain into progression

·  Develop self-acceptance and reclaim self-worth

· Embrace resilience as a way of life

For More Information
  • Journey Beyond the Trauma is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

About the author:

Juanita D. Ashby-Bey, PhD, known as Dr. J. Denee’, is a sexual abuse speaker, author, and resilience expert who specializes in helping women survivors of sexual abuse to rebuild their lives. A survivor of sexual abuse herself, Dr. J. Denee’ has been dedicated to the prevention, intervention, and recovery of sexual abuse issues and other traumas for the past 10 years. She received her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University.

After coming to an understanding of the extent to which the sexual abuse and trauma she suffered as a child had profoundly affected his life, Dr. J. Denee’ traveled her own personal road of recovery and resilience, and made a firm decision to help build awareness about sexual abuse and to empower and support other sexual abuse survivors and the professionals who engage with survivors along the path to recovery.

As an educator, Dr. J. Denee’ spent many years researching and applying intervention strategies to help people transform themselves and discovery new possibilities. Leveraging her 15 years of experience as an educator at the collegiate and K-12 school levels in the capacities of administration, accreditation, evaluator, professor and teacher, Dr. J. Denee’s approach includes practical and research-based intervention strategies that are designed to produce results that guide women to more loving relationships with themselves and others. She helps women to tackle feelings of powerlessness by finding their voice, build emotional muscle to manage anger and rage, rebuild and establish healthy relationships rather than sabotaging them, and to learn how to effectively establish, respect, and protect personal boundaries for themselves.

Dr. J. Denee’ is an acclaimed speaker who is available to conducts seminars, workshops, keynote addresses, and panel discussions. She empowers her audience to tap into their internal ability to persevere, recreate themselves, express their individuality, and welcome and manage life’s simple and complex challenges successfully. With an interactive and inspirational delivery, Dr. J. Denee’ provides her audience with an effective toolkit of strategies that help women survivors of sexual abuse transform their lives and create authentic happiness, joy, and progress. 

“Beyond the Trauma… Living Triumphantly” is the ultimate goal that Dr. J. Denee’ desires for all survivors. Dr. J. Denee’s upcoming, inaugural book, Beyond The Trauma – Simple Practices of Resilience for Survivors of Sexual Abuse is available for pre-sales and will be released in September 2015.
For More Information

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Blog Tour: Dirty Sexy Saint by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde

Authors: Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde
Publisher: CP Publishing
Date of publication: January 2016

Are you ready to get Dirty Sexy with a Saint?

Clay Kincaid knows he's more a sinner than a saint.  Especially when it comes to women.  With a rough and damaged past that has left him jaded, he doesn't do committed relationships.  But he does like sex—the hotter and harder, the better.  He likes it fast and filthy, which is why he refuses to even touch someone as sweet and guileless as Samantha Jamieson.  Until he discovers that she likes it just as down and dirty as he does.  Let the sinning begin . . .

Dirty Sexy Saint is definitely a dirty, sexy read.  For the most part, I liked Clay and Samantha's story.  Samantha is a rich debutante who has been groomed her whole life to marry well.  When she figures out that her father wants her to marry for his business, not for love, she decides to flee her home and leave everything behind.  Clay owns the bar she ends up at and it's lust at first sight.

I loved Clay.  Despite his horrible childhood, he still has a soft and caring heart, even if he won't admit it.  He tends to find strays and help give them a fresh start.  Lucky for Samantha, right?  Samantha was actually pretty well grounded for having been raised  in luxury her entire life.   I liked that she didn't seem to be a snob at all.  In fact, she adapts to "normal life" fairly well.  I liked them together and their attraction was definitely hot!

What I didn't love was the timeline.  It kind of happened a bit fast for me.  Samantha knows this guy not even a day and she is ready to sleep with him.  I found that a bit much. Despite that, I did like that book.  I am intrigued by Clay's brothers, Mason and Levi.  I l am looking forward to Mason's story which comes out next.


She had a small amount of cash on her, and there was no telling how much longer she’d have access to her credit cards before they were put on hold. She called a cab company, then got out of the car, tossed the keys and cell phone beneath the seat—since her father could track that, as well—and manually locked the door.

Within minutes, a taxi pulled up to where Samantha was waiting. The driver was a friendly young girl in her early twenties, and she was counting on the other woman to find her just the right place to celebrate her first night of freedom. A place where no one knew her or would judge her or would expect her to be the good girl she’d always been.

“My name is Angie.” The girl glanced over her shoulder to the backseat with a friendly smile. “Where can I take you tonight?”

“To your favorite bar in the Chicago area.”

Angie’s brows rose in surprise as she took in Samantha’s designer purse and high-end attire. “Are you sure about that? My favorite bar is a far cry from The Aviary,” she said of the upscale lounge where the wealthy went to mingle and be seen. “The place I hang out at is a bit on the…unrefined side,” she said with a laugh.

Samantha grinned. “That’s exactly what I’m counting on.”


About the Authors:

***About Carly Phillips***
Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers. You can find out more about Carly at

***About Erika Wilde***
Erika Wilde is the author of the sexy Marriage Diaries series and The Players Club series. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two daughters, and when she's not writing you can find her exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. For more information on her upcoming releases, please visit website at


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey

Author: Beth Fantaskey
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Date of publication: May 2014

Putting the dead in deadline
To Bee or not to Bee? When the widely disliked Honeywell Stingers football coach is found murdered, 17-year-old Millie is determined to investigate. She is chasing a lead for the school newspaper - and looking to clear her father, the assistant coach, and prime suspect.

Millie's partner is gorgeous, smart-and keeping secrets
Millie joins forces with her mysterious classmate Chase who seems to want to help her even while covering up secrets of his own.

She's starting to get a reputation…without any of the benefits.
Drama-and bodies-pile up around Millie and she chases clues, snuggles Baxter the so-ugly-he's-adorable bassett hound, and storms out of the world's most awkward school dance/memorial mash-up. At least she gets to eat a lot of pie.

I have read a lot of negative reviews for this book, so I was a little reluctant to read it.  I guess I am in the minority when it comes to this book.  I  thought Buzz Kill was a pleasant surprise.  The basic premise is that Millie is a smart slacker who aspires to be a journalist, maybe.  Her father is accused of murdering the head football coach at her high school.  She takes it upon herself to solve the mystery.

I really liked Millie's character.  There are many comparisons in the book to Nancy Drew.  While Millie definitely march's to her own beat, I could see some of Nancy's qualities in her. She is a character I would love to see in other books. The other characters in the book made the story very entertaining.  I was totally surprised at the reveal in the end.  

I would recommend this to any YA mystery lover.  I wouldn't mind if it became a series.