Mini-Reviews: Murder with Christine Feehan and Ann Aptaker

Murder at Sunrise Lake by Christine Feehan 

Cover Design: Judith Lagerman

It starts in her dreams. Hideous flashes from a nightmare only she can stop. Images of a murderer stalking the ones she cares about most…

Stella Harrison thought she got away from the traumas of her past. Running the Sunrise Lake resort high in the Sierra Nevada mountains has brought her peace, even though she doesn’t truly share her quiet life with anyone. Not even Sam, the hired handyman that notices everything and always seems to know exactly what she needs.

Stella doesn’t know anything about Sam’s past, but somehow over the last two years his slow, steady presence has slipped past her defenses. Still, she knows she can’t tell him about her recent premonitions. So far there’s been no murder. No body. No way to prove what’s about to happen without destroying the life she’s built for herself.

But a killer is out there. And Stella knows that this time she’ll do whatever it takes to stop him.

My thoughts

Wow! Christine Feehan can still surprise me after all of these books. Murder at Sunrise Lake is awesome!

What makes the story is not just the paranormal mystery, but the diversity of the characters. Feehan’s characters originate from Azerbaijan to Saudi Arabia to the United States. Their occupations include running a campground, to covert military operations, to a major corporation. There is also a character that is neurodiverse. I didn’t make note of any characters in the rainbow community, but maybe Feehan will surprise us with further details of the women in future books. 

All of their characters have a story and it isn’t pretty. Feehan has me hooked and invested. I cannot wait for the next murder just to see which woman steps up next and what further secrets she will reveal.

I got this book from my library. I love my local library and you should check out yours too. Request LGBTQ+ books and they will stock them! #ebooksforall

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Murder and Gold by by Ann Aptaker

Cover Design: Ann McMan

New York City, 1954.

Two women are found murdered. One is Lorraine Quinn, Cantor Gold’s most recent one-night stand. The other is political power broker and aspiring New York socialite Eve Garraway, a regular client of Cantor’s stolen art trade.

Police nemesis, Lieutenant Norm Huber, wants to pin the murders on Cantor, send her to prison, and put her in the electric chair. He’ll get evidence on her any way he can. Into this cauldron of danger and death come two other women, each with ties to Cantor’s past. One hates her until passion intervenes; the other harbors darkly hidden feelings.

Set during the earliest stirrings of the Homosexual Rights Movement, Cantor begins to question her own tenuous identity, and the trade-offs she must make to get what she wants.

Cantor Gold, dapper butch art thief and smuggler for whom survival is everything, must now grapple with two fronts: surviving the shifting sands of the criminal underworld, and navigating the changing tides of society.

My thoughts

Language. The beauty of words put together in such a way that they leave a mark. Ann Aptaker and Cantor Gold have left their mark on me. I love the styling of Aptaker’s world and I want to breathe it in on a constant flow. Never mind have Cantor Gold slide into my view just so I can soak in her presence.

I will confess that I love a woman in a tailor suit. Add a rakish twinkle and I am theirs for the night because I know they will be gone by morning. Aptaker has created their rake well, but with the additional devastating quality of having a heart at the damndest times.

Aptaker gives us a good mystery in Murder and Gold. I had never read a Cantor Gold mystery and I didn’t need to as Aptaker ensures that it can be as a standalone. The supporting characters are interesting enough to intrigue, but not overdrawn. New York City in 1954 is just as much a character as the rest of the supporting cast and I love her.

Cantor Gold has me wanting more of her. Ann Aptaker has ensure that Murder and Gold won’t be last visit to their world.

I received a free copy of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

 “As a Bookshop and Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” at no additional cost to you.

Further Details Murder at Sunrise Lake:

Publisher: Berkley, 9780593333167, June 29th 2021

Cover Design: Judith Lagerman; Image: @Magadalean Russoctia/Trevillion Images

Narrator: Alyssa Bresnahan

Series: Small Town: Big Secrets #1; Settings: Sunrise Lake, Sierras, CA, U.S.

Pages: 432

SC: Neurodiverse, Black

Further Details Murder and Gold  :

Publisher: Bywater Books, 9781612942056, July 6th 2021

Cover Design: Ann McMan, Treehouse Studio

Series: Cantor Gold Crime #5; Settings: 1954, New York City, NY, US

SC: Bisexual, Lesbian

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