Monday, February 13, 2012

The Return of Mystery Mondays: Blog Tour for Blood Orchids

When I was contacted about participating in the Blog Tour for Blood Orchids by Toby Neal, I simply couldn't resist this opportunity to "resurrect" Mystery Mondays with a review of a great mystery!  While I have been quiet on the blogging front, many thanks to Toby Neal and her publicist for reaching out to me and for their interest in my site!  Thank you for my review copy, which was an e-book, 241 pages.

From BookSparks PR: Blood Orchids follows police woman Lei Texeira, whose life starts to unravel after discovering a gruesome murder scene on the shores of beautiful Hawaii. A scene that also begins to expose Texeira’s dark buried past. After an impulsive mistake she is sent to mandatory counseling to help deal with the escalating violence and how it triggers her. Meanwhile she gains the attention of a killer, and the lead detective on the case, Michael Stevens. Even deeper conspiracies develop the story, originating with her father, a convicted drug dealer. Haunted by a persistent stalker, the shadow of her past looms over the growing relationship with Stevens, Texeira, with the help of her loyal Rottweiler, battles the monsters of her past and present, reaching out toward a loving future.

I actually haven't been reading very many mysteries of late, so I enjoyed diving back into the genre with Blood Orchids, Toby Neal's debut crime novel.  This was a fast-paced book that proved to be a quick read and was perfect for the last few evenings.  Not only do we have the mystery behind the discovery of that first murder scene, but ultimately Lei Texeira is embroiled in her own frightening scenario involving a creepy stalker.  Naturally, one starts to wonder if the two mysteries are connected, though Neal presents several plausible possibilities and keeps you guessing.

I liked the fact that it wasn't immediately obvious as to who the various perpetrators might be.  However, in the end when the cases were resolved, it almost felt like the answer came out of left field.  I didn't think there were enough clues that would enable you to solve the crimes on your own.  Sure, there were a few suspicious characters along the way, but when did we learn about the key points that would have made us realize who the true murderer or stalker was?  Or perhaps Neal was sneaky enough to just slip things in where they might be missed?? :-)

In the end, that was my only complaint about the book.  Blood Orchids was full of action and some romance, too.  The dynamic between Lei and Michael Stevens was exciting to watch unfold.  I also enjoyed that the story was set in Hawaii.  I admit that I'm not too familiar with the culture there, so I was able to get a brief glimpse into a small part of the island life.  You'll find an interesting mix of characters, including the psychiatrist that Lei has to go see for mandatory counseling.

If you are looking for a mystery that's relatively quick to read and will get your heart racing just a bit, then I urge you to give Blood Orchids a try.  Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour!!

For information about Toby Neal and Blood Orchids, visit Neal's website.

Link to Facebook page:

Link to Twitter page:!/tobywneal

My rating: 4 stars