Book Review (and a Giveaway!): 39 Winks by Kathleen Valenti

Posted May 17, 2018 by meezcarrie in contemporary, giveaway, Kathleen Valenti, mystery/suspense / 16 Comments

about the book

SERIES: A Maggie O’Malley Mystery #2
GENRE: Medical Suspense/Thriller
PUBLISHER: Henery Press
RELEASE DATE: May 22, 2018
PAGES: 298

Former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is losing sleep. Her boyfriend Constantine’s aunt is a multitasking sleepwalker who, in addition to wandering her stately home, prepares meals, folds laundry and, one winter night, stumbles across her husband with his throat slit.

It’s a rude and gruesome awakening that’s upsetting to Aunt Polly. And interesting to the police.

Maggie and Constantine work to uncover who killed the cosmetic surgery mogul and why. As they dig into the lives of those who knew him best, they discover that the truth is only skin deep and doctoring perception is a treatment with deadly side effects.

A gripping page-turner with more twists than a surgeon’s suture, 39 Winks is a tale of lies, betrayals and greed that will keep you up at night. And looking over your shoulder.

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Other Books In This Series

I love this series! It’s droll, witty, clever – and has the feel of a cozy mystery coupled with the edginess of a thriller. And while this is the second Maggie O’Malley mystery, it can easily be read as a standalone.

Maggie and her boyfriend Constantine are absolutely delightful together – their interactions wrapped in warmth, humor, and genuine affection and respect. Their banter made me giggle more than once, especially when merged with Constantine’s somewhat goofy side. Maggie’s wry outlook on life adds to the author’s witty writing voice, making this a delightful read in every way. It’s not constantly humorous, though – when it needs to be serious, it is. And Maggie herself is a strong character, despite her endearing flaws. Yet the humor is perfectly placed to lighten the tension and keep this from becoming too heavy a read.

Speaking of tension, the mystery and suspense elements to this novel are spot-on. For every layer revealed, more layers pop up that still need to be explored. Just about the time I think I have it figured out, a new twist sends me scurrying back to the drawing board to rethink my conclusions. The pace is ideal, as well – just fast enough to keep things moving along but not so frenetic that you can’t keep up.

Bottom Line: Sleepwalking. Hallucinations. Cosmetic surgery. Murder. Fraud. A host of suspects and a few cleverly-utilized red herrings that all tie together in the end. In short, my kind of read! 39 Winks is another prime example of Valenti’s skill in weaving together complex threads into an entertaining and fully engaging story. Her characters are smartly drawn and multi-dimensional, and so is her plot. Another excellent read from this author – I can’t wait for her next!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / LOVE it!

Reviewer’s Note: Readers may want to be aware that there is some crude language scattered throughout this novel.

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about the author

When Kathleen Valenti isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. 39 Winks is the second of the Maggie O’Malley mystery series and follows her debut mystery, Protocol. Kathleen lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running.

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16 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): 39 Winks by Kathleen Valenti

  1. Gloria

    This sounds like a fun series. I enjoy all mysteries, including suspense, cozies and some thrillers. Protocol is on my wish list.

  2. Faith Creech

    Thanks for a chance at the giveaway! The book looks really good. Looking forward to reading it!

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