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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Exes' Revenge (Sticks and Stones) by Jo Jakeman and Burning Ridge by Margaret Mizushima

The Exes' Revenge by Jo Jakeman is exactly what it says and yet...not at all what I was expecting.

Imogen is in the midst of a divorce, and Phillip, her controlling and abusive husband, has given her an ultimatum:  leave the house in two weeks or he will make sure he gets custody of their son.  Phillip is a policeman and would be able to bring up Imogen's depression following a miscarriage.  Currently, Phillip is living in another property he owns with his current, much younger girlfriend.

Although Imogen's personality is non-confrontational, Phillip's latest demands require her to stand up in order to be able to provide a decent life for their son.  

In a visit to try and persuade Phillip to be reasonable, Imogen realizes that Phillip has been abusing his girlfriend as well.  

When an irate Phillip learns of her visit, he storms into the house full of threats and ego, then goes into the basement to retrieve some belongings.   Pushed beyond rational thought, Imogen does something drastic and completely unexpected.   Now what?  

Moving back and forth in time, Phillip's relationships with Imogen, his current girlfriend, and his ex-wife emerge.  Unlikely allies and perhaps with different agendas, the three women learn more about themselves, each other, and the man with whom they have all been involved.

Expecting a typical revenge mystery, I was delighted to find a more complex and engrossing experience with a brisk pace and some dark humor.


Update, July 20: this book has recently received a new title and cover:  Sticks and Stones

Read in June.  Review scheduled for Aug. 29.

NetGalley/Berkely Publishing

Mystery.  Sept. 11, 2018.  Print length:  352 pages.

Having never mastered the skill of training any of our dogs to do more than "sit," I tend to be captivated by working dogs, their skills and their training.  Set in the Colorado Rockies, Margaret Mizushima's Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries combine the abilities of Robo, a talented young search and rescue dog with good characterization and suspenseful plots 

Burning Ridge is the 4th book in the series, and I was just as enthralled as usual.  Robo may be my favorite character, but I like all of the regular cast from members of the Sheriff's Dept. to Cole, the local veterinarian, to Mama T, the foster mother who raised Mattie.

Deputy Mattie Cobb is the K-9 officer in the small town of Timber Creek, CO.  Mattie and Robo have a tremendous bond and trust each other implicitly.  He may be a working dog, but he is definitely loved and respected, not only by Mattie, but by all those who have come to appreciate his talents and personality.

When a burned body is discovered high in a mountain valley, all are stunned at the apparent brutality, but the situation is worsened when the identity of the victim is revealed.

Burning Ridge touches close to home for Mattie.

Couldn't turn the pages fast enough--(so to speak, as I read it on my Kindle).  Ready for the next in the series and hate having to wait.

Read in June.  Review scheduled for August 29

NetGalley/Crooked Lane Books

Crime/Suspense.  Sept. 11, 2018.  Print version:  279 pages.


  1. Can't wait to read Burning Ridge! I loved the first three books in this series...and mostly because of Robo. He's such an awesome dog. :)

    1. They are good, aren't they? Robo is awesome!

  2. I am glad to hear there is more than meets the eye with The Exes' Revenge. Burning Ridge sounds really good! I like reading novels featuring working dogs as well. I glad you enjoyed these, Jenclair!

    1. I enjoyed both of them. Jo Jakeman is a new author for me, but I look forward to more from her. Of course, I'm also looking forward to the next adventure with Mattie and Robo. :)

  3. Both books sound so good, Jenclair. I'm glad you enjoyed them and I'll be sure to check them out as well. :)

    1. Both books have good characterization and interesting plots. I think you'd like them, Melody.

  4. You made both of these sound interesting. Too many books, too little time.

    1. The Exes' Revenge/Sticks and Stones surprised me in a good way, and I have enjoyed all of the Timber Creek K-9 books!

  5. Both sound good but especially the one about the ex's. Wonder why they changed the title?

    1. I'm not sure why they changed the title, but I will definitely be on the lookout for more from Jo Jakeman!