Saturday, June 22, 2019

Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Murder in the City of Liberty by Rachel McMillan

About the Book

Book: Murder in the City of Liberty  
Author: Rachel McMillan  
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical  
Release Date: May 21, 2019

Hamish DeLuca and Regina “Reggie” Van Buren have a new case—and this one brings the war in Europe dangerously close to home. 

Determined to make a life for herself, Regina “Reggie” Van Buren bid goodbye to fine china and the man her parents expected her to marry and escaped to Boston. What she never expected to discover was that an unknown talent for sleuthing would develop into a business partnership with the handsome, yet shy, Hamish DeLuca. 

Their latest case arrives when Errol Parker, the leading base stealer in the Boston farm leagues, hires Hamish and Reggie to investigate what the Boston police shove off as a series of harmless pranks. Errol believes these are hate crimes linked to the outbreak of war in Europe, and he’s afraid for his life. Hamish and Reggie quickly find themselves in the midst of an escalating series of crimes that seem to link Boston to Hamish’s hometown of Toronto. 

When an act of violence hits too close to home, Hamish is driven to a decision that may sever him from Reggie forever . . . even more than her engagement to wealthy architect Vaughan Vanderlaan.  

Click here to purchase your copy.  

My Thoughts:

This novel was the epitome of historical romantic mysteries set in 30s Boston, with all the civil unrest, tension between the protagonists, and the underlying web binding crime and their pasts together.

Reggie is her usual charming self- even as the loved ones of her former life jeopardize her independence. Hamich stands tall as a strong man despite his disability, and shines an honesty seldom seen in fiction. And Lucas stays in the shadows, a safe distance from his beloved cousin as he moves further into the world of crime- but still manages to charm himself into his status as a favorite character. And, of course, there is Nate, good old Nate- who doesn't deserve any of the antisemitism threatening Boston.

The historical aspect itself is rife with tension revealing an evil that haunted that era, and tragically today as well. The author also does such a spectacular job at instilling the aura and lingo of the times, giving an atmospheric immersion of 1930s.

The romance really rises in tension in this installment, with our characters having been partners for a couple years now (and Hamich being the only honest one in the relationship), but a side romance also rises.

And the mystery takes a darker turn than I was expecting, knocking me off guard, but these deadly beliefs have deadly consequences.

Anyway, if you enjoy historical novels, romantic novels, and/or mysteries, you will enjoy this expertly crafted story.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, and the views and opinions are my own.  I was not required to post a positive review.

Reviewed by Jes 

About the Author

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.  

Read the excerpt

April 19 40
There really never was a good time to drown. But this particular April had been unseasonably cold and promised spring long in coming. The slosh of the Charles River warmed by ribbons of June sun would have been preferable to the crusted sludge of leftover ice rimming the harbor, or so thought Reggie Van Buren as she bobbed up and down like a buoy.
A New Haven Van Buren ought to have perished an old, wealthy woman, tendrils of snow-white
hair falling around a satin pillow, comforted in the knowledge that she would be interred in
the family plot, her soul destined for paradise—not with water up to her nose, choking as it lapped in and out like a tide over her chattering teeth. But a New Haven Van Buren also might have had the propriety to insist upon the use of her given name and not the “Reggie” she so preferred. The Reggie she was just hearing now in a rather frantic yet familiar voice.
“Reggie!” Hamish DeLuca’s panicked voice reached into the hollow dome of her cement cave. “Reggie!”
“I was st-stupid. I s-slipped.”
She treaded poorly, her arms feeling like gelatin, her form rather lacking the swimming skills
she had learned informally alongside her family’s schooner on Regatta Day. Reggie strained to rise above the lapping water. She took turns treading and raising herself as high up on her toes as she could. Rotating and wondering why she failed to complete the ballet classes her parents enrolled her in as a child. Standing on tiptoe might have added inches to her height and allowed her to clear her mouth of the water. As it was, her calf muscles strained. She said something that came out in a series of bubbles before glugging, rising upward, and noticing for the first time how the fog from her icy breath rippled over the water. If she couldn’t understand herself,
how would he?
“S-slipped,” she said again, trying to make him out in shadow. “H-Hamish.” She tried again. Funny, usually he was the one with the stutter. Hamish DeLuca with the stutter and the bit of a handshake and that one pesky dimple and those big blue eyes. Her own eyes fluttered. Maybe she would never see him again. She would just slip under the water and rest her heavy eyelids. She blinked until a stream of torchlight buttered the dark walls, crystallizing the percolating water drips around her, and then the figure of her rescuer, whose blue eyes looked even more brilliant than usual in the eerie glow of the flashlight.
Hamish dropped to his knees. “Take my hand.”
“This didn’t turn out as I expected,” she chattered.
“Reggie, we don’t have much time.” His voice rippled as he looked frantically at her and then over to the grille she had stared at since she got into the mess, watching the water level rise and fall and rise and fall until it made her dizzy. She clung to his hand a moment.
“We should have gone with plan B.”
Hamish growled. “We didn’t even have a plan A.”
“You’re my hero, Hamish.” She patted his hand with her icy one. “It was so nice of you to come.”
“Reggie, just take my hand.”
“I’m stuck!”
“M-my shoe.”

Hamish said something she was altogether certain she had imagined in her half-frozen and very soggy state. And then, of course, he recklessly jumped in to get her.

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To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize of both book in the series!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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