As teens, they bullied her. Twenty years on, she's not scared of them. Except she should be...
After returning to her quiet hometown to care for her ailing mom, divorce lawyer Toby Wong is hired by Josh Barton, a guy who broke her heart as a teen at summer camp. Now a wealthy entrepreneur, Josh wants to divorce Tonya, the mean girl who tormented Toby all those years ago. When Tonya is found murdered, Josh is the prime suspect.
Together with her fortune-teller mom and her pregnant best friend, Toby sets out to clear Josh, whom she still has a guilty crush on. As she delves deeper into Tonya's murder, Toby keeps running into catty ex-campers she'd rather forget. Are her old insecurities making her paranoid? Only too late does she realize she's in danger.
The first entry in an addictive new series, Divorce is Murder introduces fans of mystery and romance to an irresistibly smart and sarcastic new heroine - Chinese Canadian divorce lawyer Toby Wong.
Colin peers into the empty parcel, then sticks two fingers inside. He pulls out an envelope-sized slip of paper and lays it onto the table. Although the words are facing the wrong way, I have no trouble reading it. Fashioned from letters cut out of newspaper, the note reads: LEAVE VICTORIA, BITCH.
Tonya had received a similar note with her red-paint-flecked Barbie doll.
A muscle in Colin’s jaw jumps. He looks angry. “Who could have sent this?” he asks. “Do you have any bitter ex-boyfriends? Guys you might have rejected? Anyone who came on too strong?”
I shake my head. I’d rather not tell Colin that it’s been nineteen months since my last date, with a guy I met in a Toronto doctor’s office who spent our entire date describing—in vivid detail—his recent hernia surgery.
“How about social media?” asks Colin. “Are you active on dating sites? Have you gotten any similar sorts of messages. Anyone seem obsessive? This kind of stuff can start online and then escalate.”
Again, I say no. My few attempts at internet dating were so lame I swore never again. The real world is weird enough. “There’s nothing like that.” I survey the bra, wishing the label weren’t sticking out, those double AAs on full display. “But it’s my bra,” I admit. I explain how, just last night, it vanished from my building’s communal laundry room.
Colin’s frown deepens. “Last night? That means whoever sent this was in your building.” He tugs at his collar, clearly agitated. “This isn’t good, Toby."
3 out of 5 (good)
Divorce is Murder is the first book in the Toby Wong series, and it introduces us to a female, family-lawyer whose client is a blast from the past. Toby had a major crush on Josh Barton when they were young, but bullies made sure it next happened. Now, nineteen years later, she's back where it all began.
I would class this more as mystery than romantic suspense as Toby isn't sure who she wants, although I'm not very clear on why! There is a police officer who is interested in her, he is not a liar and plays no games, but she seems more interested in a crush from nearly twenty years ago who has constantly lied to her. Hmm, I guess you can see who is my favourite, but I'm guessing this is a storyline for further into the series.
There is a great cast of characters - from a psychic, whimsy-loving mom, to the bullies from Toby's childhood. Some of the mystery was obvious (to me) and some of it, not. I thoroughly enjoyed the build up and the climax to this story.
With no errors that disrupted my reading, this was an enjoyable read from beginning to end, and I have no hesitation in recommending it for all fans of cosy murder-mysteries.
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
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Stories that don't let go
Elka Ray writes fast-paced romantic mysteries and scary thrillers - a dichotomy that reveals her belief in Yin and Yang, or the balance of opposites. A great lover of scientific facts, she may be found clutching crystals for good luck; reads highbrow journals and tabloid trash; and refuses to watch romcoms yet moved in with her now-husband on their first date.
Elka is the author of three novels – the romantic mysteries DIVORCE IS MURDER and HANOI JANE – and the noir thriller SAIGON DARK. She also has a collection of short crime and ghost stories set in Southeast Asia – WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW. Elka lives with her family near Hoi An, Vietnam. She is represented by Folio Literary Management. - link to http://foliolit.com/agency#f.About
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