Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Review - Her Last Words

Title:   Her Last Words
Author:   Carolyn Arnold
Series:   Detective Amanda Steele Book #9
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers
Format:   Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   322
Date of Publication:   October 17, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars


The glow from the fireplace throws an eerie light over the woman’s carefully arranged body, her lifeless eyes reflecting the flames that slowly burn the evidence of who did this to her…

When Detective Amanda Steele is called to the brutal murder scene of successful local author Felicity Kelley , her blood runs cold. Because Amanda not only knew the victim, but was the last person Felicity called moments before she was murdered. Plagued with guilt that she never answered, Amanda is left wondering whether she could have prevented the murder, and vows to catch the killer, no matter what.

Desperately searching the crime scene for clues, Amanda is shocked when she discovers a Queen of Hearts playing card, suggesting the murder could be an imitation of a scene from Felicity’s bestselling crime novel. Terrified that she is dealing with a crazed fan who could strike again, Amanda’s worst fears are confirmed when another innocent woman is viciously murdered, with the same chilling calling card left behind.

But when Amanda connects the murders with a cold case from fifteen years ago, a case that Felicity appears to have been researching for her next novel, she is forced to question if the killer’s motive is even more sinister than she first suspected. But the closer Amanda gets to unearthing this motive, the closer she gets to becoming the next victim…
Detective Amanda Steele is in the second week of a much-needed vacation and she finds herself bored stiff. She had recently received a telephone call from an author asking her for police procedural advice for her next novel. She hadn't intended to get in touch with the author, but now she has time on her hands. So, she gives her a call, and is shocked when a fellow detective answers her phone. She was Felicity Kelley and she was found murdered by a dear friend. While not Amanda's case initially, Amanda and her partner Trent Stenson are able to take over the case.

Evidence at the brutal scene soon leads to a strong connection to Felicity's latest book, The Romeo Killer. In fact, the setting is almost exactly what occurred in the book. Amanda and Trent look hard for answers, starting with the man Felicity had been seeing. Amanda is no stranger to tragedy and is determined to find out who killed Amanda.

Amanda soon discovers that Felicity had been digging deep into a cold case for the novel she was writing, and Amanda can't help but wonder if the crimes are connected. In typical fashion for Amanda, she knows how to dig for answers no matter what it takes. I really enjoyed this ninth book in the Detective Amanda Steele series and am very much looking forward to reading book ten, Missing Before Daylight.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has several continuing fiction series and has many published books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from police procedurals, hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Her crime fiction series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining. This led to her adopting the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives near London, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two beagles.

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