Review – The Pharaoh Key by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

The Pharaoh Key (Gideon Crew #5)Effective Engineering Solutions has been inexplicably shut down and the head of the company, Eli Glinn, has all but vanished. Fresh off a diagnosis that gives him only months to live, Gideon Crew is contacted by one of his coworkers at EES, Manuel Garza, who tells him the two have mere hours to collect their belongings before the office closes forever. After years of dedicated service and several high-risk missions, theirs seems like the most ignoble of terminations-until Gideon and Garza happen upon an incredible discovery. After centuries of silence, a code-breaking machine at EES has cracked the long-awaited translation of a centuries-old stone tablet, the Phaistos Disc, that dates back to an otherwise completely unknown, ancient civilization. The mysteries of the message itself hint at incredible treasures, and perhaps even a world-altering secret. No one remains at EES to take on this most remarkable mission but Gideon and Garza. The two agree to solve the mystery of the disc’s message and split the spoils: the perfect parting gift their employer doesn’t know he has given. What lies at the end of the trail may save Gideon’s life-or bring it to a sudden, shocking close. As Gideon and Garza soon discover, some missions are more dangerous than others. But as Gideon has proved again and again, there’s no such thing as too great a risk when you’re living on borrowed time.

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5 Stars – Girl on the Run by Daryl Wood Gerber

Girl on the Run by Daryl Wood Gerber
Girl on the Run Synopsis from Goodreads: When a fairytale fantasy night becomes a nightmare, Chessa Paxton must run for her life…but will the truth set her free?

Chessa Paxton, an event planner in Lake Tahoe, celebrates a successful night at the Happily Ever After Ball, but her dream quickly becomes a nightmare when she wakes up beside the body of her dead husband. Nauseous and confused, feeling as if she’s been drugged, she can’t explain to the sheriff why her princess costume is bloodied. With her father already a convicted murderer, she feels invisible shackles ratcheting onto her wrists and ankles. She runs! But she can’t escape vivid flashes of memory: a massacre in a meadow; men and women in fairy tale costumes; Snow White’s dead body shielding her from bullets.

Though Chessa is a former costumer and a master of disguise, she quickly learns that hiding while trying to prove herself innocent is the most difficult task imaginable. Especially when the sheriff wants to throw her in jail and the real killer wants to silence her forever.

Genre: Mystery
My Rating ***** (5 stars)
Available 4/9/16 from Amazon, or pre-order now

I love Daryl Wood Gerber’s cozy mysteries, and was both curious and excited to get my hands on this, her first novel in the suspense genre. I was not disappointed!

At first glance, it appears to be a standard setup – woman found with her dead husband and accused of murder – but it quickly takes off in its own direction and never stops. Once Chessa decides that she is going to have to find the truth on her own and takes off running, the suspense doesn’t stop. She doesn’t know what is going on or who she can trust, and seems to encounter more questions than answers in her search for the truth. I was completely sucked in and had a hard time putting the book down.

Chessa is my favorite type of female heroine – strong and smart, but not perfect by any means. She’s just too stubborn to give up.

I really enjoyed this new venture from a favorite author, and hope there will be more to come!

Daryl Wood Gerber also writes the Cookbook Nook Mystery series and as Avery Aames, the Cheeseshop Mystery series. You can visit her at for info on all her books.

NOTE: I received a free advanced copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.