Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cathi Stoler - The Hard Way - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Private Investigator Helen McCorkendale’s childhood friend, Jimmy Scanlan, has just opened January, the most lavish casino and hotel resort on the Las Vegas Strip. After attending the grand opening, Helen returns to New York and encourages her friend, Laurel Imperiole, Senior Editor at Women Now magazine, to create a get-away contest for readers offering a weekend at the hotel as the grand prize. The winner, Dawn Chapman, a jewelry store employee from Cincinnati, denies entering the contest and initially refuses the trip. Finally persuaded by Laurel to accept, she arrives at the hotel and nearly faints when she passes the hotel’s elite meeting rooms where the International Diamond Dealers Consortium is holding its annual meeting. She insists on returning home immediately.

Suspicious of her behavior, Jimmy visits her suite to encourage her to attend the Saturday afternoon pool party, saying she can leave on his private jet the next day. Later in the afternoon, he finds Chapman’s dead body by the pool. She’s been murdered—an unusual double poisoning by cyanide and diamond dust.

Dawn Chapman was not who she appeared to be, and therein lies a mystery. But to Helen and Laurel, the main task is to take Jimmy Scanlon off the suspect list and clear his name. Will their luck hold? Or will it be a crap shoot, as they roll the dice and do it ‘the hard way,’ going for doubles when the odds are against them. Losing may mean losing their lives.

My Review

Helen McCorkendale is the definition of an independent woman. She wants to do what she wants to do, when she wants to do it. No questions asked. She answers to no one but herself, and she likes it that way. If her job as a private investigator sends her into the dangerous world of international diamond thieves, so be it. She's too smart to be blinded by such baubles. Her eye is fixed on the prize. Nothing can break her concentration. She'll bring the killer to justice, guaranteed.

She certainly doesn't intend for any man to hold her back - not her worrywart of a boyfriend who she keeps purposefully in the dark, not her overprotective guy pal from childhood who still might be harboring an unrequited crush for her, not even the deranged psychopath who held a knife to her throat warning her to give up the chase or die trying. No one's going to stand in her way. From ultra competitive Las Vegas casino owners to the big wigs of the International Diamond Dealers Consortium, Helen finds herself immersed in a male dominated environment, but comes out swinging. She doesn't let anyone intimidate her. She steps right up to the plate, staking out shady motels, packing heat and sniffing out potential traitors in her midst. It's all in a day's work for this ballsy broad.

Yet Helen does have a softer side which she allows those closest to her to see. She has a weakness for gourmet cuisine. On occasion, she likes slipping on a sparkly, sequined dress every now and again. She gets involved in the love lives of her friends without their asking, having no qualms sticking her nose into their problems and ironing out the kinks. She's hands on in every aspect of her life. She's no wallflower, content to being a passive observer. Oh no, she's a fully active participant.

And sometimes that gets her into trouble. When a woman lounging poolside dies after being poisoned with diamond dust in her gin and tonic, it's clear that no one is safe. When murder is made to appear elegant, Helen knows she's playing a ruthless game with society's upper crust, hoping to come out on top. When everyone is after a rare diamond, the color of blood, it's only a matter of how much of it will be shed before the heist of the century is attempted. Helen must watch her back as well as those around her because in Vegas the house usually wins, and not a meddling upstart like her. To win, she's going to have to beat them at their own game, or pay the ultimate price.


The Hard Way can be purchased at:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords

Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $14.95 paperback
Pages: 280
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Release: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603819497
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Cathi Stoler’s mysteries feature PI Helen McCorkendale and magazine editor, Laurel Imperiole. The Hard Way is the third book in the series. The first, Telling Lies, took on the subject of stolen Nazi art. Book 2, Keeping Secrets, delved into the subject of hidden identity. Stoler’s short stories include: “Magda,” in the Criminal Element Anthology Malfeasance Occasional: Girl Trouble, “Out of Luck,” in the Anthology, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices, “Fatal Flaw,” a finalist for the Derringer for Best Short Story and “Money Never Sleeps” both published at Beat to A Pulp. Cathi is working on a novella, Nick of Time, which features International gambler, Nick Donahue. She is also starting a new series, Bar None, A Murder On The Rocks Mystery, with female bar owner, Jude Dillane. Cathi is a member of the New York/Tri State chapter of Sisters In Crime. She is also a member of Mystery Writers of America.

Links to connect with Cathi:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

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