"Desolate Shores" By Daryl Wood Gerber: Review/Giveaway

by Sandra Murhpy

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review and a link to purchase it.

Aspen Adams moved to Lake Tahoe to start life over. A former therapist, she’s working for her aunt as a process server while figuring out what’s next. During her morning run, she sees a body on the beach and realizes it’s her friend, Vikki Carmichael. CPR is of no help. In spite of the cold weather, Vikki wasn’t wearing a coat. The cold would have killed her if someone hadn’t murdered her first.

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Detective Sergeant Shaper assigns his people a job and then lets them do it. That has its pluses and minuses. Aspen thinks he could be doing a lot more to find out what happened. Even though they were friends, Aspen finds the more questions she asks, the more questions she has. It seems Vikki kept a lot of her past to herself.

Aspen knows Detective Karen Brandon from their book club. When Aspen tries to find out more about Vikki’s life, Karen warns her to butt out—not for her own safety but because Karen’s afraid Aspen will do a better job at finding the killer. How will that look to her boss? Karen may be a good detective but she has poor people skills.

It’s not like Aspen has a lot of free time to investigate anyway. Her deadbeat sister showed up and dropped off her teenage daughter “for a few days.” Translated, it means Sis met a new guy and doesn’t want the girl around to spoil the mood. Sis is the type of person to forget to buy food or clothes that fit so Aspen tries to fill in the gaps.

When a couple of accidents turn out to be attempts to persuade Aspen to stop asking questions, she knows she has to be close to the truth. There are so many clues, which is the one that has the killer worried?

This is the first in a new series. Gerber has written a number of cozy mysteries (The French Bistro books, the Cookbook Nook mysteries, and the Cheese Shop series). She has two stand-alone thriller/suspense novels, Girl on the Run and Day of Secrets. Desolate Shores moves past the cozy category and into suspense—almost to thriller as Aspen hunts for the killer. Longtime fans will want to see the new direction Gerber has taken.

The relationship between Aspen and her niece isn’t without problems, but both are willing to work them out. The Detective Sergeant brings a bit of romance into Aspen’s life. Tahoe is as much a character as any of the people, as Gerber describes the ski slopes and icy weather conditions. As Aspen understands the past, she’ll find out what her future will bring. Readers will be anxious to read the next book, to find out where that takes her.

To enter to win a copy of Desolate Shores, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "desolate,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 5, 2019. US residents only. If entering via comment please include your email address. And if entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A podcast episode went up this week featuring a mystery short story told by a black cat, perfect for Halloween!

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won't see coming.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Sounds interesting. Lake Tahoe is the setting for a couple of mystery series. Count me in!

  2. Ooh, I really want to read this! I've heard such good things about this one!

  3. I would so love to win this book - my library won't have it for a long time, and that's where I get all my books - thanks for the chance - trwilliams69(at)msn(dot)com

  4. Looking forward to reading this book! Heard so many good things about it! Thanks for the chance to win!
    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

  5. What a great chance to start a series at the beginning! Please enter my name in the draw. Thanks!! crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  6. Thanks for the chance! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

  7. The first in a new series by Daryl Wood Gerber screams of success. Thanks for a chance to claim
    "Desolate Shores". robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  8. Sounds really interesting if love to read it. Thank you for the chance

  9. Love a good suspense story. Thanks for the chance to win. Saamm7(at)msn(dot).com

  10. Please enter me in contest. kdegenn(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. Would love to read Daryl Wood Getber's new suspense novel.

  12. I have not read this author and Desolate Shores looks interesting. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.
    CocoIhle@ gmail(dot)com


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