"Killer Coin" By Elka Ray: Review/Giveaway

 Review by Cynthia Chow

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

As the Christmas season approaches, Vancouver Island divorce attorney Toby Wong feels a bit at loose ends. The opponents of her female clients in Toronto were far more belligerent and abrasive than her current ones in Victoria, meaning that Toby can't help but feel a little bored and unneeded. So it's with eager anticipation that Toby greets the sight of Vonda Sokolov Butts slinking into the Greene & Olliartee law office. The Eastern European bombshell from Vladivostok is the epitome of a femme fatale, unapologetically rejecting a lengthy no-fault divorce in favor of a quicker option that will allow her to meet her next rich husband. Vonda asserts that her current spouse Dennis deceived her by pretending to be rich, as he himself was also a gold-digger hoping to be a trophy husband.

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Image Source Seventh Street Books
As exciting as all of this is, Toby is distracted by a plea from her own mother asking for help. It seems that uber-wealthy Daphne Dane has uncharacteristically missed her appointment with professional psychic Ivy Wong, and Toby's mother senses that her best friend must be in trouble. Indeed, a visit to the Dane estate reveals that her pot-bellied pig Kevin is running amuck, Daphne's bags are missing, and her children more annoyed than actually concerned. Daphne's housekeeper Grace admits that her employer may have run off with her new boy-toy, a man whom she neglected to mention to anyone else. A visit to the Dane summer cabin leads Toby to a horrific discovery, one that ties together her cases as she is pulled further into the drama of the Dane family and the financially dependent children. Complicating matters is Colin Destin, one of the investigating detectives and whom Toby feels attracted to almost as she does to her former high school crush Josh Barton. Toby's best friend Quinn has unabashedly asserted her own opinion on the choice Toby should make, but after becoming a new mom Quinn has been absent and not a little distracted herself. So while Toby continues to waiver on her feelings over the two men in her life, she welcomes the returned partnership with her bestie, who is conflicted with her own emotions toward motherhood and need for a professional life.

 This series is a standout due to the charisma and charm of its lead character, Toby Wong. Vulnerable, determined, and very clever, Toby manages to balance her rule-based professional life with an increasingly metaphysically-influenced personal one. Toby's mother is an absolute delight, a hippie who raised Toby on her own after Toby's father disappeared. Ivy Wong is a refreshing counter to the stereotypical Asian Tiger Mom usually depicted in books and on screen, with Toby being the one who is usually embarrassed by her mother's devotion to crystals, tarot cards, and psychic intuition. Their love for one another is never in question, though, nor is their dedication to support the other in all endeavors. The plots weave in and out with one another, bringing in Vonda's hilarious unabashed gold-digger along with Daphne's suspicious jealous children. Underlying it all is Toby's confusing and conflicted feelings towards her two romantic interests, who are very different from another and yet appealing in their own ways. The writing is so compelling that readers will easily be drawn into the lives of Toby and her friends, all of whom are depicted realistically and empathetically. Even as Toby finds her heart at times bruised or shattered, her sense of humor and witty insight into matters make this a thoroughly rewarding and endlessly entertaining read.  

To enter to win a copy of Killer Coin, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "coin,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 2, 2021. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. BE AWARE THAT DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS THERE MAY BE A DELAY IN SHIPPING THE WINNING BOOK. 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 new Christmas episode went up this week.

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

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).
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. This looks like a wonderfully engaging book to read to escape the cold, dreary days of winter,

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  2. New author for me, sounds like a good one! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  3. New author to me. Sounds like a book I would enjoy reading.

  4. That is such a kind review! Thanks to Cynthia and everyone else involved in this giveaway. Librarians should rule te world! ❤

  5. Sounds like an exciting story.
    thanks. Merry Christmas


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