"Viviana Valentine and the Ticking Clock" by Emily J Edwards: Review/Giveaway

Review by Sandra Murphy

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

New Years Eve, New York City. The year is 1950. Viviana Valentine and Tommy Fortuna have plans for the next year. Theyre private detectives who are also getting married. Soon, or soon-ish. For now, its time to head to Times Square for the big celebration.

However, that plan goes kaput when they take a shortcut through an alley to avoid the huge crowds. They are just in time to see a man stab a guy in the gut. Viviana stays with the dying man while Tommy chases after the killer but loses him in the crowd.

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Image Source Crooked Lane
The man spoke before he died. Tell Frankie its okay. Im sorry.” He has no identification but there are a couple of matchbooks in his pocket, along with cash.

With the help of the other tenants in the boardinghouse where Viviana lives, Tommy and Viv are on the hunt. Theres also controversy about the boardinghouse being renovated and/or sold, and what will happen to the tenants who are more family than renters. Tommy seems to be more interested in getting married than Viviana is—and its not just for the benefits. Despite the scandalous appearance, Viviana does spend nights at Tommys apartment too.

Viviana has a smart mouth, worries she doesnt fit in, and can sniff out clues. Its a nice change of pace to read a mystery set in 1950 when pineapple upside down cake was the most popular dessert, and you could eat a steak dinner with all the sides, drink included, for about a dollar. Not so long ago to be historical (not by my standards!) but not set in a time where were all connected to the Internet and can Google the clues.

This is book three in the series. When the sound of a million people cheering the New Year is heard, Viviana comes up with the line It was 1951 and we had a murder to solve.” I was hooked.

Thats a series I want to continue for a long time to come.

To enter to win a copy of Viviana Valentine and the Ticking Clock, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "ticking,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 6, 2024. 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. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. 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 episode went up last week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. 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. Mary Holshouser
    This is a good series. I've read the first two and
    look forward to reading this one. thanks
    Happy New Year (and Merry Christmas a little late).

  2. Sounds like a series I should be reading. Thanks for the chance.

  3. I'm always looking for new authors to read! tWarner419@aol.com


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