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Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice

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Finlay Donovan and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero are in sore need of a girls’ weekend away. They plan a trip to Atlantic City, but odds are?seeing as it’s actually a cover story to negotiate a deal with a dangerous loan shark, save Vero’s childhood crush Javi, and hunt down a stolen car?it won’t be all fun and games. When Finlay’s ex-husband Steven and her mother insist on tagging along too, Finlay and Vero suddenly have a few too many meddlesome passengers along for the ride.

Within hours of arriving in their seedy casino hotel, it becomes clear their rescue mission is going to be a bust. Javi’s kidnapper, Marco, refuses to negotiate, demanding payment in full in exchange for Javi’s life. But that’s not all?he insists on knowing the whereabouts of his missing nephew, Ike, who mysteriously disappeared. Unable to confess what really happened to Ike, Finlay and Vero are forced to come up with a new plan: sleuth out the location of Javi and the Aston Martin, then steal them both back.

But when they sneak into the loan shark’s suite to search for clues, they find more than they bargained for?Marco’s already dead. They don’t have a clue who murdered him, only that they themselves have a very convincing motive. Then four members of the police department unexpectedly show up in town, also looking for Ike?and after Finlay’s night with hot cop Nick at the police academy, he’s a little too eager to keep her close to his side.

If Finlay can juggle a jealous ex-husband, two precocious kids, her mother’s marital issues, a decomposing loan shark, and find Vero’s missing boyfriend, she might get out of Atlantic City in one piece. But will she fold under the pressure and come clean about the things she’s done, or be forced to double down?

Synopsis source: Goodreads


Genre(s): Contemporary, Mystery, Cozy Mystery
HB&W Rating: 3.5
View on Goodreads
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Available March 5, 2024

Another wild ride with Finlay and Vero!

Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice picks right up where the previous book ended. I admit I didn’t love this one as much as previous books. The action starts almost immediately and doesn’t let up and it’s one OTT twist after another OTT twist, and I was getting a little exhausted by it. However, in Elle Cosimano we trust, and I knew she’d tie everything together in the end and she did so in a very satisfactory way.

There’s not much additional character development in this story. For some reason Vero came off kind of flat to me in this novel and Javi like a caricature. I did like how we got to know Finlay’s mom a bit more in the book and even Sylvia as well. Seeing Stephen get a taste of what actual parenting looks like gave me a strong sense of satisfaction, too. Still, this is the fourth book of the series, we should have a decent handle on the characters for the most part, so lack of further character development is really a minor issue.

The writing was exactly what you’d expect of the series. The humor and wit are there, making me laugh out loud several times, one of the hallmarks of Finlay Donovan books. The story is fast-paced and action-packed, as I said, making this a quick read. I thought the way the author started with a small scene from the road trip for the prologue and then went back several hours to begin Chapter 1 was a bit weird and didn’t have any bearing on building the story, but apart from that, the writing was fantastic as always!

The action was so over the top for the majority of the book, but even so, I really enjoyed the book. It ended perfectly, tying off some plots while leaving the door open on others, so we know Finlay isn’t finished yet and I look forward to seeing what happens next in her story.

Finlay Donovan Rolls the Dice releases in March, so be sure to pick up a copy then!

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review.

Until next time,

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