The Devil of Downtown by Joanna Shupe
Uptown Girls #3
June 30, 2020, by Avon
Another Greene sister and another anti-hero, bad boy to catch her attention. The Devil of Downtown is the third and last book in the Uptown Girls series and features the youngest Goode sister, Justine.
Justine’s mission in life is to help the needy and poor while finding dead beat husbands and dads and make them be held accountable. She usually works with the legal aide her brother-in-law runs, along with one specific police officer, but she requires a different sort of help on her most recent case.
Which is where she runs into Jack Mulligan.
Jack is a hardened criminal and the current king of Bowery. Then he makes a deal with a Justine Goode to help her find a deadbeat husband and bring him accountable and he becomes obsessed with his do-gooder.
I think this might be my favorite of the three books in this series. Jack is just absolutely swoon-worthy and his and Justine’s chemistry is off the charts hot. I adored them. I loved that consent played such a huge role in their relationship and that Justine knew exactly who she was and what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to just be exactly that. This is 100% my new favorite Shupe couple.
I will admit that Justine’s sisters kind of got on my nerves for a bit with all their stern looks and lecturing after readers already know what shenanigans they were up to in the last two books. They really needed to knock it off and let their sister figure it out.
If you haven’t read this author yet you 100% need to get on that. This was a great end to an enjoyable series.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Gothic Historical Mystery/Fantasy
June 30, 2020, by Del Rey
If I’m being completely honest I picked this book based purely on the beauty of the cover and because I’ve kind of been on a gothic horror/mystery glom lately. Also, who can resist a spooky house set in 1950s Mexico?
An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic artistocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . .
From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico—“fans of classic novels like Jane Eyre and Rebecca are in for a suspenseful treat” (PopSugar).
After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.
The pacing is slow as this author sets the stage for her big reveal at the end and I gotta tell you… it worked for me. From the moment Noemi steps foot in High Place in all it’s dark, musty, decaying glory readers have an idea that she’s in for trouble. The setting is spooky and atmospheric, I kind of felt like I had jumped inside a well-drawn 1950s horror movie.
You’ll be positively disgusted by the family who owns High Place (or maybe the family that High Place owns…????) and thrilled with Noemi’s insistence on being her own person and finding out what the hell is going on. There almost might be a low-key love interest who is also her help in navigating the madness.
And the climax and ending are amazing.
This was just what I needed. Really enjoyed.
Final grade- B