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The Advice Columnist de Cade Haddock Strong

de Cade Haddock Strong - Género: English
libro gratis The Advice Columnist

Sinopsis


Lydia Swann's life is falling into place perfectly. She’s clinched the coveted role of advice columnist at The Washington Post. With her career on the rise, she hopes to buy a house with her girlfriend.


But the bliss is fleeting. The relationship with her girlfriend hits the rocks, leaving Lydia reeling. To compound matters, she becomes entangled in a perplexing mystery. Letters from a disgruntled reader start to flood her inbox. They contain cryptic riddles that bear chilling parallels to a series of unsolved murders haunting DC. Could deciphering the enigmatic riddles lead her to unmasking a cunning killer?


Caught between personal turmoil and the allure of solving a deadly puzzle, Lydia finds solace in the company of Sofia Soto, a captivating figure who sparks feelings beyond mere friendship.


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I really wanted to this. I did. Perhaps I feel a little less satisfied as I expected more depth and more integration of the plot elements. Cade Haddock Strong has set out on a bold path here, one that has to tread the right tone throughout and feature a strong lead character. For me, Ms. Strong’s reach has exceeded her grasp, alas. If you’re going to have a serial-killer overt subplot, then probably the tone is going to have some substantial gravitas. I felt the tone was off throughout as the mix of self-discovery, romance, and thriller-suspense didn’t gel as cohesively as I’d have expected.

If it was my choice, I’d have wanted Lydia to be more adult than she felt to me. She’s set up as the next big thing in advice columnists, gets offered the lead job at a prestigious newspaper, and yet is on a journey of pretty basic self-discovery all while holding an M.Sc. (I think it was) in psychology. Lydia feels more 20 than 30. And as a result, her actions and reactions as the suspense ramps up feel a younger woman, and thus I felt frustrated as I expected more depth of reaction and involvement.

To me, this reads more YA than a full adult novel in terms of character behavior and development. That means Lydia feels young and how the relationship with Sofia develops is not one of how more mature adults’ might develop. Readers who enjoy YA, and the genre’s nature of character depth and development vs. focus and pace, will quite probably feel differently to me. I hope so; I’ll admit I couldn’t get passed my issues and biases due to my expectations, alas. But that’s me.

On the plus side, the set up and environment are good. I enjoyed a peek into the worlds of advice columns and of teaching. And there’s a lovely sprinkling of ethnic heritages throughout that I really enjoyed. And food! Lovingly described—always a plus. Add to that, there's a cast of supports who are also interesting and engaging.

Many readers will doubtless enjoy the suspense and thriller elements here. I said, the author has attempted to reach high, and even if I didn’t feel she did so as successfully as I’d hoped, there must be kudos given for the attempt and partial success. And many readers will ly not feel the same about my issues as I do. And if so, they’ll ly enjoy the story’s mix.

3.5 stars due to my personal bias vs. expectations but bumped up to 4 stars for a) the freshness and attempt to create something more notable than the “next lesfic romance.” And b) since Ms. Strong finished the book after a period of inactivity, I understand. She ventured, and boldly so. And that’s to be congratulated.

Thank you to the author, to the publisher, Bella Books, and to NetGalley for the chance to read this ARC and give my honest opinion.6 s Kexx1,965 72

Good book that joined romance, crime and journalism into a creditable story that needed concentration when reading. First I’ve read of Ms Haddock Strong and recommended.angst assume-straight-or-1st-time crime ...more3 s2 comments Women Using Words394 55

Cade Haddock Strong’s new release, The Advice Columnist, is a mystery romance that’s quite captivating. Though this is Strong’s sixth book, it’s her “first foray into the realm of true mystery writing,” her words, not mine. Although I’m new to her writing, I was still surprised to learn that this is her first mystery, as she definitely seems to know her way around the genre. The story’s plot is complex. Its unexpected twists, suspenseful moments, and intriguing secrets add depth and excitement to the narrative, keeping readers engaged and excited until the very end.

Strong is a solid story crafter; she gives her readers relatable, but somewhat quirky characters that they can sink their teeth into. The protagonist, Lydia Swann, is a well-rounded, likable character with a distinct personality. Her vulnerabilities, insecurities, and desires perfectly facilitate the storytelling, feeding the mystery and letting events unfold with intent and interest. Lydia’s actions—as well as her emotions—drive the plot forward at a steady pace, making the storytelling reliable and credible.

Strong provides the mystery with well-developed supporting characters as well. Many of these characters don’t have large roles, but they are fundamental to the story arc. They push the plot, reveal clues and generally make the story more cohesive and interesting. Strong uses them wisely and purposefully, expanding the narrative and making it more fun to read.

The story world of The Advice Columnist nicely enhances the overall mood and tone of the story. The Washington Post’s advice column department, with all its employees and processes, is vividly detailed and intelligibly described. This attention to detail and construction contributes greatly to the story’s sense of mystery and intrigue. Furthermore, the newspaper serves as an excellent backdrop for clues and hidden secrets to be worked into the storyline. These clues are strategically placed throughout the story, allowing readers to piece together information and make their own deductions. Strong keeps readers on their feet, though. She uses red herrings to misdirect readers. It’s a wise move as it creates suspense and keeps things fun. However, she doesn’t overdo it. Strong knows how to execute a balance; she keeps readers surprised but not discouraged.

This is tagged as a romantic mystery, but to be honest, the story’s true strength lies in the mystery, not the romance. Though readers will Sophia, Lydia’s love interest, they won’t spend a lot of time worrying if they will make it past the friend stage or not. They will, however, worry about Lydia’s safety as she tries to capture The Red Scarf Murderer. He needs to be caught, and they will flip pages fast to make sure that happens!

Final remarks…

The Advice Columnist provides readers with a satisfying resolution as all the pieces of the puzzle come together, revealing the truth behind the mystery as well as providing a new beginning for Lydia and Sophia. The storytelling combines a suspenseful storyline with exciting plot twists and interesting characters, guaranteeing readers will be enthralled until the very end. If you mysteries, you won’t want to miss this.

Strengths…

Intriguing plot
Well-developed story world
Well-developed characters
Satisfying ending1 This95

I was not sure what to expect when I read this. I had seen on social media that the book was supposed to be good, I just didn't know why. I prefer not to read about a book before I read them - so I come to it fresh with no preconceived ideas. Of course sometimes that is just not possible.
I can't remember now if I even knew it was a murder mystery!
I did know it was probably going to have something to do with an advice columnist though - I think the title tells me that.
I have to day that the story itself is quite ridiculous - but it works. The way in which everything centred on the columnist - Lydia - made it look as though she was seeing murderers in everything she touched. But I also think it was obvious that there were connections and everything was not as 'simple' as her deduction that 'he did it and is after me'.
Add in her failed relationship - she was obviously 'a wrong un' and her mutual attraction with the star of the college, plus the suspense and incidents and it made a good story.
It was a little a wholesome murder set in the 1950s, but with modern day technology. Perhaps it was the advice columnist job and the letters that were sent in that gave it that feel for me. Oh, and by referring to the murderer as the 'RSM' every time my head read it as regimental Sergeant Major which I then had to rethink into the ' Red Scarf Murderer'.
But anyway, I really enjoyed it. I read it on the train - I started it as I left Kings Cross - and by York I had finished. A good distraction from a rainy train trip. Kaye3,695 53

A cozy mystery from Cade Haddock Strong. As the blurb says Lydia Swann takes over as the advice columnist at the Washington Post. It is her dream job. A serial killer is on the loose in the DC area and she begins to suspect that a letter writer has a connection to the cases. There is more going on in this story than just the mystery. Lydia is a people pleasing character and after a recent break up she is trying to find herself and it is hard to break old habits. She also volunteers at a center that helps teach English as a second language. There she meets Sophia who has gone from being a student at the center to a teacher in a few years. With Sophia there is new friendship and possible romance.

I the personal character arc for Lydia and her finding and valuing herself. The mystery itself is fairly straightforward. Lydia originally gets involved more out of concern for a letter writer. There is wondering about a connection, suspicion, some coincidental menacing. It fits that she can use newspaper resources for example to find an IP address etc.. Overall, I d this romantic mystery. I would have d the romance to go further but closed door is normal for the cozy mystery genre. I’ve read the author previously and know that this is her first mystery and I would be interested if Lydia stumbles into another case.

Thank you to NetGalley and Belle Books for the ARC and I am leaving an honest review.
amateur-detective closed-door f-f-romance ...more1 Leane64 40

Lydia's career may be taking off as she lands the much-coveted advice columnist role at The Post, but her personal life is a mess.

Her unsupportive girlfriend dumps her via text message, and having spent far too many years being what everyone else needs, Lydia has no idea who she is anymore.

Finding what makes her happy as she grows closer to Sofia, who she knows from her nights of volunteering and teaching, is interwoven with a cosy thriller storyline following a serial killer on the loose.

After a series of strange letters are sent to Lydia's advice column, she draws a connection between them and the murders. Can she solve the mystery before she becomes a target?

I felt this book walked a very fine line between romance and thriller, never stepping strongly into either genre.

It's a superficial read but perfect for a brief piece of escapism. Pick this up as part of your summer read pile and enjoy an afternoon of advice column crime-solving.

*I received a free copy of this book from Bella Books via NetGalley, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review.*arcs lgbtqi netgalley ...more Sue Plant1,882 20

would to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this book

lydia swann is on top of the world not only has she been coveted for her dream job of being an advice columnist at The Washington Post but life is going brilliantly she has an amazing girlfriend .... until she doesnt....

after being dumped by her girlfriend by text she now has to settle for being single until she finds the right one.... but when will the right one be there....

lydia is also a volunteer teacher and s nothing better than seeing her adult students learn english and excel and is looking forward to the next academic new year

with that and her advice column its full steam ahead for lydia well it should be but the mail bag has been getting some very strange messages lately should she be concerned....

not a bad read... Jamie 126

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