Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Review: "Murder in the City of Liberty" by Rachel McMillan

How often do you pick up a book based on the cover? I'll admit that I do it a lot—and I did it with this book. Isn't the cover wonderful?

Hamish DeLuca and Regina “Reggie” Van Buren have a new case—and this one could demand a price they’re not willing to pay.

Determined to make a life for herself, Reggie Van Buren bid goodbye to fine china and the man her parents expected her to marry and escaped to Boston. What she never expected to discover was that an unknown talent for sleuthing would develop into a business partnership with the handsome, yet shy, Hamish DeLuca.

Their latest case arrives when Errol Parker, the leading base stealer in the Boston farm leagues, hires Hamish and Reggie to investigate what the Boston police shove off as a series of harmless pranks. Errol believes these are hate crimes linked to the outbreak of war in Europe, and he’s afraid for his life. Hamish and Reggie quickly find themselves in the midst of an escalating series of crimes.

When Hamish has his careful constructed life disrupted by a figure from his past, he is driven to a decision that may sever him from Reggie forever . . . even more than her engagement to wealthy architect Vaughan Vanderlaan.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and, while you both are clearly speaking English, you do not understand one another? That's what I felt like while reading this book—it's as if the author and I were speaking different languages. From the very beginning, I had trouble picturing what was happening, and that didn't improve as I read—it was like my brain and McMillian's writing style just didn't connect.

I do think a large part of my struggle comes from this being the second Van Buren and DeLuca Mystery, and I didn't read book one. Several things from the first novel (like a shooting at Hamish's cousin's nightclub) are referenced but not fully explained, and I didn't ever completely understand their significance. I also had trouble keeping all the characters straight—and yes, several carried over from book one, where I think they must have featured more prominently in the story.

Even as I read the last pages, I still wasn't sure who the villain was or what exactly had happened regarding the main mystery. I think Hamish's cousin was involved? Maybe?

However, in spite of my confusion, I loved Hamish! I loved how much he loved Reggie. I loved the way he impressed her parents. And I loved that he struggled with anxiety but didn't let it rule his life. He is a fabulous character and by far my favorite thing about this novel!

As I said, I think a lot of my struggle with this novel came from not having read the first book and from not connecting with the author's writing style, and I expect that many readers will enjoy the book much more than I did. But for me, this was a miss. 2-1/2 stars.

Buy the book: Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble
Follow the tour.
Read my reviews of McMillan's Rose in Three-Quarter Time (3-1/2 stars) and The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder (4 stars).

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater. Follow Rachel: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. Since I so enjoyed Rachel's 'Bachelor' girls, I'm excited to read this series, but will for sure read the first book before diving into this second book - that I STILL have to pick up!! :)

    1. Yes, please do read book one first! I think it would make a HUGE difference! (I did read a few Goodreads reviews that said they had no trouble following along without having read book 1 first, and I thought, were we reading the same book???)

  2. Bummer you didn't love this one, but I fully understand what you mean with not connecting with a writing style. Thank you for being on this tour, though! Sara @ TLC Book Tours


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