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Saturday, November 25, 2023

New Rockton Series Just As Appealing As Original

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note: Murder at Haven's Rock is the first book in a spin-off series based on the Rockton books by Kelley Armstrong. This review might contain slight spoilers for the original series. As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order. 

Tired of the politics that made Rockton—a secret town built deep in the Yukon wilderness for people who need a place to hide—a difficult place to live, Casey Butler and her husband Eric Dalton (Rockton's former detective and sheriff, respectively) are starting over. They're building a new and better Rockton, a town that will truly be a safe haven for the people who need it most. Of course, living in the wilds of the Yukon is never risk-free. When two construction workers break the cardinal rule of Yukon living and wander into the forest alone, their failure to return raises alarm in the half-built town. With two people missing and the subsequent discovery of a dead body, it's clear that something is not right in Haven's Rock. Not exactly the auspicious beginning Casey and Dalton were hoping for in their new town.

Without disclosing their identities as the owners of Haven's Rock, Casey and Dalton set about doing what they do best: solving a murder. Not surprisingly for a group of people willing to work on a secret project in the middle of nowhere, everybody on the town's construction crew is hiding something. As Casey and Dalton ferret out everyone's secrets, they discover plenty of nefarious doings in their new town. Which of them led to murder? Can Casey and Dalton find a killer while also preserving their vision of creating a perfect safe space? Or will their glorious dream end before it's even had a chance to begin?

The Rockton series by Kelley Armstrong is one of my very favorites. With a unique setting, an upbeat vibe, likable characters, and exciting plots, it's a compelling group of mystery novels. Murder at Haven's Rock is the first installment in a spin-off series featuring the same main characters, just set in a different town. Casey and Dalton are one of the most appealing literary couples I've ever encountered. Their relationship is understated, but it's rock solid, supportive, and wholesome. I'm always rooting for them as a couple, as individuals, and as civic leaders. Although most of my favorite side characters from the original series don't show up until the end of this book, there are plenty of new ones to take up the slack. There's also the usual plot excitement stemming from interpersonal drama, wildlife encounters, unexpected wilderness threats, and more. Add to that a large dose of Armstrong's trademark humor, and you've got that satisfying blend of elements that makes the author's books so appealing. As you can tell, Murder at Haven's Rock is a solid addition to the Rockton book family. I'm already clamoring to read the next book in the new series. 

Although I received a printed ARC of this murder mystery, I actually ended up listening to it on audio instead. Since I've enjoyed the last four Rockton novels in this medium, it seemed a shame not to continue listening. Thérèse Plummer is an excellent narrator. Even if I had read the book in print, it would have been her voice I was hearing in my head. She is the voice of Rockton for me! Her narration is on point; it's animated enough to give the books life without ever upstaging the story. I'm a big fan.

(Readalikes: other books in the Rockton series)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language, violence, blood/gore, and mild sexual content/innuendo

To the FTC, with love: I received an ARC of Murder at Haven's Rock from the generous folks at St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

7 comments:

  1. I agree with everything you said about this book! I love Casey and Eric. And I can't wait to read the next book and see what happens with them and their small community next. :D

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  2. Great review! Sounds like a good series.

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  3. I kind of like the idea of a town in the middle of nowhere where people go to hide from their troubles.

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  4. Like Lark, I completely agree with you about not only the Rockton series, but this new series spin-off. I love Casey and Eric too. And I've listened or done read/listens of many of the books and can add my recommendation for the audio version as well as the print. Now, if #2 would hurry up and come - February, right? Ha!

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  5. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I love Armstrong's fantasy novels, but her thrillers tend to be too intense for me to enjoy.

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  6. Sounds good, Thanks for sharing.

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  7. I'm making a list of authors I want to focus on reading at least one book from and Kelley Armstrong is pretty much at the top of the list. This sounds really good!

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Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

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