by Emily Kimelman
Books 1-3, The complete Series Box Set (Value Pack)
The Sydney Rye series of mysteries features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. This series is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!
This box set includes all three of the Sydney Rye Books.
UNLEASHED (A Sydney Rye Novel, #1)
When the series begins Sydney Rye is named Joy Humbolt. She does not like people telling her what to do, so it comes as no surprise that she was just fired from her last job. When she buys Charlene Miller's dog-walking business on Manhattan's exclusive upper east side, it seems like the perfect fit: Quiet environment, minimal contact with people.
But then one of her clients turns up dead, and Charlene disappears. Rumors say Charlene was having an affair with the victim--and of course, everyone assumes Joy must know where she is. Joy begins to look into the crime, first out of curiosity then out of anger when there is another murder and threats start to come her way.
When police detective Mulberry is assigned to the case, Joy finds a kindred spirit--cynical and none-too-fond of the human race. As they dig deep into the secrets of Manhattan's elite, they not only get closer to the killer but also to a point of no return. One last murder sends Joy Humbolt hurtling over the edge. Her only chance of survival is to become Sydney Rye.
Read an excerpt:
I packed the few items of clothing I had and put a leash on Blue. I picked up a bottle of tequila at the liquor store and then hopped on the subway acting like it was legal to bring a giant dog on the train.
Halfway there I opened the bottle of tequila and took a painful swig. A child watched me with big, glistening eyes. Her mother, without looking at me, distracted him with a colorful stuffed toy that had lots of legs.
I stumbled on the steps on my way out of the subway, scraping my knee on the filthy cement. Blue whined and licked my face. I picked myself up and walked to the Excelsior. The man behind the desk didn’t move as I walked by him to the elevator.
Once in my room I placed the bottle of tequila on the coffee table. I pulled my gun out of my bag and put it next to the tequila. I found my bullets and spilled them onto the coffee table. A couple of them rolled onto the floor. They were gold and pretty looking. I ran my hands over their smooth surfaces, pushing them around.
I woke up naked in bed with a big hangover. I walked barefoot into the living room and grabbed a $7 beer out of the mini bar and opened it on the bottle opener attached to my bathroom wall. I didn’t look in the mirror.
Many times I had seen the Sydney Rye series scroll past, whether via Amazon, book tours, or even on Facebook. I just wasn't sure that I wanted to try the series and kept putting it off. Finally, I decided to give it a shot when I saw that the first installment was free for Kindle. After all, I wouldn't be losing anything but my time. I was surprised at how much I ended up liking this book.
Reading through the first book, I was confused as to why Sydney Rye was never mentioned, though the name is the title for the entire series. You do have to read through the entire first book, to find out why Joy decides to become Sydney, and then it makes more sense.
Joy's story is a bizarre one. She randomly ends up getting a job as a dog walker, after being fired from her other job. As soon as she starts her job, she ends up knee deep in murder and mystery, putting herself and her loved ones into extreme danger as she uncovers corruption.
Joy is crass and sarcastic, yet has a way with dogs. She has few friends in life, a crazy ex, a fanatic mother and stepfather, and a doting brother. She probably isn't someone whom I would choose to be one of my friends, yet she is interesting to read. Her amateur sleuthing skills may not rival the classic detectives, but she is able to get information that others haven't yet been able to find. Detective Mulberry is interesting, as he doesn't strike me as a traditional detective, and he is hopelessly devoted to Joy. She also has her hopelessly devoted dog, Blue. And I do love secret passageways, no matter how improbable they may seem to be.
This is not a book for people who don't like swearing, drinking, sex, and all of that other stuff that warrants an R rating. It's also definitely not for those under the age of 18. But those who are over the age of 18 who don't mind a raunchy mystery may get a kick out of Joy and Sydney.
DEATH IN THE DARK (A Sydney Rye Novella, #2)
At the beginning of Death in the Dark we find Joy Humbolt hiding, not only from the law, but also from her past and the mistakes she's made. Living this isolated life doesn't last long though when a visit from Mulberry brings Joy to accept her new identity as the Private Detective, Sydney Rye. To complete the transformation, Joy must learn to control her emotions as well as her giant aggressive dog, Blue. With the help of an expert trainer, Joy learns to fight with her mind as well as her body. However, when the daughter of a close friend is brutally murdered in the desert, Rye turns away from her mentor to seek revenge. Sydney's quick temper and deadly intentions lead her into a trap that she will need all of her new skills to survive.
Read an excerpt:
After leaving the city I drove parallel to the ocean in what looked like a desert. That’s the thing about Puerto Penasco, it’s ocean front but you’d never know it unless you were looking right at the sea. The sand stretches back to the U.S border and beyond. I could see how a person wandering in those never-ending dunes could stumble onto the shores of the Sea of Cortez and think it was a mirage. The sparkling turquoise water does not belong in the middle of a land so parched.
The sign for my oyster farm was hand painted and featured a topless mermaid pointing with a mollusk down a sand road into the dunes. The next sign was for condos named Sparkles. There was something about the oyster farm’s sign that was utterly appealing when compared to Sparkles’ grand dream of a tall building with Jacuzzi tubs and granite countertops. All the ostiones farm was offering was oysters and topless mermaids. And if you don’t like those two things than we are probably not going to get along.
I turned down the road and hit the gas to keep the Javelina from sinking. Soon the paved road was gone from my mirrors. All I saw was the beige sand rising and falling where the wind last left it. I didn’t see the small piece of wood with the word ‘Ostiones’ and an arrow painted on it until I was almost past it. It was a tight turn and I had to back up a dune to make it. I hit her into reverse and sped up the side of the sand mound and then knocked it quickly into drive. I could feel the back wheels sinking and I saw sand spitting up behind me as we rolled down the dune and onto the path leading to oysters.
This story is a very short interlude that gives some insight into what happened to Sydney Rye between books 1 and 3. There is a three-year delay between those two books, making you wonder what she was up to in the meantime. Her training is intense and interesting, as she learns to embrace Tai Chi and other mental relaxation and control. The craziness that began in the first book continues in this one, as she gets mixed up in corruption and murder in the Mexican government.
Out of the three that I read, this one was probably my least favorite. I didn't find as much storyline to hold my attention. However, to understand some of the occurrences in Book 3, this is a helpful read.
INSATIABLE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #3)
The third book in the series begins with private detective Sydney Rye living a simple, disciplined life in London, but when a dangerous man from her past calls, Rye finds she cannot turn him away. Robert Maxim explains that the daughter of a powerful friend has gone missing and he wants Rye to find her. In exchange he offers her something she had given up hope of ever having; freedom from her past.
With her dog, Blue, at her side, Rye meets up with her new partner, a handsome man she's not sure she can trust. Heading for Mexico City, they go undercover, posing as husband and wife. After meeting with the bereaved parents, Rye starts to sense that there is more going on than just a missing girl. But it isn't until they arrive in the Yucatan Peninsula, hot on the girl's trail in Paradise, that all hell breaks loose. Sydney has to reach out for help from old friends and deal with the consequences of her past, if she's going to find the girl and keep them all alive.
Read an excerpt:
Blue hopped up on the couch and rested his massive head between his paws. He watched me pace around the living room, eventually closing his eyes and snoring softly. Over the last three years, Blue had changed as much as me. When I first adopted Blue he was underweight, a chronic chewer with separation anxiety, and a penchant for trying to attack strangers on the street.
Now he was thick and strong; besides the slight limp where Kurt Jessup’s bullet ripped through him, Blue was the picture of canine health. His coat would have looked at home on a wolf; it was glossy and shone in the gentle light from the street lamps that filtered through the living room windows. Blue was gigantic, the height of a Great Dane, the long snout of a Collie, he took up most of the couch.
The bullet that shattered Blue’s shoulder blade left a scar, thick and pink, hidden under his fur. My scars from that fight included a streak of ruined skin under my left eye that tingles with damaged nerves. Above that same eye the ghost of another wound lingers. Not as deep, it is a gentle reminder that runs above my eyebrow fading into my hairline, of what madmen will do if you don’t stop them.
Just when I thought Sydney Rye couldn't get any crazier, this third installment came along! She truly has a knack for getting herself into some very strange situations! She has been living in London, working as a private investigator. We don't know much about her experiences at this time, because it just dives right into a new case. She finds herself back in Mexico, not sure whom to trust, with new adversaries as well as associates. Yet again, she is embroiled deeply in government corruption and prepares to deliver vigilante justice. At some points, the story was so crazy, I was almost reminded of the latter seasons of Weeds on Showtime. (Although, what the connection would be outside of strong women kicking ass in Mexico is beyond me.
Despite its craziness, I stayed up way too late reading this book, completely engrossed in the drama. There is just something that draws me to Sydney, that I can't quite put my foot on. This is totally not my usual style of book to read, but I am addicted to the series.
New release! STRINGS OF GLASS (A Sydney Rye Novel, #4)
STRINGS OF GLASS is the fourth novel in Emily Kimelman's Sydney Rye Series of dark murder mystery novels. This series features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!
Sydney Rye is hanging out in India with her boyfriend, Dan, reading paperbacks and sipping beer. No violence and no reminders of her past. But when she and Blue, are attacked by a pact of wild dogs, Sydney starts to feel that old itch again; to do good by being bad.
Trouble finds Rye when she stops the attempted rape and murder of Anita, a reporter working on a story of corruption and human trafficking. The atrocities Anita describes send Sydney, Blue and Dan on a quest that takes them across India after a dangerous and, up until now, untouchable, figure. While Sydney struggles to accept her true nature she realizes that it is the only way to end decades of abuse and exploitation. But Rye fears that she will lose herself, becoming no better than the monster she fights against.
Read an excerpt
I'd been warned about this pack. Growing larger by the day, it was led by an aggressive alpha male the color of dirty water. This must be him, I thought, as the largest of the three, his head wide, fur the muddy brown of an engorged river, growled at Blue. The compactness of his body spoke of strength and survival. When he barked the saliva that shot from his mouth caught a ray of sunlight streaming through the thick foliage around us.
Muddy Water stepped forward, revving his growl like a teenager on a motorbike. The bitch in the brush flanked our left side and when I turned right, two young dogs, their ears still soft from puppyhood, glowered at me.
The owner of the guest house where I lived warned me to take a stick if I planned on running. "Just in case," she'd said with a dip of her head and a flip of her hand. Because of her advice I carried a light but solid piece of bamboo about twice the thickness of my thumb. I tapped it on the ground in front of me as I backed toward Blue, keeping my eyes forward, focused on the alpha but paying close attention to my peripheral vision, watching the dogs to my sides.
When I reached Blue he moved backwards with me, slowly and deliberately. But the dogs started to follow with us. We stopped, and raising the stick over my head, I brought it down hard onto a rock. The loud sound and sudden movement spooked the pups to my right but the alpha male just growled louder.
The two dogs flanking Muddy Waters went crazy barking, the force of their calls lifting their front paws off the ground. The mother and the young ones joined in raising a ruckus that certainly beat mine. Blue, his front paws planted on the road, exposed his teeth and growled, his pitch wavering up and down. He wanted me to tell him it was OK to attack. I could feel his energy bundling up inside him, roiling around, soon I'd have no control.
Find all of Emily Kimelman's books on Amazon and on Barnes and Noble.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Emily Kimelman lives on a boat in the Hudson Valley with her husband, Sean and their dog Kinsey (named after Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone). Kimelman has a passion for traveling and spends as much time as possible in the pursuit of adventure.
Her "Sydney Rye Series" are dark murder mystery novels which features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. This series is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!
The first four books in Kimelman's series, UNLEASHED, DEATH IN THE DARK, INSATIABLE and STRINGS OF GLASS are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.
If you've read Emily's work, and enjoyed it, please let Emily know. You can reach her via email firstname.lastname@example.org
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