Review & Giveaway: Ill-Gotten Gains by Ilsa Evans

Title: Ill-Gotten Gains {A Nell Forest Mystery #2}

Author: Ilsa Evans

Published: Momentum September 2013

Read a Sample

Status: Read on September 16, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

I so enjoyed the first Nell Forest Mystery, Nefarious Doings that I was delighted to be able to move on so quickly to the second, Ill-Gotten Gains.

Picking up just a few months after the end of Nefarious Doings, the town of Majic is about to celebrate its 150th anniversary when Nell’s youngest daughter, Quinn, uncovers a surprising anomaly at the crypt of the town founder. Nell dutifully shares the information with the local Historical Society unaware that the discovery will rewrite the history of the town and make her the target of a killer desperate to keep the past a secret.

I think the plot is stronger in Ill-Gotten Gains (than in Nefarious Doings), the mystery is less predictable and, just when you think you might have figured it all out, it twists nicely. Evan’s teases out the secret, which stretches back into the town’s history, without compromising the drama of present. The tension is also more immediate with Nell targeted by the killer, leading to a spectacular confrontation at the height of the town’s celebrations.

As with the first book, I adored the characters, I’d love to share a coffee with Nell (even though I can’t stand the stuff). I love the little asides shared from her column, ‘Middle Age Spread’, and her sense of humour makes me laugh. Nell’s familial relationships are so realistically drawn, I can empathise with the chaos her daughters introduce into her life and the love, and concern, she feels for all of them.
The supporting characters within the community of Majic are part of the appeal of the series, often quirky, sometimes completely insane, they add colour to the story. I’ve mentioned it previously but look out for Grace June Rae, a character I won naming rights to.
Oh and the dashing Detective Sergeant Ashley Armistead returns to charm Nell in Ill-Gotten Gains, even while he despairs of her habit of finding dead bodies and attracting trouble.

Ill-Gotten Gains is a delightful blend of mystery, humour and domestic drama with a touch of romance. I adore this new cosy mystery series – Ilsa, you can expect I’ll be harassing you on Words With Friends until the next installment is in my hands!

Available To Purchase From

Momentum I AmazonUS I AmazonUK I iBookstore I Kobo


Thanks to Momentum

I have

2 e-editions to giveaway

of Ill-Gotten Gains to give away.

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19 thoughts on “Review & Giveaway: Ill-Gotten Gains by Ilsa Evans

  1. My secret…..Shelley I’d love to read my books in two days like you but three seems to be my best
    I’ve had my eye on Nefarious Doings since you’ve reviewed it but just haven’t made a move yet to grab it.


  2. Thank-you for such a lovely review Shelleyrae, and I have to say I agree – loved writing Nefarious Doings but this one (Ill-Gotten Gains) just seemed to write itself. My favourite type of book! And for everyone here who would like to write, I send you my most sincere and enthusiastic encouragement – give it a go, it’s well worth the effort. Besides, as an avid reader, the more writing that goes on, the more I get to read!


  3. Ill-gotten Gains sounds very interesting. My only secret is to read as many books as I can. When a new one comes out from my favourite authors, I just buy it and stash it in the bookcase.


  4. I need to read more Australian authors and expand my horizons 😉
    I love a good crime/mystery tale, so this is a good choice for me. Thanks for the chance.
    My secret is I wish I had written a book when I was younger because now my medication addles me a bit and I can’t pull together the ideas to even begin one. Good thing I love to read as a back-up plan!


  5. My secret is that I try to read books as fast as I can so I can go onto another. Not much of a secret I guess. Just am an avid book lover.


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