Reviews

Deaths Last Run Cover

Reviews of Death’s Last Run

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 A believable tale of estrangement, love, lust, greed, power and revenge. – Publishers Weekly

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In a bold and bouncy style, Spano weaves Clare Vengel’s story with generous measures of action, surprise, and romance. – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

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Death’s Last Run is breezy entertainment, and Clare is a heroine fun-loving enough to spend some time with. – Sarah Weinman in The National Post

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“The book’s not only charming; it’s got swagger. Buy yourself a copy, and then strap on a helmet because Death’s Last Run is a twisty, turny, mogul-filled ride from start to thrilling finish.  – Crimespree Magazine

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Fun, sexy, hip and hilarious. – The Fernie Fix

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Buy this book, buckle up, and enjoy the roller coaster of a ride. — Criminal Element

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A wildly fun, adrenalin-fueled ride. I straight-lined Death’s Last Run: top to bottom in record time. I want to put a copy in the hands of every mountain-lover, every snowboarder, every beer-drinker, every crime fiction fan, every reader. This book is too much fun to be missed. – Angie Abdou, author of The Canterbury Trail

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Clare Vengel is my kind of heroine. Sexy, sharp-tongued and smart as hell, she’s a fully three-dimensional badass, and her third mystery is a page-turning whodunit for the thrill-seeker set. A new Robin Spano novel is cause for celebration in my neck of the woods, and DEATH’S LAST RUN doesn’t disappoint. A great ride. – Owen Laukkanen, author of The Professionals & Criminal Enterprise

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Death’s Last Run is a joy ride dominated by the personality of the irrepressible Clare Vengel. Robin Spano has created a hell of a plot that is populated by a wonderful cast of characters, and then dropped Clare into the middle of it all. She is a tough girl to get away from and get out of your head–she is smart, gutsy and unconventional, but it is her touch of vulnerability that keeps you worrying about her well-being, and keeps you turning pages. —Ian Hamilton, Arthur Ellis award-winning author of the Ava Lee series

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 Death’s Last Run totally lives up to its name. An engrossing, heart-pounding ride in Whistler’s snowbound fast lane. This novel never lags and I raced right through to its satisfying and surprising end. – D. J. McIntosh, national bestselling author of The Witch of Babylon

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Death’s Last Run is Clare Vengel’s most exciting adventure yet! Don’t be fooled by Clare’s sassy, irreverent attitude as she goes undercover on the slopes of Whistler. Underneath Clare’s hip-chick exterior lies a perceptive thinker who grapples with deeper questions than whether or not she likes craft beer better than Budweiser, or if she’ll be able to keep some of her snowboarder wardrobe after her assignment. The suspense in Death’s Last Run draws you right in, but Clare’s ventures into the terrain park of her own shortcomings really make this book shine. – Deryn Collier, author of Confined Space

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An intensely riveting drama that I could not put down and kept me on my toes as the search for the truth escalated to a surprising revelation. – Dru’s Book Musings

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As always, Spano’s sharp storytelling and economical prose quickly grabbed my attention. What sets her apart even further, however, is her expert handling of multiple perspectives, exploring the quirky citizens of Whistler and their motives without judgment. – Picky Girl

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Clare Vengel…I hope you continue to succeed in your escapades, regardless of the desire to see people line up and smack you to sense like on the 1980 movie Airplane!.  – Jason at FNORDincorporated (on why he loves to hate and hates to love Clare)

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What makes Spano’s books special for me is the writing.  I love her third-person narrative with each chapter from a different character’s point of view.  I love Spano’s plots, which always have nice surprises, and her characterization.  No one is ever entirely who they seem to be in these mysteries, which makes them fun to read.  – I’d So Rather Be Reading

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Little did I know reading Death’s Last Run would be like eating chocolates–one page led to another which led to another which led to a new chapter. Love those short chapters. – Leanne Dyck at The Sweater Curse

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“This is the 3rd Clare book I’ve had my hot little hands on, and each one impresses me more than before.” – Kari AnnAlysis

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The book is written with a light touch and in a straight-forward manner, so it is ideal for a quick escape from reality – especially if you like your escape to be in the mountains during ski season. – Reviewing the Evidence

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Spano has done a great job bringing the underculture of Whistler to life and has populated her novel with colourful characters. – Luanne at A Bookworm’s World

Order from Amazon.ca (Canada),  Amazon.com (USA) or your local independent bookstore.

Audiobook available from Audible.com

 

 

Death Plays Poker

October 2011

Grabs you like a gambling addiction and doesn’t let go. — Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Clare is an appealing character with a lot of potential for future adventures. And she has a great poker face. –Mystery Scene Magazine

Smart, stylish and sharp, DEATH PLAYS POKER is an engaging whodunit. Robin Spano’s well-constructed plot keeps you guessing, but it’s her unstoppable heroine, Clare Vengel, who keeps you turning pages late into the night. I can’t wait for her next adventure. – Hilary Davidson, author of The Damage Done

No sophomore slump here: Spano has delivered an engaging second novel. – January Magazine

Spano’s dialogue is the backbone of her books. It keeps the plot moving forward at train-wreck speed and you won’t want to put on the brakes but you’ll crash well after your usual bedtime. – Crime Fiction Lover

I love mysteries that take me some place I’ve never been, and DEATH PLAYS POKER does that in spades -into the world of professional poker. The twisty mystery kept me guessing as Spano holds her hole card till the very end. – Lisa Brackmann, author of Rock Paper Tiger

Death Plays Poker will appeal to anyone who’s ever sat through a poker game…and those of us who love sitting through a fast-moving crime novel. – Mystery Maven Canada

Each of author Spano’s characters are ascribed a set of weaknesses that could get them killed as well as a subset of strengths and instincts to enable them to survive and excel at their work. The genius of this tactic is to allow the characters to have a finely honed intuition about crime as well as attribute a myriad of flaws and human frailties to them-allowing them to err in ways that keep the reader guessing as to their motives and future behaviors. – New York Journal of Books

Entertaining. – London Free Press

Robin Spano is a fantastic new voice in Canadian crime writing and Death Plays Poker is a winner. – Julia Madeleine, author of No One To Hear You Scream

A great rainy-day read, not too scary, but it’s no Agatha Raisin either. Clare can hold her own and reminds me a bit of Lily Bard, Charlaine Harris’s hard-ass creation. – Picky Girl

Clare Vengel is an older, less formulaic, slightly slutty grown up Nancy Drew. – FNord Incorporated

Her full house cast could easily be the envy of any soap opera writer…As the players turn over their cards it is easy to turn over the pages. – Sherry Isaac on Quick Brown Fox blog

Dialogue is excellent, very natural, funny, and compelling. – Bella’s Bookshelves

I love how Clare evolves in this book…I want to meet her and know her and maybe have her rub off a little of her bad ass on me. – Kari AnnAlysis

Using each chapter to give us a character’s point of view added to the suspense of this well-played drama. This was a great read. – Dru’s Book Musings

Death Plays Poker is an entertaining, fast-paced whodunit in which almost no one is who he or she seems to be. – Charlotte Morganti, Morganti Writes

Believable, interesting, and memorable. – Helen Ginger, Straight From Hel

A good, fun, sexy mystery – Noah JD Chinn

Spano cleverly weaved each storyline into the plot. The chapters are short, and give the novel a fast-paced feel. – Mrs. Q Book Addict

“Death Plays Poker” – disponibile solo in versione inglese, per il momento – è un noir mozzafiato che conquista grazie a un ritmo veloce e spezzettato…E l’assassino, grazie alla tecnica di scrittura di Robin, si scopre solamente all’ultima mano, o meglio, all’ultima pagina. –EuroSport (reviewed in Italian)

Dead Politician Society

September 2010

Robin Spano has a real winner on her hands with this first entry into what promises to be a raucous and thrilling new series. — San Francisco Book Review 

Clare is charming and irreverent, an unlikely heroine…Robin Spano’s first mystery novel is a treat. — Scene Magazine, London, ON

Spano spins an intriguing web…a page-turner…an enjoyable read. — Quill & Quire

An engaging crime novel…Clare is certainly strong enough to take the lead.– Booklist

“A clever, well-plotted murder mystery that introduces a sexy, profane and appealing young cop heroine in Clare Vengel, and entertainingly skewers politics, politicians, and university poli-sci majors alike.” – Kim MoritsuguThe Restoration of Emily

“This bold Canadian press has found another winner in Robin Spano and her new book, DEAD POLITICIAN SOCIETY. It’s smart and sassy, with a predilection for tilting at sacred cows and a wry sense of humour. No establishment idea or institution is beyond the reach of this clever satire.” – Lou Allin,  She Felt No Pain

“I was completely taken by Clare Vengel, Spano’s audacious heroine. No tip-toeing around by this lady (or her creator)…If you are looking for something completely different in crime fiction, read this book. You won’t be disappointed.” – Roy Innes,  Murder in the Chilcotin

“Clare rocks, the mystery is solid, and the dialogue is snappy.” – Jill Edmondson, author of the Sasha Jackson Mysteries

“A great page-turner with a flawed, but tough heroine…I can’t wait for the next Clare Vengel Mystery!” –Nora McFarland,  A Bad Day’s Work

Have you ever changed purses for the season and unexpectedly found a twenty dollar bill in the bottom of your old purse?…I had that same feeling reading Dead Politician Society. This was an unexpected find and I really enjoyed it. – Kelli at I’d So Rather Be Reading

Writing like this amazes me. Kari at Kari AnnAlysis

Natalie at Coffee and a Book Chick: “Clare’s interactions with her ‘handler,’ a more senior officer, were frustrating and hilarious.  I mean, could he just say one nice thing or pat her on the back just once?  I wanted her to tell him off but I relished each time she had to meet with him.”

Erin at Torontoist: “Dead Politician Society is original, inventive, light-hearted, and a lot of fun.”

Jason at FNord Incorporated: “For fans of the genre, I believe that this and future Clare Vengel novels will be important to keep an eye out for.”

Leanna at Daisy Chain Book Reviews says about Clare: “She’s fun, she breaks the rules, and she has a complicated love life that I just loved reading about.”

Steph at Bella’s Bookshelves: “when I wasn’t reading, I wanted to be. I thought about the book often and always wanted to pick it up again.”

Kerry at Pickle Me This enjoys Clare’s “wisecracking, motorcycling, chain smoking shamelessness”

Stacy at A Novel Source: “Clare Vengel is a heroine who is edgy, upbeat, callous at times yet incredibly sexy. Gripping noir from north of the border! I like her, a lot!”

Margot at Joyfully Retired: “I liked the character of Clare…She was young, liked riding motorcyles and tinkering with car engines – not your typical fashion princess.”

Shelleyrae at Book’d Out: “This twist on the traditional mystery format makes for a complex and intriguing story.”

Bernadette at Reactions to Reading: “Dead Politician Society is well-plotted, has just the kind of social introspection that I enjoy in my reading and the characters are well drawn.”

Pauline at The Wannabe Literati: “Clare is a 20-something biker-chick undercover detective who’s a grease monkey, drinks beer, and wears tight jeans. What could be sexier than that? Heck, every character sounds so good-looking – especially her Political Science professor. *insert grin here*”

Michelle at That’s What She Read: “each character peels back the layers of the mystery, unveiling a welcome depth to the story.”

Jennifer at Mrs. Q Book Addict: “The short, quick chapters leave the reader wanting more.”

Casey at The Bookish Type: “The mystery maintains its suspense until the very end, and the ultimate denouement is a deliciously twisted surprise.”

Jessica at A Fanatic’s Book Blog: “Clare Vengel is, in my mind, a much cooler and much more sassy Nancy Drew. She is the undercover cop I wish I was.”

Heather at Acting Balanced: “Robin Spano’s characters are rich and diverse and there are many interwoven dramas that escalate the tension and give you multiple killers to look at.”

Melissa at Spellbound By Books: “Robin has done a brilliant job in creating strong, unique characters.”

Wendy at A Literary Feline: “A quick read, one I enjoyed quite a bit.”

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