Monday, February 10, 2020

Review: All the Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen

All the Best Lies (Ellery Hathaway #3) by Joanna Schaffhausen
Publication Date: February 11th 2020 by Minotaur Books
Pages: 328
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | IndieBound

About the book:

The highly anticipated third novel in the award-winning Ellery Hathaway mystery series.

FBI agent Reed Markham is haunted by one painful unsolved mystery: who murdered his mother? Camilla was brutally stabbed to death more than forty years ago while baby Reed lay in his crib mere steps away. The trail went so cold that the Las Vegas Police Department has given up hope of solving the case. But then a shattering family secret changes everything Reed knows about his origins, his murdered mother, and his powerful adoptive father, state senator Angus Markham. Now Reed has to wonder if his mother's killer is uncomfortably close to home.
Unable to trust his family with the details of his personal investigation, Reed enlists his friend, suspended cop Ellery Hathaway, to join his quest in Vegas. Ellery has experience with both troubled families and diabolical murderers, having narrowly escaped from each of them. She's eager to skip town, too, because her own father, who abandoned her years ago, is suddenly desperate to get back in contact. He also has a secret that could change her life forever, if Ellery will let him close enough to hear it.
Far from home and relying only on each other, Reed and Ellery discover young Camilla had snared the attention of dangerous men, any of whom might have wanted to shut her up for good. They start tracing his twisted family history, knowing the path leads back to a vicious killer—one who has been hiding in plain sight for forty years and isn't about to give up now.

My Thoughts:
Ellery Hathaway, a police officer, and FBI Agent, Reed Markham have a complicated past. Years ago, Reed saved fourteen-year-old Ellery from the clutches of a deranged serial killer, something that left a mark on them both.

In Vanishing Season (book one), Ellery, asks for Reed’s help with a case, and they’ve been sort of attached since. Solving cases is the excuse that brings them together, but they’re drawn to each other, and while the mysteries they investigate are thrilling, I’ve been more fascinated with their evolving relationship. As I said, their relationship is complicated since Ellery went through a horrific event: kidnapped, and held for three days before Reed found her, so even though years have gone by she’s still dealing with the emotional fallout.  Reed initially feels a lot of guilt over his attraction, since Ellery was a victim, and she’s several years younger. As the story progresses Reed has come to terms with the fact that Ellery is no longer the child he rescued, but a grown woman and survivor. Strong, intelligent, but with a determination that gets her into trouble at times.  Reed has his own troubles: work, a failed marriage, and the struggles of joint custody.  Not a fan of his ex-wife. I sense a “dog in the manger” sort of situation on her end. No worries, she’s a very minor side character.  

In this current installment Reed is the one asking for help with a case: the grisly murder of his birth mother, forty-years ago.  The case has gone cold, and about to be closed for good. Reed needs someone objective since new DNA evidence makes him question everything he thought he knew about his family and the past.

I had strong suspicions which turned out to be right on some things, but I was captivated by every new development! Trying to piece together a mystery from forty-years ago was not an easy feat, especially with all the lies they had to deal with. There were tense moments from unpleasant revelations, especially for Reed, but I think I felt worse for Ellery. The situation with her dad was heartbreaking, and I was so outraged for her!

Through it all, Ellery and Reed are there for each other, and I was soooo thrilled! Their relationship has been tentative, slow going with setbacks from misunderstandings, and the baggage of the past, but I have been so hopeful; hanging on every interaction, feeling the passion simmering beneath the surface! I’ve been inpatiently waiting for these two to realize it’s only a matter of when not if, and finally we’re getting somewhere!

All the Best Lies was soooo good!  I devoured it in one day, and now I can’t wait for the next one! There was a little happy/bittersweet twist at the end that I wondered about before it was revealed. While All the Best Lies could be read as a standalone, I wouldn’t recommend it. The books are best read in order.

5 Suns


  1. Interesting that this case had such a personal connection. That had to make for some emotional moments for Reed. I’m glad this one was such a hit for you, Rachel! :)

  2. While I haven't read this series, this book sounds great.

  3. Yes, yes yes! I agree with everything you said. :)

  4. Who doesn't love a book that you devour in a day. I had one this weekend ;)

  5. ooh yay five suns! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this latest addition to the series. Love a good mystery.


  6. Wow 5 Stars and you read it in one day?!!! This story sounds fantastic. I can see why you would want these two to get together, with the passion simmering beneath the surface. Even though their past was complicated, I can see why you wanted them to get together. You have me curious about the bittersweet surprise at the end. Fantastic Review Rachel!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  7. Oooh...this DOES sound good! I love the idea that both of them have troubled pasts and are struggling to move on.

    Great review!