#BookReview Death in Smoke by Barbara Elle @barbaraelleauth @LoveBooksGroup #Lovebookstours


She stumbled on a bloodied body buried in a snow bank. Will a cold case in Kansas lead her to the killer?

Against a canvas of crime and murder, artist and detective Leila Goodfriend investigates two brutal murders that happened a thousand miles—and decades apart.

As she unravels the truth about these two violent killings, she tracks a trail of blood and revenge, littered with smoke screens and stone relics of a perilous past. From Cape Cod to a casino in Kansas, Leila has to trust her instincts. And her developing relationship with Detective John Grace is put to a new, dangerous test.

Despite the detective’s warnings, Leila puts her life at risk, obsessed with proving her friend’s innocence, at least of murder.

She exposes new suspects and clues, and in the end, reveals a dark, deadly secret from her own past.

Death In Smoke, the new psychological thriller from acclaimed author Barbara Elle, takes readers on an inner and physical journey across time, challenging your assumptions about what is truth—what remains a mystery.


Death In Smoke is the second in the series. It’s easily read as a standalone, however, I would have liked to have read the first to get a better understanding of Leila the main character.

When we first get introduced to her in Death In Smoke and she stumbled across the dead body, I was slightly confused on her role. Especially when she managed to worm her way into the autopsy. But, that little quibble aside this was a good psychological thriller that kept us guessing.

How could two dead bodies that are miles apart and found decades apart linked? This story throws us a few surprises along the way to keep us on our toes. Leila is an artist and an aspiring detective, and she works well to figure things out.

It’s a slow burner of a story and does take time to get going, but this gives us time to acquaint ourselves with the plethora of characters. There is also a smattering of dark humour in this story, which blends in well for the overall feel of the book.


In her stunning debut thriller, Death In Vermilion (The Cape Mysteries Book 1), acclaimed author Barbara Elle paints a clever and twisted picture of women and sisters, whose lives are entwined by a brutal murder in a Cape Cod town. Who can you trust?

Now, Death In Smoke (The Cape Mysteries Book 2) asks what’s the connection between a bloodied body buried in a snowbank on a remote island off the Cape and a cold case in Kansas? Can artist and amateur sleuth Leila Goodfriend solve this new mystery?

Barbara Elle fell in love with books and writing at a young age, honing her writing chops as a copywriter at major publishers and as a freelance journalist.

Growing up in Boston, but she became a New Yorker as an adult. Her writing draws on people and places she remembers, setting The Cape Mysteries on Cape Cod, a place of memories.

Barbara Elle continues collecting characters and plots, often traveling the world with her touring musician husband, bass player and musical director for rock and roll icon Cyndi Lauper. In her travels, Barbara has explored Buddhist temples in Beijing, crypts in Vienna and Kabuki Theater in Tokyo.

1 thought on “#BookReview Death in Smoke by Barbara Elle @barbaraelleauth @LoveBooksGroup #Lovebookstours”

  1. Tracy,
    Great review of Death In Smoke! You really get the writing style and humor, which makes me happy. Honestly, it would also be great if you shared your review to Amazon/Goodreads. I’m writing Death In Guano (Book 3) and would love for you to review it later in 2020. Stay well!

    Liked by 1 person

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