Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Review - Impostor's Lure Interview with Carla Neggers

Today it is my great honor to bring you an interview with a prolific author who has more than 75 novels under her belt. Not too shabby! And who is one of the authors that I reviewed for RT Book Reviews. Today she's here chatting about her latest Sharpe & Donovan suspense novel, Impostor's Lure. I've also included my review.

ISBN-13: 9780778359975
Publisher: Mira
Release Date: 8-21-2018
Length: 320pp
Source: Publisher for Review
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/IndieBound


Master of suspense and New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers delivers an exhilarating page-turner where the disappearance of a federal prosecutor launches the latest high-stakes case for FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan.

Newlyweds Emma and Colin are suspicious when prosecutor Tamara McDermott is a no-show at a Boston dinner party. Matt Yankowski, head of HIT, Emma and Colin’s small, elite Boston-based team, is a friend of Tamara’s, and he needs them to find her.
In London, a woman who was supposed to meet Emma’s art-detective grandfather to talk about forgeries is discovered near death. Her husband, who stayed behind in Boston, has vanished. The couple’s connection to Tamara adds to the puzzle.
As the search for Tamara intensifies, a seemingly unrelated murder leads Emma, Colin and HIT deep into a maze of misdirection created by a clever, lethal criminal who stays one step ahead of them.
As Emma draws on her expertise in art crimes and Colin on his experience as a deep-cover agent, the investigation takes a devastating turn that tests the strengths of their families and friendships as well as their FBI colleagues as never before.

Read an excerpt:


Chapter 1

London, England

Whats happening?
The room is spinning and I can’t keep my eyes open. Jet lag? But my heart is racing, beating so fast I can hardly breathe. I gulp for air but it’s useless.
I stumble…
Where am I?
“London, Verity. Youre in London.
I narrow my eyes to focus through blurred vision. I’m in a suite at Claridge’s, meeting Wendell Sharpe.
He’s flying in from Dublin. He’s a private art detective. Why do I want to meet with a private art detective?
“My name is Verity Blackwood, and I’m just back in London from Maine and Boston and I’d like to talk to you about forgeries.”
That’s what I told Mr. Sharpe. I don’t know if I repeat my words out loud or to myself, but it doesn’t matter.
I sway, sliding into a pool of warm water that I know, somewhere deep inside me, isn’t there. I fall onto the bed in my well-appointed hotel room—Claridge’s is lovely…an iconic London hotel…Wendell Sharpe’s choice…
I sink into the soft duvet.
He’s not here. My husband. He didn’t fly home with me.
He gave me the micronutrient tablets, didn’t he? They’re supposed to help with jet lag, but they didn’t agree with me. Maybe if I sleep I’ll be all right.
I open my eyes and see Jacob Marley dragging his chains above the bed. “For your sins, Verity,” he says.
“For your sins.”
He shuffles away, but it’s not the Charles Dickens character. It’s Stefan. Hot tears stream down my temples and into my duvet. “Dear Stefan, it wasnt me. I promise you. It wasn’t me.”
He’s dripping in blood as he must have been the night he was killed. It’s as if nothing’s changed in the two weeks since then, but Graham and I attended his funeral. We saw his coffin. He can’t be here.
He’s a ghost. My imagination. My guilt.
I try to lift my hand to place it on my racing heart, but I can’t move.
Help me.

I speak in the barest whisper. No one will hear me, but it doesn’t matter. All I want is to slide deeper and deeper into the warmth and sleep.

 Chapter 2
Boston, Massachusetts

An antique Maine lobster boat was bound to draw attention at a Boston Harbor marina, but Emma Sharpe hadn’t recognized any of the onlookers until now. She pulled off her work gloves and peered out the window of her apartment, located on the ground floor of a former produce warehouse that shared the wharf with the marina.
What was Tamara McDermott doing here?
Emma tossed her gloves into the sink. Shed been cleaning since midmorning. It was after lunch now shed grabbed a chickpea salad out of the fridge—but she was almost finished. Kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom. All in four hundred square feet. Plenty of space when itd been just her, but now she shared the space with her husband. Emma smiled at the thought. She and Colin Donovan, also an FBI agent, had been married ten weeks. She hoped she felt this way in ten years. Twenty. Fifty. He was and always would be the love of her life.
But he hated chickpea salad, and he’d been mystified when shed opted to stay home and clean instead of joining him and his three brothers, down from Maine, at their annual Red Sox game.
She took her keys and exited the apartment, ignoring the blast of mid-August heat. Tamara McDermott was in her late forties, a prominent federal prosecutor based in Washington, DC. Emma hadnt worked directly with her but definitely recognized the woman. It was Sunday, and Tamara hadn’t called ahead to meet. She wore a casual marine-blue knit dress with diamond stud earrings, a simple gold watch and sturdy sandals. Little or no makeup, sweat dripping down her temples and matting her gray-streaked dark hair at her nape. She must have walked at least a couple of blocks. She wouldn’t be sweating this much if shed been dropped off by a cab. It was, though, a stiflingly hot day. Emma had on a shapeless linen sundress that didn’t do her any favors, flip-flops, no makeup. Shed pinned up her hair haphazardly, thinking she wouldn’t be seeing anyone until shed had a shower and put on fresh clothes.
“Hello, Emma.” Tamara squinted in the early-afternoon sun. This is Colin’s boat, isn’t it? Its his younger brother Andys boat. Hes a lobsterman in Maine.”
Whos Julianne?
Julianne was the name of the classic wooden boat. “Andy’s fiancée. Shes a marine biologist. It was her grandfathers boat, and he named it after her.”
But its Andy’s boat now?”
Emma smiled. As a prosecutor, Tamara was known for her thoroughness, solid preparation and relentless focus. Of course she’d pick up on the nuances of the lobster boat’s history. “Andy bought it from Juliannes grandfather. She objected. It was a source of tension.”
All worked out now, one can assume. Well, its a beautiful boatnot that I know anything about boats.
I didn’t realize you were in Boston, Emma said.
My daughter turned twenty-one yesterday. Were celebrating tonight. Shes a student here in town. Shes studying archives preservation. I came up for the weekend. I start vacation tomorrow. Unless I get cold feet,” she added with a wry smile.

Its been a while, has it?”
Its been several years since I took a proper break, yes. Im scheduled to be away for three weeks. I get clammy hands thinking about it.” She laughed, glancing again at the Julianne, which bobbed in the quiet harbor water between two recreational powerboats. Few working boats used the marina. I wonder what itd be like to jump on a gorgeous old lobster boat and take off, see where I ended up.” She turned back to Emma and smiled. Drowned, probably.
Her voice had taken on an edge that belied her laugh and smile. What brings you here, Ms. McDermott?
How can I help you?
Tamara. Please. My daughterAdalynstarted a new job with an art conservationist in Cambridge.
Jolie Romero. I understand you know her.”
Im familiar with her name,” Emma said. I don’t know her personally.”
Have you had anything to do with her since you joined the FBI, or did you deal with her when you were a nun?”
Ive never dealt with Jolie Romero. What’s this about?”
Tamara waved a hand. Sorry. I don’t mean to interrogate you. Adalyn moved into the apartment above Jolies studio. I got the grand tour this morning. Its in Porter Square. It’s nice. I suppose I’m being an overprotective mother. That’s what Adalyn would say. You remember being twenty-one. Or were you in the convent then?”
Emma didn’t take offense at the blunt question. I was a novice with the Sisters of the Joyful Heart in southern Maine for a short time, but I never made my final vows.”
So you were never a real nun?”
Fishing for something. Definitely. Not in the way you mean.” The convent specializes in art conservation, doesn’t it?”
As well as art education, Emma said.
Now youre an art crimes expert on Matt Yankowskis elite team here in Boston. Quite a change. Why didn’t you stay with your family’s art recovery business?
Yank recruited me out of the convent. That’s the short answer. Ms.—Tamara, would you like to go inside? I have iced tea, water
No, no, I wont keep you. Forgive me. I swear I’ve lost the ability to have a normal conversation. Adalyn is just back from three months in London, and all of a sudden shes interested in art crimes. She’d love to meet you. Were having dinner at Stephanies on Newbury Street. Why don’t you and Colin join us? Yank will be there. Were old friends.”
Thank you, I’d love to join you. I don’t know what Colin’s plans are with his brothers. I can let you know.
No need. Just come. Tamara touched the thick rope that secured the JulianneDonovan styleto a post. I made a reservation for six oclock, but I’m meeting Adalyn at the bar around five-thirty. She wants Irish whiskey for one of her first legal drinks. Yank says he knows what to recommend thanks to Colin.”
I imagine shell have her own ideas, too.
Ha, she always does. Well see you tonight, then.” I look forward to it,” Emma said.
Tamara relaxed visibly. A belated congratulations on your wedding. Colin’s a keeper. Emma smiled. I think so, too.”
Ill bet you do.” 
Tamara headed toward the street, her ankles swollen, no doubt from the heat and humidity, as she crossed the brick-paved wharf, passing more boats and empty slips. She took a water bottle from her tote bag and when she reached the street, turned left, picking up her pace and quickly disappearing from view. Emma returned to her apartment and pulled on her gloves. She and Colin did certain tasks together and took turns on the rest, but she was quite content not being at Fenway Park on a hot Sunday afternoon.
Shed finally convinced him she was sincere when she said cleaning had a meditative effect on her, a product of her years in the convent. To him, cleaning was work. Get in, get it done, then have a beer.
He was a keeper.
She glanced out the window as new onlookers stopped to admire the Julianne.
Whatever else tonight’s dinner was about, it wasn’t just to celebrate Adalyn McDermotts twenty-first birthday.
When the four Donovan brothers descended after the game, the Red Sox had won, Emma had finished cleaning except for the ovenshed leave that to Colin—and her husband had been in touch with their boss about tonights dinner. Yank says hell mop our floors for a month if we both go tonight.”
What about these guys? Emma asked, referring to Mike, Andy and Kevin Donovan.
Mike grinned. These guys will be just fine. Were heading back up to Maine. Kevins on duty in the morning. Andy’s got lobster traps to check and I have two retirees from Florida to outfit for a week-long kayak trip on the Bold Coast.” He winked at Emma. Things to do, places to go.”
Mike was a former Special Forces soldier with a cabin on the Bold Coast of Maine and a fiancée in Nashville. He was a licensed wilderness guide and outfitter, and he did the occasional contract security jobwith Naomi McBride, an intelligence consultant. An odd relationship, but it seemed to be working. Kevin, the youngest, a Maine marine patrol officer, was unattached. All four brothers were strongly built, with blue-gray eyes and a no-nonsense manner Emma found in concert with their upbringing in a rugged Maine fishing village.
Theyd arrived on the Julianne late yesterday. Andy had slept on the boat. Mike and Kevin had camped out in Emma and Colin’s tiny living room. It was enough family time for now. They were packed up and out the door in thirty minutes.
Colin slipped his arm around Emma as they watched the lobster boat glide across the harbor. Does part of you wish you were going with them?” she asked.
All of me, provided you were with us.” Mike would throw me overboard. Hey, he likes you now.”
I know he does, but he’d still throw me overboard. He gets restless. Itd be something to do. You guys used to do stuff like that as kids, didn’t you?
Always wearing life vests.
Emma laughed, leaning into him. Tamara says youre a keeper. Shes insightful and smart as well as tough.”
You worked with her?”
Once. My first undercover mission.”
Five years ago, when Emma had still been with the Sisters of the Joyful Heart, Matt Yankowski had come up to Maine to meet with Colin as his contact agent. He’d stopped at the convent to talk to Emma about not making her final vows. About joining the FBI instead. She’d taken a detour to work with her

grandfather at the Dublin offices of Sharpe Fine Art Recovery, but within a year, she was getting put through her paces at the Academy. She’d been in Boston for seventeen months, again recruited by Yank, this time for HIT, a small team that specialized in transnational criminals and criminal networks. HIT stood for high-impact target. Yank’s idea.
Colin was a relative newcomer to HIT, shoehorned in as much for Yank to keep tabs on him as anything else. Hed had a rough landing after a major deep-cover mission. Of course, that was exactly when he and Emma met, and here they were, not quite a year later, in love, married.
Do you think Tamara is working an investigation and that’s what tonights about?” he asked.
Using her daughter’s birthday as cover to talk to us?” What if its about the daughter?”
I don’t know. Something was off about her visit. Why not just have Yank invite us if theyre friends?
Spend the day with her daughter. Sometimes family needs to be your sole focus.” Colin drew her closer. We should have stayed in Ireland longer.”
An extended honeymoon. I’d have liked that.”
He kissed the top of her head. Save any cleaning for me?” The oven.
He laughed. How appropriate.”

Copyright © 2018 by Carla Neggers

Interview with Carla: 

Carla Hi. Welcome back to The Reading Frenzy it’s been awhile since your last visit.
Your newest Sharpe and Donovan novel, #8 in fact is just out and it was FABULOUS!
Tell my readers just a bit about it.
Thanks, Deb! It’s great to be back. In Impostor’s Lure, newlyweds Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan are on the hunt for a missing federal prosecutor, a friend of the agent in charge of their elite, Boston-based FBI unit. Emma’s grandfather, a renowned art detective, gets involved when he finds one of the last people who saw the prosecutor near death in London. English art thief Oliver York and MI5 officer/garden designer Henrietta Balfour are back, too.

Which character is the most contrary, your problem child to write?
I’ve never thought of it that way but it’s a great question. I adore Finian Bracken, who appears in each of the Sharpe & Donovan novels, but he presents challenges. He’s an Irish priest in Colin’s struggling Maine fishing village, but he’s also a widower who lost his wife and two young daughters in a sailing mishap. And he’s co-founder with his twin brother of a thriving independent Irish distillery. Will he remain a priest? Will he stay in Maine or go home to Ireland? You see what I mean. Challenges. But he feels so real to me at this point, and I’m confident he’ll let me know.

Why did you base this series on art crime detectives?
Wendell Sharpe, Emma’s octogenarian grandfather, a renowned private art detective, plays a tiny role in The Whisper, the fourth novel in my Ireland series (its unofficial name!). He stuck with me. I’ve always been interested in art crimes and I started to “see” Emma in Maine, Wendell’s granddaughter FBI agent…and I wrote Saint’s Gate, the first book in the Sharpe & Donovan series.

What is the one question fans ask the most about this series?
“When’s the next one?” What a great question to be asked. I’m happy to say I’m writing Rival’s Break now!

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. Good luck with the new novel.
It’s been fun, Deb. Thanks and best wishes with your blog. It’s a fun one.

Are your author signing/events listed on your website?
Yes, here’s the link: http://www.carlaneggers.com/about/calendar-2/

My Review:

Impostor’s Lure
Carla Neggers
Number eight in Carla Neggers spellbinding Sharpe and Donovan series, Impostor’s Lure, is another fantastic magic show featuring the author’s iconic cryptic clues, slight of hand and red herring crime solving techniques leading the unsuspecting characters (and readers) to wrong conclusions and multiple dead ends. And where the only ones who know the truth are dead or conveniently in a coma.

Colin and Emma who at series start seemed an unlikely pair has continued to wow with their case closing skills and beautifully solidified their relationship in spite of and because of their differences.

The amazing atmospheric narrative, dramatic, breathtaking seascapes and strong yet flawed characters give the read a certain modern day gothic feel and the OMG ending will render more than a few jaws to drop.

The past story character catch ups keeps fans up to date with the goings on in Maine and abroad and even though this has good stand alone components its best read in series order.

When federal prosecutor Tamara McDermott is MIA for her daughter’s 21st birthday celebration her longtime friend and newlywed FBI special agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan’s boss, Matt Yankowski (Yank) gets suspicious especially when several seemingly unrelated tragedies both in the US and across the pond in England; the murder of a Romanian linguist and overdose of a former art conservator and her missing husband have two things in common, Tamara’s daughter Adalyn and supposed art forgeries which is right up Colin and Emma’s art detective alley. When Yank asks Emma and Colin to do a little digging into Tamara’s whereabouts they find themselves constantly running into road-blocks and dead ends and left wondering if maybe Tamara simply left for her well deserved vacation early or if there is something fishy going on.

The Series

Connect with Carla- Website - Facebook - Twitter

Meet Carla:
Carla Neggers is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Sharpe & Donovan novels featuring Boston-based FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan and the Swift River Valley series set in the small, fictional New England town of Knights Bridge. With many bestsellers to her credit, Carla loves to write now as much as she did when she climbed a tree at age eleven with pad and pen.
A native New Englander, Carla is a dedicated runner, having just completed half-marathons in Vermont and Ireland. She and her husband divide their time between their hilltop home in Vermont, their kids’ places in Boston and various inns, hotels and hideaways on their travels, frequently to Ireland.


  1. Ooo we got like a triple dose of goodness, excerpt, review, and interview! Yay! Great job Debbie!

    1. Ha love your terminology Ali, triple dose of goodness :) Thanks!

  2. Oh I have to start reading her books again. This sounds good.

  3. Fantastic interview. I really should try this author, as I am sure this serie would appeal to me.

    1. Oh yes you should Kim, hmmm didn't know you hadn't

  4. Oh yikes another series I'd love to read and I just like the sound of Finian the priest who will eventually let her know what he wants to have happen for him. Awesome interview again Debbie.

    1. Oh her Finian character could be his own series. I can not wait for his book.