Monday, January 30, 2023

Sophia Rose Reviews: Murder at Haven's Rock by Kelly Armstrong

Today Sophia Rose is back with a series debut and spin-off from Kelly Armstrong's Rockton series set in the wilds of the Yukon. Read on to see what she thought of this suspense novel.

Murder at Haven’s Rock by Kelley Armstrong

#1 Haven’s Rock

Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Minotaur

Published:  2.21.23

Pages: 352

Rating: 5 stars

Format: eARC

Source: NetGalley

Sellers: AMAZON

ADD TO: GoodReads


GoodReads Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s Rockton Novels had one of the most unique towns in crime fiction. Murder at Haven's Rock is a spinoff, a fresh start... with a few new dangers that threaten everything before it even begins.

Haven’s Rock, Yukon. Population: 0

Deep in the Yukon wilderness, a town is being built. A place for people to disappear, a fresh start from a life on the run. Haven’s Rock isn’t the first town of this kind, something detective Casey Duncan and her husband, Sheriff Eric Dalton, know first hand. They met in the original town of Rockton. But greed and deception led the couple to financing a new refuge for those in need. This time around, they get to decide which applicants are approved for residency.

There’s only one rule in Haven’s Rock: stay out of the forest. When two of the town's construction crew members break it and go missing, Casey and Eric are called in ahead of schedule to track them down. When a body is discovered, well hidden with evidence of foul play, Casey and Eric must find out what happened to the dead woman, and locate the still missing man. The woman stumbled upon something she wasn’t supposed to see, and the longer Casey and Eric don’t know what happened, the more danger everyone is in.


Sophia Rose's Review:

After farewelling the Rockton series, the only reason I didn’t fall into the dismals was knowing there was to be a spinoff.  A different wild and away locale, but same crazy characters and gruesome crimes going on off grid.  Who knew this set up would strike my fancy, but it did.  My intro to Kelley Armstrong’s writing came with the Rockton series and I quickly became addicted to her style, her character development, twisting plot, and the wonder of surviving off grid in the great white north.


Casey and Eric are nervous and excited about the crazy venture they sunk their resources and time into when Rockton closed.  They will shelter more at-risk people in a new town and hope for good results now that the old investor group isn’t calling the shots.

But, right away, the supervisor of the job of building their new town out in the Yukon wilds has brought them in early because her architect and work foreman have gone missing into the forest.

The supervisor is truculent toward them and their project, but she’s capable and the best so Casey swallows back retorts and heads into the strange forest with Eric and her beautiful Newfoundland, Storm.  A body is found, but that is only the start to a mystery that twists and turns more than the game trails they track through.  The workers at the isolated town project aren’t the only suspects as they come across people in the wild and the motive isn’t certain either.  And, as the hours move into days, the chance of finding live missing persons grows less.


The Murder at Haven’s Rock is like a reset on all the things I loved about the original series.  For those wondering if they can start here, yes, it introduces a new series arc and gets new readers up to speed about the world of the book.  That said, there are strong ties to the previous series, particularly Casey and Eric, themselves.


I loved returning to the far north and the pristine wilderness where the tenderfoot needs to be afraid and experienced wilderness people need to constantly be aware.  I love that this time readers are getting in on the moments the town is being built and the people of the town are forming.  Meeting new characters in this world is always highly anticipated and Ms Armstrong does not disappoint with the personalities.  I did work out a great deal about the mystery ahead, but that did not detract from my enjoyment.


All in all, this was well worth the high anticipation and will be a great hit with existing fans and newcomers alike.  Off-grid outstandingness!

Author Bio:
Kelley Armstrong believes experience is the best teacher, though she’s been told this shouldn’t apply to writing her murder scenes. To craft her books, she has studied aikido, archery and fencing. She sucks at all of them. She has also crawled through very shallow cave systems and climbed half a mountain before chickening out. She is however an expert coffee drinker and a true connoisseur of chocolate-chip cookies.


Sophia’s Bio:

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, piano-playing, and gardening. Road trips and campouts, museums and monuments, restaurants and theaters are her jam. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

As a lifelong reader, it was inevitable that Sophia would discover book blogs and the joy of blog reviewing. Sophia is a prolific reader and audiobook listener which allows her to experience so many wonderful books, authors, and narrators. Few genres are outside her reading tastes, but her true love is fiction particularly history, mystery, sci-fi, and romance. Though, sorry, no horror or she will run like Shaggy and Scooby.






  1. Great to know the spin-off is just as the original

    1. Yes, I was relieved that it kept going with all the good stuff.

  2. I loved this one too! I am thrilled that she decided to continue writing about this amazing cast of characters.

    1. Same here! I was sad the other series finished, but then I heard about this one and got excited again.

  3. Replies
    1. Yes, you really must, B. I think you'd enjoy the Rockton series.

  4. Wow Sophia Rose this sounds interesting and I while I love suspense I don't usually like gruesome crimes but then I loved the Rachel Caine Stillhouse Lake series. So maybe I'd like this too, Thanks. Should I read the first series first?

    1. I'm not really into that sort of crime, either, and fortunately these are brief scenes that move on and don't dwell on it. I really need to read those Stillhouse Lake books. I think you should try the first Rockton book and see what you think, Debbie.

  5. I can't wait to start this! I have an e-arc but I ordered a hard copy too because the author offered a free copy of the prequel with the order. I may start this before I get that though. So happy to see you loved this, Sophia!

  6. A prequel?!? I must get my paws on that then. :) Haha, yeah, I barely waited into the new year before I had to snatch it up.