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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Book review: Innocent Bystander by CA Asbrey


Pinkerton Agent, Abigail MacKay is worried sick. Her wilful sister, Madeleine, has run off to marry a man whose rich wives mysteriously die. No doctor can establish a cause of death, but Abigail is sure they were murdered. The only person who can help her is the charismatic criminal she left in jail at their last meeting.

Nat Quinn isn’t happy either. He thought he had a special relationship with Abigail, despite them being on opposite sides of the law. He was the last man to see Madeleine before she disappeared, but he now knows the woman he loves has lied about her marriage.

Nat’s faithful lieutenant, Jake, is equally frustrated. He’s given the job of keeping the beautiful Madeleine out of the way. She doesn’t realize her protector is actually her kidnapper, and not her rescuer. Normally, he’d love to spend time alone with a beautiful woman, but Madeleine brings her own set of unique challenges. Can he resist her charms?

Throw in a set of ruthless journalists who’ll do anything to get the story, Nat’s merciless arch-enemy circling, and we have a mystery which stretches the scientific skills of our best enemies to the very limit.

My Review:

CA Asbrey is on a roll! Continuing in the tradition of the first two books, Innocent Bystander, the third installment in her The Innocents Mysteries series, hooks you from page one and doesn’t let up for a minute. This series has quickly cemented its place permanently on my favorite shelf and the characters own a piece of my heart!

Picking up shortly after Innocent as Sin left off, we’re immediately caught up into family drama and secrets, which orchestrates Abi entering into Nat and Jake’s world. This time though, the rules have changed, and no one is left unaffected. As before, I loved how the dynamics between the three play off the other and watching their relationships grow and bloom. We see a new side to Abi that’s endearing and are reminded that behind the charming smiles lies a formidable outlaw duo. They each play up the strengths of the others and together make an unbelievable team.

Many times I found myself giggling at the antics of the trio. Then I would turn the page and start feeling anxious, or excited, or cautious, or growly, or just flat out freaking out! There might even have been a moment where I sided with Jake on what was (or wouldn’t be…) for supper that night.

I have no idea how it happened, but while there was so much going on, each thread of the story weaved together beautifully and it never felt overwhelming or disorienting. Each piece built upon another, creating an intricate pattern. You can’t help but be amazed at how each thread was necessary to take the story to its fullest potential.

I have been absolutely delighted to find myself lost in this series and adore not only the engrossing story line, but the entertaining mystery and fascinating science (and I’m tickled I managed to retain something from high school science classes and could understand and piece together some of the science as it was being taught). If a historical western based mystery thriller with just the sweetest touch of a love story sounds even the slightest bit interesting to you, you want to invest in The Innocents books. 

Want some good news? There’s more coming….

Purchase Links:


  1. What an excellent review, Michelle. I know C.A. is as proud as she can be of this delightful story and you review.

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the books and write such wonderful reviews, Michelle. They make such a difference to a new writer and spur me on to keep writing.

    1. You're so very welcome - and you deserve it, as you've developed a story worthy of some fan-girlin'.

      And, ahem, you best keep on writing!! ;) I have some demands. haha! <3

  3. Christine, every one of these reviews is so well-deserved! You've made a mystery reader out of me! I have loved each and every one of these books and the intricate plots you wove together as well as the realism of the characters. Just wonderful stories!

    1. She did me too!!

      The mystery and science is presented in a way where it's enjoyable to learn and try to figure out.

      haha -- I think if more of my math/science schooling was done in novel format, I'd have liked it more! lol (and not the whole if Sally got on a train travling 30mph and Joe was riding a horse going 5mph, how soon would they meet for lunch when the sun was shining kinda tales lol)