All the Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen
St. Martin's Publishing Group: 2/11/20
eBook review copy; 336 pages
Ellery Hathaway #3
All the Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen is a highly recommended mystery/procedural. FBI agent Reed Markham and his friend and suspended cop Ellery Hathaway take on a very personal forty year old cold case in this third book in the Ellery Hathaway series.
Reed Markham's birth mother, Camilla Flores, was stabbed and beaten
death in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1975, while her baby, Reed, was in the
Her case was never solved. Reed was adopted by Virginia state senator
Angus Markham. So when his sisters ask him to take a mail-in DNA test,
just to see if he has some distant biological connection to them, he was
hesitant, but did it. Instead of a distant link, Reed learns that
adoptive father is actually his biological father. Reed wants to look
into his mother's death because now he suspects that his father may be
Reed enlists Ellery Hathaway to help him with the investigation.
Ellery has her own reasons to want to leave town, not the least of which
is that she is currently on suspension from the police force. Reed and
Ellery have a complex relationship, but they work well together as an
investigative team. They are also tentatively moving toward a closer
While this third book in the series can be read as a stand-alone
novel, a more complete picture of the relationship between Reed and
Ellery will result in reading them in order. They are both complex,
flawed characters and have both chemistry with each other as well as a
complicated relationship. I have read The Vanishing Season, book one, but not the second, No Mercy.
I sort of wish I had read the second book before diving into this one,
but Schaffhausen does do a very good job explaining their past while
keeping the current investigation/mystery moving along.
The writing is excellent and the plot moves along quickly as does the
character development. As the two dig deep into the past and try to
find out what really happened, it becomes clear that not everyone is
telling the truth and there are hidden motives. The clues are followed
and Reed and Ellery work well together questioning people and following
clues in this intriguing procedural/mystery. Be prepared for several
surprises as the investigation unfolds and an ending which ties
My review copy was courtesy of Macmillan Publishing.