Out of Time: A Nick Donahue Adventure By Cathi Stoler

Feb 15, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cathi Stoler

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of Out of Time and a link to purchase it.

Getting in and out of trouble with Nick Donahue.

Suave, sophisticated, and savvy, professional Blackjack player Nick Donahue is one of my favorite characters to write. I created him when I wanted to write a story with a male protagonist and recalled the well-dressed men I’d seen playing Blackjack in a Venice, Italy, casino.

To me, Nick is the epitome of elegant charm—when he’s playing Blackjack that is. There, at the tables, dressed in a bespoke black tuxedo, starched white shirt, and red bowtie, it’s the perfect look for a player who never expects to lose, and always expects to be dealt a winning hand. Which is usually true in Blackjack and in life, except for his most recent adventure.

Living in London, with his PI girlfriend, Marina DiPietro, the couple are enjoying a good life, after a rocky start a few years ago, when Marina helped Nick escape from Switzerland after thwarting a money-laundering scheme, and, he in turn, saved her from the mob, in Monte Carlo.

That adventure is chronicled in Nick of Time.

Now, Marina’s investigative firm is thriving with interesting and exciting cases. Nick plays Blackjack at the city’s luxury casinos and, if she’ll let him, sometimes helps Marina with an investigation.

That’s all about to change when Nick and Marina visit New York for Nick’s brother’s wedding and are hired by billionaire, Adnan bin Haddad, to protect his Thoroughbred race horse, Devil Wind, from death threats.

It seemed like it would be a quick assignment. Head to Kentucky to guard the horse before the Derby, and catch the predators. Turns out, the horse was just the ante to the real play—ISIS terrorists are trying to steal bin Haddad’s new invention, a weapon of mass destruction that could change the face of war and tear the world apart.

As I might have mentioned, Nick doesn’t like to lose. Determined to beat the terrorists, he conjures his inner James Bond and sets out to turn things around. As events spiral out of control, the action moves from Kentucky to Dubai and back. Along the way, Marina is kidnapped and Nick finds himself enmeshed in a web of deceit. Who can he trust? No one it seems, but himself and his instincts.

As he becomes more involved in the terrorists’ plans to steal the weapon, Nick has to use all the cunning, skill and subterfuge he’s acquired as a gambler to discover the “tell” that will help him turn the predators into prey. And, there’s no time to lose.

To enter to win an ebook copy of Out of Time, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, with the subject line “time,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 22, 2020. Only US entries and you must be at least 18 to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & more Halloween mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also check our our new mystery podcast!

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Cathi Stoler’s newest thriller, Out of Time, features professional gambler, Nick Donahue. She is the author of Bar None, an urban thriller. The sequel, Last Call will be published this year. Cathi is a three-time finalist and winner of the 2015 Derringer for Best Short Story “The Kaluki Kings of Queens.” She is a board member of Sisters in Crime New York/Tri-State, as well as MWA and International Thriller Writers. You can reach her at www.cathistoler.com.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  2. We have a winner!


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