With a Twist By Cathi Stoler: Review/Giveaway

Apr 29, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Terrance V. Mc Arthur

by Terrance McArthur

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon. This book was also recently featured on Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast. You can find the episode here or listen on the player below.

A Mediterranean cruise, a gift for newly-engaged Jude Dillane and Eric Ramirez, turns into a ship of jewel thieves, disappearances, and murder in With a Twist, the fourth Murder on the Rocks Mystery by Cathi Stoler.

Taking a break from running her Manhattan bar, Jude is still shaken after having to shoot the serial killer who stalked her. Onboard, she finds Monica, a college roommate of hers who works on the ship under an assumed name to hide her Mob family background. Strange things happen on the luxury liner: an expensive ring is replaced with a fake, a crew member is murdered, a major disappearance, a cryptic notebook, and too many people who are not who they seem to be. Who can be trusted? It looks like Monica is being set up to take the fall, so Jude goes into detective mode. What will she find?

This Grand Tour de Death includes stops at tourist destinations along the coasts of the Mediterranean, with descriptions that will make you consider hocking your children to finance a cruise for yourself. Fall in love with Barcelona! Explore the ancient glories of Rome! Have your life threatened!

You can enjoy this book on its own merits, or you can treat yourself to the earlier volumes in the series leading up to this point. Each way, it’s a good choice. With a Twist doesn’t have much page-time for Sully, Jude’s landlord-mentor, a major figure in past installments, but Eric’s part expands to fill much of that void, and Monica is a nice addition. Other characters, like a solicitous jeweler and a shipboard photographer who doesn’t bother to take pictures of passengers at activities, have their own quirky roles. The dialogue is crisp, with a touch of snark, and the twists—as the title suggests—come fast and furious. The climactic confrontation in Rome twists one more time, but Jude holds her own.

Stoler knows what she’s doing with her characters, and Jude has a goodly amount of mystery potential left in her, as long as she has Eric by her side. Let’s twist again, like we did last summer!

To enter to win an ebook copy of With a Twist, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “twist,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 6, 2023. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & 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 listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link. You can also click here to purchase the book.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur worked for the Fresno County Public Library for three decades. He is retired, but not retiring. A storyteller, puppeteer, writer, actor, magician, basketmaker, and all-around interesting person, his goal is to make life more unusual for everyone he meets.

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. Read the first in the series and liked it. Got the rest on my wishlist.

    • Sounds like a great read. Adding to my TBR list.

  3. We have a winner!


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