Give the Devil His Due By Steve Hockensmith with Lisa Falco: Review/Giveaway

May 6, 2017 | 2017 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Give the Devil His Due, and a link to purchase it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.

Raised by a grifting, con artist of a mother, Alanis McLachlan’s childhood was anything but normal. Alanis’s one anchor of security and comfort was Biddle, her mother’s partner-in-crime and who educated Alanis on the art of the con. Alanis last saw Biddle thirty years ago, when she and her mother fled while he faced off against murderous, double-crossed criminals. So it’s something of an understatement to say that Alanis is shocked to find Biddle, smiling and unrepentant, at the doorstep of her White Magic Five and Dive fortune-telling parlor. Considering that Alanis’s half-sister believes that Biddle was both her father and also definitely dead, there are some uncomfortable conversations in their future.

bookHalf James Bond and half Shaft, Biddle lived for the con, saw the rest of the world as suckers to be fleeced, and lied more than he ever told the truth. So when another obvious liar comes into her parlor and then ends up dead, Alanis can’t help but assume that the murder is attached to one of Biddle’s scams. When it’s accompanied by a man disappearing into her bathroom, a driver nearly running over her twice, and then her apartment getting searched, Alanis finds herself sliding all too easily back into the grifting lifestyle she continually tries to escape. Perhaps that’s why she avoids the phone calls from the perfectly nice gym teacher Victor Castellanos, who is reliable, normal, and walks on the sunny side of the street. Instead, Alanis calls on GW Fletcher, who may be unreliable, devious, and a criminal, but he is also loyal, charming, and smoking hot. Perhaps what both appeals and terrifies Alanis the most about GW is that he understands her upbringing the most, and unquestioningly accepts the person she has become.

The highlight of this Tarot Mystery series has always been Alanis’s cynical outlook, her hilarious inner dialogue, and her insight on human behavior. What shouldn’t be overlooked is how her glibness is often a veneer that covers her loneliness and damage at having been raised without a real name (it could ruin a con), used television characters as her only role models, and been taught to never trust or make friends. Even though her mother established the White Magic Five and Dime as yet another con, Alanis has come to believe in the readings of her tarot cards and the guidebook her mother wrote.

As Biddle once again descends into her life, perhaps the Infinite Road to Knowing’s note that, “Nostalgia’s great at creating both pretty pictures and crummy history,” never rings more true. What the authors incorporate so well with the undercurrent of emotional realness are the comical and absurdly delightful characters that inhabit the Sedona-like town of Berdache, Arizona. A geriatric hit-woman wannabe, a German zillionaire who’s feuded with Mother Theresa and been head-butted by the Dalai Lama (according to Wikipedia), and especially Alanis’s half-sister Clarice, and her naively normal girlfriend CeeCee. One of the most original and humorous mystery series being written today, this series continues to surprise and satisfy with its deft plotting and evolving characters.

To enter to win a copy of Give the Devil His Due, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “devil,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 13, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.

Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:

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


Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. 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. I am a relatively new reader of this genre and am discovering so much! This series looks great.

  2. Sounds intriguing id like to read it. Tarot cards sound interesting the story sounds really great. Thank you

  3. Sounds a little different…I would like to read it. Thank you for the review.

  4. This is both a new series and author for me. This sounds different and interesting. Thankyou for the opportunity! minishoes(at)msn(dot)com

  5. This is a new author to me! Thanks for offering this giveaway! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. this is a new author for me – thanks for the chance to win

  7. I have never read this author(s) but i am def intrigued now. Thank you for the chance


  8. I would love to get caught up with this entertaining series.

  9. I’m currently on page 50 of the book (borrowed from the public library). I’d really love to own it and share it with my mystery loving kids.

  10. I would really enjoy reading “Give the Devil His Due”. It sounds like a fascinating read and Steve is a new author to me.

  11. We have a winner


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.