#BookReview “Bird in Hand” by Nikki Stern

on Tour November 1-14, 2020



5/5 Stars!

When a body is found near a protected sea-life sanctuary, garroted and with burned hands, a notorious drug cartel is suspected of carrying out its ultimate punishment.

But even law enforcement can jump to the wrong conclusions.

After the death of her aunt—and solving the Wedding Crasher case—Samantha Tate gave up her position as sheriff in Tennessee and now resides in a small Maryland community on the eastern shore. A lieutenant in the local sheriff’s department, she tries not to consider the position a step down but knows it was necessary to be near her mother, who’s still a resident in a long-term care facility.

Still new to the area, Sam doesn’t know the murder victim, Arley Fitchett, but everyone else seems well-acquainted with the local treasure hunter. While drugs and cash are found in Fitchett’s home, Sam finds things not connected to drug-dealing, including sketches of a bird in a human hand. Working with a boss caught in political crosshairs and a high-handed state police detective, she has her work cut out for her to convince them their case might be connected to the infamous pirate, Blackbeard himself if she is to solve the case and catch a serial killer.

A great follow-up to The Wedding Crasher, Sam Tate is still on her game as a top-notch investigator. However, she’s still plagued with nightmares from the childhood tragedy that took her father and brother and left her mom disabled. She also mourns the lives lost of people she knew in the Wedding Crasher case. With the support of former-partner-now-boyfriend, FBI Special Agent Terry Sloan, Sam returns to counseling to work through her trauma. It doesn’t help that even though the gunman is now dead, someone is looking into the twenty-six-year-old case. Is Sam in danger?

With a slam-bang ending, Bird in Hand delivers a well-layered plot that successfully masks a killer right up to the reveal. Nikki Stern has me on the hook though, anxious for the next book!

Though a continuation, Bird in Hand does stand on its own as a complete story, but I recommend reading The Wedding Crasher first. Why settle for one five-star read when you can have two?




“The stuff of dreams for mystery lovers.” ~Kirkus Reviews

In the sequel to the award-winning THE WEDDING CRASHER, Sam Tate faces off against a vengeful killer, a mistrustful boss, a shadowy nemesis, and a 300-year-old pirate.

When Arley Fitchett’s body washes up onto Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Lieutenant Sam Tate, just two months into her new job, is charged with finding out who murdered the popular guide and treasure hunter. Fitchett, she discovers, was hunting a rare carving he believed had been stolen by Chesapeake Bay pirates in 1718 and hidden nearby. No one knows if the story is true, but several locals seem to share Fitchett’s interest in the wooden bird with the sapphire eye. Any one of them could be the next victim. One of them is definitely the killer.

“Stern excels at creating a satisfyingly complex, emotional undercurrent that runs through the greater murder mystery.” D. Donovan, Sn Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Book Details

Genre: Mystery

Published by: Ruthenia Press

Publication Date: September 3, 2020

Number of Pages: 289

ISBN: 0999548743 (ISBN-13: 978-0999548745)

Series: Sam Tate Mystery, #2

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Tour Participants:

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Nikki Stern. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on November 1, 2020 and runs through November 16, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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