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In a brilliantly twisted debut set among Boston's elite, Edwin Hill introduces unforgettable sleuth Hester Thursby--and a missing persons case that uncovers a trail of vicious murder . . . Harvard librarian Hester Thursby knows that even in the digital age, people still need help finding things. Using her research skills, Hester runs a side business tracking down the lost. In a brilliantly twisted debut set among Boston's elite, Edwin Hill introduces unforgettable sleuth Hester Thursby--and a missing persons case that uncovers a trail of vicious murder . . . Harvard librarian Hester Thursby knows that even in the digital age, people still need help finding things. Using her research skills, Hester runs a side business tracking down the lost. Usually, she's hired to find long-ago prom dates or to reunite adopted children and birth parents. Her new case is finding the handsome and charismatic Sam Blaine. Sam has no desire to be found. As a teenager, he fled his small New Hampshire town with his friend, Gabe, after a haunting incident. For a dozen years, Sam and Gabe have traveled the country, reinventing themselves as they move from one mark to another. Sam has learned how trusting wealthy people can be--especially the lonely ones--as he expertly manipulates his way into their lives and homes. In Wendy Richards, the beautiful, fabulously rich daughter of one of Boston's most influential families, he's found the perfect way to infiltrate the milieu in which he knows he belongs--a world of Brooks Brothers suits, Nantucket summers, and effortless glamour. As Hester's investigation closes in on their brutal truth, the bond between Sam and Gabe is tested and Hester unknowingly jeopardizes her own safety. While Gabe has pinned all his desperate hopes of a normal life on Hester, Sam wants her out of the way for good. And Gabe has always done what Sam asks . . .


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In a brilliantly twisted debut set among Boston's elite, Edwin Hill introduces unforgettable sleuth Hester Thursby--and a missing persons case that uncovers a trail of vicious murder . . . Harvard librarian Hester Thursby knows that even in the digital age, people still need help finding things. Using her research skills, Hester runs a side business tracking down the lost. In a brilliantly twisted debut set among Boston's elite, Edwin Hill introduces unforgettable sleuth Hester Thursby--and a missing persons case that uncovers a trail of vicious murder . . . Harvard librarian Hester Thursby knows that even in the digital age, people still need help finding things. Using her research skills, Hester runs a side business tracking down the lost. Usually, she's hired to find long-ago prom dates or to reunite adopted children and birth parents. Her new case is finding the handsome and charismatic Sam Blaine. Sam has no desire to be found. As a teenager, he fled his small New Hampshire town with his friend, Gabe, after a haunting incident. For a dozen years, Sam and Gabe have traveled the country, reinventing themselves as they move from one mark to another. Sam has learned how trusting wealthy people can be--especially the lonely ones--as he expertly manipulates his way into their lives and homes. In Wendy Richards, the beautiful, fabulously rich daughter of one of Boston's most influential families, he's found the perfect way to infiltrate the milieu in which he knows he belongs--a world of Brooks Brothers suits, Nantucket summers, and effortless glamour. As Hester's investigation closes in on their brutal truth, the bond between Sam and Gabe is tested and Hester unknowingly jeopardizes her own safety. While Gabe has pinned all his desperate hopes of a normal life on Hester, Sam wants her out of the way for good. And Gabe has always done what Sam asks . . .

30 review for Little Comfort

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Little Comfort by Edwin Hill reminds of a box of Cracker Jacks. It has a little something for everyone along with a surprise waiting for you at the end. 4' 9-3/4", Hester Thursby, may be small in stature but she is a feisty force of nature. She is on leave from her full-time job as a Harvard Librarian. to take care of three year old Kate, the daughter of her wayward best friend, Daphne, and also the niece of her live-in boyfriend, Morgan. Hester, not one to sit still and become June Cleaver, is al Little Comfort by Edwin Hill reminds of a box of Cracker Jacks. It has a little something for everyone along with a surprise waiting for you at the end. 4' 9-3/4", Hester Thursby, may be small in stature but she is a feisty force of nature. She is on leave from her full-time job as a Harvard Librarian. to take care of three year old Kate, the daughter of her wayward best friend, Daphne, and also the niece of her live-in boyfriend, Morgan. Hester, not one to sit still and become June Cleaver, is also a part time sleuth/private detective. She is hired to find a woman's missing brother. This shouldn't be too hard or too dangerous, right? But immediately from the very beginning, Hester realizes that there is more to this mystery than finding a lost sibling. No longer a case of missing persons, impulsive yet determined, Hester, is now in the grips of mystery with a murdering psychopath. This is a thrilling ride from start to finish. Edwin Hill has given us a new modern-day female detective. One that is real, determined, sometimes too headstrong, but the friend we all wish we had, in Hester. I look forward to reading about more adventures of my new friend, Hester. I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley. #netgalley #littlecomfort

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gail C.

    A huge thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me with an advanced digital copy of Little Comfort by Edwin Hill, one of the best books I’ve read all year. As the book opens, you settle in, thinking the mystery and its solution is going to take place through the actions of a heroine who is an expert at using internet and other searches to resolve problems for her clients. The first characters you meet are drawn with just enough detail for you to get a glimpse of who they are, w A huge thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me with an advanced digital copy of Little Comfort by Edwin Hill, one of the best books I’ve read all year. As the book opens, you settle in, thinking the mystery and its solution is going to take place through the actions of a heroine who is an expert at using internet and other searches to resolve problems for her clients. The first characters you meet are drawn with just enough detail for you to get a glimpse of who they are, with hints about depths to come. Throughout the book, these characters continue to take more and more shape aa added details compliment those characteristics you’ve already drawn in your head. Early on, the book morphs into the first of several shifts hinting that the entire story may be something quite different from what you were expecting. These metamorphoses continue throughout the book, adding to the storyline or to the characters, often in unpredictable ways. The result is you are continually drawn further into the book with an increasing reluctance to put it down, even for a short break. When you do put it down, you find yourself thinking about what you’ve read or wondering where the story is going to take you next, looking forward to your return. To say this is much more than a simple missing person puzzle, or perhaps a simple murder mystery is an understatement. In the interest of letting future readers have the pleasure of experiencing the story as it unfolds, I am choosing not to give much information regarding the plot or its resolution. Suffice it to say the book is well written in every way with characters who are fully formed throughout the book and who continue to grow much in the same way your knowledge of the people you meet continues to grow as you spend more time with them and they reveal more of themselves than they did in an initial introduction. The book is part psychological suspense, part heart-pounding action, part exploration of the human psyche and all of it a compelling read. Throughout the tale, the reader is made privy to different individuals experiences and how each person’s response to those experiences shapes them into the person they are at present. The theory that no one is all bad or all good is well represented by the book’s characters, although perhaps not in equal percentages. This makes for a more interesting approach to the ending of the book as the reader can approach the finale with at least a measure of doubt as to it’s resolution. One piece of advice, start this book when you have some time to devote to the reading, It may well be one you don’t want to put down, and as such you may find yourself reading well into the night even when you have to get up to go to work the next morning.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Little Comfort by Edwin Hill reminds of a box of Cracker Jacks. It has a little something for everyone along with a surprise waiting for you at the end. 4' 9-3/4", Hester Thursby, may be small in stature but she is a feisty force of nature. She is on leave from her full-time job as a Harvard Librarian. to take care of three year old Kate, the daughter of her wayward best friend, Daphne, and also the niece of her live-in boyfriend, Morgan. Hester, not one to sit still and become June Cleaver, is al Little Comfort by Edwin Hill reminds of a box of Cracker Jacks. It has a little something for everyone along with a surprise waiting for you at the end. 4' 9-3/4", Hester Thursby, may be small in stature but she is a feisty force of nature. She is on leave from her full-time job as a Harvard Librarian. to take care of three year old Kate, the daughter of her wayward best friend, Daphne, and also the niece of her live-in boyfriend, Morgan. Hester, not one to sit still and become June Cleaver, is also a part time sleuth/private detective. She is hired to find a woman's missing brother. This shouldn't be too hard or too dangerous, right? But immediately from the very beginning, Hester realizes that there is more to this mystery than finding a lost sibling. No longer a case of missing persons, impulsive yet determined, Hester, is now in the grips of mystery with a murdering psychopath. This is a thrilling ride from start to finish. Edwin Hill has given us a new modern-day female detective. One that is real, determined, sometimes too headstrong, but the friend we all wish we had, in Hester. I look forward to reading about more adventures of my new friend, Hester. I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley. #netgalley #littlecomfort

  4. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    The independent and spirited missing person's detective Hester Thursby has helped fill the hole in my heart left by the absence of new Sue Grafton books featuring Kinsey Milhone. While Kinsey is a California gal and Hester has a background as a reference librarian at Harvard University in Massachusetts on the East Coast (my alma mater), they share a similar mindset and fierce loyalty and independence for a non-traditional family. Hester still keeps her own apartment on the top story of a three f The independent and spirited missing person's detective Hester Thursby has helped fill the hole in my heart left by the absence of new Sue Grafton books featuring Kinsey Milhone. While Kinsey is a California gal and Hester has a background as a reference librarian at Harvard University in Massachusetts on the East Coast (my alma mater), they share a similar mindset and fierce loyalty and independence for a non-traditional family. Hester still keeps her own apartment on the top story of a three floor townhouse while she could be living with her "non-husband" Morgan on the 2nd floor as she reluctantly helps raise the 3 year old daughter of Morgan's twin sister Daphne. The absent Daphne, who should be living on the first floor, is also Hester’s best friend. In this debut novel, Hester uncovers many secrets while tracking down two off-the-grid young men who disappeared from Little Comfort in New Hampshire. I read an advanced reader's copy thanks to NetGalley the publisher Kensington books, and author Edwin Hill. However, Little Comfort will be coming out on August 28, 2018 and I hope it is wildly popular so that Hill will bring us more adventures from feisty Hester Thursby.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    Hester Thursby is a Harvard research librarian with a knack for finding things. She's good at research, so when Lila Blaine comes to her, asking for help finding her long-lost brother, Sam, Hester figures it will be another easy job in what has become a side-business for her. Hester has some extra time, as she's on leave from her job as she and her partner, Morgan, try to navigate life with his niece, Kate, whom they are caring for since her own mom has disappeared. But finding Sam--who may have Hester Thursby is a Harvard research librarian with a knack for finding things. She's good at research, so when Lila Blaine comes to her, asking for help finding her long-lost brother, Sam, Hester figures it will be another easy job in what has become a side-business for her. Hester has some extra time, as she's on leave from her job as she and her partner, Morgan, try to navigate life with his niece, Kate, whom they are caring for since her own mom has disappeared. But finding Sam--who may have left with his friend Gabe, a foster kid, isn't as easy as it seems. Sam has no wish to be found. He's now a con man who cozies up to the rich and his latest mark, Wendy Richards, a Boston socialite, has the ability to give him all he's ever dreamed of: wealth, status, security, and more. When Hester's investigation threatens this, there's no limit to what Sam and Gabe may do. This was an intriguing mystery that definitely held my interest. Somehow it was darker and grittier than I expected (sorry, I probably wasn't giving librarians enough credit here), but that certainly didn't diminish my interest at all. The opposite really. Hester is a fascinating character, to say the least. A lot of toughness, smarts, and dedication wrapped into a tiny package (she's 4'9"). She's dealing with a lot, taking on care of three-year-old Kate and a leave of absence, but that doesn't stop her from tracking down subjects and tangling with whomever she meets. She, Kate, and their basset hound, Waffles, are on the case. The book is told from multiple POV, so we hear from a whole host of characters, including Gabe and Sam. Hill is a wonderful storyteller, and really puts you in the shoes of his characters. And boy, are some of these folks creepy. Terrible things happen in this story, and some of these people are downright despicable. Yet, he still captures the intense longing of Gabe, a foster child, and shows how Hester, who also had a tough childhood, can identify with him. Each character is an individual with their own voice. It's incredibly easy to get caught up in the tale of Gabe, Sam, and Lila and their past at Little Comfort, a lake house, plus Hester, Morgan, and Kate (oh sweet little Kate). I read the second half of the book in one determined setting, fascinated to find out what was going to happen. It's not edge-of-your-seat suspense, per se, but it's wonderful characterization and dark, mesmerizing plotting. So many secrets, so many lies to unravel. Overall, while this one was more complicated and edgier than I was planning going into it, that was fine with me. Hester is a great character, and I'm really excited that this is a series. Hill is an excellent writer, who knows how to hold my interest with a well-paced thriller. I'm quite looking forward to seeing what Hester is up to next. A huge thanks to Larissa at Kensington Publishing for my copy of this novel and the second book in the series, The Missing Ones. I can't wait to tackle it soon! Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ PaperBackSwap ~ Smashbomb

  6. 5 out of 5

    Libby

    Edwin Hill creates some great characters in 'Little Comfort.' Hester Thursby is on leave from her job at the Harvard Library. Sometimes she helps find people...like the biological parents of adopted children, etc., but Lila Blaine wants her to find her kid brother Sam, who disappeared twelve years ago when he was fourteen. Sam ran away with his best friend Gabe DiPursio, same age as him. Now they're twenty-six. Lila wants to sell their lake property 'Little Comfort' and settle up with Sam. They Edwin Hill creates some great characters in 'Little Comfort.' Hester Thursby is on leave from her job at the Harvard Library. Sometimes she helps find people...like the biological parents of adopted children, etc., but Lila Blaine wants her to find her kid brother Sam, who disappeared twelve years ago when he was fourteen. Sam ran away with his best friend Gabe DiPursio, same age as him. Now they're twenty-six. Lila wants to sell their lake property 'Little Comfort' and settle up with Sam. They had a fight before Sam disappeared. What if they don't want to be found? Hester is four foot nine and three quarter inches tall. People treat her like she's a little doll. Boyfriend Morgan (who's a veterinarian) and Hester are taking care of Morgan's twin sister's little girl, Kate. Kate is three. Hester takes Kate with her as she tries to track down the two young men. Gabe was always someone who could fade into the background. He didn't stand out. Sam, very handsome, did stand out, and Sam is ambitious. The two boys used to help Lila clean up the houses of the rich folks who lived on the lake. That lifestyle is one that Sam decided he wanted to emulate. Rich folks need friends too, and sometimes they're more vulnerable than you might think. There are deadly secrets to uncover and someone will go to great lengths to be sure they stay hidden. Hill creates a tense drama; add in Hester's fears about her relationship with Morgan and where things are going with trying to raise Kate, when and if her mother, Daphne comes back, and you've got a dynamic plot. The scenarios are credible. The writing is descriptive enough. There are some wonderful scenes about society parties and fashion. I identified with Hester's fears about being a good enough parent. Engaging with nail biting suspense.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

    I should have been suspicious of Little Comfort when I saw all the positive reviews. I wanted to like this one; any series with a strong female lead gets my attention. But I disliked this way more than I expected. ** Minor spoilers ahead ** Hester Thursby is a librarian in Boston who finds missing people on the side. She is shacked up with her boyfriend, Morgan, and caring for Kate, the daughter of her best friend and Morgan's twin sister. When a client named Lila seeks Hester's help in locati I should have been suspicious of Little Comfort when I saw all the positive reviews. I wanted to like this one; any series with a strong female lead gets my attention. But I disliked this way more than I expected. ** Minor spoilers ahead ** Hester Thursby is a librarian in Boston who finds missing people on the side. She is shacked up with her boyfriend, Morgan, and caring for Kate, the daughter of her best friend and Morgan's twin sister. When a client named Lila seeks Hester's help in locating her missing brother, Sam, Hester's investigation pulls her into Sam's twisted web of lies and deceit. Eventually, Hester gets more than she bargained for when she finds herself in the middle of a family drama that explodes into outlandish proportions. First, I didn't like Hester. But that's the fault of the author. She had abandonment issues stemming from a lonely childhood and absentee parents. She doesn't want to get married and wants to maintain her independence yet still craved attention and desire from a stranger. At times, Hester acted like a spoiled child, younger than her three year old charge. I could barely take her seriously most of the time. Second, the author stresses that Hester is a little person at 4'9 inches tall. One character snidely refers to her as a 'midget.' So, which is it? I have friends under 5 feet tall but they're not Tyrion Lannister, they're just short. The author kept referring to Hester as "little" yet didn't describe how she managed to drive a truck without elaborating if it was specially equipped for someone of her diminutive stature or how she accomplished certain tasks due to her size. That left me wondering if Hester was just short and not differently abled. Third, I sure would like to know why authors think readers would enjoy reading POVs from serial killers or pedophiles or scum of the earth? Here's a tip: don't write a POV from the villain unless they're diabolically brilliant or evil like Dexter, Voldemort or Amy Dunne from Gone Girl. We get meaningless narratives from Sam, one of the most ridiculous and blandest serial killers I've ever come across. I actually rolled my eyes because I had a difficult time believing he was a killer. I think it was the writing style and tone that clinched it. Then, there's Gabe, who is stuffed so full of Freudian issues, I don't know how he gets around dragging that albatross. All Gabe does is talk about how big a woman's breasts about nearly every woman he takes an interest in. When he turns his obsessive behavior tower Hester, his thoughts turn from breasts to how much he wants to marry Hester and have a child and live in a house...obviously, he has problems that are not Freudian related but cray cray related. Also, the relationship between Morgan and Hester felt contrived, as if to justify Kate's presence. I didn't feel the rapport, romance or love between them; I have no idea why they're together, how they met, why Morgan likes Hester or vice versa. I skimmed the last 40 pages because the writing style was tedious and dull. But most importantly, it was because I didn't care anymore. The writing style and tone, coupled with an almost difficult to suspend disbelief for plot and eye-rolling supporting characters made it hard to stay invested in the story, emotionally or otherwise.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carlissa

    Debut novels are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you'll get. With this book you'll get interesting characters and an enjoyable summer read. I definitely recommend this book and look forward to more from this author. My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for giving me the chance to read and review. Debut novels are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you'll get. With this book you'll get interesting characters and an enjoyable summer read. I definitely recommend this book and look forward to more from this author. My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for giving me the chance to read and review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Maine Colonial

    Thanks to the publisher, Kensington Books, for lending me a digital ARC via Netgalley. I picked this book on impulse, because I liked the idea of a librarian private detective, but it turns out that I’ve now found a brand-new favorite main character. Hester Thursby is 4’9”—whoops, make that 9-3/4” because it’s important to her—and it irritates her no end that people sometimes treat her like she’s a doll. She’s not angry about it, but she doesn’t let people demean her or treat her differently base Thanks to the publisher, Kensington Books, for lending me a digital ARC via Netgalley. I picked this book on impulse, because I liked the idea of a librarian private detective, but it turns out that I’ve now found a brand-new favorite main character. Hester Thursby is 4’9”—whoops, make that 9-3/4” because it’s important to her—and it irritates her no end that people sometimes treat her like she’s a doll. She’s not angry about it, but she doesn’t let people demean her or treat her differently based on her size. She drives a big truck, she knows self-defense and she doesn’t let anything limit her. In a weird way, she made me think of Cormoran Strike in the series by J. K. Rowling (using her Robert Galbraith pseudonym). I liked Hester so much right away that I wasn’t turned off when the plot introduces three-year-old Kate, the daughter of Kate’s best friend Daphne, who has left to find herself or something. Daphne is also the sister of Kate’s longtime boyfriend, Morgan. Hester, Morgan and Kate live in Morgan’s upscale floor-and-a-half apartment in a three-flat in Somerville, outside Boston. Morgan, a veterinarian, has asked Hester to marry him many times, but she hesitates to commit. And that’s why she has kept her little one-bedroom apartment on the third floor, where she retreats sometimes to watch old VHS horror movies and hang out with her basset hound, Waffles. Here’s the thing: I normally hate crime fiction with a bunch of domestic detail like that. But I didn’t hate it here. In fact, I liked it. Edwin Hill made it all seem so real, not cutesy or contrived. So that’s your setup to the main character in this new series. Hester is on a bit of a leave because Daphne only took off a couple of months ago and she and Morgan wanted to be with Kate a lot to ease her into her new life. But this gives Hester time to do some of her missing-persons tracing work, so she accepts a new assignment from Lila Blaine, a woman living in New Hampshire who wants Hester to find Lila’s brother Sam, so that she can sell a lake property that they co-own. I won’t say much about how that works out, so as not to spoil the plot. I’ll just say that it’s one heck of a story, a real edge-of-your-seat thriller. Were there times when Hester did things that I thought were, shall we say, not well-thought-out? Yes, but not in the too-stupid-to-live category; not enough for me to be annoyed at her. There is something more than the appeal of the main character and the thriller story, though, that elevates this book and makes it a five-star read for me—and I don’t give a lot of five-star ratings. There are at least a couple of dozen little moments and observations in the book that strike so true, like the descriptions of the way Hester resents and loves her domestic responsibilities at the same time. There are many scenes of Edwin Hill getting into the heads of various characters and it’s amazing the way he makes you see things from that person’s point of view, even when that person has committed terrible acts. This guy is an excellent writer, he’s developed a fresh and appealing new character, and I hope he has all the success with this book (and series) that he deserves.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Linda Zagon

    Linda's Book Obsession Reviews "Little Comfort" by Edwin Hill, Kensington Publishing, July 30, 2019 Edwin Hill, Author of "Little Comfort" has written a captivating, intriguing, intense, riveting, edgy, thrilling, and suspenseful novel. The Genres for this novel are Mystery and Suspense, Thriller and Fiction. The timeline for this story is in the presents and goes to the past when it pertains to the characters and events. The author describes his dramatic cast of characters as complex, and compli Linda's Book Obsession Reviews "Little Comfort" by Edwin Hill, Kensington Publishing, July 30, 2019 Edwin Hill, Author of "Little Comfort" has written a captivating, intriguing, intense, riveting, edgy, thrilling, and suspenseful novel. The Genres for this novel are Mystery and Suspense, Thriller and Fiction. The timeline for this story is in the presents and goes to the past when it pertains to the characters and events. The author describes his dramatic cast of characters as complex, and complicated. Some are quirky, dangerous, and dysfunctional. There are twists and turns, betrayals, threats, danger, and murder. Some characters appear different from what they are. Of course, Animal lovers will be happy to know there are dogs and kittens in this story. Hester Thursby is on leave from her librarian position, while she and her significant other are taking care of her three-year-old niece, for possibly an unknown amount of time. Hester does make use of her research skills part-time to look for missing people. A new client wants Hester to find her missing brother, who disappeared more than twelve years earlier. Sam Blaine and his friend Gabe left home after a strange incident. The only information that Hester is given are postcards and the fact that Sam keeps changing his name. "Sam" is charismatic and charming and obsessed with wealthy lonely people. Gabe feels indebted to Sam and does basically what Sam tells him. Of course, it doesn't take long for Hester to locate him. Unfortunately, the more Hester investigates, the more danger she is in. One of my favorite characters is Hester Thursby. She is portrayed as fragile and tiny, but make no mistake, that is quite misleading. Hester says what is on her mind, and "shoots from the hip" so to speak. She tells it like it is. Despite what might look like weakness, Hester is independent, yet loyal, and makes her own decisions. I would highly recommend this suspenseful and edgy novel for readers that love mystery, suspense, and adventure. I can't wait to read the next Hester Thursby book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany PSquared

    "...and as much as Hester fought for independence, nothing frightened her more than the thought of being abandoned." Hester Thursby may be small in stature, but she's big on moxie! When she's not working at Harvard's Widener library, she's a people-finder and she's working a case for Lila who is searching for her long-lost brother. But how easy can it be to find a missing person (or a person in hiding) with not only a long-eared basset hound in tow, but also her new charge - three-year-old Kate, "...and as much as Hester fought for independence, nothing frightened her more than the thought of being abandoned." Hester Thursby may be small in stature, but she's big on moxie! When she's not working at Harvard's Widener library, she's a people-finder and she's working a case for Lila who is searching for her long-lost brother. But how easy can it be to find a missing person (or a person in hiding) with not only a long-eared basset hound in tow, but also her new charge - three-year-old Kate, the little girl who was practically abandoned by her mother. Eventually, this case becomes more than expected when Hester makes a new acquaintance who suddenly becomes her biggest fan. The story is well paced, had a great setup for both a mystery and a thriller, and great character development for the most part. There were a few stereotypical assumptions that grated, but Hill called them out himself. My only lasting gripe is that Hester's character didn't seem consistent throughout. She came off as a bit wishy-washy, behaving in ways contrary to the confident, dauntless personality we are initially introduced to. Little Comfort is the first in a series with a second Hester Thursby mystery expected in 2019. After this mystery with its unconventional, feisty protagonist and its unexpected twisty reveal, I'd be down to read more about Hester's adventures. *Many thanks to NetGalley, Kensington Books, and the author for the opportunity to read a free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Judy Lesley

    Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for a digital galley of this novel. This novel kept me guessing for quite a long time regarding which type of thriller I was going to find. As the story began to unfold I was intrigued by what purpose some of the characters had in the plot and that information was given to me by the author in such a good way that I continued to want to read the story. I will usually chose not to read a book that features too much family and especially kid time because I Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for a digital galley of this novel. This novel kept me guessing for quite a long time regarding which type of thriller I was going to find. As the story began to unfold I was intrigued by what purpose some of the characters had in the plot and that information was given to me by the author in such a good way that I continued to want to read the story. I will usually chose not to read a book that features too much family and especially kid time because I don't like to read about families involved in murder cases. This story didn't do anything to change my feelings along those lines, but it is very well written and I liked watching the development of the critical situations Hester Thursby ultimately found herself in. One thing I really enjoyed was how the author made Hester such a believable person by making her childhood have some similarities to the criminals and yet her life went in such a different direction. This is the first book in a new series and the author has gathered a group of characters who have enough personality to carry a series over multiple books. If you are searching for a new, fresh mystery series to begin reading, this might be just right for you.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Also Alice

    Ahhhhhh! This was so, so good. I’d go so far as to say it is one of the best books I’ve read this year (and I read a lot of books). Partway through I realised I was reading something special that I had to force myself to slow down and savour it. I knew I would be forlorn when it ended. One of the reasons why I like this story so much is that it is my favourite style of mystery/thriller. Rather than a “whodunit”, it’s a “WHYdunnit”. You find out pretty early who is up to no good but Hill slowly a Ahhhhhh! This was so, so good. I’d go so far as to say it is one of the best books I’ve read this year (and I read a lot of books). Partway through I realised I was reading something special that I had to force myself to slow down and savour it. I knew I would be forlorn when it ended. One of the reasons why I like this story so much is that it is my favourite style of mystery/thriller. Rather than a “whodunit”, it’s a “WHYdunnit”. You find out pretty early who is up to no good but Hill slowly and deliciously unpacks a series of revelations as to why things have taken place. He does this by very skilfully moving between three different character’s POVs. Although the series is billed as being about “Hester Thursby”, Harvard librarian detective, we are also taken into some very weird and dark places, especially inside the minds of Sam and Gabe, the people she is hired to find. I found the whole thing to be perfectly paced. As the story unfolds, so does the creepiness factor and at times it was so tense and unsettling I had to stop reading for a few minutes to let my heart calm down. Hester as a character is a delight- I have to say the “librarian” tag is slightly misleading since for various reasons which are explained, she’s not really in the library at all. She’s a fascinating, complicated and occasionally conflicted lead. She’s also a bit of a badass but in a credible way- she knows how to defend herself while also peeing her Little Mermaid pajamas. There’s also just the right amount of a colourful supporting cast- enough to keep it interesting without becoming overwhelming. Little Comfort manages to be thrilling, intriguing, amusing and poignant by turns. It’s a story which entertains while still asking some of the big questions- how much choice do we have, to become who we are? How much choice do we have to change the outcome along the way? And how far are we willing to go to make the world believe in us? Hill serves up a healthy measure of ambiguity about some of the characters we would otherwise write off straight away as being loathsome. It’s an interesting approach and one which both keeps us guessing and results in a story with way more depth than some of its ilk. I also thought the ending was unusually solid, while still leaving the door open for more Hester tales to come. I for one cannot wait to see what happens next in Hester’s world. Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lesa

    I'm not into creepy characters and thrillers. Occasionally, I read one, sometimes by accident. And, I don't like women and children in jeopardy books. If you like books with menacing atmospheres and intense scenes, you might want to try Edwin Hill's debut mystery, Little Comfort. Hester Thursby is a librarian at Harvard, but she's on leave right now. Her best friend, Daphne, took off one night while Hester and her partner, Morgan, Daphne's brother, were out with friends. And, Daphne left her thre I'm not into creepy characters and thrillers. Occasionally, I read one, sometimes by accident. And, I don't like women and children in jeopardy books. If you like books with menacing atmospheres and intense scenes, you might want to try Edwin Hill's debut mystery, Little Comfort. Hester Thursby is a librarian at Harvard, but she's on leave right now. Her best friend, Daphne, took off one night while Hester and her partner, Morgan, Daphne's brother, were out with friends. And, Daphne left her three-year-old, Kate, with Hester and Morgan, saying she'd be back in an hour or so. Months later, Hester is still acting as stay-at-home mom, a job she doesn't feel up to handling. She does have a little side business though. Hester, using her skills as a librarian, is very good at tracking down missing people. When Lila Blaine shows up, Hester assumes it will be easy to track down Lila's brother, Sam. He ran away from home twelve years earlier. Despite the lack of an online presence, Hester is able to find the twenty-seven-year-old. He lives right there in Boston with the man he ran away with, his best friend, Gabe. But, Sam doesn't want to be found. Sam and Gabe have lived all over the country. While Sam cozied up to wealthy marks, trying to take them for money, Gabe stepped in to rescue him whenever the person or their family became wise to them. Now that Sam has found a new wealthy woman in Boston, Hester could jeopardize all of his plans. And, Gabe, who only wants a house and family and a normal life, develops a fascination with Hester. Hester's little side job could threaten her life and Kate's. Hester may be a librarian, but she's certainly not always responsible. She takes Kate with her when she's working. But, she's not the only irresponsible one in the book. Morgan dumps Kate on Hester because he doesn't know how to cope. And, everyone in the book lies. In fact, poor Kate is the only likable one in the story. Little Comfort is a violent, intense story with dislikable characters. There's little comfort for the reader when faced with this troubling story.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Diane Hernandez

    It is amazing such an accomplished thriller with multiple plot lines was written by a debut author. Kudos to Edwin Hill for the marvelous PI/thriller/family drama, Little Comfort! Hester lives in a separate apartment in the same building as her boyfriend Morgan. Morgan’s twin sister, Daphne, and her three-year-old Kate live in the third apartment. Daphne leaves Kate alone in Morgan’s apartment with a note stating she would return in an hour. Three months later, Daphne is still missing. Hester has It is amazing such an accomplished thriller with multiple plot lines was written by a debut author. Kudos to Edwin Hill for the marvelous PI/thriller/family drama, Little Comfort! Hester lives in a separate apartment in the same building as her boyfriend Morgan. Morgan’s twin sister, Daphne, and her three-year-old Kate live in the third apartment. Daphne leaves Kate alone in Morgan’s apartment with a note stating she would return in an hour. Three months later, Daphne is still missing. Hester has taken on primary caregiving activities for Kate forcing her to take a leave of absence from her job as a librarian at Harvard. When she gets a new client in her private missing person service, she begins investigating her client’s missing brother, Sam. Sam disappeared 12 years ago when only 15 with his best friend, foster child Gabe. The only clue are bi-monthly homemade postcards of locations around the US. All include cryptic movie quotes. What begins as a simple missing person case quickly escalates into a deadly cat and mouse hunt. Little Comfort ratchets up the reader’s dread with parallel storylines from five points of view. This book approaches a familiar plot from a different perspective. As the characters’ motivations are reluctantly drawn out even originally unsympathetic characters make the reader empathize with the choices they made. Little Comfort is highly recommended as an emotion-riddled original reworking of the thriller genre. 5 stars! Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an advance copy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    The independent and spirited missing person's detective Hester Thursby has helped fill the hole in my heart left by the absence of new Sue Grafton books featuring Kinsey Milhone. While Kinsey is a California gal and Hester has a background as a reference librarian at Harvard University in Massachusetts on the East Coast (my alma mater), they share a similar mindset and fierce loyalty and independence for a non-traditional family. Hester still keeps her own apartment on the top story of a three f The independent and spirited missing person's detective Hester Thursby has helped fill the hole in my heart left by the absence of new Sue Grafton books featuring Kinsey Milhone. While Kinsey is a California gal and Hester has a background as a reference librarian at Harvard University in Massachusetts on the East Coast (my alma mater), they share a similar mindset and fierce loyalty and independence for a non-traditional family. Hester still keeps her own apartment on the top story of a three floor townhouse while she could be living with her "non-husband" Morgan on the 2nd floor as she reluctantly helps raise the 3 year old daughter of Morgan's twin sister Daphne. The absent Daphne, who should be living on the first floor, is also Hester’s best friend. In this debut novel, Hester uncovers many secrets while tracking down two off-the-grid young men who disappeared from Little Comfort in New Hampshire. I read an advanced reader's copy thanks to NetGalley the publisher Kensington books, and author Edwin Hill. However, Little Comfort will be coming out on August 28, 2018 and I hope it is wildly popular so that Hill will bring us more adventures from feisty Hester Thursby.

  17. 4 out of 5

    AMY

    just finished reading it. i read the entire book in one day -- it was THAT GRIPPING.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Judy Hall

    Hester Thursby's life is a little complicated right now. On leave from her day job in Harvard's library, she is taking care of her long-time partner's niece, 3 year old Kate. She accepts an assignment from her secondary job of finding people. Lila travels down from New Hampshire to ask Hester to find her little brother Sam. Hester finds Sam quickly, but that's just the beginning of the story as Hester becomes curious about the true reason why Lila is finally searching for Sam after all these yea Hester Thursby's life is a little complicated right now. On leave from her day job in Harvard's library, she is taking care of her long-time partner's niece, 3 year old Kate. She accepts an assignment from her secondary job of finding people. Lila travels down from New Hampshire to ask Hester to find her little brother Sam. Hester finds Sam quickly, but that's just the beginning of the story as Hester becomes curious about the true reason why Lila is finally searching for Sam after all these years. Every character will evoke an emotional reaction from you because they are real. The characters in this book are so complex. They are not all reliable since they are all coming from their own perception of the truth. You will find yourself wondering "Am I rooting for a bad guy?" "Is anyone telling the truth?" "Is everyone telling the truth?" You will love them. You will hate them. The author calls this a whydunnit and that is a good description. I had the pleasure of meeting him, when he spoke to my book club, along with the public at our library. He was as wonderful as his book and I can't wait for the next book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chase Hackett

    I had a great time with this. I loved all the characters, even (or especially) the bad ones, and they are baaaad. It’s a terrific, suspenseful, scary book. One warning: Calling it a “Hester Thursby Mystery” makes it sound like a cozy one—and whatever this book is, cozy it isn’t. It’s violent and pretty seriously creepy. Be prepared. c.t.h.

  20. 5 out of 5

    AD

    First in what I hope is a long series. Hester Thursby is a Boston librarian with a basset hound named Waffles. Despite these trappings, this is far from a cozy mystery, alternating between multiple perspectives. I think it's one of the best I've read this year. First in what I hope is a long series. Hester Thursby is a Boston librarian with a basset hound named Waffles. Despite these trappings, this is far from a cozy mystery, alternating between multiple perspectives. I think it's one of the best I've read this year.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Linda Quinn

    This fast-paced thriller pits a kickass reference librarian against a pair of serial killers. What’s different about this book is the nuanced characterizations of the killers that will keep your emotions unbalanced for the entirety of the book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joann Garrido

    At about the halfway point of this book I realized that I didn’t want to put it down. A thoroughly entertaining read. Can’t wait for more in this series!!

  23. 4 out of 5

    CD {Boulder Blvd}

    2.5 stars rounded up I didn't enjoy reading this book. Part One was very slow and boring, the book picked up somewhat in the last part but I never warmed to the characters. This is now a series, but it's a no for me. 2.5 stars rounded up I didn't enjoy reading this book. Part One was very slow and boring, the book picked up somewhat in the last part but I never warmed to the characters. This is now a series, but it's a no for me.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gail C.

    A huge thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me with an advanced digital copy of Little Comfort by Edwin Hill, one of the best books I’ve read all year. As the book opens, you settle in, thinking the mystery and its solution is going to take place through the actions of a heroine who is an expert at using internet and other searches to resolve problems for her clients. The first characters you meet are drawn with just enough detail for you to get a glimpse of who they are, wi A huge thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me with an advanced digital copy of Little Comfort by Edwin Hill, one of the best books I’ve read all year. As the book opens, you settle in, thinking the mystery and its solution is going to take place through the actions of a heroine who is an expert at using internet and other searches to resolve problems for her clients. The first characters you meet are drawn with just enough detail for you to get a glimpse of who they are, with hints about depths to come. Throughout the book, these characters continue to take more and more shape aa added details compliment those characteristics you’ve already drawn in your head. Early on, the book morphs into the first of several shifts hinting that the entire story may be something quite different from what you were expecting. These metamorphoses continue throughout the book, adding to the storyline or to the characters, often in unpredictable ways. The result is you are continually drawn further into the book with an increasing reluctance to put it down, even for a short break. When you do put it down, you find yourself thinking about what you’ve read or wondering where the story is going to take you next, looking forward to your return. To say this is much more than a simple missing person puzzle, or perhaps a simple murder mystery is an understatement. In the interest of letting future readers have the pleasure of experiencing the story as it unfolds, I am choosing not to give much information regarding the plot or its resolution. Suffice it to say the book is well written in every way with characters who are fully formed throughout the book and who continue to grow much in the same way your knowledge of the people you meet continues to grow as you spend more time with them and they reveal more of themselves than they did in an initial introduction. The book is part psychological suspense, part heart-pounding action, part exploration of the human psyche and all of it a compelling read. Throughout the tale, the reader is made privy to different individuals experiences and how each person’s response to those experiences shapes them into the person they are at present. The theory that no one is all bad or all good is well represented by the book’s characters, although perhaps not in equal percentages. This makes for a more interesting approach to the ending of the book as the reader can approach the finale with at least a measure of doubt as to it’s resolution. One piece of advice, start this book when you have some time to devote to the reading, It may well be one you don’t want to put down, and as such you may find yourself reading well into the night even when you have to get up to go to work the next morning.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Linda Baker

    The first thing I want to say about the debut novel, Little Comfort, is that it was not what I expected. The description ticked specific boxes: librarian, amateur sleuth, missing person, New England setting. All those boxes indicated a straightforward, undemanding, somewhat escapist mystery, at least to me. How much trouble can a librarian get into? A tremendous amount evidently. Hester Thursby is 36 years old, 4 foot.9 (and 3/4) inch librarian at Harvard University. She has a rather odd living a The first thing I want to say about the debut novel, Little Comfort, is that it was not what I expected. The description ticked specific boxes: librarian, amateur sleuth, missing person, New England setting. All those boxes indicated a straightforward, undemanding, somewhat escapist mystery, at least to me. How much trouble can a librarian get into? A tremendous amount evidently. Hester Thursby is 36 years old, 4 foot.9 (and 3/4) inch librarian at Harvard University. She has a rather odd living arrangement in an old house with Hester's "non-husband" Morgan, her best friend from college, Daphne, and Daphne's three-year-old, Kate. Daphne disappeared months previously, leaving Kate and a note. Morgan is Daphne's brother, and the two decide to take on parenting responsibility until Daphne returns. Most of that responsibility has fallen to Hester, something about which she is very conflicted. She has even taken leave from her job to stay at home with Kate although she never felt any desire for a child. Hester has built a sideline using her research skills to help find people, mostly old schoolmates, prom dates, out of touch relatives and the like. Her interest is piqued when she is approached by Lila Blaine to find her brother, Sam, who disappeared from their lakeside home in New Hampshire. Apparently, his friend Gabe vanished with him. The two could not be more different. Sam was handsome, charismatic, and evidently willing to do whatever it would take to elevate himself into the life of the rich people who come to the lake in the summer. Gabe was "invisible", both to himself and others, and bounced from one foster home to another. Lila provides Hester with a stack of postcards sent from cities Sam has lived in over the years, complete with cryptic messages. It takes Hester precisely two days to find Sam and Gabe, right in Boston, and a trail of death and destruction in their wake. I won't say any more about the plot, which has twists and turns that made my head spin. The characters in Little Comfort are the real stand-out, however. Sam and Gabe are chilling psychopaths, but somehow Edwin Hill makes one of them if not sympathetic, at least pitiable. Hester herself is a flawed character whose cavalier disregard for her own safety and Kate's made me want to shake her at times. Her job as an investigator is not a "take your kid to work" situation. Hester is the embodiment of "tiny but fierce." Many thanks to Kensington and NetGalley for an advance digital copy. Little Comfort won a coveted "Starred Review" by Publishers Weekly and deserves it. The opinions are my own. RATING-4.5 Stars

  26. 4 out of 5

    Missi Martin (Stockwell)

    If you go online and read the brief summary of Little Comfort by Edwin Hill, it starts by saying “In a brilliantly twisted debut” (see above) and those two words describe this story remarkedly well. This is a brilliant story and a twisted tale. I can’t even begin to explain the story….not because it is difficult to describe but trying to tell you, a potential reader, what to expect and trying to do that in a few paragraphs will not give this story and the author it’s worth. I can tell you that th If you go online and read the brief summary of Little Comfort by Edwin Hill, it starts by saying “In a brilliantly twisted debut” (see above) and those two words describe this story remarkedly well. This is a brilliant story and a twisted tale. I can’t even begin to explain the story….not because it is difficult to describe but trying to tell you, a potential reader, what to expect and trying to do that in a few paragraphs will not give this story and the author it’s worth. I can tell you that this is a story like no other and it will grab you and hang on to your mind from the first page until you finally begin to relax and breath regularly when you close the book for the last time. Even when you finish the story and close the book, Hester and everything that she went through will stay with you. How can it not ?? You will see a woman that may be small but she is larger than life and she will prove it to you. You will see friendship and the depths of that relationship between two young boys as they struggle with becoming adults. You will see secrets so deep that they can either heal or destroy the people that keep them. There are a lot of relationships, emotions and secrets….lots of secrets in Little Comfort and sadly the story is of little comfort to those that lived it. But to the reader it is a GEM !!! Edwin Hill has a masterpiece in Little Comfort and I look forward to what his crazy mind will bring to paper next. Hill is definitely an author to follow…… and Little Comfort is a must read !!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kari

    I'm always on the hunt for good mysteries that have strong female detectives. I had high hopes for Little Comfort and was pleasantly surprised with the book. It's the first book in a series featuring Hester Thursby who is a Harvard librarian who uses old fashioned research to find lost people. As the story opens, she is on leave to help take care of her boyfriend's niece. She decides to take a missing person case that seems pretty straight forward. I enjoyed this one. I really liked Hester's char I'm always on the hunt for good mysteries that have strong female detectives. I had high hopes for Little Comfort and was pleasantly surprised with the book. It's the first book in a series featuring Hester Thursby who is a Harvard librarian who uses old fashioned research to find lost people. As the story opens, she is on leave to help take care of her boyfriend's niece. She decides to take a missing person case that seems pretty straight forward. I enjoyed this one. I really liked Hester's character. I loved her relationship with her boyfriend as well as his niece. She was pretty cute. Hester is short in stature, but really tough. Many people mistake her for a teenager. She's kind of kick ass in a librarian sort of way. I liked the way her mind worked and enjoyed watching her solve the case. She is definitely a character I want to read about in the future. The mystery was good. The story is told through Hester perspective as well as Sam's and Gabe's. Sam and Gabe are the missing men. They have spent their life grifting. Even though we know who and where they are, the real mystery is why they ended up being grifters. There are a couple of twists and their story is pretty disturbing. I don't want to give anything away. I do recommend this one and I look forward to the next book in the series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Eirene

    This was an interesting little mystery thriller. Hester is a librarian at the Harvard Library. As a side job, she's also a kind of private investigator who finds people. Her new client, Lila, asks her to find her long lost brother, Sam, who ran away with his childhood friend, Gabe, after a mystery incident in their teens. It doesn't take Hester more than a few days to find Sam, who over the years has changed his name half a dozen times, moved around the country and infiltrated rich communities wi This was an interesting little mystery thriller. Hester is a librarian at the Harvard Library. As a side job, she's also a kind of private investigator who finds people. Her new client, Lila, asks her to find her long lost brother, Sam, who ran away with his childhood friend, Gabe, after a mystery incident in their teens. It doesn't take Hester more than a few days to find Sam, who over the years has changed his name half a dozen times, moved around the country and infiltrated rich communities with his new identities. Basically, making lonely rich women fall in love with him. But Hester's investigation takes a deadly turn and soon she's worried about her own safety.  The book is a page turner and the ending was very exciting. This was a good first book in a series!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Helen Lamont-dempsey

    Amazing debut novel!!! Instantly loved Hester and can’t wait to follow the character development in the novels to follow.Met the author Edwin Hill at a book club and was extremely impressed by his thought process as an author. I can’t wait to read his 2nd book next month. I would highly recommend Little Comfort and look forward to the Hester Thursby series continuing as long as the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Linda Atkinson

    Looking forward to book 2

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