by book

Book Titles

  • Spouse Trap

    “In a word: fabulous! If you enjoy reading mysteries, SPOUSE TRAP is the crème de la crème. Cynthia Hamilton has created riveting, memorable characters to follow…I didn’t want the book to end…It kept me up at night and when I finally had to put it and myself to rest, I couldn’t sleep thinking of the machinations and intrigues of Steven Ridley keeping Madeline, the main character, off kilter and completely imbalanced constantly.” ★★★★★

    “What makes Ms. Hamilton stand out is the way she immerses herself in her stories. If she wants to write about something, she just doesn’t do research, she experiences it firsthand so she can make her stories so wonderfully realistic. Her writing makes me think of Robert De Niro in the movie “Raging Bull” and how he not only portrayed boxer Jake La Matta, he became Jake La Matta by submersing himself in his life.” ★★★★★

    “Mystery, suspense, intrigue…tragedy, hopelessness and redemption. Hamilton deftly weaves these elements through her story, never with a heavy hand. Twists and turns abound. A happy resolution is never certain, and Madeline dips and rises below and above waves that threaten to overwhelm her. She’s a wonderful character. On the surface, a spoiled Santa Barbara socialite, but also a resilient woman who discovers depths of strength she never imagined she possessed.” ★★★★★

  • A High Price To Pay

    “The plotting of A High Price To Pay is exquisite. The characters are depicted with rich depth and dimension. As in her other works, Cynthia Hamilton reveals an intelligence in her writing about human nature. There are no cardboard cutouts here to occupy space or meet a superficial need. Every character, however minor or tangential, is fully-drawn and consequential. This is a hallmark of Hamilton’s prose. She is an accomplished and gifted wordsmith. This book far exceeds the expectations of an ordinary whodunit. The characters, through their thoughts and actions, reveal reflections on human nature, insight into emotions and passions we all share. By the time the mystery is solved, we’ve learned far more than the murderer’s identity.” ★★★★★

    “I love the way that Ms. Hamilton writes. As a huge fan of mysteries and crime thrillers, I want to read an author who writes intelligently and thoughtfully. I want characters that are not perfect but real. I want a plot that has me turning the next page eagerly to find out what is going to happen. I want an author who does not spoon feed me all the clues and information. Most importantly, I want interesting characters and dialogue. Cynthia Hamilton provides all of what I look for in mystery book.” ★★★★★

    “Hamilton’s clever twists keep the reader flipping pages to see how both plot lines could possibly be resolved satisfactorily (They are!) and it all leads to an non-stop thrill ride of an ending that’ll keep you reading late into the night.” ★★★★★

  • Girl Trap

    “In the third installment of the series, we spend most of our time mingling with a mere day and a half in the private eye’s life, and we’re there with her every second. Dawkins’ unique blend of savvy, intelligence, grit, and intuition help lead us through a labyrinth of danger and unique experience. Yet unlike many contemporary mystery series, Hamilton is not afraid to get real. In Girl Trap we read of human sex trafficking and mental illness, and we’re reminded of those sobering, complex issues in our real world.”

    “This book has exceeded my expectations, as well as surprised and delighted me. I love the character development and the way the relationships have evolved. The story is engaging and I was swept away and kept guessing until the end. I really love Ms. Hamilton’s skilled writing and I feel she has outdone herself on this one, bravo!”

    “Dawkins’ unique blend of savvy, intelligence, grit, and intuition help lead us through a labyrinth of danger and unique experience. Yet unlike many contemporary mystery series, Hamilton is not afraid to get real. In Girl Trap we read of human sex trafficking and mental illness, and we’re reminded of those sobering, complex issues in our real world.”

  • The Trouble With Paradise

    “This is a wonderful series that gets better with each book. Mike and Madeline have absolutely hit their stride in this adventure. The PI business is growing, and more great characters are involved in the biz, helping to bring to light, and finding out the truth within the dark and dangerous side of Paradise. I love how M&M work together and relate together, and I love how Ms Hamilton manages to make me feel as if I am right there with them each step of the way; fantastic story telling! Reading this book was pure enjoyment and an absolute thrill!”

    “The Trouble with Paradise (Madeline Dawkins #4) by Cynthia Hamilton is another great mystery in this series. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and this book is no different. Cynthia’s writing always engages the reader and takes them on a journey with wonderful and lovable characters. I love suspense and trying to work out where the story is going and as always there are some twists that surprise you. I adore both Madeline and Mike and how connected they are and how they will do anything for each other. But I love the way they think and solve their mysteries. In this book they are helping two women who have been accused of murder. Will they be able to solve the cases before time runs out. I highly recommend this book and this series.”

    “Another great mystery in a great series. I love to read about Mike and Madeline and how they solve their next case. This story kept me on the edge of my seat while I was anticipating what was going to happen next. The author does a wonderful job weaving a suspenseful story full of action and interesting characters. I have loved reading this series from the start. I can’t wait to read the next book by this amazing author. I highly recommend this book.”

  • Patience of Karma

    “The Patience of Karma (The Madeline Dawkins Series Book 5) by Cynthia Hamilton is a crime/thriller. The mystery, thrills and suspense kept me glued to the book all the way through. As always with these wonderful characters Cynthia puts them through their paces and us right along with them. I have loved this series since the first book I picked up and have not been disappointed, not once.”

    “The Patience of Karma was my first Cynthia Hamilton book not to mention my first of the Madeline Dawkins Series stories. This story follows two investigations by the MDPI agency that are not only action filled but are very realistic because nothing comes easy to any of the investigators. The process of each investigation is fully explored and how each of the decisions begins to affect each of the investigators and the blind alleys they encounter as thy seek to solve the cases.”

    “Madeline Dawkins and Mike Delaney are at it again! They each have a case to solve for their PI business, and even one that hits close to home for Mike. As always, the characters and the story brings you right into it. Madeline and Mike grow stronger together and have each other’s backs, plus the way they solve the crimes sure get you interested in the cases and their life. This is the5th book in the series-I’ve read them all and I can say they get better in each installment because of the back story. Don’t get me wrong, they can definitely be read as a standalone book. Just don’t be surprised if you pick up the earlier books once you’ve finished this one.”

  • Houses of Deception

    “Houses of Deception is the sixth book in The Madeline Dawkins series by Cynthia Hamilton. I know I say this with every new release, but I LOVE this series soooo much!!! I am so happy I discovered Cynthia Hamilton, and Madeline Dawkins-they are definitely at the top of my ‘must read’ list. The story is very cleverly woven with lots of intriguing developments that pulled me further and further into the story. There is plenty of mystery, suspense, danger, action, adventure, surprising developments, drama, tension, and other clever touches. I devoured it all in one sitting.”

    “Cynthia Hamilton has kept this series on track, a fast track that is. As usual she catches yourinterest on page one and believe me when I say, you are caught up in this story. I love herleadcharacters! Madeline and Mike keep this roller coaster series going. Many avenues will betraveled, but only the right one will bring this story to an end. Houses of Deception is part of amust read series! Well Done Cynthia Hamilton! Well Done!”

    “This is a fantastic addition to the series which seem to get better and better with each newinstalment. This could be read as a standalone, but I do not recommend doing that as you would be missing out on 5 other superb books that contain so much detail, past ‘adventures’, and character development. Trust me, it is worth starting this series at the beginning!”

  • Other People's Money

    “What a great story – three routine cases come in to MDPI that morph and intertwine with each other and grow into so much more. The characters are great and growing with each book. I can’t wait for the next book when I hope we get to learn more about the cousins! You can sit and binge read this book and thoroughly enjoy it, but like Maddie I need to stop and sort out all the new clues. Of course Maddie does a better job than me solving the cases. A really enjoyable read – great characters, plot and conclusion!”

    “Four elements make for a stand-out story: character, plot, setting, and tension. And yes, yes, yes, yes—Hamilton engages all of her know-how to bind these essential components and to make them shine! What I enjoy best are Hamilton’s characters—their motivations, how they think and interact—even the minor ones are never flat or dull. This suspenseful novel was a pleasure to read, and for sure, I’ll plunk down my hard earned money on whatever else this author publishes.”

    “Cynthia Hamilton does it again with this latest Madeline Dawkins mystery thriller. Three related cases with lots of twists and turns including a surprise ending. Grab your copy now of this latest instalment and if you haven’t read any of the Madeline Dawkins series, start now. You won’t be disappointed.”

    “Maddie, Mike, and Samir are the likable and competent main characters in this series, and with each installment, Ms. Hamilton gives a little more insight into their personalities, and I come to like them even more. This book was a wonderfully complex and suspenseful read, and the intricacies in the plot, and the weaving together of the three different cases that the team was working on simultaneously was impressive. I applaud the author as a skilled storyteller, and over the last few years, she has become one of my favorites in this genre. I look forward to the next book in this exciting series.”

  • Breach of Trust

    “Breach of Trust is another wonderful novel in the Madeline Dawkins Mystery series. This is the eighth book in the series, but reads well as a stand-alone. Maddie and Mike are back again with their team working on three different cases. Each case is challenging, and one hits close to home for Maddie. This novel is full of suspense, action, well-written characters, and I couldn’t put it down! I highly recommend this book!”


    “I couldn’t WAIT till my workday was over to sit down and read this book. This is the first book that I read from Cynthia Hamilton and I am hooked. This booked kept me on the edge the whole time wondering what was going to happen. The characters were amazing! Having three stories in one was awesome, I was also surprised that it was SO easy to keep up with. Sometimes storylines like that can get confusing but this was laid out perfectly. I would recommend this book to anyone!”


    “I have read every book that Cynthia Hamilton has written, so that might give you a clue as to whether this review is going to be positive or not…

    “‘Breach of Trust’ is the eighth instalment of Hamilton’s Madeline Dawkins Mystery Series – which shows no sign of running out of steam. In this novel, Madeline and Mike have three tricky cases to go at: a missing person, an abusive husband and a poison pen-writer. The author manages to keep all three balls in the air, and the tales move along at a brisk pace.

    As usual, the author’s prose is both frothy and unfussy. Plus, she is well-practiced at building the tension when needed. It’s hard to stop reading. Just ONE more chapter, maybe? “What felt like a good move at the time was now starting to look like a risky gambit… “‘I poked the bear,” she admitted as she headed back to her office.” And… “‘If trouble doesn’t come to me, I still manage to find it,’ [Madeline] pointed out.”

    “I am invested in these characters, and already tapping my fingers for the next book…”

  • Finding Ruth

    “I really enjoyed reading this book. I think it’s a remarkable account of the life of a woman who definitely had a story to tell. This book will resonate with a wide variety of readers including readers of human interest stories, readers caring for aging parents as well as with readers dealing with some of the same issues of family drama.” ★★★★★

    “This book is an biography of the writer’s mother. The relationship early on was stormy and sometimes even hate-filled, The Writer very much keeps an even hand and tells the story from her mother’s point of view. It is a tragedy. The mother’s life was filled with many trials and difficulties that made her bitter and angry, and the daughter was the recipient of much of this bitterness. Even so the daughter keeps an even hand and tells the story with love and respect for the mother. Sadly the story ends in Alzheimer’s, but in this case Alzheimer’s is a blessing. Without her bitterness the mother is able to express pure love to her family unlike anything she ever did during their childhood. The story is interesting and engaging throughout. It is a tribute to the mother and to the author.” ★★★★★

    “I adored my mother, who was also a most beautiful woman, and I have written about her in fiction, but I seriously doubt that I could ever attempt to write something as candid as this, so close to the bone. This is a most admirable work, and I look forward to reading more of Cynthia Hamilton’s writing.” ★★★★★

  • Lucky at Love

    “I loved this book! It is so well written it is pleasure to read. As the story unfolds between Allison and Jake I was swept along on their journey, delighted by the colorful cast of characters as well as the many vivid landscapes Allison finds herself in. Ms. Hamilton has created real life and thought provoking situations that give this story a warmth and depth that made me fall in love with and really care about Jake and especially Allison. This book is intelligent, funny and highly entertaining. I absolutely recommend Lucky at Love!” ★★★★★

    “This was a very enjoyable book. Contrary to the title, I thought this book was more about self-discovery, though I did enjoy the romantic story. I really enjoyed the writing style and the characters were well developed. I would recommend this book to anyone!” ★★★★★

    “This book got me hooked right away. It starts out with Allison, the journalist for a magazine, pitching her new story idea about a man who has been married & divorced 7 times. Jake who Allison met at his sister’s wedding doesn’t believe he is a failure at marriage. Instead, he feels lucky to have loved so many different women. Jake definitely has an interesting take on marriage and love. I also appreciated that Allison started to really think about her marriage. Books that make you think about your own life are the kind I love the most.” ★★★★★

  • Alligators in the Trees

    “Alligators in the Trees is an artfully written tale weaving together the lives of three New Yorkers from vastly different walks of life. Ms Hamilton has a true talent for creating her characters; I really felt like I got inside their world, got to know them and appreciate how they played out their story with one another. They are likable, interesting, sometimes ornery and best of all believable! I love this book as it is full of wit and charm as well as being heartfelt and truly unpredictable. I especially loved the all the song lyrics, very cool.” ★★★★★

    “Hamilton has created some believable and likeable characters. With her cast of Priscilla, Phil, and Tobias, the reader is brought along as they face some of the darkest moments in their lives. Instead of leaving them stagnant and one-dimensional, she draws them as if they really lived and breathed. They make terrible choices, they face consequences, and, in the end, they grow. And it is to Hamilton’s credit as a writer that we want to know what happens next to them.” ★★★★★

    “This story is a romp through the very different lives of the three main characters, with everything turning around Priscilla, a down-and-out waitress who has basically lost her faith in her own ability to change her life. Two very different men, one an aging rock star and the other a top architect in the midst of a scandal, manage to weave their way into Priscilla’s life through a series of happenstance encounters that end up making all three of their lives better for the experience. It’s a tale of the odd ways that fate, imagination, and perseverance can change even the most seemingly inevitable outcomes.” ★★★★★

  • Golden State

    “Roxanne had me cheering her on from the first page! For me, that’s what counts; I need to be able to relate to and care about the protagonist. You quickly see she is not what she appears to be, your average girl, stuck in a dead end job. She has an edge and a wit that has kept her spirit intact throughout her challenges as a single mom (something I personally can relate to). She digs deep to find her strengths and ingenuity to recreate herself and make a better life for herself and her son. The journey is not an easy one. However, she manages to keep her humor with the help of her best friend Andrea as she ventures into unchartered territory and the cutthroat world of selling real estate. I really love this book. It will not disappoint!” ★★★★★

    “I really enjoyed reading Golden State! The premise was light but intriguing – a thirty-something single mom who’s desperate to stop checking groceries for a living. But the story was about so much more than just finding a better job – it was about personal transformation, against all odds – and all odd balls! The writing sweeps you straight into action, and there’s never a dull moment as Roxanne battles egomaniacal bosses, her quirky family and questionable cohorts. The dialog is spirited and the situations Roxanne gets herself into are hilarious. But underneath it all is the message that we’re capable of more than we realize. Roxanne is a modern-day heroine, and Golden State is an anthem for really living as opposed to just surviving. This is a very good read!” ★★★★★

  • Once Upon a Lyme...

    “I loved the story even though it made me very sad at times. You can accomplish whatever you want to.” ★★★★★

    “I couldn’t put this book down. I am amazed at the strength of the author while battling unspeakable pain. But the book was about so much more than fighting a disease. She has a wonderful gift of expressing herself. I was so disappointed she was unable to find a magic cure for Lyme after all her searching, but inspired that she still finds joy in living.” ★★★★★

    “As a fan of Cynthia Hamilton’s novels, I was motivated to get to know the writer better by dipping into her biographical memoir ‘Once Upon a Lyme’, which chronicles her nine year journey to discover the nature of her illness. What emerges is a catalogue of diagnostic failures on the part of the medical profession, counterpointed with the author’s own determination to learn what ails her, and the beginning of her writing career which serves as a mental and emotional support in her life. A fascinating slice of life, exposing the private side of this skillful author. Sufferers of undiagnosed illnesses should take heart from this book.” ★★★★★

    “Cynthia gives us a window into the limitations and ignorance of both western and alternative practitioners. The existential abandonment is all very real despite the “good intentions” of those who go into the healing arts. I can so relate to how she goes against her better judgment to follows through with many of the alternative therapies. I applaud her courage to share such a personal journey and most of all I salute her position to stop seeking and find some peace in “what is.” ★★★★★