Goddess Fish: “The Illustrious Client” by Sandra de Helen Book Review Tour/Giveaway (ends 4/2)

By Ruth on March 18, 2014 in book, giveaway, mystery, promo, review

The Illustrious Client Banner
Book Two of the Shirley Combs and Dr. Mary Watson series, THE ILLUSTRIOUS CLIENT, shows us the private investigator and her sidekick sharing an office, and introduces their receptionist, Lix. They are hired to influence a young international pop star, Oceane Charles, to pry her away from her older, richer, player of a girlfriend. The cast is made up of people with various ethnicities and backgrounds, and of course the job soon includes solving a murder mystery. Along the way, Mary discovers her latent lesbianism. Set in Portland, Oregon on a superyacht, in a hospital VIP room, at Rose Festival, and other fun places.


The Illustrious Client CoverExcerpt :
Oceane was moaning with desire and ready for more when Zaro suddenly stopped what she was doing and sat up. “What is it?” Oceane asked. “Shh.” There was a sound outside the bedroom window. They both heard it this time. Zaro jumped up, threw back the drapes, opened the window and climbed out. “Come back here, you!” She was actually chasing someone. “Zaro, wait! Let me call the police. See, I’m calling them now.” Oceane was dialing 911 on her cell phone when she heard Zaro scream. She climbed out the window, pulling at her robe with one hand, still holding the phone in the other. Khalil came running from somewhere, yelling “Stop her! Stop her!” Khalil and Oceane reached Zaro at nearly the same minute. Zaro was screaming and writhing in pain. She couldn’t tell them what had happened, but it was clear she’d been attacked. Khalil took the phone from Oceane and spoke with the emergency dispatcher asking for both police and an ambulance. “It looks like acid.”


THE ILLUSTRIOUS CLIENT (Shirley Combs/Dr. Mary Watson Mysteries)THE ILLUSTRIOUS CLIENT by de Helen, Sandra

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are times that I omit checking the content too closely when agreeing to do reviews. This means that I occasionally read something out of my comfort zone, and this certainly was. I will restrain myself from complaining, however, because when I agree to review a book, I can “ignore” the content I don’t prefer. But I will tell you from the outset that this does deal with lesbianism, but it does not go into great detail. I would not call it overly graphic, but I just want to ensure that my readers know this before they pick it up. The profanity is not a major issue, but there are a couple of “hardcore” words. If any of this is an issue, I would recommend you abstain from reading the book.

Now that the potentially objectionable content is out of the way, permit me to tell you the positives. A female version of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson is quite an intriguing idea. I believe I would have more entertained had the story happened during Sherlock Holmes’s time, but that is just a personal preference. I didn’t read the first book, and I possibly would have enjoyed the book more if I had read book one, but I had no trouble following the storyline nor the characters.

One thing I truly appreciate is the diversity of the book. While I am uncomfortable with the aspects already mentioned, I still can say that multiculturalism is a definite strength of this book. The mystery was a bit weak at times, but I can say that the details included certainly qualify it to be a “cozy mystery.” The other details I suggested may boot it out of that genre, but there are no gory details. It may not be my all-time favorite genre, but the characters are interesting if nothing else. If you are looking for a quick read (and the cautions at the beginning of the review don’t bother you), this book would be a good fit for you. It is one you can sit down and read in one sitting. And the author certainly shows promise since she made me actually care about the fate of the characters in the story.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

View all my reviews



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Sandra de HelenSandra de Helen’s books as well as short stories are available at bookstores, libraries, and online. Her poetry and plays are published in several journals. Samples of her works are on her website SandradeHelen.com. Even though she says she isn’t a “joiner,” de Helen is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Oregon Writers Colony, the Golden Crown Literary Society, and International Centre for Women Playwrights. Like her at FaceBook.com/drmarywatson, follow her on Twitter @dehelen, and read her blog at RedCrested.com. She lives with her cat Stanton in Portland, Oregon where they both type.


Website: http://www.sandradehelen.com/


Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/drmarywatson


Buy Link:


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Illustrious-Client-Sandra-Helen/dp/0991079205

Sandra will be awarding a $25 Powell’s gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:



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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher


  1. Elise-Maria Barton March 19, 2014 Reply

    This sounds like such a fun read! Thanks for sharing.

    ilookfamous at yahoo dot com

  2. Thanks for hosting!

  3. momjane March 19, 2014 Reply

    Exciting excerpt, and great review.

  4. lynn buttedal March 19, 2014 Reply

    Wow it sounds interesting.This is a little out of my comfort zone too but I usually always give a book a chance! I will read!

  5. bn100 March 19, 2014 Reply

    Nice review

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  6. Daniel M March 19, 2014 Reply

    sounds like an interesting read

  7. Sandra de Helen March 21, 2014 Reply

    Thank you for hosting and for providing such a great review, in spite of your comfort level. I appreciate honesty, and you came through beautifully. All best to you and your readers!
    Sandra de Helen recently posted…STRIKING WHILE THE IRON’S HOT: AudiobooksMy Profile

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