AWRW Book Review: The Swap ( A Mystery), by Author Nancy Boyarsky @NancyBoyarsky

23348773“The Swap: A Mystery” is a twisty, Hitchkockian tale of an innocent abroad, a houseswap gone bad, a dangerous case of mistaken identity and a wild ride from London up the West Coast of Scotland.

The story begins when Nicole Lewis, young woman living in Los Angeles, arranges a summer-long swap of her condo for a London couple’s house. She thinks it’s the perfect arrangement. She’s always dreamed of seeing the real London, not just the tourist spots. She’ll be able to accompany her husband, Brad, on his out-of-town work as a trouble-shooter for his company. It will also give her a chance to keep an eye on Brenda, Brad’s assistant, who seems to be getting a little too chummy with her boss.

But things don’t turn out the way Nicole expects. Within a couple of days, she discovers that Freddy and Muriel Lowry, the Londoners, failed to arrive in L.A. and appear to be missing. Then people start following her and making threats, demanding information she doesn’t have. Nicole realizes she’s in serious trouble. But she can’t get Brad—busy working—or the police to believe her. Somehow, it’s up to her to extricate herself from the mess the Lowrys have left behind.

Paperback, First, 314 pages
Published 2014 by BellBoy Books
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Add to your Goodreads TBR List

Photo Credit: April L Wood


It took me forever (a year and a half) to get to this novel on my to-be-reviewed list which is such a shame! And of course when I did get to it, the story had me so wrapped up in its events, that I devoured it nearly immediately. I spent nearly my entire afternoon yesterday in my sunroom reading this novel – the strong breezes whipping my curtains around, and me all cozy on my couch with this great book – which was perfect because I wasn’t feeling well and this was the perfect distraction. It’s amazing what a good book can do for the spirit!

The Swap is a female-driven mystery tale with a new secret revealed with each turn of the page. A definite page turner, The Swap delivers on its promise as being a “Hitchkokian tale”. Part of what makes this story so suspenseful, is that she is in another country with completely different customs and ways of doing thing. She is essentially on her own and she has two choices: sink or swim.

I loved Nicole right from the start. (BTW, I’m dying to read book 2, The Bequest, but will never get to it on my massive TBR list – unless of course the publisher would like to offer it to me for review… HINT HINT, HUGE GLARING HINT! 😉 )

Nicole is totally relate-able and at first, the story reads as a women’s-fiction. Soon, it becomes a mystery, and by the end, a thriller! It’s a total roller coaster ride. I was literally gripping the book as if I was on a roller coaster!

I felt so frustrated for Nicole when no one would believe her. I could actually feel her anguish. The author did a great job expressing the emotions of the characters – specifically the main character, Nicole. I enjoyed living in her head for a little while. 🙂

I also enjoyed Nicole’s transformation from page one until last. I rooted for her all along. She may have lost her “innocence” but she gained something much more powerful: her independence and the ability to take care of herself, no matter what the circumstance. – Whether it be standing up to her husband, or escaping the villain.

I would recommend this novel to fans of women’s fiction, mysteries, and thrillers.

Book Review Provided In Exchange For A Complimentary Copy Of THE SWAP – This In No Way Swayed My Opinion, Nor Rating.

Amazon, USA

About The Author

Nancy Boyarsky

“The Bequest: A Mystery” is Nancy Boyarsky’s second book about Nicole Lewis. Her first novel featuring Nicole, “The Swap: A Mystery,” was based on a house swap that Nancy and her husband made several years ago. That swap went well, the only casualty being the coincidence of a broken teapot in each house. But it started the idea for her novel: What if the London couple had never arrived in L.A.?

Nancy was born in Oakland, California, and grew up with her parents and two sisters in the flatlands of East Oakland. When she was around eight—in a world that was a lot safer than today—she was allowed to roam the neighborhood by herself, and her visits to the tiny Alandale Public Library were the highlight of her week.

She attended public schools in Oakland. Her father opposed the idea of sending girls to college, being of the opinion that they would be better off working as waitresses to prepare them for their life’s work as housewives. Nancy ignored his advice and went on to UC Berkeley, where she supported herself by working in the campus library. In addition to the pleasure of working around books, the job had an added benefit of allowing student clerks to disappear into the stacks and read when work was slow. Nancy majored in English literature and graduated from Berkeley with honors.

Her first job was as an associate editor for a small, long-vanished publishing house in San Francisco. When her two daughters were born, she stayed home and began writing freelance articles for a local paper, as well as teaming up with her husband on magazine articles. They lived in Sacramento for ten years, while Bill covered the state capital and political campaigns for the Associated Press.

The family moved to Los Angeles when Bill joined the staff of the Los Angeles Times. When her girls were in their teens, Nancy gave up freelancing and returned to full-time work, first as associate editor of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine and later as communications director for political affairs for ARCO. She quit ARCO when the first of her two granddaughters was born. Since then, she has devoted herself to writing and editing. Her primary hobby is painting portraits and images from old family photos dating from the early 1900s. She loves reading fiction, the theater, films, and travel, especially to the UK where the theater and books are a national passion.


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