Review: Queen of Hearts, by Heather Day Gilbert

Queen of Hearts, by Heather Day Gilbert (WoodHaven Press, 2024)

Her readers love her…
but one has gotten a little too attached.

Queen of Hearts is a deliciously twisty, engaging read that keeps readers guessing.

Recovering from a messy divorce and struggling to meet the deadline for the final book in her bestselling suspense series, author Alexandra Dubois receives a threatening letter from a “Highly Invested Reader.”

Determined not to give in to the demands—or to let the stalker’s escalating activity sabotage the focus she needs to finish her novel, Alex escapes to a private hideaway in the West Virginia mountains. As events make her fear the stalker has followed her, she doesn’t know who to trust.

I so enjoyed this novel. The swift-running plot. The mountain scenery—complete with a storm! The small-town characters. The clues that kept me guessing.

Alex as a first-person narrator drew me in and revealed how her autism shapes her perspective and her reactions. It’s hard to understand what look like foibles when they’re only seen externally, but in Alex’s head it all makes sense.

Writers, experienced or novice, will appreciate this book, either nodding in agreement with Alex’s observations about writing or picking up tips to help their own work.

Mostly, it’s the voice or tone of the story that leaves me refreshed like I’ve had a drink from a clear mountain spring. It’s deeper, more energetic than the author’s lighter series (Belinda Blake and Barks ‘n Beans—both of which are good too.) It feels more like her A Murder in the Mountains suspense novels.

Highly recommended for fans of clean psychological suspense, Queen of Hearts is first in a new series.

West Virginia author Heather Day Gilbert is known for her strong characters, frequent mountain settings, and stories where friendship and loyalty play a key role. From Viking historicals to cozy mysteries to suspense and romantic suspense, from clean reads to Christian fiction, her books are sure to engage readers. To find out about the author and her books, visit

[Advance review copy provided via #Netgalley. My opinions are my own.]

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