Cover Image: Murder at Black Oaks

Murder at Black Oaks

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I have read a previous book which profiled Robin Lockwood, so I was ready for a "who dun it" type murder mystery.  Murder at Black Oaks harkens back so some of the great Agatha Christie novels.  This book is short and a very quick read, one that would be good in front of the fire place or by the pool.  If you are looking for an intriguing or many intelligent redirects, this may not be the book for you.  My recommendation is for those who want an instant gratification mystery.

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC.
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A Gem Of A Novel And Enjoyable Read

In 1990 Portland, Jose Alvarez is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend. It is a public defender versus the District Attorney’s star murder prosecutor, Frank Melville. Jose knows that he did not kill his girlfriend as she already was dead when he entered her room, so he declines a plea that would take the death penalty off the table. He is convicted and sentenced to death. From this birth, the novel grows.

The main storyline has several preliminary threads that lays out Frank Melville’s dilemma. After 30 years, the protagonist, Robin Lockwood, is asked to solve the dilemma. The tension is high in Lockwood’s effort to right this long outstanding wrong to free an innocent man on death row. Then, the action switches to Melville’s residence called Black Oaks that is several hours drive from Portland and is on the top of Solitude Mountain. Black Oaks is an exact replica of the 16th century Black Oaks built on a desolate part of the English moors. That Black Oaks was cursed because the son of the owner was notorious and turned out to be a werewolf. Melville’s Black Oaks has a werewolf motif and events hint to this Black Oaks also is cursed. Then, the title of this novel comes to fruition and much more. For me, the tension climbed through the roof, and my attentions was locked in. This is a major criterion of mine for a high start rating.

The B-storyline was rich. This is the sixth novel in the series, but it is the first one that I have read. After reading this novel, I felt that I understood the Robin Lockwood character as well as if this was the first novel in the series. The background on all the characters was excellent and truly boosted my reading enjoyment.

I found very little that could be objectionable for any readers of this novel. There are not any intimate scenes. Vulgar, rude, or impious language are practically non-existent. Mostly, the descriptions of scenes after the violence are as close to this novel gets to portraying violence.

There are several aspects of this novel that I really enjoyed. While the dilemma portion is straight forward, but with the start of the Black Oaks section, the plot becomes more complex with twists and turns and quite a few what I call literary grenades that make me reconsider what I thought I knew up to that point. As a surprise, there is another delightful main storyline thread at the end that acts like the cherry on top of your favorite desert. On a lesser scale, I enjoyed the back-and-forth banner between Lockwood and her assistant, Washington. To me, these characters were more realistic. Lastly, I liked the werewolf aspect in the novel. It was critical to the novel but was not overpowering like the right amount of spice to enhance the flavor. On the downside, there was nothing that degraded my reading enjoyment that quite often lasted later that it should into the night. While I rank authors but not until I read at least two novels, this author seems heading straight to my Must-Read category. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the novel. If this genre interests you, I strongly recommend it. I rate this novel with five stars.

I received a free e-book version of this novel through NetGalley from St. Martin’s Press. My review is based only on my own reading experience of this book. I wish to thank St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read and review this novel early.
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classic classic classic thriller but but but I felt like i missed some details because apparently this was a series and I did not read the other books before thissss
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I know I say this all the time but I just love the Robin Lockwood series so much. She’s smart feisty and she can throw down if need be. 

The last book we left off with Robin grieving a terrible loss. She doesn’t have many tender moments. So this gets addressed in the beginning but not much after that, which surprised me. 

She beats the crap out of some bad guy in this book some HUUUUGE bad guy. 

This book had lots of plots intertwined. It made it a little harder than usual to keep the stories straight.  

The guy who was wrongfully convicted broke my heart….but y’all know Robin Lockwood fights for justice no matter what. 

This book was good and kept me interested the whole time. The beginning was my favorite part. While this wasn’t my very fav in the series I still enjoyed it and can’t wait to see what Rockin Robin does in the next book. 

I highly recommend this series as a whole.
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Thank you Net Galley For this advanced copy and audio listen of this book. I was not reimbursed or influenced to write this honest review.

Robin Lockwood, a defense attorney, finds herself once again at the center of a murder investigation (this always makes me laugh, like the lady in Murder She Wrote, I mean I would run for the hills if I saw her coming my way!) Anyway, I know its just fiction, but makes me chuckle a bit. 

Robin is summoned to the Melville home to help Frank relieve himself of the torture he has been living under the past 20 years after he discovers he sent an innocent man to prison and to be put on death row. With mounding guilt he calls upon Robin to help set the man free, which involves Robin visiting him at his secluded (haunted? mansion) As with any good mystery, a storm ensues and Robin and the other guest are stuck in the mansion and people start it the newly free death row inmate? The caterers? The Police Officer? Or the escaped patients from the prison? 

This is my second Robin Lockwood book in the series (#6 so far) and from what I can gather from the first one (# 5) and this one. Margolin is very good at creating suspense and throwing a great "Gotcha sucked into the plot" type book. He offers his readers very short, fast paced books with NO fluff. 
By no fluff I mean, absolutely no character development, which is not bad if you are in for a quick wham bam thank you mam read. It does make it difficult to keep the numerous characters straight however. 
I felt like this book there were too many plot lines, murders, and characters to fully comprehend all that was going on. I was entertained the whole time, but felt confused by all the "sameness" of the characters. 
I believe if he could have added about 30-50 pages of more detail or slowed down the pace a bit I could have enjoyed it more. 

Either way, I am loving Robin and can't wait for #7
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This is #6 in the fast-paced Robin Lockwood legal thriller series. These legal thrillers are all quick reads (or audiobooks) and the reader can't help but like Rockin Robin. The narrator does a great job with the audiobook. Fans of legal thrillers will enjoy this series. I would start at the beginning even though this is a stand alone.
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Found this to be a fast, decent, enjoyable read.  Had not read any of the previous 5 books in the series and had no problem following.  Kept me guessing who the bad person/s were.
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While this book is the 6th in a series, but fine as a stand alone!

Robin Lockwood is looking into an old case for a new client. Years ago, the lawyer had no choice but to defend a guilty client. He believes that someone else is paying for the crime and hopes that Robin can help.

The lawyer, believes he is cursed and lives in a haunted mansion! There is murder and mayhem and the homage to Agatha Christie is apparent. The first half is legal thriller and the second is murder mystery! If you are a Phillip Margolin fan, Agatha Christie Fan or just love a good legal thriller, you will love Murder at Black Oaks! #STMARTINS #Minitaur
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Talk about spooky and atmospheric reads. Murder at Black Oaks is the perfect book if you enjoy scary manors, strong female protagonist and mystery. The premise for this book sounded so appealing that I immediately requested it from Netgalley. We start our story in the past when District Attorney Francis Hardy is in the middle of a very important case involving the murder of a young woman. Fast forward into the present, our protagonist Robin Lockwood is summon by none other than Francis to his gothic manor called Black Oaks. This mysterious place is located deep into the mountains of Oregon and it is believed to be haunted. 

Once there, she discusses very important aspect of the previous case with Francis. Giving her new evidence and trying to make up for lost time. This story had a little bit of everything, mystery, murder, atmosphere and a lot of whodunit. Absolutely loved the way the author combined superstition with reality and that ending was nothing short of clever. Even if the book is in a series, this is book number six, I was never lost and very much enjoyed all the characters and their mesmerizing development.
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There is nothing I like better in a book than a closed room mystery in a scary house that is cursed and the weather adds to the atmosphere.

Phillip Margolin dedicates his book to the authors who gave him so much pleasure as her grew up:  Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, John Dickson Carr to name a few.

Phillip Margolin certainly lives up to his homage with Murder at Black Oaks.

The book is very atmospheric, the pages turn quickly and bodies are piling up.

Robin Lockwood is also on the scene.

What more could I ask for.

I cleverly followed the clues but did not guess the answer to who the murderer was.

A great book to spend an afternoon with and get lost in the story.

Thanks to NetGalley and St Martin's Press , Minotaur Books for mystifying read.
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# This book is a classic locked-door, who dunnit type of mystery/thriller, so if this is your thing then I think you’d enjoy this one!

# It’s the sixth installment in the Robin Lockwood series, but I haven’t read 1-5 and had no issues reading this and keeping up or feeling like I was missing out on background info 

# This book kept a pretty good pace throughout and kept me guessing as it went on, however I was getting annoyed by the frequent large jumps in time and I also felt like there was too much that was trying to fit into one book. The plot easily could have spanned over 2 novels.
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Frank Melville was a prosecuting attorney for Multnomah county in Oregon and very successful.   But when he put Jose Alvarez away for murdering his girlfriend Margo Prescott it nagged at him. He grew tired of putting so many people away he decided to start working for a private practice. As he was working there Archie Stallings hired him to represent him in a rape case. Archie had previously testified that he saw Jose leaving Margo’s apartment with blood on his clothes.

Frank won the rape case and then Archie confesses to him that he had killed Margo. Frank was so distraught over this news.  A tragic accident had happened that let Frank in a wheelchair and he needed assistance. Down the road after years he decided to help free the wrongly convicted. Black Oaks was a mansion that was supposedly haunted and cursed and Frank was a believer in that tale. He decided to hire a lawyer named Robin Lockwood to help him get Jose free from prison. 

I could go on and on about this book but I don’t want to give anything away. The twists and turns keep you guessing right up until the end.  Great book and I definitely want more from this author.

I received this ARC from Netgalley for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Phillip Margolin, St. Martin’s Press and Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

A long-time fan of Phillip Margolin and his work, I was eager to read this latest in the Robin Lockwood series. Margolin uses his strong ability with legal thriller and mixes in a murder mystery to create a doubly impressive piece for everyone. Full of great drama and some strong storytelling, Margolin impresses while never losing the momentum that this series appears to have with each new novel.

Frank Hardy was a stellar part of the DA’s office, able to push for convictions on many crimes. He even went so far as to put a man on death row for a heinous crime. After leaving for private practice, Hardy discovers that one of his clients was actually behind the murder, but knows the rules of attorney-client privilege keep anyone from being the wiser.

Years later, Hardy summons up-and-coming defence attorney, Robin Lockwood, to his palatial estate in the Oregon mountains. Hardy reveals what he knows and pushes Lockwood to see that justice is done, allowing an innocent man to go free. Lockwood does all she can, while also baffled about Hardy’s residence, the Black Oaks manor. Many a mysterious thing happened at the original manor, in the heart of England.

After Lockwood is successful in getting Jose Alvarez free from prison, they make their way to Black Oaks for a celebratory meal. Alvarez has made it clear that he holds a grudge towards Hardy for the delay in acting to set him free, even over the rational arguments made by his attorney. When Frank Hardy and others are murdered during the party, many wonder if the curse of Black Oaks has reared its ugly head. Robin finds herself scrambling to find a killer and try to piece it all together before too many others fall victim to a murderer and the curse of Black Oaks. Margolin dazzles with this piece and proves his versatile nature.

Phillip Margolin has proven his ability time and time again, luring me in with a well-developed story and a cast of characters well worth the reading time. This story moves things away from being strictly legal and into the realm of  mystery, as if Robin Lockwood must temporarily resurrect a character from an Agatha Christie novel. Working on building a strong connection to the story and characters alike, Margolin proves he has what it takes to entertain the reader throughout. 

Margolin develops a strong narrative and uses this to propel the story forward. With a strong foundation, the story clips along at a rapid pace, helped by short chapters and a handful of strong characters. The plot twists move the story from a legal thriller to a mystery, taking the reader along for an exciting ride. Building on a series that has already garnered a great deal of positive feedback by fans, Margolin is set to keep things flowing with ease, well into the future. I cannot wait to see what’s next for Robin and her legal team!

Kudos, Mr. Margolin, for a great piece that had me binge reading and enjoying every moment.
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What a fun book.  Innocent men I mail, a creepy mansion full of house guests and a stormy night.  Murder in a locked room.  Shades of Agatha Christie.  I recommend this book.
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What a mixed up mess. Any reference to Agatha Christie either in or about this book is complete heresy.
It is a mashup of a gothic novel, something like the Hound of the Baskervilles (escapee on the moors), old Lon Chaney movies (lots of talk about wolves/werewolves), and the Hellfire Club (satanic practices by the original owner of the gothic manor). All topped off with a Nancy Drew vibe. Plus for a lawyer to believe in a curse on his home is ridiculous. Besides, if he believed that, why was he living there in the first place?
I can only thank the gods that it was short and yet it took two separate murders mysteries to make it more than a novella.
I also did not like the unethical behavior of both Robin and her new investigator.
I really liked the first four books in this series but the last two have gotten worse and worse. Hate to give up on this series but think I have no other choice
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Murder at Black Oaks by Phillip Margolin

Oregon Attorney Robin Lockwood is hired by Frank Melville to try to right a wrong. José Álvarez has been on death row 30 years for a murder he says he didn’t commit. Frank has information which may set him free. 

There are at least 24 characters introduced by the halfway point of the story. Some of these end up at Melville’s cursed Black Oaks estate on a stormy night. Things progress as the reader may imagine with a handful of these people spending the night at Black Oaks. Murder ensues and a good whodunit is on its way. 

With a slow start, but strong finish, this book will intrigue any mystery lover and earns a four star review from me. My thanks to #StMartinsPress and #NetGalley got this ARC for my review.
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I've read many books by Phillip Margolin and have enjoyed them all. This one was no different. Fast paced, and easy to follow along with characters I've come to know and love. His books grab you and keep you wanting to read more. I highly recommend this book.
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Phillip Margolin does it again in the sixth book in the Robin Lockwood series. This book can actually be read as a stand-alone with no problem. There is something of a departure from the norm in that the story is set in a “haunted mansion”. Black Oaks is a replica of a 17th century mansion that appears to suffer from the same curse as the original mansion. Robin is hired by Frank Melville, the owner of Black Oaks, to determine the innocence or guilt of Jose Alvarez who was convicted of murder back in the 1990s. This simple action kicks off a chain reaction of events. Tossed in is an atmosphere of hauntings and curses along with the legal question of guilt and innocence. Great read! Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher. Looking forward to the next book in the series!
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Attorney Robin Lockwood goes to creepy Black Oaks Manor to help ex criminal defense attorney Frank Melville get an innocent man he convicted 30 years ago out of prison. While there murders arise and secrets come out in this eerie backwoods Manor. 
Loved this book and couldn’t hardly put it down. 
Thanks NetGalley and St. Martins Press for this ARC!
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This book differs from his other but all in all still a good read.  Entertaining and twisty. Started strong and wavered in the middle but in the end it all came together. 

Thank you Netgalley for this arc
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