Fatal Liaison


Fiction - Mystery - Murder
219 Pages
Reviewed on 01/23/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Based in rural Victoria, Australia, bestselling author Vick Tyley writes fast-paced mystery and suspense novels in contemporary Australian settings.

Born and raised in New Zealand, she moved to Western Australia with a single suitcase when she was nineteen years old. She has travelled extensively, spending a year touring the world before terrorism was an influencing factor. She has lived in the central business districts of large cities, suburbia, idyllic seaside locations, rural areas, bushland, and remote desert mining camps.

In the lead up to her writing career, Vicki worked in a multitude of different industries including banking, stockbroking, importing and wholesaling, human resources, mining, hospitality, civil engineering, and toys, in predominantly accounting, IT and management roles.

All these life experiences are brought to bear in her writing.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite

Fatal Liaison by Vicki Tyley is a good story. Dinner for Twelve is a dinner dating agency and the heart of this murder mystery. Megan, at the insistence of her best friend Brenda, attends a dinner against her better judgment. Brenda thinks it is a great chance to meet men and quickly hooks up with Lawson. Nick would like to be the man that Brenda had picked and tries his best to woo her, but without much success. Sam, who has recently met a dark haired, gorgeous man at a Dinner for Twelve event is missing and her brother Gregg can’t help but believe one of the members has something to do with it. When another girl is found murdered and Brenda disappears, Megan and Gregg team up to find the killer. Against the advice of the police and private detectives, they conduct their own investigation and find themselves in several scary circumstances.

Vicki Tyley has written the story with many twists and turns and, while I had my suspicions of who I thought was killing the ladies, I found myself changing my mind quite often. Fatal Liaison has it all - mystery, suspense, and romance. The characters are well developed; Greg and Megan won my heart from the beginning as they put themselves in one dangerous situation after another. Fatal Liaison is mostly just a suspense-filled mystery, but there is the hint of true love, too. If you are a romantic who enjoys a good mystery, Fatal Liaison is the book for you.

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With her first novel, the mystery thriller Thin Blood, Vicki Tyley became one of only two independent authors to have a book on Amazon’s list of the top 100 selling Kindle books of 2010. Her second book, also released in 2010, is Sleight Malice. She followed this with Brittle Shadows early this year, which was also the first book reviewed on this blog. Although a native of New Zealand, Tyley and her husband have lived in Australia since the early ‘80s.


Megan Brighton joins a dating service, Dinner for Twelve, at the insistence of her best friend, Brenda. Greg Jenkins does the same because he thinks the company or one of its clients holds the key to finding his sister, who has disappeared. When Brenda disappears, Megan and Greg join forces.


I’ve read all of Vicki Tyley’s books, and all have several qualities in common. All are thrillers or mysteries with multiple suspects or potential resolutions. I’ve always been convinced each of the primary suspects was guilty at some point, yet the ending still catches me off guard. Tyley’s ability to plot a story is the envy of many of her peers. Fatal Liaison keeps this streak alive.

I thought the premise of the story, that someone is targeting women using the dating service, was clever and unique. The service is one of those that brings many people together in a bar or restaurant to mingle and, potentially, follow up by actually dating. The large number of people each woman might have met or been targeted by, all of whom are potential suspects, meant the story had many directions it could go. If you’ve read and liked Tyley’s previous books, you’re sure to feel the same about this one. If you haven’t, Fatal Liaison would make an excellent first read.


The author is Australian and uses spelling, word choices, and slang appropriate to her native country.

Rating: ***** Five stars


An American Editor

I read the book last week in one day – I couldn’t put it down. This is an excellent mystery — one of the best I have read – and I have to confess, this
time I didn’t identify the right character as the murderer. This book’s twist ending is outstanding. It is another 5-star read by Vicki Tyley.


Grace Krispy, MotherLode

Greg Jenkins can’t find his sister, Sam. It’s not like Sam to miss work and not communicate with her family. Trying to track her movements and figure out where she could be leads him to a dating agency called Dinner for Twelve. The police don’t seem to be getting anywhere on this, so Greg decides to go undercover to get the information he needs. When he shows up for his first dating event, a love match is the furthest thing from his mind. In the midst of interrogating the agency’s clients in an attempt to uncover information about his sister, Greg meets up with Megan Brighton. Megan’s not really looking for love either, she’s just keeping her best friend, Brenda, company. Megan is sympathetic, but really has no information to offer Greg. When Brenda suddenly turns up missing, however, she finds herself more vested than she thought. Is someone from the dating agency involved? Will they be able to find Brenda in time to save her?

I was thrilled to receive this brand new release by Vicki Tyley. I’ve read her other three books (“Thin Blood,” “Sleight Malice,” and “Brittle Shadows“) and really enjoyed each of them, so, as I began, I was anticipating another great read. One of this author’s true talents is presenting a beginning that draws readers into the story and keeps them engaged until the very end. I never felt this story dragged, and I was reluctant to put the story down until I had read every last word. I genuinely liked and cared about the characters in the story. They were developed to the extent that a good balance was reached between the action and the characterization. I was pulled into the story because of the experiences of the characters, and it was written in such a way as to encourage my REVIEW: “Fatal Liaison” by Vicki Tyley » MotherLode Page 1 of 2 http://www.gracekrispy.com/fatal-liaison-vicki-tyley/ 8/08/2011 sleuthing right along with Megan and Greg. The number of characters was perfect for this sort of mystery; just the right amount to provides lots of opportunity to throw me off the trail (numerous times), but not so many that I forgot who was who by the end. I think this author provides a great example of how to balance plot events with characterization so that one doesn’t far outrank the other, both playing equally important roles.

Another thing this author does masterfully is throw some twists into the plot. Once again, I pegged the wrong killer. Numerous times, in fact. Midway through, something happened that threw me for a loop and caused me to completely rethink my ideas…and then were were off and running again. I think almost everyone fell under my suspicion at some point in the story, even people normally thought of as innocent bystanders. I love unpredictability in mysteries. Even though it seemed like the author was setting one or two characters up as apparent suspects (which, of course, will cause the reader to immediately dismiss them as too obvious), the number of characters made for a constant guessing game as to who was really guilty. The only thing I could predict going into the read was that it would be unpredictable.

The author’s writing style is fluid and that provides for a smooth and easy read. One thing I’ve commented about in my previous reviews of this author’s work was the presence of abrupt changes between chapters. In one review, I likened it to a “blackout,” where you wake up and can’t quite figure out what just happened. I really noticed a difference in this story. There were only a few abrupt changes, as compared to previous stories, and the next chapter backtracked enough to explain what had happened. So instead of seemingly like a constant source of confusion, it seemed more like a purposeful technique. I never had that dazed and confused feel that I’d experienced in other books. I was never really a step ahead of the story, but I never felt beind the eight ball, either.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: A Vicki Tyley book is always a good bet. In the four books I’ve read, I’ve never felt disappointment. I always leave feeling entertained. Although the author exhibited strong writing skills from the get-go, each book seems to show slightly more refined development. When I think about the awarding of stars (my least favorite part of reviewing, by the way), I find I’m sitting somewhere around a 4.75. But I don’t do 4.75. I loved reading this book, I love seeing the development in the writing skills and the easy, fluid readability factor. I didn’t want to put the book down, and it was immensely enjoyable. After giving out a few 5 star reviews in a week, I find myself giving yet another. Is it my fault some very talented authors released new books in the same month? I think not– it’s simply my good fortune!

5 /5 stars

Confessions of a Reader

I was drawn into this story from the very beginning and totally engrossed throughout. The plot twists and characters are woven into this story in such a fashion that I had a hard time putting this book down.

Greg’s sister is missing and his only lead is a singles meeting event sponsored by Dinner for Twelve. Megan and Brenda attend a couple of Dinner for Twelve events and when Brenda goes missing Megan has reason to suspect someone in the group. Greg and Megan eventually form an allegiance to search for the truth.

This is a fast paced story that is fluid and effortless and coupled with the mystery and suspense I was hooked. The twists and turns are endless and the character development was an essential and compassionate part of the story. The character dialogue flowed with ease and believability and I found that I could relate to the characters of Greg and Megan in a realistic way. The descriptive writing paints a clear picture of what’s going on and made me feel part of the story.

I really enjoyed Vicky Tyley’s writing style and her ability to keep me guessing while keeping me absorbed in the story. Her presentation of characters and events throughout the story combined with the elements of suspense succeed in making this a great read.

To me this is also a story of family, friendship and loyalty. It is a story that shows how strong family and friendships are and what lengths a person would go to protect and save the ones they love.

I recommend this book to all readers who love mystery/suspense and drama that will propel you forward and keep you guessing until the end.


Book Boogie

In Fatal Liaison, Vicki Tyley's latest novel, we meet financial planner Greg Jenkins and personnel recruitment consultant Megan Brighton, who are on separate life paths until they connect via the Dinner for Twelve dating agency.

Well, "connect" isn't the right word; that implies they were both looking for dates. Perhaps the more generic word "meet" is more appropriate.

Greg's younger sister Samantha ("Sam") has disappeared and Greg is desperate to find her, leaving no stone unturned, eventually following the only lead he has left – Sam's involvement with the dating service. And it just so happens that Megan is there at one of the functions, accompanying her good friend, real estate agent Brenda De Luca.

The characters (mostly the agency's clients) all seem quite the curious lot, with several appearing to have something going on between them, especially after one of them is murdered.

Brenda has a revolting molesting encounter with a client Megan has dubbed "Mr. Ginger Moustache," an unemployed landscaper with a sexual harassment past, in a warehouse. Soon after, she goes missing, awakening shackled to a bed in a dark room. Then, the police can't find their chief suspect whom they want to arrest for Linda's murder.

Greg's and Megan's searches shift into high gear; eventually they agree to work together when it appears the two disappearances night be interconnected somehow. Sam's decomposed body with a plastic cable tie around her neck is found in a forest by a wildlife photographer. Soon, other skeletons are found there, with cable ties around their necks, apparently the work of a serial killer.

If while you're reading you get a feeling that you know who the murderer is, forget it. It's not him. Or him. Or him either. And it's definitely NOT him. So, maybe it's a her? Tyley does a good job keeping the reader guessing until just the right moment.

As an Australian, Tyley's writing is sprinkled with quite a few Australian/British idioms: fossicked, skolling, the footy, suss, loud hailer, fob him off, dobbed in, jemmy, etc. That's not a bad thing as it adds atmospheric flavor. Thank God for the in-book dictionary app that can be downloaded for the iPad2's Kindle reader app.

This is Vicki Tyley's fourth book. It was a two-day read for me. It's easy, enjoyable, captivating reading, and I am eagerly awaiting the release of her fifth – Bitter Nothings, due for release soon.