Book Review: Stages & Thieves by Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba

S&T COVERTITLE: Stages & Thieves
SERIES: Semya Slotin Mystery – Book five
AUTHOR: Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
RELEASE DATE:  February 17th, 2015
GENRE: Thriller
RATING: 4,5 stars
BUY: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

One fateful July morning forever changed the lives of Sémya Slotin and her best friend Polliannah Guryev.

Vincent Edgerton, the only man Sémya has ever loved, was taken from her by an explosion and a fire that she couldn’t understand, trust, nor explain. It left her alone, hurt, angry and desperately seeking answers. On top of everything, she is also incredibly hormonal; Sémya Slotin is going to be a mother.

Polliannah just healed from losing her husband but seeing her best friend grieving is not only breaking her heart, it has been a strain on their once close-knit relationship. She is afraid that Sémya will completely disappear into her grief. Thankfully, Polliannah can always seek refuge with the handsome Chief Superintendent James Connelly. In the past three months, he has become her safe haven. But when they finally give in to each other and Jim reveals his true feeling for her, Polliannah pulls away.  Is she ready to put herself out there again?

Then all of the sudden, Sémya, the pregnant Detective Extraordinaire is chasing art thieves across the globe, making dangerous deals and finally meeting her father… It’s all about ex-lovers and new ones, a priceless painting, con artists, baby bumps, an impromptu trip to Moscow, designer dresses, teacakes, a birthday ball and reconnecting with your roots.

With everything that has happened this year, Sémya and Polliannah are more vulnerable and exposed than they have ever been. Will Jim’s love and trust be enough to ease Polliannah’s doubts? Will Sémya find out what happened to Vincent?

Welcome to the Stages & Thieves saga, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

I previously read another book in the Semya Slotin series, but the Stages & Thieves saga is an entirely new series within this series. The characters are familiar, but some new characters make an appearance as well. Sémya Slotkin and her best friend Polliannah are in London, and things aren’t looking up for either of them. Sémya just lost Vincent, the love of her life. Polli wants to help her friend, but since she recently went through a similar tragedy, she struggles with grief too. Both of them struggling with broken hearts puts a strain on their relationship, and Polli fears that Sémya lets the quest to find out what really happened to Vincent rule her life.

But while both friends struggle to move on, Sémya finds herself suddenly in the middle of another adventure reminiscent of her previous ones as an amateur sleuth – except this time the stakes could be even higher. She’s chasing art thieves one moment, meeting her father for the first time in the next moment, and trying to cope with her pregnancy all while trying to find out what really happened, and who she really is now she discovers a secret about her roots.

Of the two books I read in the series focusing on Sémya Slotin, this is my favorite. The writing has matured, as have the characters. Sémya and Polli are far from the giggling girls we met at first – they have a darkness to them now, a maturity that comes from grief and suffering, and sometimes their pain seems so real the author can almost feel it. But luckily the book isn’t just all about sadness: at its core, it’s a thriller, a fast-paced mystery, and Sémya and Polli find themselves more vulnerable than ever.

While I enjoyed the plot, the characters truly make this book shine. I can’t wait to read what happens next.



  1. Thank you for the lovely review 🙂

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