Sydney Rye Series by Emily Kimelman



When the series begins Sydney Rye is named Joy Humbolt. She does not like people telling her what to do, so it comes as no surprise that she was just fired from her last job. When she buys Charlene Miller's dog-walking business on Manhattan's exclusive upper east side, it seems like the perfect fit: Quiet environment, minimal contact with people.

But then one of her clients turns up dead, and Charlene disappears. Rumors say Charlene was having an affair with the victim--and of course, everyone assumes Joy must know where she is. Joy begins to look into the crime, first out of curiosity then out of anger when there is another murder and threats start to come her way.

When police detective Mulberry is assigned to the case, Joy finds a kindred spirit--cynical and none-too-fond of the human race. As they dig deep into the secrets of Manhattan's elite, they not only get closer to the killer but also to a point of no return. One last murder sends Joy Humbolt hurtling over the edge. Her only chance of survival is to become Sydney Rye.


I found us wandering not to the park but toward the Brooklyn Bridge. The night, sticky from the day’s heat, made me sweat as I walked through Carroll Gardens. The windows of brownstones flickered with the reassuring light of the television. Walking down Brooklyn Bridge Avenue we passed Family Court, a hideous building with a flat facade and barred windows. Across the street an ancient-looking armory sat dark and deserted.

We walked over the Brooklyn Bridge on the wooden pedestrian path that hangs above the roaring traffic. We followed the thick steel cables under the massive granite towers. To my left, glass skyscrapers mixed with turn-of-the-century stone houses perched on the tiniest tip of Manhattan. A gaping hole in the sky where the towers used to be made the island look off- balance. The Statue of Liberty glowed small but still impressively in the distance.

City Hall, white and large-windowed, stood at the end of the bridge. I turned us uptown, and we passed more courthouses. People stood outside fiendishly smoking in doorways, even at this late hour. Most were women who had come to watch their husbands, sons, and boyfriends be arraigned. To cry in the bathroom, to plead with the judge, to yell at the officer behind the bullet-proof glass, to smoke cigarettes outside.

Heading uptown, we passed Canal Street, its storefronts covered in pull-down metal gates in every shade of gray, deserted by pedestrians, at least human ones. The entrance to the Manhattan Bridge was still active with cars honking at each other as they tried to make the turn. A police officer watched from his parked cruiser.

In Soho we passed the flagship stores for Prada and Apple, and galleries with photographs of Bob Dylan and Audrey Hepburn. Above us, giant windows of fabulous lofts glowed. The occasional cobblestone street, the uniquely dressed, the tall, the skinny—here was the center of deciding what we want to be, how we want to live, what will make us belong. Giant billboards of young girls caressing bare-chested, glistening men in expensive jeans loomed over us.

Death in the Dark


At the beginning of Death in the Dark we find Joy Humbolt hiding, not only from the law, but also from her past and the mistakes she's made. Living this isolated life doesn't last long though when a visit from Mulberry brings Joy to accept her new identity as the Private Detective, Sydney Rye. To complete the transformation, Joy must learn to control her emotions as well as her giant aggressive dog, Blue. With the help of an expert trainer, Joy learns to fight with her mind as well as her body. However, when the daughter of a close friend is brutally murdered in the desert, Rye turns away from her mentor to seek revenge. Sydney's quick temper and deadly intentions lead her into a trap that she will need all of her new skills to survive.


A couple of guys wearing plaid shorts and collared shirts, their hats on backwards, spotted me as they spilled out of a bar, blind drunk, and perpetually stupid. But before their verbal appeals for blow jobs could turn into something more sinister, their girlfriends, in minuscule skirts and teetering on high heels, tumbled out of the bar and pulled them away.

Past where the tourists drank I walked up into the crooked streets of the ghetto. Sand and broken bottles lined the road, sure signs that trouble lurked in the shadows. Maybe it was Blue or maybe I was so obviously dangerous that no one approached us, I spent hours wandering through the town but nothing touched me.

Eventually Blue and I went to a bar and I proceeded to get hammered. Shots of tequila chased by cool, crisp beers soothed me and made sleep seem possible. We left the bar and headed for home. I was humming the last song they’d played on the stereo. I was off key but there was no one around to care. The night was warm, the stars bright, and I was headed home. The yearning was, for the moment, subdued. We left the lights of the town and started down the paved road toward the oyster farm.



The third book in the series begins with private detective Sydney Rye living a simple, disciplined life in London, but when a dangerous man from her past calls, Rye finds she cannot turn him away. Robert Maxim explains that the daughter of a powerful friend has gone missing and he wants Rye to find her. In exchange he offers her something she had given up hope of ever having; freedom from her past.

With her dog, Blue, at her side, Rye meets up with her new partner, a handsome man she's not sure she can trust. Heading for Mexico City, they go undercover, posing as husband and wife. After meeting with the bereaved parents, Rye starts to sense that there is more going on than just a missing girl. But it isn't until they arrive in the Yucatan Peninsula, hot on the girl's trail in Paradise, that all hell breaks loose. Sydney has to reach out for help from old friends and deal with the consequences of her past, if she's going to find the girl and keep them all alive.


Out on the street the rain had stopped. I walked a couple of blocks just letting my body warm up to the idea of movement. It didn't take long before I wanted to run. I started going a little faster, jogging gently past shop windows filled with pencil-thin, faceless mannequins posing in extraordinary fabrics. A woman teetering on stiletto heels while jabbering into her cell phone walked a small, white, curly-haired dog. The little dog strained against its pink halter, yapping at us. Blue's head stayed straight and even with my hip. The little dog's bark faded as we turned onto a side street filled with shade, the sticky sweet scent of flowers, and the soft whoosh of a breeze. My pace picked up as I tread on fallen bright purple petals. I felt my heart quickening as Chapultepec Park rose up ahead.

Crossing into the park, I began a sprint. A line of families waiting to enter the zoo watched us pass. Little arms shot out to point at Blue, whispers of "lobo" followed us.

I felt like I was flying. Not a thought entered my head only the joy of speed as I raced down an empty path. When my chest felt like it was on the verge of explosion and my legs were no longer communicating I slowed down. The path under my feet was a light sand. The trees around me bent and swayed in the gentle wind. I relished the shade and mild temperature, the occasional gust that helped cool me.

My Thoughts

I have read all of the books in this series and I absolutely love them.  I was lucky enough to discover Emily and her awesomeness when reviewing Insatiable.  That's right, I read book 3 before the first two.  The wonderful aspect of this series is that they are all tied together, but can actually be read as stand-alone novels without any of the other books being ruined.

Sydney Rye is basically an alter ego.  Well, she is the fake identity of a woman who felt that justice would not be served if left in the hands of those who were supposed to.  The relationships she forms with people during all of her cases are just comical - and very real considering she is not a real person.  Sydney Rye is a girl I could get along with very well and she is very easy to connect with while reading.  I absolutely love Emily's writing and I will forever be a fan.  You can read my review for Insatiable here.

This is a very fun series to read and I am uber excited to read the next installment to the series - Strings of Glass.  

You can get the books on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or you can get the "box set," which I absolutely love! You can purchase the box set on Amazon.

About Emily Kimelman

Emily Kimelman lives on a boat in the Hudson Valley with her husband, Sean and their dog Kinsey (named after Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone). Kimelman has a passion for traveling and spends as much time as possible in the pursuit of adventure. 

Her "Sydney Rye Series" are dark murder mystery novels which features a strong female protagonist and her rescue dog, Blue. This series is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

The first three books in Kimelman's series, UNLEASHED, DEATH IN THE DARK, and INSATIABLE are available in the Kindle store individually and in a box set. The fourth book in the Sydney Rye series STRINGS OF GLASS is due out Mid-Summer 2013.

If you've read Emily's work, and enjoyed it, please let Emily know. You can reach her via email 

Stalk Links


  1. Thanks for sharing! I love how you show off all three novels!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

  2. Thanks for sharing about my Sydney Rye Box Set. I'm so glad you enjoyed them all!


Post a Comment