Reviews - One Major Mistake

Having read the first two books in Starr’s Ivanovich Series, I was anxious and excited to read “One Major Mistake.” I began reading the novel on a Saturday afternoon and could not and would not put it down. From the first page, I knew I was in for an incredible ride and Ms. Reina did not disappoint.

F.B.I. agent Pavel Ivanovich, was everything I remembered him being and more. He is a man’s man, yet he definitely appeals to the ladies. The book opens with the discovery of a dead body, the body of Brenda Haxton, the ex-wife of Pavel’s partner, Nick Haxton. What isn’t immediately known is the cause of death. Was it murder or was it a simple case of death by over dose by a junkie? What transpires over the course of the novel will leave you breathless. The case becomes complicated when Agent Ivanovich discovers a connection to Guy Diaz, a ruthless drug lord on both the East and the West coast.

If dealing with the case, new partners, Nick’s one track mind to avenge Brenda’s death, and bosses who have a tendency to keep him on a short leash wasn’t enough, Pavel also has to contend with his girlfriend, Teresa Mancini. Teresa, the daughter of the deceased mob boss, Carlo Mancini is irrepressible, obnoxious, funny, and loveable. It’s easy to see why Ivanovich has fallen head over heels for Teresa. The side plot involving Teresa and her business, Madeline’s Treats, in itself will keep you glued to the page.

I don’t want to recap the novel or give away the plot, but let me just say, the only major mistake you could make would be not reading “One Major Mistake.” I loved the first two books in the Ivanovich series, but nothing prepared me for how incredible this one was. As I stated at the beginning, I began reading “One Major Mistake” on Saturday afternoon and finished reading it at approximately 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning. I thought I knew where the book was headed and how it was going to end…wrong. As I turned the final page, I sat there, opened mouth, and… breathless. As I shut off the lights, the book stayed in my head and in my dreams. I know the title says the Final book in the Ivanovich Series, but I hope this is not the end of the characters. I would love to see the Teresa Mancini, P.I. Series (Just a thought, Starr).

I cannot praise “One Major Mistake” enough. Starr Gardinier Reina has outdone herself and has put herself in the same league as Preston and Child, Tess Gerritsen, Karen Slaughter, and Jeffery Deaver.

Review by J.M. LeDuc, author of Cursed Blessing and Cursed Presence; books one and two in the Trilogy of The Chosen.


Starr Gardinier Reina as always, gives us a rip-roaring thriller. One Major Mistake is packed with excitement and heart-stopping adventure.

--F. M. Meredith, author of the Rocky Bluff P.D. series


"Pavel Ivanovich's life is turned upside down in this hard-hitting and final installment of the breathtaking Ivanovich Series. Starr's style is both captivating and addictive in its creative scope. Humor, sex, and violence weave an entertaining dance in a story so real it reads like the front page of today's headlines. Not reading this book would be "One Major Mistake!"

-- Donald Allen Kirch, author of "Reich" and "Manchester House."


Sometimes, as a reader, I come across an author who writes a book that completely captivates me from the first word to the very last. The greats who come to mind are John Saul, Jon Land, Brett Battles, Jocelyn Drake, Dean Kuntz and countless others who have given more of themselves than you expect to find between the pages of a novel. The newest name to add to that list without a doubt is Starr Gardinier Reina.

Pavel and Teresa make the perfect couple. Pavel with a job he loves as an FBI agent and Teresa with her pet treat store, a job that was forced on her. They each have their own agenda: Pavel’s, catch the bad guys and put them away. Teresa’s, run the store, try to be a good step-mother figure to Pavel’s young daughter Rita Grace, find a house to move into that encompasses the lifestyle she became accustomed to as a mob boss’ daughter, and find out who sent her a large sum of money that she’s simply dying to spend! Even if it means breaking the law.

You would think Teresa and her need to “help” Pavel with his cases and driving him crazy with things she deems essential in their lives would be what drive him crazy. But when Reina tosses in the murder of Pavel’s partner and friend Nick’s ex-wife, a drug lord who knows no boundaries, a couple of bad agents, and Gaines, the new boss at the Thousand Oaks FBI office and the bane of Pavel’s existence, suddenly Teresa becomes his favorite ride at Disney World in comparison.

This book had me captivated and rooting for the good guys all the way through. It also had me screaming at Gaines to drop dead! The ending that I never saw coming, made me scream out loud and continues to invade my mind even now. The one major mistake Reina made was concluding her series with this book. With any luck, she’ll see the golden opportunity to take the characters and start something brand new. This reader certainly hopes she does just that. If you want a read that will stick with you long after you turn the final page, “One Major Mistake” should absolutely be on your short list.

Reviewed by Terri Ann Armstrong, author of “How to Plant a Body”


The story starts with a dead woman found on the railway tracks. I was immediately drawn into the story. The dead woman is the ex-wife of FBI agent Nick Haxton, Pavel Ivanovich's partner. The woman was shot dead but the injection indicates that she may have overdosed and it looks like a case of drug deal gone bad. Or is it?

Pavel though interested doesn't officially investigate the case. He is investigating the case of Drug lord, Guillermo Diaz . Stone, who has followed him, swears revenge. But does she?

Pavel has lots of problems to deal with along with these cases. Nick is running his own investigation into his ex-wife's death without official sanction. Pavel's new boss is turning into a pain. There seems to be a mole in the department who is giving information to the drug lord. Who is the mole? As if all this is not enough, Teresa is conducting investigation into her new found wealth and constantly asking Pavel to share information on his investigations.

I read it one evening. It is a quick read with lots and lots of dialogue. Teresa is funny, crazy and irritating. I like the way she tries to get her way with Pavel. She thinks she can have her way with everybody. Can she? I like Teresa's idea of trying to be a Private Investigator. Now that this is the final instalment of the Ivanovich series, I wonder if there would be a new Teresa, PI series. I wouldn't say I was surprised at the two big surprises, I kind of knew 'who'. But I didn't expect the final surprise and sudden ending.

~ Valli's Book Den



I love this genre and so I went into this novel with high expectations I was expecting to find a story that drew me in and kept me anxiously turning the pages. I haven't read the first two in the series, but I never felt lost.

And Reina delivered. She created a novel that immediately caught my interest and kept me thoroughly entertained until the last page. I found myself racing to solve the crime and figure out exactly what was going on. The prose was fantastic. There were a few errors I caught, but on the whole, the prose flowed seamlessly.

Plus, she managed to create complex characters who I loved reading about. Teresa was a character that you couldn't help but love even though she could be selfish and snobby. And I absolutely adored Pavel. He was definitely one intriguing character. I thoroughly enjoyed watching him and Teresa interact with one another.

And now let's talk about the plot line. Reina did a fantastic job at creating a story that drew me in. There were so many different elements that she masterfully wove together. Definitely a novel that kept me turning the pages.

In Summary: A fast pace suspense novel that left me turning the pages faster and faster. Reina crafts a compelling story with dimensional characters that you can't help but fall in love with.

Warnings/Side-notes: Minor swear words appear often and strong language appears a few times. References to drugs, alochol, and sex. However, the sexual references are fairly vague and aren't very detailed. Definitely for more mature readers, but not crude in any way.

The Wrap-up: I was not prepared for the end. I won't say much more, because I don't want to give anything away. I feel torn about what happened. I love the novel so much and yet the ending seemed sudden. However, having said that, I still like this novel very much.

Despite the few errors I saw in this book, the book left me thoroughly intrigued. Definitely recommend this!

~Taking it One Page at a Time


One Major Mistake is a suspense crime thriller that I can get behind. This book is written so realistically you would think you were reading the story from a police report and news article itself. This story brings you down into the truth depth of a run down town filled with crimes from drugs up to murder and everything in between.

I know I will be reading this book again and again. Truly any suspense lover should have a copy of this. Easy connection to the well defined characters and easy flow through the fast paced and hard times of being on the tail of a murderer. You won't want to put this book down, I didn't.



F.B.I. agent Pavel Ivanovich is back in this third and final installment in Reina’s ‘Ivanovich’ series. 

When the body of Brenda Haxton, the ex-wife of Pavel’s partner, Nick Haxton is discovered, everything about the case feels wrong. Without a definite cause of death and the possibilities ranging from murder to drug overdose, Ivanovich vows to uncover the truth. But as the case moves forward, Ivanovich finds a connection to a vicious drug lord, making the stakes even higher than before.

Ivanovich is a stable, solid agent with a whole world full of distractions and problems, but none are as much fun as his steady girlfriend, Teresa Mancini. Teresa is tough, hilarious, and has enough spunk in her to justify a book series of her own!! Teresa’s storyline is sharp, quirky, and fun and her side venture as a ‘doggy treat guru’ is brilliant!!

First Things First…

I am not happy with this book… not happy at all!!

As if I don’t have enough books in my TBR stack, Starr Gardinier Reina is now forcing me to add two more to that list; the first two books in the series. Humor, sex, and violence woven together so brilliantly, it will have you questioning ‘Is this really a work of fiction?’ “One Major Mistake” has something for every type of mystery lover.

Reina has a voice and style of writing that is so special and original she has officially been added to my list of favorites. With beautiful editing, smart dialog, and enough layers to satisfy even the most finicky of readers, “One Major Mistake” is sure to be a breath of fresh air. I am giving “One Major Mistake” a 4 ½ spider rating and recommending it ONLY to those folks looking for a great, summer read!!

*On a final note, though this is the third book in this series, I was able to read it without having read the first two books. HOWEVER, as I often do, I highly recommend that the reader begin with the first book and move forward. This way, you avoid back tracking the series (like me) and are sure not to miss anything.*

CK Webb


“One Major Mistake” is a wonderful crime/suspense book that is gritty and quite realistic. The main character is Pavel, who has to solve the grisly murder of his best friend & partner's ex-wife. The case leads him to yet another kingpin in the crime community - a drug lord named Guillermo Diaz. The only thing that seems to keep Pavel sane in his line of work and in his crazy life is his wife, Teresa, and his daughter, Rita Grace.

I found this book to be a thrilling and fast paced crime novel that takes the reader through the gritty city streets filled with crime. The characters were realistic and believable, so it was easy to connect with them - especially Pavel. The narrative is well written and has excellent descriptions and story building. The author did a great job with this novel, which is the final installment in the Ivanovich series. Fans of fast-paced crime novels will not be disappointed with this book.

Review from


One Major Mistake is the third and final installment in the Ivanovich series. A truly suspenseful, fast paced crime novel that will captivate you from the beginning to end. Very well written novel with an ending I never saw it coming as it did, I was surprised. Ms. Reina is now permanently on my favorite author list. A must read for all crime novel lovers!

I give "One Major Mistake" a 5 star rating.

~Cozy Corner