For What It's Worth

Monday, July 9, 2012

Must Read Monday: The Nadia Stafford series by Kelley Armstrong

Must Read Monday is a meme hosted by Jen from What's on the Bookshelf to showcase a book or series (old or new) that we recommend.

This week I’m picking an often ignored series from an otherwise insanely popular author.

Kelley Armstrong’s Nadia Stafford series.

Many of you have read her Otherworld and Darkest Powers/Darkness Rising series but this is an undiscovered gem IMO.

It is not paranormal like her other books (which I LOVE btw). It’s a series about a contract killer named Nadia Stafford. The writing is top notch, with an intriguing cast of characters and game changing twisty plots. Fans of Carolyn Crane’s Disillusionists trilogy should enjoy this series as well. There is a touch of romance but is more plot focused.

Honestly, although it’s one of my all time favorites, I was always hesitant to recommend the series to readers because Kelley stopped at book two in 2009 and it leaves things a bit unresolved (bk #2 Made to be Broken has a nice resolution – the bigger picture is what’s left open) BUT – I saw the best news ever on her twitter feed last week! She just completed writing book #3 to the series and will give it a proper conclusion when the book is released in the fall of 2013.

So guys!!!! this is the perfect time to get started on this amazing series!!! You won’t regret it!


Exit Strategy – Nadia Stafford Book #1
Bantam – July 2007

Regulars at Nadia’s nature lodge don’t ask what she does in the off-season. And that’s a good thing. If she told them, she’d have to kill them. She’s a hit woman for a Mafia family. Tough and self-sufficient, Nadia doesn’t owe anyone any explanations. But that doesn’t mean she always works alone. One of her contacts has recruited her in the hunt for a ruthlessly efficient serial killer cutting a swath of terror across the country. The assassin is far too skilled to be an amateur—and the precision of the killings is bringing the Feds much too close to the hit man community for comfort.
To put an end to the murders, Nadia will have to turn herself from predator to prey as she employs every trick she knows to find the killer. Before the killer finds her… ~ Goodreads

Excerpts and purchase links on Kelley Armstrong’s site here | Amazon


Made to be Broken – Nadia Stafford Book #2
Bantam – March 2009

Nadia Stafford isn’t your typical nature lodge owner. An ex-cop with a legal code all her own, she’s known only as “Dee” to her current employers: a New York crime family who pays her handsomely to bump off traitors. But when Nadia discovers that a troubled teenage employee and her baby have vanished in the Canadian woods, the memory of a past loss comes back with a vengeance, and her old instincts go into overdrive.

With her enigmatic mentor, Jack, covering her back, Nadia unearths sinister clues that point to an increasingly darker and deadlier mystery. Now, with her obsession over the case deepening, the only way Nadia can right the wrongs of the present is to face her own painful ghosts…and either bury them for good, or die trying. Because in her book, everyone deserves a chance. And everyone deserves justice. ~Goodreads

Read Chapter 1 or purchase on Kelley Armstorng’s site here | Amazon

I hope you give this series a chance if you love strong female characters, moral ambiguity, increasingly complex storyline and enough taut suspense to keep you at the edge of your seat. I’m going to have to do a re-read myself in preparation for the conclusion!


  1. I haven't read this series yet, but I've thought about it a couple of times. Good to know it's worth reading. I'll have to check it out now! I love her Otherworld series, and if this one is good like Carolyn's Disillusionist trilogy then count me in!

    Thanks for participating in Must Read Monday.

    1. This series has that twisty - don't know who's good or bad vibe like Carolyn's. I think you would enjoy it.

  2. I had no clue about this series. Thanks for the heads up

  3. I really like Kelley's otherworld series, thus, I'm curious about this one. I'm glad she's writing a third and final book. Would've stunk if she just left it at whatever cliffhanger or unresolved issue you mentioned. I'll probably wait till 2013 when the last book comes out, though, so I can read them back to back.


    1. The second book has a tidy conclusion but the series has this bigger mystery going on that I would love to see resolved. And I want Nadia with a certain someone lol

  4. Love, Love, LOVE this series. I'm so glad the final volume is on the way. I've used this series to introduce male friends to Armstrong. I don't know if it leads to them reading the Otherworld series, but they've sure enjoyed Nadia. I can't wait for the new book.

    1. That's a good point. I know my husband wouldn't enjoy the Otherworld series btu I do think he would like Nadia.

      I'm SO excited there will be a third and final book.

  5. Never tried this series I am a bit hesitant