Category Archives: Review

Blog Tour: No Love Lost by Lexi Blake

“Lexi Blake is a master!” — “Jennifer Probst, New York Times bestselling author”

 

No Love Lost, an all-new sexy and suspenseful, standalone in the

Master and Mercenaries: The Forgotten series

by New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake is available now!

 

 

When Ezra Fain joined the ranks of the CIA, the last thing on his mind was romance. After meeting Kim Soloman, it was difficult to think of anything else. A tragic mistake drove them apart, leaving him shattered and unable to forgive the woman he loved. But when his greatest enemy threatens her life, Ezra leaps into action, prepared to do anything to try to save her.

Solo accepted long ago that she won’t get over Ezra. She’s worked for years to get back into his life, looking for any way to reignite the love they once shared. Unfortunately, nothing seems to penetrate the wall he has built between them. When she’s arrested for a crime she didn’t commit, she believes she’s on her own.

Racing across the globe, Ezra and Solo find themselves together again, caught in the crosshairs of the agency they sacrificed so much to serve. Days on the run soon turn to steamy nights, but Levi Green isn’t about to let them find their happily ever after. And when the smoke clears, the men and women of McKay-Taggart will never be the same again.

 

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Excerpt:

“Kim, stop.” Beck sighed, an exhausted sound. “Please.” It was the please that did it. He was so rarely polite to her. She took a deep breath and turned to him. They needed to ratchet down the emotion. It was what always tripped them up. “I don’t think we can work together.” “We certainly can’t if I continue to be a massive asshole.” He moved toward her, putting his hands on her shoulders. “I’m sorry. You’re still a touchy subject for me.” She nodded, unable to say a word for fear of unleashing a tidal wave. Not seconds before she’d told herself to tamp down the emotion, but here it was, threatening to overwhelm her and all he’d had to do was touch her. “How about we agree that Levi Green is a problem for both of us and we work together to solve it,” he offered. “Kim, we’ve been going in circles for years. Maybe it’s time we find a way to move on. I know I’m tired of hating you.” She stepped back. She couldn’t have his hands on her when he used that word. It was wrong when all she’d ever done was love him. “Ariel pointed out that it would be easier on both of us if I stopped showing up in your life.” His gaze softened. “Would it? I didn’t see you for a couple of years and it didn’t feel any easier.” She let a moment pass. How was it she felt even more vulnerable than she had when she was with Levi? “I know. I’ve tried to move on. I don’t seem to be able to.” His hands moved as if he wanted to touch her, but he seemed to rethink the idea. “So maybe we should go about this another way. Maybe we should take this time and do what we didn’t do before. Talk. Try to find a way to get through this. I’m sorry I said what I did about you and Levi. It still hurts and I’m lashing out. All I know is when I thought you were in danger, I knew I couldn’t sit on my hands and let it happen. I can’t do it now either. Let me come with you. Let me help fix this.” No. It was the only word she should say to him, and then she should turn and walk out and never look back. If she let him in, he would hurt her no matter how good his intentions were. Beck had always had a well of rage inside him that he wouldn’t deal with, wouldn’t acknowledge even existed. He hadn’t changed. “Okay.” She hadn’t changed either. She was still helpless when it came to this man. She was still in love with him and likely always would be. He let go of a heavy breath. “Good.” He was silent for a moment, looking her over. “Did he hurt you? Are your wrists okay?” She’d managed to get what was left of the zip ties off in the car. She had some red marks on her wrists. “They’re sore, but all right. He didn’t slap me around this time.” She watched as Beck’s hands formed fists and wished she hadn’t said that. His rage was always simmering under the surface when she was around. He seemed to let it go. “All right. We should get on the road. Can you grab some water and protein bars? I don’t know what we’ll find when we get to Paris.” She kind of thought she did know. She’d done a lot of homework on Big Tag, and if Rene was who she thought he was, then Beck would feel right at home. Still, she grabbed the water bottles and bars and stuffed them in the duffel Steph had provided for her. There were a couple of T-shirts and a pair of sweatpants that would likely be too short, but beggars couldn’t be choosers. This was all she had in the world. It was odd. She would have said possessions were meaningless, but now that she had no access to any of the things that brought her comfort, she missed them with all her heart. She had one thing. She reached up and found some peace knowing her ring was still there. All these years and she still had her wedding ring. It hung low around her neck, and she always hid it under her shirt when Beck was around. It was all she had left of her marriage. “You ready?” Beck fitted a cap to his head and passed her another. “You might want to put your hair up. I know if I was looking for you, all that hair would be the first thing to catch my eye.” How many nights had he tangled his fingers in her hair and gently tugged, had he told her how beautiful it was and that he never wanted her to cut it? “Yeah. I’m ready.” He stepped in front of her and placed the cap on her head, his gorgeous eyes staring down at her. “I really am sorry I said what I did. Can you forgive me?” Her whole soul threatened to melt. She nodded. “Can I hug you? I want to. I want to reassure myself that you’re really okay.” She nodded again and then she was in his arms for the first time in years. “Promise me he didn’t get a chance to hurt you,” Beck whispered. He sounded like he actually cared. His arms around her made her feel safer than she had in forever. “He threatened me with a bunch of stuff, but I don’t want to talk about it. I will, but not now.” “Okay.” They stood there for the longest time, the sound of his heartbeat the only thing she could hear.

 

 

 

 

4.5 Stars

 

Lexi Blake is a master storyteller. She has this amazing ability to create characters readers can’t help but to connect with or like without really understanding the reasoning why.  She creates an adventurous story provoking the reader’s mind while leading them on a path of danger and deceit. Then throws you the curve ball of getting your heart and emotional well-being put on the line. Well not on the line really, but yes.  In the end, Ms. Blake gives readers something they can feel. What more could you ask from an author or a book. 

 

No Love Lost is epic and emotional! I was hysterically emotional from being to end. The type of emotion that has you sitting on the edge of your seat, jaw dropping, eyes popping, screaming your heart out kind of you. Ezra and Solo, well lets just say, grab the tissues and the wine. You will need both.  That is all I can say or needs to be said. Well done Ms. Blake, well done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Lexi Blake

 

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.

 

 

 

 

Connect with Lexi

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2uUiScN

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Stay up to date with Lexi by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/LexiBlakeNL Website: http://www.lexiblake.net/

Review: Christmas Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

 

Christmas Cupcake Murder

Joanne Fluke 

Hannah Swensen Series, book 26

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 29th 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

A Festive & Delicious Christmas Cozy Mystery

While Hannah speeds through a lengthy holiday checklist, drama in town grows like Santa’s waistline on Christmas Eve. Her sister Andrea wants to stave off the blues by helping out at The Cookie Jar, Michele’s love life is becoming complicated, Lisa needs Hannah’s advice, and Delores has a Christmas secret she’s not willing to share. But nothing dampens the holiday mood more than the chilling mystery surrounding the man found near death in an abandoned storefront two doors down from Hannah’s bakery . . .

The befuddled John Doe can’t recall a thing about himself—except for his unusual knowledge of restoring antique furniture. With a smattering of clues and barely enough time to frost Christmas cookies, Hannah must solve a deadly puzzle that could leave her dashing through the snow for her life!

 

 

 

 

4 Stars 

 

It has been a long time since I have dipped into a Hannah Swensen novel.  I enjoyed the Christmas Cupcake Murder was a bit of a step back into time and allowed me to see these wonderful characters beginning to come into their own and getting to know them all over again. 

 

Lake Eden, Minnesota is all in gear for the festivities that come along with the Christmas season.  The baking is a foot at The Cookie Jar while a homeless man, suffering from memory loss stumbles upon Hannah’s bakery step willing to work in exchange for food. Hannah does what she does best, Offers a cozy environment, a sweet treat, something warm to drink and a bit of conversation and companionship.  Days later while inspecting a building that could possibly become an antique shop, Hannah and her mother stumble upon the same homeless man in dire straits. They spring into action getting  “John Doe” The help he needs and begin to unravel the mystery of who he is and where he’s from. 

 

Christmas Cupcake Murder was a fun and entertaining read allowing me to get reacquainted with these characters. The story shows the beginnings of the good characteristics and qualities that readers have come to love within these characters. When it came to finding John Doe’s past , It was like a needle in the haystack yet they never gave up, persisted and slowly were able to put the pieces in place. Honestly the mystery was an OK part of the story, I really loved the family drama between Hannah, her mother and her sisters, all the delectable recipes that I am trying to figure out a way to make gluten-free and Revisiting a small cozy town that I haven’t been to in a while. revisiting a small Coseytown that I haven’t been to in a while. If you’re looking for something pretty high on mystery this unfortunately is not going to be the right for you but if you’re a long time fan of this author and series It was one of those little treats the authors like to drop us every once in a while.

 

 

 

Review: Seduced In Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

Seduced in Ink 

Carrie Ann Ryan 

Montgomery Ink: Bolder Series, Book 4 

Published: September 29, 2020

 

The Montgomery Ink: Boulder series concludes with a fake relationship where the heat and emotional connection are anything but false.

The moment Madison McClard’s parents tell her that her ex is getting married, there’s no getting out of their latest scheme. One moment she’s trying to get out of their clutches. The next, they’re telling her exactly who she’ll marry to save the family name. The one thing her parents don’t count on, however: Aaron Montgomery.

Aaron Montgomery didn’t mean to lie. Still, as soon as he overheard Madison’s dilemma, the words fell out of his mouth. Now, he’s fake engaged to a woman he barely knows, who also happens to be his new brother-in-law’s cousin.

As the deception mounts, so does the attraction. They told themselves it was only a ruse, but as feelings ramp and dangers surge, this Montgomery may have just met his match.

He simply has to fight to keep her.

 

 

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

 

Aaron Montgomery is too sweet and a man you totally want on your side. He can’t standby and  watch the wrong before his eyes. Madison fights a controlling mother who thinks her word is law, in every aspect of her life. When Madison’s parents step over the line, Aaron  steps in to save the day. What’s wrong with two friends pretending to be engaged. Nothing right? Unless those two people have attraction that keeps pulling at them, chemistry that makes them perfect for each other. Yet the more Pretend a couple things they do the more they realize maybe this relationship isn’t so fake after all.

 

Carrie Ann Ryan has given us readers another fantastic Montgomery for our hearts to swoon on. Aaron and Madison are great together. Sweet, funny and sexy. Seduced in Ink it totally character driven and I loved getting to know Madison and Aaron. A man that reads romance, oh YES! Madison is a strong woman and leaves her life the way she wants no matter what her parents dictate. Aaron showed her a fun and flirty side of life that she was definitely missing. Seduced in Ink has given me another new favorite Montgomery.

 

 

 

 

Review: The Body From the Past by Judi Lynn

The Body From the Past

Judi Lynn 

A Jazzi Zanders Mystery, Book 5

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: September 22nd 2020 by Lyrical Underground

A closed room in her newest fixer-upper leads Indiana house-flipper Jazzi Zanders to reopen a chilling cold case involving a high school girl . . .

Jazzi, her cousin Jerod, and her husband Ansel are preparing to renovate a charming house that reminds her of an English manor. Before purchasing it, they had inspected the house for structural issues, but now when they do a more thorough walk-through, they discover a teenage girl’s bedroom that clearly hasn’t been touched in years. Dust covers the pink canopy bed, clothes still hang in the closet, and a hope chest remains full of journals and memorabilia. They’ve stumbled on a shrine to a dead girl.

They learn Jessica was killed in the middle of her high school graduation party. The murderer was never identified, but the brother-in-law of Jazzi’s friend, who went to school with Jessica, was suspected and never lived it down. He implores Jazzi to review the cold case and finally prove him innocent. Now it’s up to the house-flipper to nail a killer who will do anything to close the door on the past . . .

 

 

 

 

 4 Stars

 

Jazzi, her other half Ansel and her cousin Jerod are back at it, flipping their latest house in the town of Merlot. The home is not overflowing with wine but contains a lock room with the belongings of a murdered young lady. Feeling it’s wrong to throw out the contents of a chest Jazzi discovered within the locked room, she soon become to the go to woman on a murder case that the killer is still running free. With the cooler weather approaching Jazzi and Ansel try to get the renovations done on the flip house, do some renovations on their own home. They themselves deep in a murder investigation, new murders occurring just as they’re finding answers and they have to find Halloween costumes for their party.

The Body From the Past is a good mystery that unfolds layer by layer. I love how the story started as a cold case and added to the complexity of the plot line throughout the story. It was different and a bit refreshing. I thoroughly enjoyed this twist to the plot. The characters are well developed but yet you can see growth within the story. Ms. Lynn balances the story extremely well with mystery, renovation and cooking. I love the large family that Jazzi and Ansell are part of. They bring another level of humor and the ability to relate with a larger group of readers. I did figure out the who done it but yet I was second-guessing myself until the end when the mystery was revealed.

A visit with Jazzi Zanders is like visiting a friend with all the best gossip and even better food. Not only do readers get a good mystery, this book just may have you looking for things to improve in your own home or you’ll definitely be figuring out what kind of soup you will be making now that you are craving soup. The Body From the Past is a great seasonal read and wonderful edition to the series. Author Judi Lynn delivers an entertaining story.

 

 

Review: A Death Long Overdue by Eva Gates

A Death Long Overdue 

Eva Gates 

A Lighthouse Library Mystery, Book 7

Kindle Edition, 372 pages
Expected publication: October 6th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

 

It’s summertime in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Bertie James’s college class is having their 40th anniversary reunion. The opening night reception is held at the Lighthouse Library and Lucy and her colleagues have assembled an exhibit of library artifacts showing how libraries have changed over the years. After the reception, some of the women take a walk down the boardwalk to the pier, using flashlights to illuminate the dark path, but what’s scarier than the dark is finding the former director of the Lighthouse Library floating lifeless in the water.

Helena Sanchez, the former director, wasn’t much loved and spent the party being rude to almost everyone there. As a result, Lucy finds herself in deep water as she rocks the boat, questioning several suspects. But she’ll have to batten down the hatches and fast before she’s left high and dry…and right in the killer’s crosshairs.

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

The lighthouse library is all on board helping Bertie, the library director, host a reunion of college colleagues and friends that haven’t seen each other in 20 years. Lucy and crew of the Lighthouse Library thought it would be fun to assemble some long forgotten artifacts of librarians of the past. The opening night festivities go off without a hitch until the evening winds down and the ladies decide to go for a walk. Lucy stumbles upon the dead body of the former unpopular librarian of the lighthouse library. Lucy finds herself knee deep in a murder mystery that may just be the most confusing thing she’s ever dealt with. Now it’s up to Lucy to find a murder before they get off scott free.

A Death Long Overdue is my first adventure with the crew of the Lighthouse Library and will not be my last. Author Eva Gates made it very easy for me to fall into book seven of this well established series. The characters are well developed and each has traits that bring that something to the story. Lucy and Bertie both had me wanting to get to know them more. Connor is wonderful. That man is too sweet and oh so cute in all the right ways. Charles the cat is the smartest of them all. The humans just haven’t figured that out yet. The setting of the Outer Banks is peaceful even with murder a foot. I love the concept of the Lighthouse Library. A bit of history with some sting out of the box. Ms. Gates has a layered plot and a story within a story with A Death Long Overdue. The story was nicely paced with twists you don’t see coming.

A Death Long Overdue is a highly enjoyable read. A story of mystery, friendship and a touch of romance. Just how I like my reads.

 

 

Review: A Little Harmless Taboo by Melissa Schroeder

A Little Harmless Taboo: Wulf Sibling Trilogy Book 2

Melissa Schroeder

Harmless Series, Book 14
200 pages

Expected publication: September 15th 2020 by Harmless Publishing

 

Julienne Wulf has always played the good girl.

You know the type. The one who never got in trouble, unlike both of her brothers. But after a very public break-up, she’s ready to walk on the wild side and have her first one night stand. And she finds the perfect candidate. A man she never plans on seeing again.

Until they come face to face a few days later at her new job site.

But that’s okay, she can handle it, and handle the sexy former Army Ranger. No, wait, she isn’t going to handle him. She will deal with the situation like an adult.

Alek Johnson left Hawaii with a broken heart.

Fifteen years ago, the woman he loved dumped him when he signed up to serve in the military. Now, though, his family needs him. When Julienne shows up in Hawaii, they agree to work together and forget about their night together.

Problem is, they can’t keep their hands off each other. So they agree to a short fling, but they never expected their hearts to get involved.

Soon, tongues are wagging about their affair, and when someone from Julienne’s past threatens their future, Alek is determined to protect her at all costs.

Warning: This story includes a good woman with naughty thoughts, a hero who wants to help her live out those fantasies, a meddling family–on both sides, and a trip back to the islands. This is another Harmless story, so you know the drill. Ice water is recommended and the author takes no responsibility for overheating readers

 

 4.5 Stars

Nothing like the paparazzi to shake things up when there is nothing to be shaken up. Julienne is a low key girl with a low key life. Ending a relationship with a not so great ex has him dragging her reputation through the mud. Julienne is off to the beautiful paradise that is Hawaii for a little work and to put all the madness behind her. A layover in San Francisco finds Julienne stepping out her norm and wanting something just for fun, just for her. Walking into a hotel bar normally wouldn’t change a person’s life, but for Julienne it’s the beginning of something. Alek Johnson is a former Army Ranger who’s returning home to help his family. A honorable and loyal man who finds a new side to himself when he lays his eye on a woman who spins his world all around. One night. One fantastic night leaves a last impression that lingers on both their minds. Days later when they come face to face, even in their work environment, sparks ignite and heat takes over. Will they find their happiness in paradise?

I loved Alek and Julienne! What a couple. Their attraction may have been fast but it felt so natural. Their chemistry was beautiful and intense. Alek knew Julienne was his one and I loved how in everything they did, he did what he could to show her. They may have started from a one night stand, the more time they spent together the more you know they belong with each other.

A Little Harmless Taboo is classic Melissa Schroeder writing that I love so much. Great characters, a paradise setting and a love story you can feel through the pages. Humor and heart. We even get a visit from some beloved characters that always put a smile on my face. A trip to Ms. Schroeder’s Hawaii is never a bad thing.

 

Review: Moments in Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

 

 

Moments in Ink

Carrie Ann Ryan 

Montgomery Ink: Bolder Series, Book 3.5

ebook, 102 pages
Published September 14th 2020

 

The Montgomery Ink saga continues with a bonus romance between two strangers on a path of healing that leads to something far more.
Zia Clarkson thought she found her happily ever after, not once, but twice. Her first love is now engaged, and her second love broke more than her heart. Heart and soul bruised; she’s not looking for a relationship. Ever. Especially not with the uptight Meredith Legend who stars in her fantasies.
They promised each other one night of passion. And when the sun rises, they’ll walk away—even if they’re both lying to themselves about why.

 

 

 

4 Stars

 

Meredith has a great head for numbers but she feels like when it comes to love she pays bad choices. Zia thought she had found love, not once but twice and learned the hard way that love hurts you just as much as it brings happiness. Two people that have had love hurt them in the past or not looking for anything of the sort. But when an unexpected meeting and some undeniable attraction and chemistry make their presence known they both agree to one night. Ha! We all know one night is never enough. Quickly they both realize there’s more to what they’re feeling both women realize a big decision is going to have to be made.

 

I very much enjoyed Moments in Ink. Ms. Ryan hits readers with an emotional and touching tale of two women trying to heal and finding comfort, attraction and maybe even love in something neither one of them was looking for. We even get to visit with a few of our Montgomery friends making this a wonderful addition to an emotional and sexy series.

 

 

Review: Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

Ellen Byron

A Cajun Country Mystery, Book 6

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: September 8th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

Maggie Crozat has the Halloween heebie-jeebies in USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron’s howlingly funny sixth Cajun Country mystery.

Maggie Crozat, proprietor of a historic Cajun Country B&B, prefers to let the good times roll. But hard times rock her hostelry when a new cell phone app makes it easy for locals to rent their spare rooms to tourists. With October–and Halloween–approaching, she conjures up a witch-crafty marketing scheme to draw visitors to Pelican, Louisiana.

Five local plantation B&Bs host “Pelican’s Spooky Past” packages, featuring regional crafts, unique menus, and a pet costume parade. Topping it off, the derelict Dupois cemetery is the suitably sepulchral setting for the spine-chilling play Resurrection of a Spirit. But all the witchcraft has inevitably conjured something: her B&B guests are being terrified out of town by sightings of the legendary rougarou, a cross between a werewolf and vampire.

When, in the Dupois cemetery, someone costumed as a rougarou stumbles onstage during the play–and promptly gives up the ghost, the rougarou mask having been poisoned with strychnine, Maggie is on the case. But as more murders stack up, Maggie fears that Pelican’s spooky past has nothing on its bloodcurdling present.

 

 

 

 

4 Stars 

A delightful and fun cozy mystery with a Halloween theme great for kicking off the fall season. Murder in the Bayou Boneyard was a Great distraction for a lazy day of reading.

 

Maggie is not a fan of Halloween, yet goes along with her family along with other B&B owners hosting Halloween theme weekend to help bring more business to their businesses. What should be fun and pleasant weekends turn into mayham and murder. Not to mention some appearances made by fabled, bayou creatures just to spice up the mix a little bit more. If that wasn’t enough Maggie has out of town distant relatives that are just not quite The kind of people she was expecting.  Pelican, Louisiana maybe a small town but it sure got a lot going on.

 

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard was my first visit with the characters of the Cajun Country Mysteries and will not  not be my last. Not only was the story entering, the mystery kept you guessing and the plot was solid. The characters are well developed and fun. The setting is like being transported to a different place.  With everything that’s going on in the world right now I feel it’s important for myself to be able to get lost in a book. Author Ellen Byron does just that. I felt like I was right in the bayou with Crozets. The only thing missing was the delectable food that we read about through the pages of this entertaining book.

 

 

Review: For Whom the Book Tolls by Laura Gail Black

For Whom the Book Tolls

Laura Gail Black

An Antique Bookshop Mystery, Book 1  

Hardcover, 264 pages
Expected publication: August 11th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

In this cozy series debut from Laura Gail Black, Jenna Quinn finds her uncle murdered in his antique bookstore, and Jenna–his primary beneficiary–becomes the prime suspect.

Trouble follows Jenna Quinn wherever she goes. Fleeing some unsavory doings in her hometown of Charlotte, Jenna accepts her uncle’s gracious invitation to stay with him in small-town Hokes Folly, NC. In exchange, she’ll help him out in his antiquarian bookstore. But soon after she arrives, Jenna finds her uncle’s body crumpled at the base of the staircase between his apartment and the bookstore.

Before the tragedy even sinks in, Jenna learns that she’s inherited almost everything her uncle owned: the store and apartment, as well as his not-so-meager savings and the payout from a life insurance policy…which adds up to more than a million dollars. This is all news to Jenna–bad news, once the police get wind of her windfall. An ill wind, indeed, as a second murder cements Jenna’s status as the prime suspect in both deaths.

Jenna can hit the road again, taking her chances that she can elude trouble along the way. Or she can stick it out in Hokes Folly, take over the bookstore, and try to sleuth out her uncle’s killer. On the one hand, she’s made some wonderful new friends, and she feels she can thrive in the genial small-town environment. On the other hand, trouble knows her address–and so does the killer, who is determined to write the final page of Jenna’s story.

 

 

4 Stars

 

Jenna Quinn seems to have this black cloud following her. After an unfortunate incident leaves Jenna in a low place she takes up the offer of a change of scenery from her uncle and makes her way to Hokes Folly, NC. Jenna has barely made her way into town when she stumbles across the fallen body of her gracious uncle. In what should be a time of healing and getting her life back together, has become a roller coaster ride Jenna was not expecting. Now she has a business to figure out what to do with, a dead relative and has found her way as one of the prime suspects in the murder. Will this woman’s day get any better or is all about to go down the drain. 

 

I very much enjoyed For Whom the Book Tolls. Jenna is a fantastic character. She was down on her luck, at the bottom of her rope and needing a breath of fresh air. She shows determination, adaptability and forgiveness. I found her to be an exceptionally strong and willful character for cozy mystery. The more I got to know her the more I enjoyed her. I very much enjoyed the story and plot line. There are many twists that keep the story interesting in going. It’s fast paced and even has a touch of romance. I was able to figure out our culprit before the end of the story, however it wasn’t much before the end.  The setting was perfect and the town was charming. The characters definitely drive part of the story giving the reader entertaining antics to go along with this twisting mystery. For Whom the Bell Tolls is a good start to what I feel will bring many entertaining cozy reads in the future.

 

 

 

Review: Little Bookshop of Murder by Maggie Blackburn

 

Little Bookshop of Murder

Maggie Blackburn

A Beach Reads Mystery, Book 1 

Hardcover
Published September 8th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

 

 

A Shakespearean scholar inherits a beachside bookshop–and a murder mystery–in this delightful new cozy series for fans of Kate Carlisle and Ellery Adams.

Summer Merriweather’s career as a Shakespeare professor hangs by a bookbinder’s thread. Academic life at her Virginia university is a viper’s pit, so Summer spends her summer in England, researching a scholarly paper that, with any luck, will finally get her published, impress the Dean, and save her job. But her English idyll ends when her mother, Hildy, shuffles off her mortal coil from an apparent heart attack.

Returning to Brigid’s Island, NC, for the funeral, Summer is impatient to settle the estate, sell her mom’s embarrassingly romance-themed bookstore, Beach Reads, and go home. But as she drops by Beach Reads, Summer finds threatening notes addressed to Hildy: “Sell the bookstore or die.”

Clearly, something is rotten on Brigid’s Island. What method is behind the madness? Was Hildy murdered? The police insist there’s not enough evidence to launch a murder investigation. Instead, Summer and her Aunt Agatha screw their courage to the sticking place and start sleuthing, with the help of Hildy’s beloved book club. But there are more suspects on Brigid’s Island than are dreamt of in the Bard’s darkest philosophizing. And if Summer can’t find the villain, the town will be littered with a Shakespearean tragedy’s worth of corpses–including her own.

 

 

 

 

3 Stars

 

Little Bookshop of Murder is a light and easy cozy mystery read that is more than fitting for beach reading. 

 

Summer Merriweather is having a time of it. A Shakespeare Professor researching a paper in England to try to save her career when the unexpected death of her very healthy mother brings her back to her childhood home.  Upon return she realizes things are not as they seem. Summer decides that if the local law won’t listen she will have to figure out this one herself. 

 

There are many things I enjoyed about Little Bookshop of Murder. First and foremost the store, Beach Reads!  The Idea of this store is a reader stream on the beach. From its name to its beach themed decor, It’s a place that I wouldn’t mind spending an afternoon or two enjoying reading by the sea. Second small towns whether I’m reading cozies or romance are always a favorite. This one has a vast array of quirky characters that make up a very fun and interesting town. Next the family dynamic within the story is priceless. I love the inner jokes and squabbling that goes back-and-forth between them. Summer it’s an interesting main character. She may have left a few ill feelings when she left home yet it’s still her home and has a love for it even if she didn’t realize how deep it goes. The mystery of the story itself was rather easy to figure out but the why was a bit off for me. However I enjoy this little town and these crazy characters enough that it will make me read the next book in the series.