Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Death Brings a Shadow + Antiques Fire Sale - Mini Reviews

Goodreads:  Death Brings a Shadow by Rosemary Simpson

Blurb:  In spring 1889, Prudence and Geoffrey set sail from New York Harbor on a private yacht bound for Bradford Island, where her friend Eleanor Dickson is to be wed. The Sea Islands along the Georgia coast serve as a winter playground for the likes of the Carnegies, Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Dicksons. Despite her Yankee pedigree, Eleanor is marrying a Southern gentleman, Teddy Bennett, and Prudence is thrilled to be the maid of honor.
But days before the wedding, the bride is nowhere to be found. A frantic search of the island turns up her drowned corpse in an alligator-infested swamp. Prudence is devastated, but as they prepare the body for burial, she and Geoffrey discover evidence of bruising that indicates Eleanor was held under--most dishonorably murdered.
Determined to seek justice for her beloved friend, Prudence begins to investigate with Geoffrey's help and is quickly led into a morass of voodoo spells and dark deeds from the days of slavery. As Prudence and Geoffrey pursue a killer, they soon discover that Eleanor will not be the last to die on Bradford Island ...

My Thoughts:  I really wanted to love this one.  I really enjoyed the previous book and had such high hopes for this one but it didn't really come to be.  The mystery was okay though a bit disjointed but my primary problem was with Prudence herself.  She is completely out of her element and refuses to read the room or take advice from Geoffrey who is on her team and far more familiar with the way things work.  After awhile she just comes off as immature and arrogant.  As well she makes a logic jump that made no sense at all given the knowledge that she had while reaching the conclusion.  Unfortunately, the book is told primarily through Prudence's eyes and by the end I was glad to see the last of her.  I did really enjoy the previous book so I might pick up another book in the series but it definitely won't be one that takes place out of New York.  My Rating: Just Okay

Goodreads:  Antiques Fire Sale (A Trash and Treasure Mystery #14) by Barbara Allan

Blurb: That local theater diva of a certain age, Vivian Borne—a.k.a. Brandy’s Mother—is sheriff of Serenity County now, but still hot on the trail of precious antiques. On a tour of the historic Wentworth Mansion, the two dedicated dealers are aglow at the treasure trove of priceless objects . . . never dreaming everything will turn to ashes, hours later.
A charred corpse in the ruins is identified as the mansion’s caretaker, a one-time flame of Vivian’s. But Tony Cassato—Brandy’s beau and Serenity’s Chief of Police—throws cold water on Sheriff Vivian’s suspicions of murder. Then Brandy spots a certain familiar item for sale on the Internet, and Mother suspects the fire is just a smoke screen.
When their doggie detective, Sushi the shih tzu, sniffs out a second body in the woods, Mother and Brandy turn up the heat on a homicidal torcher. Because any killer who takes on the Borne girls is playing with fire.

My Thoughts:  Well this was a zany bit of fun!  I've heard mixed reviews about this series and honestly I can see why.  The writing style is very distinct with fourth wall breaking and a story telling feel that is at times heavily shaded by the speaking character's perspective.  The story feel reminded me a bit of Tonya Kappes' books so if you enjoy her stories I think you'd like this one.  As well for the 14th book in the series I had absolutely no problem jumping in here.  The narrator, Jeanine Bartel, did a fantastic job and enhanced my enjoyment of the story.  The mystery was an entertaining one with some serious hijinks but some solid investigative work.  I'm not sure this is a series I'll seek out to finish or read the backlog of but if I see any books by this author or this narrator on audio I'll definitely give them a try.  My Rating:  Liked It!


  1. Aaaah sorry to hear that Death brings a shadow was just okay. It does sound really good! Antiques fire sale might be a bit too cozy for my liking. But hey - I'm getting into it.

    Hope you are well and having a good week.

    Elza Reads

  2. The cover for Antiques Fire Sale is too cute. LOL I am glad you liked that one. It's too bad Death Brings a Shadow wasn't better for you. It sounded so promising.

  3. I've found some cozy mysteries on Amazon as free downloads which were really good reads. Never saw them on a blog, just found them whilst browsing.

  4. I probably won't pick up either but the second one certainly sounds entertaining. I always enjoy that you know what makes the book for you and what doesn't.

  5. The cover of the second one made me laugh.