Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The Year of the Series - A Dark and Stormy Murder + Buy a Whisker

 After the calamity that was 2020 I didn't want to give myself serious reading goals but I did want to do something to help my book stacks get a little more under control.  I've tried getting rid of the ones I want to read but unfortunately I want to read all the books I own.  So I decided to focus on series.  There are so many I have that I abandoned halfway through or came in halfway and never read the first few.  I made a list of ten series and the next book I had to read in them and will be rolling in new books and series as I go along and catch up.  Here are two reviews from that list that I've read recently.

Goodreads:  A Dark and Stormy Murder (Writer's Apprentice Mystery #1) by Julia Buckley

Premise:  Lena London has landed her dream job as the assistant to her favorite author who just happens to live in the same town as Lena's best friend.  But before the writing and catching up can begin a dead body is found on the beach and Lena discovers her new friend and neighbor is under suspicion for his estranged wife's disappearance.

My Thoughts:  I have really enjoyed the last two books in this series but really felt like I was missing something when it came to how all the characters were connected.  I'm so glad I went back to the beginning to see Lena meet Camilla, Sam, and Adam as well as the rest of Blue Lake and understand just how she knew Allison.  The mystery is an interesting one and with Lena being new to town she doesn't really know who to trust or who anyone even is.  This book contains a murder mystery that is wrapped up within the book as well as a mystery that evolves over several books.  For that reason I do think this is a series best read in order.  This is a great cozy with lots of bookish goodness.  I really enjoyed the writing aspect and the beginnings of the different relationships.  I'm looking forward to continuing the series.  My Rating:  Really Liked It

Goodreads:  Buy a Whisker (Second Chance Cat Mystery #2) by Sofie Ryan

Premise:  When the loan hold out over a big development project is murdered Charlotte's Angels are on the case - with Sarah and Elvis the cat in tow of course!

My Thoughts:  I so enjoy this series and I'm so glad I went back to the earlier books to catch up.  I love seeing Sarah try to figure out her relationship with Mack and Nick and her absolute horror as the angels get pulled once again into another murder investigation.  I especially love the angels.  I love that Ryan walks the line of making them quirky but without making them too off the wall.  They're all competent capable people and their age doesn't change that.  It's actually a tool as Rose and Charlotte tell Sarah - no one notices an old woman.  I especially love Mr. P and his unexpected talents.  But the star of the show is Elvis the lie detector cat.  Elvis reminds me a bit of my cat - always around and always with an opinion to share though I suspect Elvis is much braver then my cat who would seriously object to going to the store and whatnot.  The mystery is good.  I do wish one aspect had been explored a bit more as it was brought up kind of early on and then would disappear for many pages before it was mentioned again.  That said this mystery and every book in this series has been an absolute delight with a fun mystery and a great cast of characters.  My Rating:  Really Liked It!


  1. Reminds me I want to read more of the Sofie Ryan series and I really want to know more about Mack. I must read on! I enjoyed Elvis too. I think a first in the series does help to set things up so going back to the first is a good idea as you did with A Dark and Stormy Murder. You sure are doing well with your reading mission.

  2. Both of these seem delightful. Glad you enjoyed them. The titles always make me smile.

  3. Dark and Stormy Murder looks like a Classic Vintage mystery story.

  4. That Buckley series is on my list of cozies I still need to try. One of these days!

    1. I'm just about done with A DARK AND STORMY MURDER and I've really been enjoying it. Thanks for the rec! I'm picking up the next book in the series at the library today.

  5. I don't think I've ever started a series anywhere after the first book. It's interesting reading your thoughts on reading previous books. 📚

  6. I like your series reading goals! I think with cozy series a lot of context is loss if one doesn't read from book 1. That right there is what keeps me from a lot of them. Unless there's only a couple in the series its just too much stress on me.

  7. I now try to read a series until I get tired of it. I have many a first installment read and can't decide it I should reread the first book first.