Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Final Year of the Series Reviews - The Missing Sister, Cajun Kiss of Death, and Picture Them Dead

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.  These are mini reviews for 3 series ending/catching up books.

Goodreads:  The Missing Sister (The Seven Sisters #7) by Lucinda Riley

Blurb:  The six D’Apli├Ęse sisters have each been on their own incredible journey to discover their heritage, but they still have one question left unanswered: who and where is the seventh sister?

They only have one clue – an image of a star-shaped emerald ring. The search to find the missing sister will take them across the globe; from New Zealand to Canada, England, France and Ireland, uniting them all in their mission to at last complete their family.

In doing so, they will slowly unearth a story of love, strength and sacrifice that began almost one hundred years ago, as other brave young women risk everything to change the world around them.

My Thoughts:  While the other 6 books in this series have been focused on each individual sister this book reads partly as a bridge between those books and the next book which is the story of Pa Salt.  We did get the story of the missing sister and it does connect some threads that have made appearances since the first book.  I also enjoyed getting a quick check in with each sister as they each had their own mini journey in finding the next sister.  That said because it ends somewhat on a cliff hanger and has a split focus this book as well as the usual two timelines it felt a bit disjointed.  I have heard Lucinda Riley's estate has chosen an author to continue with the last book and I can only hope that this author lives up the expectations that have been set.  My Rating: Liked It

Blurb:  In Pelican, Louisiana, Valentine's Day has a way of warming the heart, despite the February chill. But the air at Crozat Plantation B&B turns decidedly frigid when celebrity chef Phillippe Chanson checks in. And when the arrogant Phillippe--in town to open his newest Cajun-themed restaurant--perishes in a fiery boat crash, Maggie Crozat's dear friend JJ lands in very cold water.

Did JJ, proprietor of Junie's Oyster Bar and Dance Hall, murder Phillippe because he feared the competition? Might Maggie's mother, Ninette, have bumped off the chef for stealing one of her cherished recipes? Or was the culprit a local seafood vendor, miffed because Phillippe was somehow able to sell oysters for a remarkably reasonable price, despite an oyster shortage?

Maggie had planned to devote her February to art lessons in New Orleans, a present from her sweetheart, Bo. But now she has to focus on helping her friend and her mother cross a murder charge off the menu. Meanwhile, Maggie receives a series of anonymous gifts that begin as charming but grow increasingly disturbing. Does Maggie have an admirer--or a stalker? And are these mysterious gifts somehow related to Phillippe's murder?

My Thoughts:  I love this series and this did not change that.  I loved that this was an intentional end to the series and doesn't leave anything open ended.  I really loved seeing Maggie and Bo married.  The mystery was a solid one which I have come to expect from this series and I loved that it involved a long time side character in the series so we got to know JJ a bit better.  That said the side mystery was a bit weak.  Overall, this is such a great series and one that I am sad to see end but am so pleased that Byron gave us a peek into the future of these characters.  My Rating: Really Liked It!

Blurb:  When genealogists Sophreena McClure and Esme Sabatier are called on by Detective Jenny Jeffers to help figure out who the corpse in the backyard of her father’s house is, they reluctantly agree. Known for figuring out the unusual, Sophreena and Esme do their best to uncover the mystery behind the corpse, and the glass coffin he’s buried in. Word soon spreads about the bizarre burial site, leading the people of Morningside to “adopt” the corpse and begin leaving mementos in memoriam for him. But when the body of a young woman is found near the memorial, the duo has another task on their hands: to dig into the past of the house’s previous owners. Could the clues to a recent murder finally help this soul rest in peace?

My Thoughts:  I love this series so much.  I love the research, the characters, the dives into history and finding out long buried family secrets.  I enjoyed that we got a bit of background on Jenny Jeffers who has been Sophie's kind of nemesis since the beginning of the series.  I loved the mystery and spending time with these characters and am so sad to be done with it.  My Rating: Really Liked It!


  1. I thought it was so cool that we got a wrap up on the Cajun Country series but Iam going to miss it. She has a new series comiijng out this year though so excited to try it!

  2. Those last two sound like really good series. Like you with The Missing Sister, I was so annoyed with the way it ended. I did hear her son will finish the series but not sure. He works for the BBC.

  3. These sound good. I really want to read the Ellen Byron series. It looks good.

  4. All of these sound good and are not series I have dived into yet. I especially like the sound of the last series.

  5. I do like it when a series comes to an end and everything is tied up nicely. It sounds like I should try the Cajun Country series.