Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Twice Upon a Time - Short Story Collection Review

 Goodreads: Twice Upon a Time: Selected Stories 1898 - 1939 by L.M. Montgomery

Rating: Loved It! (5 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  Although L.M. Montgomery (1874–1942) is best remembered for the twenty-two book-length works of fiction that she published in her lifetime, from Anne of Green Gables (1908) to Anne of Ingleside (1939), she also contributed some five hundred short stories and serials to a wide range of North American and British periodicals from 1895 to 1940. While most of these stories demonstrate her ability to produce material that would fit the mainstream periodical fiction market as it evolved across almost half a century, many of them also contain early incarnations of characters, storylines, conversations, and settings that she would rework for inclusion in her novels and collections of linked short stories.

In Twice upon a Time, the third volume in The L.M. Montgomery Library, Benjamin Lefebvre collects and discusses over two dozen stories from across Montgomery’s career as a short fiction writer, many of them available in book form for the first time. The volume offers a rare glimpse into Montgomery’s creative process in adapting her periodical work for her books, which continue to fascinate readers all over the world.

Genre: Fiction, Middle Grade - Short Story Collection 

Why I Picked This Book:  Montgomery is one of my very favorite authors and I have thoroughly enjoyed all other short story collections I've read by her.

My Impression:  I knew I was going to enjoy this collection.  I own several previous collections of Montgomery's short story collections and love them all.  I love how she experiments with her short stories.  Sometimes trying different character types in a similar storyline or vice-versa, sometimes playing with darker themes or even adding a touch of paranormal, and sometimes going all in with the sweet and heartwarming.  I found this collection to be the same with a mix of familiar and new stories and including the story of Dog Monday from Rilla of Ingleside which never fails to make me sob (but don't worry Dog Monday is alive and well all through the story).

What makes this collection special are the story headings.  Before each heading Benjamin Lefebvre provides context for where the story was published, where in Montgomery's career the story falls, and where the storyline or characters are used again.  As a lover of Montgomery's other books I found this information absolutely fascinating and it made reading this collection all the more enjoyable and a much richer experience.  

If you are a lover of Montgomery's Anne books this collection is an absolute must read!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I frequently reread my favorite Montgomery books and will always purchase any new collections that are released.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy other books by L.M. Montgomery books this is a must read.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday - Cozy Reads On My TBR

Today I'm linking up with Top Ten Tuesday hosted by 
That Artsy Reader Girl which is all about lists.  Since lists are one of my favorite things this is one of my favorite linkups!  Today's topic is all about cozy reads so I'm picking 10 books on my TBR that sound like the perfect book to curl up with a warm blanket and a cup of tea on a cold day.  

1.  The Backup Plan by Jill Shalvis - A snowy B&B, a group of people who are having to get to know each other again, and a dog.  I can't think of a better way to spend a cold dreary day.

2.  An American in Scotland by Lucy Connelly - A Scottish Isle, a town full of secrets, and American anxious to find them all out.  Sounds delightful to read under a nice warm blanket.

3.  Thin Ice by Paige Shelton - A murder mystery in Alaska all that cold and suspense will make me feel extra cozy and warm.  I may switch to hot chocolate.

4.  To Scotland with Love by Patience Griffin - Scotland and quilts.  I don't think I really need to say anything more.

5.  The House at Riverton by Kate Morton - I love Morton's Gothic-y suspense and it seems like just the perfect reading for a cold and dreary day.

6.  The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor - I love Gaynor's characters and this sounds like a good read for a cozy day.

7.  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winnifred Watson - I've been wanting to read this forever and it seems like just the book to read with a cup of tea.

8.  Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson - A quaint English village is pretty much the definition of cozy but getting murdered would definitely put a damper on that.

9.  With Love from London by Sarah Jio - There's no reason that this sounds especially cozy but I really want to read it and that's enough to make it count as cozy.

10. The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman - Ditto above.

What cozy reads do you have on your TBR?

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!  I am thankful for each and every one of you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

The Year of the Library - Booked For Trouble + Silent Murders


I do love a good list.  It gives a nice sense of order and focus and I love making lists about the books I want to read.  Last year I focused just on series I was behind on.  The project went great and I caught up on a ton of series but I felt like I was neglecting other books on my shelf and books at my library.  This year I have a few lists going - Series, Library, Clear Off My Shelves, and a random TBR Bingo where I pull books off my Goodreads TBR.  Here are a few of my most recent reads.

Project: Series

Blurb:  Lucy has finally found her bliss as a librarian and resident of the Bodie Island Lighthouse. She loves walking on the beach, passing her evenings with the local book club, bonding with the library cat, Charles, and enjoying the attention of not one, but TWO eligible men. But then her socialite mother, Suzanne, unexpectedly drops in, determined to move Lucy back to Boston—and reunite her with her ex-fiancĂ©.

To make matters worse, Suzanne picks a very public fight at the local hotel with her former classmate Karen Kivas. So, when Karen turns up dead outside the library the next morning, Suzanne is immediately at the top of the suspect list. Now Lucy must hunt down a dangerous killer—before the authorities throw the book at her poor mother…

My Thoughts:  I'm really enjoying this series and am so glad that I've gone back to the beginning.  In the first book Lucy's parents - especially her mother - are frequently mentioned, thought about, and occasionally show up in phone conversations but are never seen.  I was really interested to see just what would happen when Lucy's mother, Suzanne, shows up for a surprise visit.  What happened was old scandals being raked up, murder, a bit of mayhem and Lucy having to deal with her mother in person and her parents in general.  In short it made for a fun read.  I really like Lucy and the rest of the characters that live on Bodie Island - with the exception of Louise Jane who drives me nuts!  I'm really looking forward to seeing how this series develops and highly recommend the series and this book for cozy mystery lovers.  My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)

Project:  Library List

Blurb:  Vaudeville actress Leah Randall took on her most daring role ever when she impersonated missing heiress Jessie Carr in order to claim Jessie’s inheritance in The Impersonator. Now that the dust has settled around that tumultuous time in her life, Leah has adopted Jessie’s name as her own and moved to Hollywood, where she's taken a modest but steady job in the silent film industry.

Jessie’s thrilled when Bruno Heilmann, a movie studio bigwig, invites her to a party. She’s even more delighted to run into a face from her past at that party. But the following day, Jessie learns that sometime in the wee hours of the morning both her old friend and Bruno Heilmann were brutally murdered. She’s devastated, but with her skill as an actress, access to the wardrobes and resources of a film studio, and a face not yet famous enough to be recognized, Jessie is uniquely positioned to dig into the circumstances surrounding these deaths. But will doing so put her own life directly in the path of a murderer?

My Thoughts:  I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this book.  I have never read anything by this author and wasn't able to get the first book in the series.  I ended up being absolutely delighted with this read set in the glamorous and not so glamorous world of the early movie days.  The blurb above leans heavily on the first book but I found not to be the case at all.  In fact, I didn't even know Leah Randall was her actual name until I reread the blurb.  There are a few references to past actions but nothing that slowed the pacing or kept me from enjoying the read.  I loved the setting and really enjoyed getting to know Jessie and spending some time with Douglas Fairbanks who was kind of the power behind Jessie's investigation.  The mystery is a good one and if you enjoy the old Hollywood setting this is a must read!  My Rating: Really Liked It! (4.5 Stars)

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Books I'm Thankful For


Today I'm linking up with Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl which is all about lists.  Since lists are one of my favorite things this is one of my favorite linkups!  Today's topic is a Thankful Freebie so I'm picking out 10 books I'm thankful for.

1.  The Four Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright - This was one of my absolute favorite books as  I child and I read it countless times.  When I was an adult I was able to track down the rest of Enright's books which gave me extra hours of reading joy.

2.  Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie - This is the first Agatha Christie that I really fell in love with.

3.  Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber - I was on the verge of a reading slump this year when I picked this book up and it completely pulled me in and got me out of my slump.

4. Shattered Silk by Barbara Michaels - This is the first Barbara Michaels book I fell in love with and is still one of my favorites.  

5.  Cajun Kiss of Death by Ellen Byron - This is the last book in a cozy mystery series set in Louisiana.  We had spent a lot of time in this area and I was really missing it when I started this book and it made me feel a little bit like I was back there.  Plus, it properly wrapped up a long running series which made me happy.

6.  Be My Ghost by Carol J Perry - Finn in this book was the final straw in me deciding to get a golden retriever!  I'm not sure how grateful my husband is for this book though!

7.  The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin - This is another book that kept me out of a reading slump and one I still think about even though it's been over a year since I read it.

8.  Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White - This is a book I read with Will for school and it gave us a lot of different discussions as we both started out not liking the book and then began to enjoy it.  We were able to discuss the difference between reading for pleasure vs assignment as well as what we liked and didn't like.  

9.  Summer at Lake Haven by RaeAnne Thayne - This was the first book I read after Will was diagnosed with Leukemia and it was one of the first signs for me that we were going to be okay and have some normalcy in the midst of everything.

10. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - My husband and I talked about this book on our first date and it was one of the first things we realized we had in common.

What are some books that you are thankful for?

Monday, November 21, 2022

The Wife's Promise + The Daughter's Garden - First Two in the Tales of Goswell Series


Goodreads:  The Wife's Promise (Tales from Goswell #1) by Kate Hewitt

Blurb:  Alice looked at the young girl standing alone on the platform, sensing the same vulnerability she’d once felt entering the village she now called home. Then, as the child gripped her hand, the pain and sorrow Alice had held in her heart for so long softened… And in that moment, she vowed she’d always protect her – whatever the cost…
England, 1939: When Alice marries twinkly-eyed, kind-hearted vicar David, it means leaving everything from her old life behind and moving into the draughty vicarage in the beautiful but remote village of Goswell, Cumbria. Though homesick, Alice is determined to make a new life there for herself and her husband.

But soon tragedy strikes, and she is devastated when war breaks out and David chooses to sign up to fight. But everything changes when Alice is asked to take in a child evacuee, and she makes a promise to protect this girl, no matter what it costs her…

Now: When Jane and her family move to the small coastal village of Goswell where her husband grew up, she’s afraid she might have made a huge mistake. Their new home – in what had once been the vicarage – feels a million miles from their previous fast-paced life in New York City, and Jane struggles with her empty days that seem lonely and purposeless.

But then she finds a small note, forgotten behind a shelf in the pantry. A note written in the Second World War. By a woman named Alice, whose incredible story has the power to change everything…

My Thoughts:  This series was originally published under the name Katherine Swartz and is now being republished.  And I'm so glad it is because I'm not sure I would have ever discovered this series and I would have missed so much.  Right from the very start I was pulled in this book and the world of Goswell.  I fell in love with Alice immediately.  She's so young and cares so much and is so desperately trying to figure out where she fits.  Jane is a bit more difficult to warm up to but I fell in love with her world and her family even when she drove me crazy.  These are characters that stayed with me and had me deeply invested in them.  I loved this book from beginning to end and immediately wanted to start the next book in the series.  My Rating: Loved It! (5 Stars)

Goodreads:  The Daughter's Garden (Tales of Goswell #2) by Kate Hewitt

Blurb: England, 1918: As war ends, across the world, people are trying to heal and recover. But Eleanor still feels broken. The loss of her beloved brother, killed just days before the Armistice was signed, feels impossibly unjust. Spending her time in the neglected gardens behind their house, she fears her heart will never recover.
Then her father hires a man to help restore the garden to its former glory. Gruff, handsome Yorkshireman Jack comes from a totally different world to Eleanor, but he understands the nature of her grief more than anyone else seems to. And as they spend time together, even though she knows her family will never accept someone of Jack’s class, Eleanor starts to wonder if – like the butterflies around them – there is any way for her to learn to soar again...

Now: Nearly one hundred years later, Marin is not prepared for finding herself the guardian of her fifteen-year-old half-sister Rebecca, after her father and his second wife are killed in a tragic accident. The sisters are practically strangers, and Rebecca’s grief makes her seem even more distant. Marin too is in need of a fresh start, so when Rebecca begs her to let them move to the picturesque village of Goswell on the Cumbrian coast, Marin impulsively agrees.

But it is only when they find a locked door to a secret garden, and a photograph of a girl with a butterfly alighting on her hand, that the sisters start to realise they have a mystery to solve, one about war, about secrets, and about a love that could never be. A mystery that might just bring them together…

My Thoughts:  I loved the first book was a bit nervous going into this one as the basic framework was so similar.  Both books involve dual timelines with one timeline being wartime and the other being a woman who has recently moved to Goswell.  Instead I found myself back in Goswell and in the lives of two different families and I loved them both.  My heart broke for Eleanor and Katherine who are both trying to find their way after the war ends and changes absolutely everything. As well I loved Marin right from the beginning.  She's doing her best in a tough situation that she has suddenly found herself thrust in the middle of.  I was absolutely thrilled to check in with Jane and her family as they are side characters in a way that flowed naturally. Hewitt makes this world come alive and the characters seem so real that I found myself thinking of them long after the book was over.  I love the little village of Goswell and am so excited to read the next book.  My Rating: Loved It! (5 Stars)

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Life with Leukemia, A Puppy, and Some Reading - November 20

It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.

What I Got:

A Sinister Revenge by Deanna Raybourn - The last book in this series ended on a bit of a watershed moment for the characters and I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next.  And I always enjoy the mysteries in this series! (Publisher)

Knits, Knots, and Knives by Emmie Caldwell - This looks like a cute cozy and I haven't read any in this series yet.  (Publisher)


Frozen Detective by Amanda Flower and Twice Upon a Time by L.M. Montgomery

Listening:  The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

We've had a busy few weeks!  Will has been feeling pretty good lately and we even got to revisit a former Christmas tradition which was to go to whatever Christmas play the local theater company was putting on.  Last weekend was A Christmas Story and it was so fun!  Will enjoyed it and was even comfortable enough to not wear a mask the whole time.  He's been self-conscious about the NG tube (the tube that runs into his nose) which has made him hesitant to go places so we were super proud of him.  

Also, he just finished week 110 of treatment which means only 10 more weeks!  We are starting to really talk about life after treatment and plan some fun trips.  We even put a deposit down on a Disney cruise for next fall!  It feels like tempting fate a little to be really planning on other things but all signs are good and it's not healthy for him to feel like he's constantly living with fear of it coming back.

Other then that, things have been pretty normal.  Will and I've been working through school work and I've been assisting with 4 different dog classes and Rover and I are taking 2.  We're both learning so much and I've really been enjoying working with dogs.   I'm gearing up to prepare for Thanksgiving and trying to get Christmas shopping done.    

Have a great week and happy reading!

The Gazebo - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads: The Gazebo by Patricia Wentworth

Rating: Loved It! (5 Stars) 
Source:   Publisher

Description:  Although Althea Graham's hypochondriac mother rarely visited the gazebo on their property, she is found dead there one morning. So Althea and her longtime fiancĂ© are finally free to marry. They are also the chief suspects. Fortunately, Miss Silver is a friend of Althea's.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

My Impression:   Miss Silver is a very handy friend to have - especially if you are innocent but suspected of murder.  Althea Graham finds herself very much in this position when her mother who has always very much enjoyed her poor health is found dead in the gazebo in the back of the property.  

Miss Silver meets the Grahams by chance and connects with Althea because a mutual friend has sung Miss Silver's praises to Althea.  I really liked that Miss Silver had a chance to interact with the victim and to get a handle on different relationship dynamics prior to the murder.

There are quite a few things going on in this small English suburb apart from the murder and all of the bits and pieces kept me hooked and invested in the mystery.  I really like that Miss Silver has a more up front role in this story as this is not always the case.  This was an entertaining classic mystery with village gossips, likable main characters,  and one of the best private detectives and her Scotland Yard side kick.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I'm looking forward to the next book!

Would I Recommend this Book? If you enjoy classic mysteries this is a great book to introduce you to Miss Silver and Frank Abbott.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Friday Five - Five Books I Meant to Read This Year But Will Go On My 2023 List

I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much.  I overplanned myself this year and as much as it pains me I'm having to admit that I will not finish all the books on my multiple lists.  I'm starting to think about my reading for 2023 and there are several books I'm looking forward to reading and will be moving over to 2023. 

1.  The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis - I read another book by this author earlier this year and loved it.  This one looks wonderful and I'm so looking forward to it.

2.   The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home by Denise Kiernan - I'm fascinated by the Biltmore and the people who lived there so this book is on my TBR and I'm looking forward to it.

3.  Death in Bloodhound Red by Virginia Lanier - I had never heard of this series before but a family member was raving about it and I'm always looking for a new mystery series.

4.  Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleanora Duse, and the Rivalry that Changed Acting Forever by Peter Rader - This just sounds really interesting and while I know a bit about early Hollywood days I know very little about the period right before.

5.  This Old Homicide by Kate Carlisle  - I have really enjoyed the first book in the series and the most recent books so I'm looking forward to getting caught up with all the books in the middle.

What books did you plan to get to this year that didn't quite make the cut?

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Books from the Backlog - Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery

Today I'm linking up with Carole from Carole's Random Life of Books for Books from the Backlog.  I really enjoy the chance to feature a book that's been hiding in the piles of books for far too long!

Goodreads:  Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

Blurb:  Summer has arrived in the Cornish town of Mount Polbearne and Polly Waterford couldn't be happier. Because Polly is in love: she's in love with the beautiful seaside town she calls home, she's in love with running the bakery on Beach Street, and she's in love with her boyfriend, Huckle.
And yet there's something unsettling about the gentle summer breeze that's floating through town. Selina, recently widowed, hopes that moving to Mount Polbearne will ease her grief, but Polly has a secret that could destroy her friend's fragile recovery. Responsibilities that Huckle thought he'd left behind are back and Polly finds it hard to cope with his increasingly long periods of absence.

Polly sifts flour, kneads dough and bakes bread, but nothing can calm the storm she knows is coming: is Polly about to lose everything she loves?

Why It Needs to Come off The Shelf:  I loved the first book and I have this book and the next one gathering dust on my shelf.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Grilled 4 Murder - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: Grilled 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery #10) by J.C. Eaton

Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  With a high-stakes barbecue contest coming to town, Sophie “Phee” Kimball’s friends will get raked over the coals when one of the contestants is murdered . . .

Sun City West is abuzz with the news that the Food Network is sponsoring a local barbecue cook-off and that Phee’s friends from the pinochle club are in the finals. But the mood soon darkens when the county planning committee announces a plan to situate a new garbage transfer station on the town’s edge. With tempers flaring and rumors of corruption swirling, it comes as little surprise when the committee’s chair, who happens to be a finalist in the cook-off, is found murdered.

When Phee’s friends are named as the most likely suspects, she knows the accusation stinks to high heaven. As she navigates a world of politics and payoffs, she discovers there are any number of community members, along with the committee itself, who had a reason to want the chair dead¬. With the barbecue contest in full swing and celebrity chefs on hand to judge, Phee will have to sniff out the clues, no matter how noxious, to catch a killer . . .

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book: I love this series and have always enjoyed catching up with the characters.    

My Impression: Every time I open a book from this series I know I'm going to be met with total chaos over at Sun CityWest, a long suffering Phee pulled into the madness, and Streetman the Che-weenie bring in his own special surprises which usually includes getting in trouble at the local dog park and a whole host of other fun activities.  This book was just as fun as I expected with one of favorite groups of characters.  I love Phee and Augusta's relationship and it's sweet to see Phee and Marshall getting used to married life.  

In this book there's both a BBQ Cook Off and the possibility of a garbage transport station going in right down the street.  Both of these topics are at the top of the list in Sun City West though the reactions are very very different.  This isn't the slowest paced of the mysteries in the series but Streetman's newest best friend more than made up for it for me.

While you can jump in anywhere in this series I think it's best to start at the beginning so you can watch the relationships between the characters grow.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I've really enjoyed every book in this series and am looking forward to reading more from this author.

Would I Recommend this Book? If you like quirky cozies with fun characters this is a series not to be missed.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Books on My TBR With Fall Covers


It actually feels a bit like fall here today which has me thinking of picking up books full of apple cider, fall leaves, and pumpkins.  Here are 10 books on my TBR that have covers that just scream fall to me.

1.  Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

2.  A Doomful of Sugar by Catherine Bruns

3.  A Dream of Death by Connie Berry

4.  The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

5.  Jasmine Moon Murder by Laura Childs

6.  First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

7.  Murder at Wakehurst by Alyssa Maxwell

8.  One Foot in the Grape by Carlene O'Neil

9.  Stiff Competition by Annelise Ryan

10. The Ghosts of Misty Hollow by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Do you have any fall books on your TBR?

Monday, November 14, 2022

Peril in Paris - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: Peril in Paris (A Royal Spyness Mystery #16) by Rhys Bowen

Rating: Liked It (3.5 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  Lady Georgiana Rannoch and her dashing husband, Darcy, are awaiting a bundle of joy, but an unexpected trip to Paris will thrust them straight into a tangled web of international intrigue in this all-new mystery in the New York Times bestselling Royal Spyness series from Rhys Bowen.

What a delight it is to finally be able to enjoy a simple meal again! I have been in the throes of morning sickness for the last few months as Darcy and I prepare to welcome a brand-new addition to our little family. Now that I am feeling better, I have realized I am dreadfully bored! It seems that all my nearest and dearest are off leading their own busy lives while I sit at home and attempt to train our two adorably naughty puppies. Fun as it may be, it is hard not to long for a little adventure, a change of pace, before my true confinement begins when the baby comes.

Happily, it seems that Darcy has read my mind. When I receive a letter from my glamorous best friend, Belinda, Darcy suggests we take a trip to Paris to visit her. It seems he also has a spot of business of which to take care, so I will be staying in Belinda’s flat as she works feverishly on Coco Chanel’s fall collection. I happen to know Coco from a disastrous encounter in Nice years ago, and I am hoping this visit will go much more smoothly. But I soon learn that nothing about my time in Paris is going to be simple . . . or safe for that matter.

Darcy has asked me to take on a small chore as a part of his latest assignment. I am to covertly retrieve something from an attendee of Coco’s show. It seems easy enough, but I discover that this little errand could have terrifying consequences for a world on the brink of war. When things go horribly wrong, I am left to find a killer all while trying to fend off a French policeman who is certain that I am a criminal mastermind. But I have no plans to deliver my darling little one in a prison cell, and so I will muster every ounce of my courage to save the day . . . and, quite possibly, the world!

Genre: Mystery - Cozy 

Why I Picked This Book:  I really enjoy this series so of course I had to pick the newest book up!  

My Impression: 1930s Paris is a bit of a tumultuous time period.  Germany is making some unsettling rumblings and people are aligning with different sides.  Georgie is in Paris though not with her husband but with lots of regular side characters from previous books in the series - including Coco Chanel herself.

I like seeing Georgie happily married and at least semi-settled and I always love seeing her with Belinda.  They are so different but at the same time their friendship feels very authentic.  The chaos and behind the scenes scheming of the Chanel fashion show was fascinating and entertaining.  I do wish that the investigation aspect had started a bit earlier.  The murder did not actually occur until almost halfway through the book and while I love the characters in this series it did make the pacing feel a bit slow. As well, I found Darcy asking Georgie to do a favor involving his latest assignment a bit hard to believe.  Georgie causes chaos doing the simplest tasks so passing information during a high profile fashion show seemed a bit of a stretch and one would think that he would know better.

All in all this was a fun read with likable characters in an interesting time period.  Because the characters have such strong backstories this is a series best read in order.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I really enjoy this series and am looking forward to see what happens next.

Would I Recommend this Book? If you enjoy cozy mysteries and historical fiction this is a fun mix of the two.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *

Saturday, November 12, 2022

The Benevent Treasure - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Benevent Treasure by Patricia Wentworth

Rating: Loved It! (5 Stars)
Source:   Purchased

Description:  Invited to live with her two great-aunts, the Misses Cara and Olivia Benevent, Candida Sayle has no home of her own and accepts. But the offer takes on an eerie quality when the aunts recall the family legacy--the Benevent Treasure that brings death to all who touch it. When Candida becomes reacquainted with local architect Stephen Eversley, he worries for her safety and calls in Miss Silver. But she is already on the case, investigating the mysterious disappearance years earlier of a man who worked for the sisters, and knew a bit too much, perhaps, about the Benevent Treasure.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

My Impression: This was my favorite Miss Silver book in awhile.  While I always enjoy Wentworth's writing style and any book Miss Silver in the last few have had a certain sameness.  This has some similarities to other Wentworth books - a young woman who is pretty much on her own, a bit of romance, and a sinister setting.

Candida is excited to connect with her grandmother's estranged sisters after the death of her aunt who was her only known relation.  Miss Silver is visiting a cousin when she happens to share a train compartment with a man who recognizes her and asks for her help regarding his long lost stepson.  How these two plots are connected makes for an interesting and entertaining mystery.

I really enjoyed how Miss Silver got pulled into this and while she's not front and center in the investigation she provides interesting guidance for Candida and Stephen as well as driving her cousin crazy with her unwillingness to gossip.  This has a bit more suspense then I've seen in her previous books with a bit of a treasure hunt which really added to the fun.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Definitely!  I'm really looking forward to reading the next book.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Absolutely!  This is a fun one and I think would be a good one to start with.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Friday Five - Five Short Reviews For Books I've Read Recently

I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much. This week I'm sharing 5 quick reviews for books I've read recently.

 1.  Heiresses: The Lives of the Million Dollar Babies by Laura Thompson - This was book had a far greater scope than I expected.  From the subtitle I expected it be focused on the American Heiresses who married into the British aristocracy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Instead the book starts in the 1600s with a poor young girl named Mary who just happens to have inherited property worth a very large fortune and work up to Barbara Hutton, Doris Duke, and Patty Hearst.  While there were some stories about many of the heiresses mentioned the author focuses on the issues and pitfalls that befall the heiresses in general and the lack of freedom and choice many of the women suffer.  I enjoyed it but it was a bit dryer than I was expecting.  I listened to the audio and while the narrator did an excellent job I think I would have enjoyed this a bit more if I had picked this up in print form as there are many women mentioned (and most of the earlier women are named Mary).  My Rating: Liked It (3 Stars)

2.  The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley -
This was my first book by Lucy Foley and while it won't be my last I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it.  All the characters are pretty awful people.  Even Jess who is the most sympathetic isn't someone I would want to be friends with.  While the book is set in Paris the apartment building could pretty much exist anywhere in the world with only a few minor changes (mostly to Sophie's wardrobe).  But as the book went on I became more and more pulled in and by the end I was almost holding my breath to see how it all played out.  The audio was fantastic and the cast of narrators did a fantastic job.  I think I enjoyed it more because I listened to it - I think I would have found it a bit slow if I was reading it.  My Rating: Really Liked It (3.5Stars)

3.  Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney -
When I saw the reference to And Then There Were None of course I couldn't resist this book about a dysfunctional family gathered at an island estate in honor of Nana's 80th birthday.  When the family members start dying one by one as predicted by an eerie poem Daisy and the rest of her family must try to survive until the end of the night.  This is one I don't want to say to much about because the less you know going in the better.  I really enjoyed this one from beginning to end and definitely want to read more by this author.  My Rating: Really Liked It! (4 Stars)

4.  The Office BFFs: Tales of the Office From Two Best Friends Who Were There by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey -
I'm a big fan of the American version of The Office and I've really enjoyed the podcast that Jenna and Angela did called "The Office Ladies" so of course I couldn't resist getting this book.  It was such fun!  There is some things covered in the book that have already been covered in the podcast but there was so much more.  They talked about learning how to juggle pregnancy and then motherhood as well as how to maintain a friendship when one friend is in a different phase of life from the other.  They talk about the highs and lows of award shows and how each cast member affected the atmosphere of the show overall as well as how the podcast was created.  This is essentially a love letter to the TV show and a friendship combined and was a total delight!  If you are a fan of the show it is not to be missed. My Rating: Really Liked It! (4.5 Stars)

5.  The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell - 
I love Lisa Jewell's books and this one was no exception.  As usual it starts off a touch confusing.  There are several different threads that at first seem unrelated but gradually come together more and more.  Libby was an easy character to like from the beginning.  She's responsible and hard working and on her 25th birthday receives a bombshell of a letter that changes everything.  Everyone else is a bit more gray though still compelling and was an interesting mix of reliable and unreliable narrators.  I'm so excited that there is a sequel to this story and while I generally prefer to put some time between reading connected books I was so hooked by this one that I'll be picking that one up as soon as I can.  My Rating: Really Liked It! (4.5 Stars)

What have you read recently?

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Books from the Backlog - The Lacemaker's Secret

Today I'm linking up with Carole from Carole's Random Life of Books for Books from the Backlog.  I really enjoy the chance to feature a book that's been hiding in the piles of books for far too long!

Goodreads:  The Lacemaker's Secret by Kathleen Ernst

Blurb:  Curator Chloe Ellefson needs distraction from the unsettling family secret she's just learned. It doesn't help that her boyfriend, Roelke McKenna, has been troubled for weeks and won't say why. Chloe hopes a consulting job at Green Bay's Heritage Hill Historical Park, where an old Belgian-American farmhouse is being restored, will be a relaxing escape.
Instead she discovers a body in a century-old bake oven.

Chloe's research suggests that a rare and valuable piece of lace made its way to nearby Door County, Wisconsin, with the earliest Belgian settlers. More importantly, someone is desperate to find it. Inspired by a courageous Belgian woman who survived cholera, famine, and the Great Fire, Chloe must untangle clues to reveal secrets old and new . . . before the killer strikes again.

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  This has been sitting gathering dust on my NetGalley shelf for ages and it looks really fascinating.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Dead Men Don't Decorate - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: Dead Men Don't Decorate (Old Town Antiques Mystery #1) by Cordy Abbott

Rating: Liked It (3 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  Roberto Fratelli, proprietor of the antiques store Waited4You, is the meanest man in Marthasville, Virginia. So when he puts the business up for sale, the other merchants in town are overjoyed. And now the business has a prospective buyer: local resident and the newly elected mayor's mom, Camille Benson, who’s thrilled at the prospect of getting into the antiques business. During a celebration in honor of Camille’s new venture, her best friend, Opal, tells her about finding a letter, purportedly from Sally Fairfax to George Washington, dated 1756, hidden under a chair in the shop. When they return to retrieve the cache, they find Roberto’s lifeless body on the floor and no letter.

Police question Ella Coleman, Roberto’s ex-wife, and discover that her current husband supplied Roberto with oh-so-faux Victorian furniture. Did the two cheat the wrong customer? Or could the murder be connected to an earlier theft of rare books from the shop—a theft Roberto never reported?

As Camille prepares to confront these questions and investigate the murder, she knows she might become the latest knock-off.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  This combines a mystery with an antique store so it's two of my favorite things in one!

My Impression: There was a lot I liked about this book.  The main character, Camille, is a bit older then the typical cozy heroine and is taking over the antique store as kind of a second profession.  While she grew up in the antique store world she's new to running a store so she's having to scramble to get things figured out.   I absolutely loved that Camille has dogs.  Cats are the usual animal sidekick of choice cozy mysteries so I'm always absolutely delighted to see dogs.  Camille is a long time resident of Marthasville and her son is the newly elected mayor so this makes for a nice community feel that always makes a cozy series more enjoyable.

What kept this book from being a winner for me was the pace.  There's so much description and dialogue that it makes the book feel a bit blocky and awkward and made for a slower read then I prefer. The mystery was good and there's enough that I did enjoy that I will try the second book  in the series but it's not on my list of must reads.

This has the potential to be a fun series.  It has a likable main character, a good setting and an interesting premise.  I'm hoping that now that world of the series has been setup the pace of future books will improve.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I will definitely look for the second book in the series.  

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you love antiques and cozy mysteries then I think you would like this read just be prepared for a lot of setup.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday - Series I Want to Catch Up On

Today I'm linking up with Top Ten Tuesday hosted by 
That Artsy Reader Girl which is all about lists.  Since lists are one of my favorite things this is one of my favorite linkups!  Today's topic is Series I Want to Start/Catch Up On.  I read a lot of cozy mysteries so there are so many series I want to start and even more series that I want to catch up on.

1. Meg Langslow Mysteries by Donna Andrews - This series is huge and every book I've read has been incredibly entertaining.  I'm looking forward to going back to the beginning and getting to know the Langslow family from the beginning.

2.  The Ravenels by Lisa Kleypas - Just to mix things up a bit I'm throwing in a historical romance series.  I've listened to the 2nd book and am now listening to the 1st book and have very much enjoyed them both.

3.  Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries by C.S. Harris - I've read the most recent mysteries in this series and while they're not the fastest paced I do really enjoy them and want to read the beginning books.

4.  Library Lighthouse Mysteries by Eva Gates - This is a cozy series that I've started at the beginning with and am really enjoying it.  

5.  Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman - I adore Mrs. Pollifax and have loved every book I've read so far.  

6.  The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman - This is a bit outside of my usual genres but I did enjoy this book and am so curious to see how the story continues.

7.  Burning Cove by Amanda Quick - I love romantic suspense and romantic suspense set in the 1930s is even better.

8.  The Fixer Upper Mysteries by Kate Carlisle - I've enjoyed the later books in this series and read the first book recently and am looking forward to catching up.

9.  Amelia Peabody by Elizabeth Peters - Barbara Mertz wrote under the names Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels and while Michaels is one of my favorite authors I've seriously ignored all of her books under her Peters name.  I listened to the first Amelia Peabody book and really liked it and want to see more of these characters.  

10. Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries by Jane K. Cleland - I love antiques and I love cozy mysteries so I always enjoy these mysteries.  This is another series where I've read the most recent books but neglected the earlier books.

What series do you want to read/catch up on?