Friday, March 10, 2023

Friday Fives - Five Short Reviews for Series I'm Reading

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'm working on catching up on series and decided to put a few reviews of them all together here.

1.  Beyond a Reasonable Stout (Sloan Kraus #3) by Ellie Alexander - I love this series and thoroughly enjoyed this latest entry in this series set in a microbrewery in Leavenworth, Washington.  This time unofficial town mascot April is a suspect in the murder of an unpopular local politician and demanding that Sloan help prove her innocence.  I really enjoyed watching Sloan work on figuring just who the murderer is along with running the brewery and running her life in general.  There's some progress in an intriguing series arc that I can't wait to see play out more.  My Rating: Really Liked It! (4 Stars)

2.  Bookman Dead Style (Dangerous Type Mystery #2) by Paige Shelton -
I have enjoyed the 1st and 3rd book in this series but somehow missed the 2nd book in this Utah based cozy series set around Clare and Chester, the owners of a typewriter repair shop called The Rescued Word.  This mystery focused on the film festival celebrity world as celebrities flock to this Utah town and one of the most well known stars is arrested for murder - right after buying personalized notecards at Clare's shop.  Clare is drawn into the investigation much to the annoyance of her best friend Josie, one of the town's police officers.  I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery and seeing more of Clare, her grandfather Chester and the rest of the characters in this series.  The mystery kept me guessing and I liked the little side mystery as well.  My Rating: Really Liked It! (4 Stars)

3.  Killer Keepsake (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery #4) by Jane K. Cleland -
From the beginning of the series Josie's assistant Gretchen has been a solid steady part of Prescott Antiques.  She's likable and good support for Josie but she was always close mouthed about her past.  After this book that's no longer the case.  Gretchen has more than a few skeletons in her closet and with her sudden disappearance Josie has to figure out what they are.  This was probably my favorite book of the series so far.   It was fast paced and kept me hooked as Josie worked to solve a current day murder mystery and figure out just how the murder was connected to Gretchen's past secrets.  My Rating: Really Liked It! (4.5 Stars)

4.  Verse and Vengeance (Magical Bookshop Mystery #4) by Amanda Flower -
I like this series.  Violet is a fun main character and I love her little tuxedo cat Emmerson and the crow Faulkner.  There's a good group of side characters and I love the premise of the magical bookstore - even when it misbehaves by giving the new store assistant, Richard, every book he could possibly dream of having.  There is also some progress in Violet's personal life which I appreciated.  While I did enjoy this mystery it wasn't the most memorable of reads as it's been a week or two since I finished it and I remember very little of what happened.  That said it was fun and entertaining and I will be picking up the next book in the series.  My Rating: Liked It (3 Stars)

5.  This Old Homicide (Fixer-Upper Mystery #2) by Kate Carlisle -
This is the 2nd book in the home renovation mystery series featuring  contractor Shannon Hammer who specializes in restoring old houses in the community of Lighthouse Cove.  I love the community feel of the series as Shannon has a wide circle of friends and acquaintances as well as the beginning of a romance with thriller writer Mac.  Unfortunately, Shannon loses one important member of her world when her neighbor Jesse is found dead on his couch.  It quickly becomes apparent that Jesse's death is not from natural causes and Shannon and her friends scramble to determine which one of Jesse's tall tales was the truth.  The mystery of Jesse's death was an interesting one and well wrapped up and I enjoyed getting to the bottom of it.  There's a bit of a side mystery involving the renovation of Shannon's friend Emily's house that I'm hoping will be at least a side plot in the next book as it felt a bit rushed and wasn't as resolved as I would have liked it to be.  I have enjoyed all the books in the series that I have read and really enjoy the contracting and home renovation aspects of the book.  My Rating: Liked It! (3.5 Stars)


  1. Nice review! I love that cover for Verse and Vengeance

  2. Great reviews. I want to read them all!

  3. These all look good, but Killer Keepsake caught my eye. Love the premise and setting!

  4. The series I want to read from these five reviews is the Ellie Alexander one so have marked in on GR. I did read the first in Fixer Upper series but have gone no further as yet.