Friday, June 9, 2023

Friday Five - 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.  Here Today, Gone Tamale (A Taste of Texas Mystery #1) by Rebecca Adler - The cozy mystery is definitely one of my favorite genres but not all cozies work for me.  Unfortunately, this was one of those cozies.  I'm a big fan of the premise - a woman whose life basically blows up comes home to her family and stumbles into a murder mystery.  Throw in a Mexican restaurant and a doggy sidekick and I was in.   But for me the execution didn't quite live up to the premise.  I didn't really like any of the characters - including the main character - and because I had no connection to any of them I had a hard time keeping the large number of characters straight.  Add in the fact that the story telling seemed to gloss over really important events.  There were several times I completely missed that something important had happened because it was mentioned so casually.  I have the third book in the series and will probably read that but will not go out of my way to pick up the second book.  My Rating: Just Okay (2 Stars)

2.  Without a Brew (Sloan Kraus #4) by Ellie Alexander -
I so enjoy this series and this one did not disappoint!  Garrett and Sloan's plan to ease into innkeeping ends up turning into a full scale plunge when they have a group of guests dumped on them.  Unfortunately, one of the guests is an obnoxious jerk and another is clearly hiding something - before she goes missing that is.  I was instantly caught up in the mystery and loved spending time with Sloan, Garrett, and Kat as well as the rest of the crew in Leavenworth, Washington.  As well as enjoyable and entertaining mystery there is a bit of progress on the mystery of Sloan's past which is a story that has been running through the series since the beginning.  I enjoyed this book from beginning to end and even though I'm not much of a beer drinker I wouldn't mind spending time in Nitro.  I'm already looking forward to my next visit! My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)

3.  Crimes and Covers (Magical Bookshop #5) by Amanda Flower -
This is the final book in the Magical Bookshop series and what an entertaining end it was!  Violet Waverly is marrying the Police Chief David Rainwater in a ceremony carefully planned by Grandma Daisy and Violet's friend, Sadie.  But in between the ceremony and the reception a body is found in the river - the body of a woman who was acting very oddly and trying to sell Violet a priceless book by Henry David Thoreau.  This leads Violet and David down a rabbit hole trying to find the book and maybe catch a killer in time to go their honeymoon.  This book focused mostly on Violet and David which I liked but did miss the side characters who usually have more page time.  This is a fun series from start to finish.  My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)

4.  Pall in the Family (Family Fortune Mystery #1) by Dawn Eastman -
This is the first book in a four part cozy mystery series involving a former police officer who lives with her family in a Michigan town known for its psychics. In the first book Clyde is home on leave after a tragic incident occurred while on duty.  To fill time (and avoid her rather quirky mother and aunt) Clyde is dog walking with the help of her nephew, Seth.  When she stumbles onto a murder scene, Clyde is pulled into an investigation and has to come to terms with certain aspects of her past  The investigation is entertaining with a few side trips into comical and while I did guess certain parts of it all I really enjoyed seeing it all unravel.  I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.  If you enjoy cozies that are bit quirky this is a fun one to try.  My Rating: Liked It! (3.5 Stars)

5.  Silent Auction (Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery #5) by Jane K. Cleland -
This is a series that just works for me.  I love history and am fascinated by antiques so I love reading about Josie's day to day life and exploring antiques with her.  This book focused on scrimshaws (art traditionally made my sailors carved onto whale teeth or bone) and I loved the comparing modern examples versus the antiques and the discussions on how to appraise and value a piece.  Rocky Point has a new police chief who I think will be a welcome addition to the series and hopefully a love interest for a side character.  Since the mystery involved the purchase of antiques as well as determining whether something was "real" or a forgery Josie is pulled into the investigation and takes an active and official role.  I really enjoyed the read from start to finish and Cleland's writing style and pacing made this an easy and fun bit of escape.  My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)


  1. Silent Auction looks and sounds really good. That's the one I want to read! :D

  2. These all sound good, Katherine, especially Crimes and Covers. I am glad to see you really liked that one! Although I am sad to see Adler's book was a disappointment. I haven't tried that author's work. I do want to read Silent Auction at some point. I love that cover.

  3. Four out of five is good. I like Ellie Alexander and one day I'd like to try this series.

  4. The Magical Bookshop is one of my favorites. I’m behind a couple of books though. Too bad the book with the adorable chihuahua on the cover was a miss!

  5. I have all of these on my TBR.