Friday, January 19, 2024

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.  Eaves of Destruction by Kate Carlisle - I really enjoy this series!  Shannon is pulled into a house tour competition and is renovating a gorgeous Victorian on a very prestigious street.  She's hired a new carpenter who is talented and eager to get to work - and maybe hiding a few things.  Unfortunately, Shannon's new client is a nightmare and she's being shadowed by a sketchy building inspector.  The murder involved a victim I wasn't sorry to see dead and an investigation where everyone has a motive.  I loved the description of the houses and thoroughly enjoyed the read.  This is a fun series if you're looking for a light cozy mystery with a likable cast of characters.  My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)

2.  Blood Rubies by Jane K. Cleland - I have really enjoyed the previous few books in this series so I was so excited to read this one with the Faberge egg plot.  Unfortunately, this didn't quite live up to my expectations.  The beginning felt a little disjointed and I never really felt like I had a firm grasp on who a few characters were and just what was going on.  I did like the investigation into appraisals and fraud and the mystery did keep me guessing.  I did miss the regular side characters as it felt like Josie didn't spent much time at her business or with her regular friends in this book.  This is an entertaining series - especially if you enjoy antiques and history but this was definitely a weaker entry into the series.  My Rating: Liked It (3 Stars)

3.  A Deadly Chapter by Essie Lang -
This is the final mystery set in a bookstore in a castle on an island in Thousand Islands, New York area.  Shelby once again stumbles into a mystery when she wakes up to a body lodged between her house boat and the dock.  When it turns out that Shelby not only spoke to the victim shortly before he died but also happens to be friends with the victim's daughter, she can't help but get involved in the investigation.  I probably enjoyed this mystery the most out of the three.  The pacing was good and the mystery kept me guessing until the end.  As well, there were several developments in Shelby's personal life that I really liked and ended the series on a positive note.  As usual, I do wish the castle setting was used more but there was time spent in the bookshop so that does help a bit.  This was a nice cozy read but not a series that I would overwhelmingly recommend.  My Rating: Liked It! (3.5 Stars)

4.  Murder Makes Sense by Christin Brecher -
This is the 2nd book in the Nantucket Candle Making mystery series but my final book since I started with book 3.  To be honest, I have not been the biggest fan of the series.  The book starts out with Stella and her mother Millie at a perfume conference in Paris.  The magical vacation ends on an sour note when a murder occurs in the middle of a crowd and then danger follows the two back to Nantucket.  The plot of this book was sheer insanity.  Somehow things are linked to international espionage and Stella and Millie are right in the middle of it.  I suppose in the right mood it could be read as camp but honestly to me it just came off as silly.  My Rating: Just Okay (2.5 Stars)

5.  Shot Through the Hearth by Kate Carlisle - Shannon Hammer is taking a break from her usual Victorian home renovation to redo an old farmhouse and create an eco-friendly conference area and barn.  While the renovation itself goes fairly flawlessly the chaos that happens at the conference more than makes up with it with hostility from multiple directions, stolen patents, a stray shot or two, loose smart mice, and of course murder.  I missed the side characters and general work flow the series usually has but this was a nice shakeup and definitely kept me reading.  I wasn't sure how it would all play out and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to the reveal.  I'm now caught up on the series and will be looking forward to the next time I hang out with Shannon and her crew.  This is a fun cozy mystery series with a great community feel.  My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)


  1. That Kate Carlisle series is the one that interests me the most. It sounds like a lot of fun.

  2. The Kate Carlisle books sounds like winners. Nice to be caught up on a series and now be waiting for the next one.

  3. It has been too long since I last picked up a cozy! It looks like I need to add Kate Carlisle to my reading list.

  4. I hope to read Kate Carlisle's series. Her books always sound good. Essie Lang is another one I've been wanting to try. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on all of these!