Wednesday, July 17, 2024

15 Summers Later - Fiction Review

Goodreads: 15 Summers Later by RaeAnne Thayne

Rating: Really Liked It! (4.5 Stars)
Source:   Library

Description:  Ava Howell seemed to have it all. She moved away from Emerald Creek, Idaho, married the love of her life and published a bestselling memoir. But she never expected that her husband would feel so betrayed by a secret from her past—the truth of what happened to her and her sister all those years ago—that he’d walk away. Now Ava is back home and trying to move on with the only person who can truly understand…

Following years of healing, Madison Howell is finally happy. After college she built a no-kill shelter where she works with animals every day, and she’s in love with the town veterinarian, Dr. Luke Gentry. But she can’t ever bring herself to tell him. Years ago, his dad died protecting Madi and her sister, so how could he ever love her back?

With the truth laid bare, and the past that Ava and Madison have worked so hard to leave behind threatening everything they have built for themselves, the Howell sisters’ reunion is bittersweet. And as Ava and Madi attempt to remedy the rifts in their lives and reconcile their futures, they must face the demons of their past together.

Genre:  Fiction - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:  I really enjoy the other books I've read by Thayne and the animal rescue element and I love books about sisters.  

My Impression: I've been a fan of RaeAnne Thayne for quite some time though I typically haven't loved her standalones as much as her series books.  This was an exception.  For starters the secret from the girls' past is some serious trauma so their issues in their relationship make a lot of sense.  

Madi is a tough woman who has overcome a serious injury to make her dreams of an animal rescue come true.  She's devoted and loyal and determined to not let her disabilities keep her from doing what she wants.  Ava was a little harder to warm up to at first.  While I liked her I didn't quite understand her motivations for doing what she did.  As the book went on I came to understand both sisters and couldn't help but root for them both.  

While there is a bit of a romance the focus on the story was really the relationship between Ava and Madison.  I did enjoy Luke and Madi's relationship - especially how they bond over animals and understand each other.  I enjoyed this story from beginning to end.  It deals with some tough subjects but there is so much hope in renewal that it never felt too dark.  This was a lovely read with characters I was sad to say goodbye to which I reached the last page.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I'm already looking forward to reading more of her books.

Would I Recommend this Book?  I would!  If you enjoy stories about families and love a good animal addition this is a wonderful read.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday - Eight Reasons I Love Cozy Mysteries + Two Recommendations

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 Ten Things I Love About any book.  Since I couldn't think of 10 things for any particular book I'm taking a whole genre and adding a couple of recommendations.  Here are 8 reasons I love cozy mysteries and 2 recommendations.

1.  The Community Feel - Almost every cozy mystery involves a community setting.  A lot are set in small towns but even series that are set in cities - like Leslie Budewitz's Spice Shop series set in Seattle - involve a small area or group to provide a nice community.

2.  Not Too Violent or Dark, but Still a Murder to Solve - I love mysteries because the whole plot of the book is characters solving a puzzle of some kind but in some mysteries things get a bit too dark or violent for my escapist reading preferences.  However, cozies have all the mystery solving without ever making me want to double check the locks or have nightmares.

3.  The Variety of Hobbies or Jobs - If you're interesed in sewing, baking, organizing, genealogy, books, home decor, hiking or just about anything else there is a cozy mystery main character who either works in that field or is also interested in it.

4.  The Animal Sidekicks - Cozy mysteries win for the variety of dogs and cats with the occasional bird, turtle, lizard and even an armadillo that are present in the books to help the main characters figure out just who the bad guy is.

5.  The Humor - Not all cozies are funny but there are so many that have a lot of humor.  Some lean hard into the hilarious chaos that so many cozies do so well and some give me a laugh as the main character has just the right amount of snark.

6.  The Variety of Types - Want a nice historical English village murder?  Want something a bit more paranormal?  Want a nice beach setting?  How about the exact opposite and want a mystery that takes place in a snowed in hotel?  Whatever you're looking for cozies have you covered.

7.  The Seasons - I'm not the biggest seasonal reader but sometimes it's fun to read something that takes place during the Christmas season with all the holidy goodness or a book full of all the fun of Halloween.  Cozies excel at this kind of seasonal reading.

8.  All Series - When I finish a book that I've really enjoyed I'm always a bit sad to say goodbye to the characters but pretty much every cozy is part of a series so when you can always revisit communities and characters you love.


9.  The Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews - Meg is a blacksmith which is one of the more unusual jobs in the cozy universe.  As well she has a large family that always has some kind of crazy chaos happening.  The books are funny and the mysteries are usually very solid.  This a long running series so start with the first book and you have a LOT of reading fun ahead of you.

10.  The Bakeshop Mysteries by Ellie Alexander - I've really enjoyed everything I've read by Ellie Alexander but the bakeshop series is a long running series with a lovely community feel, a fabulous setting, family connections, mouth watering food descriptions and interesting mysteries.  I also really enjoy her Sloan Kraus series about a brewer in Leavenworth, Washington.  

Monday, July 15, 2024

Middle Grade Monday - The Body Under the Piano

Goodreads: The Body Under the Piano (Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen #1) by Marthe Jocelyn

Rating: Really Liked It! (4.5 Stars)
Source:   Library

Description:  Aggie Morton lives in a small town on the coast of England in 1902. Adventurous and imaginative but deeply shy, Aggie hasn't got much to do since the death of her beloved father . . . until the fateful day when she crosses paths with twelve-year-old Belgian immigrant Hector Perot and discovers a dead body on the floor of the Mermaid Dance Room! As the number of suspects grows and the murder threatens to tear the town apart, Aggie and her new friend will need every tool at their disposal -- including their insatiable curiosity, deductive skills and not a little help from their friends -- to solve the case before Aggie's beloved dance instructor is charged with a crime Aggie is sure she didn't commit.

Genre: Mystery - Middle Grade

Why I Picked This Book:  This is a middle grade mystery series heavily inspired by Agatha Christie's childhood.  How could I not read it?

My Impression: This was fun! Aggie is loosely based on Agatha Christie and lives in a world heavily inspired by her books - including Aggie's new friend, a Belgian immigrant with a love for shiny shoes and a passion for exactness.  When a rather dreadful woman is found dead under the piano at the Mermaid Dance Room Aggie springs into action to make sure her beloved dance teacher is not framed for the murder.  

Aggie and Hector form a partnership to figure out just who had the motive to want the victim dead - and out of all those people who actually was the one who killed her.   Aggie and Hector have different strengths and it was fun watching them work together.    While this is a Middle Grade mystery and it is a book I would be perfectly comfortable with my kids reading from about 8 or 9 and up.  While there is a murder and the characters occasionally are in danger it isn't bloody or violent.  This is a fun mystery with a solid amateur sleuth team that I think all mystery readers will enjoy!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading more of this series.  

Would I Recommend this Book? If you enjoy mysteries and are an Agatha Christie fan I think you will really enjoy this book. 

Saturday, July 13, 2024

And Then There Were None - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

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

Description:  "Ten . . ."
Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious "U.N. Owen."

"Nine . . ."
At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead.

"Eight . . ."
Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one . . . one by one they begin to die.

"Seven . . ."
Who among them is the killer and will any of them survive?

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  This was the June read for the Read Christie Challenge this year.  I'm pretty sure next month's is Taken at the Flood.

My Impression:   This is one of my favorite Christie mysteries and everytime I reread it I'm pleasantly reminded of why.  Christie is spot on here with complex characters, an isolated setting, and lots of twists and turns.  I remember the end and yet it never fails to give me a little thrill at the end.

Like Murder on the Orient Express, I feel like I notice something a little different or pick up on a new clue everytime I read this mystery.  Each character has some serious baggage and there is just enough of their backstory to flesh them out without getting confusing or overdone.  

This is a quick entertaining read that I always thoroughly enjoy and I enjoy it everytime I pick up the book.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Of course!  I'm already looking forward to July's Read Christie Challenge book.

Would I Recommend this Book? Yes!  If you've never read Christie this is a fantastic book to start with.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Friday Fives - Five States I Haven't "Visited" Yet

I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd start making random fve lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much. Every year I keep track of all the states and countries I've visited through my reading.  This week I'm looking at 5 states I haven't "visited" yet and books that I'm thinking about picking up to help my traveling.  These are5 states I usually visit pretty early in the year and for whatever reason I just haven't gotten there yet.

1.  Alabama - The Lights of Sugarberry Cove by Heather Webber

2.  Louisiana - The Shop on Royal Street by Karen White

3.  Idaho - Then Came You by Jill Shalvis

4.  Colorado - Take the Honey and Run by Jennie Marts

5.  Rhode Island - A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams

Any suggestions for books that take place in any of these states? What states or countries do you usually "visit" regularly but haven't made it there yet?

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Books from the Backlog - The Fairy Bargains of Prospect Hill

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 Fairy Bargains of Prospect Hill by Rowenna Miller

Blurb:  In the early 1900s, two sisters must navigate the magic and the dangers of the Fae in this enchanting and cozy historical fantasy about sisterhood and self-discovery.
There is no magic on Prospect Hill—or anywhere else, for that matter. But just on the other side of the veil is the world of the Fae. Generations ago, the first farmers on Prospect Hill learned to bargain small trades to make their lives a little easier—a bit of glass to find something lost, a cup of milk for better layers in the chicken coop.

Much of that old wisdom was lost as the riverboats gave way to the rail lines and the farmers took work at mills and factories. Alaine Fairborn’s family, however, was always superstitious, and she still hums the rhymes to find a lost shoe and to ensure dry weather on her sister’s wedding day.

When Delphine confides her new husband is not the man she thought he was, Alaine will stop at nothing to help her sister escape him. Small bargains buy them time, but a major one is needed. Yet, the price for true freedom may be more than they’re willing to pay.

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  This has kind of a cozy fantasy feel and the blurb definitely caught my eye.  It sounds like a good summer read!

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

The Confidence Game - Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Confidence Games by Tess Amy

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

Description:  Two female con artists must pull off the ultimate heist in this rollicking caper from a dazzling new voice.

Emma Oxley and Nellie Yarrow have been inseparable their whole lives. Ever since they reinvented themselves, changing their names and wiping clean their digital footprints, they have made a game of following wherever the next adventure leads and challenging themselves to thefts, street cons, and mind games.

Adhering to only two rules—they will only swindle men, and only ones who deserve it—Emma and Nellie are secure in their reputation as the most trustworthy swindlers on the European black market. Until suddenly, they must play to save their own lives.

Blackmailed into stealing a priceless bracelet from a high-security exhibit, Emma will reexamine everything she believed to be true. This heist takes her far beyond her comfort zone...and she and Nellie will need allies among the glitzy bejeweled gathering in London in order to survive. Will they be able to do the right thing before it’s too late?

Genre: Mystery 

Why I Picked This Book:  The blurb sounded fun.  I'm fascinated by cons and scams so a mystery focused on that sounded like perfect reading.

My Impression:  This was such a fun read!  The two main characters, Emma and Nellie, were a bit older than I expected from the cover and have a bit more life experience and history.  There skills compliment each other well and they've found a mission that gives their conning a focus.   They're also intelligent and sympathetic characters.  I loved the Emma and Nellie's friendship and especially loved seeing them work together when the stakes become high.

The story hooked me from the beginning and the pace really took off a chapter or two in when the heist gets underway.  I was rooting for the characters and holding my breath a bit to see just how everything would play out.  Emma and Nellie pick up a few characters along the way and it definitely enriched the book and I could not have loved the ending more.  

If you're looking for a fast summer reading with likable characters that's a bit different from the usual mystery this would be a perfect choice!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will keep an eye out for anything from this author.

Would I Recommend this Book? I would!  If you're looking for a fun read with likable characters and a fast paced plot this is a great choice.

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

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten 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 a throwback and I'm picking 10 Series That I Want to Catch Up On.

1.  Secret, Book, and Scone Society by Ellery Adams - I really enjoyed the first two books of this series but for some reason it hasn't been a series I keep up with.  I need to fix that.

2.  Sebastian St. Cyr by C.S. Harris - I have really loved the most recent books but feel like I'm missing a little by not reading the first few books.

3.  Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson - Basically ditto above.

4.  Wescott Series by Mary Balogh - I picked up the first in this historical romance series and absolutely loved it and really want to continue with the rest of the books.

5.  Lady Darby Mysteries by Anna Lee Huber - I've loved the past few books but never read the earlier books.  There aren't that many that I've missed so I need to fix that.

Rockton/Casey Duncan Series by Kelley Armstrong - I loved the first book that I read earlier this year and it's been on my mind so I need to pick up book 2.

7.  Bookmobile Cat Mystery Series by Laurie Cass - I've read one book and enjoyed it and we aren't going to talk about how many books in this series I own.  Now I just need to read them!

8.  Amish Candy Shop Mysteries by Amanda Flowers - I really enjoyed another series by this cozy mystery author and I enjoyed the first book in the series so I need to continue it.

9.  Wrexford and Sloane Mysteries by Andrea Penrose - I liked the first book and am loving the second book that I'm currently listening to.  I waited over a year between book one and two and don't want to wait nearly as long between two and three.  

10. Krewe of Hunters series by Heather Graham - I've read most of the books in this series and always really enjoy them but there are a handful that I haven't gotten around to so I need to finish them up - especially as the series seems to have come to an end or is at least slowing down.

Monday, July 8, 2024

Murder on Devil's Pond - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: Murder on Devil's POnd (A Hummingbird Hollow B&B Mystery) by Ayla Rose

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

Description:  When 33-year-old Hannah Solace returns to her hometown to renovate and reopen the inn she co-owns with her sister Reggie, her mission is to give the old Victorian hotel an entirely new life. She’s even planting pollinator gardens around the inn–native flowers and fruit trees to lure honeybees and houseguests alike. 
Hannah’s fresh start is stymied by Reggie’s continual interference, unreliable contractors, a check-the-couch-for-coins budget, and townspeople Hannah left behind fifteen years ago. Her main source of camaraderie is Ezra Grayson, an 80-year-old recluse who lives nearby. After an unsettling conversation with a disgruntled Ezra, Hannah is horrified to discover him dead on her property later that day. Ezra had always had plenty of people to complain about, especially locals trying to force him out of his property for its prime real estate. As buzz around town grows after his death, Hannah finds herself on the short list of suspects. Hannah starts digging and quickly discovers that secrets lurk beneath the charming surface of the town she once again calls home.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I'm always on the lookout for a new cozy series and this looked like a good one.  

My Impression: Well this was a fun read - and one I got through in 2 sittings though it did keep me up way too late as I just had to finish it.  I have read other books by this author under another name and really enjoyed them so I had high expectations going into this one and I was not let down.

Hannah has some baggage that she's still working through when she comes back home to small town Vermont to manage the B&B.  Her relationship with her father is strained and her relationship with her sister is complicated in a big sister/little sister way.  Her friendship with town curmudgeon, Ezra, is a bright spot for her even though he would protest at having it put that way.  When Ezra dies and Hannah finds him she is quickly pulled into not only investigating who would want Ezra dead but who Ezra was in the first place.  This pulls her into making peace with some aspects of her pass as well.

The pacing of this one kept me turning pages way past my bedtime.  Hannah frustrated me at times but I did sympathize with her and I found her fairly easy to connect to.  Plus, there is a big dog named Moose and who could resist a big dog named Moose?

This was a fun read that touches on some darker issues.  The characters are flawed but sympathetic and the pacing kept me hooked from beginning to end.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely!  I really liked this one and am looking forward to visiting Hannah, Reggie, Peach, and especially Moose again.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you are a cozy mystery lover this was a solid and enjoyable read.

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

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Reading Recap - June 2023


Monthly Recap:

Monthly Reading Count -  19 - I'm hoping in July to beat this number but so far I've been pretty consistent at 19!

Print - 7
Ebook - 7 
Audiobook - 5 

Mystery -  14
Fiction - 3
Romance - 1 
Nonfiction - 1

Favorite Books of the Month:

Favorite Audio: A Murder at Half Moon Gate by Andrea Penrose - I didn't liked but didn't love the first book in this series but I'd seen so many great reviews I had to keep going with it and I'm so glad I did!  I thoroughly enjoyed this second book.

Favorite Read: Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy - This wasn't a perfect read but this was the book I looked forward to picking up the most.  I loved the characters and Binchy's writing style.

Least Favorite Read of the Month:

Come Shell or High Water by Molly MacRae

Where My Books Took Me This Month:

Domestic Travel:  The only new state I visited was Mississippi but I also visited Florida (twice), North Carolina, Arizona, and Vermont.

International Travel: I had a fairly big month internationally.  I visited England 8 times in multiple different time periods, Scotland, France, and Greece.  I also crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the Luisitania.  

Where did your books take you this month?  What was your favorite read of the month?

Friday, July 5, 2024

Friday Fives - July TBR

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 is the first Friday in July so I'm picking out five books I hope to read this month.

1.  Close Knit by Jenny Colgan - Colgan has been a bit hit or miss for me lately but in general I love her books and this one involves a knitting circle in the north of Scotland which sounds delightful.

2.  The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith - This book has been gathering virtual dust on my NetGalley shelf for years.  Even though I'm not much of a YA reader it looks fun and I figure it's worth a try.  

3.  The Castle on Sunset by Shawn Levy - This book has been tempting me for awhile and this year I put it on my Library priority list so I'm excited to read it this month!

4.  Murder with Puffins by Donna Andrews - I love this series and have really enjoyed picking up the early books as I didn't come into the series until later.  This is book two and who doesn't love puffins?

5.  When the Marquess Met His Match by Laura Lee Gurhke - The prompt for this month's TBR Tarot is a book with a picture on the spine.  This book has been kicking around my TBR for years and it just so happens to fit the prompt!

What are you hoping to read in July?

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Books from the Backlog - Murder on Mustique

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:  Murder on Mustique by Anne Glenconner

Blurb:  Mustique is in a state of breathless calm as tropical storm Cristobal edges towards it across the Atlantic. Most villa owners have escaped the island but a few young socialites remain, unwilling to let summer's partying end. American heiress Amanda Fortini is one such thrill-seeker - until she heads out for a morning swim and doesn't return.
Detective Sergeant Solomon Nile is just 28 years old and the island's only fully trained police officer. He quickly realises he needs to contact Lord and Lady Blake, who bought the island decades ago and have invested time, money and love creating a paradise. Jasper is in St Lucia designing a new village of luxury villas but Lady Veronica (Vee to her friends) catches a plane immediately. Her beloved god-daughter, Lily, is on the island and this disappearance has alarming echoes of what happened to Lily's mother many years ago. Lady Vee would never desert a friend in need, and she can keep a cool head in a crisis.

When Amanda's body is found, a murder investigation begins. Nile knows the killer must be an islander because flights and ferry crossings have stopped due to the storm warning, but the local community isn't co-operating. And then the storm hits, and someone else disappears

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  I bought this at a used bookstore awhile ago because it sounded like a great mystery but it has been sitting untouched on my shelf ever since then.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

What I'm Reading Wednesday - July 3

I always have a few books going and this is what I'm reading this week and what I think of my reads.

Print Book:

I'm almost done with Shadow of a Spout by Amanda Cooper which I've enjoyed a surprising amount.  It's a good straight forward cozy mystery with two different generations, lots of secrets and gossip and antique teapots.  I don't remember loving the first book but this one has been a lot of fun.

Next Up: 15 Summers Later by RaeAnne Thayne


The Confidence Games by Tess Amy - I'm about halfway done with this one and am enjoying it.  The characters are a bit older and the topics are a bit more serious than the cover and tagline led me to believe but it's still been a fun read. 

Next Up: A Murder at the Movies by Ellie Alexander - This is the second book in the Secret Bookshelf cozy mystery series and I'm looking forward to it.

Slow Read:  

A Wolf Called Romeo by Nick Jans - This was leant to me by a friend who says it is wonderful and that I need to read it before we visit a wolf preserve in October.  I'm just barely started it so I don't really have an impression of it but I am a bit nervous as it does involve animals.

Audio Book:

Old World Murder by Kathleen Ernst - I'm close to done with it and have enjoyed the mystery though the characters (especially the main character, Chloe) are not my favorite.  So far I like the premise enough to continue the series - especially since I have the next book as an overdue review book.

Next Up: Secrets of the Greek Revival by Eva Pohler

What are you reading?

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Books on My TBR with Green on the Covers

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 Covers with My Favorite Color On It.  My favorite color is green and I went through all my various TBR lists to find covers that have green on them.

1.  Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

2.  Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

3.  Dead Heading by Catherine Aird

4.  The Fleet Street Murders by Charles Finch

5.  Mrs. Jeffries and the Feast of St. Stephen by Emily Brightwell

6.  Gone Gull by Donna Andrews

7.  As Death Draws Near by Anna Lee Huber

8.  Someone to Honor by Mary Balogh

9.  The Daughters of Foxcote Manor by Eve Chase

10. Matchmaking Can Be Murder by Amanda Flower

What is your favorite color?

Monday, July 1, 2024

The Body in the Bookstore - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads: The Body in the Bookstore (A Secret Bookcase Mystery #1) by Ellie Alexander

Rating:  Liked It! (3.5 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  Bookseller Annie Murray is thrilled when the mystery-themed book festival she sets up to revive the dwindling fortunes of her workplace and sanctuary seems poised for success. But events take a shocking turn when a body is discovered hidden behind the shelves, and it’s revealed that the victim is Annie's old college acquaintance.

Determined to ensure the festival’s success and save the small town of Redwood Grove from a killer, Annie begins piecing together clues with the help of her friends. But as the list of suspects grows longer – a local boutique-owner, an envious old classmate, a bitter ex-boyfriend – Annie is drawn deeper into the case.

With the aid of her old criminology professor-turned-detective, can Annie unmask the murderer before they turn her festival into a real-life whodunit?

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I love Ellie Alexander's books and the a mystery themed book festival seemed to good to pass up.

My Impression: I have a list of fictional places I wish were real and I'm pretty sure that The Secret Bookshelf - an Agatha Christie themed bookstore in a Victorian house complete with a secret bookcase - is pretty much at the top of the list.  There's also a cat named Professor Plum which makes me smile everytime he makes an appearance on the page.

When times are hard at the bookstore and all the of the ideas Annie comes up with to drum up business are failing Annie decides to shoot for the stars and comes up with a town wide mystery festival (another thing I wish happened in real life).  While Annie is thrilled about the turnout and the response she's not thrilled to connect with some of her old college friends - especially one who ends up dead early on.

I enjoyed this mystery.  The setting is amazing, Annie and the rest of the characters are likable (except for the ones that aren't supposed to be), and Annie even has a mystery in her past.  Ellie Alexander excels at creating small towns with just the right amount of quirk and fun characters and once again she has created another small town that I would love to visit.  There is a bit of a slower start as the reader is being introduced to the characters and the basic premise but this is a series I'm excited to continue with.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Of course!  Ellie Alexander is one of my absolute favorite authors.

Would I Recommend this Book? I would - especially if you're a cozy mystery fan!  

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