There’s a Murder Afoot review

This is the fifth book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series by Vicki Delany, and it’s going to be released this Tuesday, January 7, 2020. I’m reviewing an advance copy of it provided by the publisher. I also had a digital copy from NetGalley as I tend to go back and forth if I have the choice. I really loved this installment that takes place 99% in London, England. It was fun to read about Gemma in her old stomping grounds and meet her parents and sister. I felt bad for Gemma’s dad being accused and harrassed by a DI who hadn’t liked him when he was on the force.

I thought at first her sister was going to be snooty and kind of a pain, but she proved to be more of a puzzle as well as a good, but behind-the-scenes sleuthing partner for her sister. We can only guess what Pippa’s job is with the government as the book unfolds. As always, I’m anxiously waiting for the next book now!

My Goodreads review:

There's A Murder Afoot (Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #5)There’s A Murder Afoot by Vicki Delany

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was so awesome to read about Gemma and all her West London, MA friends being together in London, England for a Sherlock Holmes event. I really liked her parents and Pippa her sister even grew on me. She was sort of mysterious but she and Grant started liking each other during the course of the trip, which turned into a little longer of a trip due to Gemma’s dad being accused of murder.

Gemma usually investigated cases involving strangers but there was more at stake here, so it made her even more determined to find the real killer. I was definitely wrong about the killer, and there was a good twist at the end. The showdown was exciting, and even Sherlock-obsessed Donald Morris got in on helping out. During the trip, I got some giggles out of the times Ashleigh would contact Gemma about a few little issues they were having at the store. The one with Moriarty the cat and an author’s shoes was really funny. I think this book is my favorite now in this series!

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher. The book releases January 7, and my opinions are my own.

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Theater Nights Are Murder review

Happy New Year everyone! And on to this year’s awesome reading!

This is the fourth (and funniest, to me) book in the Poppy McAllister series by Libby Klein. She does such a good job of making her readers laugh most of the way through the books in this series! I just love these characters and how some of our favorites from the previous books make their way into the most recent one. If you haven’t started this series, you should treat yourself this year.

My Goodreads review:

Theater Nights Are MurderTheater Nights Are Murder by Libby Klein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this series more every time I read the newest book and I always think that book is the funniest one so far…only because imho it is! I was laughing out loud at Aunt Ginny and her “biddies'” antics during the senior center’s production of Mamma Mia. From going all out spy complete with two-way radios to conning some bikers in a pool game, these ladies while absolutely hilarious were determined to find out how their friend really died during the theater production. And for that I say, “You go, girls!”

Even though I didn’t care much for the character of Fiona, I have to admit I got a kick out of her always talking about her precious son Iggy’s many master’s degrees. It was sort of a running joke through the book (like how Georgina had come up with a bunch of wrong names for Smitty in the previous book). I think Aunt Ginny will always be my favorite character, but we got to know the biddies a lot better in this book and I completely enjoyed that. Even Smitty made a visit. Poppy’s friend Sawyer had a sideline mystery going on, and there was another side mystery that completely threw me when I found out who was behind it. I’d never have guessed.

Officer Amber seemed to be mellowing just a little bit. She didn’t seem nearly as mean as she was in the first book even though I doubt she’ll ever get over getting a little satisfaction out of trying to make Poppy squirm. Poppy gave it right back though–her character has grown a lot since the first book too. As always, I’m anxious for the next in this series!

I voluntarily read and reviewed a paperback ARC of this book provided by the publisher, and my opinions are my own.

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First in Series Challenge 2020

I made a decent dent in that drawer of books I had, but for 2020 I’m not going to set my goal so high. I had twenty-three books I wanted to clear out in 2019, and I did manage to clear out thirteen of them, which is pretty decent. I’m going to challenge myself to read the other ten of them and two more to make for one a month. These are:

A Deadly Grind (Vintage Kitchen)—Victoria Hamilton

A Peach of a Murder (Fresh Baked)—Livia J. Washburn

Beaglemania (Pet Rescue)—Linda O. Johnston

Cookie Dough or Die (Cookie Cutter Shop)—Virginia Lowell

Death on the Cliff Walk (Gilded Age)—Mary Kruger

Fatal Fixer-Upper (Do-It-Yourself)—Jennie Bentley

Homicide in Hardcover (Bibliophile)—Kate Carlisle

Kneaded to Death (Bread Shop)—Winnie Archer

Mistletoe Murder (Lucy Stone)—Leslie Meier

Mum’s the Word (Flower Shop)—Kate Collins

It Takes a Witch (Wishcraft)–Heather Blake

The Cat, the Quilt and the Corpse (Cats in Trouble)–Leeann Sweeney

As before, I’ll link to my reviews when I read them, or if I get behind like I did in 2019, I’ll probably wait till the eleventh hour to update this page. Here’s my 2019 First in Series page now that I’ve updated it with review links.

This is just a for-fun challenge that anyone is welcome to join if you also have first in series that you’re trying to get read. Since mine are all physical books, they’ll count for other challenges too!

I know that Christina (@TeacherReader1) has been waiting for me to post this, and now that we’re back from vacation and have celebrated half of our Christmases (my family one is this weekend), I had a little window of time to do this. Have fun!

A Blessed Merry Christmas!

To all my cyber friends who celebrate Christmas, I hope yours is blessed and peaceful. Thanks to everyone who has followed my little blog this year, the commenters and just anyone who surfs on in. Merry Christmas to all…God bless us every one!

The Nativity photo above was found on Pexels when I searched free Christmas images.

A few more awesome photos I couldn’t resist adding (immediately below was found on Pexels, and the cookie one after it was from blog.picjumbo.com).

pexels-merry-christmas-pixabay

merry-christmas-food-lettering-free-image

 

Verse and Vengeance review

This is the fourth book in the Magical Bookshop series by Amanda Flower. It quickly became a favorite series of mine from the time I read the first book, and I’m always anxious for the next one. Fans of Violet and David will be especially pleased with this installment!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

My Goodreads review:

Verse and Vengeance (A Magical Bookshop Mystery #4)Verse and Vengeance by Amanda Flower

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book! Everything I’ve been hoping would happen in Violet’s life has come together in a happy way. There were times when she doubted people that she considered friends, but everything worked out and the killer was caught. I was really surprised by the reveal too and had never suspected that person. (Although I can’t say that I’m sorry it was that person lol). I don’t want to say too much, because there are a number of spoilers in the book. Any fans of Violet and David will be well-pleased.

Grandma Daisy has always been a favorite character, and in this book, Richard who was one of Violet’s professors at the college when she was getting her degree, had started working at the bookshop. There was a certain lady he liked a lot, and I was wondering if he’d ever get up the nerve to take her out. It was cool getting to know him a little bit better by reading about his working in the shop during the summer.

I’ve loved this series since the first book I read and always anxiously wait for the next book! The only reason it took me so long to read this book was due to being on vacation. Attempting to read much of it prior to vacation wasn’t working due to all the things needing done before we left.

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NetGalley/Edelweiss Challenge 2020

I’m happy to sign up again for this challenge. I didn’t quite make the Diamond level in 2019, but I got a lot more read than I had anticipated. I didn’t do all that great with posting the books here on the blog, but I was pretty faithful about posting my reviews to Tina’s blog, Reading Between the Pages. You can sign up at Reading Between the Pages as well by using the link in this sentence.

You don’t need a blog to participate. I’m going to aim for Platinum this year. I currently sit at around 90 I believe, but I don’t think I’ll make 100 before the year is over. I’ll let you read the challenge details as outlined by Tina on her page, but here are the different levels:

The Levels…

Bronze – 10 Books

Silver – 25 Books

Gold – 50 Books

Platinum – 75 Books

Diamond – 100 Books

An Ale of Two Cities review

This is the second book in Sarah Fox’s Literary Pub series, and I was excited to return to Shady Creek, Vermont when it was almost Christmas. I could just picture the town and all the shops with the snowfall and the Winter Carnival that was underway. The side story about the hockey game was kind of fun. Poor Cordelia, she gave it her best, lol. I’m hoping as the series progresses that Sadie and Grayson get closer. I know that Joey the reporter likes her, but I’ve been Team Grayson since the first book. 😉 I never guessed the killer at all.

My Goodreads review:

An Ale of Two Cities (Literary Pub Mystery #2)An Ale of Two Cities by Sarah Fox

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had really been looking forward to this second book and I was definitely not disappointed! The mystery of the murder was a good one, and I was totally surprised by the killer reveal which was pretty exciting. Thinking about Christmas and wintertime in Vermont was so cool. I’m not a fan of being out in the cold, but looking out at the scenery would be awesome. The town of Shady Creek sounds like an adorable little Hallmark town, especially during Winter Carnival that had an ice sculpture contest.

I just love Aunt Gilda! She’s just what Sadie needed–and who wouldn’t love an aunt like her. Shontelle was the kind of bestie any girl would be glad to have, and the various employees at Inkwell were all good people. The trivia night that Sadie had was fun, and I even caught some cozy mystery name dropping which is always super fun to read about. Hopefully Sadie will eventually think of Grayson as more sweet than annoying, but I think she got a good start in this book by talking about spending Christmas with him. I definitely can’t wait for the next book!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and my opinions are my own.

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