The Whispered Word–review

Ellery Adams has done it again with her second book in the Secret, Book and Scone Society. She really has a way of making the reader care so much about the people in the story that the murders (yes, multiple!) are still important, but as a reader, you just want to find out more about the characters and are interested in their lives, their growth from the brokenness that brought them all together.

The Society started with four women who were damaged and each had a secret that they ended up telling to their new group of friends. Now they are fast friends and even Nora, who usually didn’t like being around anyone, loves to be in the company of her friends–and even the man she’s interested in. They continue to need each other’s kindness and support, but they give back to the community as well. All I can keep saying is, this book is amazing and you just have to experience this series for yourself!

My Goodreads review:

The Whispered Word (Secret, Book, & Scone Society, #2)The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m so glad the two books in this series didn’t end right after the killer was caught and brought to justice. With these characters, there is always just so much more to be learned and time to be spent with them. I love how this book ended after the showdown. There was absolutely no disappointment here! I hadn’t seen this killer coming at all!

At the end of the Secret, Book and Scone Society, a girl had shown up at Miracle Books after Nora had put up a Help Wanted sign. This book started right up telling about her and how she was a huge help to Nora, but moreso to Hester, since she was an accomplished baker. The girl called herself Abilene, and she continued to be a mystery. The four friends realized she was running from something or someone. When three murders struck within just a few weeks, Nora couldn’t help but wonder if their new friend had some connection to them. There was also a new business in town, one that took valuables on consignment. Nora couldn’t help but be suspicious of that as well, since their town had just undergone an economic crisis and people were anxious to sell items they had just to keep food on their tables.

It was great visiting with these four friends again. The interim sheriff was a breath of fresh air compared to the old one and it was sweet that Nora and Jed were becoming a lot closer. I enjoyed the little side stories of Nora doing her bibliotherapy for people. For any book clubs wanting to have a discussion on this book, there are some questions in the back that the author has provided. I have a book hangover now…not sure when I’ll want to start another one, this one was that amazing.

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The Novel Art of Murder–review

This is the third book in the Mystery Bookshop series by V.M. (Valerie) Burns. I absolutely loved it. It featured Sam’s grandma, Nana Jo, being accused of murdering a woman who was given Nana’s usual role in the annual Senior Follies at her retirement community. I always get such a kick out of their friend Irma too. If you haven’t read any of this series, now is the time to start! I think they can each stand alone, but you might enjoy them more if you start at the beginning.

My Goodreads Review:

The Novel Art of Murder (Mystery Bookshop, #3)The Novel Art of Murder by V.M. Burns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series was SO good to begin with, but if you can believe it, it keeps getting better! This one had all the senior sleuth friends playing fairly equal parts, along with a new retired judge friend.

When a murder at Nana Jo’s retirement community points to none other than Nana Jo herself, Sam had more than a vested interest in solving this case. She even appealed to Det. “Stinky” Pitt that if they worked together and shared information, she could guarantee him the killer before Thanksgiving. He grudgingly tried to go along with that. I just love when the sleuths all gather at the bookshop or Frank’s restaurant to talk about the case. They each have their assignments, and these tech-smart seniors are forces to reckon with. I liked that Judge Miller was in on it more this time. I’m sure he was consulting on other books (it’s so hard to remember details lol) but it was fun to get to know him a little better. After another murder at the retirement village, the sleuths really had their hands full and Sam’s brain was working overtime.

The showdown was absolutely awesome! It was funny to picture it and let’s just say the perp probably never knew what him them! There’s an excerpt in the back of this book for the next book, and I’ll be reading that excerpt quickly after I leave my reviews and before I dig into the next book I want to read.

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Body on Baker Street–review

This is the second book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series by Vicki Delaney. I’ve read them out of order a little bit. I had started with the third book since I had the opportunity to receive a hard cover of it for doing a voluntary read and review. I read the first one this spring and since my library had this one on display, I grabbed it up.

My Goodreads review:

Body on Baker Street (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, #2)Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delany

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now I’m all caught up and ready for whenever the fourth book comes out! This one was really good and especially interesting since it had to do with an author being killed in Gemma’s store.

Gemma had set up a last minute book signing at her store for a flamboyant but well-loved author. The woman wasn’t so well-loved in the die-hard Sherlock community though because Donald Morris, local Sherlock expert and fancier of all things Sherlock had angry words with her just before she face planted into the book she was signing. Poor Donald ended up arrested eventually and begged Gemma to look into this case for him. Since Gemma had higher-than-normal type senses and instincts, she agreed to see what she could do, all the while dodging snarky detective Louise Estrada and hoping for a little attention from her former boyfriend, detective Ryan Ashburton. Add to that, just trying to stay alive since the killer seemed to be getting worried at one point.

There were plenty of suspects but narrowed down probably just the normal amount, as well as twists and turns that had me doubting my first choice. It didn’t surprise me when I found out who it was but I hadn’t guessed the reasoning. The showdown was great and everything ended up working out for everyone involved, well except for the killer.

It was fun to see Jayne’s mom in the story since this is the first time she was featured. She seems really nice and your typical nurturing mom. I’m hoping that Gemma and Louise Estrada start getting along better. It seems like if each one of them would just give a little, it would work better. Gemma is so intelligent she just can’t help the comments she makes sometimes which is what usually makes Louise mad at her. I hope Gemma and Ryan can work things out and be together and it would be great to see Jayne eventually with someone other than Robbie (preferably Andy that likes her) Oh well these are just the fun side things. It’s always a great mystery at the Sherlock Bookshop!

I’m always happy to see cozy mysteries at my local library like this one so along with buying books, I do like to borrow them sometimes and let the library know there are definitely interested cozy fans in our little town.

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On the Hook–review

This is the 12th book in the Crochet Mystery series by Betty Hechtman. I know I’m notorious for wanting to read and stay in order but I couldn’t resist requesting this when I saw it at NetGalley–the cover is so adorable! I’d like to thank NetGalley and Crooked Lane for allowing me to  voluntarily read and review this book. I have been collecting the series here and there but now I really want to start it at the beginning.

My Goodreads review:

On the Hook (Crochet Mystery, #12)On the Hook by Betty Hechtman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was actually the first book I’ve read in this series but since I’d been wanting to at least read something in it, I was happy when the book was available on NetGalley to voluntary read and review it. I have to say, I like the characters a lot and definitely want to go back and catch up with their stories and history. But the author does such a good job of storytelling that new readers like me will have no issue if they decide to read this book as a stand alone.

Molly and her crochet friends got involved in another mystery when her friend Adele had wanted to go into a house that Elise was showing for a reason other than seeing the house, nothing illegal. When the house’s owner turned up dead and Molly’s scarf was found at the scene, the police detective, Barry, started hounding Molly. I got a kick out of her describing him as doing his Columbo act but I think she later found out he still liked her and wanted to be around her.

I always enjoy when a group of ladies get together to work on a mystery while working on their hobby. I actually did guess the killer but the reason was a complete and very cool little twist. I thought the take down was pretty exciting and kind of funny…you’ll just have to read it to find out. The killer was put away and most everyone in the book had a good ending. Except that Molly now had three men interested in her. I think I better hurry up and catch up (mainly because I’m just a little OCD about enjoying books more in order) before the next book comes out.

Molly has two really nice guys interested in her. Since I’ve only read this one book I can’t say if I’m Team Barry or Team Mason. The third is sort of a fluke which you will find out if you read the book. Dinah was an awesome friend that anyone would love to have. I thought her lady cave was really cool. She was married to a guy a little older (all these ladies are around their 40s or 50s to begin with) and made herself a little den so she and her bestie Molly could have girl talk when her hubby wanted to go to sleep early. I think once I read more about the others in the group I’ll have more to say in any reviews but since Dinah was Molly’s best friend and had a little more page time, she just stood out more to me.

A very enjoyable, well written and constructed mystery and thanks again to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review.

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The Plot Is Murder–review

This is the first book in the Mystery Bookshop series by a newer author, V.M. or Valerie Burns. It was kind of nice that it focused completely on the mystery itself and solving it. Sam, the main character had recently lost her husband so there was no romantic hunky guy to sweep her off her feet. I’m not opposed to a little romance in my cozies, it’s fun. But sometimes it’s also fun to not have it at all.

My Goodreads review:

The Plot Is Murder (Mystery Bookshop, #1)The Plot Is Murder by V.M. Burns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an awesome start for a new series! This was a well-written book with a mystery in a mystery. Bookshop owner Samantha Washington is also writing a British cozy set in 1938, so it was fun to get a peek first hand at what she was writing and see that case solved right along with the main case.

Sam had recently lost her husband Leon to cancer but carried out both their dreams of owning a mystery bookshop. When the shady real estate agent who was trying to block the sale at the last minute ended up dead out in her courtyard, Sam was of course the prime suspect. Her feisty grandma, Nana Jo (gotta love this lady, she’s awesome!) and her posse of equally feisty and fun senior ladies from her retirement village all stepped in to help Sam. In fact a lot of their sleuthing was done faster and easier than what Sam could find online, although Nana Jo was no stranger to an iPad. Hopefully the real killer would be found before they strike again.

I just love it when seniors are spotlighted as the clever and wonderful people that they are and when the younger people in their lives actually show some appreciation for them. Nana and her friends were so much like the Golden Girls and then some, lol. I laughed out loud when Nana kept calling the detective by his nickname from when she taught him in school!

I thought the idea of having Dawson there was really a good one. Dawson was a college age guy that Sam met early in the story and eventually hired him as summer help. He was being physically and verbally abused by his dad at home so Sam and Nana stepped in to get him away from that situation. I love how he just took over the baking of treats for the bookstore and I’m anxious to see what happens in future books–hoping that Sam’s tearoom will open and they’ll be able to sell his scrumptious goodies there.

The toy poodles, Snickers and Oreo were so adorable! Poodles this size may not be attack dogs but they sure made good guard and watch dogs.

I did guess the killer but I think there were enough clues planted so that the reader could do this if they wanted to guess. The take down was epic! Let’s just say perp + Nana and Co. can’t end well for him! 😉 When the main case was wrapped up, so was the book that Sam was working on. It was interesting to see her switch off to writing as her own life got hectic. Writing is what calmed her down so when Sam needed an escape, we got the next chapter in her mystery.

The end of the book had an excerpt from the next book. I can hardly wait to read that one!

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