Death on a Deadline review

This is the second book in the Homefront News Mysteries by Joyce St. Anthony, better known to cozy mystery fans as Joyce Tremel who wrote the three-book Brewing Trouble Mysteries. This is probably the only historical mystery I can honestly say I enjoy reading. I’m not sure why I haven’t enjoyed others but maybe it’s because 1942 is modern enough that people don’t seem that much different or uppity like they can seem when it’s the 1800s. It’s like a very grown-up Nancy Drew if you ever read the ones from the 1940s, and surprisingly I don’t miss the characters being able to use their phones to research suspects, etc. Or sometimes it’s actually fun to imagine what they’d have done with tech back then and how differently things could turn out. They seemed to do just fine though when what they had at the time was all they knew.

I’m really hoping for more books in the series so we can welcome home everyone from the war especially Bill and Pete!

#CrookedLaneBooks #JoyceStAnthony

My Goodreads review:

Death on a Deadline (A Homefront News Mystery Book 2)Death on a Deadline by Joyce St. Anthony
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I fell in love with this series with the first book and was eager to get into the second one which was set in summer during fair time when the rally was on to buy war bonds. Since they didn’t have any huge name stars coming, they did get a few what we might call B or C listers now. When one of said stars was found dead, the obvious thoughts were that one of their own did him in. The guy had lotsa secrets he was keeping and what’s this…he was blackmailing for some of those secrets.

There were plenty of suspects although one of those I never really considered as a suspect, but I did keep wavering on which of the others was the killer. The person whodunit was on my list though. I loved the showdown and what Irene was able to do to the perp. They had the whole story explained by Walt eventually or at least the parts they didn’t all already know. I get a kick out of Peggy and Irene sleuthing, but it was fun that crazy Sylvia from the first book was included too. She was always a hoot! One of her particular talents was really useful for this case.

I’m not sure how many more books are planned but the war went on plenty long enough for maybe a few more. I’d love to see Bill and Irene’s Pop get home! The story about the hometown boy shot down in the battle of Midway was pretty sad especially when his good friend (one of the stars, another hometown guy) gave a little memorial speech about him at a bond rally. Hoping for a next book to look forward to!

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

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Front Page Murder review

This is the very first in a new series called Hometown News Mysteries by Joyce St. Anthony who’s better known in the cozy world as Joyce Tremel, author of the three-book Brewing Trouble series. I remember I really enjoyed the first book and wanted to get back to that series. But I sure never expected to love this historical cozy like I did! I’d grabbed it from NetGalley thinking it looked interesting. I believe I might’ve researched the Joyce St. Anthony name and realized I wasn’t reading a total newbie. But I hadn’t realized until later it was historical. I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy it so much! In a way, I’m glad I didn’t read the blurb on NG that time, or I might’ve missed out on a great read by leaving it behind.

The name of book 2 is Death on a Deadline. If you follow that link it’ll take you to Joyce’s website where if you scroll a little, you’ll see the awesome cover and release date of November 8, 2022. I sure hope this series goes over well enough that she can at least make it a trilogy like Brewing Trouble was.

#CrookedLane #JoyceSt.Anthony #JoyceTremel

My Goodreads review:

Front Page Murder (A Homefront News Mystery)Front Page Murder by Joyce St. Anthony
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I honestly hadn’t expected to like this since historical cozies aren’t really my thing. But I gotta say, this was absolutely awesome and now ranks up there with the handful of historical cozies I’ve actually enjoyed not just endured. I was really excited at the end when I started poking around online to see if there was another book in the works. I was super happy to find out it comes out November 8.

Irene was a super likable, very strong young character who’d had to mature quickly, but I liked that she was flawed enough not to be completely perfect. Meaning I kinda figured out who the kingpin was before she did, and I don’t think I’m that good. I feel it was planned to show that even strong people can have times of weakness or where they don’t always add everything up. Lily was a sweetheart of a little sister, and I really liked Katherine’s character after a certain point in the book. Peggy was a great bestie to have and made for a good sleuth partner even though she was pretty nervous about it.

There was a lot of good action, and it never felt like the story was dragging. I loved the showdown and who was on hand to help with it! The book releases tomorrow, so if you enjoy reading historical cozies set in WWII, this is for you. Heck, I didn’t even realize it was for me because I’m not a big history nut, but I guess the 1940s are just recent enough that they don’t seem too weird as compared to some 19th century history cozies I’ve tried to read. The key characters were so likable, I’m really hoping that Irene’s dad and fiancé Bill make it home safely. Oh and that crazy Sylvia! I wouldn’t mind seeing her in the next book as well as Katherine.

The language and conversation flowed nicely and wasn’t a bit uppity like I’ve sometimes found with other eras. I shocked my husband by actually asking him a few things about WWII (since he’s the history nut in the family lol!) then explained I’d just read a really good mystery stressing how it was fiction though, haha.

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

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City of Lies–Victoria Thompson

This is the first historical cozy mystery in the Counterfeit Lady series by well-known author of Gaslight Mysteries, Victoria Thompson. I probably would never have thought to read it had it not been for another online book club I’m in. I never really thought I’d enjoy historical very much, but this was interesting as well as entertaining. I have to say it’s the most unusual job for a protagonist that I’ve read about so far! I am really anxious to keep reading in this series and hope I get approved from NetGalley to read the second book before it comes out in November.

My Goodreads review:

City of Lies (Counterfeit Lady, #1)City of Lies by Victoria Thompson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to say this is the most different occupation I’ve come across for a sleuth, making a living by being a grifter who cheats their way through life and encounters danger at just about every turn–especially when they make their mark angry. It was a well-written and plotted mystery though, as well as compelling. I got to know Elizabeth and her two friends that she got sent to jail with and cared about what happened to them. I had no idea all these awful things happened during women’s suffrage in our country and how some of those women actually did suffer and die for their rights. It was interesting to read in the back of the book after it ended that the women’s stay in the workhouse was based on some real life events.

The author painted the perfect bad guy in Thornton. I really wanted to see him get ruined for the way he treated everyone, especially females, so I loved how the sting finally ended, it was really epic! Even little shy Anna got to play an important part in it. There was a really good twist in the scheme that had me even fooled for a little while.

I haven’t read many other historical mysteries but this is the first that didn’t have a current murder to solve. They were mainly focused on the sting operation and making sure the bad guy paid and it was interesting to get to that point. The book didn’t end with a cliffhanger, but it did end in such a way that I definitely would like to read the next one and see what characters and situations might carry on in that book.

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Murder at the Breakers–review

This was the first book in the historical cozy mystery series called A Gilded Newport Mystery by Alyssa Maxwell. I had been wanting to read it for awhile and finally got my kick start to read it when a Facebook group decided to discuss it. Alyssa herself was the guest and she was so interesting! She said this was the very first mystery book she’d written. She also informed us that she’s working on the seventh in this series. I better get to reading so I can get more caught up! I didn’t think I’d like a historical cozy as much as I liked reading this one! I think I’m addicted, at least to this series.

My Goodreads review:

Murder at the Breakers (Gilded Newport Mysteries #1)Murder at the Breakers by Alyssa Maxwell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved Newport, Rhode Island when my family and I visited several years ago, especially the Cliff Walk with all the gorgeous mansions, so I was excited to read a mystery series based on the various mansions.

Emma Vanderbilt Cross feels like she’s just a shirttail relation to the famous Vanderbilts, Cornelius and Aunt Agnes that built The Breakers. But to her cousins, she was an equal when they were kids. Her cousin Niely (Cornelius III) was always good to her even as adults. When her uncle’s financial secretary is killed on the grounds and Emma’s half-brother Brady is accused of the murder, Emma will stop at nothing to find the real killer, even if it means risking her own life.

Emma was such an awesome and strong character! I loved how she was kind to everyone, no matter what their class. She befriended a teen-aged maid who had come to her and her Nanny looking for work when the maid became pregnant. Nanny was such a sweetheart. She was much more than a servant–she was more like a grandmother to Emma since Emma had never felt any real affection from her own parents. They always seemed to be away and Emma always seemed to be the one to go to Brady’s assistance when he was in trouble.

Despite some threats on her life, Emma kept on investigating and along with a new friend, Derrick, they got to the bottom of the murder as well as a couple more killings done by that same person. I really never suspected this person!

This was so well-written I could picture myself in the 1800s Newport summer (not as a character, I don’t think I’d be able to stand those suffocating outfits lol). There were some great red herrings. Now there are two men who seem interested in Emma. My first thought was to be Team Derrick but now I’m not sure–Jesse is a policeman and would be a lot more of a steady person. Derrick is exciting and likes to investigate. I think I’ll just have to read the next book to make a proper decision! 😉

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